Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive


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A prayer for your spouse…and your teeth!

Today is National Spouses Day, so Joe shared a few ways you can pray for your husband or wife each day. These apply to every area of life, so use them whenever and wherever you can! Here are a few examples:

  • pray overall for their day – their safety, their work and that they will be fulfilled in their work
  • pray for their health
  • pray for their relationships, both with family and work
  • pray scripture over them, inserting their name when you can – one example is Proverbs 3:5-6
  • pray for spiritual strength and their fears
  • pray for their obedience to God and their decision-making
  • pray for the presence of Christ in your marriage

Dylan shared some fun facts about peanut brittle – some argue that its origins lie in a mistake. That a woman in 1890 accidentally added baking soda instead of cream of tartar to her taffy, resulting in a peanut bark.

Celts also may have some influence in the invention of brittle, making it around holiday celebrations.

Read more from National Today by clicking here!

–          I was born January 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio

–          My first role was in a school production of Robin Hood when I was 7

–          I served in the Navy during World War II

–          I graduated from Kenyon College in 1949 with a degree in drama and economics

–          My major film roles include Cool Hand Luke and The Sting and my Oscar-winning performance in The Color of Money

–          I was the voice of Doc Hudson in Cars

–          I had a side career in road racing and Indy Cars

–          I died in 2008 at 83 years of age

I am…Paul Newman. Congratulations to Esther from Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the WNZR drawstring backpack.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

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

NZ Top 10 for 1/21/22

Praise the Lord it’s Friday! Here’s this week’s countdown:

10. Jeremy Camp – When You Speak
9. Sanctus Real -My God is Still the Same
8. Danny Gokey – Stand in Faith
7. TobyMac – Promised Land
6. Crowder – In The House
5. Tasha Layton – Look What You’ve Done
4. Maverick City Music – Promises
3. We Are Messengers – Come What May
2. Phil Wickham – House of the Lord (spent 7 weeks at #1)
1. for King & Country – Relate (first week at #1)


this week’s adds:

Jordan Feliz f/Mandisa & Jonathan Traylor – Jesus is Coming Back

Ryan Ellis – Heart of the Father


Thanks for listening!
– Joe

Popcorn, Tin Cans and a Raven?

We promise it will make sense…

Today is a day to celebrate popcorn!

Did you know that the corn we eat and the corn we pop are two different varieties of maize? In fact, the corn you’d find on your dinner table is most likely unable to pop at all! Only one variety of corn is able to become popcorn: Zea mays everta (Z-MAY’S-EVER-DUH). This particular corn variety has small ears, and the kernels burst when exposed to dry heat.  

In 1948, small heads of Zea mays everta (Z-MAY’S-EVER-DUH) were discovered by Herbert Dick and Earle Smith in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico. Ranging from smaller than a penny to about two inches, the oldest Bat Cave ears were about 4,000 years old. Several individually popped kernels were also discovered, which have since been carbon dated and shown to be approximately 5,600 years old. There’s also evidence of early use of popcorn in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala, as well as other places in Central and South America.  

Aztecs used popcorn to decorate their clothes, create ceremonial embellishments, and also for nourishment. Native Americans have also been found to consume and utilize popcorn in their day to day lives. In a cave in Utah, thought to be inhabited by Pueblo Native Americans, popcorn has been found that dates back to over 1,000 years ago. French explorers who traveled to the new world discovered popcorn being made by the Iroquois Natives in the Great Lakes region. As colonists moved around North America, and as the USA came to be, many people adopted popcorn as a popular and healthy snack. 

…and tin cans? January 19th is National Tin Can Day! Some call this invention key to feeding soldiers and helping solve hunger issues…(from

Cans were invented as a solution for hunger in combat. The French Directory, serving the years when Napoleon’s army fought battles in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Caribbean, offered a 12,000 franc prize (probably around $150,000 in today’s terms) for a breakthrough in the preservation of food.

Nicholas Appert, a Paris resident and chef, saw this opportunity and took it. Working for French nobility, he studied different methods of food preservation until he presented his creation to the Directory. He is known as the ‘father of canning.’

His factory progressed from bottles to glass containers and then eventually to tinplate cans. These preserves of different foods were shipped all over through the French navy. Then, two British men set up the first commercial canning factory in Britain in 1812.

Tin can preservation became a crucial element for the history of combat and war as well as helping solve hunger issues.

–          Born January 19, 1809 in Boston
–          My parents were both actors, but my mother died when I was two
–          I was fostered by the Allan family of Richmond, Virginia
–          I studied ancient and modern languages at the University of Virginia
–          I joined the US Army in 1827 but also released my first book of poems that year
–          I am best known for ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and for starting modern detective stories
–          I died at 40 years of age in Baltimore

I am…Edgar Allan Poe.
Congratulations to Faith from Howard, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

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

NZ Top 10 for 1/14/22

Praise the Lord it’s Friday! Here’s this week’s countdown:

10. Crowder – In The House
9. TobyMac – Promised Land
8. Jeremy Camp – When You Speak
7. Anne Wilson – My Jesus
6. Matthew West – What If
5. Tasha Layton – Look What You’ve Done
4. We Are Messengers – Come What May
3. Maverick City Music – Promises
2. for King & Country – Relate
1. Phil Wickham – House of the Lord (7th week at #1)


this week’s adds:

CAIN – The Commission

Thanks for listening!
– Joe

What inspired these classics?

