Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive

Cherry Month Who Knew!

When it comes to fruits that remind me of summer, cherries almost always take the cake. They are sweet and never fail to take me back to a warm summers day, by the pool.

Today on the Drive, we got in the WNZR Time Machine and went to summer of 2018 courtesy of the fruit that we know and love as the cherry.

Here are some fun facts about this delicious superfruit…

  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of cherries in the United States, but fewer than 10 are produced commercially.
  • There are normally about 44 cherries to a pound.
  • In an average crop year, a sweet cherry tree will produce 800 cherries.
  • Despite the short fruiting season, Americans consume an average of 1.5 pounds of cherries each year.
  • Washington grows an estimated 62 percent of the nation’s sweet cherries.
  • Between Washington, Oregon and California, these three states produce 94 percent of America’s sweet cherries.
  • Michigan grows well over half of the country’s tart cherries, which are mostly used for cooking. (Still just as delicious).
  • Brian Krause set the record for cherry pit spitting at an annual contest in Eau Claire, Michigan in 2004, spitting the pit 93 feet. That same day, Krause spat a pit more than 100 feet in the freestyle competition, which allows for a running start.

Well, now that you know some fun facts about the fruit, you’re probably asking, what are cherries good for? Look no further for an answer.

  • Tart cherries have very high antioxidant activity. The activity is actually better than vitamin E and comparable to commercially available antioxidant products.
  • Sweet cherries contain fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and anthocyanin, each of which may help play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Tart cherries are anti-inflammatory and may help lower your risk of gout attacks and reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis
  • Consuming tart cherry may help increase your melatonin levels and improve your sleep
  • Sweet cherries have a low glycemic index of 22 — lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better snack than many other fruits, especially for diabetics.
  • Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension.

It wouldn’t be the Afternoon Drive without sharing some recipies, now would it?
Let’s give you a whole 4 course meal with cherries, shall we?

Perhaps we start the meal with a salad? Maybe three?
Orzo Salad with Mustard Greens and Cherries. Yes please.
Goat cheese goes great with cherries. Let’s put that on a salad.
Goat Cheese, Cherries and Pistachio Salad.
One final salad…
Spinach Salad with a Fresh Cherry Vinaigrette

For an appetizer? Let’s start with some meatballs.
Tart Cherry Glazed Spicy Meatballs. 
Another appetizer? Don’t mind if I do. How about one for Game Day?
Instant Pot Tart Cherry Chicken Wings. (I’m drooling).
One more? Sure. Can’t say no to bread, right?
Here’s a Baguette stuffed with Brie and Cherries. 

Okay. Main Course. Here we go.
Cocoa Cherry Pork? SIGN ME UP.
More main courses? Okay. You asked for it.
We have to have a meal from the mayor of Flavor Town.
Guy Fieri’s Cherry Bomb Chops. (I’m drooling again).
I’ll eat anything with the word ‘sassy’ in it.
Pork Burgers with Sassy Barbecue Sauce.

OH we can’t forget the drinks.
How about a Cherry Limeade from the Pioneer Woman herself?
Another? Okay. How about a healthy alternative?
You can’t go wrong with a Frozen Fruit Smoothie showcasing cherries.

Dessert. Can’t have a meal without dessert. Right?
A Black Forrest Trifle from my girl Katie Lee.
Ever wanted to use big cooking words like ‘compote’? Here’s your chance…
Nectarine-Cherry Compote. Oh Yes.

And delicious fruits aside, we come together as a country with heavy hearts for various reasons today. We turn on the TV and can’t watch for five minutes without hearing bad news after bad news. Whatever reason your heart is heavy today, we have hope.
The devil is on the prowl. He is active in our world maybe stronger than ever right now. We as Christians are called to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the schemes of the devil. We are called to stand on the front-lines and fight as a community against this darkness. We can stand on the front-lines UNAFRAID because we know that God is standing right there by us, and He has given us the strength, the courage and the power to fight this.

We looked at the song ‘Whom Shall I Fear’ from Chris Tomlin today.
It was a song that’s been in the back of my mind since this weekend, and just some of the lyrics seem so applicable to us right now.

Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Darkness is filling the night. It is. But it cannot hide the light.
God is the light. We are the light. We cannot be hidden.
We need to be a nation that is ON FIRE for Christ that NO DARKNESS can hide.
We can do that when we remember the next thing Chris Tomlin says…
God is crushing the enemy beneath our feet.

