By the time you receive this monthly newsletter, you will probably know the results of the national elections held on November 2nd. I am writing you three days prior to that day of decision, which means I can only guess at the outcome. So much is at stake at this moment in history, including federal funding for abortions, the well-being of the family, the imposition of many new confiscatory taxes, sky-high levels of unemployment and continued unsustainable spending and debt. We are joining millions of Americans in praying for a miracle at the polls. But by the time you read these words, the people will have spoken and the nation will have lurched into the future. For now, we can only wait and wonder.
Another important date is approaching, although it is relatively insignificant by comparison. It will occur on November 3rd, the morning after the elections have concluded. This day will mark the sixth month since we began broadcasting daily episodes of Family Talk. What a ride it has been. We started by operating on a shoestring, largely with money Shirley and I contributed from our retirement funds. We couldn’t be sure the ministry would be able to sustain itself. Every month since then has represented another small step in a journey of faith, as we depended entirely on the Lord for sustenance and wisdom.
I want to tell you that He has blessed us in countless ways. First, we have assembled a team of outstanding professionals who have brought their expertise and training to the ministry. We love every one of them today.
Second, 624 radio outlets offered us airtime from the first day, many of them without financial consideration. Since then, that network has continued to grow as generous station managers have come alongside to partner with us. We would never have been heard from if it were not for the men and women who believed in us and have shared in this venture. If you hear Family Talk on a local Christian station, I hope you will you call and thank the managers for airing our broadcast. You might also contribute to those that have non-commercial formats. For those that are commercially based, please support their sponsors and thank them for advertising on Christian radio. They all deserve a pat on the back.
Third, we had no idea where Family Talk would be housed in the early days. We searched Colorado Springs high and low, and found the perfect location. It was an affordable building, nestled against a mountain and designed ideally for our staff. There is also room to grow in this building, and we are growing. Someday, the ministry may possess its own facility, but for now, God has us right where He wants us.
Fourth, we desperately needed a radio studio from the first day, complete with up-to-date electronic equipment and soundproof walls. That was a stretch. We began broadcasting in a very small office, which was noisy. When storm clouds passed over Colorado Springs, our listeners could hear the rumbling of thunder outside. We just made a joke out of it and kept on keeping on. But last month, we moved up a floor and into a wonderful studio that is perfect for our needs. I’m still not sure how we managed to pay for it, but God provided.
The fifth blessing involved the working relationship between me, my son Ryan, and LuAnne Crane, a producer with 26 years of experience in studio work. The chemistry between us is remarkable, and many of you have called or written to comment on the interaction between us. We energize each other, and are often aware of the Lord’s presence in our midst. By the way, Ryan is also broadcasting his own Internet radio program every day. It is called Grounded, and can be heard at OnePlace.com, where Family Talk is also carried.
Finally, the sixth source of blessing has come from so many of you. Despite the economic recession and the scarcity of jobs today, you have sacrificed to help us meet our obligations. Those financial resources have never been more than we needed, but were just enough for us to survive.
One morning in October, Shirley and I were discouraged because the contributions we had received were inadequate to get us through the month. The two of us knelt together before going to work and prayed this heart-felt prayer:
“Dear Lord, we started this ministry because we believed it was a divine assignment. Families everywhere are struggling and the nation is sliding into moral depravity. We wanted to do what we could to help, but the load is heavy and we need some evidence that we have done the right thing. We ask you today not for money, but for an awareness of your presence. Will you let us know that you have led us in this venture and that you are pleased by our effort?”
You won’t believe what has happened since that morning. The presence of the Lord has permeated the ministry, and its needs are being met. Giving from our listeners has sustained us, and we are producing some of our best radio programs to date.
Our pressing need now is for a “help center” that will allow us to provide pertinent information and counsel to hurting families. It is of concern to us that we sometimes lack the trained staff to respond to pressing needs. We must close this gap in the days to come.
Thank you all for carrying us in your hearts and prayers. If you can help us at the end of this calendar year, when budgets for 2011 will be established, it will certainly be appreciated. As we round the corner into the second six-month period, it is with confidence that Family Talk is on the right track. I hope some of you will come see us when you are in our neck of the woods. We consider you part of our “family” and would love to meet you personally.
May the Lord be very near to you and your family as you celebrate Thanksgiving and the birth of the Christ child.
God bless you all,
James C. Dobson, Ph.D. Founder and President