Monday, December 14, 2009

Three Simple Words This Holiday

Three simple words this holiday

As Christmas approaches and people's yearly letters begin to arrive, we wondered what we should write for our final newsletter of 2009.

Recently Mike had the privilege to spend the weekend with a friend who is dying from cancer. He had the opportunity to ask Valerie how she came to personally know Christ. Valerie's life growing up was filled with fear and mistrust. A random person at the end of youth group expressed three words that broke through the fear and mistrust of her heart and eventually led to her salvation. Those three words "God loves you."

Three simple words, and yet so powerful -- God loves you. In this season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world, it is an important reminder that it is all about God's love for us. From the foundations of the world, God's love for us was beyond anything we ever deserved. In our choice to rebel against God, He still loved us. So much so, that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth in human form and to pay the penalty of our disobedience -- death.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus through Christmas, will you remember with us that it is all about three simple words: God Loves You.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Story of Life Change

At Keynote's recent Vision Dinner, a video was shared of a life that was changed in a partnership with Keynote and Student Venture. Watch it here:

{if receiving this by e-mail, you can view this video at: http://rebholz.blogspot.com/}

Keynote Vision Dinner 2009 - Online Archive

The 2009 Keynote Vision Dinner which was held on Saturday November 12 had quite a number of people watching live online. The online stream is now available on our ministry's blog site at: http://www.keynote.org/connection/vision-dinner-2009/

Monday, November 23, 2009

Choosing the “T” word.

Volume 4, Issue 11
Choosing the “T” word.

With the US holiday of Thanksgiving approaching quickly, many pause to reflect on what they are thankful for. This year in particular, it is probably hard for many to “feel” thankful because it is a sacrifice to give praise. The state of the economy, lost jobs, general worry, etc… has people so focused on their circumstances; there is little room for thanks.

As ones who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ though, we know that in everything we are to give thanks (1 Thess. 5:18). Our circumstances should not dictate our thankfulness. Rather it is directed to God who is unchanging.

It is easy to get distracted. In our lives this year, we have caught ourselves many times getting caught up by our circumstances. Thanksgiving shouldn’t just be a holiday season – it should be an attitude of the heart- throughout the year.

Despite our feelings, there are times we must choose to be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” That is no easy task in today’s world. We must choose to pause on a continual basis to acknowledge our dependence and need for God. We need to trust in God’s character and attributes above our emotions, what we can see, or what the world says.

… every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

Since it all comes from our Heavenly Father, what do you choose to be thankful for this year? Here is our condensed list:

  • We are thankful for God’s refining of our character through difficult circumstances
  • We are thankful for God’s provision of our most basic needs.
  • We are thankful for God’s unfailing love, grace and mercy.
  • We are thankful for God’s protection of us.
  • We are thankful for God’s provision of families that love us.
  • We are thankful God changes lives, and for letting us be part of it.
  • We are thankful for God’s provision through people like you who support our ministry.

He alone deserves all our praise! Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise!

Praise is the power that changes everything.
-Stormie Omartian


PRAYER REQUESTS:
  • Pray that we would be thankful in all circumstances.
  • Pray that God would meet our next specific financial goal by our deadline of Dec. 18th.
  • Pray Keynote would continue to be creative in how we reach the youth of today and innovative for the youth of tomorrow.
God is at work for our good and His glory. Biblical thanksgiving does not focus on our circumstances, but on the character of God. Circumstances change; God does not.
-Dr. Michael Youssef writes in his devotional Leading The Way

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where the Rubber Meets the Road in the Life of Faith

It is truly an amazing experience to be a faith-supported missionary. (For those that don’t know, a faith-supported missionary is someone who must raise financial support to be in ministry. For Leslie and I, we raise 100% of what it costs to employ us with Campus Crusade for Christ.) Everyone must live the life of faith. There are times in the life of each believer that it is much more obvious than other times that faith is necessary. The process that Leslie and I have been going through is what I have termed “Where the rubber meets the road in the life of faith.”

Over the last 13 weeks, Leslie and I have had two different goals that we needed to see God’s financial provision in order to remain in ministry. We actually have just begun another goal and will probably have one more following that for us to reach 100% of what we need (each of which if we don’t meet, we will need to leave our present ministry). I say that only to let you know that we are still in process and in the midst of having to trust God.

