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The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive

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Christmas

Christmas Devotionals

To start this Christmas edition of Praise Thursday I shared a devotional from “The Christmas Story,” it talked about how God brought two totally different groups together when Jesus was born. The first group being local shepherds and the second being the wise men. Showing us that God invites everyone to celebrate the birth of His Son!

Dylan then shared a Christmas Devotional from “Our Daily Bread,” sharing the story about Christmas Eve in 1968 when the Apollo 8 astronauts, who where the first humans to enter lunar orbit, read Genesis 1 during a live broadcast. Years later they were told that broadcast was the “largest audience that had ever listened to a human voice.” Showing us that God gives us an opportunity to share His word and it all comes back to the story of His Son Jesus!

Congrats to Jane from Howard, she was the 9th caller for Christmas Gift Exchange during the show! She is now entered into our Grand Prize drawing, which is tomorrow Friday, December 23rd during The Morning Thing at 7:30am! So don’t forget to tune in!

Thanks for Listening!

Emma and Dylan

First Day of Winter!

To kick off Who Knew Wednesday we started with today being the December solstice. Today is the longest night and the shortest day of the year, marking today being the first official day of winter!

We continued Who Knew Wednesday with the news that tomorrow is National Cookie Exchange Day! A day that you can make wonderful Christmas cookies and exchange them with the people you love. It’s a wonderful way to spend time with family and get ready for Christmas!

Congrats to Monica from Gambier and Candy from Walhonding they were our winners Christmas Gift Exchange! They are also now in our Grand Prize drawing for a chance to win one of three prizes. The Grand Prize drawing is this Friday, December 23rd at 7:30am on The Morning Thing! Tune in tomorrow for your chance to win!

Thank you for Listening!

Emma and Judah

Holly Jolly Artist News!

For the start of Artist News Day Winter Jam 2023 is right around the corner! This year’s lineup features artists We The Kingdom, Jeremy Camp, Austin French, and more! Winter Jam comes to Columbus on January 28th at the Schottenstein Center. Tickets are $15 and you can get them at the door!

Then, continuing the Holiday Artist News with For King & Country will be on this year’s CMT Crossroads holiday episode! It will also feature artists BRELAND, Natalie Grant, and more! This one-hour special airs this Saturday, Dec. 24th at 7am.

Congrats to Lyle from Howard and Kim from Mount Vernon, they were our winners for our Christmas Gift Exchange! Tune in tomorrow for your chance to win!

Thank you for listening!

Emma and Jonathon

A Gift of Motivation

Jonathon shared his Monday Motivation from “Our Daily Bread” shared about how when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple tow elderly believers took center stage, Simeon and Anna who worshiped God even in their elderly age. The Bible inspires our age to motivate our hope in God.

I shared from “Remembering Christmas” sharing that during this time we do think about all the shopping we need to do and where we can find the perfect gift. “But what if our hearts could shift from what we are buying to what we are doing?” That we can balance gift giving and focus on being present with our Savior and our love ones. That when the wise men came to see Jesus they spent time in His presence first then gave gifts.

Congrats to Jean and Jane from Mount Vernon for being being the 9th caller for the Christmas Gift Exchange! They are now entered into a drawing for one of our Three Grand Prizes that will be announce on Friday, December 23rd at 7:30am during the Moring Thing!

Thanks For Listening!

Emma Reuss

The Importance of Matthew 1

The New Testament begins in Matthew 1 with what’s called “the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.”  Have you ever wondered why?

Matthew’s Gospel doesn’t begin with the nativity itself…the star, the shepherds and the manger. Instead, it begins with a long list of ancestry. And let’s be honest- how many times have we skipped through this?

In his book, Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller gives us perspective on why Matthew started the story of Jesus this way. He reminds us that Christmas is not just about a birth, it is about a coming.

The birth of the Son of God into the world is a gospel, a good news, an announcement that says, you don’t save yourself – God has come to save you. Of course, Christmas is just the beginning of the story of how God came to save us. Jesus will have to go to the cross. But you begin with Christ by believing this report about what has happened in history. Matthew tells us here that this story is no fairy tale – Jesus is real!

