Fusion Magazine: The 40 Day and 40 Night Challenge

Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.


- Thomas Jefferson

We are blessed to be Americans. Even in the worst of economic times, we live in an atmosphere of abundance and prosperity, and it’s easy to turn away from basic tenets of humanity: things like faith, family and charity. But turning away from these things has left our country fractured. People are angry, isolated and frustrated. Every day we move farther away from the principles that guided our Founding Fathers when they formed our Constitution.

So Glenn issued a challenge to his audience: (1) Pray on your knees every night; (2) Get the lies out of your life; and (3) Practice an act of charity every day. Do this for 40 days and 40 nights, and see where the gratitude takes you.

It may not seem like undertaking such a personal mission could make a difference, but the Challenge has had a powerful effect. Men, women and children across the nation are enhancing their lives and the lives of others by turning back to faith and handing their troubles to God. When you hear their stories and see the ripple effect taking place in their families, communities and America, it may inspire you to do the same, and it also may give you hope that we can turn the country back around to what it was intended to be.

We have been endowed certain inalienable rights by our Creator—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No political ideology owns those rights, and only God can bestow those blessings upon us. Our healing begins with each of us, individually. From there, compassion will take root and spread. What would our country look like if we allowed Faith, Hope and Charity to come back to America?

Let’s find out.

Here, in their own words, four Americans tell the story of how the 40 Day/40 Night Challenge changed their life.

 

Alexis in Alaska


“I choose every day to do some act of service."

I’m grateful that I’ve taken the Challenge. I’ve always carried a prayer in my heart, but it’s so much more to kneel before your Maker and give thanks for the blessings He has given you. This has been a wonderful habit. It’s been an amazing experience and so much peace has come into my life. It’s been humbling to feel God’s love in a different manner.

I’ve made it a priority to be a better person, to be more of an advocate, to have more of a voice. I’m a firm believer in bringing the country back to the principles of our Founding Fathers. It’s my prayer that we make our own changes to bring glory and honor back to this wonderful country and make our forefathers proud.

I need to be more proactive in my life as far as being a voice for what I know to be right. When that part of it came to me, as part of being truthful, it stung me really deeply. The Challenge has taught me to watch what I say and do before acting. I think often in life we react before we think.

I am more aware and more self-conscious when I make a comment. Is this the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Am I perfect? Absolutely not– but I’m striving hard to live with truth and honesty in all that I do and say.

The charity part of the Challenge has been the easiest of them all. By nature I’m a very charitable person. I’ve always been able to give with no thought of return. My parents taught me that, and I’m so thankful they did. My life is so full when I’m able to see others reach their dreams or goals, or if I’m able to give back in some form. I work a lot with military programs to help veterans and their families.

But what charity has taught me now is to serve my family, to whom I am not close. I love them all so much and this experience is giving me another chance to reach out in love. I’m starting to build a relationship with them that I’ve never had. I can see their hearts changing and that humbles me.

You can see the character of a man by the way he treats those around him. I choose every day to do some act of service. At any given moment, I might be in the same situation and I would hope someone would reciprocate and help me out.

I feel I need to take responsibility for my life and my life choices, and lead by example. I just think, ‘if I can seed the idea like that for someone else…’ Overall, this has just been an incredible experience.

 

Karen in Kentucky


"I feel at peace; God is in control."

I saw a need for us to be praying as a family together. The Challenge seemed like ‘Aha, this is what we should have been doing all along.’ In a subtle way it’s been a life-changing thing for us. It helped switch on that light bulb. We kept doing it and felt such a positive energy in our interaction as a family and in the peace that we felt.

My husband has been in the military for 23 years. The nature of his job has him gone most of the time, but he joins us in prayer when he is home. The stress level is better in our home. After the 2008 election, I felt discouraged. It was difficult to know what to do with those feelings. I was angry, frustrated, and constantly venting at my husband. The prayers changed the atmosphere. Instead of feeling angry, I feel at peace. God is in control. I can give it all over to Him. I can give over that helplessness, and it’s empowering.

My kids eagerly embraced the acts of kindness. They have soft hearts. My youngest put a pillow down where I was about to kneel, so I wouldn’t hurt my knees! My middle child shared his favorite video game with his youngest brother. My oldest volunteered to help his sister watch her two kids so she could get some chores done. My 2-year-old granddaughter loves “knee time" and always begins praying first! I love watching this fruit blossom in our family. It’s something we won’t just do for 40 days or nights, but continue indefinitely!

