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Bringing Hope and Healing Through Rescued Horses (Part 1 of 2)

Bringing Hope and Healing Through Rescued Horses (Part 1 of 2)

Kim Meeder, co-founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, shares inspirational stories from her ranch, which rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting children for mutual healing. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: July 13, 2017

Opening:

Excerpt:

Kim Meeder: And these kids weren’t coming for what they could get; the horses weren’t rideable; they weren’t trained; they weren’t strong enough. They were coming for what they could give. And we started seeing that the children, in their efforts to make the horses stronger, that the children themselves started getting stronger, and healing started happening between their hearts, just as it did in my own heart.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Kim Meeder joins us today on Focus on the Family; it’s a Best of 2017 presentation. I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, this year we’re celebrating 40 years of family ministry at Focus on the Family, and as part of that celebration, we’re bringing back some of our favorite guests to talk with us again, and Kim Meeder is one of those favorites. And I know people are going, “Yes, Kim! She’s back!” She was here years ago talking about her ministry using horses to connect with at-risk children. And her ministry, along with her story, has continued to grow, and the Lord has blessed her, and we’re going to not only get an update today, but we’re going to talk about what motivated her to get involved, how did the Lord really inspire her to use horses in this way. And it’s going to be fun, enlightening, and I think insightful.

John: And you might grab a tissue as well.

Jim: (chuckle) That is for sure.

John: There are probably some tears along the way. Kim has an amazing ability to tell stories of God’s work. She and her husband, Troy, started the Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, and they rescue abused and neglected horses, they bring them back to health, and those same horses are used in the ranch’s riding program for children, as Jim mentioned and you’re going to hear about some remarkable things.

Body:

Jim: Kim, welcome back to Focus.

Kim: It is so good to be here. Thank you.

Jim: Good to see you again and your smiling face, that effervescent spirit that the Lord has put in you. You know, I want to start with that foundation, because you and I share that orphan label, and yours was a tragic story—not that any orphan story isn’t tragic, but yours had such pain with it. Let’s start in that place that began to shape who you are today and how God has used you as a 9-year-old girl. What was happening?

Kim: I would begin by saying we serve an awesome God, and what the world views as tragic, Jesus Christ uses for His glory. And so often almost every life will be called to walk through the fiery furnace, and we dread it and we fear it and our natural instinct is to pray, “Oh God, no, please. No, please. I don’t want to walk through that.” And yet, it is when we step into the flame of adversity that we meet Jesus Christ face to face. If we will trust Him enough to walk through, that’s when we meet Him. And that’s where so many stories of hope in Jesus begin.

My story of knowing Jesus Christ and the hope that only He can bring started at nine years of age. And at nine years of age, I would look at my mother and think, Oh my goodness, you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. I want to grow up and be just like you. And I knew in my child’s mind that my dad was a super hero. There was nothing he couldn’t do, and from my child’s perspective, he wore a cape and could fly. And I grew up in the castle of their combined love, and it was during that season of time that I remember my dad’s best friend coming to my little grade school and picking me up, and he didn’t say a word, and picked up my two older sisters. And all three of us are lined up in the back seat of his car, and we just started to drive this very familiar road to my grandparents’ house in utter silence. And during that drive, I remember having this choking feelingthat [Gasps] I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I know that something terrible has happened and no one will tell me what it is.

And I looked up at my older sister’s face, who was sitting next to me, and she was just streaming silent tears. She knew too. And we drove the long distance to my grandparents’ house and down the long driveway, and I could see all these cars parked all over the place. And you could literally feel grief streaming from the house. And I remember thinking, I don’t want to go in there. Don’t make me go in, and just being grabbed by my shoulders and pushed in through the door, into the arms of a woman that I recognized but didn’t know.

And this woman was crying so hard. The house was filled with grieving people and crying and wailing, and she was one of them.And she finally just kind of put her hands up and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to tell you this, but your father has just murdered your mother and taken his own life. I’m sorry.”

Jim: And you were nine.

Kim: I remember looking at her, and my first thought was, My dad loves my mom, and he loves me, and he would never do that. Liar! And I just hit her in the chest with both of my hands and broke out of her arms and just ran out the back doorAnd I remember I was running through an orchard(it was in February) and the orchard had been just plowed, and running until there was just nothing left. And it wasn’t very far,and just falling face first down in the dirt and crying and screaming and gagging and inhaling dirt and retching and holding onto handfuls of dirt in this little girl’s effort to hold on to the memory of her parents, until finally I could hear like these animal sounds and didn’t even recognize the sound of my own voice, and I started to say, “Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me. I need you now, Jesus. I need you now.”

And at that time in my life, I didn’t even know who Jesus was. I think I only have remembrance of going to church twice before that time, and all I knew is, I think He’s the guy on the crossand what I now know is that it doesn’t matter who you are, how you were raised, what culture you were raised in, the truth of God’s Word in Romans 10 is true today: everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, and that salvation is as near as your lips and your heart. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He is the son of God, you will be saved,

And what I now know is that as I cried out to the only one who could redeem this broken heart, that the Lord of all creation came down and crossed the expanse of heaven and knelt in the dirt beside a breaking child and took the hand that was reaching up to Him and my Jesus has never let go.

Jim: Wow.

Kim: He has never let go. And I didn’t know the fullness of that moment then. All I knew in that moment is I’m not alone.I’m not alone.And there’s an ignition of hope in this heart that is saying, “You will get through this, because I am with you,”

That day, my sisters and I moved in with my grandparents, who had just lost their daughter. And in the days that followed, I knew that going to my parents’ funeral were images that I did not ever wish to have in my mind, and I told my blessed grandmother, “I’m not going,” and in her great wisdom, five feet of concrete, just pure love and wisdom (the older I get the more wise she becomes), and she just looked at me and said, “Honey, you don’t have to go,” and so I opted instead to ride horses with my two cousins, and in my mind I was just going to gallop away and never come back. I lost everything, everything, and in my effort to run away, I ran right into the all-consuming love of Jesus Christ, and between His love and the friendship of a little horse with crooked front legs, this wild child’s heart was redeemed.

Jim: Wow. That is such a powerful story, I mean right there I can see why our listeners love you, Kim, because of that conviction and that desire to please the Lord, to live with the Lord, live by the Lord’s standards. All of it. It’s so terrific. And you know, I can only imagine someone’s listening who is in their valley.

I love that Scripture, which I’m sure you share, God loves those who are broken and saves those crushed in spirit. That was you in the dirt in that orchard. And there’s something about the Lord’s Spirit, when He—It’s like the radar is up, that holy radar, and I think particularly with children, that brokenness grieves His heart. I mean Jesus cried with Lazarus’s death. He feels emotion. He knows. We’re made in His image, and I just think when the throne room is filled with that news of a 9-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy, whatever the circumstance, I just think His Spirit responds and says, “She is mine!”

Kim: Amen!

Jim: And comes in and grabs you by the collar and says, “Walk with me, child. I love you.” But you’ve got to say yes. He will not pull you; He will walk with you. And that’s the difference.

Kim: In that fiery furnace where what the enemy means for destruction, if we will call on His name in that inferno, it is Jesus Christ Himself who will turn that into the very moment, the very fulcrum of our life as it tips toward His saving grace. When we enter that fiery furnace, we think we’re going to die, and if we call on His name, that, in fact, becomes the ignition of a new life in Him. Only Jesus can do that. You’re correct. I believe it’s Psalm 34 that says Jesus Christ … that God is near to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit, and which one of us will not walk through this life and be that person—brokenhearted, crushed in spirit? Every single one of us. And God’s Word is true. It is true.

Psalm 16:8 and 9 is also true. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid, for I know the Lord is always with me. He’s right beside me. No wonder my heart is full of joy. When God is near, so is joy, no matter what our circumstance.”

