Monthly Archives: August 2005

20050828 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. TEACH ENGLISH TO REACH NATIONS
2. NEW BOOK EXPLORES LIVES OF EARLY JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS
3. INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF RECONCILIATION STUDIES
4. RELEASING KINGDOM PROFESSIONALS TO IMPACT THE NATIONS
5. A NEW QUESTION: THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA IN AFRICA
6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMPS
7. WATER PURIFICATION INFO
8. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA
9. DEBATE ON GOOGLEMAIL CONTINUES
10. TURBO-CHARGE BRIGADA
11. REFLECTIONS ON A HURRICANE AND RESULTING OFFERINGS
12. CLOSING STUFF

1. TEACH ENGLISH TO REACH NATIONS — Nations are crying out for English teachers. You can reach them with the gospel as you teach English. YWAM/PA can train you to teach effectively in their TESOL course. The next course will be offered October 3 through October 28 at Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, USA. Additional information and application forms can be found at http://www.ywampa.org or email questions to ywampa(at)comcast(dot)net [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. NEW BOOK EXPLORES LIVES OF EARLY JEWISH BELIEVERS IN JESUS — Now is your chance to pre-order the much anticipated book, “We Have Found the Messiah, The Jewish Believers in Jesus of Antiquity,” based on Volume One of Dr. Oskar Skarsaune’s ground-breaking research on the history of Jewish believers in Jesus. Get a real sense of how the Jewish believers integrated with the rest of the Church, and learn how this work has potential to reestablish a sense of legitimacy for this group — both within the Church and the Jewish community — that has been owed it for generations. Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies is publishing this outstanding work as the December 2005 issue of the journal, Mishkan. Single copy price is US$19.00, with volume discounts available for 20 copies or more if ordered before October 15, 2005. Delivery in December. Call (630)668-3328 or email caspariusa(at)caspari(dot)com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
3. INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF RECONCILIATION STUDIES -— Here’s a web- based, 9-12 month, self paced school for leaders that is accepting applications 24/7/365. Faculty includes YWAM President, John Dawson, and other significant reconcilers from around the world. Mention Brigada when you register. You get world class training in reconciliation and, according to organizers, Brigada will be blessed as well. (This is a class you won’t want to miss! :-) ) Check it out http://www.gracebridge.org or contact fawn(at)reignbridge(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
4. RELEASING KINGDOM PROFESSIONALS TO IMPACT THE NATIONS — Again this year Carol Davis is hosting a conference to link professionals with global opportunities in their professional “domains” of business, health care, arts, education, technology, law-government and science. ** Along-side Consultations are for senior pastors to help churches identify, equip and release strategic professionals from their congregations; and for mission pastors and mobilizers to help them better mobilize this strategic work force. ** Each event is two days, and the three events overlap over three days (Oct 20-22nd) at Overlake Christian Church in Redmond (Seattle), WA. ** Discounted registration ends 9/14, so spread the word quickly! Visit http://intersectionconference.com or email information(at)intersectionconference(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
5. A NEW QUESTION: THE NAMA/DAMARA PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA IN AFRICA — While on a research trip among the Nama/Damara, one believer encountered three young men. He asked them what they would do when they stand before God after they die. These young men had never heard such a question. They gave all their attention to hearing the Gospel. They eagerly prayed and asked Jesus to save them and be their Lord. Pray for the Lord to build prayer support and call missionaries for the Nama/Damara, an unengaged people. To adopt the Nama/Damara people for prayer or for more information, please visit http://www.forgottenpeoples.info or email swacsc(at)iafrica(dot)com
6. MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMPS — Elijah Company conducts these four day consultations for up to thirty people presenting practical steps and important concepts. Topics include spiritual development, character issues, relationships, culture and steps to move forward. Participants may also receive personal words and prayer for encouragement and direction. Many have already received this valuable training and are on fields around the world. The next camps are Virginia, October 27-30, 2005; El Salvador November 2005; Guatemala, February 2006. For more information see their web site at http://www.elijahcompany.org or write to elijah(at)elijahcompany(dot)org. To subscribe to Elijah Company mentorship network sent a blank letter to elijahcompany- mentorshipnetwork-subscribe(at)strategicnetwork(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
7. WATER PURIFICATION INFO — Check out this site: http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~rael/uvtube/uvtubeproject.htm Learn to blend the technical with the available. (Thanks to the anonymous Brigada reader, F.H., for the link! :-) )
8. THE ZHUANG OF SOUTHERN CHINA — October 1st will begin a month long prayer emphasis for the over 17 million unreached Zhuang of Southern China. They are the largest people group in the world without a Bible in their own language. Each month on the first is a time of prayer and fasting on behalf of Zhuang, but in the month of October each year there is a special emphasis. There is a full color prayer guide “31 Days for the Zhuang” available in several languages. The price is US $1 per book for one to fifty copies, after 50 copies it is sixty cents a copy and the postage charge to mail them. Please join with others around the world on October 1st for the October 1st 2005 Day Of Prayer for the Zhuang. To be added to the list of those who will take part, or to receive the prayer guide, please write: zhuang(at)pobox(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
9. DEBATE ON GOOGLEMAIL CONTINUES — Many still view Google’s mail service as ideal, with privacy being, in their opinion, plenty good enough. One reader commented on the item in last week’s Brigada, “One of the sites listed was www.google-watch.org. Most of what I saw there was hate for the big corporations and micheal moore type of name calling and conspiracy theory stuff. They did have a few interesting points about info gathering but to be honest it really turned me off more than anything.” The important thing is to find tools and resources that look and feel secure enough for your context. Just make sure you know exactly how “exposed” you are. Frankly, just about *anything* is better than the unguarded Internet.
10. TURBO-CHARGE BRIGADA — Our 2005 total giving is actually pretty good. At $7,664.18, we’ve got a ways to go (to reach our goal of $16,576 for the year), but year before last, one single donor gave $9,000 in one fell swoop. Perhaps you couldn’t ever imagine doing that… but do you know someone who could? Remember, we *limit* donations to the $16,576. Any excess gifts are escrowed for the next year — and once we make our goal, we no longer mention the appeal in future Brigadas for the remainder of the year. We intentionally try to receive only the *exact* amount needed. These funds encourage Brigada by under girding costs like webspace, secretarial help, and a small amount of advertising and promotion to help get the message out about Brigada’s resources. To chip in or make a substantial donation, just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous. If you *do* know of someone who might help with these expenses, please feel free to relay this update to them. And thanks for any support you can give.
11. REFLECTIONS ON A HURRICANE AND RESULTING OFFERINGS — Maybe somebody living on Mars might have somehow escaped hearing about Katrina, but actually, I imagine Hurricane news would have traveled even there. Some of the best fund-raising for the hurricane has actually taken place at the hands of reporters for the major news networks, whose ratings probably skyrocket in times like these. Either way, viewers see the needs and are moved toward action, even before various aid organizations send appeals. Like many missions committees, the one I lead (at the local church I attend when I’m not traveling) stepped up to the plate, appealed for a matching gift grant from a great foundation, and 7 days later — bam — there was $70,000 ready to mobilize toward the two focal points we had chosen. And so, like many other participant/observers, I came away from the experience with a few conclusions:

*** The book of James (James 4:2b in the New Testament) is right: sometimes we don’t see great offerings because we just don’t ask. (Where would all these people have sent their money if our missions committee hadn’t given them the chance?)
*** Donors are moved by matching gift requests. The one I approached is geared toward the fellowship of churches that I attend. But you can find tons of similar organizations online at Google.com. A simple search on the terms, “grantmaking foundations,” yields half a million pages of results.
*** Donors like it when they know their money will make it to the scene of the tragedy. We made arrangements so 100% of ours would make it to the field. (literally zero overhead) A couple of our staff even accompanied the first wave of ministry implementation (paying their own way). Our response was incredible. Donors have heard about scams where previous collections have been misused and they’re eager for a simple solution that bypasses a “big business” approach.
*** Special offerings for tragedies don’t have to negatively impact regular weekly tithes. We emailed our congregation’s members in advance, to tell them a Hurricane relief offering would be collected at the close of the service. The regular offering was one of the best ever . . . and the hurricane relief offering was remarkable. The Lord and his people are very generous.
*** Unchurched people want to give too. One of our church’s members said she took the appeal to her business place. She intentionally approached non-Christians, several of whom were eager to take part. They explained that they had wanted to help but didn’t know whom to trust. This particular business owner came back with $1200 in 48 hours. Another friend of a friend wrote a head coach of an NFL franchise; lo and behold, the coach immediately offered to give $10,000! If our friend hadn’t approached him, would he have ever gotten around to making such a gift? No one knows.
*** Donors like action. Our entire project, from beginning to implementation, required no more than 10 days. We didn’t ask for pledges over time.
*** At the same time, donors like to know long-term care will be granted. We assured donors of our regard for this by finding room in our budget for long-term hurricane relief funding as a part of the general missions budget, which is funded by regular Sunday offerings. In this way, we hope our members will be further motivated to keep giving their missions dollars to the regular Sunday offering.
*** Empower your missions committee chairman to *act*. Funny… in this particular case, I had been appointed chairman the very week of the hurricane. The chairman of our board and the chairman of the elders gave me a mandate to get the church involved in Katrina relief. I took that to be a clear assignment and proceeded to act pretty decisively, but all the while (daily, in fact), I sent out regular emails of the steps I was taking. These emails went to leadership in all cases, and in some cases, we sent those emails to the entire church membership. In this way, they could see that their agent was taking steps… quick steps. My theory on this was that they would be forgiving of me if I moved forward, forsaking regular monthly missions committee meetings in favor of an action orientation for the here and now. Everything I’m hearing, after the fact, says it was the right thing to do. Act — but keep everyone informed. Don’t wait for a committee meeting. Find out your mandate, then jump in and make it happen. (Example: I applied for the grant the very morning after being appointed, writing as if I represented the church.) Disclaimer: I also set up a meeting one week in the future where I told the committee members I would review the steps I had taken and, as a committee, we would be able to look at the entire project at the 7-day milestone. So they all knew that meeting was coming.

Bottom line: When tragedy strikes, my theory is — people want leadership that takes quick and decisive action. During those first couple of weeks, they’ll be *very* forgiving if someone acts without getting all the normal permissions and approvals, as long as everything is done with good integrity and good ethics, naturally. The key is to understand the mandate, the extent of the expectation to *deliver*, and the “reasonable checkpoints” with the right decision-makers. The corollary of my theory? In catastrophic situations, group members have little toleration for indecision, slow implementation, and wasted time. (View the feeling toward FEMA and other gov’t reps in New Orleans.)

Hurricane Katrina may well turn out to be one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike USA soil. But the response of kind-hearted people from all over the world is helping make a difference today… and it can do so in future catastrophes too.

