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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Birmingham and Beyond: Racial Tensions in America (Part 1 of 3)

Birmingham and Beyond: Racial Tensions in America (Part 1 of 3)

Carolyn McKinstry discusses her experiences during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, including her survival of several violent clashes resulting from racial tensions. (Part 1 of 3) Also, Jim Daly talks briefly with Rep. Trent Franks about an important congressional vote to protect preborn babies which is scheduled to occur this Thursday, Jan. 22. 

Opening:

Teaser:

Carolyn McKinstry: (Singing) “I want Jesus to walk with me. All along this tedious journey, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.”

End of Teaser

John Fuller: That’s Carolyn McKinstry and she’s singing a portion of a song that brought comfort to her back in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. And today here in the U.S., as our nation pauses to commemorate his life, we’ll talk with Carolyn, who was right in the middle of the racial tension in Birmingham, Alabama. This is “Focus on the Family” with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and before we hear this incredible testimony, there’s a crucial pro-life issue expected to come up for a vote in the House this week and we want to shine a light on it quickly here.

Drop-In: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (U.S. Only)

Jim Daly: John, this is Sanctity of Human Life Week and this Thursday, the U-S House of Representatives is expected to vote on a really important bill and it’s critical that your representative hear from you as you urge him or her to vote for life. It’s HR Bill 36 and it’s to protect the unborn child. In fact, Congressman Trent Franks from Arizona is one of the core sponsors of this bill and he’s on the phone with us. Welcome to the program, Congressman.

Congressman Franks: Well, thank you all. I can’t express to you the magnitude of respect and gratitude I have for Focus on the Family through the years.

Jim: Tell me quickly, we only have a second here, what motivated you to do this? What’s happening that we need to know about?

Congressman Franks: Well, this is probably one of the most significant opportunities we have ever had to show the humanity of the victim of abortion and inhumanity of what’s being done to them. The Pain-Capable Bill represents the first time in history, if we succeed on this bill, that we will have given affirmative protection to the unborn child in the United States Congress.

Jim: Congressman Franks, the other aspect is, it’d be great if both Republicans and Democrats understood the need to protect innocent life and that’s what you’re talking about and I so appreciate your heart, the heart of your colleagues there in the House and the Senate. That vote will be coming not long from now, as well.

This is simply your desire to protect the pre-born child, to limit abortion beyond 20 weeks. And we are for you, because we’re for life. And I hope people in the House and the next step, the Senate will vote for it.

Congressman Franks: Right, and this would …it would refocus America’s attention. Because whenever America, through the history of our country, has discovered the humanity of a particular victim and the inhumanity of what’s being done to them, their hearts change. And I think that this could precipitate another major change in our country in that vein. And again, it’s impossible for me to emphasize the judicial and the long-term political, and ultimately, the long-term protection that this means for the unborn child and their mothers.

Jim: And let me add the spiritual well-being of this nation. Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, let me say thank you. Thank you for what you do, your colleagues are doing and let me urge everyone to contact your representative, to urge them to vote for this bill. And again, thank you very much.

Congressman Franks: Thank you all so much.

John: You’ll find all the details about how to urge your Congressman to support HR 36 at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. And Jim, as we said earlier, we have a very special program to share today about an incredibly difficult time in our nation’s history.

End of Drop-In: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (U.S. Only)

Jim: We do, John and for almost 50 years, Carolyn McKinstry found it difficult to talk about those experiences, but she has written a book called While the World Watched. And we want to explore that experience through her eyes and what happened to her in Birmingham, in the ’60s, as she was right there, as you said. She participated in the Civil Rights marches in downtown Birmingham. She was encouraged by her parents and many others in the black community to forget what happened. And you know what? She’s ready to talk and I want to listen.

John: Well, one of the reasons that we’re especially pleased to have Carolyn here, Jim, is because this is a sanctity of human life issue, isn’t it?

