Posts

Family Tree

The great American novelist Mark Twain said 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 the way I pastored my son than by the way I pastored my three churches.

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.

The Day Dad Took Me Fishing

I was about eight or nine years old. Dad took my brother and me on an overnight camp out. We were fishing late at night. My brother had fallen asleep as my Dad and I kept fishing. I did what boys do. I kept checking my bait to see if the fish had taken my worm. Because it was dark, I had to swing my pole over toward my Dad, who had the flashlight. Each time, Dad looked at my line and said, “Looks like they got your bait again.” Then he put on another worm.

After a couple hours of this, Dad excused himself for a few minutes. While he was away, I reeled in my line and checked the hook myself. No more worm. So I reached over for the carton of worms to put another one on my hook while Dad was away. To my surprise, there were no more worms left in the carton.

I didn’t want Dad to know we had just run out of bait, because I was enjoying the moment so much. So when he returned and encouraged me to check my line, I said, “I think it’s fine, Dad.”

Dad insisted he check my line, so I reeled it in one last time. When I swung the pole toward my Dad, he checked the hook and said, “Yep, the fish took your bait again. I’ll put on another worm.” And then he messed with my hook, and said to cast it out again.

Then the light came on. I had been out of bait of hours. Dad was acting like we still had worms for one reason – he wanted to extend the moment.

Dad wasn’t really there to fish. What he really wanted was time with his two sons – even if one of them was fast asleep.

Last week, my son asked me to name my favorite time with my Dad. And this is the story I told him. Unfortunately, I lost my Dad at a young age. I was 19 when he died at the age of 55. That was 38 years ago. I’ve lived twice as long without Dad as I lived with him.

But I shall never forget that night on a central Texas lake, a half century ago. I had an amazing Dad. And that was an amazing night – one I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Founder of World Wide Web Born 62 Years Ago Today

Tim John Berners-Lee was born in London on June 8, 1955. Not surprisingly, he was born to a family of computer scientists. Tim received a first-class degree in physics at the Queen’s College of Oxford University in 1976 and began designing computer software. After a short stint at CERN, the prestigious particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, Berners-Lee developed a prototype system called Enquire to store information that could be linked between computers, allowing scientists to share their results, techniques, and practices 24 hours a day.

He used the hypertext idea behind Enquire to create the World Wide Web. Having designed and built the first web browser between October 1990 and the summer of 1991, he became an enthusiastic early proponent of the web. Knighted in 2004, Berners-Lee subsequently received two upgrades to this honor. He became president of the Open Date Institute in 2012

Talk about a resume builder. “Inventor of the Web.”

But I can beat that. “Married 35 years.” “Follower of Jesus Christ.” “Father of amazing son.”

What’s on your resume?

The Rushmore Report: Seven Ways to Prioritize Your Family

As I took time to reflect on 2016, the phrase “embrace the moment” moved from a common cliche to a heartfelt reality. I lost my dad. As I continue to grieve, I reflect on what my dad taught me. Family was his priority. That’s why, in 2017, I thought it would be good to spell out seven ways we can “embrace the moment” – ways to embrace our families like never before.

1. Set weekly date nights with your spouse.

Prioritizing our family begins by prioritizing our marriage. Relationally, the environment of our home ebbs and flows on how well we feel supported, appreciated, and loved by our spouse. We also know how hard it can be to be creative and come up with date night ideas. But we must do it – at all costs.

2. Play with your kids.

Don’t allow those three powerful words – “play with me” – coming from your kids, go unnoticed this year. No matter how old our kids are, play is their work. Research shows that 20 minutes of command-free time a day with our kids wires their brains for healthy relationships.

3. Plan a family vacation – just immediate family.

Granted, with little ones, vacations aren’t really “vacations.” They’re trips. But nothing rejuvenates and sets the tone for your immediate family more than time away together.

4. Go on an annual abandon with your spouse – no kids allowed.

Need a vacation instead of a trip? We all do. That’s only one of the benefits of taking a long weekend away with the love of your life.

5. Create a values list for your family.

The Bible is very clear about the Lord building our house (Psalm 127:1). Set a values list that you can use to filter your family decisions. This list will help you connect values to discipline with your kids.

6. Unplug.

Anything you cannot fast from owns you. Researchers show that our screens increase dopamine in the brain the way drugs do. Don’t allow screens to own your family. You can begin by setting an e-nup, an electronic nuptial agreement, in your marriage.

