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2009 Conversations

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2002 Conversations

Ron McManus: Leadership center launched (December 30, 2001)

Norman Arnesen: History's supreme event (December 23, 2001)

Dr. Everett Bartholf: Help for the holidays (December 16, 2001)

"Auntie" Anne Beiler: God has a plan (December 9, 2001)

Mary Inman: Raising seven sons for Christ (November 25, 2001)

Tony Hall: Feeding the hungry, one person at a time (Novemer 18, 2001)

John Maracle: A growing Native American Fellowship (November 11, 2001)

Al Peterson: Praying for national leaders (October 28, 2001)

Beverly LaHaye: The family is God's gift (October 21, 2001)

Terry Meeuwsen: Putting family first (October 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Changing the world, one student at a time (September 30, 2001)

Nate Cole: You are not alone (September 16, 2001)

George Cope: Training pastors, missionaries and evangelists (September 9, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: Breaking down the barriers (August 26, 2001)

John Kilpatrick: The blessings and challenges of revival (August 19, 2001)

Marie Colwill: A passion for evangelism (August 12, 2001)

Lottie Riekehof: The Joy of Signing (July 22, 2001)

John Castellani: Teen Challenge: The Jesus factor (July 15, 2001)

Mike and John Tompkins: Publishing newspapers and proclaiming the Good News (July 8, 2001)

Chuck Girard: Music, marriage and ministry (June 24, 2001)

Stanley Burgess: The value of a godly father (June 17, 2001)

Dennis Franck: Single Adult Ministries Agency (June 10, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: The work of the Holy Spirit (May 27, 2001)

Stephen Tourville: The changing church in America (May 20, 2001)

Margaret Columbia: Raising 17 children for Christ (May 13, 2001)

Donna Fahrenkopf: Wanted: a life change (April 29, 2001)

Sean Smith: Spiritual attacks on young people (April 22, 2001)

Josh McDowell: Is the Bible true? (April 15, 2001)

Joyce Meyer: Being a practical Christain (April 8, 2001)

Paul Drost: Multiplication (March 18, 2001)

Bill Bright: Fasting for 40 days (March 11, 2001)

Beth Grant: Women in ministry (February 25, 2001)

Alicia Chole: His people and His presence (February 18, 2001)

Cris Carter: Playing on God's team (January 28, 2001)

Randall K. O'Bannon: The value of life (January 21, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Secular colleges: a vital mission field (January 14, 2001)

Putting family first

(October 14, 2001)

Since 1993, Terry Meeuwsen has served as Pat Robertson’s co-host of The 700 Club on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). A former Miss America, Meeuwsen has had successful careers as a broadcaster, author and recording artist. At home she is Mom to Drew, 18, Tory, 16, J.P., 14, and Tyler, 12. Recently she spoke with Ashli O’Connell, assistant editor, about her most treasured responsibilities: wife and mother.

Evangel: What have been the most challenging roles of your life?

Meeuwsen: I don’t even have to think about that: wife and mother. These roles touch everything that you do. Biblically, after my relationship with the Lord, those are my next priorities. The secret to both is to have a servant’s attitude. That’s true with everything we do, but it’s harder to maintain that under your own roof than it is with the world. I know that a dad has a huge responsibility in leading the family, but the mom really sets the tone. If I am out of sorts, it’s really like that saying, "If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy." It affects my whole household. God has given both that responsibility and that privilege to me as a woman.

Evangel: How do you balance your public ministry with your responsibilities as wife and mother?

Meeuwsen: One of the blessings for me is that CBN is very committed to family. When they asked me to come here eight years ago, I questioned the Lord. I loved being an at-home mom, and I had no desire to go back to work full time. I said, "Lord, why would You ask me to do this when my children are still young?" And I felt like the Lord told me that my children were part of the reason I was going.

But I still had a lot of anxiety. Pat Robertson had never had a co-host who was a mother. And it’s different when you have someone who is a mom. Nothing goes the way it is supposed to. Life is just one spontaneous moment after another. But from the very beginning CBN has been incredibly positive toward my family needs.

Evangel: And you’re a homeschooling mom?

Meeuwsen: Yes, I am homeschooling one of my sons. Often while I do the program, he’s doing his homework in my office. And then we’re able to have lunch together and then I take him home. So I have an unusual scenario here that would not necessarily be available to me in another workplace.

Evangel: Tell me about your longtime dream to adopt a Korean child and how that dream was finally realized.

