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30 Years of Memories-Mark Schultz

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

30 Years of Memories-Mark Schultz

Just follow me. We’ll go down this hallway and turn right onto the stage. Watch your step. It gets a bit dark back here behind the curtain. Be careful of the cables, it takes a lot of those to give our audience the best sound we can give them in a concert setting. Here, you can sit on this piano bench, that’s the same one he sat on during the concert. Ok, now to answer your question.

Well, it was like this. I have to tell you, at first I didn’t believe it. It began one afternoon. I got a call from Greg Lucid. Greg Lucid– I’m thinking, who is Greg Lucid? That day the name didn’t ring bells in my brain. Greg refreshed my memory and explained that he was the manager for Mark Schultz. Now that name rang a bell. We had had so many wonderful experiences with Mark, first at the Aldersgate Methodist church on August 14th, 2001. If you were there for the first one you’ll remember Mark breaking down emotionally because so many people were singing his songs back to him. That’s not always something that happens on the road for the artist. Many places people watch a concert; here our people seem to be a part of the concert. Anyway, Greg gave me the usual ‘niceties’ and then asked me a question I was not prepared for. ‘Do you think you could get a crowd together if Mark Schultz wanted to film a live concert DVD at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center?’ I was shocked, a bit speechless actually, and to be honest with you, I did not believe that this was the real Greg Lucid. My first thoughts were I was being pranked. A national recording artist who could choose any town or city in America to video a concert and Marion is the choice. Greg, I think, sensing my hesitation to reply as though his suggestion was real, began to explain that the record company had suggested a couple of sites, both large cities, for Mark to record in, but Mark indicated that he’d like to do it in Marion. Greg told me he would have Mark call me and talk about it, also mentioned that I’d also hear from the recording company to confirm certainty that we really could ‘deliver’ a full crowd for the video filming.

Well, it happened just like that. I received Mark’s phone call while he was on a flight back from, if I remember correctly, a concert in Alaska. Mark’s a teaser, I’m a teaser, so the first few minutes were smiling moments and then it turned serious. He was under pretty heavy pressure to go to one of the other locations (I think one in California and the other in Ohio) to perform for the filming. Mark, and a display of my confidence, eventually convinced the recording company that we could give him a special event. Mark and I both knew in our hearts that what happens here wasn’t like anything that happened in other venues. The authentic, genuine sharing Mark did here and the intensity of the response from our audience was unique and something that hopefully would come across on video. On May 6, 2005, we had a full film crew from Nashville record two concerts that day. If you look closely on the DVD you can see the crowd changing because some of the songs on the finished DVD came from the first concert and others from the second. I find that easy since a friend of mine was in the front row in the first and someone else is seen in his chair occasionally in the video. By the way, you folks that came were great. There are no words to express the integrity of those two events; an artist and an audience giving all the emotional and loving response possible. I still tear up at the thought, the memories, and the honest worship of Jesus in that moment. It was special for Mark, Greg, me, the crew and I’m sure you if you were there.

It was special in another way also. The live DVD, ‘A Night Of Stories and Songs’ won the video Dove award that next spring. Listen, that’s a big deal, that’s indicative of how ‘real’ the evening with Mark showed up on the finished product. It included the concert, interviews, photos and, of course, 6 of Mark’s #1 songs. Mark was kind enough to have a Dove award plaque made just for WBVN; it still hangs in our office area.
Well, that’s about it. That was a long answer to the simple question, ‘How did you get Mark Schultz to film a DVD in Marion?’ I hope this helps explain that we didn’t get Mark here, he brought us to him to film that video. That piano bench you’re sitting on right now is the one he sat on and did two shows in one day. That’s amazing; to sing and share for two events is not an easy thing to do. Mark made it charming just the same. Let me tell you about something you didn’t ask. Sometimes Mark and I have speculated about how did this all happen. What’s so special here? I, and I know Mark, believes something has happened here that’s simply a gift to him, to the station and the community here. We both believe God has provided the mix of artist, radio station and wonderful people to respond specifically to the care he and we have for our listeners. Mark has just been a part of God’s hand on all our lives here. Let me illustrate that with a couple facts: we did not plan or try to have Mark Schultz as our 200th event, but we counted it up one day and that’s exactly what happened; just a neat blessing for us. Another concert, without our planning, happened on Mark and Kate’s wedding anniversary. We got to surprise Mark that night while he was performing. To his surprise, he looked up and saw Kate sitting in the audience. That caused a nice look on Mark’s face and created a moment where Mark jumped off the stage and gave Kate an anniversary hug. And most recently, the last concert we have been able to provide, was Mark’s on March 14th this spring. It’s unique in that immediately after that concert the venue was closed due to the pandemic, and in some unique way, Mark Schultz was exactly who we would have wanted to spend an evening with if we had known that that concert would be the last for what has turned out to be a long time.

