Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Greeting 2014

Rebholz Photo Prayer Card

Here is our Photo Prayer Card. If you would like to print a physical copy, it can be printed as a normal 4x6 photo. Right click this image and "save image as" in order to get the high resolution version.

Advent means “coming”.  Some people during the month of December use an Advent calendar starting the 4th Sunday before Christmas to mark the Christmas season.  This Advent season’s purpose it to be a mindful time anticipating and preparing one’s heart for the “the coming” and the powerful meaning of Christmas -- a baby born of the lowliest places; who would take on the ultimate work of salvation for man on the Cross.  In the Bible’s book of John we find we find John (the author) writing his testimony and proclaiming the life of Jesus.  “The Word [Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (1:14)

Let us reminisce from the beginning of time, Genesis the events to better understand the coming of Christ, Jesus.

Day 1:  Creation  (Genesis 1:1)          Hymn: How Great Thou Art
Day 2: The First Sin (forbidden fruit) (Isaiah 53:6) Jesus Loves Me
Day 3: The Ark and Rainbow (Romans 6:23) Standing on the Promises
Day 4: Abraham and Sarah (Genesis12:3b) I Have Decided to Follow Jesus
Day 5: Isaac and the Sacrificial Lamb (John 1:29b) Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Day 6: Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:15a) Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Day 7: Joseph’s Colorful coat (Romans 8:28a) It is Well With My Soul
Day 8: Moses & The Ten Commandments (Psalm 119:11) Trust and Obey
Day 9: Promised Land (Psalm 103:2) God Is So Good
Day 10: Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 1:16b) Praise Him in the Morning
Day 11: King David (Psalm 23:1) I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
Day 12: The Law (Psalm 119:105) The B-I-B-L-E
Day 13: Jesse Tree (John 1:14a) O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Day 14: Lion & Lamb (Isaiah 11:10a) O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Day 15: Prince of Peace (John 14:27) I’ve Got Peace Like a River
Day 16: Shepherd (John 10:27) Alleluia
Day 17: Suffering (John 10:15) The Old Rugged Cross
Day 18: New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:33a) Into My Heart
Day 19: Bethlehem (Philippians 4:13) O Come, All Ye Faithful
Day 20: The Exile (Jeremiah 1:8) He Leadeth me
Day 21: Return to (the land) Jerusalem (Revelation 22:20) Lift up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Day 22: Star (Matthew 2:10) The Star Carol
Day 23: A Candle Light (John 8:12) Silent Night
Day 24: An Angel (Luke 2:14) It Came upon a Midnight Clear
Day 25: Jesus Christ (John 3:16) Joy to the World

Advent days, scriptures, and Hymns from:
The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Meador Lambert (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1988)

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Raising Up Laborers

Volume 8 - Issue 6
Raising Up Laborers

At the end of September I (Leslie) had the opportunity to be a Ministry Partner Development Trainer Coach at Cru’s new staff follow-up conference in MI (see photo on rt.). Those 3 days/ 72 hours were packed as I met one on one with new staff and led a small group of single women (see photo at bottom).

Sitting at the back of the room with other trainers during one session, I marveled at watching these 60+ new staff being raised up to go out into the world to spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ through their prospective ministries within Cru. The thought came to my mind “I love my job!” Little did I know what else the Lord had in store for me. Due to circumstances and having met with Chelsey at the follow up conference I have started coaching her regularly. (See photo below.) Chelsey has interned for 2 years with GAiN and now has joined staff with Cru. GAiN is a ministry of Cru that focuses on humanitarian needs. Upon reporting to her assignment, Chelsey’s role will be to assist with GAiN’s Food Program and devote time to equipping partners around the world to use food and agriculture to meet the needs of people around them and help to accelerate their ministry, all the while sharing the Gospel message.

Weekly coaching calls can vary from call to call but usually consist of 1hr or more talking on the phone regularly. Things I may cover during our calls: prayer, speaking Truth and Scripture, giving assignments, refining presentation skills and discussing their progress and challenges. The end goal is that they report fully funded to their assignment as quickly as possible. What a privilege and high calling to coach new staff as they trust God for His provision through His People to accomplish His mission.

