A thousand words…

artistry and excellence, missions and ministry
No - it’s not the value of a picture. It’s the latest song and video produced by the team of artists I work with at Keynote. In addition to live performances, we develop music and video content for online audiences - which means we can reach people with our music and stories no matter where they may be! Recently, our team recorded a song called ‘A Thousand Words’, co-written and performed by one of our team’s long-time singer/storytellers, Teresa Touma. The song is about, in Teresa’s own words, “…a really dark time in my life when a significant relationship ended. It's just the blood and guts of how I felt at the time.” The goal was to write an honest song about the way it feels when a significant relationship ends…
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Mongolian taxis and other oddities

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So we get on the ground here in UlaanBaatar (the 'aa' syllables get the accent), we meet with the team that has brought us in for concerts, have a briefing meeting, and head out to dinner. Adam and I are going to catch a taxi with Oyuka and Odko, two women on the Mongolian team whose full names are lyrical and beautiful when they pronounce them, ungraceful when I say them, and awful to figure how how to spell.  (Sorry, gals...) Anyway, we go to catch a taxi. Now, I have been in some of the largest cities in the world (Seoul, New York, Istanbul, Cairo, etc) and catching a taxi is no big deal. But as we stand on the street corner, Oyuka starts waving at random cars driving by that don't appear (by any standard)…
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getting punched in the facade

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On this last concert tour with blue sky nine, I was talking to a guy and a girl after a show. The guy was one of the student leaders of the ministry on campus that brought us in, and he was fairly straight-laced. The girl was a bit alternative-looking and had hung around after the show to talk. During the conversation, he asked her a question or two about her spiritual interests. "I'm agnostic", she said, with a certain finality. And at that point, the guy visibly shut down and dropped the topic.  When she said the word "agnostic", it was like a switch went off and he quit asking questions.   Hmmmm.   So, I asked her - "Do you mind if I ask you a clarifying question or two about being agnostic?" "Sure", she said - without any real pushback or hesitation. "When you…
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Fitting in…

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On Friday, blue sky nine kicked off a two-week tour by playing in Dayton, OH at the Target:Dayton Center.  Sounds like an arena; it's not. It's an inner-city ministry that feeds homeless and needy people several times a week.  blue sky nine played for their evening 'service', which involved a free meal for them. (We'll play for food, even when it's not for us.)  It didn't take much to get them going; I don't think they get live music like this a lot. Looking at the crowd, I wondered about their stories. I wondered how many people were carrying.  I wondered how many people were lucid. I wondered how many weapons of whatever sort were in the room.  Before we went on,  I went and found myself a corner in the basement of the building and spent a long…
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