Join Me for Keynote’s Vision Event Online

Thank you for your partnership with me and my ministry at Keynote! As you know from my monthly newsletters, God is doing some cool things through Keynote, but it’s hard to really paint a picture in a letter. One of the best ways to catch the vision of Keynote and hear the awesome stories of God at work is to attend Keynote’s annual vision event. I want to invite you to join us this year on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm to hear how “The story goes on.”

I’d love to have you join me in Westfield Indiana but don’t let travel prevent you from joining us. You can attend from your living room by watching our webcast at www.keynoteconnection.org! Check out the video below for more information.

An opportunity for a financial faith investment will be provided.

Strategic Planning

For the last several weeks, the Keynote Creative Communications Group (the Keynote team I belong to) has met at least once each week for strategic planning. We’re using a specific process that encourages us as a team to pray, dream, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make faith goals for what we’re asking God to enable us to do by the end of 2011.

Some people hate business meetings, but I’ve been enjoying these times. We’ve experienced laughter, debate, prayer, encouragement, confusion, discoveries, and more. In the process we’ve gotten to know each other better and have gelled into a team, not just a group of people working in the same department. I believe we’ve also listened to God’s leading and arrived at some specific goals that He wants us to accomplish in the next 14 months. Some of those include

  • expanding our training curriculum
  • developing new training relationships with Campus Crusade ministries here and overseas
  • making training material available on the web
  • completing several short films that can be used as resources for evangelism and discipleship.

Some of these goals seem like they are far too big for our team — but they’re not too big for God. I’m excited to see what He will do!

Not Safe, But Good

It stormed the other day in central Indiana. The clouds were layered in multiple shades of gray, ranging from off-white to nearly charcoal. It made me think of the picture at the top of this newly-redesigened blog, although today’s skies were much less dramatic than they were the day I took this photo (which, aside from the quote, is unretouched). The storms here can be much more violent than where I grew up, but the upside is how beautiful the clouds can be. Beautiful, but scary; kind of like God.

Which brings me to my favorite quote in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series – well, actually, I think it’s just about everyone’s favorite quote. When the Pevensie children first hear about Aslan, they are surprised to learn that he is a lion.

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

– C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Not safe. But good. The King. The sovereign Lord who is always good, even when He’s more than a little scary. We can trust Him completely, but we dare not presume that He is a pushover. For even though He is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness” (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103:8), He is still the Holy One, the righteous judge (Psalm 7:11; 2 Timothy 4:8), and “a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

I think one of the reasons God does not appear to be “safe” is that He’s far more concerned about our holiness than He is about our happiness, and our character is far more important to Him than our comfort. (I’m sure those phrases are not original with me, but I can’t dredge up the source from my middle-aged memory.) God is relentless in this regard; He’ll stop at nothing to shape us into the image of Christ. And that’s a scary thought, at least to me, because I’ve experienced a little of that relentlessness.

Every year our ministry runs a summer missions project for college students, and one year we decided the project theme would be “whatever it takes.” We soon learned that God would not let us teach something we could not live out. The sacrifices of time, effort and energy required to pull the project off that summer pushed us all to exhaustion. Knowing it was no coincidence, our team joke became, “Next year, our theme’s gonna be ‘peaceful, easy feeling’!”

It was definitely not a “safe” summer, but it was a good one. Lives were changed–the lives of our students, the lives of those who received Christ through their ministry, and the lives of those of us who taught, mentored, and administrated the project. Even though I was physically and mentally drained, probably more than I had ever been before, the reward of seeing God change us all was well worth the sacrifice.

Relentless. Beautiful, but scary. Not safe, but good.

This is our God.

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