Tag: #hope

Hometown Heroes – Tara Freeman – Women of Hope – 1/30/24

Hometown Heroes – Tara Freeman – Women of Hope – 1/30/24



After attending a great women’s conference, the founders of “Women of Hope” asked themselves why there wasn’t a local expression of such an outpouring of outreach and encouragement.

So, they created one.

Women of Hope, in northern Pennsylvania, sponsors events to meet the needs of many women in their community.

Tara Freeman says, unfortunately, many women miss out on the hope and love of the Bible’s story, and they instead can become “beat up by the Bible and burdened by the church, and I want them to feel there is hope and that Jesus is there to love them,” regardless of where they feel their life is at the moment. For women who have struggled with something in their past — or feel trapped or unsettled now — Women of Hope seeks to create a group where each person can feel comfortable, safe and accepted. Freeman says some participants have found healing from situations as wide-ranging as abusive relationship, childhood traumas and other challenges.

Women of Hope specifically does not hold its events at church buildings, in order to remove one potential perceived hurdle from some of those who are open to finding assurances of hope.


Tara Freeman (pictured at right at a “5 Under 40” ceremony) is president of Women of Hope, which began in June 2021 and held its recent conference in Troy, Pennsylvania. She was interviewed by Mark Webster of Family Life News.  “Hometown Heroes” brings you the stories of — and the inspiration from — people of faith who have created ways to be positive influences on the communities of Pennsylvania and New York. (Archives of this feature throughout the past 4 1/2 years are available here.)



Max Lucado – A Family Life News interview – 01/05/24

Max Lucado – A Family Life News interview – 01/05/24

Prominent Christian speaker, author (and advisor to presidents) Max Lucado is sharing a message of reassurance to anyone who feels they have strayed far from God:

“God never gives up on you”

Hear new comments from Max Lucado — for people who find themselves discouraged or hopeless, be that from personal situations, or exasperation about the tone of today’s culture. Using the Biblical story of God’s continual presence and grace in Jacob’s life, Lucado finds assurance that God relentlessly offers constant presence and new beginnings for all of us.

During this conversation, Greg also asked Lucado if he would offer a prayer for Family Life's listeners and web visitors, especially those who feel like they are facing the doubts and despairs which his Bible study addresses. Here is that prayer for you.

Family Life’s Greg Gillispie also interviewed Max Lucado when his book on Jacob was first released. We had that interview on the air in September 2023, and it is available among the podcasts of our News Features. You can listen to, download, or share that discussion here.

For further information:

A Family Life Special – Previewing this holiday season – 11/24/23

A Family Life Special – Previewing this holiday season – 11/24/23

Various angles today, about how the “holiday season” affects various people.

It’s an insightful half-hour with four special guests:

  • Financial expert Rachel Cruze offers her personal stories and professional recommendations on shopping and budgeting between now and Christmas. It’s OK — it’s even good — to be generous at this time of year. She cautions, though, that overspending and reliance on “stuff” to bring joy is misguided and harmful.
  • New York Pastor Dave Bretch offers those of us in America a perspective of what Christmas will be like in the Holy Land. He has led tours of the region where Jesus was born, as well as offering glimpses of U.S. and world history of Christmastime during wartime. For 2023, because of the war and terrorism in the region, the town of Bethlehem has already announced that all Christmas celebrations and events there for 2023 have been called off, to keep locals and visitors safe.
  • Another pastor in the Family Life listening area, Eric Johns, has first-hand insights of living on the streets as wintry weather begins to set in. He wraps up a 25-year string of spending Thanksgiving Week abiding with neighbors who are homeless for the holidays. Johns is involved with a congregation which has a heart for reaching out to those without a family, without a home, and (sometimes) without hope. Like many other churches, this congregation emphasizes how to share food, clothing and other items with people in need around them.
  • Jessica Meade, a Christian counselor in Pennsylvania, talks about personal and family expectations of what we think December and Christmas “should” be like. When it has been a hard year, or the circumstances of a family changes, people can drag themselves down when their holidays don’t feel like the happy Christmas movies or the stereotypical Christmas cards — let alone our own memories of good old days. She offers advice and practical steps to let loose of some traditions, find camaraderie with others who are living out a “Blue Christmas”, and ways to rediscover true wonder and joy, in anticipation of the Gospel story.

Please feel free to share this Family Life Special with others in your family, congregation, social circles, and other spheres of your influence.

It is easy to download, listen, or subscribe to our News Podcasts and features which intrigue you.

Max Lucado – A Special Family Life Interview – 09/22/23

Max Lucado – A Special Family Life Interview – 09/22/23

Max Lucado says people who think that God has given up on them need to discover the divine promises demonstrated in the Biblical story of Jacob.

The prolific writer’s latest book is entitled “God Never Gives Up on You“, and he joined Family Life for an extended interview about the topic of his Scriptural encouragement for people whose self-image leans more toward struggler or fumbler. He tells our Greg Gillispie about how he was motivated by Jacob’s story to offer reminders of God’s perfect plan to use imperfect people to do great things.

In this conversation this master storyteller speaks about the Biblical story, but also focuses on how people today can find transformation by claiming God’s love and grace, God’s mercy and relentless love. Lucado offers his take on what pastors and congregations could do, to speak truth into a surrounding culture full of discouragement and divisiveness.

Lucado and his publishers have also created a free video Bible study for individuals and churches to use, exploring how Jacob’s story emphasizes how the Lord redeems our stories.


Max Lucado has been called “America’s Pastor”. In addition to decades of congregational leadership in Florida, Brazil, and Texas, he also is a renown author of books and Bible studies and devotionals — even as he says he “writes books for people who don’t read books.” He speaks at major Christian events, has advised presidents, and offers a podcast for “the hurting, the lonely, the guilty, and the discouraged.”


Fill out my online form.