Thinking Out Loud

June 28, 2011

Support Your Church’s Students Doing Summer Missions

I wish I could go into detail here, but unfortunately, I can’t.  Maybe some day, but not now.  But this is what is burning in my heart to publish today…

All I want to say is this:  If God has blessed you financially and you have young people in your church who are doing a summer missions project, then find a way to offer them encouragement. 

  • If you church doesn’t “commend” summer students with prayer, then pull the student of your choice aside and offer to pray for them.  AND:
  • If your church does do a blanket financial donation, then slip the kid an extra $5 or a $10 bill and say, “This is for some need that may arise when you’re in the middle of the project.”  Or, “This is for you to spend on something for yourself that you would have bought if you had stayed home working at a regular summer job.”
  • If you church doesn’t do financial support for the student(s) then offer to make a more significant contribution to their airfare or field expenses through the mission agency involved.
  • If that isn’t possible, offer to purchase something that the student needs for the following school year.  This way you know exactly where your money went.

Your financial support, prayer support, overall interest and sincere encouragement would mean so much; and students are very aware when the older generation in the church isn’t aware or supportive of what they’re trying to do.  Which can be somewhat bewildering.  You don’t have to be a “youth culture” church to show that you value the young people in your congregation.

By doing this, you are investing in the lives of future Christian leaders, and are also breaking down the inter-generational walls that exist like a plague in so many churches.  The money may not get spent in exactly the way it might have if you gave to a traditional missions project.  But the encouragement factor will be 100% effective in the spiritual formation of a young person.

June 15, 2010

Send This Boy To Summer Camp

A few days ago I mentioned that we were in a “fund raising” mode for our oldest son, Chris, 19.   He’s going to be — for the third year in a row — spending ten weeks working at Camp Iawah, an interdenominational camp in Ontario, Canada.  Much of his work will be centered around the kitchen, where this will be this be the seventh in a growing resumé of culinary accomplishments.  (This year he is also going to be doing some technical assistance in ‘Prime Time,’ the daily chapel program for campers.) He returns to second year electrical engineering in the fall, with fairly high tuition, textbook and residential expenses.

The work week is about 50-hours; it’s a six-day week with a single day off.   The base pay amounts to $3/hour.   (If this were some other camps we’re aware of, they would pay him just about anything to get good kitchen help!)    With previous commitments from people, we’re hoping today to raise an additional $3,000.   (I figure if Jon Acuff can raise $60,000 in a day, this ought to be a no-brainer, even for a smaller blog like ours.)

If you’re interested, go to this page, and click on the second last link (in blue) that says download CISS donor form.   You’d be designating your donation to Chris Wilkinson.   You must use the form for this to credit his summer staff account.

American readers of Thinking Out Loud who want to contribute to this may use a credit card (you will be billed in Canadian dollars which means potentially your donation will go farther) while Canadian donors will receive a valid income tax receipt and may use credit card or cheques.  (We still spell it the British way up here!)  You must complete and mail or fax the form to the camp, and if you’re giving by cheque, do not write Chris’ name on the cheque itself, just on the form.   (A quick e-mail letting us know what you’re doing or considering would help, too; so that we can keep in touch over the summer with what your donations are accomplishing.   E-mail: epistle[at] )

In the event his donations reach the pay limit, any overage will go toward other staff members facing a similar need; many of who don’t have parents with an international blog readership.

Thanks for considering this opportunity to make an investment in many young lives through Camp Iawah.

June 13, 2009

Hot Off The Presses

donald miller book

Our Book is Out!

Check out the picture at right.   Impressive, huh?  Notice my name as coauthor?  Wait ’til my family sees this.   They used a larger typeface for my name than I thought they would! How would you like to be the coauthor of Donald Miller’s new book?  Well you can.   Sort of.   Fresh off their blog and Facebook promotion for Andy Andrews’ The Noticer, Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson is at it again, and it’s not even April Fools Day.   You not only get to pretend to be Miller’s coauthor, but you get a webpage with your name on the introduction and your comments on what it was like to work with Donald.   You then blog it or e-mail it to your friends.   You can read my page here.   Join the prank at Hyatt’s blog, here.

Play that Worship Music, white boy

Chris Vacher, who blogs at Chris from Canada questions whether a high profile worship event purporting to represent “worldwide” worship and involving “all peoples” is living up to its goals when, without exception, every advertised participant is very white.    Read his thoughts here.

9 Simple Rules for Not Dating My Teenage Daughter

Tony Miano blogs at The Lawman Chronicles.  On the occasion of both of his daughters’ community college graduation, he talks about the qualities necessary for someone to ask for the girls’ hands in marriage.   Tony doesn’t believe in dating.   To paraphrase the title of the Josh Harris book, he’s kissed the concept goodbye.   But this may be new for some of you.  In one of the comments, he elaborates:

I don’t expect my daughters to identify a potential man to marry. I expect that young man to identify himself, since he will be pursuing my daughter and not the other way around. I also expect (and trust) the Lord to give us the collective wisdom and discernment as a family to recognize that man as the one He has chosen for my daughter.
Once that man is identified (using not only my list of requirements; but also my daughter’s list of requirements), and we (my wife, daughter, and I) agree that a courtship should take place, with the goal being marriage, then I would give consent for the man to court my daughter.

You can read the post here.   Just be careful if you leave any comments.   Tony is a policeman.   He knows where you live!

We interrupt this sermon…

Has your pastor ever stood up in the pulpit and said that he had a sermon all prepared, but God is leading him to share something entirely different?  While it does happen, it doesn’t stop Jon Acuff, at the blog Stuff Christians Like, from having some fun with what’s become a staple of evangelical life.   You can read his post here.   And if you missed this one from May 29th, Jon has guest blogger Tyler Stanton share “The Essential Cast of a Great Missions Trip,” just in time for summer.

And finally, a public service announcement

This is actually from 2007, but I thought I’d leave a reward for those of you still clicking.   Via YouTube, here it is.

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