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Celebrating the Miracle of Thanksgiving

Celebrating the Miracle of Thanksgiving

Best-selling author Eric Metaxas tells the incredible story of the history of Thanksgiving, focusing on Squanto, a Native American man of faith who was called by God to help the Pilgrims in their hardships.
Original Air Date: November 24, 2016

Excerpt:

Eric Metaxas: And in the case of Squanto, sometimes he gives us stories from history to show us, look, I am faithful, you may not see it every single time, but I want you to know I’m faithful. And this is such a crazy story. I don’t know what other, uh, moral you can pull from it, except God is real.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Happy Thanksgiving from Focus on the Family. That’s Eric Metaxas reflecting about how God works through people all through history to accomplish His purposes. And our host today is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Yeah. Today, John’s, one of my favorite days of the year because, uh, first of all, you get to eat. (laughs)

John: Always a good thing.

Jim: Yeah, that Turkey is so good with gravy, isn’t it? And then, uh, watch a little football maybe.

John: A lot of football.

Jim: (laughs) Maybe too much football. Uh, but most importantly, spending time together with family. I love Jean’s tradition where we go around the table. I’m sure many of you do the same thing, which is to say, what are you thankful for? We tease Jean about it, but she rolls with that punch and we do it. We just go around the table and to hear Trent and Troy give an idea of what they’re most thankful for in the past year is really rewarding as a parent. Um, I know you’re going to be celebrating with your family and friends, and we want to take a look back at a great story that is directly related to Thanksgiving. It’s part of our history, and it’s the story of Squanto. And the reason this story is important to all of us is because of the way God worked in his life at an early age well before the first Thanksgiving ever happened. And I am so impressed with that story. I didn’t know it, John, until I heard uh, this story written by our guest Eric Metaxas.

John: And Eric is a radio host. He’s a popular speaker and the author of a number of books, including one for children called Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.

Jim: Eric, it’s great to have you back at Focus on the Family.

Eric: It’s always a pleasure to hang out with you guys. Thanks for having me.

Jim: Hey Eric, uh, you love history that comes out in all the work that you do with your books, your biographies, those things. Why Squanto? What caught your attention with Squanto that you said this is someone I need to write about?

Eric: I honestly… I’ll never forget this. This is a long time ago. This was about 1991 or 1990. Uh, I was working for a company called Rabbit Ears Productions. They produce all these uh, kids’ stories, just a wonderful time in my life. And uh, somebody said, we’re going to do these stories on America, folktales, Paul Bunyan, whatever. “Uh, oh, have you heard of the story of Squanto?” “I never heard of the story Squanto, what’s Squanto?” And he said, “Oh yeah, he’s the one that helped the pilgrims plant corn and you know, put the, the fish in with the corn so that it provided fertilizer and you know, yeah, tells a story Squanto.” So, I said, “Okay.”

Jim: (laughs)

Eric: So, I go to the library and I look up the story of Squanto. And that’s pretty much, if anybody’s ever heard of Squanto, that’s what they’re taught in school.

Jim: Right. He was good at agriculture.

Eric: Right? He’s the Indian that comes of the woods and he helps the pilgrims, that’s all we know, right? Well, I start reading the story. And there’s all these children’s books on him and they’re kind of boring, like I, I don’t really get it. And then I start reading the original documents. Now the original documents, we’re talking about, you know, 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony wrote his memoirs, his journal, his diary in it. And there’s a couple of documents that refer to Squanto, and I realized, oh, they all got their information to write these other children’s books and stuff from this. This is all we know about Squanto. So, I read these other documents and I piece the story together, and like my hair stands on end. I say, how come nobody’s noticed what I’m noticing right now? And what I’m noticing is that the story of Squanto is one of the freakiest miracles in history. It doesn’t make any sense, but then you read through it over and over and over and you go, this is what happened, why is nobody recognizing this as a crazy miracle of God? It is just an outrageous story. And so, I wrote the miracle-

Jim: Ta- take us back, yeah.

