- TALKING BIBLES INTERNATIONAL SHARES EXCITING REPORT FROM AFRICA
- WORLD EBOOK FAIR… TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
- READ ABOUT CHURCH PLANTING PHASES FOR FREE
- PORTABLE THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY
- ONE GOD ONE MESSAGE: A NEW EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR REACHING MUSLIMS
- STORIES NEEDED FROM PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES
- WANT TO SHARE A RESOURCE FOR PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES?
- LEARN TO WRITE MISSIONARY LETTERS
- CATCH THE SUMMER INSTITUTE IN ISLAM
- SENIOR PASTORS STRATEGIC MISSIONS BRIEFING
- NEW TRAVEL SITES ARE GETTING CREATIVE
- MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN BRIGADA’S FUTURE; DONATE TODAY
- THE BACKPAGE: WHERE DO YOU FIND GOD?
- CLOSING STUFF
- TALKING BIBLES INTERNATIONAL SHARES EXCITING REPORT FROM AFRICA — A recent visitor to Mozambique brought back a fantastic report on the impact the talking Bibles are having there. He said that people love hearing the Word of God in their own language. One pastor said, “Just that it speaks Xitshwa causes them to come running.” Pastors reported that instead of reading a few verses they now listen to entire chapters and books as they prepare their Sunday sermons. Want to learn more about how to use Talking Bibles in your evangelistic outreach — or want to celebrate these victories by observing a Talking Bible Sunday in your church? Just contact: info(at)talkingbibles(dot)org or, in the USA, call 1-800-318-7262.
WORLD EBOOK FAIR… TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE? — I’ve learned that, on the web, if something sounds too good to be true, it often is. That’s why I’m skeptical… but not completely daunted… that “The World eBook Fair” is a kind of scam.
I originally heard about these from one of our field workers (Thanks Jason) who got the info from his college library guy. But something just doesn’t feel right about this deal. First, they claim to welcome you to “400,000+ ebooks” — even though they charge you $8.95 to download them. A brief scan of some of those offerings suggested to me that many are already available on the web as public domain. Second, the site might be a kind of “bait-and-switch” to get you to subscribe to other services. (Notice the ads there for audible.com.) Third, it just seems kind of weird that they claim to be linked to Project Gutenberg, which we’ve all been hearing about for years.
Gutenberg claims to have 20,000 free downloads, so on the surface, that doesn’t seem like as many (duh). But when one scans the offerings at Gutenberg, it just feels like a real library — real authors. Gutenberg doesn’t seem to mention the World eBook Fair. Hmmm. Just seems funny. I don’t know. See for yourself. Make your own decision. Once you’ve decided, jot a note to let the rest of us know what you think. Jot your opinion at the Brigada Brigade… http://brigada.org/brigade/?p=11
READ ABOUT CHURCH PLANTING PHASES FOR FREE — Our VP of Outreach, Bob, recently passed me a handout on church planting phases by Dick Scoggins. I thought it was helpful stuff. Dick has a way of boiling things down simply, yet thoroughly. As Bob pointed out, you can read this online — and/or download and print it as a PDF, along with some other helps — at:
What’s more, Dick has several other very good handbooks at:
These are also downloadable as PDFs. In some cases, they’re available in multiple languages.
Ideas on how to use these? Your mission or church could use them as an indicator of what stepping stones have already been completed. (Beware that you don’t misunderstand though — these phases won’t always happen sequentially. In fact, in some cases, your church-planting ministry might be able to skip entire steps.)
Got a comment on these? Write about them at:
PORTABLE THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY – Space is a valuable commodity for any missionary or traveling pastor. Why not bring your library along on a laptop instead? Logos Bible Software not only speeds up your research but it allows missionaries a practical, cost-efficient alternative to print books. Right now Logos is offering a special discount for Brigada Today subscribers – 25% off any base package! Hundreds of searchable, interlinked Bibles and biblical reference works will be right at your fingertips. Go to
to learn how this amazing tool can aid your study of God’s Word. The guys at Logos have promised to send a gift to Brigada if anyone buys… but I’ll be totally honest — I’ve owned Logos for years, long before they offered to help. So I would have still spoken positively about it either way, before they wrote and made this sponsorship offer.