20050821 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. NEW ONLINE MAGAZINE OFFERS MOMENTUM
2. COOL TOOL: ONLINE PARALLEL BIBLE
3. LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON THAT CONSULTATION IN TURKEY?
4. WANT TO GET UPDATED RISK INFORMATION FROM THE STATE DEPT?
5. INSTEAD OF IKOBO, TRY CASH2WORLD.COM
6. STILL USING THE VPN, “FINDNOT?” IF SO, HEED THIS
7. SEND GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AIRTIME
8. NEW WEB SITE ON PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLES OF SAUDI ARABIA
9. MOBILE PHONE OUTREACH
10. GMAIL DEBATE CONTINUES
11. AMAZING ENCOURAGEMENT
12. BACKPAGE: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS
13. CLOSING STUFF

1. NEW ONLINE MAGAZINE OFFERS MOMENTUM — Its compiler hopes to help believers passionately, quickly, and effectively reach the least- reached 27% of our world. Read it this month at: http://www.momentum-mag.org
2. COOL TOOL: ONLINE PARALLEL BIBLE — Check out this online parallel Bible: http://bible.cc/ Imagine how far we’ve come in the past 10 years, compared to the previous *50* years!
3. LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON THAT CONSULTATION IN TURKEY? — Try this email address instead: GlobalConsult(at)itnet(dot)org (See last week’s Brigada, Item #2)
4. WANT TO GET UPDATED RISK INFORMATION FROM THE STATE DEPT? — Just go to: http://www.lsoft.com/scripts/wl.exe?SL1=DOSTRAVEL&H=LISTS.STATE.GOV to set up automatic emails of the most crucial information.
5. INSTEAD OF IKOBO, TRY CASH2WORLD.COM — This new service allows you to send funds directly to a person via courier and the fees they charge are reasonable, according to Brigada user, “Scott.” (Thanks Scott!)
6. STILL USING THE VPN, “FINDNOT?” IF SO, HEED THIS — Just in case you’re still able to access FindNot, beware Brigada user “Andy” says they charge your card again without notice, if they have the card on file. That’s not a totally bad thing, unless you didn’t want them to do so. (Thanks Andy!)
7. SEND GLOBAL INTERNATIONAL AIRTIME — Here’s a service that allows missionary families here in the U.S. to keep in touch with their loved ones serving on the foreign mission field. It’s reported to have outstanding rates to anywhere in the world with clean, quality connections and can be used with any cellular or land line phone. Find out more and read other missionary testimonials at our website. You can even try it out for free! Look up rates to anywhere in the world.

http://www.global-airtime.com
8. NEW WEB SITE ON PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLES OF SAUDI ARABIA — Here’s a new web site focusing on the prayer needs of Muslims in Saudi Arabia. http://shaketheheavens.org This site focuses on mapping out the history of the main cities in Saudi and any other factors which may be of interest to those wishing to pray in an informed manner over Saudi. Feedback / contributions to the current content are welcome. Please send email to: feedbackatshaketheheavensdotorg
9. MOBILE PHONE OUTREACH — There are many countries, even in the 10-40 Window, where mobile phone ownership is very high. Although many groups are offering such things as devotionals by text message, these are primarily for believers. One major potential would be the passing-on of very short video or cartoon clips which had a gentle evangelistic message. Another might be the secular strategy detailed in this London Times article: http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,2040-10315- 1750622,00.html (If the above link wraps to a second line, don’t forget to reassemble it.) If you know of anyone doing creative evangelism through mobile devices, the Web Evangelism Guide wants to know! Please write to: guide [at] web-evangelism [dot] com
10. GMAIL DEBATE CONTINUES — Recently, we mentioned that we were considering GMAIL to be a fairly good approach for secure email. Several Brigada participants wrote “pro” or “con” viewpoints. Bottom line: It has great spam filtering and appears to offer certain features compatible with secure communications. Several mentioned that since it includes the “s”, i.e., https, it’s as secure as downloading banking informational. On the other hand, one user wrote, “Maybe, kinda secure. The segment that is secure is only the google -account-holder part of the trip. The rest is up in the air for anyone to grab, even if you are emailing to another supposedly secure site.” So that secure address would be: https://mail.google.com/mail/ (Thanks Peter!) On the other hand, other users wrote that the user should beware, based on sites like: http://www.google-watch.org http://www.ericschmidt.com/ (the personal site of the leader) http://www.firstadopter.com/fa/archives/001169.html
11. AMAZING ENCOURAGEMENT — Thanks for the amazing encouragement offered by the individual sending $200 of sponsorship funds: “I have benefited so much from reading your newsletter the last few years. My wife and I are going to … [a Muslim country] to serve a group of missionaries for a couple of weeks and to spend time to pray and think as we consider joining them … for more permanent service. Please pray for us, that we would know God’s will for us (and do it). Thank you again for serving us through your efforts as you serve our Lord.”
12. BACKPAGE: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS — Here are some resources for Personal Spiritual Retreats PERSONAL RETREAT RESOURCES — We learned much about personal retreat resources. Here’s a summary: — Get “A Day of Prayer and Vision”, a CD offered by The Evangelical Alliance. Write info(at)teamworld(dot)org for more information. Sorry we don’t have pricing or order information — so be sensitive when you write. (Thanks for the tip, Glen!) — http://www.ywamaxiom.com — Idea: “Silent Retreats.” ‘Lydia’ writes, “I have attended one of these, led by the base leader, Jeff … and it was amazing. To learn more, go to “events.” (Thanks Lydia!) — Click here to read “Mike’s Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat” worksheet. Mike writes of it, ” This is a series of questions organized around 7 relational arenas in our lives that my wife and I get away and go through once or twice a year. It has been very helpful to us and has been an excellent discipleship tool when we have taken others through it with us.” (Thanks Mike!) — http://www.womenoftheharvest.com then click on “Resources”, then click “Rest and Relaxation” and/or “Counseling and Care Centers”. — http://rancho.across2u.com — Site discusses “Rancho de la Paz”, located in Riverside County, California, with seven guest rooms where missionaries (and ministers) can have a time of spiritual renewal.

(German’s) personal retreat — Peter, a German Brigada reader, wrote, “Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down. It’s not always the same of course. Mostly it’s a battle to really get quiet before the Lord – but it’s a great help to have this day once in while. Often I have some points where I need to spend some time asking Jesus, needing orientation, facing problems, having to decide important things. But sometimes (as last Saturday) it’s Him to tell me to let all things fall and just get into His arms, listening to Him (like Mary), waiting for Him to speak. Many times I like to praise the Lord with singing and playing guitar. He even gave me a new song once (I’m not a musician and had trouble writing it down, but it was first of all just for me). Sometimes reading Psalms aloud helps me to get away from all the things that distract me and to fill my spirit with His Word. (For those praying in tongues, that helps a lot.) Sometimes I read a good book, while talking/listening to Jesus in-between.”

