June 9 2010
Cultural Adversaries, But Friends and Co-Laborers In Christ
By Dr. Ron Harris, Sr. Vice President for Strategic Partnerships
They sit across the table from each other. In another realm, they might be natural enemies…Albanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian. But the bond in Christ breaks down human barriers, and these followers of Christ and media servants are brothers and sisters in the cause of the Gospel.
The Balkan region has been a place of turmoil and depravity for many, many years. Communism, economic depression, wars, cultural and religious differences are just some of the problems that have pitted nations in the region against each other. Just say the names Kosovo, Sarajevo, Ceauşescu, Milošević, and reflections of wars, conflicts, riots, oppression and death spring to mind.
Into this region God has strategically placed dedicated servants who are using media to take the message of hope and peace found in Jesus to a desperate land. Now these representatives have come together to better prepare themselves, and others like them, to use the media tools of radio, TV, Internet, and other new technologies…for the cause of Christ.
Enkelejda Kumaraku from Albania, Dr. Stoyko Petkov from Bulgaria, Lucian Despa from Romania, Tudor Petan from Romania, and Sasko Bogeski, a Macedonian from Serbia, met recently in Austria to plan the Balkans Media Training session set for November 2-6 in Romania. They represent many other ministries using media technologies throughout the Balkans to reach their culture. NRB is providing assistance to the group, and we will enlist top media professionals from among our members to serve as the training faculty.
Last spring at the NRB Convention & Exposition, members gave over $13,000 to help underwrite these workshop meetings. Arrangements are being made for a location, and the cost will be less than $40 per night for room and meals. However, for many people in the Balkans, even this amount is more than they can pay. NRB faculty participants will be required to cover their own expenses, especially travel from the US to Romania, but NRB will continue to underwrite portions of the cost for the estimated 100-120 people from the Balkans region who will attend.
Meeting with these spiritual warriors and media ministers, I heard expressed again and again the need for urgency for the Gospel. The window of opportunity is open now. It may not be open long. Technology is allowing the spread of God’s Truth in new and amazing ways. The heart cry of our Balkan colleagues is to be wise and effective in using these tools to touch hearts and lives with the Word of God.
God has specifically called these leaders in the Balkans. Additional funds will be needed so that as many as possible can attend the four days of training this November. Let us be ready to help them follow God’s direction. Let us assist them in training workers for the harvest. Let us honor the Lord by using our resources to strengthen His work in key places like the Balkans.
Those who would like more information or would like to donate to this cause can contact me through NRB: Dr. Ron Harris, (817) 446-1094, email@example.com.
PHOTOS ABOVE: (1) The Balkans Training planning meeting in Austria. Left to right around the table: Stoyko Petkov, Bulgaria; Enkelejda Kumaraku, Albania; Sasko Bogeski, Serbia; Tudor and Merela Petan, Romania; Lucian Despa, Romania. (2) The planning team for the Balkans Media Training session, with Dr. Ron Harris, NRB Sr. Vice President of Strategic Partnerships (center). Photographs courtesy of Dr. Harris.
NRB asks the FCC to retain "Must Carry" when they reevaluate retransmission consent.
Helping employees of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
Wayne Knowles Joins Wisdom For The Heart.
Focus Action changes its name to CitizenLink.
Dr. Michael Youssef calls for covenant prayer for the United States.
Spotlight on Insight for Living and the Bible teaching ministry of Chuck Swindoll.
Netcasters provides instruction for effective Internet evangelism. Available in the NRB Store!
Why Cable Television “Must Carry” Our Message
By Craig L. Parshall, Sr. Vice President & General Counsel
Quite often I am reminded exactly how unique Christian broadcasting is from the rest of the communications industry. I recall some time ago having a conversation with an FCC official. The Commission had proposed a particular rule, to which we here at NRB objected. From our standpoint, it placed an exceptionally heavy burden on the religious freedoms of our broadcasting members. After I explained our position, the official admitted, quite candidly, that the religious liberty aspects of the proposal had been inadvertently passed over. That is the reason why the NRB exists. To politely, but firmly, remind not only Capitol Hill but the other industry media players as well, that our interests are valid ones, and that we ought to have a place at the policy-discussion table.
Take another example: the current television “Must Carry” controversy before the FCC. Last Thursday, NRB filed our Reply Comments with the FCC on that issue. The “Must Carry” rule requires that cable companies must provide carriage, among other content, of programming within their designated market area that is generated from local non-commercial TV broadcasters – including Christian stations. The rule was instituted in 1992, and was challenged unsuccessfully in court by cable companies in 1994 and 1997. More recently, Cablevision sued in federal court, and in 2009 the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York again upheld the “Must Carry” rule. Cablevision then asked the Supreme Court to accept the case and reverse it, but the High Court turned down review two weeks ago. So for now the broadcast rule stands.
Meanwhile, the FCC has taken up a petition by a host of cable companies asking for a review of the “Retransmission Consent” process, which is a related aspect of “Must Carry.” Simply stated, that procedure keeps the FCC out of the bargaining process between local over-the-air broadcasters who insist on being paid “retransmission fees” for their programming that cable carries, and the cable companies that want that programming content for their viewers. The hottest part of the debate focuses on the local affiliates of the big national broadcasting channels, particularly because cable says that those broadcasters can hold them hostage during retransmission negotiations, and possibly take big ticket programs off the air (e.g., the Oscar awards) if the cable companies don’t agree to the broadcasters’ fee demands.
