If I’ve been reminded of anything the last 2+ weeks, it is this…..

In this world, there is no such thing as a firm foundation, literally or figuratively. A firm foundation can only be found in one place, and His name is Jesus.

When the earthquake hit Haiti a few weeks ago, their foundation shook. Literally. Our friend and fellow-broadcaster from Z88.3, Melony McKaye was there – in Haiti – on her first missions trip. As a matter of fact, she shared this video with us that shows the ground actually shaking while one of their team members was being filmed. She joined us this morning sharing her time in Haiti, and what it was like leading up to, during, and the mintues, hours and days after the quake.

The night of the devastation, they had evacuated from their compound. Melony tells of laying on the ground, between tremors and aftershocks, listening to villagers singing “Hallelujah” to the top of their lungs, all the while never missing a note when the earth moved below their feet. She said, “If anything when the ground would shake, their praises would get louder!” She even told the story of one of the guards of the compound, 30 minutes after the quake, showing up for work and saying joyfully, “this will only lead people to Jesus”….

Wow. The ground he was standing on was literally shaking, and he’s pointing them to the only solid foundation. Jesus.

Last week, I’m sitting in Orlando when I received an email that our co-worker’s husband had been in a horrible car fire and was being Bay-flighted to the Tampa General Burn Unit. My heart sank and my knees went weak when I read the words. Immediately, we were on I-4 headed west.

I’ve worked with Donna for many years here at the station. There are a thousand reasons why I love her …. she’s fun-loving, hilarious, encouraging, loyal, hard-working …. and the list goes on and on. But I think I love her most because she reminds me of my mom. Their strength in adversity amazes me. They’ve both had their share of difficult times, yet they walk through their valleys with such grace and poise.

Donna’s foundation crumbled 10 short days ago. In a flash, her world turned upside down. She has spent the last week+ at her husband’s side praying, crying, and loving him. As a family, we’ve prayed harder than we’ve ever prayed. And if there was a such thing as willing someone to live, we were “willing” him with all we had. But God called Scott home last night. While are hearts are utterly broken for Donna and her girls, praise Jesus, we know exactly where Scott is! But for Donna – and those surrounding her – today feels like rubble.

Two foundations. Two collapsed.

But here is the 1 truth. The ONLY truth. Jesus Christ is our ONLY solid rock. Our only foundation. Our only strong tower. Everything else is sinking sand.

Jesus has not forgotten the people of Haiti. And He has not forgotten Donna. He is our hope. He is our firm foundation. He is everything.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Please pray for my sweet sister, Donna and her family.

Learning to love something you hate….

I’ve always wanted to run. Always. Running seems like it’d be so fun and easy to do …. while at the same time releasing tons of stress, and burning a million calories. I always see people’s race pictures with their cool lil race numbers pinned on their shirts. I get jealous. At least once, I want to wear a race number! But the truth is …. I hate running. I mean, SERIOUSLY hate it.

About 3 times a year, I psych myself up by lacing up my cute little running shoes, putting on my “would-be” cute running shorts (if I ran and was smaller), and download my favorite, upbeat & groovy songs. I convince myself that “this time is it. I’m gonna learn to run AND love it.” By the time I hit the mailbox, I want to cuss. :) (Relax, I’m still going to heaven). By the time I hit the end of my street, I’ve convinced myself that walking is just as good as running, and that there are “cool” walking events too. And they hand out race numbers. But I’ve done the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk. I can “do” walking. It’s not running. And I want to run. At this point, I believe it’s more in my head than my ability to do it. I’ve had people give me pep talks, training schedules, etc. I’ve also had many offer to run with me. They’re so sweet, but I can’t do it. I’m not an “exercise with” kinda person. I have to have my music. I absolutely LOVE people, but conversation annoys me when I’m exercising. I know that sounds horrible. But I’m just being honest. Maybe because I’m so ADD, I can’t focus on conversation and breathing at the same time! I’ve also downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my phone. I’ve used it a couple of times and really like the app. Still hate running, but like the app.
So, why do I still want to love to run? Is there hope for me?
Here are my questions:
-Is there something that you hated that you now love?
-Is running one of them?
-What did you do to overcome it?
Encourage me! :)

Milkshakes with MIKESCHAIR

MIKESCHAIR was in town for the Manatee County Fair. We had milkshakes with a few listeners before-hand……

Cry out to Jesus

Psalm 130 1-2 says this:

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”

Like you, I can’t stop thinking about Haiti. And with all of our news sources, the internet, etc, we’ve all seen the devastation. We’re all heartsick! Words of comfort seem cheap, and feelings of helplessness seem great. However, regardless of how hopeless or helpless we feel, we serve a God who is neither.

