Focus on the Family Broadcast

Living Joyously (Part 2 of 2)

Living Joyously (Part 2 of 2)

“I have cerebral palsy-what's your problem?” Whatever difficulties you face, you can't help but be encouraged as you hear David Ring describe how God's strength helps him overcome the limitations of his severe disability. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 7, 2021


David Ring: Look at me, people.  Look at me.  I still walk with a limp.  I still talk funny.  But oh, the joy that floods my soul, because Jesus touched me and made me whole. [applause]

End of Preview

John Fuller: What a unique delivery of a life changing message. That’s David Ring talking about the triumph he’s known in spite of the severe limitations of cerebral palsy. And if you’ve ever felt unloved or ridiculed, and I think most of us have at some level, then please know our program today could be just what you need to hear. I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, I gotta tell you, I love this message from David Ring. I just love it. His story is so inspiring because he hasn’t allowed his physical challenges, as difficult as they are, to stop him from doing what God has called him to do. And that should inspire all of us. He is determined to share the gospel with as many people as he can, despite what most people would call his limitations. In fact, he visited Focus on the Family back in 2007 and spoke at our staff chapel gathering. And boy, were we inspired. And if you missed part one of David’s presentation yesterday, please get in touch with us. We can send you the entire message on CD or audio download, or you can get it from the Focus on the Family app for your smartphone.

John: Yeah, the links for all of those are right at

Jim: David Ring is an author, an evangelist, and a husband, father, and grandfather. And we’ll hear more about his family today.

John: Yeah, and Jim, as we said last time, David has a speech impediment, as you can tell from the clip that we just shared earlier. But that message that he has is so clear as you listen along and get used to kind of the rhythm of his delivery. Here now is David Ring, speaking at Moody Bible Institute’s “Founder’s Week” a number of years ago. It’s today’s episode of Focus on the Family. David: People come up to me and say, “Brother Dave, don’t you want to be normal?”  And I look at them. I say, “What’s normal? (laughter) You think you’re normal?” Huhhh (laughing)….. You’ve got a long way to go, buddy.  And some of you are not going to make it.  Amen.  I don’t want to be normal.  I want to be just like God made me.

Let me tell you something that’ll blow your mentality down the tube. That God knew me before I was even born. When I was in my momma’s womb, God ordained me. [Eph 2:10] The Bible says I was wonderfully and fearfully made by God. [Ps 139:14] [extended applause]

Do you know, God never says, “Oops”?  God never says, “Oops.”  Now by looking at some of you, He came real close. (laughter) But I thank God for the way I am.

By the way, what’s wrong with walking with a limp?  Huh?  What’s wrong with talking funny?  We throw away broken things, don’t we?  But God don’t [sic].  God use[s] broken things. (clapping) What’s wrong with cerebral palsy?  You’d say, “David, it’s a minority.”  I beg your ever-loving pardon, because the Bible says, “If God be for me, who can be against me?”  They tell me, “It’s a handicap. It’s a disability.”  Baloney. Baloney. I’d rather be like I am any day than a healthy man that don’t [sic] know the power of God. [applause] I’d rather be like I am any day than a healthy woman that[‘s] never seen the love of God in her life.  I thank God for the way I am. I would not trade bodi[es] with any one of you.  I thank God for walking with a limp.  I thank God for talking funny.

It’s a privilege to talk funny.  When I’m in public and open my mouth, people look. (laughter) When you open your mouth, they just keep on going. (laughter and applause) I thank God for shaking.  I love to shake.  Everybody can’t shake.  I went to the Holy Land the other month and you ought to see the video that I took over there. (laughter) The only people [that] can watch it [are] people with cerebral palsy. (laughter)

You’d say, “David, how can you make fun of people like that?”  I’m not making fun of nobody because I am one.  But people, look at me.  Look at me.  I, I don’t want a big chip on my shoulder.  My feeling, it’s not on my sleeve.  I thank God for the way that I am.  Contentment.  Contentment.  Contentment.  It’s not getting what you want, it[’s] wanting what you got.  I thank God for what I[‘ve] got. Huh?

They tell me I’m a cripple.  But the Bible tell[s] me, I’m more than [a] conqueror.  They tell me I’m a nobody.  But I[’ve] got news for those jaybirds.  I’m a somebody.  I’ve been bought with a price.  I’m a child of the King.  I’ve been adopted in the family of God and hallelujah, my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. [Rev 21:27] (applause)

They tell me I can’t do anything, but the Bible say[s], “With God all things are possible.”  [Matt 19:26] They tell me I will never be a preacher, but I am. (applause) I’m preaching my guts out, man. (laughter)

1971 God called me to preach.  Laying in bed one night, I’m minding my own business and God said, “David, I want you to preach.”  I said, “Who me?  Lord, I can’t preach.  Lord, I talk funny.  Lord, people can’t understand me.  Lord, I have cerebral palsy.”  Can you imagine me telling God, “I have cerebral palsy?” (laughter) I’ve got a funny feeling [that] God said, “Really?! (laughter) You’ve got to be kidding.  Tell me something I don’t know, big boy.”  And I’d say, “God, if I…if you want me to preach, take a second look and then call me.”  He took that second look.  He still called me to preach.  And I got out of my bed, got my Bible, turned it open to Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through—

Audience:  Christ.

