Encounter hosts ‘Duck Dynasty’ duo

Forgiveness topic of discussion

Alan and Lisa Robertson had a story to tell before they and other members of the Robertson family became famous as part of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality show.

It’s a story of love, brokenness and reconciliation, and the couple will talk about their lives, how forgiveness can occur in difficult situations and what it is like to be part of the Robertson clan when they come to Altoona to speak at Encounter events later this month.

“Duck Dynasty,” a popular TV show, depicted the lives of the Louisiana family who became successful making duck calls and other hunting accessories through its Duck Commander business. It aired from 2012-17, and its fourth season premiere was watched by 11.8 million viewers. It was the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history at that time. The show, which includes 131 episodes over 11 seasons, continues to be available in reruns through streaming sites.

Before the TV show made the family famous, Al and Lisa spoke about how God healed their marital issues, including unfaithfulness, at retreats, seminars and in churches

Now, the Robertsons are expanding on the topic of forgiveness.

At the daylong Ladies Spring Encounter, they will relate how forgiveness can heal any broken relationship — whether it is between couples, colleagues, family members or friends.

It is one of three separate presentations planned for the two-day program that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Ladies Encounter.

During the other two programs, Alan will address men and male teens while Lisa speaks to girl teens.

All events will be held at the Blair County Convention Center and advanced ticket sales end April 21.

The schedule includes:

n “Hope for Any Situation” — The Ladies Spring Encounter will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27 with both Robertsons as guest speakers. Cost is a $25 donation. Advanced lunch ticket is an additional $15. Cost is $30 at the door, and lunch is not available.

n “Reflections from the Beardless Brother” — This is a new event for men and male teens to meet with Alan Robertson. It will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. April 26. Cost is a $20 donation for men and a $10 donation for teen boys. Cost is $25 at the door for men and $12 for boys.

n “Ducky Decisions” — Lisa Robertson will address teen girls at the annual event that includes a pizza party and God time. It will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 26. Cost is a $10 donation and $12 at the door.

For tickets, visit ladiesencounter.com. They are also available at Roaring Spring True Value, Thompson’s Pharmacy in Hollidaysburg and Altoona (Juniata), Everett Flower Shop and Northern Bedford Pharmacy.

For mail order tickets, contact Doris Miller at 224-5443.

Joyce Bassler, one of the organizers of Ladies Encounter, said she and her husband were in Louisiana a few years ago and attended church services at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, where all the Robertsons attend. She said Willie got out of his seat to personally greet them and all the Robertsons and other church members were welcoming.

A few years later, the Basslers went on a “Duck Dynasty” cruise where they got to know the Robertsons better.

“They are down-to-earth people who truly love the Lord,” Bassler said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Bassler, who is chairman of the event, said she was looking online for a speaker for Encounter when a picture of Lisa came up. When she learned that Alan travels with her, Bassler said she invited them both to speak.

Their topic of forgiveness is one that Alan said is important to him and Lisa. They have written two books on the subject. The first one,“A New Season: A Robertson Family Love Story of Brokenness and Redemption,” was published in 2015 and is about the ups and downs of their marriage.

A second book, “Desperate Forgiveness,” will be released in June. It contains “amazing stories of forgiveness between fathers and sons, brothers and sisters and others,” Alan said.

He said in some instances, the opposing sides were at such an impasse that it seemed that they would never be able to overcome their differences and attitudes.

In addition to the two books on reconciliation, the Robertsons have written a weekly devotional for husbands and wives, “The Duck Commander Devotional for Couples.”

Each reflection and teaching is designed for spouses to set aside time once a week to focus on each other and their spiritual lives.

Although most devotionals are written for daily meditation, Lisa said she and Alan wrote weekly messages because many couples are too busy to set aside time together for a daily one.

“Every lesson is like a date night,” she said.

It starts out having couples thinking about the beginning of their relationship. It is great for people who are engaged or even those married 20, 40 or 50 years, Lisa said.

During the morning Ladies Encounter session, Lisa is expected to talk about her and Alan’s romance that started when they were in junior high and how God redeemed some wrong turns she made after marriage.

In the afternoon session, Alan is to talk about life on “Duck Dynasty,” as well as provide insight into relationships.

He will also share what it is like to be part of the “Duck Dynasty” family during the session with men and guy teens.

The Robertson men include Alan’s father, Phil, and his Uncle Si, as well as his three brothers Jase, Willie and Jep. They all sport long beards and are often clad in camouflage — a duck hunter’s outfit of choice.

But Alan is clean shaven and known as the Beardless Brother. He was not on the show for the first few seasons because of his commitment to White’s Ferry Road Church, where he served as a pastor for 22 years.

In addition to telling some fun stories about his family, Alan will spend some time talking about relationship with the opposite sex and how boys and men should respect girls and women.

“I was part of ‘#MeToo’ (movement) before ‘#MeToo’ was cool,” he said.

While the guys are having their meeting, Lisa will be talking to teen girls about making “Ducky Decisions.”

In tune with teens, Lisa said she talks to two of her four granddaughters, who are 11 and 14, about their relationships with boys and the importance of making smart decisions in how they dress and act among their peers as well as respecting themselves.

Although their topics are serious, the Robertsons plan to have some fun with the audience and will intersperse their talks with humor.

It’s biblical to have a sense of humor, said Lisa. “It’s really important. Humor has a lot to do with being joyful.”

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