I’m impressed with the way my kids will start catching themselves now. The youngest has fallen into a pattern of telling a little white lie to slide around things. But now, he will say something and pause and then say ‘Sorry Mom, that wasn’t the truth.’ The Challenge is making an impact. They are doing nice things for each other. We always ask ourselves, what nice thing have you done for somebody today?

Praying for our leaders and our nation is a good way for all of us to submit our frustrations to God. My children understand now that we are to pray for our leaders, even though we may disagree with them. We are to pray for our enemies, even though they want to destroy us, but we must not be cowardly in making a stand for what is right. I think for too long people in our nation confused praying for our enemies as weakness and it never became action.

We need to have respect for each other, for our points of view and come together. With just that one goal in mind, to maintain the freedoms on which this country was founded, that alone is powerful enough to sit down and come together and fight for that freedom, just from that starting point.

The Challenge has inspired us. It has motivated us to put our money where our mouth is.

  

Linda in Maryland


“Kindness is an Underestimated Strength."

I knew I had to take this challenge. I really took it to heart. I didn’t just want to do what the directions said–I wanted to feel it, I wanted to live it. I’m a very independent type of person, and to have to humble myself took everything I had.

Now, I am closer to God than I’ve ever been in my entire life. There is a large crucifix upstairs that was on my grandfather’s coffin. I would go up there to pray and it took me weeks to be able to look up at that crucifix and not feel awkward, like I was a failure. But looking up was like I was looking God in the eye, making it real. I had to come to terms with indiscretions in my own life so I could feel healed, so I could move on from it.

At first I almost felt awkward. I know that sounds silly. I felt embarrassed that I had forgotten how to talk to God. But each day got a little easier and I added to my daily prayer this: “Dear God, please let your will, not mine, be done; and please grant me the courage and grace to do your will with no doubt and no fear."

Saying this prayer out loud in front of everybody has strengthened my faith in the Trinity. It didn’t strengthen my religion, just my faith, if that makes any sense. I know why I believe what I believe, and it’s lessened my fear.

What I decided is that if I can through my actions demonstrate the humility and graciousness that my faith teaches me then hopefully people will see that and accept that as what it really is... kindness.

All of this has opened my heart. I’m not silent, or afraid. I speak without fear and I let my actions and my deeds demonstrate who I am, as a mother, a wife, a Christian and an American–with great pride and humility!

We have to live in the truth. It makes you vulnerable, but it also frees you from the shackles of worldly foolishness. Are you worried what somebody should think of you? Are you kidding me? What really matters is what God thinks. You can’t hide from God.

 

Tim in Virginia


“My calling is to help other people now."

A lot has changed in my life. I’ve had a year of sobriety now. I’ve never been a religious person, but I figured I’d better be open-minded about this. I had to accept there was a higher power in my recovery because it worked for everybody else in the program so I couldn’t question it. I said fine, okay, but I didn’t pray.

When I saw the 40 Day Challenge, I thought wow, this is another way I can really have some structure in my life and better myself. I started to pray on my knees and I thought a good way I could do that is to stick my shoes under my bed so when I get up in the morning I have to lean down under my bed to get my shoes. It makes you do it. You get in the habit. I don’t even know how many days it’s been. I know it’s been more than 40 but I don’t want to stop. I think if it works for you, then why stop doing it?

I really like the idea of praying on your knees because the act of praying actually works. It does something. I don’t know what it is; all I know is that it’s working.

A year ago, my marriage was almost completely over. I was all about myself. I was completely isolated. I was thinking I could only give things to others if I knew what was in it for me. Once I stopped trying to be inside my own head, it was easier for me to live. I have a desire to help other people. I never really did before, but I can’t get enough of it now.

I became unemployed 20 months ago shortly after having open heart surgery for a connective tissue disorder. Some time after that things just came to a head. But I started doing the small things. I got up and took action. And son of a gun, all these things are happening within just a few weeks’ time. I’m a volunteer at the local rescue squad and have started EMT training classes. I just got my commercial driver’s license and am going to drive a school bus. You can’t just think your way into success; you have to take action.

My way of giving charity is to really help and support people. I’ve noticed since this program I’ve been very conscious of that. I find that when I help other people and I know that my motives have been checked at the door–and it’s not about me–then I know that giving something to someone else, I’m going to get it back one way or another because it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

One thing I learned a lot in the Challenge is that being honest is not too hard. It’s not being honest that is so hard, because when you tell the truth you don’t have to remember the truth; but you have to dig your way out if you have to keep remembering what lie you told.

