John Wooden, the legendary college basketball coach, once put it succinctly: “Everything we know, we learned from someone else.”
Another John – John Maxwell – has said: “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
On this anniversary of D-Day, we begin with a call for men to serve:
1. Wanted: Men to mentor troubled boys
From World Magazine:
Young men like the Uvalde shooter are without community, leadership, or the safety of trusted adults. They lack churches, family connections, friendships, and mentors. What we know about children with strong social networks is that they thrive educationally, relationally, and financially. Sadly, I’ve yet to see a national campaign to adopt a teen for mentorship in the local community.
While left and right argue about gun policy, few are discussing tangible measures to help save our young men from drifting into such a tragic existence. Gun ownership hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years, but mass shootings have increased. We must ask the question: What has changed in culture and society to facilitate this swift uptick? It’s an assortment of things, including fatherlessness, the internet, and the breakdown of strong, in-person social ties.
There is no shortage of boys in this country living without fathers or ignored by the fathers they know. In such situations, children have little opportunity to engage with other trusted adults or in community-based events. For these kids, there may be little money for sports or transportation to attend events at church or elsewhere. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, more than 18.4 million children are living without a father or stepfather in the home.
At a base level, statistics show fatherless children are four times more likely to live in poverty and are more likely to commit crimes, go to prison, abuse drugs and alcohol, and suffer abuse. Plus, they are far more likely to become criminals than girls in this scenario.
In addition to fatherlessness, as Robert Putnam famously demonstrated in Bowling Alone, published more than two decades ago, we’ve also abandoned one another. Much of the data regarding institutional breakdown, personal trust, and community engagement still stands. It is encapsulated by the loss of social capital and networks of relationships among people in a society, which leads to a widening socioeconomic gap and fewer opportunities for vulnerable children to connect with adults who can help guide them.
Only a small percentage of families choose to foster children in the United States, which is a need we often hear about. But an even greater yet easier need to fulfill is that of strong mentors for young men. Whether formally through an organization like BBBS or informally through one’s own initiative, the guidance of an older man can effectively change the trajectory of a young man’s life.
A Rise in Suicides by Young Children Leaves Families Searching for Answers
From the Wall Street Journal:
The number of children dying by suicide has risen dramatically in recent years. Parents often don’t know that their children are having suicidal thoughts, new research shows. Among females ages 10 to 14, the rate of suicide more than tripled between 2007 and 2020, from 0.5 per 100,000 to 2 per 100,000 according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Among males the same age, the rate jumped from 1.2 per 100,000 to 3.6 per 100,000 over the same period.
Although the numbers are tiny compared with the number of older adolescents and adults who die by suicide, it is now the second leading cause of death among children in this age group.
Suicidal thoughts and attempts are much more common in younger children than previously thought, new research is finding. Among 9- and 10-year-olds and their parents who were asked if the children had suicidal thoughts or made suicide attempts during their lifetime, 14.3% reported suicidal thoughts and 1.26% reported suicide attempts, according to an analysis of data from a large study of adolescent health and brain development that is following nearly 12,000 youngsters across the U.S. The paper was published in 2021 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
Psychologists and psychiatrists say they don’t know for certain why the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors is rising among American children. The numbers upend a long-held belief that children who haven’t hit puberty yet don’t think about killing themselves or, if they do, that those thoughts are fleeting.
- Pizza Hut Faces Backlash and Boycotts After Promoting ‘Drag Kids’ Book to Kindergartners
Pizza Hut has come under fire for recommending reading material to kindergarteners that promotes drag queens as part of its Camp Book It program.
Libs of TikTok tweeted part of an email from the restaurant chain recommending three books in support of Pride month. One of the books, titled “Big Wig,” is geared towards children ages 4 to 8.
According to a description on the Simon & Schuster website, “this irrepressible picture book celebrates drag kids, individuality, and self-confidence from the perspective of a fabulous wig.”
The explanation adds that the book is about a child who “dresses in drag” and participates in a neighborhood costume competition.
