The Rushmore Report – Carrie Underwood’s Tearful Revelation

Last Sunday, music and entertainment icon Carrie Underwood did an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. The winner of multiple Grammys, three-time Female Singer of the Year, and most decorated star in AMA history talked about her faith, her family, and her fears. It was her fears that brought Underwood to tears. She, with her husband Mike Fisher (NHL star), has a three-year-old son named Isaiah. But it was her account of a second child that brought a tearful revelation.

The couple had planned to have a second child in 2017. Although she became pregnant in early 2017, she now says “it didn’t work out.” The 35-year-old star says she felt it just wasn’t God’s timing, and that she would bounce back.

The native of Checotah, Oklahoma got pregnant again that spring. Again, she says, “It didn’t work out.” When she had her third miscarriage early this year – that’s when she broke down.

“It was just kind of like ‘what’s the deal?’ she recalled thinking. “What is all of this?”

Underwood continued, “I had always been afraid to be angry because we’re so blessed. My son Isaiah, he’s the sweetest thing. He’s the best thing in the world and I’m like, if we can never have any other kids, that’s okay because he’s amazing. And I have this amazing life. Really, what can I complain about? I can’t.”

She continued, “I have an incredible husband, incredible friends, an incredible job, an incredible kid. Can I be mad? No. And then I got mad.”

While sobbing one night, she poured her heart out to God, asking him, “Why?”

“Why on earth do I keep getting pregnant if I can’t have a kid? Do something, God! Either shut the door or let me have a kid,” she told God.

Underwood concluded, “For the first time, I feel like I actually told God how I felt and I feel like we’re supposed to do that. It still hurts, but I’m going to keep on trusting God when it hurts and when it doesn’t. If he doesn’t answer my prayers the way I want, I’m still so incredibly blessed.”

About the Author

Sheryl Lynn writes for the Christian Post.

Family Tree

The great American novelist Mark Twain said that he spent a large sum of money to trace his family tree and then spent twice as much trying to keep his ancestry a secret.

He was like the family that reportedly wanted its history written up, so they hired a professional biographer to do it, but they were worried about how the document would handle the family’s black sheep. Uncle George had been executed in the electric chair for murder.

“No problem,” said the biographer. “I’ll say that Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a real shock.”

We can’t do much about our ancestors, but we influence our descendants greatly. I have often commented that I will change the world more by how I pastored my son than by how I pastored three churches over a span of thirty years.

Even if you could change your ancestry, would it matter? Spend your time where you have the most influence, with your family. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit tomorrow. The Bible says your greatest inheritance is your kids.

“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3).

The Rushmore Report – ‘Deeply Religious’ Chelsea Clinton Sees Abortion Ban as ‘Unchristian’

Chelsea Clinton has said that, as a “deeply religious person,” the idea of America going back to a pre-Roe v. Wade society where abortions were banned is “unchristian.” In an interview with Sirius XM’s “Signal Post,” on Thursday, Clinton said every day she makes the “moral choice” to be optimistic for her children when it comes to what she says is the battle for women’s rights.

“That my efforts and my energies, particularly when I’m fortunate enough to be in partnership with fellow travelers, hopefully will make a difference,” the activist and former first daughter said.

“And when I think about all of the statistics that are painful of what women are confronting today in our country, and what even more women confronted pre-Roe and how many women died and how many more women were maimed because of unsafe abortion practices, we just can’t go back to that,” Clinton said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the country.

“Like that’s unconscionable to me, and also, I’m sure that this will unleash another wave of hate in my direction, but as a deeply religious person, it’s also unchristian to me,” she added, referring to her Methodist faith.

Clinton added that she has been receiving “a lot of hate” over the issue, and has been compared to slave-owners and Nazis.

Several conservative figures, including evangelist Franklin Graham, have recently taken objection to Clinton’s continued comments on abortion. Back in August, she spoke at a pro-abortion event “Rise Up for Roe” in New York City against Judge Bret Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the event, she seemed to suggest that the ability to have legal abortions has led to economic growth in the U.S.

Graham wrote on Facebook that such notions are a “lie,” however.

“Hitler probably also claimed that killing the Jews would be good for their economy. Legalizing abortion hasn’t added anything to our country, it has only taken away. It has cost this nation more than 60 million lives — lives precious to God,” Graham said.

