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April Newsletter-Jesus Behold

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

Jesus Happens:
Now this is just my opinion, it and $4 might get you a Starbucks. Why didn’t God just sit down one guy (ok, or girl) and have him or her write the New Testament? Why Mathew, Mark, Luke and John? Why Paul? Using one author certainly would have simplified the manual and be enough to share one Message, one person’s opinion from beginning to end. To me, using 40 authors and 1500 years to share His story points to the Wisdom of God revealed again. The Creator knows the created, knows each is different from the other. And, God sees the beginning, the middle and the end all in one frame. To Him, each human life is like reading a novel, He can describe the current moment, the past, and look a few pages further and tell you the future. You’ve heard the phrase ‘all knowing’ applied to God all your life. Part of the all knowing/wisdom is being aware that each person will hear and see things differently. Result: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John each describing the same thing but in somewhat different manners. Because God was revealed progressively, I always prefer to read the Bible backwards. Paul is my go to guy, and of the four Gospels, I like to read John the best. Paul just speaks my language for some reason. I can say that about John, similarly. Simply put, Jesus happens when we behold him. Each Biblical author’s writing is in so many ways trying to permit that to happen to whosoever will.

I need to express what I’m not saying. I’m not saying all the world’s religious belief systems are the same or OK. I’m not saying all are right and made for each individual. Abram was a moon worshiper until he found the One True God. Then Abram dropped everything and followed Yahweh. Knowing God, Abram became Abraham or Abram with the name of God attached (breath). This God was not one from Abram’s imagination. Likewise, the God that is I Am is not a morality or an ethic. Yahweh is not simply a God defining Good and Evil. He’s Creator. He knows all things; He is Wisdom, Love and the One God, only true God. We can make up many gods, most often creating them in our image. But He (Father, Son and Spirit) existed on the other side of creation, sits outside of what we refer to as the cosmic universe.

I had a friend years ago suggest to me that the writings of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were similar to each looking at a different side of a mountain; same mountain but each author was expressing a different way of describing it. It’s interesting that God had 40 authors write Scripture. Each is describing the same thing but in a different manner. The four Gospels seem like that to me. It’s interesting to read the first red lettered words in each. They are all different. Jesus’ first statement in Matthew is about Jesus’ role of fulfilling Righteousness. In Mark the first Jesus statement is about the Kingdom of God. Luke’s first red letters refer to Jesus being about His Father’s business. And, my favorite, is Jesus’ first words in John, ‘What do you seek?’ My favorite because the original language implies this is a question, not posed just to the disciples, but to every man/woman ever birthed. Sometimes I listen to the music we play and realize that one song speaks specifically to a person and it’s possible that 3 minutes later another song will hit home with someone else, meeting their unique needs. I have no idea how many times I’ve had a song come across my desk and think to myself, ‘That’s not really what I was looking for or imagining,’ but I go ahead and send it through anyway. And when it rotates it gets more calls than the 10 other songs I added that month.

The Bible is written to reveal God to us but also written to reveal God in us. It’s His attempt to share Who He is and also what He does. It’s the manual to learning how to participate in our salvation. It’s God’s attempt, through what Jesus did, to tell us what’s true about us. Jesus is referenced all the way from Genesis through Revelation. The Bible is inside surgery. It heals us from our heart outward. I once had a small surgery and they left the wound open, no stitches. They told me they did that because the wound heals from the inside out. God’s healing begins in the same place, He is in us. It’s interesting that, as far as I can remember, all Jesus’ miracles were transformations rather than creations. He took broken things and changed them to healed things. He redeemed the already existing into the new. Even in the first words of Genesis:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created (bara: using non pre-existing material) the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was (i.e., became waste and ruin)( has reference to Ezek. 28:11-17) without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved (brooded) upon the face of the waters.

That story of the beginning of heaven and earth was true about creation and it’s a story that remains true about each of our lives as well. Originally, we were created to be in the relationship with God; Adam voided that environment and Jesus’ work recreated us from the material of our old state into a new one. Again, he takes broken things and transforms them into redeemed/healed things…you and me.