{The group of women Leslie led in a small group during the conference. Chelsey, the new staff gal Leslie has started coaching is third in from the rt.}

Praise & Prayer:
  • Wisdom and discernment as we increase the scope of our ministry with Cru.
  • Opportunities to share with others our calling in ministry.
  • The Lord’s strength and steadfastness as we navigate a demanding season.
  • Praise for quality family time.

This week I received word that Renae, one of the gals I worked with at the conference can NOW report to her assignment with Inner City in Minneapolis ministering to the poor. She completed raising 100% of her support.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sending out Lights into the World (Part 2)

Volume 8 - Issue 5
Sending out Lights into the World (Part 2)
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

The 2014 Keynote Summer ProjectSummer for majority of Cru staff means “Summer Project”. For the last 20 years Keynote Summer Projects have equipped students to effectively communicate the gospel, taught them to use creative platforms to start spiritual conversations and challenged them to grow in relationship with the Lord. The same will be true this summer. However, these students won't be in a band and they won't tour around the country or overseas. In June six eager and talented college students arrived in Indiana for the 2014 Keynote Summer Project.

These students with a variety of skills and abilities (music, dance, film, spoken word and more) worked together to create resource tools - from scratch - to help start spiritual conversations about Jesus. Over the duration of the summer project /weeks there were brainstorming sessions, Bible study, individual discipleship, communication training, fellowship, outreach opportunities and lots of time to work together on their projects. As the project drew to a close the students unveiled their 5 creative projects.
  • A Music video-"Take these open hands. I know that I can reach another with what I have. Make purpose live through me."
  • a survival handbook for college freshmen called Ramen with a Side of College
  • a video with live-action drawing to accompany a spoken word poem
  • a poster series with web-based interaction called Faded Words
  • a social media campaign that can be used by Cru movements across the country!
These colleges students return to their respective campuses with additional evangelistic tools and ministry experiences. The heartbeat of summer project is to create “life change” not only in the summer project student’s lives but to overflow on their campuses.-impacting the next generation. More students reached with the Gospel– movements everywhere.
Photo of Coaching groupTogether we (Mike and Leslie) have been coaching 3 couples in their initial support raising process as new CRU staff. In August and October these 3 family units (6 adults adult and 5 children) will be going overseas (due to security measures we cannot name where) to their assignment as they have completed their support. What amazes us is their heart for a people group that live in spiritual darkness! Moving 1,000s of miles away from “home and comfort” to be a light- A City on a hill! What a privilege as their support coaches to equip and inspire these laborers to be Christ centered, fully funded and financially faithful.
  • Prayer and Praise for team going overseas to their assignment: travel, details, getting settled in a new place...

Praises & Prayer Requests for Mike and Leslie:
  • Pray for wisdom as Keynote makes organizational changes. 
  • Prayer for travel safety as Leslie works at a training in MI the end of Sept. She would rely on the Holy Spirit in discerning what areas to coach/train new Cru staff.
  • We began support coaching 2 new Cru staff families that will be going overseas. Pray that we would speak truth and love as they navigate this new season of their lives (raising their initial support while still working and having family time). 
  • Praise Benjamin LOVES preschool! We marvel at the growth and development we’ve seen in our son over the last yr. (speech/vocab., potty training, social…). Praise the Lord!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sending out Lights into the World - Part 1

Volume 8 Issue 4
Sending out Lights into the World (Part 1)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ’I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ John 8:12

In April Leslie traveled to the News Staff follow-up conference in Georgia. 60 new staff were in present. The four intense days provided opportunities to meet one on one with them to encourage them in their progress of raising support and to tweak ministry presentations. It so incredible to see God at work and preparing these new “lights” going stateside and around the world to tell of Jesus unfailing love. (See photo on rt.)

 Last fall, Leslie began to disciple a gal (from Butler University) named Samantha. (Sam, see photo on lft.) Somewhat new in her personal relationship with Jesus, Sam is hungry, teachable and passionate for the things of God. Sam grew up in a family that regularly attended Catholic Mass. Through our weekly times meeting together; God has increased her faith, peeling back the layers of her true identity in Christ and “choosing to live as though the Bible is true regardless of circumstances, emotions and cultural trends.” (Destined-Discipleship Material). Sam has been and continues leading her sorority (Alpha Phi) Bible Study. Loving a roommate who doesn’t know Jesus (yet). This month, Sam embarks on her career as a Physician Assistant in a secular-demanding environment. Sam is a blooming light! What a privilege and sweet time pointing her to Jesus and the Gospel!

