Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out of Control Can Be OK!

As you kick off 2011, you might be hoping to get a few more things under control this year! Every New Year’s Day, I plan to organize the basement, where right now the empty jelly jars are mixed up with the food magazines I'll read “someday”. There’s also that big box of stuff my husband marked, “Have no clue!” When life comes at us, especially with out of control circumstances like relationship or job or health crises, we want a box like that, to pitch stuff somewhere until we figure out even a tiny a piece of it. We can feel guilty thinking we’re out of control. But how much do we control, really?

Certainly, we can and must take care of ourselves and our responsibilities, but what about when we just can’t? What about when it’s way over our heads and keeps coming? This week you’ll meet a family whose “out of control” health matters have hit three generations with some form of cancer. Their responses to what could be devastating are worth hearing again and again until they sink in and become part of your own perspective. In overwhelming situations, they were not overwhelmed. They articulate beautifully that no matter how out of control your circumstance is, you can trust God to be in control. I don’t know where you’ll get a better peek at how “out of control” can be ok, than right here on Woman to Woman® this week!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas: Perfect Timing Paul L. Maier

“Timing is everything” or so they say. Think about the timing of the first Christmas. What if Christ had been born 500 years earlier? What if He had been born last year? Would history have played out differently? And what does Christ’s birth have to do with you, your history and, most of all, your future? Everything, says historian and theologian Dr. Paul L. Maier, my guest this week. Though Dr. Maier’s credentials put him in the intellectual stratosphere, he is engaging, down to earth, and as excited as a kid surveying presents under the tree when it comes to uncovering facts on the life of Jesus Christ. He’ll have you sitting on the edge of your seat, as he highlights God’s impeccable sense of timing when it came to that first Christmas!

Dr. Maier is the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University. He is perhaps best known as a widely published author of both scholarly and popular works. His novels include Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome. He also penned a theological thriller that became a number-one national bestseller in religious fiction: A Skeleton in God’s Closet. A sequel, More Than a Skeleton, came out in 2003. An additional follow-up work is slated for 2011. There are seven million Maier books now in print in 17 languages.

Christmas is God keeping His promise to not only rescue every person from eternal damnation, but to assure each individual of a personal relationship with Himself through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law” (Galatians 4:4).

Join us during this very special week as we glance over our shoulders and consider why, historically, Christ was born when He was and where He was -- and what that means for us today. It’s your time … in God’s time … to tune in for a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All year long we go with the ups and downs of life, and then comes Christmas. Suddenly, there’s a change in the air, nearly everywhere. We see wonder on a child’s face and celebrate with friends and family. Eyes mist over Christmases past. It’s almost as if we can taste, smell and hear our way back through the years. And the music, well, what can you say but that its charms are unrivaled. “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” -- Berthold Auerbach

Some of us wonder what difference can one person make, anyway? And then, when you get to know people who make amazing differences in the world, you’re surprised at how genuine and unassuming they are. They usually have one thing in common: a passion for what they do. So it is with guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Peter Mayer. He has been steadily building his own following around the country by stepping outside his front-and-center role as one of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefers to front his own band: the Peter Mayer Group. (He’s been on board with Jimmy Buffett for 21 sold-out tours and four gold albums as his lead guitarist.) He’s appeared on The Tonight Show with both Johnny Carson and Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and others. He’s shared the stage with Don Henley, Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, Steven Stills, and Al Di Meola.

Mayer’s pastor, Ron Gluesenkamp, brought him along on a week’s retreat to Camp Arcadia this summer to weave song into his teaching. A powerful combination, these two! I invited Mayer and his wife, Patricia, to record on the spot, when I heard his story and his music. “Sing Joy!” is one of my favorites, and you’ll hear him sing this on the show.

Mayer knows how to sing joy, and he says you can, too! He’s one of those fresh voices who articulates the Christian faith so beautifully it stops you in your tracks. His life, his family and his music translate the peace of the Lord, which passes all understanding! And yet he’s right in the middle of everyday struggles and deadlines and life’s normal ups and downs. Tune in for this tune up to help you get ready to celebrate Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ditch the Joneses/Cathi Brese Doebler

About five years ago I started noticing highly trained women in fields like medicine, business and marketing begin to cut back on their hours. Others arranged for flex time, working long shifts a few days to have other days off. Why? They wanted to spend more time with their families. It’s a bonus for many women to create their own formula for getting the job done -- on their terms. And it’s happening more frequently.

Double incomes are nice when it comes to paying bills, savings, and acquiring a few “extras” in life, but if you’re among the 87 percent of moms who say they’d love to stay home with their kids if they could afford to, please listen to this. Business coach and mom, Cathi Doebler, says it’s possible to find a balance that benefits everyone. She wants to help you spend more time with your kids and still pull in some family income. Doebler is a corporate consultant and trainer whose graduate studies in corporate communication put her on a professional track before her kids came along. After working in the human resources field for 15 years, she wrote Ditch The Joneses. It’s about balancing career and family.

Doebler’s recommendations are as much about managing your money as about gleaning the rewards of participating in the life of the child God has loaned you, even as He guides and blesses that process. Part of the secret to letting go of a mentality that feels compelled to keep up with the Joneses is to follow Colossians 3:2 -- “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” It’s a perspective thing, God gives us children and He fully intends to provide for and protect them through us. How will He do that if we ignore Him to follow the world’s pestering nag that we must have this and do that to live up to other people’s expectations? You’ll hear good information and a compelling argument to figure out how to be more present in your child’s life, without exhausting yourself outside the home.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ellie Kay

The holidays stretch our budgets and our clothes if we’re not careful! You’re planning to cut back on some calories so you can indulge in your family’s comfort-food favorites this season with less guilt. Do the same thing with spending! Ellie Kay, author of The 60-Minute Money Workout, describes the biggest hurdles to getting back in control of our money, any time of year. She knows about the out-of-control part. She and her husband were $40,000 in debt early in their marriage. Within two and a half years, they were debt free, paying cash for cars, saving for their kids’ college and supporting orphans in Third World countries -- and all of this on her husband’s military income of $55,000.

I asked what holds us back from improving our money management habits. She advises us to be honest about our situation and, especially, to stop pretending it’s better or worse than it is. Then she goes on to explain her “financial workout,” including warm up, strength training, cardio burn, taking your heart rate and cooling down -- all in financial language to achieve financial freedom.

I found her convincing when she said we do not have to be in debt and a slave to our money. Her point is that having and saving money isn’t just about the dollars. It’s about the things in life your money touches: the products, the people, and the purpose. Her attitude comes out of her personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Kay saves money to have more opportunity to give, as Christ calls us to do.

“60 minutes a week can completely revolutionize your finances!” Kay says. Now a TV network and Fortune 500 company consultant, she’s written 14 books on money, and she wants you out of debt and staying out of debt. Tune in to this Woman to Woman conversation on her financial workout to see how all things money-related can change.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Married or Not, Realities

If you’re married, planning a wedding, or hoping to marry, it really is both savvy and prudent to trust those who smile knowingly and say something like “Believe me, it’s full of surprises -- many of which can grow you into a much better human being.” Even couples who lived together before marriage tell me they basically had only clues about what was coming once they tied the knot.

But surprises in relationships don’t have to play out poorly. That’s why you’ll put yourself ahead of the curve when you hear Jerusha Clark on this week’s show. She points out that people marry with some assumptions that can hurt their relationship. For example, there’s this take on it: “Finally I’ll be loved for who I really am. I’ll be complete and satisfied, no more loneliness. Life will be so much better. It will be forever.” Sure. If only … so now you can learn to separate fantasy from reality for a happier life.

Clark is practical with this process, and it is based on how God means for marriages to thrive. Her point is that misconceptions keep us from experiencing real joy in marriage. She acknowledges that your marriage circumstance may not change, but she then shows how your attitude can bless the marriage. She builds from that by showing how you do not face singleness alone and explains how God helps navigate those waters. She’s convincing on how God cares about relationships and wants them firmly grounded in Him. In addition to her counseling experience, she references this Bible verse:
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them (Isaiah 42:16).