For over 30 years at WBVN we have had the opportunity to experience what we have in common with our listeners and concert attendees. Jesus is common to each. Many may have some differences in expression, just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but all are believers, each perhaps just using a few different words to express that love for God. Here, we do not try to discover and push our differences. I have a dear friend that, when he and I talk about the Gospel, the vocabulary we use is not very similar at all. He loves God passionately; he proves that every day of his life. We both know God and we each express the God that we agree sent Jesus, raised Jesus from the dead, and shares Heaven with an alive Jesus right now. As those four Gospel writers did, each of our expressions permits someone to hear the Gospel in their unique manner. Like the different songs, each person has the opportunity to respond to DC Talk’s ‘Jesus Freak’ or Christy Nockels’ ‘Holy Over Me’. Remember when Jesus said, ‘Who has ears to hear, let them hear’? You know they all had those little floppy things on the side of their heads. But, what Jesus was saying was, in spite of all having physical ears let those that can mentally/in their hearts hear this. Some could, some could not; but to those that could, do so. I think he was saying, I’ll find another way, use different words, a while later for the others. Scottish author and Bible teacher George McDonald once said, ‘In the future we will be amazed at what we now believe about God. Until then, we can give others respect and grace until we come to truly fully beholding Him.’

One of my favorite BVN things to do is sell concert tickets out of my office. It’s an opportunity to meet people who listen to the station. They represent many denominations stopping by. Never once a question about which denomination they or I hang our hat on. I’m very grateful for that. We each have a library of experiences and expression about the Gospel but none of that separates us from one another. In these days we live in, it seems important that in the very near future Christians are going to have to gather together, respecting one another in order to protect one another. Differences which are associated with which side of the mountain we’re looking can simply melt into ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’. As Big Daddy Weave sings, ‘I Believe’ we all can have that in common.

March Newsletter-The Refuge

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

January 8th, 1990, WBVN was birthed. Long time ago, lots of songs, lyrics, scripture, teachings, and so we’ve been told, much encouragement and inspiration. Now, we step into a new year. Enough has been said about 2020 that I won’t go into the last year but choose to share a Hope about the new one. I capitalize Hope because I’m referring to something bigger and grander than a simple hope or wish. The Hope of 2021 I’m referring to is the Hope that lives within you. Doesn’t always feel that way does it? Occasionally, I hear people say it’s hard to have any hope anymore with all the stuff that’s going on in the world. That comment always brings a bit of response in my heart that, in the reality of Jesus Christ, the Father and the Spirit, Hope’s not hard to find but it takes effort for sure. Our faith says Jesus came specifically to reveal a new Life, to reveal God as no one else had ever revealed Him before. Jesus (the Word) the creator of the universe came to bring a new creation. He came to restore the damage to His original ‘work’ of creation and undo the disarray of the world B.C. He did not come to try and do that, He came to accomplish that whether anyone believed that or not. The Garden of Eden had released a corrosive corruption. Men’s hearts were pulled away from God, seduced by a suggestion that God’s holding out on you. Humanity said: let’s do our own thing physically, soulishly, and spiritually. A whisper entered the Garden saying man can do more for man than God was willing to do. (Interestingly, that same idea is prevalent still today.) Men could be their own remedy, approve their own thoughts and polish and shine the cultures of the earth to perfection. Man could by the very nature of his brain and self-righteous heart establish man and society to their own image, their ideas being superior to God’s ideas. They would come to a place, prophetically according to God, that their ways would be good and His ways would be bad!

In the Book of Revelation the 7 churches enumerated could be summarized like this: we got this, we can, we will. Emphasizing we instead of He. The first sin was not apple eating, it was thinking they could be gods…they could accomplish Zoe-Life by themselves and, who knows, perhaps God would watch, be impressed and would applaud.

Today, as much as anytime ever before, we stand in front of three doors similar to the Price is Right folks: door number one, there is no savior, number two, we are the savior, door number three, He is our Savior. I mentioned in the last newsletter, man doing the best for man, we can provide the answers for body, soul and spirit; that’s the spirit of 666. I have a one word reference for the environment we live in today: revealing. All things are being revealed. People’s inner hearts are coming forward without fear of any consequences. Prophetically, today, perhaps more than ever before, ‘we will know them by their fruit.’

