Monthly Archives: December 2008

7) 2008 Scott Shaum Reading List: ***Novels***

Scott quipped, “Yes, I did read more than one this year.” :-)

The Shack

by William Young

[Brigada Today Editor’s Note: Please note that we here at Brigada have not read “The Shack.” We are presenting Scott’s reading list ‘as is.’ Please carefully note that Scott isn’t advocating that we utilize this fictional novel to formulate doctrine, nor even to establish our image of God. It sounds to me like he’s advising us to read it so we will have read it, in case the discussion arises around a lunch table sometime. “Be ready to defend the word of God at any time…” Feel free to note your feelings, however, in the comment immediately following this item. Thanks! Doug, Brigada Today.]

You have heard of this one. It is polarizing, and is number one on Amazon! The author is an MK (grew up a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea). My sense to the reason of its popularity is that he penetrates the mystery that is Trinity and traumatic human pain in an engaging, creative way. These are truly tough topics to address. Yes, I know many are offended at some of his images of God, but it is fiction after all, not a theology. This is not an argument for its content, but I’d read it for sure.

The Fisherman’s Testament

by Cesar Vidal (Spain)
One of two foreign novels I read. This is a well written account of the Apostle Peter’s life leading up to his death – the telling of his life at his trial before execution.

Out Stealing Horses: A Novel

by Per Peterson (Norway)
I did not like this story. It is very, very well written and you may love it. It is the telling of a man’s story – mainly his childhood and the impact on his present state that has come from those experiences. As an American, I hated the ending – no resolution! But much of life is like that…..

8) 2008 Scott Shaum Reading List: ***Journals***

Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

Volume 1: Numbers 1 & 2
Published by the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Biola University.
The self described purpose of this journal is to “advance the discussion of the history and practice of Christian spiritual formation and soul care….” This is a well written journal from a more technical, theological, and historical angle on the subject. Two editions per year.

Conversations Journal

Published by the Psychological Studies Institute in Atlanta
(just renamed Richmont Graduate School).
This journal “provides spiritual accompaniment and honest dialogue for those who long for radical transformation in Christ.” The three figures behind its start were Larry Crabb, Gary Moon, and David Benner. I’ve really enjoyed this journal’s scope and practicality of spiritual disciplines discussion.Back issues available.

9) Thanks To Those Who Choose To Share

We don’t take their gifts for granted. There’s a $25 gift from a worker with Christians In Crisis, a prayer and advocacy ministry for the persecuted church with a goal of bringing an awareness of persecution to others so they might pray. Learn more about CIC on the web at

and $50 from an anonynous Wycliffe Personnel Administrator in appreciation to God for the many He is bringing into the ministry of Bible translation.

and $75 from a family in Phoenix, AZ. Thanks for your shared vision for Brigada!

All together, that’s $150 — which became $300, thanks to the church in the Middle East doing the matching gift.

10) Just Ten More "True Fans" Needed: Here’s Your Chance

Now we need just 10 more “True fans” to generate the last $1981 of income, thanks to the very-gracious help from the visionary International church in the Middle East. Will you or your church be one of the ten? If so, just click one of the pushbuttons at the right-hand top of the home page… or use the PayPal link on the upper left if you prefer. Remember, even with the PayPal links, you don’t have join PayPal to give through it. Or if you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) 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. And thank you in advance for helping.

11) The Backpage: Your Predictions For Missions In 2009

So what are your predictions for 2009 and beyond? Obviously, none of us can tell the future, but — hey — it’s always fun to try. Leave your comments after this item and they’ll be here later for that “I told you so” moment! :-) Here are some teaser questions to get you started.

*** How will the sluggish economy affect missions giving and the missions enterprise in general?
*** Will certain products become scearce, resulting in a rise in tensions in cities throughout the world?
*** Will the economic mood and optimism of the world’s people improve in 2009? If so, how will this affect missions?
*** Will the Euro go ‘up’ or ‘down’ in value… and how will that affect the stability/unity of Europe?
*** Will socialism be more… or less popular by the end of 2009?
*** Will Dubai continue to “boom” (40% of the world’s cranes are currently working there, for pete’s sake), or will something slow it down?

Want more teasers to get you going for missions, international news, global economy or David Beckham (Will Victoria become pregnant? :-) )? Just go to your favorite search engine, type in “2009 predictions”, then go to town. Jot down your favorites here and see how close you are by year’s end in 2009! :-) Just click “Comments” immediately below.

