Tag: #specialfeature

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.



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.

The Widow’s Window : A Conference for the Grieving – 4/29/24

The Widow’s Window : A Conference for the Grieving – 4/29/24

Licensed Christian counselor Bonnie Kellogg has a heart for the hurting.  She’ll headline a daylong conference for widows on Saturday, June 1st at the Chambers Wesleyan Camp in Beaver Dams, NY.  This event is intended to help those who are suffering “befriend their grief”.  Kellogg spoke recently about the conference to Family Life’s Bob Price.  Here’s some of their conversation.

Ministry to Dads, and Other Men – “Dad Tired” Men’s Ministry – 4/03/24

Ministry to Dads, and Other Men – “Dad Tired” Men’s Ministry – 4/03/24

Many men are tired, feeling guilty, and beat down — because of the challenge of meeting expectations, and (often) because they don’t feel the presence of a support system around them.

Into those realities, comes a national men’s ministry named Dad Tired.  It’s founder, Christian pastor Jerrad Lopes, tells Family Life’s Greg Gillispie about the unexpectedly profound rationale behind the group’s name. He talks about why most men today feel like they struggle, about the one common theme he senses from men across the country (and how guys can resolve that #1 dilemma).

In this conversation, he also talks very personally about his own crisis which led to the beginning of the Dad Tired Ministry eight years ago, how he helps dads (and all men) discover hope and healing, and ways that wives and churches and friends can help encourage the men in their lives.

Lopes also previews his upcoming conference on Saturday April 13 at Batavia, New York. Details, registration and ticket information are available from www.FamilyLife.org/events.

Jerrad Lopes is also a podcaster and author on these matters. DadTired.com has an online community where thousands of men have connected and found mutual encouragement.

The state of today’s News Business – Sarah Stonbely

The state of today’s News Business – Sarah Stonbely

The journalism school at Northwestern University released a study about the state of news coverage in the United States. The study’s director, researcher Sarah Stonbely, joined Family Life News for a conversation about how the media landscape has changed, and how the biases of many national media outlets makes local news coverage that much more important.

However, she says, local news is hurting too. As traditional sources for news are hurting, many more Americans are living in what is described as a “news desert” — a local region where people have only one sources (or zero!) for local news. Newspapers are drying up at a rate of two per week, fewer and fewer broadcasters focus on news, and much of the public now goes to social media to stay informed.

Included in this interview:

  • What troubles have arisen due to changes in news media, plus what are some current bright spots?
  • When national outlets have skewed toward a single viewpoint (one side or the other the cultural or political spectrum), what role must local newswriters and newscasters take for their local audience?
  • How should news organizations “fix” these dilemmas?
  • What is essential for the consumers of news and information, as they seek balance, truth and insights?

Dr. Sarah Stonbely is the director of the Local News Project from the Medill School of Journalism and Media at Northwestern University. 

Their latest report is available here: localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/projects/state-of-local-news/2023/

Medill’s News Initiative also has additional articles, research and analysis of what the news landscape is like these days, plus a data-based “MRI” of what is happening in news media — with expectations of what trends will be next: localnewsinitiative.northwestern.edu/

Strong Christian Movies – Angel Studios – “Cabrini” – 3/07/24

Strong Christian Movies – Angel Studios – “Cabrini” – 3/07/24

Angel Studios is bringing Christian entertainment to the mainstream.

Their latest production is even gathering some Oscar Buzz from film critics, even before the March 8 world premiere. Cabrini is the life story of an Italian immigrant in New York a century ago. Francesca Cabrini fought against poverty, gender and ethnic biases, and the “powers that be” of New York City to serve underprivileged children, starting an “empire of hope”.

Jared Geesey is Chief Distribution Officer for Angel Studios. In this special interview with Family Life’s Greg Gillispie, Geesey talks about the Angel Studios process of selecting only the best stories to tell, how traditional Hollywood is missing out on a huge audience by ignoring faith-centered films, and offers a preview of the Cabrini movie.

