Tag: #familylifepodcasts

Inside Out: Be Present and Active — We “worship”, we don’t “attend worship” — 5/22/24

Inside Out: Be Present and Active — We “worship”, we don’t “attend worship” — 5/22/24


“Inside Out” : Come Ready to Worship

Ever find you’ve gotten to church, but your mind is someplace else?

“We want to urge people: get your heart and your mind ready before worship so that you can be spiritually engaged when you get there,” says the Rev. Alex Mark. He’s the senior pastor of First Scots Presbyterian Church of America in Beaufort, South Carolina.

He encourages us to focus on the privilege we have when we gather to worship God. “The most fundamental thing we need to realize is how important worship really is,” he says. “Our worship today is actually even more awesome than what they saw at Sinai. Because instead of having Moses as worship leader, we have Jesus. Instead of being kept at a distance, we are commanded to draw near.”


Mark is the author of The Gospel Coalition article “Ready for Church: 5 Ways to Be Present in Worship.” Family Life’s Martha Manikas-Foster talks with the pastor about actively engaging in worshiping God.

Foundational to our worship is remembering who deserves our focus.  “We are meeting with the living God. We are being led in worship by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is with us. And then I think the practical things flow from that. That’s one of the things sin does—it just distorts our whole worldview. We become more concerned with whether we’re satisfied than whether God is glorified,” he says.

 “The goal of worship isn’t to worship in a way that costs us nothing,” he adds. “Worship should cost us, because it’s a display from our hearts to the world of the incredible value and worth of God.

 He suggests several ways we can engage spiritually while at church. 

“We want to fight distraction,” he says. “My attention span has to be an offering to God. I want to give it to Him. Sing heartily in worship. I am tone deaf and musically illiterate. It is not a good combination. It’s not the quality of our voices that make our worship acceptable to God. It’s what Jesus has done for us.”

 He also points out that we can only apply the lessons of a sermon when we’ve listened to it.

 “Engage with the sermon. You know, Satan doesn’t mind us being under the Word, as long as we’re not paying attention to it. And so we’ve got the duty to really listen carefully to the ministry of the Word and then make it our goal for the week to put our preacher’s words into action.”

 The Rev. Alex Mark reminds us that worship isn’t always led from the front of the church. It includes supporting and cheering on others in the pews. 

 “One of the reasons we gather together is to encourage each other,” he reminds us. “Encouraging each other, I think, really means we’re intentional to care for one another’s souls, and to make it our purpose to help one another love and savor Jesus Christ more.”


Listen to our 17-minute conversation in this Family Life Inside Out podcast.

Read the article that inspired this conversation on the Gospel Coalition website

Hometown Heroes – Remembering our heroic war dead – 5/21/24

Hometown Heroes – Remembering our heroic war dead – 5/21/24

Remembering the Heroes from Hometowns in the Family Life region

As we approach Memorial Day, this Family Life News Feature takes you to the Veterans Administration National Cemetery at Bath, New York.

You will hear the stories of the war dead who were laid to rest there, many dating back to America’s Civil War.

Our story-telling guide for this radio-tour is Dan Miller, a volunteer at the museum at the National Cemetery.  Miller himself is a decorated war veteran who served as a Navy medic during the Vietnam War.



Issues in Education – Budgets, Absentees, Commencement Addresses – 5/20/24

Issues in Education – Budgets, Absentees, Commencement Addresses – 5/20/24


School Budget Vote in New York

Combatting Chronic Absenteeism

Controversial Graduation Speech



Dr. Ralph Kerr with the “Teaching and Learning Institute” sounds off on the important issues impacting our public schools each Monday on “Issues in Education”


Capital Connection – PA and NY’s biggest issues of the week – 5/17/24

Capital Connection – PA and NY’s biggest issues of the week – 5/17/24

Planned Parenthood Closing Up Shop at a PA location

Why Assisted Suicide is Bad Medicine

Trump Effect on State-by-state Races

Nassau County’s Transgender Athlete Ban

What to Watch for in the Closing Days of the Legislative Sessions


Christian lobbyists Jason McGuire and Michael Geer discuss the issues that impact Christian voters on this weeks’ edition of “Capital Connection”


For further information:

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.



Ten Minutes With…Michael Woolworth of Bible League International

Ten Minutes With…Michael Woolworth of Bible League International

Ten Minutes With is a Family Life original podcast for people who love podcasts, but don’t have a lot of time to listen. Michael Woolworth is Senior Director of Broadcast Media at Bible League International which is an organization that Family Life has partnered with for a many years to provide Bibles to people in different languages across the world. For 85 years, Bible League International has been serving under-resourced churches by providing God’s Word in a language they know and at a level they can understand. In this episode, Michael speaks with Family Life’s Steve Smith about the work his organization does and how you can help Family Life to spend more than 2,000 Bibles to nations around the world.

The World Needs the Word: Bibles for the Nations

Issues in Education – 5/13/24

Issues in Education – 5/13/24

Dr. Ralph Kerr discusses the weighty issues in the news as they pertain to public education on this week’s edition of “Issues in Education”

  • Punishing Anarchists on College Campuses
  • School Budget Preview in NY
  • Those Accountable for FAFSA Woes Held Accountable



“Issues in Education” airs most Mondays during the academic year during the Family Life Noon Report. Dr. Ralph Kerr, a long-time principal and superintendent directs the Teaching and Learning Institute which advocates for students, families and educators from a Christian vantage point.



Capital Connection – This week’s legislative & social issues, in PA & NY – 5/10/24

Capital Connection – This week’s legislative & social issues, in PA & NY – 5/10/24

Capital Connection” – This week’s legislative & social issues, in NY & PA – 5/10/24

Equality Amendment Gets the Boot

Proposed Tax Cut in Pa

Protecting Women’s Sports

Assisted Suicide Runs out of Steam

Anarchy in Academia


Christian Watchdogs Jason McGuire and Michael Geer discuss the latest issues in the news from Albany and Harrisburg on this  edition of Family Life’s “Capital Connection”. 

Listen each Friday during the legislative seasons — airing on the Family Life Noon Report, plus available from our podcast feeds and live streams.


A local Christian administrator’s take, on campus protests – 5/09/24

A local Christian administrator’s take, on campus protests – 5/09/24

Campus Protests_One Christian School’s View

This Family Life News Feature sought informed perspectives on the demonstrations and protests — and in a few cases, violence and anti-Semitic hatred — on some college campuses across the nation.

Dr. Wayne Lewis is president of Houghton University, a Christian school in Houghton, New York. In this conversation, Lewis:

  • talks about his reactions not only to the protests, but the various ways university administrators responded to the campus disruptions
  • asks why mistreatment of Jewish students was allowed, at schools where harassments and threats against any other group would not be tolerated
  • says academia needs more freedom of speech and freedom of thought, for its students and professors from all along the social and cultural spectra

President Lewis says the ways that some campus demonstrations got out of control so quickly was predictable, considering how the past few years have magnified a “cancel culture” where some groups and issues are honored and celebrated, while differing views were silenced. He says that — especially in higher education — all positions and pronouncements should be subject to equal amounts of rigorous evaluation and analysis.

(For the record, Dr. Lewis says protests like this did not happen on their Southern Tier campus. Houghton’s baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies will happen this weekend, as scheduled.)



Portions of Greg Gillispie’s special Family Life interview first aired in the Noon Report and 5 O’Clock Report on May 9, 2024.


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