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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.

Mark Schultz & Big Daddy Weave

Posted on by Ken Posted in Concert Photos | Leave a comment

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.

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