Matthew doesn’t start his book with “Once Upon a Time.” That is the way fairy tales or legendary fantasy stories begin.  Matthew is grounding who Jesus Christ is and what he does in history with the genealogy.  Keller reminds us that in Matthew 1, we learn that Jesus is not a metaphor – he is real. This all happened!

In this genealogy at the beginning of the New Testament, what else is Matthew saying?  Pastor Keller writes that the list of Jesus’ genealogy is also a type of resume.  In those times, your family, pedigree and clan made up your resume. Therefore, this list is really saying, “this is who Jesus is.”

Matthew’s genealogy is shockingly different from the other ones of his time. First, there are five women in the list. Three of them, Tamar, Rahab and Ruth, are Gentiles. The Jews would have considered them unclean. In fact, Tamar was a prostitute. He also refers to “Uriah’s wife,” who you may know is Bathsheba. These names recall some of the most difficult stories in the Old Testament. Yet, they are in Jesus’ genealogy. Why?

But wait, in verse 6 we have the name King David.  We might think, “now there is somebody we want in our genealogy!” David, after all, was the boy who killed Goliath, favored by Saul, anointed as King, and the man who conquers Jerusalem. But David also was a flawed man, who arranged the killing of his friend Uriah and whose son Solomon was the result of his affair with Bathsheba.  Yet out of that deeply flawed man, the Messiah came. These people are all acknowledged in Matthew 1 as the ancestors of Jesus.

So what does that mean?  Tim Keller asks us to think about it this way:

It means that people who are excluded by culture, society and even by the law of God can be brought into Jesus’ family.  If you repent and believe in Him, the grace of Jesus covers your sin and unites you with Him.

Moreover, with King David, it means even the powerful and great are still in need of the grace of Christ.  It is not what you have done; it is what Christ has done for you!

God is not ashamed of us.  We are all in His family!

Congratulations to Tracy from Bellville and Jessica from Mount Vernon, winners today in the WNZR Christmas Gift Exchange!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

Christmas Motivations

Today Joe shared a classic 1914 Christmas story in a devotional from James Banks called, “When Peace Breaks Out.” Read this inspiring story from Our Daily Bread by clicking here.

Dylan shared “God’s Sure Pursuit,” from John Blase. Read more by clicking here.

Name an item you’d need to dress up as Santa Claus!
1- Santa Hat (40 votes)
2- Beard (24)
3- Big Belly (9)
4- Red Pants/Belt (5)
5- Suspenders/Black Boots (2)

Congratulations to Rebecca from Butler, who guessed correctly and wins the Veggie Tales DVD, “The Star of Christmas.”

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

First Day of Holly Jolly 25!

Today is the first day of Holly Jolly 25! 25 straight days of your favorite Christmas songs till Christmas Day! WNZR would also like to thank these businesses for supporting our Holly Jolly 25; A+ Auto Brokers, GR Smith Hardware, Knox Community Hospital, Knox Starting Point, Lewis Clark Insurance Agency, and Mid-Ohio Powersports. WNZR’s Holly Jolly 25- our Christmas gift to you!

For Praise Thursday Jonathon shared a devotional from Our Daily Bread called “Mutual Encouragement”. Xochitl Dixon shares from Hebrews 3 in the first devotional in the Holiday Edition for Our Daily Bread! You can find a copy with us at WNZR whenever we go “On the Road with Big Blue”.

I later shared a devotional called Remembering Christmas. I shared that the Christmas season can feel crowded and sometimes overwhelming, but the day of Jesus’ birth the innkeepers had no room and Mary gave birth in a stable and laid him in a manger. That before the hustle and bustle of the season, before we forget, lets remember to make room for the true meaning of Christmas.

We are on the road with Big Blue this Saturday, December 3rd from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Fredericktown Christmas Walk Charity Auction. It will be a Country Christmas this year to celebrate the 22nd Annual Christmas Walk and Charity Auction with a partnership with Food For the Hungry of Knox County to help raise funds to support Fredericktown Interchurch, the Fredericktown Salvation Army, and the Fredericktown Community Relief Fund. To register for the annual 5K fun run or walk at the link found on the Fredericktown Christmas Walk Facebook page.

