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Focus on the Family Broadcast

It’s a Pokenberry Christmas (Part 2 of 2)

It’s a Pokenberry Christmas (Part 2 of 2)

On this special Christmas broadcast, we're featuring the episode "It's a Pokenberry Christmas" from our children's radio series, "Adventures in Odyssey." Listen in with your family as Whit and Eugene travel to Pokenberry Falls to help George Barclay, who has lost faith that he should be a pastor – which leads to a bizarre series of events! (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: December 25, 2015

John Fuller: Last time on Focus on the Family we heard the first part of the Adventures in Odyssey Christmas special, “It’s a Pokenberry Christmas.”


Chris: Last time on Adventures in Odyssey …

Whit: I got a letter from Mary Barclay this morning. Things aren’t going very well in Pokenberry Falls.

Mr. Lionel: This church is not necessary to this town. I’m gettin’ fed up with supporting the lazy rabble around here.

George: You warped, frustrated, rich old man. They’re sheep.

Ellis: I thought I deposited the money, but the bank statement came, and it wasn’t on there.

Mr. Lionel: I’m not bailin’ you out this month, Barclay. You’ll have to close the church.

George: Well, Lord, I failed at everything.

Whit: Just think of a desperate man who may feel as if he’s reached rock bottom.

Eugene: Mr. Barclay, wait, stop.

George: Eugene, slow down, the bridge is icy. Eugene, slow down.

Eugene: We can talk … whoa. Ah!

George: Eugene!

Eugene: Help! Help!

End of Excerpt


John: We look forward to the exciting conclusion of that episode today! And your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Hey, John, let’s start with a big Merry Christmas to everybody, too. This is so much fun this time of year. I love it! And we hope that today you’re spending your day with loved ones remembering the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift that we’ve ever been given. And today’s conclusion to the story is heartwarming and we hope that listening to it will remind you that God equips us even when we feel inadequate or alone.

And at this time of year, some people have those deep emotions because they’re not with family or they’re not spending the time the way they’d hoped they would be. Maybe for you, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year or maybe it’s a struggle. Whatever you may be going through today, we hope that you’ll take heart and know that God has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. And even when you feel discouraged, He is still there.

John: Well, that’s the message of our presentation today. Well, we’ll say thanks for joining our family for this special presentation from Adventures in Odyssey. It’s called “It’s a Pokenberry Christmas” on today’s Focus on the Family.

Scene 10

George: Are you all right?

Eugene: Well, apart from acute embarrassment at my clumsiness, yes, I am. I wonder where Mr. Whittaker is. Do you suppose he ran for help?

George: I’d be the last to know. What in the world are you doing here?

Eugene: Well, perhaps we should discuss it in warmer and dryer environs.

George: We could go back to my house.

Eugene: I believe the motel is a closer walk.

George: Oh, okay; let’s go.


Scene 11

George: Are you feeling better?

Eugene: Me? I feel fine. My book is soaked.

George: The Success of Failure.  Oh, it’s by Whit.

Eugene: You should see the book he’s writing now.

George: Hey, it’s dedicated to me. That’s uh… nice.

Eugene: May I? “To George Barclay – my inspiration for this subject.”

George: Which, success or failure? Probably failure. I’m the poster child for it.

Eugene: Hmmm… this is very perplexing.

George: What is?

Eugene: Well, Mr. Whittaker and I checked in earlier today and now I see no sign that he was ever here apart from that book.

George: Well, why are you here? And why were you running and screaming on the bridge?

Eugene: Well, I was trying to save you.

George: Save me? I thought I saved you.

Eugene: You saved me from the river, but I saved you from leaping to your doom.

George: What are you talking about? I was just thinking. Where did you get such a crazy idea?

Eugene: Oh. Well, Mr. Whittaker received a letter from Mary stating that you were very discouraged. We then came to visit you to offer comfort and encouragement. But upon our arrival, Mary informed us that you had disappeared. Unfortunately, we… or I… assumed the worst. The image of you on the bridge reinforced evidently, the wrong assumption.

