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Archive for August, 2010

Here in Minnesota school begins this week for some, next week for the rest.

Our children with disabilities will be confronted with new therapists, teachers, bus aides and schedules.  Those of us who are parents will be confronted with IEP meetings and requests for updates on how the summer went for our children and any new complications in their lives.

I’m grateful for this reminder from Psalm 127 about how God wants us to think about all of our children.  And how he wants us to think about him.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

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While I was away the team from Desiring God posted a short video of Pastor John talking about Just the Way I Am by Krista Horning.

I praise God for Pastor John’s persistent, consistent message about who God is!

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This year’s Desiring God national conference includes many new features, including nearly 100,000 square feet of bookstore, exhibit, and seminar space that we didn’t have before.

It also means that registration opens for the conference much earlier than in years past.

So, please plan on coming early as a pair of authors will be signing their books at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 1:  Krista Horning and Randy Alcorn.

I’m excited this pairing is happening as they make so much sense together.  Just the Way I Am by Krista Horning is one of the clearest articulations of God’s sovereignty, goodness, mercy and kindness over disability that has ever been created.  And it is beautiful!

Randy Alcorn has been a champion for not-yet-born babies and the most vulnerable of God’s human creations.

I hope to see many of you there.

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Earlier this year, Joni received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Biola University earlier this year and then gave their commencement address.

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Another reason I am so excited about this year’s national conference is the opportunity to meet some long-distance friends who love God and live with disability.

Some of those friends represent Oregon-based The Elisha Foundation:

Our ultimate goal is to equip these special families for a more intimate faith in Christ, passionately lived out with love.

Justin Reimer, Executive Director, will be staffing a booth along with his son, Eli.  Matt Perman, who serves as a director at Desiring God, is a member of Justin’s board.

If you are attending the conference, I encourage you to seek them out!

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God breaks bones?

I’m going to guess that this verse is familiar to you:

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

But the verse that immediately follows contains a surprising conclusion:

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.  Psalm 51:8

Bones God has broken should rejoice?  How is that helpful?

From Matthew Henry’s commentary:

Note, (1.) The pain of a heart truly broken for sin may well be compared to that of a broken bone; and it is the same Spirit who as a Spirit of bondage smites and wounds and as a Spirit of adoption heals and binds up.

(2.) The comfort and joy that arise from a sealed pardon to a penitent sinner are as refreshing as perfect ease from the most exquisite pain.

(3.) It is God’s work, not only to speak this joy and gladness, but to make us hear it and take the comfort of it.

Jesus himself said it was better for us to disable ourselves than have our sin send us to hell.  Anything that exposes the horror of sin and reveals the beauty and sufficiency of Jesus Christ, even God himself breaking bones, is an undeserved grace.

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We had a wonderful time enjoying God’s creation, though one member wasn’t with us.

Paul took ill again while with his grandmother, so we cut our time away a little short.  We were with a new medical specialist on Monday who is just as flummoxed as we are about what is causing Paul’s spells.  More doctoring is coming.

As wearying as even thinking about a new round of tests and more new doctors is, our vacation provided some important reminders of God’s continuing kindness to our family:

  • Paul has an aunt who lives near grandma, and this particular aunt is a very highly trained and experienced medical specialist herself.  She made sure he was never in any immediate danger.
  • Not one child complained about leaving early.  They wanted to be with their brother.
  • The various reservations were easily canceled without penalty.
  • Paul’s regular pediatrician and her staff immediately got the appointment for Monday with a new specialist.
  • We found Paul in very good spirits.  He didn’t want to leave the farm and he continues to ask for grandma today.  What a comfort to have him bond so closely with such a good woman who loves him dearly!

I try not to take any of the above for granted; yet I am certainly prone to grumbling as plans needed to be changed.

Habakkuk provides good instruction to help me fight self-pity and self-righteousness:

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

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