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Transmitting to a New Generation

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I’m writing this letter the Tuesday following our fundraiser for purchasing the new WBVN transmitter. That whole day was a miracle in many ways. It would take this complete newsletter to identify the amazing stories we could tell about the kindnesses shared with us, the generosity shown to us and the meaningfulness of what happened that day. Truly, the relationship this ministry has with its listeners is always confirmed each time we get to share with one another on days such as that Friday, July 1st. WOW! is appropriate. In the middle of the conversations we were having on air that day, I was thinking about the future that that one day represented. You know if you do the math, you would probably come up with some figure that could represent the Life of Christ and how many times the Gospel message has been handed off to the next generation. If 40 years is a biblical generation, at least 50 peoples have handed off this Message between Christ and your children. Fifty generation’s hands have handed off the ‘touch’ of Christ to someone else to share it with the world. Fifty generations of people to have lived since the first one that actually experienced the miracles of Christ and witnessed his life ‘one-on-one’, and relayed that story to the next group of believers.

I get a kick out of hearing all the secular talk of the many ways we can preserve the earth’s resources. We can bring peace to all the world in our generation, how we are the hope of the world in this world’s future! I simply cannot find the ‘mustard’ to believe that, without the Love of God being shared at the same time. Yet, we can easily see that the self possessed creature (man) continues to assert more and more that what we are missing here is just more of a touch from man than a touch of God. It seems we have decided that, in our attempt to change the world for the better, to hand it off in our own ability, rather than having a confidence in the Spirit of God to change the world. As believers, it should not surprise us that the ‘system’ does not work for us. Government and ‘social networking’ were never meant to satisfy, never meant to be a solution or even a comfort zone for believers. Those things and their failures should, instead of frustrating us and discouraging us, drive us deeper and more closely into the heart of God, into the system of God not man. That will be the only real comfort zone we will find and we should not go there kicking and screaming but prayerfully and with praise.

Truth be told, the creature cannot say that it is right about anything. We will not be able to say that any of our inventions are better than the ones that have been offered by Wisdom itself: Father God. We’re left to say that we’re simply forgiven, that we need the mind of Christ to interpret the world around us and not the man-wisdom that is so currently prevalent (actually always has been prevalent). Do you think we are able to produce a perfect culture of people aside from God? The further we move away from God, does our world appear to be one that is getting better or worse? (This culture just cries pass the Prozac please!) I know that the enemies of God are happy to be ‘merry failures,’ but they are failures just the same.

What are we to do? Each generation gets one chance to hand the Gospel off to the next. Now, because of advances in communications, twitters, facebooks, emails, cell-phones and yes, radio stations that now can stream as WBVN does, literally around the world, we can hand off the Gospel in the most efficient and widespread ways ever possible. That same asset permits us to hand off a sterile, unproductive religion as well. This ministry is dedicated to a message of Grace and Mercy, a Grace obligated to the blood of Christ and His resurrection as its foundation. This world continues to try and climb out of that container of God’s Love and to journey its way on its own, leaving Him out of our equation for the future. The secular offers a self righteousness and it’s a way that seems right but that the end is calamity. The Scriptures talk of the danger of becoming self-sufficient: ‘for my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the foundation of living waters, and hewed themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water’ (Jeremiah 2:13). In reality, we are offered a choice between being our own source and one where Christ is the source. What will we hand down to our children, to the 51st generation to share? A simple moral and ethic? Or do we hand down a way of Life, ‘a newness of Life’ unlike any religion or belief system. Will we hand down a simple knowledge of a historical Jesus or a Jesus that can be experienced? The first sells books and tapes, but the second changes the heart and the lives of people.

His Grace is so powerful that we can, not because we are perfect but by the ‘permission of God’, be perfect because we stand in Him. Any righteousness, perfection and holiness are granted by His Grace not our actual deeds. What He did ‘50 people ago’ permits us to adopt those characteristics of God as our characteristics. They are gifts to us, not rewards for our actions. We qualify because of His blood, not our being justified on our own. A world separated and alienated from the Love of God is simply the opposite of what we need and what will work for us, but we are buying it hook, line and sinker! While we find it uncomfortable and terribly burdensome, we will need to recall the words of David in the twentieth Psalm: some trust in chariots, some in horses but we will remember the Name of the Lord! Ours is an inheritance of Faith not power! We will measure our days by our Trust and Hope and not in human strength and political successes! There can be Eden to live in through Christ, and maybe a little Heaven in the real world, but it is not Heaven that we live in just yet. There has never been a generation that experienced the totality of what God had hoped for us, intended for us…man gets in the way. In this life, Faith is an uphill thing, and as far as I can tell, there’ll be no coasting here. We will have to just make up our hearts to praise when it goes our way and praise when it goes against us. We trust in something unrelated to our best, trusting in His best.

Within the next few weeks, perhaps by the time you get this letter, we will install that new transmitter. It will reinstate the lost signal strength we experienced awhile back. It will run more efficiently, it will be the latest technology replacing 16 year old technology. And, while those are terrific reasons to be delighted, the other thing that it will do is step us into the future. As I stated during the fundraising, it is our goal to wear the new transmitter out and have to have another 20 years from now! If we do that, there will be children of our children to hear this message for the 51st generational time. The Word of God through CCM and His character and Spirit will be housed here. That transmitter is more about Him than it is about a radio station. It’s about His Love and not our love. It’s about His service and sacrifice and not about ours.

Hebrews 10: 19-24 says it for us, ‘having therefore, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. And having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession or our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised. Let us consider one another to provoke unto Love and Good (inner) Works.’ That is the goal of this radio ministry! That new transmitter gives us that opportunity to continue, to go on and encourage one another to Love and Grace. At least fifty times the Gospel has been passed on to another generation. God is the same yesterday, today and forever; ours is to declare that to each succeeding generation…thank you for making that possible over FM 104.5.