“Just think of the contribution these people would have made. There will be another high cost. I believe God will judge America for allowing the heinous murder of our own children in the womb,” he added.

Clinton added in a subsequent statement that what she is saying is not that having an abortion is good for the economy, but that women were more likely to enter the workforce due to the legalization of abortion.

“From 1973–1985, American women’s deaths from abortion declined 5-fold. Reproductive rights are also about women’s economic rights and agency,” Clinton tweeted.

Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit that seeks to advance pro-life women in politics, responded to Clinton’s original comments on the economy and abortion by asking her to consider “the 60 million aborted babies who won’t enter the labor force or pay into Social Security.”

“Their parents won’t purchase diapers, clothing, toys, cars or houses to accommodate them. … Yes, abortion’s had a huge impact on America’s economy and it hasn’t been good. Not only are we hurting economically, we’re missing 60 million blessings from God and the good they would have contributed,” Brad Mattes of the institute said.

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov writes for the Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – The Surprising Way Mark Wahlberg Starts Every Day

Mark Wahlberg was Hollywood’s highest paid actor in 2017, bringing in $68 million. The 47-year-old star has made a name for himself as an actor, producer, businessman, model, rapper, and songwriter.  The husband and father of four is known to keep an insanely intense daily schedule that includes weight training, family time, and a strict diet. Wahlberg’s day begins at 2:30 am; he is in bed by 7:30 pm. But it’s what he does first – from 2:45 to 3:15 am – that is noteworthy.

The first thing Mark Wahlberg does every day is spend 30 minutes in prayer.

The star of the upcoming movie Mile 22, says that prayer has been an essential part of his life for years. He told the Catholic Herald, “Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life.” Then he added, “The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God. Whenever I go outside of my house, the first thing I do is stop at the church. The kids will be mad with me. ‘Daddy! It takes too long!’ Because I do. If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day.”

Wahlberg has also expressed regret over some of the roles he played earlier in his career, especially one in an Oscar-nominated film in which he portrayed a porn star. He told Cardinal Blase Cupich at an event in Chicago, that “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I have made some poor choices in my past.”

When Cupich asked if her regretted any of his movie roles, Wahlberg answered, “Boogie Nights is up there at the top of that list.”

On the subject of his daily routine of prayer, the actor says he does not pray for success. Instead, he prays for three things every day: his wife, his children, and his personal character.

“For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that. I want to serve God and to be a good human being and to make up for the mistakes I have made in my past. I want to make up for the pain that I have put people through. That’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”

In an interview with Men’s Health, Wahlberg was asked about how he accomplishes all that he does. He said, “If you’re doing the right things, then there’s always enough time in the day to get it all done.”

The Rushmore Report – Six TV Shows You Can Watch as a Family

It’s one of the hardest things to do – finding television shows you can watch with your family. But if you love good, wholesome entertainment, the shows can be found. No, there aren’t a lot of faith-based or family-friendly shows these days. But you shouldn’t watch too much television anyway. With the fall season upon us, we are here to help. Below, we suggest six shows that you can watch with your kids – without worrying about foul language or questionable content.

1. Last Man Standing

This may be my all-time favorite comedy. I didn’t discover the Tim Allen show until it had already finished its six-year run on ABC. Following its cancellation two years ago, fans have demanded a reboot. And fortunately, Fox listened. The show features strong conservative themes that are pro-family and pro-America. Mike and Vanessa Baxter and their kids are even seen in church regularly.

2. NCIS

This long-running crime show seems to only be gaining in popularity. The show features a team of special agents who solve crimes and fight terrorism within the context of the U.S. Navy. The show has a strong patriotic emphasis. Unlike most shows, NCIS is void of sexual messages. I know NCIS is a good family show, because I used to watch it every Tuesday night with my mom, until her passing ten years ago.

3. Seal Team

After just one year, this new hit has garnered a strong following. The Navy SEALs train, plan, and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions imaginable. Like so many of the CBS prime time shows, Seal Team promotes a strong message of patriotism.