Clark’s book is When I Get Married and it sounds like a great read for our daughters or single friends -- and it can be that -- but it’s also a great read for enriching your marriage relationship as well!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Pleasing Others Hurts You

How did I know my drive (overdrive, really) to bring you food when you were sick, pick up your child after school while you earned your degree, or make everything from scratch while preserving fruits, vegetables, jellies, and jams for gifts actually stemmed from a need to please? For Pete’s sake … give me a break! Well, those of us for whom doing too much is never enough and more is always better finally hit the wall and begin to catch on. Maybe this isn’t as good as it looks, even when the applause drove our bus! Of course, some of that busy-ness was fruitful. Eating my frozen fruits and vegetables during the winters saved a ton of money. But enough is enough, and I didn’t know that. Now, 20 years after working hard to decide what is appropriate and what is unnecessary and over-done, I am more content and save myself better than ever for the things that matter most. It may not take you that long, especially since you get to listen to fabulous Woman to Woman shows like this week with David Hawkins, Ph.D.! He’s a psychologist with 20 years of counseling experience, and he pretty much nails it. His specialty is helping couples and individuals strengthen their relationships. (Yeah, pleasing others can kill relationships. Find out how before you have to bury some of your favorites!)

You see, we have to learn to responsibly care for ourselves if we are to responsibly care for others. Especially as Christians who serve, we can forfeit our God-given calling and identity in order to please others. And then we go from servanthood to co-dependency. So let’s, instead, move on from losing ourselves as we try to please others, to finding ourselves in God’s plan to lovingly serve Him and be fulfilled in the process. You’ll pick up on why you have trouble saying, “No,” and why you feel accepted only when you’re “producing.” And the really cool part is you’ll learn how to experience deep joy and peace from serving others out of your abundance, not your need. And there is a big difference there! The Bible puts it this way, with the emphasis on the last sentence:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load” (Galatians 6:2-5).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mother-Daughter Business Plan

There’s no time like the present to get creative with your talents to contribute to a better world and put some food on the table in the process! I’m noticing more and more women changing their work schedules and their definition of “work.” From telecommuting, to cutting back to part-time, to even taking time off through downsizing or by choice -- we’re expanding our options. And the marketplace is friendly to good ideas and hard-working people!

A case in point is this week’s show. More than 10 years ago I interviewed “Tiny” (his nickname) and Dorothy Zehnder who started the Bavarian Inn in 1950 in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The now-sainted Tiny, through his community service, was later credited with making Frankenmuth the number-one tourist attraction in that State. They served (and still do today in the fourth generation of this family owned and operated business) 1200 people at a time in seven dining rooms where you feel like you’re the only one being fussed over with fabulous service and incredible cuisine.

Dorothy Zehnder recently turned 88, and with 70 years in the kitchen is now cutting back to six days a week! She and her daughter, Judy Zehnder Keller, talk about merging their business skills. Judy runs the Bavarian Inn Lodge and its entertainment centers, where I stayed in the “Ossie Hoffman” room. Part of her genius is appealing to all the senses, including a sense of taste and comfortable surroundings. There’s wholesome entertainment with fun for all ages. Every guest I met expressed their appreciation for the sense of caring they get at the Lodge and the Inn. Rooms are actually named after Frankenmuth families dating back to 1845, with papers framed on the walls to prove it! The Zehnders also preserve the legacy of their own family traditions, promoting things that make people fall in love with life and each other all over again! Hear how they do it, how you can be part of it by benefitting from their hospitality, and be sure to take away some good ideas to strengthen your own business plan -- maybe even with your Mom!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breast Cancer: Hope and Healing

When the doctor says, “You have breast cancer,” your to-do list changes immediately, as does your heart rate, and your plans for next Wednesday. That diagnosis comes with options for body, mind, and soul. Heidi Floyd was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with her fourth child, whom she safely delivered after seven months of chemotherapy. If you haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer or some “highly suspicious mass” (as I was, until a breast excision revealed it was benign), you know someone who has. If breast cancer runs in your family, you’re on guard, or at least you’re told to be. Floyd’s Mom died of the disease at age 42. You can imagine her fears for the journey ahead. You will hear how her disease has taught her to cope with fear and draw closer to the hope found in Christ as she considers her body a temple of the Holy Spirit. One of the Bible verses that sustains her is Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Floyd is the development ambassador for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Tune in to gain strength for your own battles, whether it’s a disease or something else, by hearing this breast cancer survivor describe her victory over fear.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


What Meg Wilson thought she knew about her husband became a lie when she discovered his porn addiction. Her world fell apart with her husband’s confession, but in her struggle with darkness, she found hope and a renewed life after betrayal, including insights from his recovery. To help you find healing and wholeness, regardless of your circumstance, Meg founded Healing Hearts Ministry, with advice for women whose husbands are caught in the web of sexual addiction.

It’s your choice to let God restore you to wholeness and possibly rebuild your marriage. It takes faith, in the face of big odds against you, in terms of damage control. Though it may seem out of reach, there is hope after betrayal.

Wilson was blindsided by her husband’s initial confession, thinking they had a great relationship. But then it got worse. Her book Hope After Betrayal is a powerful account of healing. She is followed by Dr. John Splinter, with the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, who specializes in helping couples deal with porn addictions. He is candidly frank in addressing what keeps a couple together, when and if one must leave and why, and generally taking on the uphill climb out of this addiction back to trust and healthy intimacy.

Dr. Splinter and Meg Wilson admit that not everyone makes it, but they insist that when certain variables are in place, you have more than a fighting chance. Give yourself or someone you love the chance they deserve to get out of porn addiction and its effect on their lives, when you tune in to this program.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


“What are the typical, perhaps inevitable, consequences of an emotionally destructive relationship that is not stopped?” That’s one of the questions I ask Leslie Vernick, a clinical social worker with a private counseling practice, who specializes in cognitive therapy. Her book The Emotionally Destructive Relationship is one of the keenest I’ve read on this situation, and I want you to meet her on the next show.

Her basic approach to breaking down and changing our emotionally destructive relationship patterns is succinct: Know how to see it, stop it and survive it. This can be a challenging relationship with someone close, someone professional – a boss or co-worker or a neighbor. We all have them and we can all use some coaching in this regard. Leslie Vernick teaches how to take on the “pro’s” who can wear us down and wipe us out, unless we have the tools she’ll provide! You’ll be passing this show around to your friends – and there will be a few people you won’t share with, so you can keep the “edge” on the situation!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Survivor’s Story

Where were you and what were you doing on 9-11? What was your reaction? Where did you find comfort and strength in the days following the terrorist attacks on our country? Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell stood twenty feet from where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. That was 2001, and after narrowly escaping death and nearly forty surgeries to repair the 60% of his body that was badly burned, he now talks about how his life was completely changed that day.

Lt. Birdwell wrote Refined by Fire and joins us, along with his wife, Mel, to tell his story of triumph through adversity. These days find him encouraging other burn victims and speaking about how full recovery from tragedy is possible. For him that happened by calling on God to restore him to wholeness to live victoriously in Christ. Wait ‘til you hear what that means in his case – totally amazing!

If you’ve ever heard these words from the Bible (Romans 8:37), “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” tune in for an incredibly moving example of how that plays out in a life, like Brian’s and like yours!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Recovery from Divorce

You’ve seen the greeting cards that congratulate you on your divorce and suggest you’re free to celebrate now. If you are divorced, just hearing the word divorce can elevate your blood pressure. There’s hidden history and excess baggage and the trauma of rebuilding your life. Divorce takes its toll on a couple and the ripple effect can be far reaching. But as wounded as a person can be from the causes and aftermath of divorce, healing is possible. The Psalmist says that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Life doesn’t end just because your marriage does!

Dr. John Splinter is with the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, serving as Executive Director of their St. Louis, Missouri, office. He’s counseled thousands of couples and shares a wealth of information on this week’s show. His wisdom speaks to your head and heart. It could also give you the tools with which to reach out to someone else who’s experienced divorce.

Cindy Jensen Clark was a Woman to Woman® guest years ago as a recovering divorcee and returns with fresh insights and three proactive steps to smooth out your transition between divorce and recovery. She also speaks to seeing yourself in a positive way after the divorce and addresses the real source of the pain you’re feeling. Do you owe people an explanation of what happened to bring about the divorce? How do you feed the hunger in your soul, post-divorce? When the love you thought would thrive in your marriage has faded, ask God for faith to believe and trust His love to pull you through. And be sure to listen to this program!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Broken Life: Mended Soul

Anybody ever tell you to “take a chance” on something good? I’ve taken some chances by going out of my comfort zone and trying stuff like playing the piano in front of a huge audience or pulling off a dinner for 23 in two hours! But Ginger Millermon took a chance simply because it was that -- or nothing at all. She’s a fabulous musician and writes songs that stay with you in heart-tugging, soul stretching ways. One of her songs, “Take a Chance,” is based on a lesson she’s learned in tough times. The words that stay with me are “You never know how God can use a broken life to save a broken soul.”

