Deliberate Discipleship

 What Is A Discipler?

Discipleship involves people. For discipleship to take place there must be someone who is willing to mentor, that is, disciple (used as a verb) another person who would be willing to follow and learn from the mentor. In other words, discipleship involves at least two people. Another word for mentor that is used commonly is the word “discipler.” The secular world often uses the word “trainer” to refer to the person doing the mentoring. “Discipler,” the one doing the discipling, is a much better word for use in the church since we are not only to disciple people in ministry, but we are also to disciple them in their spiritual lives and character. Mentors and trainers basically work vocationally while disciplers basically work spiritually and ministerially. To be a discipler, one must be under the authority of a local church, since the church has been given the command to make disciples. Christ trained twelve leaders for His church and left them the Great Commission and the promise of His presence and authority. In three years, Jesus trained the twelve to have a heart for God, a heart for people, the heart of a servant, and the heart of a parent. He trained them to love God, fellowship with God, learn from God, and to have godly character. This would be needed in order to multiply. He trained them to spend quality and quantity time with the Father, and taught them to be committed to rightly dividing the Word. His own life became their model for holiness, humility, faithfulness, love, and compassion.

This is a discipler! If they did not learn these things from Jesus Christ, then they would not be able to go forth with character, preach the Gospel with power, or make disciples effectively. Christ showed them how to love people, which included children, widows, the handicapped, the sick, the diseased, the outcasts, the despised, Gentiles, Samaritans, and even His own Jewish enemies. His very life was one of discipleship, training them in the areas of sacrifice, self-denial, and the carrying of a cross, literally. He was involved in the lives of individuals, and He mixed with the masses. He cared for their physical needs, financial needs, social needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs. He trained them even as He modeled His life for them.

This is a discipler! As a parent. He was committed to them. He spent the majority of his three years of public ministry with these twelve men. He was gentle with them, instructing them, correcting them, reprimanding them, and also rejoicing with them. He was transparent with them. He loved them, fed them, protected them, guided them, and taught them to reproduce. This is a discipler! Deliberate discipleship requires much time, energy, commitment, character, and love. Jesus deliberately modeled all of that for His disciples and for us. He transplanted His heart into the breast of the disciples. Go thou, and do likewise! A discipler is one who transplants his heart into the breast of his disciple.

If you would like complete manual on discipleship contact David by clicking here.

Do not be shy! – Actions

I have often seen people teaching the deaf. They stand stiffly in front. They sign only without expressions or any body movement. At the end, the deaf often have said to me, “I understood his signs, but what did he say?” The teacher used no actions in teaching so the deaf did not understand. Many teachers tell me they are shy to act out the signs. Do not be shy. Use actions and body movement when teaching to help the people understand. Remember:

1. Actions are part of the Sign Language. (Instead of signing, “The boy open the umbrella,” just sign “boy” and act as if you are opening the umbrella.) These actions in the place of signs or words are an important part of Sign Language. They are used every day by the deaf.

2. Use actions to explain hard words or ideas. Recently I was explaining about pride and humility. Here in the Philippines, people often cut or push in lines at the store. I used an acted-out story of people pushing through the line to explain they were proud and put themselves first.

3. Use actions to tell the Bible stories. I act out the story so the deaf can understand. (By the way, think through the story first. This will help you to act it out so the deaf can understand.) Sometimes, some hard to understand stories can be easily taught if you act them out.

Do not be shy…
Use actions to explain God’s Word
so the deaf can understand His word

My Deaf World

I thank God that my life and ministry saw God’s goodness last year. It was a good year. Praise Him that 29 deaf souls got saved from the meetings of Fantastic Saturdays, retreats, deaf camps, visitation, and churches. I also thank Him for Silent Word Ministries 50th year celebration from 1966 to 2016. I have now been serving with SWM for over 18 years. Now in 2017 my heart’s desire is to do more with God’s help for my ministry to deaf people. I beg you to pray for my life and ministry:

I need to see MORE deaf souls to be saved.
I need to preach more meetings to deaf people.
I need God’s wisdom and power for my ministry and life.
I need to encourage deaf people to serve the Lord.

