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Created by God for a Purpose

Created by God for a Purpose

As an encouragement for parents to help their children embrace their unique qualities, Dr. Kathy Koch describes how God has utilized personal traits she used to dislike and channeled them into talents that have made her into the dynamic author and speaker she is today.
Original Air Date: January 14, 2021

John Fuller: Well, I wonder if you’ve ever wished that you could change something about yourself, maybe your height or your hair color or your skill set, um, that’s probably something all of us struggle with at some point in time. Dr. Kathy Koch will share a really unique perspective on how you can appreciate your God-given attributes on this episode of Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, we’re celebrating the sanctity of human life throughout the month of January. And today we’re highlighting the fact that our creator, God, has a purpose for every life. Dr. Kathy opened her message, quoting Genesis Chapter 1, which says God created man in his own image. She pointed out that God is a personal, intentional creator and he doesn’t use an assembly line to build his human beings. He deliberately chooses each attribute that he gives us and that idea it should blow our mind, right?

John: Oh, it should, yeah. Let’s go ahead now and hear from Dr. Kathy Koch as she spoke to our staff just about a year ago on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Dr. Kathy Koch: We read in the book of Isaiah that Isaiah understood God’s personal intentionality. In Isaiah, chapter 64, verse eight, we read, Oh, Lord, you are our father. We are all the clay and you are our potter. We are all the work of your hand to say the word all everyone you’ll ever meet and everyone you’ll never meet created by God’s hand. He wanted them and he wanted them made the way that they are. I picture God the creator at the potter’s wheel, and there’s this lump of clay. I think I’ll give them a girl this time. I think I’ll give her very long fingers so she can play the piano really well like her mom. I think I’ll make her very analytic like her dad, that will drive her mom nuts. I mean, I don’t know, but I know he was strategic and intentional and planned. We all have worth because we were wanted, created on purpose, with purpose, for purpose. He decided and we are here. We were wanted. We are wanted. We are here. God created every person conceived. He is never surprised for God. There is no such thing as an unplanned pregnancy. We may be surprised, and I understand that, but to God, they’re all planned, I’m pro-life. I’m pro-eternal life. I’m pro-abundant life, and I’m pro-living. How many of you know people barely alive, not living? Do you know what I mean by that? They’re going through the motions, they’re breathing, they’re taking up space, but they’ve chosen to step back and disengage, how tragic. I want us to live intentionally. I want us to live intentionally because God created us intentionally on purpose. Why were you created for such a time as this? So exciting to think about. And the dream I have for kids is that they would live long enough to find out. You don’t know everything is when you’re a child, you’re a child. Childhood comes before adulthood, and it might make sense one day, no matter what our specific purposes are, I do know that we were created to leave the world a better place, to be pro-living and to live long and leave the world a better place through who we are and through what we do in the choose life. To model that in our actions and in our beliefs, who are you becoming? I don’t know what your stories are, but I was created to be a Chatty Cathy. I was given that nickname when I was about three years old by my mom’s mom. Oh, you’re such a Chatty Cathy. My parents chose to see all the words in me as a strength to develop, not a problem to eliminate. And that’s the power of the parent. Praise God for my parents, they were imperfect, but they saw something in me that needed to come out, all these words in me. My brother Dave is also extremely grateful for our parents. My brother is a clinical chemist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the past president of the American Association of Clinical Chemists. My brother credits the beginning of the passion he has for chemistry to a chemistry set our grandparents gave him at his 10th birthday. We believe that our grandparents must have seen something in my brother that caused them to believe that there was something in him that would be brought forth through investigation and experimentation and making messes at the kitchen table, which our parents allowed him to do. And as a result of that, my brother now is changing lives through the discovery in clinical chemistry. Back to my Chatty Cathy story, what did God use for me? When I was about 10 years old, mum and dad enrolled me in children’s theater. They said, go talk there a while.

Audience: Laughter

Dr. Koch: Yeah, true story. I was in the library reading awards every summer of my junior high years reading more books than any other kid. I joined the forensics team in high school and gave speeches and earned ribbons doing so, and what am I doing today? We are who we are supposed to be, our childhood matters as we age. Created on purpose, for purpose, with purpose, to the glory of God, and I obviously do not do what I do for the money, I do it for the impact and influence. Money just helps pay the bills. I have a low voice. How many of you have heard it today? Have you said, “Man, she sounds like a guy.”? Yeah, I do. I know that. Like, it’s not a surprise. People will sometimes say that as if I’m oblivious to my own self. I’m called “sir” often. Awkward. At the drive thru restaurant, which, by the way, should not be called a drive thru restaurant. If you’re 16 learning to drive, I really hope you understand that. And when you go to the drive through restaurant and order your food, you can see the menu in the microphone, but they cannot see you. So, they’ll say back to me, “Thank you for your order. That’ll be $6.82 at the window, sir.” My voice is lower, amplified by a microphone, I don’t get mad. It’s not their fault. And it’s really going to be funny when I get up there and I’m not a guy.

