Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Bible Verse of the Day - Matthew 6:33-34 KJV
- Rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74
- Congregation Beth Israel: healing after terrorism
- March for Life
- And much more
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1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33-34 KJV
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2. Report: Rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74:
I am very sad to have to report that rock legend and actor Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday) has died at 74. His family released this statement:
"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours."
Many obituaries and tributes are already flooding the media, detailing his remarkable six-decade career, from his classic albums like “Bat Out of Hell” (it sold 40 million copies and is still one of the 10 biggest sellers of all time) to his dozens of movie appearances, from “The Rocky Horror Show” to “Fight Club.” But I’d like to say something more personal...
Who would have ever believed that Meat Loaf and Mike Huckabee were friends? An “odd couple,” if ever. I first met him when he was a guest on my Fox show several years ago. For some reason, we hit it off from the start. We were as different as could be, but there was an instant bond.
He had moved to Nashville a little over a year ago, and we connected again since I do my TBN show “Huckabee” there. He had been battling several health issues including severe back problems, and hadn’t performed on stage in six years. I persuaded him to come and be on my show, and he came in late September of 2021 and performed three songs with our house band. As I had done when he was on the Fox show, I played bass with the band.
To say he rocked the house is the understatement of all time! No one owned a stage like Meat Loaf. He was the consummate performer, but he was a truly gifted artist.
I will add that he was a delightful human being who became a cherished friend. I loved him for his candor and his raw honesty. He accepted me for who I am, the straight-laced Christian. I accepted him for who he was: sometimes raucous, often a little vulgar, but always filled with sheer joy and awe at life. He was as Nathaniel was described in the Bible as a “man who has no guile.” It’s what endeared me to him. There was no pretense. No double-mindedness. He loved life and lived it bigger than most ever will. He was also one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around. His sense of humor was matched only by his incredible gift to tell a story.
I’m heartbroken by his death. From my conversations with his manager the past few days, I knew it was probably imminent, but I wanted to believe he’d overcome illness yet again and be back on the stage soon. It wasn’t to be. I will genuinely miss him, but I will cherish times with him and will forever treasure his final television performance on my show where he set fire to the stage with his classic charisma and talent. He was in pain from a number of infirmities, but you won’t see it as you watch him perform. It was almost as if he knew he wanted to leave behind something special. And he did! And one of the things he left behind was my abiding friendship and admiration for this one of a kind talented star!
Here are the links to what I assume was his last TV performance, with Tre Corley and our fantastic band on TBN. I’m grateful that we were able to give him the platform to show that he could still rock the world so magnificently, and to enjoy a chorus of praise from his top name musical peers, who called this one of the greatest rock performances they’d ever seen on TV. I couldn’t agree more…
“Out of the Frying Pan and Into The Fire”: https://youtu.be/jn_U6eQJrgg
“Los Angeloser”: https://youtu.be/FUWFjheqVYc
“Mercury Blues”: https://youtu.be/oTXKvUUpESI
And don’t miss the full interview I did with him, where you’ll see he was nearly as great a storyteller as he was a singer: https://youtu.be/UbJCjmEd6oE
3. Complete mental derangement:
I think we might have discovered a new symptom of COVID-19: complete mental derangement.
4. Congregation Beth Israel: healing after terrorism:
The world was watching a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday, as a rabbi and several members of Congregation Beth Israel were held hostage for almost 12 hours before escaping.
While it took the FBI some time to admit the hostage-taker was motivated by antisemitism, they finally stated the obvious, but Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, known to his congregants in this suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth as “Rabbi Charlie,” learned it firsthand during the harrowing experience.
You know some of the details --- how a Palestinian-born man with apparent mental problems and known to British intelligence was able to fly to JFK International Airport and travel to the Dallas area to try to get a terrorist released from a Fort Worth prison. After being ambushed during the Shabbat service and held at gunpoint inside the synagogue for many hours, the hostages realized the situation was quickly deteriorating, but Rabbi Charlie managed to save them all by finding the right moment to throw a chair at the terrorist and give them a chance to rush outside to safety. An FBI Hostage Rescue Team rushed the building after the hostages had rescued themselves –- I’ll let the irony of that sink in –- and they shot and killed the terrorist.
For the congregation, this week has been a time for healing, and they've been coming together in that spirit. Rabbi Charlie is a beloved local figure, to his own congregation and to those who simply know him as a neighbor and friend. Rabbi Amy Bigman, who was with Rabbi Charlie’s mother during the stand-off, said, “I’ve known Charlie since he was in high school. He is quite simply a mensch.”
That comment was taken from this excellent profile.
“Our rabbi is a wonderful human being,” said Ellen Smith, who grew up at Congregation Beth Israel, of Rabbi Charlie while the hostage stand-off was still going on. He’s praised by his local Jewish community but also is well known in Colleyville for his interfaith work. According to this report, local Muslim leaders spoke out in support of him on Saturday.
