God’s Mercies for a Prodigal Daughter

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One of most iconic and beloved stories in the Bible is that of the Prodigal Son. All of us can find ourselves in that portion of Scripture. Some are prodigal sons, and some are prodigal daughters.

One of the latter is my good friend and former Focus on the Family colleague Yvette Maher. You know how it is with fellow staff members. Years may pass before you learn anything about their history.

I knew and appreciated Yvette’s deep faith from the beginning.

How to Answer End-of-Life Questions with God’s Truth and Compassion

A daisy that is half dead and half alive.

“They’ve told me that I may have to go on a breathing machine soon. I’m not sure that’s something that I want to do, but I’m afraid to dishonor the Lord. Should I say yes to a respirator, or should I say no?”

If someone asked you that question, how would you answer?

How to apply God’s truth to very real and very dark realities is not always easy. When you’re wrestling with a question as profound as whether or not life is worth living, only God – not conventional wisdom – is adequate to answer.

Grieving the Loss of an Adult Child

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“He wasn’t easy to raise, but it’s been more difficult losing him.”

That’s how Jan Harrison describes the emotional struggle she’s endured since her son, James, passed away six years ago at the age of 27. He was a challenge to raise because he was born with an adventurous spirit. He wasn’t the kind of kid who responded well to boundaries that locked him down.

That’s not easy for a mom whose natural instinct was to keep her son safe.

Three Steps of Kindness That Can Transform Your Marriage

Happy couple gardening together

Today’s broadcast has me thinking a lot about one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It reminds me of how I ought to conduct myself in the name of Christ. In Romans 2:4, Paul tells us that it’s “God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.”

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit – an expression of God’s nature through us – and one of the most powerful tools for Christians who wish to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around them.

How to Honor Your Marriage by Cherishing Your Spouse


As we look forward to Honoring Marriage in February, I asked Greg Smalley, who heads up our marriage efforts, to guest blog on a sometimes-overlooked aspect of honoring marriage: cherishing your spouse. I hope the content Greg shares below will bless your marriage. -J.D.


I have been to many weddings in my lifetime, and I have heard couples declare their love for each other in ways that brought tears to my eyes. I have listened to words that caused me to laugh out loud, and sadly, I’ve heard couples say things that made me shake my head in disbelief.

This Quote from Abraham Lincoln Still is True Today


A colleague once shared with me a quote from Abraham Lincoln. It dealt with his perspective on public opinion and its impact on the direction of America, as well as the power of culture to shape politics and law:

In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything.  With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed.  Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.

That’s a statement that just as easily could have been uttered today.

Her Body is Broken; Her Soul is Not. Meet Katherine Wolf.


“It started as a normal day…”

Anytime a story begins with that line, you know it’s not going to end well. Katherine’s story begins like that.

April 21, 2008 started as a normal day. Katherine was a 26-year-old wife and new mother. She had been the picture of health. But on that fateful Monday she experienced what she describes as a “funky feeling” she couldn’t shake. Within hours, she was on her hands and knees throwing up, her body slowly going numb.

How Do You View Your Spouse’s Differences?


Sometimes perspective is everything,  isn’t it?

Take marriage as an example. It’s easy for husbands and wives to fixate  on their differences, maybe because those differences can easily become the source of marital conflict.

From there, it’s only a short leap for a spouse to think that their way of doing things is better, or their thinking is superior.

It’s like a story I heard once of an English professor who wrote a simple sentence on the classroom board for his students to punctuate.

How Clearing Out Clutter Can Change Your Life

Clutter in garage

You know how it is when you move into a new home. There’s so much to do at the old house, you just throw everything into boxes and commit to sorting through it all at the new house.

That’s what Jean and I did when we moved into our current home. Once the truck was unloaded, we pulled the lid off each box and looked through every item one by one.

Keep this.

Put that over there.

Leaving a Legacy of Love for Your Children

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Bill Butterworth had something of an awakening when his father passed away.

At the funeral, Bill stood behind the lectern as the family representative and told stories about who his father was. Bill didn’t mention his father’s stock portfolio or real estate holdings. He shared about what his father believed, about what he valued, and recounted a few of the meaningful life lessons his father had taught him.

And all the while Bill was thinking, “Someday the funeral will be mine, and one of my kids will be standing behind a lectern.