Last April, we invited our Clubhouse Jr. readers to help us collect tank tops for African orphans. The response was inspiring. From yard sales to bake sales, pizza parties to birthday celebrations, an army of little hands eagerly accepted the challenge. Pooling their creativity and resources, they engaged their families, neighborhoods, churches and schools. When the deadline arrived last July, children as young as 2-years-old from around the country flooded us with tank tops in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
About a month after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, two of us at Focus on the Family traveled to Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. Our goal was to determine whether or not open doors existed for Focus to minister to Iraqi families in that war-torn country. At 4:30 a.m., we piled into two GMC Suburbans and departed from Amman, Jordan for the 10-hour drive to Baghdad. Keep in mind, although the war had ended, Iraq was still very much a hotbed of violence.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Take the case of a West Virginia mother who was ordered by a local circuit judge and a family court judge to share custody of her four-year-old girl—not with her ex-husband or other relative, but with two babysitters! It gets worse. These justices, who viewed the babysitters as “psychological co-parents”, also granted them full custody. The mother, in turn, was told she could only visit her daughter four times a week at McDonalds.
If you are like most Americans, you’ve watched your retirement savings shrink with the plunging stock market. You might be one of the hundreds of thousands without work searching for a job as unemployment soars. And the forecast out of Washington, D.C. these days says we’re in for tough times. America isn’t the only country rocked by such economic turbulence. Countries around the world are in the same boat.
Which is why the current global economic crisis was the hot topic at last week’s G-20 summit of world leaders in London.
Here’s a conversation stopper: try talking about the topic of death with dinner guests. See how long it takes before someone wants to change the subject. Death and dying makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Even Christians, who have the promise of spending eternity with Jesus, don’t necessarily like to linger on the reality that death is a very real part of life.
They’re two sides of the coin.
As the saying goes, none of us gets out of here alive.
There’s an Associated Press story last week that caught my eye. Here’s the headline: US Births Break Record; 40% are out-of-wedlock. The article reported that “More babies were born in the United States in 2007 than any other year in the nation’s history, topping the peak during the baby boom 50 years earlier.”
Nothing wrong with an up tick in births, that is, until you consider the fact that 40% of the 4.3 million babies were born to unwed mothers.
Last fall, California voters were given an opportunity to decide whether to expand the traditional definition of marriage to include those in a same-sex relationship. The measure known as Proposition 8 proposed to add this language to the California State Constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Prop 8 sparked a fierce debate as millions of dollars were spent to lobby both sides of the issue. If you lived in the Golden State, you virtually couldn’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or read a newspaper without encountering some aspect of the hotly contested topic.
Jean and I are in Orlando, Florida enjoying a break with the boys. About 5 o’clock on Sunday night, we learned that the Discovery Space Shuttle was scheduled for a 7:43 p.m. launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Since Cape Canaveral was less than 60 miles away, we piled into the minivan and headed due east. The traffic was pretty heavy so we found a place to park along with about forty other cars in a wide area near the intersection of Highways 417 and 528
Even though we were thirty-five miles from the launch pad, the view was breathtaking.
One of the six principles which guide our work at Focus on the Family is the Permanence of Marriage. We believe that marriage, as the basic building block of human civilization, was designed by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman. And since we live in a fallen world, all couples who are committed in the covenant of marriage will at some point face trials, sickness, financial crises and emotional stresses.
A week before Christmas last year, America lost a great statesman, an inspiring conservative thinker, and a steadfast advocate of the traditional family. I’m referring to my friend Paul M. Weyrich, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation It’s likely you’ve never heard his name. Paul was like that. He was the kind of man content to labor behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. in defense of the values conservatives cherish.