Saturday, May 31, 2014

Duck Dynasty and Other Religious Leaders Calling on Republicans to Stop the Immorality

I saw two articles just yesterday. Both struck me as quite interesting. One was headlined about the main guy fro Duck Dynasty calling on the republicans to get godly and the other was about some of the more evangelical pastors from a variety of places on a conference call during which they all said the same thing regarding the need to expand Medicaid and stop trying to repeal the ACA. I told my mother that things were getting interesting when those things happen because it means the moral compass of the republicans has gone off the wrong end. Look, just because they do not like abortiions or homosexuality, that should not be the reasons they need to hyperfocus and destroy America overall. As Kirk acameron said recently, churches are too hyperfocused on homosexuality and not focusing enough on the other types of sexual immorality, like adultery or premarital sex or divorce. And for that matter, some Christians are too hyperfocused on abortion. Do ACA compliant insurance policies allow abortion? In many cases, no, except when the life of the mother is endangered. Just the other day, I read an article about a Christian doctor who does perform abortions. Why? As he put it, some of the women coming to him are quite desperate. They are poor and young. And they feel they have no other choice. I shared the article and explained that people need to read it before they judge him. Here is why I have a problem with the hyperfocus on abortion:

1. Christians who hyperfocus on abortion are also judging women who seek abortions rather than taking in consideration the reasons why they seek abortions and addressing those problems. Until we address those problems, be it tightening up and increasing SNAP benefits or raising the minimum wage (1938 law established this to be a LIVING WAGE) or making sure the women have insurance which involves tightening up and strengthening the ACA rather than fighting against it, these women will continue to seek out abortions no matter how many laws the republicans pass trying to outlaw them again.

2. Christians who hyperfocus on abortion are thing to add words to God's words. Where on Matthew 25:31-46 does it say that the least of these includes the unborn? Nowhere. Though I am unclear of ALL the reasons as to why that might be, I will say this as a warning. DO NOT ADD WORDS TO ANY PART OF THE BIBLE. If the words are not explicitly there, then they are not there. Adding to the Bible by twisting it to suit your own way of thinking is a sin. And it is often called legalism. Abortion might be classified as murder and that is already addressed in the Bible. But it still does not make it right for you to judge the woman who seeks out abortion or assume that the unborn are the least of these when the unborn are not included in that passage. But they hyperfocus on that so much they lose their compassion to those who are mentioned as evidenced by the fact that the republicans just cut benefits to veterans (while claiming they are patriotic) many of whom are sick and poor, they cut benefits to SNAP and have now even started requiring the poor to pee in cups before they can get help (many SNAP recipients are poor, hungry, disabled, elderly, and veterans and yes, even active duty military), they keep trying to take away insurance and access to healthcare (impacts the sick and the poor), and well, basically, their moral compass is off.

3. Christians who hyperfocus on either abortion or homosexuality tend to be small-minded and judgmental. Note: I said TEND TO BE. They also tend to always argue and start conflicts. 

So my stance going into the primaries this year is still on the premise of Matthew 25:31-46. In my district 6 which is hotly contested, Mathis, Brooks, DeMarco, and the rest of the republicans have failed the litmus test. Do they have the best interest of the sick in mind? No. They have each said they plan to fight Obama and repeal the ACA. They do not and will not represent me and they are being disobedient to God on this because they are hateful men. Romans 13 says we are to respect our elected leaders whom God appointed. And they have no respect whatsoever if all they are going to do is fight against the president when their job is supposed to be to work with the president in the first place. If they are not going to do the job they are supposed to do, then they should not even be running! That is like a teacher saying, okay, just give me a classroom but I will not teach the students anything or a brain surgeon saying, okay, give me an operating room, but I will not do surgery on the brain as I am supposed to, instead, I will do surgery on the foot. Same logic. When someone come a into wanting a job saying they are not going to do the job they are supposed to do, they do not get hired. When someone who has that mindset somehow gets the job anyway, but then does not do their job, they get fired. 

This is a call on all Alabama District 6, Shelby county residents. If you are seriously considering voting for any of the republican candidates but you are a Christian, you need to STOP! And think through everything I have said. If you fail, you not only let God down, but you assault Jesus, and you are equally guilty when someone who still needs insurance dies or when someone who has new insurance because of the ACA dies because they lose their insurance after all the fights to make sure they can get it and keep it. Do not make their fight futile because of your small-mindedness. 