Place: I like a quiet place where I’m alone (sometimes not easy to find). I go to monasteries, public gardens. Some I know go to the desert or to the forest. You can go up to a mountain like Jesus. Some like walking while listening / praying. Others (like me), like to sit in a place, having a notebook around to write down what Jesus tells me.

In addition: I would recommend the book “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster / Harper & Row Publ. – it’s available in German, too (which is what I read).” (Thanks Peter!) — Here’s a directory of retreat centers — http://www.worship-arts-network.com/OCretreatcenters.html (Thanks Jolene!0 — www.wisdomcrossing.com/whatiswc.php — Check out the world’s largest collection of free bible studies. — http://www.mhbcmi.org/listen/index.php — Download the mp3 of Tim Keel’s Aug. 7, 2005 sermon. (Thanks for the tip, Shane!) — Visit Praise Mountain, just west of Colorado Springs, tel. (719) 748- 3719. — Go to the Brigada website and click here to download the expanded outline about personal spiritual retreats, with additional “how to” information.

Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat “Personal Prayer & Planning Retreat”

I. Preparation

A. BRING: Bible, paper, pencil, eraser

B. BRING: One copy of The Bondage Breaker

1. With your spouse, pray through the “Steps to Freedom” (Chapter 12 in The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson, Harvest House Publishers)

C. Unhindered Prayer and Premeditated Submission

1. Confess sins, repent, make restitution, and reconcile relationships to clean and open, before you start. (Mt 5:23-24; 1Pet 3:7)

2. Decide before God speaks to you, that you agree with Him, and that you will obey Him.

D. Listen and respond to God regarding these seven relational areas of your life:

1. God, what do You think about my marriage? Family? Extended family? Church? Ministry? Mission? Discipleship?

2. Act by making a schedule and budget that accurately reflects your commitments.

II. Marriage

A. Spiritual Leadership (BRING: Spiritual Leadership study)

1. Servant

a. What spiritual needs can I be asking God to meet in my wife, children, others?

b. How can I help them using God’s Word?

c. How could I demonstrate sacrificial service for my wife? Children?

d. When you are ready to act on her answer, ask your wife this question: What one area of my life could I grow in at this time?

(1) Don’t ask this question if you are not prepared to act, to grow, to change.

2. Shepherd

a. In what areas do my wife and children need protection? How can I make them feel more secure?

b. In what areas could I more clearly communicate to them the direction God gives me?

3. Steward

a. What are my gifts, talents, resources? My wife’s? My children’s?

b. How can they best be used to build up the Body of Christ?

c. What effects did they have last year?

d. How can I reproduce those gifts, talents, resources in another? How can my wife? How can my children?

B. Spiritual Submission

1. Supportive

a. What can I pray, say, or do to demonstrate my support for my husband’s leadership?

2. Sensitive

a. What needs of his can I pray for or meet that would help him lead us?

b. When you are ready to act on his answer, ask your husband this question: What one area of my life could I grow in at this time?

(1) Don’t ask this question if you are not prepared to act, to grow, to change.

3. Suggestive

a. Is he inviting my suggestions in any way?

b. When he does, what would I suggest, and how might I make suggestions, that would help him lead us?

III. Children

A. Loving

1. How can I better express love to each of my children at this time in their life?

2. What makes each of my children feel loved by me at this time in their life?

B. Teaching

1. What are the next lessons each of my children need to learn about God? Relationships? Themselves?

2. What are the questions each of my children is asking me?

C. Blessing

1. What can I pray, say, and do to bless each of my children?

2. What makes each of my children feel valued by me?

IV. Extended Family

A. Parents

1. How can I honor my parents?

2. How can I improve my relationship with them?

3. What would be their next step closer to God?

B. Siblings

1. How can I improve my relationship with my brother? Sister?

2. What would be their next step closer to God?

C. Read Changes that Heal, Henry Cloud

D. Boundary Questions for Stressful Relationships

1. Am I trying to take responsibility for someone else’s commitments?

2. Am I trying to make someone else responsible for my commitments?

3. Is someone else trying to take responsibility for my commitments?

4. Is someone else trying to make me responsible for their commitments?

5. How can I more clearly define, express, and, if necessary, enforce more healthy boundaries of responsibility and commitment?

V. Church

A. Commitments

1. What invitations to serve our local church have I received?

2. To what ministry will we commit ourselves this year in our local church?

VI. Ministry

A. Passion (Ps 37:4)

1. What do you want to do more than anything else for the Body of Christ?

2. What thrills your heart, blesses your soul, challenges your mind, charges your body, and fulfills your dreams?

B. Gifts (Rom 12; Eph 4; 1Cor 12-14; 1Pet 4)

1. What gifts have been affirmed in me by others?

2. What invitations have been extended to me to use my gifts? Locally? Regionally? Globally?

C. Fruit (Jn 15)

1. What effects have my gifts had in the Body of Christ in the past? Last year?

VII. Mission (BRING: Mission Statement)

A. Legacy

1. If you died today, for what will your children, church, friends, neighbors, patients, remember you?

2. How would you want to be remembered?

B. Statement

1. Update and upgrade your mission statement.

C. Process

1. What needs to happen this year to keep you on track?

2. What needs to happen in five years to keep you on track?

VIII. Discipleship

A. Investment in the Only Two Things that Last Forever

1. God’s Word (2Tim 3:16-17)

a. Describe your current integration of God’s Word into your life?

b. What did you learn about God last year?

c. What questions do you have for God this year?