Eric: Well, I’ll tell you this, obviously I got to tell you the story. But it’s so crazy, and I obviously I put it in my, uh, If You Can Keep It booked because I want to inspire people to say that God has had His hand on this country, whether you like it or not. God has blessed America and called America into existence for His purposes. Not to say, “Hey, you’re great. I love you.” No, no, no. He blesses you to be a blessing. And America has been blessed by God outrageously to be a blessing to the rest of the world and to history. And so, the story is basically this, and you have to listen carefully to the details because this is so nuts. Basically, uh, nobody had come to, you know, when I say North America, I, I’m saying, you know, Massachusetts, Virginia, whatever.

Jim: New England.

Eric: We, we all know that, uh, you know, in 1607 they went to the Virginia Colony, that didn’t go so well, there was some problems there or whatever. But in 1620, uh, some ship called the Mayflower with, you know, a group of a hundred religious dissidents, right? Come across and they, they’re what we call the pilgrims. They land, they go through hell, 50% of them die. Now that’s like one of these statistics, it means nothing. Think about it-

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: … think about you and your family and some other families are going to go on a trip because God has led you to do this. And half of you get sick and die and you bury each other. It’s like out of one of the darkest tales of history, okay?

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eric: So, we know about that. But what we don’t know is what happened before 1620. And this is what shocked me, I had no clue, is that just because the pilgrims were the first ones to settle there, they were not the first ones to travel there. There had been a number of trading ships from England that would come down, you know, maybe they’d hit Greenland or Iceland, they’d go to Newfoundland, they come down the coast, uh, to what is Maine and all the way down Massachusetts, and they would trade with the native Americans. They would come down to the shore and they would trade them, you know, whether it’s pots and pans for beads or, or beaver pelts or whatever, that there had been trading that was going on, but nobody had settled.

So, it’s only these crazy pilgrims that come from, you know, they were obviously, uh, persecuted for their faith in England. But they went to Holland to escape the persecution, and then they’re in Holland for a few years. And they say, this is not working out, our kids are becoming Dutch, we’re going to go across the Atlantic. So, they go across the Atlantic in 1620 and they settle. But as I say, it’s what happened before that that makes the story understandable.

And here’s what happened, in about 1608, 12 years before the pilgrims come one of these trading ships, uh, led by a Captain Hunt, uh, is coming down the main coast to what’s today Massachusetts to trade, okay? And again, there’ve been a number of these, but this was one, uh, that happened around 1608. And Captain Hunt was a wicked man. Uh, he, and I’m sure many other of these wicked traders, uh, we’re not just interested in getting beaver pelts and things. They said, you know what? We can make a lot of money if we can kidnap some of these young native Americans, throw them in the hold of the ship, drag them across the Atlantic and sell them as slaves. Won’t we make a lot more money? Hey, slavery is not illegal, let’s make some money. So, they land the ship in 1608, the trusting, uh, Indians come down. Now by the way, this is right where Plymouth, Massachusetts is today. Uh, so it was the Pawtuxet tribe. They come down and as I said, John Hunt, this wicked captain, they, you know, hit them over the head, whatever, they drag them on the long boat, throw them in the hold of the ship, take them across the Atlantic and sell them at a high profit in Malaga, Spain.

Jim: And there’s no real record, uh, small record, but we don’t know the number of-

Eric: No.

Jim: … native Americans that were actually taken-

Eric: No.

Jim: … into slavery.

Eric: No, it’s complicated, and even this story has some things that people aren’t clear on, but the stuff I’m talking about is we know for sure, okay? So, one of these, uh, braves is a 12-year-old named Tisquantum. Now, where the story gets insane is that Tisquantum is bought by friars, by monks, who by all accounts treated him very well. Uh, we don’t know if they rescued him or they just bought him and treated him well, we don’t know. But he learns the Christian faith. And then somehow, they conspire to figure out, can we get him back to his people? Now, can you imagine what we’re talking about right now?

