The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. You know, the Bible tells us that as iron sharpens iron, so a man is sharpened by the countenance of his friends.
Hi, Alex McFarland here. And I want to tell you about a new friend that I've recently made in the context of ministry who is blessing my life. And that's just one of the beautiful perks, I guess, of being a Christian, is you meet so many fascinating people, and they shape your life. And they influence you.
And you'll meet just such a person who's touched my life in just a moment. But I want you to know where we're coming from. If you hear any background noise, any kind of ambient noise or conversations, we are recording this at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. This year it's in Florida, NRB. And our TV shows and ministries are part of NRB. But this is a wonderful gathering, folks. I just wish you could be here because, oh, I don't know, six, seven thousand people come from all over the world, literally. Just saw a group from Israel, and have already bumped into a lot of people from all across the Western Hemisphere. But these are the ministries, all the ministries you've heard of, like David Jeremiah or Billy Graham or Franklin Graham. But then the ten thousand little ministries you might not have heard of, but all of whom are doing the work of the Gospel.
So please keep it in prayer. It's really great. And I have the privilege of sitting face-to-face now with somebody that I met several weeks ago on the American Family Radio Network, Jane Jenkins Herlong, who is an author, a speaker, fascinating life story, absolutely amazing life story, and a dynamic representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we've been on radio, but now we're getting to do some live radio together recording. So Jane, thanks for starting off my week so well and meeting us to record for the Alex McFarland Show.
Oh, listen, I feel very blessed, and I'm so glad to meet you face-to-face. Well, indeed. It's great.
It's a letdown, I'm sure. No. We were at one of these conventions a few years ago, and I got on an elevator, and a lady in the elevator, she goes, Alex McFarland? And I said, yeah. She goes, Alex McFarland on the radio and all that? I said, yeah. She goes, huh.
She looked at me. I said, it's a letdown, isn't it? But, you know, it is a blessing to see you face-to-face, and I think this is your first visit to NRB, is that right?
It is, and I ran into three friends. I was so excited. I said, what are you doing here? Because my good friend, Simon T. Bailey, he's in the Speaker Hall of Fame. I'm so proud to be in that with someone like him.
He's wonderful. And so, and then meeting you, and we're both Southerners. Exactly.
Good, yeah. Do you know what? Has anybody ever said, because of your Southern accent, or, you know, the way we talk, which is the way the Good Lord intended, has anybody ever said that your Southern accent would be a drawback? I make more money the more Southern I get when I travel up North. What does that tell you? Amen. Right. You ever heard of Northern stories? Uh-uh. Uh-uh.
Southern. We got the stories, don't we? We got it. But, see, we're bold enough to tell it. It's therapy. That's what I say in my book.
It's therapy. You've got a fascinating life story that I want to get to, but speaking of the South, because, you know, 20 years ago, I went to work for James Dobson. Great, great honor. Oh, my goodness, yes.
And has been just an incredible mentor and friend. But I was out there and went through orientation, and they sent me to the broadcast department, because I was going to do radio and biblical worldview. So they sat me down, and they handed me several stacks of copy. And they said, read this, you know. And the guy comes in, and it was amazing, because he was kind of talking like I wasn't even in the room.
He was like, whoa, whoa, whoa. I would never put this guy on the radio. Do you hear that Southern accent? You know, this guy will never work.
No, don't ever put this guy on air. But, you know, God is so good. I said, hey, I'm from the South.
What can I say? All right, absolutely. Be proud of that. I am proud of that.
Absolutely. So, how do you describe being from the South? I think it's a place where, in Charleston, where the breeze blows and lists the moss off the beautiful Grand Oaks, where you sit on the front porch with your, and I'm going to be honest, my cousin Wee Wee and my Aunt Fanny, because I'm a humorist, you know, I talk about that. But you sit and listen and learn, and you go to church, and you're good, and to people, and you, like my granddaddy who spoke fluent Goa, and the vegetables.
Did he? Yeah, he'd take the vegetables. That's what he called vegetables. And you take care of your neighbor. You live down long dirt roads. You learn early about life and death because you get to have pets.
And it's a richness that, sadly, Alex, we're slipping away from us. That people that, I think they're trying to make everybody on the same playing field. Homogenized.
Absolutely. And which is wrong. And if you talk about your Southern background, a lot of people get offended. You know, I don't want to hear about that.
That's wrong. But it's where the black community led me to know Jesus. And I so appreciate that. This next book I'm writing is all about that. And I learned forgiveness and vengeance is not the way to go. I mean, it's just something that's in your DNA, and you can't get away from it. And never will I. I will breathe my last breath as a proud Southerner from Charleston, South Carolina.
Yeah, amen. I'm with you as a proud North Carolinian with family that goes back. I mean, literally, my family, we did the ancestry thing, and my family came in from Charleston. I mean, got off a boat from Scotland. Came in from Charleston in the late 1700s. And somehow they went north a little ways, and they realized that was not the direction to head.
And they stopped in North Carolina. But, you know, the South, that is true. There's a church on just about every corner. And, you know, I really love the word Bible-built. Because when I'm either in the Upper Northeast or in Chicago or on the West Coast, sometimes people say, oh, the Bible-built, you know, like it's a bad thing. I am proud to be from the Bible-built, aren't you? Oh my goodness, and the buckle.
The buckle's even better. Yes, exactly. So you are being used by the Lord in such dynamic ways. You're an author. Right here on the table, I've got, is this your most recent book, Sweet Tea Secrets? It is. It is. I've had fun with that book, and it's very Southern.
And a lot of the people that aren't from the South absolutely love it, because it's funny, it's entertaining, and it really has life lessons that are powerful and remind us of our roots to celebrate from wherever you're from. Be proud of yourself. Serve. That's the highest calling is to serve. And it's got Scripture just sprinkled all through it. That's Mark 10-44.
He who will be greatest among you will be the servant of all. Completely, completely. It is in the South, and I'm just saying this. Daddy taught me if you see a lady with a flat tire, you stop and help her change that tire.
And it's not misogynistic or patronizing, it's just you want to help people. It's a blessing, and I can tell you, and I know you could relate to this, but being in the South, I mean, if you get broke down by the side of the road, somebody will stop within a couple of minutes and say, Hey, you need help? Something like that. You got jumper cables? Do you know what? Always. I have to quiz you on your Southernness. Do you know what jumper cables are?
Oh yeah, I got them in my SUV. Okay. Okay. Now, with all deference to the Texans out there that we love Texas, but let's talk about what real barbecue is.
Have you ever? Yes. Is barbecue beef or pork? Pork. Amen. I had some folks from California come in going to barbecue school in Augusta, Georgia, and they couldn't wait to take it back. I said, Well, what you going to do, get a hog and put it in the overhead?
How you going to get that hog back? Exactly. And we were laughing about it. They couldn't wait to have their neighborhood party and have the barbecue, but they came to the South to learn how to do barbecue. Amen.
Well, that's where you do learn it. And listen, if I ever run for president, my platform is going to be this, coleslaw at every meal. Are you with me? Yes.
That's a good platform. We've got to take a brief break. We're talking with Jane Jenkins Herlong. She's the author of Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep Fried South. Her book is wonderful, as is she. Stay tuned, folks. We're going to be back after this brief break. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.
Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.
You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.
It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is AlexMcFarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Alex McFarland here, and we're talking with Jane Jenkins Herlong.
By the way, you can hear this again wherever you listen to podcasts and digital music. And I want to refer you, if you would, to my own website, which is AlexMcFarland.com. We've got a lot going on, my own speaking tour, and then our youth camps are starting this month, May of 23, as we record this.
We've got seven camps around North America. Please pray. Our calling is to evangelize the lost and equip the saved, and we give God the glory for all the people like yourselves listening who help us do that. You pray for us, you support us, and we appreciate that, because what this world truly needs is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we're committed to sharing that. And that's the calling of my guest as well, Jane Jenkins Herlong. And Jane, I want people to know where your website is.
Where can they find you online? JaneHerlong.com. H-E-R-L-O-N-G. Amen. You know, being with you on the radio several weeks ago and then now, I sense this is one of those providential friendships the good Lord puts in our life.
Yes. And your book, Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep-Fried South. That's a great title, by the way. Thank you. Big, big congratulations.
If I'm correct, you got this in Cracker Barrel. Yes. Having a ball with that. Hey, that's a coup.
Yeah, I didn't know it was quite a to-do, but it really is. God is good. What kind of feedback are you getting from people who read it? Well, it's been wonderful. People have come up to me, and they're real southern women. Oh, darling, I want your book. And then the northern women, well, darling, what's in the book? And I'll say, well, you need to read it, sugar. Yeah, I said, well, honey, you need to read it.
You need to get to know us. So I've had a ball. I really have. People have been so gracious. And I love the Cracker Barrel family. Oh, they're just fabulous people. Really? Oh, my goodness.
Well, and the food's not bad either. No. You know, over the break, you and I were talking a little bit about living out the dreams that God puts in your heart. Psalm 37.4 is a verse I really love.
