Good Ole’ Brigada

14) The BackPage: Give the Gift of Brigada

We only ask at the end of the year and then only for 8 short weeks. During that time, we try to raise our entire annual budget, an amount that some say is less than half the cost of a starting teacher. But with this amount, we send out motivation, resources, and trends to thousands of global workers each week. Our budget is $17,120/year. So far, friends like you have already given $9,754.11. Unfortunately, only 1 week remains in 2013. We need your help. Would you consider asking your family or church to make a generous gift this weekend? If so, we’d be very grateful. Just click “Donate” in the upper right corner. If only a few dozen readers sent a $100 end-of-year gift, our entire annual budget would be done and, like always, we wouldn’t mention finances again for an entire additional year. Want to help? Click “donate” at the top of any Brigada page, or, mail a check made payable to Team Expansion (Brigada), 13711 Willow Reed Drive, Louisville, KY 40299. Team Expansion is a 501(c)3 incorporation so, for USA citizens, your gift to Christ through Team Expansion is tax-deductible. We’ll quickly send a thank-you note and receipt. We won’t add you to any mailing list unless you request it. Thanks for your prayers, your partnership, and your participation in the Brigada family!

3) In Your Ideal World, What would a “Brigada App” Do?

Suppose we were going to create a Brigada ‘app’ for IOS and Android. What should it ‘do’? Think outside the box, please. If you get a moment, open our normal website in your iPhone, iPad or Android browser. How would you prefer that a specialized app would improve on your Brigada experience. We’re considering building one — and your ideas could help us a LOT in putting together something that really “scratches an itch” that matters. Thanks in advance for any help. Just click on “Comment” following the online version of this item.

14) The BackPage: The Brigada Family Amazes Me

I never cease to be amazed at the people and organizations who read and interact with Brigada on a weekly basis. This past week, for example, we saw 14 comments on “What’s the Best Way to Transfer Funds Internationally?,” including a response from Robby Butler of the Mission Network…

And check out the 11 comments on “The Best YouTube/Vimeo Missions Mobilization Videos,” including submissions by the Editors of Missions Catalyst and by Howard Culbertson…

Look at the 6 responses to “What’s the Best CRM for Non-Profits, Missions Agencies, etc.,” including some new CRM tools that we hadn’t mentioned in our original review…

And our item on “How to End Terrorism,” received 8 “reality check” responses including comments from an Editor at Mission Frontiers Magazine…

Thanks to the entire Brigada Today family for interacting on these and many other items. There’s a brain trust here. God is good. Thanks for being part of the Brigada family!


PS. Would you consider suggesting that a friend or co-worker sign up for Brigada today? Just send them to and suggest they use the easy “one-click” sign-up form in the upper right. Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter — @brigadatoday

14) The BackPage: A Bit About Brigada’s Style

Have you ever wondered why we put URL’s on a separate line, by themselves, and why we spell out the link instead of simply encoding it in a hidden way, behind the words? First, many Brigada readers tell us they pass along their Brigada to others. Some even PRINT their copy and hand it to non-computer-using friends (because in some cultures, there are still people without access to the internet; they only get it when they visit another town or another friend). If we encoded the link, hidden, behind the words??? Those printed versions would look very useless — because, yes, the word (link) would be a different color, showing that if you click on it in the “live” version, you’d open a web page, but the printed page (on paper) would no longer reveal that link. What’s more, sometimes people copy and paste these items. And when they do, links get jumbled. By separating links between blank lines, we learned (back in 1996, in fact) that the link travels much more safely and securely. Finally, we here at Brigada believe you should always know where you’re going BEFORE you click. By showing you the exact link, you aren’t clicking so blindly. Our email software distributor (iContact) is one of the “big three,” and they constantly test for spam, but by showing you the exact nature of the link you’re about to visit, YOU get to decide if you want to go there. We wish more in the industry would do the same.

Notice that when you add a comment to an item, you can do it totally anonymously. That’s because many of our users live in sensitive places. They’re a bit guarded about giving out their identity.

And notice, you can even “subscribe” to a series of comments on an item, even if you don’t want to comment yourself. So in other words, you can NARROW your involvement to just one single item — because it interests you. We believe that’s tons better than being pushed into lots of conversations with which you weren’t really wanting to be involved.

And why do we not add more pictures? Easy. Bandwidth. Many of our users are struggling in international locations and their internet pipe is TINY. By keeping pictures to minimum size AND number, we’ve heard, over the years, that they’re extremely grateful. So if you visit someone else’s webpage, you might find it simply BUZZING with exciting flashing banners, ads, pictures and more. Visit the Brigada website, and maybe it’ll look a bit vanilla at first. But … we believe it grows on you. “Clean” is something fairly rare on the internet these days. Anyway, those are our theories — and they seem to be working for us. Ask our 7000 active email readers and thousands more who visit our website. Thanks for being a part of the Brigada family!

Want to learn more? Visit our online version and click on “About” or “Submit an item.” Want to give feedback? Just click “Comment” below any item, online, including this one. God bless your week!

