One of the things I love to do when camping is to sit in front of a fire with my best
Radio Shack transistor and just slowly start at one end of the dial and just work through
the entire spectrum.
Once you get out of the major metro areas, the radio stations get infinitely more
Interesting and unusual. Play lists are deeper and more varied. Long syndicated, but
forgotten stars like Bruce Williams are on nightly. And missionary zeal is not hard
I particularly love the ”Unshackled” programs made by Pacific Grove Mission from Chicago—“The program that makes you face yourself and think”. (When you visit their website, you’ll find that they were kind enough to include a
link on How To Get To Heaven.)
When you first hear the program, you think it must be an old radio serial from the 40’s with
the dramatic organ music, the stilted acting and the overall earnest tenor. But after a few minutes
you learn that this is the true story of sinners, ridiculously outrageous sinners.
Each week features one reformed sinner’s life story. Abortions abound.
Alcohol and drugs are severely abused. Alternative lifestyles are experimented with. Evil is
embraced. God is forgotten. And then something happens to the person back on the right track.
When I heard this program for the first time, I’ll admit my take was a typical one of
post-modern irony and mockery. “This can’t be real,” I remember saying. After years of
being steeped in this ironic mindset, it’s hard to listen to something earnest and not laugh at it.
But that’s probably the thing that makes this program so compelling when you’re sitting
around a campfire. No invisible quotation marks, no nudge-nudge subtexts, just a good, if
somewhat exaggerated, story about someone’s life and all the bizarre things that can happen.
So next time you’re on a trip, start flipping through the dial (hopefully
out of range of the Ian Punnet Show) and see what you find. (It’s also on local station KTIS on
Saturdays at 4).