Life-Changing Trips For TD’ers This Summer

Hey TD!

One thing that made Los Angeles Lakers legend, Magic Johnson, one of the best basketball players of all time was his resolve to continue to get better each year; and the summer is when he went to work on adding new dimensions to his game before each new season.

Summer is an awesome opportunity to for you to “up your game” too. Whether it’s going overseas or staying in the US to serve others in Christ’s Name (and growing immensely in the process) or going to a special conference focused on helping to equip you better for the journey ahead, prayerfully consider how you can make the most of this summer to grow in honoring the Lord.

Here are some trips to consider that some fellow TD’ers and TD leaders will be participating in – Bring Me Hope’s Summer Camp, RZIM’s ReFresh Conference, and our very own Youth Summer Missions Project (YSMP). Check them out below:

Bring Me Hope Summer Camp 2018

Sponsored by Bring Me Hope

July 30 – August 3, 2018 in Zhengzhou, China

TO LOVE

Our five day summer camps center around bringing forgotten children out of orphanages to experience a week of fun, love, and attention. This often includes many firsts for the kids—their first time swimming, eating ice cream and hearing “I love you”. Demonstrating God’s love in action is what camp is all about.

TO DEFEND

Most overseas trips end when you fly home, leaving you with only memories and pictures. However, our desire is for you to continue to have an impact long after you’ve left camp. Through our advocacy program, you can bring awareness to your child’s needs and even help find adoptive families. Our goal is to equip volunteers to defend vulnerable children.

DAY 1: The kids are coming! Today, you become a proud “parent” as you and your translator(s) are paired with 1-2 children to form a family group. Spend the day getting to know each other before you begin an amazing week of camp!

DAY 2-4: Let the fun begin! Camp is filled with activities for your family group to enjoy together. From arts & crafts to talent shows to dance parties, this is a week for your child to explore new experiences in a safe environment. You will have the unique opportunity to empower these children and show them unconditional love during camp. These are the moments that Bring Me Hope Camp was created for!

DAY 5: Today is the day that the children go home to the orphanage. It’s a bittersweet celebration of the relationships you’ve created and how far your family group has come in just 5 short days. It becomes more than just the last day of camp; You are left with memories and passion to do something about this orphan crisis.

AFTER CAMP: Bring Me Hope will provide you with the skills and training to make a greater impact on these children’s lives when you fly back home. You will be given the privilege to be an advocate for the children’s needs and help them find adoptive families!

If you have detailed questions about the camp, you can ask Megan, Calvin, Elissa, Melody T., Sissi, or Abigail, who all went last year.  Check out BMH Summer Camp and contact a TD leader if you have interest in going this summer.

If you are interested in doing the Bring Me Hope internship, ask Megan, Calvin, Angela, Sissi, or Aileen what they’ve been doing: BMH Internship

“ReFresh: Ready For College?” Conference for High School and College Students

2018 ReFresh Graphics_Screen2

Hosted by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)

July 24-27, 2018 @ The Zacharias Institute in Atlanta, GA

 

Are you a high school upperclassman or a college freshman? Then don’t miss out on ReFresh. As students, you know what it’s like to be surrounded by questions. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed. In the face of so many questions, how can you keep your faith strong? Are you prepared to answer the questions and objections of your friends and classmates? At ReFresh, no question is off limits, whether questions asked from within the Christian faith, or questions from those without faith. We want to give you the space to think through some of the toughest challenges to Christianity and equip you to live out your faith at high school and on campus. You will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from Ravi Zacharias and many other members of RZIM’s Global Speaking Team. ReFresh is designed for students, youth groups, and their leaders.

 

Check out ReFresh: Ready For College for more info and contact a TD leader if you are interested.

