Jesus Music Is Different From Today’s Christian Music

Most people today have not heard any Jesus Music because it happened long before 2000 AD.

Blame it on the desire by so many programming today’s Christian radio and churches to be perceived as “relevant” but there is an unwritten rule not to feature any songs recorded last century during worship or on the radio. Many Jesus Music pioneers who are actively performing today get very little airplay and tend to draw small concert crowds. Yet when one hears Jesus Music, it is instantly recognized as a “Christian” song compared to some of today’s Christian Music.

Last week I was chatting on Facebook with Al Cox, who has just launched a new public group “CCM & Christian Rock of the 80’s & 90’s” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1713244062229156/) when he commented that at 42 years old, he never tires of the “classics”. “Neither do I” was my response when he said something that was so profound,

“Yeah, something about the music then that isn’t there now.”

Boom! Did that get me thinking. I’ve been listening to Christian Music since the mid-1960’s. I founded SnTRadio.com in part to curate all the Christian Music that I could get my hands on since the Jesus Movement and place it into an on-going and ever expand music archive online. My intention has been to educate and inspire future generations with an accurate musical timeline, which takes listeners all the way back to the roots. You can read through the majority of the hard-to-find Jesus Music portion of the archive while listening to SnT Radio here. Then Al added;

“Some of the stuff today including rock, really lyrically you can not tell if it is Christian or not. You knew it with, Dion, Dallas Holm, Carman, Petra, and others.”

Jesus Music artist Dion on the cover of his 1981 album, Only Jesus" is a side-view of his head and upper chest.

 

I think a couple of distinctions need to be made in order to fully understand the good, the bad and the ugly concerning the current state of Christian Music. First, in my opinion, there are only two distinct forms of Christian music being produced: one is strictly for commercial purposes (profit), and the second is for worship and edification of the church. All the major Christian labels are now subsidiaries of secular record companies like Sony and Capitol.

Vague lyrics or just the mention of Jesus in a pop song doesn’t make it “Christian” per se. On the other hand, Jesus spoke in many parables to effectively communicate the Gospel and describe the Kingdom of God. He did this so a mass audience would understand His teaching. Knowing when and how much to quote the Bible is as much a matter of discernment as is reducing God’s Word to a readable bumper sticker. Overkill never works well. It normally ends badly with the exact opposite of the desired outcome. Al the added,

“I saw a recent Christian rock title called “CoConut Dracula”. I don’t even think of horror things when I think of Christ. Yeah, that’s why I don’t listen to much new stuff.”

I fully get bands like Mute Math or Stryper, (Michael Sweet) or Switchfoot saying “we’re not a Christian band, but a band comprised of musicians who happen to be Christ-followers.” Even U2, one of the biggest bands in the world for the past 25 years started out playing sets dominate with Christian message songs for Christian youth rallies in Ireland until they elected to make a change in bass players who was not a professing Christian. Yet one of the highlights of every U2 performance is the song 40 (based on Psalm 40) that ends with thousands singing the chorus acapella as single spotlight tightly focuses on Bono’s crucifix that’s dangling from a microphone stand in the darken hall or stadium. In these days where non-Christlike activity (aka sin) is saturating the media, the Internet, and every aspect of society even a little light shines brightly.

The fact that a large segment of popular Christian Music is designed for radio with sales and profit as the driving force is not at all surprising because they have dividends to pay to their stakeholders. The key distinction is the primary motive for creating the music. One is for making money and profit. The other is to worship God on earth as it is in Heaven.

Modern worship from the likes of Hillsong, Bethel Music and IHOP-KC have all shared roots in common with the seminal worship & praise bodywork of Keith Green, Andrae Crouch, The Vineyard, Integrity and Maranatha Music from the Jesus Movement of the 70’s, The Vineyard and Integrity from the 80’s afterglow.

