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Focus on the Family Broadcast

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

Birmingham and Beyond: Racial Tensions in America (Part 3 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 3 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 tomorrow, Jan. 22. 

Opening:

John Fuller: Welcome to “Focus on the Family” with your host, Focus president, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. Today, the conclusion of our visit with Carolyn McKinstry, who survived bombings and other violence in Alabama during racial tension in the 1960s. First though, an important announcement about some critical pro-life legislation that you can influence this week.

Tomorrow the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a very important bill, HR 36, which provides protection for preborn babies. Congressman Trent Franks from Arizona is a cosponsor and Jim spoke with him this week. Here’s a portion of that conversation.

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

Jim Daly: 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 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 refocus America’s attention. 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: Now that vote is expected to take place tomorrow, so time is of the essence. Please right now, find the details about urging your congressman to support HR 36 at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio.

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

John: Last time on “Focus on the Family,” our guest was Carolyn McKinstry and she described the frightening bombings that had been taking place for years in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s and ’60s, when she was just a young girl.

Recap:

Carolyn McKinstry: These 80 unsolved bombings were all of either black homes, black churches or black businesses. What was chilling even more so was the fact that you could be sitting on your porch on any evening or just sitting on the curb as we often did in the evenings and you would hear a bomb explode, just somewhere out there. You never knew where it was coming from, but you would hear this “boom” sound. You know, you could hear it. And then it always felt like the earth moved and everyone would get quiet.

End of Recap

John: Well, we talked with Carolyn about one bombing in particular in 1963 at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four of her young friends were killed and another was seriously injured. Thirteen other people were injured, as well and Carolyn survived the blast, but it left a scar on her soul for decades. Today you’ll hear how Carolyn overcame through the power of forgiveness in Christ.

Jim: John, Carolyn McKinstry is a remarkable woman, who obviously loves the Lord and she has such a powerful message of hope for us today regarding racial reconciliation and forgiving others. It’s so relevant for us today. She mentioned how, at the time of the church bombing, no one was brought to trial, mostly because of a lack of physical evidence and very few witnesses. It was 14 years before the first suspect, a Ku Klux Klan member was convicted of first-degree murder. Incredibly, the next trial didn’t happen until 2001 and 2002. Think of the years there, when two more Klan members were convicted of first-degree murder.

John: Carolyn actually was testifying in one of the trials and we videotaped her talking about how she faced one of the accused and how God helped her to eventually forgive him and we’ve got that video at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio . Now after our last broadcast, we kept recording and here’s the conclusion of her story. Carolyn is the author of the book, While the World Watched and we continue now with Carolyn McKinstry on today’s “Focus on the Family.”

Body:

Jim: Carolyn, welcome back to the program.

Carolyn: Thank you.

Jim: I was so moved at the end of the program last time, because you were talking about that feeling, that fear in Birmingham, when over 80 bombs had gone off over a period of time and you and others in your neighborhood, when you would hear that bomb, perhaps in the evening, the phones would then begin to ring and you would think, who’s house has just been bombed? I can’t imagine living with that kind of scenario. And I’m sure it’s almost, if not post-traumatic stress syndrome, I mean, you were shell-shocked and that carried forward in your adult years in so many ways.

Talk about how you managed emotionally, trying to be a good person, to be a good Christian, yet all of this hate and animosity is coming towards your community, toward you, friends and neighbors, your four girlfriends had been killed in a bombing at your church. I don’t think most of us can comprehend what you went through. Where were you headed now as a 14-15-year-old girl emotionally, spiritually? What was happening for you?

Carolyn: After the bombing of the church, I spent a lot of quiet time trying to sort through what had happened, trying to understand. And it was really after the bomb that exploded across the street from our house that I began this downward spiral.

I was awakened at about 3 o’clock in the morning. The night lit up like it was daylight, the bomb was so powerful. And then we heard all of these horrible screams, where the mother had run out of the house. She was trying to get everybody else out of the house. And it was that bomb, after the bombing of the church, that really began the downward spiral.

I was nervous. I was depressed. I think I had become convinced that this was how I would die, via one of these bombs. And somewhere in that period of time, I remember going to a house party that one of my friends had. And someone introduced me to wine. We didn’t drink in our house. But what I noticed right away was that the pain wasn’t as bad. When I drank the wine, I could forget about it for a little bit. And I could actually laugh and talk with my friends. And I remembered this feeling of being able to forget and put things aside. So, it began a period of wanting to blot out things.

Jim: Dealing with the pain.

Carolyn: Dealing with the pain. But you know, sometimes even it’s residual pain, but even pain that may come as we continue to move forward. If you’ve discovered something that you think is a pain alleviator, you just continue to do that. And that was what I did. When I went off to college, I pretty much kept to myself. Whenever those things would bother me, I would just find some way to get a drink. I would go to parties and things and it was what I used to numb the pain, to blot it out of my mind and to not think about what was coming next.

Jim: Where were you with God at this time? What was your relationship with the Lord like?

Carolyn: You know, I had been baptized in the church. I had worked in every aspect of things that were available to young people. But I wondered where God was during all of this. Did He not see the suffering and the horrible things that were going on in our city? And I was wondering why He took my friends away, Denise, Cynthia, Addie and Carole. And I wondered why He would allow me to see that, to experience that without me also being taken with them.

Jim: Guilty, you felt guilty.

Carolyn: I felt guilty, yeah. I did and I just thought, I had so many thoughts that probably didn’t make sense then and wouldn’t make sense today.

Jim: And for those that didn’t hear that, those are the four girls who were killed in the bombing at the church. You had just said hello to them in the bathroom—

Carolyn: Yeah.

Jim: –as you walked by. You went upstairs and the bomb went off, and you lost your friends. I do want to ask you about that resentment. It would be reasonable as a human being, not a spiritually enlightened human being, but as a human being, to say, “God I don’t like You. What have You put me through and why?” How did you do that tough work with God to say, okay, I want to believe, help me. What did that look like for you?

Carolyn: There were a lot of “why’s” for me. There were a lot of prayers. I remember praying one night. It was actually my husband that brought it to my attention that …

Jim: Jerome.

Carolyn: Jerome, yeah, he just acknowledged one day. He said, “You know,” he had seen me just take a drink in the morning. And I think he recognized that, that was unusual, that people do social drinking, but if you’ve gotta start the day this way, and he brought this to my attention. He came home early one day, not early, actually he’d gone to work. He forgot something, came back home. I had a drink there, but I was also on the phone talking to the suicide hotline. And I was talking to them only because I had seen, well, in my mind, only because I had seen this advertisement on television and it said, “Are you lonely? Would you like someone to talk to?”

So, we were new to Atlanta. We were living there. His job had taken him there. And yes, I wanted someone to talk to. I had two little girls that really weren’t of an age that I could really talk to them yet. And so, that’s what I was doing when he walked in. And when he asked what I was doing and I said, “I’m talking to the suicide hotline, but I just wanted someone to talk to”—

Jim: Right, but he—

Carolyn:–is what I said to him.

Jim: –still … he had helped …

Carolyn: You know, but still, I think the bell went off in his head that people don’t call those numbers when they want someone to talk to. At that point, I think I still felt that I didn’t have an answer from God as to why many of these things had happened. I was a member of a church there in Atlanta, you know. But I still didn’t feel that I had an answer from Him as to why these things had happened, why I survived, you know. And where was all of this pain continuing to come from?

Jim: Carolyn, I want to ask, because again, you’re a person that has experienced some amazing things, horrible things. And there are so many people who are struggling today for a variety of reasons. It’s not necessarily racial tension, although that could be part of it. But there’s depression and suicide and so much weight in the culture today on people, particularly women. I think everyone feels it, but I think moms really feel it. What would you say to them about dealing with that kind of burden, not knowing if God is there? Fill in the noun for that, whatever it might be. How would you suggest to them that they try to get up today, try to engage God and try to put their left foot in front of their right foot?

Carolyn: Well, you asked for one word. I might use two. The first word might be “pray.” The second word might be submit.” I came to understand what it meant to want to know His Word and then to submit to what it said, to understand that He was in charge in His providence, in His all-knowing, all-omnipotent Self. He knew and was aware of everything that happened and that there are things that had happened that we perceived as evil, that He could take those same things and allow good things to evolve from them.

You know, now over a period of time, I came to know a lot of things, but it started with that release, that submission, the praying and then just saying, “Okay, God, clearly I can’t stop bombings if they’re gonna happen. I can’t stop anything that’s going to happen.” So, at some point I’m either going to lose my mind worrying about them, or I have to trust. I just have to trust You with the things that I encounter in life.”

It was a slow process. There was a lot of pain that it took a lot of time to release and to relieve. But over a period of time, I think I mentioned that somewhere approximately in that 20 years, around the end of that 20th year was when it became kind of a renewed interest in this subject and in the things that had happened in Birmingham. And I began to talk with people at their request about what had happened.

Jim: And that was therapeutic, I’m sure.

Carolyn: It was very therapeutic for me. I began to receive invitations for people to come and say, well, not only tell us the story, but tell us where you’ve come from. Tell us how you managed to do that and how is it that you continue to do this? How is it that you keep going?

Jim: What is it and I think I know the answer, but I want to hear it from you. What is it in those people that would ask you that? What are they yearning for when they hear you? What do you think it is? I think it’s hope.

Carolyn: I think it’s absolutely hope. We all have had those moments when we just couldn’t see what the next day would bring or how we would even make it to the next day. And then God sends someone in our path or He may do it Himself. But we have these moments where our hope is restored. Our faith is restored. Someone comes to us and either tells us their story or they may give us a biblical verse that says, “God is faithful.” You know, He has promised never to leave us or to forsake us. He’s faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, whatever we need from Him, He’s there to provide that.

Jim: And that is what really the point to be made here, and that is what people are attracted to you in you, is your testimony. Your testimony in Christ gives people hope that you can be literally beaten down, literally treated inappropriately, but on the other side of it, sticking with God, arguing through it with God, finding hope in God, finding forgiveness in God, that you will get through it. That’s what’s so wonderful about your story.

Carolyn: You’ve just done a perfect description of what happened in my life. I remember clinging to these words when Dr. King did the funeral for the services for the four girls. One of the things that he said was, “Unmerited suffering was redemptive and that God might well take the deaths.” And not only the death of these girls, but other things that happened and use them to bring good to us, individually; to our country as a whole.

And I began to cling to that, as God allowed me to meet people and to see that the world was filled with wonderful people, godly people, people who believed in His Word, who believed …

Jim: Of all colors.

Carolyn: Of all colors, of all cultures, they crossed all socio-economic groups, all political groups. He just allowed me to see that Birmingham was a very small place in the context of the world that He had created. And then He allowed me to meet all of these wonderful people all over. And I saw that His work, His handiwork, in terms of the cities and the countries or the states that I visited. But I also saw it in the people themselves.

Jim: Let’s turn at the last half of the program now and talk a bit about that forgiveness, how you got to that place and what we need to do today. We’ve got you know, still I believe, President Kennedy’s words could be said today and still ring true.

Carolyn: Yes.

Jim: We’re not there yet.

Carolyn: Not yet.

Jim: And I’d like to know, what do we do, just as believers in Christ? What can we do to make it better, to make this nation one nation under God?

Carolyn: Under God.

Jim: And for all people.

Carolyn: Well, I actually have several thoughts about that, but if I were to talk about forgiveness, I might use several quotes that I believe in. I start with a biblical quote, which says that, “To the same measure that God forgives us, we are required to forgive those around us.” If we want to be forgiven, we must learn to forgive. I do believe forgiving is a discipline. We have to practice it. But it’s required of us. If we’re Christians, it is required.

God is there to heal and we have to know that there is not a future for us if we carry around this hatred. If we’re not willing to let that go, what we’re really saying is, God is not able to heal us and to make us the perfect human being that we can be when we walk with Him.

Jim: A friend of mine, Ted Cunningham on this broadcast, said something I thought fits here and it’s very provocative and that is, unforgiveness and anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Carolyn: I agree with that.

Jim: Wow.

Carolyn: Yes.

Jim: I mean that …

Carolyn: Wow, that’s a power way to say it, too.

Jim: It is; it—

Carolyn: Yeah.

Jim: –it shows you the lack of rationale to it.

Carolyn: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s what God’s pulling us toward. Let’s talk for a moment very boldly. I would really want you to speak honestly. What do we do moving forward in this nation to do better at racial relationships? How do we get beyond where we’re seemingly stuck today, where young men in the black community don’t seem to have a sense of dignity and purpose? How do we work together to help them better understand who they are in Christ and that they’re made for a purpose?

Carolyn: You know, I think this is a very simplistic way of saying it, but I think we have to start over. I heard one minister say that we needed to just reteach our Bible to everyone. There is a way in which we all should walk if we say we’re Christians. This is a Christian program, but even for those people who have not yet come into the faith, there is a way that we can walk so that they are convinced or they are persuaded to come and walk with us.

I think that all of the things that we’re talking about are biblical disciplines, No. 1 forgiveness. It’s not an option. There are things that God has given us in His Word that are not options. Compassion, we all need to develop an ethos of compassion. We encounter many situations where people are down on their luck for whatever reason. And if we can help, we do. If we can point them in the right direction, we do. But this has to be our mind-set.

And we always have to think in terms of reconciling one to the other. I think there’s a passage in Romans that says, “Inasmuch as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” So, if there’s anything we can do to assist, to help, or to keep the peace, this is what God has called us to do. So, we have to look at each other as brothers and sisters, created in His image and then ask the question, “what would God do in whatever situation that we encounter?”

Jim: What advice do you have for us? Speak to me, someone in the white community. What can I do specifically? What should I not do to offend somebody in the black community? Help me better understand what I need to do.

Carolyn: I think that can be encompassed in our second greatest commandment, to love our neighbor as ourselves. In my home growing up, my father would say, “If you don’t want it done to you, then you probably shouldn’t do it to someone else.” And I think that’s just a very simple, but a perfect question to ask, where we’re about to speak, when we’re about to do anything, ask the question, would I like this? Would I like this message if it were given to me? Or would I like this activity, whatever is about to be done.

I think if we just put ourselves in the place of the other person, there’s nothing magic about this. We are all spiritual beings. We’re all created in His image. We should all respond to pretty much some of these good things. So, put myself in your place and ask that question.

I think if we all do that, if we just put ourselves in the other person’s place, there are situations that we encounter today that were years in the making. And we know that sometimes we can’t go back and undo or fix situations that began a long time ago, but we can start where we are today. What can I do today to support you or to assist you? How can I help you as you walk this journey? How can I help you along the way?

Jim: And I would—

Carolyn: Simple questions.

Jim: –and I would think one of the great things that we need to look at as a culture is how to befriend one another.

Carolyn: Absolutely.

Jim: You know, they say the greatest segregation that occurs today is Sunday morning in our churches. We in the Christian community could do such a better job of getting to know people that are outside the comfort zone. And you know, what’s wonderful about that is how God shows up and you go, wow! I had no idea that would be so easy, or so good, or so fun, or whatever it might be. And that, you know, it just takes a little bit of effort.

Carolyn: I think that’s a marvelous observation that you just made. Dr. King referred to it as the most segregated hour in America. But it certainly doesn’t have to be today. And I do know that at least in Birmingham and I’m sure around the nation, that we have a lot of interfaith exchanges. People come together at Thanksgiving.

And the message we hope will be reconciliation, just learning as you said, to just live with people who are different from us, but just learning to be neighborly.

Jim: Well, and I can only say, you know, doing the international work at Focus for all the years and traveling to Asia and Africa, the amazing thing, we noticed the differences, but our commonality, especially around family, husbands and wives, moms and dads who want to do it well, especially for Christians who want to honor the Lord in those relationships. We have far more in common than what…

Carolyn: Than we have differences.

Jim: Absolutely.

Carolyn: And it is our diversity that makes us as rich as we are here as a nation. We need to embrace that. We need to expand it and I absolutely agree. We have wonderful things to share with each other.

Jim: And here’s the bottom line. God made it this way.

Carolyn: Yes, He did.

Jim: Let’s honor Him–

Carolyn: Yes.

Jim: –by treating each other with that respect—

Carolyn: Amen.

Jim: –in the way He made us. Carolyn McKinstry, man, this has been a great three days and I have so enjoyed it. I feel like I’ve met a new friend. And I appreciate that, your book, While the World Watched, it’s a powerful story. It is a teaching opportunity and a learning opportunity. No matter what you’re dealing with, it doesn’t have to be racial tension. What Carolyn has done in this book is to talk about deep sorrow, deep pain and God’s path forward and for that, I’m very grateful. Thank you, Carolyn.

Carolyn: Thank you very much.

Closing:

John: It really has been quite a remarkable few days of programs here at Focus on the Family and they’re really central for us, as this is Sanctity of Human Life Week, we recognize all life as sacred and made in God’s image. And we’re so grateful Carolyn could be a part of this series.

Now her story is told in the excellent book that Jim just mentioned, While the World Watched and we have that for you here at Focus on the Family as our thank-you gift when you donate in any amount financially to this ministry. Call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or visit www.focusonthefamily.com/radio . And while you’re there, see the video of Carolyn that we mentioned earlier.

Our program 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 tomorrow. We’re going to offer some hope for the woman who’s facing an unplanned pregnancy, as we help you and your family thrive.

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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!