Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vision and Mission Statements

I've done "Vision" and "Mission" Statements for a long time, all the way back to my Aberdeen Youth Minister days.

This week I've heard the simplest definitions for the two that I've ever heard.

Vision- What You See. (From Andy Stanley, "Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.")

Mission- What You Do.

In short, vision is what you see (in the future) and mission is how you achieve your vision, or what you do to get there.

As we were discussing all of this, Scott Olson, the CEO of International Teams gave us what he thinks would be the Vision and Mission Statement hanging on the wall of the office of GOD- the CEO of the Universe!!

Vision: (what you want to see, remember?)- Revelation 7:9  9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

Mission Statement: (What we do/How we get there)- Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In case you're wondering, the Global Vision for I-Teams is "Lives and communities transformed by the power of God."  That's what we want to see.

Our Mission?  How we're going to do it?  "We Bring People Together To Help The Oppressed".  In case "the oppressed" sounds a little vague, we have a focus on the Economically Oppressed (the poor), the Physically Oppressed (the slave), and the Spiritual Oppressed (the blind, as in "blinded to the truth").

Friday, January 21, 2011

Northward Bound

Just in case you hadn't heard (slim chance since there's only 4 people that read this blog)- I'm driving later today to Elgin, Illinois where I'll participate in 3 weeks of training/orientation with International Teams.  I'm hoping to visit with friends and eat Pizza in Chicago for the next 3 weeks and seeing some other friends along the way both there and back.

Week 1- 
  • Missions related Biblical teaching
  • Mission Statement & Core Values of IT
  • Organizational Structure of IT
  • Worldwide Ministries of IT
  • Cross-cultural communication styles
  • Team Dynamics
  • The Church in Mission
  • Concept and constituent parts of TEmP (a planning tool used in IT)
Weeks 2-3-
  • Missions related Biblical Teaching
  • The Gospel in a pluralistic world
  • Concept and Development of a LifeMap
  • Financial procedures within IT
  • Issues of prejudice and reconciliation
  • Issues related to struggles within personal relationships
  • Issues related to singleness and marriage
  • Issues related to supernatural spiritual realities
  • Financial planning
  • Conditions for working in teams
  • Characteristics of leaders/servants
These 2 segments are known as A2 and A3.  I've already completed 12 online lessons required for A1.  A4 will be another 2 week residential segment later this summer related to language acquisition.  A5 is an independent study module that will include 13 weeks of meeting with a mentor and studying Larry Crabb's book, Inside Out.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Old Breakfast Table...now on Craigslist. Let's try this:

Do you remember that game, "Bigger and Better", where you trade something you have for something bigger and better? Can you believe a guy out West, through a series of trades, parlayed his Red Paperclip for a HOUSE to live in? (http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/)?

I'm inspired by that guy. I'm currently raising funds to work as a Christian Missionary in Ukraine. I need to raise more than $48,000 to fund two years of ministry. Here's what I want to do: I'd like to trade my antique English Breakfast Table for something bigger or better. It's appraised at $2500.00. Whatever I trade for, I'll keep trading "up" until I can fund two years' ministry.

Here's the description of the table:

This is an Cuban Mahogany English Victorian Breakfast table made in England circa 1870s to 1880s. If the table is restored and finished with a French polish it will sell for more money. Most dealers who sell English Antiques may be interested in this type of table. The knob on the bottom of the base is a assembly technique used to hold to finial in place, the space at the top of the base and under the top is not a storage space it is just the construction technique used on all the same type of tables.

It's in pretty good, used condition. Has many scuffs and scratches but still very charming and useable. The table top is cracked along one edge (could be glued back and refinished and would not be noticeable).

* Current Fair Market Value: $2500

** Replacement Cost: $4500

It was given to me and my late wife as a wedding gift in 1997. The previous owner was the US Ambassador to Barbados during the Reagan years and I think (but can't prove) that the table once resided there.

You might want to just buy it. I guess I could do that. But technically, if you sent the money directly to the ministry and not to me then the IRS stipulates that I can only give a "donor" a gift of 15% of the value of the donor's gift- meaning if I were to give you a $2500 gift in exchange for a "donation" to the ministry, then your gift would have to be $16666. Make sense?

I can sell it directly and use the funds for ministry but ideally I want to trade "up". That's the plan.

Email me and I'll send you more information about the ministry with links to my blogsite and ministry web address (clinton@clintonwhite.net)

One Red Paperclip

Have you seen this?  http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/

It's a remarkable story about a guy that decided to take the "Bigger and Better" Game- where you trade something you have with someone else for something bigger and better.  In a little over a year he parlayed his one red paperclip into a HOUSE to live in.  Along the way he met a lot of people and along the way of fulfilling his own dream, he helped others fulfill their dreams too.

