GCN Radio - February 29, 2008
Transcribed by polodixon
To listen to this episode, visit http://www.gaychristian.net/gcnradio
JUSTIN: Well look at that! It's leap day, so get to leapin'; we've got a GCN radio coming at you.
JUSTIN: Well here we are again with another edition of GCN radio. I am Justin.
NATE: And I'm Nate.
BRIAN: And I'm Brian.
JUSTIN: Hi Brian!
NATE: Brian, wow!
BRIAN: Yeah, I'm over here on camera 3. On the remote phone line here. Gosh, I just miss you guys so much, I thought I'd join you today. How about that?
JUSTIN: Well we're excited about that. Brian's joining us today all the way from Muncie, Indiana.
BRIAN: Yea! I have to confess, I haven't been able to listen to a lot of GCN Radios. I'm kind of a delinquent in my listening. You might have redone the show and I'm not going to know. You guys might be speaking in French for the rest of the show, and I'm not going to have any idea. You'll have to help me along here.
JUSTIN: We can scrap the French segment. We won't do the French segment for this particular episode.
BRIAN: I never took French. Well, Spanish, but not well enough to speak it or anything.
JUSTIN: Well, the biggest thing we've changed since you and I did the show, Brian, is that we're not doing as much editing anymore.
BRIAN: GCN RAW!
JUSTIN: It's GCN Radio with all of the mistakes and stuff.
NATE: And uncensored.
BRIAN: So if I sang "Mary had a Little Lamb" here, it would stay and nobody would cut it out?
JUSTIN: Well, we might do some editing. [laughter] I've learned with Nate as a co-host, I've had to do some editing. For any of our listeners who are new to the show, Brian was my co-host for the first three years.
JUSTIN: So the first three years of GCN Radio, and Nate has been my co-host for this season.
BRIAN: Yea Nate! Nate, you're awesome!
NATE: Oh, my, thank you.
BRIAN: I look forward to the chance to meet you in person.
JUSTIN: Well, Brian you're the person who really got the ball rolling with the show, so it's always good to have you back.
BRIAN: Well, thanks, it certainly is great to be back. I miss everybody. Certainly a lot of changes have been going on, especially personally, but I always enjoy coming back to GCN and GCN Radio. So, in honor of today, I have brought a David Letterman Style Top Ten List
BRIAN: So from the home office in Muncie, Indiana, the top ten things I miss about GCN Radio!
JUSTIN: Here we go.
BRIAN: Here we go, okay.
NATE: Drum roll!
BRIAN: Number 10: Singing show tunes with Justin during our sound check. ...(singing)...The hills are alive... [laughter]
Number 9: If I lose my regular job, GCN will pay me double what the University pays me.
JUSTIN: (laughing) I don't remember that agreement!
BRIAN: The organization is overflowing with money, right?
JUSTIN: riiiight, yeah.
NATE: Actually, I'm sitting on a big pile of extra money right now. [laughter]
JUSTIN: Yeah, we go swimming in cash.
BRIAN: Yeah, looking forward to that big fat check. Oh, wait. Still waiting on mine. Number 8: Allowing 15 minutes of time for the guest interview and allowing 30 minutes of time for Justin to explain the question of the week.
JUSTIN: (laughing hard now) ohhh!
BRIAN: Number 7: Free media passes to all of Chad Allen's other movies.
JUSTIN: Chad, we're going to hopefully have him back on the show when all his...
BRIAN: That would be great! Number 6: Editing out all of my dorky obtuse comments, but keeping Justin's totally intact. But you know, we threw editing out the window anyway!
JUSTIN: (spitting air) ah! No!
BRIAN: All right, Number 5: My weight loss was not due to medical issues, it was due to not eating enough FUNNEL CAKE! So you guys still talk about food on the show?
JUSTIN: Sometimes. We've talked about coffee. Nate has a coffee....
NATE: Fetish, obsession...
JUSTIN: MACHINE! He's got a coffee machine!
BRIAN: Oh, you're so gay. I still make my instant coffee in the morning.
