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Just earlier this week, it was a teenage boy in Vietnam who was accused of killing a 7-year old neighbour in order to use her gold earrings to pay for video games. Now, a New Mexico woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for neglecting to care for her 3-year old daughter, Brandi. Why? Because she was too busy playing World of Warcraft. Brandi literally withered and died from malnutrition and dehydration. Apparently there was so little food for her that she ate cat food.

Let's be clear here. Rebecca Colleen Christie let her real child die for something not real. It's easy to point fingers at her--and perhaps rightfully so--but sometimes it's easy for all of us to get so caught up in fantasy and escape that we actually begin to neglect reality.  Our family. Our friends. Our children. Our jobs. Our lives. Many of us are probably dangerously close to even the same level of addiction as Christie, without even realizing it or being willing to admit it. This is not a "Look at  what this terrible woman did!" kind of post. This is a reality check for all of us. What are we spending way too much time on without really accomplishing anything real at all? Where in our lives are we being incredibly selfish? What do we need to do about it? Be honest with yourself. And do it. Before it's too late. Before something in your life--or someone--dies.

For the full story, click here.

 
We've talked about what real love truly looks like before on WakeUpWorld! This story is a perfect example of it. A tornado raged through Joplin, Missouri on Sunday, taking with it at least 126 lives and injuring more than 900 others, making it the deadliest tornado to hit the United States in 64 years. When the tornado struck, Don Lansaw did what he instinctively knew he had to do: he covered his wife's body with his own in their bathtub, and he was killed. What has happened in Joplin is tragic. But there is beauty to be seen even in the greatest of tragedies. Don Lansaw has given us a great example to follow. We may not all be called upon to give our lives literally, but we can give our lives in love to everyone around us each and every single day. Maybe that's what the Bible means when it talks about "dying to ourselves." After all, sometimes the difference between good and evil is simply selfishness.

"Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
 
In May 2007, outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian pastor and apologist Douglas Wilson began to debate the topic of "Is Christianity Good for the World?" in writing. Their exchanges were made into a book and in the fall of 2008, filmmaker Darren Doane traveled with the Hitchens and Wilson on a tour promoting it. This is the film he made.

Two brilliant minds, two completely contrary viewpoints, two explanations for the most important questions ever asked about the world around us. Who wins? You decide. *If you are having problems viewing the film below, you can watch it by clicking here.
 
Abortion, rape, violence, oppression, cutting, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, abuse, family problems, divorce, a broken heart, failure...So many of us struggle with defining ourselves by our most personal character flaws and our most painful past experiences. Tenth Avenue North reminds us with this powerful video that we do not have to be defined by our past mistakes. What has defined you? What still does?
 
Justin craved justice after being attacked by a skinhead because of his race. Check out his experience. What do you crave?
 
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Homer Marciniak, a retired bank janitor with a valuable comic book collection, died of a heart attack at the age of 77 back in July. That's not the unusual part. What is is that Marciniak's heart attack came after his house was broken into and he was hit in the face by the robbers. What did they take? His valuable comic book collection, which he had been hoping to sell for somewhere between $40,000 and 100,000 in order to leave his family with the money when he died. An honourable plan for a man who received his first comic book at the age of six and considered the collection "priceless." Unfortunately, one of the men he encountered during this time, a former collectibles business owner named Rico Vendetti, saw an opportunity to get something incredibly valuable for free, and had Marciniak's home broken into and the goods stolen. All this over a bunch of comic books. On the surface, this may seem like an isolated incident. After all, none of us would ever do something that terrible, would we? And especially not over a bunch of colourful pieces of paper...right? But maybe that's not so much the point. Maybe the point is, what kinds of things do we give that much importance to in our lives? The kinds of things that maybe we wouldn't literally kill for, but we'd do a lot of things just to get them, or not to have to give them up. Are they really the things worth holding onto? Are they material? Will they last forever after we leave this earth? Or are we putting all our hope and happiness into things that really, in the big picture, don't matter at all? 

Think about it.

Read The Associated Press' full article here

 
What is love, really? Is it really just about an emotional feeling? Or is there a deeper kind, one that lasts when the feelings fade? Jaeson Ma gives us his musical take. What's yours?
WakeUpWorld! wants to know what you think. What is love, really, to you?