A remarkable event happened recently which was largely ignored by the media. Earlier this year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the 2009 Margaret Sanger Award, the highest honor offered by Planned Parenthood, named after their founder, a noted eugenicist. If you’re unfamiliar with eugenics, it’s an approach to “improving” the human race through the process of “selective breeding.” Yes, for those who know about World War II, this was one of many theories embraced by the Nazis.
The other day there was an issue that required parental attention in the Daly household. Trent was upset that he had been disciplined. I can’t remember whether the offense warranted a spanking or a timeout. Either way, Trent’s reaction was to run to his room and plop down into his soft, oversized-bean bag chair.
One of the things Jean and I try to do after we discipline the boys is to reaffirm our love for them.
Ken Windebank, a colleague of mine, likes to ask a question of people, and I have begun to do it myself. The question is simple, “What’s one thing you did well as a parent?” The other day, for instance, I was meeting with a very successful financial manager in Southern California. I’ll call him Gary. I asked Gary that question and, after a brief pause, he said, “The best thing we did was to have dinner together as a family every night.”
Eating dinner together?
A surprising number of business owners I’ve spoken with over the last several months are shaken by the state of the economy. They’ve been candid about the difficult predicament this tight economy has put them in. Many are concerned about having to cut the size of their staff in order to stay financially viable. Others are painfully aware they’re about to lose their family business and, with it, their entire life savings if sales don’t improve.
Sometimes God has to use simple words to get through to me. Case in point.
One of the things I like to do after dinner is to engage the family in a brief time of devotions. Given the age of our boys, we’re reading from a children’s picture story version of the Bible. The other day I was reading the story of King Saul, David, and Goliath. Keep in mind that the editors of the children’s Bible condensed the whole 58-verse saga down to about eight illustrated pages with maybe six words on each page.
When Dr. Dobson recorded his first 15-minute radio broadcast some thirty years ago, he had a hunch there might be an audience in the U.S. for insight into marriage and parenting issues. Never in his wildest dreams did he envision a day when his advice would be broadcast around the world. Today, Focus on the Family is heard from Alabama to Albania, California to the Congo, and New Jersey to Papua New Guinea. In fact, some version of a Focus program is heard in 149 countries in 26 languages!
One week ago, our staff at Focus on the Family gathered together for a time of corporate prayer. Like many Christian ministries, we’ve experienced a dip in financial support from our friends and partners due to these tough economic times. We happen to be about $5 million behind the budget right now. However, we did not gather to weep and wring our hands in fear, perplexed by our circumstances. Why would we? Whether in good times or when times get tough, our only hope is found in the Lord.
I don’t know about you, but God seems to find new ways to stretch me. My latest stretching moment occurred earlier this month. The Honorable Bill Armstrong, former Senator from Colorado and now the president of Colorado Christian University (CCU), invited me to give the commencement address for the graduating class of 2009. Me? I had never done that type of thing before. Weren’t there more qualified people to do the job?
Talk about being outside of my comfort zone.
Are you ready for some good news?
For the last decade California has been a battleground state in the debate whether to redefine the meaning of “marriage” to include same-sex couples. Last November, 7 million Californians—roughly 53% of those voting—voted in favor of Proposition 8 which amended the state constitution with these fourteen words: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
The people spoke. Case closed. Right?
Not so fast.
The official start to the football season is several months away, but I’ve got football on my mind probably because I just had the privilege of spending some time with Jim Zorn, NFL head coach of the Washington Redskins. Jim was hired by the Redskins franchise shortly after legendary head coach Joe Gibbs retired in January of 2008. Jim’s been a long time friend of Focus on the Family and, I might add, his daughter graduated from our Focus on the Family Institute.