I’m Broken

I’m broken.

Saying that I am broken is not something that I am fond of at all. But, in all reality, I am just a piece of shattered glass.

I have been through pain and situations that I never thought possible. I never saw them coming. I can’t describe to you how events in my life this past year have completely torn me apart and how I have just wanted to give up on everything. I struggled to find meaning in anything and sometimes still do. I hurt continuously and long for answers to questions I don’t even know how to ask. It was unthinkable to lose both of my grandpas in less than six months.

With the help of a devotional and a song from one of our artists, I am starting to salvage what’s left of me and start to build anew. I have always been the kind of person that has to be perfect in every aspect of life. I hate sharing feelings and being vulnerable; showing weakness is unacceptable for me. But in reality, I am so weak I can’t do anything on my own. In the midst of all the trials and pain, I lost hope and didn’t look to God like I should have.

I am gradually finding hope again. One song in particular helped me realize that there is always hope and healing in God. Danny Gokey’s “Hope in Front of Me” has helped me tremendously. Sometimes healing doesn’t always mean a cure to a sickness, but it also means “to be repaired” or “to be set right.” This has been a marvelous revelation for me…and has started getting me back on the right track in my spiritual journey.

I encourage you to listen to this song. Really listen to the words and becoming familiar with Danny Gokey’s story. He has had incredible loss, and his entire album has been written out of that painful journey. Through his story and music, God has been making me new, giving me hope and fixing the cracks.

It doesn’t matter what kind of leadership position you are in or if you’re in one at all. Admitting you are broken to the people around you is something I admire, but don’t see very often. When you do, people will judge, but let them. It doesn’t matter in the long run. I’ve heard it put in a profound way, “Who would you rather please, people who are here one day and gone the next or God who is here for eternity?”

I encourage you to let people know you are broken and struggling; it will help you heal so much faster. I know it’s hard, trust me, I am struggling to write this, but I know it is what God wants from me.

Being broken isn’t something of which to be ashamed.

I hope you read his story, listen to the lyrics, and start to find the healing you need.

Here is a link to Danny Gokey’s song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5GFiDdGGGM

Here is a link to his story: http://www.dannygokey.com/about.html

Emily Porter

Afternoon Drive Co-host

He Knows…because He Walked a Mile.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of my move from the world of commercial broadcasting to teaching communication and media at Mount Vernon Nazarene University (and joining the WNZR team).

I had a chance to reflect back a bit this past Sunday when I shared part of my story with our Sunday School class.  We’re reading the book AHA by Kyle Idleman (Not a Fan, Gods at War) and we were asked to share some of our AHA moments in life.  AHA stands for Awakening-Honesty-Action.  Those moments when we realize we’ve stumbled, messed up or just dropped the ball, decide to get honest about where we are and what we’re doing, and then take action to change.

The blessing of working at MVNU and alongside my wife, Marcy in ministry may not have become a reality for me if not for an AHA moment.

You see, growing up as an MK (Christian-speak: Missionary Kid) overseas was a major factor in my pursuit of this career, since short-wave radio made such a big impact in my teenage years.  The ability to connect with far away places showed me the power and the positive impact this medium could have…and that was WAY before the internet!  The legacy of service my parents gave me also consistently stirred a desire to do this for God, a desire that grew when I married Marcy, and she returned to MVNU in 1996 and started managing WNZR.  The connection to listeners and their lives, the impact on students and their lives, the ability to glorify God directly and openly, were all very appealing to me.

Still, as I look back, I was lazy in my prayer life.  I was doing the opposite of Proverbs 3 – I was leaning more on my own understanding, not trusting in the Lord with all of my heart.  Not letting Him direct my path.  I loved my job and the people I worked with, but I kept thinking “if I’m going to spend this much time doing this, it needs to have more significance!”  Still, I just went through ebbs and flows of inconsistency.

The problem with inconsistency is that it many times results in what author Craig Grosechel calls ‘drift.’ We drift away from what we know to be true, and start feeling sorry for ourselves…maybe sometimes even blaming God.

I distinctly remember driving home one night in 2003 feeling sorry for myself. Drifting. It had just been a rough couple of weeks at work and I was in that pity-party mindset. And as I flipped the radio over to WNZR, just to hear something different, a song started with a chorus that got my attention…that song was ‘He Walked a Mile’ by Clay Crosse.

“And every time I close my eyes, I see the nails, I hear the cries…He did not keep himself away…he was no stranger to my pain. He walked a mile in my shoes.”  That song checked me where I was right there in that car.  An AWAKENING. A reminder that this Jesus, who I claimed as my savior, had been there before and was right there then!

The HONESTY came when I realized how selfish I had been…how my drift had carried me away from what I knew to be true – that my experiences paled in comparison to what Christ had done for me.  That he really did walk a mile, and so much more, in my shoes!

The ACTION started that very trip in the car, when my prayer life stopped drifting and I started getting serious about it.  Trusting Him and submitting to His timing.  About 18 months later, I got a call from MVNU and the process of joining the team here started.

I was reminded of that moment in the car recently when I heard Jeremy Camp’s new song, ‘He Knows.’  The message is the same one that Clay Crosse wrote. “Every hurt and every sting, he has walked the suffering – He Knows. Let your burdens come undone, lift your eyes up to the one who knows!”

So know that this WNZR broadcaster shares the same story as many of you – that it was a SONG that led to an awakening!

-Joe

Hot Chocolate with a Twist

For Who Knew Wednesday we talked about different ways to give your hot chocolate a little boost. Here are the links to the four we shared from allrecipies.com. If you try them, tell us how they work out. Did you go by the recipe or try a little something different?