 

YSMP 2018

ysmp 2

YSMP is our youth short-term mission trip to the Native American reservations in Arizona. The dates are July 6-14, 2018, and the cost is $170 per person. Our two-fold purpose and prayer for this mission trip is:

1) To participate in the proclamation of God’s glory in the gospel by bringing annual short-term support the local church pastors and congregations within the Native American Reservations in Arizona. Our aim is to hear the needs and vision of the local church pastor and assist the church with our team.

2) To provide a learning experience for our youth and other church members who want to explore cross-cultural missions. We desire for participants to get a sense of the devotion to Christ, training, focus, and flexibility it takes to be on mission, to be challenged to share their faith, and to have their eyes opened to the need for the gospel in less-reached areas.

Each year the YSMP coordinators touch base with each church in the reservation sites to see what kind of support they would like from the STM team. Generally, what that support takes form in:

1) VBS and Youth Camp

2) Visitations and Evangelism

3) Adult Bible Studies

4) Work Projects and Harvest Night

Prayerfully consider joining us on this short-term mission trip! If you have any questions, contact Robert at bobert.chan@gmail.com.

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TD Fri. – “Food For Thought” Training/Prepping

Hey TD!

We need you to make sure you come to TD this Friday, so we can do some training and prepping for our big outreach to your friends on 4/28, Food For Thought (FFT).   We will not be doing this again before the event, so please make plans to join us.

We’ll go over what we’ll be doing, why we’ll be doing it, and how we’ll be doing it.  And then we’ll do some training in doing it.

In the end, we want to help you love and reach your un-churched friends with good food, good fellowship, and some good, thoughtful discussion.  We’ll post something next week that you send your friends to check-out.

FFT FAQ:

What will the evening be like?

It will be a casual, informal, yet an alive and engaging time of thought-provoking conversation, great made-to-order food, and good fellowship. Arthur will bring up some issues that are common to everyone, not just Christians, and not just non-Christians.  Everyone.  Then we’ll try to make sense of those issues over good conversation, good food, and good fellowship in small conversation groups.

What does it cost?

Your price of admission is to bring a friend that you know would like to engage in conversations that count, and who is interested in questions of life.  That’s it.  If you don’t bring a friend, but would like to come anyway, you will be put on a waiting list, and we’ll let you know if there’s space for you. Priority goes to TD’ers with friends.

Do we need to rsvp?

Yes!  Please let your small group leader know how many of you will be coming by 4/22.

Event details?

Date and Time: Saturday, April 28, 2018; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. (or whenever the last person leaves!)

Place: The Hsieh Residence

What can I do to help?

Three things:

  • Reach out to your friends to come.  We will do our part in preparing a great night to help you blessing your friends.  We need you to do your part in reaching out to them to come.
  • Pray.  Pray for our time together, yourself, your friends, and TD
  • Be who God meant you to be and do what God meant you to do.  As recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, reminds in his song, Meant to Be,

You were meant to be touching
The lives that you touch
And meant to be here
Making this world so much more
Than it would be without you in it

You were meant to be bringing
The gifts that you bring
And singing the songs
You’ve been given to sing

You are perfectly, wonderfully,
Beautifully meant to be
You were meant to be

See you Friday! – Arthur

RZIM @ UC Berkeley: Clarity in a Culture of Confusion

RZIM’s Abdu Murray & Nathan Betts @ UC Berkeley

Hey TD!

Earlier this week, RZIM joined with the Veritas Forum to hold various open forums on pertinent issues of our day on the campus of UC Berkeley.  One of the forums was on Clarity in a Culture of Confusion and was led by Abdu Murray, who was then joined by Nathan Betts during the Q&A.

Abdu gives a compelling talk, which was followed by Q&A. I found the questions to be quite thoughtful and relevant, and thought you would get a lot out of it.

