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Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

January 8th, 1990. That was our first day of broadcasting. WBVN was so much a “God work” to us.
In October 1987, for what I consider “unexplained reasons,” I had told my employer that I would be leaving that job. I didn’t know when I would be leaving. I did not know for what reason I would leave. But, it had become “obvious” in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to continue working on a long-term basis with that company. That same October, a friend called and told my wife that during one of her prayer times she’d “seen my face” before her. She told Jane I should read Hebrews 10:35-36: “therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward, for you have need of endurance so that when you have done the Will of God, you may receive what was promised.” That had 1983 all over it!

You see, in the summer of 1983, I had heard in an “unmistakable voice” a promise from the Father. (Yes, it really did happen was just like I’m telling it.) At the time it made no sense to me. Without revealing the specific words, let me just say that it was a “word” that I had no ability to fulfill or to perform. It hadn’t come in a meeting and it hadn’t been delivered to me by anyone. To be perfectly honest, I felt kind of silly about it, just keeping it to myself for many years. Then in ’87, something began to happen “in me,” something pursuing me day and night. It was something that “pulled me along” rather than me pushing it. It was so strong. I remember walking down the hall at work, walking toward the “boss’s office” to turn in my resignation. Just as I was about to knock on the door I knew immediately I should not go in. I returned to my office, shut the door, paused and prayed a short prayer. “Endurance…so that you will receive the promise” reoccurred in my mind. Within a couple weeks, on January 14th, 1988, a man came into my office and said there was an existing radio station for sale in the area and “had I ever thought about doing a Christian Radio station?” “No! Not me! Never crossed my mind!” Let me make it perfectly clear how I felt about that suggestion: “Too much risk, not enough security, too much money to start, not enough courage!” That’s how I felt!

Uncharacteristically, within two weeks someone gave me $5000 with no strings attached. Two days later, the first “fella” was asking me if I had decided, “to go for it.” Well to shorten the story, let me just say that on the 15th day of March 1988, we were to sign contracts to purchase that existing station. Just as amazingly, suddenly that same day, the other party backed out of the sale. It seemed that everything that had “pulled us along,” everything that seemed so right, so perfect, now was falling apart. At that same time, two national ministries had been exposed for misbehavior and received lots of national media attention. The environment was not really advantageous for starting a local ministry by some “up-shot” trying to share Contemporary Christian Music. By that March I was unemployed and had already signed a loan to purchase that existing station. No job and a big loan! Some of our friends suggested it was the devil interfering with the process, others suggested the Father that had influenced the situation. Jane and I prayed. We didn’t do much talking, but a lot of listening. Listening to our hearts and not our heads. Oh, we had many thoughts, but we wanted to be lead by the inner person, listening to the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within us. It was like being on a road, not knowing the next destination and not being able to see around the next curve but required to keep moving just the same.

Six months later, on August 25th 1988, we filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission for a new FM station license. There had been no FM license available for this area until that day. That summer, a special “window” was opened for a new broadcast station in Carrier Mills, IL. We were told no ruling would come for at least for one year, perhaps two, if someone challenged the application. Then, just as suddenly as when every thing had turned bad, a “being pulled along” began again. Things began to go in our favor. On April 21st, 1989, six months earlier than we were lead to believe by our FCC attorney, we had a construction permit issued to us. We weren’t sure what to do next, but we believed that it was the fulfillment of a promise made to our hearts 7 years earlier. On January 8th, 1990, WBVN went on the air broadcasting a Keith Green song titled “The Victor” and we began broadcasting CCM over WBVN.

Year seventeen begins in just a few days. We don’t have a “fail-safe” plan for the future. We live on a budget that operates 60 days at a time. We’ve pledged to stay until we know God would have us do differently and as long as we’re relevant in our listeners’ lives. Even though we don’t have a guarantee about tomorrow, we still believe God is “pulling us along.” We know how vulnerable we are in our own ability. We’re very aware of how the Father has blessed us rather than having been “smart” enough to run a radio station.

Just like the first day, we still depend on listeners to keep us on the air. They’ve done that for over 8 million minutes now. Our Message hasn’t changed. We still share a “Word” of Grace and Peace with our listeners. Ironically, the purpose and vision of this ministry is not nearly as complicated as the “mechanism of broadcasting” over FM 104.5. One is miles of wires, and rooms full of computers and transmitters, monitors and mics. The other is simply the encouragement found in sharing the Love of God with our listeners using Contemporary Christian Music.

