Back from Vacation and Racing!

Hello Friends!

It's great to be back from vacation. We had a great time at Disney World, and now we are racing to get a radio show up and running.

The network has asked us to be up and running on the first Sunday of March, so please pray for us as we try and figure this whole radio thing out. Honestly, I have no idea how to do this, but we're learning quickly, and God has graciously put a couple of folks in my life that do know what they are doing.

We did have to change the name of the show as there already is a Prodigal Radio. It's an AM station in Waterloo, Iowa. So after several attempts at names, I have reluctantly agreed to name the show, "Tal Prince Live!" Chances of there already being one of those is quite slim!

I'll write as I can, but be patient as we race to prepare a radio show! Please also begin thinking about calling the show! We would love to hear from you! A new website is being prepared as well, and the blog will be there, and there will also be lots of chances for interaction there!

Thanks for taking the journey with us!

Radio, No Really, I'm Sirius!

Hello Friends!

Please pray for me tomorrow, Tuesday January 8, as I will be on Kim Jeffries show, "Along the Way" at 1:00 Central Standard Time. Please listen in if you can! You can listen online by going to her site and clicking on the Listen Online on the right side of the page.

If you've been with me for awhile, you know that radio has been something that has recently cropped up out of nowhere. Well, a friend of minenamed Jack Landham, has recently become my "media pimp." He asked me a few weeks ago if I had ever given a thought to doing my own radio show, and I said, "I would love to do that."

Well, guess what? Since I've done a lousy job of veiled foreshadowing, you know that I now have my own radio show!

This has come out of nowhere. The short version of the story is that Jack had gone over to Atlanta to sell some children's television programming to a network over there. When he got there, they were not really interested in TV programming as they had just purchased a radio network on Sirius Satellite Radio, and a show had just cancelled before Jack arrived.

They asked him if he knew of anyone that wanted to do a show on Sunday nights. Before we knew it, we were having a conference call with the Director of Programming, and he asked us to a sample show so he could hear what it might sound like. So, we hooked up with Steve Wingo at Digitrends Studios here in town, and Jack brought in author and speaker, Jarrod Jones, and we did 20 minutes and e-mailed it over to the network.

Today, we talked, and they offered us a three month trial that will start in March! So, go hook yourself up with Sirius Satellite Radio and get ready for the show on Sunday nights on Sirius 161.

When I was in college, I started majoring in Communications, because I wanted to go into broadcasting. Finally, my dad told me that it was a dumb career choice and that I should change out of that. He asked me one night on a walk in Bloomington, Illinois, "What makes you think you are good enough to do that?"

Once again, the chains of shame crushed me, but I figured he must be right. He told me I should major in business, so within weeks, I changed my major to business. Now, at the age of 43, I'll be broadcasting. The name of the show? Unchained.

Hope you'll be there with me!

Happy New Year!

This is a repost from last year - it has been often requested - SO here ya' go!

So, have you broken them yet? You know - those pesky little annual failure reminders we like to call resolutions. We're a few hours in yet, and many resolutions are already forming the foundation of failures and frustration for 2008. I, however, just completed one of my resolutions, and that was to form one sentence using at least four words beginning with the letter f.

Resolution. Such a strong word, isn't it? It can be such an inspirational word. Resolve. Resolute. The word makes us seem so strong doesn't it? I am resolved to do this. I am resolute about that. So strong... A large difference between resolution and resignation, isn't there?

Could it be possible that resignation is the way to go? Could it be possible that New Year's resolutions are just another illustration of insanity? Addicts know the definition of insanity well, don't we? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. It has been a way of life for us, and when we come to the end of a year and everyone begins touting their resolutions for the next year, we quietly resolve to ourselves that this is the year that we quit.
This time, I mean it.

Then stress enters the picture as it always does, and we begin to seek medication for the pain and discomfort we feel. Then we look like this:

The deal is this - we think that the answer to our problems is trying harder. We just need more will power, right? It really comes down to this - the battle for control. We try to gain more control over ourselves. Why can't you just stop, right? Just
try harder. You can do it, c'mon, buck up little camper... When that doesn't work, we then figure the problem must be the people around us. Our spouse, our boss, our friends, our church, our pastor, our neighbors, our lawn service, somebody, anybody other than us.

This is when some of us decide to "try God." This usually amounts to a prayer that sounds something like this - "Dear God, please take this craving away. Please help me stop doing this or that. Thanks. Amen." Or even this, "Oh Heavenly Father, please take this extra weight off of me, Thanks. Amen."

Trying God, I have found, really means tailoring God to meet our desires. Anything about Him that gets in our way, we just try and cut that out. It's like we are tailoring God to fit us, but this is not the Gospel. If we are in control, and making God fit us, aren't we still in control? Haven't we proven ineffective enough? We are God in this picture, and then we will say, "I tried God, but that didn't work." What we mean is that we continued our cycle of insanity and named it God for a bit.

The Gospel is not about exerting control, it's about exiting control. It's not about resolutions, it's about resignation. It's about surrender. It's about realizing that we are incapable of controlling ourselves and others around us. Jesus says in John 15:5, "Apart from me, you can do nothing." Nothing. He is the vine, and we are the branches. Branches do not create fruit. The branch is utterly dependent on the power and life force of the vine. The vine works through the branch to produce fruit.

This is tough for many of us, particularly Americans, as we are very fond of the concept of independence. The Gospel is about dependence.

If we will surrender control to Christ, and seek Him and His glory in all that we do things get much better. The reason those traditional addict prayers don't work is that God will not take magically take our cravings away from us. He waits for us to crave Him over our flesh, and then He sweeps in with His empowering grace to guide us.

Instead of making God fit us, the Gospel is about God stretching us and tailoring us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. How could we not want that? Why do we act in opposition to that? If we surrender, and allow God to make us more like Christ, what happens to our addictions, imperfections, and concern for our own image?

It's an ongoing process that takes place over the rest of our lives, if we are followers of Christ. It's called sanctification, and it requires surrender. It's the first of the twelve steps - admitting that our lives are unmanageable and that we are powerless. It's also the first of the Beatitudes. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Dallas Willard translates that, "Blessed are the spiritual zeroes."

Paul understood it well. Read what he wrote to the Romans,

"I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. isn’t this YOUR experience?” Yes, I’m full of myself - after all I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So, if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, IT becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t DO it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question. The answer, Thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different."

Jesus Christ can and does. His name is I AM. My name, as Giglio points out, is I am NOT.

This year, resolve to surrender.

Happy New Year!