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Finding Your Path in Life (Part 2 of 2)

Finding Your Path in Life (Part 2 of 2)

How do you know when you're not only in the right job, but on the right track in life? On this Best of 2019 broadcast, author Cynthia Tobias shares guidelines to help you determine what talents God has given you, and what strengths will get you where you need to go. (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date: May 21, 2019

Excerpt:

Cynthia Tobias: You change the world just by being in it. You can’t help it. The world can’t be the same because you’re here. So, like it or not, you’re making a difference. You’re having an influence one way or the other.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller:  Well that’s an interesting perspective, isn’t it? That’s our broadcast guest today, Cynthia Tobias. And what you’re about to hear is one of our top programs from 2019. Your host is Focus president, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly:  John, we’re halfway through a very compelling presentation from Cynthia focusing on finding the best ways to impact the world, using the strengths and talents that God has given you.

And if you’ve missed part one of Cynthia’s presentation yesterday, please get in touch with us. This message is a part of our Best of 2019 CD set, with 14 amazing broadcasts on 12 CDs, and it’s a great way to capture the best we’ve had to offer this year.

John: And it’s also available as a digital download, so give us a call. 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or you’ll find those online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast

Jim:  And this message is applicable to all ages, including teens and young adults who are trying to figure out their future.  And if you visit us online, you’ll find a free download that will give you more insight for those young people.

John: And here now is Cynthia Tobias speaking about the content in her book, A Woman of Strength and Purpose. And we’ll start with a brief recap.

Cynthia: So, I got to thinking, well, how do you really know if you’re not only in the right job but in the right place?

And I think there are three ways that you’ll know that you’re on the right track. I think the first most important way that you’ll know you’re on the right track is that you will know what your strengths are. You’ll know how God blessed you. You’ll recognize what you were gifted with and what you weren’t gifted with.

A few months ago, I decided I was going to design a sticker. And I talked about this virtually for a while. And I was in Delaware a few weeks ago, and they actually – somebody – the principal there at the school made a sticker for me. It’s a sticker that – I picture it being like this, you know, you can hand it to people, and they can just peel it off and stick it on them. And here’s what the sticker says. It says, “So it’s all about you?”  (LAUGHTER)

Could you not do pretty well with a stack of these? Could you not give them out? Could you not have given a few out today? Almost every day, to drivers, to people in line in front of you. “So, it’s all about you?”

I was in Philadelphia; I was waiting to get on an airplane. And we were waiting in line. And I was just talking to the lady next to me. I don’t know who she is. And there were people behind me. And I didn’t realize anybody else was listening. But we were talking, and somehow we got on this topic of ‘so it’s all about you’ sticker. And just as we were getting ready to board this very self-important businessman elbowed his way right up to the front, shoved everybody else aside, and got on first. And the guy behind me muttered, “Oh, I need one of your stickers.” (LAUGHTER) Here’s your sticker.

Second, I think after knowing your strengths, I think it’s real important to know what you’re aiming for. What are you going for? One of my very favorite questions – I think it would revolutionize the world of business, it would revolutionize every staff meeting you’ve ever been in, every school you’ve ever had, if we just asked and answered one simple question: “What’s the point?” “So bottom line, though, guys, what are we shooting for here? Where do we want to end up, because if we could identify what we’re shooting for, then could we find different ways to get there and then could we – we could all agree on this one bottom line what’s the point?”

Who are we reaching? What is the point? What are we trying to accomplish in your life? Do you know? What are you trying to accomplish? Do you even have a goal defined? Do you know what it is? Do you know where you’re going? Will you know when you get there? Because you need to know where you’re going.

It’s important to remember, “Lord, what am I supposed to be doing?” Keep my head up. Keep my mind in the Word and keep my head up so that I can see the people around me and realize I need to know what I’m aiming for. And it needs to be what God wants me to do, not what I’ve determined is important.

Well, No. 1, of course, was you need to know your strengths. And No. 2, you need to know what you’re aiming for. You know what No. 3 is? This one’s kind of hard but not really. You need to know how you’re supposed to change the world. You are, you know. You change the world just by being in it. You can’t help it. The world can’t be the same because you’re here. So, like it or not, you’re making a difference. You’re having an influence one way or the other. You are supposed to change the world.