Angel Studios has run up a string of critically-acclaimed, multi-million-dollar blockbusters like The Chosen, Sound of Freedom, and Cabrini. They also produce clean stand-up comedy with Dry Bar Comedy, children’s programming like Tuttle Twins, and Bible-based dramas such as Testament and David.

Cabrini was filmed in Buffalo, New York (and Rome, Italy) starting in 2021, and in this expanded interview, Geesey also makes mention of the local scenery which was (with the magic of moviemaking) transformed into early 20th-Century New York.  Cristiana Dell’Anna and John Lithgow are among the stars.


Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Christian outreach and support for today’s young adults has transformed — yet again.

The unique needs and perspectives of this generation of college students has shaped how campus ministries are doing their work. Today on Family Life, we hear from Mike Andrews, Impact Ministry’s campus pastor at Penn State Altoona.

Andrews tells us about how the most significant impact which meets students where their lives are is primarily in small groups and Bible studies. Even for young people who have never had experiences in a church — or who have wandered away from an earlier faith — he says a hallmark of this generation is an openness to talk about deep core values and to explore spiritual issues.

Greg Gillispie also asks Andrews to give guidance to local church leaders on effective ways to shape youth ministries and to encourage the children of the church to plug into campus ministries if they go away to school.

For more information:

  • The ImpacttheU website
  • A promotional video to show high school and college students




Hometown Heroes – “Night to Shine” – 2/20/24

Hometown Heroes – “Night to Shine” – 2/20/24


It’s Family Life’s “Hometown Heroes

Celebrate the congregations and volunteers in our listening area who created a magical, memorable evening for hundreds of special guests


The Night to Shine has become a global movement across the past decade, and numerous local churches are plugged in — many of them since the early days when the Tim Tebow Foundation launched a prom-styled festival for special-needs individuals.

In this edition of “Hometown Heroes”, we hear about the local area’s Night to Shine events held February 9, 2024. Representatives of three of these congregations tell us what happens, who is served, the significant responses of the families and the local community, and how this one night spurs churches to be attentive to special needs ministries throughout the year.

Our radio news feature offers highlights and stories. For each of these three congregations, we also will be posting expanded interviews with web-only bonus content.  

  • Hometown Heroes” feature — highlights from all three congregations, as aired on the Family Life Noon Report  [click the podcast player above to listen]
    • Bethel Life Church, Greenville PA:  bonus content with Pastor Kent Bell [web]
    • Auburn Alliance Church, Auburn NY:  bonus content with Event Coordinator Chad Mitchell  [web]
    • Sunbury Bible Church, Northumberland PA:  bonus content with Pastor Preston Atkinson [web]

Other congregations whose leaders and volunteers also deserve “Hero” status are other churches in the Family Life listening area. These also sponsored a Night to Shine this month:

    • Our Lady Of Peace, Erie PA [web]
    • New Life Baptist, New Wilmington PA [web]
    • LCBC, Dickson City PA Campus [web]
    • Epic Church-Buffalo: Williamsville NY [web]
    • Cross Creek Church, Elmyra NY [web]
    • Catalyst Church, Altoona PA [web]
    • Calvary Church, Boalsburg PA [web]

The Night to Shine movement began ten years ago (2014) as an outreach of the Tim Tebow Foundation. The Heisman trophy winner for the Florida Gators, former NFL quarterback and sports broadcaster started his foundation to fight for what they call the “MVP” — the Most Vulnerable People.

Tebow (himself growing up as a missionary kid) has been at the forefront of multiple forms of international Christian ministry.

Find out about the Foundation and watch the national/international Night to Shine video.


Hometown Heroes” is one of our Tuesday news features on our Noon Report and 5 O’Clock Report.


A fun P.S….  Tim Tebow (who became famous for waiting for a uniquely Christian marriage partner, despite his famous “eligible bachelor” status) met his future wife at his 2018 NTS, where Demi-Lynn was attending with her special-needs sister.)


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