Jim: Right, he’s in Spain.

Eric: We are talking like now it’s like 1611, 1612, and we’re talking about you’re in Spain. That’s like saying, hey, I’m stranded on the moon, when’s the next bus heading back to earth? There ain’t no bus. Like what, what are you talking about? There’s no uh, railroad or flights or-

Jim: Right.

Eric: … that, you’re, you’re in Europe and it’s 1612. They somehow felt if we can get him back to London, there are trading ships, maybe we can connect him with one of these trading ships to get back home. I mean, the odds against this are like one in a billion, but somehow after five years he gets to London, he works for a, a family as a stable hand. So, imagine this, this Indian who’s come from what’s Plymouth is now in the England of Shakespeare and whatever. He learns perfect English and everything, and he’s working there waiting for an opportunity to get a ship back. So, it’s, the year is probably 16… I’m guessing 1618 is the year that they finally find a ship that needs a translator. So Tisquantum, who’s now this young man, he is picked and for passage across, he’s going to be the translator or whatever. So, I think they winter in Iceland or something-

Jim: Ah.

Eric: … and then they go down to the coast, and when they get to Patuxent, which is the Southern part of Massachusetts, they go, hey, this is where you wanted to go, you’re done, goodbye.

Jim: This is your bus stop.

Eric: Thank you very much. This is your bus stop; you get off the bus. So, he gets off the bus-

Jim: (laughs)

Eric: … and he runs through the woods after… Now, just imagine… he’s learned the Christian faith, he speaks English. 10 years he’s been longing to return home.

Jim: Hmm. Amazing.

Eric: He gets home, there’s nobody there. The village is empty, where he grew up. He goes to a neighboring tribe and finds out that some kind of a plague epidemic, probably smallpox, wiped out all of his people. There’s like one or two left and they’re living with the neighboring tribe. So, it’s kind of like, we kind of think, well, what do we care? He’s back with the Indians. No, no, no, his tribe was dead. The neighboring tribe was as foreign to him as the English. So, he lived with them for a little while, then he goes off to live in the woods alone. This is so heartbreaking and strange.

Well, while he is there wondering what has God done with my life? Why would God allow me to come all the way back against the odds for nothing?

Jim: Right.

Eric: At the same time, a group of Puritans called the pilgrims land the Mayflower on what is today Plymouth, but in those days was Patuxent, the very place where this young man had grown up. We know that they go through the winter. We know that they die like flies. They are crying out to God, “Lord, how could you lead us to this place? We know you led us, but we’re dying like flies.” And frankly, they were planning to go back because they’re not succeeding.

Jim: Huh.

Well, in the Spring out of the woods walks an Indian named Squanto. Uh, he’s led there by a Samoset who’d been talking with the pilgrims. And he speaks perfect English. Imagine, put yourself in the shoes of the pilgrims. They’re stranded on this, you know, they’re all alone, they’re dying. An Indian comes out of the woods and basically says, uh, I speak perfect English. I have been in London more recently than you have.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: And where you have settled is where I grew up. And I know everything that is necessary about how to plant crops, about where to fish, where to get lobsters, how to get eels out of the muddy streams. And by the way, I have nothing else to do with my life. I am here for you to help you. I mean, if he didn’t speak perfect English, it would still be a miracle-

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: … but he spoke perfect Eng- like it’s just insane. And so, he gives himself to these pilgrims. And because of him they stay, they flourish. It’s one of the miracles of history, and it goes one step further is that if they had not succeeded there, 10 years later on the Arbella, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was even much more significant, that would have never happened if the pilgrims hadn’t succeeded at Plymouth. So you could say that the cradle of liberty, Boston, everything that comes out of the Revolution, that whole culture, never would have happened if Squanto had not walked out of the woods prepared by God like Joseph. What man meant for evil, God meant for good. It’s one of the craziest stories in history. It’s documented, not that many people know it. So, I put it in my book, If You Can Keep It, because as far as I’m concerned, every American needs to know the story.