She wrote the book Grace Thus Far about her journey of faith through major sorrows like nearly losing a child who was born critically ill and an international adoption that put her and her husband in life-threatening danger. When you read or hear Ginger, you are hit with the fact that God’s mercy carries us through it all: the darkness, the fear, the loss, and the unknown. Join me as Ginger describes how she and her husband dealt with the frightening physical conditions of their premature twin son and the possibility of being denied their adopted daughter from India.

Was she just the type of person who could handle the circumstances she was dealt? If so, she sure didn’t know that. In fact, Ginger was one of those people who seemed to have it all. As a young mom with a great marriage to her pastor husband, she settled into a little Colorado town excited about his work and her family. Tune in to hear this advocate for children in crisis as she revisits the years of anguish, struggle, and transformation that began with the premature birth of her twins. I think it will tune up the song in your heart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Discover Your Child’s Heart

Do you remember how before you had children, you confidently rated the parenting of your friends and relatives? And, of course, that was in addition to knowing exactly what part of your parent’s parenting style you would never copy. Prior to actually parenting, it’s natural to wonder what’s the big deal about raising kids, because c’mon -- how hard can it be? Then we welcome our own little darlings into the world and soon enough we wonder if we’re up to the task. We are. Children desperately need good parenting. And while that’s entirely possible, it doesn’t just happen because you’re a parent.

I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Tim Kimmel, who writes and counsels on parenting and grandparenting. He knows we can be great parents when we nurture kids to bring out their best, no matter what challenges they'll face in life. Dr. Kimmel then goes on to explain how our child is “uniquely wired by God for greatness.” He diminishes a lot of the fear and struggle of parenting with his sense of humor and keen insights based on research and experience with all kinds of families and kids. His book could be the take-home operating manual sent from the hospital with your child, along with the formula and disposable diapers. He describes the personality, needs, and emotional makeup of your child so you can work with -- not against -- that to teach your child to understand and control himself.

His grace-based parenting concept enables you to treat each child so as to aim them at true greatness, rather than merely success. His aim is to build kids’ character and focus on their three inner needs. And he does all this while maintaining an atmosphere of grace. Tune in and learn how God put your child together and how He pulls alongside your parenting moments. You could end up loving parenting as much as you love watching your kids respond to a great parent!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Treasures in Darkness

As much as we try to avoid them, we know there will be dark nights of the soul. We understand life throws us curves. From a biblical standpoint, sin sets the stage for our own poor choices and the hurtful choices that others make. No matter how the dark descended, when it lingers, you wonder if you’ll ever be normal again. When will the pain and the fear stop? These questions are crucial to living the abundant life Christ promises when we believe in Him as our Savior from sin and our door to eternal life.

Wendy Blight’s life was almost too good to be true by her senior year of college. She had a job lined up and was in love with the man she eventually married. Her life was good. One sunny June day, she left her poolside friends for her empty college apartment. Her roommates were out of town, but she was not alone in that space. At the top of the stairs, a masked man changed her life forever -- at knifepoint. Long after the crime, terror ruled in her heart. “Where was God? Will I ever live without fear?” she begged. Her remarkable comeback journey out of fear, into a full and fabulous -- even richer -- life, will bless you on the next show.

Wendy goes into detail in her book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner, a mysterious sounding title from a woman who was a trial lawyer with three firms before she had children. But in the book, Wendy herself is in the dark and on trial in a way, searching for justice and freedom from her violent experience and its aftermath of darkness -- in spite of all she did to counteract that. I’m convinced the healing she received from the Lord through His Word is powerful enough to speak to the darkness in your heart.

The verse the Lord highlighted for her during her years of recovery is this:
“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3).

I’m convinced this will become your verse for healing, too. I’d like to get your reaction once you hear the show.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Forgotten Girls

Are you into people’s stories? Talk shows pump them up, magazines get you the latest scoop, we read novels by the ton, so it appears we’re suckers for the storyline. But some of the worst and best stories we never hear because they’re simply not told. One example is the Woman to Woman story on the next show about “Women in Crime.” Let me rephrase that. We talk about places in the world where the only crime is being a girl, and the punishment is humiliation, torture, or death. Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett work through an organization called “Sisters In Service” to bring relief and rescue to these desperate women and girls.

Twenty-first-century women like us have “rights” to education, to marry and have children or not, to invest money and to make plans. But worldwide -- unseen and unknown -- millions of forgotten girls have no rights, just wrongs, like starvation, zero education, as well as being sexually exploited and abused -- if they make it past infancy.

Women like Kay and Michele do an amazing job of identifying abuses against the most vulnerable people in our world, those whom Christ calls us to befriend and defend. We can help provide the basics to these women and children through education and sharing the Gospel. You’ll find the “Forgotten Girls” contact information along with the show on the Web site. There are countless ways you can be involved in efforts to stop the abuse of the vulnerable around the world, and we endorse those presented by our guests. In addition, we'd like to share an opportunity about which we are passionate. Lutheran Hour Ministries, the producer of this show, has an outreach that protects and helps female victims of sexual abuse in Cameroon. Prostitution and female trafficking are very common in Cameroon, and it takes people like you and me to step in and do what we can to help. These women are abused, forced out of their homes and, quite frankly, desperately in need of rescue. Find out how you can help here.

Just as Christ was despised and rejected, women and girls in much of the world are treated likewise. He welcomes them with open arms, however, through people showing compassion for these forgotten girls and through Lutheran Hour Ministries’ critical work in Cameroon. To nudge yourself to step out in faith and act on this, consider this Bible verse: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Can Do This Diet!

How do you react after you lose weight, feel that rush of pride, walk taller with the freedom from pounds and think, "Finally, I've figured this thing out!" only to gain it all – and even more – back? You probably give up like the rest of us and think either it's in your genes or you just can't do it.

I'd like to help you prime the pump and reactivate that desire of yours to be healthy. If you'll listen to the doctor who wrote I Can Do This Diet, it'll jumpstart your game. I can't guarantee how long you'll hang in there this time, but you will be fascinated by this book you can't put down. You haven't had access to this much information about yourself…until now! Read, and hear on Woman to Woman®, how new medical breakthroughs use the power of your brain and body chemistry to help you lose weight and keep it off for life.

Dr. Don Colbert is Board certified in family practice and anti-aging medicine, with extensive training in nutritional and preventative medicine. He helped millions discover the joy of living in divine health through his NY Times bestseller The Seven Pillars of Health. He’s treated over 40,000 patients in 25 years of practice, and at least one of them has to be like you!

Dr. Colbert points out that dieting does not work, but God’s provision for balanced brain and body chemistry can bring weight under control for life. What he seems to do so well is help us discover and remove the hidden obstacles to weight loss, which can then pave the way for God to enable us to replace imbalanced habits and needs with His provision for sensible eating that feeds body, mind and soul.

I've snuck more calories than I could count on the fastest calculator in the world for a month, and justified or rationalized each and every one. But Proverbs 25:28 reminds me, "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self control." When this Bible verse stared me in the face, I thought of how cleverly I've swallowed the lie that I can pull it off – eating that is, not weight!

Join me in this visit with Dr. Colbert, whose approach to lifestyle eating is actually more delicious than chocolate! Be inspired by his winsome, relaxed and confident communication of facts that help us make good choices, in the face of lousy habits and craving our best friend, food.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forgiveness After Murder

What do you do when God seems to be absolutely silent, almost absent, in the face of pain you know could break you in half? I find it helpful, comforting and reassuring when I meet someone who's found their way through unbearable pain and come out the other side in one piece. That's certainly the case with Cindy Winters, the widow of Pastor Fred Winters, who was murdered while preaching at First Baptist Church of Maryville in Illinois, his church for 22 years, on March 7, 2009. Pastor Winters was preaching the early service, Bible in hand, when a man walked down the aisle and started shooting. The Bible turned to confetti as the bullets killed the pastor, much to the congregation’s horror. The murderer, mission accomplished, was apprehended. But another, far greater, mission was accomplished that day, because of faith, that didn’t crumble. Cindy shares with us on Woman to Woman® how God eases her recovery from personal tragedy to trust Him, forgive the murderer and serve the Lord with gladness.

