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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Melissa Johnson

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Georgia grandparents Bobbie and Richard loyally visited their local Chick-Fil-A restaurant twice a week. But the staff started worrying when the elderly Chick-Fil-A regulars mysteriously stopped showing up. So, they did some detective work and got to the bottom of things.

Married 63 years, Bobbie and Richard dined together twice a week at their local Chick-Fil-A. Staff soon regarded the couple as beloved, elderly Chick-Fil-A regulars.

With their established routine, employees remembered their order and made sure to fix their food just the way they liked it. They set the couple’s table with flowers on special occasions. They even started picking up the tab from time to time.

But then, one week, Bobbie and Richard never showed. And as the weeks passed by, still with no sign of the pair, the staff couldn’t help but wonder and worry over the disappearance of their favorite diners. Sensing “something wasn’t right,” they set to work on finding out the truth.

The employees only knew their favorite couple as Mr. Richard and Mrs. Bobbie. They didn’t know their last name. But the staff knew their grandkids worked in the school system, so they started asking around at churches and schools.

After a while, the employees not only got “the scoop,” but they also found out where Richard and Bobbie lived. Sadly, Richard’s health had been very poor and during his recovery, he was too ill to go to Chick-Fil-A.

“Recently my grandaddy's health hasn't been great,” the couple’s granddaughter, Lindsay Naramore McGuffey, explained on Facebook. “He is overcoming a lot, making tons of progress, and is doing much better, but they haven't been to Chick-Fil-A in months.”

And when the employees heard about Mr. Richard’s health struggles, they decided to keep the couple’s dining tradition alive, even if they couldn’t leave the house.

Timing it to match when the elderly Chick-Fil-A regulars usually arrived at the restaurant, some of the staff made a special delivery. They drove all the way out to the couple’s house with their “usual” order, all the way down to their preferred dressings and how many nuts they liked on their salads!

The real-life act of kindness left a huge impression on Mrs. Bobbie and Mr. Richard. In fact, Mrs. Bobbie insisted on taking a photo, which she sent to her granddaughter, Lindsay.

And Lindsay says the picture left her in tears. Mr. Richard is clearly beaming. And Lindsay later reported it was all he talked about all night.

Lindsay was so blown away, she shared the whole story on Facebook. It touched her heart knowing the staff loved her grandparents so much they would go to such lengths “to see their favorite couple and deliver a meal to them in a time of need.”

“To me my grandparents are saints — but to see that other people love them just as much is so special,” she said.

Lindsay’s post received a ton of attention. And people had nothing but kind words about her grandparents and about Chick-Fil-A’s incredible act of kindness for this precious couple. And as Lindsay points out, it’s proof that plenty of good still exists in the world today.

“There are angels on this earth. Keep your eyes open for the good through all the bad in this world,” she wrote.

What a wonderful way to love thy neighbor!

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

President Trump is facing criticism from several outlets following his press conference with Vladimir Putin this week, particularly when Trump said of damaged relations “I hold both countries responsible" (Fox News). This did not go over well (National Review). The media blasted the event (Washington Examiner), with Ben Sasse commenting, “When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs” (The Hill). Later, on with Sean Hannity, Trump went after the Mueller probe again (Fox News). And the Wall Street Journal editorial board is efforting to “navigate between the critics who predict the end of world order and the cheerleaders who see only genius, and try to offer a realistic assessment of the fallout from a troubling week” (WSJ).

Other reactions include: 

A look at why Trump didn’t admit Russian election interference (Washington Examiner); 

A Michael Medved commentary about Jon Huntsman: Without question, @JonHuntsman is a patriotic public servant. Unless @POTUS can walk back current message of trusting #Putin more than US Intelligence, #Huntsman should resign as Ambassador to Russia. The Senate fight over confirming a successor would be clarifying & important (Twitter).



Andrew McCarthy examines the politics of the indictments (National Review). 

And Marco Rubio comments: “Putin made a point of saying, ‘I wanted him to win.’ He clearly understood how that would be perceived in American politics. He knows that at least 50 percent of the country would hear him say that and say, 'We told you so, there was collusion,' and the like. That was not by accident” (Washington Examiner).

