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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

This was a great article and video on an emerging technology that allows people with paralysis to walk!  I’ve started the video below at the point where a man who has been paralyzed for 20 years due to an accident demonstrates this technology by walking independently:

Four observations:

1. I’m really glad there are people working on things like this! Who knows how many people will be helped in the future?

2. If you watch the entire 16 minutes, you will hear it described as amazing, incredible, wondrous and miraculous. In the barrage of information coming at us, it is nice to see that even secular news outlets can be (or at least act) amazed about something.

3. It increases the wonder I feel at the miracles of Jesus!  This technology is great, but it took years of study, experimentation and production before it came to reality and is still limited in what it can do.  Here’s how Jesus helped people:

•   Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. (John 5:8-9 ESV)

•   “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all. . . (Mark 2:11-12 ESV)

Jesus needed no technology, the paralysis was gone, and it happened immediately.  Now that’s miraculous!

4. Most of us won’t experience that complete physical healing in this age, so the common grace of new technology is really helpful and also brings glory to God.  But someday, Jesus is going to do something permanent and glorious about every hurt:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  (Revelation 21:3-5 ESV)

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The Inclusion Fusion web disability summit includes opportunities to ‘chat’ with the speakers online.

I signed up for 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Wednesday, November 14 on my topic: why churches should welcome families like ours.

Because it is run through their website, you need to register and then login.  Click on the little button at the bottom of the page labeled ‘Shoutbox Pro’ and you are in.

Lord willing I’ll show up as well, and then we’ll see what God might have for us to talk about.

 

 

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Voting, then resting in God

We are a voting family.  Neither Dianne nor I have missed a general election since becoming eligible to vote.

So, at some point today we’ll vote.  And then we’ll trust God to rule over the outcome and the winner, as he has done for every other election in this and every other country!

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will.
(Proverbs 21:1 ESV)

And a reminder for those of you voting in Minnesota: make sure you vote on all the constitutional amendments.  If you don’t make a selection, they count it as a ‘no’ vote.

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Thank you to Carol Steinbach for alerting me to Brady Murray.

Brady Murray was scared when his son with Down syndrome was born.  Now he’s working to get children with Down syndrome out of orphanages and into families!

Watch this 90-second video for an introduction (it looks like a Facebook account is required to access this video).  This article in Triathlete and this article from KSL.com explain more about this man and his motivations.

Some families don’t believe they can parent such a child (though with the right supports, particularly seeking their hope in God, more families could successfully raise such children); the solution they are offered is to abort.  Adoption IS AN OPTION for children with Down syndrome, as evidenced by Reece’s Rainbow!

I have no idea what Mr. Murray believes about God from these articles, but God has placed something special in his life to drive him to help families with the significant financial expenses related to adoption.

Church, we’re not asking you to run a triathlon for children with disabilities!  We’re asking you to welcome and use the gifts God has given to all his creation, including those living with disability, for his glory and for your good!

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I was just checking the news. Then my blood started to boil.

I was looking over The New York Times on Friday morning. They recommended an article based on my reading interests: British Conservatives Play the Abortion Card.

And there it was:

The combination of Mr. Hunt’s critical role as health secretary and his preference for a dramatic reduction in the time frame (for when abortions would be legally allowed) made his comments particularly sensitive — not least because a 12-week limit would prevent testing for many fetal anomalies like Down syndrome, which cannot be detected during early pregnancy.

Implied: we need more time to kill the ones we don’t want. And we don’t want the ones with Down syndrome.

Here’s my reply, much edited because in my anger I wasn’t very careful when I first began writing:

I’m grateful to God for the boys and girls and men and women with Down syndrome I have met and gotten to know. They have made my life better, my church stronger, and God’s world more beautiful. When God gave them that extra chromosome he knew exactly what he was doing for his glory and for our good.

That does not make it easy – the physical and cognitive and emotional and financial issues are significant and change the trajectory of any family that experiences Down syndrome. God is stronger.

For Collin and Mia and William and Jonathan and Eli and Levi and Kyle, and all the people with Down syndrome I’ll remember later, you are valuable to me and I am grateful to God for you. I know your parents love you and long for you to know the God who made you. Because of you, ministries have been birthed, churches have changed for the better, and God has shown his strength and kindness and goodness in magnificent ways.

We will not let The New York Times or anybody else imply horrible things about you that are not true. You mattered before you were born, and you matter now.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The National Down Syndrome Society has created some great resources to help us see real people who happen to live with Down syndrome. If this secular organization can speak so well to this issue, may God give his church even greater enthusiasm, creativity, care and excitement about welcoming and including the gifts of his creation with Down syndrome!

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This is a wonderful story – please follow the link and read the entire article, along with the pictures at the end.

They say God gave Pearl her bright red hair and wide blue eyes, as well as the genetic disorder that created a cleft in her upper lip and caused her brain’s development to stall in the first weeks in the womb.