I know, it almost sounds too good to be true. But when you hear it from the wounded widow herself, you can feel the truth as she speaks. We read again and again in the Bible how God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, but to this extent? Here's a true account of God’s Power and Mercy to the powerless. This is about tragedy and triumph, forgiving the unforgivable, personal victory after huge personal loss.

Please take time to feed your soul through this visit with Cindy Winters. You will benefit from her powerful understanding of how God comes to us personally in crisis. Such a mystery and miracle are not for Cindy Winters alone. We know this from Bible verses like Isaiah 43:2-3, 5 - "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Do not be afraid, for I am with you."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


"Mommy, how come you're more happier at the cottage?" That question from my 3-year-old Sarah forced me to ask myself the same question and spend some time figuring it out. I'm really happy to tell you...there's a way to be that – “more happier”, whether you have a cottage or not! This isn't the “Don't worry, be happy” formula, but more about being content in the midst of whatever life is dealing you right now.

I've picked up a few things about how to be happier when I’m unhappy, like choosing to be around people who are cheerful and content, not cranky and whiny, and like dwelling more on the positive than the negative. But there’s so much more to being genuinely happy that I want you to hear about from clinical social worker Leslie Vernick. She has a unique way of explaining how God designed you to be happy, why you need to know that and how you can conquer negative emotions with a few simple choices and some skills, as the Lord gently guides you in the process. Leslie knows life is hard, sometimes really hard, with a few smiles thrown in along the way. She lays out finding happiness in a way that makes sense. It reminds me of the verse from Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Let Leslie help you identify and change habits you probably don't even realize are keeping you from experiencing happiness.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

They Must Be Stopped

You remember where you were on 9/11, right? It was a defining moment for millions worldwide. Where are you now, about whether it could happen again? Somewhere between denial and "Yes"? Brigitte Gabriel wrote They Must Be Stopped about defeating radical Islam to help connect the dots for the world on aggressions that prohibit God-given freedoms. She’s a terrorism expert with firsthand experience about their agenda of hate and force. I know, we’d rather talk about how to re-forest an area or the potential in outer space. But let's look hard and long at things we take for granted, before they slip away from us.

We celebrate the founding of the USA on Woman to Woman® this July 4 with Brigitte, whose zeal for rooting out evil against mankind is contagious. Having lived with and without her freedoms, she’s a student of world history and especially well versed in Islamic studies and policy. As a New York Times bestselling author, Brigitte is one of the most highly sought after terrorism experts in the world. She’s addressed audiences at the FBI, the United States Congress, members of the British Parliament’s House of Commons, the Joint Forces Staff College and others. She specializes in the Middle East, which is where she was born, in Lebanon.

They Must Be Stopped is not an indictment against a person, but an exposé of a belief system of hatred intent on domination. Brigitte refers to Islam as a total system, not as a religion, per se. Do you wonder, as I do, why women subject their daughters to genital circumcision, primarily without anesthetic, often resulting in infection and physical damage for life? I ask Brigitte that question. Does it trouble you that Sharia Law, when established within our borders, can keep a woman from protection by the laws of our land if she is abused, for example, by her husband? Brigitte speaks to that issue. In our visit, Brigitte addresses these and other facts we must know to keep our nation and values from being sabotaged.

Brigitte speaks truth so we can remain free, tirelessly collecting data for us to make informed decisions about our freedoms. Listen to this show at your leisure online. Hear about Brigitte’s childhood years in Lebanon, a democracy in the Middle East, until her Maronite Christian village was destroyed by Islamic terrorists who eventually took over the country, destroying its beauty, its strong educational system and its high quality hospitals.

This is an uncomfortable topic, especially in a politically correct climate, so we bring it to you in an honest effort to help you find Truth, as the Lord leads. If you have been apathetic to this point, let me know what you think after you hear the remarkable Brigitte Gabriel!

As we celebrate our freedoms this 4th, let’s thank God for those devoted to protect freedom. When I thank armed services personnel, I find great conversations can start with “strangers.” A person isn’t really a stranger when he or she affords me the life I love in the good ol’ USA!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Global Warming or Not?

I was riveted by the dynamic, eye opening presentation by Ann McElhinney in January 2010 when she addressed the Constitutional Coalition’s St. Louis Conference on Educational Policy. I told her about Woman to Woman® and invited her to the studio to record her experience as a documentary filmmaker who wrote and produced Not Evil, Just Wrong, Mine Your Own Business and other films. Ann is married to fellow documentary-maker and journalist Phelim McAleer.

This Irish girl swims against the tide. She’s a powerful example of how, when you answer God’s call on your life, know your stuff, refuse to be manipulated and speak with polite conviction, you can impact His world for good! We explore “GLOBAL WARMING or NOT?” as I ask Ann how she’s been bold enough to take the hits and stand steadfast in her passion to uncover truth and bring it to our attention. She calls herself an “eternal optimist” and you’ll see why in this visit. I think you’ll find it contagious! I know it will make you think twice about how and where you get your facts. I like doing that with you, “Woman to Woman!”

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Buried Alive

This Father’s Day on Woman to Woman® you’ll meet Dan Woolley, who was buried alive in the Haitian earthquake, survived extreme injuries, hoped to be rescued, waited 65 hours without food and water, and accepted that he would not to be rescued, only to be lifted out of the rubble just in time to save his life. As Christians, we believe -- theoretically at least -- that God can prove Himself powerful in our impossible situations. But will He? This visit with Dan encourages, in fact urges, us to wait on the Lord, stand firm and sing a new song of praise to God!

The Bible verse Dan repeated while waiting on the Lord came easily to him; his college roommate had written it to music. It is Psalm 40: 1-3: I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.

Millions of viewers saw Dan’s wife, Christy, on the morning talk shows answer how she could endure waiting. After the miraculous rescue, Dan and Christy appeared together on several shows to testify to how the Lord sustained them both in their dilemmas. Now you can hear the details of how Dan had just talked with his wife thousands of miles away on his cell when a 35 second earthquake threw him under concrete boulders. It was lights out for two and a half days for Dan, who’d flown from Colorado Springs to Haiti on a mission trip with Compassion International. While Christy and their two young sons agonized over his fate, Dan was busy surviving the challenge of his life. Hear his amazing story this week and learn how to get your bearings in crisis and why that brings you into the calming Presence of the Living God!

This show is special to me on many levels. First of all, it is an incredible story of the power of God that is available to all who believe in His Son as their Savior from sin. On another level, Dan’s wife is from a family that generations ago used to play pinochle with my grandparents in Decatur, Illinois! I know Christy’s parents well, having summered with them in Michigan for years. In fact, her Aunt Janet was the main guest on the "Grandparents as Parents" program which you can access online. God weaves our lives together, whether we know it or not, to tell His story!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Just Entertainment?

When you choose what to watch with your eyes, do you try to be media-wise? With so many film choices just one click away, how can you anticipate the content and the message to protect yourself and your family from the wrong messages? You know what it’s like to sink into the couch with your popcorn and beverage, expecting to relax and be entertained, only to instead be assaulted by words and actions that have you reaching for the remote. I’ll talk about that with Ted Baehr, who has produced hundreds of programs for PBS and won an Emmy® for CBS’s TV version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. His influence goes far beyond entertainment to educating audiences on the impact of their media choices.

Even with the best popcorn in the world, the influence of media on ourselves and our kids has us swallowing some toxic ideas, kernels and all. Ted Baehr is the publisher of Movieguide: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment and is a noted critic, educator and lecturer. His mission in life is to educate audiences on how to be discerning in selecting their entertainment. His credentials include a Juris Doctorate from NYU School of Law. He graduated in seminary studies from the Institute of Theology at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and earned a Doctorate of Humanities degree from Belhaven University.

All of this to say, Ted’s done his homework. You can trust him to help you with yours on this week's Woman to Woman®!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Girls Gone Wise

In the film Gigi, Maurice Chevalier sang “Thank Heaven For Little Girls.” The lyrics begin:

Thank heaven for little girls,
for little girls get bigger every day!
Thank heaven for little girls,
they grow up in the most delightful way!

I’ve been blessed with three daughters for whom I’ve helped provide a pathway to the confident loveliness of womanhood. Now I pray, watch and “counsel” them in preparing their own daughters to find their highest calling as women some day.