Jim: Well, and that’s why today on Thanksgiving it’s so critical for us to highlight this story and to better understand the founding of our nation.

Eric, I’ve got to ask this question though, some people would say that his suffering, uh, by being taken into slavery and all that he had to go through, and to say that it was needed for America to start and to flourish-

Eric: Right, right.

Jim: … you could scratch your head over some of that and think, wow, okay.

Eric: Well, if you don’t scratch your head, you’re, you’re not paying attention. I mean, there, there are mysteries here that will never gonna unravel this side of heaven. I mean, why does any of the suffering have to happen? But I tell you, there’s a lot of meaningless suffering in life. He could have gone all through this and died a miserable death. Instead, he gets to play a role in history where we’re talking about him today because his kindness, his generosity, his nobility helped suffering people at a time that they were on the ropes.

Jim: Yeah.

Eric: They were ready to go home weeping because they’d lost everything. It’s just one of these things that we don’t have an answer, but we do know that God used him. And in his last years on earth, he had joy.

Jim: He wasn’t bitter.

Eric: He said, look, one, the opposite of bitter. He was like, I can’t even believe that I… In fact, and this I quote in the book, he said that he prayed that the Englishman would pray for him that he would go to their God in heaven. He asked them to pray that he would go to their God. He understood this faith and he wanted to go to heaven, and he asked them to pray for him. And John Winthrop says that this man, Squanto, was a special instrument sent of God. And it was, it was clear to the pilgrims that God has heard our cries. He sent this man on this circuitous horrible path just for the right time to save us and to start a nation that by the way would uh, bring blessings to the whole world.

Jim: Hmm. Um, Eric, let me ask you this, and of course we have the background sounds-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … of New York City.

Eric: Just to prove we are in New York.

Jim: (laughs) But let me ask you this, how do we take the lesson from Squanto as believers-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … fellow believers-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … with him-

Eric: Yeah.

Jim: … to say that we can’t look at just our life as the end all of God’s plan.

Eric: That’s-

Jim: That it’s all about me. That there is something at work that is bigger than us, that is more important than us.

Eric: God asked us to trust Him, and He doesn’t always give us the proof that we’re looking for. I mean, here, here’s the bottom line. Sometimes He does, and sometimes He doesn’t, but He’s still the same God. If He doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for, it doesn’t mean that He’s not there. And in the case of Squanto, sometimes He gives us stories from history to show us, look, I am faithful, you may not see it every single time, but I want you to know I’m faithful. And this is such a crazy story. I don’t know what other, uh, moral you can pull from it, except God is real.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: It’s just one of those things, if you’re doubting where you’re in life right now and why you’re here, God knows the rest of the story, and all you need to do is trust Him, uh, and know that He won’t fail you. He will not fail you.

John: To that end Eric, did, uh, the man we know as Squanto, did he get to see a, a good ending to his personal story?

Eric: Squanto actually died very young. He died only a few years after this. They don’t know what he died of. But before he died, he was able, and I forgot to say this, to broker a deal. Imagine this, to broker a deal with the surrounding Indian tribes so that there was peace between the English settlers and the surrounding Indian tribes that lasted for 50 years.

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: I mean, you cannot even imagine. That makes any diplomatic effort that you’ve ever heard about seem not that amazing. This is just amazing because we know the horrors with Phillips, King Philip’s war in 1670, but for 50 years there was peace.

John: Bu my point is he did not see that 50 years of peace.

Eric: He saw it. That’s right.

John: We don’t always see what our life-

Eric: He did not see.

John: … has been about until afterwards.

