Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer. I, for one, am not quite ready to say goodbye to the sights and sounds of the baseball games, backyard cookouts, and camping trips I’ve enjoyed under the watchful eye of the hot summer sun. I know, I know. The kids are settling back into the routine of school while the retailers around here are ramping up for Halloween. Still, a part of me is in no hurry to close the books on summer.
I’ve been working at Focus on the Family for some twenty years. I never cease to be amazed at how God has brought together some of the brightest and most talented people around under one roof. Whether they’re working in the correspondence department answering tough questions about family issues or are part of the warehouse team fulfilling request for resources with excellence, there’s a prevailing ministry-oriented heart reflected throughout.
It’s also been fun to follow the lives of “Focus Alumni” who, once their time with Focus ended, went on to develop exciting ministry opportunities of their own.
Those who knew Chandler Grafner described him as a sweet and thoughtful little guy. He was shy, yet tender in spirit. The kind of boy who would pick flowers for his babysitter.
Which is amazing considering how Chandler’s brief life was nothing short of a living hell. By the time he reached age seven, Chandler’s home life was nothing more than a revolving door of unconventional living situations. His mother, Christina, bounced around between a number of men, including a stint with boyfriend Jon Phillips with whom she bore another son, Dominick.
If you are a parent, do yourself a favor. Spend a few minutes reading the advice offered to teens at TeenWire.com. That’s the website created by Planned Parenthood whose information on sexuality is both irresponsible and dangerous. My guess is that it won’t take but a few minutes before you’ll see that Planned Parenthood’s advice on sex and abortion is contrary to the view of morality you’ve worked to instill in your young person.
Among the things you’ll discover, teens are told that Abstinence-Only Sex Education Programs don’t work.
English poet Francis Thompson lived a short, painful life. After attending college to study medicine, Francis figured he’d try his hand at writing poetry and essays rather than follow his training as a doctor. But Francis soon learned that the writing life is a tough business. Forced to live as a vagrant with few options to provide for his needs, Francis settled on selling newspapers and matches while working on his craft.
For years success evaded him.
Last month a Michigan man named Bradley Fowler initiated a $10 million dollar lawsuit against Nashville-based Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. This month he extended his legal action by suing Zondervan, based in Grand Rapids, for $60 million. When someone seeks a combined $70 million in damages, that has a way of grabbing my attention.
At first I wondered what provoked such an aggressive lawsuit. You know, was he an ex-employee who experienced discrimination? Did he suffer a job-related accident?
I don’t wish to be the ugly American, so please read my comments understanding that I am fully aware of America’s culpability with respect to abortion. This is only an observation regarding a news story involving our neighbor to the north.
In 1969, when Dr. Henry Morgentaler opened his first abortion clinic in Montreal, Canada, abortion was illegal. In that respect he was violating Canadian law. Or, put another way, Dr. Morgentaler was a law breaker and remained so for the better part of twenty years.
I heard a story that still breaks my heart. Joann Condie is a state-licensed counselor and member of our staff who speaks with those who call us with various needs. She shared the story of a mother whose eleven-year-old boy had been using porn on the home internet for quite some time. When this mom found out, she wisely and carefully dug a little deeper.
That’s when she learned that an eleven-year-old neighbor friend had introduced her boy to pornography on the computer.
Jean and I love to camp with our boys. Last week we pitched our tent, hiked, played ball, cooked dinner in the fire pit, and then hit the sack for what was to be a restful night. After all, we had perfect sleeping weather—the kind of Rocky Mountain cool air that produces a refreshingly deep rest. One problem. A rather hungry black bear decided to hunt around for a midnight snack just one campsite over from our tent.
Last week I had the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a kid. Sorry if I gush just a bit. You see, I got to watch a baseball game at Boston’s legendary Fenway Park. What a thrill to sit just five rows behind the home team’s dugout. So many great baseball players made history on the field that stretched out in front of me–including Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Carl Yastrzemski.