A story of hope in a hopeless world

This morning on radio Darryl and Tracy Strawberry called in to discuss their new book The Imperfect Marriage: Help for those who think it's over.

Some of you may remember Darryl and Tracey were guests of the Glenn Beck Program, covering their own personal addiction and struggles in life. This morning, Glenn asked Darryl and Tracy how do people take that first step towards going to church. Glenn said, "There's a lot of people I'm sure listening to you and they're like — and are struggling, that are like, I don't know if I believe in God and this whole Jesus things drives me out of my mind and how am I ever going to get to church because church people are going to look down on me anyway."

Darryl Strawberry provided some amazing advice concerning that subject, saying:

People have to understand. The church is like a hospital. You come there to get well. You come there to hear the word of God. Don't look at man, don't look at woman. You got to listen to the word. It's the word that changes people. And I think people need to get really that clarification in their mind, Glenn, that it's not the people who ought to change. It's the word of God that's going to change you. It's the word that changed Tracy. It wasn't the people. If I sat and worried about the people, I'm never going to get well. They talked about me when I was rich. They talked me when I was famous. Now they talk about me because I love Jesus. They're going to always talk about you.

Watch some of this amazing interview below:

GLENN: I want to introduce you to a man and wife, Darryl and Tracy. You know — you know Darryl Strawberry. Darryl Strawberry played for the Mets, the Yankees, the Dodgers, probably would have been one of the greatest ballplayers of all time had it not been for massive drug abuse. He turned his life around 12 years ago, married his now wife Tracy eight years ago. And together they have found a way through alcoholism and addiction and really bad, bad places. Before I bring them on, I want to tell you a story. They were on the TV with me. And we have an employee that — their family is struggling. Somebody in their family is struggling with a member who is addicted to heroin. Not only did I talk to Darryl and Tracy about this and said, look, I don't know what advice has come to me. I don't know what advice to give. I was never addicted to heroin and the family is at wit's end. Not only did they immediately ask to meet with us — with this employee, but they met with him for about 20 minutes, talked to him, comforted him. Darryl then reaches into his pocket and says, look, I run a treatment center and if we can get your family member in, don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. Which I thought was amazing. Then I find out later that they had called the mother of this employee who is really struggling and happened to call her on the worst day of her life. She had given up. And she didn't know what to do and the phone rings and it's Darryl and Tracy Strawberry. And they spent I don't know how much time with her on the phone just counseling. This is who these people have become. They are the real deal. And I'm really impressed with them and I wanted to bring them on the program. They have a new book called "The Imperfect Marriage, Help For Those Who Think It's Over."

Darryl and Tracy, welcome to the program. How are you guys?

TRACY: Good morning, thanks for having us.

DARRYL: We're doing great, Glenn. Thanks for having us.

GLENN: Let me start with you real quick. You don't have any memorabilia in your house at all. Where you were a great baseball player. You've gotten rid of all of that stuff. Do you ever think to yourself what could I have done had I been clean?

DARRYL: Oh, not at all. The journey of each person life is the journey they will go through and I think a lot of times too many people try to revisit the past and you can't. You can't look at the past because you can't — Glenn, you'll never walk into the anew. I think that's where most people struggle in their life and not just in addiction but in life period. They look in the past, what the past used to be like. That's old. That's not who you are anymore. It was — at that time who I was. That's who I was. I had a lot of issues inside. I mean, I was famous, I was rich, I was successful. I had everything you could want but I had nothing inside. Inside I was empty and I think a lot of times I prefer where I'm at today not to be empty. When I was back there having everything and to be whole where I'm at today and being imperfect. So I'm grateful for all the things that have happened because it brought new character and it made me a true man. I think sometimes we think success makes you a man and that's not the case. Success doesn't make you a man. Success makes you successful doing what you're doing. But becoming a man and moving in purpose and doing God's will is the most incredible gift I've ever received, in a trophy, in a championship, and millions of dollars. To be in the know — the principles that I live by, the biblical principles. Not worldly principles, but biblical principles, that I'm stronger than ever and I'm in purpose and leading them to salvation.

GLENN: Tracy, were you a wreck yourself? We all know Darryl. He was — he was — I mean, what I would dare to call times in his life a waste of skin where he was the worst of the worst. You were in bad shape yourself. You two get together at some point. First of all, I mean, what does that say about you in some ways that you were seeing him at his low point? You had to be just kind of in that same kind of cesspool. What were you like when you first met and why did you guys get together?