The influence of Morningstar Ministries musicians Don Potter and Leonard Jones combined with the teaching of Ray Hughes over the three decades have been a bridge from the old “worship & praise” to the now sound that is fueling the new uncompromised and spontaneous worship cherished by so many of the millennial generation. Giving glory to God and encountering the manifest presence of God is the driving motive behind the creation of this worship music. Pure, genuine, and authentic vertical lyrics that lead listeners into an atmosphere of Heavenly worship described in Revelation 4 and 5 is the goal.The songs and psalmists that break through into this lofty realm become the modern hymns churches sing with regularity.

My response to Al’s original statement was “I believe that it is a kind of anointing by the Spirit of God that was present during the Jesus Movement.” Even though there were “Christian” record labels back in the day the music was created in most cases to glorify God as a priority and make money if possible. It appeared that God honored and blessed it. When Christian Music became more of a business, Jesus Music faded somewhere along the way until a few went back to creating music in worship to God as in Heaven. So now you have the true spirit of the Jesus Movement sweeping through and stirring up a whole new community of worshippers to benefit the body of Christ. This is a real move of God and I’m expecting a revisitation upon this generation like we saw in the late 60’s and 70’s.

Written by James Kevin Burkhardt

My Plea For Bible Believers To Align With the LGBT Community Against Bullying

ImageI hope you are familiar with the saying, “Those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them.”  During World War II, a Lutheran Pastor living in Germany by the name of Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressly warned of the oppression of his Jewish neighbors by the Nazi regime. His protests went unheeded by the Church at large and in the end, he was executed on April 9, 1945 in the Flossenburg concentration camp for his beliefs and a role in the resistance against Hitler. If he were alive today, chances are he would be loudly speaking up on similar moral grounds against bullying.

Now there is not enough space to get into too much of Bonhoeffer’s theology, some of which I disagree with like “Christian supersessionism” which can be recognized today as a form of “replacement theology”.  I personally believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people and am unashamedly pro-Israel. But all that is for another blog.

This blog’s main point is simply that we as Bible believers now have some real common ground with the LGBT community in our Christ mandated role as “peacemakers” and should fight alongside them against bullying while there is time and opportunity to do so just as a courageous Bonhoeffer did to rally against a persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population in his day. Who knows for sure but Faith-based activity could be next on the bully’s list.  Any parent or grandparent with a family member in middle school, high school or college knows all about the bullying issue. It is real and very serious.

Perhaps you were expecting to see a picture of Ted Haggard, the Pastor who fell from heterosexual grace and after repenting of his sin now has a credible ministry to those in the gay community. God is in the redemption business. He always uses an effective messenger to reach the unredeemed, and in fact, became a human in the person of Jesus of Nazareth that He would become the savior of all humankind. We as the Church of Jesus Christ are called to be His ambassadors and Peacemakers. To stop bullying is the same as keeping the peace.  Of what significance is it to only love those who are “lovable” socially? Even the worldly do that. What has always been the strongest testimony to others is the act of showing uncompromising Christian love in the face of viciousness and hate. Isn’t that what lies at the root of bullying… a human’s heart filled with vicious hate?

I do not believe one must advocate a LGBT lifestyle to be anti-bullying.  Recently, a couple of fellow musicians whom I worked and worshiped with were removed from the worship team at my church for their lifestyle choices. I pray very diligently for them. The Bible clearly ascribes “abomination”  to the practice of homosexuality and it is clearly condemned in Leviticus 18:22  But it is long overdue for Bible believers to walk into the open closet door and get a better understanding of those trapped in there. By the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, a person can change from homosexual into holiness in an instant. I have seen it firsthand and the man just married the woman of his dreams last month. Now they share work in an active church ministry together.

But beware because not all homosexual groups are alike. Some are well organized, well financed and politically connected but militant  whose ways and means will not mix well with any Christian outreach. But that should not deter a simple grass roots alliance with the vast majority to work together towards preventing a racist hate crime against individuals for their beliefs. “All it takes for evil to prevail in this world is for good men to do nothing.”  And like Bonhoeffer, we Bible believers may fall victim to bullies next if we do not act now. 

Please take the poll that follows.  Many thanks, James Burkhardt

Can Friendship Mix With Business? I hope so… THE COMPANY may hold the answer.

