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Focus on the Family Broadcast

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Women Who Welcomed the Birth of Jesus

Women Who Welcomed the Birth of Jesus

Liz Curtis Higgs reminds us that God can do the impossible, as reflected in the unexpected pregnancies of two women in the original Christmas story. She explains how Jesus' coming to Earth impacted those around Him and can impact your family this Christmas, too.
Original Air Date: December 22, 2017

Preview:

Liz Curtis Higgs: What’s your impossible? Isn’t there something you’re saying to yourself, oh, but God could never do that? But the Bible says so clearly God can do anything.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Today. We’ll anticipate Christmas with Liz Curtis Higgs in a way that will bolster your faith. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, this is a time of year when it’s important to reflect on the principles of our faith, and what better way to anticipate Christmas than to consider the miraculous events that led up to the birth of Jesus Christ. There are biblical truths in these narratives that we can apply to our lives today. And our guest is Liz Curtis Higgs, who gave this message to our staff at a Christmas chapel gathering. Liz is an outstanding Bible teacher. She’s known for the depth of her research and she’s a bestselling author as well.

John: Yeah. And she is such a gifted speaker. Um, Liz wrote a series call The Bad Girls of the Bible. Yep. That was immensely popular. And today she’s bringing some of the content from her more recent book, The Women of Christmas. And of course, we have that here at the ministry, just call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or you’ll find it at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And here’s Liz Curtis Higgs speaking to our staff, as you said Jim, on today’s Focus on the Family.

Liz: Well today in our short time together, I’m really excited to speak to you about two different women in the Bible, from different ages and different stages. They had a really unusual thing in common, they were both pregnant by surprise. The first, Elizabeth, wife of a priest named Zachariah. Now they were very righteous people. You know these people. These are those good folks at church, they’ve been there forever, every time the door is open, they’re there. They do everything right. But the Bible says, but Luke 1:7. I always pay attention to the buts of the Bible, they’re important. Some are bigger than others, but I, uh, (laughs) but the Bible says in comparison, in contrast, they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Liz: So, this is like a triple whammy. They don’t have kids, they can’t have kids, and they’re old. Oh, doesn’t your heart just break for this righteous couple? So, Zachariah has drawn lots and he is going to get to go into the holy place to light the incense and pray. Priests were lucky if they got to do this once in a lifetime, so it was a big deal. There he is standing before the altar, when suddenly the angel Gabriel shows up. He said what angels in the New Testament usually say, “Don’t be afraid, fear not Zachariah.” Now that would be the scary part, fear not I know your name would be scary. And you know Zachariah had every reason in the world to be nervous. It’s been a quiet 400 years since we’ve had any prophets or any angelic appearances, it’s been quiet on the heavenly front. And now here’s an angel. Look what he says, “Your prayer has been heard.”

Liz: Now I suspect Zachariah prayed a lot of things, but what would been the one prayer of his heart? A son, a son, “Your prayer has been heard.” Don’t you sometimes wonder when you pray, God, are you listening? Don’t you hear? Yes, he does. Your prayer guaranteed has been heard. And he says, “Your wife, Elizabeth will bare you a son.” So not only has your prayer been heard, it will be answered. “And” I love this part, “You’re to call him John.” So, none of that business about what should we call the kid, it’s decided for them. Isn’t that fabulous. You’re gonna call him John, we know him as John the Baptist. Then Gabriel tells him all this amazing stuff about his son, “People will rejoice because of his birth. He great in the sight of the Lord, he will be filled with a holy spirit, even before he is born.”

Liz: And Zacharias’ response should have been wow, (laughs) or at least thank you or praise God or something. He says, “How can I be sure of this?” (laughs) Well, he’s an angel (laughs), and Gabriel stands in the presence of the almighty, so I think he’s fairly trustworthy. “How can I be sure of this?” See, he doesn’t believe it can done. He wants proof. How can I be sure? And he explains his two, two big reasons to doubt, “I’m an old man, and my wife is,” this is so gentle, so well, well worded, “well along in years.” Isn’t that wonderful? (laughs) It’s just guys you need to remember that phrase, well along in years. Do you know the LRV on this? Do you have that translation in your bookstore? LRV, Lizzy revised version, (laughs), my old lady is an old lady, is what he’s saying. See, from his point of view, this would be impossible. Even Gabriel the angel saying it, even this promise from heaven, he isn’t buying it because he doesn’t believe.