No, You Shouldn’t Take Your Children to an LGBT Pride Parade
From The Daily Citizen:
Something is desperately dark and wrong when adults want to expose their own and others’ children to adult nudity, sexuality, identities and behaviors.
But Fatherly, “a digital lifestyle brand that provides news, expert advice, product recommendations and other resources for parents,” isn’t the only one promoting this. If you’re paying attention to what’s happening in our world, you know that these individuals aren’t outliers.
This push to expose children to adult sexuality is happening across our country. See all the degrees these people have? This is the end result of much of our educational system – people with letters after their names and no moral compass.
Drag queen story hours. Comprehensive sexual education in public schools. Television and film. Pretty much every social media outlet. Schools and libraries.
They’re all promoting a broken sexual agenda that says, “All that matters with regard to sexual expression is consent and pleasure.”
3.Federal Judge Refuses to Protect High School Christian Club from Harassment, De-recognition
From The Daily Citizen:
A federal judge has refused to order a school district in San Jose, California, to reinstate a student club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), to official recognition after complaints from a high school teacher about the club’s Christian values started a chain of events that resulted in the revocation of its status district wide.
United States District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., appointed to the federal bench in 2014 by President Barack Obama, issued a ruling on June 1 denying FCA’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have restored FCA’s status as an approved club in the San Jose Unified School District while litigation proceeds over FCA’s claim that its federal rights were violated.
The controversy began during the 2018-19 school year, when officially recognized FCA clubs were meeting at three district high schools. FCA’s purpose for meeting is to engage in religious speech, study the Bible, encourage and support one another, and pray. FCA students, mostly athletes, also participate in service projects in their communities.
FCA allows anyone in the school to become a member but requires its student leaders to agree to live in accordance with FCA’s core religious beliefs and religious standards as expressed in the Student Leadership Application and FCA’s Statement of Faith. You won’t be surprised to hear that FCA’s Statement of Faith includes a “Purity Statement” that affirms the Bible’s teachings about marriage and sexuality.
- Zelensky: 113 Ukrainian churches damaged, destroyed by Russian shelling
From The Hill:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that 113 churches in Ukraine have been hit by Russian shelling since the beginning of the invasion.
“During the full-scale war, 113 churches have already been destroyed or damaged by Russian shelling. Among them are the ancient ones – those that withstood World War II, but did not withstand the Russian occupation,” said Zelensky.
Zelensky said that “Worship services are forced to be held in the basement” in Ukraine due to the possibility of Russian shelling.
Zelensky implored the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which he noted “is still considered in Moscow to be connected with the Russian Orthodox Church,” to draw “More decisive conclusions and a clear condemnation of each of those who condone aggression” in response to the Russian attacks on churches.
- World Vision Defends Gaza Aid Worker Accused of Funding Hamas
From The Daily Citizen:
The international Christian aid organization World Vision is defending one of its employees who has been accused by the Israeli government of fraudulently diverting millions of dollars to the terrorist organization Hamas.
For six years, aid worker Mohammed el-Halabi has sat in an Israeli prison. Even though closing arguments in his case ended last September, el-Halabi is still awaiting his verdict.
El-Halabi is accused of diverting $50 million in aid dollars to Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization.
Loir Haiat, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said that the allegations against el-Halabi are “well established and rely on concrete evidence.”
“Israel does not aim to intimidate [non-governmental organizations], nor to keep them from operating in Gaza. But we definitely aim to prevent transfer of NGO money that should be helping the people of Gaza into the hands of a terror organization like Hamas,” Haiat added.
- Gen Z Workers Want Mission-Driven Jobs. A Big Paycheck Would Be Nicer.
From the Wall Street Journal:
For many 20-something workers and new grads, a sense of mission is butting up against the need to make money. Though they came of age under Presidents Obama and Trump and formed worldviews during times of powerful social movements, some are shifting their priorities or making compromises they might have criticized before entering the workforce.
