Daily Devotional for Monday November 19, 2007
A Season Ends and a New Season Begins
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
A season ends, and a new season begins! March 3, 2003 will always be a special day in the history of Liveprayer. On that day the Liveprayer TV program was launched on secular television. It was a unique program, something totally different from the typical preaching/teaching/interview programs that makes up Christian television and those few ministries who buy Sunday morning or religions blocks on some secular stations. The program airs live, deals with the issues in the world and people's lives from a Biblical worldview, and only very rarely are there guests since the heart of the program is taking calls from the viewers for prayer and counsel, as well as those who disagree with what the Bible teaches.
The secular TV world of November 2007 is a VERY different world than just 57 months ago when we started the program. Consolidation has taken place in a big way, and well over 90% of what is on secular TV today is controlled by 4 major entities. You have Viacom, which owns CBS and a host of the major cable channels like MTV and VHI, Disney, which owns ABC as well as their own group of major cable networks like ESPN, General Electric, which owns NBC and another group of the major cable channels like MSNBC, and News Corp which owns FOX and their own group of cable networks like FX and the Fox News channel. These are the four broadcast giants who now control virtually everything you see on secular television.
Part of the consolidation effort has been to strip away almost all local programming as well as station management around the country, having everything programmed and controlled out of New York. Such was the case this past March when the General Manger of the CBS owned affiliate in Tampa Liveprayer had been on since we began in March of 2003 had his job terminated, leaving control of the stations operations in the hands of corporate executives. Over these many years we had developed a great relationship with the GM and he was happy to have the $400,000 a year Liveprayer paid his station.
Of course since day one there has been a very vocal group of people who have despised me and the Liveprayer TV program for having the audacity to go on a major network television station night after night and call sin what it is. The station has always received complaints by pro homosexual groups, those who are part of the Scientologist and Mormon cults, people who advocate false religions like Islam, as well as those who simply hate God.
It was just a few months ago that gutless corporate executives at CBS in New York caved into the extremist Muslim group who has ties to terror groups, CAIR, and cancelled our program after 54 months and 1,175 programs. As you know we had already prepared to do a morning program in the Tampa market, and that program acutally launched on the Monday after the Friday of our last late night program on CBS. But satan wasn't going to just give up since it was clear to me this was a full scale assault to take the program out.
Two weeks into our new two-year contract, we were told by the corporate office of Sinclair Broadcasting who owned the station where we were airing our new morning program, that we could no longer take live phone calls due to their concern we might violate some FCC rules, even though we had an 8 second delay to insure no foul language got on the air and had never had any problems in over 4 1/2 years.
After several months of trying to find another station in the market to carry the new AM program, we were finally able to move it to the ION affiliate in Tampa, even though we had to cut the program from 1 hour to a half hour since that was the only time slot they had available. I made that move to be able to take live calls again, since that is the heart of our ministry each day on the program, knowing that this would only be until January when the morning program was scheduled to end and the night program was going to start again, back nationwide on the ION Network.
Last Wednesday, I was in New York City to meet with a key executive at ION Media to discuss bringing the program back to the network in January, and I was told that the network was now under new ownership (Citadel Investment Group out of Chicago) and that they would no longer be allowing ANY "live" programs under any conditions. They were open to talking about airing the program on a taped basis, but not live, and the morning program we are currently airing on their Tampa affiliate could no longer be live after Friday, November 23rd.
Seasons change my friend. An incredible season will come to an end this Friday. For 1,235 programs since March 3, 2003, except for 2 nights when the studio was closed due to the hurricanes we had in 2005, and 2 nights I was out of town and couldn't get back due to weather, I have been in my chair to share God's Truth with the viewers and minister to them. Over that time, the Liveprayer program was on the CBS owned station for 1,175 programs, for 52 weeks (July 2005-June 2006) the program was up on satellite and also seen live on the ABC owned stations in Miami, West Palm Beach, and Jacksonville, and the WB affiliate in Ft. Myers, and for 10 weeks in 2006 the program was seen nationwide on the ION Network.