4. Blue Bloods

Another CBS show, Blue Bloods is my favorite crime show. This is a no-nonsense multi-generational show, featuring Tom Selleck and his family of police officers. Selleck grapples each week with a new moral or ethical issue plaguing his police force, always vigilantly protecting the officers who dutifully serve the city of New York.

5. Duck Dynasty

While the show ended its historic run in 2017, episodes are readily available on A&E network. The show follows the duck call tool-making Robertson family as they run a business, raise a family, and engage assorted good old country redneck fun. Few shows have ever featured family values and a strong Christian faith like the Duck Dynasty family.

6. Fixer Upper

Like Duck Dynasty, this show has completed its run. And like Duck Dynasty, it can be seen in reruns, on HGTV. The show features the magnetic couple of Chip and Joanna Gaines, from Waco, Texas. They fix up houses for buyers, but the show is much more than that. It features a strong Christian message and a family that is fully engaged. More than any show I’ve ever seen, Fixer Upper combines absolute hilarious antics with a passionate pro-family emphasis in every show.

 

Dream House

The song I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a standard around the holidays. The song was written by James Kimball “Kim” Gannon, who was an American songwriter. The famous singer, Bing Crosby, recorded the song in 1943, and it became a huge hit. The song is still popular today.

What many people do not know is that the song is about a soldier in World War II, hoping to come home so that he can be with his family at Christmas. Knowing this, the haunting lyrics become more poignant.

Christmas Eve will find me where the love light beams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.

Home is like a magnet, always drawing us back. Matthew Henry wrote, “If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family worship the most valuable of our family comforts. A church in the house will be a good legacy, nay, it will be a good inheritance, to be left to your children after you.”

I’m planning ahead. This year, I’ll be home for Christmas – if only in my dreams.

The Rushmore Report – Guess What Justin Bieber Was Just Seen Carrying?

Justin Bieber is one of this generation’s most iconic pop stars. The 24-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter became famous with the release of his platinum album, My World, in 2009. He has already earned 20 Teen Choice Awards and a Grammy Award. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records 14 times. Bieber is now engaged to actress Hailey Baldwin. But it is what he was seen carrying on the streets on New York last week that is making news.

Raised in Christianity by his mother, Bieber describes himself as a strong adherent to the faith. He was baptized by Pentecostal pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church in New York on January 9, 2014, after what he described as a “born again experience.” He has given millions of dollars to evangelize the Philippines, as well as to other Christian causes.

Last week, the star was spotted leaving Baldwin’s apartment by photographers. And he was carrying a book by Timothy Keller – The Meaning of Marriage.

Keller’s book, based on his sermons, “draws a profound portrait of marriage from the pages of Scripture that neither idealizes nor rejects the institution but points us back to the relationship between God and man. The result is a vision for marriage that is refreshingly frank and unsentimental, yet hopeful and beautiful,” according to Keller’s website.

Bieber and Baldwin both attend Hillsong. Hailey is the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin.

It is not rare for famous couples to claim to be adherents to Christianity. What is rare is for them to mean it.

I’ll admit it. I may be the only person in America who has never heard one note or syllable of a single Justin Bieber song. But count me as one of his biggest fans.

The Rushmore Report – John Piper Answers: What Is My Reason for Existence?

John Piper, reformed theologian and head of the popular website DesiringGod.com, has offered answers to hundreds of questions about faith, doctrine, and the Christian life. Recently, he was asked one of the most intriguing questions of his ministry. It is the question at the heart of most people: “What is my reason for existence?” His answer will inspire you. In an episode of the podcast, Ask Pastor John, a listener named Tyler asked the “why” question.

“What is the overarching concept for my life, my reason for existence, and relationship with God?” Tyler asked. “I know if I better understood this, I would dive into the details and perform them more effectively and joyfully within the larger contest.”

Piper responded by saying that the purpose for his life was to “live to make Christ look magnificent.”

He said, “Almost everything I’ve done in the last 50 years has been a working out of what it means that God created the universe for his glory. The greatness of being human is to join him in that eternal purpose. Everything else finds its ground and its significance in God’s purpose to create and do all acts of providence and all acts of redemption for his glory.”

Piper encouraged Tyler that if he lives “in view of this great overarching purpose,” he can “be able to dive into the painful and happy particulars in your life.”