In 1990, WBVN came specifically to encourage. In times like these, perhaps that’s even more important than when we started. Don’t misunderstand my comments, we see the same conflicts in our world as you see. Does our heart break to think of this world so robust to separate itself from the Love of God? Yes it does. Has that been announced and declared by God in man’s future? I’m afraid so. We live in a world that has educated the most people ever, has more communication than ever before. Man’s knowledge is skyrocketing and still with all that, we find ourselves not having progressed but having fallen back into Old Testament patterns. In my opinion, the most elite society is also the most lost humanity since the Garden. For sure, as believers we need to be active in our environment, try to make a difference. BVN is built on that principle. Also, we need to be careful and not be moved to be discouraged or fearful. Our environment, what we see and hear, should not challenge our Faith. There are literally an infinite number of things to do about the Gospel, Christianity as a whole has thousands of activities that appropriately need our help and support. This ministry sees and hears everything that’s going on around us, the same as you do. That said, we also don’t see the world through rosy-colored glasses just to look positive or ignore the facts. We get it, it’s a tough world. And, without Love, Christ Himself identified the world as fearful for sure. As a radio ministry we can point out all that’s wrong, and there’s plenty. But, in what we believe to be in line with our first mission-vision in 1990, we came to encourage you to believe. We applaud all kinds of Church activities and The Church needs a multitude of actions to fight against all the various ways anti-Christ splashes out into our daily lives and cultures. Callings are anointed and callings are specific and need to be followed for sure. When we first began WBVN we didn’t write down every idea we had about ministry. We simply chose to proceed into ministry expecting things to happen along the way creating an obvious path to follow as we advanced in what has now been over thirty years.. Following the Spirit doesn’t require a goal or script; it needs a willingness to travel in unique ways and unimagined tomorrows. Abraham had no clue about anything except “Go”.

What to do at this moment? We choose to believe, believe to the point of knowing not hoping, He will never leave us, never separate Himself from us. The world can and always has been against Christ’s coming, His appearing and His coming back. Christ Jesus calmly told us as they hated Him, they would hate you. The Spirit of anti-Christ is talented in giving people good causes and hiding his anti-Christ motives underneath them. I’ve always maintained that I think Christ’s return will look exactly like His first appearing, His death and His resurrection. The spirit of anti-Christ will be cheering in the streets, ‘we crucified Him, we’ve won, and God is dead.’ It will look like it’s over just like it did on that hill 2000 years ago. Rome ruled over the faithful then, and in some way, Rome again is trying to rule again today. Imagine how the believers must have felt the day of and after the cross.

The anchor to this newsletter is this:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government (true authority in the earth) shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal (passion) of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:6-7)

We need to believe that no matter our environment. 2Cor. 5:7 refers to living by Faith, not by sight. The Greek word used there for sight is only used once in the whole New Testament so it’s very specific and with emphasis on the actual external, physical seeing, not seeing with our imaginations. Mathew 4:4 instructs us to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, therefore: for unto us a child is born…to order it and establish it…the passion of the Lord will perform it.

The world thinks it’s going to get rid of Jesus and get good, get better. That’s a deception, an old deception as old as the Garden. The Word of God doesn’t express that, rather it describes a world of chaos where He must return to save it from itself. That’s door number three again, Jesus Christ is that powerful. He’s that powerful even when the world we see and hear looks the opposite of that Scripture. We know He will perform it! He will see to it. That’s the good news, that’s what we see, what we hear, and that’s better that what the world is saying and doing. In John 6:28-29 they ask Jesus what works should they do to perform the works of God? Jesus replied, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He hath sent.’ Believe, trust, follow; welcome to that world. As Stephen Curtis Chapman sang,

Let’s follow our leader into the glorious unknown
this is a Life like no other, whoa, whoa this is the great adventure.

February Newsletter: 666

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters | Leave a comment

“A sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured it up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth… because they had no root they withered away. Some fell among thorns; the thorns sprung up and choked them. Others fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty…” (Matthew 13)

For 30 years, and in at least 3 newsletters over that time, I’ve referred to WBVN-FM as a tiller. Tilling my garden is where I first thought about using that term for the ministry heard over FM 104.5. Tillers are used to work the earth. They are super efficient at what they do, making a big difference compared to not having one. Tillers change the unproductive nature of the dirt into something useable, preparing it for a big change to happen. Tillers take plain old dirt and make it into soil. Christian radio can help create, in much the same pattern, a place as well for Christian growth and worship.