If you have other questions about Logos software, feel free to email mvandyke(at)Logos(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address(es), please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
ONE GOD ONE MESSAGE: A NEW EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR REACHING MUSLIMS — Since 9-11 many helpful books have been written *about* communicating the Gospel to Muslims, but little has been written *for* Muslims. One God One Message by P.D. Bramsen is FOR Muslims, but not exclusively so. Weaving together real-life illustrations, email excerpts from Muslims and others, as well as a thousand verses from Scripture, One God One Message uses the Bible’s first four chapters as a key to unlock the readers’ interest and understanding, and to help them overcome countless obstacles as they take part in an unhurried journey through the most captivating story ever told. For more information about this 396-page book, or to review or download the entire book for free, go to
or write TWOR(at)iname(dot)com
STORIES NEEDED FROM PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES -– STL/Authentic (publishers of missions books including Operation World and How to Be a World Class Christian) will publish a book for parents of missionaries (POMs) in fall 2008. The tentative title is Parents of Missionaries: How to Survive, Thrive, and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Go Overseas. The authors, Cheryl and Diane, co-founders of the National Network of Parents of Missionaries
are looking for additional ideas and stories from POMs. Topics include developing and maintaining relationships with grandchildren; the preparation period; departure experiences; furlough or home service experiences; travel to the field; understanding missionary life; relating to adult children; using technology to stay in touch; and empty-nest marriage. If your story is used, locations will not be disclosed and only first names will be used (or changed at your request). You don’t have to be a great writer to submit your idea! Send to stories(at)pomnet(dot)org [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
WANT TO SHARE A RESOURCE FOR PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES? — But why wait ’til 2008 to learn more and share more! Just log on at
and click “comment” and share today! Hear from other parents of missionaries, without having to register or risk any sensitive stuff. At Brigada.org/brigade, you don’t have to register at all.
LEARN TO WRITE MISSIONARY LETTERS — Media Associates International (MAI) just released a new edition of How To Write Missionary Letters, featuring an added section on electronic communication. For a limited time, missions will be able to order without shipping charges along with a 40% discount on quantity orders. This classic book is a valuable resource for your missionary candidate orientations. Order six or more copies of How To Write Missionary Letters before the end of August to take advantage of no shipping and handling costs and the special 40% discount, or low price of $4.20 each. Offer expires August 31, 2007. Check MAI’s web site for additional details:
http://www.littworld.org or contact MAI at 630-260-9063 or email mailittworld(at)sbcglobal(dot)net
CATCH THE SUMMER INSTITUTE IN ISLAM — The turmoil and confusion in much of the Islamic world suggests now is the time for Christians to reach Muslims for Christ. The 11th Summer Institute in Islam, held on the campus of Columbia International University, July 2-27, 2007, is designed for this very purpose. In the four, one-week courses, the focus is on understanding Islam, building healthy relationships with Muslims and training workers to effectively present the gospel. With over 35 hours of class instruction for each course, Zwemer’s distinctive over other similar programs is that it provides in-depth training for the Church’s greatest challenge in the 21st century at a reasonable price. Material can be taken for credit or as a seminar (non-credit). Please go to
You can register online or, the USA, call 803.807.5327 for more information.
SENIOR PASTORS STRATEGIC MISSIONS BRIEFING — Been wondering how your church can quickly and effectively engage an unreached people group with the Gospel? Any USA Senior Pastor can join
to co-host a one day (9am to 3 pm) briefing for four to six of his Senior Pastor friends. The briefing will detail a strategic breakthrough for a church based evangelism project to an unreached people group.
For more information email fishville(at)aol(dot)com [As a means of preventing spam for our contributors, in the preceding email address, please replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .]