We are so grateful for your partnership for these 16 years. I recently heard Ryan Dobson say on Focus On The Family Daily broadcast while talking about the ministry he’s involved with: “All this and Heaven too!” I thought that was a pretty good statement about what we get to do here. “All this and Heaven too!” It’s been a joy for us. We’ve had such wonderful people work for us and many terrific volunteers over the years. For 13 straight years our listener support has met the entire budget needs of WBVN.

We’ve seen hardships and miracles. A few have accused that CCM is not really Christian music at all because of it’s contemporary sound and the “fun” it is sometimes. At the same time, we’ve had letters and phone calls that ‘tearfully’ offer expressions of how much these lyric and tunes mean to people. We live in a very difficult time and having the opportunity to have shared this Message and encouragement over the 16 years has been a tenderhearted experience for us and we trust for our listeners as well. Thank you for all the kind words and prayers. We obviously are grateful for the contributions that have kept WBVN here for 16 years. How certain are we that God has been in this experience and wishes to continue and use this ministry to encourage the believers that choose to listen to FM 104.5? “Without a doubt,” “absolutely,” “10-4,” “Positively,” “For sure,” “It’s a deal,” “Certainly,” “Emphatically,” “Roger,” “Affirmative,” “As sure as the sun comes up in the morning,” “O.K.!” “Yeah!” “Yes,” “For sure,” “Where do I sign?” “Amen!” In 2006, may God bless this area in some small way through programming heard over WBVN.

Why? BVN

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

January 8th, 2006… Beginning 17 Years of WBVN: WHY?

Thank you for supporting and praying for WBVN this year. We’ve had, what I would define, as one of our most interesting and community based years in 2006. I’ll give you the short version: Our emails, phone calls and conversations at the concerts indicate a new, increase interest in CCM and the value WBVN has become to our listeners and their families. Mark Schultz has blessed our Christian community with his choice of filming the DVD here. NewSong just really wanted to come back twice this year to bring their new “Rescue” live praise and worship event to us. Most recently, we met our goal of annual pledges during our fall celebration. That was the first time in 16 years of ministry for WBVN that we met those goals. That was a great vote of encouragement for us.

When we started the station in ’90, the Christian community was in a state of perpetual seriousness. Failures from a couple of national ministries had occupied the headlines for months and the usual divisions found among us during times of pressure had bubbled to the surface of Christianity again. It seemed some people thought a new Christian radio stations might mean hearing the names Tennessee Ernie Ford or Red Foley (I’m kidding here, maybe Honeytree and Evie are more like it) but what they got were names such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Geoff Moore, Jars of Clay, SmallTown Poets, Audio Adreneline, Newsboys and Jennifer Knapp.

It’s a good thing for local businesses to be in a community providing jobs, services, and materials and generating revenue into the community. Most of those businesses bring value into our lives and provide what we can’t provide for ourselves. WBVN is a little different organization than those businesses. When people first heard that we were going to begin a radio station, many people wanted to know how many people we would employ. That was not a question we were thinking about 16 years ago, and it still holds no interest for us today. You see, WBVN “delivers” something we think is more important than jobs and a tax base for the people we serve.

Communities are not evaluated on how safe they are by counting the number of policemen they have on the payroll. They’re actually evaluated by how safe and secure those police keep that community. How educated a town is cannot be determined by counting how many teachers the district employs but should be judged by the results we see in our children. We don’t look at those groups only as employers in the community. No, they’re to be measured by the ‘effect’ they have on our community.

WBVN is measured much the same. We’re ‘terrifically’ small, but we hope what we give is of ‘great’ benefit. The FCC obligates a radio station to “during the term of this license, render such broadcasting service as will serve the public interest…” In theory, a radio station should “upgrade” the community, serving it with programming that would make it a better, more peaceful place to live. It should promote a better place for our children and their families. The original intent of the Federal Communications Commission was that radio stations in this country would help establish and preserve an environment of “decency.” The problem today with the FCC is that in its effort to define community standards of decency they have forgotten to decide what is decent! Broadcasters should be evaluated by what they add to the cultural environment of a community. Radio stations should be measured by what they promote in the community at large and what they ‘hand off’ to the next generation. I’m afraid many radio stations today fail that “public service” test, doing only what generates the most money and disregard the content of the programming.