1. I do not condone the homosexual lifestyle. I do consider it a sin along with adultery and premarital sex.
2. I do not like abortions. But it is not my place to judge the woman who seeks one. In our particular country, we have a party of old, rich, narcissistic, sexist pigs who keep trying to block access to birth control and access to food for the hungry and poor and access to healthcare. Some of these women cannot get healthcare because they have no resources to do so. Their pregnancies could have been prevented, but because they could not afford to see the doctor, they could not get birth control. Because they have no resources, they cannot feed the baby once it is born. And all those pigs care about is forcing the woman to carry a baby she cannot care for and did not plan on but then the baby and the mother will not have food or healthcare after it comes out anyway. Yet they say they are pro life when they are only pro birth. 
3. I hate guns. And yes, I know I did not mention this in this post before, but I have already written about the latest killing. I am not saying that they need to ban them, but they sure need tighter controls and restrictions on them. In the latest killing, that would not have prevented the knives, but limiting legal access to guns could have helped some. However, here is my trade off republicans: You can keep your guns, but only if I can keep my insurance and my healthcare (thank you ACA). Because here's the thing, all insurances under the ACA cover mental health treatment! Want to prevent another incident? Stop wasting tax dollars trying to repeal the ACA! Or maybe we need to have everyone who is trying to repeal it evaluated for mental illnesses? 
4. And if I ever go into politics myself, I will be cleaning up the entire system! No mudslinging, no lies, no pork in the budgets, no nonsense, and no whiny brats throwing temper tantrums that end up hurting veterans, elderly, disabled, sick or poor. Watch out America. I may end up being the first ever autistic president or vice president. And I will not take the nonsense.

--Signed a convert from republican who is still republican at heart, but cannot morally or biblically elect the new republicans because they violate too much of scripture 

Let Me Stop the Storm

Job 22:21 - Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will will come to you.

Matthew 8:23-26 - And when he got into the bait, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the wid a and the sea, and there was a great calm.

II Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. 

II Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.

Dear God, please calm the storms inside of my brain and my heart. Fill me with Your peace.thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Gift of Your Time

II Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.

II Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Psalm 119:27 - Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.

Hebrews 13:15 - Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Dear God, help me carve out time for just You and me to be together. And to be consistent with it every day. Like an appointment. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Just What You Need

Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).

Colossians 2:6-7 - Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Dear God, it is hard to be thankful in times of trouble because it feels like the world is crashing down around. I know there is a reason I have had to delay sending the letter. And I know You will let me know when it is right. But I still have to do it and probably soon too. Give me courage to do it. And open the hearts of the recipients. Thank You for the blessings to. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

See My Greatness

Psalm 145:3-6 - Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and if will declare your greatness.

Acts 17:26-28 - And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being', a see n some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.'

I Timothy 6:13-16 - I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no on he as ever seen or can see.

James 4:8 - Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Dear God, I want to believe that You are great and powerful and that You are taking care of me, but sometimes I struggle because of circumstances like political candidates threatening to take away my healthcare - AGAIN - or people who insist on bullying and harassing others just because they have a good story to share about the ACA has affected them. It is ridiculous. But it also shows their character and their character is not good at all. Thank You for the times I can see Your greatness and help me in the times of struggle where I am floundering trying to see it. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Exactly the Same

John 16:33 - i have said these things to you, that in me you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Revelation 22:13 - I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Dear God, please help me rest in Your presence and Your peace as I face a world that is constantly changing and growing more hateful even among the so-called Christians who keep trying to take away my healthcare. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

How Can We Make Things Better?

Whether a person carries a diagnosis or not should not be a factor when justifying why someone did something. The killings lack justification. There is no reason why others should have been killed. The fact that he had Asperger's is irrelevant except to help explain that due to having it, he had social awkwardness and was more than likely very aware of this fact which likely led to him being more vulnerable to depression and anxiety. He was exposed to a lot of sexual content early in his teenage years. He became fixated on sex. He thought if he did not have sex he was incomplete as a person. And maybe as the leader of Key Ministry stated in his article, that is where we need to also look for answers. Do not blame Asperger's though. 

How can we possibly keep these tragic events from happening again?

Remove the stigmas of being diagnosed with conditions, be they mental health issues or be they learning issues or other brain processing issues. And technically speaking, even though autism spectrum disorder is in the DSM, it is not a mental illness. It is a condition that has to do with the brain and that is the reason psychologists test and diagnose it. Psyche means brain. 

Work to preserve the Affordable Care Act which is working to address the accessibility of mental health care. Matter if fact, one of the ten essential health benefits as set in place by the ACA is mental health related and covers behavioral health. People without insurance to cover this area are less likely to seek help before something happens. And of the ACA were repealed, then access is no longer there if people lose their insurance again. 

Remove guns from the hands of the general public. Yes, you read that correctly. The second amendment right to bear arms was referring to the right to bear arms as a militia to protect the country. At the time it was written, America was a country at war on its own soil. Now since part of this recent killing involved stabbing, there is nothing we can do to change access to knives. Anyone could grab a kitchen knife and do that.

Some of the worst comments I have seen on articles today: 

We need to put everyone with that diagnosis on a watch list.

We need to lock all people with that condition up because they are all potential killers.

Okay, here is the flaw to this logic and reasoning:

What if I were to say that we should put all blonde people under 5 foot 7 inches on a watch list?

Or, what if I said we should lock up all white men who wear black suits because they could be potential killers?

Faulty logic, right? And unfair judgment?

Well, it is no different than what these people have reasoned out! Matter of fact, it the exact same logic!

Essentially, ANY person could have done what he did. It is just pure coincidence that he also happens to have had Asperger's AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. 

How can we as a society address this?

