Dear Friends,

In the midst of worrying about the presidential election, the state of our culture, and the daily struggles that arise in our lives, it can be quite difficult to maintain an inner peace. I know it is for me. And yet, Christ’s constant bidding in the Gospels is, “Peace be with you.” I think it’s worth pondering what His true intent is with these words. It seems to me that Christ is not merely wishing that everyone should have more peace in their lives. He is literally giving His peace to us as a gift: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). It is therefore up to us to authentically receive His peace in humble thanksgiving and let it enlighten our lives.

These thoughts come to mind as I reflect on a recent blog post by Dr. Tom Neal, in which he expounds on the idea of “blooming where you’re planted.” In it, he quotes several pithy thoughts on the idea that in order to maintain Christ’s peace in the chaos of life, we must humbly accept whatever comes our way as a gift from God. According to one theologian: “Those who refuse to embrace life’s present joys and trials as coming from the Hand of God, who constantly complain of their present circumstances ... these will never grow in sanctity, but rather will forever remain mired in the stagnation of mediocrity.”

Part of receiving and maintaining Christ’s peace is to not be afraid of suffering—it is inevitably part of all of our lives. Seeing suffering ultimately as a gift and an opportunity to grow in holiness is essential. Here are the reflections of another theologian:

“Christians in the West have largely become repulsed by the tragic elements of life, and in so doing lose the opportunity, in facing tragedy, to experience the divine depths of faith and hope that spring from the corpse of Christ. They never get to know what it means to cling to God in the dark. Running from darkness and tragedy, one loses that most precious gift, that feeling, that thrill that makes us most human: the joy at seeing the first rays of a long awaited dawn after a long, dark night. Instead, we keep our self-made night lights on.”

The road ahead for our country may indeed be a “long, dark night,” especially for believers. But no matter what trials we face, Christ never fails to offer us his peace. This fact alone should reveal to us that we should not burden ourselves with worry about a distasteful present and an ominous future. In the words of Thomas Merton: “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope ... It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency.”

Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.

Sincerely,

Dan Hart
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council

 

Religious Liberty

"Free to Believe"

Christian Radio Banned on School BusToddStarnes.com

Federal judge lifts temporary ban on ritual slaughter of chickens, minutes before start of Yom KippurLouis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times

International Religious Freedom

I Found the Gospel in Communist RomaniaVirginia Prodan, Christianity Today

UN Event Shows How Sexual Agenda Tramples Children’s RightsRebecca Oas, C-Fam

Military Religious Freedom

Air Force officer under fire for saying Jesus Christ has influenced himGregory Tomlin, Christian Examiner

Gen. Boykin: How Does Transgender Integration Help Our Military to Fight and Win Wars?Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews.com

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

4 Cultural Trends Leading to the Decline of Religious LibertyTrevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

LGBT Group Threatens Johns Hopkins Over Report That Science Doesn't Show People Are Born Gay, TransgenderLeonardo Blair, The Christian Post

The All-Out Assault on the First AmendmentHans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

Christian school sues for right to pregame prayerBonnie Pritchett, World

Anti-Religious Freedom Activists Defeated at Procter & Gamble Annual MeetingThe National Center for Public Policy Research

 

Life

Abortion

9 real ways that abortion is just like slavery – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews

100 Abuses of Planned Parenthood – Students for Life of America

Mother pens letter to doctor who told her to abort her baby with Down syndromeNancy Flanders, Live Action

A baby's first heartbeat is just 16 days after conceptionMark Prigg, Daily Mail

Bloody Business: 37 Companies That Fund Planned ParenthoodKatie Yoder, NewsBusters

Appeals Court Upholds California Law Forcing Pregnancy Centers to Promote AbortionsSteven Ertelt and Jay Hobbs, Life News

Adoption

Baby safe havens exist so that every mother has life-affirming optionsAdam Peters, Live Action

Bioethics

Death RightsHans Feichtinger, First Things

Shocking Oregon Assisted Suicide Report Shows Law is Rife With AbuseDiane Coleman, Life News

Court Forces Christian Nursing Home to Allow Killing Patients in Assisted SuicidesMicaiah Bilger, Life News

Euthanizing ChildrenWesley J. Smith, First Things

Dutch government wants to allow euthanasia for those who feel ‘done with life’Jeanne Smits, LifeSiteNews

Obamacare

Obamacare’s millennial problemRachana Pradhan and Paul Demko, Politico

Leading Democrat Governor: “The Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable”AP

Stopping Another Obamacare BailoutSen. Mike Lee, The Daily Signal

Bill Clinton Is Right: Obamacare Is Crazy. Here’s a Sane ReformJohn R. Graham, Independent Institute

 

Family

Economics

Projections Differ, but Social Security Is in Deep Trouble – Lauren Bowman and Romina Boccia, The Daily Signal

A Portrait of the Un-Working American Man – Nicholas Eberstadt, Family Studies

'Let Us Give Our Families the Care We Give Your Families' – Adrienne Green, The Atlantic

Marriage

How divorce kills faith — and all of us sufferNaomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post

Five Steps to Becoming a Better ParentJustin Coulson, Family Studies

It’s The Truth That Keeps You Going, Even When Motherhood HurtsGrace Olmstead, The Federalist

Please Help Me Remember The Children I Have Lost To MiscarriageEmily Carrington, The Federalist

Faith/Character/Culture

The World Is Yearning for Beautiful Orthodoxy – Mark Galli, Christianity Today

A Lament on the Declining Quality of Public DiscourseJohn A. Cuddeback, Crisis

Bloom Where You’re PlantedTom Neal, Word On Fire

Human Sexuality

Having Transgender Parents Will Hurt Kids Like It Hurt MeDenise Shick, The Federalist

Truth and lies in ‘Night Moves,’ a telling anthem of the Sexual RevolutionTom Hoopes, Aleteia

Evangelical Campus Ministry Decides Employees Should Hold Evangelical Beliefs on MarriageEd Stetzer, Christianity Today

Human Trafficking

Researchers Uncover Disturbing Link Between Sex Trafficking and AbortionArdee Coolidge, Care Net

Pornography

The horror stories are real. Don’t give your children a smartphone. – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews

Mayor rallies citizens to ‘create a city free from porn’ – Steve Weatherbe, LifeSiteNews