“When is revival needed?” once asked the evangelist Billy Sunday. “When carelessness and unconcern keep the people asleep.”
“Study the history of revival,” urged Dr. Adrian Rogers. “God has always sent revival in the darkest days.”
- Grieving Evil in Texas and Beyond
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly writes:
It’s easy to get numbed by numbers, especially when it comes to bad news. We hear so many, and all day long.
But it’s different when the numbers have names, isn’t it?
In their photographs, they’re smiling back at us – images caught from earlier days – cheerleading, basketball games, first communion, a party in the backyard. Kids being kids.
The heartbreak of their parents, loved ones and friends is unfathomable. Depthless. There are the teachers, Eva and Irma. And then the nineteen children: Xavier, Uziyah, Alexandria, Jose, Tess, Amerie, Jayce, Jailah, Miranda, Annabell, Jackie, Ellie, Althia, Rojelio, Makenna, Nevaeh, Maite, Eliahana and Layla.
All of us at Focus on the Family are deeply grieved by this unspeakable tragedy, and we invite anyone traumatized by this event to reach out to our Counseling team for a no-cost consultation. Just call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) and ask to speak with one of our licensed or pastoral counselors, and one of them will get back with you as soon as possible.
We’ve also created a Facing Tragedy resource page. It is filled with wise guidance for helping you, your children, and other loved ones navigate heart-rending situations like this one.
Last Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, will continue to dominate the headlines, as well it should. We should never get accustomed to death and violence, though many do. Maybe that’s because it’s all around us – and there are people fighting hard to maintain the cultural status quo.
Predictably, loud voices are trying to make this latest tragedy a matter of guns. There are strong opinions about the Second Amendment and gun laws, but my attention is on the violent culture of death we have fostered and furthered with reckless abandon, especially the cultlike obsession with keeping abortion – the killing of children – legal.
In the pro-life community, we grieve the loss of every innocent life taken early because of evil. But the inconsistency of pro-abortion forces is breathtaking.
Several thousand children will die from abortion today. Many of these abortions will take place in quiet neighborhoods. There’s a Planned Parenthood only a few miles from Focus on the Family. There might be a few people praying out on the sidewalk, but most won’t notice or think about what’s going on inside. Flags won’t fly at half-staff. Most of the children killed aren’t given a name.
We can agree that anyone who shoots a child in a school is evil. The profile of the school killer has become familiar. They almost always come from broken homes, suffer mental illness, have struggled with drugs, been bullied, live a life awash in violent video games or violent television or movies. They’re void of hope and desperate for love and attention.
I also believe abortion is evil. If you disagree, you’re not being intellectually honest. Whether a child is murdered by a gun or in the womb with medical instruments and a cocktail of chemicals, it’s still the tragic ending of a young life. The only difference is a matter of a few inches and time and the fact that a doctor gets paid to do the killing. We cry when a child is killed in a school. Politicians and radical activists cheer when a child is killed in the womb.
Eight states (Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Vermont – along with Washington, D.C. – allow abortion right up until birth, with some wanting infanticide legalized.
Candlelight vigils and flowers mark the deaths of 21 innocent people, but abortion activists march, chant and firebomb pregnancy resource centers.
We find ourselves at this dark chapter of history because we’ve allowed the foundational institutions of society – specifically the Church and the family – to be attacked, maligned, and mocked. This disregard and disrespect have produced chaos and crisis in our communities. We have reaped the whirlwind of generations of anti-God activists.
I’ve always been puzzled by these radicals. As a struggling 15-year-old orphaned young man, they would do everything in their power to prevent me from embracing Christ at my public high school through my football coach. They would seemingly prefer I die hooked on drugs, drunk in an alcoholic binge or using sex to soothe my pain.
It makes no sense – like the killing of 21 innocent people last week.
There are no easy solutions or quick fixes. But if you allow Christ back into the public square, you’ll have a better society. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace,” because He brings order to chaos and hope to the hopeless – two things we are in desperate need of today.
Focus on the Family stands ready to help. If you or a loved one find yourself managing a tragic circumstance, please reach out to us.
Tony Evans says US facing God’s judgement because Christians are ‘cultural,’ not ‘biblical’
From the Christian Post:
Moral and societal issues are worsening across the United States because Christians are becoming more “cultural” than “biblical,” and the country is facing God’s judgment as a result, according to pastor and bestselling author Tony Evans.
