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Squanto: A Thanksgiving Drama (Part 1 of 2)

Squanto: A Thanksgiving Drama (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family presents our Radio Theatre production of "The Legend of Squanto," a fascinating account of the origin of Thanksgiving and one American Indian's journey to freedom. (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date: November 25, 2004

Opening:

Excerpt:

Captain Dermer: Shout if you see anyone. And keep your muskets at the ready!

Crew members: Aye, sir … yes, sir.

Captain Dermer: What do you make of it, Tisquantum?

Squanto: It is an empty village.

Captain Dermer: Yes, I can see that. But why?

Squanto: Possibly they have hidden from fear or they are about to attack.

Captain Dermer: Oh, good.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That dramatization is from “Focus on the Family’s” Radio Theatre team and we have a presentation for you today from them. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller and our message today is both captivating and heartwarming.

Jim Daly: It is, John, and you know, these messages are appropriate year-round, but particularly at this time of year they resonate. That Thanksgiving message comes through. It’s the “Legend of Squanto.” Many of us know the story, but to hear it kind of come alive the way our Radio Theatre team does is really helpful. I think it brings it more to life.

And we’re gonna go back in time over 400 years when the Western World saw unprecedented opportunity for exploration, discover in the so-called New World at the time. And because of that, the European travelers encountered Native Americans whose ancestry went back for hundreds and hundreds of years.

For some, the Indians represented an opportunity for trade and commerce. But for a lot of them, the Indians were a race to be exploited. Tisquantum, who will later become known as Squanto, will find himself caught in the conflict between the arriving Europeans and the Native Americans.

We’re diving right into the story and Squanto has been kidnapped from his homeland as a young man and has been taken captive by English slave traders. They take him to Spain, where they try to sell him, but the auction is broken up by a priest named Father Juan, who is now giving Squanto sanctuary at his monastery in the mountains of Spain.

John: Yeah, this is a tremendous story. It’s so well-crafted. We can’t present the entire Radio Theatre drama of Squanto, but we’ve condensed it down for these couple of days here on the radio. And you can get the full version at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. In fact, we’ll send the 2-CD set of Squanto to you as our way of saying thank you for a generous donation of any amount to the ministry today. And with that, let’s begin this special “Focus on the Family” presentation, The Legend of Squanto.

Body:

Massasoit: (Narrating) Two full moons passed for Tisquantum at the monastery in the mountains. The “monks,” as they are called, treated Tisquantum with kindness. They taught him of their God and their worship and their ways of releasing the Earth’s great bounty. Tisquantum was like the dry ground in the rain, drinking in as much as they gave. But his tribe, he never forgot. It was his desire to return one day to teach them all he’d been taught by the monks.

(Miguel and Squanto, in a field behind the monastery.)

Miguel: You see, Tisquantum, we use the fish remains as fertilizer. Even in this soil, it aids the growth of the vegetables. We have a wonderful harvest as a result. God has been good.

Squanto: Yes, your God is a powerful God.

Miguel: Is He not your God as well?

Squanto: I believe in your God, but I still cannot understand how it is that He became a man … to walk the earth like us and die.

Miguel: Can any of us truly understand it? Yet He did. You have seen our Scriptures.

Squanto: The sacred words.

Miguel: Yes. He took our sins to the cross and then rose again on the third day to defeat death.

Squanto: But He did so for you and other Europeans. I am an Indian.

Miguel: Under this flesh, we are no different. What He did, He did for the entire world.

Squanto: Even Captain Hunt and others who steal men to make them slaves?

Miguel: Yes. He died even for Captain Hunt, if only for Captain Hunt. His love and forgiveness are that vast.

Squanto: Hm? I would respect your God more if He would punish Captain Hunt.

Miguel: And other sinners like him?

Squanto: Yes.

Miguel: Then He would have to begin with me. He would have to kill me first, Tisquantum.

Squanto: But you are a good man!

Miguel: I may seem good. But I am corrupt, like you, like Captain Hunt. Our sins may not be so obvious to the human eye, nor so great by human measurements, but they are there–every one–for God to see. It is for those sins that God’s Son died, great or small.

Squanto: This is a mystery to me.

Miguel: Yes, it is. But a mystery I pray you will embrace with your whole heart before you go.