JUSTIN: What is it? It's a Tassimo? Yeah, we did half a show talking about it, and then we got a comment back saying, "why do you talk so much about coffee?" So...
BRIAN: (chuckling hard)
JUSTIN: I decided not to...
BRIAN: ...not to go into the whole history and all of that. Okay Number 4: GCN Radio podcasts make nice Christmas gifts for relatives I like to shock!
BRIAN: Number 3: Collecting enough audio tape and video tape cartridges to build a small house! And I still have them all scattered in my studio. Number 2: Uh, uh, uh, um, uh, um, um, um....
JUSTIN: HAHA! Oh no! I have to explain that now. This is an inside joke between Brian and me. Brian edits out the uhs and the ums from some of the interviews, where people said uh and um a lot. And he threatened to put together a tape of all of them strung together. I was afraid.
BRIAN: I've still got them all. Um, yes, I do. And the Number 1 thing I miss from GCN Radio: Late night calls from Jason and DiMarco.
BRIAN: There you go, there is your top ten!
JUSTIN: Thanks Brian, that was fun.
BRIAN: Well it was great to join you today, I've had a great show. Oh wait. We've got a whole show to do this week. Let's see.
JUSTIN: Yeah, we're not doing the short shows anymore. Right. Our shows are like a week long now.
NATE: We've even talked about having a 24-hour show.
BRIAN: Everyone's going to have to get a new iPod to download a 360 megabyte file.
NATE: a marathon show!
JUSTIN: No, we're not doing a marathon show. Maybe as a fundraiser... Beg people for money.
BRIAN: We'd have to stream it.
JUSTIN: We're not really swimming in cash. We actually do need the money. We've got this little donation meter to measure monthly pledges or what people give every month. It's on the webpage at gaychristian.net. It's been going up, which is very exciting. We've been trying to get to our goal.
BRIAN: Don't be cheap, folks! Give to GCN; it's a good organization.
NATE: Maybe if I keep talking about the Tassimo we can get that company to start paying us.
JUSTIN: We've talked about so many products on this show, it's ridiculous. Of course, it's all just stuff that comes up in conversation. We don't actually promote anything. We don't get paid for anything.
BRIAN: Yes, Justin?
JUSTIN: I don't know how much you want to talk about this, but you've had a ton going on lately.
BRIAN: Well, I have, I have. Well, I'll explain what exactly has been going on, and then I'll explain why I haven't been talking about it a lot. But, yeah, most of last fall I was having Chemotherapy. I think I talked about on the show before I left that in May of 2006 I had an occurrence of testicular cancer and had surgery for that. Well lo and behold, it came back: same kind of cancer in a different area. It was in my lower back. I got a call one day that a routine CT scan said there's something not right about this. Well they took a biopsy and lo and behold they found out that it was a type of cancer called Seminoma. Thankfully, it's one of the easier types of cancers to cure. Unfortunately, I'm not eligible to have radiation therapy, so I had to have Chemotherapy. So from October 8 - December 3, I had Chemotherapy. It was quite an experience. I didn't talk a lot about it. I haven't really been on the GCN website a lot because I didn't want to be known as Medical boy, you know as if I had a big "M" on my t-shirt... (shouting) MEDICAL BOY!
BRIAN: and I also knew that it would be one of the easier cancers to cure. And while it did get rough near the end, it wasn't something that I really knew how to talk about at the time, nor was I comfortable sharing. I just didn't want people to make over me. I wanted them to make out with me, but not make over me. [laughter] It was just a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. And it still is. And in the very office in the very chair that I'm sitting in right now I found out that this was going to be my fate for 9 weeks, and I'm still not sure how to process it, but I'm trying. What does this mean? Where does this fall in God's plan for me? Is what I'm asking right now.
NATE: Brian, are you finished with Chemo right now?
BRIAN: I am. Finished up on December 3, but as the Chemo continued, and there are different cycles of chemo. Three week cycles in which the Chemo is given, first week heavy then the next two light. With the first cycle I didn't have a lot of side effects, although I did lose my hair at the end of the third week.
JUSTIN: Join the club!!
BRIAN: Well you know, Justin and I now are more alike.
