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April Newsletter: Changes

Recently, I was standing in the studio, the studio that’s been our home for over a dozen years now. I looked around at the CD’s on the wall, the computers, looked at the yellow and blue wiring running every direction, knots of wires actually, observed the needles vibrating on the audio board indicating another song about the Gospel being shared with thousands of listeners. What started out fairly organized 10-12 years ago, well, can’t call it organized today.  We’ve been forced simply by ‘wear and tear’ to ‘freshen’ the basic framework of the broadcast studios.  Though delayed a bit, the upgrades we mentioned during the past two celebrations we’ve finally begun to make. Those people that donated for the specific purpose of those changes, thank you and here we go. As with most things, it seems one thing leads to another. Re-doing that system identified other issues that have had to be addressed as well. The benefits of upgrading to current standards will make long-term differences that are necessary for the future of the station.  Submitting to change always brings a bit of ‘tension’.  Being a broadcaster, most of the improvements will not be seen, but each will be heard.  We’re excited about ‘dressing up’ the broadcast with better digital sound and programming options on the radio and in your car.  The old dogs will have to learn new tricks, but we’ll work hard to make it as ‘seamless’ as possible.

Standing there, looking at the ‘knots of wires’ reminded me of the memories held in this building.  There are so many stories about what has happened here and memories from our first studio location. At the same time, I remembered how necessary it is for people to take new steps and not be encumbered by holding on to yesterday too firmly. I’m often reminded when facing new things that God is a ‘mover’ and, as His people, wehave to ‘follow’ Him on our journey of faith. By its very nature, Faith is not stagnant but flows.  In the very first verse of Scripture, God moved on the face of the earth.  As far as I can tell He’s still moving on it today. He told Abraham to change, to move, or better said, simply to Go! Telling him very little about ‘go where.’ One of my favorite biblical teachings is about Jacob. If you remember, Jacob ran in fear after receiving (actually by deceiving his father and cheating his brother Esau) the blessing from his father. He stopped running at Beth-el, literally meaning ‘God’s house.’ That was the first place he met God (Jacob’s ladder). It was a bit bumpy here and there, but Jacob’s journey ended in a place of peace. As was traditional in that time, Jacob built an altar of stones at Beth-el to mark the place ‘where God was’ found. Jacob could have stopped there. We sometimes act the same way when we first meet God. We get stuck in thatplace thinking all that God has for us is in that one location. We enjoyed our journey to find Him, enjoyed meeting Him, and we get comfortable thinking we’ve arrived at our final destination. In a subtle way, we quit seeking Him. Oh, when we get in trouble or need God to show up, we go back to those original stones we use to ‘mark the place where God is.’ We go back there because we want what happened the first time there to happen again there. But God has moved and calls us to follow! Simply, we will need to find our ‘manna’ at the next location!

Jacob did that; he packed up his family and re-located, this time to a place named ‘El-Bethel,’ literally, ‘God of the House.’ Jacob now had two experiences with God. First, he had found where God was, and in the second, he had found who God was. Jacob had ‘located’ Him in the first and had come to ‘know’ Him in the second. That’s very much like our lives. Hopefully, we find Him one day and over time we continue to learn of Him. However, just as with Jacob, there’s another journey to take. That third journey is the purpose and fulfillment of the first two journeys. For believers, God’s prepared a place for us. It’s not just the Heavenly one He’s promised, but also promised an earthly one. In Jacob’s case it was called Ephrath.  In Ephrath, Jacob’s purpose for all his journey was found.  As you read the Scripture you discover that Jacob had no idea why he was to go there. In fact, he had opposition to going there. All that Jacob knew was he was to go and simply followed God to a new place. Jacob never realized why he needed to go there, why put down roots there. At that time, the town of Ephrath was of no real consequence. Generations later, Ephrath came to be calledBethlehem. Do you know why Jacob needed to go to Ephrath? On the journey Rachel died in child-birth, but a son was born to Jacob and Rachel: a son Jacob named Benjamin. Benjamin would raise his sons in Ephrath, and his son’s sons would be born there, and their sons would live there. Jacob’s great, great, great, great, great, great grandson, Boaz, would be born there.Boaz would meet Ruth there and they would have a son, Obed. Obed had a son Jesse and Jesse had a son David and out of Bethlehem, out of David, would come a future ‘son’ named Jesus. Jacob’s changing locations had a purpose beyond what he could see. God had a plan for all the earth and it would be located in the last move of God in Jacob’s journeys.

Some 30 years ago, each having found God years earlier, Jane and I moved from our comfortable spot. It was a spot marked with wonderful experiences.  But knowing we needed to follow rather than stay in that place, we changed our journey location,we started WBVN.  In that new place, we discovered more fully the provision and the very nature of God. In this place we discovered ‘El-Bethel’ or God of the house. Here, we learned of who He was, not just where He was. Here, we experienced newmiracles of God. Here, we grew confident in Him. Now, in our 31st year of this journey, we have found Him always trustworthy! His Grace has been sufficient here. His provision has been manifested here. We’re comfortable here! But we know it’s necessary to make these changes even though it makes us feel a bit vulnerable. It’s time. I look around and want to pile stones here in my office, in the studio and at the front door and just ‘park there’. In our flesh, we want to stay comfortable and do this ministry in the way we’ve done it for the past dozen years. This is the second time in 30 years we’ve kind of ‘torn up everything’ and remodeled the ‘how’ of doing FM 104.5.

I remember reading a book years ago on the ‘secrets for living from the Lord’s language.’ In it, the Hebrew word “DOR” was discussed. It’s the word for generation and is most importantly the essence of DOR to DOR, meaning from generation to generation. In the Hebrew language, the continuity from generation to generation is of primary importance. One generation doesn’t stand alone to be looked at as independent from the one before it or the one after it. A clue to DOR to DOR is found in the Hebrew spelling of DOR. Reading forward brings the message of generation; however DOR read backwards reveals the meaning of “to decline.” In the Hebrew language for generation to generation there is no ‘stagnation.’ We are either growing from generation to generation or we’re shrinking away from the continuity needed in our and our children’s lives. We’re not going to stand still; we will either move forward or we will be destined to decline. This next generation will either build on the shoulders of the last, or as has been the recent trend, this generation will continue to see a ‘falling away’ in the next DOR. 

I’m not sure what tomorrow holds for WBVN. After 30 years I get that kind of question a lot.  Ministry to me is about people. It’s not the building, the tangled wires and equipment; it’s not show business, or not even simply the music. It’s more about changing people’s attitude about their God, truly their Father. One of things I like to share with people is about the monthsJane spent in the hospital in Chicago.  In 2012 she was completely paralyzed head to toe.  She was in ‘total body’ failure if I can say it like that.  She was in crisis health treatment and under medical care for many months.  It was a long story and a complex story, but the shortest version of that story is summarized by this: she went to Chicago a believer and came out of Chicago a knower. She and I both encountered, probably more than any other time in our lives, the God of the House, Who He is, what He does. WBVN, its programming, music and concerts is about encouraging people, helping them to find the house where God is and about finding the God of the house in their lives. It’s about changing from knowing there is a God andarriving in their journey at the place of knowing the very nature and character of Our Father, not only discovering what He is to us but who we are to Him.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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