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Newsletters

A Moving God

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Moving?

As you might guess, I’ve been ‘thinking’ about moving lately. We’ve packed a few boxes, charted the FCC maps and began making schematics of wiring diagrams. As of this writing, we still don’t have a site to re-locate to, but many people have called with options for us. We’ve had some people go out and actually interview property owners about sites for our re-location. We continue to trust that there’s a ‘godly way’ for us to follow. It could be a way that might be easy, or could be tough, it might be quick, or might be lengthy; but for sure a way that’s in the purpose of God for us. We’re not convinced that because something is logical or easy that it’s necessarily God. Just as surely, we know that the hard way is not always the will of God for us either. There’s no box that God operates out of that obligates a predictable path for us to follow. We know from Scripture that some of the time Christ healed by laying hands on people, simply spoke the Word other times, mixed clay and spit once, and yet other times cried out in a loud voice to accomplish His purpose. There’s no fixed way, no formula for this ministry to receive the ‘supply’ of God. We will simply listen for that still, small voice to whisper in our ear, “GO!”

Times like this can be fearful and uncomfortable. They can also be exciting and loaded with ‘purpose’ for ministry. Every now and then we feel the pressure of having to move without knowing where to. But for the most part, we’re pretty excited. I have a reference point to go back to in my mind: March, 2005 when it seemed that God was specifically ‘calling the shots’ for WBVN. A real ‘refreshing’ seemed to be taking place in our hearts. That month was when we first heard from Mark Schultz about coming to the Civic Center and filming his new DVD.

That conversation culminated with the recordings on May 6th last year. A few weeks ago, Mark received the Dove Award for that DVD, a high water mark for any project recorded for an artist. While the past year must have been wonderful for Mark Schultz (that DVD went Gold, then Platinum and finally the Dove), it’s been that kind of year for WBVN as well. We saw a new energy coming in the emails and phone calls we were getting. It’s been a year that feels like we’re passengers in a vehicle whose chauffer is God. So much has been happening to us rather than us making things happen. The opportunity for Point of Grace to come, and now the web cast, has generated many new and re-newed many old acquaintances to us. We trust the move to a new location will turn out to be another ‘process’ the Spirit of God has fashioned for us.

Recently, I was standing in the studio, the studio that’s been our home for the past 16 years; I looked around at the CD’s on the wall, the computers, looked at the yellow and blue wiring running every direction, observed the audio equipment, carpet on the walls, a patio door laying on it’s side to make a window between the ‘on-air studio’ and the ‘production studio’. I remember the summer we started building those walls, volunteers such as Warren and Dana that ran wires and pounded nails into studs. It’s been a good home for us.

We always had the attitude of ‘not despising small beginnings;’ we’ve just been caught up in our beginnings for 16 years now. We’ve been very comfortable with little. We really do believe in ‘modesty in ministry’ and our pledge, even in this re-location search, is to keep our listeners and contributors in mind, being careful and thoughtful about our partnership with each.
Standing there looking at the studio reminded me of the memories held in this building. There are so many stories about what has happened here. At the same time, I remembered how necessary it is for people to ‘go on with God’ and not be encumbered by holding on to yesterday too firmly. God is a ‘mover’ and as His people we seem to have to ‘follow’ Him on our journey of faith. In the very first verse of Scripture, God moved on the face of the earth. And, in His own simple way, He told Abraham simply to Go! Telling him very little else about ‘go where.’ One of my favorite biblical teachings is on the life of Jacob. If you remember, Jacob ran in fear after receiving (actually by deceiving his father and cheating his brother Esau) the blessing from his father. The place he stopped running was Beth-el, literally meaning ‘God’s house.’ That was the first place he met God (Jacob’s ladder). Jacob’s journey ended in a place of peace. As was traditional in that time, Jacob built an alter of stones to mark the place ‘where God was’ found. Jacob could have stopped there. We sometimes act like that when we first meet God. We get stuck in that one place thinking all that God has for us is in that one location. We enjoyed the first journey, enjoyed meeting Him, and we get to thinking we’ve arrived at our final destination. We quit seeking Him out any further. Oh, when we get in trouble or need God to show up, we go back to those stones we use to ‘mark the place God is.’ We go back there because we want what happened the first time there, to happen again there. But God’s moved! We will need to find ‘manna’ at the next location!

