The Itzels Newsletter
Prayer Requests/Latest News
Happy Easter - Our Lord is alive!!! It is because of the resurrection that we have hope! Over 500 eye-witnesses saw Jesus risen from the dead and many of those went to their deaths refusing to deny what they saw. Jesus changed their lives and is still changing lives today. One day, He will return in a very different fashion than he came the first time, but this week, we celebrate His triumph over death and sin!
Great Book Ideas - This month, I have greatly enjoyed reading "One Perfect Life" by John MacArthur. He takes all 4 gospels and combines them into one easy-to-read story of the life of Christ in chronological order. I started at the first part of this month and am now up to the resurrection. It's like reading all of the gospel accounts at once, word-for-word from the scripture! I recommend it to everyone.
Another fantastic book that is absolutely life-changing that I recommend to any Christian who is serious about following the Lord's will is Radical by David Platt. We have been studying this book in our small group and every chapter has humbled and challenged me to stop living with my eyes on the world and start laying up my treasures for His Kingdom. WARNING: If you don't want to be challenged and are not willing to abandon all, take up your cross, and follow Christ, I'd stay as far away from this book as you can.
Nicaragua Trip - A couple of weeks ago, I sent out a letter about the mission trip Karen, Shannon, and I are involved in. We still need to raise about $2,000 of the $3600 to go on this trip. God is providing, but if you would like to help us out and invest in this evangelistic endeavor, you can send any donation to Bill & Karen Itzel Ministries 4215 Salem Bottom Rd. Westminster, MD 21157 and mark it Nicaragua Trip. All gifts are 100% Tax deductible. If you would be interested in going, please email me and I can give you the information!
Upcoming Dates - Make sure to come see us in concert when we are in your area! Here are the concerts we have scheduled for April: Go to www.Billandkarenitzel.com for more details:
Everett Church of God - Everett, PA - April 7
Calvary Bible Church - Lusby, MD - April 14
Colerain Baptist - Kirkwood, PA - April 21
Fairview Nazarene - Eagleville, PA - April 23
Living Hope Church of God - Laurel, MD April 28
As you can see, we are a little thin this month. Please continue to pray for churches to book up this year. I feel that after the economy of the last 4 years and the election results last year, churches are buckling up for a bumpy ride and cutting back on outside ministries like ours. God continues to give us a message to preach in our songs so I know He wants us to continue. Pray that doors will open and that even in this difficult time, God will expand our territory and use us to further His Kingdom.
Open Dates - Right now here are the open dates for the spring of 2013:
May 12 - AM (Mother's Day)
June 9 - PM
June 23 - AM or PM
June 30 - AM or PM
July 7 - AM or PM
July 14 - AM
July 21 - AM
July 28 - AM or PM
New Idea for our next CD - I want to get some feedback from you about an idea I have had for a few years. I have had so many great songs that have blessed me over the decades and would like to bless others with them. We usually record our own music, but I would like to make a new CD of "Covers" of other artist's songs. Does this sound like something you would like to hear? Email me and let me know...
Adoption Update - We are currently a "Waiting family". That means, all of our paperwork is done and we are just...waiting. Pray for the right birthmother to choose our family. We are trusting God for His timing in this. We are still doing Pampered Chef parties to fund the adoption and we still have about $16,000 to raise. If you would like to have us come to your home, cook you a meal, sing a few songs, and put on a super-awesome show, email Karen at: email@example.com
PRAYER REQUEST: We still have a few open dates in February and March that we need to fill. If your church would be able to help us out on one of these Sundays, please have the Pastor or Worship leader give me a call or email me. Beginning in January, we are offering 2 different types of concerts! First, is our standard blended concert, and the second is a more conservative concert for more traditional churches
February 10 – PM
February 17 – PM
March 3 – PM
March 10 AM
March 17 – AM or PM
March 24 – AM
March 31 – AM (Easter!)
