Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive


mystery monday

Inspiration despite the cold!

Today we shared Monday Motivation from Our Daily Bread’s Katara Patton based on Jeremiah 18 – read “The Potter’s Wheel” by clicking here.

We also shared Mart DeHaan’s devotional about “Heroes, Tyrants and Jesus.,” Find out how Paul’s letters influenced how people looked at Jesus by reading here.

Name something that can be lumpy:
– mashed potatoes (29 votes)
– oatmeal/hot cereal (24)
– mattress or bed (13)
– grits (7)
– soup (7)
– pillow (6)

Congratulations to Lilly from Mount Vernon, who guessed the top two answers and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

A tribute to MLK

Today we honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by sharing a devotional from Pastor Victoria Curtiss, written as a tribute to him.

Matthew 5:43–48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NRSV)

Jesus said that anyone can love those who love them in return. What distinguishes people of God is the way we treat those who oppose us—our enemies. Just as God shows love to everyone, so are we to show love to everyone. This inclusivity is the meaning of “be perfect” as God is perfect.

What a fitting scripture for the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The key to the life of Dr. King is found in his Christian faith. He responded to violence with nonviolence, to hate with love. Dr. King was always looking toward reconciliation after the battle, because his approach was grounded in the gospel. He wrote, “It was the Sermon on the Mount, not a doctrine of passive resistance, that inspired the Negroes of Montgomery to social action. It was Jesus of Nazareth that stirred [them] with the creative weapon of love.”

Martin Luther King recognized that the heart of the gospel proclaims that love can really change a situation of conflict and enmity: love reaching out toward the oppressor, love pushing negotiation, love offering forgiveness and newness. It wasn’t that he lacked an appreciation for the persistence and power of evil. It was rather his evangelist’s faith. He really believed that the intolerant and prejudiced sheriffs and politicians were sheep who had strayed from the fold, who had the potential to be converted. However powerful evil is, love is more powerful still. “Remember him,” said Coretta Scott King, “as a man who refused to lose faith in the ultimate redemption of [humanity].”


Thank you, God, for the witness of Martin Luther King Jr. Guide me as Christ’s follower to love as you love—everyone without exception. I lift up my enemies to you and pray for their well-being. Amen.

Jonathon also shared the MLK-themed devotional ‘Brave Your Storm,’ from Patricia Raybon. You can read it from Our Daily Bread by clicking here.

Name something you’d find on a tropical island:
– palm or other trees (58 votes)
– sand or beaches (13)
– fruit (12)
– flowers (7)
– water or the ocean (6)

Congratulations to Doug from Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the WNZR Voice of the Cougars drawstring backpack.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

Starting the week right!

Hey, it’s Joe and it sure was great to return to the studio today after a week of vacation and another in isolation…

Today’s Monday Motivation starts with Cindy Kasper sharing about the joy that God provides, inspired by Proverbs 15. Read it by clicking here.

Jonathon shared a message of compassion from Kirsten Holmberg called ‘Hiding from God.’ You can find it by clicking here.

Name a sign that people disobey:
1- stop (60 votes)
2- yield (9)
3- do not enter (8)
4- no littering (5)
5- speed limit (4)
6- no smoking (4)

Congratulations to Barb of Fredericktown, who guessed our top two answers and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

The Aftermath of Christmas

Today for Monday Motivation, we returned to Our Daily Bread to talk about what there is to look forward to after celebrating a holiday such as Christmas. Read the full devotional from Adam R. Holz HERE.

We also covered New Years as 2022 is quickly approaching! Tim Gustafson shares a story from Ezekiel in his devotional entitled “Back to the Basics”.

Name a book that could knock you out if someone hit you over the head with it.
  1. Dictionary 39
  2. Encyclopedia 25
  3. Bible 14
  4. Phone Book 14
  5. War & Peace 6

Congratulations to Aranae of Fredericktown for correctly guessing our top two answers! She wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup for today. Make sure to tune in tomorrow for your next chance to win!

Thanks for listening!


Emmanuel – God WITH us!

