Why are we amazed every year that Sharathon time has come so quickly? It is one of our favorite times of the year here at Thy Word Network. We enjoy renewing friendships and making new friends. We enjoy hearing from our listeners - how God has blessed them during the year as they listen to God's Word proclaimed each day. We enjoy hearing how God supplied our listeners' faith promises.
So many things to enjoy and to rejoice together and praise our Saviour! I hope you'll join with us September 12-14. Call or come by! We'd love to chat, share a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie or two, and of course, rejoice together in the Lord!
One of the rare occasions when I get to have a little fun with my family! Meet two of my sisters from Ohio, Carol Shock (in the middle) and Linda Kidwell (on the right), and me, of course, giving waaaay toooo many instructions! I love them and, thankfully, they love me! One other sis couldn't make the trip, Diann Goins, is home in Ohio listening, praying and texting! And yes, I love her too!
Good morning listeners!! We hope you will be tuned in this week to help us pray, and to watch to see how God blesses TWN during Sharathon 2010!! It started bright and early this morning at 5am, but many of you even started giving your faith promises before today! We are so grateful and ask you to pray for God to provide the station's needs for the upcoming fiscal year.
If you are blessed by this ministry and want to give a faith promise gift so that others may hear God's Word broadcast, just click on the links on our home page to fill out the short form for your gift. Or you can call and talk with one of our friendly phone volunteers to give your gift...they would love to have their phone ringing!
The number is 800.264.5550.
Come out and visit if you can! Coffee and dessert are sure to be on hand, and we'd love to meet you!
The first day after Sharathon is more or less a "back to" day.
Back to our regular programming - the familiar voices of James Dobson, John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, Janet Parshall and the others are once again broadcasting at their normal times.
Back to a quiet office space - it suddenly seems unusual to not have all the clamor that comes with Share!
Back to remembering to answering the phone myself when it rings - no phone volunteers around to jump on the lit-up lines!
Back to donating a chunk of my weekly paycheck to Subway - most of that awesome food has disappeared from the kitchen. (This is probably the best thing for our waistlines, however!)
And back to the many everyday office duties that are waiting for us ... even when one has to suppress the urge to just zone out and play word games on Facebook all day!
But the great thing about a "back to" day? It's the fact that, thanks to God's provision and the generosity and faithfulness of our listeners, we are able to have one. Since we depend entirely on our Heavenly Father and almost entirely on our listeners for financial support, it is wonderful to know that we can look forward to another year of "Broadcasting God's Word" throughout the Tri-State and even around the world!
A few other notes ...
As of 5:00 PM on September 11, our Sharathon gift total is: $357,688!
If you participated in Sharathon, you do have a gift (The Bible: An Unchanging Book for an Ever-Changing World by AW Tozer and possibly the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir CD) coming to you, but it will be a few weeks before they hit the mail. The hourly giveaway gifts should also be arriving soon. Thank you for your patience!
We like to use this blog as a way to give our listeners a look "behind the scenes" during Sharathon and other times of the year, and today you get a whole day's worth! What you hear on the air is sometimes only half the story ...
8:00 AM - I'm in the door, having just missed the "morning rush" in Telephone Central. My mom, who is doing our faith promise data entry this week, informs me that we had about 60 calls during the last hour. Awesome news! It appears that she and Priscilla Campbell, our morning data lookup volunteer, kept things running smoothly, because there's no backup paperwork piled on my desk. This is always a plus.
8:15 AM - Breakfast! Some of us eat, others just head straight to the coffee carafes. There is a whole counter-full of morning breads, quiche, fruit and more. Thankfully, this is the only time of year that the majority of us eat like this.
8:50 AM - We've hit one of our "plateaus" - $270,00! Floyd comes out to the main room to announce that we need celebraters. The breakfast crowd moves into the studio to "Hoot & Holler" (Don Chagle's expression). I bring my camera to snap a few more photos that I will hopefully get around to uploading at some point today.
9:20 AM - Match time! A generous supporter of the station has put up $2,500 as an incentive for other callers to match. This generates another flurry of calls and keeps our Telephone Central people busy. I'm now on data lookup duty, and am thrilled with the number of first-time donors calling in this year.