Eric: He did not see. We see, but he did not see most of what he had accomplished.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: Yeah. I mean, that’s something. Hey Eric, as we wrap up here, um, I’m thinking of the celebration of Thanksgiving. One of the things that we did was Radio Theater, which is a dramatization of a variety of stories, but one of the stories we did was Squanto.

Eric: I know.

Jim: And, uh, you know, along with your highlighting of this, maybe talking about it around the table so that your children better understand the contribution Squanto made to this nation-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … that he was in the early days before people came here.

Eric: Well look, I wrote a, I wrote a children’s book about it, uh, which many people have said to me, “Oh, we read that at Thanksgiving.” I think that is my fondest dream that you’d read this with your kids. You know, the adult version is in my book, If You Can Keep It, and obviously there’s the folks on the family Radio Theater, which I’ve heard for years, people said, “Did you know they did a Squanto story?”

But I think that we have to tell these stories to our kids. It’s an obligation as parents, we’ve got to put these things in their hands because this is who we are as a people, God has had His hand on us, therefore we have responsibility.

Jim: Hey Eric, one of the traditions my wife, Jean, does around the table, and we kid her for it, but it is a wonderful tradition that I know my boys are going to do with their children someday, is to go around the table and say, what is it that you’re thankful for? Given the context of, of what you’ve written about the way that historically you’ve looked at these figures, not just Squanto, but all the biographies-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … that you’ve done. What is something that you take away on this day of Thanksgiving, if you were sitting at our table-

Eric: Right.

Jim: … today and Jean said to you, Eric, what are you thankful for?

Eric: It’s, it’s pretty easy actually, uh, for me. That God would allow me to be used to tell these stories. I am filled with gratitude. Those aren’t just words, I just, I praise the Lord every day that He’s allowed me to be a part of what He’s doing in this generation. Because that, that to me is the whole point of life. And so, the fact that He allows me to know and to hear from people who’ve said, I’ve read your books, and this has meant that… I just praise God for that-

Jim: Hmm.

Eric: … every single day.

Jim: Well, you’ve done well as an English major-

Eric: (laughs)

Jim: … for the moms and dads that are worried about their sons and daughters-

Eric: (laughs)

Jim: … majoring in English-

Eric: Oh man.

Jim: You’ve paved the way.

Eric: It’s okay to major in English but pray hard.

Jim: (laughs) Eric, it’s been great to have you. Thanks so much.

Eric: Always my joy. Thanks Jim and John.

John: Well, we’ve heard a really amazing story today from Eric Metaxas. Uh, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim: John, I really loved the way Eric brings history to life and we recommend you get a copy of his children’s book, Squanto And the Miracle of Thanksgiving. This will be a great resource for your family, something to share with your kids or your grandkids. In fact, it would make a great Christmas gift this year.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And if you send a gift to Focus on the Family of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of this book as our way of saying thank you.

John: And our call center and offices are closed today and tomorrow for the holiday, but you can donate online and get that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Okay. What we want to do next is play a short excerpt from our Radio Theater dramatization of Squanto, which was so well done, and it will inspire your imagination about the story that Eric has shared with us.

John: And Focus on the Family’s Radio Theater is a collection of award-winning audio dramas with really terrific stories, gifted actors and original music. And here now is a clip from The Legend of Squanto.

Squanto: Is it a French ship? Do you think they’ve come to trade?

Squanto’s Father: It is not French, it is English.

Tisquantum (Squanto): How do you know?

Squanto’s Father: Sattosqua of the Nauset’s told me of the English ships and the colors they carry. They have been negotiating trade with many of the tribes in this country.

Patowak: Why haven’t they traded with us?

Tisquantum: They may be here to trade with us now. Will you meet with them father?

Squanto’s Father: Hmm… if they come to greet us in peace, yes. But I see no scouts, no canoes, no representatives.

Tisquantum: May I go around to the ridge? I can see more clearly from there.

Patowak: I’ll go with you.

