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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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Should Christians drink alcohol?

Wine, glass and the bottle - should Christians drink? (Credit: Oleg Zhukov via Fotolia) Moody Bible Institute was founded by evangelist Dwight Moody in 1886.  Home to 83 faculty and 4,000 students, with 36 radio stations and a publishing division, Moody is a vanguard of conservative evangelical Christianity in America.  For 127 years, the Institute has required its employees to refrain from consuming alcohol and tobacco.

Now it has changed its position: "Employees of Moody are expected to adhere to all biblical absolutes, but for behaviors that Scripture does not expressly prohibit, Moody leaves these matters to the employee's biblically-informed conscience."  The new policy applies only to employees, not to students, and does not permit employees to use alcohol or tobacco on the job or in the presence of students.

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Newspaper calls Gettysburg Address 'silly'

Abraham Lincoln (1920) is a colossal seated figure of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) sculpted by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) and carved by the Piccirilli Brothers situated in the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, Washington, DC (Credit: Mike Haw via Flickr) "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."  So begins the Gettysburg Address, 272 words that have been called "the world's foremost statement of freedom and democracy."

President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Address 150 years ago today, standing on a platform at the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  He spoke to a crowd of 15,000 people, his message lasting less than three minutes.  Contrary to popular legend, he composed the speech in Washington, not on the train ride to Gettysburg.

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