Meeuwsen: I would like to explain clearly why I had that desire, but I’m not really sure myself. It was something that was in me for many years. When I met my husband, Andy, and we knew we were going to be married, he adopted my dream as his own. The process took several years, and J.P. came to our home after the birth of our first two children. He was such a gift. All of our children have been incredible gifts — just to be able to have children is an incredible blessing. God blessed us so abundantly. We were off the charts with gratitude.

Evangel: Your fourth child is also adopted. How did that come about?

Meeuwsen: The desire of our hearts was to have four children. I am the oldest of four; Andy is the oldest of four. We had discussed how great it would be to adopt again. And we had even thought we’d like to adopt a black or biracial child, but we never asked God for a fourth child because we felt that He had already so abundantly blessed us.

A friend of ours met a 20-year-old woman who had recently become pregnant. This girl was frantic over her circumstances. She had been told her child would never be accepted because he was neither black nor white. Our friend told her about J.P. and how he had been so wanted and so loved and accepted. And she said if she could find a family like ours, she would place her child for adoption.

So we’re eating dinner one night and our friend calls. Not knowing about our desire, she asked if we would consider adopting a biracial baby. Well, we almost swallowed our forks. We were just ecstatic. We were [there] when Tyler was born. It was just a great, great blessing and a gift from the Lord. He really completed our family.

Evangel: What would you say to couples who desire to adopt a child but are discouraged by the process?

Meeuwsen: First, pray and ask God to lead you. He knows the desires of your heart and heaven knows there are many children in need of families. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. Begin the process and see how God opens the doors. It’s a great adventure to walk with the Lord through these places when we can’t see the end. Those are the times when we get into the flow of the Holy Spirit and embark on a God adventure.

And there are wonderful opportunities to adopt special-needs kids. Not just kids who have profound mental and physical disabilities, but also kids who might need cleft palate surgery or maybe a heart surgery or who might have a hand that’s missing a finger or two. In their cultures, these children would have no chance for a normal life, but in America they would have incredible opportunity. You don’t have to be a person of great means to do this. You just have to be a person who is willing to embark on an adventure and who has a lot of capacity for love. God can make the impossible possible.

Evangel: Having a career in the public eye, you’re well aware of how image-conscious our society can be. How can we raise our children to find their self-worth in Christ?

Meeuwsen: Welcome to every Christian parent’s greatest challenge — I really think that’s the hardest thing to do with your kids because everything in our society and our culture is working against you.

Having two adopted children, I especially want my kids to find their identity in Christ and know who they are in Him before they know any other aspect of who they are.

Parents can help children do this by walking through the Scriptures with them, helping them discover God’s purposes for them. And pray. Pray more than you talk. Pray for your children. Pray with your children. When I put my kids to bed at night, I physically lay my hands on them and pray.

Children need to know that in the everydayness of life and growing up Mom and Dad are thinking of them and praying for them. They just need to know that they are covered.

Evangel: You have the opportunity to talk to so many fascinating people. What’s the best advice you’ve received about raising a godly family?

Meeuwsen: Pat Robertson has given me a lot of godly advice in numerous ways. Just working with him and hearing how he raised his kids has impacted my family. I’ve listened to his kids say the thing they most remember is getting up in the morning to find him reading the Word every day. I once asked his son, Gordon, "What is the most memorable thing that your dad ever taught you growing up?" And he said it was to stay "blessable." God wants to bless you. If we’re not in a position where God is able to bless us, it’s by our own choosing. I have really stressed that with my kids.

Evangel: Daily you bring your viewers a message of hope and inspiration. Where do you turn to be inspired and encouraged?

Meeuwsen: I go to the Lord. My favorite time of the day is after everyone is asleep and I can brew a cup of tea and just sit down with the Lord, maybe read the Scriptures, maybe read a book that God is using to speak to me, maybe listen to some praise and worship music, maybe write in my journal.

And I have good Christian friends. I think this is so important. God uses us to support each other and refresh each other and keep each other accountable. Some people find that in their church or in a cell group or in a Mom’s-in-Touch group. It doesn’t matter where. What matters is that you’re plugged in somewhere.

Evangel: Anything else?

Meeuwsen: We live in very challenging times. We have to be vigilant about our commitment and our walk with the Lord. We have to be vigilant about our marriages and our parenting. We live in a dying world, and we’ve got the answer. We’re the torchbearers. We need to share that light with gusto, understanding that the opportunity is a privilege.

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