Transgenderism in the News and Other Stories You Need to Know

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A news summary on issues that matter.

Christians continue to be martyred around the world
The horrific scene is all too familiar: Christian men walking blindfolded across a beach, held by Islamic State militants. A new video shows two groups of Ethiopian Christians being shot and beheaded at the hands of ISIS. This comes just days after Christians were thrown overboard on a ship, drowned at sea, “for praying to Jesus.”

Please continue to pray for the persecuted Church around the world.

Why Focus is Reviewing “Fifty Shades”

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The movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” premieres this weekend. It’s ironic the film is being marketed as a “love” story, because it’s anything but.

Real men don’t denigrate, exploit and abuse women.

After much soul searching, Focus on the Family’s media discernment arm, Plugged In, decided to review this film. Paul Asay explains why in a post on the Plugged In Blog. Here’s some of what he had to say:

Religion News Service reports that advance tickets are selling particularly briskly in “the Bible Belt and the Midwest,” statistically the two most heavily churched parts of the country…

I don’t believe our primary mission at Plugged In is to say nice things about nice movies: It’s to shine that light in a sometimes murky world.

Super Bowl Ads Promise to Break Dim-Witted Dad Stereotype

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After a few years of Super Bowl commercials featuring Dad as the butt of too many jokes, it seems like this year may be in for a refreshing change. There are two pre-released game day ads that show fathers in a positive light.

First up is Dove Men + Care’s 60-second spot, “#RealStrength,” which shows children of various ages calling their dads and ends with the tagline “Care Makes a Man Stronger.” It’s so well-made it’s likely many viewers will be left with tears in their eyes.

Are Christians Too #Blessed?

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Are you “blessed”?

There are many Christians, myself included, who would suggest that by the sheer nature of our Salvation in Jesus Christ, we are, indeed, a blessed people.

But if you asked a room full of people what it means to be “blessed,” I suspect you’d get a wide array of answers.

For some, to be blessed means to have health, wealth and a good family.

To others, to be blessed means to travel the world or climb a mountain.

This Woman Survived a Church Bombing

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September 15, 1963, was a normal Sunday morning in Birmingham, Alabama.

Until 10:22 A.M.

Then everything changed.

Carolyn, a teenager at the time, was making her prescribed rounds through her church, retrieving paperwork from each of the Sunday school classes. On her way up the stairs, she smiled and said good morning to four young girls – Cynthia, Addie, Denise, and Carole – who were headed into the bathroom.

As Carolyn passed the church office, she heard a phone ringing.

VIDEO: This Little Girl’s Life Was Saved During a Football Game

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It was January 2010 when word got out that Focus was planning to air a pro-family commercial during Super Bowl XLIV.

Except many in the media were calling it an “anti-abortion” commercial – and many abortion rights groups were irate. Their condemnation was harsh. Many called on CBS to cancel our ad, despite not having even seen it.

The network ignored the spirited petitions urging them to reject the advertisement. It ran as scheduled in the first half.

Do You Agree with These Parents’ Decision to “Cancel” Christmas?

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When John and Lisa Henderson grew weary of the poor behavior of their three boys, ages 5, 8, and 11, the couple decided upon a radical remedy.

They decided to “cancel” Christmas.

No Santa. No stockings. No presents.

“We have not cancelled putting up decorations, celebrating the birth of our Savior, or any of our other heartwarming traditions,” Lisa explains in her recent blog post, which has gone viral and won the family an interview with “Good Morning America.”

But after months of working with their boys to help them curb a growing sense of entitlement and bad behavior, the parents decided to take the money they would have spent on presents and instead “put it towards service projects and giving gifts to others.”

Their goal?

Who’s the Better Christian?

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Let’s try to guess which of these two men is doing more to expand the Kingdom of God.

We’ll call the first guy Kevin. Kevin gets up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and gets ready for a long commute into his downtown office where he works in middle management in the banking industry. He works hard because he has a family to support: a wife, three kids and a dog.

Calvin is our second guy – “Pastor C,” as the kids in youth group call him.

Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton, Wife Adopt Two Children

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Gold-medal-winning Olympian Scott Hamilton and his wife, Tracie, recently doubled the number of children in their family. The couple, who already have two biological children, adopted a brother and sister from Haiti, reports The Today Show.

The Hamiltons first learned of Evelyne, 11, and Jean Paul, 13, two years ago in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit the island nation through Tracie’s volunteer work. Tracie quickly fell in love with the pair after visiting one particular Hatian orphanage.

Interview Exclusive with Jill (Duggar) Dillard and Husband Derick on Being Expectant Parents

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When a couple is expecting their first baby, it doesn’t matter that pregnancy and childbirth have happened billions of times before to other people – what matters is that it’s their first time. Just ask Jill (Duggar) Dillard and her husband, Derick.

They’re expecting their first baby, a boy, in March.

Fans of the popular show have watched Jill, 23, grow up for the past ten years on her family’s reality show “19 Kids & Counting.” Jill and Derick’s wedding episode was the series’ most-watched at 4.4 million viewers, and the night’s No.