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Newsletters

BVN Early Years

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Here we are. In the last few days before what we hope is the ‘often talked about, long anticipated’ announcement of our new studio location. As I write this letter we have progressed to the point of ‘getting pretty close’ to announcing the location but being unable to do so because of putting the finishing touches on the contracts. Hopefully, by the time you read this letter, we will be within days of making that announcement. It has been a unique and interesting process. We’ll ‘talk about it’ some day very soon.
Moving the studios will, as long as listeners partnership with us, secure the future broadcast of this ministry. It will permit us to grow, not only physically, but also to grow by being able to place this Gospel of Grace into the public market place in new and interesting ways. We have imaginations and visions of future events that we will increase the encouragement from WBVN and provide new services for our listeners. Recently, we have been working on bringing a Christian ‘off-Broadway’ musical to the area for the first time. We are excited about the possibilities.
As we continue that process, we are aware of the original purpose of this ministry. It is a singular vision. We started broadcasting on January 8th, 1990 as a ministry to the Body of Christ. However, the day we started broadcasting was not the true beginning. The start of something that God gives a vision for begins when that vision is placed in the heart. That started a couple years earlier on an October day when the first conversations were had about the faint possibility of a Contemporary Christian Music radio station in the area. An ‘idea’ that seemed impossible in the beginning. Now, some nineteen years later we have a ‘family’ of WBVN listeners that have been encouraged with the message found in CCM. The driving force behind what we’ve done is a confidence in the Grace of God as true ‘change-agent’ of God. The revelation of God’s Love never leaves anyone the same as they were before. When we see Him for who He really is we are changed, each and every revelation of Him.

That confidence comes from the knowledge that God does not abandon us because of our stupid acts and He is surprisingly not overly impressed with the acts we get right! God provides a Grace that over comes our errors. It is also a Grace that doesn’t depend on our self-righteousness to bridge the distance between a Holy God and man. It’s an unconditional Love not dependent upon our performance, on our good or bad, but depends on the blood and resurrection of Jesus. It does not ‘hinge’ on us being lovable; rather, it’s that He Love’s so much! This Grace is not earned; it’s granted, or activated, by our acceptance of His Love.

It has been a seventeen-year span of encouraging our listeners. We encourage them that it’s not what they’ve done for God that matters, but it’s what God has done for them that matters. I know we all want to do good and we want to be good; however, to do and be good, we need to realize that those are the results of God’s Grace, not the pre-requisite of God’s Grace. God is not responding to what we do. We should be responding to what He has done. That’s the Christian life. It’s a ‘Responsibility” granted through Grace. The ‘ability to respond’ to His Love has been granted to us. That ‘ability’ is the enabler for us to live that Christian life. That gift of Grace creates results we cannot expect from taming our flesh, but only by the living Spirit of God in us.

Paul, who learned of this Grace from no man but directly from the whisper of God, shocked the religious people around him by teaching a justification apart from performance. Performance should not be motivated by fear or shame, but by a Grace that transforms through a revelation of God’s Righteousness, the free gift of God. We should never ‘hope’ that our performance will motive God to give us what we deserve. Why? Because what we deserve, even the best of us, is separation from a Holy God. This Grace, this salvation, is through a Faith apart from our works. It is the great Wisdom of God that works follow Grace not the other way round. We will perform ‘better’ with a revelation of His Love rather than a revelation of right and wrong. That tree of right and wrong was the knowledge that got Adam and Eve in trouble. It was then and is now the tree of Life that provided a way of life apart from that knowledge tree. Most unbelievers I know already know they are wrong; they don’t need a revelation of that. Most just don’t see any way to ‘get’ right.

Paul was not teaching or promoting ‘ungodliness’ as some have accused. He was teaching that the way to escape ‘ungodliness’ is empowered by a revelation of His Love. That revelation will drive us toward God. Simply, if we are alienated in our minds from God because we do something stupid, we can’t find our way out of the problem. That’s the first thing Adam and Eve did. They ran and hid themselves from God because of their revelation of good and evil. Discovering themselves to be in error, their answer to the problem was to separate themselves from God. That was a mistake then and it is a mistake now. The ‘grace’ thing would be to run toward Him, not run away from Him. He’s the answer, not the problem!
If people ask me where to start reading the Bible, generally, I tell them to start in Colossians. It is a ‘past-tense’ book. There, we discover that Christ has already accomplished much of what we think we need to be accomplishing. The ‘victory’ has been won! It’s not ours to win, but ours to benefit from and enter into its ‘Peace’. Understanding what has happened already ‘in Christ’ pulls the teeth of that old lion and quiets (or at least mutes) the word of the accuser.