Since the program debuted in March of 2003, millions of people across the nation have seen the program. Over 10,000 people we know of have made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by faith. We have taken over 12,000 phone calls from viewers, responded to over 3 1/2 million emails for prayer, and have over 30,000 praise reports archived from people who took the time to email us back and tell us how God moved in their life. What we have done is something nobody else is doing by using the secular media to bring the unadulterated Truth of God's Word into people's lives who for the most part don't go to church, don't read the Bible, aren't Christians, and see their lives transformed by the power of God.
All of that was made possible by many in the Liveprayer family who made great financial sacrifices, many more who spent countless hours in prayer, the many personal scarifies my wife has made so I could dedicate myself to the program, and a wonderful Godly team of television professionals who have made up my crew all these years.
Obviously this was devastating news, though deep down I was not totally surprised. Ever since the program began I told you this day was coming. I told you over and over, countless times that the window was closing fast and when it closed, it would be closed for good. That is why I have been relentless these past 57 months to keep the program alive and reach as many people as we could each day, since I knew this day was coming. Now maybe you can see why I fought so hard and passionately over these last 5 years for each program we did, begging you to help me since I knew in my heart the day was coming very soon when they would not let me go on major secular television stations and networks and preach the unadulterated Truth of God's Word. If I wanted to tickle people's ears and be a motivational speaker, promote the homosexual agenda, or come up with anything that was in rebellion to God and Biblical Truth, I would not have any problems.
I left the meeting at the ION offices in Manhattan and had about 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet with a dear friend of the ministry for lunch. I took a cab to Central Park near where we were to have lunch and decided this would be a good time to take a walk and have a talk with God. The plans had been in place and everything was being prepared for the TV program to be back on nationwide January 7th, and now it was clear that was not going to happen. God needed to tell me what His plans were. It was a few minutes into my walk that a great peace and calm came over me. The Lord spoke to me that I had been faithful over these past 57 months and that this season was indeed now over, but a new one was about to begin. As I was walking in the crisp cool New York air, the Holy Spirit dropped one word into my heart...INTERNET!
I am excited to officially announce to you this morning, my Liveprayer family , that the Liveprayer TV program and NETWORK will debut on January 7th as we planned, on the Internet! For a fraction of what we were going to have to invest to do the TV program live, for an hour after Midnight, 5 nights a week, reaching the nation on the ION Network, we will be doing the program live, for 2 hours in prime time, 5 nights a week, reaching the entire world!!! Plus, we will have the other 22 hours to reair some of the amazing 1,235 programs we have done over the years while we develop additional live, interactive programming to air each day that can impact people's lives for Christ.
We will do our last Liveprayer AM program on the ION affiliate in Tampa this coming Friday to end this great season of ministry. The program will be off the air for 6 weeks and return on Monday, January 7th "live" from 10 p.m. to Midnight EST on the new Liveprayer TV Network on Liveprayer.com. The great thing is it will be the same powerful program people have come to love and depend on over these years, impacting the lives of those who tune in each night. Instead of just one hour, it will be 2 hours! There may be some nights that the Holy Spirit is flowing and instead of having to end the program like I had to in the past, I will be able to continue as long as we want. WE NOW OWN THE NETWORK!!!
Most important is that I will have 100% control over the content of the program. THERE WILL BE NO MORE CENSORSHIP!!! I don't have to worry any longer about TV executives calling me and telling me I can't talk about this or that, or that we can't take live calls, or anything else that the enemy has used to disrupt and try to destroy program over the years. We will be in 100% control of the program! Also, we will have our own studio so that we no longer have to use the studio of one of the major television stations or networks. This gives me the freedom to bring in a live audience more often, having on any guests that I want no matter how controversial they may be, and whatever else we want to do from a production standpoint.
One of the great features of the new program will be several times a month I will be broadcasting on location from a host of interesting places. We will be doing tons of live programming from the Florida State Fair next year. Where better to do a program on the adult entertainment business than outside (or even inside) of a strip club, interviewing customers, talking to some of the girls who work there. We can do the program live from the Ybor City nightclub district of Tampa or from literally anywhere on the planet where we can get Internet access to feed the signal. With this incredible freedom, our unique and cutting edge program will be even more unique and cutting edge as we hold nothing back in bringing God's Truth to this dark world and the hope and love of Jesus Christ to the lost and hurting!
