18 April 2013


At work today, my team did some celebrating. We really enjoy celebrating together - both our triumphs and our failures. :) We celebrated our time together as a team and reflected on projects, accomplishments, almost-accomplishments, and fun 'together' times. We also celebrated those in the summer birthday club, since we will be scattered around on different assignments this summer. As a member of the summer birthday club yet on this crazy new meal plan journey...I was extremely blessed that my team navigated through the things I can and cannot eat to make me treats that I could enjoy. Ice cream? Cake? Fantastic! The game was simply the icing on the cake. (Pun slightly intended)

What was one of your most favorite celebrations?

16 April 2013

Day 23 | Upswing

Day 23. Really? It definitely hasn't "gone by so fast", yet the time doesn't seem to be dragging by either.

Yesterday, I had two realizations:

1. The tree pollen counts are beginning to go up, up, up.

2. The people around me are beginning to noticeably stuffer from the environmental allergens awakening from their winter slumber.

Well...I suppose I had three realizations.

3. I am fine.

After all these years of suffering, my mind is having a hard time believing it. Something like this just doesn't go away. But, my body is proof. No headaches. No sniffy nose. Hallelujah, I can breathe!

Of course, these realizations don't make the day-to-day easier. The realizations keep me in focus of why I am radically changing what I eat and how I prepare it.

I have enjoyed, though, the rekindled creativity that this new endeavor has aided. Twenty-three days with no french fries? Enter...jicama fries!

...I may or may not have eaten the whole thing at once.

07 April 2013

Day 14 | Honesty

Two whole weeks of this crazy new meal plan. Fortunately, tears haven't been shed since day two. However, I am getting some crazy cravings for brownies. (Please talk to me if you can make a yummy GF and no sugar oozy gooey brownie.)

A few people have been asking if I can tell a difference yet or if it seems to be helping. To be honest....yes, unfortunately yes. Yes, that's right - I indeed was secretly hoping this meal plan wouldn't work. Why? Well duh, then I could go back go eating the yummies I love.

Alas, I do feel better. I have more energy. There are a few other symptoms that I'm noticing are lessening. The big test will come mid- to late-May...high tide of allergy season for me. Most importantly for now, "me" is starting to come back. I am realizing now how cruddy I was feeling. It creeped up there all sly-like, and now that it's going away, I can see the impact it was having.

Hmmmm. Makes me think of other cruddy things in my life, like sin...all sly-like sometimes. Hmmmm.

On another note...um the weather today? Gorgeous! Moses and I enjoyed the sunshine. I read while he chased the squirrels. (I think one squirrel started cussing Moses out...he was squawking! Seriously, have you ever heard a squirrel squawk?

26 March 2013

Two Minute Tuesday | March 26

Thank you for tithing two minutes this week to pray for us and our journey.

This week, Tony is helping with Keynote's Comm Lab this week (there's another one next week, too!). People from all over the US are here, learning how to be more effective communicators. The training from our different coaches helps people to have their content & message remembered rather than how they presented it. Today, Tony met a Cru staff member from California who is a part of this training - Matt may or may not be enjoying our March snow in Indiana!

Jonelle is in charge of photography for the Comm Labs and is working with two other photographers to capture engaging, welcoming photos that Keynote can use to promote Comm Lab in the future. This is the 4th year we've had Comm Lab, and look forward to seing it continue to grow!

Please pray for...
  • our daily walk with Christ.
  • continued bookings for our summer tour with Rhymz Suhreal. Also, we may be helping out with the music for a junior high youth camp this summer (separate from our Keynote tour)!
  • Jonelle, as she navigates through combatting her allergies through a new meal plan.

Please send us any prayer requests you have! We love praying for you.

In Christ,
Tony and Jonelle

Day Two

Today is day two of my (Jonelle's) new meal plan to help combat allergies. After recommendations by two doctors and loads of research, my new mean plan is no yeast, no soy, no sugar (including fruit), and no corn for one month of cleansing.


Yep. My reaction was most likely similar. I was a big girl and didn't cry right there in the doctor's office.

I waited until I got home. :)

This girl loves bread...and brownies....and I won't even get started on my peanut butter addiction. There is a light towards the end of this tunnel, though. After a month, I can add some things back into my lifestyle, like fruit and limited amounts of corn/corn products. On the positive side, I love coconut, almonds, pecans, eggplant, and eggs - all of which I can freely chow down on.

I am really looking forward to feeling better. Also, this meal plan (purposefully not calling it a 'diet') may significantly reduce my allergy symptoms in the spring and fall, which would be a huge win!

I'm not sure what the future holds with my new little meal plan, but my breakfast on day one wasn't that bad at all - a huge omelet filled with veggies! Yum!

Day two...well...there may or may not have been more tears.

07 March 2013

Rediscovering Writing

One of my (Jonelle's) jobs at Keynote is to write stories. I enjoyed my time in high school on the school newspaper and yearbook staff - but that was high school! Our 10th year reunion was this past summer, and 10 years is a long time to be writing infrequently.

I was a little nervous, yet excited, when I learned that there was a big need for writers on my team at Keynote. All of the external communication from Keynote (blog updates, brochures, recruiting pieces, etc...) stems from my team.

Since reporting last summer, I have been given the role of senior editor of writing and photography at Keynote. I love being able to capture stories of God changing lives through writing and photography! The writers and photographers whom I work with are phenomenal!

I'd like to share my latest story with you. It is a glimpse into the spiritual journey of a college student from Portland, Oregon.


