The evangelist and preacher Dwight L. Moody once observed:
“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
E.M. Bounds, an author from the nineteenth century who wrote nine books on prayer, suggested:
“Four things let us ever keep in mind: God hears prayer, God heeds prayer, God answers prayer, and God delivers by prayer.”
Please consider praying this morning for Coach Joe Kennedy and his legal team at First Liberty:
1. Prayer Shouldn’t Be a Firing Offense
Coach Joe Kennedy writes in the Wall Street Journal:
With all the bad things I’ve done in my life, it still surprises me that I was fired for praying.
I was a terrible kid. My adoptive parents did their best, but I was always getting in trouble. The Marine Corps became my ticket out of the fights, group homes and foster care. Twenty years after enlisting, I moved back home to Bremerton, Wash. I had never been particularly religious, but my wife persuaded me to go to church. I felt God was calling me to be a better husband, so I committed my life to him.
The Bremerton High School athletic director seemed sure that my experience training Marines to work as a team was all the qualification I needed to be a football coach. As I weighed the opportunity, I caught the movie “Facing the Giants.” It seemed an answer from God. I committed to coaching football and promised God that I would take a knee by myself in quiet prayer at the 50-yard line following every game, win or lose.
Over the years, my prayers developed into motivational talks in which I led players who chose to join me in prayer. When the school district eventually told me to stop doing that, I did. My commitment with God didn’t involve others. It was only to pray by myself at the 50-yard line after each game.
But then the school district got lawyers involved, and they kept shifting the goal posts every time I complied. Eventually they said I had to refrain from any “demonstrative religious activity” visible to students or the public. They suggested instead I walk across the field, up the stairs, across a practice field, into the main school building, down the hall and into the janitor’s office if I wanted to pray after games.
I thought that would send a message that prayer is something bad that has to be hidden. I couldn’t send that message. So I simply asked to continue praying quietly on one knee at the 50-yard line after each game.
Two days after my last postgame prayer, the school suspended me, even though it acknowledged there was “no evidence that students have been directly coerced to pray with” me, and that I had complied with its directives “not to intentionally involve students.” The school then gave me the first negative evaluation in my file, adding: “Do Not Rehire.” I was fired for taking a knee in prayer by myself at the 50-yard line for 15 to 30 seconds after high-school football games.
Unless the U.S. Supreme Court rules in my favor, teachers could be fired for praying over their lunch in the cafeteria if students can see them. That doesn’t seem like the Constitution I fought for in the Marine Corps.
I just want to be back on the field with my guys, building a team to accomplish a mission. I hope the Supreme Court agrees.
Instead of Firing Coach Kennedy, Bremerton High Should Be Hiring More Like Him
From The Daily Citizen:
This coming Monday, Coach Joe Kennedy’s case will he heard at the Supreme Court. All he wants is the right to coach again – and pray silently after games.
“The thought of somebody being fired in America for demonstrating their faith — that blows my mind,” he says.
It should blow our minds, too – and sadden us at the same time.
There is tragic irony in the fact that at a time when school violence, drug use, sexual promiscuity and teenage suicide remains pressing concerns – an upstanding gentleman who is providing a wonderful example to vulnerable youth is literally fighting for his job and personal reputation.
The Bremerton school district has wasted the last seven years spending taxpayer dollars to demonize and diminish a good man’s reputation. The hostility directed towards the coach and his faith is either born out of ignorance or animosity – or perhaps both. The leftists and antagonists who claim to champion children are regularly championing policies that harm them. It’s foolish and counterproductive to block people of faith from serving in public schools. In fact, Bremerton High School would be well served to have more men and women with the character and faith of Coach Kennedy.
- Rev. Franklin Graham speaks out against ‘Disney’s moral failure’
From Fox News:
In a message he shared with his nearly 10 million Facebook followers this weekend, the Rev. Franklin Graham — CEO and president of Samaritan’s Purse, as well as CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — said that “Disney has gone too far” in regard to endorsing a liberal agenda and moving far away from its original mission of offering “wholesome family entertainment.”
The Christian evangelical leader wrote about Disney, “LGBTQ activists are using corporations to force their agenda on the public.”
As a result, he said, “Companies may want to take another look at what they are allowing to happen.”
“Disney has gone too far,” wrote Rev. Graham.
“The people of Florida have revolted — and it’s going to cost Disney big time.”
- Twitter Facing Mounting Pressure From Shareholders To Take Specific Action Over Potential Buyout
From the Daily Wire:
Twitter is facing mounting pressure from its shareholders to not allow Elon Musk’s multibillion dollar offer slip away as the company and Musk were reportedly set to meet on Sunday to talk about his offer.
The news comes as Musk has already stated that he will not go higher than his initial $54.20 bid per share, and he recently disclosed that he has $46.5 billion in financing ready to go to buy out the company.
The company has reportedly shifted gears in regard to Musk’s offer after he disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing last week that he has the money to back up his offer.
“Twitter had been expected to rebuff the offer, which Mr. Musk made earlier this month without saying how he would pay for it,” The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. “But after he disclosed last week that he now has $46.5 billion in financing, Twitter is taking a fresh look at the offer and is more likely than before to seek to negotiate.”
- Tennessee Protects Women and Preborn Babies by Passing Ban on Mail-Order Abortions
From The Daily Citizen:
The abortion industry claims to be a protector and promoter of women’s rights. In reality, it’s anything but.
Abortion clinics prey upon women’s vulnerability, all under the guise of offering them a helping hand in their moment of need.
Take Planned Parenthood as an example. Though it’s legally a “nonprofit,” the nation’s leading abortion seller reaped an enormous revenue of $1.64 billion in FY 2020, netting a $69.7 million profit.
How does a nonprofit (that received $618.1 million in taxpayer dollars in FY 2020) net a nearly $70 million profit in one year?