Jacob did that, ‘packing up’ his family and ‘re-locating,’ this time to a place named ‘El-Bethel,’ literally, ‘God of the House.’ Jacob now had two experiences with God. He had found where God was at the end of the first journey, and on the second he had found who God was. Jacob had ‘located’ Him in the first and had come to ‘know’ Him in the second. That’s very much like the opportunity in our lives. We find Him one day and over time we continue to learn of Him. However, just as with Jacob, there’s another journey to take. It is the purpose and fulfillment of the first two journeys. For believers, God has prepared a place for us in another place. It’s not just the Heavenly one promised, but also the earthly one promised. In Jacob’s case it was called Ephrath. As you read the Scripture you discover that Jacob had no idea why he was to go there. In fact, he had lots of opposition. All that Jacob knew was he was to go and simply followed God to that place. I’m sure Jacob never realized why he needed to journey there; put down roots there. At that time, the town of Ephrath was of no real consequence. Generations later, we know that Ephrath was the town called Bethlehem. Do you know why Jacob needed to go to Ephrath? On the journey Rachel died in child-birth, but a son was born to Jacob and Rachel: a son Jacob named Benjamin. Benjamin would raise his sons in Ephrath, and his son’s sons would be born there, and their sons would live there. Jacob’s great, great, great, great, great, great grandson, Boaz, would be born there. There, Boaz would meet Ruth and they would have a son, Obed. Obed had a son Jesse and Jesse had a son David and out of Bethlehem, out of David, would come a ‘son’ named Jesus. Jacob’s move had a purpose beyond what he could see, and God had a plan for all the earth located in the last move of God in Jacob’s life.

Sixteen years ago, after having found God in our ‘born again’ years, Jane and I moved from that comfortable spot and journeyed to ’15006 Moellers Road.’ We started WBVN in these studios I stand in today. Here, we discovered more fully the provision and the very nature of God. In this place we discovered ‘El-Bethel’ or the God of the house. Here, we learned of whom He was, not just where He was. Here, we experienced the miracles of God. Here, we grew confident in Him. Now, in our seventeenth year of this journey, we’re to move to another place, trusting Him there because we’ve found Him trustworthy here! His Grace has been sufficient here. His provision has been manifested here. We’re comfortable here! But we need to leave. It’s time. I look around and want to pile stones here in my office, in the studio and at the front door. In my flesh, we want to stay where we know He’s been for so long.

I’ve been reading a book written by a Jewish Rabbi recently on the ‘secrets for living from the Lord’s language.’ In it, the Hebrew word “DOR” is discussed. It is the word for generation and is most importantly the essence of DOR to DOR, meaning from generation to generation. In the Hebrew language, the continuity from generation to generation is of primary importance. One generation doesn’t stand alone to be looked at as independent from the one before it or the one after it. A clue to DOR to DOR is found in the Hebrew spelling of DOR. Reading forward brings the message of generation; however as is so true with much of the Lord’s language, DOR read backwards reveals the meaning “to decline.” In the Hebrew language for generation to generation there is no ‘stagnation.’ We are either growing from generation to generation or we’re shrinking away from the continuity needed in our and our children’s lives. We’re not going to stand still; we will either move forward or we will be destined to decline. This next generation will either build on the shoulders of the last, or as has been the recent trend, this generation will continue to see a ‘falling away’ in the next DOR.

I’m not sure what tomorrow holds for WBVN. Since May 6th of last year, there seems to be a ‘motion’ generated from the Heart of God in the middle of this work. The new location will yield some kind of ‘harvest’ for the listening community in which we all live. When we started, the children we played CCM for were 7 years old; today they are 24 years old. The continuity of WBVN is in some other building; there will be some other expression added to this present one. Like Jacob, I know we must leave, but I’m not so sure what lies ahead. Ministry to me is about people. It’s not the building, the equipment, show business, or even the music. It’s about changing people’s attitude about their God. It’s about people finding the house where God is and about finding the God of the house. While our hearts will always find this building full of fond memories, we are not going to pile stones here. We are not stopping here, not quitting here. We’re going to Ephrath, to someplace we’ve never been before. We are going for what we believe will be a very important new location and opportunity for ministry over WBVN, FM104.5.

Everybody/Nobody

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Dear Friends of WBVN,

It’s not often that we ask for your close attention, but this is one of those times!

After 16 years in the same location, WBVN must relocate its offices and studios. We have shared space with another business from the first day of broadcasting on January 8, 1990. We are grateful for that longstanding and generous partnership, but we will need to leave that facility this spring. The owner of that business has donated our studio location and paid for the electric cost of the WBVN studios all those years. Now, he has started the process of retiring from business. Changing locations will never change the respect and appreciation for all the years of kindness shown by that business.

With all this said, here’s what we are asking of you:
Pray… we are typically very deliberate and will prayerfully move forward one step at a time. We know we have many decisions to make, however, we trust God that there’s a ‘godly option’ for this ministry to follow in order to make the transition as seamless as possible. Being ‘covered’ with prayer during this time is just like laying hands on this ministry. We need and ask you to thoughtfully pray for us.

Secondly, once our board of directors has found a new location, we’ll keep you informed about the practical needs of WBVN to physically move the studio. One thing for sure, we desire to be a blessing to the community even as we change locations. Continuing to broadcast and re-locate at the same time will, to say the least, be interesting and exciting all at once. We will keep you informed about our re-location on our website.

