Breaking Up With My Radio Station
Here’s the deal – and surely this is no shock to you… but, I am not completely a strict-o Christian chick. As long as God has not specifically told you otherwise, I do not believe there is any harm in rocking out to some old school Beastie Boys or No Doubt for old times sake. Baby Got Back makes me smile. I love The Beatles. I love The Steve Miller Band 1974-1978 album. I love looooots of random 1980’s goodness.
On the other hand
of this weird chick named Me, I do firmly believe in the whole “good stuff in = good stuff out” principle. Maybe cause I’ve read it somewhere…like, um, The Bible. So, I am going to try my best to play Christian or at least wholesome music as much as possible in my Gracevan and when the kids get older and wanna hear some “of that pop music stuff”, I will perhaps let them. On a song by song basis, of course. I bought the van, I pick the station. Duh.
But, I must say that I have been disheartened, annoyed, disgusted, saddened, frustrated
and pissed at my Channel #1 on my radio station lately. Here’s the deal – this is my blog and so I am allowed to have my own opinion. You have yours. We live in a free country and are spoiled by this freedom. But, I do not want to ‘badmouth’ a radio station or a person or a thing or a noun. So, I will be honest and as discreet as possible. Ahem.
The radio station I have been listening to for over a decade was sometimes cheesey, sometimes obnoxious, but often played the exact song at the exact time I needed to hear it. Yes, there have been times where the sheer volume of commercials made me wanna jab myself in the eye with a fork, but I forgave them, chalked it up to the ‘need to raise money and advertise so they can give me my Toby Mac when I needed it’ scenario and moved on. But, the last few months, enough has been freaking enough.
‘Tis no longer about the volume of commercials, but instead, the content of them. Maybe I’m getting to be an old fogey. Maybe I’m just realizing how deeply and rapidly the quicksand of the world sucks you down. Maybe I’m just waking up to what Jesus really is all about. Who knows!?
Jesus does! Jesus does! But, I have literally had my stomach churn at the sound of the commercials my Christian radio station has been playing. Whether it is laser hair removal or teeth whitening or debt-causing leases for brand new cars or fillinthestinking blank, it is all about this world and very little about Jesus. The first time I noticed it, I shook off the Holy Spirit’s leading and chalked it up to, once again, the ‘need’ to advertise.
Then, my six-year-old sat and listened to this station, anxiously awaiting to see if he could hear his favorite Audio Adrenaline song, and heard an advertising for plastic surgery and asked “Hey, Mama, what is “Mommy Makeover?” Do you want to get one?” Sigh. Vomit in mouth. Cry.
Disclaimer: At the risk of being misquoted, let me be clear. I am not bashing people who have gotten plastic surgery. Or zoom whitening. Or have much-o debt-o for their luxury cars. I do not judge you. I personally may not agree with some of those choices, but I’m sure you don’t agree with some of mine. I AM NOT YOUR JUDGE. I know neither your heart nor your motive. I do know how sick and dark and selfish mine is and have a full-time job trying to continually surrender all that junk to Jesus. I ain’t got time to judge your junk as well. Nor should I. So, please don’t turn this into something it’s not. Please. Moving on.
I started paying more attention to the types of services, businesses, events I heard on this station. And, as they say, the truth is in the pudding. More than half of what I heard goes directly against what my family and I believe in. The Sovereign 2×4 to my head was the stark and immediate difference between one of their on-air personalities speaking of the severe famine and water crisis they were raising money for, until noon that day, and then breaking for commercial and hearing that same voice urging me I needed to “feel better about myself” and “I deserved’ to be hair-free in my bikini area just in time for summer.
What the heck!?!
It hit me – Jesus would not be listening to this station. Like, at all.
The songs may be safe for my whole family. The commercials; notsomuch.
So, I broke up with them. I changed the dial on my radio and started to listen to a suuuuuper conservative Christian option in my area. The whiplash was pretty severe, since now all I heard was sermons and ‘less rock-style’ type Christian music – you know the kind that the non-Chrstian world hears and makes fun of us for.
Me: “God. (in my never far from my lips three-year-old whiney voice) Do I have to listen to this!?!”
God: “No. You have free will. But, I’ve told you what to do. You can choose to honor me or not.”
Me: Well, sheesh, when you put it that way…
Me: (pouting) “Ok, ok, I will obey.” (Visions of my daughter are happening at this moment which ticks me off, dangit.)
So, I did it. I listened to the straight laced station and heard quite a bit of good teaching. Heard a fun song or two.
(three, tops) But, more importantly felt better about obeying God. Well, I felt better-ish.
I still stuck my lip out sometimes.
Then, a friend told me about this awesome radio station called Air One. (Seriously, check it out, it’s all over the country and online!!) I was intrigued by her description “It’s better than fillintheblank radio station because there are no awful commercials. It’s also better than the other fillintheblank radio station because the deejays are a bit snarky like you, (gee, thanks) and genuine and real and honest and have a real heart for God. But (dangit, I knew there was a catch) they are currently in the middle of their pledge drive.”
Me: “Who cares!?! I’m trying it out!”
So, I did. And I fell in love. Minus the constant reminder of their pledge drive (man that sounds awful!) I loved their music, their heart for serving others, the genuine hearts of their deejays and their complete and utter LACK of commercials focused on my body image, my debt accruement, or my home improvements.
Day five – When will this pledge drive end, Lord!?!!?
