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.
Michael Vick was released from prison today. At the time Michael’s story first broke back in April of 2007, there was an aspect of his situation that caught my attention: the power of friends and the need for strong accountability. Who can forget the tragic tale of Michael Vick, one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL.
At age 24, Vick was offered a ten-year, $100+ million dollar contract. His inspiring performances for the Atlanta Falcon’s propelled him to the top of the game.
Last week I traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in an Alliance Defense Fund breakfast held in honor of former Attorney General Edwin Meese. He’s one of those rare men with a long record of distinguished service to our country and a man I admire. Ed Meese served as President Ronald Reagan’s chief policy adviser and currently works at The Heritage Foundation.
Of his numerous accomplishments, General Meese has been—and continues to be—a champion of “originalism”; he believes the Constitution should be interpreted in light of the “original intent” of our Founding Fathers rather than what an activist judge might want it to mean.
I know this is a tad early, but here’s a reflection with Father’s Day around the corner. As I said in my first book, Finding Home, life is wonderful . . . and life is hard. Having moved 23 times as a kid, I’ve experienced my share of both and prefer the good stuff this journey has to offer. Especially considering the train wreck that was characteristic of my childhood. My family put the “D” into Dysfunction.
When Miss California was asked her views about same-sex marriage during the recent Miss USA contest, Carrie Prejean said, “I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman—no offense to anybody out there—but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be, between a man and a woman.” Carrie’s comment has sparked a character assassination unlike anything I’ve witnessed in years. She’s getting smeared just for voicing an opinion.
Just when I thought I’d heard every positive spin used to justify the practice of aborting babies, I cracked open this week’s edition of WORLD magazine. Marvin Olasky’s article, “The ‘Blessing’ of Abortion,” left me speechless. Olasky presented several excerpts from a speech given by Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale in Alabama. I think you’ll agree Ms. Ragsdale is about as far to the political left of the spectrum as is humanly possible.
For starters, Ragsdale doesn’t agree with Hillary Clinton’s popular pro-choice worldview that believes abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Far from it.
Food and hope go together.
That perspective dawned on me last weekend while speaking at a Children’s Hunger Fund charitable dinner at the Reagan Library. Based on my personal experience and what I’ve observed in my travels, I’d say this insight is especially true for children. Hunger has a way of devouring their hope and robbing their dreams. Conversely, even in the wake of a natural disaster, if there’s food on the table there’s hope that tomorrow might just be better.