7. Tuck your kids in bed each night.

Moses had it right. There are four key times of the day we can use to teach our kids about God. Tucking our kids in bed is one of them. There is no better time of the day to connect with your kids at a heart level than in the vulnerability of this one moment. Whether or not you choose to pray with them, ask them questions about their day, or tell stories, let’s not just send our kids to their room. Use it as a quiet moment to connect at a heart level. Not every night will be a home run. But those few minutes have the power to transform not just your child – but you as well.

About the Author

Joshua Straub has two cherished roles – husband and dad. Joshua serves as the Marriage and Family Strategist for LifeWay Christian Resources.

The Rushmore Report: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About the Brady Bunch

Here’s the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls. That lovely lady, Florence Henderson, or Carol Brady to my generation, died last week at the age of 82. That makes this a good time to reflect on the iconic show – and ten things you didn’t know about The Brady Bunch.

1. Florence Henderson wasn’t the first choice for Carol Brady.

Comedic actress Joyce Bulifant (Murray’s wife on The Mary Tyler Moore Show) was the first choice of producer Sherwood Schwartz. He envisioned a wacky mom-type, which fit Bulifant perfectly. But when Ann B. Davis agreed to play “Alice,” the wacky role was filled. A more serious person was needed to play Carol Brady, and Henderson was given the role at the last minute.

2. Henderson missed the first six episodes.

Sure, you see her now. But when they decided to give the role to Henderson, she was filming another project out of the country. They had to add in her parts after the other scenes of the first six shows had already been filmed.

3. Schwartz wanted Gene Hackman to play Mike Brady.

Paramount wouldn’t agree to a Hackman interview, because he was not seen as a popular enough actor for the job. Robert Reed was already under contract with Paramount, so it was less expensive to give him the role.

4. Eve Plumb should never have been on the show.

I’ll admit it. I was in love with Jan Brady. Sure, I was 13 and it was puppy love, but it was real to this puppy! But Eve Plumb only landed the role because of a bizarre set of events. In short, she got the role because she resembled Bulifant, assumed to be Carol Brady on the show. Had they hired Henderson first, Plumb would have never been on the show, and my first crush would have been put on hold.

5. Carol Brady was supposed to be a divorcee.

While Mike Brady was depicted as a widower, Carol’s pre-Brady marital status was a bit of a mystery. Sherwood Schwartz has said in several interviews that his intention was for Carol to have been a divorcee. (Her maiden name was “Tyler” and her married name was “Martin,” as revealed in the pilot episode.) But a divorce was still considered to be taboo for prime time television, especially for a family-friendly show, so the fate of Mr. Martin was always left a mystery.

6. The show was never a big hit.

The show never cracked Nielsen’s top 30 shows. But it did well enough to run for five seasons, which gave Paramount enough episodes to sell as a package for sydication. The show has been far more popular in reruns than it was in the 1970s.

7. Tiger met a tragic ending.

One evening after filming, Tiger’s trainer let the pooch out for daily exercise. But a careless driver didn’t see the dog. Tiger was hit and killed. A replacement dog was found at a local pound, but he was never the actor that Tiger #1 had become.

8. Marcia really took a football to the nose.

Christopher Knight was never able to hit his target when filming the crucial football-tossing scene in “The Subject Was Noses” (a.k.a. the “Oh, my nose!” episode). So Schwartz stepped in off-screen, threw a perfect spiral, and pegged Maureen’s nose with the pigskin in one take.

9. Six kids shared one bathroom with no toilet.

Toilets couldn’t be seen on television back then. So they didn’t have one.

10. Marcia and Greg shared romance.

In his book, Growing Up Brady, Barry Williams wrote that he and Maureen McCormick shared their first kiss while in Hawaii filming a three-episode story during the fourth season. A brief romance ensued.

From September 26, 1969 until March 8, 1974, ABC brought The Brady Bunch into our homes. No one was a bigger part of the show than Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson. We will miss America’s favorite mom.

And that’s the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls.

The Rushmore Report: Three Reasons Clinton Is a Pro-Abortionist Extremist

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton positions herself as a moderate on abortion. Yet, she now holds the most extreme positions on abortion of any presidential candidate in history. It’s not even close. Three examples follow, and each of them should scare off any voter who claims to value life.

1. She wants taxpayers to pay for abortions.

Clinton supports government funding for abortion. On June 10, she delivered a speech at a Planned Parenthood event in which she called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, a policy that prevents taxpayer funding for abortion.

“Let’s repeal laws like the Hyde Amendment that make it nearly impossible – for low-income women, disproportionately women of color, to exercise their full reproductive rights,” she said.

The Democratic National Committee added this goal to its platform after Clinton became the nominee.

