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A blank book of pages

December 27, 2021

The first school in which we enroll, and the most important in shaping our future, is our home. A casual view of modern TV shows might lead us to believe that parents don’t matter. I contend that nothing matters more.

When Benjamin West was a boy, his mother left him in charge of his younger sister, Sally. Benjamin found bottles of colored ink and painted Sally’s portrait. When his mother arrived home, she discovered spilled ink and ruined paper. But before she had the chance to scold Benjamin, she saw the picture. Then she planted an encouraging kiss on his cheek. He would grow up to become of the greatest painters of historic and religious artworks, a teacher of many other famous artists, and a major force in launching Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, for which he served as president. Benjamin West would later say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”

Every child’s life is like a book of blank pages waiting to be written on. Something is written each day. A parent who exposes a child of hours of television, video games, unsupervised time on the Internet, and an occasional trip to church is not likely to raise a child whose value system will mirror that of the parent. The child will probably reflect the value system of the entertainment industry.

While researching for a book I co-wrote on juvenile delinquency (“Kids Who Kill”), I became aware that children need parents who are informed, involved and (yes) invasive in their children’s lives. There is no single fact that will explain why a child as young as eleven would commit mass murder, but one thing seems certain: the likelihood of this taking place decreases drastically when children have a stable home, good role models and parents who are clearly more afraid for their children than afraid of their children.

Too many parents fear angering or alienating their children. They convince themselves that love means avoiding asking their children questions about how their time is spent and who their friends are. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being good parents when they don’t hold their children accountable for their schoolwork and other activities. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be “helicopter parents” who are so overprotective that our children turn into a generation of “snowflakes” who cannot learn through their failures or develop a healthy maturity and independence.

The requirement of parents summed up in Ephesians 6:4 is simple yet profound: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Children should not be driven to exasperation by parents who make demands that are so difficult to achieve that the children are prevented from succeeding. There’s a vast difference between breaking a child’s rebellious will and breaking his or her spirit.

As parents, our goal should be to channel the energy of our children, rather than destroy their creative and curious natures given by God that motivate them to discover their unique purposes. We are further admonished to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” By both example and exhortation, parents are to nourish their children. Most values are caught and then taught. Our children are more likely to imitate what they see us do than what they hear us say.

We live in a world where a meal can be microwaved in seconds, and an Internet message can be transmitted around the world almost instantly (another reason why it would be nice if they were fact-checked before hitting “Send.”) But part of the legacy we must leave is raising children who understand that some things can’t be rushed. Patience is a virtue as well as a pathway to victory. Things of great value take time.

If the thing to which you ascribe the greatest value in your life is your children, then don’t they deserve the greatest amount of time, nurturing and guidance you can possible give?

(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” )

Evening Edition - December 27

December 27, 2021


THE EVENING EDITION By Mike Huckabee

Good evening! My staff and I are still officially "on vacation" until Thursday, but we don't want you to have to go cold turkey. You're getting enough of that from your Thanksgiving leftovers. So I wanted to share with you some quick takes on the headlines, plus some commentaries not tied to a particular breaking story. We'll be back to covering the day's news in more depth in a couple of days.


1. DAILY BIBLE VERSE

This verse was recommended by Merry G.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9 KJV

 

To recommend a verse for the Evening Edition, email [email protected]


THE LATEST NEWS

2. Manchin might have saved swing-state Democrats:

North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer made the same point that I did last week: Sen. Joe Manchin killing Biden's “Bring Back Bankruptcy” bill might have saved swing state Democrats who would have felt pressured to support it if it had come to a vote.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/sen-cramer-joe-manchin-may-have-just-saved-the-democratic-party

Of course, Chuck Schumer is still vowing to bring it to a futile vote anyway, just to force Manchin to go on record as opposing it. To which I say, “Good move, Chuck! Force those votes onto the record!” Let the voters of swing states know where their "moderate" Democrat Senators’ loyalties really lie, no matter what they say when they’re running for reelection.


