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A Hospital Vision

The following was written from my hospital bed last week (August 18-21) as I was admitted for the purpose of starting a new medication that requires close monitoring for several days.  It is treating Atrial Fibrillation, commonly known as A-Fib.  I have had A-Fib on two separate occasions, the first in 2014-2015 and the this time that started last September, 2019. 

The good news is that the medicine is working, and I’m home now on this Monday, August 24.   I wanted to make this available for Social Media as well.  If you’ve come from Facebook or Twitter to here, please go back to the Facebook post that led you here to comment. 

The sentiments I expressed in this piece were published in this week’s Communicator and are not “new.”  I’ve carried this burden ever since I started Joy Christian Radio back in January, 2000.  I know the need for the truth when it comes to everything in life.  Lies will enslave a population, but the Bible tells us that The Truth will set us free.  Thank you for reading and responding!  Your response means a lot to us as we walk this pathway God has led us down.  He is ultimately in charge!!  Here is the piece:

 

As I write today’s devotional for the Communicator, I’m sitting in the Tri-Star Centennial Hospital in Nashville where my “Rhythm Doctor” (Cardiologist) is starting me on a new medicine called Tikosyn.  It is a drug that helps to regulate heartbeat for people like me who struggle with Atrial Fibrillation or A-Fib, as it is referred to.  So far, the new medication is working and I hope to go home on Friday.  Once again, the calls for me to retire are coming in.  I have heard all of these things many times over the past 22+ years since my first heart attack on July 11, 1998.  On that date, I had a massive heart attack that is usually referred to as “the widow maker,” but God saw fit to keep me around all this time; and through triple bypass that went awry in 2006 when a femoral artery was ruptured and I bled profusely internally, gaining about 70 pounds of fluid weight (edema) from the blood pooling in my abdomen.   But God wasn’t finished with me yet!  And, He still isn’t done!

As a result of this hospital stay as with most all the others, many people who love me and whom I love are concerned about my well-being think I need to slow down and think about retiring.  But, I can’t do that – and they know it.

As I sit here in the hospital day after day reading the “news” about America, my heart grows heavier and heavier as I think about so many people who are completely misled and lost!  If we’ve ever witnessed America being in deep trouble, it certainly is today!

It dawned on me today that our country and I have something in common!  We BOTH HAVE HEART DISEASE!

My heart disease was caused by decades of eating too much sugar, too much processed foods and fast foods with no regard to what it was doing to my body.  I became a diabetic, morbidly obese and have suffered with heart disease since my first heart attack – over 22 years of heart disease, and I’ve almost died three times from serious complications related therein.  Right now, thanks to God’s favor, the best doctors you can imagine and a lot of hard work in planning my diet and generally my life, I’m thrilled to report that I’m in better health today than in most any other time during these past 22 years.

The problem in the United States with her heart was brought on by decades (actually over a century) of “pushing the envelope,” the “sexual revolution,” and all that accompanied it.  People in this country pushed the envelope so far that there is no longer an envelope!  Now, “anything goes” is literally unfolding before our eyes.  America has had a heart attack, and it could well be identified the same as my heart attack 22 years ago.  We might could classify this American heart attack as a “nation killer.”  Only God can save us now.  America MUST have revival if she is to stand much longer.  Christ is our only hope from here out!

So, what should a guy like me who struggles with heart disease do about all this, since I’m not willing to retire?

From my point of view, I do have three choices.

Option 1 is that I could retire and call it quits.  After all, I’ve given 44+ years to the ministry; 20 of which were to Joy Christian Radio and the preaching ministry.  I’ve seen the highest mountain tops of victory and the lowest valleys of despair and defeat.  I’ve experienced testimonies from many people who testify of being saved or how Joy Christian Radio is their companion when they are alone.  I’ve seen more “stuff” in my ministry life than most other people see in a lifetime! – and that’s no boast!  I’ve worked with a national radio network as a news anchor, as a program producer, as a network announcer and  have done many other things that are way too many to list here.  I could retire with grace and enjoy my retirement if I wanted to do that.  Let’s call this first choice “retirement.”  A lot of people would be very happy if this was my choice.

Option 2 is to keep on fighting.  I could just keep doing what we’re doing and operate our network as it is now.  God has blessed us in the past, and there is no reason He wouldn’t bless us on into the future just like we’re going now.  Let’s call this choice “keeping the status quo.”  Some people would be happy and some would be aggravated if this was my choice.

Option 3 is to reignite the original vision that God gave me 20 years ago that, honestly still resides in my heart and soul.  My original vision was to build a Christian Radio network that was non-commercial and supported in the same  manner the church is supported (by our listeners gifts).  The part of the vision that hasn’t come to pass at all is that I felt the need for us to build a National News Network that tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in the World and National News; and share it from a Christian Worldview.  As Fox News would say, “the no spin zone.”  We would never spin the news to fit any agenda – even the conservative or Christian agendas!  I learned long ago that God’s plan and His Word as He deals with this world doesn’t need me to spin it in order to get the word out about the events as they unfold or to somehow make it “more legitimate.”  The only thing we need to do is tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, with God as our #1 witness.   But, building such an organization would take a lot of money; therefore the reason it hasn’t been built.

I’m coming today to inform you that I’ve made my choice.  After praying all week about this; plus the many years I’ve prayed and carried this as a burden of my heart, my choice is simple.  #3 is the direction I believe God wants me to go. 