Harris III with DonB!

Posted on by Ken Posted in Concert Photos | Leave a comment

Praise

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

‘Give me rules, I will break them
Give me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe, I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes…
It ought to be more like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Give me words I’ll misuse them
Obligations I’ll misplace them
‘Cause all religion ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet, it never set me free
It was love that made me a believer in more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me
Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now…
(Jason Gray ‘More Like Falling In Love’)

I love the way Jason Gray can turn common thoughts and phrases upside down and make you think. In his song ‘Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue’, the title, even before you get to the lyric of the song, is a terrific expression of his upside down way. Music is the subject of this newsletter. Actually, not just Jason’s but all the music we play here on WBVN. ‘Praise is our business. Praise is our game.’ Maybe that should be a business card slogan but I don’t like the word game. It’s no game when you’re handling and responsible for such an important part of the Christian life, handling such a powerful instrument of God’s Love. Truly, praises are the things we do the most of here. Scripture affirms that there is an important purpose in God’s instructions for us to praise Him. I don’t think it is necessary for Him to receive praises, but it is necessary for us to give them. God’s wise in that way. His instruction to praise is God giving us one of the secrets of this Life. He always provides what will work for us, does not keep those secrets a mystery. According to the New Testament, He doesn’t seek His own. He weaves into His teaching how important it is for our lives that we praise Him for our sake! I believe the heart of God was not in the Law of God but rather, the Law reveals some of the Wisdom of God. He created the creature and knows exactly what works to our advantage. It’s not just righteous indignation; it’s giving the ‘apple of His eye’ the best way to live, giving us what works for us, what will bless us.

We all need encouragement. Encouragers are associated with ‘cheering’ people on. To encourage is to implore people to be strong, to hold fast, to withstand, to repair, to recover, and in each case to be courageous. WBVN does not challenge listeners to a new doctrine, but instead we cheer our listeners on in their own personal Faith, no matter the specific Christian doctrine. We came for one purpose and one purpose only: to encourage believers daily. It’s not tricky! We used a slogan early on in this ministry pulled from the Book of Acts, ‘They could not help but speak.’ So much has taken place, is taking place and will take place that we simply must declare to others the praises of God. Much of the time that’s in the form of songs, psalms and hymns over FM 104.5.

Ephesians 5: 19 represents that best: ‘…address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart and giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.’ You know everything we can do as Christians to prove we are a Christian can be faked except what comes out of our hearts. We can get down on our knees and pray, we can memorize Scripture, we can sing beautifully for people, we can teach, we can say whatever, but all those things can be done dishonestly. What comes out of our hearts is the real thing! That’s what God is looking at. Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman suggested that a few years ago in their song, ‘Listen to Our Hearts’,

‘Listen to our hearts, hear our spirits sing
A song of praise that flows from those you have redeemed
We will use the words we know to tell what an awesome God You are.
But words are not enough to tell you of our love, so listen to our hearts.’

Scripture qualifies all praise to be of the heart. The psalms, hymns and songs are to be mixed with heart and thanksgiving. The ancient meaning of psalm is ‘a touching’, something filled with Mercy and Grace, i.e. a blessing. In our songs, in our praises, God gives it, He is present in it and He operates through it. When we praise, when we directly address His glory and truth, we sing spiritual songs that reach His presence. As with prayer, with praise we can be changed, we can be touched by the hand of God. We can speak prayers and we should do so. We get to sing Praise and should do so. That’s why we can come with confidence about our broadcasting and the concerts. Both permit you to express your heart. They permit Him to display His Love and Mercy for us all through that Praise. Jesus and the disciples sang at the last supper (Mathew 26:29-30) and James (5:13) instructs those that are merry to sing hymns. We have the songs of Moses, Mary, Deborah and Elizabeth also playing significant roles in Scripture. Singing praises refreshes the very presence of God.

Because there is so much falling away from the Love of God by the whole world, I think a time is coming, especially as we see the world intensifying its rejection of the Love of God, when we will see believers eagerly and spontaneously praising, honoring and thanking the Father, as we see His presence more and more often in our lives. At those times, we may not have memorized each verse. We may not have prayed each morning that week. We may not even feel as though God is present at all. Truth is we might feel completely alone. Maybe things are falling apart all around us. But each day, whether we feel like it or not, we can praise Him. It will be like falling in love. ‘Give me rules I will break them, give me lines I will cross them,’ but give me a Truth that lives, moves and breathes and it will be easy to embrace each of those moments.

To everyone that helps financially support this radio ministry: Thank you! We’ve been able to rotate CCM, praising Him, for 22 years now. Every minute has been a pleasure for us and we trust inspirational and fun for you. What we say about Him makes a big difference in our attitudes and our hearts. We love gathering together for the concerts (140 now!) and gathering together on the radio each day. It is a treasure to us to have such wonderful support and terrific freedom to play music that encourages and enlightens. This year is about half gone. I think it passes so quickly because of the kindnesses and the grace you give this radio station each day. This letter is a note to share with you again the appreciation we have for our listeners and concert attendees. I was backstage at intermission of the Andrew Peterson and Laura Story concert. Laura came running up to me and said, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!” She was so thrilled to have been able to spend the evening with many of you, and the reception you gave her just overwhelmed her heart. Well, those same people have been giving WBVN and our guest artists a great reception for over 20 years now, and we are very grateful for your encouragement.

Ok, now get in that pickup truck and just sing praises, just sing your lungs out! And be touched!