Summer Updates of 2012

Awesomeness”  Thats the word I would use to describe this past summer and all that God has done through me, my family, and the 212jam ministry that He has blessed me with. I wanted to take the time to go into each ministry opportunity and explain what was done, and what the results were.

Kentucky Baptist Conference of the Deaf was in Campbellsville, Kentucky at the Campbellsville University on June 8-10th. It was my first time back since 2006. I was asked to lead worship music for the weekend. It was great to worship with old friends again. I got to have a real heart-to-heart talk with several Deaf pastors while there. Me and my wife, Mandi attended alone and it was a great opportunity for us to “minister” to other “pastor & wife” teams.  Brother Ricky Milford of Alabama did a splended job on presenting the message on “Each One – Reach One” challenging each one of us to reach one person and spend extra time with that one person to train and mentor in the Lord. I came home with a passion to do so and began exploring ideas on how to help the conference to improve. I also had a burden for the Youth in our conference. So for next year, I will be volunteering to take care of our Youth in next year’s program.

Masters Hands For Christ Deaf Church on June 15-16 in Swartz Creek, Michigan was the first Deaf Revival of the summer. John Bielien was the pastor who invited me. I knew him and his group from the Deaf Cafe years and we bonded greatly through mentoring and constant communication through the years. The church was very friendly and took care of us well. We stayed in a house right next door to the Deaf church which was awesome. The purpose of the Revival was to teach “committment” to several things: (1) Follow (2) pray (3) Worship (4) Build.  I also did a 212jam Concert as well.  All of these (except Sunday morning’s worship) was behind the Deaf church under a tent.  So in retrospective, I had my first ever tent revival, YAY! We left with the knowledge that relationships were strengthened and committments had been renewed. Praise God!

Southern Baptist Conference of the Deaf was held in Bolivar, Missouri on July 22-27. Me and my wife attended only with the purpose to create new networking opportunities and to reunite with old friends. Workshops were provided throughout the week but only attended two of them which interest me. One was focused on the future of Deaf Ministry work. The other was on ASL Music. I had set up a booth for my 212jam ministry and it create new opportunities for ministry elsewhere. I had many come to me for needs for different areas. This was also the place where I had my first ever music video made on campus. Awesome!  We left with a burden as well to seek out ways to improve the conference and to pray to God where we can help within it. I also volunteered my time for 3 years to help with the Youth there as well. Being immature at heart for 3 more years shouldn’t be too hard, smile!

In His Hands Deaf Ministry @ Crosspointe Church of Nazarene in Salisbury, Maryland on August 3-5 was a one of a kind opportunity. This was a Leadership Retreat focused fully on PRAYER. There was about 15 or so in the group and we learned how to pray, who to pray for, and why to pray. We did team-building exercises that everyone seem to enjoy. I did a mini-concert with 4 songs to help lead the last segment into a deeper prayer focus time. We closed off with teams of two praying for pages of prayer requests that I had collected from the weeks before. I had noticed the people became prayer-warriors after reading these pages and learning that people out in our community are in need of a Healer. It was a heart-changing experience for many, including myself. At the sunday morning service, I handed each person a wooden block. The wooden block represented something in our lives that we needed to let go and let God take care of it. It was great to see many confessions come out of it and much renewal in the Lord happened. Later that evening, the pastor and his family treated us to an evening at Ocean City, Maryland which was beyond beautiful.

Liberty Deaf Camp was held in Madison, Ohio from August 12-17th. Me, Mandi, and my three kids attended the camp. I was honored to pastor the camp all week which consisted of about 180 people all week. The theme was “Focus On God” and I used various scriptures from a guideline that the camp gave me. By Tuesday Night, the Lord started working on the hearts of these young kids. Decisions were made little by little to follow the Lord. Three important words that was taught and reminded all week on how to Focus On God (1) Be Action (2) Be Strong (3) Be Example.  Wednesday evening, I had shared my personal testimony which impacted the evening. Many came forward to express their need for a Healer, their need for forgiveness, and their need to express a similiar testimony. God really worked that evening!  Thursday brought together 41 total decision: 21 decisions for salvation, 9 rededications, and 11 baptisms. Of the 11 baptisms…one of them was my daugther, Kamayla (August 16, 2012) will forever be a special day as I baptized her that evening.  We left camp with a joyfyl feeling and look forward to seeing God’s work more in the future.

God has done some extremely awesome stuff this summer through 212jam.  I look forward to seeing more of His Work soon.  May the Lord bless you and your ministry as well, as you continue to serve Him!

2012 – New Year, New Beginnings, New Challenges

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!

Notes from Deaf Men’s Conference 2011

Me and about 18 other guys traveled to Glen Rose, Texas on November 3-6th. I look forward to this conference every year and it always empowers me and challenges me every year that I go. It challenges me to better myself as a man, as a father, as a husband, and as a servant of God. I urge each and every Deaf man to go next year if you are able to.

This year’s them was “REWIRED” from Romans 12:2 which had a lineup of four spectacular ministers. Chad Entinger (Iowa), Rick McClain (Alabama), Jeff Jackson (California), and Chip Penland (Tennessee). The worship leader this year was Josh Bonjour (Texas).

Below are the notes I took from the conference. It was mentioned that 5 people asked Jesus to be their personal Savior, and several rededicated themselves. One of the ones who rededicated themselves was my younger Deaf brother, Kevin. Praise the Lord!