Lastly, this is a new ‘adventure’ for us. Not since the very beginnings of this ministry in 1988 have we faced such an expensive and significant event. However, that same event offers such potential for growth and what we believe will be a new and powerful witness in the communities we serve. A new location will stabilize the ministry studios for the foreseeable future and help secure the vision of this ministry for years to come. We really believe, and sense in our hearts, a “new thing” that the Father is about to do through WBVN and to WBVN. You’re a part of that potential. Playing a larger and renewed role in believer’s lives comes with the opportunity to ‘bear much fruit’ for the Gospel’s sake in this area.

As happens so often in ministry, at the very time of new and increased potential of growth for that ministry, comes more pressure to prevent and abort the realization of that potential. We’ve recently had more people signing up for the newsletter than in many years, our concert attendance is up and we have more people giving financially to this station than ever before. However, in spite of that increase in the number of contributors, the dollar amount of our contributions has been down. Not surprisingly, that decrease has come at the very same time that our cost of operation is increasing and the necessity to move has come along as well. Our listeners have the final say about having WBVN in the area. We love being dependent upon the Spirit of God and you for our existence! It is a shared dependency that we (WBVN) have with you (our listeners). We both rely on one another: us, for your financial support and you for the encouragement that comes from the music and programming.

We are careful about how, when and why we ask our listeners to be involved with this ministry. We understand that you have many ministry commitments. This request comes because of a very real need that will have a long-term impact on Contemporary Christian Music ministry in our listening area. We asked specifically for your help. We are so excited about what will be happening over the next few weeks. We know the amount of hard work involved but we see a real opportunity for WBVN to become closer and more important than ever before for affirming the Body of Christ in our communities. Praise God and thank you for taking the time to read this letter, your prayers, and responding as our Father leads.

I heard kind of a funny story one time that might illustrate where we find ourselves. It was about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized the Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. We encourage you to be Somebody that helps support WBVN with your prayers and gifts during this very special time.

For the entire staff at WBVN,
Ken Anderson

Point of Grace

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

A “Ladies” Touch:
It was on the night of January 20th. It was Point of Grace. For just a moment, it reminded me of the movie “The Perfect Storm.” If you remember, in the movie a ‘perfect storm’ destroyed the crew and the ship. It took a “perfect storm” to do that, a storm so unusual, a storm so specifically unique had to occur to destroy that crew, a storm with just the perfect ingredients. That perfect storm happened and the ship was destroyed. Well, how does that relate to the Point of Grace concert? It was the perfect night. Everything was just right, it was a perfect setting for a “great” concert to take place and it all came together for one of the most impressive concert WBVN has ever produced. It was the “perfect concert.” I’m going to share with you why I think that.

I’m going to let you peak behind the curtain a little bit. Concerts begin with calls to artist agents and conversations about travel expenses to and from the concert, meals, financial considerations, phone numbers to exchange, security, sound systems, light systems, spot lights, load in crews, insurance coverage, maps to the venue, publicity, hotel rooms, ticket prices, road managers, location for the event, the dates that work and general information in what is called ‘a concert rider.’ A ‘rider’ is pages and pages of detail and organization to make sure everyone’s on the same page. That all begins months before the actual event and each item must be agreed to, must be organized, and must ‘come together’ for a successful two-hour performance. Contracts are mailed, signed and exchanged. Tickets are printed and sold. A play list is created at the station of the artist music and ‘spots’ are written, produced and rotated to give the public the information needed.

All that takes place slowly and particularly for a successful concert. But all that doesn’t make a ‘great concert.’ You need more than that. You need some things that can’t be written into contracts, things that while you hope for and you might have a conversation about with the agent, they are things that for the most part come out of the ‘heart.’ Things that come from the motivation of the producer and things that you trust will show up when the artist and their management arrive at the venue.

We have a load in crew that volunteers for the event: we have a Phil and a Phil, Danny, Nathan, Bill, Keith and Ann, Aaron, Mike, Seth, John, Chase, Gup and there’s a Cindy, Rachel, Barbara, Jane, Laura, Dan and Trina, Brittany, Tammy, Sherry and Tim, Jerry and Linda, Larry, Matt, David and Colleen. I’m not sure that’s all of them but it’s some of them and they make the concert possible for all of us by helping out. The WBVN staff: Alisha, Andria, Amy and Tom are all involved with the production as well. Chris Parton does the sound and David Schell makes sure the lighting and spots are taken care of. Mike, Bill, Julie and David are our host at the Civic Center and they always do their part to make ‘the room’ a pleasant place to work. There’s petty cash to remember to get, contracts to have on hand. We have an audio recorder to get ‘liners’ for the station. Alisha scripts those for us. Must remember to have towels on the scene. Water’s a must. Then there are the points in time when the load-in happens, sound checks take place at an agreed to time. Food must be in place at exactly the right time so the artists get a warm meal, not a cold ‘rice’ dish. Must get the CD’s, t-shirts, necklaces, rings, caps, song books, pictures all inventoried and on the tables. Need to remember the checks, seems like lots of checks need to be taken. We take the newsletter sign-up book. We take a CD of mixed music to play before the concert, got to entertain that hour you know. Four stools for the stage. Get the piano tuned. Fruit and candy for the dressing rooms. Make sure the hotel rooms are reserved and probably add one room because someone is coming that we didn’t know about early in the contract discussions. WOW! That’s quite a laundry list. But we have it all in place. People are lined up outside and we’re just about ready. You know what, all that can make a good concert, but all that can’t make a great concert. Here’s what makes a great concert.