10:08 AM - Our guest hosts generally work in shifts of two hours on, one hour off. Steve Hiller is on his "off hour" and ends up in our office desk area, where Susan, Shirley and my mom have plenty of questions about his job as host for "Prime Time Chicago" on WMBI.
11:07 AM - Two home school families - the Fultons and the Nelsons - stop by to get a quick tour of the station. Combined, there are 15 kids in these two families, and they have filled the studio to overflowing. I think Donna and Steve are loving it as much as the younger ones. Donna has just offered them chocolate chip cookies, and Don immediately protests. I don't think he wants to share.
12:22 PM - We have a crowd at the station today! Lots of ringing phones and conversation and laughter - I think everyone is having a good time. I take my lunch and laptop into the back hall for a few minutes of relative peace and quiet so that I can concentrate! ETA: We have photos!
1:22 PM - $300,000!!! Only $50,000 to go during this "Marathon Sharathon"!
1:57 PM - As I'm walking through the office area I hear two of our little runners arguing over who gets to take the next faith promise copy to the studio. Their mom tells them they can take turns, and the little boy replies, "But nobody's calling!" So if you've been holding off on your faith promise, consider calling now (800-264-5550!) and gainfully employing a little runner!
2:05 PM - I'm so absorbed in updating the website that I completely forget that I've got an on-air shift coming up - good thing I was already hanging out in the studio! I have to rush into Telephone Central to give the phone volunteers the answer key to our Bible Verse Trivia Quiz. John Hayden very nicely covers for me while my side of the mic stand is empty.
3:32 PM - I had to venture into Telephone Central a few minutes ago to ask a question about a faith promise form. Whew! It's loud and crowded (and a little hot and stuffy!) and every time one volunteer puts down the phone it starts to ring again. It's great!
4:26 PM - The excitement indoors is over our climbing Sharathon faith promise total. The excitement outdoors appears to be over our resident Attack Cat and her five kittens. Donna Leland's kids are keeping an eye on them for us this afternoon.
5:24 PM - This past hour has basically been a complete blur. Lots and lots and lots of faith promise forms landing on and leaving my desk! From the sound of things, our on-air hosts are getting a little loopy.
5:50 PM - If this radio thing doesn't work out, John Hayden may have a new career as a Larry the Cable Guy impersonator. ("Git'R'Done!")
6:07 PM - We made it! $352, 508 is our total at the end of Sharathon. Almost everyone in the building packs into the studio to celebrate and give all the praise and glory to God, and Floyd signs us off with the "Halleluiah Chorus."
362 days out of the year, Thy Word Network runs on a staff of five people. And between our varied schedules, there are plenty of times when there is not much traffic and it's not unusual for the office to be practically empty. But it's those three other days out of the year that turn our studios in Grand Central Station!
Sharathon is truly a community project. We supply the on-air staff, and most of the administrative staff, but when it comes to phones and food, we definitely can't do it all on our own!
On an average Sharathon day, we have at least two dozen volunteers manning Telephone Central and another half dozen helping with food and dishes in the kitchen or running things between the studio and the rest of the station, or helping out with data lookup and entry. It's a whole barrage of new faces and voices, and that adds some extra fun and excitement to the event.
What I love to see is the variety and range of ages scattered throughout the rooms. We've had everyone from elementary schoolers to senior citizens come through the door, and we're more than willing to put every one of them to work! The conversations that you hear floating around are fun - the group of men at the dinner table is discussing their first cars (bought for $85 during the World War II era) while a gaggle of kids is trying to figure out how many cookies Mom will let them get away with eating, or the most effective way to hunt frogs in the ditch next to the drive outside. The group of women surrounding my desk area earlier was sharing gardening tips (I escaped to the back hallway so that I could concentrate on computer stuff for a few minutes, but I learned enough to help me, should I ever actually have a garden!).
When you call to make your faith promise, you may be talking to a homeschooled high school student taking a break during their school day, a career woman who's made the trip up on her lunch hour, or a retiree who has trekked into the wilds of Gibson County to donate three or four hours of his day to Sharathon.
What they have in common is a desire to support Thy Word Network, and to share their love for the ministry with everyone who calls in during these three special days of "fun-raising." So when you make your call (1-800-264-5550!), be sure to thank the volunteer that you speak with, and if it sounds like something you'd like to do, give us a call next year, and we'd be more than happy to add your to our lengthy list of fabulous Sharathon volunteers!