Tisquantum: No Patowak, stay here.

Squanto’s Father: I want Patowak to go with you, Tisquantum. Then he may run back to telling me what you see from the ridge.

Patowak: I will be your messenger.

Squanto’s Father: Yes, son you will. Now go, both of you.

Tisquantum: Yes, sir.

(Squanto takes off with Patowak hot on his heels. Music transition to next scene)

Patowak: Slow down, Tisquantum.

Tisquantum: If you want to be a messenger you’ll have to keep up.

Patowak: You are trying to get rid of me. Father said I could come.

Tisquantum: Well come then, but please be quiet. How can I scout with you chattering on? (Quietly) Wait. Look.

Patowak: What?

Tisquantum: Don’t you see it? A small boat around the cove. There on the beach.

Patowak: Ah.

Tisquantum: They’ve come to ashore. Quickly Patowak! Run and tell father that the English are already… Ahhh….

(Suddenly Tisquantum is caught up in a net, with resulting commotion.  Several sailors surround him along with Captain Hunt.  Squanto cries out as he struggles.)

Tisquantum: Run, Patowak, run!

Patowak: Tisquantum, help! Help!

(Patowak shrieks as he runs off)

First Mate: That was easy enough. Do you want me to go after the little one?

Captain Hunt: No, too scrawny. We’d never got a good price for him and he probably wouldn’t survive the voyage. This one looks strong. Hey there lad, do you speak English? I didn’t think so. Parlez vous francais? Obviously not the talkative type. Take him back to the ship.

First Mate: They are spying, Captain Hunt. Should we look for more?

Captain Hunt: I’d like to, but I’m afraid that we won’t have the room on the ship. He’ll be enough for now. Hey savage, how would you like to see the world? Well, you’re going to see it whether you want to or not.

First Mate: (laughs)

Captain Hunt: At least you’re going to see Spain. Let’s go.

Tisquantum: No.

First Mate: Oh. I think he wants to say goodbye.

Captain Hunt: These savages aren’t like you and me. They don’t care about goodbyes. But they’ll learn our ways or die trying.

(Music transition to the next scene. We are in the hold of The Wayfarer.  The sailors roughly throw Tisquantum to the floor. There are other Indians there, including Maneda, Sassacomet and Skettwaroes.)

Sailor: Now keep quiet and maybe you won’t get hurt.

First Mate: Here are some of your mates to keep you company, you can grunt at each other. (laughs)

(The sailors laugh as they leave and lock the hatch behind them.)

Sassacomet: Another brother joins us.

Tisquantum: What has happened? Who are you?

Sassacomet: I am Sassacomet of the Wampanoag tribe.

Maneda: From the Algonquins, I am Maneda.

Skettwaroes: Skettwaroes from the Noble Pennacooks.

Tisquantum: I am just Tisquantum of the Pawtuxets. I don’t understand. Why have they put us here?

Maneda: Because they are cowards and would not fight us as honorable men. They sneak and steal like foxes among chickens.

Tisquantum: We are hostages then. Will they use us to get food or supplies?

Skettwaroes: We do not know their minds or their schemes.

Tisquantum: It’s a mistake.

Maneda: Hmm.

Skettwaroes: I said the same thing a week ago. Even as one of their leaders, the one called Captain Smith, smoked the pipe of peace and exchanged gifts with our leaders. This one with the wolf’s eyes-

Maneda: Captain Hunter.

Skettwaroes: … made his plans to capture us as slaves.

Tisquantum: Slaves?!

Sassacomet: It is true young one.

Tisquantum: We must fight. We must find a way to escape!

(He rushes to the door and pounds on it furiously, shouting as he does.)

Sassacomet: It’s of no use young one. Even if you escape this place in darkness, there are many men to capture you outside.

Tisquantum: No, my father will take action. My tribe will wage war.

Skettwaroes: I’m sure they would. But how will they wage war against a ship like this? Listen to the waves against the side of the boat, young one. We are moving from the land.

