REST

Rest.  What a seemingly simple word.  It is only four letters.  But, oh, the implications it can have on a life that actually does it!
My husband, Russell, will often say to me, “Sit down…rest.”  There’s that word again.  It’s sometimes, (I’m being a little too easy on myself), it’s often difficult for me to sit down and rest.  We homeschool our children, Will and Sidney, and this year is the first of many years to come of a lot more to do.  Me and our 2 amazing kidsWill is in eighth grade and Sidney is in third grade.  Their workloads are only increasing from here.  So, as I write this, I am looking back on yesterday – a Saturday that we were actually home and not out on the road doing ministry.  I had a terrible day because I couldn’t seem to rest. There’s that word again!
Saturdays, in my mind, were meant for catching up on the things you couldn’t get done during the week.  Well, because I homeschool, I had laundry, tons of emails to go through and send, and just the normal cleaning.  What I needed more than anything, though, was to rest.  There’s that…you get the picture.
Jesus had a few things to say about resting.  He tells us to come to Him, all who are weary and burdened and He will give us rest.  He says our souls will find rest.  He told His apostles to come away to a quiet and desolate place and rest a while because there were so many people needing them that they hadn’t even had a chance to eat!  We are to “be still and know that He is God.”  We are to rest.
I have to realize…it’s okay to rest.  Our bodies are designed to rest.  We can’t function properly without it.  Sometimes we just need a day, or even a few hours, doing things that instill joy into our lives:  playing games with our kids, watching a movie, or just napping or taking a long bath.  Maybe you haven’t just sat quietly and waited for the Lord to speak.  Tell yourself, “It’s okay to rest!”  Say it with me, “It’s okay to rest!”  One more time, “It’s okay to rest!”
Now, I wonder if your family will notice?  I think they will.  I think mine will.  When we’re rested, we can hear The Holy Spirit’s voice louder, easier. We can feel the joy that He intended for us.  I think our Heavenly Father will smile as we take time rest.
Now, can you count how many times I used the word REST?  Oh stop it…go rest!!
Kristi 🙂 

House Concert tour coming Fall 2014!

Well – we’ve got a crazy idea and we are wondering if you’ll help us with it???

We’re putting together a house concert tour starting in August and running into the Fall…anyone interested in hosting a house concert? It would be such fun sitting in your living room/backyard with 20-25+ of your friends singing, laughing, maybe even crying…    If you’ve got a living room and friends…that’s all you need!  We put the idea out on our Facebook page last week and the response has been great!  There are still dates available for both weekends or week nights but the weekends will go fast!  Let us know and we can send you a pdf document with all the details and requirements. Call us 843-446-2983 or email kristi@rkpraise.net!

Based on the initial response to this idea, we are also looking to add house concerts to our ‘Love Is Here’ Christmas tour as well!  More to come on that idea.

The End or the Beginning?

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the school year.  As a homeschool family, school is just a part of our lives…everyday, all day, we’re thinking of ways this or that can be educational.  When you think of it, everything can somehow turn into a learning experience. That’s one of the cool things about traveling like we do with our music ministry.  We can take the kids with us on a lot of the trips and they get to learn on the go…

Ft. Caswell Conference Center - Oak Island, NC

More than a chance to learn on the go is the opportunity to spend so much time with our kids.  They grow up so fast – we all know.  Homeschooling has given us a chance to connect on a different level.  As parents, we are their first teachers.  We teach them how to walk, talk, and be with others.  We hope they see in us Christ’s love.  We teach them how to show that love to each other and hopefully, as they grow, they will show it to those around them, even those who are much different than they are.
As I said earlier, I can’t believe the end of this year is almost here.  I’ll have an eighth grader and a third grader!  How did that happen!!  I’ll be glad it’s over but also, I’ll be a little sad.  I really enjoy schooling our children – as aggravating as it can get sometimes.  I enjoy seeing them learn and ‘get it’ for the first time.  I enjoy seeing Will, our oldest, teach Sidney, his younger sister – being so patient with her.  There are many things I love that I’ll miss for a while.  But the good thing is…we’re always learning and we’re always teaching.
So even though the school year is coming to an end and summer’s getting ready to begin, school – or learning – will continue, hopefully, for a lifetime!

I recently received an email that took me by surprise in a very good way…IMG_0058

“Greetings from Canada. Last spring, my wife and kids were vacationing in Myrtle Beach and arrived very late, and somewhat dejected, one Sunday morning just in time to hear the sermon and your singing of “Hope Now” at Beach Church.

