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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Hero Book


The Hero Book

   Everyone should have a hero book in their home. We started ours long ago.
When I got the book out this morning, I noticed Enid’s childlike cover, “Our Hero Book.” She used colored markers and painted the letters turquoise and green. She underlined them in red 15 years ago.
   Since my articles for the next few weeks will talk about heroes, I wanted to make this suggestion: Create a Hero Book.
   All it takes to make a Hero Book is a three-ring binder and some sheet protectors. You slip your heroes carefully into the plastic sleeves and they are there forever.
   A Hero Book is especially important to young families whose children are still growing and watching and wanting to see heroes all around.
   Wait a minute. As a matter of fact, a Hero Book is important to old families whose grown children are still growing and watching and wanting to see heroes all around. Everybody needs a Hero Book.
   Our Hero Book contains newspaper clippings and magazine articles full of people who inspire. It holds photos and letters and notes written by people who did not have to take the time to write or care, but they did.
   Our Hero Book contains people who don’t even know they’re heroes. They weren’t trying to be heroes.
They were just doing the right thing. That makes them perfect candidates for our book.
   Our heroes are not rock stars or reality TV clowns. They are quietly great, momentously normal, fantastically inspirational.
    When I open the book, I see Grandma Boyd's beautiful 90-year old smile. She always smiled.
There’s a photo of her with Enid, Brynn and Taylor gathered round. Then there’s a laminated funeral notice, a memory of this gracious, great woman. Grandma was always prepared to share home, food and laughter.      She is our hero.
   I flip more pages. Sister Theotima, a great woman of God, gazes at me. There’s her letter and a newspaper article about how she guided Saint Anthony’s Hospital with wisdom, grace and an undying commitment to her Lord and Savior.
   A booklet written by Corrie ten Boom comes next. It’s called, “Learning to Forgive.” Corrie was a Christian and a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp.
   The Hero Book is overflowing. There are quotes: “The secret of life isn’t in what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.” – Norman Vincent Peale.
   “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.”
   “Greatness comes, not when things go well, but when you lose someone, lose an election, suffer a defeat…and rise above it.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
    Dr. James Dobson, a Christian psychologist and author, is on page five. “When you put Jesus to the side and you have to pick Him up on the way back, what you are doing is not right. Think about whether you would want Jesus to see what you are doing.”
   There are letters from Pastor Dennis Morgan, the pastor of Faith Baptist Church. Enid, Brynn and Taylor put them in the book. They were personal letters he wrote to each of them when they were still little girls.
   Pastor Dennis became their hero when he showed he cared. He wrote to inspire them.
   “Local University Graduate Follows God’s Lead In His Life.” A Tribune article about Aaron Neff is on page seven. A Freeburg High graduate, Aaron and his wife, Katie, are missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ who continue to inspire.
   The Hero Book is too thick for this article. I want to pull out a few more heroes and write more in the future.
   Please get your binder and start your Hero Book. Be on the lookout for the heroes around you. Point out heroic qualities to your children.
   You’ll never regret showing your children what a hero is made of. Hopefully, one day, you will end up in their book.

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