551 episodes

The Defender Podcast is a ministry of Lifeline Children's Services where we seek to equip the body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children and families. We hope this podcast will provide encouragement, inspiration, and ways to connect with others who have a heart for the orphan.

The Defender Podcast Lifeline Children's Services

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 109 Ratings

The Defender Podcast is a ministry of Lifeline Children's Services where we seek to equip the body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children and families. We hope this podcast will provide encouragement, inspiration, and ways to connect with others who have a heart for the orphan.

    Pastor Greg Matte on Adoption and Community Impact

    Pastor Greg Matte on Adoption and Community Impact

    In this episode of the Defender Podcast, hosts Rick Morton and Herbie Newell engage in a heartfelt discussion with Pastor Greg Matte of Houston’s First Baptist Church about the church’s adoption and foster care ministry. Pastor Matte shares his journey from being vocal about anti-abortion stances to actively supporting adoption as a proactive measure. He recounts the pivotal moment when his church raised substantial funds to support adoptive families, which led to the creation of a holistic ministry known as Legacy 68:5. This ministry offers comprehensive support, including counseling, therapy, and legal aid, all under one roof. Pastor Matte emphasizes the importance of taking incremental steps in faith and involving passionate church members in ministry leadership. The episode highlights the transformative impact of such ministries on both the families involved and the church community, showcasing how dedicated efforts can make significant differences in the lives of vulnerable children.

    GUEST
    Gregg Matte is the senior pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church, leading the congregation since 2004. He founded Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M University, the largest college Bible study in the nation. Gregg is an accomplished author of books like "Salvation Has Come" (2023) and "Capture the Moment" (2021). He holds degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gregg also serves on the boards of Houston Christian High School and Houston Christian University. He and his wife Kelly have two children.

    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    R(un) for One 2024Join us on September 7th for Lifeline Children's Services' R(un) for One 5K! This family-friendly event raises funds for vulnerable children worldwide through Lifeline’s (un)adopted® international orphan care ministry.
    Whether in Birmingham or virtually, lace up and run for a cause that changes lives. The Birmingham race starts at Dawson Church's Recreation Center, with a 1-mile Fun Run for kids!
    Can’t join in Birmingham? Sign up for our virtual run and receive a run packet to participate anywhere.
    Every step supports children finding love, education, and hope. Click here to register and learn more. Let’s make a difference together!


    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

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    • 30 min
    Casey Stevens on Family, Faith, and Making a Difference with Stand for Orphans

    Casey Stevens on Family, Faith, and Making a Difference with Stand for Orphans

    Join us as we sit down with Casey Stevens, who shares his family's inspiring journey from facing infertility to adopting their first son, Alek, from Kyrgyzstan in 2016 through Lifeline Children's Services. Blessed with three more sons, Micah, Jude, and Elijah, Casey's lively and love-filled home is a testament to resilience and faith. Casey discusses how his family actively participates in Stand for Orphans, an initiative that teaches kids the importance of caring for others and community service. Listen in as Casey talks about the roles his children played in their stand, memorable moments, and the rewarding experiences of working together as a family for a greater cause. Plus, get valuable advice for families looking to host their own Stand for Orphans.

    GUEST: Casey Stevens and his wife, Chesney, met at Mississippi College and married in 2013. After facing infertility, they adopted their first son, Alek, from Kyrgyzstan in 2016 through Lifeline Children's Services. They were later blessed with three biological sons: Micah, Jude, and Elijah. Their home is lively and filled with love. Committed to helping others, Casey's family actively participates in Stand for Orphans, teaching their kids the importance of caring for others and community service.

    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    RESOURCE
    Have you heard about Stand for Orphans? It's an incredible initiative created by kids, for kids, allowing them to make a difference in the lives of others. This program shows that you don't have to be an adult to make a big difference. Stand for Orphans empowers children to use their resources and abilities to impact the world. Since its start, kids across multiple states have joined in, raising significant funds for vulnerable children. Whether it's a lemonade stand or another creative idea, any child can host a stand. Want to get involved? Visit LifelineChild.org/Stand to learn more and sign up.

    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

    FOLLOW US
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
    The Defender Podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify
    The Defender Bible Study: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify

    • 35 min
    Operation Patriots for Children

    Operation Patriots for Children

    On today's episode of the Defender podcast, join us for an inspiring conversation with Scott and Lynne Watson, a devoted couple with a heart for philanthropy and family. Married for over 40 years, they've embarked on incredible cycling adventures, including a 3,400-mile journey across the USA, raising $700,000 for charity. Now, they're gearing up for the BamaRama500, a 500-mile ride benefiting causes, including Lifeline. With Scott's military background, their mission takes on a deeply personal meaning as they support veterans' families pursuing adoption and post-adoption services. Tune in to hear their story of love, dedication, and community, and discover how you can join them in making a meaningful impact.

