Category Archives: Heroes

They give us hope and the winner ( s ) is

The world needs hope. Which is why I’m glad WORLD Magazine has announced the winner of its Hope Awards!

During the summer, I told you about the finalists for WORLD Magazine’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion—Christian organizations that make a positive difference in their communities without receiving government funds. We now have a winner, so let’s end the suspense—the envelope, please! And the winner is … all of us!

Well, actually, after tallying the record number of votes from readers, WORLD selected Delta Streets Academy in Greenwood, Mississippi. DSA, which began just five years ago, has 55 students, all black and all male, in grades 7 through 11. The school aims “to equip the young men who walk through our doors daily with the gospel of Christ, and the skills needed to live a life that honors God.”

In 2008, Thomas McMillin Howard, 32, known as T. Mac, moved to the Mississippi Delta and taught math at the local public high school. T Mac found the students floundering academically. A third were dropping out; the ones who remained treated their school responsibilities as a joke. Eventually, he decided the at-risk young men needed a disciplined approach grounded in the Christian faith. So in 2012, T Mac left the public school and opened Delta Streets Academy, which began as an after-school and summer program for young men from at-risk neighborhoods.

The discipline is obvious. According to WORLD, “[Students] must tuck in their shirts, complete homework, and act respectfully toward adults and each other. They have a mandatory study hall period during the day and access to tutors after hours. And DSA is reluctantly willing to lose students who refuse discipline.”

The Christian element is more subtle, but no less real. DSA, which for now is housed in the downtown First Baptist Church, seeks to “weave the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all areas of the school believing that glorifying God and enjoying Him forever is the foundation upon which all else is built.” Imagine that.

A minister from another Greenwood church tells The Christian Science Monitor that T Mac wants white churches and civic groups to help heal the community’s racial tensions “in a society still recovering from segregation…. He’s a window into a world that many [white] Christians in Greenwood didn’t know existed.”

Says Marvin Olasky, the editor-in-chief of the WORLD News Group, “I’ve visited DSA twice and been hugely impressed by the way this Christian school educates African-American young men intellectually and spiritually. It’s our 100th national or regional winner over the past 12 years, so Christian compassion is alive and well.”

And that is just the tip of the compassion iceberg, according to journalist Warren Cole Smith. “Those of us involved in ministry or in our local churches know that if the great work of Christian ministries and local churches went away, there would be a giant sucking sound in civil society,” Warren says. “However, most churches and Christian ministries do their work quietly, with little fanfare, so—according to a Pew study—many Americans don’t understand that . . . Christians are more generous with both time and money than their secular neighbors, and that without this generosity, America would be in deep trouble.”

But not if the other Hope Awards regional winners—and countless other organizations offering compassionate ministry—have anything to say about it. These are Navajo Ministries in New Mexico, Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Montana, Village of Hope in Zambia, and New Life Home in New Hampshire.

 

In their great book, Restoring All Things, my friends Warren Cole Smith and John Stonestreet ask a great question: “What is good in our culture that we can promote, protect, and celebrate?” It’s safe to say that WORLD’s Hope Awards are a small but significant answer—and we are all winners because of them

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This 11 year old kid does a great job mowing the lawn at the White-House

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Why dogs live less years than humans, and what we can learn from an old dog

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50 years ago her life was changed

Fifty years ago, everything changed for her. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

On the same weekend in 2012 that Chuck Colson fell ill and ultimately went home to the be with the Lord, we recognized Joni Eareckson Tada as a modern-day William Wilberforce.

And recently, in an interview with Christianity Today, Joni looked back on fifty years since a diving accident left her bound to a wheelchair, recalling how she discovered a depth of trust in Christ she never knew before, and embraced the higher priorities of God than just healing our bodies.

In the decades since her accident, Joni has created and has led one of the most effective ministries on behalf of those with disabilities. She’s helped draft historic legislation, opened hearts and minds, and inspired millions with her painting and singing.

She’s also become a fierce opponent of the culture of death, fighting assisted suicide and euthanasia, which devalue and destroy lives made in God’s image. Thank God for Joni Eareckson Tada, and may she continue to prove His power is made perfect in our weakness.

