Dwight L. Moody accomplished a lot in his 62 years, but towards the end of his days, he reflected:
“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God!”
He also reflected:
“The impression that a praying mother leaves upon her children is life-long. Perhaps when you are dead and gone your prayer will be answered.”
We begin with a look at the distinct role mothers and fathers play in evangelizing their children:
- New University-Based Research Reveals Parents Are Most Influential in Leading Kids to Christ … With No Close Competitor
From The Daily Citizen:
Professor Christian Smith from the University of Notre Dame is one of the world’s most experienced and respected sociologists of religion studying how faith is passed down to our children. Smith and his team of researchers have just released a new book, Handing Down the Faith: How Parents Pass Their Religion on to the Next Generation (Oxford University Press), detailing how parents, by far, are the most successful and influential player in their kids adopting the Christian faith compared to any other influence.
Their findings rest on empirical evidence from more than 230 personal interviews conducted by their team, as well as research from three nationally representative, academically-robust data sets. In the book’s introduction, Smith and team confidently assert, “Some readers might be surprised to know that the single most powerful causal influence on the religious lives of American teenagers and young adults is the religious lives of their parents.” In staccato fashion, they add, “Not their peers, not the media, not their youth group leaders or clergy, not their religious school teachers.”
How do they know this? They explain, “Myriad studies show that, beyond a doubt, the parents of American youth play the leading role in shaping the character of their religious and spiritual lives, even well after they leave home and often for the rest of their lives” (emphasis in original). Their data also indicate this strong parental influence has not diminished since the 1970s. This fact is a constant drumbeat theme throughout the book.
RELATED: Leading Your Child to Christ (Focus on the Family)
- Pope Francis Warns Of ‘Cancel Culture’ That Doesn’t Allow ‘Freedom Of Expression’
From the Daily Wire:
The head of the Roman Catholic Church condemned “cancel culture” on Monday, decrying what he called “ideological colonization” that ostracizes certain cultures and individuals, such as those who are pro-life, from global conversations and solutions to a myriad of problems. Pope Francis’s comments came during an annual address to diplomats and ambassadors from around the world, who met Monday morning at the Vatican.
The pope’s speech touched upon a wide range of topics, including migration and the “moral necessity” of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Regarding international decision making, Pope Francis claimed that “for some time now, multilateral diplomacy has been experiencing a crisis of trust, due to the reduced credibility of social, governmental and intergovernmental systems. Important resolutions, declarations, and decisions are frequently made without a genuine process of negotiation in which all countries have a say.”
“Under the guise of defending diversity, it ends up canceling all sense of identity, with the risk of silencing positions that defend a respectful and balanced understanding of various sensibilities,” he added. “A kind of dangerous ‘one-track thinking’ [pensée unique] is taking shape, one constrained to deny history or, worse yet, to rewrite it in terms of present-day categories, whereas any historical situation must be interpreted in the light of a hermeneutics of that particular time, not that of today.”
“Multilateral diplomacy is thus called to be truly inclusive, not canceling but cherishing the differences and sensibilities that have historically marked various peoples,” the pope remarked.
- Georgia Voting Activists to Skip Biden Speech
From the Washington Examiner:
Georgia voting activists will not attend President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s Atlanta remarks to push for federal voting legislation after warning the White House not to visit without a concrete plan for action.
Organizers from the Black Voters Matter Fund, the Asian American Advocacy Fund, the New Georgia Project Action Fund, and the GALEO Impact Action Fund, which represents Latinos, said in a Zoom call Monday that Biden and Harris should focus on making progress in Washington instead of performing sweeping gestures. Otherwise, they should skip the visit.
“Can’t stop, won’t stop,” said Cliff Albright, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, signing off from the call.
Biden and Harris will also visit Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. preached from 1960 until his assassination in 1968 and where Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is a pastor. While there, they will lay a wreath at the crypts of King Jr. and his wife, Coretta.
