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Focus on the Family Broadcast

How a Dysfunctional Street Kid Became a Radical Disciple of Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

How a Dysfunctional Street Kid Became a Radical Disciple of Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Growing up, Greg’s life revolved around his violent, alcoholic mother and equally dysfunctional extended family, and he felt shame about who he was beginning at a young age. Eventually, the Lord intervened in his life. He went on to found Dare 2 Share, a ministry that helps the Church activate Christian teens to share the gospel within their sphere of influence. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: November 17, 2022

John Fuller: Today on Focus on the Family, we’ll be returning to a remarkable conversation we had with Greg Stier, who was describing some of the unbelievable dysfunction and violence he witnessed as a young boy in his family, uh, like the time when, uh, one of his stepdads, who had abandoned Greg and his mother, came back for a visit. It didn’t go well. Greg’s mom met that man with a baseball bat.

Greg Stier: She beat him so bloody. I remember as a kid, I joke about it now, but it actually traumatized me as a kid because-

End of Preview

Jim Daly: Oh, of course.

Greg:  … it, she absolutely just beat him bloody. He finally ended up back in the car, drove off. And I remember thinking three things as she walked back up, number one, I will never disobey my mommy again, right?

Jim: (laughs) Wow.

John: Clear message there.

Greg: Clear message. Number two, how did the cigarette stay in her mouth the whole time? I mean, it never left her mouth.

John: Wow.

Greg: And number three, why is my mom so angry?

John: Mm-hmm. Well, your hosts today on Focus on Family is Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller, and thanks for joining us.

Jim: John, we routinely hear from people who are hurting and damaged by unresolved conflict, uh, baggage from their past and frankly, the consequences of sin. And we live in a broken world. And that brokenness is often reflected in our families today. Admittedly, uh, Greg’s example is rather extreme, but we all know of families torn apart by infidelity, addiction, prodigal children, and so many other seemingly hopeless situations. But here’s the good news, God is at work even in the most dysfunctional of environments. He wants to bring healing and restoration and hope back into our lives. Uh, Psalm 34:18 says, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. That was Greg’s experience.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: His family was filled with, uh, bodybuilders and street fighters who loved violence. Life was hard and dangerous. Uh, Greg didn’t fit the family mold and he struggled to find his identity and his purpose until the day he gave his heart to Jesus. That is awesome. And if you missed our conversation last time, I urge you to get the download or check out our previous episodes so you can hear that part of Greg’s amazing story. And I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with him today.

John: Right. And as we mentioned last time, Greg is an author, speaker, and the founder of a youth evangelism ministry called Dare 2 Share. He’s written a book called Unlikely Fighter: The Story of How a Fatherless Street Kid Overcame Violence, Chaos, and Confusion to Become a Radical Christ Follower. You can find that book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Greg, a powerful story last time. Uh, welcome back to tell the rest of the story.

Greg: Glad to be back.

Jim: There was some spiritual movement in your family, and I want to touch on that. You probably became, even as a boy, kind of, a beacon, sounds like for some of your family members, say, okay, he’s a little different, but seems like God’s got his hand on this kid. H- how did that start to happen in your family where these tough uncles and everybody started to see God working in your life?

Greg: Mm-hmm. Yeah, they used to call me the walking Bible. They set me up on a table and-

Jim: That’s what they nicknamed you?

Greg:  … and made me quote verses in front of the family. Uh, they d-

Jim: Oh my gosh.

Greg:  … they got a kick out of it. Well, meanwhile, uh, in a totally different situation, this hillbilly preacher, nickname Yankee, who planted a church … He’s from the Deep South, but planted a church in the suburbs of Denver, reached out on a dare to my toughest uncle, my Uncle Jack, and knocked on his door on a Saturday morning. Yankee said, “I’m here on a dare from Bob Daly to tell you about Jesus.” Meanwhile, my cousin Tammy and my, uh, cousin Jackie had been going to his kids, Jack’s kids had been going to Yankees youth group.

Jim: Oh my.

Greg: And he said, “By the way, you have two awesome daughters, they go to our youth group.” That got him in the door.

Jim: Wow.

Greg: My, my Uncle Jack basically said, uh, “I don’t know Jesus, but I know Bob. I’ll give you five minutes.” And Yankee came in and share the gospel. And Jack had never heard that Jesus came for sinners. But he, he just thought he’s got to keep a list and he’s never gonna keep the list so he’s gonna go to hell, so he might as well have fun. But for the first time he heard that Jesus died on the cross for sinners, that he rose from the dead. And if he simply trust in Him, he has eternal life. Yankee explained the gospel, he said, “Does that make sense?” Jack said, “Hell, yeah.” That was a sinner’s prayer, was, “Hell, yeah.”