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: The kid working there is looking at the receipt, looking up.

Audience: Laughter

Dr. Koch: And I know what he’s thinking. He’s thinking that there is supposed to be a guy in this car, and I don’t get mad, it’s not their fault. I have a low voice, I get it. It’s who I am. So, I take it and say thank you usually and drive off. You know, I learned a long time ago to persevere, to believe in the believing, in my believing that there would be reasons that it would make sense. And it has. I don’t need a microphone. I’m not going to turn it off to prove it. But low voices go further in a room than high voices. And my creator, God knew exactly what he was doing when he’d chose in his love to make me me because he knew exactly who I would become for His glory. I’ve been to 30 countries overseas. I’ve been to many places without sound systems, and it does not matter. I could be at a high school gym across town to do an assembly and have the sound system buzz so bad that it could be turned off and my voice will carry to the back row of the highest bleachers. Because God is good, because God is a good creator.

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Koch: Yeah, and God is an intentional personal creator. And I grieve for the children who don’t yet believe that who come to confusion naturally, because the culture is chaotic, and people are messy. I pray that all of us would, in our humility, choose to change our attitude toward the things we cannot change. Change what we can and leave the rest alone and change our attitudes because it honors God. If I walk wounded through my days, angry at my voice, then I’m angry at my creator and I say I dismiss you. And before long, I’ll begin to dismiss more of myself. And then I’m not here. And I think that grieves God, because when I was that lump of clay and he made me, He knew. When I was a kid, it made no sense. I praise God for parents and grandparents and teachers and pastors and my brother Dave and others who came alongside and were the boundaries that were the blessings that allowed me to become.

John: You’re listening to Kathy Koch on Focus on the Family and this content directly relates to her book, 8 Great Smarts: Discover and Nurture Your Child’s Intelligences. Get your copy for gift of any amount to the ministry when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459 or donate and request the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return now to Dr. Kathy Koch.

Dr. Koch: David writes In Psalm 139 in 13 and 14 verses that are very well known. Many moms admit that they memorize these verses before they even conceive their first child. David writes for you; God formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well. Knitting requires careful attention. The knitter chooses the size of the stitch and the color of the yarn before ever getting started. And the knitter better know in advance if she’s making a scarf or a sweater. God knows what he’s doing. And I know that sometimes that’s hard to believe because things just don’t go the way that we hoped. I respect the grief that’s embedded there, but it doesn’t take away the truth that God is intentional, and He trusts us to become. It says in the scripture that we’re fearfully made. It’s the same fear as the fear God in the Old Testament, which doesn’t mean we ought to be afraid of him, but it means, as you know, that we should honor Him and and be in awe of Him. God wants us and our children to fearfully respect who he’s chosen us to be. Ladies and gentlemen, when I trusted Christ and realized the truth here. Oh, I praise God that the spirit allowed that verse to transform my beliefs about myself and it changed everything. We’re wonderfully made. You’re unique, there’s no one like you, which is maybe good, I don’t know you, but it might be very good. One is enough.

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: You know that if you ever get in trouble with the law, they can find you because nobody has been created and nobody will ever be created with your fingerprints. That is how creative God is. I love to tell middle schoolers that if they ever get lost, a bloodhound can smell something that is theirs and go find them because nobody smells like them. I mean, that might be good too I don’t know, but nobody smells like you and nobody has your fingerprints, and more important than that nobody has your brain cells. Nobody has your exact passion, pursuit, intellect, birth, order, you’re the unique package that you are. And to get unwrapped. The people who love you to discover why it is and that my soul knows that very well. Do you know, the difference it makes when a child, teen or adult knows in the soul very well that they were fearfully and wonderfully made?  It changes everything. I was tall as a child, thought I was too tall, walked home from the elementary school I attended, sat down in the middle of my mom and dad’s big double bed and declared to my mom, I did not want to be tall anymore. I’m here today. Largely because my mother did not say, well, get over it, you’re going to be tall. Which is, frankly, what a lot of children tell me their parents appear to do to them, which is to dismiss their pain. Sometimes it’s because of our own pain. Sometimes there’s a busyness and an isolation and there’s just a mess that enters in. Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my mom heard my heart cry, told my dad, her husband, we’ve got a daughter at the perceived problem that can’t be changed. She’s going to be tall. What can we do? They problem solved to all of you who are solution- focused parents and grandparents and teachers, I applaud you. When somebody, a spouse, or an aging parent or a child shares their heart with us, that we would honor them. By looking for the solution, by the end of the week, I was enrolled in a tap dance class, but what’s really cool about tap and ballet was that I got to be the center of the back row, which I decided was the position of high honor because I was the only one allowed to be there. And so, I went from being too tall to being cool, tall. I was at an elementary assembly a while back and I was telling my story to try to help the kids believe in themselves. And a little boy came up to me at the end. He says, “Hey, lady, I just wanted you to know I don’t think you’re too tall. I think you’re very cool, tall.”

