Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick is back in the news. After having served 19 months in a federal prison and several months under house arrest for charges related to running a dog fighting ring, the suspended star of the Atlanta Falcons is a free man. But the fate of the 29-year-old Vick’s career rests in the hands of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. When asked last week how he planned to rule, Goodell was non-committal. The two men met last Wednesday to discuss the possibility of reinstatement.
I’ve enjoyed the coverage these last few days revolving around the 40th anniversary of men landing and walking on the moon. If you’re in your mid-40’s, I suspect you can recall something about that special week in the otherwise tumultuous summer of 1969. You might even remember where you were when those famous words of Neil Armstrong echoed back to earth: “That’s one small step for man,” he said slowly and deliberately, “one giant leap for mankind.”
What a wave of nostalgia swept over Jean and me as we watched those grainy images again, this time with our own boys by our side.
About two decades ago, Dr. Dobson shared a dilemma regarding the number of visitors visiting our offices with Ed and Elsa Prince, friends of Focus on the Family. While Dr. Dobson was delighted that so many constituents wanted to touch base with us in person, it was somewhat difficult to get work done. After all, we had no formal space in which to properly greet these guests.
Ed and Elsa Prince were thoughtful and kind enough to suggest they would like to help with that problem by building a Visitor Center and bookstore on our Colorado Springs campus, a place where guests could come and experience firsthand the Focus story.
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.
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.
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.
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.