The Boy Scouts, Game of Thrones, and a Warning from Canada

A news summary on issues that matter.

Boy Scouts’ President Calls for End to Ban on Homosexual Leaders

When the Boy Scouts began allowing openly homosexual members in 2013 we warned the change would inevitably and eventually lead to the acceptance of homosexual leaders.

Sadly, this prediction has come true.

Yesterday, Robert M. Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, officially called for the group to end its ban on homosexual Scout leaders. Speaking at the organization’s national meeting, Mr. Gates said, “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.”  He added, “Any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”

Ironically, it’s the very decision to render its “morally straight” doctrine irrelevant that further erodes the organization’s once golden brand. Worse yet, although not politically correct to say, this decision now puts innocent boys in a heightened position of risk. I realize that most homosexual males are not pedophiles, but can we not face facts and recognize that more young boys will be victimized as a result?

And while Mr. Gates is advocating for churches (which sponsor some 70 percent of Scout units) to “determine the standards for their Scout leaders” in the name of religious freedom, it would seem to be only a matter of time before they’re forced to abandon that position as well.

She Wanted to Die But Her Doctor Helped Convince Her to Live

A few months ago, a doctor friend of mine who had recently lost his wife to cancer guest blogged for me, explaining why he opposes physician-assisted suicide. He shared the importance of doctors affirming the inherent worth of their terminally ill patients. In a related story, The Daily Signal reports on a woman who had chosen to die but who ultimately survived her terminal cancer diagnosis in part because her doctor reminded her of all she had to live for. As we consider this issue, it’s important to remember that legalizing physician-assisted suicide ultimately corrupts the doctor-patient relationship and endangers the weak and vulnerable.

Meet a Real-Life Hero

Focus’ Citizen Magazine recently introduced its readers to Bazzel Baz, a man who combines his strong Christian faith with his training as a former U.S. Marine and long-time CIA officer to save kidnapped children. Sounds like a movie, right? No … it’s better.

Read the incredible article, which is part of Citizen Magazine’s online offerings. You can also subscribe to receive the full magazine delivered right to your home.
 

A Warning from Canada: Same-Sex Marriage Erodes Fundamental Rights

Turns out we don’t have to imagine what the future holds if marriage is redefined in the U.S. We can simply look to our neighbors to the north and see what eventually happens: “freedoms of speech, press, religion, and association have suffered greatly due to government pressure. The debate over same-sex marriage that is taking place in the United States could not legally exist in Canada today. Because of legal restrictions on speech, if you say or write anything considered ‘homophobic’ (including, by definition, anything questioning same-sex marriage), you could face discipline, termination of employment, or prosecution by the government,” writes Canadian Dawn Stefanowicz, who is the daughter of a homosexual father.

She also tells of “hate tribunals,” increased state interference in parenting and education, and a surveillance-society. This is a must-read article for those of us currently praying God will give the U.S. Supreme Court judges wisdom as they decide the definition of marriage in our country.

Should Christians watch “Game of Thrones”?

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” regularly features gratuitous sex scenes, graphic violence and even incest. Yet the most recent episode apparently reached new lows, causing critics to slam the show for a rape scene. Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill tweeted that the scene was “gratuitous” and “disgusting.”

With some in the Christian and conservative communities attempting to justify watching “Game of Thrones,” sometimes-controversial blogger Matt Walsh raises important questions:

“Even without the rape, there are still important questions we should ask ourselves about this show and so many others like it, such as: should sex be turned into a circus for our viewing pleasure? Is there anything redemptive about pornography just because it’s featured on a premium cable series rather than someone’s webcam? If I watch five seasons worth of it, will I come away somehow more enlightened? Is this honing my moral compass? Is this drawing me closer to Truth? Am I proud of myself for watching this?”

The national conversation brings two things to mind:

  1. The entertainment we take in matters. Media influences us, and we can’t pretend it doesn’t. As Christians, we need to be discerning in our entertainment choices. As parents, we have to teach our kids the same.
  2. In our culture, sexual violence against women is routinely portrayed on TV, in films or in our songs – just look at the recent success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” as an example. The fact that this is regarded as “entertainment” says something deeply troubling about a nation’s moral health.

If you have any questions about movies, television or music, I would encourage you to regularly check in with our outstanding team over at PluggedIn.com. They offer timely reviews and commentary that will provide you with the information you need to make informed media-related decisions.
 

Why men should marry

Research continually bears out why marriage is important to society and individuals. Dr. W. Bradford Wilcox writes in The Washington Post why marriage is important to men. Among other benefits:

“Men who get married work harder and more strategically, and earn more money than their single peers from similar backgrounds.” It’s a wake-up call to all the “men who are reluctant to settle down until they make more money.”

Hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful and meaningful Memorial Day weekend.

 

The post The Boy Scouts, Game of Thrones, and a Warning from Canada appeared first on Jim Daly.

Spiffing Up for the Holiday (5/22/15)

Ram, GMC, Chevy truck deals; May U.S. sales outlook; VW needs ‘a bit of time’ to replace Piech; Honda Pilot’s takeoff; Mazda, Subaru get a break in Calif.; new view of Tesla ‘gigafactory.

VW to Shift Ad Agencies? (5/22/15)

Volkswagen Group to shift ad agencies?; U.S. keeping eye on GM; Audi to launch Q8 in 2019, EV in 2018; Airbag recalls at Mazda, Mitsu, Subaru; World’s biggest tire turns 50.

Laser Sensors feature fan-cooled design.

Featuring 65 mm aperture, Models FL1100A-BB-65, FL600A-BB-65, and FL600A-LP1-65 measure laser power from 600 mW to 1,100 W, 600 mW to 600 W, and 1–600 W, respectively. Compact devices operate without water cooling, eliminating necessity of fixed water lines and possibility of contaminated water or corroded sensors. All thermal sensors feature Smart Connector interface that operates with StarLite, Nova II, and Vega smart displays, and Juno PC interface.

Road Map to Cooperation? (5/21/15)

Audi, Benz, BMW finding common ground in quest for maps?; Automakers say U.K. departure from European Union would harm industry; Jeep Renegade update; GM plans big paint shop at Corvette plant.

Loneliness is a Strategy Against Our Souls

There may be no greater irony in our society than this.

Technology we could hardly have dreamed of thirty years ago is now at our fingertips. We can connect with almost anyone anywhere in the world within seconds in a dozen different ways – from the traditional phone call to email to social media to texting.

And, yet, more and more of us admit to feeling lonely.

How is that possible?

Maybe it’s because the “connection” we all believe we have is really an illusion. We have better access to more people than ever before, but a lot of us don’t have true intimacy.

We have “friends” on Facebook. We “follow” people on Twitter and Instagram or see behind closed doors into people’s lives on YouTube. But there are very few people, if any at all, in our vast sea of connections we could call in the middle of the night if we needed help. There are probably fewer still we could be vulnerable with face to face.

Challenges in relational intimacy are nothing new, of course. You can trace that all the way back to Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and that act of disobedience ushered sin into the world, and we are ashamed in each other’s presence.

For all the good technology brings us, it always magnifies whatever is lacking in humanity. Like the first man and woman in the garden, who “sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Genesis 3:7), we wear masks that hide our deepest, truest selves from the world around us. Technology has made those masks more sophisticated, but the same emptiness is still found underneath.

And because we’re able to create an image about ourselves we want everyone else to believe, we can be seen by thousands, even millions, and yet remain essentially unknown. Authentic intimacy is when someone knows us – “warts and all,” as they say – yet loves us anyway and still chooses to weave their life into ours. It’s what breathes life into our souls as much as food does into our bodies.

I’m not anti-technology. Far from it. Like most people, I use it extensively in my day-to-day life. But I’m realizing more and more the disconnect it’s creating in our lives and just how dangerous of a problem that can be.

Loneliness is more than just a bad feeling; it’s a strategy against our souls. Jesus’ parables described Satan’s efforts to pick us off by separating us from community, like a lamb from the flock.

Isolation is where all the lies Satan speaks to our hearts can take root. If he can separate us from our family, our church, or our close friends, then we’re more vulnerable to self-doubt, discouragement, mistrust of others, or to questioning God and His Word. And where those lies exist, sinful behaviors are not far behind.

The truth is God designed us to need one another. That’s why relational connection isn’t a weakness, as we so often interpret it, it’s essential.

Part of the reason we gravitate toward artificial connections is because we’re often not sure how to foster the real thing. That’s where author Erin Davis, our guest in the studio today and tomorrow, comes in. She’ll not only share openly about how difficult it has been for her to break free from some of technology’s chains, she’ll help us understand the challenges and even fear that keeps us all from experiencing genuine intimacy.

I hope you’ll join us for “Finding True Connection in a Disconnected World.” I believe you’ll be encouraged, and our practical ideas will fill you with hope that you too can break free from loneliness. Listen on your local radio station or online via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.

One last thought: Even though we’d love to be one of the “friends” you track on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, we are someone you call in times of trouble. If you ever have a need, give us a chance to be of help. Just call 800-A-FAMILY (800-232-6459).

The post Loneliness is a Strategy Against Our Souls appeared first on Jim Daly.

Wearable Display features On-Cell PCAP touch technology.

Featuring 1.3 in. circular design and 276 x 240 resolution, A-Si TFT LCD is suitable for wearable display applications, such as smart watches, as well as automotive instrumentation such as joysticks or scrolling buttons. LCD utilizes single layer circular On-Cell PCAP touch panel technology for slim design with super fine TFT (SFT1) display mode for wide viewing angles.

The fight over how to power the developing world

Clean energy advocates see a big opening to bring power to the world’s estimated 2 billion people living in “energy poverty” or without electricity. But energy incumbents aren’t likely to willingly give up potential customers.