God goes before us. There are countless scriptures that tell us that.
God is standing behind us.

Our strength is found in the name of Jesus
For it is His name alone that can save.
He is delivering us.
He is the victory.

Here are the lyrics from the bridge that give me chills. Ah.

And nothing formed against me shall stand. 
He’s telling us that WE are protected.
God is holding the whole world in His hands.
Sometimes God is silent, and it’s hard. It’s so hard.
But we can hold on to His promises.
Tomlin says that line 5 times in the bridge. It’s so important.And this song isn’t just something Chris Tomlin wrote.
It’s based off the most powerful chapter in scripture. Romans 8.
Romans 8:31 says “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” and that should be more than enough send the devil running far in the other direction.

It’s far and away time for our country to have a “War Room” moment.
A Priscilla Shirer moment.
Jesus is the Lord of our house. There is no room for the devil anymore.
We need to stand up, and shout if we need to. Telling the devil to take his lies, and his schemes, and his accusations, and to get out IN. JESUS’. NAME.

Here’s the scene, if you haven’t seen it. So incredibly powerful.

It’s time we stand up and take back what is rightfully ours in Christ. 

Thanks for listening!



Game Time Tuesday

Today’s Song Poetry lyrics:

Because we will be a people on our knees
As one before the King
‘Cause we believe

The answer: “When We Pray” by Tauren Wells

Congratulations to Linda from Utica, who wins the $5 gift certificate to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!

Today’s Spelling EEB word was: HOCKEY, or YEKCOH.  Kudos to Michelle from Mount Vernon who was our winner!

Hannah’s Sarah Young devotional was based on Psalms 37:4 and Psalms 62:8.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe

NZ Top 10 – February 16th, 2018

This week’s countdown:

10. Big Daddy Weave – Jesus, I Believe
9. We Are Messengers – Point to You
8. Jeremy Camp – Word of Life
7. Elevation Worship – O Come to the Altar
6. Zach Williams – Old Church Choir
5. Micah Tyler – Different
4. Matthew West – Broken Things
3. Matt Maher – Your Love Defends Me
2. Lauren Daigle – O, Lord
1. Tenth Avenue North – Control

Our New Music Friday songs:

Zach Williams – Fear is a Liar  CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO LINKwilliams fear
Natalie Grant  – More Than Anything CLICK IMAGE FOR SONG
Natalie Grant

Thanks for listening!
– Joe

Praise Thursday: Turn My Eyes

Today we got to do one of my favorite things ever in life, which is dissect a song!
We focused on the song ‘Turn My Eyes” from Bonray.

Lets take a little look at the first verse…

Every day I wake up and I meet the same old fight
Between a world of chaos and that quiet voice inside
And my phone keeps telling me there’s a million ways to find
Where my hope is, but it’s a lie

  • The world is going to lead us on a wild goose chase for hope. We can open every door, look down every alley, climb every mountain looking for hope in somewhere that’s not Jesus, and we’ll never be able to find it eternally.
  • 1st Peter 1:3
    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

The chorus goes like this…

I know who to run to
Every time the rain comes pouring down
I know who to turn to, yeah
I know where to find that solid ground

  • Where are you running when the rain comes pouring down? Who are you turning to when you’re in search of solid ground?
  • Psalm 46:1-3
    “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
  • Psalm 91:2
    “I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
  • That word refuge comes up a lot…
    Refuge – noun
    A condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.

The second verse is probably my favorite part. Here’s the first two lines…

There’s a voice that’s calling me, way out on a distant shore
It says if I just take a step, I’ll find what I’m asking for

  • This is what ‘Fix Our Eyes’ is about.
  • Philippians 4:19-20
    “And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus. Glory belongs to our God and Father forever and ever! Amen.”
  • We’re going to talk about Peter walking on water here soon cause that’s important.

The second part of the second verse is…

And this world keeps telling me, that I’ll sink beneath the waves
You’re my courage and You’re my faith.

  • Matthew 14:27-31

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

  • Peter sank because he took His eyes off of Jesus.
  • That first phrase that Jesus utters. UGH yes.
  • When the wind starts to kick up, are you looking in Jesus’s eyes? Or are you looking around at the things of this world for shelter?