George: Well, I appreciate your concern.

Eugene: I know things are bad, pastor, but it’s never so bad …

George: Save your sermon, Eugene. I’m not inclined to do anything drastic.

Eugene: Good.

George: But you can be sure that I’m not a very happy man. Everything’s a mess. You have no idea what it’s been like for me here. As I stood on the bridge, I kept thinking that… well, I just wished I’d never come to Pokenberry Falls. In fact, I wish I had never become a pastor.

Eugene: That’s not a very helpful thing to wish. What if it came true? Then all the people you’ve touched …

George: Yeah, right, touched. Everybody would be better off if l’d never become a pastor.

Eugene: You shouldn’t be so … so … wait a minute. Wait a minute.

George: What?

Eugene: Well, I was just thinking how familiar that concept sounded.

George: I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak up. It’s the strangest thing. I can’t hear anything out of this ear. Must’ve been the jump into the cold water.

Eugene: Hm.

George: Are your clothes dry? Mine are. They sure warmed up fast.

Eugene: They’re dry; perfectly dry, in fact. As if they’d never been wet. Curious.

George: I’ll tell you what, Eugene. Let’s find Whit and the two of you can come back to my house for dinner.

Eugene: Sounds delightful.


Scene 12

Eugene: Greetings, Ms. Concierge.

Front Desk Lady: Actually, the name’s Heidi.

Eugene: Oh.

George: Your last name’s Horowitz, isn’t it?

Front Desk Lady: Uh huh. How did you know?

George: You know my son. Jimmy. You were both part of a class camping trip. I met you at the drop-off point.

Front Desk Lady: Jimmy who?

George: Jimmy Barclay.

Front Desk Lady: I’m sorry. It doesn’t ring a bell.

George: Well, you collected butterflies together and had to do a report for the class.

Front Desk Lady: I once did a report about butterflies, but not with anybody named Jimmy Barclay. I was paired with Fredrica Mathewson. Well, anyway, what can I do for you?

Eugene: Well, I was wondering if, perhaps, you have seen John Avery Whittaker. He checked in with me earlier this afternoon.

Front Desk Lady: Hmmm…I’m sorry, but there’s no one here by that name.

Eugene: Ha-ha… But there has to be. He wouldn’t have checked out without talking to me first.

Front Desk Lady: That may be true, but since he never checked in in the first place …

Eugene: Never checked in? But that’s absurd. We checked in together, simultaneously. You have my name correct? Eugene Meltsner?

Front Desk Lady: Uh huh, you’re right here. But there’s no John Avery Whittaker.

Eugene: How odd.

Front Desk Lady: Anything else?

Eugene: No, thank you, Ms. Concierge. Though, if he happens to arrive, please tell him to call me, Eugene Meltsner, at the Barclays.

Front Desk Lady: Okay.

George: So, what do you make of that?

Eugene: Very odd.

George: She didn’t know Jimmy.

Eugene: I could attribute that to a faulty memory, but to have no record of Mr. Whittaker’s arrival here –when we arrived at the same time and I stood next to him while he checked us in. Makes no sense whatsoever. What shall we do now?

George: Go back to my house, I guess. Though, you know, I would like to make one quick stop on the way.

Eugene: Oh?

George: Yeah, I want to stop by a bicycle shop to apologize to Mr. Welsh.


Scene 13

Eugene: It looks closed.

George: He said he was about to close up. Wait, wait! I see someone in there.

Mr. Welsh: Sorry, pal, but I’m closed.

George: I know. But I figured since you were still here, I’d stop by to apologize.

Mr. Welsh: Sure. Apologize for what?

George: For being so angry earlier and yelling at your wife on the phone.

Mr. Welsh: You talked to my wife?

George: Yeah. And I… well, I feel awful about it. And your son was only trying to teach my son how to ride his bike. It was a kind gesture and well, I’m … I’m just sorry.

Mr. Welsh: Look, bud, what’s the big idea? I live in a shack in Lionel’s Field and my wife ran away three years ago and took my son. I haven’t seen them since.