1) "Bribery and the Bible:" Free Download —

Published in Singapore in 1991 by Campus Crusade Asia Limited, this book gives a Biblical perspective on bribery and extortion and applies that perspective to bribery issues in one country. After five chapters defining bribery and extortion and considering what both the Old Testament and the New Testament say about them, Richard Langston applies Scripture to the bribery problem in the Philippines where he served. His insights will be helpful wherever you serve. The book is now available to download free of charge as .doc, .pdf, or .zip files for your computer and as .mobi or .epub files for your Kindle or Nook. You can’t beat the price. Find it at…

3) Why Switch to iContact Now? —

Several reasons. First, for those wishing to unsubscribe or change their address, it’ll be much easier. The controls at the end of each newsletter will insure that you’re in charge of your subscription. (This will simplify life for us, too, since our readers will complain less. :-) ) Second, the editions will look better and be easier to read. Brigada’s format has remained largely unchanged since the first edition in 1995. At long last, we’re trying to spruce things up a bit. We won’t ever again have to say “this link will wrap.” And the table of contents will be keyed so you’ll be able to hop down and back in an instant, so you can read the item you want, then jump back up to the table of contents (Lord willing). It’s a shift to have to change, yes. But once we’ve made the jump, it’ll be lots more fun. :-)

5) Will Brigada Begin Charging a Subscription Fee? —

Since 1995, our approach has been to receive a limited amount of donations from those who can and wish to give, but to give away our services for free especially for those living in situations in which it’s not as easy to pay subscription fees for a weekly magazine. It’s a labor of love (we never broke even on costs and time invested before and we’re sure not to break even now that we’ll be using a paid emailing service), but thanks to the good folks at Team Expansion who have been willing to help make ends meet when Brigada hasn’t pulled its own weight.

8) What Will Happen to the Old Email Sending Services —

For now, essentially nothing. We’ll just let them go idle. If you used GoogleGroups or YahooGroups to read your Brigada online, you’ll still have access to those previous mailings, though, we’re not sure why you’d want to read them there when you could simply read the same archives at the website. However, for as long as Google and Yahoo allow, those sites will probably remain untouched.

9) Why are you Using an Opt-In Invitation?

Some might have expected us to just port over the whole mailing list — all 10,000 addresses. However, there are certain protocols we value here at Brigada and one of them is — we let you be in the driver’s seat: for subscribing, unsubscribing, and changing your address. What’s more, it’s just more polite to ask first, before we manually force-subscribe your email to a new list.

1) Why does Brigada want to Catch Up?

:-) One good friend of Brigada catchuprecently wrote, “Instead of going by the date of what issue it should be and trying to ‘catch up,’ it seems better to simply use the current date, whatever that is. It’s kind of like God’s grace. He doesn’t expect us to dig ourselves out of a hole, but gives a fresh start. I can think of several advantages to this. The news is clearly ‘fresh’ news and I think it would be less confusing for readers.  For example, if you say you ‘just got back’ from something, or if you announce a seminar to take place ‘next month,’ readers would know it’s in relation to today’s date, not the issue date. Thanks for keeping the info coming.” She makes a good point. But wouldn’t life just be cleaner if we could say, “There’s a Brigada Today filed for every single week that has ever occurred since January 1995.” Wouldn’t that be cool? Got an opinion? Just click on “Comment” below… and while you’re commenting, we’ll be trying to catch up. :-) So maybe soon, the whole discussion will be irrelevant anyway? :-) Either way, see the new tag line that tells both the “official” publication date and the “unofficial” production date. Does that help at all?

Express your opinion below by clicking “Comment.”

5) Change In Format For Emailed Brigada Today

stopspamLong-time friends of Brigada Today will notice a change in format beginning with this issue. The titles are obviously no longer in all upper case. We’ve made this change due to the news that, apparently, this practice is so common to spammers that some spam filters now search for text in all upper case, relegating those emails to spam folders. Forgive us if this change is an inconvenience, but we judged that we’d better shift formats for the benefit of those who might be losing the entire issue. In addition, beginning with today’s issue, we no longer created hard carriage returns at the end of each line of each item. We began this practice back in the day when certain email clients didn’t quite know how to deal with paragraphs of text and had dutifully kept the practice up until a Brigada reader recently requested that it be dropped. Upon researching his request, we realized that the practice no longer seems relevant, since all modern readers now seem up to the challenge. If either of these changes causes a problem for you, please log use the comment line immediately below and let us know. We hope it makes life easier for John and many others. Effective immediately, when submitting new items for use in Brigada Today, please cease using upper case in the title of the item.

1) Woooo-hooooo! We’re finally in May!

patiencePlease be patient! We might be behind, but we’re undaunted! :-) Be sure and check out the newly refreshed site here at

Check out an item and leave a comment or two. Click on the new “Archives (Yr/Mo)” listing… or browse on “Explore” and look at a flat file listing of each item back through 2008 and each *week* before that. Or check out the newly revamped Tag Cloud (scroll down the page and look in the right-hand column), see links to our current regular (more or less) sponsors, search the graphical calendar by week, or use the drop-down quick-link box to search for a particular year/month of issues. You’ll also see a hot-list of latest comments, a table of contents of the latest Brigada, and an improved “needle-in-a-haystack” text search engine. Wish us luck catching up! Grab an RSS feed (if you’re into that sort of thing), or just browse to your heart’s content. :-) Oh… almost forgot: you can now click “Donate” and set your dollar figure for any amount you choose. No more feeling boxed in or limited! :-)

1) Brigada Moves To A New Site

However, because of the magic of the Internet, you shouldn’t have to change your “favorites” or “bookmarks” because our URL moves with The "New Look"us, of course. So browse around the new site. We hope you’ll find it clean, easily followed, and much easier upon which to make comments. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out some other new features so we invite you to stop by whenever you receive a Brigada and read the edition online instead of via email. Note that the table of contents for the current edition will now be in the right-hand column.

1 2  Scroll to top