To review, the great purpose of life, in Piper’s words, is “to make Christ look magnificent.”

He is right. As Rick Warren says in his introduction to The Purpose-Driven Life, “It’s not about you.” It’s about God. A Christ-centered life is a life full of purpose. It’s that simple.

The Rushmore Report – Florida Atlantic Coach Lane Kiffin’s Remarkable Journey of Faith

Lane Kiffin has been a football coach at some impressive places: the Oakland Raiders, University of Tennessee, USC, and Alabama to name a few. Along the way, the colorful coach has made a lot of friends – and enemies. He has developed a reputation as the coach the other teams’ fans love to hate. But along the way, God never gave up on him. And now, the coach who has resurrected the anemic program at Florida Atlantic University, has found God. This is his story.

After his USC team lost a game to Arizona State, the coach was pulled off the team bus, where he was told he had been fired. He had to find another way home.

“I don’t wish that feeling upon anyone,” he says. “I wanted to die, because at the time, I was defined by my job.”

But God had other plans.

Kiffin says, “Just when I needed God most, he answered in a big way. I don’t know if God is a sports fan or not, but I do know this: he loves a good comeback.”

When he was at Tennessee, team chaplain Roger Woods gave the coach a copy of Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Drive Life. Years later, that book would change his life.

“On the first page were four words that changed everything,” he says. “It’s not about you.”

Kiffin says that brought an old message a fresh meaning to his life. He believes he had “too much success, fame, and money in life too soon.” He was the youngest head coach in NFL history.

Looking back on his dismissal from USC, he says, “What it turned out to be was the beginning of God humbling me to become the man I am today. I was not using the platform he put me on for him. As my pastor once said, God wan’t punishing me; he was just giving me a wake-up call.”

Kiffin plans to use the rest of his career to point others to Christ. Already, he has made a difference in the life of the man he respects most, as his dad has come to Christ, as well.

The coach says, “I don’t like to focus too much on my past, because then it stops becoming your past and starts to become your present. However, my story is a special exception, because it shows people that it’s never too late to discover God, and we can overcome anything in our past. I like to tell people these days, if God can forgive me, he can forgive anyone.”

The Rushmore Report – College Football Icon Talks about His Faith

Clemson’s head football coach, Dabo Swinney was recently interviewed during the press briefing for the upcoming season for the Atlantic Coast Conference, where the Tigers are picked to win another conference championship. The coach of the 2016 national championship team, Swinney was asked about football – and then his faith. Clearly, Swinney cherished the opportunity to talk about his faith, and how Christ has changed his life.

“Man, that’s the easiest question I’ve had all day,” Swinney commented. Enthusiastically, he responded, recounting his childhood, being raised by parents who taught him there was a God, and later, coming to Christ at the age of sixteen: “And that was a game-changer for me,” he said, “That’s really become the foundation of my life.”

Swinney continued, “It’s hard to survive and thrive in this world if you don’t have a spiritual foundation and have something that that you know, [sic] will give you peace, because life is hard. And we’re all going to experience death and failure and setbacks and disappointments and cancer. God has always – in my relationship with Christ – given me hope and peace.”

Swinney also shared his life verse, Jeremiah 29:11, saying that he applied it to his life’s journey. The Coach of the Year said that, even though he is the head coach of Clemson’s football program, this life hasn’t always been this way.

“I’ve always used that as, to me, if there’s really hope in the future, then there’s power in the present to deal with whatever mess you’re dealing with in your life. You know, to step through, to hang in there, to persevere, to continue to believe in something. And that’s what my relationship with Christ did for me. It gave me a hope and a belief – the ability to have a hope and a belief beyond my circumstances.”

Referring to his greatest accomplishment, Swinney said it is his three sons’ professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

Swinney concluded, ‘Trust me, the people that know me know I ain’t perfect, but I do try to live my life in a way that can be pleasing to my Maker, because I know I’m going to meet him one day. And he’s not going to pat me on the back, talking about how many wins I had, how many coach of the year trophies we got, or how much money I made. Rather, he’s gonna hold me accountable to, you know, how I took advantage of the opportunity and the blessings that he gave me, the impact that I had on young people, the type of men that we develop through a game.”