Did You Hear What Happened Inside a Waffle House?

At only 5 years old, Josiah Duncan is teaching the country what it means to show love and compassion.

It all started when the Alabama boy and his mom, Ava Faulk, encountered a man outside a local Waffle House, news outlets report. Josiah didn’t understand why the man wasn’t clean. It turns out little Josiah had never heard of homelessness.

He had a lot of questions – but most of all, he was troubled that the man looked hungry.

That’s when Josiah decided to do something to help. He asked his mom if they could buy the unidentified man a meal. She said yes.

So into the Waffle House they went, with Josiah handing the man a menu after realizing no one was waiting on him.

After the food arrived, Josiah did one more thing.

“I wanted to say the blessing with him,” he told WSFA. And so Josiah sang, “God our Father, God our Father, we thank you, we thank you, for our many blessings, for our many blessings, Amen, Amen.”

By the time Josiah was finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the restaurant.

News outlets and commentators on social media are right to praise this little boy. After all, Josiah didn’t just empathize with the man he saw outside the Waffle House – he was moved to action.

But I also think Josiah’s mom deserves to be recognized. She took her son’s request seriously and empowered him to act. Despite the fact she’s raising her son in a culture that is becoming more individualized and calloused, Josiah was able to feel – and act out – compassion.

As parents, this story should encourage us to ask some questions: What are we doing to instill compassion in our children? How can we raise our kids to be kindhearted and others-centered?

Here are five suggestions for starters:

1. Model kindness
Kids learn by observing their parents, so it’s important they see their mom and dad live life well. Treating the waitress and cashier with respect, apologizing when you do wrong – children are observing how their parents interact with others.

As much as possible, include your children when serving at church or volunteering in the community. Moms and dads can “connect the dots” for their kids by explaining why they serve and help others.

Most of all, let’s raise our own children with kindness. I’ve previously written about the growing trend of parents yelling at their kids. So often, moms and dads are harried, busy and stressed out – but we can’t expect to raise compassionate kids if we’re not showing them patience and love.

2. Share truth
Kindness doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it’s part of living out biblical principles and following Jesus’ example. That’s why it’s important parents teach their children the truths found in the Bible. (I don’t think  it’s a coincidence Josiah also felt the need to “say a blessing” over the meal.)

Kids need to learn that every person – even the mean or “unloveable” ones – are made in God’s image and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. That’s why teaching kids the Golden Rule and Bible verses such as Ephesians 4:32, which encourages believers to “be kind one to another,” is vital when instilling compassion in our children. Biblical truth should be the foundation – after all, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

3. Turn lessons into action
Josiah’s best intentions wouldn’t have gone far if his mom hadn’t helped him carry out the good deed. Our children need our support and encouragement if they are to make compassion a way of life.

One way to do this is to provide opportunities for our kids to help others. In the Daly home, each year we participate in Operation Christmas Child as a family by packing shoeboxes for children in need.

We also empower our sons when they want to serve others. For example, when Troy wanted to participate in a school-wide fundraiser to benefit the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, my wife, Jean, and I gave him our full support. Along with the other parents at the school, we affirmed, facilitated and encouraged our children’s desire to help.

Focus resources like Clubhouse, Jr., Clubhouse and Odyssey Adventure Club regularly provide children with opportunities to help others through their summer challenges and other special campaigns.

4. Create an environment of discipline and responsibility
We’re all inherently sinful, which is why we as parents need to take proactive steps to instill a desire to help others in our children. Sometimes, that means disciplining our kids when they’re mean to others or act selfishly. Although it can be easy to overlook “little” things like an unwillingness to share a toy or refusing to invite an unpopular classmate to a birthday party, moms and dads can use these situations as opportunities to correct, guide and teach.

Another thing parents can do is to connect the kids’ chores to kindness. When children realize that taking on responsibility is part of family teamwork, they learn that sacrifice is part of service and that it’s loving to help one another.

5. Catch them doing good and praise them
Did your son give his sister the last cookie? Did your daughter stand up for someone who was being bullied? Did your children help their grandma fold laundry? Recognize their good deeds and celebrate them. We all need encouragement – Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds.”

As our culture becomes more hostile to Christianity and biblical morality, one way believers can “let our light shine” is to consistently live out our faith. The early church did this through orthopraxy – the doing of God’s word. They took in discarded babies, they cared for victims of the plague, they elevated the rights of women. In doing so, their cultural witness helped change the course of history.

We can do the same by instilling compassion in our children and by empowering our kids to do the good deeds God puts on their hearts. Just like little Josiah’s faith has touched the nation, our children can do their part to help change their neighborhoods, communities, and world.

Have you had a similar experience with your own children? If so, please share your story. I regularly hear from readers how much they appreciate the wisdom of those who take the time to leave a comment.

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Takata Airbags’ Hidden History (5/20/15)

Hidden history of Takata airbags; Too many new N.A. plants?; Letterman’s top auto moments.