    GUESTS
    Scott and Lynne Watson are dedicated followers of Jesus, have been married for over 40 years, are parents of five, and grandparents to nine. Two of their children were adopted from China, and five of their grandchildren were adopted. 

    In 2022, Scott and Lynne embarked on a remarkable journey, cycling 3,400 miles across the USA with Scott's USNA '83 classmates to raise funds for various causes. Their efforts have raised over $700,000 to date. This year, their team is set to embark on the BamaRama500 —a 500-mile ride from Huntsville to Orange Beach, Alabama, starting on October 4. The ride will benefit several veteran causes, including Lifeline's Operation Patriots for Children. Scott will be participating in the ride, while Lynne will lead the support team.

    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    OPERATION PATRIOTS FOR CHILDREN
    On today’s episode, you will hear from Scott Watson, a U.S. military veteran who continues to make a significant impact in the lives of others. Scott dedicates his life to raising funds for charities through long-distance cycling. This year, he has chosen Lifeline Children’s Services to be his charity partner for his upcoming ride, the BamaRama500 Scott’s goal is to raise $125,000 to support Lifeline’s Operation Patriots for Children, a fund that assists veterans' families in pursuing adoption and post-adoption services.

    Visit lifelinechild.org/veteran to make a donation to Scott’s cycling efforts and bring hope to vulnerable children today.

    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

    FOLLOW US
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
    The Defender Podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify
    The Defender Bible Study: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify

    • 25 min
    Biblical Faithfulness and Caring for Vulnerable Children: A Conversation with Jonathan Leeman

    Biblical Faithfulness and Caring for Vulnerable Children: A Conversation with Jonathan Leeman

    In this episode of the Defender podcast, Herbie Newell and Rick Morton are joined by Jonathan Leeman from 9 Marks to discuss the importance of biblical faithfulness and caring for vulnerable children in the church. Leeman shares his insights on what it means to be a New Testament church, emphasizing the role of Christians in demonstrating justice and righteousness. The conversation covers various topics, including the need for the church to recover a commitment to good works, the significance of pastoral leadership in fostering a caring church culture, and the theological implications of caring for orphans and the needy. Leeman also highlights the example of Spurgeon and the impact of preaching and pastoral prayers in encouraging congregational involvement in ministries for the vulnerable. The episode concludes with an encouragement for pastors to remain true to God's word and faithful in their pastoral calling.

    GUEST
    Jonathan Leeman is the editorial director for 9Marks. With a background in political science and journalism, he transitioned to ministry, earning a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in theology. He edits the 9Marks series, the 9Marks Journal, and co-hosts Pastors Talk. Jonathan, an author and interim pastor, lives near Washington, D.C. with his family and serves as an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church. He also teaches at several theological seminaries.

    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP
    We're thrilled to announce an incredible opportunity for families considering international adoption. This week, Lifeline is offering a $1,000 scholarship towards any new applications for their international adoption programs! This scholarship will be applied directly to your first agency fee, making it a little easier to start your adoption journey. But hurry, this special offer ends this week!

    Don’t let finances stand in the way of building your family. Apply today and take the first step towards a life-changing journey. If you or someone you know is considering adoption, now is the perfect time! Visit our website for more details and apply now. 


    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

    FOLLOW US
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
    The Defender Podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify
    The Defender Bible Study: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify

    • 30 min
    Faith, Foster Care, and Filmmaking: A Conversation with Jeremy Carlson

    Faith, Foster Care, and Filmmaking: A Conversation with Jeremy Carlson

    In this episode of The Defender Podcast, recorded  last year at the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, host Rick Morton interviews Jeremy Carlson of WTA Media, exploring his journey in faith-based media and his family's involvement in foster care and adoption. Their connection, rooted in their collaboration on the movie "Lifemark," has evolved into a meaningful friendship. Jeremy shares the emotional and spiritual lessons learned from his parents' dedication to being foster parents, which saw them welcome 13 children over seven and a half years, eventually adopting one of them, Matthew. The conversation underscores the transformative power and the church's crucial role in foster care. Jeremy also discusses his transition from youth ministry to faith-based media, aiming to influence a broader audience through his work. 

