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October Newsletter-Modification

On January 8th we will be celebrating our 34th birthday! In some ways, much longer than we ever imagined in 1990 when we threw the switch and started our first song. (Keith Green) Many things have changed since that beginning; however, our purpose and the journey to achieve it haven’t varied very much. For the most part, we still use music and lyric to share the gospel. We still concentrate on just a few things to accomplish ‘the gift of FM 104.5’. That term was our first logo phrase on our first WBVN newsletter. ‘Gift,’ I think is appropriate because in our mind and experience, God gave this to our community of believers in many ways. Gave us the inspiration and imagination to create this radio ministry and manage it for a particular fellowship of listeners. Gave us the ability to do something that, even today, still seems pretty impossible to do given our skills and simple economic resources. Gave it to our community of believers as a gift to encourage, inspire and to experience a daily ‘togetherness.’ Given to all BVNers, to experience the joy of caring about one another. BVNers are people that love to get together on the radio each day and get together at BVN events. That’s special, ‘un-duplicatable’ for the most part: the gift of FM 104.5.

The Church, followers of Christ Jesus, is a creation of God just as Adam and Eve were creations. Adam and Eve were so precious to Him that He walked in the garden with them, shared with them, cared for them, spent time directly with them, to be a Counselor, a Motivator; He loved them. After the fruit incident, God did not throw up His hands and quit, didn’t turn them into ash. He sought them out, peeked under the bushes and, even knowing their guilt, embraced them with love and passion. He did not say everything’s ok, no big deal or say I understand. He, in His Wisdom, told them the truth of what consequences there are from living outside the things that He alone had prepared for us; the chaos of ignoring His Love and Wisdom. The Church today stands in very much the same place as Adam and Eve were. God still loves it, cares for it, seeks it, and has passion for it. It’s interesting that if you study the word translated in our Bibles as jealous you will discover that God’s definition of jealous is an aggressive, hope-filled passion for someone, not a damning, crushing of someone. God was so passionate for His creation He sent His Son, His only Son, to provide a balm, a remedy for the foolishness of men and women.

Being involved in Christian ministry for 35 years have done a couple of things to my vision of the Gospel. I’ve often shared how each time Jane and I have been confronted by stress, disappointment, or misunderstanding, our Faith in God has been discovered to be far greater than we ever imagined. As an example, I’ve expressed that fact many times about the incident in 2012 when Jane was paralyzed from head to toe with a GBS illness. Our expression out of that moment was: ‘we discovered God’s love and comfort was greater than we ever had imagined.’ Jane’s expression after her recovery was ‘Jesus was more than enough.’ I recently wrote in a newsletter ‘the Gospel is Jesus.’ That’s how simple and how amazingly understandable the Gospel is. All our hope and dreams since we were first married have been about that Gospel. It has been a journey that involves coming to know Him more and more, and at the same time, always learning even more about Him every day. God’s first description given to us in Genesis is that He moved on the face of the earth. Today our confidence is that He’s still moving right now, no matter what we might be seeing or hearing from a secular world (system).

Now I’ve said all that to take away any doubt about Who and What we believe in. I have over the years written a small genealogical biography. I did that to give our three daughters an idea of the road Jane and I have traveled to get to where we are today. One thing I’ve not been able to articulate just yet is any description, chronology or step by step of WBVN. My little bio stops in 1988 when we made our FCC application to create the station. The reason is it’s too overwhelming, too seemingly impossible, too many miracles, too many nice people that have helped us so much, too unbelievable, too amazing. I wish I could articulate it all but it would take 35 years (12,775 days) to do so. So that Who and What is pretty large and actually very powerful.

So that brings me to this month in this year. I praise for what we have experienced and what was so much of a surprise for us. Never imagined, never considered, never thought it possible to see what we have seen, done what we have done. If that sounds trite, believe me, it’s not trite when actually lived and experienced. Ask my friends if they thought I had the intellect, the wisdom, the sense to do what WBVN has been for 35 years. Even my wife and daughters would just grin I suspect. I know I do when thinking back over it.