Body:

Jim: It is, John. We gotta tie all these things together. I mean, what is wonderful is, that we are created in God’s image, all of us and we have got to recognize that, particularly we Christians. We need to recognize that. We need to look at the past. We need to understand those atrocities, the evil that was done, not just in the area of racial tension, but in many areas. And we’ve got to lead the way. I think God’s people should lead the way and again, that’s why I’m excited to talk to Carolyn today. Carolyn, let me welcome you to “Focus on the Family.”

Carolyn: Thank you so much. I’m very honored to have received your invitation and just delighted to be in your city and thank you.

Jim: You are a daughter of Birmingham, if I could say it that way and paint the picture for us, because again, I was born in 1961, so I’m just a little younger than you. You were what age roughly in the ’60s? You were a little girl, 8, 9, 10?

Carolyn: Well, you know, I was born in 1948, so in 1960, I was 12-years-old and 1963, I was 15-years-old.

Jim: Can we be bold enough today, can you help us better understand what it was like being in Birmingham, in the South? And there are many good people in Birmingham.

Carolyn: Absolutely.

Jim: We’re gonna talk about a time when things were tough and there was incredible tension when it came to the racial issue. And you know, people were not treated properly and it was horrific and I hope that we are moving in a better direction and we’ll talk more about that later. But paint that picture for us. What was it like being a 12-year-old girl in Birmingham, African-American? What does that look like?

Carolyn: I think I can sum it up with this sentence. Every aspect of life for me in Birmingham was segregated. Every aspect of social life, of public life was segregated.

Jim: Help me feel that. What did that look like for you?

Carolyn: Okay. My first two introductions to segregation were the things that really allowed me to feel and to know what you’re asking. The first introduction to segregation came when my grandfather brought my grandmother to Birmingham. I was 10-years-old. My grandmother was 54-years-old, but the hospitals in Birmingham not only were segregated; there was no hospital for black people.

Jim: And she was sick.

Carolyn: And she was very ill. She was a first-grade teacher. She was very ill and my mom and father were able to convince the doctors to admit her to the hospital, but they placed her in the basement of the hospital.

And I remember the basement so well, because my mom said, “We have to work, but we don’t want to leave your grandmother here alone every day,” so being the only girl at that time in the family with four brothers, I became the nurse for my grandmother in the basement of that hospital. Doctors would come in periodically and check her. They would pull a little white screen in front of her. But after two weeks, my grandmother died. What I did as a 10-year-old, I studied the roof, the pipes, the floor.

Jim: She’s in the basement.

Carolyn: She’s in the basement and so, I just study my surroundings for two weeks, two long weeks. I mean, if you can imagine a 10-year-old. But we were often given responsibilities beyond our years then.

Now if I could fast forward for a second, I would eventually go back to that same hospital. It’s still open today and serve as chaplain for that hospital for over a year, so that I could set the type of example that I thought should’ve been set in 1958.

Jim: I need to make sure I’m seeing that picture correctly, because what you’re saying is, she wasn’t in a proper room. It was in the basement of this hospital. There were dripping pipes right near her bed. Walls were unfinished, ceiling was unfinished. It wasn’t a room; it was the basement of the hospital—

Carolyn: Right.

Jim: –as we would think of it, a functional basement with the boilers and everything else going on–

Carolyn: Absolutely.

Jim: –because that’s where black people were hospitalized. They weren’t put in the rooms upstairs.

Carolyn: Those that were admitted, were admitted to the basement, yes.

Jim: Talk about the other aspects, again, of that segregation, because “segregation” is a word that sounds so clinical; it means we separate. I want to feel it through your eyes what it was to be that 12-year-old girl—

Carolyn: Okay.

Jim: –who couldn’t go to the amusement park in Birmingham, who couldn’t eat in certain restaurants. Emotionally what did that feel like for you to be hurt in that way, to feel less than fully human maybe?

Carolyn: You know, it was a really curious feeling. I think the big question in my mind was always, why? Why could we not use the Birmingham Public Library, for example? There was a bookmobile that came to our school every two weeks and we would go out and check books from the bookmobile.