In fact, here’s another irony: “Alia Salem, the founder of an advocacy group exposing abuse among Muslim faith leaders and a self-proclaimed ‘vocal supporter’ of the movement to free the woman support by the hostage-taker, said on Twitter that she had been a friend of Cytron-Walker and his wife for 15 years.”
She wrote of the couple that “they are the kindest, gentlest and [most] loving people who have been absolutely rock-solid friends and allies, not only to me but to the entire Muslim community through thick and thin.”
The only unflattering thing said about Rabbi Charlie came from Ellen Smith, before it was known how the standoff would end: “He’s the worst singer in the world. He cannot hold a tune to save his life. I hope that he’ll get a chance to pray off-tune very badly during another Shabbat service.” And, of course, he will, with congregants happy to cover their ears.
Another commentary in this same publication might help us get inside the minds and hearts of those who anticipate attending services in their own synagogues this weekend. It quotes Rabbi Charlie as saying that it’s important for synagogues to continue to be welcoming, even as it was his decision to let a stranger through Congregation Beth Israel’s locked door that led to his being taken hostage.”
So, how welcoming should they be? At this time of uncertainty, Rabbi Paul Kipnes, of a Reform synagogue in suburban Los Angeles, has adopted a new motto for his staff: “WWRCD?” As in, “What would Rabbi Charlie do?”
Apparently, though, Rabbi Charlie is currently looking for a job, having resigned from the Colleyville congregation last fall after being there for over 15 years. He plans to leave in June. He joked lovingly about this at the healing service they held for the congregation and others in the community on Monday night, stressing that the congregation right now is looking for a way to heal. “We’re really trying to figure out what we need to do,” he said Monday. “We’ve got repairs to make to the congregation and we’re making arrangements so that we can have services this weekend.” He hopes congregants will get professional therapy if they feel they need it.
Rabbi Charlie said claims that he forbids congregants to carry firearms inside the building are not true. He does prefer concealed rather than open carry, he said, adding that “I would have hoped that one of the people in that synagogue that morning, one of the members from the synagogue, had had a gun on them to have things ended a little bit earlier.”
He also says that rumors he has called Israel "an apartheid state" are not true. He clarifies that although it’s a complicated situation, he’s “a huge supporter of Israel.”
He’s quoted extensively in this additional piece.
At noon on Thursday, Congregation Beth Israel hosted a webinar featuring FBI Director Christopher Wray and Rabbi Charlie to talk about some of the same issues, as well as how to address antisemitism and the training offered by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). This was a special edition of the ADL’s “Fighting Hate from Home” series. Interestingly, as well-trained as Rabbi Charlie is, he said he saw absolutely nothing to raise eyebrows about this man when he first came to the front door of the synagogue on that cold morning. The man started out very calm and normal, gradually morphing into someone more hateful and belligerent as the time passed.
One senses the same progression of emotion from calm and casual to freak-out during a phone call the terrorist made to his brother to say “goodbye” near the end of the stand-off. He tells his brother he’s been praying two years “for this” and that he is going to die.
We’re working on obtaining a recorded version of the webinar and will provide the link in an update if we do. Rabbi Charlie said the man clearly had chosen a synagogue for his plan because of a misplaced belief that “Jews hold all the power.” The man spoke of this consistently. He thought that if he took Jewish people hostage, that’s what would get “Lady al-Qaeda” released from the nearby prison, because in America, he said, Jews have so much more power and influence than anyone else.
5. Not making this up:
Everything seems to be racist now, but the makers of M&Ms are determined to ensure that they avoid it by signaling inclusiveness and diversity when it comes to animated M&M candies. No, I am not making this up.
Didn’t they ever consider that if there was anything on Earth that provides the perfect example of how, no matter what color we are on the outside, we’re all alike on the inside, it’s M&Ms?
6. March for Life:
Today is the 49th annual March for Life in Washington, held to pray for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the changing of hearts and minds to once again embrace the sanctity of life, and the 62 million babies killed in the womb since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. This year carries extra significance because of hopes that the SCOTUS may use its upcoming ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to finally correct its horrific mistake and return the issue of abortion back to the states and the people’s elected representatives.
Some also see it as a hopeful sign that the SCOTUS refused to put a stay on Texas’ heartbeat abortion law while a challenge is working its way through the courts.
Here are some comments from pro-life supporters about their hopes, beliefs and the importance of this cause.
Here’s some background on Roe, Dobbs and the legal, medical, political and moral issues involved.
Here is some information about this year’s March theme, “Equality Begins in the Womb.”
It’s a good way to remind liberals who defend abortion but like to accuse their opponents of racism that Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist eugenicist and that blacks are only about 13% of the population but account for 33% of all abortions. That’s over 20 million black babies slaughtered in the womb since 1973. Liberals blame this on factors such as unequal access to contraception, which has never been easier or cheaper to obtain, conveniently overlooking the way abortion providers target minority neighborhoods in locating their clinics.
Finally, for more information on the March for Life and how you can get involved, visit their website at
7. I Just Wanted to Say:
Thank you for reading the Morning Edition.