FREE SONG: We want to email you a free song from our new CD as a special “Thank You” for being a part of our newsletter team. Simply email me back a request and I’ll personally email you an mp3 of one of our new songs!
MINISTRY VEHICLE: As you know, our son Ryan is a missionary with Open Air Campaigners and does a lot of traveling to different spots in Baltimore/Washington DC each week to preach. Currently he is using our old car, but will soon need to get a ministry vehicle that is not only reliable, but available to him for his busy schedule. As he is just starting out in this ministry and still raising support, he doesn’t have the funds to purchase a new or even dependable vehicle. We are praying for someone to donate a vehicle to his ministry. If you or someone you know has a vehicle they would be willing to donate to a tax-deductible ministry, please let us know. You would receive a tax deduction and you would also be helping speed along a powerful evangelistic ministry! You can email with any information.
JESSICA & RYAN NEWS: Pray for Jessica and Ryan as they are applying to help this summer at a children’s day camp. This has been a wonderful mission field for both of them in the past and a great opportunity to share the gospel with hundreds of children this summer!
ADOPTION NEWS: Our home study is all but complete (just 1 water test). In the next week or so, we’ll put together our profile and it will go out to birth-mothers who will then decide if we are the right fit for them. Then it is just a waiting game. We could have a child in a month or it may take over a year. Please continue to pray for everything to move along smoothly and quickly. We thank those who have helped us with our Pampered Chef parties and those who have donated to help us pay for this process. You have decided to lay up treasures in Heaven and we will be forever grateful. If you would like to help us carry this incredible financial burden, you can:
1. Give a tax deductible donation to help us give this child a good Christian home by going to www.BKMinistry.org.
2. Call Karen today at 443-986-1654 and set up a Pampered Chef party at your home, church, or business. Live far away? We can also do a catalog or facebook party for you as well.
3. Go online and shop (100% of our commission on our Pampered Chef business goes toward paying off this massive loan, so we can use all the help we can get!) Karen’s website is www.pamperedchef.biz/karenitzel
Thank you so much for all the support you have shown to us in your comments and prayers. The process is moving along, but we have taken on over $25,000 of debt to make this a reality. Please keep praying that God will allow us get our from under this debt as soon as possible.
NON-PROFIT MINISTRY NEWS: We had a wonderful first year of ministry. It was such a joy to send out tax receipts to our supporters. If you gave over $100 to Bill & Karen Itzel Ministries last year and did not get a receipt, please let me know as soon as possible. Please also pray that our support will increase so that we can more effectively reach our world with the gospel. We need to raise more consistent monthly support to be able to move forward with our evangelistic vision. If you would like a copy of our vision statement, please email me and I will send you one. To make a 100% tax-deductible donation, go to www.BKMinistry.org
I AM A CHRISTIAN: Our new CD is finished and in the duplication process. The theme is still forgiveness but in designing the cover and listening to the songs 500 times, we decided to go with the title "I Am A Christian". The cover will be a cool version of the Christian Flag which we have decided to be a continuing theme for our ministry. Our Kingdom is not of this world, so we are going to continue write songs that give an eternal perspective. Here are the 11 tracks:
1. When You Forgive
2. Write my Hurts in the Sand
3. I am a Christian
4. But for the Grace of God Go I
5. My God is Bigger
6. Investing in Gold
7. Saving My Best for First
9. Don’t Water Down the Gospel
10. Defenders of the Faith
11. I am a Christian (Reprise)
HOMECOMING 2012: Mark your calendars now for New Year’s Eve at 6 PM for our annual Homecoming concert. We will be debuting the new tour and will take a special love offering for our adoption. Checks can be made to Bill and Karen Itzel Ministries and all gifts are tax deductible. The concert will be about 90 minutes long so you’ll have time to do something after the concert if you like to celebrate New Years. As usual, the concert will be at the Forcey Bible Church in Silver Spring, MD. www.forcey.org