I need God’s help to understand His word in the Bible. I really love to serve the Lord. I thank Him that I am faithful to do for Him. I feel unable to stop serving Him because I look around and see many deaf people. Who will help them with the Gospel of Christ? I cannot ignore lost deaf souls. I must tell them about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know He wants me to stay serving Him.

Deaf need spiritual help… Contact Allen by clicking here.

I CAN, I CAN, I KNOW I CAN!

Many years ago I fell in love with the story of the little train that could. The train that could not make it up a big hill. It tried again and again, but the hill was too steep and high. Finally, the little train stopped and looked at the hill and said, “I will try again. I can… I can… I can… I know I can!” The little train kept trying, puffing and climbing until it finally reached the top. It did it! I copied the words of the train for my ministry. “I can… I can… I can… I know I can!” Like the little train that could, I have learned in my Deaf life to keep going no matter what happens. I have faced many operations, but I keep going. I keep saying, “I can… I can… I know I can.” I can and so can you. If I can do it, so can you!

Deaf Can Be Missionaries
India Mission Trip

Bill Center, Don Chevalley, and Ronnie Rice from Virginia, went on a mission trip to India for three weeks. They preached in four Deaf Churches in India:

Kolkata – Dimarpur
Bangalore – Coimbatore

Ronnie Rice and team reported 26 Deaf adults from India were saved. They had a wonderful missions trip with Missionaries Bruce and Ruth Schwalbe, who have served in India for 38 years.

Deaf people can serve the Lord. Deaf people can be pastors, teachers, leaders, and missionaries. Deaf people can be involved in their church and serve God. We are Deaf and we serve God. Be as the little train that could. You can do it!

Sign The Way They Sign

Recently, I met a deaf man in Israel. As I signed to him, “Deaf?” his face lit up. Since he signed differently than my ASL, we quickly found a common way to sign and began to communicate. In somewhat gestural sign language, he told me he moved to Jerusalem to avoid violence in his home town. He, along with several hearing men, was selling items to tourists to make a living. Even though our time together was short, I gave him a Gospel DVD from SWM and he promised to watch it. That was the highlight of my trip to Israel!

In some places in America, there is a strong push to sign only ASL. Some Deaf people exclude others who do not sign ASL their way. The truth is, not every Deaf person signs the same way. Even Deaf ASL signers debate signs. There are many sign systems.

However, it is important to sign the same as the Deaf person to whom you are speaking. If he signs ASL, then use ASL. If he signs using only gestures, adapt and use gestures. If he signs using an English signing system (SEE, CASE, PSE, SE, etc.), adjust and sign that way. It is culturally correct to “code switch” and adapt to the way other people sign. Have you ever noticed that Deaf people will change the way they sign when around hearing people or those who use sign language differently? That should be a hearing person’s clue to respect different forms of sign language. It is still true that to Adjust Is A Must! Sign the way they sign – accept, adjust, communicate.

SWM Outreach Ministries

Welcome to our new articles for the New Year. This year I will highlight a different ministry of our SWM Outreach Ministry. About a year ago, Ted Camp challenged me to direct and develop a new SWM Outreach Ministry to reach out to the Deaf worldwide. He quoted Isaiah 54:2-3. “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth (reach out) on the right hand and on the left…” Since that time, I have tried to think “outside the box” on how we can do “more” for the Lord. We must explore the many different avenues and technology now available. Social media (FaceBook, Twitter, E-mail, Websites, YouTube, etc.) has become a great tool that is greatly used by the Deaf worldwide because the Deaf listen with their eyes. It is a low- cost way to reach many. We must “enlarge” in these new areas. SWM has started developing quality Bible evangelistic tools using social media. We presently offer weekly Bible Studies signed and voiced. SWM Deaf Bible Institute is now available online. We post our SWNewspaper online. SWM studios is now filming a series: “Creation to Christ” (see SigntheBible.com). The BootCamp4Deaf.com website has many video workshops for Deaf ministry leaders. In the issues ahead, I will highlight each one of these new outreach ministries. Please pray for SWM as we reach out to the Deaf worldwide with our Outreach Ministries. Until then, view these and other ministries at SilentWordMinistries.org.

