Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)
TITLE: I Was Blogging Before Al Gore Invented the Internet!
By Tom Parsons
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It was the 1980s, and personal computers and all the great gadgets we now have were still in an unknown future. But what we did have was radio. Oh, we had television, too, of course, but radio was big in the small Illinois town in which I lived at the time.
The church I pastored had a monthly radio broadcast on our local radio station, WLPO-AM. We paid for that time. But there was another station in town, owned by the same folks who owned WLPO. It was WAJK-FM.
One day I received a call from one of the officials at the radio station. As part of their license requirement, they carried a three-minute religious program each morning. But the source of the program they were then running was ending the broadcast. They decided to turn to a local source and asked me if I would do a five-day a week series of broadcasts to air at 5:20 am. Thoughts of getting out of bed early and driving to the station, which was just a couple of miles away, filled my mind. I thought that would be especially challenging on wintry northern Illinois mornings.
But, I was told, I could record the broadcasts, either at the studio or on my church’s equipment. I chose the latter. I usually recorded two weeks’ worth of broadcasts at a time and made just one trip to the station every two weeks to take the tape to them.
Of course, someone had to write those broadcasts. There was no one to do that except me, so I began my first blog. It really was a blog, of course. We just didn’t know that’s what it was. But every week I had to have five three-minute scripts, fifteen minutes of written material.
The station had given me no restrictions, other than the usual prohibitions against slandering local officials and sponsors. I couldn’t say the mayor was a scoundrel, or that Joe’s Plumbing Shop was cheating its customers by employing untrained workmen.
But I could talk about the Bible. I could talk about current events and relate the Bible to them. And I could talk about the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A local McDonalds carried the WAJK-FM signal in its restaurant twenty-four hours a day. Every weekday morning at 5:20, my “blog” was broadcast to the customers at McDonalds. It was reported to me that a lady who had breakfast there regularly heard me and came to know Jesus as her Savior. I never had the privilege of meeting her, but I look forward to meeting her someday in Heaven.
I did that broadcast for about five years. That is about 1,300 three-minute programs, about 3,900 minutes. I discovered that one of the challenges of writing a blog five days a week is keeping it fresh and finding new material. Sometimes I would sit down to write and come up with an idea, only to remember that I had already done that. And, yes, I did sometimes rerun a favorite.
Now I have two blogs. Real blogs, not radio broadcasts. And I wonder how I kept my writing up for all those years on the radio, but now have a hard time writing one entry in one of my blogs per week, let alone five times a week. And, so far, at least, no one has indicated they found faith in Jesus Christ because of my blogs.
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