25Feb

In with the new, out with the old — blood

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One of the things I love about my job is meeting new friends.  Recently I was privileged to become friends with Dick and Mary Frances Bowley. This husband/wife team is doing a great work in our listening area. Mary Frances is author of “The White Umbrella” and the founder of Wellspring Living. Dick is the author of “POP: Power of Prayer a Journey in the Light”.

“Pop” is actually a publication of Dick’s care page journal. You see a few years ago, Dick battled Leukemia and by the grace of God was healed. Recently, he came into our studios to share more of this amazing journal and we will present the interview to you on a future Georgia Town Crier (if you are reading this after March 2nd, 2013 the interview is available on our on-demand streaming player — go to NewLife.FM and click listen live).

A couple days after the interview Dan sent me the following email excerpt and it was so powerful I thought I’d share it with you.

 

The big hero of the story is my brother  Dan.  Without his bone marrow in the form of stem cells and blood I would not be here today.   Here is the metaphor:

My body, my blood was  diseased. It was riveted with cancer, leukemia. I was literally dead to this world. (Sin). I was lost.  I was dying.  For  me to live  I  needed a complete transfusion. I needed transformation.  I needed redemption.

  The picture is in the book of Dan lying there in the hospital, for 3 hours, arms outstretched, blood going out one arm, through a dialysis machine, and returning to his body.   You cant help but visualize  how Jesus stretched his arms out and gave his blood for us.   Dan sacrificed his blood so that I could live.

 How does this transformation  and redemption work?

 I realized that to live, I could not do this alone. I realized I was not in control. For me to try and save myself and do what I thought I needed to do was futile. I had to let go of my old self which was full of disease, and be totally willing to let my old self be destroyed (by chemo) and accept this new blood and life that was was poured  out for me by my brother. (God’s grace)

 To do this, I received chemo every 6 hours for one solid week before the transplant.  They literarily took me to ground zero.  I had to completely get rid of my former self.  For me to live, I had to destroy self, and be ready to accept this new  blood, this blood of salvation that was poured into me.

  When the blood was transfused into me, my nurse Hannah said a short prayer, ‘grow cells grow’!   As they grew over the next 100 days, I was transformed Into a new man, a new creation.   I had a new blood type, B Positive, and new DNA.   As much as I loved and enjoyed life before, we went to the next level. 

 A bone marrow transplant is a parallel story of how a person puts Jesus into his heart and begins a new eternal life. You realize you can’t do it on your own, you destroy the ‘old you.’  You ask Jesus, the living God who gave His life (blood) for you, to come into your heart.  You become a new person.  Your life becomes a ‘living sacrifice’ and you are transformed daily by the renewing of your mind.

 I also learned that there was no way I could repay him for what he did for me. (Dan/Jesus). It was unconditional love.  With love that can’t be written about or explained properly, my brother Dan (and Jesus) unconditionally sacrificed himself and his blood so that I (his brother) could live.  I learned and realized that I couldn’t repay him.  I felt I needed to return the favor and the love. I needed to do something to pay him back. 

 I learned this about God’s unconditional love.  With God, and my brother, there is nothing I can do to make him love me any more. There is nothing I can do to make him love me any less.  Wow!

13Feb

Proper Communication in the digital age

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“…the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze.” James 3:5

The age of communication. So many avenues of communication are at our disposal — cell phones, smart phones, the internet, Twitter, Facebook, video chat, texting, email, the list goes on and on. But how effectively are these mediums being used?

Are the words we speak or type meaningful? When we make first contact with individuals are we making a positive first impression? My theory is that with each advance in the technological world of communications — the more we cease to effectively communicate. Especially in the business world.