A sharper focus on money shows up in Deloitte Global’s annual survey of Gen Zers, which the firm defines as people born starting in 1995. (Some others, like the Pew Research Center, say the generation starts in 1997.) Climate change was the top concern, ahead of financial challenges, when Deloitte polled more than 8,000 Gen Zers early last year. This year, however, the cost of living vaulted ahead of the environment as the No. 1 worry in a survey of nearly 15,000 Gen Zers.
Meanwhile, 37% of Gen Zers in the latest poll said they have “rejected a job and/or assignment based on their personal ethics.” A year ago, nearly half said ethics determine the kind of work they’re willing to do, and for whom.
“It’s not always a straightforward answer, as to where you work and when and how you decide to take a stand,” says Deloitte Global Deputy CEO Michele Parmelee, noting a growing share of Gen Zers have jobs and financial responsibilities. “With some experience, I think people understand that these choices are complex.”
7. 25 Chores to Teach Kids About the Goodness of Work
From the Gospel Coalition:
When we work alongside our kids with prayer and patience, we don’t need to say a lot to explain that what we’re doing is good. It’s self-evident. But sometimes a well-timed comment or explanation can help remind them—and us—of the glorious goodness of work well done.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Put away shoes.Thank God for our shoes, our feet, our ability to walk and run and dance.
- Put away toys.Rejoice in play, in imagination, in all the learning that happens when we pretend with our friends. And rejoice that God is a God of order and that we display his image when we bring order to our space.
- Take out the trash.Remind one another that dirt and garbage and sin need to be regularly removed from our lives.
- Set the table.Rejoice in anticipation of God’s provision of food and family.
- Clear the table.Be grateful for the faithful God who gives us our daily bread.
8. Ronald Reagan, Malcolm Muggeridge and Our Desperate Need for Revival and the Holy Spirit
From The Daily Citizen:
Nations rise – and nations fall.
That was the conclusion of Malcolm Muggeridge, the late British journalist, writing in his book, The End of Christendom:
I conclude that civilizations, like every other human creation, wax and wane. By the nature of the case there can never be a lasting civilization anymore than there can be a lasting spring or lasting happiness in an individual life or a lasting stability in a society. It’s in the nature of man and of all that he constructs to perish, and it must ever be so. The world is full of the debris of past civilizations and others are known to have existed which have not left any debris behind them but have just disappeared.
Ronald Reagan shared Muggeridge’s convictions, and often used his bully pulpit of the presidency and other forums to make similar observations, though often with a more optimistic bent.
“Our nation will prosper or decline in direct proportion to our selection of leaders who are guided by the Holy Spirit,” Reagan once warned. “If we fail to select Godly leaders our destiny will surely be as that of the Roman Empire.”
When the apostle Paul wrote a letter to his friends in Galatia, an area in modern-day Turkey, he reminded them that the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Rarely have the people of the world needed the “fruit” of the Spirit more than today.
- 5 Things You May Not Know About D-Day
From the Department of Defense:
D-Day. The Invasion of Normandy. Operation Overlord. It goes by various names, but we’ve all heard about it through history class, grandparents, the news or shows like “Band of Brothers.”
June 6, 1944, is the day when more than 160,000 Allied forces landed in Nazi-occupied France as part of the biggest air, land and sea invasion ever executed. It ended with heavy casualties — more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded in those first 24 hours — but D-Day is largely considered the successful beginning of the end of Hitler’s tyrannical regime.
The bravery by the paratroopers and soldiers who stormed Normandy that day is well-known, but there are a lot of things you may not know about D-Day. Here are a few of those nuggets.
Do you actually know what D-Day stands for? Apparently it’s the most frequently asked question at the National World War II Museum, but the answer isn’t overly simple. Many experts have varying opinions, including that the D simply stood for “day,” a code used for any important military operation. Others have said it’s just alliteration, like “H-Hour,” when a military assault begins.
10. There’s a New Gerber Baby
From The New York Times:
On the “Today” show, Isa, who was born without a femur or a fibula in her right leg, a condition known as congenital limb difference, delighted the hosts while her mother, Melissa, said that the money would be “set aside” for her daughter’s surgeries.