I have been teaching a Deaf Bible study in the book of Revelation. I am thrilled as I see the mercy of God that continues all through the most difficult of tribulation times. However, the thought that continues to pop up in my mind is that I don’t want to see anyone I know to go through that time. It has reiterated to me again the importance of each time we share the Gospel in any form possible. Whether it is handing out a tract, or passing a word along in an email or Facebook post, or through a card, or face to face — each time we share the Gospel we are being obedient to the commission God has entrusted to us. This past week, one of our assistant pastors preached a message he titled, “Will you be ready?” He used words like “ready,” “watching,” “busy,” and “faithful.” I was reminded that I certainly want to be ready, watching, busy, and faithful in what I am doing to advance the cause of Christ. I don’t want to waste a moment, and I don’t want to miss an opportunity. I am hopeful that throughout this prayer letter you will be challenged and encouraged to be a part of what God is doing in your part of the world. Please pray for us to be faithful, but be active and faithful yourself. God gives each of us opportunities that will be unique to you. Don’t miss the chance to serve God and to watch Him change lives! It is so exciting for us each week to see God doing eternal business! Jump in and get involved while we have the opportunity
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM DR. TED CAMP
Is it possible to love someone you have never seen? Thomas said, “I will not believe until I see Him.” There is a saying, “Seeing is believing.” The Bible teaches that there is a difference in feelings, facts, and faith. Faith is believing it is true whether you can see it or not. Some say, “God said it and I believe it.” Well, it is true whether you believe it or not. Christian faith, trust, belief, and hope is based upon the absolute authority of the Word of God. My opinions and philosophies may change, but the Word of God never changes. A professor was referring to the Word of God and said, “There is nothing that absolute.” A student asked, “Are you absolutely sure?” The Word of God is the only authority, assurance, and absolute from God. Well, is it possible to love someone you have never seen? I read the story of a young boy, who was recently saved at church. He returned home and told his dad what had happened. He then said, “Dad, I want you also to be saved and go to Heaven with me.” The dad answered, “Son, I just cannot believe and love someone I have never met or seen.” The boy thought about this and later said. “Dad, mother died giving me birth and life. You have told me much about her. Dad, I have never seen mother, but I love her because she is my mother and she gave her life for me.” The dad bowed his head and said, “You are right son, I know that Jesus died to give me life. I have never seen or met Him, but I now see as you love your unseen mother, I need to also love Him. Son, I now give my heart and love to Him and ask Him to also be my Savior.” Peter said, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (I Peter. 1:8). By faith Christians can see and know the Lord, and one day we will personally behold Him whom they have not seen. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). I am thankful that I am included in blessed are “they” that have not seen, and yet have believed. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2). Believing is seeing and one day seeing will be believing! Perhaps Today! Amen!
What God has done …
July 5 — I filled the pulpit at Cal- vary Bible Church in Phoenixville, PA. We saw 2 people saved!
July 6-10 — We taught Ad- vanced and Beginner classes for Sign Language at Grace of Calvary Baptist in Erie, PA. It was a blessing to see God working.
July 12 — We presented our work at First Baptist in Butler, PA. in both morning and afternoon services. We had a good opportunity to share the work.
July 14 — I had the privilege of preaching at Chester County Prison and we saw five ladies trust Christ.
July 17-19 — We taught the ba- sics of Deaf ministry at Trinity Baptist in Moscow, Maine. We had a great time with these folks, and saw one young man trust Christ.
July 26 — Terry taught the La- dies Sunday School class at our home church, Valley Forge Baptist Temple.
Aug 6-8 — We helped with American Sign Language Insti- tute and the Deaf Bible Conference at our home church—Valley Forge Baptist Temple with Jon and Diane Barr and Allen Snare. There were 108 in attendance from seven different states.
Aug 11 — I had the privilege of preaching at Chester County Prison and saw eleven ladies trust Christ.
Aug 17-19 — We attended and helped lead our SWM Missionary Retreat in Tennessee. We had a great time with our missionaries.
Aug 20-21 — We then spent two days with the Camps and Barrs planning for the future of SWM.
Aug 23 — I had the chance to preach at Graterford Prison in PA. The men were so hungry for the Word of God. It is a true blessing to share the Bible there!
Where we are going …
Sep 5 — We will hold a Fantastic Saturday meeting at Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple.
Sep 8 — I will be preaching at Chester County Prison.
Sep 13 — I will preach for the Fellowship of Christian Farmers in NJ.
Sep 15 — I will speak at High School Chapel for Valley Forge Baptist Academy
Sep 20 — We will present our work at Wakefield Bible Church in Westminster, MD.
Sep 26 — We will have a booth at the DeafNation Expo in Edi- son, NJ.
Sep 27 — I will preach at Camp Hill Prison near Gettysburg, PA.
Oct 8-10 — Terry will host and speak at the Deaf Ladies Re- treat in Valley Forge, PA.
Oct 13 — I will preach at Chester County Prison.
