Thanks for allowing me to share an important message with you by way of this brief letter. I am Dr. Roy Stringfellow, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist. I also serve on the board of directors of Family Talk because of my deep appreciation and respect for its founder and president, Dr. James Dobson. I have a very busy and successful medical practice here in Colorado Springs, and free time is at a premium, to say the least. Yet, I feel compelled to serve Dr. Dobson and his outreach to families. Let me tell you why.
My wife, Carolyn, and I have had the privilege of being close friends with Jim and Shirley Dobson for more than 20 years. We first came to know the Dobsons when I served on the Physicians Resource Council at Focus on the Family. I and two other physicians have also served as physician advisors to Jim and his family for nearly two decades. We were with Jim and Shirley 13 years ago when he suffered a stroke that could have ended his career and very possibly his life. God was gracious to hear our prayers and heal him very quickly.
We have witnessed their personal and spiritual courage up close and personal. Over the years, our friendship has grown. We have traveled together, hunted and fished together, and shared family times together. I have watched this man and his family through the best of times and the worst of times. I have listened to his heart and he has listened to mine. We have rejoiced together through many grand events, and we have dealt with the sorrows that life too often brings as well. There is no guile in this man. No deceit. When you hear him speak, you know it is from his heart, and it is pure. I know very few people on planet earth who have these qualities. Because he speaks his mind as he feels God would direct him, he is a lightning rod for the most vicious and untruthful attacks from the dark side. Some of these attacks have been terribly hurtful, yet his responses are honest and sincere, not meant to hurt in return, but to present truth and to enlighten. But the world does not always want to see light.
Jim Dobson is the most selfless man I know. He is a gifted speaker, writer, and radio host. But his greatest strength is the complete dedication of his life, thoughts, and resources to Jesus Christ, his family, and the family of man. He has not taken a cent in salary for his 35 years in the ministry, and he has contributed generously from his book royalties to help start and grow Family Talk. This is truly the best man I know, and the best defender of God's clear values in the public arena. Dr. Dobson is determined to preserve the things that matter most, but now he needs some serious help from his friends.
Let me tell you what you may not know about Jim Dobson and other Christian men and women like him. In the 1970s, he was among the giants of conservative Christian thought who came to prominence almost simultaneously. Though each headed an individual ministry, together they fought tirelessly for righteousness in the culture, for the sanctity of human life, for the preservation of the family, and in passionate opposition to abortion on demand. Included among these culture warriors were Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. Adrian Rogers, Dr. John Stott, Dr. Richard John Neuhaus, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Dr. Bill Bright, and until his death a couple of months ago, Mr. Chuck Colson.
Other men and women who rose to the challenge at the same time remain with us, including Dr. Chuck Swindoll, Rev. Don Wildmon, Dr. Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, Dr. Richard Land, and others whom I might have overlooked. They continue to fight the good fight for righteousness in the culture. Dr. James Dobson is one of them. As a board member, I can tell you that he continues to defend the Judeo-Christian system of beliefs, but now, more than ever, he needs your prayers and support.
Specifically, the emphasis of the ministry of Family Talk is on the preservation of marriage, parenthood, evangelism, the sanctity of human life, and righteousness in the culture. Marriage is one of Dr. Dobson's passionate concerns because it represents the very foundation of the human social order and the care and training of the next generation. Nevertheless, marriage as it has been known and defined for millennia is being targeted today by homosexual activists, liberal judges, and even the President of the United States, all of whom want to redefine marriage to fit their own agenda. Even some clergy and theologians have changed the belief system of their churches. Together these opponents of traditional marriage often vent their anger on Dr. Dobson in an effort to silence his voice. For example, a recent article on the Internet was titled, "The Shocking Parallel Between James Dobson and Nazi Germany," written by a man who was trained as a pastor. It doesn't get much sicker than that.
If there ever was a time when Christian people should defend what they believe, this is it. And James Dobson is positioned with them on the front lines of that struggle. He has the courage to stand in the gap, taking the brunt of the attack for us all. It is time that we accept the challenge and stand with him.
Dr. Dobson is convinced that we as followers of Christ cannot continue to condone that which Scripture condemns. We must work together to promote righteousness in the culture. His letter last month addressed the assault on religious liberty by the government and explained the dishonesty about abortion within the Obama Administration. He feels we must absolutely challenge what is clearly contrary to Scripture.
I would like to provide another insight about Family Talk that will explain my reasons for writing today. The ministry began two years ago, immediately after Jim turned over the reins of Focus on the Family to other leaders. Literally within days he started Family Talk. There were few resources, and the effort to stay afloat in our depressed economy has been challenging, at best. Many loyal followers thought Family Talk was just a part of Focus, and donations intended for the support of Jim's ministry did not come to Family Talk. Others assumed that when he left Focus, he simply retired, and Family Talk has never been on their radar screen. Trying to stay solvent in this difficult environment has been tough. However, many loyal friends have helped the ministry survive, allowing Family Talk to broadcast over hundreds of stations every day.
Two weeks ago, a very generous friend and donor provided a million dollar contribution specifically for the purchase of radio airtime. With this donation, the ministry will be able to obtain exposure on more than 400 additional stations on which to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and address such issues as religious liberty, the sanctity of marriage, and protection of the unborn.
By agreement, none of the money can be used for operations or regular expenses. This is the problem: The usual "summer slump" has settled in, and the ministry is in danger of not making it until October first, when the new stations will be in place. This would be tragic, as Family Talk is on the verge of a major breakthrough that would allow Dr. Dobson's voice to be heard by millions of additional listeners. The board is taking steps to insure the continuation of Family Talk in the foreseeable future, but the next few months are critical. The need for financial resources right now is urgent.
Furthermore, another of our friends has stepped up to the plate and provided a matching gift opportunity. Each dollar sent in the next month will be matched. For example, a gift of 25 dollars is worth 50 dollars to the ministry, and so on. But any matching support is dependent on a contribution from our listeners and supporters.
Would you consider a gift to address this situation? It would be most appreciated. We must support this "last man standing" during the long summer months. I speak for the entire board of directors in expressing this request. Thank you for considering our appeal. Family Talk sends very few letters of this nature. However, if we are going to take advantage of the contribution for additional airtime and the matching gift, we need to hear from our friends immediately. These are indeed critical times.
We are all praying for Family Talk at this time. Please join us, won't you?
Roy Stringfellow, M.D.
Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Member, Board of Directors
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