Jim: Wow.

Greg: He trusted in Christ in that moment.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: My aunt Earlene trusted in Christ. And that began the domino effect in my entire family.

Jim: Man, that’s something. Uh, in that time period, I think, you described, uh, going to a youth ranch.

Greg: Well, what happened was my big brother Doug, h- who was going to Yankees youth group, for whatever reason, it was called Christian Youth Ranch, which sounds like a boy’s home.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: But it was a huge youth group. They had 800 students, uh, going to this youth group every week. And it was a big, big outreach. My big brother Doug was going and-

Jim: So the two of you went?

Greg: Yeah. So he snuck me in, even though I was in elementary school. So-

Jim: (laughs) You’re too young.

Greg: Too young, too young. But, but Yankee, God used him in such a powerful way to begin the trajectory of the transformation, uh, in my uncles lives, my aunts lives, my cousins life, and my life.

Jim: That i- that is so awesome. And I mean, what’s the update? Where is everybody at today?

Greg: Well, what happened is my uncle, my Uncle Jack trusted Christ. Uh, within a month’s period of time, he brought 250 people out to Yankees Church. I mean, you’re talking about gang members, bodybuilders, street fighters, uh, radically transformed, uh … My Uncle Jack, uh, sharing the gospel on a regular basis to people that were very, very tough. One day, he’s in a sauna, he shares Christ with another guy in the sauna and you got no clothes on. This is buck naked evangelism. They’re (laughs)-

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Greg:  … he’s sharing Christ with another bodybuilder, brand new believer, doesn’t know the rules yet.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Another bodybuilder from a different religion starts to interrupt and argue with my Uncle Jack. My Uncle Jack doesn’t know you’re supposed to love your enemies. He hasn’t read that part yet. So he tells this guy, “Hey, I’m trying to tell this guy about the love of Jesus. Why don’t you shut your stinking mouth and quit interrupting me?” He continues-

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) Sounds like something David might say. You know, David-

Greg: (laughs) Yeah, that’s right. He continued to share the gospel and he goes, “You interrupt me one more time, I’m taking you out.” And he continued to share Christ. The guy interrupted him again. Uncle Jack hit the guy. The guy fell to the ground in the sauna, looked up and says, “Jesus didn’t go around hitting people like that.” He goes, “Well, I ain’t Jesus. I’m Jack.” (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) Oh, man. That is tough.

Greg: So it took a while. Sanctification was a process.

Jim: Wow, yeah. I mean-

Greg: It is a process.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Yeah, you’re bringing all that in.

Greg: Bringing it all that in.

Jim: That’s amazing.

John: Wow.

Jim: Uncle Jack, is he alive today or-

Greg: He went to be with the Lord four years ago.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Wow.

Greg: And so Yankee flew out for the funeral. Uh, I did the funeral. I wrote a poem-

Jim: Wow.

Greg:  … for him called, Hell, Yeah-

John: Yeah.

Greg:  … about his radical transformation and how God had been, uh … God has used my Uncle Jack to reach so, so many people.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You know, you, you step back from the story and you think of the intimidation where you’re that little boy, the doll that they gave you-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … the, being the brunt of jokes of your family. Isn’t it just like the Lord to take the friendly guy in this chaotic family of thugs?

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, sorry, but that’s how you framed it.

Greg: Yup.

Jim: And then he uses you to draw them all to Him. If you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in Jesus Christ as his son, you really got to step back and think about this. Why? How could that have happened-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … without the power of God?

Greg: Mm-hmm. There’s no way it would happen. And that’s one of … Jim, that’s one of my messages. Do not underestimate the power of the gospel. The gospel changes everything.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: And I think so many times we forget that.

Jim: So true. Uh, one of your youth leaders gave you an unusual assignment. I thought this was really good. I’m gonna talk to my boys about this.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But describe what he asked you to do and how you apply that.

Greg: So, Timo, Timo said, “I want you to go to the mall on a busy Friday night and I want you to sit there.” I’m 12 years old at that time. I’m like, “Okay. ” “And I want you to watch people for 30 minutes. And I want you to put an imaginary tag on their forehead that reads bound for hell. And I want you to think about the hell they’re headed to, the literal hell. And I want you to b- think about the hell they’re going through right now apart from Jesus.” And I said, “Okay.” And it seemed weird to me. You know, I’m a seventh grade kid. I go to the mall, busy Friday night, and I watched people for 30 minutes. First few minutes, I’m, you know, I’m, I feel self-conscious. They, they look at me watching them. They’re watching me watch them, you know.

