On this National Day of Prayer, a provocative question from the late Corrie Ten Boom:
“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
1.Remember to Pray
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly recorded the following radio commentary for Salem’s Townhall.com:
Today on the National Day of Prayer, I’m reminded to be thankful to God in all things—and I’m also reminded there is much to pray about.
The world is on edge.
We’ve gone through a pandemic.
There are wars, a drug epidemic, inflation, and major political dysfunction.
Marriages are under extreme pressure and more and more children are growing up without fathers.
There’s also a spiritual crisis and Americans report an increasing sense of hopelessness.
So please, take some time today to pray about these challenging times.
The Bible says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power.”
So remember to pray. God will hear you—and that’s a promise.
- Liberal Group Calls for Protest at Homes of 6 Supreme Court Justices
From Fox News:
Left-wing activist groups are planning to sent protesters to the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices following a leak indicating the court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade.
The activists are organizing under the moniker “Ruth Sent Us” and have published the supposed home addresses of Justices Amy Coney Barrett, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.
Fox News is told there has been a strong police presence at the justices’ homes following the leak. The group says they will visit the homes on May 11.
Biden’s Freudian Slip
From National Review:
In an interview yesterday, Biden offered several characteristically jumbled comments responding to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
One of his comments was particularly telling: “So I mean, the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child, based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think goes way overboard.”
Abort a what? This is the first time I can recall hearing a pro-abortion politician acknowledge what takes place in an abortion procedure. A child is aborted. Not a clump of cells, not a part of the mother. A child.
That’s the grisly truth that abortion supporters paper over with euphemisms of all stripes: women’s rights, women’s health care, reproductive health care, reproductive justice, reproductive freedom, the right to choose, the right to control one’s own body, the right to make medical decisions, clumps of cells, products of conception. But the truth is a stubborn thing, and somewhere beneath these layers of nonsense, Biden knows what abortion is, as we all do.
Abortion: A great religious divide that also unites faithful opponents and supporters
From the Colorado Springs Gazette:
That’s a foundational principle in the advocacy work at Focus on the Family, said Nicole Hunt, a life-issues analyst and spokesperson for the international evangelical multimedia communications organization based in Colorado Springs.
“We believe each person possesses inherent dignity and worth, and that begins in the womb with a preborn baby,” she said.
Hunt points to a psalmist describing God knitting together the person in the mother’s womb, and God telling the prophet Jeremiah that he knew him and consecrated him before he was born as biblical support for the conviction.
Hunt of Focus on the Family agrees that Christians who object to abortion need to fight even harder now.
“If Roe v. Wade is overturned, there’s a good chance every state will decide abortion policy, and instead of one big national fight, we’ll be trying to win the hearts and minds of people in every state,” Hunt said. “We’re going to need all hands on deck.”
Some U.S. companies have started assuring workers they’ll help them access abortions
The clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co. said in a statement on Wednesday that employees could get reimbursed for travel expenses for health care services not available in the state where they live, including abortions, through the company’s benefits plan. Part-time hourly workers could also seek reimbursement.
“We know this is a fraught conversation; it’s not something we enter into lightly. But women make up 58 percent of our global workforce, and in recent years, numerous employees have expressed to leadership their growing alarm over the rollback of all forms of reproductive care,” the company said.
“Our position on this is in keeping with our efforts to support employees and family members at all stages of their lives.”
It’s one of the latest private firms to assure workers living in states with abortion restrictions or bans that it would help them cover the cost of traveling out of state to seek reproductive health care.
- Global Methodist Church Launches – Separates from United Methodist Church
From The Daily Citizen:
The Global Methodist Church (GMC), a new, international denomination, launched on May 1st, providing a home for churches who want to leave the United Methodist Church (UMC).
The separation comes after years of contention in the UMC over the authority of Scripture, the sanctity of life, and God’s design for marriage and sexuality. The denomination has been in conflict over ministers, bishops and institutions that do not follow Scripture or The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.
- More pastors say they have considered quitting, cite stress, loneliness and politics: study
From The Christian Post:
Driven to despair by stress, loneliness, political divisions and other worries like their church being in decline, more pastors now say they considered quitting their jobs compared to a year ago, new data released by the Barna Group show.
The research draws on data collected in surveys conducted in January 2021 and March 2022 that show the share of pastors who have given serious consideration to quitting being in full-time ministry within the last year, increasing from 29% in 2021 to 42% in March of this year.
More than half of pastors, 56%, who considered quitting full-time ministry in the last year, said, “the immense stress of the job” was a huge factor behind their thinking. Beyond these general stressors, two in five pastors, 43%, report that “I feel lonely and isolated,” while some 38% say “current political divisions” made them think about calling it quits at the pulpit.
An equal 29% share of pastors also said they felt like quitting because they weren’t optimistic about the future of their church; they were unhappy with the impact the job had on their family or they had a vision for the church that was in conflict with where the church wanted to go. Another 24% of pastors say they considered quitting because their church is steadily declining.
