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Newsletters

Trouble

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

A message from Ken…

Jane and I have been talking a lot lately about the “condition.” You know the one, the condition of the world around us. As a culture, “the secular world” has become so complicated; it’s consuming more and more of our attention and time to keep it stable. It’s much like the contrast between flying a plane in beautiful weather and piloting one in a storm; takes more effort, creates more stress. It seems very stormy right now! I think we’re living in extraordinary times. I have to keep reminding myself that there’s never really been an easy time. In fact, in spite of the terrible threats, bad attitudes, suspicious economies, frustration, bad tempers and gas prices, I suspect that Christians have always had to look at the world around them with some mild bewilderment at the way we have to face and try to solve the problems the world brings us.

We find from the earliest Words of God a world full of “trouble.” Adam, Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, Paul, Peter, Jesus! They all faced the impossible. And, just as they were not born into a time of security and comfort, so are we not born into a “heavenly” place. Very simply, God calls all of us to a life of adventure, challenge and in some cases risk. But God has given us “information,” information that, if we will, we can take to heart: He has come with the purpose of giving us the opportunity to overcome trouble. And, while the storms seem to come from every direction, we can surely find rest in the middle the turbulence through the Grace and Mercy of God.

Paul is my favorite “dude” to watch in the Bible. He was “in danger at sea, in danger on the land, in danger of the Jews and Gentiles.” Paul was in danger all the time in almost all that he did! For our Peace, we must not forget this is a journey, a trip with high visions and sometimes valleys of disappointment. We travel in a land we are not sure of and a land not accustom to positive, spiritual travelers. It’s more familiar with the secular and the greedy than the humble and the tenderhearted. We are characterized in Scripture as strangers and wanders in this world.
Looking very closely at the text of Matthew 11:25, we find Jesus was talking about a tough time: John the Baptist questioned who Jesus was and doubted if Jesus was the “Expected One.” People rebuked him saying Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. The cities, in which he had done most of his miracles, repented not! Not a good day you might say. But Jesus, at that specific time, said, “Even so Father…it is well in Your sight.” In other words, he found “rest” at a time when everything seemed to be going against him. A time of disappointment and failure in man’s eyes is not always a disappointment and failure in the Father’s. In that Scripture, Jesus, surrounded with trouble and disappointment, turned to his weary servants and offered them the same “Rest” where he had found his: In the Father’s purpose!

It is rarely the circumstances of the moment that causes us great fear. Rather, it is mostly the uncertainty of not knowing the future that produces the fear that sometimes overwhelms us. But, a Peace that reigns with His presence produces the Peace which nothing can disturb. That same Peace will keep and guard our hearts and minds (Phil 4:7). Think on these things; whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these. If you do these things then the God of Peace shall be in your presence.

Jane thinks I’m a “risk taker” because I like changes. I always want to change something at home: paint, siding, shutters, etc. She likes “no change.” She likes to have tomorrow just like today. It’s always seemed exciting to me not to be able to know tomorrow. I really believe that’s why we were permitted to do the radio station. It was a huge risk for our family. (I’m not talking about risk like you take at the casino, I mean a risk that is taken for the Gospel, one that is based on “What would love do?” a risk that produces “Life as the Father would have it for you.” That kind of risk and that kind only!) It was for the Gospel’s sake, but we were strongly inspired to do so, not just in our heads but also in our hearts. In my mind, God just took advantage of my nature for change. Another “great adventure.” When we first started the radio station we understood that we might fail! But, most importantly, we wanted to do this in God’s purpose, His mission, His Character. The important thing was not whether we failed at keeping it on the air, but if we did not make it, if the station ceased to exit, the story that would be told about it’s effect in the community would be more important than the length of our existence.

BVN is a part of the larger Church structure: “occupying until He comes.” We wanted to be busy about “His work,” not just sitting and waiting but actually active in “praising Him.” We took the “gospel risk” because we wanted to help create an environment for people to experience the “presence” of God in their lives and be a way to generate that Peace that passes all understanding in this “troubled world.”

“Faith is the ability to not panic, and when we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot!” The Gospel is not so much living risk free as living free to risk (for the Gospel’s sake)! Yes, the “condition” is overwhelming sometimes. Yes, some of the things that we have to deal with as a citizen of this country and as a Believer in the Church are unfair and hard to live with. But being a Christian comes with the Leadership of the Spirit to guide us in these times. Truly, living your Christian life requires courage. Our life goals require that same courage and sometimes risk-taking for the Gospel’s sake. There is an old saying: “Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks it’s neck out!