Congrats to Henry from Howard for guessing the correct answer of Bing Crosby, “Do you Hear what I Hear.” He wins an Anne Wilson, My Jesus cd!

Thank you for listening!

Emma and Jonathon

“The Genealogy Of Jesus”

Today on the show we shared some Christmas devotionals.

Here are the Christmas devotionals that we chose:

MATTHEW 1 – THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS

#1

The New Testament begins in Matthew 1 with what’s called “the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.”  Have you ever wondered why?

Matthew’s Gospel doesn’t begin with the nativity itself…the star, the shepherds and the manger. Instead, it begins with a long list of ancestry. And let’s be honest- how many times have we skipped through this?

In his book, Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller gives us perspective on why Matthew started the story of Jesus this way. He reminds us that Christmas is not just about a birth, it is about a coming.

The birth of the Son of God into the world is a gospel, a good news, an announcement that says, you don’t save yourself – God has come to save you. Of course, Christmas is just the beginning of the story of how God came to save us. Jesus will have to go to the cross. But you begin with Christ by believing this report about what has happened in history. Matthew tells us here that this story is no fairy tale – Jesus is real!

Matthew doesn’t start his book with “Once Upon a Time.” That is the way fairy tales or legendary fantasy stories begin.  Matthew is grounding who Jesus Christ is and what he does in history with the genealogy.  Keller reminds us that in Matthew 1, we learn that Jesus is not a metaphor – he is real. This all happened!

#2

In this genealogy at the beginning of the New Testament, what else is Matthew saying?  Pastor Keller writes that the list of Jesus’ genealogy is also a type of resume.  In those times, your family, pedigree and clan made up your resume. Therefore, this list is really saying, “this is who Jesus is.”

Matthew’s genealogy is shockingly different from the other ones of his time. First, there are five women in the list. Three of them, Tamar, Rahab and Ruth, are Gentiles. The Jews would have considered them unclean. In fact, Tamar was a prostitute. He also refers to “Uriah’s wife,” who you may know is Bathsheba. These names recall some of the most difficult stories in the Old Testament. Yet, they are in Jesus’ genealogy. Why?

But wait, in verse 6 we have the name King David.  We might think, “now there is somebody we want in our genealogy!” David, after all, was the boy who killed Goliath, favored by Saul, anointed as King, and the man who conquers Jerusalem. But David also was a flawed man, who arranged the killing of his friend Uriah and whose son Solomon was the result of his affair with Bathsheba.  Yet out of that deeply flawed man, the Messiah came. These people are all acknowledged in Matthew 1 as the ancestors of Jesus.

So what does that mean?  Tim Keller asks us to think about it this way:

It means that people who are excluded by culture, society and even by the law of God can be brought into Jesus’ family.  If you repent and believe in Him, the grace of Jesus covers your sin and unites you with Him.

Moreover, with King David, it means even the powerful and great are still in need of the grace of Christ.  It is not what you have done; it is what Christ has done for you!

God is not ashamed of us.  We are all in His family!

Q: Only two Gospels include any details about the birth of Jesus. Which of them starts with a genealogy to establish that Jesus is the Messiah to whom Old Testament prophecies referred?

A: Matthew

Congratulations to Janice of Mount Vernon for guessing the correct answer! She wins a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

-Alyssa and Dylan

What inspired these classics?

Today we shared a couple of ‘who knews?’ about the origins of a couple of Christmas song classics:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s ‘Christmas Eve Sarajevo’ is consistently among the top songs in music surveys. TSO’s Paul O’Neill told the story behind the rock/orchestra song in an interview with Christianity Today:

We heard about this cello player born in Sarajevo many years ago who left when he was fairly young to go on to become a well-respected musician, playing with various symphonies throughout Europe. Many decades later, he returned to Sarajevo as an elderly man—at the height of the Bosnian War, only to find his city in complete ruins.