3. American Medical Association nonsense:

As if doctors don’t have enough to try to learn, and so much government/insurance paperwork that they have almost no time to spend with patients anymore, get a load of the ridiculous strings of anti-American, woke, leftist, PC garbage the AMA now expects them to memorize and parrot:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/493454/

What’s next? Before giving you an antibiotic shot, they have to make a speech about how antibiotics created by profit-seeking capitalist pharmaceutical companies murder oppressed, disadvantaged germs that have a right to invade any organ they please without fear of supremacist white corpuscles? I’d better stop before I give them any more ideas.


4. Once again, Trump is proven right:

He said the removal of statues wouldn’t end with Confederates but would grow into removing other American icons. Now, so-called “progressives” are even forcing the removal of statues of Theodore Roosevelt, one of the fathers of “progressivism!” I suspect the real reason is that they hate his philosophy of not whining. Also, his catchphrase “Bully!” triggers them because it reminds them of what they like to do to people.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/493383/

If they think "Progressivism" pioneer Teddy Roosevelt is politically incorrect, wait until they learn about Woodrow Wilson.

http://todayinclh.com/?event=president-wilson-sees-his-first-movie-likes-birth-of-a-nation

PS - Great tweet on this from Dan Ornelas: “Let me get this straight…They’re removing the statue of the Roosevelt who *didn’t* put American citizens into internment camps??”

Makes sense to me. Today’s “progressives” love the idea of internment camps.


5.  "Disconnection"

How can we all be so connected, and our government be so disconnected?

One of the benefits of living in the 21st century is that thanks to jet travel and the Internet, I constantly talk to Americans from every state and every walk of life. And believe me, they are not shy about sharing their opinions. It gives me a perspective that I wish more of our politicians and media people inside the Beltway Bubble could experience.

If I had to explain their low approval ratings in one word, it would be “disconnection.” I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the people in government and the media were so out of touch with the people they’re supposed to be serving. Do they actually believe that when voters demand “change,” when they really want is massive spending bills, skyrocketing debt, higher taxes, empty store shelves, spiraling crime, vaccine mandates, racism and anti-Americanism taught to their children, more expensive everything and a bigger, bloated nanny state government crushing their rights and freedoms? Trust me, based on what they tell me, they do not.

If you ask most Americans what they want from government, it’s not to have every aspect of their lives “transformed,” including those that worked a lot better before the government “improved” them. They don’t want 2,000-page bills nobody’s read, or bureaucrats telling them how much money they’re allowed to make or criminal prosecutors who refuse to prosecute criminals. The list of what most Americans say they want is pretty short: national defense; secure borders; smooth highways; care for veterans, seniors, children and the disabled who need it; good schools that teach facts; police and firefighters; a fair court system; and oh yeah, it would be nice if the trash were picked up on time. That’s about it.

Yet somehow, the government finds so many ways to meddle in our lives that federal, state and local government spending combined now equals nearly 40 percent of America’s entire gross domestic product. The accumulated national debt alone is now about $6 trillion more than the annual GDP. And in some places, they still don’t pick up the garbage on time!

In poll after poll, Americans say loud and clear: they want less government and less spending. They don’t care what the talking heads or the endlessly-surprised economists or the “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street failures or the socialist socialites in Congress say: they want government out of their lives, out of their wallets and out of their way.

Yet whenever political candidates support that philosophy, their opponents and the media paint them as cold-hearted and uncaring. Compassion has been redefined as the willingness to spend limitless amounts of other people’s money, no matter how many people it harms. And it harms plenty, from the people the money is taken away from directly to the resulting inflation that squeezes everyone from the poorest on up. The media devote almost no time to examining the very real consequences of differing political philosophies and a lot of time to gotcha games, gaffes, and who’s ahead in the horse races.

But the horse is now out of the barn. Americans have experienced firsthand the results of so-called “progressive” policies, and they’re suffering whiplash from how fast they can destroy everything. Government out of control, the debt at record levels with no end in sight, criminals and rioters taking over our cities, empty store shelves, spiraling consumer prices, elections nobody trusts anymore and seemingly no end to the “two weeks to flatten the curve” lockdowns.

