Thanks to all my friends and family for the many prayers. I could not have asked for a better bunch of people for the year that God presented to me in 2011. 2011 was a learning experience for me and God made it as smooth as possible and we learned to trust Him more than ever.
For those of you who may not know, I had left a full-time pastoral position which I was serving for 5 years. Some things had happened that I could have controlled better and I learned of some things that I could have learned earlier. But overall, I keep in my mind, that everything happens for a reason and God obviously didn’t see me fit for it. So for half of 2011, I spent much time in prayer and immense drowning of myself in His Word. Throughout 2010, God had put on my heart to GO more into the world to preach His Word. This was not doable as I had a responsibility to my church first to preach. As 2011 came around, God was pulling MORE on my heart. In July 2011 – December 2011, God had me GOING somewhere at least once a month somewhere to preach His Word.
He had me in Spicewood, Texas in July for a Deaf Teen Camp serving as a counselor and worship leader. He had me in Knoxville, Tennesse in August for a Deaf Revival & Concert. He had me inOak Grove, Kentucky in September for a Deaf Revival. He had me in Clarksville, Tennessee in October for a concert. He had me in Glen Rose, Texas in November consulting and pastoral support for many in attendance. He had me in Danville, Kentucky & Phoenix, Arizona in December for Deaf Revival. On top of all of that, God opened up opportunities for video projects and guest preaching opportunities locally and in state. Do I know the meaning of IDLE hands? Apparently not. God has had me busy ever since.
2012 will present me and my family with a newer beginning and new challenges. The challenges being where to go and what to do when I get there. Of every place that we have gone to serve, we have helped alot of married couples. Is God asking us to focus more on marriage mentoring? That is a challenge I am willing to pray upon. Every place that we have gone to serve, we have helped alot of parents with children disciplining. Is God asking us to focus more on this area as well? That is a challenge I am willing to pray upon. There are also times where I have had to sit with the pastor for mentoring, support, and listening to their issues. Is God telling me to focus MORE on this area too? I see this as a MUST because pastors nowadays are burning out, as I did from my previous church. It becomes hard when a deaf pastor seeks out another deaf pastor and it becomes hard to serve fervently. It also depends on the pastor’s CORE group, people to depend on for prayer and support. If that is not there, then the pastor will fall into burnout more effectively. But the pastor has to SEEK out support, not expect it to come to him.
2012 is going to become busy once again. Of the twelve months, I have 9 months secured that involves serving 9 concerts, attending 3 conferences, preaching 5 Deaf Revivals, performing 2 weddings, teaching 2 Leadership Retreats, and above all, seeing old friends again that I haven’t seen in a long time. On top of all of that, there are still some pending which I will update as soon as I know some information. Whats more exciting is that I have several things planned for 2013 as well. God is opening doors that I never realized would open before.
So what does 2012 hold for me locally in Louisville, KY? I am now attending my former church, Valley View Church. This church has ALWAYS been home to me, even when I was serving elsewhere as a Deaf pastor. I am thankful for the things I have learned along my journey and the people that I have met. At this time, I have no intention to do any kind of leadership role at my church. I am more relaxed to just be sitting and being fed spiritually. The worship there at Valley View is what first inspired me to get into worship leading. The leaders of the Deaf ministry now are wonderful people and they know they have my support and expertise to help in any way. We are hosting three Deaf social events this year which is exciting. I am loving what the Lord is doing for me and my family at Valley View where we can just come in, sit, relax, and not have to take care of any “dramas.” There have been several who have come to me asking if I was going to start a Sunday School class but I have declined because I want it to be God’s time, not mine. Its hard to say NO, when you want to say YES. But the Lord will bless those who are patient. And I know He is blessing me with the rest time to focus on other things now.
Family wise, all three of my kid are in basketball now. I am assistant coaching both of my girls in their teams at church. The color of their team is HOT PINK, my favorite color! TJ, my son, is about 6 weeks away from his basketball season being over. They are currently 9-7 now. He has been a monster on the boards. Averaging about 14 rebounds a game. He also averages about 5 blocks per game too. Points wise, the most he has had is 18 but he focuses so much on finding the open man when defenders run to him. That happens when you are big and tall boy at 6 foot 9. I have enjoyed the freedom of being about to go to my kids games, coach them, and driving them around for practices. Its been a boost in my moral as a father.
Mandi and I are great. We are going on our 18th year married. Can’t beleive it. We have had 15 years in ministry together through DeafTeen Quest, Deaf Cafe, Valley View, Southeast, and now with 212jam. And we honestly can say, the best is yet to come. We have so MUCH enjoyed getting out, meeting people, traveling with or without the kids to different places, and just serving Him the best we know how. But overall, we take care of each other first. We both know that if we can’t take care of each other, its impossible to take care of others.
So please continue to pray for us, the ministry, the traveling, and the places that we go. If you want to know where we are going in 2012, you can view my ministry’s website at www.212jam.org and check out the page called “Calender / Events”. May the Lord bless you and keep watch over you always!