Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Victory in Jesus Christ

The other day, I came across this video about Team Hoyt, I was incredibly inspired by it's story. I realized that I can’t do everything myself, but I know God can help me to do the impossible things. A quick note before I further discuss the story. At birth, Rick Hoyt was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. If you haven't watched the video, please take few minutes to watch a powerful and inspiring story. Click on arrow button if need to turn on the "CC" feature to read the subtitles on the video. Here's an excerpt from their Team Hoyt website (www.teamhoyt.com):

"In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

This realization was just the beginning of what would become over 1,000 races completed, including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (6 of them being Ironman
competitions). Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days.

In a triathlon, Dick will pull Rick in a boat with a bungee cord attached to a vest around his waist and to the front of the boat for the swimming stage. For the biking
stage, Rick will ride a special two-seater bicycle, and then Dick will push Rick in his custom made running chair (for the running stage).

Rick was once asked, if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, "The thing I'd most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once."

The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt's 1000th race. Rick always says if it comes down to doing one race a year he would like it to be the Boston Marathon: his favorite race. Dick Hoyt hopes that he is able to push Rick in the Boston Marathon when he is 70 years old (2011)! Neither Dick or Rick are ready to retire yet."

In the video, you'll see the son, Rick, asked his father, Dick, to help him run, swim, and ride the bike to the finish-line. You know, this particular video applies everything to what we believe in Operation Jesus Christ Deaf Ministries. Please allow me share with you some verses from the Bible as an analogy as I want to illustrate my views with Operation JC Deaf Ministries:

The RUNNING RACES with Operation JC Deaf Ministries:
"You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win" ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NCV)

"You were running a good race. Who stopped you from following the true way?" ~ Galatians 5:7 (NCV)

"You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and won." ~ Philippians 2:16 (NCV)

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." ~ 2 Timothy 4:7 (NCV)

(Following Jesus's Examples): "We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back." ~ Hebrews 12:1 (NCV)

The several verses above should inspire all of us to work hard for Jesus Christ. Sometimes we think we can’t do it, but we must realize our Father who in Heaven WILL help us. All we have to do is ask our Father to help us.

The SWIMMING RACE with Operation JC Deaf Ministries:
"Water flooded the earth for forty days, and as it rose it lifted the boat off the ground. The water continued to rise, and the boat floated on it above the earth. The water rose so much that even the highest mountains under the sky were covered by it. It continued to rise until it was more than twenty feet above the mountains. All living things that moved on the earth died. This included all the birds, tame animals, wild animals, and creatures that swarm on the earth, as well as all human beings. So everything on dry land that had the breath of life in it died. God destroyed from the earth every living thing that was on the land—every man, animal, crawling thing, and bird of the sky. All that was left was Noah and what was with him in the boat. And the waters continued to cover the earth for one hundred fifty days." ~ Genesis 7:17-24 (NCV)

"Seven days, later he sent the dove out again, but this time it did not come back. When Noah was six hundred and one years old, in the first day of the first month of that year, the water was dried up from the land. Noah removed the covering of the boat and saw that the land was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the land was completely dry." ~ Genesis 8:12-14 (NCV)

(Jesus Walks on the Water) - "Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone. By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it. Between three and six o'clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, "It's a ghost!" and cried out in fear. But Jesus quickly spoke to them, "Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid." Peter said, "Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water." Jesus said, "Come." And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, "Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind became calm. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, "Truly you are the Son of God!" ~ Matthew 14:22-33(NCV)

Dick carried his son, Rick, on a little boat from the land into the water. They raced into the more deep ends of the water, then came around and back to the land. Rick could not swim on his own, however he was taken cared very well by his father. God will carry us through difficult times. Like the story of Noah and the Ark, God destroyed the Earth, structures and every living creatures. All what was left was Noah and whatever was with him in the boat, Ark. However, God took cared of Noah, his family, and the animals because they had faith in God. All the bad things happening in the world right now makes us worry, become stressful, afraid, and wanted to give up. God will protect us and lift us up if we trust in Him. When Peter walked to Jesus on the water, he became worried and afraid. Suddenly, he sank into water and Jesus quickly grabbed his hand, pulled Peter out of the water. Jesus said "Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?" That verse made me realize we do not need to worry about economic crisis and all the chaos going on in the world today. We just need to trust Jesus above everything. It's like a little mustard seed of faith that can move a mountain! Let Jesus fight for you and all of us! Trust the Lord, Jesus Christ and his POWER.

The BIKE RACE with Operation JC Deaf Ministries:
"Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and Truth, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider's mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: 'KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.'" ~ Revelation 19:11-16 (NCV)

Imagine seeing Jesus Christ on the White Horse fighting our enemies and prevail for us. Jesus will defeat our enemies with His powerful words coming out of his mouth. We will see victory through Jesus Christ (Father). Our victory to the finish line! We will win the races! Nothing is impossible with God. In the video, the father saw the finish line and pushed his son to victory. Rick, the son, was so proud and excited even before the finish line. The Son said "I CAN do through my Father."

The son can't run but his father can, he can't swim but his father can, he can't bike but his father can. The father can do it all, but he can't compete without his son. They just can't do it ALONE, however, they CAN do it TOGETHER all the way to finish line!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Continue to pray for us and the Operation JC Deaf Ministries. God Bless you all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What Should be the Focus of Christians on Thanksgiving?

The original thanksgiving celebration was held by the Pilgrim settlers in Massachusetts during their second winter in America in December, 1621. The first winter had killed 44 of the original 102 colonists. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn apiece, but then an unexpected trading vessel arrived, swapping them beaver pelts for corn, providing for their severe need. The next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that December 13, 1621, be set aside as a day of feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive.

These Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom and opportunity in America, gave thanks to God for His provision for them in helping them find 20 acres of cleared land, for the fact that there were no hostile Indians in that area, for their newfound religious freedom, and for God’s provision of an interpreter to the Indians in Squanto...READ MORE

Question of the Week by www.gotquestions.org

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Me, Me, Me" by DT Quest

A DeafMusic song composed by Lisa Frey Barrick and performed by Stacy Wildes and Chris McGaha. Produced by Deaf Teen Quest (DTQuest), a ministry of Youth for Christ in partnership with DeafYouth Ministries.

"Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened." ~ Matthew 7: 7-8 (NCV)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How Great Thou Art

An absolutely beautiful ASL music video, "How Great Thou Art", performed by Rev. Ronaldo of Grace Bible Church out of Tampa, FL.

"I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music." ~ Psalm 101:1

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letter from the President...

Hello my Christan brothers and sisters,

Please allow me to share from the bottom of my heart about the deaf people who are lost in the secular world. According to a study, 98% of over 300 million deaf people in the world claimed to be NOT Christians. It's a mind-blowing percentage. What an incredible field to minister. I often have this question that keeps pondering in my head, "How do we reach these Deaf non-Christians and get them to come to Jesus Christ?"

In the hearing world, more people than Deaf have many opportunities to hear the gospel about Jesus Christ through radio, TV, churches, friends, blogs, and social networking. Unlike many of us in the Deaf communities, we live our lives visually. We don't have the luxury to listen to Christian shows or sermons on the radio, podcast or audiobooks. Only few churches broadcast their services on television captioning or subtitles. Praise the Lord to the churches that provide captions on TV. We at Operation JC Deaf Ministries pray everyday that God would touch their hearts. On the other hand, somehow and some way, we need push to bring Deaf people to Jesus Christ by providing more accommodations and services locally, nationally and internationally. We would love to see technology become more accessible and available to the Deaf communities so they can SEE the wonderful messages of Jesus Christ.

With the rise in popularity of the internet, video sharing via online have exploded in the past few years. More churches are sharing their sermon videos on their websites and networking sites than ever. Yet, the majority of the videos rarely have subtitles made available to the Deaf. We recently discovered that a technology is being in the process of developed by Google to provide captioning through "Transcript Audio" technology where it would detect the recording voices and translate it into subtitles. What a marvel technology. What if we implement that technology with all of the church service videos being uploaded into the internet? I'm pretty sure at least 90% of the Deaf population in the United States have access to TV or internet one way or the other. We're in the time where we'll have access to everything through smart phones such as iPhones, Blackberry's and Droids. Nothing is impossible with God.

One of my frustrations is many churches do not know how to embrace the Deaf communities in their area. Many Deaf people don't go to church because churches in their area do not have services or accommodations for the Deaf. Churches open many doors for to Hispanic communities. Why not open more doors to the Deaf communities to come to their local churches? Many schools are now providing accommodations for the Deaf Culture. Many of them are also now offering ASL Sign Language courses as their foreign language to the hearing communities. What's wrong with the picture here? Don't get me wrong, I am not against hearing people wanting to learn sign language. It makes our lives easier when we can communicate with the hearing world. However, I feel like Deaf communities are being heavily ignored. Where's our compassion for the Deaf non-Christians? We, Christian brothers and sisters, and churches are responsible to provide outreach program to the Deaf communities in their area. If it's done the right way, many people will be surprised how "thirsty" Deaf people wants to know more about Jesus Christ. It may be easier said than done. It's one of the main reasons why we started Operation Jesus Christ Deaf Ministries. Operation JC Deaf Ministries can provide trainings and workshops for churches who are interested in learning more about the Deaf Culture and develop an outreach program to reach out to their Deaf communities.

Speaking of Deaf Missionaries, we need more of them  to go out in the fields worldwide to help establish Deaf outreach programs, plant new Deaf churches, and provide Deaf revivals to the countries that do not have the luxury or access to SEE the gospel of Jesus Christ. They need people like us to show them the wonderful stories of the Bible. It's another of our long list of goals with Operation JC Deaf Ministries, to go out on the mission fields to help spread God's Word. We're in the works of developing visual Bible and projection slide show to present them the stories of Jesus Christ visually. We have a talented deaf artist on staff that will be helping us put together incredible materials for the Operation JC Deaf Ministries. Several years ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Japan, Canada and Honduras. The experience was amazing, unimaginable and extraordinary. I cannot tell you enough how inspired I was to see so many Deaf non-believers converted to Christianity. God is good! With a lot of prayers, I feel God is calling me back to the mission fields to reach out and touch more non-believers. Our goal is to turn the 98% to Christianity before Jesus Christ arrives! Amen!

In conclusion, please help us at Operation Jesus Christ Deaf Ministries in praying for our Deaf brothers and sister to SEE Jesus Christ so they may accept Him as their Savior. Operation JC Deaf Ministries and God are at work. He wants us to go out and make Deaf disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I'll like to end this note with a wonderful verse from Matthew 9:37-38 ~ "Jesus said to his followers, “There are many people to harvest but only a few workers to help harvest them Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.”

God bless you all!

Pastor Andrew
President - Operation Jesus Christ Deaf Ministries

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Gap...

"Through Christ you believe in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave him glory. So your faith and your hope are in God." ~ 1 Peter 1:21

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Inspiration from the Chilean Miners Incident...

There were 33 Chilean miners trapped in that mine.
They were found in the 33rd week of the year.
It took 33 days to drill the passage to them.
They were rescued on 10/13/10, which equals 33 when added together.
To a man, they credit Jesus for sustaining them.
Jesus was crucified when he was how old??? ...33

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NCV)