From the election of 2016 to our current woes with crime, inflation, shortages and illegal immigration, none of it should’ve been a surprise to anyone. I warned what would happen for a year before the election if the left took over, not because I’m clairvoyant but because, unlike so many people who claim to represent or report on the American people, I have a modicum of common sense, some life experience, education from schools that taught real history and economics, and most importantly, I listen to the American people. And I respect what they have to say.

Now, for my next prediction for the coming year: I predict that in 2022, politicians who try to sell Americans on more leftist policies that we’ve all seen fail spectacularly will have a hard time, for the same reason that a used car salesman has a hard time selling a lemon to the same customer twice. I also predict that politicians who were elected on a promise to change those policies will stay in office only as long as they remember why the American people sent them there in the first place.


6. I Just Wanted To Say:

Thank you for reading.


7. Prayer Tree:

We are stronger together.  Submit your prayer request for HEALTH & HEALING or IN MEMORIAM by visiting my website here.

Our hope is that our newsletter readers and social media followers will consider these prayer requests each day.

HEALTH AND HEALING

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"I am asking for your prayers for healing of my eye. I sustained an injury and had emergency surgery. The eye specialist does not think I will regain sight in my eye. I am standing on the promise of healing!"

"Please pray for my three estranged sons & their families and for their mother."

TO READ MORE PRAYER REQUESTS, GO TO MY WEBSITE HERE.


Let's Go Brandon

December 27, 2021

A man who jokingly ended a televised phone call to President Biden by saying, “Let’s go, Brandon” (and Biden unthinkingly repeated it) has been identified and now says he’s receiving vague death threats. Because it was fine to call the last President “literally Hitler” and hold up a bloody replica of his head on Facebook, but it’s now illegal, immoral and fattening to joke about the current semi-occupant of the office. Almost as illegal as it was for a rodeo clown to wear an Obama mask (remember how jokes about Obama could also cost you your job and more?)

https://www.foxnews.com/health/covid-19-omicron-less-likely-hospital

(NBC News has now declared that mocking phrase a “right-wing slur.” Since they aren’t well acquainted with the concept of real fact-checking, let me assure them that when that chant starts at a football game, it doesn’t mean they’ve found an entire mega-stadium full of right-wing fanatics: https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/493393/)

The man says he’s not even a strong Trump backer or harsh critic of Biden, he just thinks he could be doing a better job and used his freedom of speech to express that in a humorous way. Poor guy must think he’s still living in the United States of America! Maybe if the FBI tracks down the people who threatened him instead of threatening him themselves, they’ll convince me that he is.

In the meantime, do you know who could really be doing a better job? The so-called “news media” outlets that immediately rushed to try to identify him from the moment this happened so that he and his family could be doxed and threatened by leftist lunatics.

There are also quite a few large corporations who could stand a reminder that we don’t live in a monarchy but in the United States of America, where freedom of speech, the right to mock our leaders, and not punishing people for things they had nothing to do with are all sacred principles of our founding.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/nascar-brandon-brown-lets-go-brandon-corporations-marketability-tough

While some parts of the nation and world are panicking over the Omicron variant, and demanding more lockdowns and booster shots, two new studies are raising questions about all the hysteria. A Danish study found that Moderna’s mRNA vaccine actually increases your odds of contracting Omicron after 90 days. And a study of symptoms by researchers from Harvard, Stanford, King's College London and Massachusetts General Hospital found that in most cases, the symptoms are so mild that people who think they just have a cold right now probably really have this variant of COVID.

https://redstate.com/mike_miller/2021/12/26/media-whines-about-new-study-finding-omicron-hard-to-distinguish-from-common-cold-n497286

And the media and political reaction to this news? Panic that we need to change “the messaging” to keep fear alive because people might not be terrified enough of the disease if they think it’s not really that terrifying.

"Disconnection"

December 27, 2021

How can we all be so connected, and our government be so disconnected?