Now since I’m reminiscing a bit I want to touch on something that takes me even further into the history of this radio ministry. I remember the first day, the first concert, the first check from Charles Carter of Carterville that came to support the station, the first cash donation from Laurie and Rick Chapman from Marion, the first Celebration with Mike Middleton (He is so much responsible for what happened here), remember the first volunteer crew for both on air programming and concerts, and I remember meeting the first annual budget three years after January 8th, 1990. I’ve always said the testimony of this ministry is the people that help physically and financially. The reason I say testimony is because Jane’s and my belief is that all those people, including the people that attended over 225 concerts, are carriers of Christ in their hearts. It’s people’s hearts we work with, more than their flesh and brains. That statement is made to lead me to my bottom line in this letter, it follows:

Thirty-five years of witnessing ministry, loving people and seeing the Gospel on display hopefully gives me permission to suggest something to add to this conversation. I don’t consider it being critical of anything or anyone. It’s not an alarm, it’s just kind of a 35 year observation. I suppose it’s a ‘be careful.’ It’s just that with all the issues the Christian community faces today I want to wave a flag to add to your database. One side of that equation is stress from the secular world added to our lives, the anti-Creator stress I call it. The other side is more subtle. Let me begin it with a statement: I’m overwhelmed with the amount of effort and the sincerity, the kindness of the Christian people we’ve met and worked with for 35 years. But, the flag I’ll raise is one that deals with what I’m witnessing more and more, not just in Christian Radio but, in the Christian community as a whole.

Where is Jesus! I’m seeing a lot of what might be called the Gospel of self-improvement. It embraces a Gospel that focuses on changing your brain, your behavior toward others, and away from changing your heart. Everyone has a spirit/soul that’s separate from their brain. Unless we’re careful, the Gospel could become merely behavior modification. God’s Love could simply become being kind to one another, simply absorbing some of the other person’s understanding and be encouraging to them; we can be accommodating all differences in the name of Jesus. Then slowly, the Gospel can be accomplished with our flesh, our brain-computer. The result of that Gospel: it can be accomplished without a Savior. It’s human kindness without the Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness of God. One that’s absent the purpose of the Bible: Hope for a better life, a new life, not just a good life, but a life changed by Christ Jesus.

For many years the secular marketplace has taken on the tree of good with its vocabulary but ignoring the God given Tree of Life. In today’s world, love is a two sided coin. Worldly love and God Love are not from the same tree. I’m not suggesting kindness is not part of the believer’s responsibility, it definitely is, but simple human kindness is to be mixed with the heart of God. To share with people that to experience all that God has prepared for them means to follow biblical Wisdom and Creator ways to Life as the Father would have it for you.

When reading the Bible I like to think of Scripture as Wisdom, and I also remember how Scripture can be interpreted by imagining the reciprocal of it. One of my favorites is 1Peter 2:6, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame.’ The reciprocal to that is: behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect and precious: and, he that does not believe in him shall be shamed (and observed foolish). Likewise, ‘seek you first His Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Math. 6:33). Reciprocal, don’t seek then don’t expect to experience God providing them to you. God made foolish the wisdom of this world. (1Cor. 1:20) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools… Rom (1:22) Foolish marks the day in much of the current environment we live in. I read the other day that AI is writing a bible, China is writing a bible. I’ll just betcha there’s no Jesus Son of God in those, but they’ll tell us how to be good. Blending God and worldly logic, worldly wisdom is not an option.

The station is trying to be careful and thoughtful about the message we share, not only in what to share but also in what not to share. We thank you for trusting us to bring you a simple and powerful Christ centered Gospel. There’s one choice: Believe God’s Word or not believe God’s Word. The Bible is the only Wisdom, Peace and future that works.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

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