Sunday, September 24, 2006

This weekend!


It was a great day today! I love to have a small crowd every once in a while. It's good to see the Lord's children scattered about in the U.S.! Always keep watch for the Lord's providence(s) around you! You just never know who sees the light of Jesus in you! :) Pray that you have beautiful feet (Ro. 10:14-17)..

This weekend, we're taking a journey to NYC. It'll be an interesting experience. We're leaving Thursday afternoon. We're going to do some sightseeing in Manhattan all day Friday. Then we'll have the gospel meeting on Saturday at 12 noon.. Then we'll go to the Bronx zoo! Sunday will be a great day to worship with the hearing congregation. Then after all this, we'll be on our way home arriving late Sunday..

Don't forget!! Hallal is coming to Fairfax this Sunday starting at 9 a.m.. Following the two services, the church will provide lunch then Hallal will continue leading us in praise thereafter.

"Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling." Psalms 2:11 (niv)

It is my prayer that you continue, 24/7, serving our Lord with fear (respect) and rejoice with trembling (awe)!! There's no one else in the world, even the universe, but the Lord our God! Remember, our Lord is watching every thought we think, every move we make, every touch we give, every prayer we lift up and every heart we stimulate for the Lord!! Pray that you're serving the Lord with fear and rejoicing in the Lord with trembling!!

The Breaking Point

For those of you who missed today's lesson, here's my outline:

Read the story about Jonah.

Let’s not get swallowed in by our problems! I’ve talked to many of you as you’ve worked tirelessly to comfort the congregation. What some of you have said is that you feel extreme exhaustion from helping someone emotionally distraught while silently coping with your own grief and fear. I am calling this “compassion fatigue.” Here are three suggestions for handling your emotional exhaustion:

Release Your Frustrations

Stress and exhaustion create all kinds of negative emotions in your life. They bring on anxiety, worry, fear, guilt, shame, and depression. And the most common thing we ministers tend to do with our negative emotions is stuff them. We think we’re being better Christians if we never admit to our own fear, anger, and depression. I hate this! I am a lousy Christian if I do not admit my own fear, anger and depression! I believe this is the weakest area in this church! You may think that we cannot confess our sins, share our problems, admit our fears, and express our frustrations because of the “deaf community” we’re in! That’s a total lie! I don’t care what others say about me or you! The important thing is that you’re release your frustrations before God and us as witnesses!

Didn’t God create us as a human being with emotions, and He wants us to be real—to let them out by expressing them to Him. If we don’t do that, we WILL eventually let it out in other ways, perhaps inappropriate ways.

So tell God how you feel. The Bible says in Psalms 62:8 “Pour out your heart to God, for He is our refuge.” That means just lay it all out. “God, here it is! Here’s how I feel, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m stressed. I’m tired. I’m grieving. I’m angry.” Whatever you’re feeling, the Bible says, “Pour out your heart to God.”

Receive Help From Others

We GIVE so much in ministry that often it’s hard for us to RECEIVE from others, but if you’re going to survive the emotional strain of the next few months (perhaps years), you’re going to have to find some people who will support you, warts and all.

The temptation in moments like this is to isolate yourself by building a wall or crawlingly in a hole. Like an ostrich hiding its head in a hole! That’s a VERY BIG MISTAKE. When you are at your breaking-point, you need people in your life. You need people who will give you strength, and most of all, who will give you perspective. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage each other and give each other strength.”

Refocus on Christ

UNDER STRESS/OUT OF FOCUS: When you get under stress, your life gets out of focus. In fact, when you get under stress you start looking at your problem, and you stop looking at Christ. You become very preoccupied with yourself, and all you can see is your pain. Your focus just gets narrower and narrower when you’re under stress.

What you need to do is get the focus off the problems and back on God. Think about Jonah—now there’s a guy literally swallowed by his problems!