PRAYER REQUEST: We have several open dates in January and February that we need to fill. These 2 months always seem to be difficult to book but God has always provided. If your church would be able to help us out on one of these Sundays, please have the Pastor or Worship leader give me a call or email me. Beginning in January, we are offering 2 different types of concerts! First, is our standard blended concert, and the second is a more conservative concert for more traditional churches. Here are a few great reasons to book a concert in January or February:
· It gives your Music Team a break after the busy Christmas season
· It kicks off the new year with something special
· It gives those new contacts who come at Christmas a special reason to return
· It helps out a family in full-time ministry who have proven themselves faithful through the years
December 23 – AM
January 6 – AM
January 13 – PM
January 20 – AM or PM
January 27 – PM
February 10 – PM
February 17 – PM
February 24 - PM
JOYSONG CD: Many of you remember my mother, Pat, who sang with us in the 90’s as “Simply Faith”. She is still singing and just recorded a new gospel/inspirational CD with her trio, Joysong. They have graciously decided to give the album away for a donation to our adoption. If you would like to know how you can get one of these CD’s, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
We have narrowed our songs down to 10 and are putting the finishing touches on them in the next few days. We will then record demos and send them to our producer in TN. There are a lot of fresh new ideas b
2 new cd's have been green-lighted for 2012. First is a concert CD called "Live it Up" to be released in August. The tracks include Power and Might, Rebelling Against the Weather, Mercy Rained Down, Psalm 100, Forever Grateful, Shout to the Lord, Look to the One, Jessica guitar solo, At World's End, Minute Man, Plastic People, My God Sees (Cries of the Forgotten), and The Hard Way.
The second cd will be released later in the Fall in time for Homecoming on New Year's Eve. Tracks will be recorded in Mid-September and vocals should be laid down a few weeks later.
So much has happened since our last regular newsletter and I can't wait to share all the good news with you! First, God has opened up so many new doors for us that we are more booked up now than we have ever been in our 24 year history! We still have another half-year to schedule, but we are off to a great start. The new worship concert has been very well received and we are just so glad that God is using it and us to bring Himself glory.
Many of you have been praying for our computer situation (it died) and God did a miraculous thing in that, due to a simple communication error, Apple Inc felt the need to give us a new computer free of charge. Crazy, right? "My God will supply all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus". I know computers is not the context of that verse, but I'm giving God the glory anyway!
Jessica and Ryan are working hard and doing well in college. Jessica is almost to her AA degree. Both of them are doing well in their own ministries too. You can check out Jessica's new CD and web page at www.billandkarenitzel.com/jessicas-ministry.html and donate to Ryan's OAC evangelistic ministry at www.oacusa.org/staff-itzel.php.
Even Shannon is starting to come up with ways that she can lay up treasures in Heaven by saving her money to send Bibles to soldiers.
On the prayer request front, the cold virus has hit our house and we need your prayers that it will pass quickly and not hinder our singing. Pray for us as we begin to think about writing songs and a direction for the next CD. The funds have been saved for this project so we will be ready to go when the songs are completed. My goal is to record an album that will be full of doctrine, correction, encouragement, and instruction. Stylistically, we are looking in a couple of directions, but are hoping to bring a little something different this time.
Also, pray that more people will sign up for the cruise this fall. If you are interested in going, now is the time to sign up! Just call and make sure you tell them that Bill and Karen Itzel are your tour hosts. If you'd like more information, go to www.billandkarenitzel.com/1/post/2011/10/bill-karen-itzel-officially-part-of-the-fall-colors-gospel-cruise.html
We are praying for 100 people to come along-side of this ministry as either one-time or monthly supporters. You can read more about out non-profit ministry and tax-deductible donations at www.BKministry.org. Your tax-deductible gifts are what make this ministry possible! If you would like a brochure mailed to you the old fashioned way, just reply with your address and that request.