Author Chuck Graham THE COMPANY

I have a confession of sorts…  a long, long time ago (the mid 1970’s to be honest) I managed a Christian Bookshop owned by Tyndale House Publishers in the western suburbs of Chicago. It was my first job out of college and I absolutely loved it. During my short 4 year career from May 1976 to July 1980 we learned quite a bit about selling Books, Bibles and Christian Music. I think in 1979 I was interviewed by Contemporary Christian Music magazine to share my views about the burgeoning Christian Music market. All I remember was that Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary was on the cover and the word “burgeoning” was in the article title.  I think John Styll, the publisher had heard about me from friends at Word or Sparrow Records. I’ve certainly been blessed with solid business relationships through the years and many from my Christian Bookselling days have lasted for decades.

Which brings me to the question at hand. Can friendship mix with business? In 2010, my friend Chuck Graham, a successful corporate lawyer, mentioned he was writing a book. Now Chuck is an excellent writer as he usually writes a weekly “Note of Encouragement” which is available free by e-mail at http://www.Ciloa.org. Many thousands of individuals from all over the earth read “The Note” every Monday morning plus he had published two other books comprised of a collection of “Notes” that he has written over the past 9 years. I had asked him to keep me updated on this new book’s progress which he did. Then he asked me to read it when the first polished draft was done. (A polished draft is something writers will distribute to friends that represents a work that they are relatively comfortable sharing for feedback purposes.)

I read the pdf pages on our laptop in just two days because I simply could not put it down.  I heartily recommend it for anyone over age 12 because it is a very, very good read. My taste in books are usually non-fiction because I like to learn from others and benefit from their wisdom. After all, they made the mistakes and lived to tell about it. (So I don’t have to repeat them.) Plus, I’m kind of a curious guy who likes discovering the roots of everything that interests me. So for me to be personally enthralled by a fiction book means it must be both stunning, and spectacular. THE COMPANY is all that and more. I can’t wait to see the movie(s) because Chuck has 4 more sequels planned out in order to finish telling the story.

At bare minimum, the story of  THE COMPANY is a real conversation starter. However, it would be unfair to divulge any more about THE COMPANY in this blog,  but Chuck will tell you more if you listen to the podcast of the interview we did in July at the International Christian Retailing Show in Orlando. Just visit http://www.sntradio.com/podcasts and click on the highlighted link for Chuck Graham THE COMPANY. After you do, if you are a fiction lover then you will probably put it on your must read list.  And I hope that you will appreciate the unique opportunity THE COMPANY has as a gift this Holiday season for all your friends and colleagues. It makes an awesome “secret Santa” gift at your workplace.

I may have taken some lines to get to it, but the reason you’re reading this blog is to discover if friendship can mix with business. From my experience, doing business with friends can either be the best experience with stratospheric highs or the absolute worst where a perfectly good friendship gets ruined beyond repair.  In the fall of 2010, a friend and former client (I produced and edited his weekly radio program) asked me to be a partner in a new downtown parking garage venture where the after tax profits would go to start a new church in Central Florida. Throwing caution to the wind despite my wife’s advice, I plunged ahead with the task of negotiating contracts, many meetings with city officials about signage, business licenses, setting up the relationships with business insurance, legal, accounting, and payroll professionals and being a paid advisor for setting all significant company policy. I  believe the initial meeting was early September of 2010 and operations began in mid-December. Despite the business turning a profit from the very first month, I was bought out in mid-April 2011 and the other party and I had a serious breakdown that lasted into March of this year when we finally began  speaking to each other again. The overall business dissolved after about 11 months because the main contract was cancelled under suspicious circumstances.

Now being a bit wiser, I will not go into a business (meaning money changes hands) with friends no matter how much earnings can be made nor how much I love and personally cherish the friend. I will only engage if and only if two criteria are met. 1) A go from the Lord and 2) unbridled passion for and total belief in the project that meets or exceeds that which I have also for my current assignment, which is SnT Radio and SnT-ARK. OK, I know that is somewhat subjective but these principles can be applied in your life. So when you are approached by a friend with a business offer, take time to seriously think it through and examine your motives.  Ask yourself this hard question, “Am I serving God or mammon (money)?”

