Dear Friends,

At a retreat I attended some years ago, a priest said something that I will never forget. He said that whenever we are feeling spiritually dry and it seems like God is far away from us, or even when we begin to have doubts about our faith, there is one simple action we can take that can ground us again and stabilize our disillusionment. It is to simply remember those precious moments in our lives when God has shown Himself to us very clearly, filling us with unearthly gratitude and peace.

As it happens, I had one of these moments a few weeks ago. While I was reading Scripture before starting work one morning, I was struck by a passage from Luke 18, when a blind man calls out to Jesus to have pity on him, and what happened next: “Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He replied, ‘Lord, please let me see.’ Jesus told him, ‘Have sight; your faith has saved you’” (Luke 18:40-42). After reading those words, tears immediately filled my eyes, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of immense comfort and peace, as if Christ was holding my shoulders, gazing into my eyes, and speaking those words directly to me: “Your faith has saved you.” In that moment, I felt as though I was being given a brand-new understanding of the enormity of the gift of faith that God had given me—“I offered you salvation, and you accepted it. See now how you flourish because of this gift! Don’t ever forget that!”

For me, moments like these happen rarely and inexplicably, seemingly out of nowhere. I am truly grateful to God for them because I know what He is doing: He is giving me a taste of Heaven, a spiritual consolation and confirmation of His existence and His personal, fatherly care for my soul. When I am feeling spiritually listless, all I need to do is recall one of these moments when God broke through the earthly veil of tears and spoke directly to me. When I do this, I am reminded of the Hope that is always there, even amidst the worst crisis of faith I could ever conceivably experience.

As we enter the Advent season, it can be easy to get caught up in earthly preparations and worries, and we may even find ourselves feeling a bit lethargic about the real “reason for the season.” If we do, one way we can stay grounded is to simply remember. Remember the origin story of when we were first given the gift of faith or any of those extraordinary moments when God broke into our lives with supernatural clarity. By doing this, we can remind ourselves about and reflect upon the origin story of salvation, when the Christ-child broke into history and into the soul of every person who has ever or will ever live, calling us all by name to Himself.

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

 

FRC Articles

'Boy Erased' film misrepresents sexual orientation counseling – Peter Sprigg

National Adoption Month Launches with Assault on Faith-based Adoption – Mary Beth Waddell

What Could Have Been, and the Hope of What Is to Come – Cassidy Rich

Times Op-Ed Admits Key Justifications for Gender Transition are False – Peter Sprigg

Let There Be (Christmas) Lights – Alexandra McPhee

In India, Twitter Gets a Taste of the True Danger of Viewpoint Suppression – Alexandra McPhee

Faith-based Adoption Providers Are Answering the Pro-Life Call and Must Be Protected – Madison Ferguson

 

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty in the Public Square

California Professor Fired for Challenging Student's Beliefs About Sexuality is Reinstated – Emily Jones, CBN News

Salvation Army Warns Officers to Stop Posting About Gay Marriage – Todd Starnes.com

Mom Says 6-Year-Old Son Is Transgender. Dad Disagrees. Now He Might Lose His Son. – Amanda Prestigiacomo, The Daily Wire

AG Paxton Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Take Up Religious Liberties Case – Ken Paxton, AG of Texas

SURVEY: Christian & Conservative Students Silenced, Intimidated into Keeping Views Private – Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

EWTN wins lawsuit over HHS contraception mandate – Ed Condon, CNA

DC church asks to intervene in atheists’ lawsuit that seeks to force churches to file tax returns – Alliance Defending Freedom

Public School Bans All Christmas Songs That Mention Jesus – Todd Starnes.com

Senators Urge IRS to Delay Taxes on Churches: 'It's Going to Cost the Non-Profit Community Up to a Billion Dollars' – Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

City Of Pasadena Banned A Pro-Traditional Marriage Speaker, Federal Lawsuit Claims – Alex Parker, RedState

International Religious Freedom

The Lessons of the Asia Bibi Case – Nina Shea, National Review

Report: Half a Billion Christians Facing Global Persecution – Edwin Mora, Breitbart

China Demolishes Crosses, Mandates Surveillance in Churches as Religious Persecution Rises – Josh Shepherd, The Stream

Bishop, priest and more than 40 others killed at Central African Republic church and refugee camp – John Burger, Aleteia

'A Scene From Hell': Christians Talk Being Bloodied, Pelted With Stones, Metal by Muslim Mob in Kenya – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post

Woman describes torture, beatings in Chinese detention camp – Maria Danilova, AP

Christian Bridal Magazine Forced Out of Business for Not Featuring Same-Sex Couples – Virginia Hale, Breitbart