12) Closing Stuff

DISCLAIMER — We can’t screen ’em all. Please forgive us if aparticular site contains offensive information — or no information at all! We try to visit them in advance, but often write “on the road”so we simply can’t preview everything.

PLEASE DON’T SUBSCRIBE US TO YOUR LIST — Sorry — nothing personal –but we’re already deluged. We’ll eventually teach our spam filter to just delete it anyway, but in the meantime, we’ll have a sad face because of the volume of mass mailings we receive. :-(

PRIVACY INFORMATION — We will never give your information to anybody. We won’t market you, won’t hassle you, and won’t ever bother you. You won’t be signed up for mailings you didn’t request. Your address is safe and your future is secure. You have my word: We’ll never sell the mailing list to a marketer, spammer, or advertiser. Life is good. :-)

COPYRIGHT — (We actually have to say this stuff so the material can’t legally be used by those who are not likeminded.) This issue of Brigada Today is Copyrighted 2008. However, permission is granted to freely redistribute these materials, including those available on the Brigada website, provided that such redistribution is to those who will help the Good News of Jesus Christ to reach the unreached. To copy or reproduce Brigada Today for any other reason is illegal and is not permitted. When you quote or paraphrase material from Brigada, please include this phrase: “For a free subscription to Brigada’s weekly missions publication, write and/or visit Brigada on the web at”

2008/12/07 — Brigada Today

“Brigada: Since 1995… Buckets full of Resources, Trends, Challenges — all in a weekly e-zine & website…”
Compiled by Doug Lucas, Team Expansion, Louisville, KY
(Almost caught up!)

In this issue…

1) For Men Only: Prayers For Your Wife

Andrew has just made available a helpful resource – a book of prayers for your wife – over 240 prayers where you can minister to your wife as never before. Consider this a loving investment in the length of your marriage, ministry and spiritual health of your wife. Andrew wrote, “I’ve been helped by the many ministry resources featured in Brigada and now I’d like to pass this help along to you.” The book title is: “Water of the Word – Intercession for Her.” (Andrew is a Third Culture Kid from Mexico.) Check it out on Amazon. Note that the link provided by Andrew ‘wrapped’ to multiple lines. We’ve collapsed it here so you can see his original URL when it forwards you to Amazon — or if you’re uncomfortable with that, just search for the title at

2) Extremely Good Experiences At Extreme Missionary Adventures

Extreme Missionary Adventures is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to helping volunteers make a positive impact on their world. They raise up volunteers who share the love of Jesus with overlooked people in remote locations around the world and help with human needs such as medical, dental, clean water, construction, educational and other basic needs. It’s ‘Adventure with a Purpose’. It could be showing love to abandoned children in a small village orphanage in Honduras, a medical/dental team working in villages along an Amazon tributary in the Peruvian jungle, giving educational assistance to a teacher in a one-room school high up in the mountains of Central Asia, helping with a building project in the interior of Mexico or maybe helping rural Central Americans improve their standard of living with micro-credit or farm assistance projects. Most importantly, through all of these and other activities, showing others how Jesus can give purpose, peace and meaning to their lives. You can find out more about their work at

They’re searching for new participants at this very moment.

3) Perspectives Semester Coming Up

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is one of the greatest tools for mobilizing churches and individuals toward global engagement. Over 160 classes are starting this January, and they will be featuring the new 4th Edition of the text. Find a class near you or near a friend at

We *regularly* run into cross-cultural like-minded workers who got their start in Perspectives classes. I’ll be teaching in 3 different courses this spring. Hope to see you there.

4) New Kids’ Missions Resources – Venezuela

Help the kids in your church learn about life for boys and girls in Venezuela. WMU’s new “Kids Reaching Kids: Venezuela” resources include mission stories, posters, crafts, games, recipes, and more, to help leaders plan a Venezuela-themed missions event. Kids’ booklets help boys and girls learn how to pray for MKs and other children in Venezuela. To learn more, visit

or email

5) Culturally-Sensitive Evangelism Resources On Mormonism

The Western Institute for Intercultural Studies offers two resources on Mormonism for youth and adults. Both provide an understanding of Mormonism as a culture with an emphasis on evangelism. These include Grounded, for youth groups, and Bridges for adults. Both resources include video segments for training on DVD, facilitator workbooks and study guides. Further information and sample video segments are available on the “Presentations and Training” page of WIIS at:

6) Still Using Windows? Me Too. Join Me At This Site

I know, I know. Many of your friends have fled to MAC’s… and you constantly wonder if you should join them. But you can’t quite help but notice that lots of people are still left on Windows too. Sure — MAC users have multiplied by a factor of 4 times over just in the past 18 months, all of which means that now, there are 9.1% using MAC’s, instead of 2.1% like before.