We must absolutely NOT stop praying. Pray without ceasing! Pray for God’s mercy and comfort for our brothers & sisters in Haiti. Pray also for the “first responders” for strength, wisdom, and resources. God hears their cries, and He hears our heart’s cry for them….
Praying with you,

PS….We must help tangibly, too. Here’s a simple way that you can help RIGHT NOW:

Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross relief efforts. It will be charged on your cell phone bill.

A few others:

Also, in the coming weeks, I’ll let you know how we, The JOY FM community, will be responding….

Pants on the ground …..

Love me some Larry!

Black Bean Soup

I suppose 1 good soup recipe deserves another. Especially this past weekend!! Here’s the black bean soup that I was talking about this morning on the air. I found this recipe on the It’s definitely a keeper!!! Oh my word, it IS good!

Black Bean Soup


• 10 slices bacon, finely chopped
• 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
• 6 garlic cloves, pressed
• 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 6 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
• 1 bunch cilantro
• juice of 1/2 lime
• Sour cream , for garnish
• Grated cheddar, for garnish


Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

As always, :) Here are my variations:

-I don’t eat bacon, so instead of cooking the bacon and using it’s grease, I cooked the onions in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
-I added 2 more cans of black beans. (We like leftovers!) Plus, after I added the 4 cans that the recipe called for, it looked like it needed more beans to me.
-Added extra teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
-Unless you really, really like cilantro (I do! My family doesn’t), use about 1/2 of the bunch of cilantro.
-I used only 1 large onion.
-I used a whole lime.
-After mixing in pot, I moved to crock pot, and cooked for a couple of hours.

YUMMY! Sour cream and/or cheese is a must!

White Chicken Chili

Here it is, girls! :)

My white chicken chili recipe I talk about often! Well, it’s really not mine, it’s Bush’s. And lots of times you can find it on the back of a can of Bush’s Great Northern Beans. My girls LOVE this chili and ask me to make it all the time. The recipe that I’m posting below is doubled from the original. We’re a family of 4 and we eat every bite over 2 days.

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chiles
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (16 ounce) cans Great Northern Beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)


In large skillet, cook onion in oil for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add chilies, flour and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth; cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; cook until hot.

Here are my variations:

-I add a little bit more cumin. A couple of teaspoons, maybe
-I do 2 cans of Great Northern Beans and 2 cans of White Navy Beans
-I don’t drain the 1st can of beans, but do the other 3. We like it a little heartier.
-I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. I just add the white meat and legs. MUCH easier & gives it a nice flavor!
-I make the onion/chilies/flour/cumin mixture in a pot. While that’s cooking I put the beans and broth in a crock pot. I then add the onion mixture to the crock pot & then add the shredded chicken last.


Hormones or Holy Spirit?

I shared on air the last couple of days Beth Moore’s talk at Passion 2010 about spiritual discernment, especially for women. She tied it to a story about Hannah. If you missed the story, you can hear it here. Since I first told the story, you guys have been burning up my email, voicemail and the request lines for the list! It has definitely struck a chord, which makes me very happy!! So, as promised, here it is!! :)

Beth gave us 4 questions to ask ourselves when struggling with – what I like to call – “a prick in our spirit”. Which basically means, something doesn’t feel right! Is it hormones or the Holy Spirit?

The questions:

1. Am I a critical or suspicious person by nature?

2. Am I jealous or do I feel threatened?

3. Do I have anything selfish to gain by somebody else being wrong?

4. Are my emotions clouding my discernment? Am I too close to the situation?

If you answer “no” to all, then you most likely have a “yes” that something isn’t right. Which of course reminds me of my favorite of Beth’s lines during her teaching….