I think what most broke this man’s heart was that the destruction was not done by some outside invader or natural disaster—it was done by his own people. At that time, Serbs were shelling Sarajevo every night. Rather than head for the bomb shelters like his family and neighbors, this man went to the town square, climbed onto a pile of rubble that had once been the fountain, took out his cello, and played Mozart and Beethoven as the city was bombed.

He came every night and began playing Christmas Carols from that same spot. It was just such a powerful image—a white-haired man silhouetted against the cannon fire, playing timeless melodies to both sides of the conflict amid the rubble and devastation of the city he loves. Some time later, a reporter traced him down to ask why he did this insanely stupid thing. The old man said that it was his way of proving that despite all evidence to the contrary, the spirit of humanity was still alive in that place.

The song basically wrapped itself around him. We used some of the oldest Christmas melodies we could find, like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells” part of the medley (which is from Ukraine, near that region). The orchestra represents one side, the rock band the other, and single cello represents that single individual, that spark of hope.”

Here’s the story behind the book…and the song…‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:’

As the holiday season of 1938 came to Chicago, Bob May wasn’t feeling much comfort or joy. A 34-year-old ad writer for Montgomery Ward, May was exhausted and nearly broke. His wife, Evelyn, was bedridden, on the losing end of a two-year battle with cancer. This left Bob to look after their four-year old-daughter, Barbara.

One night, Barbara asked her father, “Why isn’t my mommy like everybody else’s mommy?” As he struggled to answer his daughter’s question, Bob remembered the pain of his own childhood. A small, sickly boy, he was constantly picked on and called names. But he wanted to give his daughter hope, and show her that being different was nothing to be ashamed of. More than that, he wanted her to know that he loved her and would always take care of her.

So he began to spin a tale about a reindeer with a bright red nose who found a special place on Santa’s team. Barbara loved the story so much that she made her father tell it every night before bedtime. As he did, it grew more elaborate. Because he couldn’t afford to buy his daughter a gift for Christmas, Bob decided to turn the story into a homemade picture book.

In early December, Bob’s wife died. Though he was heartbroken, he kept working on the book for his daughter. A few days before Christmas, he reluctantly attended a company party at Montgomery Ward. His co-workers encouraged him to share the story he’d written. After he read it, there was a standing ovation. Everyone wanted copies of their own. Montgomery Ward bought the rights to the book from their debt-ridden employee.

Over the next six years, at Christmas, they gave away six million copies of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to shoppers. Every major publishing house in the country was making offers to obtain the book. In an incredible display of good will, the head of the department store returned all rights to Bob May. Four years later, Rudolph had made him into a millionaire.

Now remarried with a growing family, May felt blessed by his good fortune. But there was more to come. His brother-in-law, a successful songwriter named Johnny Marks, set the uplifting story to music. The song was pitched to artists from Bing Crosby on down. They all passed. Finally, Marks approached Gene Autry. The cowboy star had scored a holiday hit with “Here Comes Santa Claus” a few years before.

Like the others, Autry wasn’t impressed with the song about the misfit reindeer. Marks begged him to give it a second listen. Autry played it for his wife, Ina. She was so touched by the line “They wouldn’t let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games” that she insisted her husband record the tune.

Within a few years, it had become the second best-selling Christmas song ever, right behind “White Christmas.” Since then, Rudolph has come to life in TV specials, cartoons, movies, toys, games, coloring books, greeting cards and even a Ringling Bros. circus act. The little red-nosed reindeer dreamed up by Bob May and immortalized in song by Johnny Marks and Gene Autry has come to hold a special place in children’s hearts all over the world!

–          We were born 35 minutes apart on December 22, 1949 in Douglas on the Isle of Man
–          Our dad was a drummer so we caught the music bug
–          We performed for the first time with our older brother, Barry, in 1957 at a local theater
–          Our family moved to Australia in 1958 and continued singing
–          Our band name was a spelled out acronym
–          We are best known for songs like “Staying Alive” and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?”

We are Maurice and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees! Congratulations to Amanda of Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Lisa from Mount Vernon and Renee from Howard

Here’s the article and recipe about the holiday yule log that Dylan shared…

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

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