As I mentioned, this is now far more than just a single TV program. Even though the Liveprayer program will be the flagship program, what we are talking about is a 24/7 network that we will control! We will control the bandwidth around the clock, so in addition to the Liveprayer program 5 days a week, we will play many of the great programs we have done over the years, and as we move forward, develop additional unique programming for the network. I am working with a great group of men who run a venture capital firm in California who are going to help me raise apx. $3 million dollars for the new Liveprayer TV Network on the Internet. These funds will help us to cover the incredible amount of bandwidth that is necessary to do video on the Internet as well as a major ongoing advertising campaign to brand and drive traffic to the Liveprayer program and Network.
As I am seeing this picture come more into focus each hour, it makes so much sense. Ten years from now, you will not be watching television the way you do today. All of broadcasting is moving to the Internet and to on-demand platforms that we have actually been utilizing these past 5 years since we started the Liveprayer TV program. 99 months ago when Liveprayer.com began, we were the only website in the world doing live video 24/7 other than the pornographers. Since we began Liveprayer in August of 1999, we have been "live" 24/7 from our internet prayer studio for people who needed prayer. That is why it was named Liveprayer! Since we started the TV program back on March of 2003, we have simulcasted the program live on Liveprayer.com for people anywhere in the world who have internet access, and keep our most recent 5 programs archived for on-demand viewing.
So it is only fitting that we are bringing the unique and life-changing TV program we have developed over these last 5 years on secular television to the Internet, with the ability to provide 24/7 programming for people anywhere in the world on the new Liveprayer TV network. I am VERY aware of what is currently available on the Internet, and because of the incredible cost of bandwidth it takes to support huge numbers of simultaneous viewers, virtually all of the video that currently exists maxes out at far less than 1,000 viewers. We are taking a fraction of what it was going to cost us to air the program nationwide, investing that money in bandwidth and advertising to bring to the Internet the first truly live and interactive broadcast network quality program that hundreds of thousands of people can watch at the same time!
Due to the incredible sacrifice of a dear family whose name God knows, we have the funds we need to launch the Liveprayer TV Network on January 7th and cover the first few months of operations. We are working with a major Internet advertising agency who will help us to find advertisers for the Liveprayer TV network, which will not only sustain all of the operational costs, but by the end of 2008 enable us to cover all of Liveprayer's monthly financial needs from those advertising revenues. Isn't God good!!!
I love you and care about you so much. In 2008, Oprah will be using her "Oprah & Friends" radio network to offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of "A Course in Miracles." The current televangelist scandal that broke a few weeks ago will no doubt get lots of press as it unfolds in the coming year making people more leery than ever of TV preachers. We will elect our next President next November, and most likely it will be someone who is going to lead this nation further away from God and His Truth and is going to force Christians to their knees and to stop looking for political leaders for spiritual leadership. It is going to be a year of great change and incredible opportunities to bring God's Truth to the masses and lead the lost to faith in Jesus Christ!
Please take some time today and be praying for me and every person who is involved and working feverishly to prepare for our January 7th launch of the Liveprayer TV Network. As you can only imagine there are a million details to work out and lots of logistics to work through in the coming weeks. However, God is the one who has opened this door and He will guide us each step of the way. You see my friend, in the end, this is all about battling with satan for the souls of men and impacting lives for Christ. There is no doubt in my mind, God has opened this door and led us to this place so we could do just that!
I have been telling you often as of late that 2008 is going to be the most important year of human history should Jesus tarry in His return. God obviously had plans I didn't know about until a few days ago. He has elevated the presence and reach of Liveprayer over these many years and we are now highly visible not just on the Internet, but in the mainstream secular media as well. The new Liveprayer Network we are creating will overnight, become a powerful tool God is going to use to bring lost souls around the world to faith in Christ, take His Truth into the marketplace, and I firmly believe, the catalyst to usher in a great spiritual revival that will lead this nation back to God and Biblical values!!!