“We can take those ‘gospel risks’ that are found in our hearts and trust God to get us through. Live to do the things that will produce “Life as the Father would have it for us”. Faith, rooted and grounded in Love, produces the Liberty for us to do the most redeemable thing in our lives. Many times the things that make us feel vulnerable are the very things that God finds in His purpose. At the most unfortunate time in the ministry of Jesus, when things were falling apart, Jesus still found a way of experience and offer a powerful Rest. His load is easy and his load is light. All who are weary and burdened down, He offers that Rest. That’s the remedy for our “condition”.

The Facts

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Fact 1 There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
Fact 2 No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
Fact 3 “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends with the letters “mt”.
Fact 4 Almonds are a member of the peach family
Fact 5 Maine is the only state whose name is one syllable.
Fact 6 There are only 4 words in the English language that end in “dous”: Tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.
Fact 7 Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
Fact 8 Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street fame were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” movie.
Fact 9 A goldfish has a memory of 3 seconds.
Fact 10 It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
Fact 11 The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes
Fact 12 “Stewardesses” is the longest word that is typed with the left hand only.
Fact 13 WBVN is a 100 percent listener supported station.

You might think since you now know “everything” that you would only be qualified for being a teenager. But no! Actually, with the knowledge of that last fact, you’re now qualified to financially help WBVN continue bringing you CCM for another year. From our beginning on January 8th, 1990, this ministry was structured and designed to be a blessing to the area and not a burden to the Christian community. We are modest in our expression and “super” economical in our needs. Our most important “mission” is simply to express the Gospel in a way that makes the “community of Believers,” of which we are all a part of, a more Faithful and hopeful group. Encouragement being the real “vision” of this ministry means we don’t have one eye on the Gospel and another on the stock market, or what equipment would be fun to have. We are single minded about what it means to be a ministry in this area: Simply, is this a better place with WBVN in this community?
We don’t spend a lot of time raising funds and we simply come during our three days of Fall Celebration, 8 hours each day and give people an opportunity to help. There’s no “badgering” here, no crisis mentality, just an honest expression of our financial needs and our trust in God, through you, to meet those needs.

The first song played over FM 104.5 on that January morning was Keith Green’s “The Victor”. We still play that song today. Just as that song has been a part of our format for over 14 years, our purpose has not changed from that start date either. From it’s beginning WBVN was a ministry of encouragement, based on the “Hope found in Christ” and broadcast so often over this station. In 2004 and into 2005, WBVN still remains a help ministry, inspiring our listeners to a consistent Faith each and every day.

We don’t have a huge budget that over-whelms. We broadcast for 8760 hours each year and that much time for less than 20 dollars each hour. It takes about 650 people, families, churches or business organizations giving, some each month, some twice a year, some occasionally, that keeps this ministry “happening”. Will you join with us? We need your help to continue being a daily encouragement. Your contribution is a “vote” of approval for keeping this ministry in the community and making it a better place to live and raise our families.

Parker

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

a message from Ken…

Now this is going to be just between you and me, but don’t you sometimes get a little tired of the typical grandparent’s desire to show you pictures of their grandchild all of the time? I’ve always said that when I become a grandparent, I will not do that to people. I won’t subject friends and relatives to the labor of having to look at another picture of a “bald-headed, chubby” photo of a grandchild. I mean, here’s what we’re so proud of: can’t talk, can’t walk, and can’t take care of themselves, usually physically out of proportion, can’t feed themselves. Believe me, I’m sensitive of overwhelming people with pictures and talk of grandchildren, I really am! And I’m making a promise to be careful, thoughtful and not do that to people, but…. well, on May 27th Jane and I became grandparents for the first time. And, so all that stuff about not showing pictures, well, I’m going to do it just this one time, if that’s OK. Here’s Parker Jackson Miles.

