During the candle light service at church this past Tuesday, my children had the privilege to sing with a group of young people. I would like to take the opportunity to post two of those videos here so I can share them with you. Enjoy!
The Format-Part Two
By Joe Simmons
During the next two weeks Melody went in for surgery and began radiation treatments. She only missed a couple of days from work to recover from the lumpectomy, but it was obvious her energy level was much lower than normal. Yet, no matter how tired she was, she always made sure Tyler had everything he needed. He felt bad to see her have to go through this and felt it was up to him to help her now. Seeing that Melody's husband Bill had just had a cataract removed and could not drive, Tyler jumped at the idea of bringing Melody to her radiation treatments once a week. Melody was very grateful for the help the young man provided.
On one of the evenings Tyler was dropping Melody off at her house he saw some people getting out of their car in her driveway. "Oh, how nice!" Melody exclaimed upon seeing the couple. "The Cornwalls have come to bring us a meal tonight."
Before Tyler could say anything, Melody got out of the car. “What timing!” Melody called to her friends. “Please come in. Tyler, come in as well, I want you to meet my good friends from church.”
They all went inside to chat for a while. Tyler was intrigued at how much James and Patricia Cornwall clearly loved Melody and her husband. There seemed to be a genuine concern on their faces, and the fact that they had arranged for different families to bring meals through the toughest weeks touched Tyler deeply. This must be what “real Christianity” was all about. There was something wonderful about the faith these people shared. Someday he hoped he could find the time to ask them about it.
A few days later, Tyler was getting ready to head out to work when his phone rang. It was Bill. With a stressed tone, he informed Tyler that Melody had had a bad reaction to some medication, and was on her way to the hospital. Yet even though Bill was obviously shaken by the situation, he ended the conversation with this statement, "She is in God's hands though. With God all things are possible."
Tyler thought about Bill and Melody's faith all the way up to the hospital. He thought about it as he waited with Bill in the emergency waiting room while the nurses and doctor worked on stabilizing Melody. He watched Bill pray, listened as Bill read his Bible out loud, and he watched Bill tear up in thankfulness as the doctor entered the room and informed them that Melody had been stabilized. "Bill, you can go see her now."
Bill quickly left the room and was gone only ten minutes when he returned. “She wants to see you, Tyler,” stated Bill.
Melody smiled as Tyler entered the room. “Come here, and sit next to me, Tyler.” She grasped Tyler’s hand. Melody had a serious expression on her tired face. “I was so scared that I might not come through that reaction," she informed him. He was not surprised. Anyone would have been scared to go through something as frightening as she had. But it was what she said after that shocked him.
"I wasn’t scared for me, but for you.”
Tyler stared at her. How could she still be thinking of others even in the middle of possibly dying? With a choked voice Tyler responded, “For me? But, why?”
“Because there would be no one else to take care of you.”
With tears in his eyes, Tyler smiled. “You always have been right there to make sure I had everything I needed, but I need you to stop worrying about work and just get yourself better. We can take care of things at the station.”
Melody smiled gently, “I am not talking about work, Tyler. I am talking about eternity; a heart and life surrendered to live a life for Jesus.”
Tyler gave his usual response, “Oh, yes, that. Well, someday soon. You seem quite tired to talk too much now though. Maybe I should go."
Melody held tighter to his hand and he could see she was not quite finished. “Do you remember what happened a few weeks ago when you first heard that I had cancer?"
Tyler nodded. "How can I forget? Don broke the format by playing spiritual Christmas songs before he should have.”
Melody continued, “Yes, he broke the format. That format is the rules of the play lists for all stations. You follow it to a tee and get upset when someone breaks the format. Well, God has a format for our lives called the Bible. Long ago, Adam and Eve broke His format for living and sinned entered into the world. It is because man broke the format that we can't get to heaven on our own. Jesus had to come to the earth as a man, so He could die for us and make a Way for us to go to heaven. We need to acknowledge the fact that we have broken God’s format. We need to see ourselves as sinners, and ask Him to forgive us and come into our hearts to save us from an eternity in hell. He needs to be Lord of your life. All you need to do is call upon His name, and He can help you to live by the format He provided for us . . .” exhaustion overtook her. “I need to rest now. Please consider what I said.”
"I will, Melody." Tyler honestly replied.
As Tyler drove home, he passed by Melody's church and recognized James and Patricia in the parking lot. Tyler pulled in and called out to them, “Special meeting today?”
James smiled, “We are meeting together so we can pray for Melody.”
Tyler’s heart began to pound, “Can I join you?” When they nodded, Tyler parked his car and went into the church with his new friends.
The next morning, a nurse came into Melody’s hospital room with a radio. “I was told you needed to hear something on the radio this morning.” The nurse set the radio on the table and turned on the station that Melody knew so well. Yet, she was surprised to hear Tyler's voice over the air, when it should be Don's at this hour. “Good morning, my listener friends. As the manager of this station I have come to the conclusion that I have been following the wrong format all my life. Even though today is December 20th, we will be using a new format for the remainder of the holiday season. Starting today we will be taking requests all day for your favorite Christmas songs. A dear friend of mine showed me how we all must change the format in our lives and I can not think of a better way to show her then playing her favorite song, "O Holy Night." This new format is the one I now follow. ”
Tears came to her eyes as Tyler played her favorite song. Melody knew in her heart that Tyler had come to peace with her Lord and Savior. Everything would be fine for him no matter what happened to her. God had answered her prayer and she knew that God would take care of her friend Tyler, forever and always.
