In Connecticut they’re called potlucks, in Indiana they’re pitch-ins, and down south they’re covered dish dinners. But the result is the same: a plate full (and sometimes overflowing!) with a wonderful assortment of yummy morsels. That full plate also happens to be a fitting metaphor for the variety of responsibilities and activities I have in my life right now. Here are some of the “tasty” items that have been on my plate since I last wrote (not in any particular order):
Teaching a Program Development class (i.e., how to plan a concert program) to the program committees for the six summer project bands
Sending monthly emails to remind staff of training they still need to complete (it’s not as time-consuming as it sounds – the process is automated, thanks to my computer whiz teammate Mike)
Attending weekly meetings with the rest of the Staff Development team
Participating on the Senior Pastor Search Committee for my church, which includes meeting once or twice a week, reading resumes and references, listening to sermons, and planning & conducting preliminary interviews with candidates
Planning the class calendar for the summer, which includes classes for our summer project students, additional classes for the new staff who arrive before the students, and upper level classes for our senior staff to prepare them for summer project responsibilities
Making weekly phone calls to coach one of our new staff through her initial support raising time
Coordinating a small cell group at church (I’m the point person, but everyone in the group takes turns leading)
Attending weekly prayer & business meeting with all the Keynote staff
Participating on a committee to give input to Keynote’s Graphics Department as they revamp Keynote’s web site
Singing at church with the regular worship team and with a special small choir for Good Friday & Easter services
Recording training-related information in Keynote’s Human Resources database (for example., which training modules people want to be enrolled in and which ones they have finished)
Scheduling the four classes that make up our Office Track Module
Writing this prayer letter! :-)
And fun things, too, like attending a birthday dinner for my favorite 12-year-old, working on my hobby (my web site) and watching videos with friends :-)
Well, that’s what’s on my plate – what’s on yours? I can guess one item: your partnership with me in ministry! Thank you for keeping ME on your plate through your gifts and prayers!
Here are some encouraging items from other Keynote staff.
From The Boyds, who use contemporary music, humor and drama to reach out to couples and families:
“150 people attended this Executive Ministry Valentine’s dinner at a beautiful country club in northern NJ, which had an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. It was a breathtaking scene. Of those 150, around half of them were non-believers, so it was a perfect opportunity to present Christ! At the end of the evening when the cards were turned in, 29 had indicated decisions to give their lives to the Lord, 13 checked that they wanted further information about a relationship with God, and 13 also wanted to be in a Bible study!! We were blown away. It meant that almost 40% of the non-believers had responded to the gospel!”
From Keynote staffers Bryan & Laurie Horvath in New York City:
“… a HUGE praise to God … Finding an apartment here is amazingly difficult (one you can afford, where they accept our CCC salary, that is bigger than a shoe box, safe, NOT a 6 story walk-up, etc…). Basically, God moved and we found a great apartment in our same neighborhood and even secured a two-year lease (very rare)where the rent does not increase the second year (never happens…). They accepted our financial situation (making less than half their required amount) without question and even the rental agents were amazed that we got a two-year lease with no increase (they said, ‘Boy, that manager must have been in a really good mood today!’ Go God!). And the building is extremely family friendly, in a better location, closer to the subways and Central Park, and we’ll actually have two bedrooms for the four of us! We’re really happy.”
Michael & Lisa Anderson are serving in Singapore for a year as part of Keynote’s partnership with ForeRunner, the music ministry of Singapore Campus Crusade for Christ. Lisa writes:
“Thank you so much for your continued prayers. On Wednesday [March 23] the Chinese band ‘7Days’ (that Michael plays drums for) had a concert here in Singapore at a local high school. They were able to present an evangelistic program to over 400 students. 128 students accepted Christ!!!! Join us in praising God for the decisions made and pray for the students to continue to grow in their new relationship with Christ.”
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.
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 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.