Dr. and Mrs. Dobson are out of the Family Talk office for a few weeks while he finishes his newest book. He says it will be the “capstone” for everything he has written or spoken in the past 40 years. I can’t wait to read it.
In his absence, he asked me if I would write Family Talk’s monthly newsletter. Being the newest member of the Family Talk team I’d like to tell you why I chose to serve alongside the Family Talk ministry.
I am a pediatrician, a mother of four grown children, and a grandmother to one amazing little girl. I have been married to my husband and medical partner, Walt, for almost 33 years. He is a pediatrician and an internist. I came to Family Talk in a most unusual way. One year ago I was invited to speak at a Family Talk conference in La Quinta, California, after being on the radio program with Dr. Dobson. He and I have a mutual passion for:
the institution of the family,
for the sanctity of human life,
for righteousness in the culture,
and for Jesus Christ.
After I had spoken in California, my husband looked at me and said, “You and Dr. Dobson are championing the exact same things for parents and children. Perhaps you should offer your help.”
I was stunned by his suggestion because he is my partner in our medical practice. We have worked together over 20 years, and I have loved serving patients with him side by side.
“But Family Talk is in Colorado,” I replied “and we’re in Michigan. Are you suggesting we move?”
“Nope. Just pray about it,” he said. And so I did.
Several weeks later I wrote Dr. Dobson, fully expecting my letter to end up at the bottom of thousands of others he receives. But sometimes God reaches down from heaven and rearranges things on our desks. Four short days after I wrote him, Dr. Dobson called me on the phone. He said he needed help – and just the kind I can offer. Each of us sensed when we talked that the Lord wanted us to work together.
What developed was a long-distance assignment. I fly to Colorado Springs when I can, and do Family Talk radio programs and other work by phone and the Internet. It has been a very successful arrangement.
Since joining the team, I have gotten to know the staff at Family Talk like members of my family. Indulge me if you will while I boast about this group of energetic and extraordinary people. I have worked with many organizations and started my own business, and I can honestly say that I have never seen a more cohesive, committed group of folks. Ryan is a bundle of brilliant, shining energy who runs circles around all of us.
Dr. Dobson is the most humble and godly man I have ever met (next to my husband, of course.) The workload that he carries is enormous, but he seems to thrive on it. Fortunately, the Lord has given him the health and strength to meet the challenge.
Michael Tomlinson (MT) is the Chief Operating Officer for Family Talk. Watching him work is akin to what I imagine working at Google is like. MT is a gifted professional, and we love working with him.
Shirley Dobson is a strong presence who prays, I think, even while she sleeps. She has great influence on her husband and supports him wonderfully. Shirley has her own responsibilities as chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Their lives together are a whirlwind of activity. They have been married for 53 years, and as Dr. Dobson says, “I think it’s gonna work.” There’s no doubt about that.
Those working in other assignments come together every morning for devotions, because they, like everyone in leadership, know that seeking the mind of God is critical to everything we do. The energy at Family Talk is palpable. There is excitement here that seems to have a divine ordination to it. I have worked with other high-energy people, but this is unique. You’d have to be here to sense it. Those of us who have been called to Family Talk are committed to a mission and a message. We are here, we believe, to serve the Cause of Christ and His people. That includes you and your family.
Our nation is under siege today like never before. Christianity itself is under assault, and parents are involved in a tug of war for the hearts and minds of their children. Life for young parents has never been as difficult, overwhelming and confusing as it is today. As a mother with adult children, I would love to say that raising kids in the Eighties was harder, but it wasn’t. We didn’t have to compete with digital devices for our children’s attention. There were only two sexually transmitted diseases in the Seventies – syphilis and gonorrhea. Both of them could be treated successfully with penicillin. Many kids who were raised in strong churches and good homes remained virgins until marriage. Now, a high percentage of young people are living together out of wedlock, and more than 30 sexually transmitted infections are at epidemic levels. Many teens and college-aged individuals carry sexually transmitted viruses that have no known cures.
When I was in medical school in the Eighties, homosexuality was recognized as a psychiatric disorder. Today it is a cause célèbre. Physicians alone gave stimulants to children with ADHD, and HIV hadn’t reared its head. How quickly life has changed since then. Parents are faced with so many baffling issues. Should they teach their children moral principles or let them decide for themselves? Should they make their kids attend church even if they don’t want to go? And should they spank when a child is naughty? What do they tell their five year-old about Aunt Susan’s live-in girlfriend? How should they respond when their kindergartner learns about HIV/AIDs from a classmate – or worse – a well-intentioned teacher at school?