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Beginnings BVN

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

You don’t mind if I congratulate you do you? The reason I can say it that way is because WBVN is celebrating 15 years of ministry this month, and we’re always aware that it’s because of two things that we get to celebrate anything at all. First, we really do believe The Father directed us to bring the station into the area in 1990. Secondly, we know for sure that we would not have been able to continue to do ministry here without the generosity of our listeners. That is why we congratulate you! You’re directly responsible for the effects of having had WBVN in the area. I’ve ways said that the testimony of WBVN must first point to the Spirit of God and His sure movement to establish the station. And secondarily, we would identify the role that listeners have played to keep us on the air all these years.

We started the initial steps to build a Contemporary Christian Radio station in 1988 with only about $5,000 dollars in the bank and no “deep pockets” to fund the ministry. Somehow, in a way only God could explain, WBVN began broadcasting on January 8th, 1990. There’s a tangled web of stories about how the impossible became possible during the two years that it took to get the station on the air, too many to mention in a short letter, but there was an essence of just watching God do what we could only imagine! We’ve never been smart enough, or clever enough, to bring WBVN to pass and continue for 15 years. Simply, we know who “worked the works” for this ministry.

The early days are still vivid in our memories. Our first contribution came from Rick and Laurie Chapman a couple months before the station went on the air. The first contribution received in the mail was from Charles Carter of Carterville, at that time a grandfather supporting the station because he knew it would encourage his grandchildren to hear the Gospel in a Contemporary Christian Music fashion. Our first month’s deposit to the bank was for $372, not a lot when expenses ran upwards of $9,000 a month. It took three years before our annual budget needs were met without additional capital being spent. Each year since, we’ve been able to “keep up” with the cost of broadcasting and keep CCM on the air. The hourly cost has risen over the years. We started out needing about $13.00 an hour to broadcast; today that figure is more like $19.00. Many people have been good to increase their giving or to start giving when others needed to stop. Each year it takes about 650 contributors to keep WBVN on the air. Some churches, businesses, ministries and individual families all make up the annual group that help financially.

We’ve had our share of miracles for sure. Sometimes we didn’t know how we were going to get through the “current crisis,” or how to prepare the next one. Having an understanding that the Father, who had encouraged us to “go and do” this in the first place, would supply the needed help to make WBVN “happen” comforted us in times of trouble.

FM 104.5 has offered a unique opportunity for thousands of believers to “be on the same page” by bringing people together for a single moment in time for praise and worship using CCM. I believe there’s a “regional importance” in having believers connected by an “encourager” throughout the day. I guess it’s more appropriate for a radio station to describe that occurrence as “being on the same wavelength.” Literally what happens is that all of us are listening, at the same moment, to a wavelength of 104,500 wave cycles per second. Oh, I know that’s some just some “mumble-jumble” for “radio heads,” but something is very interesting about it: if we don’t all get on that one wavelength, if we just move off it ever so slightly, we’ll not be able to hear WBVN. But when we find FM 104.5, we all gather for a common experience of Praise “on the other side of the radio.”

Amos 3:3 says unless two men agree, how can they walk together? The implication is they must be “on the same wavelength” to be productive in their effort. Finding the mind of Christ, and the common purpose of the Gospel, is essential for believers. We trust WBVN’s format does that, offering Christ-centered Christian Music 24 hours each day. 1Peter 1:13 encourages us to “gird our minds for action.” It’s important to let the Word of God affect our minds. Teaching, studying, sharing and sometime listening to “hymns and songs” are ways that gets done.

Moses wrote in Joshua 1:18 that the Word of God needs to be studied and meditated on in order for us to be successful. Clearly, God obligates us to “work on our thinker” in order to experience more of the Christian life. Having been freely given a spirit of Love, of Power and a Sound mind, we can access the “Mind of Christ” and be in daily contact with the Great Counselor, the Prince of Peace. We begin that process by permitting Philippians 4:8 to operate in our lives. Let our minds dwell on “whatever is True, Honorable, Right, Pure, Lovely, and of Good Repute, of Excellence and worthy Praise”. If we do that, according to scripture, the “Peace of God” will be with us. If we dwell on Christ, we will be able to overcome the biggest enemy we face, the thing that causes us to fail the most: our thinking!