George: What? But that’s not possible. Don’t you remember? I was here a couple of hours ago and I brought in my son’s bike pedal. I have it right here in my … in my … well, I had it here. I must’ve lost it in the river.

Mr. Welsh: Look, I don’t know who you are, but I’d really like to leave now.

George: But you do know me. I’m George Barclay. I’ll show you my driver’s license. My wallet’s gone, too. So is my Triple A card, my local business discount card, my Pokenberry Falls donuts buy¬ four-get-one-free punch card. Hey, what’s going on here?

Mr. Welsh: Beats me. Now, if you’ll just …

Ellis Burch: Excuse me, Mr. Welsh.

Mr. Welsh: What do you want, you bum.

George: Ellis … Ellis Burch.

Ellis: Well, I was wondering if you had any extra bicycle boxes I could live in this winter.

Mr. Welsh: How many times have I told you not to come around here, you deadbeat. Now get lost.

George: Now, wait a minute. You can’t talk to him like that. Ellis has been a pillar of Pokenberry Falls since … since…

Mr. Welsh: Since he stole all that money from the church?

George: What?

Mr. Welsh: That’s right. And if you’re sticking up for him, then you must be just like him. Now get lost, all of you, or I’ll call the police. In fact, I think I’ll call them anyway. We don’t like strangers in this town.

Ellis: Thanks for trying, whoever you are.

George: Whoever I am. Ellis, it’s me, George. George Barclay.

Ellis: Nice to meet you, but I gotta go to the appliance store to see if I can find a good refrigerator box to sleep in. Bye. Merry Christmas.

George: Either I’m off my nut or he is. Or you are.

Eugene: Me?

George: Yes! Everything was normal until you came running across the bridge.

Eugene: Hm, yes. You know, I’ve been thinking about that. The consistency of this situation causes me to consider rather radical concepts.

George: Huh?

Eugene: What if you got your wish?

George: What wish?

Eugene: Your wish about never coming to Pokenberry Falls or even becoming a pastor.

George: You’re suffering from jet lag, Eugene.

Eugene: Perhaps or it’s possible that somehow our fall in the water pushed us through a time warp of some sort, which in turn brought us into this parallel time in which we are not known nor recognized. Though I think it’s easier to suggest that you got your wish.

George: Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about or what’s wrong with everyone around here. But we’ll settle this thing as soon as we get home to my family.

Eugene: Then lead on.


Program Note:

John: We are right in the middle of Part Two of an exciting story from our Adventures in Odyssey team. It’s a drama is called, “It’s a Pokenberry Christmas.” And you can enjoy more of this award-winning children’s drama by signing up for a free trial of the Adventures in Odyssey Club. and when you sign up that gives you access to over 900 episodes online of this tremendous program. So, learn more at

Let’s go ahead and hear, now, the conclusion of this special Christmas Day presentation of “It’s a Pokenberry Christmas” on Focus on the Family.

End of Program Note

Scene 14

Eugene: So, this is your house?

George: Of course, it is.

Eugene: But it doesn’t look like anyone has lived here for years.

George: This must be a trick. Somebody’s playing games with me. Mary? Donna? Jimmy? Stewart?

Eugene: Call it a wild stab in the dark, but I don’t believe they’re here.

Officer Bond: You there. Stay right where you are.

Eugene: If you insist.

Officer Bond: What do you think you’re doing here?

Eugene: Home shopping?

Officer Bond: Funny. Who is that?

George: Donna? Jimmy?

Officer Bond: Whoever you are, get out of that house.

George: Officer Bond. Oh, am I glad to see you. What happened to my house? Where are my wife and kids?

Officer Bond: Stand back, mister and keep your hands where I can see ’em.

George: What’s the matter with you, Ward? You know who I am. George Barclay. Don’t you remember? You stood here on the porch and sang Christmas carols to us not two days ago. You go to my church.

Officer Bond: Your church?

George: Yes. I’m the pastor of the First Church of Pokenberry Falls.

