Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rebholz Christmas Greeting

25 things related to the Nativity

Baby born in Bethlehem
Candle, Camel
Eternity begins with Jesus
Frankincense, Gold & Myrrh (3 gifts given)
Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus
Heavenly Hosts
Inn –no room
Joseph father of Jesus, Joy to the World
Kings, Knee bow to Jesus
Light of the World (Jesus)
Magi- 3 kings who brought gifts to Jesus, Manger
Nativity scene
Obedience of Mary and Joseph
Purple is the color of royalty and represents Christ as King.
Quirinius-governor of Syria-census took place
Rejoice Immanuel means God is with us
Star of Bethlehem, Shepherds, Savior is born
Tree to the Cross, Town of David
Unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given
Virgin Mary-mother of Jesus
Worship, Wreath for Advent

In the annual Christmas season with all the hustle and rush it’s easy to miss the wondrous and powerful reality - Savoring the real joys of Christmas!  The following are excerpts from God’s Little Christmas Book:
Our first Christmas gift is the God of gifts, Jesus Himself, the Son of God.  Without Christ there is no Christmas, for a Christmas without Christ is meaningless.  But the tiny Babe in the crib has conquered all hearts.  His birthday has become a day of joy for the whole world.  It is not difficult to see, therefore, why events which fell on this birthday or happenings related to the sacred festival are of intense interest to every love of the Christ Child. 
One of the most potent, though silent testimonials of Christ, is the fact that all chronology is dated “before’ or “after” Christ.  B.C. and A.D. meet and part at His crib.

A personal Jesus accepted means salvation; a personal Jesus obeyed is sanctification; a personal Jesus followed is a life of brotherly kindness and true philanthropy; a personal Jesus reigning in the heart is the fullness of peace and joy and power.  The bells of Bethlehem ring one note; the Christmas carols are all calling aloud the same note:  “Back to Christ!” “Back to Christ!”  --T. L. Cuyler

Set a chair somewhere, today, for your Master.  Determine to have a Christmas all the year round, by giving your Lord and Savior the best seat at the table in your heart.  – T. L. Cuyler

Rebholz Christmas Card

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sending Overseas

Volume 8 - Issue 5
Sending Overseas

It’s 9pm Sunday night having just hung up the phone from our reoccurring coaching call with Cru new staff.  The wife had shared how something I (Leslie) said in a prior call had stuck with them.  She and her husband have continued to mull over my statement about how preparing to get to the field in raising their financial support, “It’s a journey of faith”.   I marvel at how words the Lord had me say have encouraged them.  For a moment I was reminded at how the Lord has brought Mike and I to where we are presently serving Him.  Our own support raising journey — including the ups and downs — give us a platform and wisdom in coaching. Together we get to serve (as one of our many hats) as Ministry Partner Development (MPD) coaches.  As you may recall in our last newsletter we shared about attending a training while both being away from our son.  While there, we were challenged to take on coaching three New Staff couples.  The God part of this is that we already knew these three couples as Keynote (our ministry) had conducted their staff interviews and all of us are members of the same local church.  In fact we have served alongside two of the couples at church. 

These three couples will be going overseas together as a team.  They have an incredible heart for the people in a certain middle-eastern country.  Currently they are raising their initial support so they can report to this undisclosed country in the very near future.  As we have taken on coaching them it’s incredible how the Lord has opened my thoughts to lost people groups.  I can’t imagine the impact these families will have and the opportunities to introduce foreigners to Jesus!  Mike and I have the privilege of playing a small part in sending them and seeing Matthew 9:36-38 come true before our eyes.  Then He [Jesus] said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.  How exciting one our ministry roles is to raise up, equip and send labors out into the harvest both stateside and more recently to the nations! 

Praise & Prayer:
  • For wisdom and the right words—coaching, equipping and training staff through our ministry.
  • The coming months as our HR team evaluates our current training curriculum.  Pray that we’d meet the deadlines and God would reveal what is crucial and relevant.

God is using Keynote to make a difference in the world.  Stay tuned for our next newsletter to hear about the recent team we sent to India.  The band Stone is taking Jesus to the people in India! 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Travel Abounds

Volume 8 Issue 4
Travel Abounds

As the fall begins, the travel schedule picks up for us.  Both of us have traveled to Orlando the 2nd week of September.  We attended the Ministry Partner Development School of Coaching.  While Mike attended something like this almost 8 years ago as he began coaching new staff as they raise their support, many changes have been made in the schooling.  Leslie went as a new coach.  This signifies added responsibilities for Leslie, but still provides flexibility in her ministry hours.  The job entails helping new staff as they raise their initial support, keeping them accountable, trying to encourage them, and helping them to keep a right perspective that God is in control.  Mike’s parents took care of Benjamin while we were both on the road for this training. 

