Giving My Summer Away ...
What follows is an email that was initially written to Tom Miller, the
staff HR representative that is directly responsible for the interns. I
asked him questions, then marked in his responses and forwarded the email to
my parents. As far as getting across my intentions for the internship,
and understanding what got me to that point where I was willing to commit to
it, little could do more to reveal things than the following actual letter
written on February 27, 2002 to my parents first introducing them to the
idea. This entire email was written by myself (it is the exact
copy I sent my parents), though Tom Miller is paraphrased a few times.
I have no problems with posting it for you to read since it is all my work,
though it was personal at the time I wrote it. In fact, when I wrote it
I was crying tears of repentance and desire to give my all to God, in
remembrance of the life He has given me and the response of the rich young
ruler that I have given Him so often (Matthew 19:16-23). I hope you are
able to see the heart behind this ministry, better understand the motives
behind the internship, and are encouraged by the scriptures and their
application to my life as well as yours as outlined as follows ...
Hi Mom and Dad!
I wanted to pass along some information to you regarding what God is
doing in my life right now, and what I believe He is leading me to do
this summer. There are four requirements that I know God is placing on
my heart for how I spend my summer. I know first off that I need
experience in developing software or developing projects that I may
become better equipped for the marketplace if God leads me there after I
graduate. Secondly, I have committed to helping out at the AIA camp
this year in Greeley. There is no question in my mind but that I need
to be there- God is calling me to go and minister to them this summer.
The camp is during the last week of June. Thirdly, I know that I must
serve God this summer. Swimming got me in the nasty habit of not having
time to really devote myself to some major type of ministry over the
summer. Wherever I am, whatever else I do, I want to be: I need to be
stepping out of my comfort zone to help the 'least of these', and reach
people for God's kingdom. These are my personal requirements for how I
spend my summer. The fourth is that I honor you in my decision and that
I have your support in whatever I do. At the Life Options conference I
was presented with some radical truths from scripture that have been
rocking the way I look at my life. There are three scriptures in
particular that have been guiding me- it was 'not with persuasive words
or human wisdom ... but in the power of God' that has given me the
desires, visions, and hopes that I now hold. Here are the key
#1 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is
in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were
bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your
spirit, which are God's."
Too often I get my own dreams and ideas on where I need to be the rest
of my life. I use my knowledge as a growing college student to map out
exactly what my life will look like and how exactly my career will
advance. I am not unwise as to how to market myself or develop myself
into a successful computer scientist and make money to provide for
myself. My problem is that I feel I am holding my life too tightly in
my hands, and not leaving options open that may come with a cost. I
feel that I am not as trusting in God as I should be. I am in no way
whatsoever advocating doing anything stupid and then trusting God to
provide for me (I know that what Andrea and Jason are doing hurts), on
the contrary, I know that I must remain diligent in my studies and trust
that God will first guide me, and then provide for me (rather than I
guide myself and God cover for me). My life- every last aspect, the
last breath I took- all belong to God. I cannot cling on to what is not
mine and I MUST be willing to follow where He leads me. Otherwise, who
am I living for and for what purpose?
#2 Matthew 16:24-26
"Then Jesus said to His disciples 'If anyone desires to come after me,
let him first deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For
whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he
gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul?"
This scripture is pretty straight forward and lies straight in line with
the above passage. I did not learn this one at conference- God has
continually thrust this one into my mind in the time I have spent with
#3 James 4:13-15
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a
city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit'; whereas you
do not know what will happen tomorrow.
*** For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a
little time and then vanishes away. ***
Instead, you ought to say 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do
this or that.'"
This is another passage that emphasizes God's control in our lives.
Even more striking about this passage is the comparison of life to a
vapor. A vapor goes by quick! With these scriptures being brought to
my attention by God, I am no fool- I want God to direct my life
completely and let Him have all the short time in my life- however He so
desires. I will being going into full-time ministry, either by going
into the market place, making a living, supporting the church, and
ministering in the areas God has placed me in, or I shall go into the
ministry as a vocation. Either way, I don't know what the future holds,
but it is not I who hold it and I leave it in His hands. What I do know
is that withholding from Him what is His is a horrific idea and every
second has just become valuable in my eyes- as it is precious, not mine,
and a possible moment I could be doing something for God's glory. With
this being said, please know that I have resolved that wherever I go,
whatever I do- I will live modestly, giving much and taking only what I
need- with the ultimate goal of being a good steward of what God has
loaned to me. Neither of these two career paths is better- the only
thing that matters is that I take the road God leads me down. I feel
God is leading me down a path for this summer, so please prayerfully
consider and examine this and my heart with an open mind...
Forwarded here is an email I sent to a man named Tom Miller who is in
charge of recruiting interns for Josh McDowell Ministries. Marked with
a --> are his responses (and my thoughts about them) which he gave to me
later by phone.
