Going Blue

Today is National Awareness Day for 2014! I know there are many days on the calendar that are designated for a special purpose or cause. In fact, you can find a 2014 calendar here that shares many of these special days. There are many people who suffer with many issues. Honestly, cancer sucks, diabetes sucks, cerebral palsy sucks, and the list goes on! For this day, we turn our attention to the effects of lives of individuals and families who are affected by autism.

We are one of THOSE families!

In November of 2012, we found out that one of our beautiful sons was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, which is a high functioning form of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Later in the next year, we received the notice that a second son was diagnosed with autism as well. It is fair to say that it was a fairly complicated year.

Do you know that 1 in every 68 children are dealing with autism, which includes 1 in every 42 boys (www.autismspeaks.org)? Children with autism are more likely to be bullied or harassed. If you are dealing with this possibility I highly recommend checking into the Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit. You can find information about that kit here.

One of the struggles that we face as parents is that we face the comments and concerns of other parents and “concerned” adults. Our children have emotional outbursts that they cannot always control. Some of the simplest things can send them spiraling out of control. Recently, in school, a teacher was disciplining a whole class but our son thought they meant only him. He lost it at school. Autism is hard to explain to others because our children do not experience the world the way “normal” children experience it.

I am starting to hate the word, “normal!”

What is normal anyways? What does it mean to be “normal”? Are any of us truly normal? By definition, if we truly believe that we are all unique creations of a loving Heavenly Father, we are all different. There is no normal. Actually, normal is found at the foot of the cross. There is where we are all at the same place. But, I digress…

I do not hate autism. I cannot hate autism because autism is part of my kids. It is part of my family. It is part of what makes my kids who they are. Do I wish that things were easier for them? Would I take their place in a heartbeat? Will I fight every day to make sure they get the help and consideration they need to get where they want to?

YES

So, will you join me in remembering the individuals and families who deal with autism every day?

 

Walking in His “Majestic” Presence: Week 5

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Before we get started, I need to do a shameless plug for the album that these devotionals are based on.  It is now available on CD baby here.  I have not been asked to endorse it and receive no compensation for mentioning it, but it is really an amazing album!  Support the work and ministry of The Salvation Army by buying one today!

You Can’t Steer a Parked Car

Play track 5 of “Majestic” entitled “Go.”  You can stream it live here.
Can anyone remember their first experience driving?  The feel of the steering wheel and the roar of the engine (I was in a mini-van, so it was more of a purr) were intoxicating.  I knew at that instant that my world had been changed.  My boundaries had been expanded.  I could go further.  Do more!  See more!  It was my first taste of true freedom!
And, oh, was I careful in those days!  I checked the tires, the mirrors, the seat belt, the gas tank, the turn signals!  I had my hands at “10 and 2.”  You know what I am talking about!  I was ready to take on the world!  I adjusted my mirrors one last time.  I check my hand position.  I looked both ways.  I smoothly accelerated the car and… Nothing!  The car revved up!  I went nowhere!  I rechecked the gauges.  I made sure that I had fuel in the tank.  I was perfectly positioned to drive.  I touched the accelerator and engine responded, but nothing!  Yes, you guessed it.  I still had it in “park.”  Stupid letter if you ask me!
In Matthew 14:22-33, we find the disciples have already launched out from the shore and are a good distance away.  The boat began to have trouble.  Scripture says that Jesus “came toward them, walking on the water” (vs. 25).  Not only did He simply walk out on the water, but He did it at 3am!  I can’t navigate my own house at 3am, much less walk on water!  I usually save that until after I have had some caffeine.  We see that the disciples were “terrified” (v. 26).  They thought He was a ghost!
After Jesus talks to them and calms them down, Peter calls out, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water” (v. 28).  And, we have heard many stories about Peter trying, failing, trying, succeeding!  We know we are supposed to keep our eyes on Jesus!  I am not thinking about Peter today!  I want to know about the rest of the disciples.
Peter was not alone on the boat and, yet, he was the only one who got out of the boat!  Let me share the description of one of my favorite books:
Out on the risky waters of faith, Jesus is waiting to meet you in ways that will change you forever, deepening your character and your trust in God. The experience is terrifying. It’s thrilling beyond belief. It’s everything you’d expect of someone worthy to be called Lord. The choice is yours to know him as only a water-walker can, aligning yourself with God’s purpose for your life in the process. There’s just one requirement: If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.
There may be many reason why we do not want to get out of the boat.  Maybe, we are too busy preparing to go that we don’t go!  Maybe, we fear the unknown!  Maybe, we are concerned about what other people might think or say about us!  Maybe, we have never done it like this before!
If we want to GO and “tell every soul, the lost and the dying that He is alive and we have hope”, then we have to get out of the boat.  We have to move our car out of park, and into drive.
If we want to GO and we really believe that this “is the time weʼve been created for”
and that “itʼs time we do whatʼs written in Godʼs word”, then we have to get out of the boat.  We have to move our car out of park, and into drive.
We need to “get up and GO!”
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” (v. 27)
Soli Deo Gloria!