Sowing Seeds in Portland

“Who is the real God – Allah or the God of the Bible?”
Matthew, a college student in Portland, asked this question. His dad is a Muslim, and his mom is Catholic. While in Jordan last summer with his dad’s family, he read the Quran resulting in more questions about Islam and Christianity.

This situation is not surprising to John Rozzelle, Cru campus staff member in Portland. He believes that the rough spiritual soil in Portland brings unique challenges. As a result, more time is needed to cultivate relationships so spiritual conversations about Jesus can happen.

Continue reading about Matthew's journey...

26 February 2013

Two Minute Tuesday | Feb26

Blog. Resurrected.

No long post about how it's been awhile. None of that.

Thank you for taking two minutes to pray for us this week. We apologize for missing last week's update. To try to make it up to you, here is a video update:


Prayer Requests:

Please pray for...
  • our daily walk with Christ.
  • Tony and his team's preparation for leading the World Wide Day of Prayer for Cru staff members in our region.
  • Jonelle and her team's preparation for Keynote's Golf Challenge annual fundraiser. 
Please send us any prayer requests you may have!
In Christ,
Tony& Jonelle

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23 August 2012

Go Team, Go!

We were blessed to report to our assignments at Keynote on the very first day of Summer Project. We quickly mixed into the fun and the crazy that is in the air when we have many college students with us for the summer!

While the students were with us learning how to share their stories, practicing their craft (music, film, or theater), and getting ready to take the gospel through the country on their tours....we were busy as well!

Tony and I were both assigned to the "Go Team" during summer project. But, what does that really mean? Take a look...

See those tables? The Go Team was responsible for keeping the tables wiped down from snacks and meals throughout Summer Project. The team also frequently set more up or tore some down, depending on what events were happening.

At the beginning of Summer Project, Tony picked up Kennan (singing in the white shirt) and others from the Indianapolis Airport. Jonelle made an airport run and got to know Toya (singing, left) and a few others.

The Go Team prepped, cooked, and served the students' Friday night dinners. The students were thankful for a meal that wasn't fast food!

The students' dress rehearsals (final performance before they left for tour) were open to the public...which means snacks and popcorn!

We enjoyed working as a team to set up and decorate the final banquet for the students to celebrate what the Lord did during the summer!

We had fun serving together! Although we were running around all summer and working late during the week and weekends...we had a great team and loved our first assignment with Keynote!

21 August 2012

Our Happy Hand Model

Recently, our New Media Labs team at Keynote asked Tony to help with a video they were creating to promote MissionHub, an online follow-up system (developed by Cru in partnership with Keynote) designed to connect leaders with students who are interested in growing spiritually.

This animated video was sent to campus staff leaders with Cru to remind them of this great tool that was created for them to connect, communicate, and track ministry relationships. Keynote is excited to provide this tool to help campus staff reach others more effectively!

However, it oddly started to feel like the Seinfield Episode starring George Constanza as a hand model. Yes, Tony's role was to be a hand model in this little production! Take a look behind the scenes:

Here is the finished project:

*To read more about MissionHub, click here.*

03 May 2012


A good friend recently posted something on her blog that I have been thinking about lately. Instead of trying to formulate words for my thoughts...I am just going to feature hers.  :)

I have been on both ends of what she talks about in her post [below]. There have been times where I've called or texted someone just because they "came to mind", and those conversations, seemingly random to me, were a need filled to the recipient. On the other hand, there was a time where we were really struggling financially...living with friends while raising support, not getting paychecks yet, and living off sporadic part-time hours. We didn't tell anyone how crazy the situation was, because we were to get our little paychecks in a week, and God always comes through. I still don't know who did it, but someone left gift card in an envelope on my car. [If that was you: you don't know how much you blessed us that day!]

God knows. He sees. He listens. Sometimes he uses you.

Here are my friend's words. [Check out her blog, good stuff!] Wendy says:

    While at the recent home school convention in Cincinnati, I received a phone call from a friend back home.  It was very unexpected, but instead of letting my voice mail get the call, I picked it up.  On the other end of the line was Jenny, a gal who was quick to make friends and help them in any way. Although she possesses these great gifts, to the best of my knowledge Jenny is not a mind-reader.  She could not have known that I was just mulling over a recent workshop at the convention that convicted me regarding the parenting of one of my children.  She could not have known that I was struggling with the strained relationship this child and I were experiencing.  She could not have known that I was fighting fear that this child’s heart was hardening to the Lord.  Yet, even without this knowledge, the Holy Spirit worked within her to prompt her to call me from”out of the blue” and encourage me.  In her phone conversation, she shared how this child, the very one I had previously been dwelling on, was so kind to her recently.   She shared specific instances and words.  Purpose and love were driving this conversation and I was tremendously encouraged.
    How many times has the Holy Spirit prompted you to call someone?  To write an email or letter?  What is your response?  As I think back to the many prompts I’ve received from the Holy Spirit, I can remember specific times that I obeyed and rejoiced as I knew only God could have orchestrated such an occasion.  Of course, there have been other times that I’ve gone on with “my business” and not touched base with a friend who God put on my heart and mind.  I missed out on the chance to bless.  How good God is, though, as He continues to prompt us as we draw near to Him and humbly keep our hearts soft to Him.
    If the Holy Spirit has been silent in your life, consider if you truly know Him.  Has He done a supernatural work in your heart to change it from being dead to being alive and a new creation?  If He has indeed, and the fruit of your life is evidence of this very truth, then seek Him.  Ask Him to reveal people in need of an encouraging word, of help with babysitting their children, of money to pay a bill, of an invitation to dinner or even church.  Be open to these promptings; act on them.  And, see God at work!