WOW! I cannot believe we are almost half way through 2015. This is a reminder to me that time is slipping by very quickly. The things we are planning for will come and go before we can even imagine that they are here! I think often about how much I am doing with each day I am given. The psalmist asked God to “… teach us to number our days …” (Psalm 90:12). I am asking God to do the same for me. It seems that my birthday comes ever three months instead of every year, but I know that is just a sign of growing older. Isn’t it funny how life changes like that? When I was fifteen years old, it seemed like it took five years until I reached sixteen! Of course, wanting to get that driver’s license could have had something to do with that! Regardless, the days I have to live right now are the most precious to me, because I realize that the days I have to do anything for God are growing less and less with each passing day. I want to do some things that will leave a lasting impression on this world with the days I have to live. I don’t want to waste a moment by aimlessly wandering through a day, or even an hour. God knows the days I have, but I do not. I want to make sure that I pack all that I can into each day so that I don’t need to look back at the end of a day, or week with regrets. Do today what God touches your heart to do and do it with all your might. Let’s make a difference today that will last for eternity!
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM TED CAMP
UNTOUCHABLES— In the 50’s, Eliot Ness was the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed “The Untouchables.” But in Bible days lepers were also known as the “untouchables” because of their dreaded disease. Pardon my words, but I was “touched” as I read, “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed…” (Matthew 8:1-4). It seems the leper’s name, past history, age, length of disease, and family life are omitted. It simply states, “There came a leper.” But the surprising words were, “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him.” Lepers were not to be touched. They were the untouchables. This means this leper probably had not been touched in years. As he walked the streets, he must cry, “Unclean, unclean.” People avoided him, and no one touched him. Not one person. Not even his wife or children. Not one friend. There was never a touch, not one. He probably desired to have handshakes, hugs, embraces, pats, or a kiss. But no one touched him. He was a leper. He was an outsider and not permitted in public places, the synagogues, or even into his own home. He was untouchable. His disease caused flesh to decay and fall off. His skin would be blotched, discolored and stink. Leprosy slowly lead to loss of fingers, toes or even a foot or hand. Leprosy was slow death by decay. He was quarantined, cast out, banished, and exiled to a leper colony. But this day, for the first time as a leper, someone touched him. Jesus Christ touched the untouchables. “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him.” The Lord responded to those who repulsed others. His touch immediately changed the leper’s life. That same “touch” still continues. How do I know? Because He changed my life in 1958. The greatest testimony to the world is still a changed and consistent Christian life. Multitudes of all ages, countries, and walks of life are still being changed (II Cor. 5:17). The Lord can also touch and change your life, if you will (repent) turn to Him and believe and receive Him as your Savior. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). No one is ever the same after His touch and no one is “untouchable” including you. His touch can also change your life.
What God has done …
· Mar 4-5—We helped the opening night in a Missions Conference at First Baptist Church of Elmer, NJ. We worked with the children on the first night and then got snowed out for the rest of the Conference!
· Mar 8—Preached at Victory Baptist in Chester Springs, PA.
· Mar 9—Preached the funeral of a dear friend, Jerry McDaniel’s. 1 person was saved at the funeral!
· Mar 17—Preached at Chester County Prison and we saw 10 trust Christ!
· Mar 22—Preached the pm service at Valley Forge Baptist. There was a great response to the message and it is always awesome to preach at home.
· Mar 29—Preached at Graterford Prison and 2 were saved!
· Apr 3—Preached at the Good Friday service at Valley Forge Baptist and 3 were saved!
· Apr 7—Preached the funeral service for dear friends whose mother died in our area. Praise the Lord for 8 people trusting Christ!
· Apr 7—Preached at a ministry to homeless with our home church and 5 were saved.
· Apr 11—Preached at Somerset Prison and saw 4 saved!
· Apr 14—Preached at Chester County and saw 17 saved!
· Apr 18—We had a booth at DeafNation Expo in Pittsburgh and saw two Deaf men saved! Over 2200 Deaf attended the Expo. We handed out over 200 Gospel DVD’s!
· Apr 19—Preached at Camp Hill Prison and we saw 24 saved!
· Apr 24—We presented out work at Harvest Baptist in New Hartford, CT. It was a great time of fellowship.
· Apr 25—We held our first Fantastic Saturday of 2015 at Central Baptist Church in Southington, CT. We had 57 in attendance with 1 salvation decision and 11 rededication decisions!
Where we are going …
· May 2-3—We will hold a DEAF Day at Bible Baptist Church in Bradenton, FL and I will preach Sunday morning following.
May 17—We will be at Tri-State Baptist in Thompson, CT to help celebrate their new building and tenth anniversary. I will be speaking in the afternoon service.
· May 23-24—Fantastic Saturday at Harvest Baptist in Natrona Heights, PA. Speaking in church on Sunday.
· May 29-30—Interpreting for a Men’s Conference at Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple in Johnston, RI.
· Jun 6—Fantastic Saturday at Northport Baptist / Island Christian on Long Island, NY.
· Jun 14-17—Attending the Leadership Conference at Lancaster Baptist Church in CA. We will also have a booth representing SWM to these leaders from all over America. Please pray for good contacts!