But that does not mean I won’t help a friend, I just will refuse payment for it now in the vast majority of cases. Even if it personally profits my friend substantially. Will a true friend really expect a referral fee for suggesting a service or prospective business customer to another friend. I understand about protocol and professional courtesy in modern business practice but does that have any place in the Body of Christ where we are called to “love one another” and “serve”? There’s a particular verse about laying down your life for a friend. I don’t believe that it means only physically dying any more than “dying to self” does. It has to do with investing yourself in them and their life at the cost of your time, talent,  treasure and personal will. Jesus didn’t charge us for anything that He did on earth. No, rather He admonished us, “Lay up treasures in Heaven”.

So as opportunities to serve with your friends come in life, please learn from my mistakes so that you don’t have to repeat them. The pain of losing any good relationship is not worth any amount of money. You’ll only get 3 to 5 truly good friends in a  lifetime. Don’t roll the dice unless you have very good and non-financial reasons to do so, even if you are qualified to do the work.

Now for the rest of the story… this began innocently when Chuck asked me to submit a quote about “THE COMPANY” that could be used for marketing purposes which I did gladly.  Because of my experience in that field, I had a pretty good idea of the kind of statement that would be most effective and the manner in which it could be used. As it turned out, WinePress the publishing/marketing company, chose it to be used on a bookmark to be given away at the ICRS mentioned above, an event where 5,000 people from all over the world directly involved in the making and distribution of Christian products meet. Honestly, that was an honor and gift straight from the hand of God. Are people who received the bookmark going to listen to SnT Radio.com? Perhaps. More than anything,  it lends credibility to my role as an influence and will register with industry insiders who pay attention to such details. So in my mind, Chuck has already paid it forward and anything I can do to help him get a leg up in the book and film world is only my attempt to balance the books between friends. Even though he’s graciously extended an expanded opportunity to me, all my publishing and film contacts are open and gratis for the advancement of  THE COMPANY by Chuck Graham, a man I am pleased to have as my friend, and dear brother in Christ.  I intend to keep it that way. BTW, this book and film franchise will accomplish everything that  is prophesied on the bookmark. You saw it here first.

Click on the link below to see the bookmark but you may need to shrink it in your browser as it may load in large.

Company Bookmark

A BIRTHDAY IN HEAVEN 11/10/2011. HEAR THE ROBERT LIST ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12.

Our friend’s husband, Robert Keith crossed over from life as we know it and was born into eternal life in the early morning hours today. One of the best perspectives at a time like this is not to commemorate the day one dies, but rather celebrate their birthday into Heaven. This point of view is not my original idea but something I heard Jack Brickhouse, the famed Chicago broadcaster say and I have never forgotten it. That statement can be summed up in one word, HOPE. That is what we Christians called “the blessed hope.”

I have to be honest. As I am writing this blog, I am fighting the urge to preach. But I am compelled to say that the only hope has for receiving eternal life is by faith in the works of Jesus Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms  in Christ  Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:6-9 NIV

These two scriptures  propose that eternal life, just as life as we know it, is really another gift from God. Our (life) works have absolutely nothing to do with it. The only work that matters is what Jesus accomplished by his life, death and resurrection. God’s grace sent Jesus to die for us so that we could receive the free gift of eternal life just by “having faith” that Jesus is all we need to go to heaven and by inference believing God and His holy word, the Bible.

This is the core message of the Christian faith. It is so simple and uncomplicated that even a child can understand it.

This is the message that fueled the Jesus Movement which began in 1967 – and the music from that era.  We know that Robert Keith embraced the message and the music.  See the Snt Radio Blog from September 3, 2011.  He turned 57 in earth time this past Monday. Today is is birthday in Heaven, where time has no place and there is no disease. In the truest sense, He is free!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, there is a cause on facebook where you can show some love. Robert is survived by his wife Harriet and her son, Gabriel. They are facing some big bills and both were laid off in September of this year. Please share a financial gift in Robert’s memory.