ZECHARIAH

When you think of the book Zechariah, think about the prophet Zechariah telling Israel’s remnant to turn to God so he would turn to them… two arrows turning.

Zechariah was another of the three prophets who wrote to the Jewish Nation after their return from foreign captivity. In his book, Zechariah gave Israel their key for not going back into captivity. His fellow prophet, Haggai, had told the Jews to “consider” their ways and to get busy building the LORD’s house. Here in Zechariah, God told the remnant to turn to him and that he would turn back to them. Their “heart” for God was most important. God said that he had been “sore displeased with [their] fathers” (1:2). He said “Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried” (1:4). The first part of Zechariah (1:7-6:15) contains a series of visions the prophet had. These visions showed that God was “jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy… and… very sore displeased with the heathen that [were] at ease: for [God] was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction” (1:14,15). Next is a series of questions from the remnant and God’s answers to those questions (chapters 7 & 8). Finally, there are prophecies about Israel and the cities surrounding them (chapters 9-14). There are clear references to the Messiah, who will be the Shepherd-King of Israel (9:9, 11:12-13, 12:10, 13:6-7).

Think About: “Repentance” (noun) – a change of mind or actions; a turn from wrong. “Repentance” in Zechariah – Even the “dedicated” remnant needed to repent of their carelessness and turn back to God.

Application: Just being religious or being a citizen of a certain nation is not enough. God commands all men everywhere to repent.

Turn from anything that would turn you from God!

From My Home to Yours

What can a good meal do to help?

When I cook a good meal and have our children over, they really enjoy it. There is little talking when the meal is served. Later, when stomachs are full, talking and laughter begins. When I have a need and someone makes a meal for me, I am encouraged and strengthened. I remember, after I gave birth, people from our church brought meals for our family. That was a real blessing! At that time, I didn’t have much strength. I had only enough to take care of myself and our new little baby. When others brought the meal, it gave me time to continue to rest and heal. It gave me time to become stronger.

In Acts 27, I read the story of Paul and others on a ship in the middle of a storm. None of them had eaten for about two weeks. Right in the middle of the storm, Paul encouraged those on the ship to eat. “And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat” (Acts 27:35-36).

The middle of the storms that life brings is often the hardest time for people. That is a wonderful time for you to be an encouragement and blessing to them. A good meal can give a person physical strength and hope to continue. Recently a new family moved into the house across the street from our home. I quickly got busy and made them a pie. I took it over to them with a smile and a tract, to welcome them to our neighborhood. You can do the same thing! Look for opportunities to be a witness and an encouragement to someone else today. Make a pie, a meal, or cookies and brighten someone else’s day! Just as the men on the ship with Paul were strengthened when they took time to eat, you can strengthen others by your acts of kindness. A good meal makes good memories!

Man’s Perspective or God’s Perspective?

One song that was heard several times during the Christmas season asked “Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?” Many times people can see the same picture or event and yet notice different things. No two reporters will write exactly the same about the news item they are reporting. The Bible also often shows us two different perspectives on events it records – man’s perspective and God’s perspective.

When Moses and the people of Israel saw the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptians quickly coming up behind them, God saw the path of dry land through the sea for His people and the sea crashing together to destroy the enemy (Exodus 14). When Elijah heard Jezebel’s threats against him, he became discouraged, thinking he was the only person in Israel who served God. But God revealed there were over 7,000 people who had not served Baal (I Kings 19:14,18). When the armies of Israel saw Goliath, an enemy nearly 10 feet tall, clothed with armor, protected by a shield, and facing them with a mighty spear, David saw an enemy of the living God and an opportunity to use God’s might and his own talent with the sling to show the whole earth that “there is a God in Israel” (I Samuel 17:46). Jesus’ disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and felt a strong wind come up. They saw their boat being tossed about, and they thought they saw a ghost coming toward them. But they were mistaken. It was really Jesus walking on the water toward them, bringing peace to the storm on the sea and to the fear in their hearts. (Matthew 14:24-33). And on the first day of the week after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, women came to the tomb, a place of death. But that day, the tomb was a place of victory over death for Jesus was alive! He had conquered the grave (Luke 24:1-6).