“We’ve been more cultural Christians than biblical Christians,” Evans, the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, told The Christian Post in a sit-down interview.
“Our identity is to be rooted in the Imago Dei, in the image of God. But we’ve gotten so ingrained in the thinking of the culture, that we wind up being parakeets to what the society is saying, rather than taking a solid, loving but clear stance on what God is saying,” he continued.
- Let Not Our Hearts Grow Numb
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
I continue in a kind of puzzled awe at my friends who proceed through life without faith, who get up and go forward without it. How do you do that? I tell the young: I have been alive for some years and this is the only true thing, that there is a God and he is good and you are here to know him, love him and show your feeling through your work and how you live. That it is the whole mysterious point. And the ridiculous story, the father, the virgin, the husband, the baby—it is all, amazingly, true, and the only true thing.
Uvalde is a town of about 16,000 people and if I’m counting right about 40 places of Christian worship, all kinds, Evangelical, Catholic, Mainline. I keep seeing the pictures—a group of four middle-aged men in jeans and T-shirts, standing near the school, arms around each other, heads bent in prayer. And the women sitting on the curb near the school and sobbing, a minister in a gray suit hunched down with them, ministering. And the local Catholic church the night of the shootings—people came that night, especially women, because they know it’s the only true thing and they know they are loved, regarded, part of something, not alone. I don’t mean here “the consolations of faith,” I mean the truth is its own support. Consolation is not why you believe but is a fact of belief and helps all who have it live in the world and withstand it. I am so glad for the people of Uvalde this weekend for only one thing, that so many have that.
Once I saw a painting—outsider art, crude, acrylic, made by some madman. There were splayed bodies and ghost-blots above each body, which depicted their souls. They were shooting upward—happy, free of gravity, rising toward Heaven.
Haven’t seen the painting since, think of it a lot, want it to be how it was in that classroom, all the children’s souls free to go home.
3. North Carolina Senate Committee Passes Parents’ Bill of Rights – Activists Oppose Such Common Sense Measures
From The Daily Citizen:
The legislation strengthens parental rights in education and protects children from inappropriate and confusing lessons on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” The measure has already passed the state’s House of Representatives.
- Prohibit schools from teaching lessons on “sexual orientation or gender identity” before the fourth grade.
- Require teachers to inform parents if their child has requested a change in name or pronouns prior to making any alterations to the student’s identity in official records.
- Allow parents access to textbooks and other instructional materials upon request, along with procedures to express any concerns.
- Require healthcare practitioners to obtain parental consent before providing minors with treatment of any type — except in suspected cases of abuse or neglect.
NC Family President John Rustin testified in support of the measure to strengthen parents’ rights, saying:
Parents have a fundamental right to the care, upbringing, and education of their children. Unfortunately, we are seeing too many instances these days where the interests of parents and families are being overlooked, ignored, and even condemned.
- Kirk Cameron: Public Schools Grooming Kids with Critical Race Theory, ‘Sexual Chaos,’ and ‘Racial Confusion’
From Fox News:
Award-winning actor Kirk Cameron blasted America’s public schools for becoming breeding grounds for far-left progressive agendas, including critical race theory, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 Project, and gender ideology.
“The problem is that public school systems have become so bad. It’s sad to say they’re doing more for grooming, for sexual chaos and the progressive left than any real educating about the things that most of us want to teach our kids,” he told Fox News Digital. The solution to the problem, he said, was for parents to take the lead on their children’s education and teach them at home. To make the case, the award-winning actor referenced his upcoming movie, “The Homeschool Awakening.”
The movie follows the journey of about 17 homeschooling families who respond to misconceptions and stereotypes. In the film, Cameron also discusses his journey to homeschool his six children with his wife, Chelsea.
Cameron takes issue with the perspective that a child’s education should be left solely to the so-called experts, without parents’ input. “And that’s just a fundamental difference in the way that we look at. Who has been entrusted with the sacred responsibility of raising our children? Is it the parents or is it the government?”
5. Air Force Base Calls Off ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ Targeting Young Kids After Sen. Marco Rubio Takes a Stand
An Air Force base in Germany canceled a “Drag Queen Story Time” event that was scheduled for next month after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) strongly urged against placing “children in a sexualized environment.”
The storytime was scheduled for June 2 in a library at Ramstein Air Force Base and was offered to the young children of service members as a way to celebrate Pride Month.