- Justice Sotomayor’s Inaccurate COVID-19 Claims Hurts the Court’s Legitimacy
From The Daily Citizen:
Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case over the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS forces employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or mask while at work and undergo weekly testing.
Starting Monday, Jan. 10, OSHA has begun enforcing the masking requirement, but will not issue citations for noncompliance with the testing portion of the ETS until February 9.
Following oral arguments, the average American can only wait and see when and how the nine justices decide to rule. Estimates for when the court may issue a decision range from a few days to a few weeks.
But one of the main, and surprising, takeaways from Friday’s arguments was how ignorant one particular justice seemed to be about basic data regarding COVID-19. That was Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
- Male Swimmer Wins Two More Women’s Races – Then Loses to a Female Who Identifies as Male
From The Daily Citizen:
Confused much? We were, too, when we first read the headlines. Here’s the story.
Will Thomas, who now believes he’s a woman named Lia Thomas, was born male and competed for the University of Pennsylvania men’s swimming team for three years. After taking a year off to go on testosterone suppressants and, presumably, female hormones, Thomas began competing for the women’s team.
Thomas won races against other Ivy League schools, taking victories over real, biological women.
This last weekend, Thomas won two more victories, this time against Dartmouth and Yale, winning the women’s 200-yard freestyle and the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Again, the swimmer took spots on the team and victories from real, biological women.
But “Iszac” Henig, born female but now identifying as male, beat Thomas in the women’s 100-yard freestyle. Thomas placed fifth. Her team also won the 400-yard freestyle relay, with Thomas anchoring the third place UPenn team.
NBC Suggests There May Be ‘Very Little Evidence’ of a Gender Performance Gap in Swimming
From National Review:
NBC News had a segment on the UPenn trans swimmer in which they managed to get almost every detail wrong, even the athlete’s name in the initial introduction (it’s Lia Thomas, not Lia Thompson.)
During the segment, the presenter, Hallie Jackson, claimed that “ten states have recently passed some kind of bill banning trans athletes from participating in youth sports.” The states she is referring to have done no such thing. What they did was ban athletes from competing against the opposite sex in single-sex leagues. Athletes who identify as trans are free to compete with their natal sex, as some continue to do. For instance, Iszac Henig — a female who identifies as male — still swims for the women’s team at Yale.
Jackson then introduces Jo Yurcaba, a reporter for the LGBT branch of NBC News, “NBC Out.” Yurcaba begins by saying that there are those who believe “trans women in women’s sports is unfair to cisgender women,” since they “don’t receive the advantages of higher testosterone during puberty.” However, Yurcaba claims, such voices are in contention with those who say, “there is very little scientific evidence that those advantages carry over for trans women after transition.”
Just to get a sense of how utterly ridiculous this claim is, consider the following graphics created by boysvswomen.com, comparing the swimming times of the U.S.’s top high-school boy swimmers with those of Olympic women’s finalists. Are we really to believe that a change of wardrobe and fiddling around with testosterone levels magically remove this massive gulf of a performance gap?
6. Want a pro-life culture? Start talking to your kids about sex
Benjamin Watson writes for the Washington Times:
Our culture doesn’t respect life. You see that every day in its widespread disregard for the lives of children in the womb and the mainstreaming of abortion by our cultural leaders, politicians and celebrities.
We can and should resist our culture’s willingness to marginalize and exterminate preborn life. But changing the culture will require more than just fighting abortion; it will require changing the way we think about and experience every aspect of the process that makes life come to be.
Yes, I am talking about sex. And yes, I am saying we need to change how we think about and experience sex to reshape our culture’s approach to life.
But no, I’m not saying we need more adults getting on TV to talk about their sex lives.
What we actually need are parents who talk openly, honestly and lovingly about sex with their children. Because if families can change the way sex is thought about from the ground up, from the age that children first start feeling curiosity about sex, we can raise the next generation to respect life like never before.
- Bob Saget Was Beloved Because He Played the American Everyman
From Fox News (Paul Batura):
The sudden death of comedian and television sitcom star Bob Saget has saddened a generation of fans and followers – especially those drawn to the affable and gentle characters the Philadelphia born actor portrayed over the course of the last four decades.