But God says, when your problems swallow you up, refocus on Him. Jonah finally learned this: he prayed, “When I had lost all hope, I turn my thoughts once more to the Lord.” (Jonah 2:7)

The key here is: Stop focusing on what you CAN’T do and start focusing on what God CAN do.
How are you feeling, today? Are you at the breaking-point today? Or maybe the stress level is rising in your life. Some of you say, “I have no idea what I’m going through right now!” I don’t know the pain in your heart, but God does. God is aware of the stress in your life, and God cares about the stress in your life. God can help you in the stress in your life--if you will take these steps … take it all to Jesus and say, “I put it in your hands.”

It is recommended that you watch a Christian movie, “Second Chance” where I showed the congregation the power of forgiveness by washing others feet!

Jesus said it like this, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.” Matthew 11:28-29

Let me pray for you today:

“Dear Father, in heaven, You know the level of stress and exhaustion in my heart and life right now. You know I’m at the breaking point. I’ve bottled up my frustrations, and I’m about to explode. Jesus, thank You for understanding how I feel and loving me no matter how I feel. Today, I need to get refocused. Help me to remember and be grateful for the good things You’ve brought in my life. Help me to read Your word for strength. Help me to rely on Your power Today, Jesus, I’m putting everything into Your hands. I can’t do it. There’s so much to do and there are so many things I am powerless to change.

I’m trusting You to give me the strength I need now. With Your help, and by Your power, I’m not going to give up. And I’m not going to walk away. Instead of giving up, I’m going to look up to You. I believe that because of Your help, I’m going to make it through this tough time. I’m going to stand and watch You work. I’m going to stand--not in my own strength--but in Yours. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Monday, September 18, 2006

Deaf Band of Brothers


I am totally speechless today! Last night, I tried to think of a way to explain all that had happened over the weekend surrounding the First Annual Deaf Men's Retreat called, "Deaf Band Of Brothers". A very special thanks to our beloved brother, Mike Helms, for being with us over the weekend. He said, "This is one of the best retreat I have ever attended!"

The retreat was EMOTIONAL, INSPIRATIONAL, INVITATIONAL and MOTIVATIONAL! All of the brothers together were, as Allen Sussman says, "GUNG HO!" I believe the brothers came so much closer than ever before. This retreat was what we all needed! And we thanked God for the time we have together as band of brothers. All three days were extremely emotional!

Tears flowed from our eyes!
Hearts pounded and ached!
Each of our spirit reached out to one another.

Can you imagine that each of the Spirit in us know each other because each of them came from the dwelling place of God!!? Yet, Satan pressures us to either seek only a few or none while the Spirit of God desires to know all the brothers in Christ.

I'm glad we're a small band of brothers for now because we have so much to do together as brothers in Christ. We also prayed for our sisters in Christ that they, too, may have a strong bond together. Nothing was doctrinal. No hint of difference. No objections over a "word" or "verse" or "comments". We all just got deeper and deeper in love with one another because of Jesus! We poured out our hurts, our frustrations, our struggles, and our thoughts.

Again, I am speechless. I can go on and on but looking at the pictures says it all! Enjoy and brothers, God's soldiers of Christ, lets do this again next year in the "neck of the woods"!! And keep in mind, we're aiming for a Thursday night through Sunday afternoon retreat!!

Deaf Band of Brothers '06 part 1

Deaf Band of Brothers '06 (DBOB '06)

A spy? An undercover agent? Mr. Sack?

This guy is crazy! Though, seems to be a hearing person, he realized he came to speak to the deaf men. Then he started to sign, S.E.E..

Icebreaking time: Fred Orr (right) prepares to blow his balloon while Peter Schmidt passes the bag of balloons to Darryl Rutland (from Colorado).

While all others allow the balloon to flutter its way toward a domain unknown, Allen decided to directly drop the balloon into the trash bin.

Deaf Band of Brothers '06 part 2

Mike Helms, Hermitage (TN) Church of Christ deaf minister opens DBOB with a powerful lesson, "Only One Way: Jesus Focus" to 15 deaf men Friday night!

DBOB IN WARROOM! We continued the DBOB event at the Tavistock Farmhouse in Leesburg, Virginia!

Mike gave us a demo on "trusting each other as brothers in Christ".

DBOB men mingled among each other in one great fellowship!

