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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Finding Hope in the Messiah

Finding Hope in the Messiah

As the daughter of Jewish holocaust survivors, Lily Isaacs was not interested in religion. But a tragedy in her husband’s family brought Lily to her knees in a little country church, and she discovered that Jesus Christ was her Messiah, much to the dismay of her parents. Hear how Lily coped with her parents’ rejection while rising in the music world as the matriarch of the multi-award winning group THE ISAACS.
Original Air Date: July 5, 2006

Preview:

Lily Isaacs: You know, I’d never read the Bible before in my life, and I started reading about Jesus. And then I learned that Jesus was a Jew, just like me. And it all started to fit together, just like a puzzle.

End of Preview

John Fuller: There are few things as meaningful as when a Jewish person discovers that Jesus Christ is their Messiah. That’s the story we’ll be sharing with you today, and thanks for joining us. Uh, your host is Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, today’s guest is Lily Isaacs, co-founder of the southern gospel and bluegrass group, The Isaacs. And, interestingly, uh, Lily was born in Germany right after World War II, and her Jewish parents were survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. And you’re gonna hear more about that in just a minute. Uh, The Isaacs have been touring for more than 50 years with 20 albums to their credit. They were recently inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame and became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Lily is the mother of Ben, Sonya, and Rebecca. All three are very talented members of the group.

John: Yeah, and Lily is an author. I don’t know how she finds the time to write books.

Jim: Yeah, no kidding.