One of the benefits of living in the 21st century is that thanks to jet travel and the Internet, I constantly talk to Americans from every state and every walk of life. And believe me, they are not shy about sharing their opinions. It gives me a perspective that I wish more of our politicians and media people inside the Beltway Bubble could experience.

If I had to explain their low approval ratings in one word, it would be “disconnection.” I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the people in government and the media were so out of touch with the people they’re supposed to be serving. Do they actually believe that when voters demand “change,” when they really want is massive spending bills, skyrocketing debt, higher taxes, empty store shelves, spiraling crime, vaccine mandates, racism and anti-Americanism taught to their children, more expensive everything and a bigger, bloated nanny state government crushing their rights and freedoms? Trust me, based on what they tell me, they do not.

If you ask most Americans what they want from government, it’s not to have every aspect of their lives “transformed,” including those that worked a lot better before the government “improved” them. They don’t want 2,000-page bills nobody’s read, or bureaucrats telling them how much money they’re allowed to make or criminal prosecutors who refuse to prosecute criminals. The list of what most Americans say they want is pretty short: national defense; secure borders; smooth highways; care for veterans, seniors, children and the disabled who need it; good schools that teach facts; police and firefighters; a fair court system; and oh yeah, it would be nice if the trash were picked up on time. That’s about it.

Yet somehow, the government finds so many ways to meddle in our lives that federal, state and local government spending combined now equals nearly 40 percent of America’s entire gross domestic product. The accumulated national debt alone is now about $6 trillion more than the annual GDP. And in some places, they still don’t pick up the garbage on time!

In poll after poll, Americans say loud and clear: they want less government and less spending. They don’t care what the talking heads or the endlessly-surprised economists or the “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street failures or the socialist socialites in Congress say: they want government out of their lives, out of their wallets and out of their way.

Yet whenever political candidates support that philosophy, their opponents and the media paint them as cold-hearted and uncaring. Compassion has been redefined as the willingness to spend limitless amounts of other people’s money, no matter how many people it harms. And it harms plenty, from the people the money is taken away from directly to the resulting inflation that squeezes everyone from the poorest on up. The media devote almost no time to examining the very real consequences of differing political philosophies and a lot of time to gotcha games, gaffes, and who’s ahead in the horse races.

But the horse is now out of the barn. Americans have experienced firsthand the results of so-called “progressive” policies, and they’re suffering whiplash from how fast they can destroy everything. Government out of control, the debt at record levels with no end in sight, criminals and rioters taking over our cities, empty store shelves, spiraling consumer prices, elections nobody trusts anymore and seemingly no end to the “two weeks to flatten the curve” lockdowns.

From the election of 2016 to our current woes with crime, inflation, shortages and illegal immigration, none of it should’ve been a surprise to anyone. I warned what would happen for a year before the election if the left took over, not because I’m clairvoyant but because, unlike so many people who claim to represent or report on the American people, I have a modicum of common sense, some life experience, education from schools that taught real history and economics, and most importantly, I listen to the American people. And I respect what they have to say.

Now, for my next prediction for the coming year: I predict that in 2022, politicians who try to sell Americans on more leftist policies that we’ve all seen fail spectacularly will have a hard time, for the same reason that a used car salesman has a hard time selling a lemon to the same customer twice. I also predict that politicians who were elected on a promise to change those policies will stay in office only as long as they remember why the American people sent them there in the first place.

On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of the One who told us, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” But on holidays like this that emphasize parties and socializing, many people feel lonely or abandoned. This year, even people who normally get invitations may be feeling lonely and isolated. They may not realize how many people really do care about them. Let this story from Linda in North Carolina be a reminder:

"Several years ago, we had a family up the hill who were having a very rough time. They had broken glass in their windows, no heat and no prospects for a nice Christmas.

We got neighbors together and one day when they were gone, the men went up and put in new glass, bought heaters and warmed up their trailer and went to get them a Christmas tree. The ladies and kids made ornaments, went to stores and got donations of toys and clothing, food and electric blankets. We all met at the trailer, cooked, decorated, put up the tree, wrapped packages, and made beds with the new blankets then went to our home to wait for them to return.