But Psalm 37.4 says, commit your way to the Lord, and he'll give you the desires of your heart. You know that to be truth firsthand, don't you? Yes, yes, that's how I met my husband. We had one date, and we were married six months later.
That's how we do it in the south. That's right, because, I mean, I prayed when I was 12 years old. The Lord said, pray for your husband, and when you meet him, you will know him.
And I did. The desire of my heart. That's very much like Angie and me, my wife. I mean, we met in ninth grade.
We didn't really get serious until college, but I knew that I was going to marry her, and I prayed about it. And so, let's talk for the people out there that maybe feel like they've waited too long, the train has done left the station, and for their dreams to be realized, maybe that moment has passed. It's very sad when we tell ourselves there's no hope.
Completely. But for the child of God, there is always hope, and there's always opportunity. And so speak to the person that maybe needs a little jump start to some long, dormant dreams. I really think you need to get on your knees and ask God to reveal to you and rekindle what he put in your heart when you were a child.
I think he gives us dreams. When I speak in schools, it's funny. The elementary kids, I want to be the president, I want to be this. Middle schools, well, I don't know.
High schools, I don't know. It's just like the dreams have been stripped, and people say, you can't, you won't, you shouldn't. And I was told that. I'll never amount to anything.
You're dyslexic. You're not going to be able to go to college. But I went to college. My daddy couldn't pay for it.
And I ended up on academic probation and graduated on the dean's list and went to graduate school and then went to Miss America. So don't say no to me. I'm looking for next. Amen. That's just the way I am.
I roll that way. I don't know. God puts dreams in our hearts.
He can take you to anything. See, everything is a gift. Right. Look at who you are in Christ and take that and exploit it for the kingdom of God.
That's what we need to do. So let me ask you this. You were in the Miss America pageant. How do you keep your humility and balance when the whole nation is watching you on TV and telling you that you're gorgeous? Well, I never let it get into my spirit.
I know a lot of former Miss South Carolinas and Miss Americas that just won't show up because, you know, we all age. But my beauty is inside. Amen. And so I'm never going to let that die. I'm going to grow that beauty.
And I'm always going to be a part of that system because when I started Alex, it was like, this is everything I want to become, but I'm not. So I knew that Miss America was in communication skills, physical fitness, a sense of style, talent. What is talent? It's whatever you can do naturally to give back. So I grew all of those, and it took me to the stage in Atlantic City. I never gave up.
It was a gift to me. And you know what's really wild and I think would be surprising? And you speak to this. Feel free to agree or disagree. I've met a surprisingly large number of former pageant contestants.
And another friend that you and I have, a mutual friend, is Janet Ward Black in North Carolina, a very successful attorney, and missed North Carolina and went to the Miss America pageant. You know, it's been a surprising thing. The beauty queens that I've met and the former pageant participants are some of the most humble and godly people. I mean, you think they would be narcissistic or very self-centered, but the ones I've met almost to a single person have not been that way.
They've been very godly people. And don't you think a lot of people would be surprised to realize how that is the case, isn't it? That is absolutely the case.
It's unreal. When you go to Miss America, you meet 49 other sisters so much like you. And most of them, not all now, most of them are humble and grateful and can't wait to serve. And that's what you're looking for. And that's what I tell girls when I help them in their competition. It's not about winning. It's about the life skills to win in life. That's what it's about.
Yeah, exactly. Well, and let me just say this. And this is probably a conversation that has never been had on Christian radio.
But let's have this conversation. Beauty or any gift is something God entrusts to you, isn't it? Because I mean, there are some people that look average. There are some people that are just beautiful or super-duper handsome. Any gift, whether it be aesthetics or intellect or whatever, God entrusts that to us, doesn't He? He does.
And I think that He uses everything to draw people to us so we can be a beacon of light and hope and encouragement and inspiration. That's what I want in my life. Bring them to me. Let me show them how to be successful in life.
Let me show them a base of faith that can sustain you through life so you can live your best life and live your dream. So you're on the stage in Atlantic City, yourself and the most beautiful woman from every other U.S. state. What's going through your mind? How blessed I am to have made it there. Out of 40,000 young women, I became one of 50. And I got to meet some of the most remarkable women that I keep up with now. Cheryl Pruitt, who was Miss America my year, she's amazing. And she's been a huge part of my life. She endorsed my Christian book, Rhinestones on My Flip Flops. But I loved Cheryl, and I've watched her, and God gave her a miracle. And then my husband dated her. So she's a big part of who I am and how she brought me to understand the fullness of God in her life.