Tisquantum: No, the Great Spirit would not allow innocent men to die this way.

Maneda: Die? We will not die. But we may wish it were otherwise.

(End of The Legend of Squanto Radio Theatre excerpt)

John: What a powerful story. And you can listen to it over and over again when you get a copy of The Legend of Squanto as produced by the Focus on the Family Radio Theater team. Learn more about our collection of Radio Theatre audio dramas at our website.

And don’t forget, we can send a copy of the book by Eric Metaxas, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, when you donate and make a gift of any amount at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Here at the end John, I’d like to express a big thanks to our listeners. Uh, we have been so honored to be a part of your lives each week on the broadcast here. And thank you for sharing your stories with us in response.

John you’ve often remarked about those divine moments where a listener just happened to hear Focus on the Family on the radio or something in a podcast that spoke directly to their heart. And that’s exactly what happened to a woman, we’ll call her Karen, who heard one of our recent programs about infidelity in marriage. The broadcast wasn’t relevant to Karen in that moment, but a few days later she found text messages that revealed her husband was having an affair. Karen was so devastated and was ready to leave with their children and never return. But here’s what she said, “God worked a miracle on my heart that day, in no small part thanks to the Focus broadcast I listened to. I did not want to participate in a fatherless generation, and I felt compassion for my husband as he confessed fully and repented of his transgressions. After talking with our church pastor, my husband also found a Christian counselor through your website. We are currently attending counseling sessions together. In the strangest way, we already feel our marriage is stronger because we are actively talking and praying together. Thank you for the work you do, it changes lives and families.”

Well, that’s all God’s doing. And thanks to Him, this family has found a powerful reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. And let me add, thanks to you, uh, heeding the call to help us.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I love hearing stories like that. Uh, we’re so encouraged. And we’re going to just ask you to contact us about ways God has used Focus on the Family in your family. Call and share a story with us next week or stop by our website anytime. That’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

And coming up next time, understanding the power and the impact of being generous.

Teaser:

Focus Listener Named Jay: This couple we had helped before brought in groceries like you would not believe. And they were trying to teach their children uh, that were I think at the time six and 10, that it is better to give than to receive.

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Pastor Kevin Thompson explores three primary roles in marriage – friend, partner, and lover – and explains how spouses can live out those roles optimally by investing in their relationship mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 2 of 2)

Promotional image for the Focus on the Family broadcast "Praying Scripture Over Your Child's Life"

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life (Part 1 of 2)

Jodie Berndt, best-selling author of the Praying the Scriptures book series, offers parents guidance for how they can more frequently and effectively pray for their children’s faith, wisdom, self-discipline, character, life purpose, and more. (Part 1 of 2)

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Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

Popular Christian vocalist Larnelle Harris reflects on his five-decade music career, sharing the valuable life lessons he’s learned about putting his family first, allowing God to redeem a troubled past, recognizing those who’ve sacrificed for his benefit, and faithfully adhering to biblical principles amidst all the opportunities that have come his way.

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll explains how listeners can find freedom from self-imposed and unrealistic standards of perfection in a discussion based on her book, Breaking Up With Perfect: Kiss Perfection Goodbye and Embrace the Joy God Has in Store for You.

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.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 2

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.

Cherishing Your Spouse Every Day

Do you love your spouse, or do you truly cherish them? Gary Thomas encourages couples to make a daily effort to go beyond the ‘duty’ of love, and combat the natural inclination to drift apart, by choosing to see the best in their spouse.

Mr. Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an international speaker and best-selling, award-winning author whose books include Married SexSacred Marriage and Sacred Parenting. He has also written numerous articles for several prominent national magazines. Gary and his wife, Lisa, reside in Texas and have three children. You can learn more about Gary by visiting his website, www.garythomas.com.

cherish front cover

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

“Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.” Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book–Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever. Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

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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!

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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