At WBVN, it’s a message that finds what we have in common in our listening community, not what are differences are. It’s a message obligated to the ‘captain of our Faith.’ Peter’s great mistake was not so much what he said but that he ‘looked away’ from Jesus, and the result was a great ‘sinking’ feeling in Peter’s life. This ministry is about keeping our eye on Christ and not looking to the right or the left. That’s what being ‘single-eyed’ was all about.

While our location will soon change, we still remember that original ‘vision’ from early on in 1988. Nothing about that purpose has or will change in the future. That new studio will not change our message. It will permit even more of that message to be proclaimed in new and exciting ways.

We pray that you will continue to join with us. That partnership shares our message with thousands of listeners each day. Each day we enjoy gathering together ‘over’ this radio station to encourage one another. We have found that encouraging someone else has the effect of encouraging ourselves at the same time. While the world political and economic conditions look bleak much of the time, we are encouraged and see a future for this radio station that gathers together believers in this area and celebrates that great victory of Christ. We’re very excited about the next few weeks and months. We look forward to spending the time together on FM 104.5 to ‘rejoice’ in the life and resurrection of Christ.

Praisers

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

For seventeen years we at WBVN have called ourselves encouragers. In fact, that’s the single characteristic of how we describe this ministry. Certainly, encouragement is the end result of what we do. But, I’ve recently discovered that what we do to receive and experience that encouragement is ‘praise.’ Throughout scripture, true biblical praise has shown to be a powerful experience for believers. For example, in Ezra 3, they ‘praised’ before they laid the foundation of the Temple. Joshua was quiet for six days before being instructed to shout (or praise) and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. In 2Chornicles 20, ‘praisers’ were sent before the Armies of God. There are many other events and times that praise played a significant role. There surely has to be an important purpose for God’s instructions to praise in those situations. I do not think it is necessary for Him to receive those praises, but more importantly for our sake, it is necessary for us to give them.

As I mentioned earlier, we like to use the word encouragement. It’s present in the biblical text. The Hebrew meaning is consistent in each use. Encouragers are associated with ‘cheering’ (my word) people on. It is a word used when imploring people to be strong, to hold fast, to withstand, to repair and to recover, and in each case to be courageous. I think that pretty well describes what we do on WBVN. At least that is our hearts desire for this ministry. We do not challenge listeners to a new doctrine but instead; we cheer our listeners on in their own personal Faith, no matter the specific doctrine.

I know it cannot be true, but it seems that praising was ‘easier’ or at least more common two thousand years ago. There are many scriptures that instruct us to ‘praise’ in all kinds of situations. For some reason, praising is not as natural for today’s believers as it seemed to be for the early Church. I don’t know about you, but I’ve grown up feeling a little too ‘self aware’ at times when I was in the middle of simple praise. Seems that praising God needs to ‘be given a defined time’ for it to take place anymore. By that, I mean, we seem to need to have a special event of praise. For us to feel comfortable to express biblical praise, we need a meeting designed especially for praise rather than a spontaneous event of praise. I think in the future we are going to see more of that ‘spontaneous praise’ as God manifest His presence in our common daily lives. I think a time is coming when we will see believers just drop to their knees, honoring the Father, as we see His presence more and more often in our lives.

The environment provided on the radio seems to elicit a kind of private praise response. That seems to hold some importance for our listeners. I’m not sure just how important. It seems to play a significant place for most of us. I suppose what value it does play can be debated. I know personally it’s been very important many times over the past 17 years.

Today, for the most part, praise gets all bundled up and packaged as ‘singing praises.’ Now, we do plenty of singing here. And, as I mentioned above, it is encouraging. It brings a confidence and an awareness of God’s love and provision. But I think just as importantly, the opportunity for the station to just simply say praises is good for all of us. What we say and what we play is all part of one expression of praising God.

As believers, many times we may not know exactly what to do. Maybe there are no words, no action that can be done, but we can always know that it is powerful to praise Him. If in doubt of anything, you can always be sure on this one thing: praising Him is always appropriate and a certainty to help clarify any situation. It brings to mind the over used, and too much quoted, but always appropriate scripture from Habakkuk, “although the fig tree may not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail; and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Even now, as we ‘wait’ on re-locating the station, my best advice from me to me is to praise in just this scripture pattern.

