Browse > Home / Archive: September 2016

| Subscribe via RSS

Family Cruise Prize

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in CHRI

This SHARATHON, when you make a donation, one name per household will be entered into the Grand Prize draw to win a cabin for 4 on Focus on the Family’s 40th Anniversary cruise aboard the Disney Dream Luxury Cruise Liner with stops in Bahamas & Disney Castaway Cay! Make a Pre-Sharathon donation now, and get in the draw early! What is Sharathon? Find out here. 

Make a Pre-Sharathon donation now, and get in the draw early! Call 866-247-1440 extension 12 any time (you can leave a voicemail with your name, phone #, and someone will return your call before Sharathon). One name per household will be entered to win the Grand Prize.


Embark on a four night family adventure aboard the Disney Dream with stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Disney Castaway Cay, an island paradise reserved for Disney Cruise Line Gues. Celebrate Focus on the Family’s 40th Anniversary with special events planned right on
board the Disney Dream Luxury Cruise Liner with guest speakers, a live recording of Focus on the Family and a special 30th Birthday live performance of Adventures in Odyssey.

  • Trip dates: November 12-17, 2017 (flight from Ottawa included)
  • Valued at over $8,000!
  • Click here for complete trip details & itinerary.

**Enter for the Grand Prize before the end of Sharathon (9:00pm ET on Thursday, September 22nd). Must be 18-years or older.
You can hear Focus on the Family on CHRI weekdays at 5:30am & 6:30pm.

“The level of prayer for the station has to rise across the city and region.” – Dianne van der Putten (Director of Marketplace Ministry)

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in CHRI
dianneImagine hearing this message as clear as a voice in your heart, mind and spirit.  This happened two years ago during Sharathon and the message hasn’t changed.

We know that prayer is what moves mountains, and releases the plans and purposes of God when we’ve aligned ourselves with His will.  He receives all the glory and, praise God, we receive the joy.  This is our heart cry for the station, for this ministry and for the mission God has for us in the city of Ottawa, across the region and beyond.

We are humbly asking for you to join us in prayer for the station and particularly for the upcoming Sharathon on September 21 and 22.  Right now, would you rally your community groups, churches, friends and family, as well as businesses to be in prayer for CHRI?  We need an army of prayer warriors across this region lifting the station with one heart and purpose.  We have a huge financial goal for Sharathon of $75,000 to raise in two days and we need the moving of God in people’s hearts, releasing His provision and supply.   Truly, we believe that God is on the move at the station, across this city and beyond and is calling His people to petition Him for his heart.  What an honour and privilege it is to enter into His presence, sit under His shelter, bask in His love and pour out our hearts to Him.  He’s a good good Father and is calling us for such a time as this.  Join with us in prayer this month (and beyond), stay tuned during Sharathon as we give Him the glory for the great things He has done, and will do.  Be blessed and thank you!

Click here for details about Sharathon 2016.

Dianne Van der Putten is CHRI’s Director of Market Place Ministry

5 Christian Gold Medalist Olympians at Rio 2016 Who Defied Incredible Obstacles

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
Athletes from across the globe have gathered in search of gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, and five Christian sportspeople have managed to overcome obstacles to earn the top honor.

The Christian Post has rounded up a list of five Olympians whose Christian faith has helped them prevail when stumbling blocks could have prevented them from winning gold medals in Rio De Janeiro.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/DOMINIC EBENBICHLER) Gold medalists Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer and Simone Manuel of USA pose with their medals after winning the women's 4x100m medley relay at 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 13, 2016.

Gold medalists Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer and Simone Manuel of USA pose with their medals after winning the women’s 4x100m medley relay at 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 13, 2016.

1. Simone Manuel, 20, Team USA Swimming

The two gold and two silver medals were placed around Simone Manuel’s neck, but the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming is giving God all of the credit for her achievements.

“All I can say is all glory to God. It’s definitely been a long journey these past four years,” Manuel said through tears after winning the 100m freestyle competition. “I’m just so blessed to have a gold medal … I’m just so blessed.”

While she has managed to break barriers for people of color with her accomplishments, the pressure of doing so has not been easy.

“It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot. Coming into the race I tried to take the weight of the black community off my shoulders,” Manuel said. “It’s something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.'”

Beyond the race, the Olympic freestyle sprinter who also earned gold in the 4X100m medley relay competition called herself blessed to represent her nation.

“It is an honor to represent the USA! God is working in me,” Manuel tweeted. “I am so blessed and grateful. Thank you all so much for your support.”

(PHOTO: REUTERS/DOMINIC EBENBICHLER) Caeleb Dressel of USA cries after receiving his gold medal for the men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 7, 2016.