When we shopped, we could not try on the clothes. We could not eat in the restaurant of that store. We could not work there. The only thing we could do was just to purchase items if you found something you could use, to purchase those items and leave.

You know, I mentioned that there were two things that introduced me in a very personal way to segregation. The second thing was when I had the honor of winning the Alabama state spelling competition.

Jim: How old were you then?

Carolyn: I was 12-years-old.

Jim: Okay.

Carolyn: I had competed in the city-wide competition, which was over 100 schools around the state. I had competed in, then the county-wide competition and it was narrowed down to about, I think about 10 of us. And I became our state champion speller. But once again, I could not go to the national competition in Washington, D.C. I know you’re familiar with that today. We see it on television, but the rules… same rules applied. Black children were not permitted to be part of the national spelling competition.

Jim: You couldn’t represent the state.

Carolyn: I could not represent the state, no.

Jim: That is again, you know, for those of us that were maybe too young or maybe not born yet, to think of that. It seems foreign. It seems like how could that be? ‘Cause we haven’t seen it and felt it the way you have. Can I ask you about your mom and dad? I mean, I can’t imagine being a mom and dad in this environment. I mean, all of us as human beings, as I traveled internationally, we all have those similar characteristics as moms and dads. We want our kids to do well. We want to protect our kids. We want to be there for our kids. We want to provide for our kids. What was it like for your mom and dad when you think back on it, for them to try to protect you in this environment? How did they explain what was going on for you?

Carolyn: You know, they did not explain. As a matter of fact, we did not discuss anything in our house as it pertained to race or bombings or the various things that you would hear around Birmingham. As a matter of fact, they were careful to excuse us from the room when certain topics of conversation came up. So, it just was not something that was discussed.

I often say that I consider it a gift, the fact that this was not a discussion in our home. I think sometimes when we paint too much of a picture of something that is negative, it becomes an imaginary glass ceiling if you will. Parents are the first molders and shapers of who their children are. And we love our parents. We trust them. We believe them.

So, if my mother had said to me, “You can never do this,” or “You can never be this,” I’m probably going to believe a lot of what she is saying. But in our house there was never a discussion of hatred. My grandfather was a preacher. He pastored two churches and we didn’t discuss race, period.

My father never said, “You can’t do this because of him” or because of a system. And he set his own expectations for what he wanted from us. And the only excuse for not doing what my father asked was, if you just weren’t breathing anymore.

Jim: Let me ask you this to turn that page.

Jim: You’re at the Birmingham church, the 16th Street Baptist Church. Some special things happened at that church, not all good, but also some profound things. Martin Luther King visited. How old were you when you heard Martin Luther King?

Carolyn: The first time I heard Dr. King I was 14-years-old. One of the things that I did was to volunteer a lot at the church. It was my way of, I guess, staying out of trouble. But I loved this church because it was huge; it always had visitors. It had its own history long before it was bombed.

People came; let me say notable black people came from all over the country. This was the very first black church built in Birmingham, Alabama. We said in the 1960’s that it would seat approximately 2,000 people. Today we say approximately 1,600. So, this is just to give you a few facts about it.

It was built by people who were less than 50 years out of slavery at a cost of $36,000. They walked in with that church paid for. Yeah, so it had its own history.

Jim: And a point of pride.

Carolyn: It [was] a point of pride and most of the members were blacks who had been to college, who had your better jobs in Birmingham, as teachers or nurses. And I would say the first seven or eight pastors all had earned doctorates. So, they were leaders for the community. Many of them wrote financial books. There were a lot of things that they did to really try to move the community forward.

What I enjoyed as a child was numerous programs. They would always put us up front and put us in charge. So, it was an opportunity to learn, to be comfortable around people, to learn to speak. They made us feel important. I felt very important in this church. I became our Sunday school secretary in the 7th grade.

Jim: So, it was a focal point for the community.

Carolyn: It was; it was.

Jim: And in that regard, I mean, did that difference with what you read in Scripture and the way Christians should behave and the way you were seeing it unfold in your community, did you as a Christian, as a believer, did you say, okay, Lord, what is happening here? How can I as a 13-, 14-, 15-year-old girl begin to understand the disconnect that I see? I see this in Scripture, but I see this in reality. Do You care about me? Do You care about us?

