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Culture Clips

By Jen Wooldridge

Reaching Lives Disrupted by War

The COVID lockdowns were difficult for most of us, but for Max, who has Autism, the disruption in routine proved especially challenging. His mother, Emily Colson, shares how a simple activity that began in quarantine grew into a ministry.

Emily shared, “Max began to hand-paint colorful heart yard signs and deliver them around our community. Max wasn’t an artist: Autism had made fine motor [skills] a lifelong challenge. God often uses the most unlikely individuals to accomplish His purposes so that the story is unmistakably His.”1

A painting activity born from the simple prayer, “How can we be a blessing to others?” still brings hope to others more than two years later, even in war zones in Ukraine.

Max’s hearts have been printed on more than 36,000 note cards, with all proceeds going to charity. One thousand t-shirts have been delivered to Ukraine, with each including a message of God’s hope and love translated into Ukrainian.

When Emily received a picture of a little boy wearing a t-shirt with Max’s hearts, she cried for days. Tragically, the boy’s parents were killed in the war. God used Max’s hearts to bring a message of hope: “He aches for the brokenness of this world. He is close to this little boy, just as He is close to Max. God was even leaning over Max’s shoulder as he began to paint, knowing He would carry these hearts—and His hope—around the world.”

Read more about the mission of Max’s hearts at


1. John Stonestreet and Emily Colson, “Max’s Hearts Reach Ukraine,” Breakpoint, August 26, 2022,


Alarming Trends and Policies Concerning Gender Dysphoria in Minors

In recent years there has been a rapid rise in gender dysphoria diagnoses. Lisa Littman, a physician, researcher, and President and Director of the Institute for Comprehensive Gender Dysphoria Research (ICGDR), is attempting to discover the reason for the phenomenon known as rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD). Her peer-reviewed study reveals that “increased exposure to social media/internet preceding a child’s announcement of a transgender identity raise the possibility of social and peer influences.”1

A look at the numbers exposes the shocking reach of transgender influencers on social media. A search on Google Trends reveals increasingly upward spikes over the past decade for the search terms “gender dysphoria,” “transgender,” “gender,” and “puberty blockers.” TikTok videos with the hashtag #Trans have been viewed over 26 billion times.2

Investigative blogger Jennifer Bilek, who has documented the intricacies of transgender activism and idealogy, warns, “That children could be exposed to such a thing as sex mutilating surgeries 26 billion times is unfathomable. That it is being marketed as cool via ‘trans’ models, surgeons, and make-up, on their social media is unconscionable. Parents and caregivers have to step in and become the tech police of what their children are exposed to because transition surgeries are being marketed to them, and they are buying the illusion as a panacea for all their adolescent angst.”3

Beliefs about gender ideology have severe implications for minors struggling with gender dysphoria. Claiming that it reduces suicide risks, “U.S. policymakers are seeking to make it easier for minors to access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.”4 However, a report from the Heritage Foundation warns that “lowering legal barriers to make it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent does not reduce suicide rates—in fact, it likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people in states that adopt these changes.”

The report recommends that the minimum eligibility age be raised for cross-sex medical interventions citing data that reveals “the suicide rate among those ages 12 to 23 has become significantly higher in states that have a provision that allows minors to receive routine health care without parental consent.”

Despite the data that reveals medical interventions can have significant complications for those with gender dysphoria, The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) quietly removed all age guidelines from their standards of care. The Washington Stand reports, “WPATH guidelines previously stated that minors must be at least 14 to receive hormones and between 15 and 18 to undergo various surgeries to remove healthy organs or have organs constructed.”5

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council, says, “That’s very disturbing. We know that there have been clinics in the U.S. that have seen two-year-olds. Some of these folks who are aligned with the WPATH guidelines have said, ‘What is age? It’s just a number.’ So this is disconcerting, because obviously if gender is considered a social construct that supersedes biological sex, then what’s next?”



1. Lisa Littman, “Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria,” PLOS, August 16, 2018,

2. Sam Merriman, “Children are being 'brainwashed' by TikTok videos on ‘cool’ trans surgery viewed 26 billion times, campaigners claim,” Daily Mail, December 25, 2021,

3. Brandon Showalter, “TikTok is enticing kids into having trans surgeries, take cross-sex hormones: child advocates warn,” The Christian Post, December 27, 2021,

4. Jay P. Greene, “Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide,” The Heritage Foundation, June 13, 2022,

5. Dan Hart, “Lawmakers, Experts Alarmed by Trend to Remove Age Guidelines for Trans Procedures,” The Washington Stand, September 20, 2022,


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