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February Newsletter-Sally

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WBVN just celebrated a birthday; January 8th, 1990, was our first day broadcasting CCM.  We’ve rotated thousands of songs for almost 16 million minutes of programming since that day.  Our first concert was on June 6th of that same year. There’ve been lots of little memories made over those years.  Mark Schultz’s motorcycle ride with Marci and her husband.  Rich Mullins drinking his usual Coke while performing.  Christy Nockels, practically silencing the audience that night with the incredible quality of her voice, a stunningly silent audience.  Phillips, Craig and Dean going down into the audience to sing a song to Carla, who came in a wheelchair, suffering the pain to see her favorite artists.  Tragically, Carla passed away 10 days later.  Phil Keaggy playing his hair comb for an instrument.  Andrew Peterson strumming an armadillo skin ukulele. NewSong’s surprise ‘pop-up’ concert giving us just a 72 hour notice.  Bryan Duncan getting all tangled up in a mic cord while twisting and turning to ‘Holy Rollin’.  We celebrated Mark and Kate’s anniversary one Saturday night, surprising Mark with Kate sitting in the audience and discovering her as he sang on stage.  Big Daddy Weave recorded a cd here.  In December 2017,Crowder–yep that Crowder–doing two Christmas concert appearances for us.  And now a new memory is about to happen.  We will be hosting our 205th event in just a few days on Saturday, February 16th.  This event is unlike anything that we’ve ever presented for the BVN community.  Singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson will host the evening featuring special guest, author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones.  The event features musical performances by Andrew and story-telling by both performers with support from video from their fictional book characters. For sure, these two have intriguing stories to tell. Approximately two hours of ‘Lost In Wonder’, and I think that concert night tag represents exactly what it will be: Wonderful.

Sally’s book has sold over 2.7 million copies since its release in 2007.  She was born in Uganda and now lives in New York.  Andrew has been performing CCM since the early 2000’s and has written numerous children’s books known as the Wingfeather Saga series.  Andrew was one of our favorite guests and a repeating artist for WBVN since his first BVN concert at the Aldersgate Methodist Church in 2001.

Including Taylor Mason, our 2019 first two events have concentrated on quality family friendly events.  In today’s cultural environment we believe it’s important to sponsor such events in our community bringing family and friends together.  Concerts, specifically events that bring parents, children and grandparents together, hold a promise of great evenings but just as importantly hold the promise of future memories and ‘forever’ moments.  Check out the video information on our website at wbvn.org and get a feel for how special this can be.

The following words are the opening chapter of:  The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Chapter 1
The Story and The Song
Introduction from Psalm 19 and Hebrews 1

The Heavens are singing about how great God is;
And the skies are shouting it out, “See what God has made!”
Day after day…Night after night…They are speaking to us.

Psalm 19:1-2 (paraphrase)


God wrote, “I love you” — he wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere! Because God created everything in his world to reflect him like a mirror – to show us what he is like, to help us know him, to make our hearts sing.
The way a kitten chases her tail. The way red poppies grow wild. The way a dolphin swims.
And God put it into words, too, and wrote it in a book called “the Bible.”

Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is – it’s true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story.  The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day – but wait. Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning . . .


That’s a simple message that’s appropriate for 6 year olds and 60 year olds.  The Gospel is simple really.  It can be shared in ways that make it recognizable and believable with simple words and simple tunes.  It’s the kind of thing we like to do. Over the years I’ve described our ministry as a ‘blue jeans Gospel’, comfortable, casual and a Gospel designed to be relevant 7 days a week.   This event is Andrew and Sally simply being themselves and eagerly sharing their talents and hearts. Events like this are not a guaranteed financially successful event for us, but an event that has meaning and purpose for those people that we’ve had the opportunity to care about for over 29 years now.

WBVN has been fun over the years, it’s been serious, it’s been compassionate, and it’s been entertaining.  It’s also been inspirational for all those years, been that for over 15.5 million minutes.  In some way, it’s taken all that time to finally work our way to this very special event.  It witnesses to our believing that God continues to work through this ministry to meet people’s hearts and needs, young and old, bringing wonderfully talented and gifted folks into our community and lives.   Each has been a blessing to ‘whosoever will’ come and experience what God has provided though these especially talented and thoughtful people.