WBVN testifies and sings of God. However, you just can’t get you hands on what this radio station supplies our communities. It’s an intangible benefit. It could only be measured by the absence of the programming heard on FM 104.5. Without it you might know what ‘BVN is providing in your homes and cars. We’re not “visionless” about what we do. (Do we acquiesce to Howard Sterns and Jerry Springers to be our “visionaries” of the future, or do we do our best to encourage some other vision of America?) The whole Southern Illinois community is one Christian “gathering” for us. Everyday thousands of believers join us, meeting together for encouragement. We’ve determined what we want WBVN to be in these communities and what results we’d like to see there. We encourage certain things and we, ourselves, stand for certain things. We live in a very precarious time it seems. Many of our children are strangers to us. They turn 16 and we throw a set of car keys at them and hope for the best. However, we’re not giving many of them the skills to “resolve” life’s problems. Over 50% of our marriages fail and who knows how many have failed but continue. Over 10% of all the children being raised in this country are being raised with their grandparents as the primary caregiver.

What is the legacy that we are leaving our children? WBVN can’t change the whole world, but here and there, we can make a difference one person at a time. We’re looking for results that penetrate the office space at work; results that mend wounds in your family. Looking for effects that make a difference in the way we treat the folks we meet on the street and how we respond to people in need. We look to encourage new parents on the great opportunity they have to bring up their children in the Way of God. We encourage Worship and Praise with hymns and songs. We contrast and conflict with some of the other cultural influences, purposely choosing to identify with terms you don’t hear in our conversations any more: character, integrity, honesty and a single Truth derived from the Creator of all this world.

We’re the kind of creature that doesn’t need to go to a seminar to learn to lie or cheat. Self-centeredness or sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar seems to come naturally to us all. We must be encouraged (actually changed) away from that type of behavior and Christian radio can play a part in that. Are you seeing that type of help in most secular radio and television programs? Well, you do on FM 104.5! And might I add: “On purpose!” We need to encourage a pattern for life other than the pattern found in “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex In The City.”

We’re guilty of making the Gospel comfortable for WBVN listeners. Some view God with a judge’s robe and gavel. Ours is to dress him in L. L. Bean, making you just as comfortable with Him on your front porch as with Him in the church building. We’re grateful for all the minutes, over 8 million now, that you have permitted this station to be a part of your lives. We look forward to a few surprises this coming year, probably some disappointments, some unpredictable moments and pressure but all mixed with the joy and the contentment found in sharing the Gospel with you in ’06. It really is as Steven Curtis Chapman sings, “a great adventure.” We enjoy sharing the future with you as a companion and partner in the Christian life this coming year.

FCC Launches Site to Explain Obscenity, Indecency and Profanity
The FCC has launched a web site to inform the public about laws governing the airing of obscene, indecent and profane material and its enforcement of those laws. The site,, explains how to file a complaint and what happens when the Commission receives one.

Anchor our Soul

Posted on by Ken Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure
(Hebrews 6:19)

Do the ‘worries of this world’ seem to constantly discourage you? Feel like your responsible for a great weight that’s just too heavy to lift and yet your suppose to carry it? Feel “breathless” from having to push ever thing ‘up hill’? I think sometimes we all feel that way. According to Scripture, this world is a tough place for the just and the unjust. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to eliminate all the “weights” of this life. But knowing that, I’m still encouraged. Why? Simply, because I’ve learned that we can depend on God to do the ‘lifting.’

This world’s a mess and we can’t fix everything that’s wrong with it. We can’t take away everything that puts pressure on us. The Bible says it’s a world that’s upside down, a fallen world. We’re all little alien creatures crawling around in it. Well that might be an exaggeration, but I do know this ‘present darkness’ can’t be made perfect without the total and complete intervention of God! Now we can cry, whine, faint, scream and be frustrated, but because we have the presence of the Spirit of God among us and the expectation of Christ coming, we do not grow weary.

When will that happen? Well, I can’t give you the day and time. But God will do it, and while we “tip-toe” our way through this ‘mine field’ called life, some day the road will be made straight and the mountains and the valleys will yield their ‘labor’ to Christ’s return. How do I know that? Well, in Scripture, God consistently ‘created’ something new out of something old. He isn’t coming back to just repair this earth; He’s coming to “re-construct” this earth. That will not be the first time. There’s some consensus that we’re a part of a “Creation” that was made from an old creation described in Genesis 1:1. In chapter 3 of 2Peter, the author speaks of a ‘Pre-Adamite’ world, a world that had been completely and utterly destroyed by water covering the earth. (Gen. 1:2, Ps. 105:5-9, 2Pet. 3:4-6) (evidenced by the fossil records) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” it was the “world that then was” mentioned in Peter’s writings. The text clearly shows that the original creation “became” void and in ruin. (Isa. 14: 12-14, Jer. 4:23-26) (Ezek. 28:11-17 provides a ‘history’ for Lucifer’s kingdom on earth before the days of Adam) Apparently, Lucifer ruled that world, having been placed here in his “perfect state.”(Ezek: 28-11-17) But as ‘satans’ do, he destroyed that creation of God.

