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The first question to the panel began with a question about adoption.  In less than 5 minutes Greg Lucas gives a picture of God’s grace to us through our children with disabilities.

 

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From Desiring God:

The full media from our recent conference on disability is now available!

“The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability,” hosted November 8, featured four messages, a speaker panel, and a special testimony on God’s sovereignty and goodness in disability. The audio and video of each resource can be streamed or downloaded by going to the respective links:

John Piper
When Jesus Meets Disability: How a Christian Hedonist Handles Deep Disappointment

Nancy Guthrie
Thinking Like Jesus About Disability

Mark Talbot
Longing for Wholeness: Chronic Suffering and Christian Hope

Greg Lucas
Parenting When Your Heart Is Continually Crushed

John Piper, Nancy Guthrie, Greg Lucas, Mark Talbot
Speaker Panel

Krista Horning
Testimony of God’s Good Design

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I’ve read many of Pastor John’s sermons and conference messages.  There’s something about reading that helps me understand something more thoroughly, even if I’ve watched or listened to it more than once.

Krista Horning shared the transcript of her talk at the disability conference.  I felt the same way reading her words and was helped, again.

It will be posted in its entirety with her video in the next few days at Desiring God.  Here is her closing statement:

For now I live with disability.
Disability still says ugly things to me.
Disability is a part of this broken sin-filled world.

But God has so many beautiful things to say.
And so I’m filled with hope.
God’s words grow louder and louder in my life.
The glory of his grace and mercy grow stronger and stronger.

I need to listen to his words.
I want to listen to his words.

God’s words change everything.
God’s beautiful words have changed my life.
And that is how I live with disability.

Krista Horning: Testimony of God’s Good Design from Desiring God on Vimeo.

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The first video from the conference is online!  The DG media team picked a good one to work on first: Krista Horning’s testimony.

Krista Horning – Testimony of God’s Good Design from Desiring God on Vimeo.

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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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This week Key Ministry is conducting their second annual web disability summit: Inclusion Fusion.

Their theme this year is close to my heart: why church ministries should include people with disabilities.

All of their videos, live-chats and tweet chats are free; simply register and you will have access to videos from more than 30 different speakers.

I was particularly excited to see that Michael Beates, author of Disability and the Gospel, would be participating.  I have read everything I could find that Dr. Beates has published, but had never heard him speak.

There are other friends who are participating, and some folks who are new to me.

I was happy to provide a short presentation on why churches should want families like mine, particularly directed at leaders.

Please pray that God would use this web summit to make much of his name, give courage to churches thinking about this issue, and encourage families like ours!

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It is a great comfort to know that God is for us and that we are never alone in our struggles:

Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
(Psalm 54:4 ESV)

God is also merciful to bring people into our lives. We’ve experienced that many times, at just the right time.

Desiring God’s disability conference brought numerous opportunities for even more encouragement. Here are just a few of the examples of God moving:

    • Two seminary professors are developing a doctor of ministry course on disability, the Bible and suffering to complement the undergraduate and master’s level courses they have already created and delivered. Another man I know and respect indicated his interest in doing the same at the doctoral level. Slowly but steadily, liberal seminaries no longer ‘own’ this issue exclusively.
    • Two men from Joni & Friends International told me about a new international effort they are initiating for pastors in 18 countries.
    • The exhibitors at the conference were swamped all day (frequently that isn’t the case when they exhibit!). Two exhibitors indicated the questions had a qualitative difference from the usual conferences they attend. Normally, people are interested in how to introduce the programs they provide. These two exhibitors said they received questions about how to address the culture of their churches in positive ways. That’s a wonderful and important change we need to encourage in this movement.
    • I met a pastor of a church of 12 (that’s correct – 12, not 120 or 1,200) who fathers a disabled child. I was encouraged just to be in his presence!
    • I heard more stories of the so-called ‘weaker’ member changing families and churches for the better than I can remember.
    • The suffering is real, and for some people there is still not even a hint of joy. We must persevere in prayer and acts of love for those who do not yet see God’s help and goodness in all things.
    • Stories help. The kindness and perseverance of Karl and Gerilyn Kanowitz in our lives has spread. Bread and soap (not soup) makes a difference (see page 36 in the ebook Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God for what that means).

I could go on!

Krista Horning touched on one of Satan’s greatest lies in her speech – that we are entirely alone and nobody cares. God is always with us and cares more deeply about us than we can comprehend. The gathering on Thursday introduced me to a lot more of what God is doing through and for his people.

Let us pray for exponential growth, wisdom and love in our local churches for the sake of all those who feel alone and abandoned because of disability. There is still so much to do and so many who do not know the God who made them for a great purpose.  May God help us proclaim who he is!

I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul. . .
(Psalm 31:7 ESV)

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I have much to say about Thursday’s Desiring God conference, The Works of God: God’s Good Design in Disability.  But I’m going to pause to let you know about another free opportunity to learn about disability and the church.

Key Ministry, whose motto is ‘a church for every child,’ is conducting their second annual web disability summit from November 12-16: Inclusion Fusion.

Their theme this year is “Why disability ministry?” and I was pleased to be invited to participate.

You can register for this free event here.

We have several friends participating in or helping organize this web summit:

Dr. Michael Beates, author of Disability and the Gospel, (which was promoted at DG’s conference)

Barb Dittrich of SNAPPIN’ Ministries (who live tweeted DG’s conference, which I discovered after the conference)

Shannon Dingle of The Works of God Displayed (who attended DG’s conference)

I look forward to what God might be pleased to do through this conference as well!

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