We have a neighbor who lives behind us, an elderly gentleman who loves radio. Whenever he stops by or comes over for dinner he has to discuss the latest regarding the radio station he still works for every Sunday morning. He loves announcing the birthdays that people send in, as well as playing folk and music from years past. He loves radio and can answer any question regarding stations and studio equipment. One day after talking with him, my husband Joe was hit with inspiration for a story, and so today I am going to post his story.
THE FORMAT - PART ONE
By Joe Simmons
It was two days after Thanksgiving. Tyler Mannion, the station manager at WEZL Radio, was sitting at his desk listening to the Morning Show with Don Reno.
"You are listening to WEZL, with Don Reno. The song that was just played was Sleigh Ride by the Boston Pops Orchestra. That song is one of my wife's favorite songs of the holiday season. Coming up is a request from a friend who recently informed me that she has been diagnosed with cancer. We do not usually take requests during the show, but after hearing her story I felt I could not refuse. Coming up is her request, Oh Holy Night. As you listen please say a prayer for this lady. My friend, this song is for you."
As Don began playing the song, Tyler quickly walked down the hall to the studio where Don was broadcasting. Tyler walked into the studio. While Oh Holy Night played over the monitors, he called Don over to talk to him.
“Don, I realize that you are upset about your friend, but you must remember that it is only two days after Thangsgiving. You must stick to the program format. Our advertisers and listeners don’t like hearing any overly spiritual songs until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Neither do we want the phones to ring off the hook with crazy requests. Our secretary will not be able to handle the phone lines if that happens. When this song is finished I want you to repeat the fact that we do not take live requests during the week. Only during the EZL request show on Sunday mornings will we take requests."
"Sure thing, boss,” Don answered respectfully.
Before Tyler left the studio, he turned back with concern, “I hope your friend gets better.”
Benny, the sound engineer, announced over the monitors, “10 seconds to live.”
“Thanks, boss.” Don said to Tyler as he left to go back to his office.
“This is Don Reno. You just heard Rhema Marvanne, singing Oh Holy Night. Rhema was only seven years old when she recorded that song. Rhema’s mother passed away from cancer about a year before the recording. To all those affected by cancer, my thoughts and prayers go out to you today. Now we will hear an old time classic from Bing Crosby. . .”
Several minutes went by, and Tyler was sitting in his office when he heard a knock on his door. Tyler answered, “Come in.”
Tyler’s secretary, Melody Grant, who had worked for him for over twenty years, entered the room. Melody had a concerned look on her slightly wrinkled face and Tyler knew the look well. Whenever he saw that look it reminded him of his mother.
“I hope Don is not in trouble,” she stated inquisitively.
“No, he is fine, but you of all people should know how many letters I get from offended people every year after we start to play the more spiritual Christmas songs. I am not ready for that harassment just yet.”
“It sure is a different world than when I was young." She turned to leave the room, then paused as if she was not finished. "I thought you might like to know who requested the song Don played.”
Tyler looked up and saw a look on her face he did not like. He hoped his intuition was wrong. “Was it you, Melody?”
Melody responded a little somberly, “Yes, breast cancer, early stages.”
"Oh no, that is awful. . .do you need a couple of days to process?” said Tyler.
“No, the girl scouts are coming in for a tour of the radio station today, and I made brownies and cookies for them,” Melody answered, a big smile on her face.
“Isn’t it their job to bring you cookies?” he responded with a smile. Her happiness was contagious.
“Oh, I love them. Mr. Grant and I were never able to have children, so we kind of adopt every child that comes our way,” stated Melody smiling bigger. “I plan on being here at the station until I can’t get out of bed in the morning. Besides you need me too much for me to be away. I have Jesus to help me through the day. I will be fine."
Tyler stated sincerely, “I wish I had your faith.”
Melody appeared to get excited, “We can take care of that right now.”
Tyler shrugged off the comment and answered, “Not now. I am too busy with all I have to do right now. Maybe later.”
“I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we have this conversation," responded Melody.
“Maybe so,” answered Tyler. Looking behind Melody through his open door, he noticed a bunch of giggly girls in uniform enter through the front door.
Melody heard the commotion, “Excuse me, Tyler, my Girl Scouts are here.” Melody walked quickly toward the scouts, and began the tour of the station.
After the tour was finished and the girls had eaten their snacks, they each gave Melody a big hug. Tyler thought it too bad that she had never had any children of her own. She had such a big heart for them. After he waved goodbye, he went back into the office and wondered what the future held for Melody. Melody was more than his secretary; he loved her like she was his own mother, and would hate to see her suffer with cancer. He had met many Christians in his life, and thought that they were all frauds, but something he had seen in Melody and her husband Bill was different. They seHe hoped this situation would have a good ending, but there was no telling what would happen.
A knock sounded at the door and Bob, one of his sales staff members poked his head in. "Are you ready for our meeting?"
With a nod, Tyler came back to the moment and put all his worries aside. He could think about those deeper things later.