In October, Mike will again hit the road, but this time for Valley Forge, PA.  This will be for an Intern Coordinator’s Conference.  While Mike was able to hand off the intern coordinator role last year to a woman in our ministry, she will be in India with a band from Keynote who will be performing on college campuses throughout the country.  So, as her supervisor, Mike is filling in at the conference for her.

The fall also usually brings recruiting trips.  These have not been determined yet, but it is likely that Mike will make a trip or two to try to recruit college students to join Keynote.
Summer recap

 Below: Benjamin on his dad’s shoulders enjoying the worship music during an evening session. 


Right: Outside the main auditorium staff gather and connect with others.


Left: Cru’s new logo as displayed on the stage of the US Staff Conference.

Above: While Mike was in college-years ago, Claudia’s husband, Dick–now with the Lord –challenged Mike to embrace reading the Bible in the context of everyday life and it changed Mike’s life. 

Below: A fun family moment amidst the busy staff conference.

Praise & Prayer:
  • Praise for a GREAT summer! (travels, visit family, staff conference, ministry/serve opportunities)

  • Amidst life’s demands, deadlines, activities and serving, our relationship with the Lord would be #1.  His Word would permeate our every thought and action.

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    A blink of an eye

    Volume 8 Issue 3

    A blink of an eye

    Looking out our back patio widow on a recent June Sunday evening, big puffs of black smoke were seen rising up in the sky.  The weather radio just announced a thunderstorm warning while it was drizzling outside.   Concerned I (Leslie) texted my friend who lived what looked near to be where the fire smoke was coming from (who wasn’t home).   The fact that we (Mike and I) were curious and wanted to double check to see if it really was my friend’s house (having received a reply text “Help!”) we hopped in our car with our son in tow- shoeless.  Upon arriving at the scene were 4 different fire departments present.
    As we stood there on the sidewalk, aghast in the drizzling rain, we saw this house fire being fought by the firemen and water trucks.  To think just an hour ago, even minutes ago the family of four were at home on a Sunday evening going about life.  A bolt of lightning struck their house without warning, their house engulfed in flames to be a total loss.   I thought to myself “ I am reminded of the brevity of life! A loved one or be it a stranger is there at one moment.  Then in a blink of an eye they are gone, dead.”  Do you or I even think the person’s eternal destiny is at stake?
    When the Gospel is shared it is more than Truth!  It’s Hope — eternal life.  How incredible sharing and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ can alter one’s life in a blink of an eye.   It’s a crucial matter where one will spend eternity with Jesus vs. in hell-eternally separated from God.

    Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.  You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.  PS. 39: 4-5

    While in college, Corey and Hannah Tyndall were summer project students in 2011.   The Tyndalls have been married just a few months and are currently raising their initial support to join Keynote once completed support goal. I (Mike) have the privilege to coach these new staff members as they raise their initial support.

    At a recent support appointment Corey and Hannah had a unique opportunity and God sighting.  Read their story of how God is using them in this season of their lives.
    The espresso machine whirred and shrilled, as I waited for my iced caramel macchiato to be prepared. I was standing in the Starbucks down the street from my house. I couldn’t help but feel nervous---more nervous than I had felt in a while. I was meeting up with a guy named “Josh” to talk with him about spiritual things and to share the Gospel with him. 

    Hannah and I actually met Josh in a Starbucks while we were sharing about Keynote with a friend of ours. Josh was extremely curious.
    “I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said, “But I have never heard anyone talk so passionately about anything in a Starbucks. What are you guys doing?”

    We invited him over to our table and he heard about how God had worked in our lives. He had to leave soon after that, but asked if he and I could exchange phone numbers. He was very interested to hear more. Josh and I made plans to meet for coffee the next week.

    When we met, I had the opportunity to share God with Josh. He had some background in church, but didn’t know anything about spirituality or religion. I got to share how God had worked in my life and what it means to personally know Christ. Josh was very interested to know more about the historical evidence for Jesus and what the Bible says about life’s questions. He said that he’d been running into a lot of Christians that were sharing with him. He didn’t think it was a coincidence.

    Hannah and I are so excited to be part of a ministry that is all about starting spiritual conversations just like this one! We are still in touch, and Josh is still seeking. It is very clear that God is chasing fast after his heart. Please be praying for him as he continues growing in his knowledge of God’s love for him.

