Serving the Voices Blog

A Commercial for RYFO?!

RYFO-Commercial

Have you ever wondered what a radio spot for RYFO might sound like?

Nick Lubs, son of Dave and Beverly, a RYFO Host Home in Indiana, made a RYFO commercial for one of his class projects. The commercial serves as an advertisement to bands about the care and support available to them through the RYFO Network.

A Soundtrack for Life

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A Soundtrack for Life
By: Lori George

At the beginning of our day, in the middle of our day, and especially at the end of our day, there’s nothing quite like listening to your favorite songs. An invisible reset button is pressed and we begin to rebuild our sense of self.

Three years ago, I had the opportunity to compose my first soundtrack for a short film.  I had new recording software I was teaching myself to use and decided this would be a prime opportunity to break it in. I viewed the short film multiple times before diving in to the composition. As I prayed under my breath for the Lord to grant me supernatural tenacity, I painstakingly matched the changing themes of the film with my music. When it was all said and done I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment.

As I reflected on the finished work I began to think about the musicians who had aided my creative process. Every sound on my recording software, every MIDI track, the mic I used, and quite possibly even those who assisted in the software’s development, were probably all musicians. I wondered who they all were.  I wondered about their personal lives.  Did they have spouses? Children? An elderly mother and father living their final days in a rest home? Were their bills past due in spite of their best efforts? Did they have health concerns? What was their spiritual life about? Did they believe in Jesus as their Savior? If they did, how were they growing in their personal walk with Him? Do they have an accountability partner in their lives?

As a musician, I appreciate RYFO’s desire to bring musicians from all walks of life, one step closer to their Creator, and to care for all aspects of their well being. In a day and age where technology advances can often leave people with a deep sense of detachment, RYFO understands the importance of maintaining real life relationships and communication. If you have an embedded sense of compassion for musicians, please consider becoming a Rebranded Fan. It’s a vital part of RYFO’s efforts to spread the love of Christ within the music community.

Pieces of a Story

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Pieces of a Story
By: Sydney Fontaine

The first time I heard the name “RYFO” I was sitting on a church pew in Nashville after a long night of street ministry. I have to confess that since I went to bed at 3:00 AM I was probably more asleep than I was awake.  I don’t remember who was sharing about it, and I don’t remember what they said, but I do recall that at the end of the presentation I was wide awake and writing down their website.

At that time in my life I never anticipated the impact that an organization like RYFO could have on a small band from central California, all I knew was that the concept was incredibly intriguing and captivating. I never anticipated that I would be (nervously) writing this blog a little over a year later. But God’s workings are much much different than ours, and if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that His plans are significantly better than mine.

In 2009 God called my family out of the walls of the church, where my dad was a full-time youth and worship pastor into full-time music ministry. In the past four years, I’ve gone from living in a house, to a basement, to an RV with my two brothers and parents, also known as my band mates.  Before we were called out of the church, I was  leading a comfortable lifestyle with comfortable aspirations. But throughout this journey my heart has been permanently changed. My life is no longer my own, it belongs to the Lord. Now I find myself sharing the hope of Christ with people through music in situations I often feel unprepared for.

Daily I am in contact with artists across the country that do the same, and who are searching for people to come along side them, to pray with them, to encourage them, to keep them accountable. Sometimes all we need is someone to simply “get it”, when we’re stuck on the side of the road for the 8th time with a blown tire or celebrating a holiday with another 10 hour drive.   This is the reason that RYFO resonates with me. It’s meeting artists where they are-in a state of exhaustion, in a state of an unsure future, in a state of feeling alone, and reminding us who we are in Christ. Reminding us that there is a significant purpose behind what we’re doing and that it’s more than just drive, play, sleep, repeat. God is moving in a family of believers who are passionate about redeeming the arts , and I am honored to have the opportunity to share pieces of that story with you.

Contemplating Community

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Contemplating Community
By: Cathy Hill

In a recent sermon based on Jeremiah 29, I was hearing how God had placed the Israelites in their current circumstances for his own reasoning. He encouraged them to go about daily life, to “make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.” (Jer 29:7, The Message) I was encouraged to think about where I have been placed for this season of my life and how I could make a difference in my community and work for the welfare of others.

So I considered my various “communities”: family, church, neighborhood, Pilates class… and then it hit me: RYFO is also one of my communities. It’s something God has called me to, where I am, at this point in my life, and it’s a place I can make a difference because of the gospel. I began to consider the ways that my RYFO ministry can have an impact within the music industry.