John: You know, in the midst of all of that. But she’s got an autobiography that will really capture your interest. It’s called You Don’t Cry Out Loud. We’ve got copies of that here at Focus on the Family, and, uh, you can find yours at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Here now, Lily Isaacs speaking at Christian Heritage Church in Graniteville, South Carolina, on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Lily: My parents are both full-blooded Jews. My mother and father were born in a town called Czestochowa, Poland. They were born in an era of time when it was unfortunate for Jewish people to be living, and that was in Europe before World War II. But when World War II broke out in 19 and 39, my mother, at that time, was, uh, 14 years old. Living at home with her mother and her younger sisters, the one that was crippled with polio, a brother and another sister. And my father’s entire family, they were still at home as well. I think my grandmother had a premonition because, uh, you know, those days, they didn’t have televisions like we do, and poor families didn’t even have a radio. So in order to hear about what was going on at the beginning of the war I’m sure was difficult. But word got around in the little towns all around Poland that Germany was coming in. But I don’t think, I’m sure that they didn’t know what they were really doing. I’ve often wondered why so many millions of people would allow themselves to be captured and destroyed the way that they were without some type of uprising. But that’s because they didn’t know what was going to happen. When the Germans and the Nazis came into Czestochowa, my grandmother, as I said, she must’ve had a premonition, because she sent my mother and her younger and sister and brother to a neighboring town to buy some groceries. Of course, my mother didn’t know any different, and she went. When she came back that evening, my grandmother and my aunt, who was crippled with polio, was no longer home. I believe it was the next day when the Germans came back for the rest of the people. My father said that they would get on loudspeakers. They’d move in in these trucks and little buses, and over the loudspeakers, they would make announcements, and they would say, “Everybody out on the street. Everybody must come out on the streets.” They made them get down on the ground with their faces on the ground and their hands behind their back, on- behind their neck, and lie there for hours. And they separated families at that time. They separated husbands and wives, fathers from sons, mothers from daughters. “You here, and you go there, and you go here, and you go there.” At that time, my father left his family. He had one brother that went with him through the camps, and he never saw the rest of his family again. He had one surviving brother after the war. My mother was taken with her younger sisters, Lotte, and her younger brother, Mendel. My mother was 14, and the others were 11 and 12 years old. They spent some time in the ghettos. And my father said that after they worked in the ghettos for several months, maybe a year, they put all the Jewish people on trains, and my father spent three days and nights in a caboose of a train, packed in with hundreds of other Jewish people. With no food, no water, and no toilet facilities. He said people were suffocating to death, and they had no place to fall. Human people were holding the dead up, shoulder to shoulder. No place to fall. They finally wound up in the concentration camps. Belsenberger is where they wound up in Germany. At that time, my mother and father only knew of each other. They weren’t married, of course, and had known of each other’s families back in the hometown. My mother’s youngest sister got very ill while she was in the camp, so my mother took a chance of stealing. She said that she’d slip out of the barracks at night, and she would steal food. Or garbage (laughs). My father said it was like Christmastime every day when the soldiers would throw away their potato peeling or coffee grinds out in the yard, and let the people pick them up. And till the day my father died, he never threw away a potato peeling. He ate it first. It was like a steak. Somehow through starvation diets of a crust of bread, a hard crust of bread, and a bowl of water with a little color in it … That’s what they got every day to eat. And they worked hard, slave labor. One time, my father was carrying bricks up a ladder, up and down, up and down. For hours, and it was hot. So he rested for just a moment, and one of the soldiers came by and hit him on the side of the head with one of those bricks. He almost bled to death right there on the ground. And I never will forget when my father passed away, that scar on his forehead where he got hit on the head with that brick. But he managed to pick himself up and work and survive. My parents spent five years in the concentration camps. First in the ghettos and then in the camps. When they were liberated in 19 and 45, they only learned about what happened to the rest of their family. My mother’s youngest brother, Mendel, who was probably 15 years old when the war would’ve been over or close to that, decided with some young men in the camps that they were going to escape. She learned right after the war that they were machine gunned down. Just instantly. My father’s brother that went through the camps with him, every day, he was afraid he wouldn’t get something to eat the next day. So instead of eating that crust of bread, he hid it. He’d go two weeks sometimes without eating anything. He just hid it because he was afraid he wouldn’t get anything else. And when the war was over, he ate too much. His stomach burst, and he died. My father couldn’t even get anyone to bury him. He had to bury him himself. So many stories and atrocities that I’ve heard of all of my life growing up from my parents. Why? I don’t have the answer. I don’t know why. But six million people were killed. Not only Jews, there were others during World War II, and things like that are going on even today in our world. It amazes me to think how a human being can be so cruel to another human life. But it happens. When the war was over, my parents were in Belsenberger. My mother said the day that they found they were being liberated, and they opened up the gates, that all- she said you could see all these people running out into fields and picking up potatoes. She said she had on a skirt, and she grabbed all potatoes out of the ground, and was running with them in her skirt. They were starving. My father was six-foot-one in height and weighed 100 pounds when the war was over. So at that time, there were organizations all over the world that helped Jewish people to rebuild their lives, and they gave opportunities to all the people that had been in the concentration camps to choose where they would want to make a life. That would either be Australia, the United States, Israel, wherever they choose. And you had to have a sponsor. So my mother had an uncle that was, uh, already here in America, and he told them to come here. And they told me that when they came across the harbor there in New York City, and they saw the Statue of Liberty, that meant freedom. That meant a new life. So many immigrants. When they came to the United States of America, it was a new life. They helped us get an apartment in New York City. My father and mother went to night school to learn English. We spoke Yiddish in our home, and I spoke Yiddish till I started kindergarten. Didn’t know how to speak English. My father went to school at night to learn a trade, and he became a baker. A bread baker. So all of my life, I heard stories about my upbringing, and I was very devoted, I am very devoted, to the Jewish people and to the Jewish cause. I’ve always been interested in show business, always had an interest in singing and acting. And I took acting in high school, and I ma- majored in college in acting. And my idea of a future was to be an actress on Broadway in the Jewish theater. And that’s what I wanted to do to make my parents proud of me. So I studied it, and I studied voice lessons, and this was my life. I met a young lady in college at that time who was also a singer, and she and I just started singing together just for the fun of it with two folk guitars. So we started a band, and we called it Lily and Maria. And we started singing around different parties, and college things, and one day, a man was at one of these parties, and he looked at us and he said, uh, “Would you girls like to audition for an album on Columbia Records?” We laughed at him. We said, “Yeah, sure. Tomorrow.” And sure enough, we landed a contract and recorded a folk album in 1967 on Columbia Records. So we started doing some engagements. At that time, I was in college, and took a leave of absence, and tried to pursue a career. We were singing in a little nightclub at the time called Gertie’s Folk City in Greenwich Village. We had an engagement for about five or six weeks there, and it was four guys from Kentucky that had a banjo and a mandolin and a guitar and an upright bass. And I think they came to New York in a little Ford Falcon. They had that bass strapped up on top of that guitar. That must’ve been a sight, huh? And they got up to sing, and play that banjo, and I tell you what, my mouth flew open. Because the only time I’d ever heard a banjo played was on the Beverly Hillbillies. But they were good, and they were called the Greenbriar Boys. And that sparked the relationship. Joe Isaacs, who was the banjo player for the band, and I started dating. And it was quite a combination, let me tell you, because he’s a Kentucky hillbilly, the baby child of 17 children, whose father was a Pentecostal preacher.
Audience: laughter.
Lily: And a Jewish kid from the Bronx, New York, who was a folk singer. But God certainly was in the arrangements. We dated for a couple of years, and we got married in 19 and 70. At that time, of course, he wasn’t a Christian. Even though he was raised in a Christian home, he wasn’t a believer. And I was an unbeliever. I didn’t know what I believed. I really think at that time I probably was even an atheist. I don’t know what. I don’t know if I believed in anything.