So, when you fear and are ready to give up, when the enemies seem too many and too strong, when the storms of life threaten, and when things happen totally differently than you expect, try looking at things from God’s perspective. He is still in control. He has a plan. He is with you, and He is more powerful than any enemy.

To Be or Not To Be????

Fifty-nine years ago when I was a senior in Dade County high school, our English/Literature teacher was Pauline Mayhall. Her teaching plan was to teach Literature the first semester and English grammar the second semester. She was a super fan of William Shakespeare and he was the core of her lesson plans. “MacBeth” was her favorite topic. Our class consisted of just plain average small-town students. Most of us had never heard of Shakespeare, and as we began to hear about him, we thought his works were weird and totally not understandable. I am ashamed to admit it, but we (the largest percentage of the class) gave Mrs. Mayhall a hard time and for the most part complained about and ignored the works of William Shakespeare. I am sure we received failing grades.

As I recall, in her frustration and disappointment in our class, she resigned at the end of the first semester. Maybe from guilt or vengeance (not sure which one), for the dividing pages in our year book, we used quotes from Shakespeare’s works. (I wonder if Mrs. Mayhall ever knew that. I hope so and found it in her heart to forgive us.)

To this day, I am still not a fan of Shakespeare and know very little about his writings. I guess you would call me Shakespeare illiterate. The two words, “to be,” however, stand out in my memory from Shakespeare’s writings.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.”

I Just Want To Be

How I use these words is probably not the way Shakespeare meant them. When I have days that are too busy and too stressful, I make the statement, “I just want to be.” That means I need to be quiet, without any demands or obligations. It means I need a carefree mind for a while. To help remedy these situations, I get a good book and go alone into a quiet room and relax for a period of time. Sometimes I go through a drive-thru, get a favorite beverage and park in a church parking lot (for safety’s sake) to have a devotional time or just sit and meditate. Other times I grab a friend and go for a walk in the woods or stroll alone in our neighborhood. When I am at the office, occasionally I will leave my work and go outdoors to sit in the swing.

At home, when I get overwhelmed with duty, I recline in my favorite chair with a warm cozy blanket and take a few minutes to nap. All of these “to be” moments keep me in good balance emotionally and physically. Yes, you can find the time to put this idea into practice using your own favorite activities. Try it and reap the benefits. (Perhaps if Mrs. Mayhall had used these remedies, she would have stayed with us.)

Bible “To Be” As I thought on these things, I wondered about “To Be’s” in the Bible. I was pleased at what I found. Here is a list.

“…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
– Ephesians 6:10

“…be ye kind one to another.”
– Ephesians 4: 32

“Be ye… followers of God, as dear children.”
– Ephesians 5:1

“…be ye all of one mind (agreeable)…be courteous.”
– I Peter 5:8

“…be sober (mental self-control and calmness).”
– I Peter 1:13

“To be discreet (keep confidences), chaste (pure).”
– Titus 2:5

“…be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.”
– Leviticus 19:2

“…be patient toward all men (everyone).”
– I Thessalonians 5:14

“…be at peace…”
– I Thessalonians 5:13

“…be ye of an understanding heart.”
– Proverbs 8:5

“…be ye thankful.”
– Colossians 3:15

To be loving…
“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
– Matthew 22:37, 39

“To Be or not to Be
That is the Question”

The practice of these Bible “To Be’s,” although not a complete list, help me to keep a good spiritual balance, not only with my Heavenly Father, but also with family, friends, co-workers, and those I meet in daily life. In 2016 I used the lyrics from a song from my past as a daily prayer. Again, in 2017, I am praying the same. Lord, “Help me to be what you want me to be every hour of every day.” Although I often fail, it is my heart’s desire to be all that He desires me to be. What about you? This is written because I care… Carlene.