Jim: Right.

Greg: But then I start imagining bound for hell. And I’ve seen all the people pass by. And within 30 minutes, I was bawling my eyes out.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: Because I could see that sign, bound for hell, and I knew what life on this side of eternity was like without Christ. And that’s what they were experiencing-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … let alone the next sign. And I still see that sign to this day. That homework assignment changed the way I view people.

Jim: No. That’s why I’m wanting to make sure we capture that because it’s such a great thing for all of us.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Whether it’s a mall, a fast-food place, a restaurant, wherever you’re at, think of people with that label.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And it probably, it should change the way you look at them-

Greg: Yes.

Jim:  … and interact with them-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … and talk with them and hopefully, they say a word that, you know, points them in the direction toward Christ, right?

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, your passion, uh, for evangelism, man, you are groomed to be an evangelist. And I know you know that, but the Lord just had his hand firmly upon you. I would think one of the more difficult things, although the Lord used you and your family to do so much good and to bring so many of your family members to Him. Um, it can be really difficult for a Christian to reach, um, their family. My wife has that situation. She’s the only Christian.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: She’s been, for years, trying to talk with them. She even, one time, you know, she had a family meeting and, uh, provided Lee Strobel’s book, Case for Christ.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And her brother put his hand up, said, “Jeanne, I love you, but I don’t believe any of this. I’m an atheist.”

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: That kind of environment.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, I, I just think your mom’s story, about how you … I think, said just, you punched her in the face with the gospel message.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Describe that. Because I think it’s encouraging for some people to hear different ways to approach your family members.

Greg: Sure. So, you know, I was 11 or 12 years old when I went to Yankees Youth Ministry. I got trained to share the gospel. That’s one of the things Yankee would do. Right away, give you a, a Bible, so you’re gonna learn this. Give you a stack of tracks, you’re gonna learn how to share the gospel. And so he equipped us how to do that. Well, the first person on my mind was my ma.

Jim: Yeah, of course.

Greg: And I go back 12 years old, I sit down in the kitchen table, I go, “Ma, wanna talk to you about Jesus.” She’s smoking a cigarette saying, “You don’t know the things I’ve done wrong.” She would just shut me down every time. “I’m too much of a sinner, God would never accept me.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: Well, I tried, and my brother tried year after year, day after day, shut us down. Finally, I’ve had enough. I’m 15 years old. I go into the kitchen, I go, “Ma, sit down. I need to talk to you about something.” Now, you didn’t talk to my ma like that, right?

Jim: Right.

Greg: So I got her attention. She goes, “Okay.” Because she knew I was serious. And I said, “I don’t want you to go to hell when you die. And I’m tired of you living through this hell right now. Listen to this, these words.” And I went over the gospel. And she’s smoking a cigarette, she goes, “You mean to tell me, Jesus died for all my sins?” She goes, “What about the really bad ones?” I go, “They’re all bad to Him.” She took a drag. She goes, “You mean to tell me all I got to do is put my faith in Christ and he forgives me for everything?” I go, “Yeah, ma, past, present, and future.” She took another drag from a cigarette. And she said, “I’m in.”

Jim: Mm-hmm. Wow!

Greg: And I remember when my family said they’re in, they’re in.

Jim: Yeah, right.

Greg: And I remember my ma for the first time having a glimmer of hope in her eye-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … that God accepted her. And that was one of the best days of my life.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: You know, being able to lead my own ma to Christ.

Jim: How old was she at that point?

Greg: I think she was probably about 45.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: What a day.

Greg: What a day.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: What a day.

Jim: What a straightforward way to go too.

Greg: Well, you, kind of, have to, you know.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Some people you, kind of, go through the side door. With my family, you got to kick in the front door.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And say, hey, Jesus wants to talk to you.

Jim: But, you know, like you said, though, there’s that honest reflection and then that commitment. Uh, that’s actually beautiful.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: There is something true to that personality that, okay, I’m in.

Greg: Yeah. And-

Jim: That simple.

Greg:  … you never had to convince my family that they were sinners.

Jim: Yeah, right.

Greg: You know, they knew that, that, you had to convince them that Jesus died to save them.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And his payment is enough.

Jim: Uh, j- and again, it just sounds like exactly where God would go.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: That’s the heart he’s looking for, an honest heart.

