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May Newsletter-Testimony

I don’t assume I’m right about all things Gospel, so this is not a step-by-step letter about mimicking anything I will say. Sometimes I’m actually suspicious of my being right about the Gospel. I’m faithful to it, but don’t expect others to have to agree with me. I’ll say it like this, this letter is more accurately described as ‘my experience.’ I’m sure my high school buddies, my military guys, my family and some of my best friends must scratch their heads at the thought/sight about what I’ve experienced over the past 34 years. ‘No way’ might be the general response to where I came from and where I’ve ended up. In my thinking, writing over 400 newsletters and creating 225 concerts just proves the Spirit of God can sometimes make something out of nothing. I’m not writing a formula, but it’s a testimony about Him. Keep that in mind and I’ll be more comfortable about this letter. I know very little about radio, not very knowledgeable about ministry, I only know about what God has done through Jane and me. This testimony is about ‘Life’ that He creates in my life, not because of me, but many times, in spite of me. In a way I didn’t do this. Example: Mark Schultz, Big Daddy Weave, and NewSong happened to us, we did not make those happen; we could not have made those happen. We observed it, did not cause it. That’s one way we knew it was Him and not us.

I mentioned to someone the other day how the ministry called WBVN Radio is made up of resistance and miracles. I could list a dozen times of heavy resistance, major crisis type events that have occurred. However, the miracles I could list would fill a book. Most of the miracles have been people miracles: practical help from unexpected people. People that have volunteered to do the labor it takes to do the concerts and financial help from people that you would never expect to experience such giving from. The loyalty of the BVN staff, from my point of view, is a miracle. They are so dedicated to blessing BVN listeners. Each employee is a perfect puzzle piece, all with different personalities but one united heart for ministry. It reminds me of Jesus choosing the 12 disciples, some fishermen, a tax collector, etc. to create a group to witness and share the Gospel. We had technology help from a Saline County deputy sheriff thirty-five years ago; he’s still giving that today. And people have given us kind words to encourage us just at the right time.

We’ve created 225 concerts; maybe back when we started in 1990, I could have imagined 30-40. We’ve found favor with many artists, many artist agents to make that happen. We’ve experienced concert nights that the attendees felt like they didn’t want those nights to end. We have a loyal volunteer group that sets those concerts up and works many unseen hours making them possible.

It’s hard to deny God when you’ve seen so many miracles, powerful moments that kept this Word going over the radio for over 33 years. I don’t think it’s possible for me to draw a complete picture of the miracles. It’s a thirty-four year miracle made up of hundreds of little miracles. I think they’re present because of our purpose and our stubborn attitude to care and serve the community of believers God has given us to encourage. In doing so we’ve experienced an extraordinary Christian Life. I think that the Christian Life is not only raising the dead, healing the sick, but a ‘newness of life’ as well. It’s a Life we can experience; Life as the Father would have it for us. (Rom. 6:4) In my memory, that started years ago in a conversation with a dear friend of mine and his simple three word statement: ‘Dad ain’t mad.’ Nothing’s been the same since that moment. I still can see and hear him uttering those three words. As I type them, tears appear because I know what those words released, what freedom they brought, what a difference they made in my life. Those words created WBVN, and placed me in an extroverted world, a studio filled with equipment and wiring– not my cup of tea. They were powerful three little words. But dropping those into my brain caused them to travel to my heart. It was sealed there. I didn’t set out to do this, it was not my goal in life, there was actually more ‘uncertainty’ than peace doing it because of its public nature and the technical aspect.

I recently told a friend, ‘I’m sometimes embarrassed of what the Spirit of God has shown me.’ I know me and I know I’m way above my pay grade when it comes to ‘revelations.’ I could prove that to you with just a few facts, but let me express it this way; the Spirit of God can make you look pretty knowledgeable in order to accomplish His work. I’ll say again, ‘This is testimony about Him, not what I’ve accomplished but what He has done.’ When you measure the distance from where I was as a young man to what I’ve experienced, both in the world and in my heart, the distance traveled is a great deal of distance. Here again this could not have been possible without those little miracles creating this one very big and amazing miracle called WBVN. People’s names and faces come to my memory as I think about these 33 plus years. It’s easy for me to see the hand of God in my life because of how much of the ‘New’ Christian Life I’ve experienced. I remember years prior to doing this ministry how I prayed that God would take me out into the deep water of Faith. I wanted to be so far into it that I could not possibly ‘tip-toe’ to keep my head above the water. I wanted to be in a place where something had to hold me up other than my ability to do that. That prayer/dream certainly came true.
Why am I writing this story? Because so many things that seemed impossible became possible with the truth of God. There is one little caution I would add to that statement: the Christian Life is not God following our imaginations, our plans, our way, but it’s more akin to us entering into His plans, His ways. By that I mean, Jesus did nothing except what he saw the Father doing. I remember a song we played back in 1990 when we first started the station. It was the Imperials song, “Come Into My Life.” I remember thinking at the time how I’d like that song a little better if it was titled, “Come Into His Life.” He has plans/thoughts for you. (Jer. 29:11, plans for your peace and a future reward) They’re not prewritten plans, not a script that you can’t help but live out. We have free choice to say yes or say no to Life as the Father would have it for us. We choose who we will serve; He invites; He does not shove.

Much of what has happened to Jane and me was not done using our own ability. Our experience is better described as following Him rather than leading. Following Christ is not always logical, not always obvious. Following is not simply mimicking Him, it’s more heart-felt than that. I’m more comfortable describing it as us being persuaded by an ‘unction’. That’s something greater than just trying something. Unction is not just a good idea and not simply what we’re thinking; it’s more felt in the heart than the head. Unction is more associated with tears rather than our ability, our wealth or power. Before starting the station, we had the tears, we had none of the other. Believe me, doing a listener supported station in 1988 did not qualify as a good idea. Because two national ministries had just publically failed, one of my best friends said it was a terrible idea. But, it wasn’t my idea to do this; it was a knowing that this was to take place no matter the outcome.

My definition of the Christian Life can be stated as this: living above our ability. Given the right heart attitude, it’s trusting God to create a way for us to live that is only seen one way: Spirit. I’ve always thought if you can get purpose down in your heart and let it travel to your brain, you can hear the whispers and nudging of the Spirit on how to hone in on His purpose. If you wish to serve people, if that’s a purpose in your life, there are spiritual inklings that lead you to how to do that.

I’m writing this letter to encourage you that it’s hard not to believe when you’ve seen the things I seen. Three little words changed everything in my life from that day forward. Those words took away any double-mindedness about His desire for my life, my family’s life. The Christian life can be witnessed in our hearts. But, it’s not guaranteed to be trouble free. I quoted G.W. Chesterton in my year end letter sent to all our contributors. He wrote, ‘Jesus promised his disciples three things: that they would be fearless, absurdly happy and in constant trouble.’ The Spirit is described as the ‘Comforter’ in times of trouble. The Christian Life can be experienced even when trouble is present, it will be found in our relationships, and there will be fruit of the Spirit in our lives. (Gal 5:22, Eph. 5:9/love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, righteousness and truth) With that Life, we can experience the freedom to care, to share, and to love without fear. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (Rom 14:17/19)

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

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