Some people have great and grand dreams of changing the world. I did when I was 18. I can remember going to college and standing below the clock tower and telling God as a fresh-faced, 18-year-old girl, “Lord, I’ll be anything you want. I’d really like to be a writer, though. In fact, I don’t want to do anything but be a writer. I’ll do some other things on the way to being a writer. I’d like to maybe be editor of Good Housekeeping or another New York magazine because I just want to be a writer. I’ll do other things on the way to being a writer. But I don’t want to teach. I’ll do anything but teach.” (LAUGHTER)

Halfway through my freshman year I knew I was supposed to teach. So, I sort of agreed to teach. But I had come from – I grew up in Las Vegas, OK? My dad was a preacher in Las Vegas. I was a city girl, through and through, and Idaho, it was not Las Vegas. And cows in the parking lot and there were just – so I told the Lord, “OK” – I went back to the clock tower – I said, “OK, I’ll teach, but I’ll teach anywhere but Idaho. Idaho is a boring, dead-end state. I will teach anywhere but Idaho.” So, my first three years after graduating I taught high school in Idaho. (LAUGHTER) And I learned to love Idaho. And I learned to not tell God what I would and wouldn’t do.

I had, really, an amazing tapestry of life. I had an amazing life. I mean, I taught high school and loved it. I was a police officer for six years and loved it. I got into learning styles and loved it and figured out ways that kids learn and did seminars for teachers and parents. And in 1992 – late 1992 – I got a phone call out of the blue from the acquisitions editor at Focus on the Family. Gwen said, “You know, we’ve seen some of your seminars and your handouts and heard a little bit about what you do and teach and we here at Focus on the Family are wondering, would you be interested in writing a book for us?” I said, Let me think about it. Yes, I would actually.” (LAUGHTER)

October of 1994, The Way They Learn, my very first book, was published almost 20 years to the day from the time I stood at the clock tower and told God “all I want to be is a writer.” It’s like God said to me, “And what would you have written about?” (LAUGHTER) I didn’t know it was going to take 20 years. In fact, at 18 if you had told me it would take 20 years for my dream to come true, it would have been way too discouraging to go on. That’s not how God works. He brings the tapestry of your life. And at each juncture, molds it, lends it, pulls you into where you’re supposed to be.

And for some of you, you’ve had a dream and a vision – it’s 30 years old, and you’ve already decided it’s too late. Too late. Thirty years, lot’s gone. I got to tell you, it’s not.

My sister and I, we went to a Merrill Lynch dinner. And the speaker was a gerontologist. Now, there’s only a few true, bona fide gerontologists in the whole country. A gerontologist is an aging specialist. So, I mean, she has a masters and a doctorate degree in aging. And she introduced us to brand new research that has since been verified – and I have verified it – the new age brackets now. And maybe you don’t know this or a lot of you do – the new age brackets. Middle age is now 40 to 60, OK? Upper – upper middle age is 60 to 80. And you are officially not considered an elderly person till you are 81. Is that cool? It’s a good thing with the current stock market.  (LAUGHTER) You don’t have to think about retirement till you are 81.  (LAUGHTER)

That also means that some of you who are kind of relaxing now thinking that it’s OK, you don’t have to change the world because you’re too old, you are so mistaken. If you’re younger than 81, you still have a lot of years left. You do. And God has things planned for you. You can’t just stop and sit down. He still has a dream and a vision alive in your heart.

I was in Southern California speaking at a Christian school, and we talked about this. And a lady came up to me afterwards, and she said, “Oh” – she says, “I’m retiring next year, I’m 62,” decided to retire. And she said, “30 years ago I told God I wanted to be someone who went into the barrio in Los Angeles and teach – I wanted to teach the Hispanic children who could not get to school. I wanted to homeschool them and teach them and I have a heart for them and learn Spanish.” And she said, “That’s what I wanted to do. And I decided I’m 62 now, I’m too old. I never did it.” She said, “But you know what God said to me today? He told me I still have – I still need to do it.” Heard from her just a few weeks ago. She’s enrolled in Spanish class. She’s 62. She’s going back. She’s got till 80.  (LAUGHTER)

She’s going to go make a difference, and she thought it was too late. So, she took a good long look at her strengths, and she took a good long look and spent time in prayer deciding what God really wanted for her, what she should be aiming for, and then she took a look around and thought, “I’m still supposed to change the world.”