I already laid out some ways, but I would further add that regardless of the age of the individual, we need to strengthen the ability of concerned individuals who bring up their fears about an individual to authorities to communicate this and these concerns need to be taken seriously. Case in point, an Alabama man was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment after posting videos he took while driving of him basically threatening bicyclists as he passed them after he became enraged at having to slow down until he could safely pass them. He was not arrested so much for the threats as he was for the act of videoing while driving. But threats are not protected speech. They have to be taken seriously. This guy made videos stating what his intended actions were going to be regaridng this case. Did authorities not do enough? Did YouTube not do enough? Why were flags not raised when he posted the video of his intent to hurt people?

The professionals he was seeing decided that there was nothing they could do even though family expressed concerns. This evidences that the mental health care system is very broken. They could have done more. Why didn't they?

All I could say before was NOT AGAIN. Why? Because it seems that lately when one of these killings takes place, people immediately judge people who have autism or Asperger's (which is no longer a diagnosis). Just because some killers have had autism, that does not mean that all killers have autism. And just because some people with autism went in mass killings that does not mean that all people with autism will. Matter of fact, quite the opposite. Studies and research have shown time and again that individuals on the spectrum are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrator. 

The Autism Society of America is a great resource for more information related to this post. And right now, I trust them the most. So I encourage all those reading to refer to them. I posted the link to their statement earlier today in my previous post. 

Saying anything otherwise is just hurting the autism community as we fight not only to remove stigmas and barriers but fight for acceptance in our communities. We are people who want jobs, education, health care, recreation, and churches too. Spreading this misinformation is hurting our chances. So please do research before you spread the misinformation further. 

Also, please note that any media organization or journalist spreading such misinformation is acting irresponsibly and unethically as the first rules of journalism is to report the truth and do no harm. 

Here We Go Again

Some people in media have chosen to link Asperger's or autism to violence. And some people are spreading the misinformation. Here is a link to the post from The Autism Society of American. Please copy and paste and forward to whomever you feel needs to see it.

https://www.facebook.com/AutismSociety/posts/10152153594561194

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Put Me On

Psalm 27:8 - You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, I do seek."

Romans 13:14 - But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Romans 13:14 - Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12-13 - Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as The Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.

Dear God, help me to remember to dress myself with You when I am also dressing myself for the weather for the day. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Untangling the Knots

Psalm 34:19 - Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Isaiah 41:8-10 - But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for it am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Dear God, please untangle the knots that gather in my mind. The worries, the fears, the anxieties. My biggest worry right now being these republican candidates who are making me worried that I will lose my healthcare insurance. I thought that the worry would be over after the last election, but they just will not let go of their stupid hatefulness toward the president. They are being hateful so they are trying to hurt everyone because of it. They do not listen. There are a whole lot of people in Alabama who have already been helped because of the ACA. More would have been helped if the stupid governor would not have blocked the expansion, but he flat out made it known that he would not expand because he does not like the president. Most of them are rich and white, too. But the thing that really makes it messed up? They are all claiming to be good Christians. Right.... So let me get this straight. Six rich, white men vying for one position for the Republican Party and they are all such good Christians that they hate the president and hate the poor and hate the disabled enough to destroy their lives by taking away their healthcare insurance? Hmmm..... What would Jesus do? Jesus would separate them into the goats because they did not take care of the least of these. I fought hard for the past eight years to get changes to the insurance industry, to get rid of the discrimination, to get rid of the worry that I would lose my insurance if I got sick again. The law fixed that. When Romney was campaigning and threatening to take away the very thing he already implemented in his state, that's right the ACA is a republican concept to start with and they are just mad because they are not the ones who had their rich, white guy win in order to pass it, I prayed through Matthew 25:31-46 because it was so personal and relevant for my life. I prayed the following before elections: "God, which of these candidates best exemplifies what You are saying in this passage?" And it went like this (based on Bob Flayhart's S.W.O.O.P. sermon given October 2012): Does this candidate best exemplify what it means to take care of the a)hungry, b)thirsty, c)stranger, d)naked, e)sick, and f)imprisoned? The questions ran straight through what is listed exactly as listed in that passage. Now some people want to twist that and say, "what about the unborn?" Do you see the unborn in that passage? Although I agree to some extent that the baby is a baby at conception, I do not agree that a baby can be oppressed because a baby is not a separate human being until they are born. During the nine months in the womb, the baby is protected. Unless something happens to go wrong otherwise. The extent of oppression to a baby in the womb is if the mother cannot carry full term for a variety of reasons. Because it is not listed in this passage and really not actually mentioned in the Bible except by assuming that it could possibly be deemed murder, but then what is it considered if the woman miscarried or has stillbirth at full term, it might be considered a grey area that would be legalistic to assert. But the unborn are not considered to be one of the least of these. Jesus was addressing the oppression of people who are alive but being mistreated. So let us just immediately look back at the list and cross unborn off. Period. It is not in the list. We are not adding words to God's words. Period. That is not something we are allowed to do. Going back to the list: Do any of the six republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the hungry? They have not addressed their viewpoints regarding SNAP, but chances are if they are republican then they support the cuts that Paul Ryan proposed. These cuts affect not only the poor, but the disabled, the veterans, the elderly, the working families, and even active duty families. So no. Do any of the six republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the thirsty? Same logic. Do any of the six republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the stranger? No. I am a stranger and they are not taking care of me with their tired old rhetoric of hate. Do any of the republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the naked? Probably not. Do any of the republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the sick? Well, I have a solid answer for that. NO! They are threatening to repeal the ACA which helps the sick obtain, secure, and keep insurance which is their ticket to having the same affordable access to healthcare that another law says they have the right to. The Americans with Disabilities Act says that a person covered by the ADA has the right to the same affordable healthcare that their non-disabled peers have. Well, they do not have equal access when insurance is allowed to charge them more, drop them, or deny them. The ACA got rid of the inequality and now these candidates want to take that away. Again. Still. They do not exemplify taking care of the sick! Mathis, Brooks, DeMarco, etc. Insert whatever republican name here. Do the republican candidates for my district exemplify taking care of the imprisoned? Depends on exactly whom Jesus was referring to, but since the original text states "when I was in prison," I will assume an actual prisoner in jail and not someone who is imprisoned by their unbelief or their body. I truly do not know. At any rate, at the first solid no answer, I might not continue to the question because as soon as you get a solid no, it is pretty obvious the correct choice is anyone other than whom you are asking about. I asked these questions about Romney and got a solid no at the first question. But I went ahead and gave benefit of the doubt and asked each question about him. My results for Romney were: no, no, no, no, no, and no. Why? Because of his 48% comment which gave a clear enough picture that even evangelical pastors preached sermons stating that conservatives who held that attitude needed to repent. Do you know who falls in the 48% of people who do not pay taxes? 1. Veterans do not pay taxes on their benefits that they earned. But many of them are also on SNAP, SSDI or SSI, and some of them also work which is where they do pay taxes. 2. Elderly retired people. 3. Disabled people who either get SSI or SSDI after a lot of denials and attorneys and court cases in front of judges that may or may not understand their disabilities. But even some of these work at least part time and pay taxes. 4. Children. 5. Middle class people with children. 6. This who make less than $4000 a year. 7. College students. Some of them work though, so again, they pay taxes unless it is a workstudy job. 8. Contract labor. Unless they make over $4000 a year. 9. Rich people who hide their money in overseas bank accounts. 10. Rich people who can afford to give to all kinds of charities thereby effectually writing off their tax obligation. When I asked the same questions of Obama, I got: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and I don't know. Look, to each his or her own when it comes to elections, but I would want to caution anyone voting for a candidate that attains a solid no at any point about the guilt by association? Could you be pushed into the goatherd? If you support a candidate who might be sorted into the goats because they are not taking care of any one of the categories of the least of these, could you also be sorted into the goats? Frankly, that is not something I want to find out. So I will not support any of them. I think they are immoral, and I know they are unethical. So anyway, God, that is my biggest worry laid out with how I overcome some of the stress of it. But God, I need You to help me untangle the rest. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