- An algorithm that screens for child neglect raises concerns
From Associated Press:
Inside a cavernous stone fortress in downtown Pittsburgh, attorney Robin Frank defends parents at one of their lowest points – when they risk losing their children.
The job is never easy, but in the past she knew what she was up against when squaring off against child protective services in family court. Now, she worries she’s fighting something she can’t see: an opaque algorithm whose statistical calculations help social workers decide which families should be investigated in the first place.
“A lot of people don’t know that it’s even being used,” Frank said. “Families should have the right to have all of the information in their file.”
From Los Angeles to Colorado and throughout Oregon, as child welfare agencies use or consider tools similar to the one in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, an Associated Press review has identified a number of concerns about the technology, including questions about its reliability and its potential to harden racial disparities in the child welfare system. Related issues have already torpedoed some jurisdictions’ plans to use predictive models, such as the tool notably dropped by the state of Illinois.
6. Storytime: Family Discipleship’s Secret Weapon
From the Gospel Coalition:
Parenting is daunting. Christian parenting can feel even more intimidating when we consider our responsibility to disciple our children. In Deuteronomy 6:7, Moses instructs God’s people to diligently teach Yahweh’s commands to their children “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
The expectation of round-the-clock instruction may seem more doable if we recognize that Deuteronomy 6:7 has more to do with organic conversations than non-stop Scripture memory drills. We can talk about God with our kids in the carpool line, at bedtime, and when they wake from a bad dream. But one of the best ways we can spark conversations that help children understand God’s world and God’s Word is by reading aloud to them.
We can do this by reading story Bibles and other resources from Christian publishers, but we can also disciple as we read secular picture books and classic novels. Reading aloud provides shared experience and excellent fodder for discussing the way God’s commands can be applied (or misapplied) in interesting scenarios.
- Big Brother: CDC Tracked Millions of Phones to Monitor COVID-19 Lockdown Compliance
From The Daily Citizen:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. We have probably heard from it and felt its influence on American life more during the COVID-19 pandemic than at any other time in our lives. It has garnered an inordinate amount of deference from federal and state government officials, and from a large swath of the public.
The CDC’s new-found prominence, however, has not always been of a benign nature. Over the course of the pandemic, it went from issuing “guidelines” on what to do to stay safe and healthy to issuing “mandates” with the force of law – such as its mask mandate for mass-transit travelers.
That mandate was struck down by a federal court recently as an overreach of its authority.
The CDC’s “mission creep” into American life has now extended to electronic surveillance of all of us, at least in the aggregate.
- Gas, food prices will continue to climb with ‘no end in sight,’ economics professor warns
From Fox Business:
With April’s inflation numbers out next week, Fox News contributor and The King’s College executive vice president of business and economics Brian Brenberg warned 40-year high consumer prices will carry on – likely to a recession.
“Food prices are at record highs: Corn, soybeans, wheat, other key input products still at record highs. Fuel still hanging at a very high level. Those two things are going to drive inflation here,” Brenberg explained Wednesday on “Fox & Friends First.” “I don’t see a big end in sight for that.”
The professor cautioned decreased consumer spending motivated by increased rates will bring the economy into a recession.
- Mastering the Art of “Failing Up” at Work
Masters of failing up work their “magic” by framing mistakes as moments of growth, she says, and in so doing convince executives to boost them ever higher.
Anthony Pratt says he’s perfected this art form.
“I love to fail upward and use every failure as a way to develop or grow,” he wrote on LinkedIn recently.
A certain kind of failure is a badge of honor in Silicon Valley and other startup hubs. For example, it’s trendy for serial entrepreneurs to boast about how much cash they burned on previous ventures, as if investors’ willingness to offer a second (or third) chance after a spectacular failure is the ultimate proof of genius.
Not everyone can spin a botch job into a better job, and rare is the mere mortal climbing the corporate ladder who will admit a promotion or raise is unearned. Dr. West says managers may subconsciously cut more slack to people who remind them of themselves, and since the upper echelon of corporate America is disproportionately white and male, it often helps to be one or both of those things, though the effect can hold for women and minorities.
- The Blessing of a Mother’s Love
From the Wall Street Journal:
In “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis writes: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” I understand this insight more fully when I reflect on the earthly blessing of a mother’s love.
Mom introduced me to the sly wisdom of “The Far Side,” the subversive wit of Monty Python and the sheer awesomeness of the Beatles’ “White Album.” Any of those could have been enough for induction into the parenting hall of fame, but all three assured her first-ballot admission.
Memories of her positive influence in my life are legion, yet the best evidence of the transcendence of a mother’s love is the spell it casts on its beloved. While the years have been good to my mom, I’m told she is aging. I say “I’m told” because whenever I gaze at her, I see only the cool lady in her mid-30s picking me up after soccer. In my mind’s eye, she is forever young.
Writer and historian Will Durant, interpreting Aristotle, said we are what we repeatedly do. Perhaps this is why I don’t see time’s effect on her. Good mothers are love itself, and that never grows old, in this world or the next.