- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Every cloud has a silver lining, but a tornado?

Deb Savely of Gallatin, Tennessee, recently received a Bible she had lost 40 years ago, returned by a stranger who found it in a box of items that survived a tornado.

The Tennessean newspaper reported that Betty Gibson, a staffer at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, discovered the Bible when she was rifling through a box in her basement after an F-3 tornado swept through the town in 2006.

The Bible’s first page was inscribed with a message from Ms. Savely’s father, who had died 10 years after giving it to his daughter on her seventh birthday.

Ms. Savely brought the book with her when she enrolled at Volunteer State Community College but lost it in 1974, when the Bible fell out of her backpack.

With the help of fellow staffer Amber Regan, Ms. Gibson tracked down Ms. Savely and returned the Bible.

SEE ALSO: Tennessee man buys billboard ad: Homosexuality is ‘abomination’

“It was the last phone call in the world that I had expected to get,” Ms. Savely told The Tennessean. “This is a dream that I don’t want to wake up from.”


She was the poster girl for POWs during the early years of the Iraq war, and now Jessica Lynch might well become a face for Tinseltown.

The Associated Press reported that Ms. Lynch is just about finished with the filming of “One Church,” a movie that explores what would happen if the government took over churches. She plays the president’s daughter in the film, which is produced by JC Films Production.

Jason Campbell, screenwriter and president of JC Films, said he met Ms. Lynch last year in West Virginia while he was filming another movie. She also had a small part in his film “Virtuous.”

“She’s a prime example of what a role model should be for our young people,” he said. “The combination of the kind of movies that we’re making fits right into who she is.”

Ms. Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in 2003, after the vehicle she was riding in with her Army unit got lost and was attacked.

The movie is scheduled to be released next year.


The International Basketball Federation this week announced that it is relaxing its rules on players’ head coverings — good news for faithful athletes.

The federation said players with an exemption will be allowed to play “wearing headgear without restrictions, unless the latter presents a direct threat to their safety or that of other players on the court.”

The change was applauded by advocacy groups, including the Council on American Islamic Relations, which said the federation should be congratulated “for responding positively to all those who sought reasonable religious accommodation for athletes of all faiths.”


The Vatican this week announced that Pope Francis plans to celebrate Mass in honor of the elderly.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of Pontifical Council for the Family, said the Mass is scheduled Sept. 28, and is part of a day dedicated to older people and grandparents called “The Blessing of a Long Life.”

“It should be stressed that the elderly are not only the object of attention or care, but that they themselves also have a new perspective in life,” said Archbishop Paglia, according to Vatican Radio. “That’s the point. Therefore, their advanced age needs to be rethought, and their commitment to the world and in the Church must be reconsidered.”

The Associated Press reported the event was expected to draw 40,000 people, and each will get a large-print copy of the Gospel of Mark.

Meredith Somers covers religion and faith issues for The Washington Times.

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