How to Break Free from a Troubled Past

Pensive young man

We’ve all suffered heartache.

Even if we grew up in a loving home, we were raised by imperfect people who made mistakes, no matter how well-intentioned they may have been. So none of us escapes completely unscathed. It’s the reality of being born into a fallen world.

That’s a truth I know all too well.

I’ve openly shared about my troubled childhood. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s enough to explain that my mother died when I was nine years old.

The Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Romantic walk

Have you ever heard marriage advice that seemed too philosophical or theoretical?

Deeper understandings about the mysterious union of a man and woman can certainly be helpful. But every once in a while it’s great to hear something practical, like, “Tonight, go home and try this.”

On today’s and tomorrow’s broadcast, “Uncovering the Secrets to a Happy Marriage,” that’s exactly what we’ll do. Take, for example, this idea from our guest, Shaunti Feldhahn: Keep score.

For most of you, I’m guessing the notion of “keeping score” to improve your marriage sounds counter-intuitive.

What’s Your Favorite Christmas Memory?

Decorating the Christmas tree

What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

Maybe your mind drifts back to childhood when you helped pick out the family Christmas tree. Or you think of that special gift your parents got you even though money was tight. It could even be a warm kitchen on a cold, snowy day as you baked cookies with your grandmother.

As simple as these and other memories may seem, they’re more significant than you might think. Christmas memories help shape our sense of identity.

What Kind of “Smart” is Your Child? Unlocking Their Potential

Boy studying

Each day on the daily radio broadcast, John and I have the privilege of interviewing a great variety of people – all of them uniquely gifted by God.

We’ve featured athletes and authors; singers and activists; theologians and politicians… and it’s wonderful to see how they contribute in their own areas, for the glory of God.

By now you might be asking yourself what this has to do with unlocking your child’s potential.

Here’s the link…

All of the luminaries we feature on our broadcast were, at one point in their lives, kids.

Listen to “The Best of 2014” Broadcasts

Ear buds in a back pocket

It’s “best of” time on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast! During the months of December through February, we’re going to be re-airing our best, most popular broadcasts of the year – the ones we heard back from our listeners the most on.

Here’s a rundown of the best of 2014 Focus broadcasts:

Dec 1-2 – Moving From Loneliness to Intimacy in Your Marriage I-II – Dr. David Clarke
Dec 3 – Serving God in Our Culture – Lecrae
Dec 4-5 – Overcoming the Obstacles of Cerebral Palsy I-II – Lisa Sexton and Dr.

Who’s the Better Christian?


Let’s try to guess which of these two men is doing more to expand the Kingdom of God.

We’ll call the first guy Kevin. Kevin gets up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and gets ready for a long commute into his downtown office where he works in middle management in the banking industry. He works hard because he has a family to support: a wife, three kids and a dog.

Calvin is our second guy – “Pastor C,” as the kids in youth group call him.

What Marriage and Volcanoes Have in Common

Silhouette of an embracing couple

Mount Erebus in Antarctica is one of the most active volcanoes on earth.

The region averages fifty-eight degrees below zero in the winter and on an especially balmy summer day the temperature can nudge toward four below. Combine those frigid temperatures with hot gases escaping from ground vents around the volcano, and massive ice structures form, towering forty to fifty feet high.

They’re an oddly beautiful sight in such an unforgiving landscape.

And they exist because of opposite forces coming together.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving turkey

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (I Chronicles 16:34)

It’s a wonderful thing to live in a nation that, once a year, sets aside an official day of thanksgiving. We certainly are a blessed people, and there is much to give thanks for. I hope you and your family are enjoying the day.

If you are looking for something to do with your family that will emphasize the themes of thanksgiving, forgiveness and friendship, may I suggest listening to today’s broadcast, “Squanto: A Thanksgiving Drama”?

Teaching Kids to Be Grateful

Grateful little girl

Isn’t it strange that in a nation nicknamed the “land of opportunity” that so many struggle to find happiness?

I think, in part, that’s because we haven’t learned the discipline of gratitude. I’m not talking about the brief moments here and there where we acknowledge God’s blessings. I’m talking about living a life of gratitude.

Maybe gratitude is difficult because cynicism is too easy.

By nature, I’m an optimist. But it’s easy to turn pessimistic from time to time.

The Backward Logic of Perfectionism

Nobody's Perfect

Many of us strive for excellence. But for other folks, excellence isn’t good enough. They want perfection. As noble as that goal sounds, it’s actually a very unhealthy way to live.

Oh, sure, perfectionists look great on the outside. Just ask today’s broadcast guests Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. Self-acknowledged perfectionists, they’ll tell you they tend to work harder than everyone around them, excel at most things they try, and appear confident. But underneath that polished exterior is a fragile self-image.