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:}

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:

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

  • 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.