Jim: That’s what I love. Circumstances do not dictate our joy in Christ.

Kim: Amen!

Jim: And when you’re living in that place, you’re living in a great place.

Kim: Amen. The enemy cannot even touch God’s people without God’s permission. All he can do is lie, and when we choose to believe the lie, we empower the liar in our life to keep speaking lies, and that’s why it’s so imperative that we know God’s Word, that we know what it says, because then we can say, “Wait a minute. That’s not true. That’s not true. That’s not how God feels about me. He calls me His beloved. He calls me His child. He calls me His bride, and I’m going to be with Him forever. That’s what’s true.” And I’m going to stand on the bedrock of that, and that can’t change anything that we will ever face in this world, ever.

Jim: Yeah. That’s so true.

Kim: It is.

Jim: So true. Kim, right now I mean folks are listening and they may be in their point of despair, and I want to make sure people know you can call us here at Focus for counseling. Boy, I tell you, the supporters that help Focus go have enabled us to be able to afford to pay for those counselors there, so call us. We’ll put resources in your hands; we’ll do whatever we can do to help you in this moment and be able to, hopefully, throw you that lifeline so you can come out of that pit, empowered by the Spirit of God like you were, Kim, as a 9-year-old girl. Such a powerful and beautiful story. I love that. Nobody’s going to rob you of what you have in Christ.

Kim: Amen.

Jim: And I can feel it. It radiates from you. And that’s where we should be living as believers. So if you’re struggling, geta holdof us.

John: Yeah, and just give us a call; our number is 800-A-FAMILY and you can also go online for a variety of resources to meet you where you’re at; focusonthefamily.com/radio. And while you’re there, look for the article calledComing Home,which talks about walking with Jesus and you’ll understand more about what Kim is sharing here.

Jim: Kim, now we’ve got to, I mean I’m not sure, but we need to transition into horses and what you and your husband, Troy, have done. But, man, keep the fervor. I know you will. What– you were riding horses at the ranch there that day you got the news and the funeral of your mom, I mean that seems to be a part of your life in a unique way. What connected spiritual healing and horses in your mind, and how has that become your passion?

Kim: In that season of grief, I remember sitting on the bus, riding home from my little grade school and just staring at the door and just, Open the door, open the door, let me out! I’ve got to go! And I would run all the way home. I would be throwing things down, running through the front door, and just right through the house, out the back door, down the hill to where my little horse was. Because at that time in my life, I knew that there was no safer place to cry than on my horse’s neck, and she never said, “I’m sorry, you’re not pretty enough. You’re not smart enough. You don’t have the right clothes or the right friends.” In her wordless horse way, her ears would go up and her head would swing around, and she’d say, “Ah, there you are! I’ve been waiting for you!”

And I would get on her back with just a halter and gallop and gallop like a crazy child, jumping creeks and ducking under branches and jumping logs in this child’s effort of outrunning all the pain that was trying to crush my heart, and I always imagined that it wasn’t fast enough to keep up, and somehow it would get lost in the woods behind me. And it was in those moments that my heart felt safe enough to start listening to the truth of God’s Word that I was reading at that time in my life every day, even as a child, every day and I was not saved by a horse; I was saved by Jesus Christ on the back of a horse.

I couldn’t have known then what God was going to do. I met and married my husband. We moved to Bend, Oregon. We bought the only piece of property that we could afford, which was so destroyed, no one else wanted it. It was—and when I say “destroyed,” it was being mined for cinder, which is basically volcanic glass. They crush it and put it on the roads for traction. And so we literally bought a hole in the ground, and to watch these former owners the day we signed the papers, it was like watching Laurel & Hardy, “Quick! Have them sign it before they change their mind, oh my gosh!” It was so ruined that there was no trees, no grass, no dirt. We were so broke, we didn’t even have dirt. And so we started going to all the ranches around and asking for organic material to put on the floor of the stone to help the property recover. It doesn’t matter how barren property is or horses are or human hearts are, before Jesus Christ, you can always recover, always, when you turn to Him.

