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March 28, 2019

Leaving Planned Parenthood (Part 1 of 2)

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson explains why she resigned from the organization after witnessing an abortion on ultrasound. (Part 1 of 2)

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Opening:

Excerpt:

Abby Johnson: You begin to rationalize it. I believed that I was doing the work of God. Uh, it’s bizarre for me to say that now, but at the time, I thought, “How can you be a Christian and not be pro-choice?”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: There’s no circumstance beyond God’s reach. And perhaps that’s never been more evident than in the life of Abby Johnson, who once called herself a “pro-choice Christian” and worked for Planned Parenthood. You’re gonna hear her riveting story today on Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, women often rely on counsel from pregnancy resource centers or from organizations like Planned Parenthood – two diametrically opposed groups. And those two groups will give very different counsel. Abby Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood for 8 years and even became a director, until the fall of 2009 when something happened that caused her to rethink her role there. It was a moment where God showed up and spoke to her heart. And now Abby is telling her story around the world. She’s the founder of Then There Were None, a ministry that has helped over 430 workers leave the abortion industry. That’s amazing.

In fact, there’s a new movie about her story coming out in theaters tomorrow called, Unplanned. It received an R-rating, ironically. So uh, you know, a 15-year-old girl without parental consent can go get an abortion, but she can’t go see this movie. I mean, it’s ridiculous. And I would wanna encourage all of our listeners to support this movie and go see it. It’s a powerful message.

And in fact, John, we have the May 4th event coming in Times Square with music and speakers, along with 4D, third trimester ultrasounds. It’s gonna start at 3 PM in Times Square on May 4th, and I hope people will join us.

John: Yeah, you can find out details and pre-register to attend the May 4th event in Times Square at focusonthefamily.com/prolife. And of course, we’ll have more resources there as well.

And joining Abby in our broadcast was Shawn Carney, the co-founder, director, and CEO of 40 Days for Life. They’re a pro-life outreach, and they peacefully pray outside of abortion clinics. This really is a fascinating story of how God worked in and through the lives of these two people. So stay with us, and let’s go ahead and start the conversation as Abby shares how she began working at Planned Parenthood.

Body:

Abby: I was a student at Texas A&M University. I got involved. They have a – every semester at A&M, they have a volunteer opportunities fair, where all the non-profits uh, come together. And so, I – I listened to this woman uh, from Planned Parenthood talk about what was available. And I remember telling her, you know, “Well, I kind of grew up pro-life.” And she said, “Oh, you know, I understand that.” And “You know, I know it’s very controversial, but if Planned Parenthood wasn’t around, and if safe abortion facilities weren’t around, then women are gonna basically be sent to these places that are unsafe. Women are gonna be dying, you know, by the thousands. And you know, we have to be here for these women.”

And you know, that really kind of pulled on my heart. And I thought, “Well, gosh, I don’t want women to be dying, you know, because they don’t have this choice.” And that is something I never thought about before um, because I’d never really thought about the abortion debate at all. Um, I remember in high school saying out loud that I was pro-life, because my parents were pro-life. Um, but I’d just never really had a dialogue about it. Uh, you know, of course they never talked about the baby. That was never the issue. It was always…

Jim: Right.

Abby: …the life of the woman. And so, that was really initially what drew me into the movement.

Jim: So you felt motivated by your desire to help women?

Abby: Yes.

Jim: And they – they certainly played on that to make sure that that was reinforced at every turn…

Abby: Yes.

Jim: …and not to think of the baby as a human being, but as something different? Tell us about that. How would they coach you to dehumanize the child?

Abby: Right, well, I mean, you were instructed never to say the words “baby” at all. You know, if the woman coming in for an abortion referred to her child as a baby, you know, you were to come back with the word “fetus” or “tissue,” um, you know, not to reinforce the fact that, from her perspective, it was a baby. And so, you know, you were never thinking about the pregnancy that she’s carrying. You’re never to think about, you know, the baby and – and its personhood. You’re always to think about the woman and her situation and how to get her out of basically, the illness…

John: Hm.

Abby: …that she now has, as this pregnancy.

Jim: Abby, when you – when you look at that experience, how – how long did you work for Planned Parenthood?

Abby: I volunteered there for three years, and then worked there for five years.

