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A New Look at America’s Christian Heritage (Part 1 of 2)

A New Look at America’s Christian Heritage (Part 1 of 2)

Pastor Andy Stanley describes how Christian beliefs were woven in to the founding of America, from the Declaration of Independence to the national conscience of the country as a whole. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: July 4, 2012

Opening:

 Excerpt: 

Andy Stanley: If our right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is tied to Creator God and we remove Creator God from the dialogue and the conversation, then what is the basis in the future for your pursuit and your freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? 

End of Excerpt 

John Fuller: A good question from our featured speaker today on Focus on the Family. That’s Pastor Andy Stanley, and we’ll have the answer plus much more. Thanks for joining us. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller. 

Jim Daly: John, we’re celebrating Independence Day today and tomorrow by featuring an amazing message from Pastor Andy Stanley, who has a unique perspective on the founding of this country and what those principles mean to us today. I’ve never quite heard it explained this way, and I just really wanted to share it with the listeners. 

John: Yeah, Andy has “done his homework”, so to speak. And I think you’ll be impressed by the results. Hear now Andy Stanley speaking to his congregation at North Point Community Church, on today’s Focus on the Family. 

Body: 

Andy: I’m sure if you’re uh, you’re like me, you’ve had a few conversations with the television screen lately or with your favorite talk show host or maybe somebody at work watches the network you don’t like and it just drive you crazy and it just assures you of how right you are and how wrong they are.  

And um, there are people you just turn off immediately and there are people you just can’t get enough of. And even if you are short on information, you are not short on opinion. And even if you don’t have all the facts, you do have all the answers. 

(LAUGHTER) 

And if the people in Washington would just give you an hour of their undivided attention, you know, boy, would things be different. And it’s so frustrating for all of us, because the debate, you know, is – is Republican and you know, Democrat and it’s progressive and you know, conservative and liberal and it’s big business and small business and too much taxes and not enough taxes and – and who’s rich and who’s not rich. 

And the debate, you know, is multifaceted. But I think there’s another debate goin’ on behind the scenes that um, we need to talk about. And the reason I think we should talk about it is every once in a while in the life of a nation, and certainly the United States, the issue becomes an issue that intersects with the Scriptures. And when a political or a public um, or social issue intersects with the Scriptures, then people who do what I do need to say somethin’.

Now at the end of today’s message, I’m gonna tell you what that debate is, but getting there, I need to set it up. And I want to talk specifically about what’s at the heart of that issue and that is our national conscience, our national conscience, something you never ever hear discussed. 

Now everybody knows what a conscience is. You have a conscience. I have a conscience, that our conscience is that thing inside of us that informs our “ought” and our “ought-nots,” right? There are some things you just know you ought not do. How do you know? You’re not sure. Maybe your mama told you, but she didn’t tell you everything you ought not do. You just know you ought not do some things. 

There are some things you oughta do. And you’re not sure where you learned to “oughta do ‘em,” but you just know you oughta do ‘em and you think other people oughta do ‘em and you can’t understand why everybody does “ought” and “ought not” the way you do. And that’s your conscience and we all have a conscience. 

One thing about a conscience is it’s like a still small voice. In fact, as Christians, we believe that God speaks through our conscience, that God, you know, kinda elbows us in the ribs and goes, “Hm, hm, hm, hm.” And there’s a sense of foreboding and there’s a sense of warning and there’s a sense of, are you getting’ too close to that? And that’s our conscience. It’s a little voice and you can ignore it. In fact, I won’t ask you to raise your hands. We’ve all ignored our conscience at some point. 

And when you ignore your conscience long enough, it gets quieter and quieter and you can actually do to a conscience what a guitar player does to the ends of their fingers. You can wear calluses on your conscience to where after a while, you just don’t feel things anymore. In fact, some of you, your story about coming back to faith was, you became so calloused that you didn’t even feel the pain and the consequence of sin anymore until God did something in your heart and you realized, boy, my conscience was so calloused, because I ignored it and ignore it and ignored it to where after a while, I didn’t even feel the pain anymore. Well, that’s the nature of a conscience.  

Now, what we don’t think about is this: every individual has a conscience, but there is such thing as a collective conscience. You have a collective conscience in your family, in your business or your organization. There’s a collective conscience. You call it a corporate culture. In your corporate culture, there are just things you do and things you don’t do. And you don’t think of it as conscience, but it’s sort of the culture; it’s the group expectation. 