And she ministered Jesus at Miss America. It was amazing. Amen. When we come back, we've got to take a brief break. You've got such a fascinating story, and I appreciate you sharing it. I want to talk about the fact that for the believer, time should not be an obstacle. And folks, I'm going to give you a quote when we come back from Augustine, one of the most profound things ever said.
And if you take it to heart, it could change your life. Stay tuned. We'll be back right after this brief break. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes, we mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community. As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website, TruthAndLiberty.net. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. 354 to 430, there was a great Christian leader, I happen to think one of the smartest mortals that ever lived, Agustin.
He was a Christian leader. And I'm going to give a quote from Agustin as I resume my conversation with Jane Jenkins Herlong. Agustin said, the soul doesn't age. Welcome back to the program, folks, and welcome back my gracious guest, a fellow southerner, yay, Jane Herlong. It's good to be with you. Thank you.
It's been great. Well, so Agustin said, the real you, the soul, doesn't age. I believe that. I'm 59. I mean, I still ride my skateboard and climb trees and preach 275 nights a year. And I've got friends that are five years younger than me that are saying, hey, Alex, when are you going to retire? I'm like, never? So speak to us a little bit about the fact that we shouldn't tell ourselves that we're too old to do this. Time has passed me by.
I can't live out that dream I first thought about, you know, three decades ago. For the Christian who serves the God who is above time, I mean, time should not be an excuse for inactivity, should it, Jane? Let me tell you, without vision we perish. Amen. We've got to have goals and dreams, and we've got to ask the Lord to lead us to those goals and dreams.
And He's got to rekindle things in us that other people might strip away. I mean, sticks and stones break my bones, but words don't hurt. Words can crush your spirit. And if you let them get into your spirit, you're doing yourself a disservice, and you're doing the kingdom a disservice. So remember who you are and keep trying to be outside of you and don't feel sorry for yourself. I'm like you. I see people I went to school with and I'm going, what? Well, first of all, people don't take care of themselves physically.
If you don't take care of yourself physically, you're not going to mentally feel like doing anything but eating and watching TV and doing zero. Well, that's the quickest way to the casket. Oh, man.
So just remember while you're here, ask God to rekindle and get back in touch with who you are and share your gifts. You know, my Aunt Naomi Herlong could make a caramel cake like no other, but I said, well, that's nothing. Yes, it is. Her competition. We won a Grange building that's now our fellowship hall.
Amen. You remember the old Grange, the farmer Grange thing? I know what the Grange is. Yeah. So she entered her caramel cake. And because of that gift, we've got a building that we use for everything in our little country church.
Yeah. So no gift is too small. In your life, how have you overcome disappointments? See, there are people listening, and they would say, published author, renowned speaker, Miss America Pageant. Jane, you've never had a disappointment, some people would say. That's what makes me who I am. Adversity has been my friend. How do you climb over the disappointments that fall into the path?
I think you have to pray, if necessary, get a good Christian counselor like I did. We call it Crabs in a Bucket. I don't know if you ever heard me talk about Crabs in a Bucket. See, I think that'd be a great book title.
Now, what does this mean? Well, in the Lowcountry, we crab. Of course. And when crabs try to get out of the bucket, the other crabs pull the crab back in. Wow.
You know, it's just the way it is. So the crab has to get out of the bucket somehow. I got out of the bucket.
Dina. I got out. And I'm going to tell you something. And I said this, people in other parts of the country have not understood this.
I think you may. I love my family. I love my community.
Pleasant Garden, North Carolina. But I will tell you, succeeding is a type of treason. Oh, no kidding. You got out of the clan, the cult. Oh, boy, do I. I could preach on that one. Yeah. And I will tell you, Angie and I got married and went to work for James Dobson, start writing books, get on Fox and see. It's all for Jesus. Right.
I don't care that anybody knows my name, but I care that everybody hears about Jesus. But I will tell you, for some of the family, success is like a type of betrayal. You know what it is? It's fear-based. And Zig Ziglar would say fear means false evidence appearing regal. F-E-A-R. Oh, wow. You've heard that.
Yeah. They're fearful because if you get out, it makes them look like they're worse than they are. And it's fear-based and it's insecurity-based.
But the thing about Alex getting out of the bucket, that's one thing. But staying out and living your best life outside and still dealing with the people that we're commanded to love, but we don't have to like them. Thank you, Jesus. And really, life is a stewardship, isn't it? I mean, our time, talents, our abilities, our opportunities, the Lord expects us to do something with those, doesn't he? He expects us to be a beacon of light for other people, but it's their choice whether they follow, and that's what Jesus Christ did.