Let me say one more thing, we’ve spent 30 years trying not to be just a ‘juke box’ but a ministry of relationships. We have made that with Mark and we’ve been blessed enough to have made relationships with you. That’s the most pleasant thing we’ve experienced in those thirty years. You might call that friendships, fellowship, community, but whatever you call it, it’s simply caring about others and being cared about. Those are good memories.

June Newsletter- Dad Ain’t Mad

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On January 8th 2020, WBVN began broadcasting in a new year for the 31st time. I’ve had people ask me over the years where the impulse to start a Contemporary Christian Radio station came from. It’s not a simple or necessarily an easy question to answer. There were many things that occurred to push the process forward. At the time, there were many things happening to me and Jane. Our lives just seemed to be propelling us in a direction we had never anticipated, in what seemed to us, unexpected ways. If I had about 10 pages instead of this one, I would discuss all that, but for this letter let me just say the twists and turns were so exaggerated we could not have been mistaken about the evidence of the fingerprint of God in the mix. Most significantly, I think the reason we were experiencing such new and, let’s call them wonderful, things was we were increasingly following our hearts. We were following what was coming from deep inside us, not in our logical brains but our spiritual being. There was one single knowledge that had occurred in both of us pretty much at the same time, the one thing that set us out on this journey. That knowledge that we came to believe with everything within us was that ‘Dad ain’t mad.’

Somewhere along the way, we became overwhelmingly convinced that God was a giver, a lover, an encourager. That knowledge was in contrast to some of our previous thinking. Over the years, it had been suggested that God was holding out on us a bit, was slow to give much of the time. That’s a thought very similar to the whisper of Satan in the Garden in the third chapter of Genesis. We became persuaded God was a friend. That He was not angry at His creation but was actually the remedy for people of His creation. He was not mad at us, not repulsed by us, not trying to find an excuse for eliminating us from His Life. Rather, God was, in Jesus, providing a way for us to enter into that Life. We discovered that God so powerfully Loved that He could not help but Give. We had come to believe that He takes every opportunity to bring us into Himself, not looking for ways to keep us out. He was making a way for us, not getting in the way. He was eager to be a companion, not an angry God finding reason to separate us from His Love. If ever there was one reason, one thought, one thing that was the seed that eventually grew up into WBVN, it was that truth. To take the kind of steps we were taking, the confidence in those thoughts was the only way for us to have been so bold. For us, we found that believing in God’s Love for people was a full-time thing. As we did that we saw our lives change. We saw more and more opportunity to say that over and over again. That ‘knowing’ led to more opportunity to do what we had been doing in the privacy of our home and eventually to do that publicly with thousands of WBVN listeners.

