A Divine Appointment

Sometimes a development in life comes with stunning effect. One such recent development did for me.

 

Humor me for a moment with a trip down memory lane.  My twin brother and I started listening to a morning radio man in Boston named Jess Cain.  Cain hosted the morning drive-time for the now defunct WHDH 850am.  He came out of northeast Philadelphia, served his country in the WWII, and found his way onto the Boston airwaves.  His talent served him well, as at this time his advertising revenue amounted to more in one media market than did television’s Today show across the country.  This was 1973, a year during which I turned a mere 12 years-of-age.

 

I grew to love radio.  I was enchanted by its potential to reach people, almost intimidated by its power, and profoundly comforted and moved by the beauty of disembodied voices.

 

I always felt that I had a place in the medium.  It was my privilege to offer a pair of 45-second sermons in concert with the Philadelphia Billy Graham Crusade of 1992; that and two or three interviews with a small Christian station out of Delaware County over the last ten years was the extent of my involvement for the longest time.

 

Down deep I had always wondered what had happened, asking God in a very deep corner of my heart as to whether I had missed something.  I was always secretly befuddled. 

 

Ten years ago, while enjoying a personal holiday in Maine with my wife, I received a phone call from a man who I had met during the Crusade days.  He was offering an opportunity to air our Sunday messages on WHAT 1340am, what was the successor station to the renowned but defunct WPEN.  They played “The World’s Most Beautiful Music,” and we began to broadcast via recordings “The World’s Greatest Message on the Station that Played the World’s Most Beautiful Music.”   It was a nice run of upwards of three years, ending when the station changed hands and formats.

 

The station manager (separate from my initial contact via the phone) kept in contact with me.  Twice he tried to recruit me for his new station; twice the timing and circumstances were obstructive to us at the church.  We agreed to keep in touch.  I always believed that, one day, he would reach out afresh and, at that time, it would prove to be God’s time. 

 

I recently shared the sentiment with a new friend who has recently become a part of our church; ironically, a man who had worked the overnight shift looking after the transmitter for WPEN back in the early ‘80s.  He encouraged me to respond to the local Christian station in Lafayette Hill, WFIL 960am, to provide a one-minute sermon for their new on-air initiative.  It sounded good, so I did, and set a date to record for them.

 

I had a quick, pressing presentiment that I should check my e-mail just before leaving for the studio – Bam!  There it was.  It was incredulous, but God works in incredulous ways.

 

My former station manager was now at WPHT Talk Radio 1210am, a powerhouse of a station.  His third overture had finally arrived.  He had an opening.  Was I interested? 

 

I did my 60-second spot.  The next day a personal note arrived from the production manager at the old station, asking me for prayer and offering a small gift to our church.  I wouldn’t have the presumption to make these things up.  It all smacked of God’s providential orchestration.

 

It costs money, money that we don’t have, but God’s Spirit whispered to me at the year’s beginning that I was to trust Him for every penny that we would need.  I assumed that He meant the costs of the next phase of construction for our church building.  He did indeed provide the money for the first month, and already half for the next!

 

They want the Gospel on their station, a message that was in large measure excised from most secular stations about 25-30 years ago.  We now have the privilege of sharing the Gospel on Saturday mornings.  It is a very early hour with an extensive audience.

 

I finally received my answer from God.  “You weren’t yet ready,” He gently told me.  “You are now.” 

 

You know; a friend of mine who wrote a book that I helped to edit will be joining me on the program.  He told me that a church elder prayed over, and told him of, “a divine appointment that he shouldn’t miss.”  Guess what it was?  I readily relate – Praise God!

 

Bradley E. Lacey

Pastor, First Baptist Church at Conshohocken

April 2018