You have that in your family, as well. In fact, the best way to know about the family conscience is if your family goes to visit another family. And you go to visit another family and you listen to how that family operates. And if you’ve ever had the situation to where you went to visit a family where they weren’t as polite as possibly your family and they used words your family didn’t use. And they talked about things your family didn’t talk about. And your kids or maybe you’ve grown up, you can remember this. Everybody in your family’s kinda lookin’ at each other like, “Whoa! Whoa! Oh! I never heard a man adult say, you know, whoa!” 

And then you get in the car and there’s sort of this silence like, “Ooh, they – they do their family different than our family.” And you didn’t even realize you had like a collective conscience till you got bumped up against, you know, somebody who was different. I actually recently was in the reverse of that, which is a little bit embarrassing. 

A few months ago, a family came to see us. And um, we’d never been together as families and it occurred to me about 20 minutes into our dinner conversation that we were a little looser with our kids and the way they um, entertained themselves and movie selections and music selections. And this family was far more conservative. I could see the kids kinda lookin’ at mom and dad like, “Whoa!  And he’s the pastor. What’s up with that?” you know? 

(LAUGHTER) 

And then later in the evening, um, one of my sons invited one of their sons, “Hey, you want to go up to my room?” And I could see the kid lookin’ at his dad like, “Am I even allowed to go up there? Who knows what they have up there?” you know. And – and I guarantee you, they got in their car to go home and said, “We really need to pray for the Stanley’s. Things are loose, you know.” 

But what happened? Well, in our family, there’s just an “ought” and “ought not.” And I’ve never written the rules down. You’ve never, you know, but it’s just a collective conscience. 

Now, you never think about your individual conscience or your group conscience until you are exposed to something different, because a conscience is an operating system. It’s things we just take for granted. Well, people just oughta. And people just oughta not. And doesn’t everybody know? And can’t everybody understand? It’s such a way of life for us.  We’re often very unaware of our individual or national conscience. 

Here’s some other examples. The anti-slavery movement in England and the United States was fueled by conscience. There were laws that allowed and enforced the way that slavery was handled in England and the United States. And you study the history of the abolition movement and eventually, it was the conscience of England and the conscience of the United States, that people finally realized, okay, we have ignored our common sense long enough. This is just wrong to treat another human being and it was really a war and an issue of conscience that finally turned things over a long time ago. 

Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights leaders, you know, black and white appealed to the American conscience. This just ought not be. There’s no real way to excuse this. It was a war of conscience and – and the Civil Rights leaders spoke directly to the issue of our national conscience. 

And consequently, and this is important, laws and regulations were changed because of conscience. Some other examples: uh, we, it’s against the law here for adult men to marry 11-year-old girls. And we’re like, “Well, does that even have to be a law? Isn’t that like, don’t run with scissors in your mouth? Do we have to write that down?” 

(LAUGHTER) 

I mean, isn’t that just obvious that men don’t marry 11-year-old girls? Well, it’s obvious to us because that’s part of our national conscience. It’s not that obvious to every other culture in the world, but we don’t think about those things. You know it’s really a conscience issue. 

And as a nation becomes more comfortable with things or less comfortable with things, you know, politicians basically follow. We give ‘em a lot of credit and we give ‘em a lot of grief, but basically, they find and follow and champion trends in the public sector: child labor laws, conscience issues. Somewhere we decided, you know, kids shouldn’t be forced to work. Kids shouldn’t work in certain environments. Says who? Well, I don’t know says who; they just shouldn’t. We just – it’s just – and when you go to other countries and you see human rights abuses in other countries, we call those human rights abuses. The people of those countries just call it, “that’s just what we do.” That’s just what we do here. Well, that’s wrong. Well, that’s you Americans sayin’ it’s wrong. Who’s to say who’s right and who’s wrong? 

Well, we have a national collective conscience. There are things that just don’t feel right to us and don’t feel wrong to us as Americans, different than other cultures. It’s changed through the years and through the generations. But what originally informed our national conscience? 

And the answer to that question is a sense of personal and corporate accountability to God, Creator. That’s what shaped our national conscience and I’ll show you this in just a minute. That our national conscience was originally shaped and informed by a general – not everybody a Christian, not everybody takin’ the Bible seriously. Not arguing with that. But a general sense that there is a God Who is Creator and somehow, we personally and we nationally are accountable to and should be grateful to this God. That is how our national conscience was originally informed. 

I want to give you a couple examples. Now I know this is a bit uncomfortable. And I’m not arguing that the Founding Fathers were all Christians. I’m not arguing that all the Founding Fathers saw the world the same way in terms of theology. I’m not arguing that they all took the Bible seriously. 