Carolyn: I struggled with this quite a bit, but my struggle was very personal from the standpoint of to simplify this as a 14-year-old, the problem seemed to be that I was brown. The problem seemed to be that anyone who was brown, there just was a dislike for that person.

And you know, initially I was trying to understand what can I do about this? What am I supposed to do? As a child–and remember, we’re talking 50 years ago when we didn’t have the age of the Internet; we were not quite as learned and bright as we might be today–but as a child, I knew there were lots and lots of brown people all over the world. So what are we supposed to do? How do we fix the problem, was what I really struggled with?

Now today, there’s a tremendous amount of naiveté associated with that. But I was deeply troubled and I think that the trouble really intensified as the bombings became more prevalent around Birmingham.

Jim: Well, and let’s move into that. So, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes and speaks at the church. A lot of children and teenagers begin to rally. That’s the first time I guess I’ve ever understood who was really responding to his powerful message. But you said in your book, a lot of children and teenagers were the ones responding.

Carolyn: Responding.

Jim: Talk about why.

Carolyn: Well, there are a lot of good reasons that young people responded, but we have to say that Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth invited Dr. King to Birmingham. Rev. Shuttlesworth had waged his own war, so to speak in trying to make integration effective in Birmingham. And he had not succeeded, so he invited Dr. King, because he felt that the national recognition from Dr. King would bring people on board.

Now I think it’s important to say that in 1954, we had the Brown v. Board of Education decision. So, in 1963, we were almost 10 years past that decision. But Birmingham had said, you know what? It’s just not going to happen in Birmingham.

So, after all of this struggle and no success, Rev. Shuttlesworth invited Dr. King by letter and Dr. King came. Now Dr. King appointed what he called perhaps a youth advisor or something in the form of James Bevel was really the one that began to send the communications out via radio, via the various leadership positions in the high schools. If you were in the band, if you were a member of the student council and this was in the black schools–

Jim: Right.

Carolyn: –if you were in those schools, you began to hear rumblings about, we’re going to come together to talk about how we can help Birmingham be the place it’s called to be, to end segregation. So, really the rallying call came from James Bevel.

But now, Rev. Shuttlesworth tells this story. I spent about 12 years with him before he died and he tells the story that on the night before the very first march, that he and Dr. King were sitting in their hotel room and they were sort of having a discussion about, do we really want children to be involved? Children can get hurt. They’ll blame us. You know, there was this discussion and he said there really was no decision between the two of them.

Jim: They just talked about it.

Carolyn: They just talked about it. But the very next day, the children who had begun to hear the rumblings, that had gotten these messages and the messages were passed all around Birmingham in various ways, the very next day, the children just began to come out of the schools.

And I can tell you at the school that I attended—Parker High School—someone showed up with a big poster board sign, and all it said was, “It’s time.” But I knew what “It’s time” meant, because one, I’m a member of 16th Street. But for the others, they had heard it in one fashion or another. And so, students began to just come from all over Birmingham.

Well, why did they come? How was he able to convince them? When we had the first meeting at 16th Street Baptist Church, Dr. King talked about segregation. He also talked about what it would mean if those laws were dismantled.

On a very personal level and on a very elementary level, dismantling segregation might mean that I could go to the library, that I could go to Kiddieland, or to the zoo, that if we went shopping, we could try on the clothes. They were actually very small things that we were looking at as children. We could get on the bus, and we could sit wherever we wanted to sit on the bus.

If you think about it, those are really small things to ask for. But you know, these were children. These were young people. The historical records tell us that all of the children that marched ranged from … started at ages 8-years-old. Now there were people that were much older than that, but the majority of them were teens, as you said from the Birmingham area.

Jim: And you were one of them.

Carolyn: I was one those teens, yeah.

Jim: You actually marched.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Jim: Talk about that moment when the time comes, the placard, as you said, is out in front of the high school, “It’s time.”

