A South Dakota mother is thanking God after a stranger paid for her son's diapers at a local Walmart. The generous deed was filmed by another customer and has gone viral since it was posted to Facebook.
Katie Kanefke of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was recently in the checkout line at the local Walmart, purchasing four boxes of diapers for her four-month-old son, Marcus. To Kanefke's chagrin, she was told by the Walmart employee that she could only price match one of the boxes, and because Kanefke and her husband are on a tight budget, she was forced to discard the other three boxes to the side.
That's when fellow customer Carol Flynn, a 73-year-old retired March of Dimes director, stepped in to help. more >>
Even as an adult, I love fireworks — the small ones fascinate me, too. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take in the moving and heart-stirring fireworks display in Washington, D.C. Our nation's capital seems to be the most fitting place for fireworks and all they represent: rocket's red glare, bombs bursting in air, freedom, honor, sacrifice, drama, wonder and celebration. I let my mind drift back to the courageous days of our forefathers. Lights, colors and sounds on the outside and feeling and emotion on the inside.
Throughout America this week, we celebrate our country's birthday and commemorate winning our freedom from England. Freedom is a wonderful feeling, a state (literally and figuratively) of mind and a privilege. I taught overseas in Kenya after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy, in Uganda while a civil war was raging, and in Iraq during the war and U.S. occupation in 2007. Until I visited and lived with people in these oppressed and persecuted areas, I really didn't understand the magnitude and insidious ramifications of persecution or the powerful meaning of freedom.
Freedom has a different meaning for each person, but the universal definition centers on messages such as; "I have no master." "I get to call the shots." "I am in control of my own destiny." Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you. If we look deep in our hearts, we are already aware of this sobering reality—we aren't really free. It's just a trick. We will always serve a master. God designed us—and wired into our DNA—the desire and need to worship Him. Satan knows how God wired us and takes advantage of this ingrained characteristic by putting many inadequate options in front of us. The first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," is God's warning and instruction regarding Satan's insurgent attack on our hearts and minds. more >>
Imagine being a 23-year-old mother of two, recently divorced and finding yourself holding a resume that is blank under educational background. It was a desperate situation. There was no family or friends to lean on for financial support; she needed to make money fast to feed her two young daughters. So Katie (who asked that her last name not be included for personal reasons) reluctantly resorted to the only asset she felt she had – her body – to make ends meet.
Katie's life took a dramatic turn, however, when her world collided with a Southern Baptist pastor's wife who took it upon herself to bring homemade comfort food to strip clubs throughout Nashville, Tennessee. Erin, the unassuming wife of pastor Todd Steven of Friendship Community Church in Mt. Juliet, visted the young strippers consistently, and genuinely just wanted to give them home cooked meals, thoughtful gifts, and talk about their life outside of work.
"She (Erin) was very happy and sweet, she just wanted to get to know us. She wasn't forward or trying to get in our face so I figured I'd talk to her," recalled Katie to The Christian Post. "I had talked to her for a couple months before I even knew she was from a church. She was just really nice and trying to love on us." more >>
NEW YORK — Guatemala, home to about 14.6 million people, has been plagued for decades by gang violence, some of it mindless, according to the confessions of gangsters featured in the powerful and gritty Nadus Films documentary, BBoy for Life. Coury Deeb, who co-produced and directed the film, captured the stories of everyday Guatemalans who have found an alternative to the pervasive gang life by breakdancing, a defiant act that could still cost them their lives.
"Here in Guatemala, you take a risk dancing," explains Cheez, one of the protagonists in BBoy for Life and the main organizer of his breakdancing Poker Crew. "There are gangsters. … The gangs don't like this — they really don't. If they see me dance in my neighborhood, they threaten me with death."
Gangsters locked up in a maximum security prison, "somewhere outside of Guatemala City," back up Cheez's statement. more >>
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. — Jeremiah 29:13
I would like to buy three dollars' worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk, or a snooze in the sunshine...I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy three pounds of God, please" — Wilbur Reese
Recently, I shared with our congregation that one of the most difficult challenges associated with pastoring is not sermon preparation or taxing counseling appointments, but witnessing the tragic results of spiritual dehydration— people dying spiritually with living water just steps away. more >>
Baylor University's Isaiah Austin was recognized by the NBA as the league's best pick during the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night, despite having a rare genetic disorder that ended his dreams of playing professionally.
Though Austin will not play, NBA commissioner Adam Silver honored him as one of the nation's best collegiate basketball players in an announcement that was met with an emotional standing ovation.
"For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has," said Austin, according to ESPN. "It's really been a tough week for me, and it's been really rough. I've just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they're praying for me and everything. I can't thank everybody enough." more >>