CHERI KEAGGY FEATURED AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT THE COVE
Dove Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter Addresses Women's Retreat,
Performs At Billy Graham's N.C. Training Center
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 9, 2012) - Dove Award-winning recording artist and speaker Cheri Keaggy recently was the keynote speaker at The Cove, Billy Graham's Training Center in Asheville, N.C. Keaggy, who released her latest CD, So I Can Tell, on July 10, spoke at three main sessions and performed her music throughout the weekend.
"'Cheri Keaggy spoke with passion and transparency as our keynote speaker for our Women's Retreat," says Nancy Buck, women's ministry director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, S.C., who organized the weekend retreat. "Her intimate knowledge of the Bible and her relationship with Jesus told of a woman who walks with God and is speaking His message to those who are listening. Our ladies absolutely adored her! Cheri's beautiful voice and mastery over the piano were amazing, too!"
Keaggy's session topics included "Beauty for Ashes," "Bitter or Better, Bound or Free?" and "Perseverance: How the Turtle Made it to the Ark." She also participated in a Q&A panel with other breakout session leaders and hiked to the Chapel in the Woods with the participants.
"The theme of the weekend was 'Living Free,' based on John 8:36: 'So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free,'" Keaggy said. "To reinforce the theme, the weekend culminated with a mass balloon release off the back deck of the main lodge to symbolize letting go of the strongholds that keep us from living free. It truly was an awe inspiring moment, a celebration of all God had accomplished in our lives throughout the weekend."
In recent years, Keaggy's ministry, which began in 1994 with her Dove Award-nominated debut album, Child of the Father, has expanded to include speaking engagements.
"I am very humbled by the speaking opportunities God has opened up to me. I have always loved sharing testimony through song, but there's a wonderful freedom in speaking, to be able to share what God has taught me without the constraints of rhyme and melody," Keaggy says. "I love the challenge of weaving personal experience together with Biblical truths in a way that's honest, funny, and compelling. Like the song says, 'I have heard the Truth so I can tell.'"
Keaggy's new release, So I Can Tell on her Psalm 91 record label, is the first CD since her independent 2007 release, Because He First Loved Us. Keaggy draws on the encouragement of Scripture and her utter reliance on the comforting power of God to create an honest, engaging recording that is reflective of her emergence from a difficult season in life.
"Out of the trials of the past months, I feel like God has given me some gold," Keaggy says of the new songs. "Now it's time for me to pour it out."
So I Can Tell was released on the 18-year anniversary of Keaggy's 1994 Sparrow Records release, Child of the Father.
Under the guidance of Gospel Music Hall of Famer and legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy, Cheri Keaggy called on the combined talents of Scott Dente and Ken Lewis from Global Genius Productions to produce the new record. The combination of rich, acoustic sounds with Cheri Keaggy's signature plaintive vocals and searingly honest lyrics results in a project that confronts life's realities, even when filled with despair, and offers listeners the way to navigate through the challenges to a place of hope through Christ.
Penned following the end of her nearly 23-year marriage to her high school sweetheart, So I Can Tell is a testimony of God's goodness in the midst of pain and suffering. Like a modern day psalmist, Keaggy's lyrics express grief, loneliness, and God's comfort in the contemporary hymns "Bind Me To You," "There Will Be One Day" and the arresting "Hello, God." She echoes the apostle Paul in the memorable piano ballad "To Live is Christ" and celebrates Christ's provision in the ukulele-based crowd favorite "Air, Food, and Water."
Through an accessible folk-pop presentation, the album leaves listeners with a renewed sense that God is with us, no matter what. So I Can Tell is filled with the radio-ready songs for which Keaggy is known and loved. Her lush vocals lovingly caress piano ballads like the title cut and the haunting "When You Were Jesus To Me." Her voice takes on a lilting quality in the hope-infused "Starting a New Year Today," written on the one-year anniversary of her divorce. As an added bonus, guitar maestro Phil Keaggy closes the album with the peace-evoking benediction "Postlude: Invitation to Hope."