Caeleb Dressel of USA cries after receiving his gold medal for the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 7, 2016.

2. Caeleb Dressel, 19, Team USA Swimmer

It’s Dressel’s first Olympic games and he has already succeeded in leaving with a gold medal. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t struggled with making his swimming dreams come true. The University of Florida swimmer who regularly attends Campus Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida almost gave up his beloved sport just a few years ago.

For close to six months as a high school student, Dressel stopped swimming. But when he returned, it was both with a renewed love for the sport and faith in God.

“Coming out of that, I started swimming again and really just put all my trust in God and knowing that he’s going to take care of everything for me, good or bad,” Dressel said. “I really learned a lot, and I really learned to see the light at the end of the tunnel and trust what God is doing, whether it be a rough point in your life or a top pinnacle in your life. You’ve just got to take pauses and really trust what he’s doing.”

Years later, Dressel’s perseverance and trust in God has resulted in a gold medal. Dressel led his 4X100 freestyle relay team consisting of superstar swimmers Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian to victory.

Dressel’s time of 48.10 was the second fastest of those competing with him, leaving his team in arms reach of the gold medal they were able to secure. Still, he has made it clear that his purpose for swimming means more than the accolades he receives.

“It’s the reason I’m in the sport — not just to go fast…but to inspire people and show them I find my happiness with what God’s given me,” the college junior said in an interview last year after the U.S. Nationals.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE) Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Alexandra Raisman pose with their gold medals at 2016 Summer Olympics.

Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian, and Alexandra Raisman pose with their gold medals at 2016 Summer Olympics.

3. Laurie Hernandez, 16, Team USA Gymnastics

On the path to obtaining her first gold medal, Laurie Hernandez has suffered a dislocated kneecap, fractured her elbow and wrist multiple times, torn her patellar tendon – which was replaced by a cadaver’s tendon – and had an injury to her teeth that prevented her from eating solid food for close to a month.

“I’m only 16, but I feel like I’ve been through a lot,” Hernandez told the media last Tuesday. “But now it’s all worth it.”

Hernandez is living her dream which has resulted in her being the youngest member of “The Final Five” team USA gymnasts who won gold medals during their women’s team all-around competition. If that weren’t enough of an accomplishment, she is the first U.S.-born Hispanic athlete to make the U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic team.

The gymnast says she’s able to handle the pressure that comes with her platform with prayer.

“Usually, before I salute the judge I’m able to just grab the event and I pray on it and that really grounds me,” she said. “For some reason, once I do that, I am able to think clearly and I’m able to calm down right before I compete.”

The teenager’s faith has been continuously reinforced by her mother, Wanda Hernandez, who makes sure that her daughter continues to make her relationship with God a priority.

“She’ll send me Bible verses in the morning — she always does — she’s always reminding me not to forget to pray: ‘I hope you remember to pray before you start anything. If you don’t start your day off with God, then why are you doing anything today,'” she revealed.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/PHIL NOBLE) Osea Kolinisau (FIJ) of Fiji poses with his national flag and gold medal on August 11, 2016.

Osea Kolinisau (FIJ) of Fiji poses with his national flag and gold medal on August 11, 2016.

4. Osea Kolinisau, 30, Team Fiji Rugby Sevens

Fiji has never been honored with Olympic gold, but some God-fearing Rugby sevens players decided to change that during this Summer 2016 Olympics.

The Fiji sevens team captain, Osea Kolinisau, believes his team’s relationship with God has propelled them to win their country’s first-ever Olympic gold.

“First of all, I thank the Lord, he has been our source of strength. We reminded each other how God had taken us through the last two years and that the same God that we serve is here with us in Rio,” he told SUNsports. “Our faith in God is really, really strong and we know he’s our source of strength without Him on our side we couldn’t have done what we did against New Zealand.”

In moments of weakness, Kolinisau made sure his team remembered not only their loved ones, but their God.

“Before we came in we told each other ‘let’s be strong, if you are weak then I’m going to help you,'” he said. “‘If I’m weak you help me’ and we play for our country, for our family, and especially for the Lord we serve.”

When reflecting on the team’s Olympic journey, Kolinisau turns to the Bible.

“I’m just thankful to God, the Bible verse that comes into my mind is ‘No eyes have seen, no ears have heard what God has prepared for those who love Him,'” he said.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/MATTHEW CHILDS) Anna van der Breggen (NED) of Netherlands celebrates winning the women's road race.

Anna van der Breggen (NED) of Netherlands celebrates winning the women’s road race.

5. Anna Van Der Breggen, 26, Team Netherlands Cycling

Even after she broke her pelvis in a crash during the World Championships two years ago, Anna Van Der Breggen came back stronger to win an award as best Dutch cyclist of the year, just one year later. Now that she is back in full force winning an Olympic gold, Van Der Breggen keeps her faith at the center of it all.