Officer Bond: Now I know you’re off your rocker. Why don’t the two of you come along quietly and we’ll get you to a nice doctor.

George: Look, I don’t need a doctor.

Officer Bond: If you’re going to resist…

Eugene: Wait just a minute, officer. I have an explanation for this whole thing.

Officer Bond: Yeah? Like what?

Eugene: We think it’s possible that by a bizarre twist in the fabric of time and space we’ve been hijacked to an alternative dimension, in which the two of us seem to have no identities.

Officer Bond: What?

Eugene: Are you familiar with Einstein’s theories about time travel?

Officer Bond: What?

Eugene: How about wishes that come true?

Officer Bond: What?

Eugene: How about we go along peacefully and promise not to cause any trouble?

Officer Bond: Now that sounds more like it. (Police radio call) Bond here. Okay, I’m on my way. Listen, if I see you two clowns again, I’ll put you in jail. Now move along.

Eugene: Thank you, officer.

George: Yeah, thanks.

Officer Bond: And Merry Christmas.

George: So, what are we supposed to do now?

Eugene: Well, I’m not quite sure, but it occurs to me that if you got your wish, then you truly aren’t a pastor and must still be living where you were before you became a pastor.

George: You mean Odyssey?

Eugene: Precisely.

George: We can’t go all the way back to Odyssey to check out your theory.

Eugene: Of course not, but we can call.

George: Call who?

Eugene: Who else? You have to call yourself.

George: What?


George: The recording said my old phone number has been disconnected. So much for that idea.

Eugene: Maybe I should try to call Mr. Whittaker.

George: But we don’t know where he is.

Eugene: If my logic is correct, he’ll be at Whit’s End.

George: How, when he checked in with you earlier this afternoon?

Eugene: Ah, but if your wish came true, then he did not check in with me. In fact, he didn’t come here at all. He wouldn’t have needed to since you’re not here to come visit. Which means that I shouldn’t be here either. But I am. Presumably because we were in the river together when the time transference took place.

George: This is crazy.

Eugene: It was your wish, Pastor Barclay, not mine. (Dialing the phone) You may want to come closer to hear what he has to say.

George: All right.

Whit: Whit’s End. This is Whit.

Eugene: Greetings, Mr. Whittaker. It is I, Eugene.

Whit: Oh, hello, Eugene. Where’ve you been? I thought you were coming in today.

Eugene: Oh, I’m sorry, but I seem to have been waylaid. I’ll explain later. There is someone here who would like to say hello. Here.

George: What? Me?

Eugene: Go ahead. It can’t do any harm.

Whit: Hello? Hello? Eugene?

George: Hi, Whit. It’s me, George Barclay.

Whit: George Barclay. This is a surprise. Where … are you back in Odyssey?

George: Back in Odyssey? Did I leave?

Whit: Are you’re kidding me?

George: Not at all. Where do you think I am?

Whit: I wouldn’t know. I mean, after you lost your job, you … I just really hate to talk about this. Don’t you remember?

George: Look, to be honest, Whit, I… I don’t. I’m in a really bad way right now and I need your help. Please tell me what happened after I lost my job.

Whit: What… what happened? Oh, well, you just became terribly discouraged. You… you… you lost your faith in God. And… and you withdrew from everyone. Well, it… it just got so bad that Mary and Jimmy and Donna–

George: –and Stewart. You didn’t mention Stewart.

Whit: Stewart? Who’s Stewart?

George: Never mind. What happened to them?

Whit: Well. They left you, George. And then you disappeared. And nobody’s heard from you in a… in a couple of years, at least. Ah… this… this is terribly awkward. Listen, why don’t you tell me where you are and I’ll just come down and …

George: (Hangs up the phone) This isn’t happening. It… it can’t be happening. I’m having some kind of dream, a nightmare. My family left me. We… we never had Stewart. I don’t understand.

Eugene: Well, what’s that?

George: It’s the clock at City Hall.

Eugene: Ah, yes. “Every time a clock sounds, some pastor comes around.”