And so we started filling this property with anything organic that we could find, and we were so broke, my husband was a landscape contractor, and he started bringing home all the trees that were unacceptable because they weren’t perfect, or they had been bulldozed for parking lots or they were broken and they were flat-sided or blocking someone’s view. And we started planting all these trees on the property, and we did this for two years, and then in 1995 we rescued our first two horses from a ranch down the road.

Jim: For those that don’t know the horse world, why does a horse need to be rescued? What’s the condition of the horse? What does that look like to non-animal people?

Kim: Horses carry such a special place in the heart of God. Of all the animal kingdom, Jesus Christ has chosen a horse to come back on, and they are precious to Him. And when it comes to rescue—and this is just my personal sense—how much the enemy attacks them because he hates them because Jesus’ victorious re-entry is going to be on a horse. And in this realm of men, horses suffer greatly.They suffer greatlyand they suffer through starvation because they’re large animals that eat a lot, and they suffer through battery and abuse because they are large animals and people fear them and don’t understand them.

What they don’t understand is they are one of the meekest animals on the planet, and the Hebrew word for meekness comes from a stallion under control, and that this powerful, powerful 1,200-pound animal will let the smallest child guide and direct them. And so, in the early years of the ranch, we rescued our first two horses, one of which was missing 1/3 of her normal body weight, 350 pounds. If you did the math on yourself, you would die. This horse—horses have a chest and front legs; this horse, her front legs were so close together, I could not put my closed fist between her knees. She was so emaciated.

And the second horse, I saw the former owner beat so badly—I was there; I saw it with my own eyes—he beat her so badly that he had to call a vet to come and sew up her face. My horse has an 8-inch scar between her eyes to this day. And those were the first two horses to come to “the ranch,” which was a hole in the ground. I mean passer-byers probably thought the need to be rescued from us. And yet, we had a corral and a hitching post, and we had a boulder the size of my truck with two halters on it, and in God’s hands, that was enough.

And so we started to see children coming, and they weren’t children we even knew. We were volunteering at a youth group, and apparently we had shared with some of the kids that we had rescued two horses, and if you’d like to come out and help us, feel free.

Jim: So that was the very beginning right there.

Kim: We had no clue what God was going to do. And apparently they told their friends, and their friends, and their friends, and pretty soon all these kids are coming up the driveway, and they all looked exactly alike. And their heads were down, their eyes were down, their shoulders were forward. No eye contact. And they’d be wringing their little hands and, “Um, um, we heard that you had some horses that needed some help, and um, um, we were wondering if we could come and help.” They wouldn’t even look at me. They, too, were that broken horse. They, too, were looking for a herd belong to that was bigger than they were, and that they could feel loved and feel accepted and drawn into something that was safe.

And these kids weren’t coming for what they could get; the horses weren’t rideable; they weren’t trained; they weren’t strong enough. They were coming for what they could give. And we started seeing that the children, in their efforts to make the horses stronger, that the children themselves started getting stronger, and healing started happening between their hearts, just as it did in my own heart.

Jim: And Kim, to put particular details to that, Mason and Chad were two boys that you mentioned in your book. Describe their story.

Kim: They came out with a school group that was for children who were falling through the cracks. And I remember the school bus driving up on to the ranch and all the kids piling out, and there was so much excitement and anticipation, and I was aware that there were two young boys in the back of the bus, and their counselor had to ask them to come forward, and they came out and they were all dressed in black and all the chains and all the bracelets, and they got out of the bus, and one of them looked at me and he all but poked me in the chest and said, “What are you going to do about us? Horses are so dumb!And we think this is just stupid.”

And I remember just saying … my prayer was nothing more than, “Jesus, lead. Jesus, lead. You know their hearts. You know where they’re coming from.” And what I know is that when people project a very hardened, tough front, it’s like tissue paper, and right behind that is a little boy that is saying, “Please don’t reject me. I’m going to reject you first, because I don’t want to be rejected and hurt one more time. Please don’t reject me.”