John: You’re listening to Focus on the Family. Uh, that is Lily Isaacs, and you can get her book, You Don’t Cry Out Loud, and a CD of this entire presentation to listen to again or pass along to a friend when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate and request those at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s continue on now with Focus on the Family. Here’s Lily Isaacs.

Lily: So we decided when we’d get married that this is just the way it would be, and we would just continue on. And, you know, he’d have his belief, and I’d have mine. We moved to Ohio, where his work was. I gave up my career, and I started working in an office. And we were married about 10 months when he had a brother that was four years older than him, one night, right before Christmas, got killed in an automobile accident. And it was a terrible tragedy. Four small children at home, and a wife. And we got a call in the middle of the night one night, and, oh, it was just a terrible time for the family. So at the funeral, of course, I had never been to a funeral before of any kind. It was unusual to me, but it was preaching and singing. But after the funeral, a couple of days after the funeral, they wanted everyone to gather together in my brother-in-law’s home church, where he used to attend. And they invited us all to come. Well, of course, Joe wanted to go, but I didn’t want to go because Jewish people don’t go to church, and it was against my grain. I didn’t really want to go. But my sister-in-law told me if I’d go, she’d buy me a T-bone steak, and I like steak. And I thought well, you know, it wouldn’t- I wouldn’t be much of a wife and family member if I didn’t attend this service. Well, let me tell you, the church we went to that night was a converted garage that was made into a church, and the pastor was an old, blind man. The church was, uh, had wooden pews and wooden floors. It was probably- held 100 people maximum. And we walked in there, and I sat down in the very last pew, just as close to the door as I could get (laughs). And they were singing, and people were crying. There was conviction in the air, and I didn’t know what conviction was. But as I sat there, and I watched, and I listened, something grabbed my heart. And that night, the pastor did not even preach. He made an invitation for people to come to the altar and receive Jesus. And I didn’t know what to do. That night, without even thinking, I got down on my knees on that little wooden pew back by the door. I didn’t know what to say. I’d never prayed before in my life. I couldn’t ask God to save me because I didn’t know that I was lost. I didn’t know how to ask to God to forgive me, because I didn’t know I’d done anything wrong. But that night, I wept my way through to Jesus. I know God understood my tears, and he understands yours. When the words won’t come out, friends, he sees you, already knows. The minute my knee hit the ground, that’s when I opened my heart to Jesus, and he came in. And I begin to read the New Testament. You know, I’d never read the Bible before in my life, and I started reading about Jesus. And then I learned that Jesus was a Jew, just like me. And it all started to fit together just like a puzzle. I was a happy, happy believer. Oh, I was just filled with the spirit, and it was so wonderful. Couldn’t wait to go to church, and listen to the singing, and just be with everyone. Well, one day, one of my first cousins came down from New York to visit with us, and I took him to church with me. He wanted to go. When he got back to New York, he spilled the beans on me, and, um, it wasn’t a secret. But, you see, I had it planned in my mind exactly how I was going to tell my family. I was going to sit them down with me, and I was going to tell them how much I loved them, but I wanted to tell them that I found so much joy and peace through Jesus. But the Lord had a different plan. Well, when my cousin went back to New York, and told my family, unexpectedly, I got a call from my mother and father on my job. And my mother said, “Lily, we found out that you are going to a church, and that you are praying to this Jesus.” She said, “Your father said that he would rather see you dead and buried in the grave than to be a reproach to our family and our people.” She told me that they never wanted to see me again unless I give up that crazy religion I’d found, and that I was never welcome back in their home ever again. And as they were talking to me, I just pictured in my mind all the stories, all the history, all the heritage that they made me think that I was gonna lose. My father, who hobbled up the streets of New York with warm bread in his arms, early morning hours after working all night. Slip a quarter or a dollar bill under my pillow. That’s the way he had of showing me that he loved me. And all of a sudden, he’d rather see me dead? All I did was accepted Jesus as my Messiah. And you know, there was a crossroad in my life at that point. I had to make a choice. I knew it. I knew it. So with the grace of the Lord, I said, “Mom, I don’t want to hurt you and Daddy, but I don’t want to lose what I’ve found.” And do you know for months they wouldn’t speak to me? I’d call home, and they’d hang up. But I learned how to say Jesus, because he was all that I had. I lost my family, I thought I’d lost my people. Jesus became my father. Jesus became my mother. Jesus became my very dearest friend. And still today, even more so today, I praise him tonight. I praise him tonight. He is the Almighty. And you know what? So many times when we go through trials, we don’t know why. And then we look back. It’s only to make us stronger. It’s to make us shine like gold. Through that trial, I really became close to the Lord, and it was months, it was a long time, before my family accepted me back home. But they saw that I wasn’t going to budge, and to this day, I have trouble talking to some of my immediate family. But one day, I was praying, and I said, “Lord, why is it that I get to go all across the country and the world and sing gospel music to people when I can’t even reach my own family, when I can’t even touch my own people?” And the Lord spoke back to me in a still small voice, and he told me, “Live the life before them. And if you go the miles for me, I’ll do the rest.” And that’s what I’ve tried to do. My life’s not been perfect. I’ve had many ups and downs, just like anybody else. But through it all, Jesus has still been my dearest friend.  In 1983, I was very sick. I had- was born with scoliosis, and I had two major back surgeries in one month time. Five weeks home from the hospital, I discovered a tumor on my body that shouldn’t have been there. I had to go right back in the hospital again, and I guess one of the things that I dreaded the worst in my life, the doctor said it was cancer. And I didn’t know if I was gonna live to raise my children. But a dear sister looked at me one night in church, she said, “Lily, I had a vision. I saw you standing on a pulpit, and your children were taller than you.” And that’s been 20 years ago.
Audience: applause.
Lily: Daddy had kidney failure, and he had several heart attacks while he was in the hospital. He was a young man, 69. But while he was in the hospital, the last time we got to see him, I slipped in, and he was so ill. And I just whispered in his ear, I said, “Daddy, do you want me to pray for you?” And he shook his head yes. And we stood there, and I prayed right in his ear. I whispered a prayer. And he couldn’t speak, he was so weak. But when I walked out of the room, he smiled at me. I’ll never forget that smile. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. But let me tell you this. If you’re here tonight, and you’re facing a crossroad in your life, look to Jesus. He will bring you through. No matter what the trial, no matter what the problem, he can be there for you if you just reach out and touch him.

John: Well, Lily Isaacs has certainly been through her share of difficulties, and yet her Messiah, Jesus Christ, has strengthened her and helped her all along the way.

Jim: Yeah, that’s right. And as we often say, being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a trouble-free life. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” And you and I have, uh, seen this in our own lives. When trouble comes, Jesus comes alongside us, and gives us strength, like he’s done for Lily. If you found Lily’s story to be intriguing, uh, I’d strongly recommend that you get a copy of her autobiography called You Don’t Cry Out Loud. Uh, get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family for a donation of any amount, and the proceeds will go right back into our efforts to strengthen marriages, empower parents, and protect pre-born life. So get in touch with us today.

John: Partner with Focus on the Family in ministry when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate online and request Lily’s book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Have a great weekend and be sure to join us again on Monday when Julie Hornok describes the challenges and unexpected blessings in raising a child with autism.

Preview:

Julie Hornok: If you have a child with any diagnosis, um, any special needs diagnosis, any mental health issues, autism, you have been chosen by God for a different life.

End of Preview

John: Hmm.

Julie: You know? It’s not that this thing happened to you. It’s that he chose you to live a non-traditional life.

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You Don't Cry Out Loud

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Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

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

Defending Your Marriage

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

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

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

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

Revival Rising

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

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

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

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

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

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

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

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

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

Mr. Greg Koukl

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

Tactics front cover

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

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

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

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

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

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

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

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

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

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

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

Mrs. Wendy Speake

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

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

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

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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

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

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

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

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

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

Dr. Lee Warren

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

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

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

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

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

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

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

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

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

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

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

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

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

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

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

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

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

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

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

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

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

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

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

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

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

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

Mrs. Meg Meeker

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

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

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

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

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

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

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

Focus on the Family

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