Driving Notes

The Official Blog of WNZR's Afternoon Drive



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:



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!

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

Christmas NZ Top 10 for 12/17/21

Today we’re playing the top 10 Christmas songs from our holiday music survey – these are the songs YOU told us are your favorites!

10. Frank Sinatra – Let It Snow!
9. Danny Gokey – Mary, Did You Know?
8. Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops – Sleigh Ride
7. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
6. Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
5. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon
4. Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
3. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy
2. David Foster – Carol of the Bells
1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Eve, Sarajevo

Peter from Howard and Debbie from Mount Vernon!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Zoe

Christmas inspiration from Isaiah…

Today we shared more Christmas praises!

Joe shared one of his favorites from 2019:

One of the first indications of the Christmas season is LIGHT.  The appearance of lights seemingly everywhere – on trees, with candles, above streets; there is radiance all around us.

Lights are not just for decoration of course, they are symbolic.

In his book, Hidden Christmas, Pastor Timothy Keller says one of the most important spiritual truths at Christmas is this: the world is a dark place, and we will never find our way or see reality unless Jesus IS our light.

Keller writes that the word ‘darkness’ in the Bible refers to evil and ignorance. The world has evil and untold suffering. The world also has no one who can cure the evil and suffering. We look towards the earth and our human resources to try to fix the world.  We think we can end darkness with intellect and innovation.  That’s the ignorance.

So the message of Christmas is NOT, “we will be able to put together a world of unity and peace.”  The message, instead, is a humble one: “Things really are this bad and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Nevertheless, THERE IS HOPE.”

Notice the verse in Isaiah doesn’t say the light comes from the world…it says that upon the world a light has dawned.  It has come from the outside, and Jesus has brought that light to save us!  Because, as John 8:12 says, He IS that light!

Dylan shared a Christmas thought from Amy Boucher Pye in ‘Our Daily Bread’…

When John’s cold turned into pneumonia, he ended up in the hospital. At the same time, his mother was being treated for cancer a few floors above him, and he felt overwhelmed with worries about her and about his own health. Then on Christmas Eve, when the radio played the carol “O Holy Night,” John was flooded with a deep sense of God’s peace. He listened to the words about it being the night of the dear Savior’s birth: “A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” In that moment, his worries about himself and his mother vanished.

This “dear Savior” born to us, Jesus, is the “Prince of Peace,” as Isaiah prophesied (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when He came to earth as a baby, bringing light and salvation to “those living in the land of the shadow of death” (Matthew 4:16; see Isaiah 9:2). He embodies and gives peace to those He loves, even when they face hardship and death.

There in the hospital, John experienced the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) as he pondered the birth of Jesus. This encounter with God strengthened his faith and sense of gratitude as he lay in that sterile room away from his family at Christmas. May we too receive God’s gift of peace and hope.

Q: Of the four gospels, only one does not mention Christ’s birth or beginning. Which gospel is that?

A: Mark

Congratulations to Rebecca from Butler, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Pat from Mount Vernon and Pam from Fredericktown!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

“Through The Tears”

Today on the show we read the last two Christmas Devotionals from Our Daily Bread. We also had our weekly Bible trivia where one lucky person has a chance to win a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Here are the two Christmas Devotionals from Our Daily Bread:

Through The Tears

I dreaded facing another Christmas hundreds of miles away from family. Loneliness and disappointment stirred into discontent, spewing out of my mouth as complaints when my husband suggested we unpack the holiday decorations. How could I be joyful when my heart ached?

Sipping a cup of hot chocolate, I glanced at the glass-front cabinet in our dining room. An overhead light shone on the nativity set I display year-round. A figurine of porcelain with Isaiah 9:6 carved on the front sits next to a wooden shepherd. “Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.” As I whispered each name, I grew more and more confident that my tear-filled season could never smother the joy of knowing my Savior.

The prophet Isaiah announced the coming of the Messiah more than seven hundred years before Christ’s birth in Bethlehem (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is Wonderful Counselor—trustworthy and able to guide us. He is Mighty God, who always was and always will be the one true God with limitless power. He is Everlasting Father, the eternal Maker of time. He is Prince of Peace, the one who restored man’s relationship with the Father.

Though believers in Jesus can’t avoid the darkness of this world, we can fix our eyes on Him—the greatest light of the world. We can rejoice in knowing Christ even through the tears.

By: Xochitl E. Dixon

O Come Emmanuel

It seems we seldom go beyond the first or second verses of our beloved Christmas carols. But, buried deep in the lyrics of one Christmas hymn—in verse seven!—are words that seem uniquely in tune with our times. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” written in the twelfth century, pleads:

O Come, O King of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind.

Bid all our sad divisions cease

And be yourself our King of Peace.

I can’t imagine a more appropriate prayer for our fractious, splintered generation. With the tone of public debate and private disagreement at what seems to be an all-time high for anger and aggression, how desperately we need the King of Peace to come to our help. The “sad divisions” we exhibit in our communities, churches, workplaces, relationships, and families can only be overcome with the help of the One who came to forgive, heal, and restore. No wonder Isaiah anticipated the coming Jesus by calling Him “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

The apostle Paul urged us to put this into practice. “Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts; he wrote. “For as members of one body you are called to live in peace” (Colossians 3:15). As we allow this peaceful Prince to restore our relationships, we ourselves become agents of His peace.

By: Bill Crowder

Question: Before Jesus started preaching, what was his job?
Answer: Carpenter

Congratulations to Rachel of Gambier for guessing the correct answer! She wins a $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!

-Dylan and Jonathon

The Park District and Millwood Church of Christ make it happen!

Today our focus is on the Knox County Park District and the Millwood Church of Christ, who have teamed again to bring a new activity to the popular Fire and Ice event that benefits Food For The Hungry.   Fire and Ice 2021 will be held as two drive-through events, one at Wolf Run Park and one at Millwood Church of Christ. The drive-through events are scheduled for Saturday, December 11 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at both locations.

Luminaria will magically guide you through the Wolf Run Regional Park parking lot located at 17621 Yauger Road in Mount Vernon. There, Park District staff will be on hand to retrieve boxed and canned food items from your vehicle and accept monetary donations for Food For The Hungry. No need to park and leave your car as the drive-through luminaria will guide you to the drop-off point in the parking lot. 

Across the county, the Millwood Church of Christ located at 10900 Millersburg Road in Howard also has luminaria to guide you through the church parking lot at a drive-through event. At this location church personnel and volunteers will be on-hand to accept canned and boxed food items and monetary donations for Food For The Hungry.

Click this SoundCloud link to hear Marcy Rinehart’s conversation with Lori Totman of the Knox County Park District!

Click this SoundCloud link to hear Wesley Boston’s conversation with Pastor Dave Jones at Millwood Church of Christ!

–          I was born December 8, 1925 in New York City
–          My parents were vaudeville dancers and I started dancing as a child
–          I was drafted into the US Army in 1943 and put on performances for troops
–          My father, godfather and I made up the Will Mastin Trio
–          In 1956 I starred in the Broadway musical, Mr. Wonderful
–          I became part of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack in 1959 and starred in Ocean’s 11
–          I died of throat cancer in 1990

I am…Sammy Davis, Jr.

Congratulations to Bob from Howard, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup!

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Dylan

More Christmas motivation!

Today we shared from the Our Daily Bread Christmas devotional book, ‘Celebrating Jesus.’

Jonathon shared ‘Mary Knew’ from Dave Branon:

Four-year-old Kaitlyn was oblivious to everything else in the room. There were no thoughts of stockings hung and wrapped presents. She was simply content to play with our manger scene and its nativity characters. What piqued my interest was something else she was doing as she moved Mary, Joseph, and the Babe around: She was singing “Mary, did you know?” over and over-words she had heard sung by others. As she held Mary, she poignantly asked her if she knew who her precious baby boy was.
Kaitlyn’s question for Mary is the vital one everyone needs to answer. Do we know that Jesus is the One predicted in Genesis 3 to strike Satan’s heel (v. 15)-to gain victory over Satan, sin, and death by His death on the cross? Do we know that He’s the Messiah promised in Isaiah 53 and the One Micah prophesied would be born in Bethlehem hundreds of years later? (5:2).
We know that His name-Jesus-means that He will save His people from their sins (MATTHEW 1:21). We also know that Mary’s baby grew up and chose to die on the cross as the Savior of the world (LUKE 1:31; 2:30-32).
The “Son of the Most High” (1:32) has invited us to know Him and be loved by Him. May we choose to know Jesus, our precious Savior, more and more each day!

Joe shared ‘Captain of a Motley Crew’ from Glenn Packham:

As a child, I always found Christmas Eve one of the most A exciting days of the year. I knew there would be presents in the morning, a feast that night, and a candlelight service at church. But it was also exciting because I never knew who was going to end up at our house for dinner. My parents loved inviting people who were alone or had nowhere to go to come share a meal with us. Folks from church, from their places of work, our friends from school-it was always a motley crew.
David was on the run from King Saul and in need of good friends to surround him (1 SAMUEL 22:1-2). He needed the right community to help him in his crisis. Instead, what he found were hundreds of men who were also in trouble-those “in trouble or in debt or… discontented” (v. 2). Yet, David became captain over the motley crew and they trusted him.
Jesus-the true and better David-is exactly the kind of person who gathered those around Him that society had discarded. Throughout the gospels, it’s often the sick and the disabled, the outcast, and the sinner who find belonging and healing in Jesus. The church is meant to be a kind of cave of Adullam (v. 1). It’s not a perfect community, but a ragtag group in need of a loving, healing Captain.

Name a place that’s open on Christmas Day:
1. Grocery store/Walmart/Kroger (23 votes)
2. Gas stations (20)
3. Fast Food restaurants (19)
4. Waffle House/Denny’s (12)
5. Movie theaters (8)
6. Airports (5)
7. Hospitals (3)
8. Hotels (2)

Congratulations to Tysha from Mount Vernon, who guessed correctly and wins the $5 gift card to Everlasting Cup.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Jonathon

Christmas NZ Top 10 for 12/3/21

This week we are bringing you (in no particular order) 10 of the top NEW Christmas songs for 2021! Click the songs for links to lyric videos and audio.

10. We The Kingdom – Still Can’t Sleep on Christmas Eve
9. Anne Wilson – I Still Believe in Christmas
8. Zach Williams – I Don’t Want Christmas to End
7. Cade Thompson – Angels We Have Heard on High
6. Cochren and Co. – Christmas (What the World Needs)
5. Newsboys – The Christmas Song
4. Ryan Stevenson – Heart and Soul of Christmas
3. Jordan Feliz – Feliz Navidad
2. Jordan St. Cyr – Rejoice
1. Tasha Layton – Giving Christmas Away

for NEW MUSIC FRIDAY, we added to the list!

Mac Powell – Jesus Christ is Born

Love and the Outcome – Christmas Lights

For King and Country – Heavenly Hosts

Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Zoe

Blog at

Up ↑