I am the worst person ever.
Day seven – Maybe I could flip back and forth to the old station? (insert yet another laser skin treatment commercial) Nevermind.
Day ten – Ok, Lord, have they raised enough money yet?
Day twelve – Hmm…maybe I should pray about giving??
Day thirteen – Pledge drive over.
And there was much rejoicing! Yaaaaaaa.
My heart was all wrong. (Shocker!) But, once I truly gave this up, He showed up big. He gave me a finefornow station. It wasn’t a good fit, but it helped in my first step of obedience. Then, He showed up again. He gave me this perfect fit radio station, but they had a pledge drive. He tested my motive. Challenged my heart. Tried my patience. And then changed – my- viewpoint. Then, He divinely ended the pledge drive. A whole day earlier than expected. Glory.
The last few days with my new BFF radio station have been lovely. The play rap. They play metal. They play jazzy stuff. They play Hanson-type-Umm-Bop teeny-bopperish stuff. They play it all. But, it ALL is about Jesus. Their radio people sound like they could be any one of my friends. They have ZERO commercials, muchless ones about this world and it’s snares. And, now that the pledge drive is over –
Again, glory. God has provided them with a fully funded DFW experience and I can genuinely pray about supporting them. With the right heart.
So…what has God told you to do that seems nuts?
Break up with a Christian radio station, Lord? Really?
Um, no thanks.
Um, Ok, but I’m pitching a fit.
Ok, I’ll do it – for real. Then, viola!
Yes, Lord! Change my heart to be like YOURS! I want none of it. None.
Friend, I don’t know how much you know me at all. But, I know how well God knows me. He knows alltoowell how quickly I can slip
and sometimes dive back into the world and not even realize I look more like them than I do like His Son. Poof! It takes one moment.
Maybe for you, it’s nothing about music. Maybe He told you to quit drinking Diet Coke? Or stop drinking any alcohol ever. (another talk for another time) Or maybe He has shown you a person He wants you to avoid? Or befriend?
Here’s the deal – take it from a stubborn chick who believeitornot truly does have a heart for Jesus. Like, the real Jesus – FROM THE BIBLE. Not, the upper class American version of Him we’ve painted to make ourselves feel good about our choices. I fail often. I flat blow it often too. But, often, I obey. Sometimes, even with a pure heart, which, btw, actually matters more. And when I do, I am blown away by His faithfulness to me. I am blown away by His love for me. I am humbled and flattened by His sacrifice for me.
So…that’s pretty much it. I am now happily dating Air One. We are happy. We hold hands. I don’t suck in my belly. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not. We love each other just the way we are. And we are crazy about our Jesus.
And, in case you already didn’t think I was a total dork – God told me I had to formally say goodbye to theotherradio station. Shoot! He knows how non-confrontational I am. I, personally, wanted to just ‘stop calling him and let him figure it out’ instead of calling and saying ‘it isn’t you, it’s me.’ Can you relate at all? So, after weeks of being 110% sure I was supposed to make it official. I did. I sent this letter, that isn’t quite as gentle as I had hoped, but much less harsh and full of hurt than I had originally drafted in my head. This letter will probably not matter to anyone except me and Jesus. But, that’s enough for me.
So – here it is –
It is with a heavy heart that I wrote this email to y’all. I have been a (fillintheblank) listener for over a decade. You have provided me with praise and worship time through some of my most joyous and most difficult times. And, while I am not certain my email will make an impact, I have felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to do it for months now. Your catch phrase of “Safe For the Whole Family” no longer applies, in my opinion. Your songs – yes. Your commercials – absolutely not. I know that your station got a lot of flack a few years ago for having too many commercials, but I stood by your side, knowing that the worship in between was worth the wait. But, now my extreme concern and disappointing reason for this email is regarding the quality (or lack thereof) of your commercials. It has gone from bad to worse. Whether you are encouraging your listeners to go into debt with a lease on a new car they ‘deserve’ or trying to use your on air personalities to convince me I need laser skin treatments or a “mommy makeover’ – it has literally made my stomach churn. We are called as believers to STAND OUT in this world. To be IN the world, not OF the world. Your songs do just that. But, your commercials sound like they could be played on any other station. What a gross shock to go from hearing your concern for clean water provided in other struggling countries, to your commercials urging me toward teeth whitening. Something is wrong. I refuse to subject my kids to it anymore, and I am done trying to explain to them why Christians would spend SO MUCH money on the services you advertise. Instead, I am joyfully changing the channel to Air One 101.7. They are listener supported, so I know that is a different set up that y’all, but I will happily listen to two weeks of their pledge drive that two minutes of the commercials you play. I STRONGLY urge your management to spend some serious time in prayer about this. I am heartbroken for the many Christians you are misleading as to what it means to live like Christ. I am one listener and may not matter much. My changing channels will not affect your ratings. But, I still felt led to bring this to your attention. I pray this changes in the future, because you, as the “largest Christian radio station in America” have a responsibility to Jesus. You will give account (as will we all) for how you used your time, money and business. And, as it is now, I feel Jesus would be pretty disappointed and truthfully, pretty hacked off. Thank you for over a decade of being there for me, through thick and thin, through an illness that left me lying on my couch unable to sit upright for months on end. All I could do was praise and worship from my couch, and you were there for me with an outlet of praise for Jesus. So, thank you. And goodbye.