As I began writing this letter, I was busy trying to clean off my desk. Now I know that for the folks that have seen my desk, that’s not really a believable statement. I should say I am organizing the stuff on my desk. It’s desk shuffling really. What that generally means is I’m taking four piles of papers, CDs, books and manuals and making two piles out of all of it instead of the four. While organizing, I had to move a letter that’s been on my desk for three weeks now. I just can’t bring myself to file it away with all the other letters we’ve received at the station. (We have kept them all for the full 18 years.) It’s actually a letter that I sent to a listener on 7/11/1996 and was returned to me on 2/11/2008. It had not been lost that long. It had been held by that listener that long; she held it that long before sending it back to me. In 1996 she had sent me a note that she was sorry but she could not ‘keep her pledge of $200’ made during our Spring Celebration that year. I had sent her the letter to let her know that we perfectly understood those things and that we had already raised the needed money to purchase a new transmitter that spring and ‘released her’ of any worry about meeting the pledged amount. I had no idea that 12 years later I would be getting that same letter back along with a nice note and a $200 check. I’ve been a bit stunned by it really. It’s stuff of Biblical proportions to me.
After 17 full years of ministry, there are moments that have come along that are just terrific encouragements to us and are ‘high-water marks’ concerning the relationships we have with other believers. They’re things that are just so out of the ordinary that they stand out in our memory over those 17 years. In this case, I can’t imagine me, at my very best, at the top of my game, keeping a letter 12 years and then remembering to mail it back along with $200 for anything I had pledged 12 years before. Probably about three weeks after getting that kind of letter inviting me not to worry about it anymore, I’d be looking for a way out of remembering that pledge at all! I don’t know, maybe it’s just a guy thing. Anyway, Lisa, thank you! It’s like the widow’s mite to us, a testimony to your faithfulness. Extraordinary and encouraging!
That’s a small example of how WBVN works. We’ve had people help meet our needs time after time. Special gifts, special help, that has permitted us to continue this ministry. It’s never the same people, it’s never the same needs. I can make a rather large list of people, families and organizations that have played those kinds of roles in our ministry history, listeners that have given so much of themselves or their time. Others on that list have helped financially. Helped with that even though we are some of the least ‘persuasive folks’ ever to need that kind of help. It’s amazing to me that we have, for 15 of the last 18 years, ‘made budget’ every year. It’s not that we have too much or too little- we just have our needs met each year! This month we will have our 18th Spring Celebration. In our beginning (January 8th, 1990) we broadcast CCM from 6 am until 10:30 pm. Today we broadcast 7/24 and all over the world on our internet website. Over 8 million minutes of ministry during that span of time.
Celebrations are our way of raising the funds for the station to continue. Celebration, by the very nature of who we are and how we raise those funds, is a representation of our heart attitude about giving. I’m sure we will have a lot of fun, some encouragement and maybe a few tears of joy. In the middle of all that is our way of asking for your help. While it is always fun for us, it is serious at the same time because we depend entirely on your decision-making to determine if WBVN continues to broadcast over FM 104.5! Paul has taught us to purpose in our hearts what we would give, and give cheerfully! We want to raise the funds for this ministry with gladness and joy. That’s our attitude about giving to WBVN. That’s tempered with the knowledge that we’re all freely giving for the Gospel’s sake. We still make our annual pledge to be efficient and modest with our opportunity to distribute those funds in a way that benefits thousands of other believers.
Is the effort to encourage the believers over WBVN important for believers in this area? Well…What if there really is no condemnation to them that are in Christ? (Romans 8:1) And, is it possible that nothing can separate us from the Love of God? (Romans 8:35) What if Righteousness really was a free gift! (Romans 5:18-19, Romans 4:8) What if salvation was, not of works, but a free gift to us? (Gal. 2:8) And, perhaps there maybe really is a Peace that can pass our understanding. (Phil. 4:7) Do you think we can live and not be troubled? (John 14:27) Is it possible that Christ has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness? (2Peter 2:3) If those things are true then hearing them every day, being encouraged in them every day, is a real purpose of this radio ministry. It’s a Celebration of our faith! Paul began many of his letters to the churches with “Grace to you and Peace from our God and Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This ministry hopes to greet you that same way each day.
Since the very beginning of the ministry, we’ve used the ‘tag’ The Gift of FM 104.5. We know the gift is not WBVN. The message heard over this radio station is the gift of God! That’s what He has sent to His children. The Good News heard on the station (through the music and programming) is His gift to you and your friends. I remember Paul’s prayer while teaching on Mars Hill: “men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects…I found an altar with this inscription ‘To An Unknown God.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this 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, since He gives to all Life and Breath and all things… and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth…that they should seek God…” (Acts 17:24-28) We invite you to start or continue to contribute to the station and share about the Mercy and Love of the God Paul was declaring. We love sharing that, and ask you to be our partner in giving people the Hope of the Gospel of Christ.