Sheptock, Rudy

Pastor Rudy Sheptock.

I wish I could tell you that sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. If I claimed that the last sentence was true, I’d be lying.

There are days I wish people would just get it out of their system and chuck some boulders at me. At least it would be understandable pain. What I can’t comprehend is when total strangers take cheap shots at you, with words that aren’t even close to the truth.

I have never been a fan of “Spout Off” in this newspaper. I don’t believe you should be allowed to get away with launching verbal bombs at others, and do it while remaining anonymous. I think it is rather cowardly if you ask me. 

If “Spout Off” must exist, I am naïve enough to believe that it would serve such a purpose, if it was full of encouraging words and gratitude. Life sentences filled with kindness would build others up, rather than idle and unfounded gossip.

All it takes is for an individual to ask if I read “Spout Off” this week and against my better judgment, off I go, searching through the entries, waiting to get hammered by someone hiding behind a curtain of protection.

Recently, a spouter mentioned that I had turned the radio station given to the Lighthouse Church, LIFT FM, into a secular music medium. Here is the truth on the matter.

LIFT FM is a low powered, non-commercial radio station that can be heard at 97.9 on the FM dial in Cape May County, and 98.5 FM in Cumberland County. As the station manager, I select the programing that plays on the radio 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Since taking over, I have added such preachers as Dr. Robert A. Cook, Dr. James Montgomery Boice, Dr. John MacArthur, and Dr. Tony Evans. One can also hear Haven Ministries, Radio Bible Class, Keep the Faith, and Focus on the Family daily. We also have local ministers such as Pastor Walter Nistorenko from Abundant Life, Pastor Bob Stahler from Great Commission Baptist Church and Rev. Dave Bailey from Ranch Hope.

Kevin and Taylor host our morning show that features today’s best contemporary Christian music, and I’m on daily at noon, also playing the entire catalog of Christian music from the 60s through today. My daily themes feature, “Message Monday,” “Two for Tuesday,” “Worship Wednesday,” and “Throwback Thursday.” If there are 168 hours in a week, we feature Christian music for 166 of them.

On Fridays from noon to 1 p.m., with an encore presentation from 7-8 p.m., I host a program entitled “Oldies With A Heart.” It is a show that features the soundtrack of the music we grew up with from the 50s through today.

Yes, it is secular music but only with songs handpicked by me that celebrate the memories that we have shared together along the way. The show has also included interviews that I have had with such dignitaries as Olivia Newton-John, Shirley Jones, Connie Francis, Michael Learned of the Waltons, Toni Tennille, members of the 1969 New York Mets, Hallmark Channel stars, and more.

I have listeners who tune in via our website, LIFT985.com, from all over the world. It allows me to enter into the lives of many individuals that I would have never met without the wonderful vehicle of radio.

I never hide the fact that I am a believer and full-time Minister. I am never ashamed of my love for Jesus, and His love for me. If anything, it allows me to go into the world, and shine the light bright.

If every perfect gift is from the Lord above, then music like all the other blessings can be used for both good and evil.

If a great romantic love song between a husband and wife is offensive, how are you supposed to communicate your affection for one another? Do you only drink milk from Christian cows?

Another “Spout Off” made the statement that if you came to the Lighthouse Church, you’d only hear me sing lyrics to secular songs all through my message. I was referred to as "worldly and a craver of radio disc jockey fame."

Anyone who knows me understands that I will break out in song at any time, over just about anything. My brain is 98% song lyrics. I sing about everything. Make no mistake, I am a minister of the Word of God and treat it with the utmost care, study, and respect.

God called me to be a pastor back in 1975, and I have never wanted to be anything else for anyone else. Some preachers play golf, and I play the Oldies once a week on LIFT FM, and once a week on 106.3 The Shore.

I love music. Do you want a preacher who is sullen and gloomy or one who loves to jump, shout, and knock himself out for the Lord? As for knowing my name, I couldn’t care less if you remember me. The name I want you to know is Jesus.

The Bible says that there is no other name given to us, by which we can be rescued. My name won’t even get you a good table at McDonald's. Knowing Jesus leads to everlasting life and eternal joy.

You don’t have to like me, but at least get the facts straight. As soon as I wrote that last sentence, I was humming the theme to the old television show, “Dragnet.”

Too many Christians are only known for what they don’t do. I want to shine because of what I do.

I am a people person by nature, so of course I wish everyone would be nice to one another, and treat your neighbors and enemies with respect.  Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

If you feel the need to shout your spout, all I would humbly ask is that it be based on reality, not fantasy.

I gave my heart to Jesus back in 1975, and I’d long be gone without Him. Even with the Lord in my life, there have been tough roads that we have survived together. What it really comes down to is loving God and loving one another.

If Christians would make that their main goal, the world would clearly see Jesus, and He’s worth shouting about.

The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House

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