Actually, there’s something special to talk about with this grandchild. Parker’s adopted. Our daughter and son-in-law were with the birth mother on his “birth-day” and Parker became a member of our family that same day. Adoption is such a blessing, in this case, a blessing for the birth mother and her family, providing a safe and loving home for him that the birth mother could not do at this time. And, our family is given a gift of a little boy that was not possible before. We get the word for adoption from the Bible text. It means setting or placing a child in a family, and it closely symbolizes the Father adopting us as “children of God”. The adopter predestines adoption. It happened in our daughter and son-in-law’s heart long before it manifested in the real world. God, having a “Father’s heart”, has predetermined to love us. It was in His heart to love us long before we were born. (We were predetermined for adoption: “Having predestined us into the adoption of children by Christ Jesus…according to the good pleasure of His Will”) Parker Jackson Miles adoption was preceded with hope and happened with great joy. So was our adoption by the Father.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but Ronald Reagan’s adopted child, Michael and his birth child, Ron Jr. have been in the news frequently after their father’s death. What’s interesting to me is that Michael Reagan “reflects” more of his father’s image and views than does his birth son, Ron. The adopted is more like the parent than the natural born is like the parent. However, that’s the pattern shown to us in the Word of God. Natural birth doesn’t make us “like Dad”. A Spiritual adoption makes us like the Father. We are “children of God”. (“And, if children then heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” That adoption “sets” us in a position of “first-born” referred to as the “Church of the first-born” (Hebrews 12:23) and first-born has its benefits (love, care, gifts and supply). A staggering thought to our imagination but true: each being freely taken in by the Creator of the universe as a first-born jointly with Christ!

That’s what happened to Parker Jackson Miles. Accepted. Part of the family. Made just as a birth-son with all the love, care, gifts and supply as any birth child. If you were at the Mark Schultz concert you heard him talk about being adopted. Privately, Mark will tell you of a wonderful mother and father. He will tell you how they took him in and how they loved him with a love unmatched by any other relationship. (He does not know his birth mother or father) Mark wrote a song entitled “You Are A Child Of Mine”…

“And, like a father You are near, and as I listen I can hear You say: You are a child of Mine, born of My own design, And you bear the heart of life no matter where you go, Oh, you will always know you have been made free in Christ, And so I listen as You tell me who I am and who it is I’m going to be, And I hang on every word, knowing I have heard I am Yours and I am free…If I listen I can hear You say: ‘I am calling, I am calling, (For) you are a child of Mine, born of my own design.’ “
We are His children and we can get just a glimmer of how that must make Him feel about us. I remember looking over the crib at each of our 3 daughters and being overwhelmed by the acceptance we immediately had for each. We didn’t go through a process of: “well I don’t like this or not happy with that”. No, they were “keepers” just because we had predetermined to love each without condition long before they manifested in our lives. The crying, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers didn’t discourage us from that determination. It was just a natural response for having them as a part of our family. We’ve had the chance over the last 8 weeks to experience something again that I would describe as a “phenomenon”. All our time is spent looking at, playing with, hoping for, and imagining the future of Parker. What makes us do that? I find myself asking, “why are we all sitting in the middle of the living room watching this “kid” do nothing but smile, coo and suck on his hand”. In our human way we are “taken-in” by this life we’ve chosen to love. Can you imagine how God, who is the highest expression of “Father”, must feel about His kids?

Jane and I love our children more than they love us. Now I don’t say that to be mean to them, I just think it’s a universal truth, something that we, and they, can’t help. The very nature of “creation” obligates us to a new revelation and awareness of “a Father’s Love”. Oh, they often say they love us, and they may think they love us more than we love them, but it’s simply not possible. There’s an unconditional love that parent’s experience that cannot be experienced any other way than being parents. I love my mother and father as much as is humanly possible, but that love is challenged by my mother and father’s love for their three children. God loves us a thousand times more than we can love Him. Paul said, “In this is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” God has fixed His love on us, loving us with an “everlasting love” as we read in Jeremiah. A mother or father’s love is such that there is nothing you would not do for you child that is for their good. However, we can only be amazed that a parent’s love doesn’t compare to the love God has fixed on us. God’s love is unconditional, without strings.

At his adoption, Parker got a name, got a birth-right inheritance, got his father and mother’s blessing, a place to live, a supply to meet his needs, a covenant with each family member, a spiritual blessing from his parents, and protection from enemies. Parker got a home and unconditional love. If as earthly creatures we do that naturally, can we imagine how easy that is for the Heavenly! God can’t help Himself. He loved us first, and He loves us more!