In 1988, Jonas and Anne Beiler were living in Texas. Having suffered a number of personal tragedies, they decided it was time to pack their bags and return to the place they knew and the people they loved back home in Pennsylvania. They arrived with just $25 in their pockets. Anne’s first move was to land a job at a local farmers market selling pizza, pasta, and pretzels. Business was brisk, but they hungered to go out on their own.
Last week I was in Washington, D.C. to participate in the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council at the Washington Hilton. Whenever I’m in the nation’s capital, I cannot help but stand in awe over the rich history that drips from just about every place I turn. The Lincoln Memorial. The United States Capitol. The White House. The Washington Monument. And the National Museum of American History among other landmarks.
I’m also impressed with the thought that for more than 200 years, presidents and members of Congress have come and served in this city–for better or for worse.
There’s a disturbing news story out of Philly last week regarding the behavior of three or four youth who, just for kicks, burned a pit bull to death. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the youngsters walked the dog down near the Olney Train Station last Thursday evening placed a blanket on the pit bull and then saturated it with lighter fluid. With the strike of a match, these sadistic juveniles reduced the dog to ashes and then fled the scene.
It’s September which means it’s back to school for millions of kids. Many other students are headed to college. True, college is a long way off for my boys. Still, every now and then I’ll plant in their minds the seeds of discovering their unique gifting. My hope is that they’ll have an idea of what to pursue when college rolls around. I’m sure the day when Jean and I ship them off will be here much sooner than I dare admit.
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.
There’s a growing flap over a new Barbie Doll. For reasons that escape me, Mattel has decided to dress Barbie in what looks like a “street walker” outfit. Understandably, parents are enraged. What adult in their right mind would want their eight-year-old playing “make believe” with a doll that looks like a hooker? What message does Barbie’s Black Canary” persona send to youngsters?
However, before jumping on the bash Barbie bandwagon, I did a little research.
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.