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Jump Rope

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Jane and I are the parents of three girls. If you know anything about girls then you know everything about jumping rope. It’s a ritual for girls. Every little girl that I ever knew had a jump rope. Even the schools they attended had large, grass jumping ropes. I tried ‘jumping’ a couple times. I still remember some of the lingo: ‘hot peppers’ and ‘double dutch.’ I also remember that the secret to jumping rope was the timing. I mean, the rope, or in some cases the ropes, were ‘whirlwinds’ of rope! I can still see one of our daughters standing at the side, ‘semi-stepping’ into the rope, waiting for just the right time to ‘step in.’ They needed to get into the rhythm of the thing to get into the thing! Remembering that ‘whirlwind of ropes’ reminded me of how life is, and especially the Christian Life.

Our lives are like those whirlwinds. We are so busy. We’re trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ We’re attempting to become financially secure; most everyone is trying to ‘get theirs’ before someone else comes along and takes ‘theirs’ from them. Most are searching for a fountain of youth. We’re dieting. We’re exercising. We look for purpose. On top of that, we ‘gotta’ have transportation, gotta get some health insurance, got bills to pay, gas is going up to $4 a gallon, gotta eat, have to mow the grass before it rains, when was that soccer game? There is this meeting and that meeting. Don’t forget the braces for ‘Sally’s smile,’ for some people the pool needs ‘shocking,’ there’s the wedding to get organized and pay for, need to back up the computer just in case some virus comes along and destroys all that important information on that hard drive. Need to order that “How to Save Time and Money” book from Half.com. Got to re-schedule the dentist appointment. Supposed to meet the spouse downtown at 6pm, deliver the girls at 7pm. Can’t forget to make the chicken-noodle soup for the neighbor who’s sick with the latest flu, hopefully not that ‘bird flu’ thing! When am I ever going to get the flowers watered? That’s just today’s list. Tomorrow has its own problems and solutions. It’s hurry, hurry, hurry! It’s turnin’ and burnin’!

I got tired just typing that list. Ever since the Garden of Eden incident, the children of Adam and Eve have ‘paddled upstream’ against so many daily struggles. In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived in an environment that fostered Peace. I doubt that they knew what a ‘whirlwind’ was, living in the ‘terrarium’ of the original earth. Now, this earth comes with a ‘hard-labor’ just to exist.

I remember a story told by Max Lucado. It was about a 60 year old man that had just finished running in his 60th iron-man contest. Max asked him how he did it at that age and at that pace. The man’s reply was, ‘I start out very slow and taper off after that.’ That’s a pretty good formula for the Christian life I think. I don’t mean that in relationship to working hard, I mean that in the sense of slowing down enough to hear the heart of God and tapering off enough to make quality decisions about what to spend our time.

That’s why it’s so critical for believers to ‘enter into His Rest.’ Doing that is very much like entering that jump rope. Having been born again, we then, in a second step of our choosing, can enter into the life-style of the Gospel. Jesus said, ‘If you abide in my Word, then you are my disciples, and you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you Free.’ Just as in this Scripture verse, the Christian life is a process. At the end of that process, we will be made free! I mean you have to go through something; we need to get in ‘order’ with God, to discover the fullness of God. So much of the Gospel has an order like that. Remember: Body, Soul and Spirit. Faith, Hope and Love. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Things ‘that were, that are and that are to come.’ The Outer court, Inner court and Holy of Holies of the tabernacle. We move through places with God, in patterns ordered by God. To get to the Peaceful place of God, we will need to move in His patterns in our daily lives. We will need to move in the patterns of God and get into the ‘rhythm’ of God.