2. People (Mt 22:35-40; Mt 28:16-20)

a. Describe your current strategy for making disciples?

b. With whom will you apply this strategy this year?

c. Whom have you invited to invest significantly in you?

B. Returns (Jn 15:1-11)

1. What effect has God’s Word had on your life this last year?

2. What fruit would you like to see increase this year?

3. Is there pruning that needs to happen so more good fruit can grow and last? Where?

C. Reproduction

1. How are the people in whom you have invested reproducing their faith?

2. Do you see any increase in fruitfulness?

3. Do you see good fruit that is lasting over the years?

IX. Schedule (BRING: Last year’s planner, weekly schedule, and blank weekly & 18 mon planners)

A. Prioritize

1. List your proposed activities in order of priority.

B. Prune

1. Starting at the top of the list, fill your schedule.

2. After you fill your schedule, cut off the bottom 10% time takers so you have time to be a Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) and to be quiet (1Th 4:11).

C. Percentages

1. Whom does your schedule show you love? You spend time proportionately with whom or what you love.

2. Could you lead someone closer to Christ with your schedule?

X. Budget (BRING: Last year’s Income & Expense sheet for work and home)

A. Prioritize

1. List your proposed financial goals in order of priority?

B. Prune

1. Determine your income.

2. Starting at the top of your priority list, dispense your income?

3. When you run out of money, stop spending.

4. Adjust your budget to fit your income.

5. Adjust your lifestyle to fit your budget.

C. Percentages

1. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to invest in His Kingdom.

a. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to invest in His local church where you serve.

2. Decide on a percentage or amount of God’s money you believe He wants you to save.

3. How can we be the best and most faithful stewards with the rest of His money? (Mt 25:14-30; Lk 20:11-27)

4. What does your budget say you believe? These numbers tell you what you believe.

5. Could you lead someone closer to Christ with your budget? Income/Expense Sheet?

6. —————–

Things To Bring:

A pocket sized notebook & pen so you can

jot down any thoughts that could be from the Lord,

no matter when/where they occur

Small CD player & praise/worship CDs

Pocket NT/Ps/Prov so you’re never away from the Word

Index cards with items you want to pray or talk to the Lord about;

good for using on walks

Notebook/Journal with plenty of pens/pencils

List of questions / issues to talk to the Lord about

Good walking shoes

Mack’s ear plugs (in case the place isn’t as quiet as you planned)

A favorite devotional book or hymnal / songbook

One extra set of clothes in case the weather’s warmer or colder than planned,

whichever’s more likely in your location

Things To Do

Have people specially praying for you (and your family, if you have one) while you’re away

Pray thru different sections of Ps. 119 during the day

Try praying thru sections of Scripture such as Mt. 5-7 and/or Jn. 14-16

or Revelation Chs. 2 & 3 to see if the Lord has words for you

Take a couple of walks during the day, and expect to meet God

(Thanks to Bruce from Connecticut)

—–

There are a few things that I do to make my retreat times productive and focused. I keep a specific journal that I only record retreat times in. Then, at the beginning of my retreat, I reread past entries to remind me of how far the Lord has brought me.

I recommend Intimacy with the Almighty by Chuck Swindoll to jumpstart a person’s desire for a retreat time. As a prayer help, I often bring pictures or a collage of what I am praying for to help me to focus.

Also, taking a walk/hike, or some other form of exercise for awhile before you sit down to focus helps to clear your mind and relax your body, especially if you are going to be sitting for an extended period of time. I try to take most of my retreats in rural areas or state parks or other natural and more isolated areas. It is a lot easier to get away from distractions and focus my thoughts on God.

Finally, I find it very helpful to set goals for my time: specific concerns to think and pray about, specific Scriptures to read, etc. and then just relax and let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts and prayers.

(Thanks Rebecca !!!)

20050814 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. GOOGLE RELEASES “TALK” PRODUCT
2. CONSULTATION ON TURKEY
3. TRANSITION RESOURCE FOR MISSIONARIES
4. WAY-COOL WITNESSING TOOL FOR KIDS
5. MAYBE GOOGLE’S GMAIL IS KIND OF SECURE?
6. SHARE YOUR PAIN
7. PEOPLE RAISING CONFERENCE
8. IS EVANGELISM A FORM OF RELIGIOUS BIAS?
9. SHORT TERM OPPORTUNITY IN SRI LANKA
10. TESOL COURSE IN SE ASIA
11. MUSICAL CONCERT TEAM TO MAINLAND CHINA
12. ENCOURAGERS, PARTNERS, ENABLERS, FRIENDS
13. THE BACKPAGE: HOW TO COMBAT HURRICANE KATRINA
14. CLOSING STUFF

1. GOOGLE RELEASES “TALK” PRODUCT — Well the ‘talk of the town’ this past week was Google’s new product, “Google Talk”. It seems like everything Google touches turns to gold and Google Talk will likely follow suit. This free product allows you to email, IM, or “talk” via the microphone attached to your PC. You can use it with the neighbor across the street, or your missionary across the globe. To Google, it’s all the same. Try it today at: http://www.google.com/talk/ (Thanks for the first heads-up on this, Nick! :-) ) Note: You’ll need a Gmail account. Here’s another user offering free invites (Thanks Tina!) urbainti(at)msu(dot)edu [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
2. CONSULTATION ON TURKEY — It’s happening November 8-12, 2005 in Turkey, an every two- to three-year gathering of national leaders, ex- patriot workers and non-resident partners to consider critical and strategic partnership issues related to the work in Turkey. For more information or an Application to Attend (English, Turkish, Korean, Spanish versions available) write: GlobalConsult(at)intet(dot)org . Registration August 1-September 26.
3. TRANSITION RESOURCE FOR MISSIONARIES — “Leave Right/Enter Right” is a CD for those just starting their international assignment, or experienced sojourners relocating or repatriating back to their passport culture. Hosted by the late Dr. David Pollock, viewers are guided through one of the essential steps to successfully prepare for transition to their new destination. Here’s the best part of this new product: The CD is self-guided for individual, family or small team use. Complete with a 25-minute video, ideas for use and printable worksheets, anyone around world can have personal access to this very valuable resource! Order your copy ($25 US plus shipping) by calling 719-531-6181 or emailing office(at)interactionintl(dot)org Or visit http://www.interactionintl.org
4. WAY-COOL WITNESSING TOOL FOR KIDS — If you want a way-cool witnessing tool for your kids, or your church’s Harvest Festival as an alternative to Halloween’s ghoulish paint this October, check out the free wordless book-type temporary tattoos here. Mine lasted for nearly 2 weeks and I got to explain it to lots of people:

http://www.kidzplace.org/site/c.chJKJXOAJlH/b.475797/k.BE1A/Special_Pro motions.htm If you have trouble copying and pasting this long URL, just use this shorter “tinyurl” we produced at www.tinurl.com

http://tinyurl.com/amnq9 (Thanks Dorothea!)
5. MAYBE GOOGLE’S GMAIL IS KIND OF SECURE? — Because it uses POP3 with SSL security, maybe Google’s Gmail would do for semi-secure email. That was the thought this past week from Garry, a Brigada participant from Australia. Do you agree? He wrote, “Their web-based access is not secure, but it seems that POP3 access (for programs such as Outlook) uses this security. Some purists may not like the idea google automatically searches your email content for key words so that they may tailor sidebar advertisements to you, but nevertheless the magic word is “free”. To try it out, you may like to take up the previous offer from a subscriber for a free referral to get started. In summary: Google Gmail = Free SSL POP3 access, Free non-SSL Web-based access.”
6. SHARE YOUR PAIN — Okay, maybe it was just an “obstacle.” But how did God pull you through a very difficult problem as you pursued a ministry in missions? Nelson at The Finishers Project is working on a new book. The working subtitle is “Passages That Don’t Preach” since the book emphasizes those embarrassing verses about surrendering all, about the total Lordship of Christ, about not taking the easy way, about suffering. Your difficult experience might benefit thousands of others seeking a role in missions. Submit your story ideas at
http://www.Finishers.org/book
7. PEOPLE RAISING CONFERENCE — Attend the People Raising conference October 14-15. Move beyond the fear factor and raise more funds in half the time. Implement ten key habits for success. Network with other Christian leaders. Arm yourself with tools needed for effective fund raising. You can’t afford to miss this breakthrough 2-day conference. Ask for the $100 spouse discount. Tap into the more then 35 years of experience Bill Dillon brings to fund raising. Register by September 14th and receive the early bird special pricing. For more information or to register on-line go to http://www.peopleraising.com/conf_bas_oct2005.cfm or e-mail Bill(AT)PeopleRaising(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
8. IS EVANGELISM A FORM OF RELIGIOUS BIAS? — Some would answer yes. Jay Gary, who bills himself as a Christian “futurist”, wrote to us this past week, “As a futurist I’ve been tracking the future of evangelism in American public life, whether in the workplace, school or government. Three years ago most of my scan hits related evangelism with religious freedom. Now they frame evangelism as religious bias.” Read more from Jay on this topic at:

http://www.christianfutures.com/religious_bias.shtml
9. SHORT TERM OPPORTUNITY IN SRI LANKA — COMMIT Ministries is currently recruiting another short term ministry team to serve the needs of the Sri Lanka church in the aftermath of last year’s killer tsunami. They are looking for caring people of various skills and even unskilled folk to help construct an orphan home, medical clinic, church, and a large number of private homes in a very needy area just south of Batticaloa. The cost is $2885.00 per person and includes RT airfare from a US hub city, most meals, ground transportation, hotel and camp style lodging, materials related to the project, and debriefing in Bangkok. Trip dates are February 23 to March 9, 2006. For more information and to register for the team, please contact COMMIT Ministries at commit(at)pixi(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or consult their web site at http://www.commitministries.com If your church or mission organization would care to form their own team at some other time, please contact COMMIT about this right away. This project truly needs your help!
10. TESOL COURSE IN SE ASIA — YWAM and SEA English Academy are offering a TESOL course in Chiang Rai Thailand from October 3 through October 28. This is a four-week intensive course which includes a built-in practicum. Those who successfully complete the course will be equipped to go into the nations as an EFL/ESL instructor which opens doors in many otherwise closed nations. For information and/or an application, email chiangraitesol(at)gmail(dot)com. [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] Come and join an exciting team of pioneer-minded people and get ready to have opportunities to teach all over the world. Visit the following websites: http://www.ywamthai.org or: http://www.seaenglishacademy.com
11. MUSICAL CONCERT TEAM TO MAINLAND CHINA — COMMIT Ministries is currently recruiting another short term ministry team to present concerts to public schools and churches in Mainland China. This is an invitation for praise bands, folk artists, professional recording artists, non professional types, soloists, dancers, puppeteers, celebrity impersonators, etc, to offer their collective gift of the arts as part of a cultural exchange. The Chinese government has provided this invitation to COMMIT Ministries yet again because of the successful concert tour earlier this year. The cost is $2685.00 per person and includes RT airfare from a US hub city, most meals, ground and air transportation in China, hotel lodging, and debriefing costs in Guangzhou. Trip dates are October 10-24 2005 and another trip is planned for March 29 to April 11, 2006. For more information and to register for the team, please contact COMMIT Ministries at commit(at)pixi(dot)com or consult their web site at http://www.commitministries.com
12. ENCOURAGERS, PARTNERS, ENABLERS, FRIENDS — That’s what our sponsors and supporters mean to Brigada! Since we last reported, we’ve rec’d $115 from Wilcannia River of Life church in New South Wales, Australia. http://www.wilcanniariveroflife.com Wilcannia is Advancing Aboriginal Australia through the Gospel of Christ. In addition, an anonymous missionary with GEM, who does TEFL outreach throughout Europe, sent $100! A worker in Switzerland sent $50, with this note: “I and countless others are blessed by your meticulous research and networking. Continue your excellent work.” Whoa. [blush] Again, thanks for the encouragement. We also rec’d $25 with a “Thank you from an anonymous Wycliffe member who especially likes any news about children and missions!” Another worker sent $100, saying, “I’ve been reading Brigada for a while and thought I finally ought to send you something as a small expression of my appreciation. Thanks for your work!” Whoa. One additional Brigada participant wrote, “My only daughter is a Missionary to South Africa. I cannot tell you how many times, Brigada came through with just the right information just at the right time. The LORD truly uses your ministry. Thank you. God bless you.” She enclosed a gift of $50, as did another anonymous giver whose gift meant so much. That brings our 2005 total giving to $7,464.18, still quite a bit short of our goal of $16,576 for the year. These funds encourage Brigada by undergirding costs like webspace, secretarial help, and a small amount of advertising and promotion to help get the message out about Brigada’s resources. How many other ministries do you know of with an annual budget of under $20,000? Do they involve 10,000+ people like Brigada? Want to turbo-charge Brigada this week? To chip in or make a substantial donation, just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
13. THE BACKPAGE: HOW TO COMBAT HURRICANE KATRINA — What goes through your mind when a portion of the world experiences pain? As I write this Brigada Today, I’m watching news coverage of Hurricane Katrina as it strikes the Gulf of Mexico shoreline here in the USA. I can almost *feel* the devastation in my bones. My heart goes out to those who are hurting — as well as those who are about to hurt. I’m thankful for the advance notice that allowed 1 million to flee the coast, but my heart goes out to the 1/3 million that couldn’t, for one reason or another.

