As a child, David Vaughn dreamed of making it as a player in the National Basketball Association. As a young man, the Memphis native realized his dream by signing a multi-year deal with the Orlando Magic. With a $600,000 paycheck, the former first-round draft pick was living large. On the road, he stayed pampered at the Ritz Carlton. At home, he lived in a mansion and collected far too many cars. Money slipped through his fingers as the purchases for jewelry and clothing skyrocketed.
It’s Labor Day, a federal holiday with roots to the labor disputes in Canada back in the 1870’s. The first celebration of Labor Day in the United States took place on the streets of New York City, September 5, 1882. The tradition of taking time to rest and enjoy picnics, parades, backyard barbeques, and fireworks continues to this day—with one sobering difference.
This year the dark cloud of soaring unemployment hovers over the country. When the United States Labor Department released unemployment figures last month, the news was as stunning as it was disheartening.
I don’t know about you, but Jean and I found the Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) radio drama a real lifesaver this summer. Whenever we were on the road for a long trip, we found AIO a perfect way to entertain our boys, Trent and Troy, while also immersing them in a number of important life lessons.
The first AIO aired November 21, 1987, about two years before I joined the staff of Focus on the Family and long before we had kids.
A number of years ago, Focus on the Family Films released an eye-opening video series entitled That the World May Know, hosted by historian and scholar Ray Vander Laan. Ray does a masterful job transporting us to the actual places where the stories of the Bible took place. Filmed on location in Israel, Ray offers “faith lessons” from the Holy Lands.
One of the things I like most about Ray is how he challenges my Western way of viewing the metaphors and events of scripture.
This is a big media day for me. I’ll be a guest on the “Hannity” show tonight on the Fox News Channel, 9 p.m. EDT. I’ll be one of the three participants in The Great American Panel. Sean likes to interact with a group representing a variety of ideological beliefs—so be prepared for lively exchange as we discuss the news of the day.
Also scheduled to appear on the panel are John Fund, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and Penny Lee, a Democratic strategist.
Storm clouds were beginning to gather over the mountains. Rain was coming and the late summer thunder rolled in the distance over the town of Monument, Colorado. I glanced at the clock in the car.
It had been a long day—actually a long few days. Turning into the driveway, the running lights swept across the bushes, guiding me into the garage. My ride home from the airport had been uneventful, but I was exhausted.
Does your community undergird or undermine your role as a parent?
It doesn’t take much effort or energy to find examples of bad behavior in our society. Turn on the television, surf the Internet, pickup the daily newspaper. Because “noise makes news” our kids are regularly assaulted by images and stories that contradict Judeo-Christian values and just plain common decency. We lament how communities no longer hold kids accountable like they once did. How often we find ourselves bemoaning the loss of heroes and colorful characters in our communities to whom our children might look to for guidance and even accountability.
Have you seen them? Are you one of them?
All across the country, millions of parents, more often than not with children in tow, have descended upon stores and shops in search of coveted school supplies. If you’re not one of them and think that sounds like an easy task, think again. Many of today’s students are given a laundry list of very specific items to bring into the classroom, ranging from the classic wooden ruler to allergy-free wet wipes.
Have you ever experienced a sermon that was so powerful and so convicting you felt compelled to do something radical about the message? That’s what happened to Mike Yankoski. Last week on the Focus on the Family broadcast we aired a fascinating two-day conversation with Mike who, as a Christian college student living in Santa Barbara, California at the time, marched out of his pew and onto the streets to better understand the plight of the homeless.
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!