Focus and VeggieTales Help Teach Children About Unconditional Love

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Family on Sofa

VeggieTales’ “Beauty and the Beet” debuted last week, and Focus is coming alongside “Bob the Tomato” and “Larry the Cucumber” to help parents teach their kids a lesson in unconditional love.

Amidst the usual vegetable hijinks, jokes, and a new Silly Song, children will see how Mirabelle, the lead singer of her family’s up-and-coming band, chooses to show love and kindness to Mr. Beet, the grumpy manager of the run-down resort where they’re stuck.

Entertainment with a purpose

Since its start in 1993, VeggieTales has lived up to its theme song’s promise: “there’s never-ever-ever-ever-ever been a show like VeggieTales!” Not only do the fun stories appeal to both children and parents, they impart meaningful life lessons and Biblical values to viewers young and old alike.

A Visit with Franklin Graham

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Man alone on a beach

Do you struggle wondering if you measure up as a parent?

Perhaps you see other families from the outside, and it’s like watching a highlight reel. Their children don’t squabble, the parents never have a disagreement, and life seems perfect.

But is it really?

Every family has its challenges.

Just ask Franklin Graham, the son of Billy and Ruth Graham.

If the Lord would bless any family with model children, it would be the Grahams, right?

Why are These Pastors Being Threatened with Fines of $1,000 Per Day?

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Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post Chapel. [CREDIT: ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM]

Meet Donald and Evelyn Knapp.

Both in their late 60s, the Knapps have owned and operated the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since 1989. In that time, they’ve performed more than 34,000 weddings. The chapel is conveniently located across from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses.

The Knapps are more than wedding chapel owners, though. They’re also ordained ministers from the Foursquare Church, an evangelical denomination. They take the tenets of their faith and denomination seriously, including the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Have You Ever Been Hangry?

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Hamburger and fries

It’s such a common feeling they made up a new word for it.

“Hangry” is a combination of hungry and angry – as in, when you’re hungry, you’re more likely to get angry or grumpy. It’s a real thing.

A recent article, “The science of ‘hangry’ – how low blood sugar makes you a monster,” cites a study that found “married couples get increasingly angry and mean towards one another” when there’s not enough glucose to fuel the brain.

Freedom of Houston Pastors Still at Risk

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Statue of Jesus

Last week’s bombshell out of Houston that its mayor, Annise Parker, had subpoenaed the sermons from area pastors is still causing ripples both inside and outside the faith community.

On Friday, city attorneys revised their demands. Instead of requesting the pastor’s sermons, they’re now demanding “all speeches or presentations” related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The controversial law, also known as the “Bathroom Bill” allows men who consider themselves women to use the women’s restroom.

Helping Overly-Connected Kids Live in the Real World

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contected teens

Our children live in a screen-driven world.

In some ways, it’s been this way for a long time. Since the 1950s, television and children have gone together like cereal and milk.

Who doesn’t remember Saturday morning cartoons?

The advent of video games and the proliferation of smart phones and tablets in the past decade have only served to add to a child’s “screen time.” Walk through a mall or an airport and you’ll see that many children seem perpetually “connected” to an electronic device.

Focus Powers New Resource for Pastors

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Hello, my name is Pastor

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, so it’s a timely moment to let you know about Focus’ latest efforts to help pastors. We’re working with the North American Mission Board to power the organization’s care line for pastors.

I’ll let Michael Lewis, the group’s executive director of Pastoral Care and Development, tell you more:

At the North American Mission Board (NAMB) we are keenly aware of the daily pressures that come with serving as a pastor. 

Pastors’ Sermons Subpoenaed in Houston

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Church

The city of Houston has subpoenaed sermons given by local pastors.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It’s a chilling turn of events for those of us who practice our faith and value the self-evident right to religious freedom recognized by the First Amendment.

The reason why this subpoena is being made is especially ominous: It targets high-profile pastors who opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which, among other things, gives people who identify as transgender the right to file a discrimination complaint if they’re barred from accessing a restroom.

Firsthand Account of Christians Fleeing from ISIS

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Middle East on Globe feature pic

We’ve all heard the horrible stories of persecution in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). The radical militant group is targeting people of various faiths and ethnic backgrounds with violence, including area Christians, forcing these people to flee their homes to save their lives.

Thanks to the generosity of many Focus friends, Sami Yacoub, the regional director of Focus on the Family Middle East, and his team have been helping the refugees.

The Six Ways to Boost Happiness in Your Marriage

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Couple in love

A lifelong marriage goes through many seasons.

The romantic honeymoon phase kicks off the journey, but soon enough, the couple often enters into the hectic young-children-and-little-sleep stage. Before they know it, those toddlers are teens … and then the high schoolers go off to college.

Pretty soon, that once fresh-faced husband and wife are coming home to an empty nest.

With all of these changes and challenges how can we keep our marriages healthy and happy?