See, some of you are thinking you can’t change the world because you’re not all that smart. I got news for you. You’re a whole lot smarter than you think you are. I just, I mean – and I ask this a lot – but I want to know who decided what’s normal. Who got to decide that? What if we’re medicating the wrong people all along?  (LAUGHTER)  Who decided that the normal people were the ones that didn’t talk back or ever push the envelope or ever get active? Why aren’t we worried about the ones who don’t do anything? Why not medicate them?  (LAUGHTER)  Why not sedate parents and teachers a little more and let the – seriously. You’re thinking that you’ve got something wrong with you just because you’re too restless or you don’t fit the mold. Excuse me, but you can’t change the world if you’re like it. God sent us into the world not to be part of it but to help transform it. You’re supposed to change it.

You don’t have to change it in huge ways. I don’t know that God’s going to ask you to do something you really hate to do. I think he’s going to prepare you for it. You don’t have to go out and invent something. You don’t have to go out and be able to be a beautiful songwriter, an incredibly talented songwriter. You don’t have to be a gifted speaker or a gifted teacher or a gifted preacher to change the world. You don’t.

See, we’re here because we can help inspire you. And you’re the ones that go out and affect thousands and thousands and thousands of lives. It’s because of what you hear and you discover and you do. It’s not because of what we say. It’s because of what God does in your heart as a result of being where He put you. You’re not here by accident. You know that, right? You didn’t come here by accident. God had a very specific plan in mind for you to be here this weekend at this moment, in this place, sitting by the person you’re sitting beside, listening to the people you’re listening to so that God has a message for you. You will change the world one way or the other.

David Keirsey wrote a book called Please Understand Me. And he spoke at a Myers–Briggs psychological type conference many, many years ago. And I listened to him. And I will never forget the story he ended his conference with. He said he was flying across country on a jet, and he was sitting next to a young mother with a brand new baby. He said, “This young mother, however, had been born with no arms. And what she was doing with the baby, she was kind of propping up the baby with the stubs of her arms. And she was doing everything with her feet.” He said, “It was amazing. I was just stunned at how good she was at it.” He said, “I didn’t want to say anything, but about halfway through the fight I couldn’t help myself.” He said, “I said to this young mother, ‘Don’t you find it extremely difficult to be a young mother and have a brand new baby and yet not have any arms?’” She said, “I’ll tell you the truth. There’s one major drawback.” He said, “What’s that?” She said, “Watch.” Quickly with her feet she reached in the diaper bag and got the baby’s bottle. Expertly with her feet, she put the bottle up by the baby, who with his feet, put the bottle in his mouth. (GROANS) His arms lay useless by his sides. He didn’t know he had them. (GROANS)

We are such powerful influencers in the people of our lives. We don’t even realize who’s watching, who’s being influenced. You are changing the world right now. Is it going in the right direction for you? Is it where God wants you to be?

There are times when you, in changing the world, have to change yourself first. That’s painful. Our pastor said many Sundays ago – he said, “There is no transformation without brokenness.” Well, I don’t want to hear that.

Years ago – I grew up in the church. I’m a preacher’s kid. Growing up in the church and we sang that chorus – ‘righteousness, righteousness is what I long for.’ And then the verse that says, ‘brokenness, brokenness is what I long…’ – I never sang that verse. You would be crazy to sing that verse. (LAUGHTER) Who is going to sing that verse? I left that verse out, and I was silent, just pretending like I was praying. What I was really saying – “I’m not really doing brokenness.” But you know what? You get it anyway. You get it anyway. Parts of your life that have to be broken.

John: Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Cynthia Tobias and you can get her book, A Woman of Strength and Purpose, by donating to the ministry when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or online, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Cynthia’s presentation is one of our Best of 2019 broadcasts and it’s in the 12 CD set. Look for that or request your copy when you get in touch.

Let’s return now to more from Cynthia Tobias.