Greg: Yup.

Jim: Not a perfect heart. There was a significant shift for you when your grandfather died. Um, what happened and what was going on in your family’s situation when that happened?

Greg: So my grandfather had a massive heart attack, and I was 15 years old at the time. He was in ICU, he’s brain dead. We knew he was going to die. My uncles, all but one, had come to Christ.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: And the one who hadn’t come to Christ, my uncle Richard, lived in Arizona, flew in. And so all my uncles are trying to share Christ with him in the hospital-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … you know, in the waiting room, by grandpa’s bed. And he’s dodging and weaving like he’s in a prizefight. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with Jesus. He thought everybody went crazy, called them Jesus freaks. And I remember one day, I’d go every day after school, sit in the waiting room, do my homework next to my grandfather’s bed. And my uncles are all there one day, they’re all talking with each other, because they’re concerned about Uncle Richard. But they keep looking over at me. My grandma comes in a circle, they talk to her, she nods her head, then they all come walking up like this gang-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … to me. And they say, uh, “Hey, Greg, we need to talk to you about something.” I go, “Yeah?” They said, “When dad dies, your grandpa, we want you to do the sermon at his funeral.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: And I’m like, “Uh, I’m 15 years old.” They’re like, “We don’t care. You’re gonna give the gospel clearly. And we want it given clearly.” I said, “Man, you need to get somebody qualified to do that.” And my uncle Dey, the one who gave me the doll, who had since come to Christ goes, “What are you, a chicken?” I go, “Nope, I’m not a chicken. I’ll do it.”

John: (laughs)

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Called me out and their whole goal was-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … uncle Richard to hear the gospel at the funeral.

Jim: Right. Mm-hmm.

Greg: So I went up, and they had an official pastor lead the service. I did the sermon, that 30-minute sermon, 500 people at my grandpa’s funeral. He’s a very loved man. I had everybody bow their heads and close their eyes after I gave the gospel. Everybody did except for my uncle Richard, who just folded his arms and shook his head, saying, “You ain’t getting me, boy.” I gave the invitation, many people came to Christ. My uncle Richard did not. But in that moment, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the gospel and the call. That I am called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

John: Mm-hmm.

Greg: So that was a game changing moment. Not just because so many p- people came to Christ, but because it, it was in that moment I really got my full calling-

Jim: Yeah.

Greg:  … to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jim: Yeah, which is-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … it’s interesting. They had a, your family had a different idea, but the Lord was going to show you something-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … about who you are-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … and what he wants from you. Uh, bring that forward now, the passion that you have for young people. I mean, it is obvious to everybody listening and watching on YouTube. I mean, that, uh, the Lord had his hand on you.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Talk about Dare 2 Share and what you’re doing to lead that ministry now and, and what’s happening.

Greg: Yeah. So, for the last 30 years, uh, I’ve led Dare 2 Share. And Dare 2 Share is all about every teen everywhere, hearing the gospel from a friend. So we train, equip, and mobilize teenagers to share the gospel. We work to and through local churches, provide free curriculum. We do an annual simulcast called Dare 2 Share live that’s free, where w- teens across the nation are simultaneously trained, equipped, and mobilized, uh, to share the gospel in one day.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Uh, and then we give them the tools and apps and resources to be able to share the gospel because we believe in the power of the gospel and the potential of young people. I think, Jim, I think we’ve played too much defense with our young people.

Jim: Uh, that’s good.

Greg: We’re, we’re trying to knock all the sin out of their hands, the danger of smartphones, we’re like, you know what, let’s download a faith sharing app on that smartphone and let’s equip you to share the gospel with your friends. And what we’re seeing across the world, our teenagers are rising up. God is using young people to shake their schools with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And so we want to play offense, we want to mobilize a generation with the hope of Jesus Christ. And so that’s what we’ve been doing for 30 years now.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: It’s gone global. And we’re-

Jim: That’s fantastic.

Greg:  … we’re excited of what God’s doing.

Jim: Yeah, that really is good. Um, I don’t want to end before we talk a little bit about Columbine, the shooting here in-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … Colorado at the high school, kind of, was one of the first of those mass shootings in a school setting. There’s been sadly-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … too many more to follow. But h- how did that event stir your heart?