If they didn't, he knocked the dust off his sandals and moved on. And that's what we have to remember. And we do not have to be doormats for the body of Christ.
We are not called to be a doormat. We're called to be a light. How do you keep your joy? Because if somebody asked me to describe Jane Jenkins Herlong in the times we've worked together, I would say you're a very, very joyful person.
It's intentional. You have to find joy. You have to seek joy. If you're having a bad day, listen to something pleasant. Listen to a great podcast like this podcast.
Exactly. Listen to music. And if you like Frank Sinatra, listen to Frank Sinatra. You know, read something funny. Read my book. Get into your books. Learn more about how you can help.
Yes. And shape this culture that's so confused right now and so suicidal. It's so sad to say. But help these kids.
You don't know what people are going through. When you fly, say, Lord, put someone by me. You know, put someone in my path.
When you wake up every morning, say, how can I serve you? And, you know, there is such joy in that. And, folks, let me encourage you.
And, Jane, I'm sure you'll back me up on this. Folks, get in church. I'm going to tell you, the dear Lord gave us two incredibly brilliant avenues by which we can find ourselves and find joy and satisfaction, and that's the family and the church.
And I bet there are people that will hear this. And, folks, God could use you as a Sunday school teacher. God might use you as a prayer warrior.
You've got administrative skill, and you could serve on the finance committee or something like that. So, Jane, don't we find our skills and serve, and we find joy serving in the church? Well, can I tell you a quick story?
Please. So, in our little church, Harmony United Methodist Church, we have a member. Her name is Kim, and she has terrible disease. It's Parkinson's. It's everything.
It's horrible. She's nonverbal now. She was just put in a nursing home. Oh, I'm sorry. She's younger than me. Okay. So her daughter was getting married a year from now. She moved her wedding up just a few weeks ago because of her mama.
Right. And our entire church came to that fellowship hall and flipped it into a venue that made us all cry. That's little tiny contribution. If you could have just put up lights or helped set a table, the whole women's group, the whole church, you talk about a fellowship, of service. Now, what is it taking just for someone listening to go to their church and say, how can I serve? I'll do anything I can do to serve.
It doesn't have to be this massive thing of standing up in front of a church or singing or preaching the gospel. Get involved and have a purpose, and then God will show you another purpose and another. That's how it works, Alex.
That's exactly how it works. Amen. Have a willing servant's heart and watch the Lord do these great things in your life. Amen.
Amen. Well, and there's folks, what you're searching for, look, you're not going to find it in all those destructive avenues the devil will lure in front of you. You're going to find yourself and find your joy in letting Jesus be Lord of your life, and then you'll discover who you were meant to be. I'm going to give one verse, and I want you to comment. Matthew 6.33 says, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added to you. What does that verse mean to you, Jane?
If you have your priorities right and you get on your knees and accept Jesus, and listen, I grew up in a very poor environment, and my little black and white TV with Billy Graham's Crusades, we couldn't go, but I would go to the front of that TV and I'd kneel down. Amen. I did too. God looks at the heart of man.
I did too. And so that's what you have to do is first get to know Him, trust Him, and let Him protect you, lead you, and let you be a blessing to others. That's what it's all about. Well, you have blessed us, and I thank you. Again, the book, Sweet Tea Secrets from the Deep-Fried South, and you've got a number of, how many books have you written total? This is my fifth. Fifth book. And I'm working on six and seven. Oh, I know.
It was crazy. Exactly. Amen. And you are available. You speak all over the world.
Oh, yeah, I love it. I just love speaking, and God just keeps putting that desire in my heart. Yeah, I'll be in Nebraska in a couple of weeks, and I speak to all kinds of groups. I speak to farm bureaus.
I speak for school nutrition. Just ask me if I'm a good fit. We'll work it out. Well, amen.
And people can reach out to you or invite you, and your website is what? JaneHerlong.com. Jane Herlong, and Herlong is H-E-R-L-O-N-G.
Correct. Well, this has been the Alex McFarland program. Thank you for listening. Folks, if you need spiritual help, there's a tab on my website, AlexMcFarland.com, a tab that says, What Does God Say About My Relationship With Him? Listen, if you need to come to Christ, or you need to come back to Christ, we're here to encourage you in that regard. May God bless you.
Thanks for listening. Tell somebody about the show, but most of all, tell everybody about Jesus. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404, or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1.
That's 1-877-Y-E-S-G-O-D-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of The Alex McFarland Show.
Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events? Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, AlexMcFarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible. So visit the website, AlexMcFarland.com, and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online.
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