Amazingly, Clinton wants well-intentioned Christians who value life and have genuine opposition of the taking of innocent life, to use their own money to pay for the taking of life. No Democratic candidate has ever taken this position – ever.

An August YouGov poll found that 55 percent of Americans support the Hyde Amendment. This includes a large number of Democrats, who are about evenly divided. Forty-one percent of Democrats support the ban on abortion funding while 44 percent oppose it.

2. She supports abortion until birth.

Clinton supports abortion right up until the very moment of birth. Of course, she doesn’t say it that way, because it sounds awful when you say a baby can be legally killed right before she’s born. Instead, Clinton uses some shifty Clintonian lingo.

She has said she supports restrictions only in the third trimester and only if there are exceptions for the “life and health of the mother.” (In one interview she said there should only be restrictions at the “very end of the third trimester.”) But as Clinton understands, and most voters don’t, the “health exception” is just a huge loophole that allows for abortion for any reason.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade, that the health exception can be whatever the abortionist decides it is.

In an April appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Clinton was asked if she supports legal abortion “just hours before delivery,” and she agreed. That same week, on “Meet the Press,” she was asked, “When or if does an unborn child have constitutional rights?” She answered, “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.”

A July 16 Marist poll found that only 13 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal “through the entire pregnancy.” Similarly, a 2012 Gallup poll found that only 14 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal “in the last three months of pregnancy,” and a July 2014 HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 59 percent of Americans support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, which is during the second trimester.

3. Clinton thinks abortion should be common, not rare.

Clinton no longer argues that abortion should be rare. During his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton said that abortion “should be safe, legal, and rare.” It was controversial at the time within the pro-choice community,  because saying that abortion should  be “rare” implies that there is something wrong with getting an abortion. But the phrase helped establish Bill Clinton’s public image as a moderate on abortion.

Hillary Clinton also used the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” to describe her abortion position when she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and when she ran for president in 2008. During her current run for president, however, she dropped “rare” from her vocabulary on abortion.

In July 2013, after undercover videos showed how Planned Parenthood benefits from selling aborted body parts, Clinton initially called the images “disturbing.” She changed her tune quickly, however.

Six days after those remarks, Clinton’s campaign released a video, “Support and Stand with Planned Parenthood,” expressing her support for the abortion provider. She accused Republicans of launching a “full-on assault on women’s health” and claimed that Planned Parenthood provides “life-saving preventive care.”

In the pro-Planned Parenthood video, she talked about “safe and legal” abortion. No “rare.”

In a February interview on ABC’s “This Week,” she even claimed that her “record for many years about where I stand on abortion” was that it “should  be safe and legal.”

What about rare? That was her position, also.

“I have the same position that I’ve had for a very long time,” Clinton added.

Some Clinton supporters think she’s a moderate on abortion. There’s a reason for that. They haven’t been paying attention to anything she actually says.

If you can support the taking of the unborn life, right up to the point of birth (she also supports partial-birth abortion), with a clear conscience, by all means, vote for Hillary Clinton.

But if you value life – you might want to think again.

About the Author

Napp Nazworth is a political analyst and writer for the Christian Post. Based in Washington, D.C., Nazworth focuses on issues that affect modern culture, from a Christian worldview.

 

The Rushmore Report: How to Raise Christian Children

Solomon wrote, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). James Dobson observes, “By the time your child turns ten, you will have spent half the time with them that you ever will.” We all want great kids. But how does this happen? Biblical principles offer ten keys to raising Christian children.

1. Be a good example.

The old statement, “Do as I say and not as I do” is wrong, it doesn’t work, and it isn’t biblical. Jesus trained his children by example. You cannot lead anyone – especially your children – somewhere you have never been.

2. Teach them the fruit of the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Kids who exemplify the fruit of the Spirit will do well.

3. Attend church with them.

Don’t send them to church; take them. Teach them how important it is to be in the house of God, to worship and to fellowship with other believers. Jesus died for the church – the least you can do is take your kids there once a week.

4. Pray together.

Pray in front of your children and pray with your children. Teach them the model prayer early on. This acronym for prayer works well – A.C.T.S. This stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.

5. Read the Bible together.

Ask your kids for their opinion after you read a passage out of the Bible and focus on application. Teach them the principles of God’s word and watch them grow in their faith.

6. Teach them how to be saved.

My greatest joy in life was praying with my son when he came to Christ at the age of six. It is not your pastor’s job to lead your kids to Christ; it is your job, mom and dad. Start early. Share the basic Bible verses that show the way of salvation.

7. Teach them about spiritual authority.

Help your kids memorize parts of Ephesians, about the full armor of God. Teach them James 4:7 – “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” In order to get over what should be under them, your children must get under what should be over them – God.