A while later, the family came running down the hill in the snow and flew into our house, trying to tell us through tears what someone had done. The mother couldn't believe that so many people cared about them. She didn't realize it, but being able to do that for them made Christmas very special for all of us.”

Thank you, Linda, for that perfect story to remind us that the gifts that give us the most satisfaction aren’t those we get, but the ones we give to others.

Joe from Oklahoma shared a special Christmas memory that sounds like something the dad in “A Christmas Story” might have pulled. Joe still vividly recalled when he was seven, and he and his two siblings rushed downstairs expecting to find stockings and gifts. Instead, they found mayhem. A toppled glass of milk, chairs thrown around, and the tree on its side.

They rushed to wake their parents, who came downstairs with crafty smiles. Joe’s dad was a police officer. He told them Santa had spilled the milk, refused to clean up after himself, and was rude to him. This had sparked a tussle that spilled out into the back yard. Then he pointed out a pile of dirt in the back yard the size of a fresh grave. Joe assured the kids that Santa escaped alive…but he said, “Rudolph will never (relieve himself) on our roof again.”

Well, I must admit, that’s one original way to create a lifelong Christmas memory for your kids! Or maybe just to scar them for life. Either way, it was unforgettable!

Annette from Texas also shared a funny Christmas memory that’s taken on serious meaning over the years.

Around the time she and her twin sister were teenagers in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in the late ‘50s, a tradition started in their small Baptist church to create a living Nativity scene. Members would dress up as all the characters of the Nativity, so that cars could drive by in reverence and awe and see the Christmas story in 3D. It took months of work, part of which was coaching teenagers on how to “be still and know God.”

However, they never could teach the live animals to be still and know God, so it could be pretty nerve-wracking, trying to stand motionless next to a live camel or goat with some less-than-reverent ideas of its own.

Luckily, Annette was given a very special role that didn’t require any animal wrangling, but it had its own unique hazards. She wrote:

“I was the angel on high – 20 feet high to be exact…When the angel climbed rickety, dark stairs at the back of the makeshift manger stall, the act itself took such fortitude and perseverance that the spotlight on her was snuffed every 15 minutes and a new angel would appear as fast as she could safely make that climb.

I prayed for all I was worth: not to fall, not to faint, and not to freeze to death…a few blocks from the Gulf, we never knew if we would have freezing cold or temps so hot at Christmas we could have worn bikinis under our angel attire – IF that would not have been a sin…But I digress. We were told that angels could not move a muscle. Even if the nose itched (or some other place), or if we felt a sneeze coming on, we HAD to remain perfectly still...Being 20 feet off the ground with arms outstretched for 15 minutes and a thin wooden support-cross hidden behind me in my white robe, I couldn't help but know—or pray for—God's presence.”

Annette said she didn’t remember having any epiphanies back then. But time and again over the years, when she needed guidance or to trust that things would work out, or to know that stillness can bring a peace that passes all understanding, she’s thought back to what she learned from her scary job, dangling over the Nativity Scene. As she put it:

“God reveals Himself to us in His son through His Holy Spirit. And I don’t need angel wings or a halo to fly to His presence. Just that hidden cross of support.”

This year, it may be impossible to host a big gathering for distant friends and relatives. But don’t forget to let them know you’re thinking of them, and that “family” doesn’t just mean blood relations, as Mario from Indiana reminded us:

"I grew up in Mexico in an orphanage with 40 brothers and sisters. My mom and dad, as we called them, were missionaries for 28 years. When we celebrated Christmas, we had toys and clothing, but the best gift was that mom cooked breakfast for each child according to what we wanted to eat on Christmas day.

When I asked mom why she did that, she said, "This is my gift for you guys.... Something I can do with my own hands for you." I love my mom and dad for giving us love when our real parents didn't."

Thanks, Mario, for that great reminder that it's important at the holidays also to remember and include the people who are like family to us. Even if you can’t invite them to your home this year, a card or a phone call could mean the world to someone who’s feeling lonely and forgotten.