The Fifth Dimension

Genesis 3:8 - And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking int he garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Psalm 89:15-16 - Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.

Dear God, I want Your presence in my life. Be there with me and for me through all of space and all of time. Help me see the fifth dimension. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hidden Treasure

Isaiah 33:5-6 - The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness; and he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.

Isaiah 33:6 (ICB) - The Lord will be for your safety. He is full of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. Respect for the Lord is the greatest treasure.

Colossians 2:1-5- For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knot together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Dear God, I see You in the roses, the new life, my furbabies, the cool breeze that brings relief on a hot pre-summer day. I hear You in the babbling creek. Feel You in the gentle rain. You really are all around. Please show me Your path for me each new day that You bring. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don't Get Stuck

John 14:6-7 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I Peter 5:6-7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Dear God, show me the way, the truth, and the life. Help me get unstuck. Help me not be resentful or angry. Help me make good choices. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Your Love Never Fails by Newsboys (YouTube)

Nothing can separate
Even if I run away
Your love never fails
I know I still make mistakes
You have new mercy for me every day
Cause Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone here in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails
The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good
You make all things work together for my good

What More Could You Need?

Micah 7:7 - But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Romans 8:31-32 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Dear God, I am a worrier by nature! You are telling me to give You my worries. Today, I have a huge worry. I live in Alabama District 6, which is probably the most hotly contested race going into primaries this year. But okay, here is the gist of all the mailings I have gotten from all the republican candidates: "I hate Obama. I am a Christian and I am conservative. But look, I hate Obama. I hate him so much that I plan to fight against the ACA and against Obama. However, I know some of my potential constituents have been positively impacted by the ACA. But I don't care because my hatred for Obama is so great that I will do what I can to repeal it. Oh yeah, and I am stupid because I refuse to listen to anyone else's opinion and realize that Obama is the president and that if elected I am supposed to work with the president to improve the nation as a whole, but I don't care because I am such a good Christian with such conservative values that I hate Obama!" By the way, God, I am not the only one in my area who has received these mailings and phone calls and gotten the same impression. So if I had ONE worry and only worry (which is not entirely true because I have one other worry now), but if I had to pick the main worry that I need to turn over to You? This would be the one. However, I believe I am supposed to turn over all my worries. And You already know about one of them so it does not need to be repeated right now, but the other worry that has arisen is how my family will be able to come up with $3000 for hearing aids I need so I can hopefully have a part time job that is willing to let me work around my doctor and therapy schedule? I am having a really hard time hearing the sounds I need to hear so conversations do not end up like this: "Want to come over to eat some snake?" Sure! And I show up thinking they said steak and it ends up being snake and then I cannot eat it because I am grossed out. So anyway, these are my worries today. Thank You, God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Our God by Chris Tomlin (YouTube)

Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind, there's no one like you, none like you!
Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise, there's no one like you, none like you!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God! Our God!

Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise, there's no one like you, none like you!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome on power, our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our Gid is with us, then what could stand against?
What could stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God! Our God!
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
Then what could stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power, our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome on power, our God! Our God!


Live in My Light

Isaiah 61:10 - I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

John 8:12 - Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

I John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

I John 1:7 (CEV) - But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away.

Dear God, I appreciate Your forgiveness and love and mercy. What I don't appreciate is the fact that Tom and his church treated my autism as though it was a sin and punished me for having it. And that Tom got away with lying about what happened and spreading those lies around and using them against to hurt me. Fellowship with one another. Share in life with each other. Yet so many people just like me do not get to enjoy fellowship with others because of the exact same thing that happened to me. With regard to that, what do I need to ask forgiveness for? What do I need to confess? I was made to feel shame and guilt for something that I really have no control over. You created me to have autism. You chose me to have autism. You did it for a reason which has started to come to light these past few days. The hatred Tom and his church acted with because of the autism, that is what needs correcting. Still gathering my thoughts for the letter I must send. It has been hard and challenging as just last week I got sidelined with an inflamed muscle that only just started settling down. My arm is no longer inflamed. But the therapies are starting to intensify. Life is starting to intensify. At a time when most people get to relax and start heading for vacations, I am gearing up for what will hopefully become the biggest collaboration in the two county area in which I live, inviting churches of different denominations to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves to help come along side of and send people who may be hungry for a family social and support group just for those who are touched by special needs. And I know that some churches may end up just ignoring it, but others will embrace it. And those that embrace it may end up adopting people like me. Which would be awesome. Those that don't? I feel sad for them that they are missing out on really experiencing You and what You intended for them. God, take whatever negative stones I am carrying though and exchange them with me for whatever positive gifts You have for me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

You Are Safe With Me

Psalm 29:11 - May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:11 - The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

I Corinthians 13:12 - For now we see a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Dear God, please help me not be afraid. Please give me peace. Please help me feel safe and secure in Your presence. Please make Your presence known as I go through the day. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!




Puzzle Pieces

Psalm 73:23-24 - Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Dear God, puzzle pieces. The theme of puzzle pieces seems to be more clear every day. A puzzle piece represents autism. Life can be a puzzle. People are like puzzle pieces. Each and every person belongs in a giant puzzle. And that puzzle cannot ever be complete until each and every person belongs. If even one piece is missing, the puzzle is no good, as it is incomplete. Churches are like puzzles with a lot of puzzle pieces. If a church excludes even just one person, they have an incomplete puzzle. Many families challenged or blessed with special needs are left out of churches as churches either exclude them or bully them. It isn't right. Some people dislike the puzzle piece representation of autism because they feel it represents mystery and they do not feel there is a mystery anymore. But I like the puzzle piece representation because I recognize that the puzzle piece represents how each and every person is a part of a bigger puzzle and every piece is just as important as the next to finish or complete the puzzle. If your puzzle has 1,000 pieces and even just ONE piece is missing, then the puzzle is incomplete and you are going to do everything you can to find that missing piece. Just yesterday, this analogy took new meaning as someone came on an autism support page and immediately began spewing hatred and bitterness in an effort to divide the community. She asserted she has a 12-year-old with autism so severe that he requires 24/7 care and then tried to assert that anyone with more mild forms of autism are less deserving if services or less disabled or that their condition doesn't exist at all. Autism is called a spectrum disorder for a reason. I see it more like how no two people with cancer are the same with their symptoms. They have similar markers, but the similarities disappear after that. Or autism is like a rainbow. A rainbow consists of seven main colors, but as one color band goes to the next color band, you see a blending of the different shades of that one color. No two are the exact same. That woman then attacked me, which of course warranted a block on her. But I also ended up making new friends through what happened. No one can say I don't have something that after years of observation, someone finally got me to the right expert and determined I have. Even brain imaging can prove I have it. And that is what matters the most. It saddens me though because as long as the attitude that woman had exists, I will never belong and never fit in. There will never be enough support services for people like me when it comes to finding safe churches or safe jobs or safe schools. And that is sad. So God, today, a lesson about life being like a puzzle and You having all the pieces that you are fitting together is a great lesson. I only hope that certain people from a certain church reads this and starts to feel You move and maybe they will reach out to me. Thank You for my reminder about puzzle pieces. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Never Run Out

II Corinthians 5:7 - for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Dear God, Thank You for never running out of love or peace or forgiveness or mercy. Truth be told, if Tom had been genuine and truly is a Christian, then he would not have run out either. Because when someone truly plugs into You, God, they cannot run out either. They can run out of energy because our bodies are not designed to go on forever nor are our minds, which is why You give us the night so we can sleep and be refreshed, but in terms of love and forgiveness and mercy, those things we cannot run out of if we are truly connected and plugged into You. Hunger and poverty are real. Yes, God. And right now we have crackpots called republicans holding summits but refusing to actually allow those who know these issues first hand to speak up while they also plot again to this who are facing them head on and cutting the social safety nets against Your Words and commands. But let us not be spiritually Hungary or spiritual impoverished even if we are physically hungry or physically impoverished. It really is hard to imagine You never running out when we compare You to the people and the world around us. Help me remember. Fill me up. Thank You. In Jesus's Name, Amen!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Am Lord!