In Robert’s memory, we will be featuring the music from the Robert list on Saturday November 12, 2011

THE ROBERT LIST

1. Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? by Larry Norman

2. For the Sake of the Call by Steven Curtis Chapman

3. Strong Tower by Kutlass

4. More Power To Ya by Petra

5. Love Broke Thru by Phil Keaggy

6. Three Wooden Crosses by Randy Travis

7. Beyond Belief by Petra

8. Love Takes Time by Bryan Duncan

9. Ancient of Days by Bob Ayala

10. Shout to the Lord by Darlene Zschech

11. He Reigns by Newsboys

12. He’s Alive by Don Francisco

13. There Is A River by The Gaithers

14. Easter Song by 2nd Chapter of Acts

15. Shine by Newsboys

16. Grave Robber by Petra

17. Destined To Win by DeGarmo & Key

18.Awesome God by Rich Mullins

19. Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crown

SnT Radio.com will play  one song per hour from the above playlist beginning at 12am on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Thanks for listening to SnT Radio.com. We love keeping this music alive and well. If you have any songs that you’d like to hear, send me an e-mail: songs@sntradio.com

Make sure that you check out the complete SnT Archive list on the SnT Radio.com website: http://www.sntradio.com                            Please Like SnT Radio.com on Facebook or  follow us on Twitter. We love connecting with you.

Blessings,

James Burkhardt, Founder

SnT Radio.com

A REAL LOVE STORY and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONDAY NOV 7th ROBERT!

It’s been two months since we first introduced Robert Keith, a stage 4 cancer patient to you. We asked you to pray for Robert and his family  as we listened to his favorite songs (aka the Robert List) on Saturday, September 3rd of this year. Many of you did and I’ve been asked, “What happened?”.  As usual, our Heavenly Father is up to something good.  God has given to Robert and his family something that only God can give; the gift of time and extended life. Robert is about to celebrate his birthday on Monday, November 7th. He has asked his wife Harriet to renew their wedding vows which will happen very soon. The bond with his son Gabe has become stronger as never before. Their housing issues have been worked out favorably for another month. For his birthday, he will be wheeled outdoors for the first time since an ambulance ride in July  to experience the warmth of the sun and feel the breeze blow again. I’d say he is truly being blessed. What say you?

But the love story continues. The cup of love God has poured for the Keith family is overflowing into the lives of those around them, especially to people who don’t know much about God and His ways. Many see the love God’s people have shown the Keith’s firsthand by their prayers and support of family, friends and in some cases, complete and total strangers. They see faith lived out in real time under real pressures and circumstances. So God is gently and softly speaking to several who don’t know him, and in the process affirming Robert’s life. I can hear His voice in Heaven saying,”This is my adopted son Robert, in whom I am well pleased. Look at how much I care for him as I do all my children. Won’t you accept my invitation to join our family?” Now that is a real love story.

But it still doesn’t end. Others have stepped up to make a real difference. Like this cause on facebook that has the goal to raise $8,000 for the Keith family by November 21st. This is a wonderful way for you to give Robert a gift for his Birthday. Show your love!

www.giveforward.com

The family and friends of the Keith family are uniting to raise money to help with their expenses~ Please help if you can!!

Harriet and Robert attended a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert for their first date back in 1988. So on Saturday, November 5th, SnT Radio.com is going to spotlight the 1988 Far Away Places album for which the group was out touring when Harriet and Robert had their first date.