George: Huh?

Eugene: I don’t know why I thought of that. I think I heard it somewhere.

George: This is ridiculous. Now if I remember it, the Christmas party and celebration for Donna’s college scholarship was gonna be at the church and then it was switched to my house later. Maybe for some weird reason, everybody is still at the church.

Eugene: You’re still not willing to accept reality as it is.

George: No. They’re at the church. They have to be.


Scene 15

George: It’s gone. The church is gone.

Eugene: You’re sure this is where it was?

George: I’m not sure of anything anymore. All I know is this is where it should be. Lionel turned it into a golf course.

Eugene: It’s a lovely fairway.

George: This can’t be true. We saved the church. We stopped Lionel from building his golf course.

Eugene: Logic would dictate that since you weren’t here to stop Mr. Lionel, there was no one to stop the golf course from being built.

George: But what about all the people we helped? The congregation? The homeless we feed at the Christmas banquets?

Eugene: You weren’t here to help them. Your congregation probably went elsewhere, while it’s possible that the homeless didn’t eat on Christmas Day. You see, Pastor Barclay, our lives touch one another in so many ways, ways we can’t imagine in the pit of our discouragement. But you’ve been called by God, and no circumstance should ever take you away from that calling. It has eternal ramifications.

George: Where’s my family, Eugene? How can I find them?

Eugene: Honestly, pastor, I …

George: Look, Eugene, I’ve had enough. Do you understand? This whole thing started because I pulled you from the river. Now where’s my family? How can I find my family?

Eugene: Well, why don’t you try the library before it closes.

George: The library? Why the library?

Eugene: They have the National Phone Directories. You can look for your family there.


Scene 16

George: Where’s my family? Where’s my family? They have to be in one of these directories. Where is my family.

Librarian: There he is, Officer Bond. This lunatic has been tearing through our phone directories. Oh, be careful; he’s a madman.

Officer Bond: It’s you again. That’s it; I’m taking you in.

George: No, you can’t. I have to find my family.

Officer Bond: Come on; don’t put up a fight.

George: No, no, don’t. Eugene. Eugene. Officer, look at that giant phone book.

Officer Bond: Look at what?

George: Sorry about that.

Librarian: Oh my. You fell for the old “look at the giant phone book” trick.

Officer Bond: Oh, be quiet. Come back here, you.

Librarian: Merry Christmas to you, too.


Scene 17

George: Eugene. Eugene. (running, panting) I don’t know how this happened, but help me, God. Help me, God. I want to go back. I don’t care what happens to me. I’ll be pastor here. I’ll do whatever You want. Only get me back to my wife and kids, please. I want to live again. I want to live again. Please, God, let me live again.

(Sound of splash)

Eugene: Pastor Barclay, are you all right?

George: Eugene?

Eugene: You hit your head when you dove in to save me. I was worried for a moment there.

George: What?

Whit: George, Eugene. Ah… are you both all right?

George: Whit. You’re here.

Whit: I sure am, George. Ah … oh, man, that’s a nasty bump on your head.

George: I guess I hit it on … wait a minute; you’re not in Odyssey. You’re here. You’re in Pokenberry Falls and you’re not surprised to see me?

Whit: Surprised to see you? We’ve been looking all over town trying to find you. Hey, are you sure you’re all right?

George: And I can hear out of my left ear again. Stewart’s pedal; Stewart’s pedal. Huh, it’s right here! Well, what do you know about that! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Whit: Well, Merry Christmas, George.

Eugene: He’s gonna catch a terrible cold if he doesn’t get out of those wet clothes.

Whit: I’m not sure he cares.


George: Hello, Pokenberry Falls! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, you old movie house. Merry Christmas, you wonderful old bicycle store. Merry Christmas, you beautiful dry cleaners and tackle shop.

(Sound of car honking)

Mr. Lionel: Are you out of your mind, Barclay? Watch where you’re going. We nearly ran you over.

George: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lionel. Merry Christmas!

Mr. Lionel: Hah! A Happy New Year to you… in Rupert.