I don't know if this is one of those things that can be done again.  I mean, maybe one guy, one time is the shelf-life for a project like this.

But I'm wondering if I could do something like this to fund about 2 years on the mission field in Ukraine?  I'm thinking of starting with something pretty big...like an antique breakfast table with some sentimental history behind it?

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Being thankful isn't all that easy

Being thankful isn't all that easy.  It should be.

Actually...there's no way I can go through a day without thinking of multiple reasons to be thankful.

But as I go through my days supposedly with an "eye out" for something I'm especially thankful for (see my last blog) I find that I have days like today.  Days when the enemy's voice seems especially louder or clearer.

Of course I'm thankful for the air I breathe.  A warm house to sleep in and a big fluffy blanket and comfortable bed.  I'm pretty thankful right this second for high speed internet.  Heck  I'm thankful for Direct TV.  I'm thankful for "My Utmost For His Highest" and for more Bible's in my home than I could possibly need.

But then there's that dang stinkin' voice.  The one that tells me that the economy sucks and I really don't have a "home church" anymore and I don't really have much of a support base and I might not be able to raise funds to go back overseas.

See where my mind's been today?

Cognitively I know God my Provider can meet my needs.  He's done it over and over again in my life.  I've seen Him do it just in the last week in lives of some friends.  He can meet my needs too.  Lord, forgive me for my unbelief and

thank you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


It's not always easy being thankful.

Today I listened to two great podcasts from one of my favorite preachers/communicators.  Ben Stuart leads "Breakaway"- a small college Bible study at Texas A & M that reaches SEVERAL thousand students every Tuesday night.  You know how they do everything big in Texas, right?

Anyway, he did two sermons in November about living in Community from 1 Thessalonians.  His last message focused on being "thankful".

He shared some remarkable statistics just about the health benefits of being a thankful person.  One study of 100 students at the University of Miami ...1/3 were told to make a list of 5 things each week they were thankful for, 1/3 made a list of 5 annoying things (complaining), and 1/3 just listed "happenings".  At the end of 10 weeks the students who counted their blessings had better grades and a better outlook on life.

The US Air Force Survival Training Program trains people to remember 2 numbers.  98.6- Core Temperature is very important.  And 3.  They say you will die if you don't get air within 3 minutes.  You can last 3 days with out water and 3 weeks without food.  You'll only last 3 months with love and attention.  But the most important 3 was 3 seconds.   You can't go 3 seconds without a positive outlook.  You're as good as dead without it.  Not an "unrealistic" outlook...but a positive- thankful- grateful- outlook.

So...a lot of friends do a 365 Album on Facebook or on their blog.  A picture a day.  Sometimes with commentary, sometimes not.

I'm doing one called Rejoice 365.  I'm going to try and post a picture and some brief commentary everyday about something I'm thankful for that day.  I need to.  I need to count my blessings because despite whatever "hell" I sometimes feel like I've been through God is still on His throne and He's never ceased to be good to me even though, outside of His grace and mercy, I don't deserve it.

I might post some of them to my blog...maybe a weekly re-cap.  We'll see.

By the way... check out Ben Stuart...you can download sermons from the website or on Itunes (http://breakawayministries.org/home).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I blogged.  Just like I couldn't believe it last night when I clicked on my blogsite and discovered that my webhost subscription had expired and my blogsite wasn't even up!  Fornutaely it's renewed for another year now...which seems especially appropriate seeing as how it's a "new" year!

So what's up?  New Year's Resolutions?  I haven't even thought about it.

A friend today said something about "how you bring in the new year is how you'll spend the new year".  If that's the case, I expect to sit in a recliner on my butt a lot.  I was with good friends and we had lots of good food...and we had fun playing Wii but mostly we sat around like old folks and watched the Weather Channel.  Wait.  I'm a lot closer to old folks now than I am to young folks!

I got to visit with a friend from Ukraine today.  Natasha just moved to the States to attend college in Texas.  We talked about my latest endeavor- which is (drum roll):

I am now a Missionary-in-Training with International Teams.  I will spend about 5 weeks in Chicago later this month and next in training/orientation.  I expressed to my friend that I'm really concerned about raising support.  The economy isn't what it used to be and frankly, my support base is dwindled. It's been 4 years now since I was on a church staff and had any kind of "home church" stability.  I've lived out-of-the-country more in the last 4 years than I have in-country.  But here's the thing: It's in God's hand right?  The doors seem to be opening for me to return to Ukraine (more or less indefinitely)- I have my mission appointment, I have some early expressions of financial support.  Why would God give me the opportunity without taking care of the support part?

One thing is certain: If I return to Ukraine it will be a God-thing.  Nothing I can take credit for and I think that's the way to go this New Year...or any year.