“Girls, don’t let your good manners over-rule your spiritual discernment!”


Do Something NOW!

Wanna join me in making a loan today for a woman in Haiti? I was actually headed down to make the loan just moments ago, and then it occurred to me that I have a lot of girlfriends that might want to play banker too!

Are there 10 of you that want to match my loan at $20 each? Respond in the comment section of my blog (or on Facebook) and I’ll make the loan on our behalf. I’ll make the loan on the “honor system” and we’ll settle up later! I know, I know….some of you will think I’ve lost my mind doing the honor system. Maybe I have. But…I’m so NOT worried. :) I am, however, setting a deadline of midnight tonight. 1.4.10.

Louie challenged us to make 200 loans during the conference. And…he wanted the women to be the ones to do it. Women helping women. I like it. I’m in. Are you?

Happy New Year from TMC….

Dear Friends,

Whether you know it or not, as our friend you are part of the best community any morning radio show could have. Seriously, just take a minute to glance through these memories with us and you’ll realize what a unique set of friends we all are!

For instance, Carmen just got back from taking thousands of pairs of shoes to dozens of orphans in Peru. These are kids who would not have a new, clean pair of tennis shoes ever, except that our JOY FM listening community made it their mission to provide for these children. Carmen took a small group of listeners and the band MIKESCHAIR with her this year. Perhaps Mike Grayson, lead singer, said it best when reflecting on the trip: “for that few minutes, I was that child’s family giving him a new pair of shoes and watching him open his Christmas gift”. The children received shoes & gifts. But the biggest gift was ours, to be able to touch part of the world with the love of Christ in the form of 7409 pairs of shoes.

While Carmen was in Peru, Dave was making quite an impact with the Broadway-style musical outreach he wrote and starred in called Humbug! Hundreds filled the seats for each of the eight performances and were treated to Dave’s acting, singing and dancing talents as well as a meaningful message of God’s love, skillfully portrayed. Meanwhile, Bill was burning the midnight oil preparing teaching outlines to train pastors next month in India, in the area where the JOY FM community has built hundreds of homes for devastated families.

In February, 150 listeners, along with Mark Schultz, once again pedaled over 130 miles in the a 2nd Bike Ride for the Homeless. The ride was a blast, but it got real personal when Carmen tried to run Mark off the road! Of course it became a “He said. She said.” The Ride raised more than $50,000 to help clothe, feed and support some of Florida’s poorest families (yes, “families” – many homeless are children). The Ride’s inspiration, Denver Moore, along with co-author Ron Hall, of their autobiographical Same Kind of Different As Me, released their sequel this year, What Difference Do it Make? A chapter was devoted to Carmen called “Bossy White Lady”. Denver said it. Who are we to disagree?

Our listeners’ compassion didn’t end with the Bike Ride for the Homeless. Even though unemployment rose by several percentage points in 2009, The Morning Cruise community gave more, fed more and loved better than EVER before.
T-Shirts for Turkeys produced 9,742 frozen turkeys for area food pantries, providing tens of thousands of holiday meals. Producer Kris P. Kreme took the spotlight in that event, dethroning Carmen as “The Turkey Queen” by collecting more turkeys in a single stop (Lakeland) than she had in her home turf, New Tampa. Everybody wins.

In 2009, we had the pleasure of spotlighting some of the best artists in the most unique ways, in up-close and personal settings. That’s what community does. It all started in April when our BWL, (short for Bossy White Lady) called Summer Cruise Alum, Brandon Heath, and invited us over to his house to broadcast LIVE from his kitchen table the morning of the Doves. It didn’t take much arm-twisting.

The same month saw the first visit in 23 years of Jars of Clay to The JOY FM. Jayar took a small group of listeners bowling with the four, and we invited ourselves to that, as well. Before we left for the bowling alley, the band made themselves at home in Bill’s office, which you can see on an episode of The Station (our video parody of The Office online at

New artist Josh Wilson auditioned for Bill’s job in May. He didn’t get it, even with a poem in his pocket!