NATE: You guys could start the hairless club for men.
JUSTIN: Of course, I don't have any hair because I have Alopecia Areata, which is a genetic disorder that I've had since I was a kid. Thankfully for me, not due to Chemo, although when I was a kid I would have people ask me often, you know, if I was going thru chemotherapy, and I was very grateful that I wasn't.
BRIAN: Well you know I've had quite a few people tell me, you know Brian, that's more of a summer haircut! And then I would tell them that I actually am going thru Chemotherapy, and then they would go ooh, um, uh, um
NATE: Maybe you could try on some various wigs...
JUSTIN: On the radio show?
BRIAN: That would look great on Radio.
JUSTIN: It would. You could ask, "what do you think of this one?" and then you could laugh really loud.
JUSTIN: So anyway, we're totally interrupting your story Brian, sorry.
BRIAN: No, no, that's okay. Believe it or not, I didn't experience really any nausea like a lot of Chemo patients do. And everybody goes through Chemo differently. One of the cancer survivors I met experienced a great deal of nausea all of the time. And what I did experience a bunch of was mouth sores. And I apologize to listeners who may be eating during this podcast, but it was a very uncomfortable feeling having mouth sores. And before they got really bad, and I was working, trying to do the weather. My speech was different. And I was saying, okay, you know, where can I put my tongue in order to complete this weather forecast. And it dawned on me, at what point would I ever be thinking about how to do something that comes so natural to me that I have to relearn how to do this or may not be able to do at all. You start to realize all of the things, like speaking and eating that we take for granted. It was a real eye opener about being thankful for the abilities that we have. And you don't really appreciate them so much until they are taken away from you. And I think that was a real pivotal moment thinking I have to survive. How am I going to get through this weather. I mean, these are short 30-second on air breaks, how my mouth was just in pain. I was just in pain. And that lasted, that started in the middle of Chemo and lasted all of the way through after I was done. I didn't really start to feel better until the end of December, because the Chemo has a cumulative effect, and as it builds up in your system, the Chemo is killing bad cancer cells, but unfortunately also kills a lot of good cells. The drugs cannot tell the difference. The hair cells get zapped by the Chemo. A lot of my digestive system cells got zapped by the Chemo, so eating became a problem and talking became a problem. So, I really didn't say much or eat much during the whole experience. I ended up losing 25 pounds, which I kind of needed to lose some way, but it's not a preferred diet method, I tell you! I remember, I was craving crunchy food: I WANT SOME DORITOS! And as soon as I got better, I ran to the store and got a pack of Doritos.
JUSTIN: So Brian, you're going through all of this stuff, and you have a History of all kinds of medical issues.
BRIAN: Yep, I really am Medical Boy. I've tried to conceal it.
JUSTIN: Yeah, so was there a time during this that you felt like, I don't know, a little like Job, wondering "where is God in all of this?"
BRIAN: Yes, and I think there were two points. The first point was when I first found out, and the second point was one time when I was in the hospital with a near zero white count and horrible mouth sores. When I first found out that I was going to have to do Chemo, there was a feeling of "Why this now, God? After not one, but two kidney transplants. After cancer the first time. After being visually impaired. After my father was taken by a car accident and after my mother had breast cancer, it's like, why our family? Why me? As my sister said, Why do we keep having to retake the quiz? And I have to say, that at one point, I thought that, is God trying to punish me for something? Is God trying to tell me something... Is God mad at me for being gay? The only thing I could think of why all of this bad stuff was happening to me and my family was because I was gay. Despite all of the research and all of the study and all of the things I truly believe in my heart, maybe God thinks being gay is wrong and this is why he's doing this.
JUSTIN: So what brought you through that?