Today we’re sharing Monday Motivation from Pastor Tim Keller…

The word Immanuel means, as we learn in Matthew 1:23, “God with us.”  The coming of the Christ child fulfilled what Isaiah wrote in chapter 7, verse 14: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

In his book Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller shares that for centuries, the Jewish religious leaders and scholars had known that prophecy, but did not think that it should be taken literally. They thought it was simply predicting the coming or arrival of some great leader through whose work, God would be present with his people.

However, Matthew writes that this promise is greater than anyone imagined!  It did not come true figuratively, but literally. Jesus Christ is “God with us” because the human life in Mary’s womb was a miracle performed by God himself.  Then Jesus, with his life, his claims and his resurrection, convinced his closest followers that he was not just a prophet telling them how to find God, but God himself coming to find us.

Keller writes that this claim, that Jesus is God, gives us the greatest possible hope.  Why?  Because it means this world is not all that there is…it means that there is life and love after death and it means that evil and suffering will one day end.

And it is not just hope for the world, but hope for you and me personally. A God who was only holy would have not come to us in Jesus.  He would have just demanded that we pull ourselves together and be moral and holy enough to be worthy of relationship with him. But our God is fully holy and fully human – so he doesn’t send someone else – he comes himself!  Jesus is one of us – and that should give us all hope!

The word Immanuel means, as we learn in Matthew 1:23, “God with us.”  The coming of the Christ child fulfilled what Isaiah wrote in chapter 7, verse 14: “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

So what is the purpose of “God with us?” What does “with him” mean? Pastor Timothy Keller, in his book Hidden Christmas, writes that the purpose of the incarnation is that we would have relationship with him. In Jesus, the unapproachable God of the Old Testament becomes a human being who can be known and loved. Through faith, we can know this love.

This is a complete shift from the Old Testament. Think about this: anytime anyone drew near to God in the Old Testament, it was terrifying! God appears to Abraham as a smoking furnace; to Israel as a pillar of fire; to Job as a hurricane or tornado. When Moses asks to see the face of God in Exodus 33, he was told what?  That it would kill him…that he could only get close to God’s back.  When Moses came down off the mountain in Exodus 34, his face was SO BRIGHT with radiance that the people could not look at him!

So Pastor Keller asks this: can you imagine if Moses were alive today and heard the message of Christmas? What would he say?  How would he react? What if Moses heard John 1:14 “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us – we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son?”

Keller thinks Moses would say, “Do you know what this means? This is the very thing I was denied! Through Jesus, you can meet God. You can know him personally and without terror.  Do you realize what’s going on? Where’s your joy?  Where’s your amazement? This should be the driving force of your life!”

And why did God show up this time in the form of a baby instead of fire? Because this time He has come not to bring judgment but to bear it; to take away the barrier between humanity and God. Jesus is God with us!

Congratulations to: Lyle from Howard and Paul from Mount Vernon!
Name two gifts that are difficult to wrap:

1- Basketball (34 votes)
2- Football (19)
3- Stuffed animals (14)
4- a pet (7)
5- a bike (4)

Congratulations to Brenda from Fredericktown, who guessed correctly and wins a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

More Christmas motivation!

Today we shared from the Our Daily Bread Christmas devotional book, ‘Celebrating Jesus.’

Jonathon shared ‘Mary Knew’ from Dave Branon:

Four-year-old Kaitlyn was oblivious to everything else in the room. There were no thoughts of stockings hung and wrapped presents. She was simply content to play with our manger scene and its nativity characters. What piqued my interest was something else she was doing as she moved Mary, Joseph, and the Babe around: She was singing “Mary, did you know?” over and over-words she had heard sung by others. As she held Mary, she poignantly asked her if she knew who her precious baby boy was.
Kaitlyn’s question for Mary is the vital one everyone needs to answer. Do we know that Jesus is the One predicted in Genesis 3 to strike Satan’s heel (v. 15)-to gain victory over Satan, sin, and death by His death on the cross? Do we know that He’s the Messiah promised in Isaiah 53 and the One Micah prophesied would be born in Bethlehem hundreds of years later? (5:2).
We know that His name-Jesus-means that He will save His people from their sins (MATTHEW 1:21). We also know that Mary’s baby grew up and chose to die on the cross as the Savior of the world (LUKE 1:31; 2:30-32).
The “Son of the Most High” (1:32) has invited us to know Him and be loved by Him. May we choose to know Jesus, our precious Savior, more and more each day!