Our first goal was for 6 weeks and we saw God provide a large portion of what we needed in the first couple of weeks. Then things seemed to slow to a halt. We would make phone call after phone call to people familiar with our ministry and not see any results. As we got closer and closer to our deadline, we knew God could provide, but would He. Our goal was met a few days before our deadline and we were able to be at peace.

This last goal, however was for 7 weeks and with only two weeks left, we still had more than half of our goal to go. To be honest, the stress between Leslie and I grew with each day. We saw God provide almost a third of what was left, then nothing. We entered into our final few days this week with $200 in monthly support to still raise for our deadline at 1:30 PM this afternoon. At one point, I turned to Leslie and said, “Even if we make our goal on Friday, I’m not sure I can take another goal.” The stress of living with if it is God’s desire for us to continue on in ministry or not was wearing upon me.

The problem with what I was thinking was that I wanted to short circuit God’s plan. I wanted to have Him take away the hard things in life. I wanted God to provide so that I could live at peace. The problem with that is that God never promised he would remove the hard times to give me peace. He says in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

By the very fact that He mentions not being troubled or fearful, it implies He isn’t removing the situations that might be troubling or causing fear.

Last night, we confirmed a total amount that left us just $8 short of our goal for this afternoon. We spent time calling, e-mailing, and facebooking people trying to come up with this $8 a month. At one point, I got a commitment from a person that said “If you don’t have it by tomorrow afternoon, let me know and I’ll do it for you.”

I felt comforted by the fact that there was a safety net in a sense. I e-mailed that person just prior to noon to let them know that we hadn’t reached anyone who was willing to give and were they still willing.

But then, as only God can do, we received a message that someone on our current financial support team was having to discontinue their support. Then within minutes, we had another e-mail from someone saying that they would join our team. This person's gift was enough to make up the amount that was lost and the remaining $8 we needed to meet our goal.

In that moment, I was ashamed of my unbelief. It was a tangible action that showed I didn’t believe that God would provide. His provision came just 80 minutes before our deadline. And yet, it was perfect timing.

The process of raising support has in a sense been a pressure cooker for us. There are things that come out in our relationship that we need to work on. The very things that made me want to just walk away. However, as a wise counselor shared with us, our support raising process is just the mechanism that God is using to bring these things out in our lives. The issues are still there with or without raising support.

Praise God that He is sovereign and doesn’t let me control my own path. I would take the shortcut every time. But the shortcut is not always for my benefit. I thank God that He desires to see me refined in ways that I can’t even imagine — and that He has a plan that goes beyond anything I know today.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Keynote Vision Dinner 2009 - Online Streaming

The 2009 Keynote Vision Dinner (which is one of Keynote's primary fundraisers) will have a live stream viewable over the Internet.


The event will take place Saturday, November 7, from 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM (Eastern Time). This is one of the best ways that you can be exposed to the full breadth of what Keynote does.

Come join us on Saturday.

The stream can be found here:

An archive of the event will be available following the live broadcast.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opportunities for you

Volume 4, Issue 10
Opportunities for you

Campus Crusade for Christ as an entire ministry has the tag line “Helping Build Spiritual Movements Everywhere.” Keynote is just one part of Campus Crusade. We thought we’d share in this newsletter just some ways you can have an opportunity to be involved.

Global Media Outreach (GMO) has opportunities for you to serve from your own home as an online missionary. Did you know that millions of people search for God everyday online?

In the month of June 2009, 1,030,581 people indicated a first time decision to follow Jesus or a decision to recommit their life to Christ through one of more than 90 GMO-hosted Gospel websites. Of those, GMO online missionaries responded to 180,000 people who e-mailed the ministry asking discipleship. Decisions are happening at an average of 33,000 per day.

GMO has been seeing exponential growth in recent years. In all of 2007, GMO saw 1.3 million in the entire year on its then 71 websites. In all of 2008, GMO saw more than 3 million decisions. In 2008, they launched a cell phone ministry that helps reach 300,000 people every month.

Computers allow us to respond to people from all over the world who need Jesus, right from your home. If you can send an email, you can share the gospel. You can control how many emails you receive. You decide how much time you spend online. Safe! No one sees your email address and no one can send you spam. The training and resources are provided.


