Prior to assuming the role as president here at Focus on the Family, one of my most exciting assignments within the ministry was leading and guiding our international division. As a vice president, I watched our broadcast spread into over 150 countries, garnering millions of new listeners over the course of several years. Additionally, our printed resources were beginning to be translated into dozens of different languages, reaching untold numbers of new believers. It was both humbling and incredible to see—not to mention exciting!
Do you ever yell at your kids?
Okay, maybe it’s not a full-fledged, lung-bursting roar loud enough to give the Lion King a run for his money, but do you raise your voice in anger when your children misbehave? Maybe you’re not the ranting type, but do you clench your teeth and, like a Doberman ready to strike, growl out your words one at a time?
“Do . . . what . . . Daddy .
A couple of days ago I blogged about our recent family vacation in which the four of us went completely “dark”—we exchanged the television, the radio, and the Internet for some serious peace and quiet. Even if we had wanted to use our cell phone, there wasn’t any coverage. All of the electrical umbilical cords tethering us to the frazzled pace of life had been cut.
This was by design. Jean and I planned the trip to have no contact with the outside world which, for five glorious days, allowed our family to pull inward.
My friend Mark sent me this email and, frankly, I’m stumped on how to delicately answer his daughter’s question. He writes:
My wife and I had a really awkward experience during our vacation last week. Any chance you could give us some advice on how to handle it? Here’s what happened. We were traveling on the stretch of highway from the Orlando, Florida area heading south toward West Palm Beach. The kids were sitting in the back of our minivan, engrossed in their fifth episode of Adventures in Odyssey.
There are two things that will drive a debate to the point of a decision: Pain and partisan politics, though not necessarily in that order.
The legislative wrangling regarding health care reform is raging red hot these days. Admittedly, it’s a complex issue. For some, there is a genuine and sincere appeal to its passage, centered on a desire to help those families least able to help themselves. Few would fail to acknowledge the real pain of those most in need; those who are unable to access necessary health care for themselves and their loved ones.
Sometimes, a little fear can wind up being a lot of fun—instructive, too.
Jean and I took the boys camping last week up to beautiful Mueller State Park, a picturesque spot located just outside the town of Woodland Park, Colorado.
Our site was perfectly situated; a cozy corner of land nestled among towering pines and an Aspen tree grove. It was great not to have the pressure of keeping a schedule. To borrow a phrase, we had “gone dark” once arriving in the park.
Thursday’s broadcast last week featured a conversation between Tony Perkins (president of Family Research Council), our own Senior Vice President Tom Minnery and myself on the topic of managing the nation’s healthcare. As you may know, the nation is engaged in a vigorous debate whether or not the government should step into the health care arena—or leave health coverage to private providers.
It strikes me that regardless of whether you come down on the side of handing the healthcare system to the government or keeping it privatized, we need to acknowledge there aspects of the current system that require our attention.
Dr. Mark Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas, published an interesting and provocative essay in the August edition of Christianity Today entitled, “The Case for Early Marriage.” It’s a thoughtful and challenging piece of work that’s likely to raise the ire on all sides of the ideological and theological spectrum within Christendom. Back in April, Dr. Regnerus lit up the secular blogosphere when he penned a similar column in the online edition of the Washington Post.
Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick is back in the news. After having served 19 months in a federal prison and several months under house arrest for charges related to running a dog fighting ring, the suspended star of the Atlanta Falcons is a free man. But the fate of the 29-year-old Vick’s career rests in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. When asked last week how he planned to rule, Goodell was non-committal. The two men met last Wednesday to discuss the possibility of reinstatement.
Guess who started Twittering?
I realize some will say I’ve gone over to the Dark Side (see Confessions of a non-Twitterite in Boundless). Nevertheless, for better or worse I’ve decided to give Twitter a try—at least for now. If you’re unfamiliar with the social networking service known as Twitter, here’s the skinny.
At the age of 30, Jack Dorsey, a software designer in St. Louis, had a desire to know what his friends were doing throughout the day without necessarily calling or emailing each of them.