In “the world that is,” God took the “matter” of that first creation and “reassembled” it into the ‘cosmos’ we live in now! [Adam was asked to “replenish the earth” implying that it had to have been “plenished” prior to Adam.] The “material” of that first heaven and earth had become empty, waste, desolate and “void.” It supported no life, maintained no light. In an act of God, Elohim “Moved” on the earth and “Spoke” into the earth and a ‘re-ordered’ heaven and earth resulted. That’s our present world, the one you and I have to deal with each day.

God has never created anything that was not perfect! But, for some reason (probably the angelic rebellion when a third of the angelic opposed God) the first creation lay in ruin. In our Creation, man who was created “upright” (Eccl 7:29) also fell from a perfect state with God because of the influence of that same Lucifer. Man became dead and darkened (Eph 4:18). In the first creation, the entrance of “light” shone on the ruin and a re-constructed heaven and earth was made. (The original language suggests that God created the present heaven and earth, not from nothing, but from something that was already present. Similarly, in our covenant, man – with the entrance of “light”- is recreated into a new creature. That’s the nature of God. Taking old stuff and making it new, but new in every way! This new creature is what we are if we have accepted Christ; we are still walking around in old material but we are a new creation! We’re not the same creature any more.)

Some day, this earth will change. This old stuff will be ‘reorganized’ by the Spirit of God. A new Heaven and Earth will be made. We’re not going to change this old place and make it into a new place. We live in a ‘rebellion zone’ and it will have to be completely changed by The Father. God will literally enter the picture again and this old creation will give way to a new one. According to Revelation, there will be no more sea, no tears and fears, no worry, no death, no pain or disease, no more curse, no night, no need for a candle, no sun… “Behold”, God will make all things new. (Rev. 21 and 22) The entrance of Christ will shine on this “ruin” and nothing will be the same as it is now.

The Word came unto Jeremiah saying, ” Go to the potter’s house…” There Jeremiah sees the potter make a vessel on the wheel but the vessel was marred and, as seemed good to the potter, he made another. This is Jehovah, speaking and teaching that His way is not to repair or mend the vessel that’s become marred but to make an end to it. He makes a new thing in its place. When a vessel was marred it was not thrown away, the clay was crushed and returned to the wheel and the work began again. In that case, God would not mend the “marred” nation of Israel, but would make a new nation in which He would put a new Spirit and write His law on their hearts.

Today the whole world groans and travails for this new creation, a new heaven and earth. Scripture speaks of a time that would have so much pressure that should He not return “their hearts would fail them”. Just as man, dead and darkened, awaits God’s hand, so does this present ‘cosmos’. Man is marred and alienated from the Life of God. But God will not fix or reform him; He will “re-create” him. He will make man a glorious body and place him in a glorious place. When the Kings failed, God inserted “The” King. The old Covenant was weak and satisfied no Holy God. It was not faultless (Heb. 10:1-23) and God did not amend it. He did away with the old and made a completely new Covenant.

We can improve our education system, we can develop the arts, and we can spend lots of money on government programs and on ourselves. We can make many political promises, we can discover and solve medical mysteries but the marred things of this creation will not “cut the mustard” for God. We can work hard to change the existing minds of men and streamline the organizations of our cultures but it will take the entrance of Christ to shine on this ‘ruin’ to change the present order to a perfect future. We’re to stand, to resist, we’re to hold on, but we will never be able to take away the “faults” found in this marred world. But God’s third creation will be found perfect.

I think we’re standing at the threshold of seeing a house “not made with hands”, a dwelling place populating a new heaven and earth. A moment when the earthly will become glorious. Someday a new thing will come out of this old thing! Because of Christ, the weight of this creation is bearable, but unavoidable just the same. Nations fight, people build on the coast, earthquakes take homes and lives, sickness is to be overcome but has not disappeared, one sickness may be conquered only for another to be found. In this creation we will see trouble but our hearts are to have visions for the future time when God will move on the darkness and deadness and make a new place in the standing of this old place. That will happen, not because we finally accomplished it, not because we over-powered it. In fact, it will never come by our might — but only by His Spirit! A Scott Krippayne song lyric comes to mind, ” No matter how the driving rain beats down on those who hold the faith. A heart of trust will always be a quiet peaceful place.” We are able to Rest here. We can find Peace here in this mess. Not because we’ve changed everything in this life to our way, but because Christ offers a Peace that passes this world’s troubles and a promise to ‘shine’ into the next.

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