Go to http://www.GMOJoinUs.com/ to learn more and apply!

Family Life is one ministry Mike and I have personally been ministered to by. We attended the Family Life Weekend to Remember Conference in 2005 as a pre-engaged couple. This Fri.-Sun. marriage conference is for engaged couples and married couples. We can testify that it is WORTH IT! Building into and investing in your marriage is indeed a necessity and profitable.

We want to thank you! Our ministry would not be possible without your prayer and financial support. To express our appreciation we want to invite you to attend FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference at a special rate of$69/person. That’s almost half of the regular rate of $129 person.

Imagine…a romantic weekend to

  • Focus on each other
  • Get away from the distractions of daily life
  • Slow down and reconnect

Last year over 80,000 people found renewed hope, joy, love romance and effective tools for their marriage. We want you to experience this life-changing Campus Crusade ministry event.

To receive this special rate visit http://www.familylife.com/cccpartner and use the promotion code CCCsupport when you register. There are over 100 events across the Unites States. We appreciate you and care deeply about your marriage and family.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray that God would meet our next specific financial goal by our deadline of November 13th.
  • Praise: God met one of our specific financial goals earlier in September.
  • Pray for Keynote’s launch of our new internet outreach this month.

When I seek to point people to Christ, it is because I am convinced that He alone is God’s answer to life’s deepest problems.
-Billy Graham

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Branching out online

Volume 4, Issue 9
Branching out online

Going online these days is just like picking up a phone for many. The communication continuum keeps escalating. Mike remembers when world wide web was just text and not graphic pictures. Even with so many advancements, ministry IS happening in the realm of the World Wide Web. So you ask, what does that have to do with Keynote? Well, our ministry is branching out. Not only is music a creative element of sharing the Gospel but so is the internet and screen based technology. Keynote was tasked by Campus Crusade leadership to spearhead some of this “virtual ministry”.

On a whim, Keynote’s executive director posted our ventriloquist/comedian, Dave Pendelton’s Gospel presentation to youtube.com. The only promotion he did was put in his Facebook status to check the video out. To date the counter reads 18,451 viewers. One viewer posted the following comment “at first I thought it would be a comedy thing yet, I just find out in my self that it could have been the most valuable video in YouTube I have ever watched...” Dave personally followed-up with the viewer and that viewer shared that he was “trying to search about some famous ventriloquist and it’s a fact that your are one of them I have watched a lot of them including yours and what can I expect? It’s all just for laughs. But when I saw this video about God I felt thankful for even a short span of time you’ve able to share God’s way and I really admire those persons.”

You can watch that video at:
http://bit.ly/DPvideo

In a more intentional way, Keynote is working on some websites that will actually equip the body of Christ to use the Internet for ministry. Some of you may be familiar with what a widget is. No, we aren’t referring to the generic name used along with “thing-a-ma-jig.” The widget we are talking about is in essence a container for information that is placed on a website whose content exists somewhere else. The way Keynote intends to equip the body of Christ is by creating a repository of these widgets that churches, ministries, and individuals can use on their own websites. The widgets will be life giving resources for your online world! People can compile endless combinations of these widgets to create exactly the kind of outreach they are looking for.

Right now, Keynote has a team of people building the widgets and gathering various sources for the information. The goal is to be able to make the repository as well as our own website using those widgets available in early October.

Keynote’s Summer Projects film track produced a documentary this summer. The team of two students and two staff filmed, edited and directed the documentary.
"Experience a Life-Changing Summer” can be viewed at:
http://bit.ly/KEYdocuVid

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please continue to pray for Keynote as we seek more ways to connect with people through social media.
  • Pray for the upcoming international opportunities Keynote has. Late Sept. blue sky nine– Mongolia & South Korea for outreach events. Mid October sending a team to Panama to give communication training and coaching for the Campus Crusade staff as they being a music & creative arts ministry.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Photos from our Staff Conference in Colorado

As an added bonus to the photos from our newsletter, we are posting the photos that couldn't fit on the page.


These are from our US Staff Conference in Colorado


Mike and Leslie enjoying the view at the top of Horsetooth Mountain after they hiked up there.

Mike's old Student Venture Staff friends (Debi & Robin) pause for a photo with him.