Tim Stewart, Darryl Rutland (Colorado) and Mike Helms watches on..

Another superb event involves casting away "issues (a word) that entangles on each of our souls" by using a red balloon (representing the blood of Jesus) .

Drill Sargeant, Mike Helms, punished the losers of two teams, after playing a "rubber band game", doing 101 drill reps! Everyone had a great time!

DBOB men at the mess hall (Casa Gonzalez mex restaurant)..

Darrin Forshay led us in a song to the Lord in worship!

Friday, September 15, 2006



This is it!! Today is the day for the First Annual Deaf Men's Retreat. The theme will always be, "Deaf Band Of Brothers" with a subtheme, "Army of the One"

We're anxious to have our still classified speaker with us tonight through Sunday. He remains to be a "Top Secret", totally elusive figure!

We pray that the deaf men of faith will grow to learn to depend on each other as brothers in Christ and to depend on God in their everyday life.

May I ask that you lift us up to God in prayer this weekend! Many thanks and for the deaf men visiting this blog, we hope that you'll consider attending the Deaf Men's Retreat next year, Lord willing!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Suffering Is Our Friend

Your perspective makes all the difference in the world, and it influences how you respond to problems at work, problems at home, problems with your health.

Paul says that as Christians we can rejoice even in tough times because we have hope and because we know that God is working in our lives. “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.” (Romans 5:3, NIV)

This gives us "PERSPECTIVE", doesn't it?.

Suffering can be productive! We should hold on to "suffering" as our "friend".. If your clothes were on fire and you don't feel anything, it's highly likely your whole body will become dust like charcoal. Suffering does accomplish something. Alot of us don't know that problems have a purpose. Your trials and difficulties are valuable. It’s easier to handle suffering when you know there is a purpose in it, that it is not just in vain. If you have a problem with this quote, you'll have to change your perspective of "suffering".

I have had the privilege of assisting in the delivery of all three of my children. I want to tell you, I saw the pain, sweat, grimmaces on my wife’s face, and I understand why they call it “labor.” But I also saw the expression on her face when the nurse laid that newborn, bundled baby in her arms. Her expression revealed that the effort and pain were all worth it! They produced a new life!

Now, what exactly does our suffering produce? First, Paul says our suffering produces perseverance (Romans 5:3). The Greek word for perseverance literally means “the ability to handle pressure.” That’s what perseverance is -- the ability to handle pressure, to hang in there, to never give up but to keep on keeping on. When we make it through a difficult time without giving up, our character and confidence are strengthened, enabling us to handle even more pressure when it comes in the future.

Next, Paul says perseverance produces character (Romans 5:4). This word occurs only six or seven times in the Bible, and it means “proven reliable.” God uses the problems in your life to produce perseverance and character. And internal character, not circumstances, produces joy.

Then, Paul says, character produces hope (Romans 5:4). Remember, in the Bible, the word hope doesn’t mean “I wish” or “I want.” It also doesn't mean "Why is this happening to me?" or "What is God up to now?". It means confidence in Christ’s power. Instead of destroying our hope, problems are designed to increase our hope!

No matter what it is, whether it is a problem you brought on yourself, or a problem other people brought on you or a problem from the devil, it’s still a problem that God allowed. If you're a Christian, nothing comes into your life by accident.

It’s vitally important that we grasp this fact -- there is a purpose behind our problems -- but it’s also important to understand that problems don’t automatically produce perseverance and character and hope. You may know people who went through tough times, but difficulty and pain didn’t produce any positive character in their lives. Instead they became bitter, angry and uptight.

Perseverance, character and hope are produced in us only when we choose the right attitude. And what is the right attitude? Joy is the right attitude. When we learn to rejoice in the problem, not for but in the problem, then God uses it for good in our lives.

James echoes Paul’s teaching on this subject: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:2-3, NIV). Notice again, joy comes “because you know.” It’s always a matter of perspective. James continues, “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (v. 4). If you're the kind of person that will not persevere, then you're expected to lack alot of things; even your perspective of the suffering you're enduring. God says those problems in your life are meant to produce maturity. But, often, people cease to mature because they do not accept the problems in their own lives.

No study of Christian joy would be complete without mentioning the book of Philippians. If you want to understand joy, read Philippians. Nineteen times in this short letter Paul talks about rejoicing and having joy. Mark those verses and meditate on them. Memorize some of them so God can use them to produce joy in your life.

By the way, do you know where Paul was when he wrote this joyful letter? He was in prison! We don’t usually think of prison as a place of rejoicing, but Paul had learned to be content in any situation, and his joy did not depend on his circumstances. Christians can be joyful in tough times because there is always hope, and because God's purpose is always greater than any problem!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine One One

It's been five years since the worse terrorist attack on the American soil. Five years... It's really hard to believe that time just flew by. It seems like a year ago.

I clearly remembered that morning when the NBC news reported one of the World Trade Center tower was burning and an airplane of some sort was reported to have hit it. I was at home with my three girls. Amanda was only 5 years old, Angela was 3 and Alyson was a mere 2 years old. I sat down on the chair wondering what was going on! And just that moment, I saw another plane aiming toward the second tower. Then the caption quoted from the late Peter Jennings, "Oh my ....! Tower 2 have been hit! Tower 2 have been hit!"

I thought I was watching a movie with special effects. Not so. It was the real thing! It was a day we'll never forget. And we'll miss the two twin towers in NY!

Let's give God the thanks to all the soliders out in the battle fronts fighting against terrorists! To date, 2,666 solidiers have died serving their country. Pray for all the families who lost their love ones in the WTC, firemen, police officers, and good samaritans!

Pray for those in our country and in the world!

Live to Learn, Learn to Live


Do you know the purpose for your life? Is God the "CEO" of your life today? Has He always been the "CEO" since you gave your life to Jesus and buried with Him into His death where His blood washed away your sins and raised in the newness of life clothed in heavenly dwelling? Will He still be the "CEO" of your life tomorrow and for eternity? I certainly hope so! Really! I wished I had the simple, "A to Z's Guide To Living The Lord's Will". Alot of us may be stuck in a rut now that we're not progressing toward spiritual maturity. If you're eager to begin, today, to growing deeper into the spiritual realm of God, you just have to surrender your will to God! I didn't say it would be easy but it will be painful! You're holding on to something that seems to fulfill your craving for something... It's only temporary! Here are a couple of things I recommend each of you to do:

1. Ask God to help you find His purpose for your life and to do His will.
2. Do a "relationship prayer" which means a moment-by-moment conversation with God.
3. Commit it all to God - it's either you're to commit your all or you don't. There's no middle ground. You're either on one side or the other.
4. Devote yourselves to serving the Lord.
5. Examine how you worship God (daily and on Sundays) - I am personally struggling to learn how we, as a family of God, can raise our hearts to God as true worshippers!
6. Focus on the relationships in your life - key memories are with those close to you. Treat them as you want them to treat you.
7. Go deeper with a Christian friend - read Ephesians 3:14ff.
8. Heal broken relationships - didn't Jesus command us to love our neighbors?
9. Keep God's Word in your mind - take His Word and hide it in your heart. The Word of the Lord is the wellspring of your life!
10. Laugh more this year! Celebrate a joyous celebration - of victory and even defeat!
11. Make Bible study a constant habit! I don't care if someone close to you won't be there for Bible study! It's not about them, it's about YOU! This is another weak area of the Lord's ministry at Fairfax. We're looking for debate, producing quarrels, expressing our differences, not learning to live and living to learn!
12. "Nip temptation in the bud!" Temptation is one of the "greatest spiritual killers" out there! They're actually "serial killers" moving from one Christian subject to another in the speed of light. Similar to #11, a Christian friend tells another Christian friend he/she doesn't feel like going to bible study, then immediately the same "temptation poison" invaded his/her soul and he/she will do likewise! Powerful ammo Satan has!
13. Open your heart to God's surgical maneuvers - Now this is interesting! When you become a follower of Christ, God starts a surgical procedure on you as He forms your heart into His image. Pain is often a sign that Jesus has His surgical knife on your heart. Although it might hurt for awhile, ultimately, it is a part of God shaping your heart. Take stock of the pain and trials in your life right now and allow God to use them to transform you. Transformation is and will always be painful! That's one important Christian aspect that many Christians fail to do: continuing change!
14. Pitch in and help out at church - if you're seeing something that needs to be done within the Lord's church, get involved. Don't wait for others to do it. Perhaps, God is calling you to serve Him!
15. Search for your God-given SHAPE! Find out what God has given you to serve Him.
16. Test your God-given SHAPE!
17. Understanding God's global plan - just has Christ came into the world to save sinners, He ask that we go into the world and show Jesus to our friends, families and co-workers.
18. eXpress the good news in your action and words! Talk is El Cheapo! Capisce?! We're to be doers of the Word, not only hearers of the Word! Respect your leaders! Open your hearts to God's call to carry out His good news within your community!
19. Yield your rights to help lead a person to Christ - If you only lead people to Christ on your terms, you aren’t living up to your biblical responsibility. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that we must forfeit even what we consider rights so others might come to know Christ. Take a look at the list of people in your life that need a life-changing relationship with God. What will you have to give up to see them make that commitment?
20. Zzzz…zzzz…get some rest! - Worshipping, building relationships, growing spiritually, serving and sharing your faith requires a rested soul!