Here’s the legend of questions:

– In the multi-cultural metropolis that is the Bay Area and UC Berkeley, which is a microcosm of that, how do you balance a desire and celebration of diversity with the exclusive nature of truth? – 56:35

– Living in such a secular society, how do we effectively engage with non-Christians in a way that isn’t a debate, but more of a loving conversation? – 1:06.22

– We stand for great diversity on this campus and love it that this campus accepts all kinds of people, from every walk of life.  Why is it that challenging questions like, What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be male or female? What does it mean to be a good citizen?, isn’t valid in light of an exclusive truth? Is there are value to asking questions that only seem to have fuzzy answers that don’t exactly fit with the worldview you’re positing?   – 1:12.26

– How do you reconcile conflicting viewpoints between science and religion? What makes religion more true than modern science? – 1:25.03

– Are there limitations to Christian truth? Are truth and answers the same thing, and if so, does the Christian worldview offer an answer to every question in modern society? – 1:29.28

– Does the Christian worldview offer a resolution to the human condition? – mental disorders/gender dysphoria/disease – is the Christian worldview actually a resolution for those issues? – 1:38.30

– You’ve argued compellingly that truth is important, but it doesn’t seem it will help us very much unless we can access truth.  There are a lot of impediments to doing that – we’re bound inside human minds and cultures with an overload of information. Please speak to that. – 1:45.16

Video – Ask Anything Tour @ UCLA

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TD in front of UCLA’s beautiful new Luskin Conference Center

Hey TD!

We had a wonderful time at UCLA two weekends ago with Ligonier Ministries, as we got to watch Al Mohler answer tough questions from a live public audience during Ligonier’s Ask Anything Tour on Friday night; and then we were taught by Mohler, Burk Parsons, and Stephen Nichols during Ligonier’s Truth and Consequences training on Saturday.  It was a faith building weekend that challenged us to work on our skill set in representing Christ better in the public square.

Here is the video of Friday night’s Ask Anything Tour, with a Table of Contents of questions below, so you can go to the question you’d like to hear:

2018 Ask Anything with Al Mohler @ UCLA – 3/2/18

27:30 Were there any big intellectual barriers to you coming to Christ?
30:00 The traditional answer to why evil exists is that God wants to demonstrate His character against the backdrop of evil. Did God have to send billions of people to hell to demonstrate His goodness to a few?
36:35 What is the biblical worldview on transgender-ism and gender identity ?
47:20 Does theistic evolution contradict the Bible?
53:00 How should Christians approach government? Are we to be passive, if submissive?
1:00:45 Why is Christianity right and the rest of the 2,999 wrong?
1:07:07 Do you agree with the apostle Paul when he describes same-sex attraction as, “degrading passions, un-natural affections, abominable, perversed, indecent and depraved”?
1:11:17 Should I take medication for depression, should I see a physician for it, and what should I advise my friends who struggle with this? How can I approach this biblically?
1:17:47 Given that the Bible holds that human life begins at conception, what are the ethics of conducting research with established human embryonic stem cell lines? These are many generations removed from initial destruction, and who bears culpability in such research?
1:25:10 How do you read so much and retain information effectively?
1:30:20 When would you recommend someone for seminary, and when is one ready for seminary?
1:36:12 How do you explain Christian denominations? Should there be and is there a correct one? Starting at
1:45:00, Mohler goes into short(ish) answers for time.
1:45:35 How can God be loving and send people to hell? Different than the first, if the system is inherently wrong, can we believe in God?
1:47:23 My wife and I are seeing many of our friends foregoing marriage, and children. Is this biblically wrong and do you think there will be consequences?
1:50:05 How can you assert the divinity of the Bible given the history that precedes the publication of it?
1:53:21 What’s a biblical response to systemic racism, especially in light of scripture being used to validate American slavery?
1:57:40 In light of recent events, while embracing the sovereignty of God and the free will of humanity, what good do the “thoughts and prayers” of Christians amidst chaos and violence offer?

Throwback Thursday – The Original Speakers!

The original Speakers story featured on the TD Commotion (with surprise anchors and cameos!) Produced by TD alum, Jenny, over a decade ago, it’s still a great piece.

