Have you ever found yourself stuck behind a slow moving truck on a two-lane road where passing is prohibited? Maybe you encountered that rolling roadblock when you’re already pressed for time to get to a meeting. Or perhaps it happens on a day when you’re already tardy picking up the kids from school. Then again, maybe the delay isn’t caused by a slow moving vehicle—it’s caused by an obstinate buffalo staring you down in the middle of the road.
By now you’ve heard about the murder of a wealthy Pensacola couple named Byrd and Melanie Billings. They were found shot to death inside their nine-bedroom home this past Thursday night, the apparent victims of a robbery gone bad. Late Sunday night, police investigators announced the arrests of two suspects, though more are expected.
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said, “We are very anxious to share this story … it’s going to be a humdinger, I’ll tell you that.”
Actually, it already is.
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.
I have some very sad news to report.
Ten days ago, Maria Sue Chapman, the youngest child of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, was blowing out five candles on her birthday cake. Last night, Maria died in a tragic auto accident in Franklin, Tennessee. What makes this loss especially difficult is the fact that she was accidentally killed by an older brother driving one of the family vehicles in the Chapman’s driveway.
At the time, the entire family was home celebrating the recent engagement of their oldest daughter Emily as well as the high school graduation of son Caleb.
You’ve probably heard the story of the starfish on the beach. If so, bear with me. As the tale goes, an evening storm dumped thousands of starfish onto the sand. Just before dawn an old man headed out for his early morning walk along the shore. Surprised by the piles of beached starfish, he knew the only way to save them would be to toss them back into the ocean. He had to act fast. There was precious little time to save them before the hot sun took its place in the sky.
Two years ago I was speaking in Glendale, Arizona. For Pastor Steve Hubler, one of the guests, that night would forever change his life . . . and the life of his church.
You see, Steve carried with him a burden that taxed his spirit for ten years. Steve has graciously agreed for me to share portions of this letter I just received with you:
I’m one of them, one of the thousands who cannot participate in one of life’s most basic endeavors, the conception of another life.
My mother died when I was nine. My dad died when I was twelve. With both parents gone, I became an orphan back in elementary school. Which is why I relate so closely to the deep longing orphans have for a family where they can belong; for a place to call home.
No wonder my heart goes out to the 143 million orphans worldwide who hunger for the chance to call someone “Mom” and “Dad” and to feel safe in their care.
I’m in Washington DC tonight at a conference. It worked out for Jean and my two boys, Trent and Troy, to travel with me on this trip. Dr. Dobson said when I took the role as president of Focus on the Family, “Your number one priority is those boys. Don’t let Focus take too much of your time.” Great words of wisdom from America’s foremost authority on family.
Well, after a great speech by John Stossel, of ABC’s 20/20 program, I ducked out to give my boys a kiss good night before catching dessert with the group.
Well, this is my first blog entry. Yes, the first ever! And what a wonderful topic to kick off with…orphan care. This week, Focus on the Family hosted over one hundred organizations on our campus to discuss how we, as the Christian community, can do more to help children. Do you know that Christians have a rich tradition of being involved in community outreach?
The most vivid example for me was during the Roman Empire, when a small group of Christians, numbering about 3% of the population, began to save babies from the river.