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40 seconds that will make your day

Child laughs as Troll (Credit: Mooonez via Youtube)Do you need some good news?

You won't find it here: "When the final accounting is done, 2014 will have been the most lethal year for global terrorism in the 45 years such data has been compiled."  So said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Or here: more than 180 people have been killed by avalanches in north Afghanistan.  Or here: the number of Christians abducted by the Islamic State in northeastern Syria has now risen to 220.

I doubt you'll want to share any of these news reports with friends.  But if you're like me, you'll watch this 40-second video and probably forward it to others.  It simply shows a baby laughing.  And laughing, and laughing.  You can't help smiling.  Or feeling better about your day.

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Winning the spiritual battle for our nation

The Collegiate Day of Prayer is an opportunity for you to unite with like-minded believers across the country and pray not only for your loved one(s) who attend college, but the broader campus community as well (Credit: Collegiate Day of Prayer via Vimeo)"There is a spiritual battle in our nation today to define what love and truth are.  The kingdom of darkness is assaulting this generation with deception concerning the truth about Jesus, His message of grace, and what the lifestyle of His kingdom should look like.  God is looking for faithful witnesses who will stand for biblical truth about Jesus and His definitions of love, morality, and truth."  So states Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base in Kansas City, endorsing the 2015 Collegiate Day of Prayer.

Today more than 1,600 campus ministries, churches, and individuals will pray for some 1,300 campuses across the nation.  The Collegiate Day of Prayer has been organized by leaders from 24 collegiate ministries, including The Navigators, Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), and InterVarsity.

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Why are men in Turkey wearing miniskirts?

Turkish men in skirts protested violence against women in central Istanbul, on February 21, 2015, after the brutal death of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan, who resisted an attempted rape by a bus driver in the southern city of Mersin, Turkey, February 21, 2015 (Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer)Men in Turkey have begun wearing miniskirts in public.  Having been to Turkey numerous times, I can tell you that men there do not typically dress in feminine clothes.  But many are taking part in a protest movement to combat violence against women.  The brutal murder of 20-year-old student Ozgecan Aslan has sparked their outrage.  Using a hashtag which translates to "wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan," Turkish men have begun posting pictures on social media of themselves in miniskirts.

You won't see many American men in miniskirts these days—it's too cold outside.  Winter is costing the U.S. at least $5 billion, according to analysts.  Many cities, Boston and New York among them, are on track to have their coldest February in history.  Massachusetts has seen at least 130 roof collapses caused by snow accumulations.  In Dallas we've been iced in for most of the week.

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Actress's mother refuses to see 'Fifty Shades'

'Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson arrives with her mother Melanie Griffith (R) at the 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California February 22, 2015 (Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)The Oscars continue to make news today, more for what the winners said than what they won. (Tweet this)  Alejandro González Iñárritu, after winning the Best Picture award, made a plea for immigration reform.  Julianne Moore won Best Actress for portraying an Alzheimer's victim, and told the audience, "People with Alzheimer's deserve to be seen."  Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for playing a victim of ALS, and said, "This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS."

Patricia Arquette ended her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress with a call for women's rights.  When J. K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor, he used the occasion to tell children everywhere, "Call your mom, call your dad. . . . Don't text.  Don't email.  Call them on the phone.  Tell 'em you love 'em, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you."

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Why are people jumping from windows in Boston?

Thrill-seeking residents in Boston are taking to social media with videos of them jumping out of windows into massive snow drifts.  In this video, Jeffery Bruno jumps from a stair railing into a 4 foot pile of snow (Credit: Jeffery Bruno via YouTube)Boston is often called the Athens of America.  With some 60 colleges and universities, including Harvard and MIT, the area has the highest student concentration of any metropolitan region in the country.  Why are such educated people jumping out of buildings?  It turns out, the eight feet of snow that has pummeled the city this winter is too much for some to resist.  So they're making social media videos of themselves jumping into massive snowdrifts.  Last week, Mayor Marty Walsh called on citizens to cease and desist.  But there's no law against smart people doing dumb things.

Snowdrifts aren't all that's happening in the city these days.  I just learned that the number of churches in Boston has doubled since 1965.  In a time when the church is thought to be dying in the Northeast and especially in academia, God is doing a great work in Boston.

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