I know that I’ve saved my marriage, and I haven’t lost my children. I’ve been able to sit down with them and make things right. Without God, I wouldn’t have all these blessings. It’s grace, that’s all it is. He is working through me. And I can see Him working through other people.


 



<< Return to the November 2010 Index

It's not as easy as it used to be for billion-dollar entertainment empires like The Walt Disney Company. It would be more streamlined for Disney to produce its major motion pictures in its own backyard. After all, abortion in California is readily available, as well as a protected, cherished right. And since abortion access is critical for movie production, right up there with lighting equipment and craft services, you would think California would be the common-sense choice for location shooting. Alas, even billion-dollar studios must pinch pennies these days. So, in recent years, Disney, among other major Hollywood studios, has been farming out production to backwater Southern lands like Georgia, and even Louisiana. Those states offer more generous tax breaks than Disney's native California. As a result, Georgia for example, played host to much of the shooting for the recent worldwide box office smash Avengers: Endgame.

But now it looks like it's Georgia's endgame. The state recently passed what is known as a "heartbeat" bill – a vicious, anti-woman law that would try to make pregnant women allow their babies to be born and actually live. It's a bridge too far for a major studio like Disney, which was largely built on creating family entertainment. How can Disney possibly go about making quality movies, often aimed at children, without access to unfettered abortion? It's unconscionable. Lack of abortion access makes it nearly impossible to shoot movies. So, what's a major studio to do? Disney might have considered migrating its business to Louisiana, but that state too has now signed a heartbeat bill into law. It's utter madness.

These monstrous anti-abortion bills, coupled with having to live under President Trump, has led Disney to seek a new home for its legendary movie magic. Last week, Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, announced that all future Disney movies will now be filmed on location in the Sub-Saharan African nation of Wakanda.

"Disney and Wakanda are a match made in heaven," Iger told reporters. "Wakanda was, until recently, a secret kingdom, much like our own Magic Kingdom. With this new partnership, we'll not only get to continue our legacy of making movies that parents and children everywhere enjoy together, but we'll get to do so in a safe space that reveres abortion as much as we do."

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion.

As home to the most advanced technology in the world – and with the planet's highest per-capita concentration of wokeness – Wakanda offers women painless, hassle-free abortion on demand. As the Wakandan health ministry website explains, the complete absence of any white-patriarchal-Judeo-Christian influence allows women in Wakanda to have complete control of their own bodies (with the exception of females who are still fetuses). As winner of the U.N.'s 2018 Golden Forceps award (the U.N.'s highest abortion honor) Wakanda continues its glowing record on abortion. That makes it an ideal location for Disney's next round of live-action remakes of its own animated movies in which the company plans to remove all male characters.

Iger says he hopes to convince Wakandan leadership to share their top-secret vibranium-based abortion procedure technology so that American women can enjoy the same convenient, spa-like abortion treatment that Wakandan women have enjoyed for years.

Wakanda is one of only four African countries (out of 55) that allow unrestricted abortion. Disney plans to boycott and/or retaliate against the other 51 African nations, as well as any U.S. states, that restrict abortion. Specific plans are being kept under wraps, but sources say Disney's potential retaliation may include beaming Beverly Hills Chihuahua into the offending territories on a continuous, indefinite loop.

When asked how Wakanda's futuristic capital city and distinctly African landscape would be able to double for American movie locations, Iger said, "I guess America will just have to look more like Wakanda from now on."

One potential wrinkle for the Left-leaning studio is the fact that Wakanda has an impenetrable border wall-shield-thing designed to keep out foreign invaders as well as illegal immigrants. Iger said he understands Wakanda's policy of exclusivity, adding, "After all, not everyone gets into Disneyland. You have to have a ticket to get in. Anyone is welcome, but you have to go through the process of getting a ticket." When one reporter pointed out that Iger's answer sounded like the conservative argument for legal immigration under the rule of law, Iger insisted that the reporter was "a moronic fascist."

What if the unthinkable happens and Florida also enacts its own "heartbeat" law? That would be problematic since Walt Disney World is located in Florida. Iger responded that Disney would "cross that bridge if we get to it" but that the most likely scenario would entail "dismantling Disney World piece-by-piece and relocating it to the actual happiest place on earth – Wakanda." As for whether Disney would ever open character-themed abortion clinics inside its theme parks, Iger remained coy, but said, "Well, it is the place where dreams come true."

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice.

When pressed about the cost of ramping up production in a secretive African kingdom that has no existing moviemaking infrastructure (which could easily end up being much more expensive than simply shooting in California) Iger said, "You can't put a price tag on abortion freedom. Wakanda Forever and Abortion Forever!"