The song line, “They grow up in the most delightful way!” is being changed in our culture, as it encourages promiscuity -- “They grow up into the most frightful way!” The Girls Gone Wild tour is more than a bus tour that makes one videographer rich; it’s an attitude that can detour and devour the lives of those who board this bus with self-defeating choices. Coverage of the spring break bikini contests, where dancing girls "flash" the crowd on video, leave us asking: What is going on? Where are their mothers? Mary Kassian, Professor of Women’s Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, penned her take on the way it can be for our daughters in her book Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild, to counter the Girls Gone Wild movement.

Kassian encourages women with these words: “I believe the time is now for a new movement—a seismic holy quake of countercultural women who dare take God at his Word, those who have the courage to stand against the popular tide, and believe and delight in God’s plan for male and female.”

Girls Gone Wild goes beyond crazy “fun” on the beach. It's a mindset that promises personal empowerment and sexual liberation, and it's spilling over into other behaviors like "sexting." What are girls thinking when they send naked pictures of themselves via text message? It's about the thrill now and the price later. Join Kassian and me this week on Woman to Woman® to learn how to help our daughters, and even ourselves if we’re stuck in looking forever young or risky behaviors, regain the loveliness and power of true femininity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Home Again After Deployment

Not a day goes by without word in the news about our military forces and their efforts to defend human rights and freedom around the world. The debate continues about how many will serve where and when. Thousands of military personnel will be coming home, with many more in the months ahead. In next week’s show we talk about the tough transition these families face when they’re between serving our country and returning home to family routines. Jeanneane Musegades survived her husband’s seven deployments in ten years during his twenty-four years of service. Elaine Dumler wrote the playbook The Road Home to help service members -- both men and women -- who come back home, regain the joy and commitment they shared before their separation from their families. Both women share what works to stay connected during deployment and afterwards. I hope this Woman to Woman® show inspires you -- as it does me -- to take to heart the tremendous sacrifice military families make for our sake and to pray for them every single day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

She's Somebody's Daughter

Of all the topics that break my heart, the one coming up next week is in the top three. It’s about recovery from the horrific crime of child sexual abuse. You wish you didn’t have to even consider such things. But to ignore them is to neglect the secret pain that threatens the body, mind, and soul of its victim long after the crime. You’ll hear, with our first guest, how porn was the driving force behind the abuse of her granddaughters. Then, author Nancy Flowers tells how she survived and overcame her childhood abuse. Nancy now helps others stand up to this “silent epidemic,” as it’s called. In my work as a family counselor, years ago, and now with women wherever I speak, I identify with their anguish and rejoice in their victory. “She’s Somebody’s Daughter” brings us hope for children victimized by sexual abuse and for adults who did not deal with their own abuse in the past. There’s good news, however. Recovery is possible by taking the ugliness and the shame and bewilderment to Jesus Christ. He lovingly leads us to healing and wholeness, as only He can! Find out more, and tell your friends. This is a huge dilemma for women, and we must help each other through to the other side of sexual abuse. While it is an abhorrent subject, if we don’t band together on this one, who will stand up for the children? In the Old Testament of the Bible we read in Ps 94:16: “Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?” That’s a call to us! Get started answering that call this week on Woman to Woman®!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hooking Up Hazards

My parents and little sister dropped me off at the university, helped clean up my side of the dorm room, took me out to lunch, and then drove off after a few words of wisdom and lots of hugs. I was excited to take on this challenge, thrilled that high school was behind me, and scared to death -- all at the same time! Looking back, I wonder how my parents felt. I know my sister was hit by the emptying nest, for sure. I was volunteering to learn about risk and standing firm on what I knew to be right, yet open to new ideas and behaviors. They came too, sometimes faster than I could handle them. Remember those years in your life? Some of the pressures made us cave and compromise who we were. But we learned from weakness where the real muscle was and used it to recover -- or not. In the end, I emerged stronger, wiser, more educated, and grateful my folks lived three hours away.

Flash forward a generation. When we send our kids off to college these days, it’s still with pride, hope, and a depleted bank account! We worry about their roommates, their studies, their friends, and their career choices. But former campus psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman says we better also worry about them being “unprotected,” and how that is influenced by the campus “political correctness” that endangers every student with its attitude toward “hooking up.” Dr. Grossman is a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist, and is concerned about the effect of political correctness in the lives of our youth. She was first a guest on Woman to Woman® for her book, You're Teaching My Child What? Check out my interview with her on the May 15th program. Her latest book is Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student. She is joined by Dr. Meg Meeker, a pediatrician and adolescent specialist, who has authored Boys Should Be Boys -- a previous Woman to Woman show. Let their counsel protect your child against the "Hooking Up Hazards" on next week’s show. As always, program schedules and a host of other useful materials can be found on our Web site.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Daughter's Journey Home

My oldest daughter finished college and lived with us the next two years during graduate school. By then, her younger brother was in college and her sisters were in their freshman and sophomore years of high school. Talk about a whole new hormonal chapter in our lives! We quickly noticed the need for additional mother-daughter relationship skills.

One of the memories I cherish about Jennifer’s grad school days is that, even though she was in school and working, she’d walk with me around town several evenings a week. It kept me in shape and gave us time to connect. I have to admit, it was great to run ideas past her and grab a little counsel from her wisdom!

Now all three of my daughters are moms and the rough edges we experienced are pretty much smoothed out. It was so worth the struggle and work and prayer. We are bonded now, and while there are always bumps whenever people love one another, our mother-daughter relationships are fiercely loyal and nurture all of us in unique ways.

I know not everyone has experienced this kind of healthy give and take in their mother-daughter relationships. Some of you were treated poorly, or even terribly. Dr. Linda Mintle, a licensed clinical therapist who is a mom and has a mom, knows that, too. It’s why she wrote the book, A Daughter's Journey Home. This week on Woman to Woman®, Dr. Mintle will share insights to help us love, honor, and improve our mother-daughter connections. She’ll even help us realize it’s normal and okay to feel like saying, “I love my mom, but sometimes she drives me crazy!”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's About the Music!

"Music is what life sounds like," according to Eric Olson. Can you choose a tune to change what your life sounds like? One melody depresses, while another uplifts. Bach does it for me -- instant peace, and I mellow out. Whether you’re tapping your foot, dancing to the beat, or just whistling a happy tune, Eric Olson is onto something. Music accompanies us nearly everywhere we go -- sometimes by choice, sometimes not. It’s in the car, in the store, in the car rocking next to us, via iPhone, iPod, tweet, and Twitter. Since we pretty much live with surround sound, ask yourself how music plays out in your life.

Maybe you never really thought about it, but our next Woman to Woman® show entertains the idea that humming a tune with negative content in the words, can expose you to some subtle -- and some not so subtle -- spiritual dangers in music. We can get into the habit of listening to the wrong stuff and that can bring us down or misdirect our thinking. Check out the song in your heart when you listen to “It's All About the Music!” You’ll meet St. Louis radio personality Kelly Corday of Y98 /AC, who plays adult contemporary music, and theologian Paul Hemenway, who lived and breathed music through his alternative rock band Black Happy that toured with groups like Everclear and 311, and who once opened for Green Day. Now, as a theologian, music is still a driving force in his life and his work. Recording this show reminded me of what the great reformer, Martin Luther, once said: “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I’m from a family of women, plus my dad. He was outnumbered and did a great job of fathering girls! I learned a lot from him about a nurturing father and had a faithful friend to the end of his life. But that information didn’t always translate out into my relationships with other males. There’s something special about a dad and a daughter that leaves some wiggle room for idiosyncrasies and allows easy forgiveness. The next serious male study happened with my husband… and I’m still working on that one! In addition to my three daughters, God only trusted me with one son and I must say, I began to understand men a lot better through Brooks. I work with a predominantly male organization, sit on boards with more men than women and am open to improving my perceptions and reactions to men.

So how’s it going with the men in your life, on the job, on the committee, in the family? I assure you it will go even better -- oh so much better -- once you’ve heard this week’s Woman to Woman® show with Shaunti Feldhahn, who keeps hitting one home run after another with her books, several of which have been featured on the show in the past.

This time, we talk about the principles from her book The Male Factor. It could be required reading for all women everywhere on the planet as soon as they can spell M-A-L-E! It turns out we women have a lot to learn about how guys think and react to situations, to challenges, to us. And the great thing is, once we put a few concepts into practice, it makes it better for everyone involved.

Like Shaunti says, “We can be skilled, highly trained, networked and throw it all away by undermining ourselves in interactions with male colleagues.” She helps us crack the code. The goal is to get on the inside track with the men on the same team with us. Tune in for the unwritten rules, and learn how we can unknowingly sabotage ourselves on the job, until we know the natural laws of the work world.

