The Silent Audience
By Barry Kentner
When you are “on the air”, you never know who’s listening.
There is not a broadcaster who hasn’t, at one time or another, witnessed the hidden side of things made clear. And such was my awakening, many years ago.
In 1959, The legislative representative of Oxford County in Ontario was a man named Sparky Innes. Sparky was a dairy farmer before becoming an elected representative and still lived on the dairy farm. One fine summer evening, The Honorable Mr. Innes was entertaining a group of
constituents, and I was one of the press corps. I was there to be sure that if anything newsworthy was said, it would be duly recorded.
At some point in the evening, a young heifer came across the yard and began bawling over the fence. Sparky ignored the noise for a while, but finally said: “Barry, come with me.”
We strolled across the lawn to the fence, and the Honorable Mr. Innes said “Let me introduce you to one of your most ardent fans.’
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It seems that the sound of my voice was carrying across the field, and into the barnyard, where the heifer was. She quickly came to the fence to express her pleasure. I petted her, and after a while, she left me to go back from whence she came.
Then I learned that Sparky had a radio in the barn, that was tuned to my station continually. It was then I learned also, that some cows, horses and even goats, have an affinity to voices.
I am not alone; a number of broadcasters I know even play a record on their show to please the animal population. One of them even has a time of 10 past 8 in the morning to salute them. He prefaces the song with the words “A record a day keeps the vet at bay.”
BLESSING THE LORD
The NIV reads “Praise the Lord”. The King James and most other Bibles read “Bless the Lord…”
Having worked for more than half a century as a professional editor, words mean a lot to me, and if you were to look through the dictionaries you would find that Praising and Blessing both convey amongst other things, the act of giving…but Blessing carries a deeper meaning in that it conveys a concept of continual giving. An act of praise is often momentary…. while a Blessing lasts….
And Blessing God –at least to me- conveys a sense of not just praising Him but giving back to Him. I wholeheartedly believe we need to give something back to God.
In Matthew 13, Jesus quotes Isaiah the prophet. The words are found in Isaiah Chapter 6, verses 9 and 10, and repeated plainly in Matthew’s account: MATTHEW 13-Verses 14 and 15.
Something that has bothered me for years: maybe you have noticed it. At a Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting or a campaign with a famous evangelist, we may see a person receive a healing. But the next day or within a couple of days- that healing is lost…. the person is limping again or deaf again. Remember the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. St. John writes about it in Chapter 5. This man has lain at the pool for 38 years in that state because there is no one to help him in when the water boils up.
I found myself wondering who brought him to the pool each day, and who helped him eat, and meet his hygiene needs? For 38 years he never got near the pool, but he apparently did not starve.
Later in this account, Jesus finds the man in the temple and says Look: you are well again…stop sinning, or something worse will happen to you: When we look at the big picture…could this man have been well, and perhaps become crippled through some act of disobedience?
How many of us have been robbed of a blessing by our disobedience to God? How many of us have suffered sickness or injury because we didn’t do what we knew we should have? We are given God’s Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; our Master, Lord, and Savior, to do HIS WORK! And, Second Corinthians Chapter five gives us the assurance and tool to do that…. verses 18 and 19 tell me Jesus has given us both the Ministry and the Word of Reconciliation. If we aren’t reconciling, we are not a blessing. And what could be worse than losing God’s blessing? In God’s eyes, sin is sin…size doesn’t matter: Big or Little, Tall or Small, Social or Criminal, Sin size fits all.
I have learned a hard lesson…if God convicts me of a sin and I don’t do anything about it, I am not blessing Him and I am not blessing anyone else either. I thank a dear friend for drawing that to mind again just recently. How easily I forget. If we don’t keep short accounts with God, if we don’t keep reconciling with each other, we are guilty of sin. God, our Heavenly Father, expects us to make things right and keep them that way… We need to hear and heed those words Jesus gave to the paralytic man: …stop sinning or something worse may happen Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
I hope and pray that you are practicing this ministry of reconciliation…and Blessing our Ever-loving, Everlasting, Ever so Faithful God.
I am growing old
But I believe I’m glowing
Just like trees at sunset
When the world is gloaming.
Yes, I’m growing old
My body keeps complaining
But God’s Word overpowers flesh
And that’s why I’m remaining.
God’s Word promises, that
In old age, I will flourish!
In old age, I will still bear fruit!
Because His Word will nourish.
And God has now confirmed that Word
In Ephesians two and ten:
He has a plan for me today…
And He’ll show me where and when.
Rev. C.J.Barry Kentner
Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.