    GUEST
    Jeremy Carlson, a seasoned professional at Arrow Marketing, embodies a passionate commitment to faith-driven storytelling, rooted in his personal journey and family's dedication to fostering and adoption. Inspired by his parents' fostering of 13 children and eventual adoption of Matthew, Jeremy's career trajectory reflects a strategic blend of analytical prowess and creative vision, transitioning from youth ministry to a leadership role in faith-based media. His work on projects like "Unsung Hero" and "Lifemark" highlights his ability to craft narratives that resonate emotionally and spiritually, fostering connections and inspiring change. 

    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    RESOURCE
    Dear friends, mark your calendars! Lifeline's Giving Day is fast approaching—a 24-hour period dedicated to raising crucial funds to support more vulnerable children and families. The orphan care crisis never takes a break, so neither can we. Together, we can make a lasting impact and change lives for the better.

    But here's the exciting part: you have the chance to double your impact! We're thrilled to announce a generous donor who will match donations up to $100,000, amplifying the reach of your contribution. Join us on Friday, June 21, 2024, and let's work hand in hand to bring hope and transformation to those who need it most. Learn more and pledge your support at LifelineChild.org/donate. Together, we can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

    FOLLOW US
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
    The Defender Podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify
    The Defender Bible Study: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify

    • 29 min
    From the Heart of a Father

    From the Heart of a Father

    In celebration of Father's Day, join us for an episode featuring Chip McKenzie, whose life underscores the profound impact of fatherhood through domestic adoption. Chip's journey has seen him navigate the twists of marriage, career transitions, and the joys of raising five children with his high school sweetheart, Melissa. Their family expanded through domestic adoption, culminating in the recent addition of their youngest, Carson. Chip's story is a testament to the transformative power of parenthood and the enduring love that binds families together, offering poignant insights and heartfelt reflections on faith, community, and the profound joys of fatherhood.


    Guest: Chip McKenzie's life is a whirlwind of adventure and fulfillment, encapsulating a decade marked by marriage, career shifts, parenthood, and domestic adoption. He married his high school sweetheart, Melissa, and together they've navigated the joys of raising five children, including twins, and recently welcomed their youngest, Carson, through domestic adoption.
    HOST
    Herbie Newell is the President & Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and its ministry arms.

    CO-HOST
    Dr. Rick Morton is the Vice President of Engagement at Lifeline Children's Services.


    Make An Impact
    On today’s podcast episode, we will hear from a dad whose view of fatherhood was transformed by special needs domestic adoption. Last year, 85 children joined their families through domestic adoption. Partnering with Lifeline enables more families to transform their lives by the adoption journey. 

    Join us for Giving Day on June 21st (or even now!) to make hope possible for more children and families. Visit lifelinechild.org/giving.

    LIFELINE CHILDREN'S SERVICES
    The mission of Lifeline Children’s Services is to equip the Body of Christ to manifest the gospel to vulnerable children. Our vision is for vulnerable children and their communities to be transformed by the gospel and to make disciples. 

    FOLLOW US
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
    The Defender Podcast: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify
    The Defender Bible Study: Subscribe on iTunes | Transistor | Spotify

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
109 Ratings

109 Ratings

The Nearly Free Homeschool ,

Multifaceted Approach to Living Out God’s Care for Vulnerable People

I love that this podcast continually comes back to God’s care for widows and orphans. Unlike other organizations, Lifeline emphasizes the many many ways church members can be a part of care for kids… even if they themselves don’t adopt or foster. I’m so encouraged to think of the many ways in which my family (and even my little kids!) can be a part of ministry in this way!!

mja852016 ,

Great podcast, please add more family testimonials!

I really value this podcast, as we pray and discern about adoption...The podcast is focused on God, His calling, and is biblically sound. Great info, super helpful. I love hearing about each program and from the program points. But one request: I’d really love to hear more from families. We are in the trenches of trying to hear Gods voice, and would love to hear encouragement and experience from those who have gone before us in this process. How they heard and were led, their fears and how God met them in it, challenges they experience now that they are waiting or home and how God has been there too!
Thank you Lifeline for all you do for the glory of God and we pray for strength and encouragement and the ability to stand firm! Blessings!

AlliLou ,

An incredible resource

I discovered The Defender Podcast when praying about adoption. I was able to listen to helpful podcast episodes that educated me about the adoption process and about the China program. They were such a blessing! Two years later as we near travel, I continue to appreciate the podcasts. Thank you Herbie Newel and the Lifeline family!

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