Proverbs 19:21 - Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 - Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Luke 1:67-80 - And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, "Blessed be The Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him with fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Dear God, here are my plans. Make my plans Your plans for me and show me Your plan for me. Show me the path and lead me on it. Help me be flexible when plans change. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Take Up Your Shield

Ephesians 6:10-20 - Finally, be strong in The Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in ipening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:16 - In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

James 4:7-8 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Revelation 12:10-12 - And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But owe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"

Dear God, Based on what I am reading today about what Satan's arrows of lies are, I am saddened to realize that some of those lies that I had to endure hearing actually came from the very people who were assigned to work with me at Tom's church. And that I did tell him about the injuries that were inflicted upon me as a result of them and yet he did nothing but try to accuse me of misunderstanding them. But Ginny, who I miss greatly, saw through them and saw the hurt and heard the pain and even felt it and she was moved with compassion for me. She tried to turn things around. Mikki's words still hurt me today as do Mark's, and I will never be able to truly recover from them, especially not after what Tom did and the way he did it. God, move through my heart today as I start the process of the letter to be mailed. And move in Tom's heart as well. Mikki and Mark both used the diagnosis of the autism against me. They belittled me and they used it as an excuse to exclude me, when what they should have done is used the knowledge of it to find out more about why I am the way I am and how they could more effectually minister to and with me and include me. "You can't do this activity because you have autism and to might happen and this and that and this and that." Baloney sandwiches. I have autism and I CAN do everything that my peers can do except that I might need a little bit of help along the way and some mentoring and I might need an escape and a safe room to go to when I do need it. I have autism and I CAN do it. I may need to go through therapy to desensitize me. I may even need to use a device to help me communicate better. I may need to run letters and e-mails and other things I need to say through some people who can serve as filters before I can say them, but I CAN. I can do choir because I love music and music gives me a voice. I can do puppetry because puppetry gives me a voice without putting me in the spotlight. I can play music because, again, it gives me a tool for communicating. I can write because writing is my voice. I can paint now because I am less afraid of the texture, and it gives me a way to show the world how I see it. I think in pictures. Right now, we are concerned because the hearing aids I need will cost a lot of money, but I need them so I can hear the world again. My exhaustion is literally from having to work TOO hard at what I need to do in order to do what I need to do. My body and my brain can no longer handle things. It comes to being able to work efficiently, not harder. I have autism and I CAN. That care team, particularly Mark and Mikki! should have worked toward the I can rather than the I can't. They should have strived for inclusion rather than exclusion. "Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to Me." (Matthew 25:31-46) "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. ... On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together." (I Corinthians 12:12-31) A church that does not act as a body may not be a church at all. And on the case of Tom's church, I can see where it forgot that it is a body and that all people who come through it and become a part of it are equal and deserve to be treated equally. If one member messes up and gets to go through the Matthew 18 process toward reconciliation, then every member should have that same opportunity. But I never got that and when Tom screwed up, I was not given that chance, but rather they violated their own document that they kept insisting I sign before they would even consider making the corrections that are needed before I could sign it. But the thing is, if no other person has to sign something before they can attend church there in terms of that same kind of document they drew up that outright excludes me from everything that the church hinges on, then why should I have to? Because what that document would do, if signed, is give them permission to abuse me. As it is, they took the lack of a signature and abused me anyway. They destroyed things with Tom after he had reassured me that we could remain friends after I severed membership. And even though Tom had the responsibility of acting in accordance with Matthew 18 with regard to our conflict, he did not. He was irresponsible and he crushed my spirit. And now I am being called to more and being stretched by being called and pulled to write a letter that may or may not even get read to extend grace to Tom and give him a chance to make things right with him and me or at least talk with me and give me the closure I still need. As to his church, maybe I won't bother because they are not a church. They are a disorganized group of bullies who abuse people who have autism and other special needs. Their leaders are arrogant and corrupt. I wonder if they are republican? Lack compassion for the least of these? Check. Say one thing but do another? Check. Biblically bankrupt? Check. Yep. Sounds republican. Not to offend, but there is just too much I now have to ask myself in all of this as the distance and the time have led to a lot of things including the capacity to think for myself and reason things through. Can I extend grace to Tom as an individual and his wife and invite them into a conversation that if nothing else will give me much needed closure? Yes. Can I extend grace to his church and invite them into conversation for the same reason? Yes. Will there be enough grace to give them another chance even if they did meet with me and amend things and present a new document? I don't know. Because they don't deserve it. Will there be enough grace should we say, okay, it will not work out with me, but what can be done for the future consultation? Yes. If Jesus spent the greatest part of the three years of ministry that are recorded on the Bible ministering to people like me the most, then churches need to model that. The greatest number of people who are unchurched in America are those who are challenged and blessed by special needs family members. And 90 percent of special needs families are unchurched. That is a lot. So, back to Satan's lies. Tom believed lies and it got to him. I believed lies and it got to me. God, equip me so I can hear Your truth and not the lies. Thank Hou. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, May 12, 2014

I Can Use You

Luke 1:37 - For nothing will be impossible with God.