“On the bike you’re quite vulnerable. That proved last year when I broke my pelvis during the World Cup,” she said. “Something like that can have major consequences: perhaps you never cycle level. Still, I felt calm as I thought, God is there, even when things like that happen.”

Although she is an avid church attendee, Van Der Breggen stresses the importance of taking her relationship with God past a church service.

“Personally, I also think that believing is not something you do only in the church. Of course, you’ll get important input, you hear things that you did not know, the Bible is explained and you are just a short break in the hectic week,” she said. “But believe it is much more. For me it’s in little things: pray, your dealings with others, enjoy what God is trying to make clear to us, that you think about each other, that you love one another, that you are doing the right things. In cycling values I try to carry out every day.”

For a list of additional Christian Olympians including Michael Phelps and Simone Biles, please click here.


Thinking of Serving in Children’s Ministry This Fall?

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle

Teaching a large group of children can be intimidating, but it is such an awesome opportunity. When preparing, here are seven things that you should NOT do when trying to engage a large group of kids.

Thou shalt not…

1. Hide behind book/paper. If you have a paper or book in between you and the audience, you are setting up an automatic barrier.  It feels safer, sometimes, to have something to hide behind or to have something in your hands for just in case.  However, your eyes are immediately taken away from the kids in front of you.  They realize if you can’t see them and they will take full advantage!

2.  Read from a script. Know your lesson!  Be so-well prepared that you can teach the lesson from your memory and from your heart.  No one wants to be read to.

3. Talk sing-songy.  As my friend, Sam Luce, says, talk to kids like they are people, not babies.  When you start a lesson with a high-pitched, Sesame Street voice and beginning with, “Good morning, boys and girls!”, kids are going to tune you out pretty quickly.

4. Start meekly.  Getting started can be one of the most difficult parts of speaking.  As a result we can fumble our way through the beginning.  We can lose the kids before we can even get started.  Plan exactly what you are going to say from the moment you walk in front of the group.

5. Stay in one spot.  Move around to keep kids’ attention.  Be animated!  Move in ways that add to your presentation, but don’t distract from it.

6. Avoid eye contact.  Work to catch the eyes of every child in the room while you teach.  For some reason, it can become natural to teach to one side of the room.  Looking into each face as you teach will help hold kids’ attention.

7. Distract yourself.  Sometimes as we teach, our brain wanders or something else grabs our attention.  We can become our own distraction!  Fight to stay on track and fight against chasing distractions.  If you get distracted, you can guarantee that the children will be distracted as well.


Brock’s video interviews from Kingdom Bound!

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Artist Spotlight, CHRI

Check out the playlist here!

30 Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas (that aren’t all sandwiches)

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family

30-healthy-back-to-school-lunch-ideas-that-arent-all-sandwichesPa-lease tell me I’m not the only one that always had the same reoccuring back to school dream of walking in to class completely naked. Never failed – every night before that big first day, the nude dream creeped into my subconscious and freaked me out. Graduating from college meant many things, but the most important was kissing the awkward naked nightmares goodbye. I can’t guarantee your kids won’t be haunted with the same dreams, but I can give you an awesome list of 30 healthy back to school lunch ideas (that aren’t all sandwiches).

A dear friend requested I write this post as her little one is starting preschool this fall. She’s that kind of mom friend you can text and say things like, “Ok I understand why they say never shake a baby, but is it ok to shake a toddler?” or “I’m trying to go #2 and I see little fingers under the door so I feel like I need to hurry but I just want like three minutes”. Then she responds with, “I’m drinking a big @ss glass of wine as I’m giving both boys a bath” or “I ate blueberries off the floor because he threw them all but I didn’t want them to go to waste. Seriously feeding him cardboard if he does it again”. She’s the mom friend every mom needs.

And for the record, it’s not ok to shake a toddler….apparently. (KIDDING!)

So when you’re the mom that can laugh and cry at the same time or jokes about running away, but truly can’t imagine a second without those addicting round ‘lil cheeks….If you’re the mom that isn’t Martha meets Pinterest yet still wants to feed your little one healthy and nutritious meals, I got you covered (and I like you, a lot).

Making lunches for your kids doesn’t have to be a grand production, or a stressor in your already crazy life! So if you are worried that pb & j’s are the extent of your creativity and need some better alternatives, check these out!

#1. Deli meat wrapped around pickle spears

#2. Paleo pizza egg cups

Pizza-inspired egg muffins. Paleo and perfect for breakfast on the go!