Most of you know I’m a very strong-willed woman. One of the things I’ve always prided myself on, even as a strong Christian, is some self-sufficiency. Being able to keep it all together, you know. Being a speaker and a mom and being successful in lots of different ways and just God has blessed, and all this stuff. And…and some of you, you know, I was here four years ago, and I told you a little bit of my story.

But a little over five years ago, suddenly, I was in a very unexpected place of brokenness with an unexpected divorce. A divorce? Oh, my goodness. That can’t even happen to me. That would be the furthest thing from my mind ever and my former husband saying, “You’ll be ruined. No one will want you, a Christian woman who’s divorced. You’ll be ruined. You’ll lose everything.” “Maybe I will…” I don’t even know. I didn’t have any idea even how to do that, and a single mom and the valley and all of a sudden being plunged into brokenness in almost every area of my ‘self-sufficient’ life.

I had things kind of – I mean, so I kept things together, kept the boys well and, you know, we just – we just kept things together. It was painful. And it was horrible. But I still had a couple pillars that we’re standing on. I’m thinking “God is good, and he’s faithful.” And all along I had no idea that He wasn’t trying to do it to help me keep my pillars up. He was showing me that I couldn’t keep the pillars. They can’t stay.

I listened – I didn’t even know who the pastor was – to a random radio station one night. And he was saying, “God gives us grace, but He doesn’t give us grace to fix our plan. His grace is giving us a new plan.” I don’t want to hear that. I like my plan.

And God said, “Don’t you realize the plan that I have for you is a new plan.” “I don’t want a new plan. Don’t want a new plan” – because you know what the new plan calls for? Total, total abdication of self-sufficiency.

I am a strong-willed woman. I am quite capable. I am capable of being successful. And I am capable of holding things together. And I’m capable of juggling and doing it all. And I don’t want to give that up because I would be weak. And the Lord said, “That’s right, that’s right.” Because until I take all my self-sufficiency and my plans and I know my strengths and I know what I’m aiming for and all that stuff, and I already figured out how I’m supposed to change the world, so just let me go. Thank you, Lord, and just bless me, and here’s my plan. Just bless me. And instead of blessing me, you know what He did? (LAUGHTER) He made every last pillar crumble.

The last one crumbled last year. It was the financial pillar. I never thought that would go. And I still remember about six months ago being on my face before God, finally, really, on my face and praying. Every morning I prayed in the shower and cried in the shower, anyway, where people couldn’t see me because you don’t want to admit to people that you’re this weak. And God kept saying, “You can’t be self-sufficient.” I was on my face before Him singing, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” And I always sang that my whole life, but I always had things in my hands. I always did. But this time, for the first time in my entire life, it was physically, literally true. And it was all going to be gone.

Two weeks later, the man that I had met unexpectedly, a godly man, several months before, we actually had our first date. We’d been corresponding. And I normally don’t do that. Kind of broke all the rules and showed up on the first date. Jack sat down. And he said, “You’re going to think this sounds funny.” And he said, “I’ve never done this before. But I have to tell you that I have never been more sure of this. I believe God has sent me to you. And I believe I am supposed to be part of your life and your ministry. I have a little money. I have a lot more love.” And I looked at him like he was crazy. (LAUGHTER) Seven weeks ago I married that man.  (APPLAUSE) And it never would have happened if I hadn’t taken the self-sufficiency, put it on the cross.

I went to South Africa with a group of police officers. We did some training down there. And we did a ‘women in law enforcement’ thing down in South Africa at Cape Town. And there was a very, um, very highly thought of chaplain. She was a woman high in law enforcement. And everybody revered and respected her. And she was married to a police officer. And she was speaking, and, you know, she’s a really big deal down there. And after she finished speaking, we were talking. And I don’t even know how it came up. But I said something about so – “well, that’s great. So, you and your husband, you’re doing OK?” And she pulled me aside, she said, “Only one other person in the whole world knows this, but my husband is trying to have me killed. And we are in the middle of a very nasty, very contentious divorce.” And she said, “I don’t even know what to do with this. I am a woman of God. These people look to me. What am I supposed to do? Divorce isn’t even acceptable. I can’t even tell anybody.” And we started talking. And I told her my story, that it was pretty fresh still then. And she hugged me. And she said, “To think God sent someone all the way from the United States of America to speak this word in my heart.”