But what a powerful force we have in the form of prayer. Wherever you live, whatever your situation, you can lift up an area like the Gulf and, for example, pray for those who didn’t have a chance to leave because they didn’t have anywhere to go… nor the funds to pay for hotels or travel. Give thanks for that advance notice given to residents and pray for those still reeling from events like the tsunami in the Indian Ocean where little communication was possible in advance. Ask the Lord to prepare the disaster relief organizations and personnel. Gather your church or small group and go to the throne room of Heaven for strategic intersession on behalf of those who otherwise might lose businesses, homes, precious belongings, and maybe even their very lives. Read more about prayer and its effects, prerequisites, and possibilities at pages like… http://en.bibleinfo.com/topics/topic.html?id=223 [Note: Next issue’s “BackPage” will be focused on helping you plan a personal spiritual retreat. Our goal is to provide something very tangible, practical, and specific for those who would like to get away for a one- or two-day personal retreat. (Even Jesus went to a mountain, alone, to pray.) If you have ideas or specific resources that might help others, please jot a note to this email address: brigada-feedback(at)googlegroups(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] By default, we won’t publish your address. If you’d like folks to see it, however, please mention that in the item and we’ll do our best. Thanks!]

20050807 Brigada Today

In this issue…

1. THANK YOU — FOLLOWERSHIP STUDY MARCHES ON
2. FREE SECURE E-MAIL — WITH A CATCH
3. WEB EVANGELISM NEWS
4. SEARCHING FOR THE BEST EVANGELISTIC VIDEOS
5. THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT
6. IKOBO FUND TRANSFER UPDATE
7. PLAXO STILL BRINGING PLAQUE TO THE ‘NET
8. WANTED: TWO ENGLISH TEACHERS FOR INDONESIA
9. SPONSORSHIPS AND DONATIONS ARE AN ENCOURAGEMENT
10. ONE OF THE CHEAPEST SPAM-FILTERS OF ALL
11. HELP WRITE THE NEXT “BACKPAGE EDITORIAL”
12. CLOSING STUFF

1. THANK YOU — FOLLOWERSHIP STUDY MARCHES ON — Thanks for your help with the study on followership! At last count, exactly 358 followers had invested the time to complete the survey I’m conducting for the dissertation project that I hope will lead to my Ph.D. The coursework is done. All that remains is this paper. In addition, 248 leaders had stopped by to give feedback on their respective team members. It’s true that we were originally hoping for 500 participants. Tomorrow, I’ll call the Dean at my university and ask her if she’ll allow me to conclude the survey portion of my research. I’m very grateful for all of those who took part. As promised, I’ll keep the information completely confidential and private. Thanks for trusting me with your thoughts and feedback on followership! Once the study is complete, I’ll be sure to post a summary here in Brigada. (By the way, for the purposes of appealing to new followers to take the survey, we’re done. However, the site is still up and running, especially for those team leaders who haven’t finished their feedback on team members. See it at: http://www.brigada.org/followership
2. FREE SECURE E-MAIL — WITH A CATCH — If you’re on a budget and want free, secure e-mail, a long-time subscriber to Brigada in Asia has had a good experience after several months of testing:

http://web.de

The price is right, but it comes with a catch: the site is in German.

Benefits: (1) Free, (2) Uses SSL technology for both POP3 and browser security, (3) can be configured for POP3 — so Eudora or Outlook or whatever your e-mail program can fetch your e-mail and you can read and reply off-line.

Challenges: (1) The web site is in German, (2) POP3 setup for e-mail is a bit more challenging than “fill in the blank.” There’s a different server for incoming than outgoing. Once you wade thru the challenges, settings don’t change. It might be worth the challenges.

