Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finding Home & Focus on the Family's Celebrate Family Tour

Last week I finished reading Jim Daly's autobiography Finding Home. Jim has been the president and CEO of Focus on the Family since 2005. I purchased this book over a year ago and it has been patiently waiting in the pile beside my bed. We registered several weeks ago to attend Focus on the Family's Celebrate Family Tour here in Dallas, and since Jim Daly was going to be speaking at the event, I thought it was time to read his book.

Jim's story is one of a difficult childhood: alcoholic parents, his father left when he was five, his mother died when he was eight, foster care, witness to violence and death. He gave his life to the Lord at the age of 15, and while life didn't get any easier for many years, he strove to follow the Lord's guidance in his life. He and his wife were married many years before having their two sons.

In the author's note at the beginning of the book he states: "As you read, my sense is that God might just beckon you to embrace the story that is uniquely yours to tell, and to realize that, in spite of how things may appear at any given moment along the path, He has designed you to do something significant." He concludes the book by stating that when "we are transparent, we're in the best position to encourage one another to experience the richness and depth of the life God has for us." It was interesting to read about his life and learn how he came to the position he now holds at Focus on the Family. It is in almost direct contrast to Dr. Dobson who was raised by Christian parents and grew up knowing the Lord. Yet, God has used each of these men in marvelous ways to lead an organization that promotes healthy marriages and families.

Monday evening we went to Focus on the Family's Celebrate Family Tour. Matthew West performed at the beginning and sang a new song that he wrote (two days before!) for an upcoming album. It was called "Two Houses" and was about children of divorced parents who live in two houses but never feel like they are home until they find Jesus. It was beautiful and made me sad thinking of how Andrew will now be living in two homes.

Then Jim Daly spoke about some of the current programs at Focus on the Family and showed several video clips. We especially enjoyed the Jelly Telly clip - an online character designed to teach children about the Bible, to bring the Bible to life for them, and to teach them about faith.

Then there was a panel discussion that was also broadcast live over the radio and web. Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham where the guest speakers there to discuss marriage issues. They pointed out that often marriage partners think the grass is greener somewhere else when really there's a septic tank over there keeping the grass greener. It was interesting, informative, and often pretty funny.

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