NEW TRAVEL SITES ARE GETTING CREATIVE — Have you checked out the newest travel sites these days? They keep getting more and more creative. :-) For example, here’s a site that’ll catch your attention:
You set up your personal profile, then list which flight you’re going to be on, in hopes of meeting “that special someone” up there in the heavens above (or at least at 35,000 ft.). Yikes. What a great place to pick up a date… 3 hours of captive audience between Columbus and LAX. What’ll they think of next! :-)
Now this one actually has potential. Use it to design and plan a mission trip, set up hotels, flights, and collect the costs. Imagine its usefulness for your church’s next prayer journey.
Visiting Europe? You’ll want to check out:
They specialize in cut-rate European airlines.
Everybody’s used Kayak, but how ’bout mobissimo?
Again, small European carriers rule. Check out their “one box search” format. Tons easier than clicking on all those calendars. What’s up with all that, anyway.
Want to watch for last minute price changes in hopes of saving enough for Starbucks along the way? You need…
Shew. You’d think airfares were stocks on Wall Street.
Tired of finding out that the traveler next to you bought at the last minute for less? Time to log on at…
as in “Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant.” It tracks your fare even after you buy.
Got other travel sites? Mention them at:
Where there are tons of other travel finds reported by other Brigada participants.
MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN BRIGADA’S FUTURE; DONATE TODAY — Brigada is one ministry where a little bit can go a long way. So far, 2007 donations total only $2192.09. Needs for 2007 are $17,150. Yikes. Can somebody pitch in $25? Is there a donor out there with $1000 to make a huge difference? Remember, once we reach the 2007 budget, we seriously stop mentioning money ’til January 1st of the following year! To give, just click to
and click on “Sponsor/Donate” in the top menu (to use PayPal or a credit card), or if you prefer, send a check payable to Team Expansion to: Team Expansion (Brigada secretary), 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.
THE BACKPAGE: WHERE DO YOU FIND GOD? — I find him in the stars. Not long ago, I picked up an 8″ SCT telescope on eBay. (It was actually quite a deal. It sells new for triple the amont I paid, and all it was missing was an eyepiece and diagonal, which I would have wanted to upgrade anyway.) I find myself gasping at some of the views. A couple of weeks ago, I had been working on polishing off that dissertation (Did I tell you it’s done? :-) ). I played soccer for 40′, then, as darkness began to descend rather quickly in the church camp where I was working, the twilight sky opened up clear as a bell. Couldn’t resist it. After a quick shower, loaded into the truck and headed for a hillside overlooking a big lake near the camp. I could see dozens of little inlets with distant dock lights, but looking up at the sky, it was inky blackness. The milky way was gorgeous. I must have stared at the globular cluster M3 for 30′ or so. I’m reading from my journal here, in front of me, “Beauty; awesome cluster; Whoa… Shew… Amazing.” Such a tight, bright cluster of stars in my 8″ telescope. I took in M53, learned more about Coma Berenices, and was just focusing on M51 when I glanced around me and fog was rolling in just like Carl Sandberg’s poem about cat’s paws. It just billowed in gently, filling up every little hollow, swallowing up every distant dock light, all within 5-10′ or so – I kid you not. From the hillside where I was perched, suddenly it was as if I was hovering on clouds. I could barely see the ground beneath me, in fact… the fog was so thick. Even though I was running thermo- digitally controlled dew-chaser gear on my scope, moisture instantly and completely enveloped the entire instrument (including the collector plate, which rendered M51 all but invisible). So yes, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to make it to the Virgo galaxy cluster “clutter”, but I’ll have to admit that it was almost worth it to experience that eerie, mystical mist. I packed up and headed out, shaking my head, feeling as if I had just walked on the clouds of Heaven. When I see that kind of stuff… I feel like I’ve seen some of the wonder of the Creator.
Where do *you* find God? Write a comment at:
Record *your* experience… share your face-to-face encounter with the Creator.