Freed British missionary forgives men who killed his best friend – Alex Williams, Premier

Family Forgives Tribal Members Who Allegedly Killed American ‘Missionary’ – Katherine Rodriguez, Breitbart

Young Girl Orphaned in Uganda After Father Converts to Christianity – International Christian Concern

Iraqi Christians who fled IS return to find properties seized – Eno Adeogun, Premier

 

Life

Abortion

Groups Ask SCOTUS To Hear Case That Could Overturn Roe – Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

Planned Parenthood’s Share of U.S. Abortions Increased in 2015 – Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review

President Trump Names Pro-Life Neurobiology Professor to National Science Board – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Trial over controversial Kentucky abortion law now in judge's hands – Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal

How a ‘scheduling error’ saved a baby with Down syndrome from abortion – Sarah Terzo, Live Action

Kenya: Board orders Marie Stopes to stop offering abortion services – Angela Oketch and Soni Kanake, Daily Nation

Abortionist Defends Killing Babies: “A Fetus Needs Permission to Reside in a Uterus” – Micaiah Bilger, LifeNews

Adoption

Countering the ‘Soft Stigma’ Against Adoption – Elizabeth Kirk, Family Studies

Instant Family Offers a Funny, Yet Honest Portrayal of Foster Care and Adoption – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family Studies

7 ways to support adoption – Ally Wall, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

When Families Un-Adopt a Child – Jenn Morson, The Atlantic

Bioethics

Why Tissue From Abortions Isn’t Needed to Save Other Lives – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

HHS official vows to pursue research ‘alternatives’ to aborted fetal tissue – Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn, Politico

Obamacare

650 Obamacare State Exchange Plans Cover Abortion on Demand in 2019Caffeinated Thoughts

 

Family

Marriage

A Simple Way to De-Escalate Couple Conflicts – The Family Institute at Northwestern University

‘Sex Recession?’ Blame Marriage Stagnation – Charles Fain Lehman, Family Studies

Modern Love. Cohabitation on Rise in U.S.: Demographic Trends – Alex Tanzi, Bloomberg Quint

No, Legislatures Cannot Abolish Marriage – Adam J. Macleod, Public Discourse

Parenting

No Man in Their Corner: Why Every Son Needs a Father – Greg Morse, Desiring God

4 practical ways to raise thankful kids – Chris Gaynor, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Measuring the Long-Term Effects of Early, Extensive Day Care – Jenet Erickson, Family Studies

Economics/Education

Watch out: Schools don’t like the prying eyes of parents in the classroom – Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

The Fruits of College Indoctrination – Walter E. Williams, The Daily Signal

Why Christians shouldn’t abandon universities – Alex Ward, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

How Economic Inequality Drives Family Formation and Dissolution – Andrew Cherlin, Family Studies

Regent University Launches the Center for Christian Thought & Action

Faith/Character/Culture

Where Americans Find Meaning in Life – Pew Research Center

Suicide rate up 33% in less than 20 years, yet funding lags behind other top killers – Anne Godlasky and Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY

The Tragedy of the European Family – Ted Malloch, Intellectual Takeout

Give Thanks for What Others Have That You Don’t – Megan Hill, Christianity Today

The Great American Heartache: Why Romantic Love Collapses on Us – Jonathan Leeman, Desiring God

The Ungrateful Nation – Ben Shapiro, Townhall

Twitter Banned Me For Literally No Reason, But In The End They’ll Lose – Jesse Kelly, The Federalist

Atheism as Bad Religion – Madeleine Kearns, National Review

Dutch court denies businessman's request to legally identify as 20 years younger – Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News

Human Sexuality

When a Gay Activist Comes to Jesus – Andrew T. Walker, The Gospel Coalition

When Young People Aren’t Having Sex, Something’s Wrong – Josh Herring, Public Discourse

The New York Times Reveals Painful Truths about Transgender Lives – Ryan T. Anderson, Public Discourse

#MeToo reminds us that Christian ethics are timeless truths – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

My high school's transgender bathroom policies violate the privacy of the rest of us – Alexis Lightcap, USA TODAY

School has SEVENTEEN children changing gender as teacher says vulnerable pupils are being 'tricked' into believing they are the wrong sex – Sanchez Manning, Daily Mail

Human Trafficking

The Midterm Battle Around Legalized Prostitution Nobody’s Talking About – Haley Halverson, National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Pornography

How Early Porn Exposure Traumatizes Boys And Fuels Toxic Masculinity – Matt Morrissey, Fight the New Drug

New Documentary Shows Individual, Societal Threat of Pornography – Perry West, National Catholic Register