Ryan will be one of the teachers at the OAC evangelism training seminar in DC this year. If you ever thought, "I like what Ryan does on the sketchboard and I'd like to learn how to do that", here's your chance. For more information and registration go to www.oacusa.org. To see a video about the seminar, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUGuiZsaQg8&feature=share.
Make sure to “LIKE” our new facebook page: “The Itzels”. Also feel free to send us individual requests. We have a lot of great thought-provoking discussions there and would love for you to be a part of it.
Jessica's first solo CD has been released. It is called Revolutionary War and is a concept album about taking a stand and fighting the good fight of faith. The songs include several original songs by Jessica like "Revolutionary War", "Rebelling Against the Weather", "Chained to a Lie", and "Always Singing". There are also all new recordings of "Do Hard Things", "Island of Misfit Toys", and "Roll Call of Faith", and a special recording of "I have Decided". You can order it from our online store.
The new CD is finished! “UP” is our first full-scale worship project and the new tour is going to be very interactive. Many of the songs are taken straight from scripture and a few traditional hymns are included too, so this is really an album of Psalms, Hymns, and spiritual songs! Here is a rundown of the tracks:
Power and Might – This original rocker kicks off the album with an emphasis on how God is revealed in nature. The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God”, and that God is revealed through that which is made. This song gives God glory for His creative work...and His redemptive work.
Step by Step – Karen and I did a bit of a word study in the book of Psalms on the word “Steps” and how God guides our steps. The catchy chorus hearkens back musically to our “gospel” days and the verses are straight from the Psalms.
Love the Lord – This is a song by Lincoln Brewster straight from Matthew 22:37. This is the greatest commandment and this infectious song is sure to help it get stuck in our heads.
I’d Rather Have Jesus – This is the traditional hymn we all grew up with, but recorded in a very non-traditional way. It is a very dynamic arrangement that is very contemporary in its style yet definitely keeps the lyrics and message front and center.
Psalm 100 – No surprises here, this song comes directly from...Psalm 100. It is one of my favorite psalms and one of the first I ever memorized in school. It is easy to sing along with and maybe can help you memorize it too!
When I Survey – I love traditional hymns. We don’t sing too many of them, but every once in a while, I record one just because of the great lyrics and nostalgic feelings they bring from my past singing them in church. This one is very special. I did not realize it until the final mix. Karen’s vocal here, I believe are the most pure and emotional performance she’s ever given. When I was mixing, I had added some background vocals, but after listening to it, I felt I was just intruding on a very personal moment. So this song is just Karen, a piano, and a cello, and a heartfelt look at the cross.
You are There – We have, in the past, recorded some very good praise choruses, but were kind of lost in the shuffle and not really known for what they are. You are There is from the “Last Man Standing” album but is remixed with some changes. Here, on this CD, this song takes on a new life as a praise chorus.
Names – This was a fun song to write. Karen and I took a list of all of the names of Jesus throughout the Bible and wrote three verses using nothing but those names. Fortunately, we found enough that rhymed to make it work. The first verse is Christ the shepherd, the second verse is Christ the redeemer, and the last verse is Christ the conqueror. The style reminds me of Last man Standing.
Let Everything That Hath Breath – We have always been fans of the band Petra. In fact, my writing is probably closest in style to Bob Hartman as anyone, so, to record a song by Petra seems like the most natural thing to us. This song is not a sing-along praise chorus like most of the others, but the theme is that of praise.
Weak – The album closes with a praise chorus from the “Flawed” album that, like “You are there” got lost in the shuffle and gets to shine here.
I think that these vocals are the best we have ever recorded. We really pushed ourselves vocally and did things that are not usually in our ranges. I hope you all like the result. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!
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Ryan has officially been accepted as a missionary with Open Air Campaigners. He will begin as an intern for the next 2 years or so as he raises his support. We are just so proud that he has chosen this as his life’s work, and so proud that at only 16, God has given him a clear direction and is using him this way. You can check out his ministry website at: http://www.oacusa.org/staff-itzel.php