Squanto: Before I go? Am I to go somewhere?

Miguel: I received a message from Father Juan this morning. He wants you to return to Malaga with us when we take our crops to market. He says he has good news for you.

Squanto: What good news?

Father Juan: I have found a way to get you home, my son. Back to your land and your people.

Squanto: How can this be accomplished?

Father Juan: I have an acquaintance who is a trader, not like Captain Hunt. He is honorable and filled with the love of God. He conducts business in England, sometimes on behalf of our king and he knows a wealthy merchant named John Slany. We have discussed the matter and he is confident that once he gets you to England, you will then find the means to return to the New World through Mr. Slany.

Squanto: As his slave?

Father Juan: No, no, you will go as a servant. A valuable servant who is intelligent and noble and speaks not only your own tongue but also the tongues of the Spanish and the English. If the English are half as smart as I think they are, they will find you of great service to them.

Squanto: I am sorry, Father, but my heart is heavy. I do not trust the English.

Father Juan: Oh, listen, my child, every nation has its Captain Hunts, those who persecute and oppress. Not all Englishmen are like him.

Squanto: Are there Christians in England?

Father Juan: Yes (Chuckling), I suppose so, though most are not members of our church.

Squanto: They believe in your God and in your Jesus, but are not part of your tribe?

Father Juan: No.

Squanto: How can this be?

Father Juan: It’s a long, long story and will only confuse you. It confuses me at times. Now, gather your things! Your journey begins this very day.

Squanto: So quickly?

Father Juan: My acquaintance leaves on a ship this very night.

Squanto: But this would require us to say good-bye.

Father Juan: Not good-bye, Tisquantum, ’til we meet again.

Squanto: Will we meet again, Father?

Father Juan: Accept the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and yes, we will meet again.

Squanto: Perhaps one day, but I cannot make my heart yield now. It is too restless and still too full of hate against those who stole me from my people.

Father Juan: Then I will pray for you, my son and God will work in your heart.

Squanto: Thank you, Father, for all you have done.

Father Juan: Come! Your ship awaits.

Massasoit (Narrating): Tisquantum was taken to meet Father Juan’s friend, the noble Luis Valdez. For the second time in his life, Tisquantum entered a large boat. But this time he did not sleep in the dark hold as a slave, but entered the quarters as the nobleman’s servant. They departed Malaga, Spain that night. Tisquantum watched the land grow faint on the horizon and gave thanks for his new freedom–not to a distant Great Spirit, but to the God of Father Juan and Miguel and all the compassionate monks who had treated him as a brother. A new adventure was about to begin.

(Music bridge)

Massasoit (Narrating): Many moons came and went. Tisquantum observed the English and learned all he could from them. With their strange-smelling oils which they spread on their bodies, their painted faces, their false hair, which they wore like funny hats and their decorative clothes, which would not last a single moon in the wilderness. Tisquantum was doubtful that these people had the courage or honor to do more than eat, drink and sleep away their days. He took comfort in this thought. If he helped the English to trade with the tribes, he knew they could never do his people much harm. Mr. Slany at last decided that it was time for Tisquantum to meet his employer–Mr. Ferdinando Gorges–and a ship’s captain named Thomas Dermer. They sat down together at a great table and ate large quantities of food.

Ferdinando Gorges: All right now, Slany, we have had a splendid meal. Let’s get on with it.

Captain Dermer: Yes, bring out this Indian we’ve heard so much about.

John Slany: And what, pray tell, have you heard about Tisquantum?

Ferdinando Gorges: Oh, don’t be coy. You know very well he’s the talk of London.

John Slany: Oh, is he?

Captain Dermer: What did you think, that you could bring an Indian to London, dress him up as an Englishman and not have people notice him?

Ferdinando Gorges: It’s all my servants talk about. How they saw the Indian at the market or running an errand for you. I met with some members of Parliament just last Tuesday. They were talkin’ about him.

John Slany: Parliament, you say. I’m glad to hear of it.

Captain Dermer: I’ve also hear that you’ve been taking him to church. Church, Slany? Have you become a missionary to the heathen now?

John Slany: Well, he is interested and I would not deny him the opportunity to learn more of our God.