Christian music and programming heard over FM 104.5 prepares our hearts for spiritual growth very similar to how my tiller prepares the soil for seed. We began this ministry on January 8th, 1990. In our broadcast we prepare a place for ministry to take place. We mix the soil in our listener’s souls, mixing in, as we say, music with a message and relevant programming for our daily lives. We’re not everything the Church needs but we are a part of what encourages the Church to mature and bear fruit. WBVN is, and was from the very first day, one simple thing: a ministry of encouragement. 104.5 purposed to create an environment to help believers grow. In my garden at home the soil needs to be loosened for the plants to grow. In believers’ lives people need to be enriched with hope and love to bear fruit. We’re an oasis here much like in my garden space, a place to expect yields much different than other places in my yard.

For us success cannot be measured in financial terms, but in the terms associated with the life of Noah, who did the work of God “according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” God establishes Visions in His Church/people and each is directed towards accomplishing that particular vision. At the station, if we do not make our original Vision our number one priority, then the thoughts and intents of our hearts are not God-ward but self-serving. When ministries add their efforts together we get a “fullness” of ministry from local churches, missions, Christian service ministries and yes, even broadcast ministries.

It’s a new year, a new opportunity to face whatever situation the Church finds itself in 2021. We are purposed to help all of us to be prepared for faith not fear, encouragement not sadness. In spite of what’s going on around us, because Christ is in you, Hope lives in your soul, the Word is planted in your heart, we can be strong. It appears that in our futures, by necessity, we will be learning a lot about the Kingdom of God and its superiority over the kingdoms of this world. The world seems very eager to smash any belief in God. They aren’t satisfied with simply their being able to turn way from God. Apparently, they want to discourage and disparage Christian faithful before they themselves completely bail away from God. The secular world isn’t satisfied with its freedom to say ‘no’ to God, but seemingly wants to make sure you’re not free to say ‘yes’ to Him. The Godless world promises health (climate control), wealth (free stuff, while taking our stuff) and peace (while delivering record setting blood pressure-depressants and storing strange chemistry and bombs). In reality, it delivers none of those promised things in any country that they rule.

I know there are different interpretations about the mark of the beast/666. I’m sure that there’s more than one way to observe that coming occurrence. One of my favorites because it’s associated with the spiritual hearts not the flesh, one that I think can expose the realities of the world’s future: 666 is the total essence of godless mankind and opposed to the completeness of God. Man was created on the 6th day and, just as the 7th day is referred to as the Lord’s Day, 6 is man’s day. The Bible representing a globalist world with 666 is a picture of man doing the best man can do for man in body, soul and spirit. It’s a false Trinity. It’s a trinity completely created by man. It’s man swiping the promises of God but being totally independent from God. It’s man solving all his problems, by himself, for himself, in his way. Man saying I have, or I am, the answer to all humanity’s problems. 666 is man’s offer of providing you false pleasure, a false comfort, and a false internal peace. Man offering an unholy trinity, pushing scriptural Holy out of the way. 666 is man doing everything for man with his abilities; no God needed. I agree we may see other expressions of 666. Perhaps we will see a person become the image 666, or perhaps something physically obvious will be applied to our body; regardless, it’s a fingerprint of the Anti-Christ. Perhaps we will literally see 666 manifested in the flesh; however, God will, even more, see the independence and the desire to be separated from Him. God will see the 666 in people’s hearts. You can decide if that’s where we are.

In 2021, we will till. Having a Christian expression through radio at this moment is a unique tool for God to use to encourage believers. You know the cultural pressure that’s being put on Christian Faith. (Just look at the list of essentials that are government approved to be open and look at what has been closed.) WBVN is an environment, a place of Faith, Hope and Love. Our ministry purpose is to accomplish one thing: to be a “help ministry”. Ministry through WBVN is the beginning of something rather than the end of something. In a garden, “tilling” is the first thing that leads to many other things. We believe that “out of good soil others shall grow.” (See Job 8:11-19) We’re a ministry that “sets the table” for the Christian community so that the five-fold ministry can come and sow, tend, and harvest. We help create an environment with the potential for the miracle we call the Christian Life. We spend 24 hours a day tilling the soil we’ve been given by God to tend; preparing for growth in the Christian experience. It appears we’ll need that more in the future than even in the times past! The Bible says of His return, “will He find us Faithful”… we are a ministry that tries to see that that will be true.