                Today, we will commit, totally by faith and without any money towards the task, I’m announcing that we will begin the construction of JCC News (Joy Christian Communicator News).  We’ll also be known as the “Communicator.”  The construction of this organization is completely by faith and is totally in God’s Hands.  We will build as God’s people catch the vision and see the need for this organization and get on board with their prayers and financial support.  We will also continue our quest to add additional radio stations to boost our coverage area.   The email edition of the Communicator will expand as we can do so to point to the website and to accomplish several other ministry-related things as well.

                Our first year goals for this new undertaking are:
1) To establish a Communicator News website that will be:  informative, up to date and never spun in any direction.  “Just the facts” will be our motto and the public statement we live by.  News will be updated daily, 7 days a week.  We’ll report news that affects Christians and is largely ignored by the “secular propaganda media.”  If we run an opinion  piece, it will be in that piece only and the piece will clearly be labeled “opinion.”  We will never confuse our opinion with the factual reporting of a news story.  We will feature News about the passions of our heart, such as Pro-Life  News, Mission News, The Church and its outreach in the World, Israel News as well as the World and National News.

2) We will work hard to purchase more radio stations in order to increase the FM population coverage of Joy Christian Radio.  Our goal is to increase population listening under one of our FM signals by 1.5 to 2 million people.

We anticipate the total construction / purchase cost of all this will be around half-million dollars. 

The last part of our need in order to see this project become a reality will be an increase in monthly, sustaining support.  Joy Christian Radio’s biggest challenge to date has been the same over 20 years; the raising of enough operational capital to pay the bills every month that passes on time and to operate within the integrity that we have become known for over these years.  In the past, our support has gone up and down each month over the course of a given year.  During the “high” times, we usually get caught up from the lower income days.  But, we have never been able to “get ahead” in preparation for the lower income days ahead.  Usually, we drop behind during the lean times and have to fight to catch up during the good times.  Stretching pennies every day that passes is our normal lifestyle here; and we don’t plan to change that spending policy.  However, we do have need to lessen the lean times that we may pay bills consistently every month and not keep getting behind and then catching up.  Once we begin the process of hiring people to work and help us keep this larger organization afloat, we simply cannot operate in the manner of the past any more.  A paycheck for our employees could never be put off until we can do better; same with power bills and other “must pay when due” items. 

We operate this ministry completely by faith now, that that will never change! There is no large corporation (or small one for that matter) that underwrites us.  No church, denomination or independent church is in control over us.  We are completely independent and answer to God and our supporters alone.  There has usually been one or two churches who support us on a regular basis, but they are not in control and come and go.  It would be fair to say that Christians and not Churches keep us afloat in major part.  Our support comes largely from “the widow’s mite,” because these wonderful people love this ministry so much.  We’ve never had a lack of faith when it comes to support and paying bills – faith is the only thing that brought us through these lean times!  But, when we grow, our support must grow along with our expansion!  We will be looking for 200 – 300 people or churches or Christian-owned businesses to come alongside with REGULAR Sustaining monthly gifts that will allow us to build that budget and survive.

Just think of it.  The average new home in the USA costs between $125 and $175,000 each, until you get to major cities and other places where an average home can go for half million dollars (opening prices!).  For the cost of 3 to 5 AVERAGE priced homes, we could reach 1.5 to 2 million people on the radio AND have a news service that reaches the world with the TRUTH about what is going on in the world!

Plus, with only 200 to 300 people out of a total listening audience that would then reach up to as many as 3-million people to help with sustained monthly support with ALL of this!  This is a bargain that is unheard of in today’s culture, but it is very doable from where God has put us in ministry right now.

One more note about money.  We won’t go in debt to build this project.  We will operate as we always have…..pay as we build, and pay as we go.  No indebtedness is our motto and a large reason that we survive the tough times!!  We shall continue this policy of “no debt!” 

I’m calling this renewed passion for this outreach as the “Heart Attack Response Project!” 

As I respond to and have expertly treated my own heart disease through the past 22+ years, that will continue as long as God gives me breath.  I realize the importance of my own heart health and take it extremely seriously!

Now, we as Christians need to respond to America’s heart attack that is in progress right now.  America is having a heart attack now!  It’s an attack that was brought on by decades (over a century, actually) of “pushing the envelope” until there is no more envelope to push.  If we don’t act quickly, it will be too late.  I sincerely believe this alone is the reason God has encouraged me so greatly to continue with this vision He gave me!

I’m coming to you today to ask you to pray with us that God will send His people to stand by our side! 

And, I want you to know that even the smallest gift, when given in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will bless many people!  $25 or $50 per month will help us to reach the world with the Gospel of Christ….and when you pray, God will send those people who have the ability to write those “big checks” to help us see this ministry reach its potential….”For such a time as this!”

                Just one more note.  This edition of the Communicator was largely assembled from my hospital room on my laptop, and I (single-handedly) operated our 4 radio stations from that same laptop – while I was in the hospital.   If all of this can be accomplished by one man with a laptop in a hospital room, imagine what can be done when God’s people get together and build the new operations and we hire a few of God’s people who will be working hard to publish the news via the new and upcoming Communicator website and spread the Hope of the Gospel via Joy Christian Radio!  Wow….I can only imagine!  Can you see this happening, too?

May God bless you always.  You are loved with an everlasting love.  And, we love you, too.

In Our Master’s Joyful Service,

Ed Smith

President / Founder, Joy Christian Ministries, Joy Christian Radio, and the Joy Christian Communicator

 Remember, you are loved with an everlasting love.  And, we love you, too.

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