Friends who are also a Campus Crusade staff couple meet for dinner with the Rebholz's. Both couples soon (mid August) to celebrate 3 years of marriage within 1 week of each other!
Mike's second home, the presentation desk, during the staff conference.


Staff who are new to Keynote as Mike was or is their support coach.
Leslie with friends (Rose and Omar) from her previous ministry with Life Builders.

Moby Gym filled with 5,000 stateside Campus Crusade staff for the conference.

This year's staff conference theme was "Connect".

One of Campus Crusade's national leaders addresses staff during the conference.

Keynote led worship for the staff conference.

Singing and signing language (far right) to our Lord.

A view of the stage from the upper section of Moby Gym.

Tenth Avenue North, a christian band, gave a concert.

Mike and Leslie taking a pose on a rock half way up the mountain on their hike.

Upclose to a deer during our hike.



Lecrea, a christian hip-hop artist, gave a concert which Mike. You may remember Mike ran lyrics for him during the Impact conference at Christmas time. Someone accepted Christ at that concert because of the lyrics.

Leslie and Mike get a moment together as Mike is working the sessions during the conference.

A stop at a store in Estes Park with a furry friend, a moose.

Mike and Leslie spent an evening with her brother John and his girlfriend, Marcy.

Powerful worship times during the staff conference.

Thomas, Liz and Leslie stop at Keynote's booth during the Ministry fair.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good & Plenty

Volume 4, Issue 8
Good & Plenty

The name of the candy may come to mind (one Leslie’s favorites too) but that is how we’d describe our recent staff conference we just returned from in July. Our biennial Campus Crusade for Christ staff conference is held on the campus of Colorado State University where 5,000 US based staff meet.


Here are snapshots of the “good and plenty” for our 2 weeks working, serving and participating.
Good …
  • Time connecting with old staff friends (previous people we each have served alongside during our staff life/career)
  • Change of scenery for two weeks (from the day to day grind)
  • To be refreshed spiritually hearing from top notch pastor/speakers during our main sessions (Dr. Tim Keller- called a “C.S. Lewis for the 21st century”, Pastor Keith Battle, Larry Crabb, Tim Muehlhoff, Doug Pollock)
  • Renewed vision for ministry (reaching, winning others for Christ, building…)
  • Hearing from our ministry leaders and the future direction
  • Hearing updates of what God is doing in and through other CCC ministries around the world.
  • New ideas for how to create space to do evangelism and creativity in using our home for effective ministry.
  • Connection time for Keynote as a ministry family.
  • To hear how God is using technology to spread the gospel
  • To be challenged: Do I salute the righteousness of God in others?
    • Do I salute God’s presence? What do I boast in? Do I see with eyes of
      faith? What (which freedom) am I an abuser of ? Do I see
      the pearls/ blessings inside the painful thing
  • Reminders: The Gospel gives you a mission, message, method,
    motive.
    • Every man/woman in relationship with Christ is to be missional. (Eph
      2.- We are God’s workmanship.)
    • Gospel is “good news” NOT “good advice.”
    • A historical event that happens whether or not people believe.
    • We grow from adversity. Instead of asking “Why?” say “What does God want me to learn from this?”

Plenty…

  • Of opportunities to serve/work (Mike- tech team, Leslie- Keynote product booth, encouragement team)
  • Of time outdoors in God’s creation (thanking him for)- taking in the greenery, Mountains, wildlife…
  • Walking around on the college campus to get to places
  • Of food choices in the dorm cafeteria
  • Seminars to choose from (so many that we couldn’t make it to them all so we downloaded them to listen to later)
  • Of times riding up and down the 10 floors of the elevator to our dorm room daily. :-)
  • Of Short nights rest for Mike. :-)
  • Of new information: Communication Climates (ex: strategy vs. spontaneity)
  • Of mind blowing statistics regarding today’s youth culture: according to
    • Josh McDowell’s research (apologist) Kid’s don’t process/think the same way their parents or grandparents do. Truth has different meaning to youth today. Tolerance is the number one virtue more than freedom. Ages 35+ Truth is discovered. Below age 35 all truth is created (no external proof), If a child doesn’t accept Christ by age 12 , there’s a 4% chance afterward you’ll reach them.

