Tonight is the last night to see "The Drop Box" in theaters. I saw it two nights ago and still get choked up when I think of Eun-man, Pastor Lee's severely disabled son. Born with significant physical deformities and missing parts of his brain, Eun-man underwent a number of surgeries early in life. He survived, but needs an incredible amount of care each day. Pastor Lee even sold his home to pay for the medical bills and the little family of four lived at the hospital while Eun-man was there as a child.
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Last weekend, John Stonestreet interviewed Brian Ivie, the University of Southern California film graduate behind Focus on the Family's new film "The Drop Box," hitting theaters this week. They were joined by Focus' Vice President Kelly Rosati, who unpacked what her organization hopes Ivie's incredible work will accomplish.
But of course, the real star of the show is Lee-Jong rak, a South Korean pastor and creator of the eponymous "drop box." This heated container attached to the side of his home in Seoul has received hundreds of infants from desperate mothers who might otherwise have abandoned them. Together with his wife, Pastor Lee has committed the raising 19 children, many of whom suffer from severe disabilities and are seen by their society as imperfect. He's pledged to God to give his life for these children if necessary, and has devoted his every spare moment to receiving new infants and passing them on to agencies and organizations that can find them homes.
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Christian History Magazine has a new issue devoted to the "Seven Literary Sages" -- MacDonald, Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, Sayers, Williams, and Barfield -- who did so much to influence and shape the church, its beliefs, and its imagination. You can read the whole issue online! (One of those talking about Sayers is Dr. Crystal Downing, my own undergraduate project supervisor at Messiah College.)READ FULL ARTICLE »
Late February brought the sad news that Josh Hamilton of the Angels may have had a relapse in his fight against alcohol and drug abuse.
Hamilton’s story arc—from first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft, to being out of the game because of drug and alcohol addiction, to recovery and a spectacular comeback—has inspired many people, including many Christians. Hamilton credited his faith in Christ with helping him overcome his demons and finally fulfill his enormous potential.
I don’t know Hamilton, or even anyone who knows Hamilton, but I know a thing or 75 about personal demons and patterns of sin. I suspect that among the many things going through Hamilton’s mind is the idea that he has let a lot of people down, many of whom he has never even met. READ FULL ARTICLE »
The Washington Post has an excellent article about Free Minds, a book club for young DC Jail inmates, and how it's helping them break free of the cycle of crime and imprisonment. More information is available here!
Most everyone has probably read Jon Ronson's outstanding essay in the New York Times (posted on RE:news recently) about the cyber-flogging of Justine Sacco, a former public relations director at IAC (the company behind OKCupid and Vimeo). Emphasis on "former." Back in 2013, Sacco, who had only 170 followers on Twitter, boarded a plane for an international flight to Cape Town, South Africa, to visit family. Being a snarky sort prone to ill-considered jokes (believe me, I can sympathize), as well as a liberal, she tweeted a quick barb about white privilege: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"
Eleven hours later, as Sacco's plane landed and she turned on her phone, she found out what everyone else in the Twittersphere already knew: Her career and public image were in ashes, burned to the ground by a social media mob tens of thousands strong.
Sacco is just one of many people Ronson interviewed who have experienced this brutal public shaming. What is it about the Internet that causes us to treat each other with such brutality--to take such pleasure in ruining the lives of people we've never met?
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