At about 2 pm, Cliff Young arrives, POG road manager, and immediately puts everyone at ease with his friendly manner. Matt’s with him (Leigh’s [POG] husband, by the way, who plays the guitar and works the inventory for the table of CDs, shirts and pictures out in the lobby). The ‘girls’ get there about 3:30, at least three of them do: Shelly, Denise and Leigh. They immediately greet people with great big smiles and not one ounce of ‘pretense.’ They make sure we are all comfortable with the plans for the event. At 4:45 Heather arrives, (she’s 7 months pregnant) arriving after driving by herself from Louisville, KY. While we’re getting the sound-check ready, Shelly Breen from POG is calling the local hospital. She’s taking the time to encourage Amber Farnam; she and her husband had tickets for the concert, but she was in the hospital the night of the event. They work on a play list of songs, making sure they check with us to see what our expectations were for that night. At this point were running about 45 minutes behind most of our schedule. They’re all still just as calm and as pleasant as can be! Matt’s treating the volunteers at the tables wonderfully and they are actually smiling at me when I walk by. That’s a good sign for me of how polite this guy is. Casey travels with POG and operates the sound systems during the concert and Chris Parton is giving me a ‘thumbs up’ for the cooperation, expertise and the attitude that Casey has with him. That doesn’t always happen. It’s good when I see that happen.

It’s now 6:30pm and meals have been served. The ‘girls’ sneaked a birthday cake into the room for Heather and they have a little birthday ‘thing’ for a couple minutes. Everyone is relaxed. They’re doing the phone calls to family, etc. Resting before start at 7:30. It’s a time I like to leave the artists and their manager alone for the most part. I’ve found that at peaceful ‘backstage’ creates a peace ‘on-stage.’ Many of the artists use this time to pray, many like to read before the concert, some just want ‘a quite-time.’ At 7 pm I remember that the local newspaper has asked for a short interview. Something I should have taken care of hours before. Now I have to interrupt them to make that request. Denise greets me with that friendly smile and tells me to bring the person to the dressing room during John David Webster’s opening. What! Yeah, that would be fine; they’ll take the time to do the interview then. That sure ‘blessed’ the lady that did the interview. Thought she was going to miss that opportunity because of my bad memory. We still hadn’t found time to do WBVN ‘POG liners’ and seemed that might not happen. But again the ‘girls’ asked me to bring Alisha back during the intermission for those. That’s the first time in 95 concerts that the artist has been that generous about liners, making sure we get what we need for the station even if it took away from their private time ‘during the concert.’

We’re into concert now. The photographer’s in place taking pictures for the website and ‘for the fun of it.’ The audience and POG have that moment in time I’ve seen occasionally and rarely. The crowd is responding to the performance and POG is responding to the reception of the crowd. Those are special times and they’re vital to a ‘perfect’ concert. I’ve seen it before, none better than this concert. During the concert Shelly whips out an email to POG from Stephanie Cumbelich (who used to live here) and read it to Amy Graves and Belinda Keller, both in the audience. That was a little thing that meant a lot to those ladies. Another surprise after intermission: Denise reads a letter from four young ladies that have a vocal group and ‘sing a lot of POG music.’ Denise called Bonnie Childers, Julie Culbertson, Mary Kim Dothager and Erin Ainscough to the stage for T-shirts. A little thing; a big thing. The ‘girls’ sang a total of 19 songs! Not because they had to sing that many but because they recognized the unique quality to the evening. One great concert.

It had a ‘ladies’ touch! Point of Grace and their management never missed one opportunity to encourage, to be positive and to take little things and make them ‘huge’ for the people in this concert and backstage. It was the perfect concert, many things coming together all at one time: music, thoughtfulness, and ministry, professional, talented and creative. Guys can do one or two things at a time; these ladies did dozens all at one time. To be called perfect the storm in the movie had to possess many unique and powerful ingredients all coming together at one time, to call a concert perfect it must be more than special, more than good, it must be unique and powerful. This concert was both.

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