“Youth Speakers” Info Meeting This Sunday! (watch this video!)

Watch this “vintage” video of our 1st Youth Speakers team and the “Speakers” process, and you’ll get to see Robert and Kathy when they were in high school! ūüôā¬†

Hey TD!

One of THE most life-changing and transformative processes in TD through the years has been “Speakers,” as it is affectionately called.¬† It has changed the course of some of the lives of those who have gone through the process.¬† In fact, the majority of TD counselors and interns over the last decade have been “Speakers” alums; and this year’s TD leadership is no different: Robert, Kathy, Eunice, Daniel, Megan, Frances, Michelle, and Angela all participated as Speakers in high school!

If any of you 10th ‚Äď 12th graders are curious or interested to learn more, we will have a mandatory information meeting THIS Sunday from 12:45 p.m. ‚Äď 1:30 p.m. in one of the classrooms at the GWC. During this meeting, we will answer any and all questions regarding the 2019 CA So. Baptist Youth Speakers Tournament (YST).

You don‚Äôt have to know for sure if you are going to do ‚ÄúSpeakers‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôt worry, there will be no pressure to join.

Hope to see you there! ‚Äď Arthur

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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

 

TD Orientation Presentation

TD Orientation Prezi

Hey TD,

If you weren’t able to make it for the TD Orientation, here is the great Prezi presentation Judy made, as well as the mp3 of all the presentations by the TD leaders corresponding to the Prezi “slides.” Please review the material so you can not only get a deeper look “under the hood” of TD, but can get a better idea of where in TD you may feel the Lord is calling you to invest more of your talents and energies!

TD Orientation Prezi

TD Orientation Presentations (mp3)

 

“The Books We Love” (last mp3’s)

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Hey TD!

Here is the “The Books We Love” series finale, with mp3’s of Kathy’s, Daniel’s, and Rebecca’s “book reports”! ¬†Listen and then …. READ! Enjoy!

Kathy – Twelve Extraordinary Women (mp3) by John F. MacArthur

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Daniel – “Poetry” (mp3), citing poems from¬†The Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience by William Blake

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Rebecca – The Hiding Place (mp3) by Corrie Ten Boom

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These Verses Changed My Life

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Hey TD!

Don’t you love kids? ¬†I do. ¬†There is this raw, real, unpolished, unpretentious, unpackaged authenticity and realness to them, for better or for worse! ūüôā ¬†I also love young spiritual children as well (though they may be chronologically older, even adult-aged). ¬†They too can have that wide-eyed hungry (even naive), teachable way about them that is refreshing and alive. ¬†I love being around real life like that. ¬†But with having children (biologically or spiritually) comes an enormous amount of spiritual responsibility.

It is when I had my first child, Nathaniel, that this hit me like a lightning bolt. ¬†I read Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and it changed my life’s focus, calling, and passion. ¬†Here it is:

4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead.9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

There they were, my marching orders from the Commander Himself.  My duty and calling as the father to my children was to first and foremost teach and train them to walk with the Lord, even before my responsibilities to train and take care of them physically, socially, academically, etc.  I have been charged to constantly bring them before the voice, heart, desires, and will of our God Almighty, through the priceless gift of His matchless Word; and I am to do it passionately, authentically, creatively, and in heavy doses.  Every chance that I get.  Waking.  Sleeping.  Walking.  Playing.  Eating.  Talking.  Traveling.  Every chance that I get.  That was really the underlying impetus behind us homeschooling them.

That’s why I get so excited when I see a young couple like Robert and Kathy take that charge to heart as well, as they begin exposing their daughter to God’s Word at her young age (these pics are the first pics of Hannah “doing” Bible study ūüôā wink, wink). ¬†They know that even though she’s the cutest little thing (did you see her last night??? Sooooo cute!), God’s Word tells us the truth: little Hannah is a born-sinner, depraved at her core. ¬†Little Hannah needs a Savior and needs to come to Jesus and to grow in His grace. ¬†And that cannot happen without the power of His Word.

And you cannot grow in grace without the power of His Word either.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 applies to YOU.  YOU need to talk of His Word when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.  YOU need to bind them as a sign on your hand and as frontals on your forehead.  YOU need to write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

As a spiritual father to some of you, and a spiritual uncle to most of you, I charge you and plead with you to examine the life you’re living, who you’re living it with, the way you spend your time, the activities you engage in, the conversations you have, etc. Then, I ask you to do some re-organizing of your life to make more time to study, sit under, meditate on, pray through … God’s Word.

Do it this summer, so that by the time you return to school, more time in His Word will be ingrained into your schedule! РArthur

 

Introducing the Newest Member of the TD Family …

Introducing …

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Hannah Elizabeth!  (Soooo cuuuuute!!!)

Congratulations to Robert and Kathy on the birth of their brand new daughter! ¬†As you can imagine, they are very excited and very humbled to receive God’s blessing in this way. They understand well that Hannah is the Lord’s child and vow to raise her in a way that highlights how awesome He is.

But they cannot do it alone. ¬†We all need to come alongside them and do our part as well! It is our responsibility and privilege as a TD family. ¬†You can begin by taking a moment to stop and pray for their family, as they continue to work through the heavenly home going of ¬†Robert’s mom, Liz, as well as the earthly arrival of Hannah.

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“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD …” Psalm 127:3

TD This Friday – “Obeying God”

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Hey TD’ers,

We will be having our final message of the year, as Kathy will conclude our studies of Christ For Real with the bottom line of all the Christian learning that we do – obeying God. Come on out and hear Kathy’s last message before she becomes a mom!

Below is last weeks message on mp3, “Living by Faith” that will help you better understand what faith is and is not:

Living by Faith (message – Arthur)