“Things didn’t go wrong,” Eric Brown said. “God has designed Pearl the way he wanted, for his glory and our good.”

. . . The Browns never considered abortion. They believe that Pearl is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as Psalm 139 puts it, and God alone should decide when she lives and when she dies.

Seeing Pearl’s beating heart on the ultrasound also persuaded them to continue the pregnancy, even if the odds were stacked against her.

“If there is a chance, you say yes to that chance,” Eric Brown said. “The only thing I know about parenting is that you say yes.”

Eric and Ruth Brown Accept Daughter Pearl Joy’s Illness Holoprosencephaly As ‘God’s Will’

Thank you to Cindy Eaton for sending this article.

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This past weekend’s Desiring God National Conference was wonderful – and fueled my anticipation for the upcoming disability conference, The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability.

In August Pastor John did a video helping people prepare for the National Conference, or any conference.  His advice is good for the disability conference as well.

Regarding his recommendation about reading other books, you can find links to some of the books written by our speakers here.

And a reminder: Bethlehem’s Disability Ministry is hosting an evening of conversation, prayer and networking immediately following the close of the conference on November 8, also at the North Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church.  More details will be coming about this free event, and it will be a particularly good opportunity for Pastor John’s third recommendation: fellowship with other conference attenders.

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About this time every year, the St. Paul Public Schools sends the results of standardized tests that Paul takes.

In previous years, the rather sterile letter would eventually get around to the results.  Paul has never even come close to ‘passing’ the alternative tests that they administer to children in special education.

I guess this year they decided they would make sure I understood what these results meant:

   

I’m all for clarity, and I suppose there are parents who aren’t paying attention and need a precise, bold statement about how their child is performing.

But for children like Paul, and I know quite a few, the educational standards are simply ridiculous.  He doesn’t have the ability.  You can adjust the test all you like; he can’t read in any format.

And that really wouldn’t be a huge deal if there weren’t people, smart people, making the argument that some children already born can be killed.  Pain and suffering is usually the standard that is articulated, but it doesn’t take long for other categories to come into focus: those who have severe cognitive disabilities; those who won’t live ‘productive’ lives; those who, because of their dependence on others, limit the options of people who desire to be independent.

So, children, young people, adults and the elderly who are like Paul are at risk of not meeting some arbitrary standard imposed by people who are stronger than they are.  Ironically, all will eventually be weaker than someone else, and then they will live at risk of the standard that stronger person will impose on them.

No, it is better to see that we are all dependent on someone much greater than we are, but one who rules perfectly and who provided at great cost to himself the very means to rescue us from the perfect standard we cannot meet.  And because of him, we can love – and protect – our most vulnerable members.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:1-8 ESV)

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Mike Farris of Home School Heartbeat Radio recently interviewed Krista Horning about her disabilities, God, and hope.

All five 2-minute programs and their transcripts can be found here, along with Krista’s entire interview.  You really should listen to the entire interview to hear Krista’s impact on Mike Farris – she blew him away and it isn’t as apparent in the five two-minute interviews.

I’ve known Krista for more than a decade and heard her speak several times. God helped her take his story of his goodness in her life to a whole new level in these interviews.  This is a clear articulation of experiencing the goodness of God in the midst of a hard circumstance.  And it is full of references to God’s word!

I was also pleased to see that her book, Just the Way I Am: God’s Good Design in Disability was prominently mentioned as a resource for families like ours!

Mr. Farris ended the fifth interview this way:

Krista, my calculations say that this is my 565th program of Home School Heartbeat. Nothing has touched me like this one. This is an amazing story.

Amen.

Reminder: Krista will be speaking immediately following Pastor John’s presentation at our conference, The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability. She will also be attending the conference all day.

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Thank you to Susan Meyers (Paul’s aid at church) for sending the link to this blog post: The Loss of Joy – the Death of My Sister.  May every brother or sister of a sibling with disabilities learn the lessons this man learned as he concluded on his sister’s death, “Our God is so good.”

And thank you to Lisa Jamieson, Executive Director of Walk Right in Ministries, for boldly promoting the new ebook, Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God:

Some people have a vague sense of confidence that God will use disability for good but most people are very hungry for answers to the deeper questions about disability.  They want to see specifically where those answers come from IN THE BIBLE.  Fourteen years ago, Larry and I started struggling to find answers in God’s Word when Carly was born.  Unfortunately, we found very little leadership around us that offered satisfying answers.  That’s a common experience that NEEDS TO BE UN-COMMON.  Individuals and families with special needs must be embraced into churches, sermons, small groups, and friendships where people can help them discover what God really has to say about them or their child.  YOU CAN HELP CREATE THAT COMMUNITY BY EDUCATING YOUR CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE.  This new book is an excellent resource to help you prepare sermons, educate your circle of influence and respond to core questions about God’s sovereign design.

God is very good to give me friends who help me persevere in faith!  Now, let us help others see this God who is powerful and loving and merciful and good in all his designs, including disability.

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