Today we shared a couple of ‘who knews?’ about the origins of a couple of Christmas song classics:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s ‘Christmas Eve Sarajevo’ is consistently among the top songs in music surveys. TSO’s Paul O’Neill told the story behind the rock/orchestra song in an interview with Christianity Today:

We heard about this cello player born in Sarajevo many years ago who left when he was fairly young to go on to become a well-respected musician, playing with various symphonies throughout Europe. Many decades later, he returned to Sarajevo as an elderly man—at the height of the Bosnian War, only to find his city in complete ruins.

I think what most broke this man’s heart was that the destruction was not done by some outside invader or natural disaster—it was done by his own people. At that time, Serbs were shelling Sarajevo every night. Rather than head for the bomb shelters like his family and neighbors, this man went to the town square, climbed onto a pile of rubble that had once been the fountain, took out his cello, and played Mozart and Beethoven as the city was bombed.

He came every night and began playing Christmas Carols from that same spot. It was just such a powerful image—a white-haired man silhouetted against the cannon fire, playing timeless melodies to both sides of the conflict amid the rubble and devastation of the city he loves. Some time later, a reporter traced him down to ask why he did this insanely stupid thing. The old man said that it was his way of proving that despite all evidence to the contrary, the spirit of humanity was still alive in that place.

The song basically wrapped itself around him. We used some of the oldest Christmas melodies we could find, like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells” part of the medley (which is from Ukraine, near that region). The orchestra represents one side, the rock band the other, and single cello represents that single individual, that spark of hope.”

Here’s the story behind the book…and the song…‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:’

As the holiday season of 1938 came to Chicago, Bob May wasn’t feeling much comfort or joy. A 34-year-old ad writer for Montgomery Ward, May was exhausted and nearly broke. His wife, Evelyn, was bedridden, on the losing end of a two-year battle with cancer. This left Bob to look after their four-year old-daughter, Barbara.

One night, Barbara asked her father, “Why isn’t my mommy like everybody else’s mommy?” As he struggled to answer his daughter’s question, Bob remembered the pain of his own childhood. A small, sickly boy, he was constantly picked on and called names. But he wanted to give his daughter hope, and show her that being different was nothing to be ashamed of. More than that, he wanted her to know that he loved her and would always take care of her.

So he began to spin a tale about a reindeer with a bright red nose who found a special place on Santa’s team. Barbara loved the story so much that she made her father tell it every night before bedtime. As he did, it grew more elaborate. Because he couldn’t afford to buy his daughter a gift for Christmas, Bob decided to turn the story into a homemade picture book.

In early December, Bob’s wife died. Though he was heartbroken, he kept working on the book for his daughter. A few days before Christmas, he reluctantly attended a company party at Montgomery Ward. His co-workers encouraged him to share the story he’d written. After he read it, there was a standing ovation. Everyone wanted copies of their own. Montgomery Ward bought the rights to the book from their debt-ridden employee.

Over the next six years, at Christmas, they gave away six million copies of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to shoppers. Every major publishing house in the country was making offers to obtain the book. In an incredible display of good will, the head of the department store returned all rights to Bob May. Four years later, Rudolph had made him into a millionaire.

Now remarried with a growing family, May felt blessed by his good fortune. But there was more to come. His brother-in-law, a successful songwriter named Johnny Marks, set the uplifting story to music. The song was pitched to artists from Bing Crosby on down. They all passed. Finally, Marks approached Gene Autry. The cowboy star had scored a holiday hit with “Here Comes Santa Claus” a few years before.

Like the others, Autry wasn’t impressed with the song about the misfit reindeer. Marks begged him to give it a second listen. Autry played it for his wife, Ina. She was so touched by the line “They wouldn’t let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games” that she insisted her husband record the tune.

Within a few years, it had become the second best-selling Christmas song ever, right behind “White Christmas.” Since then, Rudolph has come to life in TV specials, cartoons, movies, toys, games, coloring books, greeting cards and even a Ringling Bros. circus act. The little red-nosed reindeer dreamed up by Bob May and immortalized in song by Johnny Marks and Gene Autry has come to hold a special place in children’s hearts all over the world!

–          We were born 35 minutes apart on December 22, 1949 in Douglas on the Isle of Man
–          Our dad was a drummer so we caught the music bug
–          We performed for the first time with our older brother, Barry, in 1957 at a local theater
–          Our family moved to Australia in 1958 and continued singing
–          Our band name was a spelled out acronym
–          We are best known for songs like “Staying Alive” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?”

We are Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees! Congratulations to Amanda of Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Lisa from Mount Vernon and Renee from Howard

Here’s the article and recipe about the holiday yule log that Dylan shared…

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

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

Christmas NZ Top 10 for 12/17/21

Today we’re playing the top 10 Christmas songs from our holiday music survey – these are the songs YOU told us are your favorites!

10. Frank Sinatra – Let It Snow!
9. Danny Gokey – Mary, Did You Know?
8. Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops – Sleigh Ride
7. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
6. Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon
4. Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
3. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy
2. David Foster – Carol of the Bells
1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve, Sarajevo

Peter from Howard and Debbie from Mount Vernon!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Zoe

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