Two events happened in June that really emphasized how this community has erased the distance between “celebrity” and “fan.” First, The Summer Cruise brought thousands of listeners into intimate diner-settings to meet Dove Award and (as of December) Grammy nominee Francesca Battistelli. The best part of that event was seeing dozens of young girls flock to a positive role model. Meeting “Franny” was a memory for life for them.

Second, and a memory we will cherish for many years, was the participation of freshly crowned Male Vocalist of the Year Brandon Heath in the reunion of a daughter with her estranged father. For over 30 years, Scottie Camacho had not seen or talked to her dad. Married with children, a police officer and listener to The Morning Cruise, Scottie had written Carmen to share how she finally got the courage to contact her dad after listening to “I’m Not Who I Was” on The JOY FM. Scottie wrote, “all I had was a photograph and he was standing right above me”. That was it! The scheming began. Brandon flew in and hid out with Keith, Scottie’s dad, until it was time for their eyes to meet – daddy and little girl – for the first time since she was a toddler. The reunion happened the Friday before Father’s Day. Oh the tears of happiness….

And speaking of “Oh Happiness”, we accepted an invitation for an inside-the-barn broadcast from David Crowder’s Dr. Pepper Studios for the release of Church Music. We boarded the plane to Waco, along with Jayar and a couple of listeners and attended the release party at David’s home church. We’re still deciding what we were most impressed with…Church Music, Steve3PO (David’s robotic drummer) or the larger than life mural of Queen Elizabeth that stares back at you in the loo. ‘Nuf said.

There’s so much more to celebrate! The fun, on-air moments, like juicing with Brandon, Franny and Leeland at “The Follow You Tour,” inviting listeners to coffee with Casting Crowns and watching the pounds fall off Heidi Schultz, The JOY FM’s “Biggest Loser,” are all great memories of the year gone by.

But maybe, in God’s goodness and grace, it was fitting to wrap up the year with songs like “Let the Waters Rise” by MIKESCHAIR and lyrics like “What hope we hold this starlit night / A King is born in Bethlehem…” from Chris Tomlin running through our heads. The reality of the self-giving Savior was celebrated in lyrics like these, which Carmen had sung at the Glory in the Highest recording sessions in Nashville, and the three of us got to enjoy at the TV special taping at the Gospel Music Channel in August. Maybe it was good to turn the spotlight on songs like these for such a time as this.

The last half of 2009 was tough for Carmen. In July, her mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At first, no one knew what do to. Her symptoms were intense. She wasn’t responding to any therapies. There were other pressures too, financial and practical. Carmen’s priorities quickly shifted, and she was solely-focused on the woman who raised her as a single mom. This was a time of spiritual testing as well, and Carmen shared her journey openly on the air. No emotion or thought was off limits: Doubts, questions, confessions, but ultimately the acknowledgement of God’s presence being physically felt. Carmen too had heath issues, tests and treatments in September, October and November. Regardless, she’ll be the first to tell you that joy surely does come in the morning.

Lots of well-meaning members of the community stopped by and offered their solutions and prayers – we acknowledged that the latter is more important than the former at such a time. It wasn’t easy for Carmen to keep her normally positive attitude and upbeat disposition. But we got through it as a family. Things are better for Carmen’s mom under an experimental treatment regimen, and Carmen was feeling better just in time for Chris Tomlin to bring his Glory in the Highest Tour to Clearwater to a sold-out show that transformed thousands of concert-g
oers into God-worshippers, celebrating the reality of God’s moving “into the neighborhood” in Christ, as told to us that night by our friend, Louie Giglio.

That night was special. There was nobody in that building who had more reason to offer the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips giving thanks to God for his sustaining grace and exalting humility, than yours truly. Carmen and her mom were there too. A fitting ending for all that He has done this year. We sang with voices and hands raised and hearts overflowing with gratitude for all He is, and all that YOU, his followers and our friends, have meant to us this year.

So, with full hearts, we wish you the Happiest New Year ever. Our hope is that we see you a bunch in 2010!

Your friends, Dave, Bill & Carmen

Page 20 of37« First...10«1819202122»30...Last »
ThumbSniper-Plugin by Thomas Schulte