Prayer Requests:
  • Praise for the refreshing time at our staff conference in July.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and provision
God wants to save people and then use people to help save others.- Keith Battle.
The ultimate in Salvation is the applause of God. –C.S. Lewis

SONG lyrics: He’s Able

God is able to do what He said He’d do. Don’t give up on God because He won’t give up on you. He’s able, He’s able.


Thank you dear friend for entrusting us, believing in us, supporting us, encouraging us, praying for us, sending us….We are grateful for how you invest in His Kingdom Work!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Seizing Opportunities and Sharing Christ

(In the midst of a computer replacement and preparing for our US Staff Conference, this electronic newsletter never got published. I'm sorry that I didn't catch that until now)

Volume 4, Issue 7
July 10, 2009
Seizing Opportunities and Sharing Christ

Here are some stories and stats from Keynote’s summer project:
BAND:Mangofish
DETAILS:The Indian Creek Correctional Facility
STORY:We delivered entertainment to the inmates andsome of them said it was like the highlight of the year. That night we shared Brad’s life story and then later the
Gospel and also passed out the comment cards. By the end of the show we got the inmates to stand up and sing along with us in “Lifeline”. After that they asked for one more song and we had no choice but to go out one more time and do our last song. After the show many inmates came up and talked to us. They were all very nice and friendly too. Many of them were going to be set free in less than a year. Actually the longest time they have to do is 36 months in that facility
so the security is not all that tight. After tearing down and loading up I found out that there were 26 PEOPLE who started a relationship with Jesus for the first time. The Chaplin was very impressed at Keynote ministry and really wants to partner up for later events as well.


BAND:Young Isaac
DETAILS:Bathurst High School, Australia
STORY:The second show was 45 minutes later and involved more students because they were actually required to sit down in chairs. There were a couple hundred students from the 9th and 10th grades. Our team felt like the 2nd show went over better
than the first and kids even wanted to talk to us afterwards including a boy named Dalton. This boy named Dalton had a dear friend who was killed by his own father, stabbed several times by a screwdriver to death. This boy Dalton had been struggling to understand how he can forgive this dad who killed his own son
and Ryan from our team was right there to pray with him after the show. This was our first amazing answer to prayer, revealing to our team that God specifically wanted Ryan to share his story to Dalton in order to encourage him to continue seeking God’s forgiveness in his heart.


SUM SUM Summary (Keynote Touring Groups)
# of bands: 4
(Mangofish, Young Isaac, Swerve and Stop on Green)
Total miles traveled: 16,459 (U.S. and Australia)
Total concerts: 52
Total attendance: 6,231
Exposures to gospel: 5,751
(people heard an evangelistic or pre-ev presentation)
Decisions for Christ: 522

PRAYER REQUESTS:
  • Preparations and safe travel to our staff conference in Colorado at the end of July.
  • Spiritual renewal and time of connection for all Campus Crusade Staff during the conference.
  • The growth of the 522 people who accepted Christ through the Summer Project concerts.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Perspective on Life (A view of Christ through death and disease)

In recent months I (Mike) have been faced with numerous friends, neighbors, and family who are facing significant life crises -- everything from stage 4 cancer, to Lyme disease, to gallbladder disease, and even amputations. Through websites like Caringbridge.com, Carepages.com, and even Facebook.com, their struggles are lived out in very public ways. They are struggling through questions that quite frankly I’ve never had to face in my own life.

My wife Leslie has been encouraging me to write some of my thoughts on the topic, but I’ve felt that I’m the wrong one to write. I’m not the one who is going through these things. But, my friend Polly just wrote something that made me say, “I have to write.” Polly has Lyme disease and it has caused severe Autonomic Dysfunction.

Polly and her husband Jack work for Student Venture, the jr. high and high school ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. I worked with them for a number of years from a distance (resourceing them) and at conferences.

As I understand it, Lyme disease (caused by a bacteria) when treated, actually causes greater symptoms of the disease as the bacteria are dying off (a process called Herxing). I cannot imagine the hard balance between experiencing a worsening of the symptoms but also killing off the bacteria that cause the disease in the first place. For Polly, any illness is magnified, as her immune system can’t respond normally. Needless to say, this causes life to look significantly different.

Polly’s perspective on life with Lyme disease (along with the example of so many of my other friends who are suffering) inspires me to live differently.