I am arguing that there was this sense of personal and national accountability to God that has in a huge way, shaped and informed our national understanding of “ought” and “ought not”. This is something you memorized in school. Second sentence from the Declaration of Independence. Now listen to this again through the grid of what we’ve just said: 

“We (that’s all those smart guys) hold these truths to be self-evident (that means we can’t have a debate). We hold these truths to be self-evident, that (here’s the self-evident truth to them), that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these – in other words, here’s some of these rights that are (this is important) that are an overflow of the assumption that everyone’s created and you know, has value in God’s eyes; here’s three of those rights: life (you have the right to life), liberty (you have the right to freedom) and the pursuit of happiness. 

Now this is huge. Here’s how they viewed the world. “We’re gonna start a nation. In fact, we ought to break off from England.” Now why do you guys think you ought to break off from England? Well, we ought to do so because of the way that God has designed mankind and we’re not able to act in a way that reflects the way God made us and so, therefore we ought to start a war and start a nation. 

Now obviously, that’s not the only reason behind the Revolutionary War. But the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence invokes the Creator and invokes the presence of God as a basis for an “ought to”. This is what we ought to do, based on how God made all men. 

Now of course, the hypocrisy of the American Revolution was slavery. But very soon after this terminology was leveraged in the Abolition Movement and said, “Wait a minute; wait a minute.” If God created everybody equal, He created the black man and the black woman just as equal and we’re not treatin’ ‘em as equal. And we have an issue. There’s duplicity in our system. And this was hugely leveraged throughout the Civil War and eventually um, you know, slavery was done away with in England and here and we’ve moved on from there.   

Then this incredible speech that we again, we’ve all memorized or memorized parts of it in school: the Gettysburg Address. Listen to what Abraham Lincoln says: “That,” beginning in mid-sentence, “that we here highly resolve that these dead (the battlefield dead) shall not have died in vain, that this nation (and here it is) under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” 

“Under God.” Abraham Lincoln viewed our nation as a nation under the authority and accountable to God. And somehow, he’s not afraid to leverage that imagery and leverage that you know, worldview, as he talks about political issues, that we are a nation under God. We don’t get it right every time. We’re havin’ a Civil War because we don’t get it right, but nobody’s arguing that at the end of the day, we are accountable to God for our decisions. 

And then in the 1950s, that little phrase “Under God” was lifted out and placed in what?  The Pledge of Allegiance, right. Now we’re one nation and it got inserted in the ‘50s, “Under God.” So, whenever you say the Pledge of Allegiance or your children say the Pledge of Allegiance, um, you’re declaring that we view God as the One Who oversees this nation. 

Now do we all agree about God? Nope. Do we all agree about everything about God? Nope. Do we all believe the same thing about the Bible? Nope. It’s much broader than that. But there’s the acknowledgment that there is gratitude to and accountability to God. 

And then in 1956, our country got a brand new motto. In 1956, literally the 84th Congress declared that we would have a brand-new motto. And President Eisenhower signed it in to law on July the 30th, 1956. The President made it a law. And our brand-new motto is, “In God We Trust.” 

That is our motto. I’ve been askin’ people for almost a month, “Do you know what the national motto is?” And everybody I’ve asked except for one person says, “Um…”  No one has said, “In God we tru…” Only one person said, “In God we trust.” Everybody else it was, “Um – I thin – uh – uh – ‘it takes one to know one?’  No, uh…” 

(LAUGHTER)  

Okay now, now let me ask you this. What if tomorrow morning, every principal of every public elementary school, middle school, high school, tomorrow morning got on the PA system and said, “Kids, as you start your day, just wanted to remind you, we trust God. Kids, today, don’t forget: trust God.” Whoo! Oh, my goodness. You would’ve thought, I mean, I’m tellin’ you what.  

Now that would be so offensive. There would be lawsuits everywhere. I mean, people would be pullin’ their kids out of school. We’ve established a religion. And we say, “Wait a minute. It’s the national motto!”  

“I don’t care if it’s the national motto or not, you’re tryin’ to impose religion.”  

“Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa. An act – I’m just quoting the Congress and look, it’s on your coin.” 

But we – come on, this isn’t the new part. This isn’t new information. Nobody’s gonna write this down like, “I hadn’t even noticed.” We – come on, we have drifted so, so, so far away from God Talk politically and God Talk in our nation, that now it’s strange. And the further we distance ourself from mention of God publicly, nationally, politically, the further away we get from being able to express gratitude to God. And the further away we get from our national sense of accountability to God. 

Program Note:   

John: Pastor Andy Stanley on today’s episode of Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And you can get a DVD of Andy’s 2-part sermon on this topic – it’s called God and Country – when you make a generous donation of any amount to Focus on the Family. Just call 800-A-FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or online. Donate at focusonthefamily.com/radio. 

End of Program Note 

Andy: And the further away we get from those things – and here’s the challenge: something else must take God’s place. 