I have used this story before about chairs. We can have a seminar on chairs. We can get coffee table books showing us all kinds of chairs. We can purchase DVD’s that show us how chairs are designed, manufactured and sold. We can travel to factories and look at all kinds of chairs. We can buy a chair or buy hundreds of chairs, but having done all those things, you’ll still not really ‘know’ the true nature and purpose of a chair until you’ve sat down on one! You must put all your weight on a chair before you know everything there is to know about a chair. Before that you had a theory about chairs, you had ideas about how a chair works and even speculated on a chair’s purpose. However, you have to actually sit in a chair to know all about chairs. The Gospel is the same. All the reading, the memorizing, the attending Bible studies, traveling to conferences and discussions about the Gospel will only leave you with a philosophy about the Gospel. Until you have put you weight (your life) on the Gospel you really don’t know the Gospel. To find that peaceful place inside this earthly whirlwind, we will need to enter into the center of that whirlwind. That is where God is.

You’ve heard of the phrase ‘eye of the hurricane’. In the center of those terrible storms, with winds and destruction all around, there is a place where it is calm. You can actually stand in the ‘eye’ right in the middle of that storm and be perfectly safe. The Gospel will do that for us. Right in the middle of the war on terror, in the middle of financial pressure, in the heat of a medical crisis, there is a Peaceful Place! But, you’re not going to be able to enter into it by just ‘talking about it.’ We will have to get in rhythm with the ‘God life;’ we’ll have to take a step to get in there! Just as we must get into the rhythm of the rope to enter into ‘hot peppers,’ we’ll need to get into the rhythm of God as well. Become a giver, not just money but attitude as well. Become an encourager, not just someone needing encouragement all the time. Become someone that is externally minded. Someone not consumed by ‘my way, my rights, and my needs.’ Those are the ‘semi-steps’ similar to our daughters waiting at the edge of the jump rope, timing the jump rope. Getting into the rhythm with God will cause us to enter into the center of the ‘whirlwinds’ of this life. It is calm inside that place once you get in the ‘center.’ You can relax there. There will be things going on all around you but you will not have to struggle each day. You will not ‘pull your hair out’ trying to come up with every solution. You will enter into a state of trusting God in a way that you have not been able to do thus far.

Inside that peaceful place there are blessings! Getting into the ‘rhythm of God’ sets in motion a life-style with God. Will everything be perfect? No! Will it always go well? Probably not! Is every day a ‘picnic’? No, might be a war that day! But in God’s very special way, blessings come around just the same. There is a special meaning to the Hebrew word for blessing, “R’RaCha.” In that language, and so much of the time in all that language, special notice is to be taken when reading or studying the original text. In the Hebrew language words are either male or female. In this case, the word “R’RaCha…” is female. Its essence is that one blessing becomes two blessings, and so on. You see, “R’RaCha” has the ability and the nature to multiply itself! One blessing produces many more! We will have to become like Radar O’Reilly on Mash, ‘wait for it!’ Some days we will not be able to see it, but Radar O’Reilly could always anticipate it something happening long before anyone else. It will come if we are in that center place, that secret place that God has prepared for us. Get in rhythm with God’s season. Give and expect it to grow, Love and expect it to multiply, Trust and watch the Father be Trustworthy. That’s the rhythm of God. Keep doing even when things don’t seem to be working for you. You need to stop looking back to see if it’s working for you. Going back is to step back into the whirlwind. According to Scripture, going back is seven times worse! Anyway, faith is the evidence of things not seen. Just do it! Over and over do it! That faithful ‘action’ will eventually produce a ‘kingdom’ blessing from God’s Life.

You will have to step into God’s rhythm, just like our daughters stepped into that jump rope. In that place, in that ‘center,’ scriptures that emphasize we ‘are not our own,’ that we ‘are not seeking our own life’ will make sense and become natural way to live for us. Believing is enough to get us to Heaven, actively stepping from the edge of the whirlwind to the center of the whirlwind, stepping from just ‘Believer’ to being a Disciple takes ‘process’! That process, as best as I can describe it, is acting like and depending on God as our center of the whirlwind. It’s the old argument, not just talk but walk also. It’s not walk for the Laws sake. It’s a walk whose action produces the environment for manifestation of God. It’s Faith with action, Faith with walk.

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

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