Our trust has always been that having Christian broadcasting over FM 104.5, our minds (our thinkers) will be centered on Christ and as believers we would benefit. Added to tapes, teaching, books, preaching and praying, we believe CCM “makes a difference” in the way we’re all able to walk the Christian faith. We provide a daily opportunity to keep your mind on Christ by listening to Songs of Praise on FM 104.5. Believers’ minds have been changed during the past 15 years through WBVN. We thank you for the opportunity to do that. Surely, without the prayers and contributions of our listeners all the benefits from having the music, programming and artist testimonies at the concerts would have been missed, and we would not be as “peaceful” a people. Hebrews 12 tells us that if we will keep our mind on Christ, He will keep us in perfect Peace. That’s one of my favorite promises in the scripture and one I think is extremely needed in the world we live in today. For these 15 years I hope it’s been a joy to be on the same “wavelength,” 104,500 cycles per second. We love bringing you “the very best in Contemporary Christian Music on WBVN.” We look forward to year number 16

Rub A Dub Dub

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

A message from Ken…
Rub a Dub Dub, Three men in a tub. And who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker…

Well, finally, the elections are over and about half of the people in America are thrilled and just a little less than half are upset. And, although the election was decisive, obviously it did not “fix” everything that needs to be fixed in this country or around the world. We have a leader but he does not control the world; he only deals with it. In some way, we are all in the same boat, the thrilled and the angry, candlestick makers, bakers, butchers, teachers, professionals, the “right and the left,” all headed to our destiny. What we do to get there will make a difference in what we find when we get there.

In the “Perfect Storm,” Bill Johnson referenced Mark 4:35. That’s the Biblical text describing a moment when the disciples were in a boat, crossing “to the other side” when a violent storm began. It was not just “rough seas;” this was a “killer storm.” The disciples feared for their lives and they cried out, waking up Jesus who was sleeping in back of the boat, “don’t you care that we are perishing?” In other words, Jesus “do something about this, don’t you understand!” Jesus in turn, rebuked the storm, enforced Peace and asked the disciples, “Why are you so fearful, how is it that you have no Faith?” How he did that can make a difference in out “all in a boat” experience as well.

Jesus could release Peace because he had Peace. It was the place he stayed. It was not something that occurred occasionally in his life, it was something that was always there. He knew that where God is present, Peace is present. There’s no fear in Heaven, no faithlessness there, because He is there. Jesus lived in the knowledge of that Peace. His heart was established in Peace. That Peace is not the absence of something; it’s the presence of Someone! That was the secret to Jesus response to the storm. The “Shalom of Heaven” overpowers the presence of something! All that Jesus needed to know as he entered that boat was that God had told them to go to the “other side.” That was enough for him to be able to sleep in the middle of that storm. Knowing the Will of God gives us the comfort of God. The disciples should have told the storm to be still because they knew “going to the other side” was God’s Will, and knowing that, they could “calmly” go through the storm that raged. As for the storms challenging our boat, why should we worry? If we are doing the right thing (righteous thing), why should we fear just because it’s rough?
The election will not remove all the trouble we will face, but trouble should not identify whether we should “go to the other side” or not. If this country will do the “life thing, the right thing” it will get to the place we are to go, no matter what seems to obstruct our way. We may struggle, we may have to pay a price, but if our goal is “in the Purpose of God, in the Will of God,” if it’s done with the right heart attitude, we’ll get there no matter what happens along the way. To set high goals and to walk toward the Purpose of God will automatically bring a storm upon us before we get to the “other side.

“Once the disciples reached “the other side,” they ministered to a man “full” of unclean spirits. In effect, a man and a country were changed because they “crossed to the other side.” Had that storm stopped them, the “other side” would never have happened! There was a storm because there was a great thing about to happen. It was a storm that, once the fear passed, did not hinder; it was a “perfect storm” because it had perfect results.

If this country is in God’s Will, and in His Purpose, we will get through the present storm. We have huge domestic problems and dangerous international problems. But this country was set in a boat and told to go to the “other side.” We were sent to live in freedom and to spread freedom to others, to enjoy liberty for ourselves and share the joy of liberty. It may cost us something to get to the other side of that, but if we pay the price, we will benefit from that experience. That perfect storm was not about the disciples; it was about their future. We’re all in the same boat. If we will remain visionaries in “God’s ways” we will get through and past the storm and find purpose on the other side of our journey. If we do that, the storm will not destroy us. We can Rest; we can be in His Peace. We will not cry out in fear. Because He is present we will be able to “calm down” and trust; we will get the to the other side simply because He told us to go!

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”.

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