Liz: And if we’re honest, when we pray, we don’t always pray believing either. We say, Lord, will you please do this? But in our hearts, we’re saying, I’m not sure you can, but I hope you will, but I’m really not sure you can. My prayers are sometimes filled with unbelief. You would think Zachariah would think back to another couple in the Old Testament, in the same situation, older man, older woman, no baby, Abraham and Sarah. It was gonna take a miracle, you’d think you’d remember that one. When the Lord told Abraham that Sarah was gonna have a baby, the narrator, the biblical story reminds us, I love this, Sarah was past the age of childbearing. Also translated ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. In other words, she was post, post, post-menopausal. (laughs) Her eggs were cooked. It was done. (laughs)It was not going to happen.

Liz: Conception just wouldn’t be difficult with Sarah it would be biologically impossible. God loves the impossible. God’s just getting started when you start with the impossible. One too hard for Sarah, she gave birth at 90 and she said, “God has brought me laughter.” Oh, that’s so true in so many ways, Isaac of course means he laughs, but more than that, God has restored Sarah’s joy. I’ve always pictured her with an AARP card in one hand and a pacifier in the other, (laughs) just shouting out to anybody who would listen, “God can do anything. Nothing is impossible for God.” Well, just like Sarah, Zachariah’s wife Elizabeth conceived. And of course, because he did not believe he didn’t talk for the whole of her pregnancy. Have mercy (laughs) from God.

Liz: She remains secluded, you know, for the first five months, I am wondering if she didn’t wanna wait until that amazing moment in a woman’s life when you first feel what they call the quickening, the sense of life. Then the Bible says, “In the sixth month,” that’s not the sixth month of the year, it’s not June, it’s the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Imagine this God is measuring time by a woman’s growing womb, incredible. God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, the town in Galilee, busy guy. Went to see Zachariah, now he’s visiting Mary, little Galilee, less than 100 people. He went to see a virgin pledged to a man named Joseph, pledged, betrothed, as good as married. They could not break that short of a divorce. The angel went to her. I doubt she was looking for him. I don’t think she was scanning the skies of Nazareth; I think she was doing what women did back then, she baked bread and she lit her lamp and she pressed olives.

Liz: She was just good Joan about her life like we do, like right now. You’re just doing what you do on a Monday afternoon not thinking about what God is up to right now, but he’s up to something. He is doing things in your life you can’t even imagine. They may years in coming, months in coming, weeks in coming, or could be tonight. But God is busy. The angel shows up and says, “Greetings, earthling.” I just love that. That’s the LRV, it’s actually hail in the King James, “You who are highly favored,” that means full of grace. And he said to her, “The Lord is with you.” This is very different than may the Lord be with you, that’s like a blessing, this is a statement of fact, the Lord is with you.

Liz: No wonder she was shocked. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. She was thoroughly shaken; she was very perplexed. The LRV says she was freaked out. And you know what the angel said next, “Fear not Mary, do not be afraid.” Here’s the cool thing in the New Testament, when an angel says fear not, do not be afraid, what comes next is always good news. What you wanna worry about is an angel that shows up and doesn’t say fear not (laughs). Then you be afraid, you be very afraid, okay? (laughs) But when they say fear, not it’s ’cause good news is coming. “You have found favor, grace with God, you will conceive.” Do you see any option here, might happen, might not? “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you were to call him Jesus.”