We're going to make some changes this Fall to allow God to work in our life and the lives of others. You may notice that I have been sending out FDM Updates via email but since it's taking up alot of my time and energy, I have decided to eliminate that from my weekly agenda because the website ( has all the information and is (almost) always updated! If you do not take the time to visit our website, you're not keeping yourselves up-to-date of the events at the church. Though, the information may appear to remain unchanged, you're still informed of the current events. So I will be sending Cario the updates to add to the website. I have learned that some of you do not read my FDM updates and were, after arriving the church building, surprised to learn of the changes of plans, etc. It does show that both the website and FDM updates have not been read.

In addition to the changes, we have decided that the Winter newsletter will be the last "printed" newsletter in effort to save $ and trees as well as time. We're going to devote our time and energy to a more "visual" news which will be on the website such as verse of the week in ASL, testimonials, short clip of the services and people, Q&A's, news & future events in ASL and more. We're trying to provide for the church and our community in the best, visual way as possible. If you have any suggestions, add a comment to this.. Thanks!


This weekend is Deaf Band of Brothers (Deaf Men's Retreat)!!! It will be our first deaf men's retreat and we're excited.. Our speaker remains "classified" and we're really anxious to have him here!! There are great topics relating to the "Band of Brothers" theme!! We'll have a blast for God!


Today, I had a wonderful conversation with a dear brother in Christ of mine over lunch. We talked about alot of things surrounding the deaf work here in the D.C. area. We talked about the all the positive(s) and negative(s) comments made toward the deaf work at Fairfax. The negative comments reflected on the church as a whole. In effort to tackle the "negatives" (though, problems/negatives should be our "friend" in effort to help us "mature"), we asked several questions:

When a person gives negativity toward the Lord's church, we want to help them turn their "negative" response to a more "positive" understanding:
1. We asked what that "person" can do for the Lord among His people?
2. Are they seeking to "please themselves" rather than seeking a church that "pleases God"?
3. Could they be rushing to "judge" others? (Not everyone expresses their spiritual fire in an outward manner! Some or more of them express it from the very core of their heart in a quiet way.)
4. Have they taken their time to "examine" all that's going on to determine if it's Scriptural?
5. Have they made an "appointment" with a minister or elder asking questions and seeking answers to their puzzling concerns in how we give God the glory?
6. What's the "age-identity" of the church (young professionals, married, elderly, college, etc.)?
7. Are they "comparing" from the previous church (worship) they attended from the worship we give to God? (instrumental church, emotional church, equally "age-identity" group, etc.)? Each church is unique in its own group. There's no perfect church, no matter its size! This is similar to when a spouse of yours passed on from this life and you marry another spouse. Then you tell your "new spouse" that your "beloved, deceased spouse" did not (....) (behave, do, react, speak) this way. Well, the "new spouse" is "not" the same as the "beloved, deceased spouse. Each spouse is "unique" as his/her own. Of course, it's easy to compare but dangerous because they provide you a "stumbling block"! Read the story about the "wineskins" in the gospel.