Rubio sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on Thursday saying, “The last thing parents serving their nation overseas should be worried about, particularly in a theater with heightened geopolitical tensions, is whether their children are being exposed to sexually charged content simply because they visited their local library,” the senator wrote.
6. Here’s What You Need to Know About Pro-Life Warrior Ben Shapiro
From The Daily Citizen:
Earlier this year, Focus on the Family was excited to announce SeeLife 2022, a special pro-life event that is coming up in just two weeks.
The event is a part of Focus on the Family’s pro-life campaign Seize This Pro-Life Moment, which is a “nationwide twelve-week effort to encourage Christian families, friends of the ministry, pastors, and churches to take tangible steps to show compassionate pro-life care to women facing unexpected pregnancies.”
Ben Shapiro, co-founder and editor emeritus of media outlet, The Daily Wire, will be SeeLife 2022’s keynote speaker, along with fellow Daily Wire host Candace Owens.
Among the plethora of topics that Shapiro is quite knowledgeable about, the right to life is an issue that he frequently speaks about on his radio show and speeches on college campuses.
In 2019, Shapiro spoke at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“We’ve created euphemisms. ‘Termination of pregnancy.’ ‘Abortion.’ ‘Choice.’ What we’re really engaging in is the mass killing of the unborn. Millions of children, who would never be held, who would never open their eyes, who would never see the sun rise,” Shapiro said. “We told ourselves that we were virtuous [for killing them].”
7. Does corporate America hold the keys to religious inclusion?
From the Deseret News:
Corporate America might seem like an unlikely place to look for ways to heal our country’s divisions. But the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation’s third annual Religious Equity Inclusion and Diversity Index shows that some of the nation’s biggest companies are getting it right when it comes to bringing together Americans of different faiths.
This year’s survey, which was the largest to date, assessed how Fortune 500 companies in the United States approach religious issues. American Airlines came out on top, claiming the Religious Equity Inclusion and Diversity Index’s No. 1 spot for its efforts.
Other familiar names crowded the top 10, including Intel, Dell, Texas Instruments and Google. Among the additional corporations surveyed, which included Global Fortune 500 companies and other businesses, the information technology company Accenture took first place.
The companies that ranked the highest on the Religious Equity Inclusion and Diversity Index have some common approaches, according to Brian Grim, the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation’s founding president.
8. Before you go down the aisle — the growth of marriage prep
From the Church Times:
Marriage prep has become — whisper it — a success story for the Church.
Two decades of research by the Marriage Foundation (another Christian charity) suggests that more than one third of couples (37 per cent) marrying for the first time undertake some sort of marriage prep. The figure has remained constant since the 1960s.
It can be broken down into 46 per cent of spouses who identified as Christian and 25 per cent of spouses who said they had no religion. In fact, marriage prep has fared better than church weddings, which were had by 70 cent of couples in 1965, but only 21 per cent in 2018.
9. Going for a 10-minute power walk every day could be secret to long life
From Study Finds:
Could a 10-minute power walk every day could add years to your life? A recent study of nearly 5,000 older adults found that deaths fell as physical activity increased. Just 10, 20, or 30 minutes extra exercise a day per day reduced annual mortality rates by seven, 13 and 17 percent respectively.
The research is based on Americans aged 40 to 85 who wore accelerometers on their waist for a week.
The study shows that adding 10 minutes of physical activity each day resulted in an estimated 111,174 preventable deaths per year. Not surprisingly, the more physical activity, the more deaths prevented. The number almost doubled and tripled to 209,459 and 367,037, respectively, for 20 and 30 minutes. Similar results were observed for men and women, including those of all ethnic backgrounds.
10. From strangers to sisters, Las Vegas women find out they’re sisters after 48 years apart through Ancestry.com
A story beyond belief, two Las Vegas sisters lived in the valley for over 25 years without ever knowing the other existed.
Michele Dugan and Tricia Tilley had been living miles apart in the Las Vegas valley.
In 1970, Dugan was born and raised in Southern California. Her birth mother gave her and her brother up for adoption. She grew up in a loving home, but felt like there was something missing.
“I didn’t know any birth family my whole life I didn’t know who I looked like or you know who were my people. I love my family but I just always felt like there was someone else out there maybe and I didn’t know who that was,” Dugan said.
“Our motto is we missed the first 48 years so we’re going to make the best of whatever we have left,” Dugan said.
They cook together, vacation together and work together. When the two met three and a half years ago Dugan was already years into her real estate career. Coincidentally Tilley was in real estate school.