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: I love that. I mean, is there something about you that you need to change your attitude toward and maybe you can’t do it on your own. Maybe there’s someone in your world who would inspire you to greatness because you have chosen to be vulnerable and transparent. When I taught second graders, I had no trouble hanging things from the ceiling because of my height. Other teachers would borrow me, it was easier than grabbing the ladder and dragging it down the hall. When I travel overseas, I have no trouble putting the suitcases into the overhead bin and getting them down when we land. And now you can see me. Like I could be four feet ten and be a public speaker, but you’d be like, “Where’d that lady go?”

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: You know, my height does not make me effective. It just adds to the ease of it all. I was in Thailand and many years ago and during my message that I used that four foot ten line and when I was all finished up, came to me a four foot ten Thai women, like in my personal space, almost ran to me. I was frightened. She’s right here. I am four feet ten and I didn’t know if I was supposed to apologize, and then she said, “This past summer I was in a car accident and the jaws of life had to be used to cut the car open. And I was told by the paramedics if I was one inch taller, I’d be brain damaged or dead.” And then she said, “I am who I am supposed to be.” To arrive at a conclusion that trusts God is a beautiful thing. Change what we can change. Like, if I hung out with NBA basketball players, I’d be short. No, I’d just feel short. Change your attitude toward the things that cannot be changed. Oh, I want children to live long and be strong and find out why they are who they are. Ephesians 2:10 in the New Testament, such a beautiful passage. For we are God’s workmanship, his masterpiece. Fearfully and wonderfully made, set apart for His purposes. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. He has created all of us, everyone you’ll ever meet, everyone you’ll never meet. He has created all of us with good gifts inside beforehand that we would walk in them. We would use them to change the world for good and not ugly.  We’re created on purpose, with purpose. There’s something there to bring forth. There’s hope there. Another element of my story is that spelling does not come naturally to me. The English language makes no sense. Could I just put that out there?

Audience: Laughter

Dr. Koch: Now, not only does the English language makes absolutely no sense, but spelling slays me. I mean, it just doesn’t come naturally to me. Like the letter “C”, we don’t need it. Like it’s in the word science.  “S,” “C,” “I” – isn’t the “S” doing its job just fine?

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: I had a kid say, but Dr. Kathy what about “cha” like the ” C” “H” – cha like in “change?” I’d rather have a twenty seventh letter for that sound than the letter “C”.

Audience Laughter.

Dr. Koch: So, here’s the thing ladies and gentlemen. I did not say spelling is hard. That’s a lie. There’s a lot of words that are easy to spell. I did not say I cannot spell, that’s a lie. Don’t lie to yourself, if you lie to yourself, you will never become who God intended for you to be. What I said was spelling does not come naturally to me. Don’t ever let your weaknesses win. Always lead with your strength. It’s almost like I heard the voice of God suggest that I write a book and I’m like, but spelling. (Laughs) Gods like, I don’t care. Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: You know, spell check, which doesn’t always work, but I knew I had ideas that more people would be able to be influenced by through the written word than they ever was through the spoken voice. And so, I humbled myself. I surround myself with a support system and I’ve written six books. Why? Because God is a good creator and I’m not going to let a challenge win. Please lead with your strengths, know what they are, if you’re not sure, ask someone to help you. I traveled with the misspellers dictionary. No joke. It’s no different than a calculator for a kid who struggles with math facts. In a misspellers dictionary, you look up the word “knowledge” the way it should be spelled, which is “nowlege”, and you will find it there and then they tell you the correct way. Ha!

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: So, don’t quit living when life is hard. Don’t quit being or becoming when something is a challenge. Find the strength. Why do I still write books with a thesaurus? Because I can look up an easy word to find the harder word, because if you don’t know how to spell out, you can’t find it in the dictionary. Amen?

Audience: Amen.

Dr. Koch: So, to all of you parents who say to your children, “go look it up,” stop that.

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: Mhm. Yeah. You’re laughing. It is not funny.

Audience: Laughter.