Thank you for all the years– we’ve all had such good times together.  Get ready for another on Saturday, Feb. 16th.

Taylor Mason

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January Newsletter- Jeep

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I drive a Jeep.  In some ways I’m not really a Jeep person because, while I drive a Jeep, I drive only up and down the highway or street.  The people I know that really ‘drive’ Jeeps for all they’re worth – the hardcore – they drive Jeeps in ditches, through creeks, over rocks, on mountain switch-backs, up things, down things, in things; me, I’m just on pavement!  That said, I’ve owned four Jeep Wranglers beginning with a 1983 CJ, and currently a 2010.   I bring that up because in a sense I’ll be going off road a bit in this letter.  I’ll be away from the generally traveled pavement and on to some perhaps bumpy territory, or at the very least a little different way of thinking.  (Let me also say this, I’m not hard or pushy about all the stuff in this letter.  Actually, it’s only a different perspective, and I’m completely okay with it only being what I hope is simply another way to encourage people.)  In some sense I’m not trying to change things but, more accurately, adding to what we all do in the hard situations in which we occasionally find ourselves.  I’m not subtracting from how we commonly talk about Faith (what I will in this letter call ‘the Hand of God in our lives’).  It’s simply an attempt  to relieve some of the pressure I see on some people’s lives as they try, try, try to experience ‘Life as the Father would have it for them’.

Because we’re involved with daily radio ministry, occasionally Jane and I hear of many people struggling with either (1) trying to figure out what they can do that they’ve not been doing or (2) they’re trying to assess what went wrong with the things they have been doing.  Many times we hear of believers struggling with self-imposed pressure.  We hear of others experiencing pressure from their friends’ and family’s good intentions.  Put simply, we can let the Gospel become full of stress rather than the remedy that Jesus taught.  Jesus’ Gospel was about a Rest, an easy burden, a relief valve from rather than an ascent into greater pressure.

What did Jesus teach about experiencing more of His Gospel?  That was a question his followers asked in John 6:28.   Jesus answered:  ‘believe on Him whom He has sent.’  His answer was simple, direct and, most importantly, sufficient.  They pushed it a bit further by questioning, Jesus, you want us to believe, and we get the Moses and manna thing, is that what we must do, believe the stories about You handed down in our history?  Jesus clarified that the manna story, while true, was not exactly what he was referring to.  His answer to their question was an answer clearly about Himself.  Jesus instructed them to believe in the True Bread (Manna) from Heaven.  That Bread would give them not just physical life, but give them The Life, ‘Life as the Father would have it for them.’   Now here might be our first boulder along this off-road experience.  Throughout the New Testament, Jesus described specifically that he came to deliver to whosoever will, something called Life.  This Life was meant to distinguish between our biological life and our Eternal Life.   Jesus didn’t, by name, stress miracles as such but emphasized a new way of Living; a Way that would produce a new experience with the Hand of God in our lives.  Those things that we call miracles are really a moment contained within something much bigger than that.  Jesus’ new Way of Life was not about us persuading God, as though this new Life depended upon us to persuade our Father to do things for us.  It was not about any bargaining that could take place, as though we’ve reached such a level of Faith that we had anything to bargain with in ourselves.  In fact, Jesus implied that the Father is actually eager to be in the middle of our lives in this New Life.  Our Father isn’t looking for us to come up with some secret before opening the door of Heaven to us.  The only key, the only thing, that Jesus identified that would work for us to experience a Life similar to the one He lived here, was simply believe.   Personally, I don’t think about a miracle here and a miracle there.  Rather, I prefer to look at this Gospel as a whole Life of miracle after miracle.  In my thinking, the Hand of God consistently brings us Life as the Father would have it for us.  Miracles not rare, but miracles common!