Joe shared ‘Captain of a Motley Crew’ from Glenn Packham:

As a child, I always found Christmas Eve one of the most A exciting days of the year. I knew there would be presents in the morning, a feast that night, and a candlelight service at church. But it was also exciting because I never knew who was going to end up at our house for dinner. My parents loved inviting people who were alone or had nowhere to go to come share a meal with us. Folks from church, from their places of work, our friends from school-it was always a motley crew.
David was on the run from King Saul and in need of good friends to surround him (1 SAMUEL 22:1-2). He needed the right community to help him in his crisis. Instead, what he found were hundreds of men who were also in trouble-those “in trouble or in debt or… discontented” (v. 2). Yet, David became captain over the motley crew and they trusted him.
Jesus-the true and better David-is exactly the kind of person who gathered those around Him that society had discarded. Throughout the gospels, it’s often the sick and the disabled, the outcast, and the sinner who find belonging and healing in Jesus. The church is meant to be a kind of cave of Adullam (v. 1). It’s not a perfect community, but a ragtag group in need of a loving, healing Captain.

Name a place that’s open on Christmas Day:
1. Grocery store/Walmart/Kroger (23 votes)
2. Gas stations (20)
3. Fast Food restaurants (19)
4. Waffle House/Denny’s (12)
5. Movie theaters (8)
6. Airports (5)
7. Hospitals (3)
8. Hotels (2)

Congratulations to Tysha from Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

Joys and Dreams at Christmas

More Monday Motivation from the Our Daily Bread devotional, “Celebrating Jesus.”

Jonathon shared Tim Gustafson’s “Dreaming at Christmas”

For Irving Berlin, Christmas held not joy but sadness. The composer of “White Christmas” lost his infant son on Christmas Day 1928. His wistful song, which longs for a bygone time of holiday joys, would become wildly popular during World War II, resonating with troops overseas dreaming of Christmases back home.
Dreams and grief are crucial themes of the Christmas story. In a literal dream, an angel explained the miraculous conception of Jesus to Joseph (MATTHEW 1:20). Another dream warned the Magi to avoid the murderous Herod (2:12). And an angel told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt with the baby Jesus (V. 13).
We welcome the dreams of Christmas. The sadness, however, intrudes like a rude guest. Rachel weeps (v. 18). For soon after that first Christmas a paranoid king would slaughter helpless children (v. 16). In Matthew’s gospel, Rachel, a matriarch of Israel, represents a nation’s inconsolable grief.
It’s a scene we yearn to see deleted from the story. Why must there be such sadness in this, the greatest of all stories?

Jesus Himself is the only satisfying answer to that question. The Baby who escaped the Bethlehem tragedy grew up to conquer all such tragedies, even death itself, by dying and rising for all of us. As another Christmas carol says of Him: The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.

Joe shared another devotional about a Christmas song, “Joy to the World,” from Poh Fang Chia

Joy to the world…” Meifang stopped mid-sentence and forced down a sob as painful memories of her mom flooded her mind. This time last year, her mother stood right next to her, singing the same song. But now she was gone, her life tragically cut short by an accident. For Meifang, Christmas would never be the same again. It was hard to celebrate when all she had was sorrow and grief.
Perhaps, like Meifang, you’re feeling grief or sorrow this Christmas. How can you sing for joy when your heart is full of pain? Isaac Watts originally penned “Joy to the World” not as a Christmas carol but as a reminder of our future hope when Christ returns. It’s based on Psalm 98-a psalm that calls the earth to praise God for His love and faithfulness (v. 3). He came to save (v. 1), announce His victory, and reveal His righteousness (v. 2). And He’ll come again “to judge the earth” with righteousness and fairness v.9). These are great reasons for us to sing with joy.
If this Christmas is tinged with sorrow and grief, hold on to the hope of Christ. Not only does He provide comfort now but He aIso assures us of our future hope. One day all sorrow and pain will cease when Jesus comes again and wipes every tear from our eyes (REVELATION 21:4).