With the Wakanda solution, Disney may have found a place where Minnie Mouse can finally follow her heart and have true freedom of choice. And that will be welcome relief to traditional families all over the world who keep the Walt Disney Company in business.

*Disclaimer: The preceding story is a parody. Bob Iger did not actually say any of the quotes in the story. Neither is Wakanda an actual nation on planet Earth.

"Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris," is a podcast featuring conversations about how faith has guided newsmakers and celebrities through their best and worst times. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a much maligned religion so Glenn joined the podcast and took the time to explain what it means to him and how it changed his life.

From his suicidal days and his battle with drugs and alcohol, it was his wife Tania and his faith that saved him. All his ups and downs have given him the gift of empathy and he says he now understands the "cry for mercy" — something he wishes he'd given out more of over the years.

You can catch the whole podcast on any of the platforms listed below.

- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
- TuneIn
- Spotify
- Stitcher
- ABC News app

One of these times I'm going to go on vacation, and I'm just not going to come back. I learn so much on a farm.

You want to know how things work, go spend a summer on a farm. You're having problems with your son or daughter, go spend a summer on a farm.

My son changed. Over two weeks.

Getting him out of bed, getting him to do anything, is like insane. He's a 15-year-old kid. Going all through the normal 15-year-old boy stuff. Getting him on the farm, where he was getting up and actually accomplishing stuff, having to build or mend fences, was amazing. And it changed him.

RELATED: 'Human Wave Theory': Connecting the dots on the strategic attack on our border

Our society does not allow our kids to grow up, ever. I am convinced that our 15-year-olds could be fixing all kinds of stuff. Could be actually really making an impact in a positive way in our society. And what's wrong with our society is, we have gotten away from how things actually work. We're living in this theoretical world. When you're out on a farm, there's no theory here. If it rains, the crops will grow. If it rains too much, the crops won't grow.

If there's no sun, they won't grow. If there's too much sun, they'll shrivel up and die. There's no theory. We were out mending fences. Now, when I say the phrase to you, mending fences, what does that mean? When you think of mending fences, you think of, what?

Coming together. Bringing people together. Repairing arguments.

I've never mended a fence before until I started stringing a fence and I was like, "I ain't doing this anymore! Where is it broken? Can't we just tie a piece of barbed wire together?"

Let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

That's called mending fences.

And why do you mend fences? So your animals don't get out and start to graze on somebody else's land. When your fence goes down, your cow is now on somebody else's land. And your cow is now eating their food.

We look at the phrase, mending fences as saying, hey. You know, we were both wrong. Mending fences has nothing to do with that.

Mending fences means build a wall. My neighbors and I, we're going to get along fine, as long as my cows don't go and steal their food, or their cows don't come over and steal my cow's food.

We're perfectly neighborly with each other, until one of us needs to mend a fence, because, dude, you got to mend that, because your cows keep coming over and eating my food.

You know what we need to do with Mexico? Mend fences.

Now, that's a phrase. You hear build a wall. That's horrible.

No, no, no. We need to mend fences.

In a farming community, that means putting up an electric fence. That means putting up barbed wire.

So the cows — because the cows will — they'll stick their head through barbed wire. And they'll eat the grass close to the road. Or eat the grass close to the other side of the fence. And they'll get their heads in between those fences. And they can't get out sometimes. Because the grass is always greener on the other side. You look at these damn cows and say turn around, cow — there's plenty of stuff over here.

No. They want the grass on the other side of the fence.

So you mend it.

And if it's really bad, you do what we do. We had to put an electric fence up. Now, imagine putting an electric fence up. That seems pretty radical and expensive.

Does it really work? Does it shock them? What does that feel like to a cow?

The cows hit it once, and then they don't hit it again. They can actually hear the buzz of the electric fence. There's a warning. Don't do it. Don't do it. They hear the current and they hit it once and they're like, "I'm not going to do that again."

So you mend fences, which means, keep your stuff on your side. I like you. We're good neighbors. You keep your stuff on your side and I'll keep my stuff on my side and we'll get together at the town hall and we'll see each other at the grocery store. Because we're good neighbors. But what stops us from fighting is knowing that there is a fence there.

This is my stuff. That's your stuff. But we can still trade and we'll help each other. But let's stop talking about building a wall. Because that has all kinds of negative imagery. Mending fences is what we need to do.

You can have a tough fence. It could be a giant wall. It could be an electric fence. But you need one. And that's how you come together.

The side that's having the problem, mends the fence.

