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.
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: email@example.com
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”
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.
A. Spiritual Leadership (BRING: Spiritual Leadership study)
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.
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?
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
a. What can I pray, say, or do to demonstrate my support for my husband’s leadership?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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
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?
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?
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?
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)
1. If you died today, for what will your children, church, friends, neighbors, patients, remember you?
2. How would you want to be remembered?
1. Update and upgrade your mission statement.
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?
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?
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)
1. List your proposed activities in order of priority.
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).
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)
1. List your proposed financial goals in order of priority?
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.
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?
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 !!!)