When Dr. Dobson recorded his first 15-minute radio broadcast some thirty years ago, he had a hunch there might be an audience in the U.S. for insight into marriage and parenting issues. Never in his wildest dreams did he envision a day when his advice would be broadcast around the world. Today, Focus on the Family is heard from Alabama to Albania, California to the Congo, and New Jersey to Papua New Guinea. In fact, some version of a Focus program is heard in 149 countries in 26 languages!
If you missed the Focus on the Family broadcast with Pete Maravich, it’s must listening. Whether or not you’re a basketball fan, the story of “Pistol Pete” is one you’ll want to hear. At four years of age, Pete began dribbling his way into becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Over the years, Pete set more than 40 NCAA records, was featured on five Sports Illustrated magazine covers, played in five NBA All-Star game and was ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Last week best selling author Anne Rice was a guest on the Focus on the Family broadcast. For two days she and Dr. James Dobson had a conversation about her spiritual journey from “an unhappy atheist,” as Anne described herself, to a follower of Christ in 1998. If you missed these programs,you’ll want to carve out some time to hear Anne speak about the awesome way that God changed her heart.
I should point out that not everyone who heard these programs was pleased that Anne was on the Focus broadcast.
English poet Francis Thompson lived a short, painful life. After attending college to study medicine, Francis figured he’d try his hand at writing poetry and essays rather than follow his training as a doctor. But Francis soon learned that the writing life is a tough business. Forced to live as a vagrant with few options to provide for his needs, Francis settled on selling newspapers and matches while working on his craft.
For years success evaded him.
I heard a story that still breaks my heart. Joann Condie is a state-licensed counselor and member of our staff who speaks with those who call us with various needs. She shared the story of a mother whose eleven-year-old boy had been using porn on the home internet for quite some time. When this mom found out, she wisely and carefully dug a little deeper.
That’s when she learned that an eleven-year-old neighbor friend had introduced her boy to pornography on the computer.
Here’s a piece of trivia you may not know.
In March of 1977, Dr. Dobson aired his first radio broadcast called, “Let’s Get Acquainted.” Unlike the daily 30-minute format we syndicate today, Dr. Dobson’s original broadcast was a snappy, 15 minute weekly family advice show. Today, thirty-one years later, the Focus on the Family broadcast is heard in 155 countries with an estimated global audience of 220 million listeners.
What’s more, we broadcast in 26 different languages: Albanian, Arabic, Afrikaans, Armenian, Cantonese, Croatian, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, and Zulu.
You probably already know that Tony Dungy was the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl championship. What you may not know is that he’s been a big fan of the Focus on the Family broadcast. While coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1981 to 1989, Tony listened to our broadcast every day during his drive time to work. Recently, Tony was in the studio sharing with Dr. Dobson the impact that those days listening in the car had on him and his wife as they raised their children.
The other day I was talking with a close friend about his marriage. I’ll call him Dave. I knew he and his wife had been experiencing some rough sailing this summer. When I asked how things were going now, Dave reflected, “Honestly, Jim, there are days when I pray, ‘Lord, take me or take her–but one of us has to go.”
He added, “I even told God that I’m driving around without my seatbelt to make it easier for You if You want to take me!” Anyone who has been married longer than five minutes knows marriage is hard work.