What we have to say about the Father, what we believe about Him is so critical during times such as these. The world, and specifically the Christian community, sure needs to know what to say and we need to be saying it with confidence right now! Praising Him does that for us. It’ in times like these, times when the world seems to overwhelm, that we can discover how important ‘praise’ is for us.

Any day could be our last day. I have one general rule for the last or any day of our lives: I believe we should just praise our way into His presence. If it’s not our last day, let us praise Him anyway, expecting the Father to follow up with His presence and evidence of His manifestation in our daily lives. We may not understand every scripture. We may not have memorized each verse. We may not have prayed each morning this week. We may not feel as though God is present at all. We might feel all alone. Maybe things are falling apart all around us. But each day, whether we feel like it or not, we can praise Him.

We’re very grateful for you being in this partnership of believers known as WBVN, in order that we might be able to Praise God over FM 104.5 twenty four hours each day.

Slick 50

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Over the years, almost 17 now, WBVN has tried to become more and more a servant to our listeners. Early on we increased the amount of time we broadcast over FM 104.5. We began broadcasting on air January 8th, 1990 from 6 in the morning until 10:30 each evening. Volunteers did the evening shifts; Patti, Larry, Clay, Tom, Mark, and Sarah each took a turn keeping the station on the air. On April 8th, 1994 we became a 24-hour a day radio station. Over the years we’ve created Crank It Up Monday, Double Play Tuesday, Classic Wednesday, Worship Thursday and No Break Friday. Each ‘day’ was designed to offer special listening advantages for our audience. Encouraging the Body of Christ is our single purpose at WBVN. We need to be encouraged toward God and away from so many other sources that man can find to try and experience moments of gladness. For us, gladness is a spiritual term with great meaning. We can be momentarily happy by getting a new car or perhaps finding a 100 dollar bill on the sidewalk, but gladness cannot be found in buying a car or for anything that we might find at Dillard’s or Wal-Mart. Gladness is at odds with being happy! Gladness only comes from a heart of praise centered on the giver of that gladness: Jesus Christ.

This gladness doesn’t come easily for us. We all fail at connecting into that source of gladness much of the time. I’ve been thinking about Peter’s relationship with the Lord over the past few days. Peter represents so many of us. He always seemed to misinterpret God’s heart, seemed to be ‘behind the 8 ball’ so often. He was just a ‘goof-ball’ for the most part. Peter always seemed to be cross-wise of the Truth. In Matthew 16:22, in spite of words directly from Jesus’ own mouth that he would be killed, Peter predicted Jesus would not be killed. According to Peter, in no wise, in no case would that happen. But, it did. In Matthew 26, Peter declared he would rather die than deny Jesus. Peter, with that silly confidence of his, that famous bravado of his, offered to lay down his own life before deserting Jesus. But Peter absolutely denied him, not once but three times! Said he did not know Jesus, had never met him, had nothing to do with Jesus! Likewise, Peter, matter-of-factly, said that Jesus would never wash his feet. Jesus did exactly what Peter said he would not permit. It was Peter that sank into the sea, letting his mind wonder as he approached the Lord. Peter the great fisherman who caught no fish and marveled at the suggestions Jesus made to him to try and fish just on the ‘other side’ of the boat. You can just image the look on Peter’s face when the empty nets were filled to the full by taking this ‘carpenter’s’ advice. Thomas said he would not believe but he did. In John 6:66, Mark 3:21, and John 7:5, we find the disciples deserting Jesus and that his own brother did not believe him. In spite of the imperfections of all the disciples, God did not need them to be perfect people to accomplish His goals. He does not need that today! That should give all us hope. It seems that all of us come up short on this ‘spiritual stuff’. Einstein once said that men only use about 10% of their brain capacity. I sometimes think that might be a high figure in comparison to our ‘spiritual’ capacity. Haven’t we all been discouraged on occasion when our friends abandon us? In Gethsemane, they could not even pray for an hour as the world crashed in on Jesus emotionally.

We live in a time of bad news and ‘badder’ news all the time. Discouragement gets handed out like candy. Everywhere you go, in most everything you read and in much of what you hear: disappointment. But, it’s that ‘it did happen’ part found above that I remember so often. Even though everything seemed to be going wrong, and it all seemed against Jesus, the Father’s heart won out.

There was a product a few years ago called Slick 50. Stuff cost about $40 dollars a bottle. Just by adding it to the oil of your car, this stuff promised to ‘tune up the engine.’ Slick 50 was ‘some kind of good stuff.’ You could only get it from people, you know friends that went into the Slick 50 business. They actually promised that Slick 50 could protect your engine even if it lost all the oil out of your car while driving down the road. Why, you could drive 50 miles with no oil in your car without causing any damage to that engine! Pretty powerful stuff that Slick 50. As you might have guessed by now, I bought a quart of that promise! I can’t tell you if it worked. My car was running pretty well before I purchase it and ‘running better’ was not possible for me to measure. I just always figured the next owner of that car got the hidden benefit of having a car with Slick 50 in it.

Like our cars, which need periodic service, we need something added to us as well. If we run on just what came ‘directly from the factory’ we’ll not make it. Oh, we’ll make it at some level of ‘existence.’ We’ll exist like a tree exists or an animal exists, but we will not experience the fullness of what we were made to do with out adding something. On our car, we’ll need to occasionally change the oil, grease the bearings, put in new plugs and belts. Adding Christ into our lives does that necessary maintenance for us. I don’t think we do that just once, but over and over in our lives.
We need the encouragement of God to ‘Slick 50’ us up. The Father said there would come a time of being ‘rejected by all men.’ We need to remember that there’s a supernatural Rest to be found in those times of rejection and trouble. Matthew 11 illustrates such a time for Jesus. He had experienced the cheering crowds and performed great miracles. But even John (‘whom he loved’) questioned whether he really was the Christ. Jesus was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (verse 19). So what does Jesus choose to teach his friends while in the middle of all this rejection? “Come to me all those who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you Rest.” That’s what we encourage at WBVN. In this world we need to expect ‘gladness’ even in the mist of rejection and times of trouble. There’s an abiding gladness that does not depend on what we have to live in or what we drive around in but a gladness that depends on what we have in our hearts.

That sounds so hard to attain sometimes. Yet the hard part is just being willing to yield to the Spirit of God and enter into His life for us. Because of the political, social and financial influences, that step seems to get harder to take. And, try as we do, we’re not perfect at attaining that dependence much of the time. However, each time we do yield to His Rest it’s easier to trust and abide in it the next troubled time. We just need to try it one moment at a time and see that the Lord is good! We will learn to praise, not to get anything, but because of what we already have. A little praise in our hearts occasionally, leads to a chorus of praise in our lives eventually.

“Praise the Lord! O my soul! …I do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation…glad is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” (Psalms 146)
Gladness is declared to consist of having the God of Jacob for our help. For almost 17 years now, we’ve called ourselves ‘the gift of FM 104.5.’ We don’t say that because WBVN is ‘the gift.’ The message that we share is ‘the Gift.’ Paul was teaching on Mars Hill and declared, “men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects…I found an alter with the inscription ‘to an unknown God.’ What you worship in ignorance, this (God) I proclaim to you. The God who made the world…does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands as though He needed anything…; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…that they should seek Him…for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:24-28) There, right there and only there, can you find gladness! Not in men (friends, family, anyone!) but in Him!

That’s what we wish to bring to our community each day. We need that gladness added to our lives each day. Unlike that bottled Slick 50, I know this ‘Slick 50’ works for anyone that adds it to their daily experience. It is not possible for it to fail because God is good! You might say, ‘well, how can we be sure of that?’ I’d answer that like this: Occasionally someone will ask me, ‘what’s your favorite scripture verse?’ Actually, it’s rather short. And, it’s not any verse that you might think I would choose. I’ve always valued it because is seems to me to show the very heart of God. Jesus says it as Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James enter His tomb. It was the first thing that He said after the resurrection, “Go, tell the disciples and Peter.” Peter had denied him, had failed Him so often. I’m sure that Peter was depressed having lost the leader of this movement, but also Peter had failed Jesus in so many ways, misinterpreted so often, misrepresented so often and I can just hear Christ say with His heart “go tell the disciples and Peter, especially Peter”. It’s Jesus, taking so much care to understand and encourage a ‘failed and discouraged’ friend. I think that’s the heart of God about us as well. That’s why we enjoy and value so much the opportunity to share the Gospel over this radio station.

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