Walking in His "Majestic" Presence: Week 5

Note to reader: This is a single part of a multi-sectioned devotional series surrounding the transMission album, “Majestic.”  All of the devotionals will be filed under the category marked “Walking in His ‘Majestic’ Presence.”

Before we get started, I need to do a shameless plug for the album that these devotionals are based on.  It is now available on CD baby here.  I have not been asked to endorse it and receive no compensation for mentioning it, but it is really an amazing album!  Support the work and ministry of The Salvation Army by buying one today!

You Can’t Steer a Parked Car

Play track 5 of “Majestic” entitled “Go.”  You can stream it live here.
Can anyone remember their first experience driving?  The feel of the steering wheel and the roar of the engine (I was in a mini-van, so it was more of a purr) were intoxicating.  I knew at that instant that my world had been changed.  My boundaries had been expanded.  I could go further.  Do more!  See more!  It was my first taste of true freedom!
And, oh, was I careful in those days!  I checked the tires, the mirrors, the seat belt, the gas tank, the turn signals!  I had my hands at “10 and 2.”  You know what I am talking about!  I was ready to take on the world!  I adjusted my mirrors one last time.  I check my hand position.  I looked both ways.  I smoothly accelerated the car and… Nothing!  The car revved up!  I went nowhere!  I rechecked the gauges.  I made sure that I had fuel in the tank.  I was perfectly positioned to drive.  I touched the accelerator and engine responded, but nothing!  Yes, you guessed it.  I still had it in “park.”  Stupid letter if you ask me!
In Matthew 14:22-33, we find the disciples have already launched out from the shore and are a good distance away.  The boat began to have trouble.  Scripture says that Jesus “came toward them, walking on the water” (vs. 25).  Not only did He simply walk out on the water, but He did it at 3am!  I can’t navigate my own house at 3am, much less walk on water!  I usually save that until after I have had some caffeine.  We see that the disciples were “terrified” (v. 26).  They thought He was a ghost!
After Jesus talks to them and calms them down, Peter calls out, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water” (v. 28).  And, we have heard many stories about Peter trying, failing, trying, succeeding!  We know we are supposed to keep our eyes on Jesus!  I am not thinking about Peter today!  I want to know about the rest of the disciples.
Peter was not alone on the boat and, yet, he was the only one who got out of the boat!  Let me share the description of one of my favorite books:
Out on the risky waters of faith, Jesus is waiting to meet you in ways that will change you forever, deepening your character and your trust in God. The experience is terrifying. It’s thrilling beyond belief. It’s everything you’d expect of someone worthy to be called Lord. The choice is yours to know him as only a water-walker can, aligning yourself with God’s purpose for your life in the process. There’s just one requirement: If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.
There may be many reason why we do not want to get out of the boat.  Maybe, we are too busy preparing to go that we don’t go!  Maybe, we fear the unknown!  Maybe, we are concerned about what other people might think or say about us!  Maybe, we have never done it like this before!
If we want to GO and “tell every soul, the lost and the dying that He is alive and we have hope”, then we have to get out of the boat.  We have to move our car out of park, and into drive.
If we want to GO and we really believe that this “is the time weʼve been created for”
and that “itʼs time we do whatʼs written in Godʼs word”, then we have to get out of the boat.  We have to move our car out of park, and into drive.
We need to “get up and GO!”
“Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” (v. 27)
Soli Deo Gloria!