I can make my home available as a place for road-weary musicians to rest. I can offer you a bed instead of a backseat. I can offer you showers instead of WalMart wash basins. I can offer a hot meal instead of a cold Lunchable. By opening my front door, I can provide you with comforts of home that you miss while traveling in your van.

I can be a listening ear when someone needs to vent. I can give advice (when asked!). I can talk about things other than the next venue or the last load-out (though I can also talk about those too).

I can offer a hug to a weary soul, I can stitch up your ripped jacket, I can dole out Tylenol and EmergenC.

I can take you to my chiropractor, my mechanic and my favorite pizza place.

I can keep in touch with you. I can be a friend along the road so that your next stop in my town feels like a homecoming.

And I can pray. With you. For you. Before you arrive. After you leave. Along the road.

God has called me to serve you and I am blessed to do so.

A Home for Rebranded Fans

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A Home for Rebranded Fans
By: Simeon Lohrmann

With all the fan stereotypes that exist in the music community, have you ever asked yourself what it takes to be a music fan? Maybe a simple appreciation for music suffices. Maybe a music fan is someone who supports musicians by buying CD’s and going to concerts. Is there anything else?

Recently I had the honor of visiting my alma mater, Greenville College (GC), where the initial vision for RYFO was born. My wife Johanna and I made the trip to GC with the intention of establishing a partnership between the school, particularly the Music Business Department, and RYFO. I am happy to report that our expectations were far exceeded. We were truly impressed by the commonality between the passions of the Greenville students, and the mission of RYFO.

The partnership with Greenville will certainly evolve over time, yet as it stands today, the prospects are exciting. We’re currently working to create opportunities for the students to engage in the work of RYFO through internships & short-term missions trips. Additionally, RYFO is positioned to support the hospitality efforts at AgapeFest, a 37 year old Music Festival run by Greenville’s students.

Over the past 10 months the RYFO staff has sought to promote a singular core message, “Become a different brand of fan.” This message serves as an invitation to all Christ followers who love music. If you love Jesus and love music, we believe you are the perfect candidate to help RYFO raise the bar on being a music fan. As we interacted with the Greenville students we were encouraged by their deep passion for music, and their desire to make an impact for Christ within the music community. Greenville proved to be a home for rebranded fans.

[Read more about how RYFO characterizes a Rebranded Fan]

Does your church or school share the same DNA as RYFO? If so, we would love to link arms and work together. You can can invite us out by completing the form at the bottom of this page: SHARE.

Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)

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Jesus Loves You (Unless You’re Famous)
By: Rihanna Teixeira

The church has such a wonderful heart. Our passion to serve and help those who are lacking is inspiring. I love hearing stories of the homeless man who is now a pastor because someone stopped to show him the love of Christ. I smile to myself when I see a friend post pictures of their recent trip to the heart of Africa where they fed the hungry and nursed the sick. My heart rejoices when a family member successfully raises the money they need to go to Thailand to rescue the girls in slavery. I love it all.

Growing up in a Christian home and in the church, I’ve seen hundreds of support letters come through from missionaries who are traveling to the most remote parts of the world to spread the gospel. I’ve heard of prayer meetings focused on certain countries and love offerings taken for others.  But I have never seen a support letter or heard someone say that it is their dream to work as a missionary in Hollywood.

I get it. Why would they need us? They have access to literally everything they could ever want and they could surely find their way to a church if they really wanted Jesus. Plus, almost every musician and actor somehow manages to thank “God” in their acceptance speech. Surely, they can figure it out for themselves.

It’s funny how we unknowingly decide who needs Jesus the most based on whether they had caviar or dirt for dinner. I might be going out on a limb here, but I would venture to say that Hollywood is the most forgotten when it comes to God’s children. It’s easy for us to look at the hungry child who has no father and no place to call home and feel that tug on our heart to love them. But, we see a celebrity struggling with drug abuse and we write them off in disgust and pray that our children don’t ever become like them.

Both groups of people are hurting. Both groups are hungry. Both have a need. Yet, only one is accepted.

You see, beyond the champagne and glitter, the awards shows and  club appearances is someone’s daughter. Someone’s son.  We see the surface, the product, the celebrity. But God sees his most prized possession who is lost in a world where everybody knows their name and yet they don’t even know themselves.

My encouragement is this. If God gave you a heart for Africa, go to Africa. If he gave you a heart for single mothers, help single mothers. But if you have a heart for Hollywood, pursue Hollywood. I believe that with our prayers, we will walk into a season where Hollywood will no longer be the forgotten ones among the church body. I believe that with our prayers, celebrities can encounter the living God and find the fulfillment that they so desperately are looking for.