So that means there are a lot of people (9 out of 10) that are still like you and me: they’re using Windows. Are there unhappy days for us? Sure. But is there hope? Of course! Just look at:

It’s an entire website dedicated to helping you fix those little things that get under your skin! :-) Take a look at the list of fixes at:

Those “sigh” sounds you hear are the exhales of relief from your friends, finding out how to tie up that nagging loose end! :-) Try it. We just might learn to like it. :-) (Confession: I can’t really understand all the whining about Vista. I’m a happy Vista camper.)

By the way, for you MAC users — there’s hope for you too. O’Reilly has released a whole book of fixes for you, entitled, fittingly, “‘Mac Annoyances’: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Mac.” See it at
or on Amazon by searching for the title.

Got a nagging annoyance on your particular operating system? Jot a note about it by clicking “Comment” just below this item on the web. Consider it “debriefing” or “missionary care” or something like that. :-)

7) Thanks To Those Who Keep The Brigada Light Burning

Hello Jacksonville, Florida!!! … where a new “True Fan” of Brigada has helped us keep the Brigada lights burning! Thanks for the $100 gift. Thanks, too, to the couple hard at work in Oaxaca, Mexico, for their vision and partnership — another True Fan of Brigada! Yesss! :-) Another “True Fan” gift came from Dallas, a 4th came in last night from Extreme Missionary Adventures:

And a *5th* came in from a very missions-oriented congregation in Joplin, Missouri — Praise God. A final friend from Bothell, Washington, pitched in $25 — we’re thankful for that gift too!

These gifts should have added up to $525, but thanks to that visionary congregation in the Middle East (the gift that keeps on giving!), they’ve now become $1050!!! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

8) Only $2281.75 To Go: Would You Stand In The Gap?

Would you consider being bold enough to step out and commit $100 to become one of the last-needed 11 “True Fans” of Brigada? Remember, leaders from that forward-thinking int’l church in the Middle East are prepared to *match* your gift, dollar-per-dollar. It’s easy. just click one of the pushbuttons at the right-hand top of the home page… or use the PayPal link on the upper left if you prefer. Remember, even with the PayPal links, you don’t have join PayPal to give through it. Or if you prefer, just send an old-fashioned check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Dr., Louisville, KY 40299. (Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so for USA citizens, your checks made out to Team Expansion are tax-deductible.) 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. And thank you in advance for helping.

9) The Backpage: Do You, As A Missionary, Think About Retirement?

Depending on your age, the assurance you have of future employment, your health and your country of origin, you just might. In my own informal surveys, I’ve discovered that — these days — essentially everybody is willing to consider retirement, assuming someone will help lead them down the road of that discussion. Again, depending on what your homeland does for retirement funding, you might or might not have much set aside. As a result, it seems to me that this implies a certain burden of responsibility for those of us who are mission agency heads, missionary care-givers, missions ministers, missions committee chairman, and church leaders.

As a young missionary in my mid-twenties, I remember what a nice gesture it was when a medium-sized church in southwestern Louisville took out a small pension plan for my wife and me. They didn’t ask our permission. They didn’t even tell us. They just did it. And one day, we got the first annual statement. Today, that little pension plan is the centerpiece of our retirement planning. It seemed “courteous” and kind at the time. Today it seems mission-critical.

Want to make a big splash in the life of the missionary family you love? Talk to a financial advisor in your church. Ask about some kind of portable pension plan. If you’d like, confirm things with your missionary’s sending agency. (Always a nice thing to do.) But either way, ask. Take some initiative. Your “courtesy” might become “mission-critical” in 30 years. :-)

Want to see some discussions on this stuff? Blogs abound. Check out, for example:

Got an opinion about missionaries, retirement, pension plans, savings, social security, or the like? Just click on “Comment” immediately after this item on the web and share your story. Your “lesson learned” just might become someone else’s battle plan. And … thank you for taking time to share.


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