Margaret Bergmann Lambert, Jewish Athlete Excluded From Berlin Olympics, Dies at 103

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A church started by teens

Have you ever heard of a congregation planting a new church through teenagers?
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Tough Pro Rugby Player Escorts Terminally Ill Teen To Her Last School Dance

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A surprise calling to the mission field

Kenya (MNN) — Being content is a virtue, but not when we’re living a life that is less than what God has planned for us. This story, brought to us by missionaries with World Gospel Mission, is about answering God’s call to minister, even when it’s a surprise. Even when it means giving up what is comfortable.

Angela Many and her husband, Heath, were living a life that, at a glance, could be described as ideal. They met and got married in medical school — Heath is a general surgeon and Angela an OBGYN.

Angela Many shares their story of how God called them from a life of normalcy into something much more profound.
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Star player says yes to God and rejects the world, along with rainbow flag

The pressure on Christians to wave the rainbow flag may be new, but the issue is as old as the church.

Imagine for the moment that you’re a world-class soccer star. You’ve worked for this all your life. Day after day and year after year you get up early, run, work on drills to hone your God-given talent. You’ve sacrificed many other things to rank among the best in the world. And now you may have to choose between your career or your faith. Why? Because you refuse to sell out to the crowd.

This is not make-believe. This is the plight of Jaelene Hinkle, a Christian athlete with the U.S. national soccer team. Jaelene, you see, has suddenly been thrust into a harsh spotlight—not for anything she’s done on the pitch, as they say, but for her decision not to play in games in which her team must wear rainbow jerseys in support of “LGBT Pride” month in June.

Now, Jaelene is not trying to make waves but simply says she’s bowing out for “personal reasons.”

But her views on the matter are pretty clear. When the Supreme Court legalized what is called “same-sex marriage” in 2015, Jaelene stated on Instagram, “I believe with every fiber in my body that what was written 2,000 years ago in the Bible is undoubtedly true …. This world may change, but Christ and His Word NEVER will.”

After calling on Christians to become more loving, she added, “The rainbow was a [covenant] made between God and all his creation that never again would the world be flooded as it was when He destroyed the world during Noah’s time. It’s a constant reminder that no matter how corrupt this world becomes, He will never leave us or forsake us.”

Good, strong words! The rainbow, in case you haven’t noticed, has been appropriated by the LGBT rights crowd.

The response to Jaelene’s latest stand has been mostly vitriol. One of the few printable reactions in opposition was, “It’s so nice when the trash takes itself out.”

To this point however, Jaelene’s decision hasn’t cost her a spot on the national team. And one fair-minded gay sports blog said, “Hinkle has a right to her personal beliefs and if that means skipping a chance to play, that is also her right.”

It’s been clear for a while now that sport, like many other realms in our culture, is under siege from the forces of political correctness, sexual license, and marriage redefinition. A few years ago, the NFL threatened to take the Super Bowl away from the state of Arizona because of a religious freedom bill that the LGBT activists opposed—so Arizona’s governor vetoed the bill. North Carolina was threatened by the NCAA with economic blackmail over its so-called “bathroom bill”—and changed the law. And now the Seattle WNBA team is donating a portion of ticket sales to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I wonder what any Christians on the team think of this.

But it isn’t just about sports. The pressure to conform is being ratcheted up everywhere—in business, politics, even religion. On a recent episode of “The Point,” my colleague John Stonestreet bemoaned that the LGBT “rainbows” have even turned up everywhere—even on bags of French fries! And I can sympathize.

Yet all this isn’t really a surprise, is it? Christians have always faced a choice between following God or the world, Christ or Caesar. In the early church, Christians such as Polycarp, who was bishop of the church in Smyrna, also had to choose. Polycarp, who was an old man, simply had to say “Caesar is lord” and offer a pinch of incense before Caesar’s image—or face torture and death. He refused to give in, saying, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?”

The pressure to go along with the world on human sexuality is probably only going to intensify. For the sake of God’s honor, the truth of His Word, and our neighbors’ flourishing, we simply cannot wave the rainbow flag. Thank God, Jaelene Hinkle hasn’t.

Deism and America’s Founders

Read some commentaries on the men who were used to put America together,here or listen to the audit of them.