Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Must Read Blog

Please check out my friend William's new blog, Wanderings Toward Truth, Beauty and Love.

There you will find deep thoughts, good book suggestions (like a William's Book Club type of thing), and other cool stuff.

"Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God."
- Blaise Pascal-

Luke: I can’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.
-From 'Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back'-

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Spirit FM, WMCU off the air... a bad thing?

On September 30, 2007, WMCU, aka Spirit FM, signed off the air after 37 years on the air.


I'm not so sure what to make of this. I think Christian radio stations are a wonderful thing. Historically, these radio stations have been instrumental in encouraging, teaching, and ministering to people all over the world. Because of Christian radio stations, people are introduced to inspiring messages and worshipful music. I can remember times when turning on a Christian radio station, at home or away, reminded me of God's love for me, maybe at a moment when I doubted it, or forgot about it.

If I'm honest, I will admit that WMCU had that effect on me throughout my life growing up here in Miami. Were it not for WMCU, I would not have heard Steve Brown. Were it not for WMCU, I would not have heard....

.... well, that's it. Steve Brown.

True, there were times when I heard a "buck up little camper" type message on WMCU to perk me up a bit. But, what exactly did WMCU provide us with, besides a rooster crow at 7:30 am?

WMCU became the focal and central source of information, teaching and spirituality for South Florida Christians. That is a reality, and it is a SCARY reality. WMCU was the source of spiritual food for many South Florida Christians. In other words, if you didn't hear it on WMCU, it wasn't "worthy". Again, in other words, if Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, John MacArthur, or the myriad of the other now erstwhile teachers weren't preaching it, then it probably wasn't "kosher" ( I purposely left Steve Brown off that short list because I think most Miami Christians tuned him out. I was probably one of the handful of Christians in Miami who wasn't offended by him. The only reason he was still on the station is probably because he was grandfathered in.)

Whether it was purposely done or not, WMCU became the hat on which many Christians in Miami hung their hats.

Case in point, here are some comments I picked off the stations website from well-meaning people in South Florida, upon hearing the news of WMCU's demise:

"Your station and all who work there have become a daily habit for me. The programs and music you have offered over the years have been edifying to so many and glorifying to our Heavenly Father. This community needs this station!!! "

"I'm sure Satan is rejoicing at the hole he has blown in South Florida."

"This has created a great void in many lives."

So the question is this: Has Christendom as we know it come to an end in South Florida?

Hell no! Satan blows, but he can't blow a hole in South Florida, brothers and sisters! Sure we'll miss having the same songs repeated over a 10-15 year period! Sure, we'll miss having a station trying to sound like secular station, playing music that is trying to sound like secular music! Sure we'll miss... uh... Steve Brown! But look on the bright side:

- 20 years of hearing the song I believe in Jesus by Degarmo and Key, a song recorded in the 80's, as a segue song to 'lead us into the news', are over.

- Once again, Third Day will be okay to listen to, in the knowledge that there is at least one less 65 year old grandmother in Miami, who will no longer be moving her body to the rhythm of their latest song, thinking that her 15 year old granddaughter "just has to hear this".

- John MacArthur is off the air in South Florida.

- The worship leaders in your church are now free to expand there repertoire of worship music outside of Casting Crowns, as part of their regular worship music in your church. They are no longer bound by the ecclesiastical rule of "thou shalt not play music not approved by St. Steve James, or his successor Sister Mary Ann Perdomo. All other music is unworthy, so sayeth the code of the dove".

So, "buck up little camper"! There is life after WMCU. Satan has not given a blow to South Florida, and the fat lady isn't singing yet (Hey! There's another good thing... Sandy Patty's off the air in South Florida, too!).

When something so many people relied upon for their spiritual walk is removed, then we have to know that God has done it for a reason. This is a good reason. God calls us to rely on His word. He gives us instruments, through the media, written word, and the arts to use as an expression of his word, but in the end, he wants us to think for ourselves, and rely on Him alone.

WMCU was one of those instruments. For those who saw it as more than that, give thanks that it is gone. You'll be a better person, and Christian, for it.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I wanted to highlight a website all about the town my parents grew up in in Cuba, Santiago de las Vegas. The site has some great old photographs, offering a glimpse, not only of life in the small town, but also on the island.
My father submitted the photograph above. It was taken in 1948, and my dad was about 9 years old. He's the boy on the front row, second in from the left. I just posted it here to bug him.
We need to remember where we came from. It shows us who we are, and helps define where we're going.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

You can lead a horse to water...

(On Galatians 4: 12-20) "Paul's forgiveness of the Galatians for their betrayal of him is so automatic that we can hardly notice it. It is only because his appeal to them (as strong as it is) is so affectionate and free from resentment that we realize the strength of Paul's forgiving spirit. Later he cautions the Galatians against a growing spirit of resentment and back-biting (Gal. 5:15). The more they lose touch with the gospel, the more resentments and grudges grow."
-Tim Keller-

I'm learning a lot about my own heart by studying Paul's letter to the Galatians.

Again... I'm learning a lot about MY OWN heart. MY resentment. MY bitterness. My grudges. My anger. MY fears.

Often we read the Bible, or hear a preacher speak, or read the latest and greatest "good advice" book, and apply it to other people. "So-and-So needs to read this." Very few times do we apply the advice being given to ourselves.

Why? It usually hurts to get honest about yourself.

The Bible can lead you to the water. The question is, will you drink? Do you see God speaking to YOU, or do you just see Him speaking through you?

"...the strength of Paul's forgiving spirit."

I'm learning that my heart is wracked with bitterness. This bitterness will not allow me to forgive. Not being able to forgive keeps me bitter about other things; makes me critical of people I don't even know. Forgiveness of what? Anything and everything. Things I don't even think about, until a conversation comes up and I find myself getting defensive, critical, and angered.

Thank God for the reality of knowing my nature. Thank God for showing me that I have not yet "arrived". Thank God for accepting me as I am; an acceptance that gives me no recourse but to respond in praise of Him.