Monday, June 21, 2010

400-408 Bill and Pam Farrel, are international speakers, relationship specialists and authors of over 30 books including their best-selling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, and they're now out with the teen version entitled Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti.  They're practical, personal, and pretty humorous too – and, they are the real deal.  Happily married for 30 years, with three kids, and like the rest of us, they have to juggle family, friendships, and fun with making a living.  They've got books, cd's, and videos, along with a bunch of free relationship resources, at their website (800-810-4449). Today we do a Father's Day Follow-up.

• President Obama speaking at the Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus (THEARC) in Washington DC @ 6/21/2010. Audio is selected bites. Full transcript is here.

+ (:36) PO 6 Fatherhood (strain on moms).  So I think it's time for a new conversation around fatherhood in this country.  We can all agree that we've got too many mothers out there forced to do everything all by themselves.  They're doing a heroic job, often under trying circumstances.  They deserve a lot of credit for that.  But they shouldn't have to do it alone.  The work of raising our children is the most important job in this country, and it's all of our responsibilities -- mothers and fathers.  (Applause.)

+ (1:26) PO 5 Fatherhood (show up).  Here's the key message I think all of us want to send today to fathers all across the country:  Our children don't need us to be superheroes.  They don't need us to be perfect.  They do need us to be present.  They need us to show up and give it our best shot, no matter what else is going on in our lives.  They need us to show them -- not just with words, but with deeds -- that they, those kids, are always our first priority.  Those family meals, afternoons in the park, bedtime stories; the encouragement we give, the questions we answer, the limits we set, the example we set of persistence in the face of difficulty and hardship -- those things add up over time, and they shape a child's character, build their core, teach them to trust in life and to enter into it with confidence and with hope and with determination.  And that's something they'll always carry with them:  that love that we show not with money, or fame, or spectacular feats, but through small daily acts -- the love we show and that we earn by being present in the lives of our children.

+ (:47) PO 2 Fatherhood (fatherless stats). We know that children who grow up without a father are more likely to live in poverty.  They're more likely to drop out of school.  They're more likely to wind up in prison.  They're more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.  They're more likely to run away from home.  They're more likely to become teenage parents themselves.  And I say all this as someone who grew up without a father in my own life.  He left my family when I was two years old.  And while I was lucky to have a wonderful mother and loving grandparents who poured everything they had into me and my sister, I still felt the weight of that absence.  It's something that leaves a hole in a child's life that no government can fill. 

(:46) PO 7 Fatherhood (responsibility).  Now, I can't legislate fatherhood -- I can't force anybody to love a child.  But what we can do is send a clear message to our fathers that there is no excuse for failing to meet their obligations.  What we can do is make it easier for fathers who make responsible choices and harder for those who avoid those choices.  What we can do is come together and support fathers who are willing to step up and be good partners and parents and providers.   And that's why today we're launching the next phase of our work to promote responsible fatherhood -- a new, nationwide Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative.

(:45) PO 1 Fatherhood (abandonment).  Fathers are our first teachers and coaches -- or in my house, assistant teachers and assistant coaches -- (laughter) -- to mom.  But they're our mentors, our role models.  They show us by the example they set the kind of people they want us to become. But we also know that what too many fathers being absent means -- too many fathers missing from too many homes, missing from too many lives.  We know that when fathers abandon their responsibilities, there's harm done to those kids.

(:25) PO 4 Fatherhood (fatherhood defined).  The fact is, it's easy to become a father, technically -- any guy can do that.  It's hard to live up to the lifelong responsibilities that come with fatherhood.  And it's a challenge even in good times, when our families are doing well.  It's especially difficult when times are tough, families are straining just to keep everything together. 

• Christian News Wire (6/21/2010) LaBarbera: Obama 'Gays Down' Fatherhood with Pro-Homosexual Father's Day Proclamation.


• LA Times (6/21/2010) Obama pledges new steps to promote responsible fatherhood.

413-423 Bill and Pam Farrel

+ (:45) PO 3 Fatherhood (government not the answer).  So we can talk all we want here in Washington about issues like education and health care and crime; we can build good schools; we can put money into creating good jobs; we can do everything we can to keep our streets safe -- but government can't keep our kids from looking for trouble on those streets.   Government can't force a kid to pick up a book or make sure that the homework gets done.  Government can't be there day in, day out, to provide discipline and guidance and the love that it takes to raise a child.  That's our job as fathers, as mothers, as guardians for our children.

428-437Bill and Pam Farrel

443-452 Corrie Gilmore from Beaverton, Oregon, is the Grand Prize winner of the Focus on the Family Father's Day contest, and she shares her winning entry.  We'll be going to the Rockies game together on August 27th in Colorado Springs!  And a big, special thank you to Ray Hendrickson, President and owner of Christian Book Distributors, for making this happen.

Corrie Gilmore's Winning Essay

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do with my dad was fishing.  It didn't happen as often as either of us would have liked, but when it did it was good father-daughter time.  I think I was in about 5th grade when I asked my dad one morning before school when we could go fishing again.  Much to my surprise, his response was "what are you doing today?"  He then told me he'd pick me up from school later in the morning.  I remember going to school so excited and amazed that my dad would drop his plans for the day, pull me out of school, and take me fishing.  And it was with great pride that I announced to my teacher my day's plans.  I don't recall if we even caught fish.  What makes this a precious memory is the fact that it perfectly illustrates the value my dad placed in me and in his role as a father.  He has always been and will continue to be one of my best friends and I am who I am today because of his godly leadership in my life.

458-508 Jay Richards, Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Discovery Institute (, and a contributing editor for the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute at, has two earned Ph.D.'s, one in philosophy and the other in theology, and he's the author of a wonderful Christian defense of capitalism entitled Money, Greed, And God:  Why Capitalism Is The Solution And Not The Problem (browse) – now in paperback!

• Jay Richards (6/18/2010) Conspicuous Indignation Won't Plug the Hole.

512-523Jay Richards

528-538 Walt Russell, Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology (, and author of Playing With Fire:  How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul, is a close personal friend, and today we talk about Shattered.

544-554 Walt Russell

558-608Anthony Bradley, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at The King's College in New York (, research fellow at the Acton Institute (, and author of Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America.  You can contact him through his website  Today, we talk about the dangers of the prosperity gospel, and how to apply the Bible to justice issues without adopting liberation theology.  He just did a series of lectures that will be available online later on this week at on the prosperity gospel, emerging church, and environmental sustainability.

612-623 Anthony Bradley

628-638Walt Russell, Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology (, and author of Playing With Fire:  How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul, is a close personal friend, and today we talk about the importance of hermeneutics – reading the text in context. 

644-652Walt Russell

• Fox News (6/20/2010) With No Gulf Solution in Sight, Louisiana Turns to Prayer.

• Fox News Dallas-Fort Worth (6/15/2010) Six Flags Rejects Man with Topless Tattoo.