Luke 1:37 (ICB) - God can do everything!

II Corinthians 12:9 - But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Dear God, Thank You that You can and will use me despite of and even because of any of my weaknesses. Thank You for giving me autism, which I actually have come to embrace, not as a weakness, but as an integral part of who I am and who You created me to be. Thank You. Now, in Your power, I will write the letter and get it ready for the mail. And I will entrust it to Your guidance to bring the other party or parties to come into the much needed meeting to attempt biblical conflict resolution. You already are using me in big ways because I have autism and I have many other gifts that You have given me. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

One of My Days

I Thessalonians 5:18 - ...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I Peter 5:6-7 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Dear God, oh boy, I certainly have had plenty of those "one of THOSE days!" And apparently I am about to go into one of those days today. My fidget spiral wrist key ring just gave the final snap. Now I have to get a new one that I might not the color of as well, but here is where I can give You the worry and let You flip the script and turn it all around: they do not cost too much to replace and are abundantly available if you know where to find them. But God, I am still struggling with one of the worst of those days. The one that shattered my heart and crushed my spirit. Lead me through the letter. Lead me through the chart that evidences that I did learn something from all that peace-making stuff they themselves failed to practice and adhere to. Oh, and God, seriously, help us find the stinking mouse, rat, squirrel, or kangaroo that is scratching through my walls again even just this morning! He/she/it has been driving me crazy for the past three or four months now! Somehow it got into the walls after finding itself an entry either through the attic or somewhere behind the kitchen dishwasher that we never use and under the cabinetry. Things are getting very frustrating with that too. Either the poison that was suggested for us to use isn't doing any good (they said it would kill them without making them stink) or they are not attracted to it in the first place because it is the wrong kind of creature. Oh, and God, showing my sense of humor again, but all appointments before 10 in the morning should be banned by law. My brain is not functioning until then anyway. Also, God, I have a thank You from yesterday. The shoulder was not dislocated, though now I am suspicious of the elbow, but the doctor said it was somehow just pulled muscles and has prescribed physical therapy (cough cough torture). I was sad that I had to reschedule the occupational therapy though because of not knowing exactly how the shot was going to impact me. But it was a good thing since the shot made my heartbeat irregularly which led to a nasty high blood pressure as opposed to my normally low blood pressure. I have been quite asthmatic this week as well. And some people do not understand how much impact asthma can have on someone unless they have ever experienced it themselves. God, one last thing, our "representatives" are not working for us anymore. Based on Matthew 25:31-46, I do feel that I cannot vote for any republican this year that runs against the Affordable Care Act, as even the nuns have said, that with the exception of the fact that they apparently do not believe on birth control, would be unbiblical to repeal and the nuns have also said the Paul Ryan budget is unChristianlike (it was full of hate for the least of these and even went as far as to strip away veteran's healthcare). Please open the minds and the eyes of the people going into elections this year so that Christians, in particular, will make the wisest decisions based on Matthew 25:31-46. Look, I do not wish to live in a society full of goats! And I am actually starting to feel flattered by the derogatory use of the word "sheeple!. I would rather be a sheep than be a goat! It means I am doing what is right for the least of these, which is good since I am one of the least of these! Even the new pope is exemplifying what Jesus did and has even praised Obama for his efforts as well. But see, God, here is where the politicians have also failed other than wasting tax dollars trying to repeal the ACA more than fifty times (someone take the dead horse away from them already), they want to cut social safety nets while at the same time deny an increase in minimum wage (which was established to be a living wage). Some people have accused those making minimum wage of being uneducated (many of them have college degrees and lots of them work in government sector jobs and yes, shocker, fast food (McDonald's has toyed with requiring college degrees to work here)) or worse, called them lazy and unskilled. Excuse me God, but I will say based on firsthand experience I out up with more and developed more skills as a result of fast food than any of the positions I held longer. But fast food is not an appropriate job for me anymore because of my disabilities. That doesn't make me lazy. It just means I have learned what kind of jobs are not appropriate and I haven't found an appropriate one yet. But doors are opening.... Anyway, that is lot. Thank You God for turning one if those days into whatever You have in mind and even using them for good, even if I have not seen it yet. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Hold Me by Jamie-Grace with TobyMac (YouTube)

I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way You, the way. You

I've had a long day, I just wanna relax
Don't have time for my friends, no time for chit chat
Problems at my job, wonderin' what to do
I know I should be working but I'm thinking of You

Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down
That's when Your smile comes around

Oh, I love the way You hold me, by my side You'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love You more than he words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving You less

Lord, I love the way. You hold me
Whoa, oh I love the way You hold me
Whoa, oh

Well ya, took my day and You flipped it around
Calmed the tidal wave and put my feet on the ground
Forever in my heart, always on my mind
It's crazy how I think about You all of the time