For anyone who thinks Planned Parenthood isn’t in it for the money, that fact should instantly set off their internal alarm bells.
- Sexualizing Schoolchildren: Comprehensive Sex Ed
From The Daily Citizen:
This is the first in a series of articles about how children – from pre-kindergarten on up – are introduced to sexual topics in school. Along the way, we’ll point to resources parents and concerned citizens can use to push back on the sexualization and confusion of children. Since we’re dealing with how sexual issues are taught in classrooms, you can expect that some of the examples may be crude or graphic.
“Children are not equipped to bear the weight of adult sexuality.”
I don’t remember where I first heard this truth, but I know it was in the context of ministry to relationally and sexually broken people. Many of us had been forced to bear the weight of adult sexuality in childhood. Early and inappropriate sexualization had affected our lives, relationships, thoughts, beliefs and actions, helping lead many into sexual sin, addiction and broken relationships.
But more and more these days children are exposed to adult sexuality – not by a predator, pornography or entertainment – but in the classroom.
- A historic court martial ends with the first conviction of an Air Force general
A historic trial within the ranks of the U.S. military has ended with the first-ever conviction of an Air Force general in a court martial.
Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley was found guilty on Saturday of abusive sexual contact for forcibly kissing his sister-in-law after a barbecue in 2018. He was acquitted on two other “specifications” of the sexual assault charge — specifically that he allegedly caused the victim to touch him over his clothes and that Cooley touched the victim’s breasts and genitals through her clothes.
Cooley had pleaded not guilty. Sentencing is scheduled to begin Monday, and the two-star general faces dismissal from the military and up to seven years in prison, according to WYSO reporter Leila Goldstein.
Cooley was commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory, but he was relieved of command in early 2020 during the investigation into the allegations against him.
- ‘It’s Life or Death’: The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens
From The New York Times:
One evening last April, an anxious and free-spirited 13-year-old girl in suburban Minneapolis sprang furious from a chair in the living room and ran from the house — out a sliding door, across the patio, through the backyard and into the woods.
Moments earlier, the girl’s mother, Linda, had stolen a look at her daughter’s smartphone. The teenager, incensed by the intrusion, had grabbed the phone and fled. (The adolescent is being identified by an initial, M, and the parents by first name only, to protect the family’s privacy.)
Linda was alarmed by photos she had seen on the phone. Some showed blood on M’s ankles from intentional self-harm. Others were close-ups of M’s romantic obsession, the anime character Genocide Jack — a brunette girl with a long red tongue who, in a video series, kills high school classmates with scissors.
In the preceding two years, Linda had watched M spiral downward: severe depression, self-harm, a suicide attempt. Now, she followed M into the woods, frantic. “Please tell me where u r,” she texted. “I’m not mad.”
8. ‘We Want to Be the Leader in Family Television’: Conservative Outlet Takes Big Steps to Rival Hallmark Channel
The CEO of the Great American Channels company is on a mission to make GAC Media the “leader in family television,” and he’s taking significant steps to make that goal a reality.
After some families found the Hallmark Channel’s pro-LGBT shift to be disheartening, sister networks GAC Family and GAC Living are now poised to be major Hallmark competitors.
During an interview on Up Next with John Contratti, GAC Media CEO Bill Abbott laid out his plans to provide high-quality original content the whole family can enjoy.
Abbott said, “There’s so much need for family content and the market in this space. It’s pretty scary, quite frankly, the amount of content that’s out there, the vast majority of content is salacious and is not appropriate for any member of the family, really.”
The native of Oyster Bay, Long Island, said creating family programming is “something he’s passionate about and wanted to do.”
9. Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, dies at 88
From the Deseret News:
Hatch served with seven presidents — four Republicans and three Democrats — headed three committees, including the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and passed nearly 800 pieces of legislation in his time in office.
“If I was to pick one bill that I love more than anything else it’s the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. We could not pass that today,” the senator said in one of his final interviews with the Deseret News in 2018. “That has protected religious freedom like never before. It’s something you would think you wouldn’t have to protect, but believe me you have to protect it.”
The bill was one of several Hatch passed with Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, the noted “Liberal Lion of the Senate.” Hatch and Kennedy differed on virtually every issue — “we were like fighting brothers,” Hatch once said.
10. 5 Ways to Raise Bible-Friendly Kids
From the Gospel Coalition:
As parents, we have such an opportunity to share the wealth of the Bible with our children. But how can we encourage a genuine desire for Scripture? We can do at least five things.
1. Raise readers.
A child who rarely experiences the wonder of the written word is less likely to get excited about reading the Bible than one who has. Go ahead and make reading (anything!) a normal part of your preschooler’s life.
2. Take advantage of preschool Bible resources.
Good news! When it comes to raising Bible-friendly kids, you don’t have to work alone. Use the words of expert storytellers and pictures of imaginative artists to relate biblical stories to your toddlers in fun, child-friendly, age-appropriate ways.
3. Model the value and joy of the Scriptures.
We can’t inspire a love for God’s Word in our children if we don’t have that love ourselves. Your child will know you value the Bible when he sees you reading it, hears you talking about it, and watches you act on what you’ve shared.
4. Remind kids the whole Bible is about Jesus.
Scripture is more than tales of moralistic intent, more than life lessons meant to make us better people. As Matt Smethurst puts it, “Imagine a single, unfolding, thrilling drama; a story of epic proportions that is more fascinating than your favorite fairy tale because it is true. That’s God’s Word.”
5. Rely on the Holy Spirit.
Remember that only God can spark a flame of love for his Word in the hearts of your children. Your inability should drive you to your knees, praying for the Lord to warm your toddler’s heart toward Scripture, exposing them to the Bible’s joys, and planting seeds of its truth in their life.