Here are Polly’s words:

…as i began to pray the Holy Spirit quickly met me and said, "You can worry about how this disease will affect you next week, five years from now...or you can trust me and live abundantly where i have you each and every day."

Certainly i grieve this awful disease and wonder how much less active or shorter my life may be because of it, but i would much rather rest in His peace and enjoy what He gives me than be bitter, hurting mom and wife.i don't know, i guess when the Lord said that i just got two pictures of myself, each 20 or so years from now. One was as a bitter woman bemoaning the fact that i can't run around in the woods with my grandkids as i would like to, worried if i would live to see their next birthdays. The other was one on a porch in a cabin in the woods. I'm laying in a lounge chair surrounded by my kids and grandkids laughing, snuggling reading books and marveling at God's creation which we are surrounded by. Who of you by worrying can add even an hour to your life? i choose scene two.

As Polly stated later, she wants to make clear that “choosing scene two is only by the grace of God and it is a moment by moment dependence.”

As I look at my own life, I have nothing to complain about compared to people like Polly, or my friend Barry who has finally had to have his foot partially amputated due to a motorcycle accident over ten years ago. I don’t suffer in any way shape or form in the way they do.

My friend Valerie is another example. Several years ago, she had an emotional break down that caused her life to come to a screeching halt. But the Lord did amazing things and healing was brought about. More recently she was diagnosed with stage four cancer. One thing after another has hit in Valerie’s life and yet she offers these words:

Does our life sound stressful? It has been. Have you read the book of Job in the Old Testament? Here’s a guy who just kept getting bad news. By the end of all the terrible news, he is grieving his losses and even depressed, but he never curses God for his circumstances. Most of the rest of us would ask, “Where does it stop?” The truth is, it may not stop, but from the beginning of my breakdown God has been teaching me that He is my Loving Father who suffers with us, and for us. Healing our souls and growing our love for Him are top priorities for God. In the midst of a lot of hardships and trials over the last few years, God has shown his faithfulness to us, and we are thankful for His continued pursuit of us. He has wept with us as we grieve, and rejoices with us, as we are encouraged.

As I look at these friends and the struggles they are going through, I loathe my own attitudes. How in the world can I feel bad about my own circumstances? My circumstances are nothing compared to these. The amazing thing is that Polly, Barry, Valerie, and I all have a personal relationship with God that sustains us in our present circumstances.

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

I don’t know about you, but these examples make me want to choose to live my life differently. When “tough” times come, I choose not to complain but to embrace the path that God is taking me on. I will choose to embrace the moment so that, like Polly’s example, I will choose scene two.

To read more about these friends I have mentioned, you may visit their Caring Bridge websites:

Polly Noonan http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/momoffive/

Barry Atwell http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/barryatwell/

Valerie Yarbro http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/valerieyarbro/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer project chain reaction = spiritual multiplication

Volume 4, Issue 5

Summer project chain reaction = spiritual multiplication

It isn’t often that we get to see what happens years down the road and how ministry to one person compounds on others. But recently we discovered this story:

For several years before coming to Keynote, one of our new staff discipled Ashleyne in NY State. Ashleyne came to Keynote’s summer project last summer with some hesitation and resistance where she was further discipled and challenged. But she accepted the coaching and training and was the student who shared the gospel message during her band’s (Young Isaac) concerts on tour.

In Ohio, there was a 16 year old girl named Katia*. She and her brother Leonid* were adopted from Russia when they were 4 and 6 years old. By the time Katia was adopted and brought to the US she was a bit young to remember her life in Russia, but Leonid has many vivid memories and really struggles with abandonment and all that ntails having been adopted at an older age. Katia feels very close to her brother because he is her only blood relative, but because of his struggles, their relationship is very strained. Fortunately, they have a wonderful family with parents who are very loving. They go to church, but Katia has never been able to relate her church experience to her teenage life.

Katia's neighbor, Maryellen*, is very involved in Student Venture and has often invited her to activities, so when she heard about the Young Isaac concert (Keynote Summer Project band) last summer, she brought Katia along. Ashleyne shared her experience with a strained relationship during the gospel presentation. Her friend was struggling with depression and self-destruction. Eventually this friendship was broken off. Because of Katia’s relationship with her brother, she really connected with this story. When the gospel was shared that night, she didn't have to think very hard about asking Christ into her life.