Jim: And in 2008, you were given the award of Employee of the Year for the, I think, southeast Texas region.

Abby: Yeah, for our affiliate.

Jim: Is that correct?

Abby: Uh-huh.

Jim: Shawn, describe for us what you’re doing at your organization and the purpose of your organization and what you do day-to-day with Planned Parenthood clinics, such as Abby’s.

Shawn Carney: Well, I – I work with a national campaign called 40 Days for Life. And what we do is this started in College Station, Texas, in front of the abortion facility that Abby ran. And we simply hold peaceful vigils for 40 days, with a focus on prayer to end abortion in our nation and around the world and – and with the intention of fasting for an end of abortion. And we’re there for 24 hours a day for 40 days.

And it was really through that first 40 Days for Life that I came to know Abby. You’re out there. This is a peaceful effort. We’re out there praying silently, but being there as a witness. There’s no peace at abortion facilities and we know that obviously, we’re there for the women going in and having these abortions. But we’re also there for those who work in this industry, and maybe deep down, may want a way out. And a peaceful, prayerful witness is a simple invitation.

Jim: Can I – let me ask Abby about that. There you are, the director of this clinic. You have people on the curb praying. What’s happening in your heart?

Abby: Well, I think, just as Shawn said, there is no peace inside of an abortion facility. And so, you know, what a lot of people, I think stereotypically, they think that most of the clinic workers have no relationship with Christ. They’re not spiritual. And while that is the case for a lot of people that work at the abortion facility, it’s not the case for all.

And you know, I was a Christian while I worked at the abortion facility. Uh, you know, I would help perform abortions on Saturday, and then I would go and sit in the pew on Sunday. And I would feel this spiritual struggle in my heart. And then, it was almost confirmed whenever I would go back to my job on, you know, Monday, and I would see people out there praying. And it was – yeah, it was a nuisance, you know, because you think, “Okay, there’s these people out here again,” you know. Um, but also, you feel like, “Okay, am I really doing the right thing here?” I mean, you…

John: Hm.

Abby: …you do have that type of struggle.

John: I’m wondering, Abby, if you had had any protestors or any pro-life people at the clinic or around the clinic prior to this 40-Day effort?

Abby: Oh.

John: And if so, what the difference was between the – the types of demonstrations that you saw.

Abby: Yeah, I can say honestly that there had been a change. When I first started um, volunteering at the clinic uh, you know, there would be people out there maybe with large graphic signs. Um, there would be people out there maybe not being as compassionate to the women…

John: Hm.

Abby: …uh, you know.

Jim: By saying what? Doing what?

Abby: Um, you know, saying things like, “Don’t go inside and kill your baby.” You know, things like that, not offering words of hope or words of help, just kind of offering words of condemnation. And we started to see a change. So it was easy for us as volunteers and as workers to say, “Oh, look! See, they really are harassing people.”

Jim: So, it actually confirmed in your heart what you were doing at the time, these people that are preventing the care for women…

Abby: Yes.

Jim: …in what they were doing?

Abby: Absolutely.

Jim: And that reinforced what you were doing?

Abby: Absolutely.

Jim: So it was working against them, the very goal that they were trying to get to…

Abby: Absolutely.

Jim: …was actually? Shawn, tell me about that motivation. When you started your effort, was that something that you were cognizant about? Is this something that you wanted to see done differently?

Shawn: Absolutely. And I got involved in this in college as a young man, and I saw it grow, and I saw that there needed to be some changes in the approach and that it needs to be centered on prayer and that we have to have that Christ-like witness. Christ is very attractive, especially to sinners who are seeking Him. And if we take Him to a place where there’s no peace, where there’s no hope – abortion survives on despair – uh, then we’ll see a change if we’re willing to change our approach. And that’s why we did 40 Days, you know, to have that scriptural emphasis of how – how God will use that time period to convert hearts and minds, including our own.

Jim: But some in the Christian community see that. They see, Abby, I apologize, but I mean, they would see Abby as the enemy. How did you overcome that? You saw her as a soul that the Lord wanted to save beyond the Christian experience that you’ve had at that point, Abby. Shawn, how did you see through the blur and the noise to say, “God cares for Abby?”

Shawn: Well, I saw Abby walk in every day to work. And I saw that she was a human being and we have to have a zeal for souls. And I don’t think that fighting abortion, which is – this is overwhelming. We’ve lost 50 million in our history, in our country alone. It’s too overwhelming to try to just fight abortion and have enemies everywhere. You won’t make it. We have to rely on prayer. We have to rely on a peaceful effort. And we have to put it all on God at the end of the day.

You know, we didn’t convert Abby. God did. We simply provided a vessel to be used, one that can be uncomfortable or controversial at times or unpopular at times, but one that’s effective, if it’s witnessing the Gospel.

Jim: Abby, let me ask you, because you said a moment ago uh … you’re a Christian at that time, working at Planned Parenthood. You go to church on Sunday, do abortions on Saturday. I can hear the gasp in our audience about that contradiction, because those in the pro-life movement – for us it’s so clear the distinction and God’s heart for the sanctity of human life. Help us better understand how you lived in that dualism, how you lived with that.

Abby: Well, you know, one is that, you begin to rationalize it. Um, I believed that I was doing the work of God. Uh, it’s bizarre for me to say that now uh, but at the time, I thought, “How can you be a Christian and not be pro-choice? How can you be a Christian and send these women to these back-alley abortionists?” You know, “If you’re pro-life, you don’t care about these women.” And so, I was able to rationalize it that way and think that I was – I was doing the work of God, because I was helping these women.

Jim: I think some would say that the Christian community focus exclusively on the baby and not the mother. Have you found that to be true? How do you process that?

Abby: Well, I – I hope that’s not true, because I think that we have to – if we’re going to really conquer this injustice of abortion, then we have to focus on them as a unit.

Jim: Correct. I mean, both mother and child, so, I agree with that Abby. Let me – let me take you back to that day, when you decided to leave Planned Parenthood. Help us understand that.

Abby: Yeah, I was working in the clinic on that Saturday. And um, so on that day, we had a visiting physician, and he owns his own practice out of town. And all he does – he’s a private practice abortionist. And in his own facility, he only does ultrasound guided abortions. It’s a very uncommon type of abortion procedure because it’s more time consuming. It takes about an extra 5 to 10 minutes. You think 5 or 10 minutes isn’t that long, but when a facility is trying to do between 30 and 40 abortions a day,

5 to 10 minutes…

John: Adds up.

Abby: …adds up. So it – for this particular woman, he did want to use ultrasound guidance. And she was about 13 weeks along in her pregnancy.

John: This is Focus on the Family, and we’re listening to Abby Johnson. And you can get her book, Unplanned, when you stop by our website. We’ll also have details there about See Life Clearly, our national campaign to protect preborn babies. The special site is focusonthefamily.com/prolife. Focusonthefamily.com/prolife.

Let’s go ahead and continue with the program.

Jim: Abby, can you, at 13 weeks, just paint the picture for us of what that baby looks like in the mother’s womb?

Abby: The baby’s fully formed. All organs are formed uh, at that time – kidneys, liver, all limbs…

Jim: Hands?

Abby: …hands, fingers…

Jim: Fingers? Toes?

Abby: Uh, they’re – all of those are operational; fingers are operational. Babies are sucking their thumb at that time. It – it – yeah, I mean…

Jim: And you can see that on the ultrasound?

Abby: You can see that on the ultrasound. And so, I was called into the room, during an ultrasound guided abortion procedure. Someone has to physically hold the ultrasound wand on the woman’s abdomen during the entire procedure. So I remember thinking whenever I was asked to go in and assist, I was actually kind of excited about the opportunity to learn a new procedure, to witness a new type of technique of abortion. I thought that this would be a good learning experience for me.

John: Hm.

Abby: So when I went in, I got the ultrasound wand in place, and I was holding it there, and I looked up on the screen and saw this, you know, perfectly formed baby. It was a full side profile. And I saw um, the – the full side of the baby from head to foot and you know, just like something you would see in a movie or something you would see in a textbook. And then I saw the probe. It’s called a cannula. It’s what actually is hooked up to the suction. Now, when the probe goes into the woman’s uterus, the suction is not on. They turn it on after it’s in place.