The bridge! Ugh the bridge. Here it is…

Oh, all the things of earth start fading away
In the light of His glory and grace
I’ll lift my head up high and look to the One
Who’s with me every step of the way
I turn my eyes

  • Psalm 121:1-2
    “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”
  • Nothing on the face of this earth will ever compare to the love, glory, and grace of Christ Jesus. Nothing. Things are temporary. People are people. When it comes to the valley of the shadow of death, Christ is walking with you. Right by your side. All the hills and valleys in life, right there. Right by your side.

This point, that God is always there, ties right into another devotion I read last year, and is still relevant today. It’s about how God and His goodness is not dependent on our goodness, who we are, or what we’re doing.

“Yes, it is true, God will remain faithful even when you’re not, because His faithfulness rests on who He is. Not on what you’re doing.”

Second Timothy 2:13  “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Think about this: The one who created and controls the world, the One who is the ultimate definition of what is loving, true, and good, and the one who alone has the power to fully defeat sin has chosen, because of His grace, to wrap His arms of faithful love and protection around you, and He will not let you go.

You can take your life off your shoulders because God has placed it on His. Security isn’t found in your faithfulness, but in His. He can be trusted even when you cannot. He will be faithful and good even when you are not. He’s going to do what is right and best even when you don’t, and He is faithful to forgive you when convicting grace reveals how unfaithful you’ve been.

God’s grace is calling you to invest in the one thing that will never come up short, and that one thing is the faithfulness of your Lord.

Thanks for listening!
-Lilly and Hannah



Fun facts about Valentine’s Day

  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in US each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
  • Women purchase 85% of all valentines.
  • In order of popularity, Valentine’s Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
  • Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
  • Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the biggest holidays for giving flowers.
  • Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
  • California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America. Approximately 110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period.
  • 73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • Men buy most of the millions of boxes of candy and bouquets of flowers given on Valentine’s Day.
  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
  • Richard Cadbury invented the first Valentines Day candy box in the late 1800s.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an “Improvement in Telegraphy”, on Valentine’s Day, 1876.
  • Amongst the earliest Valentine’s Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.c

AS PROMISED, here are the “clean” Winter Olympics-themed Valentine’s love lines you can try out on your significant other (my daughter would call these ‘Dad’ jokes):

  • Are you an ice skater? You’ve got a great figure.
  • I’m no curler, but I think I could sweep you off your feet!
  • Hey, are you a skiing event, ‘cause I would travel cross-country for you!
  • My gold medal might be shiny, but it looks like a dull penny compared to that sparkle in your eyes.
  • Your legs must be tired because you’ve been speed skating through my mind all night.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe

NZ Top 10 2/9

Here’s the countdown!

10. The Gospel – Ryan Stevenson
9. Point to You – We Are Messengers
8. Word of Life – Jeremy Camp
7. O Come to the Altar
6. Different – Micah Tyler
5. Old Church Choir – Zach Williams
4. Your Love Defends Me – Matt Maher
3. Broken Things – Matthew West
2. O’Lord – Lauren Daigle
1. Control -Tenth Avenue North

Be sure to check out the new music from ‘Joy‘ from Tori Harper!

Our NZ Top 10 Back to Back Artist Spotlight this week fell on the husband and wife duo of Chris Radamaker and Jodi King! (Otherwise known as ‘Love and the Outcome’).

Check out their songs ‘The God I Know‘ and ‘If I don’t have You

We also were transported back to the year 2006 for the NZ Top 10 Rewinds!
Check out the songs ‘Our God Reins‘ from Brandon Heath, and ‘ForeverandEverEtc.’ from David Crowder Band! ]

Have a great weekend and thanks for listening!


Fix My Eyes Praise Thursday!

Today Lilly and I started our new topic – lifeline 2018 – Fix Our Eyes! Over the next couple of weeks leading up to Lifeline, we will be diving into topics, songs and bible verses that revolve around our 2018 Lifeline theme!

Today we focused on the theme “What do you love”, along with the song “Strangely Dim” by Francesca Battistelli!

Lilly talked about how “Strangely Dim”  reminded her of the story of the disciple Peter walking on water and how he had to fix his eyes on Jesus. Click here to read that story.

What do you love?