Scene 18

(The Barclay house)

George: Mary, Mary! Oh, hello.

Bank Man: Hello, I’m Travis Gitt… from the bank.

George: You’re here to foreclose on the church and this house, aren’t you? We’re out in the street; isn’t it wonderful? Mary! Oh, would you look at this beautiful drafty old house? Mary!

Donna: Dad?

Jimmy: What’s going on? Where’ve you been?

George: Donna. Jimmy. Look at you two. I could eat you up!

Jimmy: That’s disgusting, Dad.

Stewart: Hi, daddy.

George: Stewart. Stewart, my little gingersnap.

Donna: Dad must be hungry.

George: How do you feel?

Stewart: Okay. Not a smitch of swelling on my ankle.

George: (Laughs) Not a smitch of swelling.

Jimmy: A smitch?

Donna: Old Testament. Kinda like a cubit.

Mary: George!

George: Mary, Mary!

Mary: Where have you been? We’ve been looking all over for you.

George: You have no idea what’s happened to me.

Mary: Oh, you have no idea either. Come into the living room. Hurry! They’re on their way. Oh, we need a table. Here’s one. Now don’t move. I hear them now. Oh, it’s a miracle, George, a miracle. Come in, Ellis. Come in everybody.

Ellis: Isn’t it wonderful?

George: What is all this?

Ellis: Mary did it, pastor. Mary did it. She told a few people you were in trouble and they scattered all over town collecting money. They didn’t ask any questions. They just said, “If Pastor George is in trouble, then count on me.” You never saw anything like it.

Man in Crowd: Say, what’s this, pastor? Another night of bingo?”

Lady in Crowd: Hi, ya, George.

Man in Crowd: Hey, Merry Christmas.

Woman: Merry Christmas, George.

Man: Pastor George, Merry Christmas.

Ellis: The line forms to the right. Now, where did I put my bank deposit book?

George: This is amazing. It’s incredible. Mr. Welsh.

Mr. Welsh: I thought a lot about it, pastor, and I decided I could do better than just fix Stewart’s pedal, so, here’s a new bike for the little munchkin.

George: Thank you, Mr. Welsh.

Mr. Welsh: And he can take lessons from my son any time he wants.

George: Well, thank you, but I think I’ll take time to teach him how to ride.

Officer Bond: George, I’m glad you’re safe and sound.

George: Well, thanks, Officer Bond. And listen, I’m sorry about the old, “Hey, look at that phone book” trick. You know I’d never run from the law, except in a dream sequence.

Officer Bond: Huh? Well, what are you talkin’ about?

George: You know, the, “Hey, look at that …” Never mind. Enjoy the party.

Mary: Whit. Eugene.

Eugene: Greetings and salutations.

Whit: Did we miss the party?

Mary: Come in.

Ellis: Let’s have some punch.

Man: After I finish mine, I’ll have a little more.

Man: Yeah, I’ll have some, too. Oh, boy!

Jimmy: Okay, everybody. Sing along.

(Jimmy’s rock version guitar accompaniment to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”)

Crowd: (Trying to sing)

George: Maybe later, Jimmy.

Donna: I’d like to propose a toast. To my father, the best pastor in town.

Crowd: (Cheers in agreement)

George: Actually, I’m the only pastor in town.

Whit: I brought a book for you, George.

George: The Success of Failure: A Christian Perspective. Thank you, Whit. Oh –you wrote in it.

Mary: What’s it say?

George: “To George Barclay, remember no man is a failure who loves God.”

Eugene: Thanks for the wings, George.

George: Wings?

Eugene: The Buffalo wings. (Munches) They’re excellent, my favorite.

Stewart: Hey, daddy, my Sunday School teacher says that “every time a clock sounds, a pastor comes around.”

George: That’s right; that’s right. Isn’t it, Eugene?

Eugene: I’m not entirely sure I understand its meaning.

Donna: I don’t get it either.

Mary: I think it means … no, that doesn’t make sense.