TRACY: Well, Darryl and I hit it immediately and right away because we were the same person dysfunctionally. We could understand each other right out of the gate. There wasn't any judgment there. We couldn't judge each other because we were in the same people. He was just the male, I was a female participating in the same defeated lifestyle. So this was this sick safety, of you will, created there. We felt safe with one another. We understood one another. The problem is, dysfunction, when it gets together, operates dysfunctionally and produced more dysfunction. And many people in this world today just so desperately want to be loved, desire to be loved and really want to be loved. And I truly believe want to be well. But we are not equipped to love. We have to become well and become a whole person in Christ before we can even think about becoming whole as one with another person. And Darryl and I, we came together relationally. But that quickly deteriorated and fell apart and it just became another struggle, another problem, another issue, because we could not get along. We couldn't —

GLENN: You were knocking down doors of like crackhouses to find him and try to pull him out at one point.

TRACY: I was. I was trying to be his savior. I was working harder at his life than he was. I was working harder at his faith than he was. You're going to believe and you're going get well whether you want to or not. It's called codependency in the world. Living a life without God, I was his savior. So he had no reason to look to a savior and no reason to look for help because I was his help and his hope.

GLENN: Darryl, you told me at one point when she said "no" to you, and sell this story, this is the first time ever in your life anyone had ever said no.

DARRYL: Yes, it was a defining moment in my life. We were together. We had came to St. Louis together and we were living in her parents' home. And Tracy started studying the Bible and we were — said we was going to go to church and get on with her life.

First, we're not married. So this is the people who are not married. We were just shacking up. There's nothing great that's going to come out of that and I think a lot of times people think this can work. And we thought it could, too. And she woke up one morning and she had be studying the Bible and said I can't do it anymore. And I said what do you mean, she said we're not having sex anymore. I said what. No, I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not compromising anymore. And I think that's it. And I said I think I need to get out of here. And she said I think that's what you need to do.

That was a defining moment in my life when she came to me, that's it. Right there, Tracy took a stand. Not only for her but it was a stand that changed me because it sent me off running to California to stay with my sister Regina. And her three kids. And in her two-bedroom apartment and I went there and I got my life together. I stopped sex, I stopped drugs. I stopped everything. I went back to church and got myself right with God.

GLENN: Hang on just a second. What happened, because there's a lot of times that people will say, what? That's fine. And then you go out and you trash her, you know. She becomes the bad person. And you just go deeper. What was the — why was that your bottom?

DARRYL: Well, because I had never been told "no."

And I think — you know, I think most people never tell the other person "no."

This is not going on anymore. They just continue to do it. You know. And for me that was — that was a defining moment. I had to look at me. There was something wrong with me. I needed to look at myself. You know, after Tracy had cut me off and said she's not doing this no more, I'm not living this way. And the thing about it, Glenn, we didn't even know if we were going to get back together. I know most people think, maybe we'll come back together and we'll make it work, but we didn't even know we were going to get back together. The thing was there was a breakoff and there was a pivotal point in my life that I realized, you know, I needed to do something different in my life. I need to go and rededicate my life to God like Tracy is doing and get myself together. And when we broke off, it was a six-month period that I — we broke off for. And I went and got myself together, got it back in church and she went and got herself together and then we decided, you know, well, maybe we're doing the right thing now. And maybe we can come back together and make this work. And that's how it turned out for us. You know, we went our separate ways and got our own self together. And I think a lot of times people don't want to look at themselves and they want to point the finger. When you point the finger, three are pointing right back at you.

GLENN: Tracy, you guys are — you guys write the book and I've heard people say, yeah, like I'm going to listen to these guys who are both addicts. Yeah. I am going to listen to two people who have taken and been at the absolute bottom of the barrel and then changed their life and really truly changed their life and are happy and successful now. And successful in a — in the happiness quotient more importantly. What is it that you think is unique that you guys have to offer here?

TRACY: Well, number one, I truly believe that this book is — we keep it very real in here. We keep it very real. We don't paint a picture of a fairy tale story that's not attainable, number one. We really get to the core issue. And I believe instead of blaming your partner or working on outside things, to expect an inward healing, we don't address those things. We talk about those things in the book. But the book really leads you to look within yourself and take responsibility for yourself and your own life. And how you do that with practical application. And understanding that you know, God has to be in the center, but how do you make that happen? I was one of these people going where I was like, look, I know God is important. I know all this stuff is important. Can you help me with that? I'm angry with God. I don't understand Him. I don't what you understand my problem is. I know I'm powerless over alcohol and drug addiction, but boom, now another powerless thing has popped up. I'm powerless over my marriage, my kids, my mind, my thinking, my entire life. And it leads people — my prayer is into the understanding, we're born with this thing called a sinful nature that we're powerless over. We're born with original sin. This character that cannot mold to God. It separates us from God. I'm completely separated from God. I'm not — I didn't do anything to earn this sinful nature. I was born with it. So I don't do anything to earn God's love. And that's the power of the cross right there. And having an understanding of what the true gospel is and understanding what of what is wrong with you and why we need Jesus Christ to make it right, how you put God in the center and then how you live that out in an everyday life, overcome adulteries, addictions, everything that is birthed out of the sinful nature. We want to get a real understanding of that.

