The Story of St. Patrick

Most people associate St. Paddy’s Day with Ireland, shamrocks and the color green. It’s a fun holiday, but unless you’re of Irish descent and can celebrate your ethnic heritage, it’s not necessarily very meaningful.

At least, not until you hear the story of St. Patrick.
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Patrick lived in Britain back in the days when it was part of the Roman Empire. At age 16 he was taken by pirates to Ireland, where the native Celtic people followed the pagan Druid religion.

After spending six years in Ireland, Patrick finally got back to his homeland. But then a funny thing happened — God placed a burden in his heart to reach the pagan Celts of Ireland with the gospel. So in the year 432AD Patrick followed the call of God to return as a missionary to the land where he had formerly been held captive.

For the remaining 29 years of his life, Patrick labored for the gospel in Ireland. Even the opposition of the Druid priests could not stop his powerful witness for Christ.

Through his missionary service, Patrick changed a pagan island into a stronghold for Christianity. The vibrant Celtic church which he left as his legacy became Northern Europe’s brightest spot during the Dark Ages, both culturally and spiritually.

How did I find out about St. Patrick? Well, ever since I took a church history class years ago, I’ve been somewhat of a church history buff. I’ve especially enjoyed reading about missionaries who have been used by God, because their stories encourage me in my Christian service.

Though I doubt that I’ll ever change a whole nation for Christ like Patrick did, I can be faithful in following God’s call for my life — and so can you. I hope Patrick’s story encourages you as it does me.

(By the way, did you know the significance of the shamrock? St. Patrick used it as an illustration of the Trinity in his witnessing!)

Janiê Is Here!

Janiê with me
Janiê Sucupira arrived from Brazil on Wednesday, February 9.In fact, she’s living with me! Honestly, I wondered if it would be too much of an adjustment to have a roommate again, since I’ve lived alone for almost nine years. But as I prayed it became clear to me that God gave me a home with extra space specifically to provide for friends like Janiê. And she has already been a blessing to me!

Since she can only stay for six months, she won’t be able to perform with a Keynote band, but will instead focus on completing Keynote Training and getting practical experience in many vital behind-the-scenes tasks.

Please pray that God will give us wisdom in how to best prepare her to start a music ministry in Brazil for Campus Crusade.

flag of Brazil
3D Animated Flags Courtesy of 3DFlags.com

Elsewhere in Keynote: Jamaica News

Thank you for praying for Keynote’s partnership with the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry in Jamaica. In January a team of Keynote staff led worship at the Jamaican campus ministry’s winter conference. They also taught a seminar, joined in a community outreach and served in other ways to help make the conference a success. Of the 27 students attending, 13 made commitments to serve the Lord for a full year following graduation!

Practical Provision

A week and a half ago, I was doing a load of laundry. I put in the clothes and soap, and turned on the washer; it filled up with cold water, and then…did nothing. Except hum, that is. No agitation, no draining, no rinsing, no spinning —  just humming. This had happened a few times before, and a repairman had taught me a really high-tech fix: jiggle the control knob, and turn it off and back on. (I told you it was high-tech!!) So I promptly jiggled the knob and turned it off and on — over and over and over and over again. (I can be VERY persistent.) And still nothing but humming.

I finally took the wet, soapy clothes to some friends’ house to finish laundering, all the while wondering how much money it would cost for a new washer, and how much time it would take to hunt down a good deal.

The next evening at my church cell group, I asked for prayer about replacing the washer. My friend Sherry suddenly said, “I think my sister has an extra washer and dryer!” Sherry’s sister had moved to a new house a while ago with washer & dryer in tow, only to find a set left behind by the previous homeowners. So to make a long story short, I now have not only a working washer in my basement, but a newer dryer, too!

My immensely talented friend Susan, a scholar/ singer/ songwriter/ philosopher, would undoubtedly find an insightful spiritual analogy in all this. Alas, my thoughts tend toward the more concrete and mundane, so I’ll just leave you with this (perhaps rather obvious!) scripture:

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8, NASB

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