#3. Avocado and cucumber sandwiches on whole wheat, gluten-free, or sprouted grain bread

#4. Lunchbox Kabobs from It Is A Keeper

Lunch Box Kabobs from it Is a Keeper
#5. Build your own pizza with a whole wheat english muffin, pizza sauce, and variety of vegetables

#6. Hard boiled eggs

#7. Cinnamon spinach mini flapjacks

Toddler approved and healthy! Cinnamon Spinach Mini Flapjacks are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and sweetened with only banana and cinnamon!

#8. DIY chicken salad (made leftover shredded chicken, paleo mayo, and sliced grapes) with whole grain or rice crackers

9. Almond butter and hemp seed banana ‘sushi’ from Fit Foodie Finds

Almond butter and hemp seed banana sushi from Fit Foodie Finds

#10. Paleo carrot cake energy balls

The best paleo snack ever! Try these carrot cake energy balls next time you're in a snack rut! Great for kids too.

#11. Grilled chicken tenders with choice of dipping sauce (hummus, honey mustard, sunshine dip, etc.)

#12. Build your own tacos (separately packed soft tortillas, beans, guacamole, shredded chicken, cheese, etc) inspired by Forks, Folks and Fun

#13. Lunchbox turkey and cheese “sushi” from The Weary Chef

#14. Mini skewers – protein of choice on toothpicks or mini skewers with previously roasted veggies

#15. 4-Ingredient Carrot Stars from Feeding Fin

#16. Apples, thinly sliced with nut butter in between for ‘sandwiches’

#17. Organic hot dogs or chicken sausages, quartered for easy finger food

#18. Paleo broccoli “cheese” sticks

#19. Build your own pita pockets – protein of choice, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

#20. Spinach sweet potato tots

#21. Roasted fingerling potatoes with hummus or sunshine sauce to dip

#22. Pea and Sweet Corn Fritters from My Fussy Eater

#23. Grain-free crepes with shredded chicken or sliced ham, spinach, and cheese OR strawberry chia seed spread

#24. Flaxseed crackers with tuna or deli meat

#25. Chicken and rice patties from Planning with Kids

Chicken and Rice Patties from Planning with Kids
#26. Gluten-free sweet potato cereal

Making your own gluten-free cereal is so easy and super healthy! Packed with vitamin A, this sweet potato cereal is the perfect breakfast to power through your day!

#27. Sandwich kabobs from Mom Endeavors 

Sandwich Kabobs from Mom Endeavors
#28. Prosciutto & Egg Roll Ups from Nom Nom Paleo 

Prosciutto and Egg Roll Ups from Nom Nom Paleo
#29. Mashed sweet potatoes with almond butter or leftover protein to top

30 Whole30 Hacks - microwave sweet potatoes

#30. Almond butter or cashew butter and strawberry chia ‘jam’ on whole grain or gluten free english muffins

Need some additional finger food side ideas? Here are a few!

Sliced apples

Mini sweet peppers

Sliced cucumbers

Berries of any kind

Sugar snap pease


Sliced jicama

Peeled oranges


Baby carrots

Broccoli or cauliflower florets

Pineapple slices


5 Prayers for Your Child

September 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Family
Have your children started back to school yet?

Mine begin Tuesday and I’m both nervous and excited.

Nervous because this is a new school and three of my four kids have never attended school in the States before!!

Excited because I’m believing for tremendous growth academically and spiritually in their lives. Plus, I’m ready to have a long quiet time again :)


I’m getting so much out of the 40 Day Praying the Promises for Our Children Challenge (it’s going on now and you can still join!) that I thought to share some of the scriptures we are praying during the course of this challenge. What a blessing to link arms with so many others as we storm the heavens on behalf of our children. My husband is praying these scriptures with me too. He told me this morning how much he is enjoying this challenge!

I hope these scripture prayers will motivate you to join us if you haven’t OR be diligent to keep at it if you’re already praying. You are making a difference!


1. For wise teachers and adults to invest in the lives of our children (Proverbs 22:6, 27:17)

Proverbs 22:6- A back to school scripture to pray for our kids

2. For God’s word to guide their path and guard their steps (Psalm 119:9)

Psalm 119:9

3. For a steady heart that seeks the Lord and dwells in peace (Psalm 34:4)

Psalm 344

4. For feet that run away from evil and towards righteousness (II Timothy 2:22).

2Timothy 222

5. For a godly impact and influence (Philippians 1:14-15)

Philippians 2 14-15

The cards above are included in our Fall Resource Kit, for a total of 40 printable prayer cards, journal sheets, and more. If you’d like to grab the Praying the Promises for Your Children Resource Kit, it’s available now for only $5 for a limited time!

Our prayer is that this resource equips you to effectively pray God’s word on a consistent basis. Let’s do this!