Hey TD!

As we begin a new season of training youth speakers for the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST), I thought you’d enjoy a blast from the past! Back when we had the “Total Devotion Commotion” video program, we did a feature on the very first YST we entered in 2006.

About a week before the Los Angeles Association Drill, I had somewhat of an epiphany and saw a vision to begin training TD’ers to be able to communicate God’s Word effectively.  I pitched the idea to four seniors, asking them to be the guinea pigs and to take the first steps to open the doors for future TD’ers to walk through.  Even though all the other churches had already been preparing months in advance, I just wanted them to open the doors.  There was no way we were going to win or anything, but even entering would start the ball rolling for us.

I thought the four accepted the challenge, but one of them said she never did, so when she received my email thanking all of them for buying into the vision and being willing to do something crazy like enter YST with only a week to prepare, she went to the bathroom and cried.  Who could blame her? Public speaking is America’s greatest fear. Who was it? I’ll let you watch the video above to find out.

We spent nearly everyday at my home the following week preparing.  One speaker dropped out early, and then another had a scheduling conflict, leaving only two speakers left.  But God led us here and God’s hand was all over this (and clearly has been ever since).  The rest, as they say, is history.

Though we have had 13 tournament champions and 8 runners-up since then, we have had many, many more true winners – in the most important ways – before God. Through fierce struggle, perseverance, tears, and the mercy and grace of God, we have had speakers who thought they were Christians coming in, actually become Christians during Speakers.  We’ve had life re-dedications, victory over fear, personal “dragons” slain, and many tears of joy and triumph.

All I can say about the Speakers process is that it is … magic.  Enjoy the video! – Arthur

 

Calling Potential Youth Speakers – this Sunday!

2017 California Southern Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament Winner, Michelle, speaking at the Ignition Student Conference in Sacramento

2017 California Southern Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament Winner, Joshua, speaking at the Ignition Student Conference in Sacramento

Hey TD!

Robert. Kathy. Beverly. Daniel. Judy. Megan. Frances. Jay … Eunice. Clara. Aileen. Katherine. Abigail. Jenny. Nathaniel. Theodora. Jonathan L. Justin C.

What do all these current and former counselors and interns have in common? They were all part of our youth speakers teams when they were in TD!  They can tell you what an incredibly powerful and shaping process it is. There’s nothing we do at TD that is as life-changing and transforming as “Speakers,” as it is affectionately called.

If any of you 10th – 12th graders are curious or interested to learn more, we will have a mandatory information meeting THIS Sunday from 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. in the basement of the Main Campus. During this meeting, we will answer any and all questions regarding the 2018 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST).

You don’t have to know for sure if you are going to do “Speakers” or not this year to come to the meeting.  In fact, the meeting is being held to help you decide one way or another.  And don’t worry, there will be no pressure to join.

Hope to see you there! – Arthur

TD SG – “Metamorphosis” Videos, SG Study, and Instructions

 

(Nabeel Qureshi’s powerful testimony at RZIM Founders ’13 – go from 34:30 – 1:05:20. Just click on “Watch on Vimeo”.  We were there at that meeting!)

Hey TD!

As promised, Friday night’s meeting on Romans 12:2, “Metamorphosis,” was a powerful one, with some TD’ers surrendering their lives to Christ; while others who had already committed their lives to the Lord earlier in life, prayed to repair and make right their lives in Christ.  Others were just left on their knees convicted to honor Him better with their lives.  Praise the Lord for all of that.  Let us be praying for them all and for God to keep working in our midst, bringing restoration and life to those in TD.

This coming Friday’s TD meeting will be exclusively in our small groups.  Please review the videos above as needed to keep cementing the Lord’s word and His desires into your soul while you prepare your small group studies.

Please prepare your studies well! The better the preparation, the better the discussion!

Here’s the study:

“Metamorphosis” Rom. 12:2 (sg study)