BRIAN: (sighing) I don't know at what point I started realizing what God's message was. I think I just prayed and prayed and prayed and since I wasn't able to talk much, it gave me a little bit of time to listen. And people kind of look at you strange when you say if you listen long enough to God will speak to you, but God doesn't come out of a cloud and say, THIS IS GOD, and oftentimes we wish he would, but it's more a sense of certainty and trying to say what God is trying to say in my life, and it's like the words in Isaiah. In Isaiah 43, "But now this is what the Lord says. He who created you Oh Jacob, he who formed you, oh Israel, fear not for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze" And it's that promise that God gives us, that really carried me through that experience, the promise tha tI'm not going to be harmed, no matter what happens to me. That, and the fact that God never promised us that we would never have sufferings. He says a lot of great things in the Bible, but he never says, "Oh, this is going to be easy." Living as a Christian in this world is not going to be easy - this is not heaven, this is a world with a lot of suffering in it. If we're truly God's people, we're going to suffer, but the good news it that God is with us in that suffering. So I really made that my prayer as I got towards the end of Chemo and realized that I don't understand why I have to go through this, but I have a promise of getting through this safely, no matter what happens to me. I have Jesus and I have that certainty in my life.
NATE: Brian as you are saying this I think of Jesus saying, "You will have trouble in this world, but I have overcome the world" and I think that's the amazing promise that I have going through my mind.
BRIAN: Yeah, it's one thing to read them on a page, but it's another thing to believe them in your heart and really feel that certainty that God is with you. I felt that.
JUSTIN: That's awesome
NATE: How do you feel right now?
BRIAN: I actually, probably feel better now than I have in 5 years. I've always been anemic, and you can get hormones to stimulate red blood cell or white blood cell production, so they prefer to give you these hormones, than to give you actual blood. Well these hormones for whatever reason, never really worked for me. So these doctors along the way said, well heck, let's just give you two units of red blood cells, and it was like after that, my whole system started to come back online. My white count started to rise, and that was good because it meant that my mouth sores were going away. I started to get energy back, and that's just really continued. I don't get quite as tired as I used to, unless I stay up and watch Conan O'Brien, and then I'm tired the next day, it's not because I'm sick, it's because I stayed up late. So, you know, I feel, I really, honestly, feel terrific. And that's a miracle considering that I haven't felt terrific in such a long time. So, it feels good to feel terrific.
JUSTIN: Very cool.
JUSTIN: So Brian, what is up for you now? You coming back to GCN Radio?
BRIAN: Well, I'll tell you, every option is on the table, and that's kind of the tough part. It's like, I feel like I've been given this new lease on life, and I feel like okay, Lord, what am I supposed to do with this time that you've given me. Obviously you've got something for me to do! Show me the way. And so that's kind of been my prayer. Lord, show me the way, show me what I'm supposed to do, because I've got my little radio job here, and I'm more or less caught up at work, we're pretty well moved in here, so it's like, okay, what am I supposed to be doing long term, and I'm still discerning that. I'm thinking about Grad school, I'm thinking about what kind of ministry I could be doing, I'm thinking about what kind of music composition I could be doing. Oh and in the short term, speaking of music, I'm writing a theme song for Muncie's Relay for Life in June and I would encourage everybody to get involved in Relay for Life in your own community. It's a fund raiser for cancer research and a way to honor cancer survivors. The Muncie chapter has asked me to write a theme song and I have some music composition background, and I've done some other projects. So this is kind of on the front burner to get done. So, I'm going to be working on that. So other than that, long term, I'm not sure. I would appreciate everyone's prayers on trying to discern what God's trying to tell me to do. And that's a good thing for everyone to sort of look at their life and their work and figure out if you are on that path that God's set out for you. And I know that GCN Is embarking on a similar sort of thought process for 2008 considering the GCN 2008 Time for Renewal. I'm kind of going through that personally, but I just will appreciate everyone's prayers in trying to figure out the best use of my time, the best use of God's time.
JUSTIN: Well, absolutely. You've got all of our prayers for sure! We miss you.
BRIAN: I miss you guys!
JUSTIN: If nothing else, maybe we could get you to be a guest sometime in the future.
BRIAN: I would love to.
JUSTIN: But yes, we've got the whole organization going through this process of discerning and renewal, trying to see where God is leading. Seeing what we are doing well and what we need to be doing in the future. There's a banner there on the front page on gaychristian.net, and you can find more about it there. And we've got a fundraiser going on as well; we're trying to encourage folks who are not tithing to their church or another ministry to consider tithing to GCN, because it would really only take 10 people tithing for us to raise enough money to hire one more staff member.