SONGS:

1. Humble Yourself

2. No Masquerade

3. Sing Over Me

4. You Are All In All

5. A Tender Heart

6. I Reach Out

7. Fallin’ In On You

8. Maybe Some Other Day

9. Take It To All The World

10. Far Away Places

Credits

Bass – Leon Gaer, Lee Jones
Drums – Mike Baird, Jack Kelly, Michael Celenza
Guitar – Marty Walsh, Michael Thompson, Dan Huff
Keyboards – Smitty Price, John Andrew Schreiner
Recorded at Easter Song Studios – Garden Valley Texas, Rosewood Studios – Tyler, Texas
Engineers – Greg Hunt, Buck Herring
Cover Concept – Buddy Owens and Bradley Grose
Photography – Mark Engbrecht
Set Direction and Design – Buddy Owens
Art Direction and Design – Bradley Grose
Produced by – Buck Herring
Special Thanks – Smitty Price for helping with the mix, our Families, our Friends and our Garden Velley Ministry Associates for their much needed prayers and support.

SnT Radio.com will play one song per hour beginning at 12am  on Saturday November 5, 2011. To listen visit http://www.sntradio.com

Blessings,

James

 

 

“PLAYING FAVORITES” and MEMORY JOGGERS PLAYLIST for SnT Radio.com Spotlight Saturday October 22, 2011

I used to hate the phrase “playing favorites”. Didn’t you? It seemed so unfair. Just because someone in authority liked somebody else, the favor was bestowed on them. As in a teacher’s pet. Or the glad handing back slapper who was promoted over you. Hmmm. Could that be considered a type of grace? I’m not a theologian but I do know that the word “grace” means “unmerited favor”. Isn’t that exactly what God gives us… unmerited favor? Doesn’t He play favorites with His children. He bestows blessing after blessing on us and sometimes it is not deserved. He is a good, good God and always working things out for our benefit even when times are difficult. That is but one reason out of many to give Him praise every day. Imagine, the Creator of the Universe is working behind the scenes to create good in our lives and even when we don’t deserve it. Talk about playing favorites. I shudder to think about what my life would be like without Jesus Christ. He was sent by God to make all our lives better by His death and resurrection. If anyone did not deserve to suffer and die, it was Jesus. He lived a sinless life, yet He took on our sin and paid the price that we may have the free gift of eternal life by faith. As a result, we are redeemed and enabled to have fellowship with a Holy God. (Can I get an Amen?) That is Grace at its finest. It really does come down to playing favorites.

In another definition of “playing favorites” as in your favorite Christian Music, is an important function of SnT Radio.com. If you listen then you already about the breadth and depth of our playlist every day. This Saturday, SnT Radio will spotlight some memory joggers… Songs you haven’t heard played on the radio in quite a while. The album artwork corresponding to many of these songs is posted for your perusal. I even picked out a couple of album cuts that were “turntable hits” from back in the day like Barry McGuire’s Baby Huey, Quaismodo from Lifehouse, and the Francis Schaeffer inspired The God Who Is There by Gerry Limpic. If you’re like me, Noel Paul Stookey’s Wedding Song from 1971 was sung at my Wedding service. It is good to hear these from time to time and remember those times in our lives. It can keep you young at heart. The list is deliberately shorter than the usual 24 so that several will be repeated throughout the day just in case you can’t listen all day long. So enjoy the music and the memories!

MEMORY JOGGER Playlist

1. Electrovoice by Dan Peek from Electrovoice.

2. Ugly Louise by Dove from Dove II

3. Caught In The Crossfire by Limpic and Rayburn from Crossfire

4. Quasimodo by Lifehouse from No Name Face

5. Wedding Song by Noel Paul Stookey from Paul And

6. Remember Whose Child You Are by Dogwood from After the Flood and Before the Fire

7. One Way by Danny Lee & Children of Truth from One Way

8. Keep the Flame Burnin’ by Debbie Boone from Surrender

9. Heaven (Into My Soul) by Edin – Adahl from Into My Soul

10. A Shield About Me by Donn Thomas from Live Wires

11. Baby Huey by Barry McGuire from Inside Out

12. Where Are The Heroes by Dennis Agajanian from Where Are The Heroes

13. Oh Happy Day by Edwin Hawkins Singers from The Real Thing

14. The God Who Is There by Gerry Limpic from Gentle Touch

15. How Can I Keep From Singing by Rich Mullins from Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth

SnT Radio.com will play one song approximately every hour from this list beginning at 12:00am EST Saturday, October 22, 2011.