But here is where, once again, Christian broadcasters are so unique. Our non-profit Christian TV stations don’t participate in “retransmission” negotiations. As non-commercial broadcasters they entirely rely on donations from viewers, not payments from cable. They also rely on the alternative to “retransmission” negotiations with cable: namely, the right to demand, instead, that under the “Must Carry” rule their programming gets aired over the cable networks, but at no cost to either the cable companies or the customers. The practical implication of this is simple enough: as we demonstrated in our Reply Comment to the FCC, Gospel–oriented TV programs will likely disappear from cable television if “Must Carry” is done away with, since non-commercial Christian television characteristically lacks any of the bargaining leverage held by either the general market TV affiliates or by cable companies. But here is the one promise we can make to all of the parties in the “Must Carry” debate: continue “carrying” our Christian programming on cable, and we will continue to “carry” wholesome, family friendly shows and local-interest programming, and, in the bargain, a generous supply of the living waters of the Gospel of Christ as well.
Help for Employees of the Gaylord Opryland Resort
Employees of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN, were severely affected by the recent flooding in that region. Hundreds either lost their homes or had severe water damage. Since NRB's annual Convention & Exposition is held at that venue, we have asked for information about the ways in which NRB members can provide assistance.
Tax deductible donations to help Gaylord Opryland employees can be made to “STARS Helping STARS,” which is a 501(c)3 public charity. Checks should be made out to “STARS Helping STARS, Inc.,” and mailed to: STARS Helping STARS, Inc., Attn: Anna Ferraraccio – Corporate Accounting, One Gaylord Drive, Nashville, TN, 37214. If you have further questions, Ms. Ferraraccio can be reached at (615) 305-8564, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is confident that restoration will be complete and the hotel will be fully operational by the end of the year. Therefore, at this time there are no plans to relocate the NRB Convention and Exposition.
New President for Wisdom For The Heart
Wayne Knowles was recently appointed President of Wisdom For The Heart (WFTH), an international Bible-teaching ministry of Dr. Stephen Davey, founding pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, NC. Dr. Davey describes Knowles as “a diligent student of the Word, a wise servant-leader, and a faithful encourager in the ministry.” Prior to joining Wisdom For the Heart, Knowles spent his career in the investment management business. Wisdom For The Heart can be heard throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Micronesia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, thanks to their partnership with the Bible Broadcasting Network and Trans World Radio. “I'm anxious to see what God will do through Wisdom For The Heart in the years ahead, as we expand the ministry and its offerings to help believers around the world grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior," said Knowles. Click here for more information about Wayne Knowles and Wisdom For The Heart.
PHOTO ABOVE: Wayne Knowles, President, Wisdom For The Heart.
Focus on CitizenLink
Focus on the Family Action has been renamed “CitizenLink,” a name change that aligns the organization with its long-running publications CitizenLink Daily Update, and its website www.CitizenLink.com. “CitizenLink is the…name heard most often when we discuss policy issues on the Focus on the Family broadcast,” explains Tom Minnery, Sr. Vice President of CitizenLink. “Let me assure you that this name change does not reflect any lessening of our passion for promoting and upholding the values that we cherish,” says Minnery. “We remain committed to the same mission as when Focus Action was founded in 2004, as well as our founding principles, which we share as Focus on the Family.” Click here to learn more about CitizenLink.
Leading The Way in Prayer
Dr. Michael Youssef, Founder and President of Leading The Way, has challenged Christians in the United States to pray for the nation every day between July 4th and November 2nd. Dr. Youssef is asking 100,000 people to sign a covenant to intercede for America. “We are facing forces that are unabashedly declaring their intention to destroy this nation by disregarding the moral and biblical framework of the founders’ convictions,” says Dr. Youssef. “Unless we become more vigilant in prayer, we risk the loss of our freedoms.” Click here to view a short video from Dr. Youssef, and here to join receive weekly updates on this prayer initiative. You may find out more information about Leading The Way, here.
Member Spotlight: Insight for Living
Insight for Living – the Bible-teaching ministry of Chuck Swindoll – is committed to excellence in communicating the truths of Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ in an accurate, clear, and practical manner so that people will come to an understanding of God’s plan for their lives, as well as their significant role as authentic Christians in a needy, hostile, and desperate world.Read more…
The primary means of accomplishing this mission is a half-hour radio broadcast distributed both domestically and internationally. Today this broadcast, known in the United States as Insight for Living, is heard daily on more than 2,000 stations and in more than 186 countries in multiple languages. Insight for Living has indigenous regional ministries in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Middle East, and Russia. The Spanish-language ministry is based in Plano, Texas, and recently God opened the doors to begin ministry in Poland. Insight for Living pastors in these countries translate the broadcast, publish biblical resources, conduct pastoral training, provide counseling, and create relationships with local seminaries.
PHOTO ABOVE: Chuck Swindoll, Chairman of the Board, Insight for Living. Photograph by David Edmonson, courtesy of Insight for Living.
NetCasters: Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men By Craig von Buseck
This week, Craig von Buseck’s latest book, NetCasters: Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men, was released. In it, von Buseck highlights those who are already focused on Internet evangelism, and encourages the greater Church to use all forms of technology – blogs and chat rooms, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts – to fish for men. Von Buseck is well acquainted with the subject, since he serves as the Ministries Director for CBN.com, where he oversees all evangelism and discipleship development. "NetCasters presents a unique overview into the vast and growing potential of the digital media to share the good news of Jesus," says Tony Whitaker, Coordinator of Internet Evangelism (IE) Day. "Its well-researched and visionary coverage, interviews and case studies are indispensable to anyone needing to understand the nature of the new media and how to use them effectively." Click here to purchase NetCasters from the NRB Store.
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