BRIAN: That's amazing
JUSTIN: That's a salary right there, 10 people giving 10% of their income, with an average income, that's one person's salary! So, everyone can play a part in helping us to reach more people. We want to make a big impact on the world as an organization and as a ministry.
BRIAN: Well you've certainly made a great impact on my life, and I know a number of people listening right now have been changed by GCN. And if you're somebody ... then I'd pray about this and see if this is something that you can do for the organization. And there are a number of people who are not going to be able to tithe, and if you are, really look inside your heart and see if this is something that God is calling you to.
JUSTIN: Thanks, Brian.
BRIAN: See? I can fundraise. I am in public radio. I can do the pitch [laughter]. I wouldn't be able to work here if I couldn't. But see, I mean it with GCN. Public radio is my work and GCN Radio is my heart. I'm not just throwing it out there.
JUSTIN: Well I've had to learn to be more direct about it, because I don't like fundraising at all. And if I could figure out a way to run the ministry on no money at all I would, but with these numbers growing, we need money to pay for the staff to pay for the office, to pay for the technology equipment and printing and everything that it takes to run an organization. Every bit helps. But switching gears here, I want to do a question for this week. Having heard your story, and knowing you as a friend, what you've gone through, I wanted to ask our listeners, and I'll try not to make this a 15-mintue question [laughter]....
BRIAN: Uh, I believe I said 30!
JUSTIN: Oh, did you say 30? Okay, well, I'd like to ask our listeners to tell us about the dark times that they've been through. The times that they've wondered, where is God in this, and how they got through them. So if you're listening to this show right now, and you're thinking about what Brian said, like, "Have I done something wrong to have this happen? Is God not there? Does God not love me? Does God not see what's going on? And you come through that, and maybe it's had an impact on your life. Maybe it's strengthened your faith or made you a better person or taught you a lesson. We'd like to hear about it. So you can share that story with us by calling us. And Brian, I'm sure would be happy to tell everyone how to call in.
BRIAN: Hmmm.. I think I remember this. 1-888-GAY-4-GOD.
JUSTIN: That's right! You can call us, or you can send us a text response at our website www.gaychristian.net/gcnradio.
BRIAN: It's like riding a bike, Justin. Once you learn it, you never forget it.
JUSTIN: So we'll hopefully hear from some of our listeners on a future show.
JUSTIN: Ah. Well Brian. Thank you again for being here.
BRIAN: It's been an honor and a pleasure and it's very dear and near to my heart, and I'm glad to be back as a guest. But I was nervous before coming on, I was like, wait! I'm not used to being on this end of the conversation. I'm used to being on the other end. It's a different role for me.
NATE: And Brian, it was really neat getting to know you today. And just hearing your story is inspiring to me. I was very much just listening to you, looking out the window in this office...
BRIAN: ... wondering when's he going to shut up!
NATE: no, no! I was actually just listening to you and watch the squirrels dance across the trees. It's a really sunny day, and I thought that if God can get you through this, then really maybe he can get me through what I'm going through.
BRIAN: Well, I know He's with you in everything , as He is with all of us. So thank you. And I wish it were sunny here in Muncie. It's crummy and spitting snow and cloudy here.
JUSTIN: Well, at least we're moving towards Spring and not Winter. So that's a good thing Well that wraps us up for this episode of GCN Radio. As always you can listen to us on gaychristian.net/gcnradio. Or you can hop onto iTunes and subscribe to our podcast there. It's free to do that. The episodes will then be downloaded to your computer automatically, and you can put them on your iPod or MP3 player and listen to us wherever you go. We always like to hear your comments and questions, so if you feel like you have comments questions, something you'd like to share with Brian, we can pass it along to him. Well, we'll be coming to you next Friday
JUSTIN: So until then, I will say this, and I've been saying it every week now, but it's true. But, whatever you're going through Jesus died for you, so it doesn't matter what you're going through or it doesn't matter what anybody says, God loves you.