Oct 18-21 — We will be speaking at the Missions Conference for Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Prospect, PA.
Oct 24-25 — We will hold a Fantastic Saturday at Capitol City Baptist in Holt, MI with Allen Snare and Reed and Donna Condra.
Oct 31-Nov 1 — We will hold a Fantastic Saturday at Hope Baptist Church in Hanover, PA. with Allen Snare.
Thank you for praying for us.
Last month I had the opportunity to show some of my grandchildren where I went to school when I was their age. We walked up to the school, just like I did every morning. Wow! It did not seem very far, but when I was young, it seemed like a long walk.
They asked many questions … “Did you like school?” “What was your teachers name?” “Did you have a lot of friends?” “Did you cry when you had to go to school?” They were so precious. I look for- ward to the times that we have to- gether. My goal is to encourage them to do what is right daily in school, or at home. Time continues to go by so quickly. It seems like yesterday to me when I was in school, college, just married, start- ing our family, and now with grand- children. These are all the things that I dreamed about doing … God has richly blessed me.
I desire to “redeem the time” (Eph. 5:16). With my children and grandchildren. God has given me much, therefore, much is required from me. That is an awesome responsibility. By God’s grace and help I want to strive to teach my children and grandchildren the things that God has been teaching me (Deut. 6:7). I cherish the times we have together! God has been, and is so good to me! “Involve others in your ministry, it is good for both of you.” Ted Camp
Have you noticed the effect of one drop of water that lands in the center of a pot filled with water? It sends ripples of water to the edges of the pot in multiple rings. As I sit here at my desk, I have been reminded of the importance of many past and present friendships that God has allowed me to enjoy.
God has brought some of my past “teenagers” back into my life that are now grown up and have their own teenagers. What a blessing to have these young fathers talking to me about the challenges and blessings of raising their own children. I can remember the many years that I spent as a Youth Pastor thinking many times that I was failing, and that I was not having the impact on their lives that I desired.
I am reminded that the things I am doing today, regardless of how insig- nificant they may seem at the time, will leave a lasting impact into the future. This is true in a good sense, but it is also true of the mistakes I have made! I wish there were fewer mistakes and more successes!
I have found that it is very possible that I have learned more from my mistakes than I have from my suc- cesses. I have definitely learned that I need God’s grace and mercy more today than I ever have in the past!
I also have spent more time looking at the impact of others in my own life. I have found positive memories of past Sunday School teachers, Vacation Bible School lessons, children’s stories, and times when we were just “coasting” that have left some of the deepest footprints on my heart and life.
As I write this today, I reflect on a day eight years ago when we watched my mother step into Heaven. I am so thankful for the influence of a godly mother. I still remember eight years ago watching my mom breathe her last breath, and thinking about the time she knelt beside me at her bed- side helping me to trust Christ as my Savior! I thank God for her and my Dad!
Your influence may not seem that important or impressive to you, but you are making a difference! Please allow God to use your life! We will not regret the things we do to influence others for Him. We will regret missed opportunities for Him!
For the past year and a half, I have been involved in a project to provide Bible teaching for churches without a male Deaf leader. I began filming Bible Studies at that time, and have been privileged to teach through the entire book of Acts, and presently working through the book of Revelation.
Supporting churches have helped me purchase the necessary camera, lighting, and audio equipment to make these weekly Bible studies. As time has gone, and the need contin- ues to increase, I have sensed the need to purchase a MacBook Pro laptop so I can complete the filming process while on the road. The cost for this is about $1,300.
If God touches your heart for helping with this, you can give toward my “computer” fund. I would greatly appreciate your help with this. I thank God that we have seen these Bible Studies viewed by Deaf all over American and around the world! It is amazing to me how God has opened the door for this.
You can check out the videos by logging onto YouTube and typing “Jim Bracelin” in the search box. You will be able to see the videos we have produced to this point. This ministry has opened up the possibilities for reaching far beyond our physical limitations. Thanks for your help!
B R A C E L I N F A M I L Y N E W S
What is the greatest gift (other than love) that you can give your family? Is it a large retirement fund? Is it a house, or a car, or a good education? The an- swer to all the above is “no.” I believe one of the greatest things you can give your family is the gift of your time and attention. I was reminded of this when some of our grandchildren stayed over- night with us.
We were in our garage and the older girls found a baseball glove. We started throwing a ball back and forth. I thought they would become easily bored with this, but I was amazed with how long we threw the ball. These little girls were thrilled to learn how to throw and catch.
Really, I believe they were just glad to spend time together. We get so hung up on our schedules, and our plans that often we miss the value of time sitting next to one another or being together. I realized through this time with the kids that the greatest thing about the ball and glove were the people I was standing next to. The kids now come to the house asking if we can play baseball. What a blessing to have family that loves to be together. Don’t miss the opportunity to give the gift of time! They are precious and never return again!
Because of your prayers and financial support we are thankful, and committed to minister to the Deaf on your behalf until the Lord Returns