The following is part of an ongoing experiment by Glenn Beck program heartthrob, Stu Burguiere, to begin watching Game of Thrones in its final season, without any previous context. Other than highlights shown in commercials, Stu has never seen a second of Game of Thrones, and has never read a word about its characters or plot lines.

PREVIOUSLY on Game of Thrones: it seems like all the people who hated each other but then started working together, now hate each other again.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS THIS WEEK!

- I think I missed last week's episode, but it's possible the opening credits have just been playing since last week, and I joined at the right time
- Uncle Fester is writing a letter
- Angry Elf is still alive
- Uncle Fester and John Snow(?) are saying their queen doesn't want to eat and shouldn't be left alone
- John Snow doesn't want to be king?
- Queen Blondie has a nice open air balcony with a sweet view
- Angry Elf apparently needs to ask Queen Blondie's permission before doing things, she must have a higher rank
- Uncle Fester burns his letter and hides his ring
- Uncle Fester brought to the beach at night
- Queen Blondie's name is Denarys! (or similar!)
- Uncle Fester sentenced to death by dragon fire breath
- There is some hidden truth about John Snow (maybe he's transitioned?)
- Queen Blondie and John Snow make out because the time immediately after burning a man to death is very romantic
- If some city rings bells, Queen Blondie will stop the attack
- "Next time you fail me, will be the last time you fail me" says Queen Blondie to Angry Elf
- Not a lot of smiling going on in this region
- Angry Elf tries to tell Obi Wan Kenobi a secret, which is difficult because of their height difference
- Frumpy Girl wants to kill Sercy?
- Someone known as the "Stupidest Lannister" is in prison
- Stupid Lannister gets freed by Angry Elf, going to do something to stop a lot of innocent people from dying
- "Tens of thousands of innocent people for one not so innocent dwarf. Seems like a fair trade"
- Angry Elf gives emotional speech to Stupid Lannister who was the only person around who was nice to him as a kid. A little middle school drama.
- Stupid Lannister has gold hand
- Doors to break into castle has disturbing amount of space between them
- 2 big armies stare each other down. At this point, it's important to note that I don't know why they're fighting or who they are
- Queen Love Child of Mick Jagger and Robin Wright makes an appearance
- Dragon versus old times wooden boats proving to be a bit of a mismatch
- Seems like instead of making lots of crossbows, these people should put their resources into dragon development and recruiting
- Dragon proves that my concern about the space between the doors was misplaced
- Unclear why they even bother to send an army when they have the dragon
- Queen Blondie is riding a dragon again. She should spend time making a saddle to make it easier
- Bells in the city ring, which is supposed to stop an attack—even though it's kind of already happened
- My interpretation is the people in the city surrendered, but Queen Blondie kept attacking, killing lots of people for no reason
- This horrifies John Snow and Angry Elf. Queen Blondie has gone dark… not with the hair, but with her murderous tendencies
- Considering all the stabbing and beheading, the dragons flame might be the preferable way to die
- Stupid Lannister is fighting with the lead singer of Coldplay,who apparently swam to safety following near direct hit from dragon
- Stupid Lannister gets himself stabbed
- Queen Mick Jagger/Robin Wright finally figures out she's going to lose and leaves her fancy tower
- Coldplay Lead Singer gets stabbed too. Stupid Lannister's name is possibly Jim Lannister?
- Frumpy Girl contemplates getting revenge on someone, maybe the Queen. Then thanks tall guy named Sandor or maybe Sandle
- Sandle's brother is a guard for the Queen. He kills the Queen's assistant so he can fight Sandle
- Big guard guy looks like Darth Vader without his helmet
- Stupid Lannister has connection Mick Jagger/Robin Wright Queen. She's in a very desperate place, similar to Robin Wright when she married Sean Penn
- Giant Darth Vader without his helmet gets stabbed with long sword, seems to enjoy it
- Again, since the dragon has done all the work, why did they send all these important people into this city?
- Frumpy Girl getting trampled, keeps getting saved at last second, indicating she's an important character
- Giant helmet-free Darth Vader gets stabbed a dozen times or so without dying, so his brother, now without eyes, tackles him off the side of the castle, probably killing them both
- Very dusty with the buildings all collapsing around them. Feels like there could be some fertile ground for the mesothelioma lawyers of the time
- Stupid Lannister and Mick Jagger/Robin Wright Queen escaping in underground tunnel
- Underground tunnel is no longer a tunnel
- Frumpy Girl really mourning lady who helped her up in previous scene
- Everyone is charred, but a horse inexplicably totally fine
- Again, Frumpy must be a big character for all of these nice coincidences to happen to her