Praise & Prayer:
  • Prayer for strength and refreshment for Leslie and Mike as the past months have been demanding.
  • Prayer for Sam as she adjusts to her new career and continues to share Jesus with those she crosses paths with.
  • Praise for the provision of an individual marriage retreat that we just returned from. It was a time of renewal, connection as a couple and a mini-getaway from day to day routine.

Benjamin celebrated his 3rd birthday this summer. My he’s growing so fast– our little boy!

Monday, August 11, 2014

86 New Missionaries

Our Workshop Group…He [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38) Having recently returned from Cru’s winter New Staff Training this verse causes me to marvel at what we experienced there. How exciting to see God raise up 86 new missionaries and to have the privilege and to train them in Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) skills and best practices so you can fully engage in the reaching the lost. We (Mike and Leslie) assisted in the workshops (see our workshop photo top rt.). We listened to and gave feedback on presentations so that the new staff could be more effective in their ministry presentations (left).

Small group in the workshopIt was encouraging to hear their personal stories how God called them to serve full-time in the mission field. Here are a few examples of what God has done to raise up laborers!

One young (early 20’s) single new staff gal applied to Cru staff a few years ago. But, her level of debt disqualified her from being accepted. So as a flight attendant she took on a second job cleaning houses to pay off EVERY penny of her debt and reapplied this past year and was accepted.

Main MeetingA couple - Michael/Jennifer -in our workshop were students involved in Cru during college at Wisconsin. As recent college grads and newly married they pursued applying for staff with Cru. The Lord closed the door. This past year the husband wanted going back to grad school but found out his scholarship/grant funding was pulled. God reopend the door for them to join staff. They have a heart for reaching college students at their alma mater especially as it has unique demographics.

A young couple –Jeff and Lauren- have stepped out in faith to spend a year in Costa Rica And taking their family (2 yr.old and new baby) as God has called them.

Main conferenceTo sum it up our role as Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) coaches is to equip and inspire leaders to be Christ-Centered, fully-funded and financially faithful. As God raises up new full-time missionaries we have the privilege and opportunity in PREPARING to help lead others to Christ to worship the Lord in Heaven. Can you imagine what God IS, CAN, WILL do in and through these 86 new laborers in the Harvest Field both in the US and overseas? God has convicted me as well as increased my Kingdom sized thinking to see the Kingdom results through training these new staff. Let us PRAISE THE LORD for how many people will be challenged, invited and prompted to accept Jesus as their Lord through these new missionaries!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Band in India...

Volume 9 Issue 1

 WHAT:  Stone  (a rock band from Keynote)
WHERE:  India
WHEN:  Sept.– Oct. 2013
WHY: The goal for this trip was to showcase what Keynote does and to help model for their ministry in the future.  A total of 12 shows and 6 training workshops. Gospel presented to approximately 7500 people.

Before one of the bands first shows,  Shawna (member of the band) was talking with a group of college girls and one of them asked her "Why do you believe in God?" door!! :)  She was able to delve into the gospel with about 4 or 5 of these women.  They had some great questions.
 Teresa (lead singer in Stone) had opportunities to speak with many women in the audiences.  One show she was chatting with a group of Muslim women.  They were polite, but said that they believed in their God and we believe in ours.  No real hope for change.  Teresa shared with them that one of the reasons she loved Jesus was for the way He treated women.  He respected them.  She then encouraged them to read about Jesus.  We are praying that those seeds that were planted take root and they discover the love of Jesus.

After a concert at Unity Christian College in Cochin, Chris (another band member) got into a conversation with four female students. After telling him how much they liked the music, one of them named Sharon asked why he believes in Jesus Christ.  Chris got to share his story with these four young women and have a good conversation about their beliefs. Pray that God stirs the lives of these women.

 Late one night as Shawna was resting from a long and hot day of ministry in Trivandrum, she logged into her Facebook account and found this message from Jacob:
"I'm so glad to have met you.  You guys came to my college yesterday for the outreach concert.  It was awesome, yet I felt so depressed by Teresa's words...I've been trying to contact you because I'm a hell deserving sinner who wants to be saved.  That's why.  I hope you could help me..."

This is just one of so many students who desperately need hope.  Stone had the opportunity to begin the training process for a music group to be formed in India.