Easy Mexican Hot Chocolate: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Mexican-Hot-Chocolate/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Cioccolata Calda (Hot Chocolate Italian-Style): http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cioccolata-Calda-Hot-Chocolate-Italian-Style/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Peanut Buttercup Hot Chocolate: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Peanut-Buttercup-Hot-Chocolate/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Candy Cane Cocoa: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Candy-Cane-Cocoa/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

We hope you have fun with these recipes. Share some warmth and make memories with your family and friends!

Joe’s French Toast Casserole

Here is the recipe and instructions for Joe’s French Toast Casserole. I can’t wait to try this! Try it yourself and tell us how it goes!

6 cups day-old bread cubes

4 eggs

1.5 cups milk or cream

4 TBSP brown sugar

6 TSP butter, cubed in 1TSP sections

1.5 TSP vanilla extract

1/4 TSP salt

2 TSP cinnamon

FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE:

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees F (set oven rack to lowest position).
  2. Generously grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
  3. Sprinkle the bread cubes into the baking pan, then sprinkle the raisins over the bread.
  4. In a bowl whisk together the eggs with milk 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt and vanilla; pour evenly over the bread cubes.
  5. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the top.
  6. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar with 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve warm with maple syrup or pancake syrup.

The Drop Box Film

Joe and I had the opportunity to screen the film, The Drop Box. This is a powerful documentary that follows Lee Jong-rak, a pastor in Seoul, South Korea as he takes care of what some would consider the unwanted. Pastor Lee has a calling to save the lives of abandoned children.

Many children are simply left on the streets of Seoul. Some because of unwanted pregnancies or the mother does not have the means or capabilities to care for the child. Others, though, are abandoned because they have been born with a disability or a birth defect. Pastor Lee takes in these children and raises many of them as his own.

I encourage you to take the time to check out this film (Link below). It is very impactful and will get you thinking about what it means to be a human and how you can impact humanity by following God’s call on your life like Pastor Lee.

http://www.thedropboxfilm.com/

Winning

The last few days have been a roller coaster ride for me as a sports fan.

Sunday, my beloved Dallas Cowboys lost at Green Bay in the NFL Playoffs.  Monday night, Ohio State’s improbable run finished with a national championship win over Oregon.  Oh, and last night, this happened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXeOqVbm2Bk&list=UUbz0zzkCzIVFiXkSRMEfREA

Let’s face it – being part of, or cheering for a team that wins is a wonderful feeling.  It stinks to lose. Twitter and Facebook were unbelievable during the OSU game Monday night – the ebb and flow of the game is reflected by the comments and emotions of many fans (like myself). The emotion spills over (hopefully) in a positive way, but that’s not always the case.

Winning is referenced several times by Paul in his letters.  In I Corinthians 9, he reminds us that only one runner can win the race, or as he calls it, the ‘prize,’ but we are to all run as if we plan to win the race.  It’s a good reminder that the effort in our spiritual lives must be like that of the athlete – having the mindset of winning the prize of being called to Heaven for eternity.

Each day we determine the destination of our heart and of our mind, so…do we have a mindset and a “heart set” to strive to make a difference in our world?  To win that prize?  And encourage others to join us on the winning path?  And if we have a bad day, setback, or a loss, do we remember to renew that mindset and remember that, as my Dad likes to say, “there will always be another game?”

Remember, our model is Jesus Christ, the ultimate champion because he defeated death itself!  He wears the victor’s crown!  Fix your eyes on Him and find victory today.

-Joe

Going Boldly Into the Unknown

I stand in front of the mirror, motionless. Staring deep into my eyes, I realize just how afraid I am. I manage to pull away from my reflection and look down at my hands. In one hand, I hold a diploma. In the other, a box. The degree is easily recognizable. The standard “special print” paper with a metallic design around the edges compliment the name that is shown boldly in the center – my name. This is what I have been working towards. I now hold the fruit of my accomplishments in my hand. I can see every step, decision, and homework assignment that got me this diploma. I can see it all so clearly. The box, however, is not so clear. It is a simple white box that gives no hints or indication as to what is inside. This box holds my future. I am scared to peek inside, terrified of what I might find. What if this box doesn’t carry what I expect or even want for my life? What if God asks me to do something very different from what I have been preparing myself to do? What if I am disappointed?

“Graduation can be intimidating, but full of blessings and limitless possibilities!” – is what a young graduate may hear, but no words can actually prepare a graduate for the thrust into adulthood. My cannonball entry into the adult world will be happening very soon. Much of my future is unknown. You ask me anything about what is happening after graduation, and I will smile and calmly say that anything could happen, but inside I am shaking. The idea of money (or more so the idea of not having enough) makes my stomach turn. How is this ever supposed to work out?

Even with all of the uncertainties, I am blessed to have a few constants in my life, one of them being Christ. It does give me comfort to know that no matter what happens or where I go, He will be with me. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” WhereEVER I go. This means the location. This means decisions. This means in and throughout time. The Lord, my God, will be with me and care for me, just as He cares for a tiny little bird. Matthew 10:29-31 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

These verses are just two of the numerous promises of God’s love and care in the Bible. As much as I like to be independent, I need to hold onto these promises as I venture into this new stage of my life. God will not let me down. Even if I am disappointed in where I end up initially, I know that God has a greater plan. Knowing this won’t make the fear go away completely, but it gives me hope. And life being lived with hope is a life worth stepping into.

The box is open. The path is set. Onward I go. Lord lead me.

Rachel Held

Co-host of the Afternoon Drive



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