“The challenge is the same as it has been: to utilize our television opportunity to the utmost in extending the Gospel wherever people can view the program. This is Faith for Today’s task, its commission.” — William A. Fagal, Founder
He Told Me About God’s Grace
A man who has been a friend of Faith For Today for years wrote me this note. “When we first met I…was straddling the fence with my body leaning more on the worldly side. With an addiction to porn, being a binge drinker, and money wasted at strip clubs several nights a week, I continued to go to church.
Thank you so much for allowing me to be there (at a special meeting held by Faith For Today). It is because of that weekend and the Holy Spirit hard at work that my life started to change. The prayers of faith…have worked. I remember eating dinner with you and your wife and you both prayed for me while I did my best to hide the darkness inside me.
That blessing has come to fruition! By the grace of God I am free from porn, free from the desire to go to the strip clubs, and free from alcoholism! Most of all, God has blessed me with a wonderful, Jesus-loving wife. I am taking an active roll in church and even preaching from time to time.
Thank you for your love and desire to share the GOOD NEWS with all!” – J
This is what a story of redemption looks like. Brokenness made whole. His story encourages me. It reminds me of why I follow God’s calling in my life.
This Is My Life
Gayle and I lived a life of ministry and service. It was always: Jesus • Family • Ministry. In the last few days of her life, she wrote letters to our children, to our
grandchildren and she shared her last commission to me as well. Together we agreed that we had no regrets, and she told me “Live Our Life”. To us that meant: “Jesus • Family • Ministry”.
In fact, during those precious last days together there were very few things that caused her to cry. She would cry when seeing her family hurting over the pending loss of life. And she cried when she learned I had cancelled a few Mad About Marriage Seminars and speaking engagements.
Live Our Life.
As a couple we have seen God’s grace at work in our own lives and have been committed to reaching out in the brokenness of this world with the only thing that truly mends it – His Grace. Today as I continue without her, that does not change for me. In fact, my own brokenness in grief compels me to grab hold of the hands of the Father in ways unknown to me before. And it’s a chance to share His loving care even more to my family and those to which I am called to minister. What a blessing! What a joy!
When I taught my 122nd Mad About Marriage Seminar, it was my first one without Gayle. I found myself anxious and concerned that I could not share the materials authentically, as Gayle and I could do when standing in front of audiences as a couple, sharing the situations and solutions that make for a great marriage.
I must be honest — It was emotionally exhausting. It took a lot to maintain the control needed to share the materials without dissolving into a puddle of tears. And yet, I saw an audience that quickly moved into the material with me and responded positively.
Now it seems, there was a new authenticity to the seminar. The experience gleaned from a 40-year marriage, a man grieving his great love, a counselor reminding couples of the importance of this GIFT given to them. Couples most certainly were recognizing the value of their relationship and their spouse – and realizing how easily it can be lost.
Some of them told me:
“It was a beautiful thing to be at the seminar and experience your authenticity. – We were in attendance last night and will be today – you did great, never missing a beat. And hearts were touched by your words. The Spirit was there and lives in you!” – D
“Thank you so, so much. You just helped to save my marriage.” – V
“Thank you for continuing that great ministry, even through your own loss and pain.” – K
“Without Your Show I Would Have Lost Hope” – B
As I write this, I am preparing to walk into the studio to tape our next season of Lifestyle Magazine. It’s going to be another amazing line-up of experts and celebrities sharing stories and practical solutions for an abundant life. It’s going to be amazing – and challenging — since it’s another shoot without Gayle. And yet, this is part of “Living Our Life”.
This show changes lives. Lifestyle Magazine is designed to reach people who might not ever consider watching a preacher on television or anywhere else for that matter. We reach that demographic by meeting viewers’ needs and by building relationships with them in order to introduce them to Christ. Every day, viewers reach out to us as they grapple with “life.” They recognize the value of our message, and they seek to know more.
“Your shows are such a gift from God – you are giving vital information to people who desperately need solutions to their medical problems! Please keep up the great programs and information.” – M
“Please continue to allow God to use you as an instrument through which he reveals to us how to live a victorious, abundant, and healthy life.” – J
“You ruined my life with the change in my diet. I am trying to become a vegetarian! We are all so overweight it’s so distressing. It actually rules my life and I feel trapped. But through your wonderful show, I am learning and being inspired to make huge changes. It helps me physically and emotionally. Thanks again.” – T
The television and film industry also tells us that we are hitting the mark. We are the oldest continuous religious broadcast in the world, with over 4 million viewers weekly. Every year, we receive significant awards, beating out hundreds of other shows – most of which are produced with much larger budgets than ours. What a blessing of God and a testament to the commitment to quality by the Faith For Today team.
But in the end, it has nothing to do with changed diets or winning awards. It’s all about sharing Jesus. It’s about sharing Hope.
Jesus, Hope For A Broken World
It’s true you know. He’s really the only solution. Our every day lives – the struggles of health, of relationships, struggling families, communities and countries, the financial uncertainties – He’s the only REAL answer.
His love and His faithfulness to me is the thread by which I walk through the valley of grief and forward with new hope and new strength. You know just what I’m talking about don’t you? We simply MUST share this with everyone we can, with every breath we have left. It’s our commission.
The Commission Is Still The Same
William and Virginia Fagal, the founders of Faith For Today, along with a faithful group of Christians, answered a call and grabbed hold of the commission placed upon them. Dan Matthews continued the mission, as did Gayle and I.
Today, we at Faith For Today grab hold of God’s commission in our lives and in our ministry. We move forward solely by His grace and power. This is our calling. This is our commission.