Friday’s Notes by Chad Entinger:

Romans 12:2 says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your  mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

When we think of the word “TRANSFORMED“  we think of the illustration of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

There is a Greek word that I want to teach you tonight, it is called “metamorphoo” which basically means “change

The most popular “changing” story in the Bible would be the transformation of Saul in Acts 9:1-22 (later called to be witness for Christ as Paul)

Later that evening, Chad presented a garbage can for us to write down our sins or struggles that are preventing us from “transforming” our minds and our lives. When we pray on those “sins or struggles”, we throw them away into the garbage can.

Saturday Morning’s Notes by Rick McClain:

Romans 12:2 says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your  mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are two thingks that Paul wants us to do:  (1) Act a certain way (2) Live a certain life

How do we do those two things?  (1) Offer your body as a living sacrifice (2) Be transformed by renewing of you minds

Problem with the renewing of our minds is tough as a man! Why? Becasue we have “ELEVATOR EYES”

When a beautiful woman comes by, we tend to scope her body up and down with our eyes. Don’t tell me you don’t do it. All men do it!

1 Corinthians 6:20 mentions for us to do “transforming’ NOW!  “For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”

The problem is… many of us go to church as hyprocrites.  We cannot go to church and worship and then come out of church acting as a worldly person.

It all comes down to one simple challenge ” YOUR WORSHIP WITHIN THE CHURCH MUST MATCH YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH”

Later, Rick challenged us with an illustration of a nicely decorated plate of breakfast food which represented our worship, holy and acceptable. And then moved on to throw the plate of food into a garbage can lid which was dirty and stinky, which represented our life, which is NOT holy and acceptable.

Saturday evening notes by Jeff Jackson:

Want us to look back to Genesis 3:9-10 where Adam failed to do 4 things:

  1. He failed to provide for Eve
  2. He failed to protect Eve
  3. He failed to teach Eve (provide wisdom)
  4. He failed to connect (provide love)

I have been part of the prison ministry for many years. I visit often to the prision in our state of California in our area. Many Deaf people are there and do not have many visitors.

I found out that 80% of the crimes that Deaf people did in that California prison, are sex-related (rape, sexual abuse, molestiation, sodomy)

I also found out that of that number, 98% of them grew up WITHOUT a father role model. They learned from wrong people, copied the wrong model, and got into trouble.

Later, Jeff challenged us to pray for ourselves to become better fathers and husbands. We took the Lord’s Supper together and many people came forward for prayer.

Sunday morning notes from Chip Penland:

“Boys to Men” was the theme of his message

There are three groups that I want to talk about:  (1) BOYS  (2) MEN  (3) BANS

What is a BAN?  A BAN is a “so-called” man who is stuck between boyhood and manhood.

Video gaming companies use statistics for ages who purchase their games, play, etc. The ages of 12-18 there is 45% of gamers. The ages of 20-35, there is 55% of gamers.  Imagine that?

BANS are like modern men who are:

  1. less educated
  2. unemployed and trying to find a job
  3. fathering children OUTSIDE of marriage
  4. less religious
  5. video gamers, sports freak, sit w/ other men instead of with family, church, etc

BANS are like barbarians who are:

  1. worship sports more than God
  2. exercise addict. more focused on body than spirit
  3. dresses sloppy
  4. has a big EGO about himself
  5. does not respect women
  6. is always lazy, doesnt want to serve or help
  7. is not organized

BANS are like wimps who are:

  1. addicts to videogames
  2. loves to shop alone or with groups
  3. is more of a loner
  4. looks for pity and sympathy

BANS are in churches too, how?

  1. Churches have more women leaders than men
  2. Mothers and kids go to church, but the dad stays home
  3. leadership teams are led by women

Church cannot survive with wimps, barbarbians and BANS. We need more GODLY men!

We have too many men in the churches who are “extra-sensitive”  they use excuses to miss church or to not serve. God did not make you to be easily offended by others. God wants you to take it like a MAN!

“MAN- UP!” is what we should do or tell each other!   (In Texas, the phrase is “COWBOY-UP!”)

A REAL MAN needs to be RUNNERS:

  1. run from temptation and sin
  2. run AFTER God’s righteouness, godliness, faithfulness, and love, patience (Proverbs 15:9)

If we do not RUN…we will become FAT. Same as training…we train for a marathon…if we do not train for church, we will become FAT and lazy and wont do anything for God at all.

A REAL MAN needs to be a FIGHTER:

  1. fight and wrestle and struggle and suffer for Christ
  2. we need to grab opportunities for God to witness to others

A REAL MEN nneds to be a GUARDIAN:

  1. to KEEP guard of the Gospel and for each other.
  2. to watch over, even if noone is watching over you, you STILL watch over others.

Problem is…too many men use excuses..”well he never calls me,he never checks on me”  Do you check on him? Do you call him?”

Is not about YOU…its about Jesus!  Did Jesus use excuses like that?  No, so you shut up and do what the Lord asks you to do!

How do we become a REAL MAN!

  1. Prayer (for your pastor, for your leaders, for those who are in need, and enemies too)
  2. Bible (read it, dont just have your reading time during the pastor’s preaching)
  3. Faithful Worship (get involved in a church and DO something for them)
  4. Mentor Other Men (Mentoring other men to be godly. Accept criticism and accept help. You are not always RIGHT!)

In closing, Chip challenged us to be a MAN when we go home. To be a real man and to do what God expects of us!

LIFE Deaf Youth Camp 2011 video

Here is a movie I put together from my weekend at the LIFE Deaf Youth Camp in Spicewood, Texas. All of the pictures & video clips by the New Life Fellowship Group. The movie is less than 10 minutes long which consists of pictures and a couple of video clips from the music and drama that we used in the camp. Enjoy!