This will begin to give you the information you need to make informed decisions and compete on a more level playing field. I believe you will be less dismayed and perplexed when you understand how God empowers you to be “salt and light” in using your gifts effectively in the workplace. The Bible verse that applies here is Col 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” To my way of thinking, this is equivalent to a raise!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Even if you’re not thinking about abs and arms and thighs that become more apparent in spring and summer, you’ll enjoy meeting this week’s Woman to Woman® guest, as well as hearing her topic. Millions of people watch The Biggest Loser each week to see their favorite contestants meet seemingly impossible weight loss goals. Julie Hadden beat out 250,000 hopefuls to lose 44.5% of her body weight and come in as runner-up in the show’s 4th season. She traded her weight for self worth and swapped the food addiction, self loathing and pain for a life full of energy and potential. Her story applies to anything we find overtaking us -- addictions or habits, or just plan ruts in which we find ourselves struggling.

Julie had always battled, or not, her weight and when she was a 37-year-old typical mom, her “skinniest” friend called her and said The Biggest Loser auditions were coming to Jacksonville, Florida, and Julie should try out. Julie, for some reason, tied her hair into a ponytail, auditioned and made the cuts. She almost was cut by coach Jillian Michaels once selected, because Jillian thought she simply didn’t have the wherewithal to compete. You’ll hear how Julie proved her wrong, why it mattered so much and how her life has changed as a result. What Julie learned about overcoming and conquering doubt and fear could be just the ammunition you need to take down your current life challenge!

In Romans 12:2 we’re told, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good and pleasing and perfect will.” Tune in to share Julie’s personal experience of mind transformation through her faith in Christ, who came to her in her darkest moments of wanting to give up and gave her the daily enabling to know and trust His good and pleasing, perfect will to accomplish her task.

That was back in 2006. He’s still with her and she’s still trusting, as she works to remain at her goal weight. What’s your goal? Are you trusting God to work through you to achieve it? He did it for Julie; He’ll do it for you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heard It All

Just when I think I’ve heard it all…

I can’t assume I won’t be shocked just because I’ve “been around the block” a few times, “know the ropes” and have some years on my driver’s license. In grad school I worked with street gangs and in the State of Illinois Department of Corrections. I learned how to pick a lock and not carry a purse. I hope I also gave some solid mentoring along the way. But truth be told, even after those experiences, I am still shocked over and over by what goes on out in the world.

For example, I spoke this fall to a group of women involved in community enrichment. When I mentioned a Woman to Woman® show I was putting together on fighting the sexual abuse of children, one woman told a story I won’t soon forget. She was helping an 11-year-old girl whose mom had died and whose dad was not a particularly involved parent. The girl confessed that she was sexually active with an 18-year-old boy. When this woman asked why, the girl said her teacher told the class that in order to be sure they were heterosexual and not homosexual, it was wise to be intimate before ending up in a marriage that would end in divorce. The woman I spoke with anticipates a lot more mentoring ahead.

This true story, from a town of 650 people, made it even more important for me to bring you this week’s show. Today’s teens face an epidemic of sexual diseases, some incurable and fatal. Yet, according to child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, MD, public school Sex Ed classes promote sexual freedom instead of protecting kids with accurate information. We think sex ed is about health; she says, think again.

Dr. Grossman is so alarmed about sex education in the public schools that she wrote the book You're Teaching My Child What? to address the lies we believe about what’s going on in those classes. Hear her out on why, with skyrocketing STD rates and teenage pregnancies, sex ed is not effective. She’s convincing when she reports that these classes are not teaching anatomy, biology, neurology, endocrinology and physiology. She says, “Their mission is to mold each student into what is considered ‘a sexually healthy’ adult – as if there was universal agreement on what that is. This is not about health, folks. This is about indoctrination.”

So if you wonder, with all the sex education provided from early grades up in public schools, how can it be that one out of four teen girls has a sexually transmitted disease, please tune in for an eye opening show. Dr. Grossman insists teens are not miniature adults and that they do want parental guidance throughout their developing sexuality phases.

The good news is, we can be there for our children when we’re informed and take seriously the God-given role of parenting a child to grow up “in the way he should go,” so that “when he is old he won’t depart from it!” Get up to speed with this program, so you can check out the information your child is getting at school and properly inform him or her about her gift of sexuality and the way the Lord intended for it to function.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Do you notice the variety of ways people celebrate Easter? For some it’s all about the Easter Bunny or spring break or buying a new dress or serving a traditional feast. Last Easter on Woman to Woman®, we looked at a different kind of celebration, when we visited with four women who had “Easter makeovers." They described how they celebrated Easter before they were Christians and how they celebrated after they converted to the Christian faith. This Easter, based on listener response, we’ll examine how Islam and Christianity differ in their view of the meaning of Easter.

Among world religions, the Easter resurrection of Jesus Christ is unique to Christianity with its proof and promise of “God with us” and life eternal with Him in heaven. Islam, on the other hand, rejects that Jesus died and rose again and offers a different perspective on eternity. With Islam exerting a greater influence in American life, I hope you’ll join us to consider the Jesus of Islam and the Christ of Easter with a former Muslim extremist and a theologian who’s an expert on Islam.

This kind of dialogue makes me feel more informed when I talk with Muslim neighbors and fellow workers about their faith and mine. Maybe there’s a mosque in your town and you wonder what they teach and what they believe, or your kids go to school with Muslims and have questions about their spirituality. Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about both Islam and Christianity. Send me your thoughts after you’ve heard the show, and check out the Men's NetWork Bible studies, Challenge of Islam: Part 1 and Part 2.

And most of all, a Blessed Easter celebration to you and yours!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Do you know the warning signs of an abusive relationship? You must, for yourself or someone about whom you care. Maybe you’ve had it with so-and-so, but you stay in the relationship with thoughts like, “Maybe it’s not that bad. There must be something else I can try to fix this.” It’s not abuse until he hits you, right? He has so many good qualities. Besides, other people don’t think he’s that toxic. Maybe it’s just me and I need to shape up a little bit. But as much as you try to change, it’s not getting any better, is it? It’s time to stop the abuse. But how? The Bible tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” James 1:5

Relationship expert Laura Petherbridge speaks to us this week on Woman to Woman® with the warning signs of an abusive relationship and what you must do to protect yourself when you’re in one. We all experience relationship issues that make us feel occasionally uncomfortable or where we get our feelings hurt, but Petherbridge talks about when the line has been crossed from normal unpleasant encounters into emotional abuse. It’s crucial to recognize the warning signs. Talk to someone you trust, because you’re isolated by this and that makes it worse. Expect resistance from the controlling person and also expect God to guide your emotions and thoughts to either working toward resolution or getting you out of harm’s way.

This show will be a walk of relief and just what you need to get you thinking and moving in the right direction. Let me know how it helps you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My out-of-balance life was obvious the day I dropped our son off at soccer practice and left his younger sisters, 5 and 6, on the swings nearby while I drove 8 miles home before realizing what I’d done. Racing back to the soccer field, I beat myself up over how much was on my mind and schedule to make me that unaware of keeping the main thing the main thing! We’ve become so skilled at multitasking, at overbooking our calendars and our lives, that it’s considered a badge of honor. As if there were such a thing as a happy workaholic! Whether you’re clocking more than 40 hours a week at the office or not, you’re most likely the typical 21st century woman who bites off more than she can chew. Maybe you’re convinced there’s no such thing as a balanced life and besides, who needs it?

Well, guess what? “Balance is crucial, more so than ever, because we’ve been robbed of it!” insists physician and futurist Richard Swenson, MD, who joins us with some life-saving secrets for a fulfilling and stable life this week on Woman to Woman®. Dr. Swenson combines his physics and medical background to specialize in the intersection of culture, health, faith and future. He wrote the bestselling books Margin, The Overload Syndrome and More Than Meets the Eye.