Liz: Now every mother thinks her child is special, we do, “But this child will be great,” the angel said, “Called the son of the most high, the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He’ll reign over Jacob’s descendants forever. His kingdom will never end.” And Mary says, “How will this be since I’m a virgin.” See the truth of the matter is Gabriel lost her way back at conceive. (laughs) She didn’t hear about all the other stuff; she was back at I’ll do what? Now you would think she’s doubting, that’s not doubted. She’s not asking for proof friend, she just wants to know, it’s a logical question, how? How’s this gonna happen? How can I be pregnant since I know no man? Legitimate question. I love how the angel answered her. The angel didn’t take her voice away, he answered her, “The holy spirit will come on you and the power of the most high will overshadow you.”

John: You’re listening to Liz Curtis Higgs on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. And you can get her book, The Women of Christmas, along with the CD of this broadcast, uh, to share or to play again when you stop by our website, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return now to more from Liz Curtis Higgs.

Liz: I’d have so many questions, wouldn’t you have questions? Mary had one question. How she got her answer, the holy spirit and she believed. But then as a word of encouragement to her, ’cause isn’t God good, “Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was unable to conceive is in her sixth month. She who was unable, but God was able.” God loves to bless the barren. He does. Rebecca was barren and then she gave birth to Jacob, and Hannah was barren and then she gave birth to Samuel, and Rachel was barren and then she gave birth to Joseph. Friends, any barrenness in our lives, in any definition of barrenness, is God getting ready to do a miracle. These stories had to have the miraculous because we had to look at them and say only, only God.

Liz: We come to the most important verse, not only in the Christmas story, but I think in our own story, Luke, 1:37, “Nothing is impossible for God.” The NCV is, “God can do anything.” What’s your impossible? Isn’t there something you’re saying to yourself, oh, but God could never do that? There’s a relative that doesn’t know God, and you have just given up, it seems impossible. There’s a marriage that’s so destroyed it just seems impossible. There’s a friendship torn apart it seems impossible. You have friends who are unemployed for months it seems impossible. But the Bible says so clearly, God can do anything. It’s not about what we can do, it’s about what God can do. Jesus said, “With man, this is impossible but with God, all things are possible.” Mary was on board, Mary believed, “I am the Lord’s servant,” she said, “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Liz: Friend, she was 12, 12, and we’re a little older than that. Except for the baby. Oh, I was hoping you’d call out to me. I love having a baby in the audience. See other people sometimes don’t. Let’s be honest, you look backing up, “Why did they bring a baby?” Even at Focus on the Family. (laughs) But I love having a baby’s cry because do you understand that’s how we sound to God. We think we’re so sophisticated, it’s really more like whaaaa. (laughs) That’s why the holy spirit needs to interpret for us. (laughs) It’s kind of pitiful. He sent Jesus as a baby who had no way to communicate but to cry, but his mother knew his voice, his mother knew what to do.

Liz: I had a woman come up to me with a surprise look in her once and she said, “You teach the Bible like you actually believe it.” (laughs) “Yeah, I do believe it. Cause I’m living proof that God can do anything.” When I first began speaking with women of faith, about three years ago, they had us all get together, all the speakers, they wanted us to kind of make sure we were all on the same page and kind of shape our messages. And so, I was sitting with some old friends and some new friends. And some of them knew my story, probably some did not. But when they said, “So it’s really good to have a strong opening line.” I said, “Okay. Um, before I met Jesus, I slept with three men in one night.” They said, “Oh my word, that would not be the one thing to say.” (laughs).

Liz: Listen dear ones (laughs), I don’t say this to shock you, I say this to show you that Jesus can do anything. 34 years ago, can I hear an amen on that from somebody? 34 years ago, I am the last woman you would’ve ever picked to speak at Focus on the Family, can we get serious about that? Wow. But God already had it planned. You didn’t know, I didn’t know, God already had planned. That’s the God we serve. He looks way down past the end of our lives and our children’s lives, he sees the big picture that we get a tiny glimpse of, but it is good friends, it is good.

