Christmas Greetings!

The Christmas season is upon us, with the various activities and sentiments it brings to different people. I am amazed that, in spite of how commercialized the holidays have become (Christmas decor hit the store shelves after the back to school sales here), the world to some degree turns its attention to the One who made the ultimate sacrifice for us. When else is it acceptable to listen to words such as these?

    Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Son of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings
    Ris’n with healing in His wings
    Mild He lays His glory by
    Born that man no more may die
    Born to raise the sons of earth
    Born to give them second birth
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    “Glory to the newborn King!”

Have a wonderful Christmas in our Glorious King!

(Thanks to John & Andorra Pescio for allowing me to “borrow” much of the text from their Christmas newsletter.)

Staff Development Day

I am coming out of a particularly busy season here at Keynote. I coordinated our annual fall training for new staff and interns, and also helped the rest of the Staff Development Team prepare for our November 16th Staff Development Day. Keynote is a group of missionaries committed to communicating the message of God’s love. But how do they keep pressing on? As our team was planning this day long event for our staff, we could think of no better way to spend our time than to saturate the day with God’s incredible love for us.

We had a few speakers talk about different aspects of God’s love, and set up a few interactive rooms to give people a picture of how much God loves them in a variety of ways. We had an extravagant room set up to represent “God’s lavish love” (complete with chocolate fountain, luscious fruits and thought provoking artwork); a dark room with thunder sounds to set the stage for “God’s love in the storm;” and a room decorated with kids’ pictures and stories from Keynote dads to portray “God’s fatherly love.” Guided through the day by talks and activities, our staff heard repeatedly that God loves them completely, unconditionally, passionately, and personally.

Here’s what one person said about the day:

I wanted to begin a note to tell you how incredible this day is. Quiet stillness, solitude all seem elusive to me in this season and storm of life. Today is a sweet refuge, a balm to my pain, tangible arms wrapped around me so tight that I cannot wiggle free even if I wanted to.

The “storm” room — well, it was an expression of my journey — with the full range of emotions. Thank you for the content AND the dark, thunderous setting which made me feel a sense of solitude despite being in a room full of people.

Thank you for all the work you guys put into creating this experience and day of living and drinking of the love of our Father. Thank you for sharing your journeys through your creativity as well.

May the Lord keep these truths burning ever deeper in our hearts.

I am convinced that continuing to build into the lives of our staff is critical to the mission of Keynote. It’s hard to quantify with statistics: “20% of our staff are 33% more encouraged to continue on in the mission as a result of our training” doesn’t really work. But as I hear feedback from individuals in Keynote about how our training and development opportunities have helped them, I know we’re making a considerable difference to the kingdom. Here are a few recent comments from staff members:

“I was hit by the fact that God is crazy about me — I had a good cry, needless to say, being blindsided by grace.”

“I was reminded of the way God speaks His love to me. It definitely reawakened my intimacy with him by renewing our ‘language’.”

“Realizing how much I operate out of a root of performance. God used that day in a major way in my life…I so want it to go from my head to my heart — that is my prayer.”

“It was cool to think of God’s loving me in the little things of day-to-day life. Sometimes I forget that He truly cares for me throughout all my days.

It’s so encouraging to me to know we’re making a difference in the lives of our staff. Thanks so much for what you do to support my work with Keynote and help me pour into those who are taking the gospel to the ends of the earth!

(Thanks to John & Andorra Pescio for allowing me to “borrow” much of the text from their Christmas newsletter.)

Christmas is Coming!

I almost can’t believe it’s the middle of December — where did the time go! I’ve finally started to get a few Christmas decorations up; a couple of days ago I hung my Christmas mugs on the wall, and last night I set up my nativity scenes (I have two plus a couple of spare wise men; does that give me more wisdom???). I took a picture of one of them and had some fun playing playing with it in my photo software. The result is my new header above. Hope you enjoy it!

[Note: I’m no longer using that heaader, but just in case you’d like to see it, here it is:]

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