The Kitchen Table #26: As Followers of Christ, How Do We Deal with Divorce?

This week on The Kitchen Table, Shine.FM’s Ministry Director Brian McIntyre Utter and his son Jake welcome around the table, Shine.FM program director, Don Burns, as they look at the issue of divorce, the effects it has on children, and what the Bible has to say. In Music Matters, new music from Lincoln Brewster, a Christmas song from Chris Tomlin & Audrey Assad and an oldie, but goldie from Wayne Watson. In Culture Shock, some important things kids should know about Christmas. Be sure to subscribe for all the latest!

Momcast with Heather Erbe featuring Amy Grant

Join Shine.FM’s Heather Erbe for the latest Momcast as she catches up with Amy Grant to talk about her new Christmas music and more.

Shine.FM Christmas 2014 – Top 10

1.  Phillips Craig & Dean “Born Is The King (It’s Christmas)”
2.  Sidewalk Prophets “What A Glorious Night”
3.  Joy Williams “Here With Us”
4.  Francesca Battistelli “You’re Here”
5.  Britt Nicole “O Come All Ye Faithful”
6.  33 Miles “Christmas Medely”
7.  Aaron Shust “O Come Emmanuel”
8.  Casting Crowns “While You Were Sleeping”
9.  Chris Tomlin “Emmanuel”
10.  Downhere “How Many Kings”

Sharing the Christmas Story with Your Kids

Well, Christmas day is finally here—and my kids can hardly believe it!

I pray that you will set aside some time to thank God for the incredible gift of his Son.

If you’ve never read the Christmas story to your kids, you can find it in the first two chapters of the book of Luke.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!   

And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in highest heaven,and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  

After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.

All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.

Merry Christmas, from all of us at Shine.FM!

Listen to today’s audio here.

The “Jesus” vs. “Santa” Controversy

Dear Dr. Bill,

Before our kids were born, my wife and I decided we wouldn’t teach them about Santa Claus — because we didn’t want him to replace Jesus as the reason for this season.  But we’ve been getting criticism from our family, friends and now even from members of our own church.  They say that we’re spoiling our kids’ imagination.  I’m frustrated because I feel like my church, the one place that should encourage the truth, is betraying me!  What should I do?


Dear Sam,

I appreciate your dedication to biblical truth, but frankly, I think you need to relax.  Here’s how you might talk to your kids about this the Santa vs. Jesus controversy:

“It’s fun to believe in Santa, but we know that believing in Jesus is what’s most important.  He is our Lord and Savior, and a relationship with him gives our lives true meaning and purpose.

Families all over the world have stories about a person like Santa Claus, and young children love to believe in him.  Santa represents good things, like kindness, generosity, and joy.”

You can also tell your children about the real Saint Nicolas, who Santa Claus is based on.  He was born in Turkey, about two hundred years after Jesus.  He was a Christian, and when he was a teenager he heard about a poor family that couldn’t afford to buy food.

He sneaked up to their house one night and tossed a handful of gold coins through the window. They were overjoyed when they found the coins the next morning, but they never learned who did it.

Nicholas was so thrilled about helping a family in need that he dedicated his entire life to giving to others.

Thanks for writing, Sam.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “questions” tab on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here.

The Best Christmas Gift You Can Give Your Kids This Year

What’s one of the best Christmas gifts you can give your kids this year?

Well, it’s NOT an i-phone, i-pod, or i-pad…or a deluxe Rainbow Loom set for your 7-year-old daughter!

It’s making faith relevant in your home.

Unfortunately, several studies show that a large number of Christian teens are abandoning their faith in college.  And new research indicates that many of these kids aren’t coming back to the church—or to Christianity.

That’s why it’s crucial for us to be intentional about passing our faith to our children.

If our Christianity is limited to an hour or two on Sunday mornings, our kids will come to view our faith as hypocritical and meaningless.

Also, research conducted at the University of North Carolina shows that teens who are actively involved in a faith community are much less likely to be involved in some of the risky behaviors that so many kids fall victim to these days.

Also, if you have a tee or pre-teen at home—it is VITAL for them to be involved in a healthy, discipleship-oriented youth group.

And of course PRAYER is critical in making faith relevant in your home.

Pray for your kids, and pray WITH your kids.  And as you pray, ask God to help you provide your children with the kind of unfailing love and clear moral guidance that they’ll need to survive in a world that is full of a bunch of dangers and temptations.

An excellent place to go for resources that will help you be more intentional about passing on your faith is Focus on the Family.  I’ll admit that I’m kind of partial to that ministry since I worked there for 8 years.  You can reach them at 1-800-A-FAMILY and find them on the web at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Lisa’s Home School: SACKed Sweet Reminder

It does not take much to make someone’s day this season. Why not give a little “cane?” Lisa has an idea. Listen here!


Lisa’s Home School: SACKed Sweet Reminder

Lisa’s Home School: SACK Weekend Tip

‘Tis the season for giving! Are you and your family bored on a cold weekend? Lisa provides a SACK weekend tip that will warm your heart and fill the stomach of others. Listen here!

Lisa’s Home School: SACK Weekend Tip

Lisa’s Home School: SACKed

Lisa shares the pluses of decorating a minor, yet key, home object; and someone to bless this holiday season:



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