Please visit our SnT Radio.com LIKE Page on Facebook or tweet us #SnTRadio on Twitter. Tell your friends this blog and refer them here www.sntradioblog.wordpress.com
You are encouraged to join the SnT listener community and make a comment or share your personal memories by clicking on Leave a Comment just beneath the title.
You can even rate this blog. Next time you’re listening to SnT Radio.com http://www.sntradio.com check out the SnT Archive by clicking on the SnT Archive tab.
You’ll be very pleased at what you find there. Then visit http://www.snt-ARK.com.

Blessings,
James Burkhardt
SnT Radio.com

One Step to Economic Recovery – Just In Time For Christmas.

As a follower of Christ, I am commanded to support my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. There are many ways to do this but I’d like to strongly suggest just one practical idea.

START BUYING FROM A CHRISTIAN OWNED BUSINESS FIRST. It really doesn’t matter how big or small.

Yes Virginia, I am doing the internet equivalent of shouting. I would shout this from the rooftops if I wouldn’t be arrested for it. America’s economy is built on hundreds of thousands of small businesses. Not the big corporations that many are rallying against. Many are called “sole proprietorships”. This is where a single person owns the whole business. A family is dependent upon the economic success of that small business. How well they are fed, clothed and sheltered is determined by the success of that business. If sales are down then it affects the quality of life that family has. Given the past few years in America, I think many such businesses (and associated dependent families) have gone through their savings trying to stay afloat. So now it is crunch time. We can all make a difference if we collectively decide to.

Isn’t it reasonable to think that if you and two friends from where you worship starting getting hair cuts from another Church goer that owns a Beauty or Barber Shop that it would make a difference? Or start having a meal or coffee at the diner another Christian in town owns. If we, the body of Christ began doing business with other Christians first then wouldn’t that help meet the needs of our brothers and sisters? As their sales increase, they would get just a little more economic breathing room. Which means less stress from living so close to the edge of ruin. That could mean happier and more secure Christian families. What a blessing to bring one another, But the blessing wave wouldn’t stop there. Christians would have more money to share in the offerings at church. Maybe they hadn’t been able to give in the past but now they can. The Churches will then begin to have more economic breathing room too. Maybe some repairs can now be made. So the church contacts their Christian contractor and the wave of blessing continues. Or the Church now can afford to feed the homeless in their community. The cycle repeats and positively affects even more people.

So as you plan your purchases… BUY CHRISTIAN FIRST! Especially with Christmas coming. By changing your buying behavior now, you can bless countless others just in time for Christmas.

There are many ways to find the Christian owned businesses in your area. Ask your Pastor or Church administrator who they are from your church. Some put a little fish or icthus symbol in their yellow page and newspaper ads. You’ve seen them – a lot of people put those on their cars. In your town, check to see if there is a Full Gospel Businessmen or FGBMI organization. Maybe there’s a Shepherd’s Guide or Christian newspaper available at your local Christian Bookstore. It may take a little effort but I know you’ll be blessed by being a blessing to others.

SnT Radio.com wants introduce you to a website called the Christian Business Owners Expo. http://www.cboexpo.com/ It is a listing of Christian Owned Businesses by city. They hope to be nationwide soon but right now their focus is on Florida, Arizona and Illinois.

Speaking of Christmas, this year SnT Radio.com is celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas starting Monday December 12th. It will feature only those songs that keep Christ in Christmas sung by Christian artists. Not snow men, reindeer or that other fat & jolly saint nick. Just Jesus and the scriptural celebration of his birth. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Just ask my wife. She’ll tell you that I am capable of listening to Christmas music 365 days a year. If I can get to it, maybe I’ll record a couple arrangements Christmas songs I did for solo guitar and put them into the 12 days of Christmas playlist.

Please… Buy Christian First. It is one step to economic recovery — and just in time for Christmas.

Blessings,

James Burkhardt, Founder and Host
SnT Radio.com
http://www.sntradio.com