·Jun 22-24—We will be attending DBFA in Pigeon Forge, TN.
We were feeling a bit guilty for not traveling as much as we have in past years, but we praise the Lord for the open doors of opportunity. We have seen seventy-seven people trust Christ so far … on your account! Please praise God with us!
As Mother’s Day comes this month, I want to thank the Lord for my mother and all she has taught me. I love her and am very grateful for her. I want to be the best mother I can be even now as our children are older and I am a grandmother. My work and my influence on earth is never done. I became a grandmother for the eighth time last month. Monica had a son, named Gavin Patrick Goins, born on ouhbr son Patrick’s birthday. So I called Patrick to tell him that this little baby would look up to his uncle and here was his response to me in a text to me and his sisters: I am sure you all realize that I am not a big fan of birthdays, mostly because I do not feel like I deserve any presents … it’s days like today that make me think of Mom. I never understood why it was ‘my’ special day, when Mom was the one that put up with all the pain, and inconvenience for nine months and then labor on top of that. And then had to deal with me for the past twenty-nine years. If anyone should be getting presents at this time, it should be her. All of you are very powerful women. I’m thankful for all you do, and of course, Dad. You’ve been there this whole time as well. All that to be said, I just wanted to thank Mom and say that I love you, and congratulations Monica.” What a wonderful Mothers Day gift from our son! God is good all the time!
Do it now! This has become my theme for 2015. I don’t want to put off for tomorrow what I can do today. I don’t want to constantly be planning for what I will do while doing nothing today. I am convinced that we have churches that are filled with all the talent that is needed to reach the world. We have all the money that is needed to reach the world. We have all the people needed to reach the world. We have all the gifts needed to reach the world.
I believe we are not reaching the world, because we also have churches that are largely filled with people who don’t feel able to do any thing of significance to help reach the world. We have pews filled with people with abilities, talents, gifts, money, and wisdom enough to reach the world, but they are staying in the pews until they feel capable or competent.
From where I sit at this desk today, I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart, if I waited to feel capable or competent, I would never leave the comfort and safety of my chair! I would bar the doors and order in! I would never leave my house! Here is the earth-shattering news I want to give you from my desk today … You will never be capable or competent to do what God calls you to do. You see, He is going to ask you to do things that are impossible for you to do alone.
He will always call you to do things that are far beyond your capabilities or competency. He does that because He wants you to always need Him to complete the task! This work we are aspiring to do should not be a ‘man-made’ work in any sense of the word. This work He is asking us to do is to win the souls of men for Christ. This is something that is so far outside our abilities or strengths, that if He does not step in and do the work it will never get done.
Here is the beauty of what I want you to see from my desk today: God does His greatest work through the foolish, weak, and base things. He will use things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are (I Cor. 1:27-28). He does not need our strengths and abilities, He simply needs a totally yielded you. Don’t hesitate … volunteer for Him to use you today. He will!
We recently held a DEAF Day in a town we have been going to for about five years. Every time we go to that church, I think about a game my wife played with the Deaf. She had made a list of crazy things that she was looking for. The first person to bring her the item won a candy bar. Not a full-size candy bar, but one of those short, 1-inch candy bars.
As the game progressed, the Deaf became very aggressive. One Deaf lady was seated in the center of the row of pews she was sitting in. She was becoming more and more frustrated as she would jump up and work her way through the whole aisle of people to get to the front, only to be beaten by a whisker from winning the prized 1-inch candy bar.
Finally, she had had enough. She jumped the pew in front of her, stumbling to the front. When she got near my wife to hand her the item, she proceeded to ‘blind-side block’ another lady coming from her right. The other lady crashed into the podium I had been preaching from, causing my notes for the day to go flying across the platform.
Yes, the woman won the prized 1-inch candy bar, and offered to pay the hospital bill for the blind-sided lady (Just teasing about the hospital bill). It reminded me that Deaf love to have fun. Even for a 1-inch candy bar!
BRACELIN FAMILY NEWS
We have another addition to our family! Gavin Patrick Goins was born on March 20. He is healthy and strong. We are thrilled that God has given us another little person to love. Gavin balanced out the race between the girls and the boys. We have four grand-daughters, and now we have four grand-sons!
I teased our daughters that they were going to need to bring a change of clothing for the kids and leave them at our house so they can do whatever they want playing in the yard without hearing, “Don’t go in the creek … don’t get dirty!” Isn’t it funny how things change? I remember my mother having a rule in our home that we could not put our feet on the furniture, even if our shoes were off. I remember seeing our son, Patrick at about age three, walking across the top of the back of the couch in my mom and dad’s house. I quickly yelled at Patrick to get off the couch! I will never forget my mother’s response to my correction. She said, “Leave him alone … He’s not hurting anything.” I smile while writing that, because the older we get the more we realize the increased value of these precious little ones, and the decreasing value of our furniture and stuff. Thank God for your family today … they are better than a nice couch!
Because of your prayers and financial support, we are thankful. and committed to minister to the Deaf on your behalf until the Lord returns. For a full listing of material and resources visit Silent Word Ministries website at www.silentwordministries.org. To contact us for meetings or a presentation in your church, click here.