Captain Dermer: Yeah, good for you. Now, will you please do us the honor of introducing him?

John Slany: I will; I will; I will, indeed. Mr. Dilber, please bring in Tisquantum.

Mr. Dilber: Yes, sir.

Ferdinando Gorges: Slany, you know how anxious the Newfoundland Company is about the colonies. We’ve had our share of successes and failures there, so the stockholders are wary.

John Slany: As your treasurer, I’m more than aware of their feelings.

Ferdinando Gorges: All that notwithstanding, we fear that if we don’t move more quickly, the French will gain a foothold on the lands we are interested in. Our desire is for New England to stay as New England.

John Slany: Oh, yes, sir, yes. It’s my intention to impress you enough with what Tisquantum has to say, that you and the stockholders of the company, will take instant action. Ah! Here he is. Gentlemen, I give you Tisquantum of the Pawtuxet tribe near Cape Cod. And Tisquantum, allow me to introduce Mr. Ferdinando Gorges and Captain Thomas Dermer.

Squanto: It is a pleasure to meet you, gentlemen.

Ferdinando Gorges: Oh, I (Chuckling) say! Delightful!

Captain Dermer: Most impressive.

John Slany: Now then gentlemen, shall we retire to the drawing room where Tisquantum will be glad to answer all of your questions?

Ferdinando Gorges: Indeed!

John Slany: This way; this way.

Massasoit (Narrating): Through all the rest of that evening, as the candles grew dim, Tisquantum spoke of our land. He told of the fertile fields, the rich forests and the clear streams. They asked about the goods traded between the tribes, their agreements with the French, the paths and hunting grounds they used. Mr. Slany spoke of the soil of New England and how it would accept English seeds for crops. The night grew long; the men talked and talked until Mr. Gorges finally said:

Mr. Gorges: It can be done! I believe it’s possible! Slany, if you and your Indian …

John Slany: Ah, Tisquantum, sir.

Mr. Gorges: Oh, oh, yeah, yes, of course. If you can make as effective a demonstration to the stockholders as you have to us, we’ll have the investment we need.

Captain Dermer: Yes.

Mr. Gorges: The king will have to grant us a new charter! Wouldn’t you say, Captain Dermer?

Captain Dermer: Oh, yes, sir. It sounds promising enough.

Mr. Gorges: Leave it to me to make the arrangements. Oh, this is good, Slany. This is very good.

John Slany: Well, thank you, Mr. Gorges. And thank you, Tisquantum.

Squanto: I’m at your service, sir.

Massasoit (Narrating): Mr. Gorges worked hard to impress his rich, white friends that an expedition to our land would fill their purses with much gold. Several moons came and went. Then the news came to Mr. Slany’s house that the great white chief, King James, had given them permission to sail three of their large ships to New England under Captain Dermer.

John Slany: Open a bottle of wine, Mr. Dilber! This is a day of celebration.

Mr. Dilber: Yes, sir.

John Slany: Sit down, Tisquantum. Or stand. Or dance. I … I don’t care. I couldn’t be happier with the news.

Squanto: I see your happiness, Mr. Slany.

John Slany: What? Oh, come now! How can you look so stern-faced? Don’t you know what this means?

Squanto: I know it means that you and the Newfoundland Company will try to make a lot of money.

John Slany: Well, is … is that all it means to you?

Squanto: You have not spoken of anything else.

John Slany: Oh, I understand now. My dear boy, have you been amongst the English all this time and … ah … you still don’t understand unless you’re spoken to directly.

Squanto: Indians are raised to be plain and forthright in their speaking.

John Slany: All right, then. All right, then. Let me speak plainly to you. You think I’ve forgotten what I told you at the beginning, right? Ha … put your heart to rest. I have not forgotten. Captain Dermer’s expedition for America will leave very soon and you, my friend, will be with him. (Chuckling)

Squanto: What?!

John Slany: Yes! I have secured your place as his translator and guide.

Mr. Dilber: Your wine, sir.

John Slany: Oh, thank you, thank you, Mr. Dilber. Tisquantum, I drink to you and to your voyage home.

Squanto: (Thoughtfully) Hm … home.