The Phone

Let’s start with one of the first modern communication marvels. How many of you remember being taught phone etiquette? For me, that lesson came in freshman college speech class. Each of us had to sit in front of the classroom with an old rotary dial phone (disconnected) while we engaged in a pretend conversation with the teacher. We were taught to identify ourselves, be cordial, have a pen and paper handy and so forth. Sounds silly, right? Well, I did think it was silly at the time, but I practice those skills to this day at my work desk. First impressions, even over the phone, can go a long way in establishing a networking relationship.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called an actual business number only to be greeted by a less than enthusiastic “yes” or “hello” and then silence. If this is your business line shouldn’t you answer “Hello, such and such business…so and so speaking”? Churches and ministries are the biggest offenders on this rule.

Email

Email is probably the second most popular form of business communication. Without being able to hear the inflections of the human voice, it’s hard to determine the “attitude” in which an email is composed. Sure ALL CAPS could mean that someone is e-yelling, but it could also mean the caps lock is stuck and they have no choice.

Before sending out email, make sure you read it through for grammatical and spelling errors. And give it a good read for “attitude”. Make sure nothing in the email could be taken in the wrong spirit. The ease of email could also be a detriment to your communication. Instead of firing off rapid responses, take the time to compose a thoughtful response. It’s so easy to misinterpret an email, the last thing you want to do is rapidly fire off a response in the wrong spirit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent off emails I wished I didn’t. Remember, once you hit that “send” button…it’s gone.

Texting

Well, what can I say about texting that all of us haven’t heard before? The bad grammar, the misspelled words, the dangers of texting while driving or walking. I prefer not to use this mode of communication partly because my thumbs just won’t cooperate and partly because I can’t fit my thought into the space allotted. Again, the biggest problem with texting is just the impersonal nature of it. It’s so easy to just rapidly fire off a text without thinking about the consequences and not having to see the other person’s reaction. So like email, just think twice.

Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn

I actually find these social mediums to be a very valuable tool. In radio, I find that artists and promoters will actually keep these outlets more up-to-date than their actual websites. The problem is that some people are better at posting updates than others and we need to evaluate the value of each individual post. Are we turning people off by the constant posting? Does the post have any real value? (Describing your latest ham sandwich would fall in the little to no value category)

Properly used, social media sites can be a great way of effectively communicating. But we need to watch for clutter while at the same time making sure we post relevant, effective content.

Conclusion

Call me old school, but in the end I think an honest face-to-face meeting and handshake is still the best form of communication. But whether or not you agree, and despite what medium we use to communicate, the same thing is true today as it was during James’ era. Who we are is reflected in the spoken and written words we put forth. In today’s day and age it is so easy to engage in vain communication. Let’s make sure each word we say and each word we type, text, or post is given the proper vetting it deserves. After all it is a reflection of who we are, and more importantly the one we claim to follow — Christ.

06Feb

Why NewLife FM?

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One thing I love doing — when I’m not hosting NewLife Praise — is gardening. Recently, while sitting down for breakfast, I picked up a copy of the local farm publication and inside was a table for early spring planting. Yes, it’s hard to believe but it’s now time to plant those spring veggies!

One of the most satisfying things in my life is to plant a seed and continually watch its progress into a mature plant. As the grandson of a farmer, I often thought that one day I might follow in his footsteps. However, the Lord had different plans for me.

In a way though, working in Christian radio is very similar to farming. Through the music and programming we are “scattering” gospel seeds over the air. Some of those gospel seeds will fall on fertile soil, others will go in one ear and out the other. But it is exciting to see and hear from those seeds that do sprout. Whether it’s the occasional email, phone call, or even folks stopping by the studios.

Christian radio stations have many different monikers depending on the market. Personally, I’ve worked at a “Rejoice”, or a “Joy”, and even an “American Family” station. This is the first “NewLife” station I’ve worked. However, I think NewLife captures what we do the best. We are sowing the seeds of  new life found only through Jesus.

It’s an exciting, difficult-at-times, joyful new life. But one worth pursuing, and one worth encouraging. So as you tune in and listen along — think of NewLife FM as more than just your favorite radio station. Think of it as a farmer planting a seed of truth in the people around you (perhaps even you!) and encouraging people to grow strong in faith and love for Jesus Christ.

Thus NewLife FM!

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