In a culture that seems to celebrate coarseness and crassness, Saget’s fatherly “Danny Tanner” role on “Full House” and his longtime gig hosting “America’s Funniest Home Videos” were decidedly and decisively G-rated. Though originally panned by critics, “Full House” grew in popularity, breaking into the top ten of shows by its fifth season.
Saget endeared himself to America because he played the role of the everyman – hapless at times, yet hopeful – loving his daughters and his family and simply trying to do his best through times of trial and tribulation.
How American – and how familiar to most of us doing our best for the sake of our family and loved ones. Sorrow comes to all – but life still has to go on.
Even as host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Saget helped remind the country that the secret to happiness in life is finding humor in the absurd – and enjoying the journey through all the mistakes and foibles of family life. We can take our responsibilities seriously – but it’s the wise and happy person who can laugh at him or herself at the same time.
Saget’s sudden death at age 65 shocks so many because for so many years he was associated with laughter – and there’s nothing funny about dying.
The actor and comedian’s death is a harsh reminder that life is fragile and uncertain – and nobody is promised many years, let alone tomorrow. In this modern-age, we tend to think we know what tomorrow will bring – but we don’t even know what might happen to us tonight.
- In 1st, US surgeons transplant pig heart into human patient
From the Associated Press:
In a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said Monday that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery.
While it’s too soon to know if the operation really will work, it marks a step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say the transplant showed that a heart from a genetically modified animal can function in the human body without immediate rejection.
The patient, David Bennett, a 57-year-old Maryland handyman, knew there was no guarantee the experiment would work but he was dying, ineligible for a human heart transplant and had no other option, his son told The Associated Press.
“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett said a day before the surgery, according to a statement provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
- Americans adopted millions of dogs during the pandemic. Now what do we do with them?
From the Washington Post:
Americans face a moment of reckoning with their pandemic pups — and the money they spend on them.
Apollo, a black Labrador in Silver City, N.M., is complicating his owner’s moving budget with his voracious appetite. In Los Angeles, Zuri the Chihuahua mix’s surprise bee allergy has her mom fretting over more unexpected medical bills. In Sacramento, Cowboy the labradoodle’s parents are trying to train him out of his shoe-chewing separation anxiety.
With the country thrust into uncertainty by the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the millions of Americans who welcomed pets into their homes since the first shutdowns in March 2020 are facing shocks to their household budgets and logistical challenges as they try to predict the course of the pandemic and make preparations to return to work and social activities in person.
More than 23 million American households — nearly 1 in 5 nationwide — adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Even President Biden adopted a new dog, Commander.
- WWII soldier’s letter to mother delivered nearly eight decades late
From the Washington Examiner:
After nearly eight decades, a World War II soldier’s letter was finally delivered.
World War II had ended three months prior when Army Sgt. John Gonsalves wrote to his mother in December 1945 while still stationed in Bad Orb, Germany, “I’ll be seeing you soon, I hope.”
U.S. Postal Service workers in Pittsburgh recently discovered the undelivered letter written by Sgt. Gonsalves, who was 22 years old at the time, and delivered it 76 years later to his widow, Angelina Gonsalves, who lives near Boston.
“I love it. I love it. When I think it’s all his words, I can’t believe it,” Mrs. Gonsalves told WBZ-TV after opening the letter in December. “It’s wonderful. And I feel like I have him here with me, you know?”
Mrs. Gonsalves met the young soldier in 1949. They would marry four years later. Sgt. Gonsalves died in 2015, according to WFXT.
In his letter, Sgt. Gonsalves wrote that he was doing well but did not enjoy the food.
“Dear Mom, Received another letter from you today and was happy to hear that everything is okay,” Gonzalves wrote. “As for myself, I’m fine and getting along okay. But as far as the food it’s pretty lousy most of the time.”
“Love and kisses, Your son, Johnny,” he added. “I’ll be seeing you soon, I hope.”