David:  –which—

Audience:  Strengthens.

David:  –strengthens me.”  And people, look at me.  I’m not going to let a shaky body slow me down from doing what God called me to do.

Now, look at me.  Look at me.  I. Have. Cerebral. Palsy.  What’s… your problem?  What’s your problem?  Why are you crying the blues?  Why are you down in the dumps?  Why are you down in the mouth?  Why do you want to quit?  Why do you want to throw in the towel?  Look at me.  What’s your problem?  Don’t whine, but shine.

Don’t you think it’s about time to get the lead out and put the Lord in?  Don’t you think it’s about time to get off your blessed assurance? (cheers) Don’t you think it’s about time to get off dead center in your life?  Look at you. God gave you a healthy body.  Look at mine.  I’m weak.  I’m frail.  I can’t even say, “Jesus” plain.  What’s your problem, a healthy man?  What’s your problem, a healthy woman?  What are you doing in your life?  Don’t whine, but shine.

John: This is Focus on the Family and we’re hearing from David Ring. And he has a terrific book called, The Boy Born Dead. It’s so inspirational and it’s available to you, today, for a gift of any amount when you donate to Focus on the Family.

And by the way, we’ll include a free audio download of his entire presentation when you ask for that book. Donate and request the book and download at Or call us. 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

Let’s go ahead and hear more now from David Ring.

David: They told me I would never make it in evangelism. I[’ve] only been doing it 23 years. (applause) I may not make it.  They said to me, “You will never get enough invitations to shake a stick at,” but last year alone, in 1995, I received in my office in Orlando, Florida, over 700 invitations. (applause) When I get a little bit more invitation[s] I’m going to go full time. (cheers)

God don’t [sic] want my ability, but God want[s] my availability.  That’s the only thing I do for a living.  I’m not on a church staff.  I’m not on a church payroll.  I go from town to town, from church to church, all over this country. (applause) And people, I…that’s what I’ve been doing for 23 years.  I speak over 200 times a year.  They told me, “It can’t be done.”

I love it when men said, “No way,” because God said, “Stand back boys.  Let me take over.”  It’s not by power.  It’s not by might, but by God’s Spirit.  Little is MUCH when God is in it.  Don’t ever judge a book by its cover.

They told me I would never finish college. But I did.  I crammed four years of college into five.  (laughter) They told me I would never find a wife.  My own family—they told me that.  They said, “David, don’t even look for a wife.”  “Why not?”  “No woman will love you.”  “Why not?”  “You’re not good enough.  Don’t even look for a wife.  You won’t ever find a wife.  You can’t make a living for her.  You won’t ever find a wife.  Don’t look for a wife.”

But in 1981 God found me a dynamite wife who loves me (applause)…who loves me, who prays for me.  She is “dyn-o-mite.” (cheers) We’ve been married for 14 years now and you know what?  She loves me more, and more, and more.  She loves me just the way I am. (Amen!)  I told her the other day, “Don’t ever think about leaving me.  Don’t ever think about leaving me.  If you leave me, I’m going with you.” (laughter) I might be dumb, but not stupid. (laughter) But I thank God for my little, healthy wife.  Nothing wrong with her.  She is beautiful.

They told me I would never be a daddy, but I am. Not once, but four times.  Pretty good, huh? (applause) I’m a daddy to three little girls, one little boy.

People come up to me and say, “Brother Dave, are your children normal?” Sometimes I think they[’ve] got brain damage, (laughter) but that’s normal.  Amen? (Amen) Look at me people.  Every time I look at my family, all I can say [is] to God be the glory.  Great things He has done.

People, I didn’t get the bum deal.  I got a blessed deal.  I didn’t get the short end of the stick.  I got the whole stick. (cheers) People, if you don’t believe in the power of God, look up here.  I came a long way, baby.  Amen?  I know where I’ve been.  I’m the one that loves my mom.  I know where I’ve been, but thank God, I know where I am.  God took away my momma that loves me just the way I am.  You know what?  God gave me five people that loves [sic] me just the way I am; my wife and four kids.  I know where I’ve been.  I know where I am, and I sure know where I’m going.  And one day I’m going to look up and I’m going to see my momma and my daddy again.  Won’t that be neat?