Bethany (from Student Venture) has followed up with Katia and has continued to disciple her throughout the year. She also now attends a Bible study led by a college student. Katia has brought at least two of her friends to Student Venture meetings who have both accepted Christ! One is Katia's best friend, whose mother is fighting alcoholism. The other is a German exchange student! All three are truly growing in their faith.

(* names have been changed)


PRAYER REQUESTS:
  • Pray for the Keynote summer project students: their safety as they tour during these next 2 weeks and opportunities to share the Gospel.
  • Wisdom (when/timing, cost) in needing to replace a laptop.
  • Pray for preparations for the Campus Crusade US Staff Conference in July.
God wants us to adjust our lives to Him so that He can do through us what He wants to do. -Blackaby and King

Monday, May 11, 2009

International Exchange

Volume 4, Issue 4
International Exchange



Koreans at Keynote
Last month, Leslie helped with many of the details where 22 Koreans came to Keynote for training. There was so much crammed into 72 hours with our Korean friends.


Imagine, if you will, our version of a "Home Improvement time lapse video": Philosophy of Biblical Communication - Communication Drills - Relating to Your Audience - Blue Sky Nine concert - Praise time - Expression of Eyes/Face -Dinner in staff Homes- Resolving Conflict Class- Movement – Mission Vision Values - and they lead worship at a Korean church.

And... this was all done in two languages! JongSul and his team (see photo below) came to catch a vision for music evangelism and they loved every minute they had here with us. There will be more chapters written in our growing partnership with the KCCC (Korean Campus Crusade for Christ) Music Ministry!

Giants (GoS) in Germany
In April one of Keynote’s Bands, Giants of Silence, toured Germany & Switzerland for two weeks. Here is one of their stories.

…we played a show in Aua (pronounced Owa). This town has a population of about 16000. (It is no coincidence that their local soccer stadium holds 16000!) We opened for a local band called "strange error" (made up of Campus Crusade students), and they play hardcore heavy metal. It is normal in the states for people to show up at a concert at the very last minute . Not so here. People started filing in a full 30 minutes early and there was easily more than 100 people resent in what was a fairly small room. The concert took place at a church, but it was evident that many who were there were probably not believers. A number of the kids had backpacks filled with booze and were making frequent sorties outside to indulge. Among those in the crowd was also a tall, vampire-looking guy with freaky eyes who stood totally still and stared. It was very intimidating. I [Ethan– guitar player] must confess that none of us felt particularly safe in this environment. It was exactly the kind of show we have been asking God for!

As we launched into our set, the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. Nobody was killed in the mosh pit and vampire guy stayed put. "All guued nuuews!" Jill [lead vocalist] totally rocked as she shared her story (and His [Christ]) in spite of some heckling and less than perfect translating. At the end of the night 2 people indicated decisions to receive Christ, and 16 purchased CDs (which all contain the gospel) and many many more took our little mini-posters (which also have the gospel printed on them). It was a great night!!

In April, Leslie celebrated her BIG 3-0 b-day. Mike blessed her socks off with surprises and balloons!

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray for the college students who will be participating in the Keynote summer project that begins May 19; to raise their needed funds and for their hearts to be yielded to Christ.
  • Pray for the financial needs of not only us, but Keynote, Campus Crusade, and most other non-profit ministries.
To be loved by God is the highest relationship, the highest achievement, and the highest position of life. -Blackaby & King

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Band’s Testimony

Volume 4, Issue 3
A Band’s Testimony

Greetings –

My name is Scott Naylor, and I direct one of Keynote’s outreach bands. This month, I have asked to hijack Mike and Leslie’s update letter. I did that because I wanted to share why I am so glad they are part of Keynote. Chances are, you have more history with them than I do, so some of this may not be news. Regardless, I really wanted to share why it is so important that they are here.



Recently, our band played a local concert at Keynote’s performance and rehearsal facility, and were in need of some extra help. Normally we’re pretty self-contained, but the concert was being shot on video, and we had added some additional musical elements to make it a big deal. So I asked Mike if he’d help by being the lighting director for the event.

