Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VOL - What is that?

VOL stands for Virtual Online Learning.com. And what is that? VOL is a wonderful group of successful people who have made the decision that learning never stops no matter how old we become. There is always something new to learn. Always something we can improve or change to make better. Kudos go to Danna Crawford for starting the group. She'll be your biggest cheerleader!

We are all business people of all ages and from around the world who come together in a virtual classroom and learn from each other stuff related to the internet. Most of it relates to how to improve our eBay businesses but any business that has a website online can benefit from this group.

What I personally like about it best is the fact that its all inclusive and Deaf friendly! I am Deaf but I'm still welcomed and can participate. Yes, all the classes are done via talking over the phone or via the computer speakers but most (if not all) also come with a PP (powerpoint) slide presentation and the leaders take the time to transcribe their notes for me (and anyone else who requests written transcripts).

I am very blessed to be a part of this group. I invite you to come join us and I invite you to do it soon as I have seen that the fee is going to go UP January 1. This is a one time life time fee and a real deal! Don't delay. If you have a business, it is required that you continue to learn from others. Don't waste time figuring it out yourself when you can have mentors who are able and willing to answer your questions 24/7. Make wise use of your time! See you on the VOL boards!

There is a huge Gap - Shown in ASL

An excellent video. Please click on the video to see it in whole on youtube. Sorry wasn't able to make it fit here. Please watch!

Master's Hands Deaf Church - In the News

SWARTZ CREEK, Michigan — Brenda Bienlein remembers feeling left out at church.

“I grew up going to a hearing church,” Bienlein said in sign language. “I heard nothing. I tried to lip-read. I didn’t have much success.

Even going to a traditional service with interpreters signing the words poses challenges, she said. It’s like worshipping in a second language.

Master's Hands Deaf Church 010-1.JPG
Shannon Pierce, Mike Pierce and Deena McGee of Mt. Morris sign with each other during a Sunday School session during a test run at Master Hands Deaf Church in Swartz Creek.

Giving the deaf a chance to worship and gather in their first language — American Sign Language — is the idea behind Master’s Hands Deaf Church, which held its first service Sept. 12 in its own building, said John Bienlein, Brenda’s husband and the pastor.

The new church, 6299 Miller Road, grew out of efforts to expand services for the deaf at Cornerstone Baptist Church, which is next door. About 15 years ago, Cornerstone began a deaf ministry, which included having interpreters for worship service. About three years ago, Master’s Hands was formed as a sort of church within a church. Now, the congregation has moved into its own building, a four-bedroom ranch-style house on Cornerstone’s property.

At Master’s Hands, all services are conducted in sign language.

“Interpreting is always involving a third person,” said John Bienlein, 50, who is not deaf. “It’s better to have a message received in your own, natural language that you grew up with, that you know.”

The congregation at Master’s Hands, like all deaf churches, is smaller than hearing churches, the pastor said. About 10 to 15 people attend Sunday mornings. The main seating area, formerly a living room, has 21 folding chairs set up.

Aside from all communication being in sign language, the church is similar to hearing churches, Bienlein said. He gives a sermon and leads prayers, and even traditional hymns are signed in unison.

“They know the words. ... The words have meaning to them,” he said.

People also are free to sign questions or feedback to the pastor during the service, an act that would draw stares at a hearing church, he said.

“Here, if there’s an idea that pops up, a deaf person will speak up,” he said.

The church plans to host Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. each week, followed by a worship service at 11 a.m. and a 6:30 p.m. Bible study Wednesdays. Hearing people are welcome to attend, but they might need an interpreter.

“It’s very important to go to a deaf church because (it’s the) same language,” Brenda Bienlein signed. “It’s more inclusive. ... It’s good to have fellowship with other deaf.”


Master's Hands Deaf Church - New Church in Town

It is always so exciting to be part of God's work! It is always a joy to get a call to be involved and obey. It is amazing to see God do "his thing" and know it is God in action. Last month I was blessed to be there for a very important day. Master's Hands Deaf Church became its own church on September 12, 2010. This is a mission church of Cornerstone Baptist Church. I am blessed and honored to be the pastor's wife and to support my husband, Pastor John, 100% as he obeys his call from the Lord. Our local news channel was there. The local newspaper was there. So much attention and all for a wonderful reason... to spread the gospel. That is our goal. Its not about numbers. Its about our relationship with Jesus Christ. Its our goal to teach and show both Deaf and hearing how to improve and make stronger their everyday relationship with Christ. Jesus wants you so much to be a part of his kingdom. He wants you to be a child of a King. You can have that today. How? Simply admit and agree that you are a sinner (all of us are). Believe that Jesus died for your sins on the cross. Why? Because he wants to save you. What does that mean? Save me from what? He loves you so much and wants to have eternal life with you! Confess your sins to him and make it a goal to live your life as Jesus would. Make Jesus smile!