    Remember how fleeting is my life.  For what futility you have created all humanity!  Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave?  PS. 89: 47-48

     Praise & Prayer:
    • PRAISE: Leslie is/has the opportunity working the staff conference in CO while Mike is on “daddy duty”.  
    • PRAY for her to have wisdom and discernment in ministering/caring for other moms.
    • PRAISE:  Celebrating Benjamin’s 2nd Birthday as a family on June 29th!  (see photo below)
    • PRAISE:  A new full-time MPD coach /coordinator will be reducing Mike’s work load.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Working with Him

    (This post was unfortunately overlooked in getting published back in April. I'm posting now to get it up.)
    Volume 8, Issue 2
    Working with Him
    A few weeks ago, awake in the middle of the night there I sat, attempting to do everything possible to get the medicine in my son’s (22mo.) mouth and drain down the back of his throat.  In the near pitch dark it came to me!  The fallen world we live in- this very moment- is exuding with pain.  We can all count on our hand people who are hurting-emotionally, physically, spiritually.  What stands in the way of healing?  Pride/ truth/ sin/faithlessness….  My toddler son’s strong will resisted the necessary medicine to make him physically better/healthy.   It twisted me up emotionally inside as I wanted so badly for him to get better but he refused/spit out/ cried/screamed at every attempt to administer his doctor prescribed antibiotic- the very thing he needed.  Like my son, how often the very thing people/others need they resist.  Take for example sharing the Gospel.  First let me be honest though, I may be equipped and trained in how to share the message about Jesus but it doesn’t mean I thoroughly jump up for every opportunity to do so.  I have no problem and actually get enthused at sitting down with someone over a can of pop (my choice-Diet Coke) to dig deeper into the Bible and it’s truths.-  One on one- Discipleship.

    Just like God, he presented an opportunity for me to teach my assigned chapter on “Fear of Sharing the Gospel”.  Let’s just say I got more passionate as I began to prepare for teaching on the chapter.  The Great Commission as we read about in Matt 28:16-20, Jesus who has all authority is speaking to the disciples commanding them to make disciples, teach others.  This scriptures states the God given responsibility to EVERY believer/follower of Jesus are called to seek after men with Truth (Biblical).  It was the Lord’s idea to make us fishers of men (Matt 4:19).   In Howard Hendrick’s book Disciples are Made not Born he states,  “We ignore it, but we cannot escape from it.”  The true condition of man is that we are ALL sinful in need of a Savior.  In other words, we may avoid/side step those who don’t know Him personally but their souls are dying.   “People all around you are starving.  Some people here don’t know they are starving.  But they are and deep inside they want to hear goodness.” Writes the authors of How to talk about Jesus without Freaking Out, Jim & Karen Covell & Victorya Michaels Rodgers.  I’m not immune from the fear of sharing the Gospel, yet, God is the one who enables us to be affective!  I love Bill Bright’s (co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ/CRU) definition of successful evangelism, “Taking the initiative, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to present the Gospel and leaving the results to God.”  It’s NOT about me but God’s work in me- am I being attentive and obedient to the Holy Spirit?  Simply put, it’s every believer’s responsibility to do everything within his power to take the truth of God’s Word and make it known!“

    A quote from an article in Christian Standard (May 23, 2004) “Evangelism isn’t about working for God, but about working with Him?”  So I close with asking you, Will you work with God to share/tell of the TRUE medicine people in this broken world people desperately need?

    What a privilege and TALL order to help with the Greatest Challenge ever given to man- the help fulfill the Great Commission!

    Tools for sharing the Gospel Message:
    *Godtools- (FREE) available in the iPHONE app./android phone
         (Created by Keynote)
         All of CRU’s evangelistic tools in a mobile phone app.
    *– series of short skits by two of Keynote’s staff (Andy and Stephen).  The goal of this project is to gain a following using relatable, clean humor, which then puts us in a position to share something a bit deeper with a video like  “Isn’t it Beautiful”.

    * www.gotquestions.orguser friendly site that answers MANY spiritual questions (ie: What is the Trinity?)  Tool created by Cru for explaining and answering peoples tough questions.
    *Use questions to spark conversation.  They diffuse and help avoid arguments.
    Who is Jesus, to you?
     If you died right now, where would you go?  (Heaven or Hell)
     If you were to stand before God and He were to ask you’ Why should Iet you into Heaven?’  What would you tell Him?

    On a recent trip to the 
    Keynote office with Mom,
     Benjamin took the
     initiative to answer the 
    phone and take over the desk.

    None of us has a long time here on planet Earth.  It’s kind of a staging ground.  It’s our split second in eternity when we have an opportunity to invest our lives, our time, our talent, and our treasure to fulfill what our Lord came into this world to do and commissioned us to do.
    -  Bill Bright

    Deep down people do have questions rumbling in their soul.

    Everyone has beliefs …(theology) but not all are   Biblical.

    Praise & Prayer:
    · Praise: 3 Internship Applicants have been accepted to Keynote for the upcoming year.
    · Preparation and planning for the summer months.