For more on this story, see Tom Cotton’s reaction on Twitter,  and GOP responses at Business Insider

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

Photo Courtesy: The Nation/Facebook

When a journalist wrote an article questioning whether Chip and Joanna Gaines truly put their family first, the accusation struck a chord with Chip. But, of course, he isn’t one to hold a grudge. After an apology from the writer, not only did Chip and Joanna Gaines forgive him, but they extended an olive branch, too!

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And Daryl Austin was expressing his in an opinion piece he wrote for USA Today.

Ever since day one, it’s been clear that Chip and Joanna Gaines prioritize faith and family over all else. In fact, the couple’s commitment to good, old-fashioned values is one of the main things fans love about them.

But writer Daryl Austin had his doubts (or at least, he did) about the couple’s ability to balance success and a family.

“There is much to be admired about them,” Daryl wrote, “including their commitments to their faith, marriage, family, and community. There's an important distinction, however, that I think their millions of fans and would-be imitators need to remember: Chip and Joanna Gaines did not get where they are by putting their family first.”

In his controversial article, Daryl suggested Chip and Joanna’s “family first” motto was more of a show than a reality.

"They want to be seen as a couple that can do it all while at the same time making their family their top priority. This is just not possible," he wrote.

And Daryl felt this false image was a disservice to the parents “who really are putting their children first.”

As you might imagine, Daryl’s article went over like a lead balloon. Fans were quick to come to the beloved couple’s defense and “came crashing down” on the writer like an avalanche.

And while Chip and Joanna usually ignore the rumors and criticism cropping up from time to time, this one struck a chord.

Chip was quick to fire back (respectfully, of course) on Twitter.

He wrote, “I dont know daryl, & he clearly doesnt know me. But for the record: If there is ever a need w/ my family (1st), I'll shut this circus down so fast it will make your head spin. BUT jo & I believe, w/ God anything is possible. Including having an amazing family AND career you love.”

But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal.

Whether intentional or not, Daryl’s opinion piece stirred up all kinds of controversy and heated debate. And the journalist ended up writing another piece, admitting he wished he hadn’t written the article criticizing Chip and Joanna’s parenting.

“I regret writing it,” he said. “I didn't write it to be hurtful, out of jealousy, or to cause controversy – all motives I was accused of. I wrote it for one simple reason: because I believed every word I wrote to be true.”

But it wasn’t so much the backlash he’d received that made Daryl reconsider his opinion. He credits a trip to Mexico for the change of heart.

“All around me, I witnessed poverty I've never known,” he wrote. “As we saw a group of young children digging through piles of trash, my 7-year old looked up at me with tears in her eyes and asked: ‘Where are their moms and dads?’ “

The eye-opening scene put things into perspective for Daryl.

“Suddenly the parenting choices of two well-meaning American parents paled in comparison,” he confessed. “I smiled as I realized how lucky any of those kids without parents would feel to have a mother and father like Chip and Joanna Gaines.”

In addition to his follow-up article, Daryl reached out to the Gaines family directly with an apology. And the humble pair responded with their usual grace and tact.

Not only did Chip and Joanna Gaines forgive Daryl. The couple, who just welcomed their fifth child, even made a peace offering!

Apparently, the Gaines’ extended an invitation for Daryl and his family to visit Waco, Texas with a complimentary stay at one of their incredibly popular vacation rental houses. Despite his opinion piece, which Daryl says was meant to start a conversation about what it means to put family first, the writer admits he and his wife are huge Fixer Upper fans.

Still, they turned down Chip and Joanna’s generous offer.

"I turned it down," Daryl said. "I would not be comfortable with them paying for it, but I had told them that we would love to visit Waco someday and we still will, just not on their dime."

Chip and Joanna’s classy response proves they are the real deal. The couple doesn’t just talk about their faith — they live it out, too. And that spoke volumes to Daryl.

"I already respected them a lot, despite some concerns I addressed in that article,” he said. “But now I respect them even more. It takes a lot of humility to ‘turn the other cheek' the way they did towards me."

It takes faith AND deeds (James 2:14-26), and Chip and Joanna demonstrated both!