You’d say, “Do you miss your momma?  Do you miss your daddy?”  Sure, I do.  I would love to go home Thanksgiving and eat momma’s good home cooking.  I would love to go home at Christmas time and find a present under the tree from Mom and Dad.  I would love to call my momma up and say, “Happy Momma’s Day.”  I would love to call my momma up and say, “I sure do love you today, momma.”  I would love to bring my daddy…to let my daddy hear me preach in Chicago.  And after I preached, let my daddy tell me everything I did wrong.  I would love that, but I can’t ever have that.  But don’t feel sorry for me because joy[‘s] coming in the morning.  And not only that, when I get to heaven, I’m going to have me a brand-new body.  I’m not going to walk with a limp.  I’m not going to talk funny.  I’m going to walk and talk like Jesus. (applause)

People, if you don’t like the way I am, hang in there.  I’m still in the oven.  God’s still in the kitchen.  God’s still cooking on me and when God gets finished cooking on me, God[’s] going to pull me out of the oven and God[’s] going to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21] (applause)

John: Well, that thunderous applause will wrap up this two-part Focus on the Family broadcast featuring David Ring. Jim, what an inspiring person he is.

Jim: He really is. And if David’s message doesn’t light a fire under you, you’ve got another problem. And that brings up a pretty bold question I’d like to ask you: What in your life rises to that level, that kind of challenge that David has overcome? And where can you do a better job with your attitude, your approach, with your expression of the gospel? And let me tell you, I’ll ask myself those same questions.

David shared so clearly what the Lord can do with a person who takes their eyes off their own problems, and puts them on Him, on the Lord. And that’s really the message I got from the presentation. And the other takeaway is that we need to teach our children that everyone, regardless of their appearance or their ability to communicate, has value in God’s eyes. They are made in His image and He can use them mightily like He did David’s life.

John: Yeah, it’s so important to really understand that, to teach that. Here at Focus on the Family, we try to encourage you in your journey, as a mom or a dad, in your walk with Christ. We do recommend David’s book, in which he captures his story. The Boy Born Dead: A Story of Friendship, Courage and Triumph.  Get your copy from us here at Or call 1-800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.  It might be a good idea to get the book and read it together as a family.

Jim:  That’s a great idea, John. And here at the close of the program, I want to share a letter that we received from a mom named Phyllis. She said that her 21-year-old daughter, Caitlin, was diagnosed with chronic seizures at age three. She underwent several surgeries with absolutely no improvement. But recently, Caitlin had a sixth surgery and she is now seizure-free. And we all praise the Lord for that.

John: Mm-hm.

Jim: Phyllis went on to say that during some of the darkest times on this journey she would tune in to the program and that it would give her the encouragement she needed to make it through the moment. And she would also call us for prayer. And that gave her hope. She said that she loves us, and that’s humbling, believe me, and that she could not have made it through the last 18 years without Focus. I mean, isn’t that something?

John: It is.

Jim:  That really blesses me. And I hope it blesses all of you that help support the ministry, too. It is such a privilege together to stand in the gap for these parents who need help.

So, I’d like to encourage you to consider partnering with us financially. That is the fuel that gets ministry done. These are very difficult times for many, many people. And in fact, we receive over 2,200 requests each month for a consultation with a counselor. Think of that! And with your help, Focus on the Family can put that proverbial arm around the person and pray with them and help them, and really counsel them through those dark moments.

So, if you’re in a good place and the Lord is blessing you, can you consider helping bless others? The best way to do that is through a monthly pledge, that really helps even out the budget for us. Or a one-time gift is good, too. And when you make a monthly pledge of any amount, we’ll send you David Ring’s book, The Boy Born Dead, plus a free audio download of his entire presentation. And that’ll be our way of saying thanks for partnering with us in ministry. And if you can’t make that monthly commitment, we get that. We can also send you the book and the audio for a one-time gift of any amount. So, get your copy today.

John: Right. We do have the book here at Focus, and the free audio download, as well. Those are at Or call for details. Our number: 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

Coming up next time on Focus on the Family, understanding and maximizing your child’s strengths.


Brandon Miller: With Ciera, I think one of the powerful lessons we understood about her is that our goal wasn’t to change her.

Analyn Miller: Right.

Brandon: Our goal was to help direct her. Guide that energy, because she wasn’t being inauthentic. This was her.

Analyn: Right.

Brandon: This was her. She is a leader. She wants to engage. She wants to challenge. And if we can help her guide that we get to see the wonderful woman she is today.



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The Boy Born Dead: A Story of Friendship, Courage, and Triumph

Receive the book The Boy Born Dead and the audio download of the broadcast "Living Joyously" for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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