We had just left another church across town where we were turned away at the door because our kids did not want to go to the kids’ ministry. Weird experience. In any case, your singing that day was a welcome healing balm for my family. And I just soaked in the presence of our God as you sang. Thank-you for being His instrument.

I’ve had other such spiritual experiences at churches far away, often without giving thanks to the people involved. I want to change that. To our God all our praise is due, but his hands and feet need a pat on the back every now and then too, for being open to his moving.

So thank-you, and God Bless. We serve such a great God.

Barry – from Canada”

You never know what people are going through. So whatever you do, however you serve, remember that God can use you as a tool in His hands – to breathe hope, peace, love, and healing into someone’s life. People everywhere need to know the Hope that is Christ. Today, let Him use you in His most capable hands to do what only He can do in the lives of others. Who knows, someone from another country, or from the next cubicle, just might need His touch through you.

Russell and Kristi unleash their sixth studio album, No Other Name, today – April 30th 2013!thumb

For their sixth studio album, Russell and Kristi have invested more of themselves into this project than any one preceding – and it shows. Described as “the best album yet,” No Other Name has a feel of definite worship and awe of our Creator.  Each song in the collection was carefully crafted or selected around the central theme of worship for the creator God of the universe. From beginning to end, the album examines our purpose for living – to worship God – and the many facets of God and his unending love.

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This highly anticipated album was sparked by the popularity of the previously recorded song ‘No Other Name’. A last minute addition to the 2009 release, ‘Heart Revolution’, ‘No Other Name’ quickly became a favorite at every event where Russell and Kristi led worship.

IMG_0709The entire project was recorded in the couple’s home studio, warmly nicknamed “The Swamp,” and was produced and engineered by Russell.The duo enlisted the support of their band – Mark Stanley (guitars), Doug Sturgill (bass) and James Poindexter (drums).

Russell and Kristi continue to travel sharing their music and the Hope of Christ as they lead people in worship. Their goal is to encourage the Church (God’s vehicle for redemption through Jesus Christ) and to make Him known. They have shared the stage with dozens of today’s top Christian artists and they share the conviction that God has put them together to share Christ with others through music. Russell and Kristi have also recently founded Adore Marriage, a non-profit organization to strengthen and encourage marriages and families. Get to know them for yourself and you will see that they are a match made in heaven, through their music, their marriage and their ministry.

You can find R&K’s new CD at any of the following:
www.russellandkristi.com
iTunes
GooglePlay
Amazon
CdBaby

 

I like to read Oswald Chambers’, My Utmost For His Highest, most mornings and as many of you know, there is a key verse – many times part of a verse – that is centered upon for the day’s reading.  Well, most times I like to read the whole chapter that the verse comes from; that way I can better understand the context of the verse, what was happening at the time.  Anyway, today I read the chapter before as well – Acts 19 and 20 – to get a good handle on what was going on.  It told of Paul in Ephesus, standing, as He always did, for the gospel among people who were solid believers of the false god Artemis.  Riots broke out, people didn’t like what Paul had to say.  But it didn’t stop him.  He left Ephesus, traveling to Macedonia on his way to Jerusalem.  Everywhere he was, he spoke the powerful truth of the Gospel.  As he said, he was “compelled” to do this.

Today’s devotion left me with this truth – that we are all given a ministry when we become believers in Jesus Christ.  To share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Now, how we share it is always changing – but our ministry to share the Gospel remains.  Over the 18 1/2 years that Russell and I have been married, we have seen our ministry opportunities change.  We have been in music ministry, sharing the Gospel through music to many different people in many different ways – student ministry, singles ministry, even children’s ministry.  Over the past several years, God has added marriage ministry.  All the while, the ministry of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ has not changed.  As I said earlier, the way, or style, may change but the message is always the same.

And we all have a ministry.  Not just us who sing Christian Music or preach or lead churches, but all of us who carry the name of Jesus.

Kristi TruckMaybe God has put you around someone at work who doesn’t know Him – be a minister at work – show them the Gospel as you build relationships.  Maybe your son or daughter has a friend who’s parents don’t give them much attention.  Show him/her the Gospel by pouring into them encouraging words when they are around you.  You can pray for them, too.

There are so many ways to minister.  The most important thing is to stay in touch with the One who made you a minister to begin with.  Nurture your relationship with Jesus.  Spend time daily in His word.  Read the full chapter – get more of Him, and He’ll continue to lead you and open up opportunities to pour His love through you.

What a ride we’re on!  Let’s enjoy being ministers of the Gospel!

Kristi 🙂