Actively – take out a pen and a piece of paper and write down that top ten things that you love, in order. (This could be anything, from your family and friends to your cat or car)

We have all set goals that we want to do better with our relationship with God, but here is the deal – Look at your list of things you love – what is number one? Family or friends, school, or maybe even something you know is a sin. I hope that you put Jesus. Because, honestly, sometimes I don’t think to put that first. It’s our human nature – we tend to think about the things that we see and experience on a daily – tangible things that we can touch and feel. We all have those days or even longer periods of time like 3 months or a year – where we don’t have Jesus as our number one true love. But as Christ-followers, this should be THE BIGGEST thing in our life – loving the Lord. The bible says….

Mark 12:28-31- “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important? “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

I will be the first to admit that I need to get better at this. I know for me that sometimes I get so caught up in the fact that God loves me so much that I forget that I should be loving God just as much. (Kind of not possible – Gods love is perfect- ours can’t)

HOW do we get better?

I got a lot of inspiration for this from this awesome blog.

Love with All Your Heart

Prayer – Loving God with all your heart means reserving the best of your affection for him. Start by sharing joys with him. Run to him first with your big news at work. Sing to him at the top of your lungs on a great day. Fill him in on your private hopes. Tell him how much you appreciate him. Boost him up to others.

Love with All Your Soul

Loving God with all your soul means dedicating your life to him. Begin by asking him, “How do you want me to spend my time, energy, money, and talents? What can I do with my resources to honor you?”

Find out what God values and stay true to those things. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”4 When you invite God into all areas of your life, he will show you how to live in a way that pleases him.

In every area of your life, look for ways to show your commitment to him

Now here is where your other list comes into hand – are your top priory’s this year about God? For God? Aligned with his will for your life?

John 14:15- “If you love me, keep my commands.”

Love with All Your Mind

Loving God with all your mind means backing up your passion with knowledge.

Begin by asking questions. Don’t be afraid to challenge him and wrestle with his commands and your beliefs. When I’ve asked tough questions, I’ve found that God welcomes genuine curiosity and dialogue. In fact, he hopes for it.

Then seek his answers. – The Bible, prayer, parents, pastors, other leaders, teachers

Each day, wonder about God.

Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Love with All Your Strength

Loving God with all your strength means persevering for him each day. To what lengths will you go for the one you love? It means you must muster your resources to protect your relationship with God every single day. It means you’re willing to change and sacrifice things to have him. It means being honest, and sometimes it means doing the unpopular thing. It means listening to the truth and holding yourself accountable.

Each day, be willing to fight for your relationship with God

Nehemiah 8:10 –Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.


Thanks for listening! – Hannah



Who Knew? Handwriting still matters!

Today we’re exploring the value of thank you’s…and the EXTREME value of the handwritten card or note.

In our digital age, the time and effort of a handwritten note is STILL valued.  Why?

John Coleman’s article in the Harvard Business Review from 2013 still resonates.  Read the full article here. He shares that:

  • Handwritten notes mean more because they cost more, as handwritten notes convey a deeper investment in your gratitude.
  • Handwritten notes have permanence and have nostalgic value!

This 2017 Nancy Olsen article in Forbes also gives 5 great reasons to hand write your card.  She says:

  • Sometimes it seems that manners are teetering on the edge of extinction, so it’s the right thing to do!
  • It sets you apart
  • Gratitude is good for the brain – we are wired to best express ourselves without electronic communication

    We did a handwriting trivia question today!
    “When writing on an unlined sheet of paper, what instrument can you use to ensure a straight edge and lines?”
    The answer? A T-Square!

    Congrats to Jennie from Howard who guessed correctly!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Lilly



Game Time Tuesday

Today Joe and I mixed it up (or threw it back) on Game Time Tuesday! We played “Song Poetry” like we normally do, but then we played “Spelling EEB” !!

Today’s “Song Poetry” lyrics were:

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last?

From the song “Redeemed ” by Big Daddy Weave. Congrats to Maude from Mount Vernon who called in and got it right.

AND we brought back SPELLING EEB!! Today’s topic was Radio!

LJ from Mount Vernon called in a spelled the word “frequency” backwards – on the first try!! Congrats to him on winning that $5 gift card to Troyer’s of Apple Valley!

Joe shared with us a great uplifting story about Super Bowl winning quarterback Nick Foles – Read more HERE

I also shared a inspiring devotional from Sarah Young’s “Jesus Always” – To find out more about Sarah and what she does click HERE.

Thanks so much for listening!
– Hannah




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