(Music Bridge)

Massasoit (Narrating): As a young man, Tisquantum was stolen from his people and his land. Now he turned his face into the salty wind and looked forward to his return–as a brave warrior who had seen more in a few years than most would see in a lifetime.

(Music Bridge)

Massasoit (Narrating): Captain Dermer’s three ships left England early in the springtime of the year the English call one thousand, six-hundred and nineteen. Winter’s grip had not loosened yet. Tisquantum feared that the sleet and hail that lashed the boats was a warning from the English God to stay away. Captain Dermer took Tisquantum on his ship south to New England. They kept close to the shore from Maine to Massachusetts.

Captain Dermer: Does it look familiar to you, Tisquantum?

Squanto: Yes, it does. Though the tribes of these parts have been enemies to my tribe. I am surprised that we don’t see anyone. Surely they would notice a ship as large as this.

Captain Dermer: Maybe they aren’t as impressed with large ships as they used to be. Tisquantum, if we encounter any Indians, will you speak to them? Will you assure them, on behalf of the Newfoundland Company, that we have no wish for anything other than peace?

Squanto: I will do what I can.

Captain Dermer: And will you assure me also that when we put to shore you won’t run away?

Squanto: You dishonor me, Captain Dermer.

Captain Dermer: I only mean that …

Squanto: I know well what you mean. I have come to help you in exchange for my freedom. I will not accept my freedom until I have fulfilled my duties.

Captain Dermer: Of course. I’m sorry, Tisquantum. I didn’t mean to dishonor you. Mr. McFie, prepare a boat for shore!

First Mate Mcfie: Aye-aye, Captain!

(Music Bridge)

Massasoit (Narrating): Captain Dermer, Tisquantum and a small group of men went ashore in what they now call Northern Massachusetts. They found a village.

Captain Dermer: Shout if you see anyone. And keep your muskets at the ready!

Crew members: Aye, sir, yes, sir.

Captain Dermer: What do you make of it, Tisquantum?

Squanto: It is an empty village.

Captain Dermer: Yes, I can see that, but why?

Squanto: Possibly they have hidden from fear or they are about to attack.

Captain Dermer: Oh, good. What is that awful smell?

First Mate: Captain! Captain! Come quickly!

Captain Dermer: What is it, Mr. McFie?

First Mate McFie: Oh, it’s the plague, sir, the plague, Captain.

Captain Dermer: What?

First Mate: Near the edge of the forest … bodies by the score piled up.

Captain Dermer: Are you sure it’s the plague? They weren’t attacked?

First Mate: No wounds, no weapons. It’s the plague all right. I know the look. The survivors must’ve created a funeral pyre and taken off.

Captain Dermer: Merciful heavens, get the men back to the boat, and hurry!

First Mate: Aye-aye, Captain. Back to the ship! Everyone, come on, back to the ship … away!

Squanto: Captain, may we proceed directly to Cape Cod now?

Captain Dermer: This may be the only incident. Don’t be unduly alarmed or imagine the worst.

Squanto: May we go?

Captain Dermer: Of course.

(Music Bridge)

Massasoit (Narrating): Captain Dermer steered his ship further south. The land taunted Tisquantum. His heart raced wildly as he drew closer and closer to the home he had not seen in over five years. But the absence of people, of the smoke from village fires, of any signs of life worried him. The Captain, our brother and a group of men took a small boat and reached what they now call Cape Cod. Tisquantum threw himself into the waves and ran ashore. He cried out in the language of his people.

Squanto: Hello?! Is there anyone here? Hello?!

Massasoit (Narrating): He ran along the old pathways, now overgrown and unused. It was as if the forest itself had taken back any sign that his people had ever existed.

Squanto: Hello?! It is Tisquantum! I’ve come home! Mother! Father! Patowak!

Massasoit (Narrating): Stumbling, falling, running as a wild animal, Tisquantum came to the edge of his village. His heart longed to be greeted by his brother and sister, to be embraced by his mother, to tell his story to his father around the great fire. He was met by a cold silence. The village was deserted. The mud huts and wigwams had caved in. On the opposite side of the village, he found the remains. Enough bones for his entire tribe. Their lives had been taken away, perhaps stolen by the white man, just as Tisquantum had been stolen years before. He fell to his knees and prayed to God, any god, to take him to his people in death.