What we trusted in the most, what we said the most, was that God Loved us before we loved Him. That He chose us before the foundation of the world to be in Himself. And, it was His Purpose and His Will that we might live and move and have our being in Him. It was God’s dream to do that and we’re the benefactors of His dream. In spite of thousands of reasons and justifications to turn us into ash, God has always desired for our relationship with Him to be real. He literally provided cover for Adam and Eve. He placed blood on the doorposts in Egypt so that His people might be spared. He provided a ram for Abraham. He put Abram to sleep and cut a covenant, one that He knew Abram could not keep, so God did that by Himself. He provided a Day of Atonement in the Law to offer forgiveness to Israel. He provided manna from Heaven. Does that sound like a God looking to separate Himself from His people? He personally buried Moses with loving kindness. He chose David (in today’s terms kind of a jerk) in spite of David. He chose Saul (Paul) even though Saul was the chief persecutor of believers. And amazingly, immediately after the resurrection Jesus instructed Mary to go and tell Peter of His resurrection. That was the same Peter that had just denied Him three times. And it was God that gave the ultimate sacrifice, the final sacrifice, His Son for a perpetual sacrifice so that we could approach the throne of His Grace. God searches us out, offers us a Grace and Mercy we don’t deserve, provides access for the unworthy. He sent the Comforter of God to be in and on people who will need comfort. And, what was once reserved for only the Prophet, Priest or King became a companion to all that believed. Does that sound like a God that was trying to find a way to eliminate people from His presence? Does it sound like a God that we have to persuade to love, care and share? Does that sound like a God that’s holding something back?

He paid a price we could not pay. He gave us a Gospel that, if anything, is too good to be true. He pledged that He wouldn’t leave or forsake us. He obligated Himself that nothing could separate us from the Love of God. He promised to set a rainbow in the sky as a testimony of His Grace and Forgiveness and being totally and completely satisfied with Christ’s life and blood as a propitiation for our Sin.

For us, it’s constant that ‘Dad ain’t mad!’ His hand is still reaching out. He is, in Jesus’ parable the Good Samaritan that paid the price. He is the Father that stands at the road’s edge watching and hoping for His son; places a ring of covenant on his son’s hand and a covenant coat on his back upon his return in the story of the Prodigal. Bottom line is He’s not the problem, we are the problem. Our alienation, fears, embarrassments are self inflicted.

People sometimes say to me: Yes, but! And I’m okay to have someone describe the Gospel in other ways and in other expressions. However, if I had to tell you what’s the most important truth, what changed our lives the most, what’s the secret to seeing the impossible happen in people’s lives, what’s the most profound, most powerful, it is this: God told Abraham that He was the Friend of Abraham and we are Abraham’s seed and we have inherited that same Friendship and Love. (2Chr. 20-7,James 2-23) Dad ain’t mad is the most powerful truth Jane and I have found in the Gospel. He is the Center of our attention, and amazingly, we are the center of His. We believe God has sought us out, reached for us, gone through the heart-ache of the cross for us, all for the moment of hearing someone say, ‘I Believe,’ to Him. He has done all these things for us so that believers can do just as the angels have done, declare ‘Peace on Earth, good will toward men’! That Peace has been declared, a covenant of Love has been fulfilled and we can be the beneficiaries of that Great Love. It hasn’t been a revelation of who we are that changed our lives; it was a revelation of who He is that made that difference. When we began to live like ‘Dad ain’t mad,’ things that we had struggled with all our lives fell off our hearts. Peace became our home. We finally entered into His promised Rest that comforts us daily. When death stood at our door in March of 2012, His Rest had already filled the room, filled our hearts.

Well there! I’ve done it. I’ve blown our cover! In Ephesians, Paul teaches that in order to understand the height, width and the length of God; we will first need to know the Love of God. That’s step number one in knowing Him. That’s the order of His revelation of Jesus Christ. Any other order than that one, Paul calls a foolish pursuit of the Gospel. Simply put, God intervenes in our lives every time we see Him for who He really is. Jesus said in so many words, if you can perceive me, correctly perceive who I am, you will be able to perceive who He (Father) is.

For us, that was the turning point. That truth has brought liberty; it has brought a freedom that doesn’t take advantage of the Love of God, but has expanded what we have seen and what we’ve experienced. We all know what is wrong with the world; we know what is wrong with us. The mystery is to discover what He has made Right in us. Why and what we started broadcasting in the beginning is still in our breath today. WBVN continues with one message and one hope: that all those who have come to trust and obey that trust, will find the God of Abraham who was Abraham’s Friend, is their Friend also.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment