Future Radio

 

When I was about 12 years old, I bought an enormous radio at a garage sale with a wooden case and the ability to receive not just the AM radio stations everyone listened to, but also short-wave and other radio bandwidths.

Inside this amazing device were glass tubes that glowed with an eerie orange light when I turned it on. They emitted enough heat to warm your hands on a cold winter’s night.

I found if I hooked a wire up to the connection on the back labeled “ANT” (“antenna”) and fastened the other end of that wire to my metal bed frame, I could pick up people talking in other languages and even rapid clicking noises I assumed to be Morse Code. 

I never did learn Morse Code, but that old radio was great fun.

At about the same time in my young life, there was a program on CBS hosted by Walter Cronkite called, “The 21st Century” in which America’s most trusted journalist showed us things like the home of the future, where the TV screen was three feet wide and you could turn it on and off and change the channels with a control panel that looked like it had been transplanted into the home from Mission Control at Cape Canaveral. 

Well, we’re now 19 years into the 21st Century and the reality is more amazing than Walter (or I) would have ever imagined.

Each of us now walks around with a computer in their pocket or purse that can not only call people on the phone, it can also forecast the weather, inform you of world events, do your shopping, take pictures and video, direct you to your precise location, and do thousands of other things. 

The Dick Tracy phone-on-the-wrist thing actually fell short of the reality of the situation.

And radio?

While many of us still listen to broadcast radio, especially in our cars, the days of glowing vacuum tubes are long gone. The most recent figures I can find are from a study done by Edison Research in 2015 and indicate that fully 53% of Americans listen to internet radio at least some of the time.

Kinship Christian Radio has been available via the internet since 2006 and we know the number of people listening in this way is growing.

Internet radio has some huge advantages, mostly in the amount of equipment needed. Obviously, an internet radio station doesn’t need a huge tower that consumes enormous amounts of electricity to broadcast its signal. All that’s needed is a reliable internet connection, a microphone, and some sound equipment.

It’s kind of like rocket science that’s user-friendly.

And, it’s growing world-wide. There are thousands upon thousands of internet radio stations all over the world. If you want to listen to smooth jazz from Argentina, it’s out there. Bollywood, rockabilly, manele, raggaeton, dubstep, tejano, jpop, trance, polka, chill, and scores of kinds of music I’ve never heard of are available. (Okay, I know what polka is, but I had to Google many of those to figure out what they were. “Manele” is Romanian folk music, by the way.)

What this means for Christians is that the Word and music praising God are rapidly growing all over the world. Believers in countries where Christianity is illegal could now be listening to Kinship Christian Radio. In countries that don’t have the luxury of our incredible wealth and freedom of speech, they now have access to the Gospel via the internet and their phones.

It is estimated that 2.5 billion people currently have smartphones. 

Internet radio could very well do for the Gospel what Johannes Gutenberg did for the Bible with the invention of the printing press. The potential is amazing.

Also amazingly, God has opened a door for me to be involved in this. Through my previous mission trips to the Dominican Republic, I’ve come into contact with some people in that country who have started an internet radio station called Radio Bendicion Digital. (Blessings Digital Radio.) The station is still in its infancy, but it is growing and its people are dedicated to the LORD and the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I’ll be travelling to the Dominican Republic next month along with two others with radio experience (at our own expense) to share how God has blessed Kinship Christian Radio and the things that have been learned from 36 years of bringing worship and the Word to listeners like you. 

Your prayers that our mission trip would bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus Christ are needed and greatly appreciated. 

To the saving of souls, HALLELUJAH!

 

Today’s Praise

Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Isaiah 12:5 (NIV)

 

 

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