Squanto: (Cries out long and hard)

(Music Bridge)

First Mate McFie: Here comes the Indian, sir.

Captain Dermer: What?

First Mate McFie: There, sir.

Captain Dermer: Tisquantum! We lost you. Did you find your village? Are they … oh.

Squanto: They’re all dead.

Captain Dermer: Oh, are you sure? Maybe they moved inland. Maybe there were survivors. Don’t give up hope too quickly.

Squanto: They are dead. My tribe is no more I am certain of it.

Captain Dermer: Then may God have mercy.

Squanto: You and I will travel west for two days to the Pokanoket tribe. If they and their Sachem …

Captain Dermer: Say-chem?

Squanto: Chief. If they and their Chief, Massasoit, are still alive, we will speak to them of the Company’s desire to trade. Of course, if they are still alive, they may kill us.

Massasoit (Narrating): Tisquantum led Captain Dermer further and further into the forest. Captain Dermer tried to make conversation, but Tisquantum would not speak. When night fell, they stopped, weary from their journey. They set up a camp where they ate a rabbit, caught and cooked by Tisquantum.

Captain Dermer: Thank you, Tisquantum, for an excellent meal. (Clearing his throat) Will you not speak to me, sir? You’ve not said a word to me since we left. Well, not that I blame you. Any white man must be a terrible offense to you now. Let me speak honestly to you, Tisquantum. I am deeply sorry for what has happened to your tribe. I can plead only ignorance on behalf of my people. We don’t understand the diseases that kill us, nor would we have thought that our diseases would spread with such fury among your people.

Squanto: It is your God.

Captain Dermer: I beg your pardon?

Squanto: Your God is more powerful than the gods of the Indians. He is killing us so that you can have this land.

Captain Dermer: No! I don’t believe that and you mustn’t either.

Squanto: Your God sends men to make us slaves and when we are not your slaves, then He kills us. His hand is a fist that wishes to crush us.

Captain Dermer: Good heavens, Tisquantum, it isn’t true. It isn’t like that at all.

Squanto: No? Then tell me why your God allows men like Captain Hunt to make me a slave. Tell me why your God allows your people to bring disease to wipe out my people.

Captain Dermer: I don’t know how to answer that. I truly don’t, except that our God is not in Captain Hunt’s actions or in the disease that we spread. He is in … he is in the priest who saved you from slavery. You told me about that. You first saw the love of our God in the monastery. And He is in Mr. Slany, who is a fine Christian man. He worked hard to get you home.

Squanto: I served his purpose.

Captain Dermer: That you did, but Mr. Slany didn’t have to promise you your freedom. He could’ve easily told me to keep you chained up, but he didn’t. He promised to get you home because he is a kind and a decent Christian. That is our God, not this god of sickness and death.

Squanto: I wish I could believe you.

Captain Dermer: I wish you could, too. You know, if I were in your position, I might feel the same way that you do. But I’m not. So, all I can say is, I’m sorry. On behalf of all of us, I am sorry. And I hope that one day, you can forgive us. (Sound of shouting Indians)

Massasoit (Narrating): Suddenly Tisquantum and Captain Dermer were surrounded by Pokanoket braves, led by a warrior named Epinow. Their weapons were aimed at Tisquantum’s and Captain Dermer’s hearts. Epinow spoke in clear English.

Epinow: Don’t move or we will kill you! Do you understand my English? We will kill you!

(Music Bridge)

Closing:

John: This is a special presentation of The Legend of Squanto, brought to you by our Focus on the Family Radio Theatre team. And I had to break in here at this point, but we’re out of time for today’s presentation.

And I’m gonna invite you back next time for the conclusion of the story and suggest that you get a copy of the 2-CD set, The Legend of Squanto, so you can listen to it and maybe make it a family tradition at this time of year. It’s one of those special holiday moments that we’d love for you to have for generations to come.

And on this Thanksgiving holiday, let me just say thank you for your support of Focus on the Family. You join with us to reach families worldwide and we’re so grateful for your generosity. And today, when you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family, we’d like to send this 2-CD set, The Legend of Squanto to you as our way of saying thanks. And you can donate at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call 800-A-FAMILY.

Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for listening in. I’m John Fuller and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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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!