Liz: I remember when I left work on a Friday, 34 years ago saying party, and I came in Monday morning saying praise the Lord, I’ve been baptized. People notice stuff like that. (laughs) And they said, “Liz, what kind of drugs were you doing this weekend? Because honestly this is wild.” I said, “Oh, it isn’t about a high, not that kind of high, it’s Jesus.” Really? Well, you can imagine my coworkers at a radio station, a secular station, they watched me like a hawk to see if I was different ’cause I said, I had the audacity to say I was a new creation. And so, they watched, and I guess they saw things changing. I remember getting my first Bible, I was so excited, I saved up. It was a big Ryrie study Bible, NASB, huge notes. I thought the fatter it was the more important, I got a big one and saved up for leather ’cause surely that was more holy. (laughs)

Liz: And I took it into work, and I would sit there at the station in the studio, and I’d have the Bible open, and I’d be reading verses for the first time, so excited. (laughs) And Alice our receptionist could see me through the glass, and she came in and said, “What are you reading?” I said, “Alice, it’s the Bible. Do you have one?” She said, “Not like yours.” (laughs) I said, “Well, if I, if I could get you a Bible, would you read it?” She said, “But can you get me one just like yours?” Just like mine, the big fat leather, I mean it was 50 bucks back when 50 bucks was 50 bucks. (laughs) But I saved up for Alice and I bought Alice the Bible just like mine, gave it to her and she said, “This is thrilling.” I said, “Now promise me you’ll read it.” She said, “Lizzie, I don’t know where to start, you’ve gotta teach me.”

Liz: Okay, so now I have Alice. I got a design for discipleship, um, little workbook, Navigator, still in print, and Alice and I went through that thing together. Friends, I stayed one week ahead, just in case she had questions. (laughs) I knew three verses, you know, I was like such a babe in Christ, but Alice was growing. She was getting it. I’d love to know what I said, I have no idea. It was God being God, not Liz being Liz. Then Jackie, another gal at the station peeked in and said, “What are you guys doing?” Alice said, “Oh, we’re studying the Bible, Liz can get you one.” (laughs) So Liz saved and bought Jackie a Bible. So now there’s the three of us, did I know what I was doing? Oh, I didn’t but God so did.

Liz: Finally, I invited them to my house for dinner because I just really wanted more time with them and, and, uh, understand, nobody comes to my house for the food, are you kidding? When I get near the stove, my kids go hot, hot, so you know, it was… It’s nobody ever comes to the food (laughs). And we are sitting there having our little Sunday dinner and Alice, bless her, is now in the kingdom and she says, “Oh Jackie, I went to a Christian bookstore yesterday. Did you know they have them? Y’all, you have to understand before you’re saved you, you walk right past them, you don’t even see ’em. But once your eyes have been opened,” she said, “Liz, all the books are about God.” I said, “I know, isn’t it incredible.” She said, “I saw this poster called footprints.” Okay, now I’m a believer by six months, now I’m very sophisticated I know all about footprints. I’m thinking, oh, for heavens sakes they have that on key chains. You know, I wasn’t so impressed. Oh, but see Jackie hadn’t heard it before.

Liz: So, when Alice is weeping now in the telling of two sets of footprints and then one set of footprints, she said, “Look, Jackie, look, he carries us. He carries us.” Jackie said, “Can we pray?” I’m like, “Yes, the food is bad, let’s pray right now.” Nothing to do with the food. Jackie said, oh, I forgot to mention she was Muslim. Oh, little minor detail to God. She said, “Dear God, I now realize you have been carrying me my whole life. I want what my friends have, and I figured it out, it’s you. It’s a relationship with you. That’s what I want.”

Liz: Well, friends, we lifted our heads, forget dinner, we leaped up. We were so excited we didn’t know what to do. I put on a record, vinyl record, round and black with hole in the middle (laughs) and you lift a needle on it. It was Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris, remember? More than wonderful. And we sang all the words and didn’t know any of them. Y’all, we made them up. (laughs) Then Jackie was so excited she said, “Lizzie, Lizzie, take my picture, I think I looked different.” So, I got out a Polaroid camera. (laugh) If you’ve never seen one, they’re magical. The film spits out like a tongue. It sits there for a minute, you wait, you wait, you wait, you peel it back, the image comes up, and there was Jackie, a woman transformed. All I could think of was 2nd Corinthians 3:18, “But we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the spirit.”

