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The best news this Thanksgiving week

Priscilla and Clay at Edna Gladney Center where Clay was born and placed for adoption (Credit: BraveLove)I can't imagine a better Thanksgiving than the one being celebrated by families this week in Michigan.  Yesterday the state celebrated adoption by holding public events in at least 30 counties and at its Supreme Court in Lansing.  Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. held a public hearing to approve adoptions and hopes the day inspires more people to consider adoption.  Imagine the joy these families feel today as they hold their new children.

There are two sides to adoption. 

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Is Iran deal 'historic agreement' or 'historic mistake'?

US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands Sunday with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva after a third round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program led to a historic initial nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers (Credit: EPA/Martial Trezzini)Last Saturday, negotiators in Geneva reached an accord with Iran that freezes its uranium enrichment program for six months in exchange for limited lifting of economic sanctions.  The Obama administration has called this an "historic agreement."  According to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is a "historic mistake."  Which is right?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the deal "is better for Israel than if you were just continuing to go down the road and they rush toward a nuclear weapon."  He promises to reinitiate sanctions if Iran does not keep its promises.

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How Jesus changed the Duck Dynasty family

Screen grab from the Duck Dynasty Robertson family I am Second video (Credit: I am Second) Duck Dynasty is the most-watched nonfiction cable television show in history.  It tells the story of the Robertson family, one of the greatest success stories in recent memory.  Phil Robertson, the patriarch, grew up in northwestern Louisiana, living in a home with no electricity, toilet, or bathtub.  His family ate whatever they could grow, catch or shoot.

Phil was an all-state athlete in football, baseball and track, eventually playing quarterback at Louisiana Tech University ahead of future Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw.  He and his wife married when she turned 16 and soon had three sons.  He was offered a contract by the Washington Redskins but declined since football interfered with duck season.  In 1972, he invented the "Duck Commander" duck call, which his family has built into a multi-million dollar empire.  He does not own a cell phone or a computer.

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'The news came like a clap of thunder'

President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, along with Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, in the President's motorcade on the day of his assassination, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963 (Credit: Victor Hugo King/Library of Congress)"The news came like a clap of thunder, reverberating around the world."  So wrote LIFE magazine after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Why is it still so today?

On the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, news stories around the world are headlining the event.  Those of us old enough to remember the shooting are recalling where we were when we heard the news and how it changed us.

Why?  We don't react in a similar way to April 14, the day Abraham Lincoln was shot.  Few of us know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4 or that Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5.  But John Kennedy's death stirs something visceral in us.  Why is this?

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The other historic death on November 22, 1963

C.S. Lewis in his study at the Kilns known as C. S. Lewis House, is the house on the outskirts of Headington Quarry, where Lewis is buried at Holy Trinity Church, in the village of Risinghurst, Oxford, England(Credit: C. S. Lewis Foundation)Anyone my age or older can tell you where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been shot.  Few know that C. S. Lewis, the best-known theologian of the 20th century, died an hour earlier.

The similarities between the two are remarkable.  Both were known to family and friends as "Jack."  Both were second sons.  Both attended preparatory schools before enrolling in prestigious universities: Lewis at Oxford, Kennedy at Harvard.  Both were decorated war veterans: Lewis was wounded in 1918 during the Battle of Arras; Kennedy survived the destruction of his Navy boat in 1943 and earned a Purple Heart for his heroics.

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