Tag: #families

Real Answers – continuing our conversation about “Raising Sons” – 5/15/24

Real Answers – continuing our conversation about “Raising Sons” – 5/15/24

Raising children is a delight and a challenge. Parenting is one of the most important tasks in all of life for those who are given this privilege.

Daughters also rely on uplifting upbringings, yet today we focus on boys.  What is unique about raising sons?


On this edition of Family Life’s “Real Answers“, therapeutic counselor Christopher Anderson offers Christian areas of emphasis for parents. These apply, whatever your son’s/sons’ age, whether you are married or a single parent, and whether you are a dad or a mom or a grandparent:

  •  The urgency of giving your children, especially sons, a deepening understanding of Jesus and of grace
  •  How vital it is for male and female parents to visibly live out your faith, and explain why the Lord improves your own life
  •  Connect your son with other men who are faithful adult role models
  •  The story of a valuable $50 bill



This podcast is the second of a two-part series on this important topic

Chris Anderson and Sarah Harnisch also talked about encouragement and advice for raising sons on our “Real Answers” feature earlier this month. Hear part one of that interview here.



“Real Answers” is one of our extended interviews on Wednesdays from Family Life News. Listen for it online, on our app and on the radio during the Family Life Noon Report

Podcast versions of all Family Life News Features are available for 24/7 listening, sharing, subscribing and downloading. You can find them on our website or search “Family Life News” on your favorite podcast app.

Can we even have conversations, in a contentious election year? – 5/14/23

Can we even have conversations, in a contentious election year? – 5/14/23

 “Don’t talk about Religion or Politics” …. so they say. 

But our guest on this Family Life News Feature says our faith can help us talk about tough topics — at work, with friends, and even in our families and congregations.


Focus on the Family counselor Joanie DeBrito offers advice for people who have strong opinions, but might feel afraid to raise an argument on political or social Hot Topics. She says it takes wisdom, humility and self-control. Also, Christians (and others) need to be discerning. With some people who don’t listen well and have no motivation to remain civil, it often is wise to decline to discuss elections and candidates. However, Dr. DeBrito says politics does not have to stay “off the table” if you and the other person are open to listening respectfully, being fair, and being both firm in your convictions and willing to learn something new.

How to have good conversations, even in a contentious election year and a divisive culture … today on this Family Life News podcast.


Dr. Joanie DeBrito is a coach at Hope Restored Aftercare and a columnist and consultant with Focus on the Family.  She has 30+ years experience as a therapist and counselor.

Here are links to her work at Hope Restored and Focus.

Some of her columns and blogs about marriage, parenting and family matters can be found here and here.



Protests, Back to Basics, and more “Issues in Education” – 5/06/24

Protests, Back to Basics, and more “Issues in Education” – 5/06/24

Mondays on the Family Life Noon Report, public schools advocate Dr. Ralph Kerr talks about the “Issues in Education” for Pennsylvania, New York, and the nation.

This week’s topics:

  • College Protest Reaction
  • FAFSA Glitches and their Implications
  • Leveling the Playing Field in High School Sports
  • NY’s “Back to Basics” Reading Program
  • Wells College Closing


Family Life’s “Issues in Educationis available on the air, from our webpage, and wherever you listen to or download podcasts.

Dr. Ralph Kerr was a longtime principal and superintendent. He founded the Teaching and Learning Institute to encourage people of faith to run for school boards, be involved in local education, and stay informed about how to support students and teachers. TLI is online at WhyRun.org.

Raising Boys – Family Life’s Real Answers – 05/01/24

Raising Boys – Family Life’s Real Answers – 05/01/24

It’s “Real Answers” on Family Life

Raising boys affects sons, families and cultures.

Christian counselor Christopher Anderson offers tangible, specific areas of emphasis for parents — which also apply to other influential males in these families, churches and community groups:

  • Control the role of tech in the child’s or teen’s life
  • Connect with a congregation which sees ministry to growing boys and young men as a vibrant priority
  • Adult men lead as role models, so set a Godly example with your own life
  • “Nudge instead of judge”


First is the first of a two-part series on raising sons. Hear more about this important topic on Part Two, which aired May 15.  That is also available on our News Podcasts page.



“Real Answers” is a Wednesday news feature from Family Life News. In addition to airing during the Family Life Noon Report, a podcast version is available for 24/7 listening, sharing, subscribing and downloading.




Capital Connection – 3/22/24

Capital Connection – 3/22/24

Capital Connection” on Family Life

Two family-values watchdogs join the Family Life Noon Report each Friday, to recap and analyze the biggest social, cultural and political stories of the week. Among the events and issues on the agenda for Jason McGuire and Michael Geer this week:

  • New York is losing support for government support of legalized marijuana (but doubling down anyway)
  • Pro-abortion matters in the PA legislature and pro-life matters in a number of Pennsylvania communities
  • Bypassing doctors, Governor Hochul says pharmacies can dispense abortion-inducing drugs, without a prescription
  • The start of “March Madness” is a prime time to evaluate sports betting in our two states

Jason McGuire is executive director of an advocacy/educational group which recently updated its name and logo to reemphasize its mission: New York Families.