This week he pulls us into his latest book, In Search of Balance, which I was privileged to endorse on the back cover. This futurist, who watches and warns with precise brilliance, captures and decodes facts floating beyond our reach. Take advantage of thousands of hours of research that translate into the questions we need to ask and the answers we can find. To sum it up, he asks, “What’s your hurry and where’s it taking you?” We can downsize -- and often eliminate -- the exhaustion, crankiness, and unsatisfying personal relationships, as well as the physical price we pay with illness and the general underlying angst that keeps us from enjoying every day to its fullest. Dr. Swenson urges us to seek God’s help to catch our balance before it’s too late. Read his work to get a better read on yourself and what to do about it! Dick makes me happy to be alive! Tell everyone you know about this show, please!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Freshman 15

My freshman year in college I gained weight. Was it dorm food or the “Freshman 15”? I have no idea, but food became my best friend. We hung out when I was happy, sad, stressed or glad. On a visit to our family doctor, he handed me one bowling ball and then another, asking how it felt to lug those around. It was horrible, and he said that’s what I was asking my body to do. He also handed me some little pills to help me get started on weight loss. They worked like a charm and by the end of the next semester, I’d lost 40 pounds. I loved my new look and my newfound energy, so you’ll imagine my surprise when I ran out of pills the next semester and slept for almost two weeks straight. As it turns out, those pills were doing a lot more to my body than miraculously shedding the pounds…and the effects were so harmful that those pills are now illegal.

But even if they weren’t illegal now, I’d tell you there are still much healthier ways to manage our eating habits and our weight. With all of the talk today about obesity in kids and adults, we have to evaluate the right and wrong ways to approach the dilemma. To help out with that, this week on Woman to Woman®, we visit with Dr. Linda Mintle, who studies people’s relationships with food. She says that the emotional reward from food is so great that we don’t realize it’s controlling us. Dr. Mintle is convinced we can change our eating habits if we push Pause before we eat. Her interest in the topic goes beyond diet and weight loss, too – she says that our spiritual hunger can also be related to problematic eating. Dr. Mintle explains, “When craving meets Creator, fulfillment happens.” We need His intervention in our unhealthy attachment to and relationship with food. I hope you’ll tune in to pick up some healthy eating tips as we enter into spring!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I’m keeping different hours these days, assisting my daughter with her new twins. They’re 10 days old, and we’re trying to establish a schedule. Their dad said to me at midnight, “This is what it’s like for the next 18 years, right?” Yep! When my two youngest children were born 18 months apart, I felt so isolated and asked God, “Is 200 diapers a week all there is? Something more, please!” God answered that prayer with an indoor singles tennis league invitation. Childcare for those three hours not only helped me get my game back, but also my energy and my sense of self, being out of the house and away from the intensity of it all for a wee bit.

The other half of God’s answer to that prayer came from a neighbor who invited me to a six week home Bible study. Eight of us from different churches studied under lovely, sweet, patient, winsome Mary Jane, an older and wiser woman of God. She’d been tested by life in ways I would never know, but she was steady, calm and trusting. I’ll never forget her saying she was such a mess that if she didn’t spend each morning in prayer and Bible study for an hour, no one would be able to stand her. We doubted the “mess” part, but we got the point about spending time with Jesus in prayer to be able to bring His sweetness into our days and our relationships. I committed to that more often and a year later started a Bible study in our home. Two years later the Lord used me to begin the “Wednesday Woman” Bible study in our church. One hundred women from 14 different church backgrounds attended for the ten years I facilitated, and it’s still going! Amazing how God energizes a busy mom for the task at hand. How’s he energizing you these days?

My daughter with the twins may eventually hear this week’s Woman to Woman® show with Lisa Tawn Bergren, who understands that when you have a family, suddenly time seems to stand still. People you used to talk to regularly don’t call so much. How do you preserve your self while fulfilling the demanding tasks of motherhood? Lisa says to stay invested in relationships outside of immediate family. When God gives us children, He knows our key relationships will change and intends for us to stay connected with family and friends for mutual support, in service to Him and in response to His love for us. Lisa lists six key relationships that can change for the better during the demanding years of motherhood, when Mom takes time to cultivate vital, healthy connections with others. Girls’ night out will not always involve a burp cloth, and meanwhile you’ll learn how those outside relationships can help you become the best mom you can be.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I’d been married about a year and was standing with my husband outside a Chicago theatre waiting for our car. Up drove a gorgeous, lavish car and a laughing, handsome couple enjoying one another hopped in and were on their carefree way. My brown eyes went green at that moment. I don’t really notice cars, but in that moment, I decided that if we had that car, we would be happy, carefree and laughing more. Obviously, to this day, I still remember that car and that couple – a pretty good marketing campaign for that car!

How distracting for my mind to get its exercise by jumping to conclusions. My assumptions could have been absolutely false; I certainly knew a car doesn’t bring the kind of happiness I thought I saw. They might have been miserable, or they might have been just as happy getting into a beat-up jalopy. Actually, that was my biggest assumption – presuming they were happier than we were because of their car. The incident left me to deal with a covetous heart that evening. What was I really looking for? A car? A perfect smile and grooming to match?

No, I needed to find what St. Paul talks about in Philippians and I needed to find it fast! God had helped him figure out that contentment isn’t about our stuff or our situation. He writes in Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” That was the beginning of a life lesson that serves me well every day! Now, when I think I have to have something or want something to happen right now, I go back to that verse, say it out loud and my contentment peacefully drowns out the “have to!”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In keeping with February’s love theme, I’ve bypassed the chocolates and flowers, as much fun as those are, and skipped right into a double portion of the kind of love that equips us and builds us up to serve one another in Jesus’ Name and for His sake. This last Woman to Woman® show of the month will hopefully refocus our critical eyes from looking in the mirror after seeing the size two model on a magazine or hearing friends’ sighs about their thighs. You'll take a journey with Michele Perry, a Florida kid born with a few challenges -- that is -- if you consider one leg, one kidney, and a missing hip a challenge. She survived 23 surgeries before the age of 13. And now, fast forward to the present, she lives in the Sudan, filling a house with orphans, handpicked one by special one. “Love Has a Face” is the remarkable story resulting from Michele’s request for God to show her how to love with His love. It will help you discover how to be fulfilled and better use His gifts in the way you live your life, too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love Gifts

Recently, I drove in downtown Chicago’s rush hour traffic with Sheila Simon. She’s the daughter of the late Illinois State Senator Paul Simon and his wife, Jean. Speaking over the din of heavily congested traffic, our conversation dealt with “love gifts” our moms gave us without our knowing it at the time. Sheila remembered how for a year or so after her mom died she’d pick up the phone to call her about something. Sound familiar? If not, it probably will some day. This sort of thing happened to me, too. It used to make me wistful, even sad, until I reminded myself to simply be thankful she was my mom and that she was now in heaven. But Sheila added a different spin, which I liked very much.

She said that while she missed her mom terribly, every time she’d think, I have to tell mom about this, she’d also think how great a lesson it was that her mother taught her to share and connect events and ideas with others. She now treasures her ability to “connect” with people -- whether it’s through teaching writing to law students at Southern Illinois University, or playing her banjo for fun with her husband and children. It’s a connect love lesson I hope to intentionally pass on to my children, now that Sheila has articulated it so nicely.

Speaking of connections, this week on Woman to Woman® I’ll interview specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., about heart disease, the number-one killer of women. That fact is finally sinking in. We can ignore it, panic, or choose to take better care of ourselves. It turns out it’s really pretty easy to live better and longer when you do a few simple things. These heart-health experts speak to your head and your heart. Dr. Virginia Miller is a research scientist and Kathy Zarling is a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist for high-risk CAD patients. Kathy is a parish nurse too. Both women discuss the calming influences that make for better heart health, as well as things to do and not to do to our bodies. Tune in for a heart tune-up with this latest information for women.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love Tips

Love Tips from my Woman to Woman® guests over the years:

· Sleep helps your love life because you’re more loving when you’re well rested. You’re more lovable, too! That’s 6-8 hours, preferably with the same start and finish times each day. The big problem with our staying up later and later is that we reset our internal clock to have to stay up until the new set time, whatever that may be.
· Unwind and unplug 15-30 minutes before bedtime. Keep technology, like laptops or TVs, out of your bedroom. Your brain is in overdrive if you’re connected 24/7. You can break the addiction once you remind yourself how good it is to be well rested. It’s self-reinforcing, but it takes a week or so of tuning out before bedtime for you to really feel the effective. There’s a scientific reason you can’t get to sleep right after working online. It’s called “cognitive stimulation” and it revs up the electrical activity in your brain. As the neurons begin to race, you’re getting the exact opposite of what you want -- to be able to drift off into peaceful slumber! Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released…and off we go to the races, not to sleep. Ok…as if that weren’t enough, factor in the light from your computer or TV screen. Your retina picks it up and passes it through to the hypothalamus (the brain area that controls some of your sleep activities) and slows down the release of the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. I know, melatonin is available in pill or liquid form, but I’ve been told by sleep deprivation experts to try turning off the technology and see what happens with a little of your natural melatonin instead!