GLENN: Can you ask you guys a question? There's a lot of people I'm sure listening to you and they're like — and are struggling, that are like, I don't know if I believe in God and this whole Jesus things drives me out of my mind and how am I ever going to get to church because church people are going to look down on me anyway.

TRACY: Uh-huh.

DARRYL: You go to church because everybody is screwed up anyway. No one there is perfect. That's why we go there.

GLENN: Unfortunately a lot of people who are in the pews think they are.

DARRYL: They're not. That's the whole point.

GLENN: I know.

DARRYL: People have to understand. The church is like a hospital. You come there to get well. You come there to hear the word of God. Don't look at man, don't look at woman. You got to listen to the word. It's the word that changes people. And I think people need to get really that clarification in their mind, Glenn, that it's not the people who ought to change. It's the word of God that's going to change you. It's the word that changed Tracy. It wasn't the people. If I sat and worried about the people, I'm never going to get well. They talked about me when I was rich. They talked me when I was famous. Now they talk about me because I love Jesus. They're going to always talk about you. But what has happened in our life is we allowed the word to change us and bring us to a greater understanding, a greater place of why we were created. I think a lot of people don't even know why they exist. You know, I think a lot of times husbands are supposed to be the head but they're a knuckle head because they think I'm successful, I don't need this God and my family is falling apart. My wife and kids are falling apart. Because I don't know this God to lead my wife and family. Because the man is supposed to lead his family in the biblical principle ways. I lead my family. And that's what this is all about. And I think we're ought off order. We got it all backwards. Most of the women in church. They're loving God. The husbands are out running around chasing football games, basketball games and all kind of other stuff to be successful. And they're missing the point because they don't know the — they don't know the biblical principles of living.

TRACY: And Glenn, I believe, too, it's the goodness of God that leads people to repentance. And sometimes it's easy to get a wrong introduction to God. Some people were raised with harshness and why harmed by what we call a church and they put a label on the church and Jesus said, my God, my God, you're pushing my people away. I love them. I know what's wrong with you. I know what's in you. You are no surprise to me. I'm not trying to get you to fall in love with the church, a place. I'm not trying to get you fall in love with a preacher. I'm not banging you over the head with my word. I'm trying to get you to fall in love with me. I know everything that's wrong with you. You're no surprise to me. I am the solution and I'm leading you in love and I'm leading you with solution. I already know. I just want you to come to me. And we give this misrepresentation and it pushes people away from God.

GLENN: Darryl and Tracy Strawberry, I want to thank you for being on the program and thank you for your book, "The Imperfect Marriage." I have to tell you. I've lived this. I don't care how you get there. What they're saying is right. I've lived exactly the same thing and it is true. If you happen to be in need for you know somebody in need, please, consider the "Imperfect Marriage, Help For Those Who Think It's Over. Darryl and Tracy Strawberry. Thanks.

Carter Page, a former advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, found himself at the center of the Russia probe and had his reputation and career destroyed by what we now know were lies from our own intelligence system and the media.

On the TV show Thursday, Page joined Glenn Beck to speak out about how he became the subject of illegal electronic surveillance by the FBI for more than two years, and revealed the extent of the corruption that has infiltrated our legal systems and our country as a whole.

"To me, the bigger issue is how much damage this has done to our country," Page told Glenn. "I've been very patient in trying to ... find help with finding solutions and correcting this terrible thing which has happened to our country, our judicial system, DOJ, FBI -- these once-great institutions. And my bigger concern is the fact that, although we keep taking these steps forward in terms of these important findings, it really remains the tip of the iceberg."

Page was referencing the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which revealed that the FBI made "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for warrants to spy on Page, a U.S. citizen.

"I think this needs to be attacked from all angles," Glenn said. "The one angle I'm interested in from you is, please tell me you have the biggest badass attorneys that are hungry, starving, maybe are a little low to pay their Mercedes payments right now, and are just gearing up to come after the government and the media. Are they?"

I can confirm that that is the case," Page replied.

Watch the video clip below for a preview of the full-length interview:

The full interview will air on January 30th for Blaze TV subscribers, and February 1st on YouTube and wherever you get your podcast.

Want to listen to more Glenn Beck podcasts?

Subscribe to Glenn Beck's channel on YouTube for FREE access to more of his masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, or subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com