Greg: Well, I was leading Dare 2 Share, but I was also pastoring a church at the same time. Get Dare 2 Share on the side because I love teenagers and I was planning on doing both for the rest of my life. And on April 20th, 1999, I was promoting a Dare 2 Share conference. Our theme that year was on spiritual warfare. The theme literally was, when all hell breaks loose, based on-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … Ephesians 6:10 to 20. The pastor came and said, “You guys may want to stop and pray because all hell has broken loose at Columbine High School.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: We didn’t know how bad until we saw the news reports.

Jim: Right.

Greg: I went down to Clemente Park and the school prayed with people after that. God used that tragedy, though, uh, to call me out of being a pastor and leading Dare 2 Share part time to leading Dare 2 Share full time.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Because the question on my mind was, where were all the Christian kids to reach out to the shooters? And what if they had heard the gospel and believed? And I’m thinking, there are kids like that on every campus that are the bad, the broken, the bullied, and the bullies. That if they have the hope of Christ-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … if they are presented that message of Jesus, then at least there’s a chance for that soul transformation.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: So I resigned from the church and went to Dare 2 Share full time.

Jim: Well, that’s terrific, especially for young people. And I, uh, man, just pray the Lord continues to bless those efforts. You know, when you look at what’s going on in the culture, there’s only one answer, and that’s Jesus, right?

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: I mean, there’s so much shaken loose right now. There’s so many unknowns out there.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: We, I’d like your perspective on this. One of the things that I’ve said, a lot of older Christians, I’m in that category, John, a lot of older Christians are fearful about the younger generation of Christians, as if the Lord didn’t know who he put here, you know (laughs). And I, I keep, kind of, reprimanding them saying, hey, God’s got this, man.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: There are his people, his remnant, they’re here. So don’t shortchange God that somehow he made a mistake with millennials and Gen Xers and Gen Zers. They might not think the way the boomers think, but to say that God’s presence is not in them and working through them-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … is really questioning the father.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: I would caution you not to do that.

Greg: Well, I would say this, I would agree with you. Every major spiritual awakening in the history of the United States has had teenagers on the leading edge, the First Great Awakening with George Whitefield and John Wesley. Jonathan Edwards said, “The revival has been chiefly amongst the young.” You go throughout history, God uses young people. I believe Gen Z is poised for revival and transformation.

Jim: Totally agree.

Greg: So we need to mobilize them.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: We need to quit boring them with just a typical-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … Sunday School lessons and put them on mission to reach their friends for Christ. I’ll, that’s what Yankee did. For me, as a kid, I’m 12 years old, walking down the church hallway, he’s walking by, he looks at me, he said, “You’re gonna reach the world for Christ someday, young fella,” and just kept walking.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: He said that 1,000 times to 1,000 teens. He believed it every time, and I believed it.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And we need to infuse that kind of vision into the hearts of our students.

Jim: Well, and I think the other thing is not milk toast.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: Young people are not looking for that.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: They’re looking for what it means to be seriously committed.

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: And what does it take?

Greg: That’s right.

Jim: That’s a good thing. And I hope pastors hear your heart today too, preach the meat, not the milk.

Greg: Yeah, amen.

Jim: And I think people are going to respond in this, in this time. Um, I guess the final question, Uncle Richard, what happened?

Greg: 12 years later, Uncle Richard’s coming back for another funeral, his own, sadly. Uh, he had stage 4 cancer, uh, melanoma, uh, was going to die. Bodybuilder once himself-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg:  … shriveled up, emaciated. My uncles are desperately trying to reach him. He’s still shutting them down.

Jim: Wow.

Greg: With every last breath-

Jim: That’s a strong-willed person.

Greg:  … he’s strong willed. They talked him into going to Grace Church, the church I was preaching at, at the time. And they said, “Let’s go here. Our little nephew preach one last time.”

Jim: Wow.

Greg: He reluctantly comes. I preached the sermon at the end, like in every sermon, I give the gospel. I have everybody bow their heads and close your eyes. This time he bows his head, close his eyes. I said, “If that makes sense and you’re trusting in Jesus right now, would you raise your hand?” Boom! He raises his hand.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: Boom! All my uncles begin to weep. Because they’re peeking through their fingers down the aisle to see if he raises his hand.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: He trusted in Christ. And three months he lived after that, he led more people to Christ than the average preacher will lead their entire lives.

Jim: Wow. Yeah, it sounds like he lived a life that people had to respect-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim:  … and then becoming a Christian, they listened, right?

Greg: Amen.