You may not be in the situation where you can up and move to Los Angeles to start ministering to artists, but you are always in a position where you can pray. And if we really believe that prayer changes things, let’s just start there. With prayer.

Pray that God will lead people to serve record label executives and introduce them to Christ.

Pray for artists to really find their voice in the one who gave it to them.

Prayer changes things. Prayer changes people. Prayer sets the captives free.

“Running” RYFO

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“Running” RYFO
By: Simeon Lohrmann

We all have crossroads in our lives. These turning points serve as markers that shape the trajectory of what we do and who we become. Recently I was faced with a major crossroads, and both paths that presented themselves seemed good roads to take; stay part-time with RYFO as a volunteer, or transition to a full-time role. Can you guess which I chose? If you guessed the later, you are correct! Now three months into my role as Director of Operations, I feel led to provide you with a picture of what it means for me to be “Running” RYFO.

The picture above is from a photo shoot about 5 years ago. The photo shoot was done in support of my pursuits as a singer-songwriter. Two years prior to this picture I moved from Maryland to California with the intent of helping start RYFO, but at this point RYFO was the last thing on my mind. To be frank, at this season in life, my mind was set on myself; My image, My music and My future.

Since then my life’s purpose has completely changed! God has captured my heart, transformed my mind and redirected the trajectory of my life in more ways than I have time to share in this blog. At the core of it all lies a deepening passion for the mission of RYFO. This passion has emerged from my own experiences as a musician, my observation of the experiences of my close musician friends, and finally from three years as a volunteer for RYFO. I feel deeply honored to now be in charge of RYFO’s day-to-day operations.

One of the responsibilities of my new role is to set a budget and oversee RYFO’s fundraising efforts. To that end I wanted to take the opportunity to publicly thank our monthly financial supporters. RYFO would not exist without the faithful investment of these individuals. We are grateful for your faith in our Staff and Mission. Thank you for helping me “Run” RYFO!

 

RYFO currently receives $2,713 per month in support. Interested in joining RYFO’s monthly support team? Learn more on our Give page: Click Here.

All donations to RYFO are tax-deductible. RYFO is a DBA of First Baptist Church of Big Bear Valley, a 501(c)(3).

RYFO will be at “The Doves!”

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“And the award for Artist of the Year goes to…”

As part of a developing partnership with the Gospel Music Association (GMA’s), RYFO will be at the 44th Annual Dove Awards on October 15th. We are honored to have been invited to attend this event, and to be recognized by the GMA’s as a support resource for artists.

[The GMA’s Endorsement of RYFO]

The focus of The Dove Awards is to honor outstanding achievements in Gospel music. Awards are presented to individuals in categories such as Rock, Rap/Hip Hop, Pop/Contemporary, Inspirational, Urban, Southern Gospel, Praise and Worship, Bluegrass, and Country.

To see the list of this year’s nominees Click Here

Broadening our Voice

Starting next month we are excited to see the ‘Voice’ of RYFO’s blog begin to expand. The blog was launched in 2012 as a voice of inspiration, and as a vehicle for sharing organizational updates. Aside from a couple of guest blog posts, all the posts since the blog launched have come from the RYFO staff. We recently began discussing how to pour more life into the blog. In doing so we have begun to look outside ourselves, to consider what the blog could look like with a broader team of contributors. We are now in the final stages of forming a team of writers to contribute to the story we are seeking to tell.

The vision for the blog is to tell the story of how the love of Christ is spreading throughout the music community.

This is a massive, multifaceted story! Our desire is to communicate all facets, not just those that are specific to RYFO’s programs. We want the blog to be broadly inspirational. For example, we want to tell the story of how musicians are loving fellow musicians and sharing their faith with them, just as much as we want to tell the story of the life that exists in RYFO’s Host Home program. Another example could be the story that exists to be told about music fans going out of their way to love and serve musicians in various ways. We refer to these fans as “Rebranded Fans” because they’ve transcended the stereotypical music fan persona, and embraced a call to represent Christ to the musicians they encounter. A final example could be the story of a church’s outreach efforts to musicians who live in their city. These are just a few basic examples of how we expect to broaden the story that’s being told through our blog.

Together we are Serving the Voices!

What does RYFO look like?

The pictures below should help paint the picture of a RYFO Host Home experience.

Check out our Instagram to follow the visual story of RYFO in action.

Do you have pictures you would like us to share? Email your pictures to simeon@ryfo.org