8. Teach them to obey God.

This is old-fashioned. But it works. The Bible says the first commandment with promise is to obey our parents. It is impossible for your children to live the abundant life apart from living for God.

9. Teach them a positive outlook.

Philippians 2:14-15 teaches us to do all things without complaining and disputing, in order to become blameless and harmless children of God. A negative outlook creates negative people.

10. Teach them righteousness.

Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” James tells us that God honors the prayers of the righteous. Teach your children that true righteousness comes only from a daily walk with Jesus Christ as Lord.

The Rushmore Report: Ben Affleck Goes to Church

Ben Affleck stepped in for his estranged wife Jennifer Garner’s duty of taking their three children to church on Sundays. Garner could not take the children to the church this time because she is attending the world premier of her drama “Wakefield” at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. This was not the first time the famous actor was spotted in church.

Affleck was in casuals and sported stubble as he looked after the children, according to Daily Mail, that posted pictures of the actor’s outing. The 44-year-old – who was in the U.K. shooting for “Justice League” – wore a black leather bomber jacket over an olive green T-shirt. He teamed up with blue trousers and beige sneakers.

According to Daily Mail, Affleck returned to Los Angeles on Friday night. His former spouse, Garner, recently faced rumors about her fourth pregnancy and being spotted in loose-fitting clothes. However, neither of the two addressed the rumors.

Garner and Affleck announced their separation last June, ending 10 years of marriage. Since then, the two have been seen together on several occasions, leading to speculation that they are working to resolve their differences and getting back together. The two were also reported to have held off their divorce as they have not yet filed their divorce papers. However, those reports went unsubstantiated.

As for church, Jennifer Garner takes the kids every Sunday she is in town. She was raised in church from her days as a young child. Affleck, on the other hand, has not traditionally been a “church” man. Raised an Episcopalian, he now embraces “Western cultural spirituality.” Their children have been baptized into the Methodist church, which matches Garner’s religious heritage. Though she is clearly the spiritual leader in the family, Affleck has slowly come to embrace the importance of their children having a foundation of faith.

About the Author

Vishakha Sonawane is a reporter for the International Business Times. Based in Bangalore, India, she has done freelance writing for mainstream newspapers throughout Europe and Asia.

Game Shows

One of the ways Beth and I spend the “dog days of summer” is by watching game shows. ABC has produced a series of shows based on old programs from bygone years, such as “To Tell the Truth,” “The $100,000 Pyramid,” and “Match Game.” Two of my favorites as a child were the original “Newlywed Game” and “The Dating Game.” If you remember “The $64,000 Question,” you are older than color television. I love game shows because I like to watch other people make fools of themselves, just for a change of pace.

My favorite viewing ever was an old episode of “Family Feud.” The question was, “In which month do most pregnant women begin to show?”

The first answer was “September.”

On “The Weakest Link,” host Anne Robinson asked, “In which H. G. Wells novel does an inventor travel in a machine of his own making?” Answer: “The Simpsons.”

On another episode, Robinson asked, “Who wrote ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?'” The answer: “Dr. Seuss.”

Then there was another “Family Feud,” hosted by Richard Dawson. He said, “Name a famous ‘Willie.'” The contestant replied, “Willie the Pooh.”

I’ll never go on a game show, as I ascribe to the old adage, “Better to keep your mouth shut and let others think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Let others do the talking. You do the listening. Especially when God is speaking. The world will be better for everyone.

The Bible says, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:47). So let’s talk less, listen more, and keep watching others embarrass themselves in front of 50 million people on TV.

The Rushmore Report: Steve Harvey Mocks Pastor on Air

People give a lot of surprising answers on Family Feud, but when Patterson family members were asked to name something they would consider selling if the price was right, their answer was pretty shocking. Host Steve Harvey asked Cecilia, who was the designated spokesperson for the Patterson family, for her answer and she came up with “sell your soul.” That answer would be mildly concerning if it were any other family, but one of the Pattersons is a pastor! Of course, Harvey didn’t let that little fact slide as he chided the pastor for letting his family give such a blasphemous answer.

After calming down after his religious rant, Harvey inquired just how much Cecilia would be willing to sell her soul for, and she gave another surprising answer. Apparently, Cecilia is willing to part with it for a cool $100 million. As one would imagine, “your soul” was not up on the board, and the Patterson family was just left with a hilarious story to tell at their church this Sunday.

About the Author

Nick Paschal is a host, producer, and writer for Hearst Digital Studios web content, which airs across Hearst’s TV and Newspaper properties. Paschal is a frequent blogger and communicator in the Los Angeles area.