Liz: When you sing glory, glory, hallelujah this Christmas, I want you to remember that that glory shines on the face of everyone who’s received his grace. May it be you my friend, Merry Christmas. Heavenly father, we just thank you so much. Your word is so alive we just try to run and keep up with it. Father, I pray that someone here received a truth they needed for this season of their life. A total blessing to be here Lord, may you be honored and glorified alone. In the name of your son who makes everything possible, amen and amen. Thank you so much.

John: We were so pleased to have Liz Curtis Higgs shared that message to the Focus on the Family team during a Christmas chapel, and I’m so glad we could share it with you today as well.

Jim: Yeah. What a great way to go into Christmas Eve tonight. And as Liz said, every single day, we have the opportunity to let the glory of the Lord shine through us. And that’s the verse she quoted from the New Testament, 2nd Corinthians 3:18. And that’s a really strong takeaway from this message. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we should reflect God’s grace and love to others, that’s basic. And maybe, like Liz and her friends, will look a bit different as a result.

John: And even just a smile can make a big difference in someone’s day.

Jim: That’s right. And providing that encouragement and hope is a big part of our mission here at Focus on the Family. We want to help you thrive in your walk with the Lord, in your marriage, and in your parenting responsibilities. And best of all, we get thousands of notes saying we really have helped. Here’s an example from Karen. She said, “As professional teachers, my husband and I thought parenting would be a breeze. But with three kids under the age of seven, it’s more like a hurricane (laughs).” That’s good. “We use the Focus on the Family broadcast and other resources from your ministry to guide the spiritual growth of our household. These tools are helpful as we try to keep our kids on the right track. Thanks so much for everything you do.”

John: I really like that feedback.

Jim: Isn’t it great? And of course, we thank the Lord and you, our supporters for making it possible for us to provide these resources to families like Karen’s. So let me encourage you to make a donation to Focus on the Family today, as we bring hope to families. And when you make a donation of any amount, uh, we can send you a copy of the book by Liz Curtis Higgs called the Women of Christmas, Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. And we didn’t hear about Anna’s story today, so that’s something to look forward to when you get the book. And remember now is a great time to give. Take advantage of our matching opportunity before it runs out. Your gift will be doubled making twice the impact.

John: Reach out today, donate online, and request the Women of Christmas at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And don’t forget that season five of our Christmas stories podcast is now available. Uh, tune in for heartwarming stories that will remind you of the real reason for the season. We’ll have a link for easy access on the website. I trust you enjoy this special holiday weekend as we celebrate together the birth of our savior and plan now to be with us on Monday, we’ll have a classic broadcast about the power of encouragement.

Preview:

Florence Littauer: Every word that comes outta my mouth should be like a present, I should give you a present with my words.

 End of Preview

 

 

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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.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 1

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.

How a Former Abortion Doctor Became Pro-Life

As an abortion doctor at Planned Parenthood, Dr. Patti Giebink believed she was helping women. Later, she began reading scripture and God gradually changed her heart on the abortion issue. Patti tells the story of her long journey from abortion doctor to pro-life and encourages listeners to share the message of life with compassion.

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

Mrs. Patti Giebink

Dr. Patti Giebink is an OB-GYN who serves on the board of the Alpha Center, a well-known pregnancy center located in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also travels intermittently to work in mission hospitals in Pakistan and other countries. After completing her medical training, Dr. Giebink worked for Planned Parenthood from 1995-1997, during which she was the only abortion-provider in the state of South Dakota. She eventually experienced a radical change of heart on the issue of abortion after receiving God’s grace, forgiveness, and love, and she is now a passionate advocate for the pro-life movement.

Cover image of the book "Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life"

Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life

Unexpected Choice is told from the perspective of a doctor who actually performed abortions through Planned Parenthood. The book chronicles her journey from being a pro-choice physician to someone speaking on behalf of the pro-life movement.

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 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.

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!

Thank you for committing to pray for the pre-born!

Sign up below for your free seven-day prayer guide. This daily guide will help give direction to your prayers for the pro-life movement. We will be praying with you! 

Focus on the Family

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