And so, I saw this probe go into the woman’s uterus on the ultrasound, and I’m still thinking at this time, “Hey, this is – this is interesting.” I’m still thinking that this is gonna be a good learning experience.

Then all of a sudden, I see the cannula begin to kind of prod the baby in the side. And, you know, nothing was happening. And then, like it was like all of a sudden, the baby woke up. And the baby started to move and started to – the – the legs started kicking and – and the arms started moving. And it was – it was like the baby was trying to find a place to go in the uterus.

Jim: It was reacting to this?

John: Goodness.

Abby: Yes.

John: Oh.

Jim: Because it was living. You’re a mother of a 3-year-old girl.

Abby: Mmhmm.

Jim: Was any of that going through your mind at this time…

Abby: Yes.

Jim: …of your own child?

Abby: Absolutely. At – at that moment, it went from, “Hey, this is gonna be a good learning experience,” to “Oh, my gosh! I’m about to witness something horrible.” And I just thought, “This baby’s living.” I mean, it just – it was just like a flash.

Jim: That baby, to you, was a human being?

Abby: Mmhmm. Yes.

Jim: What happened in your heart?

Abby: I immediately felt a lot of guilt, because I – you know, women, when they come in for an abortion and you know, being a – a counselor to these like thousands of women that I had talked to, women ask a lot of questions. You know, eight out of 10 women consider themselves to be a Christian – women who are – are getting abortion procedures. And so women naturally would ask a lot of questions about their religion, about God, and – and so, you know, you try to answer those questions the best you can. But one of the most common questions that women ask is, “Will my baby feel this?”

Jim: And what do you say?

Abby: I always said, “No,” because Planned Parenthood had told me, “No, absolutely not.” And so, that was my response.

Jim: And then, on the screen, on that ultrasound machine, you’re seeing a baby react…

Abby: That baby was feeling…

Jim: …fighting for its life?

Abby: …what was happening. And – and I immediately – that was really the first thing I thought of, was all of the women that I had lied to. And I thought, “Would they have changed their mind, if they knew the truth? Would I still be here, if I would have known the truth?” And then I – you know, it was – it was just – it was like I didn’t want to watch. I realized what I was about to see, but I couldn’t stop looking at it.

John: It was too late.

Abby: And then they – they turned on the – the suction, and basically, I – I watched the baby begin to twist and turn and just crumple through the – the suction, the cannula. I mean, it was over in just a matter of seconds. And then, I just immediately, thought of my daughter and remembered the ultrasound we had of her whenever I was 12 weeks pregnant. And you know, remembered just how joyful we were and how excited we were. You know, and we printed out all these pictures of the ultrasound. We put them up on our refrigerator and you know, we were so excited at that time. And – and just thinking that, that baby’s face looked just like Grace’s.

Jim: Hm.

Abby: You know and – and just um…

Jim: So you’re caught in this contradiction all of a sudden?

Abby: Mmhmm.

Jim: What are you thinking? I mean, what – you’re riding home now. You’ve done this. You’re feeling guilty about it. You’re going home to hug your daughter.

Abby: Mmhmm.

Jim: What is God doing in your heart?

Abby: I’m – well, I mean, that day I thought, “I’ll – I’ll never do this again.”

Jim: Did you decide at that moment that that’s when you would leave Planned Parenthood?

Abby: Mmhmm, yeah. I knew standing there, holding that ultrasound probe and ha – I had one hand on the ultrasound probe and – and the other hand on this woman’s belly. And – and just feeling that there was once life there and now there wasn’t and knowing that my hand had been a part of that and – and just feeling this grief for this woman that I had taken part in her lost motherhood and just thinking, “You know, what am I doing? How – how have I done this for so long?” You know, “How have I not seen the reality of this?” Um, and so I just – I knew on that day that that was it.

Jim: Abby, as you’re talking right now, there are many people out there listening, women who have had an abortion, perhaps a man who did not talk his girlfriend or his wife out of an abortion. There’s a lot of guilt in the hearts of people out there right now. What would you say to them? How do they cope?

Abby: I would say that, as cliché as this sounds, you have to give that guilt to God.

Jim: Hm.

Abby: He is big enough to handle your burden. You cannot cope with the guilt of an abortion on your own.