Eugene: Well, mathematically speaking and depending on the make of the clock, you might hear it strike as much as 156 times per day, even more if it strikes on the quarter hours.

Donna: Does that mean pastors can only be right 156 times a day?

Mary: (Laughing) Oh, that’s silly. George is never right that much.

Whit: But he’s right when it counts.

Jimmy: Okay, everybody, sing along.

(Jimmy plays rock guitar version of “Auld Lang Syne.”)

Crowd: (Tries to sing along)

(Music – Joy to the World)


John: Well, what a fun ending to a special two-day presentation on Focus on the Family. We’ve been listening to “It’s a Pokenberry Christmas,” as presented from our very talented Adventures in Odyssey team.

Jim: What a great team we do have, John. Let me turn this a little to the message. We all face times of discouragement or feel inadequate to do what God has called us to do, but we can find encouragement from the book of Isaiah. It says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” That’s God’s promise to us, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year. God loves us, and we find hope in Him.

Now, as we close, I want to share an encouraging story from one of our broadcast guests to help us keep our eyes on Christ this Christmas. Here’s Kathi Lipp.


Kathi Lipp: When my kids were little, we went to the mountains to celebrate Christmas with my husband’s extended family. What we didn’t realize was going to happen is we got snowed in. And so, we had our little Christmas celebration and then the four of us – my husband, my kids, and I – were stuck in this cabin. We didn’t have a car to get out. We couldn’t get down the big hill with all the snow. And so, our actual Christmas Day celebration was spent in this little cabin. We walked into town in a bunch of snow to get a pizza. And we went to the Dollar Store and we each bought everybody a gift that was a dollar. And one of the things I found there was this little nativity set. And we spent that evening talking about God’s love for us, and how God had sent His son to this really crazy, mixed-up world because he loved each of us so much. And with our bible and our little nativity set we had a Christmas celebration. And I’ll always remember… I love everything about Christmas. I love the decorating. I love the family time. I love the food and the presents. I love all of it. But what that one day taught me is how much we could celebrate with just a nativity, our bible, and with each other. So, whenever I start to get stressed out about Christmas I remember that time together and I remember how sweet it was to just, for a moment, focus on what God had done for us in that Christmas celebration.

End of Teaser

Jim: I love it! What a great reminder from Kathi Lipp. And let me again say, have a Merry Christmas from all of us here at Focus on the Family!

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Recent Episodes

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Experiencing God’s Mercy After Leaving the Abortion Industry (Part 1 of 2)

Abby Johnson recounts what God has done in her life since she originally released her book Unplanned and shares stories of the ways she’s helped women leave the abortion industry through her ministry, And Then There Were None. She shares stories about women she’s counseled, how God restored her desire to have children after leaving Planned Parenthood, and how she had to lean on God’s mercy while following the Kermit Gosnell trial. (Part 1 of 2)

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Answering Questions About Sex in Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Shaunti Feldhahn and professional sex therapist Dr. Michael Sytsma join Jim and John to discuss common questions that married couples ask about physical intimacy. Whether you just tied the knot, or you’ve been married for decades, there are bound to be questions surrounding the topic of sex — and that’s okay! (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family Broadcast logo

Answering Questions About Sex in Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Shaunti Feldhahn and professional sex therapist Dr. Michael Sytsma join Jim and John to discuss common questions that married couples ask about physical intimacy. Whether you just tied the knot, or you’ve been married for decades, there are bound to be questions surrounding the topic of sex — and that’s okay! (Part 1 of 2)

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A Legacy of Music and Trusting the Lord

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

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Accepting Your Imperfect Life

Amy Carroll shares how her perfectionism led to her being discontent in her marriage for over a decade, how she learned to find value in who Christ is, not in what she does, and practical ways everyone can accept the messiness of marriage and of life.

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Avoiding Shame-Based Parenting

Psychologist Dr. Kelly Flanagan discusses the origins of shame, the search for self-worth in all the wrong places, and the importance of extending grace to ourselves. He also explains how parents can help their kids find their own sense of self-worth, belonging and purpose.