Dr. Koch: What story are your kids living? Better question, what story is God writing for them to live? I could not have been a jockey on a horse. Frightening. I’m six-one. Can you picture me on a horse trying to be a jockey? Like I’m eating my knees. It’s bad, bad, bad. One of the most damaging lies you’ll ever tell a child is you can be whatever you want. You can only be what God intended for you to be when he chose in his love to make you you. When he sat at the potter’s wheel and we need you gather. Knowing who you are. Allows you to become that agent of change for God’s glory. Help children grieve what they wish were true. The power you have as a ministry, the power you have as pastors and parents to help children grieve, what never will be. To accept what is. Sweetheart, I’ve heard your heart, I, I recognize the pain, I share your sorrow. Sweetheart, it is what it is, and we still declare in our family that God is good. And trust me that the longer you live, the more that will be made clear to you somehow have the conversation to spin it. I was in a group with a group of young children and I was sharing again my story because part of the passion we have at Celebrate Kids is that children would become, and their children would believe. The suicide rate in our country is frightening, the second leading cause of death for 10 to 14-year olds is suicide. It has tripled in the last 10 years. We have got to help them be not just pro-life, but pro-eternal life, pro-life and pro- living. It is worth living. It is worth it. Life is worth living. The future can be bright. And I was trying to say to these kids that when I was your age, I didn’t get it. I was a too tall chatty Cathy who got in trouble for talking some time, and now look what God has done. Well it was a public school so – look what my creator has done. And I received a bunch of thank you notes slipped out of the hotel room door because the person who hired me knew where I was staying. Trent wrote, “Thank you for motivating me to the next chapter of my story”. Michaela wrote. “I will find my true story when I’m older. I don’t know now because my story is just starting”. But I love knowing that she knows there’s a story starting. Hunter wrote, “I did not know I had a story, but now that I do know, I can’t wait to find out what my story is”. Those of us who love children and teens get to partner with God to help the creative intent continue. God creates us in the womb knit together. Fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderful are His works, so my soul knows it very well. I hope that’s true of you. And I believe God’s creative intent continues in the interactions and relationships and encounters and opportunities that he allows children to have. That’s you. Don’t ever take lightly the conversations you have with children. Don’t ever take lightly the field trips and the games you play and the walks you go on. Because in those conversations, life happens, we have got to make sure we know why we’re alive and help our kids know it, too. Why are you there, who you are? My package of a Chatty Cathy with a lower voice where spelling is a challenge and I’m too tall. Perfect package for this. What’s your story? What story do you dream your children and teenagers will live out? Father God, we thank you for your creative intent. Father God I thank you that you chose to make us because of the love you have, that you chose to make us us. And would you help us become. We want to be more like you. We want to serve You well with the gifts that You’ve provided with the perfect package we are. Help us. Surround us with Your goodness, Your people and Your systems that we can walk forth. And do good work for Your glory, and I pray I’m with a lot of optimism in the name of Jesus. Amen. Amen. Thank you so much.

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Koch: Thank you.

John: We really enjoy it when Dr. Kathy Koch comes to our campus here at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, and we’ve been listening to a great presentation she gave to our staff just about a year ago.

Jim: It was a great message, wasn’t it? And I so appreciate Dr. Kathy’s willingness to share her areas of vulnerability and how the Lord has been able to use those for His glory. And I think she did a great job of illustrating the fact that children really need to hear that God has a purpose for their lives. Tragically, it’s become too easy for kids to give up even to the point of ending their life because they don’t see any purpose to it. And Dr. Kathy was a big contributor to a collection of resources we’ve developed called Alive to Thrive, which is designed to help adults proactively address issues that can lead to suicide. And we want to get this information out to as many parents, teachers and youth leaders as we can. So, we’re offering it for free. We don’t want there to be any barriers. So, if you’d like to help us prevent teen suicide, please make a donation today to support this work. And when you make that donation of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Dr. Kathy Koch’s book, 8 Great Smarts, as our way of saying thank you.

John: Yeah, this book really is going to help you identify and then affirm your child’s areas of intelligence, multiple areas. What Dr. Kathy Koch calls their smarts so that they can feel a little bit more empowered to tackle some other areas that maybe they aren’t so strong in. It really is an excellent resource. I keep referring to it. I hope you will as well when you get your copy of 8 Great Smarts from us here at Focus on the Family. It begins with a phone call, 800-A-FAMILY. Or you can donate online and get the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Also, when you’re online be sure to look for the link to our suicide prevention resources Alive to Thrive. This is a pretty rich curriculum. It’s got a lot of heart and passion, a lot of practical help and it’s all free for you. It’s all online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Next time we’ll hear from Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory as they encourage you to embrace who you are in order to live your life well.

Teaser:

Amy Carroll: God doesn’t reject the foolish, the lowly and the weak. He chooses them. He chooses us. And he takes those weaknesses and redeems us into things that we can love.

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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!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

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

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

Dr. Randy Schroeder

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

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

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

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

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

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

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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