Ministry Updates and Opportunities for 2013 and Beyond! — September 2013 Newsletter
Dear Family Talk Friends,
Greetings from Colorado. My name is Michael Tomlinson, and I serve Family Talk as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Dobson has been out of the office for several weeks while working on a new book. In the meantime, he asked me to bring you some good news that has our staff excited and energized.
Over the last several months, many of you have written, called, emailed or visited our ministry headquarters. We love hearing from you! You shared your concerns for the future of the family and asked for prayers for the challenges you face. Our staff meets for devotions and prayers every morning, and holds up many of you before the Lord. We believe He has given Family Talk a “game plan” for success in the battle to defend marriage, parenthood and a culture in moral decline.
Here’s how it came about. The past three and a half years have brought us on an amazing journey. Many people thought Dr. Dobson would retire when he left Focus on the Family. However, the Lord seemed to say to him, “The institution of the family is still in crisis, and there is work to be done.” On February 26th, 2010, Dr. Dobson attended the National Religious Broadcasters convention and announced that he was starting a new ministry called Family Talk.
Since that beginning, he has written five new books including the best seller, Bringing Up Girls. He has also aired nearly 900 radio programs, completed an 8-DVD series entitled, “Building a Family Legacy” to be released next year, and written 45 carefully documented monthly letters. He’s also assembled a world-class staff and brought together a magnificent board of directors. He and our team have reached out to millions of people through the Internet. It has been quite a ride—and the best is yet to come.
We are especially grateful for Dr. Dobson’s health. He underwent a complete physical exam in June and was pronounced to be in excellent condition. He just celebrated the 23rd year since his heart attack in 1990, and his “ticker” is still functioning much like that of a younger man who has never had heart disease. God has been so gracious to this man.
All of that is history. But what about the future? Dr. Dobson’s greatest passion now is to help parents win their children for Christ so they can be together in heaven for eternity. His newest book is being dedicated to that theme, which he says is “the punctuation on everything I have written in the past 40 years.” Dr. Dobson and Shirley just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary, and are enjoying their family and their two precious grandchildren.
Let’s go now to the good news I promised in the first paragraph. First, there’s the matter of outreach. In addition to being heard on radio across the nation, the Internet offers the greatest promise. As mobile phones and other electronic devices become more efficient and affordable, we’re able to engage our listeners via the Family Talk app on-demand. It is available when and where desired with the click of a button. More than twice as many people hear us by this technology than listen on radio, and that audience is growing day by day. More than a million people have listened online since January of this year. Who would have believed it 15 years ago?
Second, the Lord is bringing other accomplished professionals and experienced voices for the family to serve alongside our team at Family Talk. We miss LuAnne Crane and are thankful for her dedication during her season here. Now, through God’s providence, Dr. Meg Meeker is joining Dr. Dobson and Ryan Dobson in the broadcast studio, beginning this month. What a gift she is to our team. Dr. Meeker is a pediatrician, mother and best-selling author of six books. She is one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. And now she’s one of us!!
Dr. Meeker is a popular speaker on important topics confronting American families. She also speaks nationally on teen health issues. Some of her books include Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters; The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers – Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose and Sanity; and Boys Should Be Boys – 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons. Dr. Meeker shares a medical practice with her husband, Dr. Walter Meeker. They have four grown children and one grandchild.
You’ll enjoy the camaraderie and lively discussions between Dr. Dobson, Dr. Meeker, Ryan Dobson and their broadcast guests. When you hear them express their deeply held convictions, along with a unique combination of warmth and clinical expertise, you will be blessed with tools and encouragement to be a godly spouse, parent and disciple of Jesus. You’ll also find useful articles, blogs and other special features from Dr. Meg each week on Family Talk’s website at drjamesdobson.org. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Meeker and in praising the Lord for drawing her to the ministry family.
Third, God has brought Dr. Dobson and Family Talk into a relationship with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. They will be working together to build a curriculum based on Dr. Dobson’s writings and body of work. Liberty is an outstanding school that is now the largest Christian online university in the world. More than 100,000 students enjoy the same quality education as Liberty’s residential students with the added flexibility of Internet availability. Liberty offers more than 160 distance-learning degrees, from undergraduate to the doctoral level. Working directly with students and the next generation of Christian leaders is a perfect fit for Family Talk’s mission and a providential platform to educate with Dr. Dobson’s remarkable library of resources.
Dr. Dobson writes, “There’s nothing more important than introducing young people to Jesus Christ and a Christian worldview. Those who want to reach this generation have to go where they are. The greatest assembly is found at Liberty University, either on campus or through Internet learning programs.” Only God could orchestrate such a marvelous plan for America’s students.
Fourth, there is more good news. Dr. Dobson and Family Talk will also be working with the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest organization of its kind in the world. Its membership includes more than 50,000 professionals. Its president, Dr. Tim Clinton, and Dr. Dobson have been friends for many years. They will be working together through AACC’s Light University to produce distance-learning courses leading to certification in various fields of endeavor. This cooperative endeavor promises to expand the influence of Family Talk and AACC exponentially.
And, as if that’s not enough, Family Talk is deep into the critical project of developing the Dobson Digital Library. By poring through Dr. Dobson’s substantial wealth of content (including his books, articles, newsletters, broadcasts, videos, etc.), we will be compiling a comprehensive, topical, and searchable archive that allows anyone with questions to find help quickly. For example, if you wanted to know what to do about a child who throws a temper tantrum when in the grocery store, you’ll be able to search the topic using a keyword, such as “tantrum,” and find out what Dr. Dobson has to say about that dilemma – right there at your fingertips, maybe even while it’s happening. The digital aspect of this Library will make this useful advice easily accessible for all of us living in this electronic age.
Do you see the trend? We believe God has Family Talk positioned for such a time as this. I can tell you, the staff is motivated and working hard. It is a privilege to be in the trenches with them, and to fight the good fight with all our Family Talk friends, including you. Our families, our children, and our country are worth fighting for!
With your prayers and financial support, we stand at the ready to impact and influence the next generation for the sake of Christ.
You are an important part of Family Talk. Spread the word and stay strong in your faith. With God’s help, the fellowship of our peers, and the guidance of leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, we will make a difference in homes, communities, the nation and the world.
Thanks for letting me share my update with you. Dr. Dobson will be back next month.
Chief Operating Officer
This letter may be reproduced without change and in its entirety for non-commercial and non-political purposes without prior permission from Family Talk. Copyright © 2013 Family Talk. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Printed in the U.S.A. Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk is not affiliated with Focus on the Family.