FCC Public File - contact: Ken Anderson 618.997.1500
    Listen to WBVN online!

January Newsletter-Another WBVN Birthday

WBVN:     ‘Birthed’ on January 8th, 1990

“Can the rush grow up without the mire?”  I wrote that sentence in a newsletter back in 2004.  It was Bildad the Shuhite’s question to Job in Chapter 8.  Bildad’s purpose for that question was to be revealed in a later verse: for “out of the earth others shall grow.”  I want to talk about that mire a bit more and compare it to what we’ve just expected during our last few concerts with Iron Bell, Big Daddy Weave, Darren Mulligan and We Are Messengers, Micah Tyler and of course the most recent, NewSong, Sarah Reeves and Crowder.  Those nights were perfect ‘mire’.  But first, let me give that mire a bit of scrubbing so that you’re not left with just the goo, the stink, in your brain.

Bildad was referring to the rushes that were papyrus reeds which grew along the Nile River bank.  Just to look at them, they wouldn’t give you a clue as to what an important role they played in that people’s culture.  However, they carried significant value because of their many uses.  Papyrus reeds were woven and used for clothing, their roots were burned for warmth, the rushes were woven to make sails for their boats, poor people had to eat the plant occasionally, and most significantly, rushes were crushed and made into papyrus paper.  Moses used papyrus to write the first five books of the Bible.  Significantly to Bildad’s point, there wouldn’t have been any rushes without the “muck” in the bottom of the Nile River bank.  That mire turned out to be pretty important stuff.  It was located about 6 feet below the rushes.  In its own way it was miracle stuff.  It was a coagulation of dead things that produced life.  Today it could be compared to the stuff you’ve felt between your toes if you have ever been brave enough to step out into a farm pond, an ugly, smelly thing.  Without the mire the rushes that benefited those people would not have been possible.  That stuff under water, out of sight and seemingly insignificant, was the foundation to what was seen above the water.  To have good reeds you have to have good “muck.”  It was that relationship between the plant and that murky soil that caught my imagination as I thought about our 2018 concerts.

I’ve always imaged the ministry we do as similar to the spring tilling I do in the garden.  Tilling the garden takes “plain old” dirt and makes it into “special soil.”  I don’t know if you’ve ever used a garden tiller, but what you start out with is nothing like what you end up with.  What is hard as clay and full of clods, with a little tilling becomes this stuff you can really enjoy walking bare-footed in.  It changes the nature of the dirt into something useable and actually attractive and sweet to smell.  At this radio station we chum the soil, mixing in CCM and Programming.  WBVN is purposed to inspire spiritual growth.  Soil needs to be loosened for the plants to grow, people need to be enriched with hope and love to bear fruit.  If you simply throw seed on ground that hasn’t been worked, if you toss them out onto your lawn, you’ll get no fruit.  This next concert is an example of preparing the ground for seed to be sown and growth to take place in our listeners’ lives.

Perhaps we can think about it like this: there’s a difference between doing a “work” and working for God.  An Old Testament illustration of this is found in the earliest scripture. Abel offered a lamb as a sacrifice while Cain offered what he had produced from the ground that was cursed.  Cain’s offering symbolized “working for God,” the work of Cain’s own labors and hands.  Abel’s lamb embodied what God had done for mankind, God providing the sacrifice, compared to Cain offering what he did, his religious work for God.  It wasn’t just a lamb and vegetable comparison, God judged each for their approach to ministry.  For us, success cannot be measured in financial terms but in the terms identified 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 and each member is directed in ministry toward accomplishing that particular vision.  If we don’t make that vision our number one priority for functioning in ministry, then the thoughts and intents of our hearts are not God-ward but self-serving.  For me the most profound thing that Jesus ever said, something that incorporates all the meaning of the Gospel was: “Follow Me,” implying, come, stand with Me and watch what I’m about to do, you will be amazed.  For 28 years we’ve been amazed.

As a ministry we can’t walk away from ministry.  Our promise to do ministry 28 years ago meant doing it in the many ways we felt God leading us to move.  Many of you know the unique relationships that have developed over the years with Mark Schultz, NewSong, and Big Daddy Weave.  There are others that could be named, but these three are the most obvious to illustrate what has happened here over the years.  This is a place artists can pour out their hearts; be themselves in their ministry because they have grown to trust the integrity of our concert audience.  (You could easily add Darren Mulligan to that list after his May and November concerts).  There are other artists that do that for us but these three express so perfectly the special moments we’ve had at the Civic Center.  We came over 28 years ago to do the things that make a difference in people’s lives.  Yes, we’re about entertaining (we love to entertain people with CCM), but more intensely we are about building a fertile ground for ministry to take place.  Again in 2018, as we have for 28 years, we’ll see God do so many things at these events.  Do that when we really have had no part in them other than create the environment for them to happen.  Concerts are a part of our garden.  We’ve grown to trust that God is capable, without our ‘works’, to do a work.  And yes, we’re aware of how many times some of these artists have been here, and yes we actually do understand that that can be brought up in a conversation and perhaps even criticized, but with an even bigger yes, we’re obligated to follow our hearts permitting the Spirit of God to embrace an artist to share here often and God embrace our listeners each and every time they gather together.

Ministry through WBVN is the beginning of something rather than the end of something.  Just as a garden full of “living things” begins with soil preparation, “tilling” is the first thing that leads to many other things.  We believe that “out of good soil others shall grow.”  That can happen on the radio or at our concerts, both designed to act as a place the Spirit of God can mingle into people’s lives.  We’re a ministry that “sets the table” for other ministries, making it possible for sowing, tending and harvest.  We prepare the environment, create potential for the miracles we call the Christian Life.  With the partnership of our listeners for 28 years, we’ve invested in that preparation so that the Word of God will have a place to manifest and become relevant in believers’ lives.  We spend 24 hours a day encouraging our listeners, tilling the soil we’ve been given to care for.  The Bible says of His return, “will He find us Faithful”… Since our beginning on January 8th, 1990, we’re a ministry that tries to help encourage that in all of us.  Hope we can gather together with you again in 2018, either each day on the radio or occasionally at the Marion Civic Center for a great night of encouragement through Contemporary Christian Music.  Thank you for so many wonderful years and experiences…..

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.