We begin with a word from Focus on the Family president, Jim Daly:
“For the first time since the days of World War II, we awake to news of one European state attacking the other. The far-reaching consequences of such aggression are sobering. We must pray for peace, and for the protection and safety of the many innocent people caught in the crosshairs of Vladimir Putin’s unlawful and unprovoked attacks on the sovereign country of Ukraine.
“Thirty years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to eastern Europe as freedom came to the former Soviet Union. I was even present during an attempted coup directed at Mikhail Gorbachev. The politics and the power struggles may be layered and complicated, but the hearts and minds of the vast majority of those living in those areas bend towards freedom. I have seen firsthand and spoken with many Russians who despised the totalitarianism and wickedness of their country’s leadership. They have a hunger for truth and a contagious receptivity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“History tells us aggressors are never satisfied, always wanting more. The madness of fallen men never ends well, either. So, let us pray for peace and justice – and resolve for those with the responsibility of protecting Ukraine.”
- Pray for Ukraine AND Russia
From the Christian Post:
Here are just 5 suggested themes to pray over and intercede for the people of both Ukraine and Russia:
- Pray for the leaders of both countries to know God’s truth and peace and be transformed by his Holy Spirit, and that they would seek to lead their countries in the way of peace and not war.
- Ask God to intervene. Pray for wisdom as world leaders maneuver, strategize and speak out. Pray that God would move in their hearts and guide their steps and plans.
- Pray for peace, comfort, and protection to cover the people of Russia and Ukraine.
- Ask to see God’s glory amid this great struggle. Pray that God would be glorified through the people of Russia and Ukraine who are following Him.
- Ask for open doors of opportunities for the Gospel to be shared and received. Pray that God would make His name known across Ukraine and Russia as the result of any conflict. Pray that the people of Ukraine and Russia will still have access to God’s Word.
As we pray for leaders of all nations and for the people who will be affected by this current crisis, Ephesians 6:12 offers a reminder about where the real battle unfolds: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Thank you for joining me in prayer, and may God convict any of us who are tempted to label one another and allow that to determine our behavior toward them. Let’s commit anew to loving one another and seeing them for who they really are, no matter where they live, what language they speak, or what color their skin.
- Texas AG declares sex-change operations and puberty blockers for minors to be ‘child abuse’
From The Post Millennial:
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared that the prescription of puberty blockers and certain sex-change operations on children is “child abuse” under Texas law.
Paxton released a formal opinion from the attorney general’s office, concluding that “certain procedures done on minors such as castration, fabrication of a ‘penis’ using tissue from other body parts, fabrication of a ‘vagina’ involving the removal of male sex organs, prescription of puberty-suppressors and infertility-inducers, and the like are all ‘abuse’ under section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code,” according to a press release.
“There is no doubt that these procedures are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has a responsibility to act accordingly. I’ll do everything I can to protect against those who take advantage of and harm young Texans,” Paxton wrote.
In the opinion, Paxton states that these procedures that result in the sterilization of a child infringe upon a child’s “fundamental right to procreate” in the future, and that these children do not legally posses the ability to consent to these procedures.
3. California School Creates ‘Transition Closet’; Allows Students To ‘Swap Out’ Of Clothes ‘Parents Approve Of’
From The Daily Wire:
A high school in Oakland, California, is creating a “transition closet” that will allow students to come to school in clothes that their “parents approve of” and change into the clothing of their selected gender identities.
The Transition Closet is partnering with Thomas Martin-Edwards — a Spanish teacher at the Oakland Unified School District and founder of the Queer Teacher Fellowship — to launch the project. The social media account Teacher Exposed unearthed footage of the teacher discussing the initiative on TikTok.
“The goal of the transition closet is for our students to wear the clothes that their parents approve of, come to school and then swap out into the clothes that fit who they truly are,” Martin-Edwards explained.
“And I use the idea that this is like Superman changing in a phone booth. But that idea actually goes a lot further than that. Because Superman isn’t Clark Kent. Clark Kent is actually the disguise,” he insisted. “And when Clark Kent goes into the phone booth, he transforms into Superman, who is really just who he truly is, Kal-El. So this gives our trans students the opportunity to be the superheroes that we know they are.”
- LGBT Activists, NEA and Librarians Promote Annual ‘Transgender’ Reading Day in Schools
From The Daily Citizen:
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest LGBT activist group in the world. For the seventh year in a row, the organization is sponsoring its annual “Jazz and Friends National Day of School and Community Readings,” on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
HRC’s Welcoming Schools is the driving force behind the day of spreading sexual identity confusion to children. It is joined by the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in encouraging teachers and librarians to read “transgender” books to elementary school children.
For this year’s special day, the organizations suggest these picture books for five- to 12-year-old children:
- I Am Jazz, a book about Jazz Jennings, a boy who believes he’s a girl. The book explains to children that Jazz has “a girl brain but a boy body.” Jennings, now 21-years-old, has starred in his own reality TV show for seven seasons, spotlighting his “transition” from male to female.
- Calvin, about a girl who “has always known he’s [sic] a boy” and is immediately accepted as such by everyone she talks to.
- From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, about Miu Lan, a child “who can change into any shape they [sic] imagine,” but whose “mother will always love them [sic] the same.”
- Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope, a book whose title tells the whole story. Born female, the protagonist just knows she’s a boy – and not just any boy, but a ninja Of course, she is immediately accepted as a boy by everyone she talks to. Remember, this is a true story.
The NEA claims a membership of just under 3 million. The organization’s president, Becky Pringle, its vice president and secretary-treasurer, can be seen in an online video promoting the event, reading Calvin, along with transgender activists from HRC and various political allies.
- A.D.H.D. Can Strain Relationships. Here’s How Couples Cope.
From The New York Times:
When one or both members of a couple have A.D.H.D., the relationship typically has unique challenges, which are usually exacerbated when the disorder goes undiagnosed, experts say. Studies suggest that people with A.D.H.D. have higher levels of interpersonal problems than their peers do, and marriages that include adults with A.D.H.D. are more likely to be unsatisfying.
Forums like the one found on the popular website A.D.H.D. and Marriage are often filled with stories of frazzled, emotionally spent spouses stuck in unhealthy, yearslong patterns. But if a couple makes a strong effort to learn more about the disorder, manage its symptoms and find more effective ways to communicate, they can revitalize their relationship.
People with A.D.H.D. may lack self-awareness, which can make it difficult to recognize how they are coming across to other people or how their behavior contributes to the problems they’re experiencing in their relationships, according to Russell A. Barkley, a psychologist and the author of “Taking Charge of Adult A.D.H.D.”
Those who struggle with impulsivity might take unnecessary risks, or they might opt for immediate rewards, such as the pleasure of playing a video game, instead of focusing on mundane tasks that need to get done. People with A.D.H.D. are also often forgetful about what they’re supposed to be doing and tend to have big, emotional reactions that are stronger than what a situation might warrant — which can lead to explosive conflict.
- No Instagram or TikTok Without Parental Consent
From the Wall Street Journal:
In the real world, a teenager can’t go on a school field trip or join the volleyball team without a parent’s permission. The virtual world is a different story. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube offer teens a steady scroll of sexual images and videos—not to mention a proliferating range of antisocial identities—without parents’ knowledge, consent or protection.
Big Tech operates under a law that was designed before the age of social media and makes it hard for parents to control their kids’ online activity. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or Coppa, was passed in 1998 for an internet that is now a distant memory. Today, with a click or swipe, children can sign up for highly addictive social apps and games that expose them to everything from semipornographic images to online conversations with strangers. Parents don’t know when their kids are entering these dangerous digital playgrounds and can’t supervise them once they do.
It’s time to update Coppa to make it easier for parents to guide their children’s tech use and protect them from harmful content and communications. Congress should amend the law to require that all social media, online and so-called metaverse companies first obtain the explicit and verified consent of a parent or legal guardian before allowing a minor to start an account. While Big Tech firms might caterwaul, this would be a simple step akin to know-your-customer laws in the financial sector, which use third-party application programming interfaces, or APIs, for identity verification.
Congress should also require that all social media and online accounts offer parents and guardians administrator-level privileges over a minor’s account. Parents could then monitor a much larger share of their children’s online activity and, if need be, revoke user privileges in the same way that company administrators supervise employees’ online accounts. These reforms would make it easier for parents to take appropriate action when children engage in harmful online behavior. Parents have real-world rights to decide who cares for and educates their children. They deserve them in cyberspace too.
7. The Fate of America Rests in the Hands of Its Mothers
From The Daily Citizen:
Whether the “Great Resignation” or the “Great Renegotiation,” the American workforce is currently in the midst of a massive season of transition.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying trend toward remote work and other unconventional employment have resulted in unprecedented changes for businesses and organizations.
But there’s one job – the world’s most important job, at that – that has seen no such radical revolution.
That’s because regardless of a pandemic, an uncertain economy, soaring inflation, and international instability, the job of a mom rolls on. If employment is increasingly unstable and uncertain, it’s our moms who serve as a ballast in the storms of life.
The fate of America rests in God’s hands, but also in the hands of mothers and fathers, whom He has created to help shepherd and raise the next generation. We cannot simply relegate parents, and especially moms, to being reduced to glorified caregivers, assigning them some utilitarian role, easily replaced by nannies or other hired help.
Mothers are indispensable. They’re also irreplaceable.
At the heart of the “Great Resignation” is a desire by many for something better or more of something good. Despite radicals who try and diminish motherhood by blurring the distinctives of the two sexes, it’s impossible to improve upon God’s design of moms. It’s this perfection that should give us confidence that His way is the best way, and why a loving mom would never resign or retreat from their divine calling in life.
8. ‘Be a Light to the Nations’: Trail Life USA Teaches Biblical Values of Founding Fathers
In Trail Life USA, boys earn badges such as “Citizenship” and “Our Flag,” which were developed using biblical truths. They vote on leaders for their troops and plan their programs.
The organization is designed to engage boys with the same principles that governed the Founding Fathers, while they are inspired to achieve success.
Hancock shared a statement from James Madison about the laws of God on which the Constitution is founded on.
“James Madison wrote, ‘We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.’ These are the principles we must teach our boys,” Hancock asserted.
He concluded by pointing out the group’s mission: to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God and lead with integrity.
“Let us strive to engage, to inspire, to appreciate, to guide and to ground boys in the truth—that they may grow to become men of character and conviction who will stand for truth, preserve liberty, and continue by faith to raise the banner of freedom and be a light to the nations,” Hancock said.
- Pastoral Burnout and Pauline Strength
From First Things:
Last November the religious polling organization Barna released survey results showing that almost 40 percent of pastors had thought about leaving the ministry in the past year. The level of people thinking of leaving the ministry increased by nine percentage points in less than a year, with younger pastors more likely to consider leaving than their older brethren. A quarter of pastors rated themselves as “unhealthy” in terms of well-being. David Kinnaman, president of Barna, noted that pastoral burnout was a rising concern even before COVID, suggesting that the end of the pandemic won’t resolve these problems.
Pastors aren’t just talking about quitting. They actually are quitting. The Washington Post has described an exodus of clergy in the last two years. Even very high-profile pastors have stepped down from their pulpits. Jason Meyer, successor of John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, has resigned. So has Abraham Cho, successor to Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s East Side location in New York. These are pastoral dream jobs at some of the most prestigious evangelical churches in the country. Yet these men stepped down voluntarily, without any moral scandals or improprieties.
What’s driving this increased pressure? Many factors. The negative world has created increasing levels of pressure from outside the church, such as the very real risk of being “cancelled” for saying the wrong thing. But the negative world has also led to a culture war within evangelicalism as various ministry strategies have deformed in the face of growing secular hostility. Teachings on many issues, including race, are causing divisions in churches just as they are in schools and other institutions. Both Meyer and Cho resigned as they were experiencing pressure and controversy in their ministries on the topic of race. The pandemic has added to the pressure. Matters such as whether or not to hold in-person services, or whether to require masks, have become topics of dispute. But they have also become political questions, and thus suffer from the same polarization we see throughout our society. These pressures are affecting not just the evangelical world but the church more broadly, including Catholics and mainline Protestants.
10.Premature Baby Born Weighing Just 11.5 Ounces Celebrates 1st Birthday
Now for some good news! From The Daily Citizen:
When Jari Lopez was born, he was more likely to die than survive.
Jari was born on February 22, 2021, at just 24 weeks gestation weighing only 11.5 ounces.
As Fox News reports, “Doctors said baby Jari Lopez had a 30% survival rate after concerns of fetal growth restriction combined with mom Amber Higgins’ preeclampsia diagnosis.”
Because of these concerns, along with “reversed blood flow” and Jari’s dropping heart rate, doctors opted to perform an emergency C-section.
According to Jari’s mother, Amber Higgins, doctors had informed her and Jari’s dad that “there was a chance he would not make it.”
“We took it day by day, we saw him in the NICU as much as we could. Dad was able to go see him during that time. He just kept saying he couldn’t believe how small he was,” Amber added.