If you've visited Fairfax once or twice, you may not really know us and we do not know you! Give us time to get to know you and take time to get to know us.


Now, as for "worship", we're praying that the Lord will provide each of you the heart of a "true worshipper" to worship God in Spirit and Truth! Be praying for us as we lead the Lord's children at Fairfax and within our community to God that each of us are able to respond by coming forward to give God the glory!


Friday, September 08, 2006

Forfeiting Your Life To Christ

Read this powerful blog!

PAH! I have finally completed, well, about 90%, my landscaping work around my home. It has been long overdue and I have so much planned for the Fall season (next weekend through Christmas)!!!

Please visit the prayer site @ Pray for those on the list and if you have a prayer request, please click on the link and send it to us!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blessings On Our Terms

Morning, bloggers!!

Yup! It's been a while since I last posted a blog. I've been swamped with alot of things and a bit stressed out! But that's to be expected. And I have to say, "No" to somethings including the time to post a blog to focus on other things especially our own needs and my kids. :) Pray for us!!

Here's a great article forwarded by my dear brother in Christ of mine:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

Here is what grieves me, and I believe this also grieves the Holy Spirit: My hearers (the church) rise to this call emotionally, but they will not confirm it by a corresponding change in their way of life. Their goodness is like the morning clouds - by 9:00 o'clock the sun has burnt off the fog. This is what happens to many people's good intentions.

They rise emotionally to an urgent message that we become a New Testament church, that we become a model church, that we have the order of the New Testament and the power of the Holy Spirit in order that we might worship, work and witness. Emotionally they rise to it, but they will not confirm their emotions by corresponding changes in their way of life.

They want to be blessed by God, but they want God to bless them on their terms. They look pensively to God for victory, but they will not bring their giving into line. They will not practice family prayer, rushing off without it. They will not take time for secret prayer and will not forgive those who have wronged them. They will not seek to be reconciled to those with whom they have quarreled.

They will not pick up their crosses and say, "Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee."

Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church, 146-147.

Prayer: "Lord, may my desire for You rise above emotions. I do want to be blessed of You, both personally and in my ministry. I commit myself this morning to a willingness to take my cross and follow You-and to take the necessary action to come on Your terms. Amen."

And I pray that each of us will examine our our hearts and determine if we have "risen" to the call but "have not yet confirmed" it with our actions (by changing the way we live and leading others to Jesus)!!

I must admit that I have experienced this "call to return to the truth (Scriptures)" and will not compromise anything else with the truth! Personally, I feel the church have drifted into "dis-unity" by mingling different beliefs into the mold. Churches all over the world have created "infighting" over different doctrines, interpretations and views. We're literally tearing each other up and giving Satan a foothold. Doesn't that wear unity out?? Doesn't this provide a clear stumbling block to new and struggling believers?

Last night during Bible study, we had a good discussion (actually an introduction) on "Making Your Calling And Election Sure"!! I mentioned a Scripture then we talked about love in 1 Corinthians 13. If you are praising God but not loving others, it means nothing to God. If you're using a resounding cymbal but not loving people, you're walking in vain. If you're throwing yourselves into the fire for God but not loving others in the world, you've wasted your life. It sounds like a person may "claim" to have faith and not loving others. All of us stumbled over this phrase, "Faith but no love".. On the way home, last night, I was talking with Michelle about this and she feels that people worship God out of "knowledge", not faith.


People can worship God based on "knowledge alone", not faith (Romans 10:17) and not love one another and those in the world! Such person think they have "faith" in God but they may actually only have the "knowledge" of God. "And without faith it is impossible to please God,.." Hebrews 11:6 (niv) Boy, am I glad to have Michelle as my "Sidekick For God"??

So which is it? Blessings on your own terms or action on His Own terms?