The other day, I was having lunch with Brian Hobbs, the editor of the Baptist Messenger. Brian is one of those guys who, when you visit with him, the time goes by way too fast.
I was having a discussion with him about recording a podcast. I found out I am about the last preacher on the planet who doesn’t have one of these shows.
Just the word “podcast” itself is funny to me. Growing up in rural America, we had to hull a lot of pods. When it came time to harvest the peas, we would take the pods, split them open, dump the peas into a bowl and cast the pods onto the trash heap.
If you grew up on the farm, you knew three activities that would have to take place during the summer: shucking, hulling and snapping. Two of them had to do with green vegetables and the other, yellow. So when I first heard the word “podcast,” all I could think of was peas.
I had to have someone explain to me what a podcast was. If I got the gist of it, it’s a radio station without the radio. You sit in a room with a microphone talking to yourself about something and then post the recording on the internet, hoping someone will listen to it. I heard once that the average podcaster has an audience of two.
I became more familiar with these podcasters when my son Caleb started a podcast, “Dog Backwards: Looking at God, Life and Culture from a Different Angle.” Now, he has people around the world listening to him as he interviews people. If you would like to check out his podcast, type “Dog Backwards” in your search engine, and something will come up. His latest episode was “Leaving Polygamy and Finding Jesus with Lila LeBaron.”
Now back to my conversation with Brian. I do many radio shows and have had lots of radio interviews concerning my books, carrying the cross up Mount Kilimanjaro and my mission work. Almost weekly, my sermons are broadcast on TV and radio in whatever town I am in. I even have had several radio personalities encouraging me to start a radio program of my own; they said I have a face fit for radio.
So as I was thinking of this, I mentioned to Brian, “Why don’t we start a podcast?” It seems as though the print medium is decreasing, and newspapers are having a hard time making it. Maybe we need to look at another avenue of getting the good news out.
I am always throwing ideas one after another at Brian, and he can dodge them as well as Muhammad Ali in a prizefight. But this time he asked me, “What would you call it, and what do you want to talk about?”
What a counterpunch! He had decked me with a one-two punch coming out of nowhere. I hadn’t considered that at all. I told him to let me think about it, and that I did. I was asking myself, “What is the one thing I would like to tell the world?” and then it came to me: “Not Without.” And now that the coronavirus is hitting us, I think there is even a greater need for us to know that with Jesus, we are “not without.” Here are five Scriptures to affirm that truth:
- You are not without a friend, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5b).
- You are not without hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
- You are not without peace. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33).
- You are not without love. “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39b).
- You are never without guidance. “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me” (Ps. 31:3).
It is amazing how much a relationship with a living, loving God brings to our lives. While we are hibernating and I’m trying to figure out how to shuck one of these podcasts, you and your family could spend this time drawing strength from His Word or listening to one of the “Dog Backwards” podcasts.
Also, the Baptist Messenger offers a podcast program that is worth downloading. Visit baptistmessenger.com/podcast for recent episodes.
In this season, people are hoarding all kinds of things, but remember that if you have Jesus, you’re “not without.”