My ministry opened up in areas that I never, ever would have entered. I had no idea that the people I was sitting among all this time had so much pain and so much heartache that they didn’t dare even share with anybody. “What will people think? They’ll think I’m not a Christian. They’ll think I don’t care about things. They’ll think I’m – they’ll think I can’t hold it together. They know I’m a strong woman. They know that I’ve accomplished a lot. I cannot tell this person sitting next to me how much pain I am really in.” They were there all along. And I didn’t have any idea.

I didn’t have any idea until God took me to the bottom and said, “Leave it all at the cross, and trust Me.” “I do trust you, but could I…” – “No, leave it all at the cross and trust Me.” There is no transformation without brokenness. Last week, the pastor said something else that I wrote down in my Bible. Here’s what – I’m going to read it to you because I loved it. He said, (PAGES TURNING) “What can be shaken will be shaken so that what can’t be shaken will remain.” Did you get that? “What can be shaken will be shaken so that what can’t be shaken will remain” … a solid ministry for Christ. A solid love from a godly man. A solid home for two wonderful godly boys who graduate from high school this year,. A solid peace and a solid future that couldn’t possibly have come from anyone but God. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken so that what can’t be shaken will remain.

John: And that brings us to the close of a two-part presentation from Cynthia Tobias, today, on Focus on the Family. One of our best broadcasts of 2019!

Jim: That, boy, this is so good….I hope you got a lot out of it!  You can tell that Cynthia is a pastor’s daughter. You can hear her pastor’s heart’ for others.  And it really came through as she shared the wisdom she’s gained over the years.

You know, Cynthia was very transparent there about what it was like to be on the receiving end of divorce papers. And let me just remind you that if you’re in that situation right now, there is hope for your marriage!  Our Hope Restored marriage intensives have proven to be very effective, and many of those couples had already started the divorce process.

We help husbands and wives break free from cycles of pain in their marriage and thrive in ways that used to seem impossible. When we interview couples on their last day at Hope Restored, 95-percent say they’re sure the intensive will make a difference in their marriage. That’s impressive.

John: That really is. It’s been a great program.

Jim: Now of course, sometimes one spouse may be unwilling to give the marriage another try, and if that’s the case, please call our Counseling department and let them pray with you and give you some ideas on what to do next.

I hope this message from Cynthia has really inspired you, especially as we come into the New Year.  I’d strongly recommend her book, A Woman of Strength and Purpose. We’d be happy to send that out to you for a donation of any amount.  And as we ring out 2019, let me challenge you to give generously to Focus on the Family.

In fact, listen to this inspiring note we received from Sarah. She said:

After 25 years of being a stay-at-home mom I’m now an empty-nester, and I’m looking forward to new ways to invest my time and energy to promote the Kingdom of God.  I realized that one good way to prime the pump is to donate financially to Focus on the Family.  I can’t count the number of ways you’ve blessed our household over the years, and this is my opportunity to give back. Thank you for your broadcasts, magazines, helpful staff, and commitment to the Family. We appreciate you!

John: That is some great encouragement! And what a terrific perspective on kind of optimizing those empty nest years!

Jim: It really is! Please donate to Focus on the Family today.  We are a non-profit organization and we depend on listeners like you for that support.  Today is the last day that you can give in 2019.

And right now, generous friends of this ministry are offering to double your donation dollar for dollar so that your gift will have twice the impact. So, call us or donate online.

John: And you can make that year-end contribution at  focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. You’re gonna find everything we’ve been talking about right there. And you can also call, and we appreciate that. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

I hope you can be with us tomorrow as we start off 2020 with Dr. John Trent who has a powerful technique for communicating effectively with others.

Teaser:

Dr. John Trent: When you use a word picture, what it does is people get caught up in the story. And it goes right over their defenses and right into their heart.

Today's Guests

A Woman of Strength and Purpose

Receive Cynthia Tobias' book A Woman of Strength and Purpose for your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your donation will be doubled to support the Gift of Family.

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cherish front cover

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

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

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

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

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!