Monday, April 18, 2005

April 2005

Tom writes:

I receive a dozen or so emails a week from people who visit my drum site - most are just asking music questions.

But, this one came last week, and I wanted to share it with you all - not to gloat, it's not me, really, it's God. But it's just such a powerful testimony of how a humble website, burbling away on its own in cyberspace, can be a witness and a blessing.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to have found your site. What you are doing is so awesome, especially since you tactfully give the glory where it belongs - to the LORD!!! I have drummed since I was a kid and have taken lessons on and off for years. Because I was a total mess-up before I gave my life to Jesus and couldn't stay focused on anything but girls, drugs and alcohol, I never really advanced my drum skills to the level I knew I could. Since I became a Christian 9 years ago, the Lord has given me a new passion and ample opportunities to use my gift for His glory (and my delight). However, now that I have 3 kids with major financial responsibilities on a slim single income, much needed lessons are out of the question (at least with a clear conscience). Your site has been a great inspiration to me as I endeavor to play skillfully (Psalm 33:3) to the Lord.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Keep up the awesome work!!

Join me in praying for this fellow, and in rejoicing that God is using something so simple to be a force for His Kingdom.

Internet Stuff

The Howies are expanding in cyberspace. The Internet is where it’s at, and we have some new tools to help you stay in touch with us, our family, and our ministry!

The Basics
First, there’s our long-time home on the World Wide Web, On this site you can access our personal Keynote site, which contains an overview of our ministry, some information about Keynote, and a way to contribute financially (if you have fallen off in your giving because Campus Crusade didn’t send you your receipt, this is an easy way to get back on the team!);a resource site Tom put together with various things like essays, artwork, thoughts on religion and his testimony, etc.; and Tom’s world-famous Drumming Web.

New Additions
Next, we set up a domain for everyone in the family: will send you to his Xanga Blog (he updates this quite often, with news of college doings and such); sends you to Chris’ Xanga Blog; currently points to, but our intention in the near future is to turn this into a site devoted to Cathy’s music; and, our new Keynote Ministry Blog.

The Best
This last website,, is very important! In the past we have published our newsletter on our site. From here on out we will be publishing our newsletter on There are three reasons for this. 1. It’s easier for us, 2. it allows us to post continuous updates about our ministry and our lives rather than waiting until the end of the month, and 3. it allows you to post feedback to us online!

We’re most excited about this last feature – a new way for you to communicate with us! Simply go to, and read the newest post. At the end of each post there will be a “comments” link; click on it and follow the instructions.

If you would prefer getting our newsletter by email or through the internet, PLEASE EMAIL US!

Support Stuff

This week we sat down with Carole, the Associate National Director of Keynote, and discussed our financial support. We talked about our personal finances, our income versus expenses, and our benefits

As we talked, Cathy and I realized that we haven’t taken a raise in salary since 1998, when Tom left his secular job! We’ve been struggling to make ends meet lately, dipping into savings – well, actually practically emptying our savings account – to pay our bills.

Carole was very concerned about this, particularly as it applies to our support situation. In the past 12 months, we have seen a zero balance in our Campus Crusade account several times, which has meant paychecks at about 25% of what they should be. Also, our benefits package (we pay our own medical, unemployment, and Social Security insurance premiums) has doubled in 8 years. These, coupled with the fact that our salary has fallen behind inflation, puts us in a very precarious position financially.

To put it succinctly, Keynote has asked us to find new ministry prayer partners and raise $2,000 in new monthly support. If we don’t do this, our position in Keynote is jeopardized, and we may have to leave staff.

What can you do?
One word: PRAY! We are looking for people, families, and churches, to pray for us REGULARLY as we begin to look for new ministry partners. We know God is the provider, so will you ask Him, on our behalf, to provide for our needs? Would you ask Him to give us practical help for each day? We have some of our own ideas and will share them with you in the weeks to come, but right now we need His direction. We need your prayers. THANK-YOU!

Two words: Partner Referral! Do you know anyone who would love to hear about our ministry? Please talk to him or her, and LET US KNOW! We love sharing what God is doing through us, and we’d love to talk to your friend!

Keynote is where God has called us to ministry. He has given us gifts and skills that are being used to tell people about Jesus all over the world. You are one of those gifts—Thanks for partnering with us!

One More Web Update

Tom has finished the design of the websites for two new Keynote bands: blue sky nine, and Piper Down! Click the links to see his work!

Family News Briefs

Everyone is healthy!
Cathy (laryngitis), Chris (strep), Tom (sinusitis), and Jon (mono) are all very glad to be well!

Chris and Poverty
Chris is taking one college class this semester: Social Problems. As part of his homework, he has to work two hours a week in an agency that seeks to alleviate a social problem. He drives down into the heart of Indy to work at a food pantry run by a good friend. His eyes are being opened a little wider.

Cathy spent last weekend leading ladies on a church retreat before the throne of God. “What an amazing privilege! Although everyone was very enthusiastic about my leading, what happened in each of our hearts was more about their desire to truly worship God than my leading. How cool to be in the room with them…. And the God of gods!

Response Card
We inadvertantly made mention of a response card in our April paper newsletter - that should have been removed. If you want to send us a card, well then please do! We'd love to hear from you!


Please pray for:
* each of us to rest in God and His provision for everything we need… emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially.
* Chris’ college decision (Anderson, Indiana Wesleyan, or Taylor University?) Thanks!