Carolyn: It’s time.

Jim: What happened to you as you marched peacefully for the basic rights as you described them? What happened?

Carolyn: What happens next, we began a march toward Kelly Ingram Park. We were stopped. The policeman ordered the marchers to disperse. One of the policemen asked what was the purpose of the march? And someone said, “Everyone knows the purpose of this march. We’re marching for freedom.” It was not an elaborate conversation, but just that we’re marching for freedom.

So, the policeman said, “Well, you are hereby ordered to disperse.” And after a point, everyone just sort of went their different ways. But the destination point was the same, which was the church, the vicinity of Kelly Ingram Park, which is across the street from the church. So, as children folded in that direction and began to come into the church, those that did not go into the church, that went directly into the streets or the park area were met by the policemen and the firemen with the water hoses.

Jim: Dogs, policemen.

Carolyn: Dogs, police dogs, yes.

Jim: And what was unleashed on the group? What happened?

Carolyn: Well, much to our surprise and I do want to say that when they had that first meeting at the church, we were warned about things that might happen. But what we were told was that policemen might hit you. They might have billy clubs. They might have police dogs. The only appropriate response was no response. It became very important for us to know that this was a non-violent movement. And if you could not be non-violent, if you searched yourself and felt that you could not be non-violent, then they were asking you to step aside.

So, we had at our young ages, made a commitment that we would not be violent, that we would absorb whatever the policemen brought. So, when we came to that park area, the first thing that I remember thinking as they came out with these water hoses, they warned us about the things that we might encounter, but no one said anything about water hoses. So, I was a bit puzzled by the water hoses, but then I was a little bit upset and angry, ’cause water hoses make you wet. (Laughter) And that wasn’t a good feeling.

Jim: And it’s forceful.

Carolyn: It’s forceful.

Jim: I mean, it could break a bone—

Carolyn: It had …

Jim: –even, can’t it?

Carolyn: Yeah, it hurts. It’s very painful.

Jim: It’s 100 pounds of pressure comin’ at you, but children were bitten by the dogs.

Carolyn: Children were bitten by the dogs.

Jim: The fire hoses were—

Carolyn: Yes.

Jim: –doing its damage. Where did you go from there then? Were you arrested or what happened?

Carolyn: I was not arrested. Most of us ran. We looked for security and we ended up in the basement of the church. But as we were in the basement of the church, there were hundreds of students upstairs in the sanctuary of the church waiting to be told or to be called. And over a period of days, this is what they did. They just gathered in the church and that day was replicated—the students showing up, staying in the church, being brought out 50 at a time, was replicated over a period of several weeks.

Jim: Carolyn, this has been amazing to hear it and to feel it, but we haven’t really talked about the bombing at the church and we are out of time today. But I want to come back next time and talk about what you experienced as that little girl with your friends being killed in the bombing at the church. Can you stay with us and come back next time?

Carolyn: I would be honored, delighted to come back.

Jim: Let’s do that.

Closing:

John: What a gripping story we’ve had for you today and we’re just getting started and I do hope you can be with us tomorrow for the continuation of the conversation with Carolyn. This is quite a way for us to begin our observation of the Sanctity of Human Life Week. And you’ll want to follow up, if you can’t be with us tomorrow, listen online or on our mobile app. Get the CD and hear more of what Carolyn experienced in the 1960’s.

You can also order her book called While the World Watched and let me just urge you to get a copy of this and read it with your children. Help them understand some of the struggles that so many experienced during the ’60’s. In fact, some schools have made this book a part of their required reading. Call us today and ask for a copy of While the World Watched. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY: 800-232-6459 or you can find details about it at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. And by the way, when you make a generous contribution of any amount to Focus on the Family, we’ll send that book to you. It’s our way of saying thank you for standing with us and enabling us to continue on in our mission.

Our program today was provided by Focus on the Family and made possible by generous listeners like you. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time for more inspiration from Carolyn McKinstry, to help you and your family thrive.

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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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

Headshot image of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Patti Giebink

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

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 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.

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!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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