Name two things that are on every mom’s Christmas wish list:
1- babysitting
2- sleep/nap
3- spa day
4- gift card
T5- a family portrait
7- jewelry

Congratulations to Jenn of Danville, who wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!
– Jonathon and Joe

Celebrating the table and the unexpected…

Today we started a series of Christmas devotionals from the seasonal Our Daily Bread publication, “Celebrating Jesus.”

Joe’s devotional is from Lisa Samra, called ‘A Down Under Christmas…’

I love seeing pictures of our Australian friends celebrating Christmas. Not because they have more creative decorations or a fancier tree, but because they’re usually celebrating at the beach! It’s easy for people who live in the Northern Hemisphere to forget that countries in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate Christmas during their summer months. It’s just not what I expect to see at Christmas.

Sunny Christmas celebrations also point me to the reality that so much about the first Christmas was unexpected. At Jesus’ birth, men from countries east of Israel saw a star and recognized it as a sign that the promised future ruler of Israel had been born (MICAH 5:2).

So these highly educated scholars left their homes and, after arriving in Israel, went to the place they expected to find a new king: the palace. But Jesus wasn’t there. Realizing their mistake, they continued to be directed by the star until they reached a humble home in Bethlehem. It was there that they found Jesus (MATTHEW 2:10-11).

Regardless of whether we celebrate in the sun or snow, at Christmas we remember the birth of a baby who grew up to teach us about God and offer to all the most amazing of gifts, a relationship with Him. Like the wise men, when we search for Him and accept this gift, we find hope and joy beyond all our expectations.

Jonathon’s is from Winn Collier, called ‘A Table for All…’

The upcoming holiday looked grim for Scott. He figured he’d simply be warming up a frozen dinner and watching some football alone. Dreading the isolation, Scott decided to put an ad in the paper, inviting other lonely people to dinner. No less than twelve people showed up! That was 1985, and every year since, Scott has placed a similar ad, welcoming as many as 100 people and now meeting in a local church building. Homeless neighbors, those who’ve lost their family, strangers who can’t travel home-Scott sets a table big enough for all kinds of people.

Isaiah describes God’s intention to welcome every wayward straggler, all who are downtrodden or forgotten. He’s a “refuge to the poor… [a] refuge to the needy in distress.” (25:4). With God, those who are desperate for friendship or forgiveness or hope can find their hearts’ desires. One day “the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat” (v. 6). God widely extends the invitation, welcoming everyone to join Him for a feast-friends gathered around the table of grace.

This is God’s heart for us, and what He promises to do. We may bear the weight of loneliness or despair; but in Jesus, God welcomes us. And if we’ll simply come, each of us will find our seat at a table with room for all.

Name the top two disadvantages of owning a pet:
1- cleaning up after them (66 votes)
2- walking them (10)

Congratulations to Erika from Marengo, who solved this two-week stumper and wins two $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

Don’t Fear, Just Focus!

Joe was out on business today, so I decided to share two devotionals to kick off your week with some Monday Motivation!

First, we read “In Focus” from Patricia Raybon who shared the story from Acts 3 of the lame beggar at the temple gate called Beautiful.

Then, we focused on Adam R. Holz’s who shared “Storms of Fear”, digging into the story of Jesus and the disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee.

We also recapped MVNU’s Homecoming Weekend which was a huge success. Hundreds of alumni flooded Ariel Arena to watch the women’s basketball team defeat the #2 team in country!

Name a disadvantage of owning a pet

This question was a stumper, so we’ll bring it back next week for a chance at TWO $5 gift cards to Everlasting Cup!

Today, we registered Linda from Utica and Ron from Mount Vernon for a chance to win a turkey from Smithhisler Meats!

Thanks for listening!


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