Michael Geer founded the Pennsylvania Family Institute in 1989, serving as its president since that time.


For further information:

PAfamily.org       NewYorkFamilies.org       FamilyLife.org/newspodcasts

Gender, Sports, the First Amendment – Faith Under Fire – 3/21/24

Gender, Sports, the First Amendment – Faith Under Fire – 3/21/24

Gender, Sports, Parental Rights, and the First Amendment – “Faith Under Fire”

A small Christian school has sued its state sports association, after the Vermont Principals Association evicted the school’s teams  from the group. The Mid Vermont Christian School’s girls basketball team forfeited a state tournament game, rather than play an opposing team which included a 6-foot tall player who was born male.

Attorney Jake Reed says the forfeit which ended a successful sports season was a sharp punishment in and of itself, but the statewide group retaliated by forbidding that school from all participation in any other sport (and academic competitions) sponsored by the association. Mid Vermont is also out of a state tuition program, taking away advantages for students and families.

This brought a First-Amendment lawsuit, and the next hearing in the case happens in April. Greg Gillispie asked Reed about matters or parental rights and recent trends on how courts have been ruling in transgender cases and allegations of bias against people of faith.

Jacob Reed is an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal organization which takes on cases related to religious freedom, marriage and family, free speech and the sanctity of life. His emphasis with ADF often centers on schools, students and educational matters.

Details of this specific case can be found here and here.

These are the links to the school and to the state association.

Capital Connection – 3/15/24

Capital Connection – 3/15/24

Capital Connection” on Family Life     3/15/24

Christian watchdogs Jason McGuire and Michael Geer discuss the issues making news from Albany and Harrisburg from a faith and family perspective.

Listen for the latest analysis on these stories:

Making Political Hay out of the IVF Controversy

Recapping Legislative Day 2024 in New York

Decriminalizing Adultery, perhaps

New Bill Targets Gambling Addiction

Abortion Expansion Efforts in Pennsylvania

Jason McGuire is executive director of the New York Families Foundation: www.newyorkfamilies.org

Michael Geer is president of the Pennsylvania Family Institute: www.pafamily.org

They (and other representatives of these two organizations) join Family Life’s Bob Price for this weekly roundtable on the Friday edition of the Family Life Noon Report.

Hometown Heroes – Bill Matteson – 2/27/24

Hometown Heroes – Bill Matteson – 2/27/24

Family Life’s “Hometown Heroes” Feature

COPE is “Children of Opioid Parents and Empowerment”.

The program in Chautauqua County, New York, offers of full year of services to children and teens who lost a parent to an opioid overdose.

Bill Matteson is the executive director of the COPE Foundation 19. He knows this tragedy personally. One of his sons died at age 29 due to heroin laced with fentanyl, leaving three children without their father. Matteson offers his family’s story as an encouragement — and a caution — to other families.

In this conversation, he also tells us about how the COPE program became a positive step his pastor promised could come from the disaster, as well as the ways COPE reaches out to guide other children who have faced something similar. It is open as well to children who This effort also includes counseling sessions with a Christian agency.




Hometown Heroes” is hosted by Family Life’s Mark Webster. He talks with individuals throughout Pennsylvania and New York who are transforming lives and answering real human needs in their local communities.

This feature airs during the Family Life Noon Report on Tuesdays, and is available on our News Podcasts website and through most podcast sources. You are invited to subscribe to this feature — and to share this interview with anyone who may find it helpful for their circumstance, or for a congregation looking to create a similar outreach.

Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

New research discusses factors that lead to divorce. How people fight is an important dynamic.

Christian counselor Christopher Anderson joins Family Life’s Sarah Harnish to talk about how to fight in our relationships. He is not (obviously) encouraging spouses to seek out arguments, but to be able to handle disagreements well.

Attentive listening matters, he says. So does awareness on when to take a timeout to allow emotions to settle, so that the people involved can avoid increasing the tensions when differences arise. Anderson also suggests another good practice: writing out questions and responses ahead of time, when a problem needs solved.



“Real Answers” is a Wednesday Family Life news feature which helps Christians tackle the tough topics in our everyday lives. Check out our archives for more advice and encouragement — on relationships, parenting, work place issues, faith dilemmas and more, seeking a Biblical perspective on how to cope with and thrive in life.

Hometown Heroes – Sandy Lenahan – 1/16/24

Hometown Heroes – Sandy Lenahan – 1/16/24

“Hometown Heroes” on Family Life

This week’s Hometown Hero is Sandy Lenahan of Shamokin, PA.  She’s created as series of YouTube videos to get the Word of God into young children.

Lenahan tells us that these inspirational videos are geared especially for ages 2 to 6. “These are really foundational years for children, and there is no better foundation than God’s Word.”

The first video in this “Wee Steps with God” series — with songs, Scripture and stories — has been released, and others are on the way. Hear a sample of the music in this podcast.

Lenahan’s You Tube page is here.




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