The Eclipse did not
Eclipse our Programming
come and go; events come and go; people come and go. That is the short
version of what most of us call “life.” Those of us in Middle Tennessee and
other places within the area of “totality” anticipated “The Eclipse” for
several weeks; finally it came, lasted a few minutes, and then it was over.
(Constantin Chernushenko, the sr. producer of our Russian language service,
took the first photo you see here. The second photo shows some of us looking
at the eclipse in front of our office, which was outside the area of
The content of radio programs also enters our lives for a brief period
and then it is gone. Or is it? I assume that one reason Jesus told stories
(parables) was to facilitate memory of as well as understanding of his
teachings. We tell stories too and we ask other people to share their
stories of how God has worked in their lives. We believe these stories help
listeners retain the material they hear and replay it over and again in
Additionally, we put our material on our Chinese website, often in two
forms, so people can listen to it again (and again and again!). 1) Most of
each day’s Chinese program is streamed on the Internet. This allows anyone
wherever the Internet is available to listen to our programs, twenty-four
hours a day, 365 days a year. 2) Most of our segments are added individually
to our website as well. Take a look at
www.smzg.org ; I believe you will be favorably impressed.
During August, Edward Ho wrote eleven scripts and did four interviews.
Below is his description of the scripts:
1. God is needed if we want to have happy family. Everyone desires to
have a happy family. No one prescribes love as good as God, which guarantees
2. A Happy Family Requires More Affirmation and Less Criticism: To make
home an inviting place, affirmation is necessary; but, be careful of
3. Gentle Words and Gentle Attitudes: Gentleness is God’s character. It
helps relieve pressure of other family members, thus brings peace into home.
4. Unity is Welcome at Home, at Work and in the Nation: Jesus asks
followers to pursue unity by all means. To prioritize unity at home needs to
be a goal for every family member.
5. Letting Others Win is a Needed Attitude at Home: Letting others win is
a Christian attitude, which often builds happiness, secures peace, and
nurtures love in relationship.
6. A Westerner Accepted a Religion of the East: How did the Apostle Peter
communicate in his letters? They give us a window to learn how Westerners
accepted the faith of this Israelite.
7. A Chinese Intellectual Finds Jesus: This script records how God helped
a Chinese scholar to sense His loving presence, which led to the man’s
8. From the 2017 Eclipse to Biblical Records of the Sun and of God’s
Power: The Biblical accounts of the sun demonstrate God’s almighty power and
help readers to know God.
9. The Eclipse Leads Me to Sense God’s Love: 2017 Eclipse led me to study
the biblical accounts about the sun and its functions in God’s design which
manifest God’s love for mankind.
10. What Do Rich People Lack? Zacchaeus made great efforts just so he
could see Jesus, whom, he knew, could help change his life. Jesus did change
his life and meet his needs.
11. A Truth Voltaire Could not Refute: God is a living God. Man cannot do
anything after death. History proves that Voltaire was wrong in his
prediction just like the failures of those who tried to refute Jesus’ word.
Ho interviewed a Chinese brother who is currently in the USA studying Bible
and Christianity. The session in the studio lasted about sixty minutes and
then was edited into six interview segments for broadcast. We are happy to
have people like this visit our production facility and do interviews, as
they not only add variety to our programming, but they provide our listeners
with a perspective that they cannot easily disregard. In other words, here
is a gentleman who was reared in China as an atheist but became a Christian
as an adult. He knows exactly where our listeners sit because he used to sit
there as well. He understands their mindset and he explains to them what it
was that opened his eyes and brought him to faith in God and Jesus.
Shu Mei Lee also did three interviews during August, all
with a young lady from China who obtained her Physicians’ Assistant degree
this year. Tina talked about her struggles in life and how God influenced
her for good.
Last month I mentioned that Brad Garvin from the New York Metropolitan
Opera had recorded some traditional Christian hymns for us. He returned in
August and brought the total of recordings to over seventy hymns.
Incidentally, years ago on a trip to China, I discovered that solos are far
easier to understand over shortwave than group singing is. Those in our
audience who are studying English and/or who want to learn English hymns
will enjoy listening to Bradley Garvin. I anticipate that some listeners
will even use these to teach people in their house churches to sing English
hymns. “Thank you, Bradley Garvin!”
I wrote another prayer and four more articles in August. We hosted a
Chinese couple for two or three days and talked with them about serving God
in their country; and we hosted other people as well.
prayer—A Prayer for Purity—focused on the temptations toward pornography and
such things that men face every day. I asked God to help us keep our minds
fixed and to avoid giving in to the sexual inducement that surrounds us. Sex
is a gift from God but he expects us to use it correctly.
The articles included what may be the final segments in the series “Who
is Jesus?” Some of these articles stressed the “humanity” of Jesus—The Jesus
who Tires, The Jesus who Weeps and the Jesus who Laughs.
1- The Jesus who Weeps: When Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, he not
only shared the sorrow of Mary and Martha, he also considered the plight of
all present who could not understand the significance of what he was about
to do. And it broke his heart. Later, Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and he also
“offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one
who could save him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).
2- The Jesus who Tires: Because he was tired, Jesus stopped by a well in
Samaria. His giving in to his physical need for rest and drink resulted in a
significant conversation with a certain woman whose life he changed forever.
The Jesus who Laughs: Jesus made several statements that (I believe) brought
smiles to the faces of those who listened; these would include the plank in
one’s eye, announcing one’s benevolence with trumpets, etc. When he
nicknamed Cephas “Rocky” (Peter means rock), those around probably laughed
and said, “You sure don’t know him very well!” But Jesus’ statement proved
to be a prophecy of what Peter eventually would become.
On the very day of his resurrection, Jesus told a joke—the statement in
Luke 24 that (to me) is one of the funniest in the Bible. “Are you the only
visitor to Jerusalem who doesn’t know all the things going on and that
everyone is talking about?!” asked the disciples. “What things?” quipped
As Christians share the gospel, the humanity of Jesus takes a back seat
to his deity; but we must not forget that “Jesus had to be made like his
brothers in every way” (Hebrews 5:17, ICV). Both his humanity and his deity
go together to make him Jesus—100% God and 100% man.
4- Whereas I titled an article about Jesus being in the tomb “The Darkest
Saturday,” I called the article about the resurrection “The Brightest
Sunday.” No one expected that Sunday to be any different from other Sundays
(and a few even hoped it would not be!); how wrong they were!
Thanks for reading!