So, the debate is this: the two groups that people need to start lining up behind – because they are anyway – is “The Grateful” and “The Accountable” versus “The Ungrateful” and “The Unaccountable”. It’s The Grateful and The Accountable that say, you know, “I know it’s odd and I know it sounds funny, but I still give God credit for all the great things that have happened to me in my life and the great things in this nation.” 

And the group that says, “No; I’m not grateful to God. I’m not sure who I’m grateful to. I guess I’m grateful to myself. And honestly, as bad as it sounds, I’m not accountable to God.” You see, one of the things that baffles many of us average citizens is, politicians who in their private lives can have things going on that are so shameful. And you wonder to yourself, “How can they carry this on in their private life and still have the audacity to ask me to let them lead me forward in my nation and in my country and in my family? How can they do that?” 

It’s very simple. Because in their heart of hearts, they don’t feel accountable to God. You take God out of the accountability system and you end up with no accountability. You know how you know that? You look at your life. Look at your life when you felt no accountability to God.  

The issue is really, are we gonna be a nation of gratitude to God and accountability to God or are we gonna be a nation where we don’t express gratitude, because it’s not politically correct and we’re not accountable to anyone other than ourselves? Is it gonna be “In God we trust?” Or is it gonna be, “In we… we trust?” That is the more fundamental debate. 

Here’s the question we’ve gotta answer: if our right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is tied to Creator God and we remove Creator God from the dialogue and the conversation, then what is the basis in the future for your freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? 

If the basis of that pursuit is removed from the conversation and removed from the political dialogue, what is the new basis? What’s the new protection for that? What gives us that right? And I’m tellin’ ya, until we come up with a national answer to that question, we have no business moving God out of the conversation, because we don’t know where that will go.  

But we have a clue where that goes, because there are other nations with other histories that never allowed God into the conversation to begin with. And you know what went with God? Do you know what exited when God exited? The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What happens if we remove the thing then the person that we – was originally appealed to, what happens to our pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? You’ve gotta replace it with something. 

My question is this: what is that gonna be? And until we have a good answer to that, isn’t it a bit dangerous to dismiss God and hope that somehow, somehow God will be replaced with something that’s equally as compelling, equally as protective of what our nation began to protect?  

The reason that we have slowly and continued to move God out of the national conversation is because we’re so affluent. That’s the reason. Affluence and humility do not work together very well. You know this because some of the most arrogant people you know are also very wealthy. 

But Jesus said and the book of Proverbs says that affluence and humility are not friends. There’s a conflict. So, consequently, in any nation, not just ours, what’s true of a nation is also true of individuals. And what’s true of individuals is true of nations, that the more stuff you have, the less dependent on God you become. In fact, there are one of my things that I pray constantly, it’s from the book of Proverbs, says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’”                                

And we’re a nation that increasingly publicly, politically, nationally is saying, “Who is the Lord?” And it’s not because we’re so smart. It’s because we’ve become so affluent. The truth is: the reason God has been moved out of the spotlight in our nation is because we’ve been so blessed by the very God that we have moved out of the spotlight in our national conversation. 

But in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8 – I’m gonna kinda skip through this, but we’re gonna begin with verse 6. So, here’s Moses talkin’ to the nation. He says, “Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to Him and revering Him.” This is huge. Moses says there’s two things you gotta remember. There’s Law and there’s the Awe of God. There’s Law and there’s this sense of, “God, we’re accountable to You.” 

Read the writings of the Founders of this nation and that’s what you find. That we will be a nation – not with a king – we will be a nation of Law, but we will be a nation that lives in Awe of the Creator, Who stands behind our law. 

Skip down to verse 10: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.” He says, now when you get in there, don’t forget to be grateful. Now why in the world would he have to remind these people to be grateful once they received the blessings of God? Because it’s human nature to forget to be grateful. It’s human nature to think, “Look what I have done.” 

And he says, “God is about to prosper you and your temptation you’ll face” – this is not to individuals, this is to a nation – “the temptation you will face is to lose your humility.” And when you lose your humility, you lose your dependence. And that’s what it means to forget the Lord, your God. Things are gonna be so good for you, you may wake up one day and say, “Who is the Lord? Who is the Lord? Do we really need to talk about God?”  

When we think we’ve done what we have done purely through the strength of our own hands, we are in that moment, not accountable to anyone. When a nation, when an individual loses any sense of divine accountability, they become more and more and more unjust in their treatment of other people. 

Free enterprise, capitalism, the American way of life is awesome until we forget that ultimately we are accountable to God. And then free enterprise and capitalism becomes an excuse for hoarding and injustice. And the problem isn’t the system. The problem is w

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Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!