Where will you go after you die? There are only two possibilities. You can go to heaven or you can go to hell. Its your choice. Don't make the wrong choice. Don't delay either as you never know when you will take your last breath. Accept and believe in Jesus today!
If you are local, we welcome you to join us at Master's Hands Deaf Church in Swartz Creek, Michigan. If you are out of the area, we ask that you pray for our ministry to be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to reach out to the lost (both Deaf and hearing). Thank you. God bless you richly.

Wacky Cake...Are you familiar with that?

Birthday Cake

Last week was my daughter's 15th birthday. She asked for a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I am not a big baker or even an everyday cook. I am blessed to have a husband who enjoys cooking and willingly cooks the family meal most days. I do cook now and then. Because we simply don't need the calories
of baked goods its a treat when I do bake.

Anyways... its my daughter's birthday and she wanted a birthday cake. Ok... I immediately think of Wacky Cake. Have you ever heard of that? I grew up on this and I'm pretty sure its the most often baked cake in our family history. Not only is it super moist and tastes good but its easy, its fast and it doesn't require a lot of ingredients. The most likely reason its made is because we probably already had those ingredients in our cupboards so it didn't require a trip to the store. There are no eggs, butter or milk in this cake.

And that is the reason I made Wacky Cake for my daughter's 15th birthday last week. Before I give you the recipe, I want to share a funny story that is constantly told when the family gets together and Wacky Cake comes up.

Funny Story

As I mentioned above, I grew up on this cake. I come from a big family of 8 kids but by the time I was in my early teens, only 5 of us kids were still living at home. My father had a grocery/garden combination store. We lived above the store. That comes in handy sometimes if we need an ingredient and hope my dad carries it in his store! Anyways, all of us kids were expected to work in the store. I just so happened to be half of a twin so when we came home from school, one of us was responsible for making supper (we didn't call it dinner in those days) and the other one responsible for working in the store until it was time to eat. Since I was not a big fan of cooking, I usually opted to work in the store and my twin sister made supper. However now and then we did switch roles.

Trying to impress my family that I could cook if I wanted to, I decided to make a Wacky Cake for dessert one day. I had made this before so it was not the first time I made this. I carefully followed all the instructions and it came out beautifully. My mom came in the kitchen and asked why it smelled like vinegar. I told her I made a wacky cake for dessert. We had supper and then it was time to have dessert. I proudly showed off my Wacky Cake. I think it was my mom who had the first piece. She took a bite, made a face and spit it out. OH NO... it was that awful?? Seemed I had switched the measurements for vinegar and water! Oh boy! So.... obviously that explained why the whole kitchen smelled like vinegar and why we didn't have dessert that night. (I don't remember for sure but we probably sent someone down to the store to pick out a bag of cookies or something for our dessert that meal! We ALWAYS had dessert with our meals)

So, I take a ribbing about this every time Wacky Cake comes up in the family. Here is the recipe.... be sure NOT to switch the measurements for vinegar and water! Consider yourself warned.

Wacky Cake

3 cup flour

2 cup sugar

6 tbs cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp Salt

Mix the above dry ingredient in a bowl with a fork. Make a well in the middle to pour the liquids in.

2 tsp vanilla

2 Tablespoons Vinegar

3/4 oil

2 cups water

Mix the liquids together with a fork

Pour the liquid into well made in the dry ingredient bowl. Stir with fork.

Pour into a rectangle cake pan (this does not work as a double cake. Its too moist)

Bake 350 degrees for 40 mins.

After cake cools, sprinkle with a dusting of confectioner sugar or icing of your choice.

More facts about Wacky Cake

I googled "Wacky Cake" and found out more about this recipe ...

Wacky Cake was actually born out of the seriousness of wartime rationing. At various times during the world wars, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk were all in short supply, so inventive home cooks and home economists did their best to create dishes with limited ingredients. Wacky cake is a moist chocolate cake prepared, miraculously enough, without eggs or butter.