When I joined Shine.FM radio in October 2019, I didn’t realize that my part-time Business Development position would be life changing. But, it has been. From the day I joined Shine.FM and began to meet more people from Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, IL), something became very clear to me – by their example I learned that everyone’s life, including my own, is meant to be a ministry. We are put on this earth to serve God and do all we can for His kingdom. And so, while already a Christian, a “man of faith”, I began to see life through a different lens.
As I began calling on businesses, explaining to them that Shine.FM is a community supported, not-for-profit Christian radio station committed to influencing people for Jesus Christ, I found that my life was being enriched by the conversations I had with many of the people I was calling on. Even if they chose not to pursue an advertising opportunity with us, it became apparent to me that they, too, were loved children of God and somehow, we were connected through our humanity.
At Shine.FM, we like to talk about something we call “Shine Moments.” These are those special moments when a certain song or scripture being read on Shine.FM cuts through all the noise of the day and speaks directly to one’s heart. It is as though God’s presence becomes ‘alive’ in that very moment. Well, since joining Shine.FM I have been blessed to experience several very ‘personal’ Shine Moments of my own and I had one recently that was just too special not to share.
I recently was involved in a ZOOM meeting with some senior staff members from one of our Business Impact Partners called The Villages, which just happens to be the state of Indiana’s largest not-for-profit child and family services agency. Serving more than 3,100 children and their families every single day through their foster, adoption, and community services, The Villages helps strengthen families throughout Indiana while embracing the dignity and diversity of everyone they serve (more information at www.villageskids.org). In discussing a theme for their new ad one of their people shared this quote with our team and when they did, I was suddenly immersed in my very own Shine Moment.
Because childhood lasts a lifetime.
As it turns out, this quote is actually a phrase used by Prevent Child Abuse America (Go to: www.preventchildabuse.org) and Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is a division of The Villages. But in that moment, I was not concerned so much where the quote had come from or who had said it; because in that moment those words spoke directly to my heart.
When I heard those words, I immediately found myself transported back to my childhood and the wonderful Christian home I was brought up in. Wonderful loving parents, two great brothers, one older and one younger, living in a modest, suburban, very middle-class home where we never missed a meal and had few if any worries. By comparison to today’s lifestyles, we had nothing, but we had everything. As a child, I was absolutely blessed; make that Beyond Blessed! And yes, I have been blessed ever since. Why? Because childhood lasts a lifetime and when I look at the ‘bigger picture’ of my life; my health, my family, my friends, the many experiences I have had, the places I’ve gone and people I’ve met along the way, and yes, even the countless strangers who I have exchanged smiles with, my brothers and sisters in humanity – yes, I am still living my childhood! I am a blessed child of God! And why do I know this? Because in that Shine Moment I came to the realization that childhood does last a lifetime. And yes, we are all loved children of God!
I don’t know what your childhood was like. Sadly, I do know that many people had very difficult and painful childhoods. If you are one of those unfortunate people, it saddens me to know that. But, regardless of your childhood when you were just a child ‘biologically speaking’, know this – God loved you then just as He loves you now. Yes, you, too, are a loved child of God and He loves you just the way you are. That said, be thankful and enjoy each and every day as the wonderful gift that each day is. Why?
Because childhood lasts a lifetime, and yes, you are a loved child of God.