Jim: That’s probably exactly what happened. Man, if people hearing this don’t stop and think, okay, what’s my spiritual inventory? Where am I at? Where’s my family at? You doubt that God can reach your family. Uh, just listen to what Greg has said. I’d say listen to it over and over again a couple times.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Because this is the work of God. And what a powerful testimony that we’ve heard. And, uh, Greg, I just so appreciate. I’m back. I, kind of, am with you in that childhood experience-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … with that doll and being-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … uh, belittled like that. But you rose above it.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: You did climb up-

Greg: By God’s grace.

Jim:  … and God used you. Yeah, and I’ just really impressed by that. You really touched my heart today.

Greg: Praise the Lord, Jim. You know, I, when I wrote Unlikely Fighter, I wrote it … And you know that’s from writing a memoir. You get in a time machine and you go back.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And I was crying like I’ve never cried before writing that book-

Jim: Yeah.

Greg:  … feeling what I have not felt for many, many years.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: But one of my goals is that people will read it and believe in the power of the gospel. And those who don’t know Jesus will know the gospel changes everything. That’s the message of my life.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: The, the gospel changes everything.

Jim: And it’s not complicated.

Greg: It’s not.

Jim: Yeah, in fact, Greg, why don’t we end with you praying-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … for those that are listening.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: And there are many, we know that-

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim:  … that don’t know the Lord, like your mom, taking that puff.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Really, tell me more. And they’re in that spot right now. Let’s pray for them.

Greg: Let’s do. Father, I just pray for everyone listening to this broadcast right now for those that do not know your son, may they know that they’re not beyond the reach of God’s grace, that God loved them so much. You love them so much. You sent your only son to live the perfect life they could never live and then die the death that they deserved, that we deserve. That Jesus paid the price for their sin, that he rose from the dead, and that by simple faith and trust in him, they can have eternal life. May those listening right now put their faith in Jesus.

And when they do, Lord, you adopt them into your family, you become their Heavenly Father, you’ll never leave them or forsake them. So encourage them today to put their faith in your son. For those who have put their faith in your son, Lord, would you give them a fire to share this good news with others?

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Greg: May they start with that one person your Holy Spirit is placing on their heart right now. In Jesus’ name we pray.

John: Amen.

Jim: Amen.

John: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: And for those that, uh, had prayed that prayer, uh, and you want to know more, get a hold of us here at Focus on the Family. About 200,000 people in the next year here are going to come through Christ through Focus. And we’re excited about that.

Greg: Amen.

Jim: We started measuring that years ago, and it’s consistently in that neighborhood every year. And, uh, I’d invite you to be part of the ministry to reach people for Christ, for their marriages, for their parenting, and ultimately, for their children. So that that family (laughs) won’t be like Greg’s family, this chaotic family in the beginning, but more like Greg’s family at the end, trusting and knowing Christ for everything that they do. That can be your family story, just get a hold of us today.

John: We’re a phone call away. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, where we have a variety of resources. One of those would be Greg’s great book, Unlikely Fighter: The Story of How a Fatherless Street Kid Overcame Violence, Chaos, and Confusion to Become a Radical Christ Follower. It is a terrific book. Uh, it would be a great book to pass along to somebody, as Greg said earlier, so they can hear the gospel, see the gospel at work in his life, and hopefully, in their own life as well.

Uh, we’d also point you to a free booklet we have called Coming Home, which describes the gospel, what it means to be a Christian. And, uh, as Jim said, if you need to talk with somebody or you’d like to ask further questions, we’re here. Again, our number 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And, John, as we often say, uh, make a gift, be part of the ministry like we talked about a moment ago. And we’ll send you a copy of Greg’s book as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry. A monthly gift is great. A onetime gift is good as well, and we’ll send it to you right away.

John: Donate when you get in touch. And your support is especially important right now because of our matching campaign that’s going on. Some generous friends of Focus on the Family have agreed to match any gift you send, dollar for dollar. And as a result, more marriages will be strengthened, more parents equipped, and more families will be given godly hope here at the end of the year. So please, contribute as you can. The website focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Coming up next time, some profound ways to improve your marriage.

Preview:

Pastor Levi Lusko: If Jesus isn’t in your home, it’s not because he doesn’t want to be there. It’s because perhaps you didn’t invite him in. Every bride and groom have the choice to invite Jesus into their wedding, invite him into the marriage. He’ll come into your home if you invite him.

End of Preview

Today's Guests

Unlikely Fighter

Receive the book Unlikely Fighter and the audio download of the broadcast "How a Dysfunctional Street Kid Became a Radical Discipline of Jesus" for your donation of any amount! And now through a special matching opportunity, your gift will be DOUBLED, dollar for dollar!

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

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

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

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

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Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

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Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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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!