John: Abby, I – I watched your face as you reacted to that question. And uh, when you say, “Give your guilt over to God,” um, it seemed like you were saying it more from heart knowledge than head knowledge. You’ve had to deal with guilt.

Abby: Mmhmm.

John: So, you’re telling folks that God can lift that guilt? There’s not anything too big?

Abby: You know, when I left Planned Parenthood, there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t crying. I couldn’t pray without crying. I couldn’t – and it – it was complicated, because I was happy to be gone, but I was so burdened by guilt, by what I had participated in for so long and the women that I had hurt, the friends who had opened up to me about having abortions and I had blown them off. I had said, “Oh, you’ll be fine.” I didn’t want to hear their pain, because I didn’t want to acknowledge that women suffered pain after an abortion.

And I remember the first time that I went out to the 40 Days for Life vigil to pray out in front of the clinic. It was October 23rd. And it was about 9:30 at night, and I was getting ready for bed. And I – I was praying and I – I was kinda thinking to myself, “You know, I wonder if there will ever be a time when I feel comfortable going and praying out in front of the clinic, where I used to work.” And I felt God telling me, “Go now.” I went out there, and I – you know, it was pitch black. It was now 10:30 at night. And I was standing there praying and I – and I went and introduced myself to the two prayer volunteers that were out there.

John: Because there’s a 24-hour prayer vigil going on there.

Abby: That’s right. I went and introduced myself to them and they were just ecstatic, you know. It had not been released yet that I had left Planned Parenthood, so I explained to them that I was once the director, and you know, they were just so joyful and so excited that I was…

Jim: I can imagine.

Abby: …out there and – and so I kind of went off by myself, and – and I realized at that moment. I mean, they’re over there probably praying prayers of thanksgiving, and I’m here, just praying, you know, for healing, feeling so remorseful. But it was at that moment, you know, I was out there praying and – and just so deep in prayer. You know, it’s a busy road. I just – I – there was no noise. It was just me and God, out there in front of that facility.

Jim: Peace.

Abby: Peace. You know, for the first time, feeling total spiritual peace and feeling total healing. And so I know that healing is possible for these women and men and families that have been hurt.

Jim: And workers…

Abby: And workers…

Jim: …at the clinic.

Abby: …that have been hurt by abortion. I have coerced and helped women make the decision to kill their children. And redemption is possible.

Jim: Redemption is possible for everyone.

Abby: Everybody.

Jim: That’s the Good News. And that’s one of the reasons at Focus on the Family we have counselors. People can call here to get a friend who can put an arm around them, to talk them through that decision and what to do now. Abby, thank you. Shawn, thank you. And I hope you’re both willing to come back tomorrow for a second day of this discussion.

Abby: Absolutely.

Shawn: Yes, thank you, Jim.

Closing:

John: This is a fascinating story that we’ve heard today about the power of prayer and how God moves and never gives up on anyone. Abby Johnson and Shawn Carney have been our guests on Focus on the Family as we’ve talking about the sanctity of life.

Jim: I never get tired of hearing how God works in people’s lives, John. Just knowing that God can change hearts and open eyes to the devastating impact of abortion, that keeps us motivated to do our part in sharing with others in a loving way that these precious babies matter and they don’t have a choice in this decision. And if you made a choice to have an abortion in the past, please know that we have caring, Christian counselors here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment over the phone.

And for those of you who can help save a baby’s life, a donation of $60 will achieve that. It’s amazing. Our Option Ultrasound program has already saved an estimated 425,000 babies. And right now, you can support this program and save a baby’s life for $60. And if you act today, we have friends that are gonna double that gift. So your $60 gift becomes 120, and you will save two babies. I hope that is enough to motivate you to get involved and pour the fuel into this engine of Option Ultrasound to do what it needs to do.

John: Yeah, and we’ll ask you to prayerfully consider a regular, monthly gift to Focus on the Family in this way. If you’re not able to, we certainly do appreciate one-time gifts of any amount. Either way, when you make a donation today to Focus on the Family, we’ll send Abby’s book, Unplanned, as our thank you gift. Our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Online, you can donate at focusonthefamily.com/prolife.

Well thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller inviting you back tomorrow. We’ll hear the second half of this incredible story and once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

 

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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!

Play Video

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.

Play Video

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!