Published January 13, 2015

Paul's Epistle...
"Requests - Yours and Mine"

I really enjoy communicating with you each week through this newsletter. And I especially appreciate all of you who write back to say how much something I've written has encouraged you in your daily walk with Christ.

This week, though, I'd like to share a few things related directly to my radio program, The Gospel Greats.

First, this coming Sunday afternoon, January 18th, will be one of our occasional Listener Favorite Call-In opportunities. It's the way listeners, such as you, can get your song requests on the air. Many of you have called in the past, but we're looking for an especially good showing this time. Our Call-In lines will be open Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Eastern time. You can call toll-free at 800-727-6647. Complete information about all this can be found on our website:

By the way, if you go to that website (above) today, you can click on the link to pre-register so that when you actually call on Sunday, all you'd have to give is your registration number (which we will email back to you) and we'll conveniently call up your address info from our file. That speeds up the process considerably and actually allows more people to call in (because the calls don't take as long).

As you've heard over the years, many callers include a very brief reason as to why the song they're introducing is so special for them. I especially like that, and we've often heard from others who especially are touched by that as well. But, naturally, these comments must be kept rather short.

We do these Call-Ins only about three times per year, so if you've ever thought of doing it, this would be a very good time. And remember, everyone whose song introduction is used on the air will be sent (usually by email) a $10 gift certificate for Southern Gospel music items from our mailorder service,

Oh — one more thing about the Call-In. Next month The Gospel Greats program will be celebrating its 35th anniversary on the air. (No, I can't believe it, either.) And if you call our Listener Favorite Call-In this weekend, after you do your song introduction, you could also, if you wish, pause and then give a short "happy 35th anniversary" greeting that we could drop into the program during February – something like, "Hi, this is (your name) from (your hometown), congratulating everyone at The Gospel Greats program on the program's 35th Anniversary!" Of course, you can modify that, if you wish.

The other thing I wanted to mention today is also important, perhaps even more so. We call January "Station Appreciation Month" on The Gospel Greats program. This is when we encourage listeners to let their local station know they appreciate hearing The Gospel Greats program each week on their station.

We've found over the years that far too many listeners just take it for granted that The Gospel Greats program will be there for them each week. Then, if a station chooses to discontinue carrying it because of, for example, a lack of listener feedback, they get all upset. Then they complain. But often by then it's too late because the station has made other programming arrangements. We're heard on stations, after all, only because the stations invite us to be there.

Positive feedback to the stations from listeners can also be helpful to the station in finding local advertisers to sponsor the program. They, the local sponsors, after all, are the ones who pay the bills to keep the program on, at least on commercial stations. On non-commercial stations, your personal financial support of the station and your feedback specifically about The Gospel Greats program are vital.

Why not get in touch with them today? You can send an email (stations usually have a contact address on their website), you could write a letter or, probably most effectively, you could simply call the station's manager or program director.

By the way, if you're in an area that doesn't have a local station carrying The Gospel Greats program, please contact your local station or stations about adding The Gospel Greats program. Often, if you know of someone who would sponsor it locally, and if the station actually has the time for it, that clinches the deal. Christian-formatted and country-formatted stations are the most common that carry our program. Even if you personally hear the program online, by satellite or elsewhere, having a local radio station  carry the program is a tremendous outreach to local people who might not otherwise hear the Gospel.

Thanks again for your encouragement for us over the years in what we do. The Lord provides everything we need to go on – and that includes your encouragement. Thank you for letting Him do that through you.

- Paul

Romans 1:12, "...that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."

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