If you need help with the German, and really want free, secure e-mail, this site is a very easy-to-use online English-German dictionary.

http://dict.leo.org

You can click back and forth for any words you don’t know. (Thanks Robert! It’s a great find!)
3. WEB EVANGELISM NEWS — There is a one-day Internet Evangelism Conference in Paraguay on 20 August. DVDs can be ordered for all the sessions of the Liberty University IE conference last April. And the Internet Evangelism Coalition conference is scheduled for 14-15 September in Chicago:

http://ied.gospelcom.net/events.php

The IE Day site also offers a detailed page of content about how to build a church website that will reach out into the community, which you can insert directly into your own website:

http://ied.gospelcom.net/church-growth.php

The 2006 Internet Evangelism Day is scheduled for 7 May:

http://ied.gospelcom.net/index.php

(Thanks Tony!)
4. SEARCHING FOR THE BEST EVANGELISTIC VIDEOS — Ken is at it again. This time he’s searching for the best evangelistic videos around, along with the places to buy them. Got some ideas? Just write him ken(at)tractministry(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] He’ll send you the final compiled list and also post the list at

http://www.Christianvideos.org

(Thanks Ken!)
5. THE GLOBAL HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT — In his new book “The Global House Church Movement”, house church historian and practitioner Rad Zdero reports on one of the amazing things God is up to today. He includes stories of spiritual pioneers through the ages who braved opposition from secular and religious authorities to step out and do something new for God. He also includes practical and strategic steps in starting your own network of house churches. To order “The Global House Church Movement”: call 1-706-554-1594 (outside the USA), call 1- 800-MISSION (inside the USA), email gabriel(at)WCLbooks(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] or log on to

http://www.WCLbooks.com

for secure online orders.
6. IKOBO FUND TRANSFER UPDATE — Remember Ikobo, the fund transfer service we mentioned last year? One reader recently signed up and tried to get the $10 referral fee for Brigada. Using iKobo’s live online chat customer service, the Brigada reader was told they no longer support an “affiliate” program, so no donation for Brigada.

iKobo does, however, still allow people to send and receive money in over 170 countries with lower fees than Western Union. You provide funds by transferring money into your iKobo account from your bank account or a VISA card, electronically. If the person is already an iKobo user, the transfer is *instant*. If they’re not already an iKobo member, iKobo assigns them an account and sends them a VISA ATM card, at iKobo’s expense.

Current fees to “Send Money” are US$3 for up to US$60 and $5.00 + 3% for amounts over US$60. The recipient’s VISA ATM card may be used to withdraw the transferred funds from a VISA ATM (for a US$1.99 fee) or use the funds at merchants who accept VISA cards (no fee). Check out:

https://www.ikobo.com/

(Thanks Heather!)
7. PLAXO STILL BRINGING PLAQUE TO THE ‘NET — If you ask me, Plaxo and its peers are none the better over the past year, still causing tons of extra traffic on the already spam-laden Internet. If you haven’t already been hit by one of these Plaxo-appeals, it’s basically an online service to which the user freely exposes his entire Outlook address book. (What are they thinking?) In exchange for this breach of privacy, Plaxo writes everyone on the list to make sure the address is still active. Talk about a waste of time — and bandwidth. My theory is, when you need to write me, just write me. If the email bounces, then you’ll know! Duh. Anyway, for whatever reason, scillions of users have succumbed to this scam, which could be sold off at any time, for a profit I’m sure, and the new owner could simply change the privacy agreement and begin spewing out endless spam to every “confirmed” email address in the Plaxo universe. For this reason, I *never* answer them and I have spam filters configured so I don’t even see them. Call it a hobby horse if you like, but at least I’m in good company. For a sample, read this critical review by a professor in Australia, read this 2004 review, “Very Black ‘Little Black Books'”, in a study of what the author calls ‘privacy-invasive technologies’. This guy is a professor at Australian National University, where he teaches in the Engineering and Information Technology department.

http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/DV/ContactPITs.html#PIA
8. TWO ENGLISH TEACHERS — [EDITED]
9. SPONSORSHIPS AND DONATIONS ARE AN ENCOURAGEMENT — I’ll be honest. It really does mean a lot when people pitch into spur us on here. We use the gifts to offset the cost of secretarial help, webspace, advertising, and more. This past week, we’re grateful to Blessed Hope Long Distance for their $8.82 sponsorship in view of May phone calls from those who have signed up to use their service. (Learn more about them at:

http://www.lowermyphonebill.com/brigada

We’re also grateful to 2 other friends who each gave $25 anonymously. We appreciate you! To chip in or make a substantial donation, just click “sponsor” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or just send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. As always, be sure to let us know if you’d like us to promote any particular service or ministry, or if you’d prefer your gift be anonymous.
10. ONE OF THE CHEAPEST SPAM-FILTERS OF ALL — Need a spam filter but can’t afford the $30 or more per year? Just open a Google Group at:

http://www.googlegroups.com

Make yourself the only member and be careful to design the group as…
*** No public website
*** Moderated
*** Anyone can post Give anyone the address. You don’t have to be careful about this one. The GoogleGroups interface is so fast, it’ll make it a cinch to click all the “delete” radio buttons. In the case of *real* email, just click “post” and the group will email your *real* address a copy of the original email. The only downside is, unlike corporate versions (like Spam Interceptor), this service has no “black list” . . . and it won’t “learn” your likes and dislikes. But price is right and the idea is fun to implement.
11. HELP WRITE THE NEXT “BACKPAGE EDITORIAL” — In next edition’s “Backpage” editorial, we’ll be discussing retreats for spiritual renewal. Our goal is to provide something very tangible, practical, and specific for those who would like to get away for a one- or two-day personal retreat. (Even Jesus went to a mountain, alone, to pray.) If you have ideas or specific resources that might help others, please jot a note to this email address: brigada-feedback(at)googlegroups(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .] By default, we won’t publish your address. If you’d like folks to see it, however, please mention that in the item and we’ll do our best. Thanks!

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