Now here comes another rough area to travel in this little off the highway adventure.  Okay, believe, I get that, but ‘believe what?’  If believing is paramount in Jesus answer in John 6, what are we to believe about him must be our starting point.  Are we to believe God heals– I do.  Are we to believe God wants His people to prosper– I’m sure a loving God wants that.  How about believing that our family could heal its broken relationships?  You know He wants that for sure–one of the obvious things God sent Jesus to do was to reconcile.  All those things and many more things are included in what God wants us to know, wants us to believe; they are in His purpose and goals for us.  However, while they’re things prayed for, things hoped for, the operative Faith that will activate those possibilities takes us back to Jesus’ answer: ‘believe in Him whom He has sent.’

Jesus is saying that if we are to see the Hand of God in our lives, if we’re to experience the Life as the Father would have it for us, we’ll have to obviously believe something first!  Here I think he’s implying – ‘look this is going to be a full time, an all encompassing job.  As such, the hardest thing (also the thing that will work the most for you and the thing that will be challenged the most) is to believe, and specifically believe on, whom He has sent!’  Jesus wasn’t suggesting believe things; but believe this One Thing.  This One, He is the Way, the only Way, all things come by Him and through Him.  Prayer contains two elements: First, how to pray and secondly, most importantly I think, Who it is we pray to.  By that I mean what’s the character and nature to Whom we pray.  What picture of God is in our imagination when we pray?  Must He be talked off the sidelines into our lives? Do we need to trade Him something in exchange for Him to respond?   Is He hesitant or eager to do for us?   Much of our stress comes from believing that this entire Hand of God thing depends upon how strong we are, perhaps the volume of Faith we have.   And, if we don’t meet the measure of Faith required, we must work harder on things or have more specific requests in order to activate the Compassion of God.   Maybe memorize more, say more, plead more.  I think realistically, those are not used to test our faith as much as it’s a test of do we believe on His Faith, His Way, His Love, His Compassion, His Interest in our lives.   Is it possible that this Gospel, this New Life, is somehow more about you entering His Life rather than Him entering yours?  Is His abundant Life about getting our life, this earthly one,  like His or is it more about an abundant Life that’s  available and accessible inside this hard world system?

Many times I think we find it easy to know what to pray for but forget how Jesus taught us to pray.  We can list all the things we’re praying for and forget the Who we’re praying to.  Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that without Faith, in every case without knowing Who Christ is, it’s impossible to discover this ‘Hand of God moment’ unless we know ‘that He is and that He’s a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.’  That’s the first step in prayer.

That’s the ground for prayer to grow.  That’s the preparation for Hand of God in our lives to be manifested.  Yes, the things we call miracles are the fingerprints of the Life of God.  Significantly, they’re also part of a much larger ‘New-Life’ mentioned in Romans 6:4.  This new-life was always designed, purposed, to be natural for believers.   I don’t think God creates miracles as a surprise, I think He’s always wanted us to live in such a way that we expect them consistently.   Actually I think many Hand of God things happen all the time.  If anything, we’re just not sensitive to them at the moment they occur.  It’s not supernatural when we see the Hand of God manifested; it’s the most natural, a by-product of His Kingdom come on earth.  We should expect that what we call the unusual to become usual.  For sure they are super but they’re as natural to the God Kind of Life as anything can be.

Let me just mention a couple short examples and these are examples pulled from hundreds/thousands of other things that stand out as Hand of God in our lives.  When we started the ministry of WBVN we didn’t talk our way into it.  We believed our way into it.  We knew the Love of God, trusted our understanding of His Compassion, and assumed that He was with us.   Again, in Jane’s medical crisis 5 years ago, we didn’t become spiritual specialists so we would know how to pray, we didn’t take a quick bible course or memorize scripture, we didn’t try to persuade Father, Son and Spirit to rescue us, we didn’t re-dedicate anything or expand our promises if God would do something.  We trusted and assumed that what we believed about Him, what we knew to be true about Him, was actually true in a very huge way.

Let me leave you with this thought.  Have you ever thought it strange that when they came and announced to Jesus that his dear friend Lazarus was sick, Jesus abided two more days before going to him?  Jesus took his time, ministered along the way and arrived in plenty of time to raise Lazarus from the dead.  No rush, no panic, no hurry, just a confidence that the Father and Spirit would join him in doing the Father’s business.  That’s the faith that we need in every instance, not only that He is able but that He is eager to have us live in such a way that we experience ‘life as the Father would have it for us’ right in the middle of this mess.