I love you so much and ask for your support and guidance in this.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Summer Internship
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 15:16:50 -0600
From: Nathan Rice <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi Mr. Miller,
My name is Nathan Rice and I met you at the Crusade Life Options
Retreat in Dallas this weekend, where you talked to me about a summer
internship possibility. I believe this would be a tremendous
opportunity for me in all areas but I have some questions that need to
be answered. There are some demands God has placed on my heart as to
how I spend my summer, and I need to find out if a summer internship
with JMM would satisfy these conditions. They are as following...
1. I am not sure if I am called into full-time vocational ministry, and
I am a Computer Scientist, so I must be able to gain life experience
working with computers and using my God-given talents in this area to
benefit your ministry. I have already been using them to build my own
apologetic website, www.seekthetruth.net (please check it out and let me
know what you think about it!). I know that God is calling me to use
my specific gifting to help him, and if I would be to forsake this path
(even for a summer) I would be acting against His will. I have attached
my resume so you know exactly what kind of capabilities I have as a near
graduate in Computer Science.
-->JMM (Josh McDowell Ministries) is currently building a major
apologetic website that will proclaim God's Truth to many nations as it
is in 7 different languages. I have been in contact with desperate
seekers all over the world through my website, desiring truth to combat
the materialism ruling over Europe, and Indonesia- the world is crying
out for answers and for the truth. I am so happy about what God has
done with seekthetruth.net, and to know that it is reaching people
across the nations. This website will reach thousands of times more
people than I could ever reach with seekthetruth.net. I would have the
opportunity to, through what talents and passions God has given me,
reach millions. The technical staff at JMM is overwhelmed and that is a
reason that they are extremely interested in recruiting me to intern
with them over the summer. That is a driving reason why I believe God
is leading me to do this.
2. I have committed to help (as a counselor and as praise and worship
leader) at an Athletes in Action swimming camp in Greeley in late (I
think for a week) June. I need to be able to schedule everything else
around that, and keep my promise to them.
--> No problem, JMM understands this and it will not interfere with
their needs or plans
3. My parents have a lot of hesitations about going into an internship
where I am not paid. I do live in the Dallas area, so I would not have
to raise as much support, and I am willing to raise support as well as
forsake the money I could be making somewhere else at a computer firm.
I will not dishonor my parents (they are both godly and wise), so they
must support me as I look to them for guidance and wisdom.
--> They would love to speak with you, meet with you, hear your concerns
and field your questions. Additionally, I mentioned the possibility of
touring their facilities with you alongside over Spring Break. Mr.
Miller thought that was a great idea. I believe their main office is in
Garland. I am not concerned about raising support- my faith is in God.
If He wills it, I will have the financial support to go. I am not
asking you for support. You have given me so much already.
Additionally, I can work teaching lessons all summer and earn some
spending cash on top of what I already have. Money is a non-issue for
me, in light of what else I could experience. God will provide.
4. I must be serving God to the extreme in sharing my faith, making a
difference in the surrounding communities (maybe through actual contact
or through a website / computers), not simply being put in a situation
where I am learning. If I am to give my summer up, I want to be thrust
out of my comfort zone and be put in situations where I am living fully
for God and 100% relying on Him- not simply being trained.
--> JMM will be going to Russia at the end of July to minister to the
people there. They will come alongside an already established church
and bring in tons of supplies to give to the needy there, opening new
doors for the church. I spoke with a Russian friend here (he is not
even a Christian, but has been helping missionaries) and he said there
is no better place to take the Gospel right now because of their extreme
hunger for the Word. Additionally, they will be doing several
ministries in the Dallas area, and there was mention (after they saw my
website) that I might (probably?) even be asked to do some research for
them! I think that this is a tremendous ministry opportunity, one I do
believe that God is leading me to commit to. But I will not dishonor
you in my decision. Please keep this in prayer.
I do not mean in any way to put demands on you or the ministry you
are involved in. God laid these on my heart, so I in turn must pass
them on to anyone I would seriously consider interning with. I feel
that this could be an incredible opportunity for me to serve God, but
only if it is in His will. I have read and own a few Josh McDowell
books (as well as this list...
http://webpages.acs.ttu.edu/narice/sources.html ; just to name a few)
and highly respect him and would think it a dream come true to be a
contributor to the ministry and what you all are doing. God has gifted
me in the area of prophecy, so naturally I love to proclaim God's Truth.
I think that logically if I were able to be plugged into the ministry
and use my gifts as God has given them to me, this would be an
incredible opportunity for me to come alongside you and work with you to
touch lives. I have done a little research on your website, but there
are so many questions I think only you could answer and I'd like to ask
you directly. Thank you so much for your time and I will keep your
ministry in prayer that God may bless you and your efforts.
(I just recently interviewed for associate staff with Campus Crusade for
Christ, so perhaps you may pull up or ask for results from that to guide