I honestly never expected I would ever have anything to do with Christian radio. And then I heard Chuck Swindoll.
In the summer of 1978, I was asked by friends in our church if I would house sit for them while they went on a three week vacation. As a recent college graduate who was basically couch surfing my way through the summer, I was more than happy to have access to a real bed for 21 whole days.
Before they left for vacation, my friends gave me instruction about taking care of the house. And the mom of the family asked me when I had to be at work. I told her that my hours were from 10:30 am until 7:30 pm. She smiled and said “Oh, that’s great! You could get up at 7:00 am to listen to Chuck Swindoll on the radio!”
I smiled back and didn’t say what I was thinking. What I was thinking was that there was no way on earth I would get up at 7:00 if I didn’t have to be at work until 10:30 am. And there was certainly no way I was going to get up early to listen to a radio preacher!
Growing up, all I had ever heard on Christian radio was what I referred to as screamers and beggars. That brand of “old time religion” had no appeal for me. I was a trained broadcasting professional. Christian radio wasn’t “real radio.” Anything I’d ever heard on air at that point was nothing I wanted to be associated with.
After my friends left for their vacation, my hours at the office changed. The boss wanted me in at 8:30 now. When meant I needed to set the alarm for… yep, 7:00 am.
So, I figured as long as I had to get up at that time anyway, I might as well tune in to listen to this Swindoll guy. And I was… surprised. He was intelligent. He was articulate. He didn’t scream. He didn’t beg. I thought to myself “if there were more guys like him on the radio, Christian radio might be worth listening to.”
A year later, I was the newest employee at my local Christian radio station. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Next year marks 40 years of involvement in Christian radio.
So I found myself smiling this morning when I arrived at a meeting in Dallas and this guy showed up to do devotions for us.
That’s Chuck Swindoll, the past President and Chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary and is the pastor at Stonebrier Community Church in Frisco TX. He is 84 years young and still as warm and smart and funny as he was when I first heard him on radio four decades ago.
He shared with us for 40 minutes, sharing with us about a list of 14 life lessons he’s learned from his years in ministry. The list was vintage Swindoll:
1. Tell people how you feel about them now - not later - later doesn’t always come.
2. Things you’re not even aware of are being noticed and remembered.
3. Being “real" is a lot better than trying to look pious. - Be who you are.
4. When you fit, most things flow. When you don’t, things need to be forced.
5. It doesn’t pay to talk someone into or out of a big decision – both you and they will usually regret it.
6. Days of maintenance are far more significant than days of magnificence.
7. Some people aren’t going to change no matter what you do.
8. I never feel sorry for things I did NOT say.
9. Time spent with family is always a great investment.
10. Grace is worth the risk - cultivate a life of grace.
11. Learn to stop saying never and always when it comes to the future.
12. Thinking theologically pays off.
13. Give credit where credit is due.
14. You can’t beat fun - don’t take yourself so seriously.
Chuck illustrated his points with classic stories from his ministry. And if you have a spare 40 minutes sometime, it’s worth your time to hear the thoughts of a man God is continuing to use in ministry all around the world. Here’s the video. Enjoy.
Good news! We have the nursery covered this weekend! But we still need help with the babies this month. Can you spare a Sunday to help out? Why not pray about it?
I mean right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
All done praying? Great. Then go ahead right now and send Kelly Rackley an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you’d love to help.
Our Saturday morning membership class is coming up the last Saturday of this month. Interested in finding out more? Connect with Matt Gurney at email@example.com and he’ll get back to you with all the details. We have a little bit of reading and a few videos for you to watch before you attend. So if you think you might be interested, contact might this week.
Sunday, October 28 is the date for our upcoming all church picnic. Here are the details with info about the food we need you to bring!
We’ll take a break from our study of the life of Esther this Sunday to look at an event that happened during Jesus’ ministry. You remember that right after Jesus fed the five thousand, Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm came up suddenly? Mark says that when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, “they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.” (Mark 6:51-52).
Hard hearted disciples? What’s going on here? Read Mark 6-8 to prepare for our time in God’s word this week.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!