I’ve fallen into most of these traps and am much happier and fully functioning when I follow these tips. When you say “Night-night!” -- mean it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Heart Disease

What if your doctor sat you down and asked you, “Hey, did you know that carrying a broken heart -- a hurting heart over something or someone -- can actually increase your likelihood of heart disease?” On this week’s Woman to Woman® you’ll meet two couples whose doctors consider them “miracles.” It seems the best love stories mix romance with some crisis that threatens to tear that love apart. Often love’s passion burns brightly at first but can fade, even go out, in the face of difficulty. Miraculously, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brian Birdwell survived the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001. He was working in the Pentagon when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 collided into it. He suffered burns over 60 percent of his body with nearly half being third degree. This resulted in more than 30 operations. He and his wife, Mel, share their hope through the message of Christ’s love and sovereignty.

Also, Gary and Carrie Gobble have a love story that will take your breath away. They summarize it like this: we met, we fell in love, and we’re living happily ever after! All that rests on the fact that Gary has received a double lung transplant and was mentoring others who were waiting for theirs, including Carrie. She, too, has received a double lung transplant, but their story certainly didn’t end there. They’ve now been married for four years. This show is bound to inspire as these couples have discovered a love to treasure through heart-wrenching tragedy and enormous challenges. Both the Birdwells and the Gobbles know true love will always finds a way.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Heartbreak Hotel

. . . don’t check in there! It’s not a literal hotel, of course, but it’s a place where our emotions can get stuck if we don’t check out fast. Did you know that heartbreak over a love gone wrong in a struggling or even in a broken friendship heightens our risk of heart disease? According to a 12-year study conducted by Roberto De Vogli, Ph.D., people in such relationships were 34 percent more likely to have a coronary event. One conclusion was that having more friends was not always an optimal situation. What counts is the quality of our friendships. Low-stress relationships are apparently heart-healthy. Add those to your daily menu!

What fascinates me is the bad heart connection that accompanies bad relationships. I think it’s because we try to work out the challenges in our heads by replaying the communication that didn’t work in the first place. In so doing, we experience the same negative responses we had in the actual event, over and over again. These responses can include depression, resentment, and anger -- emotions known to increase the possibility of heart disease. Men and women are both susceptible, and age and income/social status are not factors.

It’s all the more reason to ask God to help us forgive, even as He forgives us for Christ’s sake, and then move on by putting the matter in God’s hands. Then we’re free to nurture other healthier relationships waiting to happen. To help with matters of the heart, we’re bringing you some fabulous Woman to Woman® shows this month. You’ll love “Safe Haven Marriage” with father-daughter team, Arch Hart, Ph.D. and Sharon Hart Morris, Ph.D., who nail it on understanding your marriage in a whole new way. They teach us how to become emotionally connected with our spouses and how to turn “war zones” into “safe havens”! Tune in and build a relationship you want to come home to!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Change of plans!

After a master’s degree, a Ph.D. seemed a logical next step in my goal to encourage others. But instead, my husband went to law school, and I went to work to earn what was termed the “PHT” degree. “Putting Hubby Through!” My choice at the time was either to help Rich or pursue my degree and eat cereal three meals a day. I knew when my mom skipped college, she ended up feeling inferior to my dad who was a university professor. Even with just two of my eventual four children in tow, I felt a nagging inside to go back to school. I finally put the matter to rest by throwing myself into mothering and homemaking and letting the chips fall where they may. Gradually, the joy of that job won out over the frustrations of not going to school. I did what mattered most to me, tending to the mundane, unpaid, and endless duties of being a wife and mom. Now and then I imagined what doors would have opened to me as a Ph.D. Some days I thought about resigning.

Looking back, what mattered most to me paid off. My kids didn’t cost me half as much as they taught me! I ended up encouraging others through a radio show, writing, and speaking, rather than as a family therapist. Interestingly enough, my mom’s grandchildren, my children, were the ones who affirmed her because they mattered most to her. They didn’t see her academically. They saw and responded to her love for them.

Whatever your strivings this New Year, it’s important to avoid putting off your good intentions to write, call, or visit someone. Begin to mend fences; right wrongs, even take a risk you otherwise wouldn’t. Say “no,” if necessary, so you can say, “yes” to something else, consider the greater good over and against having it your way. A change in plans may be a detour, but it doesn’t mean you won’t reach your best destination, which is the place God has in mind for your talents!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Part Two

My daughter fully intended to stay with me until I went into surgery, but hospital delays forced her exit to go pick up her preschooler. It was kind of weird when each person from intake to pre-op to recovery asked, “Who is with you today?” My husband was tending to another situation. I considered saying, “Just God and me. That makes four of us!” But they may have put me in a different ward! To tell you the truth, it was just God and me, and I was so aware of that. If I hadn’t been, I think I would have freaked out. I mean, they do use heavy instruments and brute force to take your knee out and put a titanium one in. Recovery is said to be more demanding than hip replacement. I could have thought of all that stuff. But instead I was thanking God for a great surgeon and the ability to complete this procedure and, hopefully, regain the normal use of my new knee soon.

I prayed for an elderly woman in the curtained off area next to me who was totally alone, hoping she was okay. I was awed by the precision and efficiency of this huge teaching hospital staff. They would come and go, politely and caringly asking patients how they were doing and answering questions they might have had. I prayed for everything to go well that day for all of them and their patients. And with complete calm, I went under with a spinal. When I came to, it was over.

Now, I can’t lie and say it was/is all a piece of cake. There were unpleasant and painful moments. Six weeks later, discomfort continues to varying degrees. My range of motion excites the physical therapists. I overdo it because I think I can and then pay for it with exhaustion! But the take-away value of this experience, in addition to securing a new knee that will enhance my quality of life whether I can rush the net again or not, is that I walked into the surgery solo. That is remarkable to me. I’m mentioning it, not because it’s newsworthy or a huge story, but because I know somebody reading this could be facing something huge or scary all alone.

If that’s you, I want you to know we’re not ever alone, ever. I know this, believe it with my whole heart, and assure people of it in view of a diagnosis, relationship crash, or job loss. But when push comes to shove and I stand before my firing squad, as it were, by myself, what comfort and blessed assurance it is to know for sure that God is with me. It’s just one more way He proves Himself powerful on our behalf, showing up like that, being with us always to the end of the world, just as He promises. Whatever comes your way this next year, whether you stand up to it alone or with the support of others, you will make it. God is with you, looking out for your best interest, guiding you with His loving provision -- seen or unseen. We sang “O Come O Come Immanuel” at Christmas. Immanuel means “God with us!” How sweet the sound! How sure the promise! Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


If you’d told me I would go solo into total knee replacement from waiting room to pre-op to surgery itself, I would have shuddered at the thought. In fact, before my only other major surgery years ago, I begged God to spare me the knife. I was terrified. When it was required to save my life, I submitted and learned a huge lesson in facing my fears in total weakness, relying on the Lord’s strength to carry me through. The Bible verse I clung to at that time was, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).

But this time something had changed in my fear ratio, without my knowing it. Physically, too much tennis and other factors over the years tore my ACL and meniscus. I ignored it, used non-invasive techniques to soothe it for a while, and then hit the wall. The toughest part for me was admitting this was it. What limp? So the pain keeps me up at night! I had to part with my knee. Not sure what happened. Both parents had good knees. My dad was beating me at singles when he was 75! But my cartilage was pretty much gone, and I had no choice.

I prayed about it, of course, always open to a miracle. I mainly asked for things to fall into place and they did. Friends referred me to an outstanding orthopedic physician/surgeon who actually designs knee replacements. The timing was perfect. My producer, Christy, is expecting her third child in January, so we doubled up on radio show production to be able to both take time off.

That rigorous routine probably offset some surgery angst. I also sought out people who'd had total knee replacements, observing that those with the best results were tall skinny men! Our kids and their families came home for a great Thanksgiving weekend, including a 74-degree day at the St. Louis Zoo! In church on Sunday I felt peace about the surgery. The kids all left. I washed and ironed and put beds and tablecloths back in place. I worked on Monday, stayed at my daughter’s house and had her drop me off at the hospital the next morning.

We interrupt this program for a quick commercial break! The first Woman to Woman® show this month was my chat with Ruth Koch about adjusting to change in our lives. Pick up her keen insights to send you into the New Year with your eyes wide open! Come back later for the rest of this surgery story.