Mike agreed and did a great job. But what was meaningful is not what he did, but how he did it. He understands the technical production side of things better than I do, so he knew (but of course, didn’t say, or care…) that what I was asking would take much more work than I realized when I asked. To him, it didn’t matter - he was all-in from the start. He showed up early, set aside time to get things set up and tested ahead of time (he’s a thorough, systems sort of guy) and was there helping through the whole event. When it came time to tear it all down and put it away a day or so later, he was there as well and did it all joyfully.

He did an amazing job start-to-finish. But the bigger blessing was the servant-heartedness with which he did it. That’s just one story, but I have worked with him long enough to know that he approaches his work in HR (and pretty much everything) that way. Not all of the roles within Keynote get camera time or stage time, but it is of vital importance that we have called, passionate, talented people doing those jobs. As someone on the front lines, I cannot direct a band and be strategic and successful in our outreaches without Mike and Leslie (and others like them) ‘behind the scenes’.

It is my prayer that you rest confidently in the fact that your prayers and sacrifices to keep Mike and Leslie at Keynote are producing meaningful and eternal results. Thanks for being part of their team!
Blessings, Scott Naylor, Director -blue sky nine

{You can see videos from this performance on our blog}

PRAYER REQUESTS:
  • Pray for Keynote’s band Giants of Silence who are on tour in Germany.
  • Pray for the training of 23 Korean’s at Keynote’s offices April 20-23.
  • Pray that Mike and Leslie would continue to keep Christ their first love.

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies, but the thankful heart finds, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
- Henry Ward Beecher

Mike Does Lights for blue sky nine

Recently, Mike was asked to program and run lights for a concert that one of our bands (blue sky nine) had. The concert was recorded for a variety of reasons and a couple of the songs have now been made available. You can find more information about "blue sky nine" on their website: http://www.blueskynine.net//

Here are two of the songs:


video






video

Monday, March 16, 2009

On the Rise & Gearing up

Volume 4, Issue 3
On the Rise & Gearing up


Keynote has been tasked by the Leadership of Campus Crusade to come up with new ideas for reaching this generation with the truth about Jesus. If you look at the youth culture today you’ll find: they think email is for old people, their #1 communication preference is texting; and Screens (TVs, computers, cell phones, and view iPods) are their window to the world.

With that said we already have and are expanding beyond music into digital story-telling (short films) to new ways to tell this generation about Jesus in places and ways they find the most familiar. Our ministry is not just using music but broadening in the arts- that is going digital too. Obviously there is an ever increasing use of the digital/internet/web world among the current culture of today.

Giants of Silence- one of our ministry’s bands-has begun to spend half their time in the web arena. A web site that can be viewed on people’s phones, even right at the concert site, including bios, pictures, the gospel, etc. They are also constantly updating their facebook page with music, videos, and blogs. They have an email account, @giantsofsilence.com, where people can email them at any time. They are working on an independent web site that develops a running, ongoing dialog with 30-50 people. Check out their page at: http://www.giantsofsilence.com/!

Recently Leslie has had the opportunity to do ministry through a website called everystudent.com. This website was created with the intent to reach students who have questions or comments about spiritual life. The website is full of articles that challenge young people’s thoughts and provide truth. Then they can ask questions where they are sent to a specific responder to initiate conversation with.

The department Leslie serves in (KCCG-Keynote Creative Communications Group) is gearing up for Summer Project. It is the busiest season of the year for our ministry. The last minute student’s applications and auditions are rolling in as we speak. Coordinating bands with the student’s roles and staff placement for Summer Project is taking place this month. At the end of last year’s Summer Project Leslie helped put in place some new systems that would aid in a better transition this year.

May 19th College students from all over will arrive at Keynote for training in music, media, and film. The seven weeks that follow are filled with intense training and then a tour doing evangelistic outreaches that end July 8th.

Stay tuned for next month as Mike will share the happenings with his ministry role!



God gave us art, music, sculpture, drama, and literature. He gave them as
footpaths to lead us out of our hiding places and as signposts to lead us along
a search for what we lost.

We reach for God in many ways.
Through our sculptures and our scriptures. Through our pictures and our
prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He
reaches for us.

Our search for God and His search for us meet at
windows in our everyday experience. These are windows of the
soul.

- Windows of the Soul, by Ken Gire

Prayer Requests:
· For Leslie’s dept.-KCCG -as they are preparing for Summer Project.
· Pray that God would provide solid financial support for Keynote and for us.