And I could feel that, and so I kind of ignored their posturing and I just said, “Hey you guys, we just rescued this horse, and her story is terrible. It’s terrible. She was so badly neglected that she aborted a foal, and they didn’t even know about it for days. And they came out to feed her and she’s standing over the body of her infant. And then they gave her to us, and she’s just grieving. She’s lost everything and she’s so alone. She’s just … her eyes are so inward. Even though she’s in a herd of horses, she stands alone, and I just need your help to reach her. Can you help me?”

And their hands are shoved down in their pockets, and the little shoulders, “Yeah, whatever.” And so I went and got this beautiful, tiny little quarter horse mare and brought her out, And I brought a pan of grain, and I put it right in their lap, and I said, “Just put your hands on her and let her eat in your presence.”

And then I kind of circled at a distance and I could see them just putting their hands on this horse, and you could see their little hardened faces changing, and that furrow between their eyes leaving. And one of the boys left, and I came over to the other one and he just had his hand on her cheeks, and before I came, he had a palm on each of this horse’s cheeks as she was eating, and he just had his forehead against hers.

And I came over and I sat next to him, and I didn’t say anything. I just put my hand on his back and just did the mama rub between his shoulders, and he kind of looked at me and gave me this little smile, and he really wanted to put his head on my shoulder, but because his friends were there, he didn’t. But I could feel that, and all that chainy-ness that he came with, all those chains were broken in that moment where a broken little boy was genuinely loved by a broken little girl. And for him to recognize that his love matters and it has a place in this world, and that depression and oppression and anxiety always originate in the same place, and that’s a hyper focus on everything we think we lack instead of everything we already have. And to turn that focus around into, “Don’t you know, little man, your love matters and you can make a difference in this world? And it begins right now.”

Closing:

John: And we’re going to have to pause there for today’s Best of 2017 Focus on the Family broadcast. And our guest Kim Meeder, so passionate and what a powerful message.

Jim: Kim has such a talent for sharing stories. That’s why this program had a great impact on you the listener and all of us. I love hearing about what God is doing at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch– it’s encouraging! And as you’ve been listening today, I know you’ve been touched by these stories of redemption. We’re all touched! And that’s really at the heart of what we do here at Focus on the Family together. Everything points back to the Lord and His redeeming nature. We want to encourage you in their faith walk. We hear from people all the time who have benefited from the ministry happening here at Focus.

In fact, one woman wrote to us and said this, “I’m so grateful for the work you do that supports my family, our country and God’s kingdom in general– from your marriage resources to Adventures in Odyssey, Focus was a constant influence in our household as my sisters and I grew up. When my husband and I became engaged, he contacted your ministry. You directed him to materials that helped our marriage get off to a good start. In every contact we’ve had through the years, you’ve been gracious. We consider you a very valuable resource. My husband and I hope to start a family soon and I want my children to be blessed by your ministry as I have been. Thank you!”

That is a wonderful comment and so encouraging to all of us here. We couldn’t do this without you, everybody. When you support Focus, you’re really doing ministry through Focus. Our goal is to make sure we’re running Focus effectively and efficiently so the Lord can bless you when you bless others. Your year-end gift of support to Focus on the Family will give the gift of family. It will provide hope-filled, biblically-based teaching through the broadcast, the ministry programs, counseling resources, and so many more tools. When you donate today, a gift of any amount, we want to send you a copy ofHope Risingas our way of saying thank you for supporting Focus. And now, through a limited time match, your support will go twice as far! Partner with us today so that your gift to help strengthen families will be doubled and let me say thank you for doing so!

John: Yeah, contribute and be a part of the work here at Focus. Get your copy of Hope Rising as well at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800-232-6459. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time for more with Kim Meeder as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

Play Video

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

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

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

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

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

Play Video

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!