Faith, hope, and love are three major parts of my life. They always have been and always will be.
I grew up going to church and attending Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, revivals, and any special events we held. My mom taught Sunday School. I would even go to two or three different Vacation Bible Schools some summers. I loved it. I learned about the Lord my Mamaw talked about all the time, and I got to make some cool things like miniature bibles out of black construction paper, pasta, glue, and empty match boxes. Bible markers were also a big hit. My Mamaw always made me feel like I was giving her the most special gift whenever we would make new ones in Sunday School. As you can see, it left a lasting impression on me.
As I became an adult, going to church became a totally different, though equally fulfilling, experience. Instead of wondering what snack we would have in Sunday School, or what we would be making, I became focused on the weekly message and the songs from our hymn books. The prayer requests and special projects the church was involved in became part of my thoughts and prayers. The life long friendships I made at church felt deeper. While a big part of my extended family attended my home church, Royce Baptist Church in Oak Ridge, TN, I knew I could count on my church family as well. Their celebrations became mine. Their losses were mine as well. They still are.
I have not been able to attend Sunday morning services at Royce in over 20 years, but it is still my home church, and I have a good reason for my absence. For 21 years now, I have been hosting my bluegrass and country gospel radio show. The first 15 years on 89.9 WDVX and the last almost 7 years at 96.7 Merle. It is my music ministry. My pastor told me one time he knew I wasn’t backsliding, because he listens to me while getting ready and then on his way to church. It made me smile. I do participate when I can. Ask anyone who has seen my award winning performances in our last few Christmas plays! Ha ha!
I’m doing my best to raise my son, Dane, in church the same way I was. His late mother, Jackie, did too. He loves being there with his family and friends and making things, just like I did. I’m certain as he gets older his focus will shift more toward the word of God and the hope He provides, just like it did for me. I’m blessed to have a girlfriend now who loves my church, and son, as much as I do and takes him and her daughter on a regular basis. Thank you, Jennifer.
My radio show has served as “church” to many people over the years. I’ve heard from those who are physically unable to leave their homes on a regular basis due to medical situations. Some are fortunate enough to be able to listen online while deployed overseas and fighting for our freedom. Others may have a brief illness, or may be home caring for a loved one, and can’t attend their church that particular Sunday, but they can enjoy my music program over the radio or internet. Several people must work on Sunday and listen while doing their job. While I miss Sunday mornings with my family, I feel truly blessed that I am able to provide a way for God’s message of faith, hope, and love to be heard by so many people in so many places.
Thank you Tony Lawson (WDVX), and now Ron Meredith (96.7 Merle), for giving me the chance to do what I truly love.
Have a blessed week,
And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV