Today’s post is written by Linda Buxa, a blog writer from one of our sponsors Time of Grace.
It was late 2001. My husband and I were stationed on an island in Alaska and my first child was only a few months old. We worshiped over a teleconvener (a kind of speakerphone)—except for when the connection failed. Some Sundays our pastor would fly over from the mainland for evening worship—except for when his flight was cancelled because it was so foggy or rainy.
That’s when Time of Grace became important to me.
Because our TV used rabbit ears and Time of Grace had not yet become the worldwide ministry it is today, my mom recorded the messages for us on VHS tapes and mailed them to Kodiak. We were so thankful for the ministry and its supporters who were “dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible.”
For me, it was a taste of home because the Time of Grace program was filmed at St. Marcus, the church in Milwaukee, WI, where Greg and I were married. But it was more than that; it was being able to hear the gospel at a time when we had a pretty small church family on an isolated island.
A few years later, we were living in Washington D.C. and my isolation was not location related, but instead was season-of-life related. Having three kids in three and a half years meant I heard only disjointed snippets of a sermon. So watching online during naptime meant I could focus for the whole 20 minutes. When we lived in California, I decided to train for a marathon. Listening to six Time of Grace podcasts in a row got me through those isolated 18-mile training runs. (I was a slow runner.)
This is why when I was asked to blog for Time of Grace, my heart answered “YES!” in about 0.3 seconds. Now it would be my turn every week to share hope and bring Jesus to people who are isolated.
You see, it doesn’t matter if you are married or single, younger or older, working for pay or not for pay. No matter what situation you are in, because of all your commitments—work, hobbies, church involvement, and family—sometimes you feel absolutely isolated. Time of Grace reminds you that you are connected—first to your God, then to the worldwide family of believers. Through television, print, and the Internet, you have access to the uplifting, unconditional gospel at any time through Time of Grace.
The temptation, though, can be to think that Time of Grace exists only to—pardon the churchy cliché—preach to the choir. Instead, it’s almost overwhelming to see how God has used Time of Grace to reach those desperate to hear the good news of Jesus:
• Every Sunday almost 750,000 people watch Time of Grace via streaming on the web and on local, cable, and satellite channels throughout North America.
• Thanks to technology, people who live in countries on the top 50 persecution watch list have been able to listen to the message and connect via social media. Here is an e-mail that the ministry received: “I am a social worker presently working in Iraq and a regular viewer of your Christian program on The Church Channel. Thanks so much for your inspirational program; it’s really a life touch program.”
• Time of Grace devotional reading plans are available on the YouVersion Bible App. Over 600,000 people from various countries subscribe to these plans.
• People in prison are hearing the good news and saying, “Love it! Considered myself as doomed and then as I was doing my time in prison, I stumbled across Time of Grace and everything began to change. Amazing how God works through Time of Grace.”
• Military members stationed in the Middle East, Asia, and on ships in the middle of the ocean are able to watch on Armed Forces Network.
• Thanks to ministry partnerships, devotional books have been translated into Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese.
• To make sure that kiddos know that because of their brother Jesus they will never be isolated from God, last fall I wrote Dig In!, a devotion book for children and families.
But Time of Grace isn’t content with that. There are still so many people who are isolated, not knowing the good news of Jesus. So every day the team looks for ways to connect people to their Savior. Help us spread the word!
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and women’s retreat speaker. Her voice is also heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace Ministry. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children, one mischievous puppy, two sneaky kittens, and nine tolerant chickens. The sign in her kitchen sums it up: You call it chaos; we call it family. Website // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // YouVersion / / Instagram
To read more about Linda check out her Holy Hen House Mentor Monday interview here!