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VeggieTales’ “Beauty and the Beet” debuted last week, and Focus is coming alongside “Bob the Tomato” and “Larry the Cucumber” to help parents teach their kids a lesson in unconditional love.
Amidst the usual vegetable hijinks, jokes, and a new Silly Song, children will see how Mirabelle, the lead singer of her family’s up-and-coming band, chooses to show love and kindness to Mr. Beet, the grumpy manager of the run-down resort where they’re stuck.
Entertainment with a purpose
Since its start in 1993, VeggieTales has lived up to its theme song’s promise: “there’s never-ever-ever-ever-ever been a show like VeggieTales!” Not only do the fun stories appeal to both children and parents, they impart meaningful life lessons and Biblical values to viewers young and old alike.
Parents can magnify the message of each DVD by using it as a springboard into intentional conversations with their children – and that’s where Focus on the Family is helping.
Everyone knows someone who’s difficult to love
For “Beauty and the Beet,” Focus’ Clubhouse Jr. magazine has partnered with VeggieTales to create a discussion guide that will help moms and dads discuss the DVD’s main theme: loving unconditionally.
It’s an important lesson even younger children can grasp because everyone knows someone who’s difficult to love. The person that comes to their mind might be a troubled neighbor or a little boy in their Sunday school class. It might be a big sister who sometimes takes away their toy. Whoever it is, learning to love unconditionally will teach children how to live out a central tenet of our Christian faith.
Clubhouse Jr.’s discussion guide helps parents connect the dots between “Beauty and the Beet” and their life by giving moms and dads questions that will help kids think through what unconditional love looks like. The questions help children realize that sometimes it’s not easy to love someone who’s being mean, or who is hurting – but that we love because God loves us.
You can purchase “Beauty and the Beet” at Focus’ online store at the discounted price of $9.99. Once there you can also subscribe to our magazines for children: Focus on the Family Clubhouse (ages 8-12) and Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. (ages 3-7) at 50 percent off newsstand price. Each magazine is filled with activities, puzzles and stories that will help keep children grow their faith.
The post Focus and VeggieTales Help Teach Children About Unconditional Love appeared first on Jim Daly.
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Do you struggle wondering if you measure up as a parent?
Perhaps you see other families from the outside, and it’s like watching a highlight reel. Their children don’t squabble, the parents never have a disagreement, and life seems perfect.
But is it really?
Every family has its challenges.
Just ask Franklin Graham, the son of Billy and Ruth Graham.
If the Lord would bless any family with model children, it would be the Grahams, right?
Well, back in his teen years, Franklin was a handful. On good days, he was obstinate and openly defiant to his parents. On today’s and tomorrow’s broadcast, Franklin joins us to share how, just like you and me, his parents had to rely on the Lord to get their kids through some rough spots.
Take, for instance, the string of mornings his mother, Ruth, had to come into his room and demand that he get out of bed for school. Franklin complied for a few days, but before long he simply ignored her. But Ruth was no pushover. Instead, she grabbed his ashtray, overflowing with cigarettes and ashes, and dumped the whole thing onto his head. That got him up, alright. But after that he started locking her out of his room.
The next morning when Ruth started pounding on his door, Franklin rolled over with a satisfied grin. But a few minutes later, he heard a scraping noise outside his window.
To find out how the story ends, I invite you to tune in to today’s and tomorrow’s broadcast, “A Visit with Franklin Graham.” (Listen to your local radio station, online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.) I think you’ll be encouraged to learn that all moms and dads need a good dose of “stick-to-itiveness” to get through our parenting challenges.
In the meantime, if you’re new to Focus on the Family, you may not be aware that we partner with Franklin’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, to distribute Christmas shoeboxes (filled with simple gifts, like soap, a toothbrush and paste, a small toy or a notebook and markers) to needy children around the world. This year, Focus will donate a musical plush lamb to be included in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for a gift of any amount during the month of October.
I hope you’ll consider offering your support. The rewards are eternal!
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Meet Donald and Evelyn Knapp.
Both in their late 60s, the Knapps have owned and operated the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since 1989. In that time, they’ve performed more than 34,000 weddings. The chapel is conveniently located across from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses.
The Knapps are more than wedding chapel owners, though. They’re also ordained ministers from the Foursquare Church, an evangelical denomination. They take the tenets of their faith and denomination seriously, including the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.
In fact, they’ve turned down numerous requests over the years to perform same-sex ceremonies, including one as recently as October 17.
And that’s when their “troubles” began.
The city of Coeur d’Alene has a public accommodations law that pits the Knapps’ constitutional religious freedoms against newly created rights based on sexual orientation. The city recently informed the Knapps that under that law, they would have to perform same-sex ceremonies if and when such unions became legal in Idaho.
A couple weeks ago, that happened when the federal courts imposed same-sex marriage on the state, and county clerks began issuing licenses on October 15.
The city’s public accommodations ordinance does not include a religious exemption for Christians like the Knapps, making it a crime for them to stand on religious principles concerning marriage. For each day they refuse to perform a same-sex ceremony, they are subject to fines of up to $1000 and 180 days in jail. So if they refuse for a week, they face a fine of $7000 and more than three years in jail. If they refuse for a year, they could go to jail for 180 years and be fined $365,000.
By comparison, if you were found guilty of assault with intent to commit murder in Idaho, your maximum sentence could only be 14 years.
Since the Knapps were forewarned by the city that non-compliance would be dealt with as a criminal offense under the city ordinance, they enlisted the help of our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and filed a federal lawsuit in Idaho on October 17. A court hearing will be held soon on the couple’s request for a court order preventing the city from prosecuting them under the ordinance.
Idaho officials are defending their pursuit of the Knapps based upon the fact the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel is not a traditional church. They contend that because the Knapps live off the proceeds they realize from the wedding ceremonies they perform, they should be subject to the city’s public accommodations ordinance.
I couldn’t disagree more strongly.
People of faith do not forfeit their freedoms of speech and religion when they go into business. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that again recently in the Hobby Lobby decision last June. The Knapps are protected by the 1st Amendment as well as Idaho’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the type of statute that protected Hobby Lobby from a government law that violated a business owner’s religious conviction.
Public accommodations laws that elevate homosexual behavior to a protected status have been used to punish churches, wedding photographers, bakers, florists, wedding venues, faith-based adoption agencies, and even t-shirt makers in various states for refusing to participate in or promote an event or message that violated their conscience.
Promoters of same-sex marriage assured us that pastors and ministers would not be coerced to perform same-sex weddings. We were skeptical for good reason, as it turned out. But as we’re also seeing in Houston (where several pastors are feeling the full weight of government harassment for opposing a city law like Coeur d’Alene’s), government coercion is becoming the unfortunate reality.
As Christians who faithfully accept and interpret God’s Word as written, we’re bound by Scripture and what it says regarding sexuality, marriage and family. However well-intentioned, there is no “third way” on the issue for Christians – only God’s, and His way is clear.
Our country was founded on the right to live according to our deeply held religious convictions. Recent events indicate that many in positions of power would like to see these rights eroded, if not obliterated.
In your estimation, how should these pastors in Idaho and Houston respond? And do you agree with me that people of faith don’t forfeit their freedoms of speech and religion when they go into business?
The post Why are These Pastors Being Threatened with Fines of $1,000 Per Day? appeared first on Jim Daly.
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