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The Sound of Light

 

"Shattering the darkness with the light. The Sound of Light."
By Olin Jenkins

As of the April 2001 issue of The Phantom Tollbooth, the sun sets at about 8:00 p.m. when Daylight Savings Time kicks in, and as summer approaches, here's a place you can hear a live, jam-up Christian rock radio show from your local Christian radio station or on the web at. "The Sound of Light" (TSOL) celebrated its fifth anniversary of national syndication on March 11, 2001, and this program is far from its peak. I began my notes with its theme trademark.

So what is TSOL?

TSOL simulcasts on the World Wide Web and at 170 stations in the United States. Its roots began in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on a secular radio station in 1977. That's nearly a quarter-century old, and just a few years ago, executive producer Jack Eason pushed the show to the outer limits to syndication.

Definitely live from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST, TSOL is NOT canned, pre-production stuff. It's live. I repeat myself for good reason. You might hear a mistake or two (not unlike vinyl, compact discs can skip), and I like that human element, as it's totally interactive. Hosted by Britt and Bill "Billthemd" (Bill The Music Director), the music is the best of what you'll hear from Christian rock, and since it's live, you can expect music requests and prayer requests honored within just a few moments of your call to 1-888-SOL-HITS or a visit to the web page. The music's the underlying element to something obviously bigger. Give me a moment.....

Britt Dillard is a youth pastor in South Carolina who has the perfect fast-paced 'tude for his audience, and Bill Moore is a newbie to TSOL but well-versed with Christian music. The first two and a half hours of TSOL are SO fast-paced that if you leave your radio or the net feed for a few moments, you'll miss a lot. Britt and Bill throw in music trivia, listener testimonials, music contests (what Christian rock bands match the letters of your first name?), and call for prayer requests, for folks who are 21 and younger and ask for prayer partners from all ages.

This radio show is awesome, as the part of the lead line I left out on purpose is this: "lifting up the name of Jesus." Britt and Bill are on-fire-for-Jesus host and music director. They'll spin fantastic tunes and won't stop at "that was tobyMac with 'Extreme Days'." We are living in extreme days, and Britt will tell you why.

Britt, Bill, and Eason ask us to be "proactive" and not "reactive" with the message of Jesus Christ. "There's enough bad stuff going on out there," Eason notes, "that we can't sit in a corner and expect good things to happen. We're salt and light to the world, and we have to be be an active part, a proactive answer to what He's calling us to do." This means getting out into the community and interacting with your youth group to take part in whatever goings-on are happening with your youth activities.

Yes, TSOL's target audience is teenagers, if I haven't made it clear already. There are a few of us "geezers" (parent-age people) who enjoy listening to tobyMac, Pax217, Broomtree, Five Iron Frenzy, the OC Supertones, Rebecca St. James, Stacie Orrico, etc. (take a look at the web site to see a full playlist).

If you're 21 and younger, you're eligible for the contests. If you're over 21, TSOL needs you as a listener, a prayer partner, and a financial sponsor (like any responsible ministry, TSOL asks listeners to support their home church first and to contribute to TSOL as they're able). These guys definitely care about Christian youth and youth who are questioning their walk with Him, and this quest is fulfilled from every broadcast.

The pace of the radio show skids to an abrupt halt at 9:30 p.m. Britt leads listeners into a few moments of prayer requests from the audience, culled from both the request line and the web. This moment is where everyone from every age group should take part.

Give this radio program (aside note for radio people interested in TSOL, it's beamed to us via AA1 on the Unity 4000 receiver) a listen from your local radio station or the web on Saturday nights. It's the perfect lead to a Sunday with your body of believers, exactly what Saturday night should be all about, shattering that darkness with the light. It's His light, and TSOL shines it well.

 
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