And just when I think I'm 'bout to figure You out
You make me wanna scream and shout

I love the way You hold me, by my side You'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love You more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving You less

Lord, I love the way You hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way You hold me
Whoa, oh

I'm so grateful and thankful for all You've done
Wish I could tell You in a short story or poem
But all I have is my voice and this guitar
And You have my heart

Oh, I love the way You hold me, by my side You'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love the way You hold me, by my side You'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way You hold me, in Your arms I'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love You more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving you less

Lord, I love the way You hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way You hold me
Whoa, oh
Oh, I love

I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way You hold me, hold me, hold me

Let It Go by Idina Menzel (YouTube)

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks I'm the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it, heaven knows I tried

Don't let them in, don't let them set
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don't care 
What they're going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It's funny how some distanev
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back,
The past is in the past

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

Reach Out with My Love

Exodus 33:14 - And he said, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28-29 - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly on heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Dear God, please grant me spiritual rest so that I can love others with YOUR love, and not my selfish or weak human love. Selfish and weak human love is definitely limited. Looking at the example of Tom in this one. But Your love is perfect and unlimited and powerful. And it is with that love that I will be writing that letter. On another note, God, my shoulder. Please let it be a simple dislocation and easily mended. It comes at a very bad time. Please guide the doctor this morning. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Don't Borrow Worries

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Philippians 4:6 - ...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Dear God, I am trading You my worries for tomorrow for Your peace for today. Here it is. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Troubles into Triumph

John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides on me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

II Corinthians 1:8-9 - For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 

Ephesians 5:20 - ...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...

Dear God, so often it is he inclination of a person to feel shame when problems arise, and like Adam and Eve, we tend to run and hide from You. So help me, rather than to want to run and hide, to turn and run to You. It is not a sign of weakness to need You at all. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Watch to See What I Will Do

Micah 7:7 - But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Micah 7:7 - But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Dear God, I am glad that You often forgive and overlook and use the mistakes in life. And You actually let people make mistakes yet never stop loving them. First mistake with Tom and he turned into an ugly, hateful monster who didn't follow Your command to seek peace and restoration. First mistake with his church and they never let go of it and never showed the grace they claim to practice. And for what is worth, autism is not a mistake and neither am I. They degraded and devalued me as a person. They made mistakes yet they failed to own up to them and they blamed me for their mistakes. God, You are gracious and loving and forgiving and just and merciful and wise. You care about me. You would never hurt me like Tom did. And I know You want for Tom and I to talk. I know You want me to write that letter and offer him the grace You have given me and give him that chance. And I know You want me to offer his counterparts the same opportunity. Thank You for Your loving kindness. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 

You Are More by Tenth Avenue North (YouTube)

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here? 
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love."

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you? 
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems that you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel, 
But He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.


Smile in the Face of Trouble

Isaiah 41:13 - For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."

John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Dear God, help me with the challenges I face today, tomorrow, and whenever else. Hello me to smile in the face of them. Help me as I set to write the letter and get it ready to mail off. Help me face the challenge that presents as I then wait for response. Help me trust You to work it out for my good. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Defeating Evil

Genesis 50:20 - As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:20 (NLT) - You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Dear God, You say You can bring good out of any situation. Give me strength to get done with the letter and to out it in the mail and bring on the good! Also, help me have a good day today in therapy. And to get the other therapy set up as well. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman (YouTube)

Even though I walk through the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life 
I won't turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus: 
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare 
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Chorus (2x)



Perfect Security

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

II Corinthians 4:18 - as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4:18 (NLT) - So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Dear God, here is my checklist. I trade it for Your peace and Your strength. Give me the tools I need to tackle the things on it. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Monday, May 5, 2014

I Am Good

Psalm 95:2 - Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

I John 1:5 - This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Dear God, Thank You for being good. ALL the time! Even in the moments when I do not recognize it. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Will Fill Your Life with Riches

Psalm 29:2 - Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Psalm 29:2 (NKJV) - Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. 

I Peter 1:8-9 - Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Dear God, Your riches are far better than what the world has to offer. How beautiful it is when I see a homeless person who is filled with joy beyond measure despite of his circumstances. But the wealthy think that that person is just a lazy moocher if he gets help. Why? Because they have forgotten where their riches come from. They have forgotten You. Being wealthy with the riches of this world do not equate to being happy or content. But taking away from others should leave them feeling guilty. As You said, share the riches. Share the riches of joy, peace, and love. I would also say that people should be willing to share the worldly riches as well. Those who have been given much, of them much more is required. Thank You God that You bless me with riches beyond measure even though the riches You bless me with are the world's riches. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Let Me Be Your Master

Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Matthew 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Revelation 2:4 - But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Dear God, in the process of letting You be my first love and my master, I can see where You also are calling me to higher purpose with regard to Tom and to his church by asking me to send them a letter asking to come into a reconciliatory meeting to go through biblical reconciliation. You are asking me to show them YOUR grace and YOUR love. Please make sure their hearts are ready for it. Also, just as the debate on al.com's Facebook regarding the things Kirk Cameron said, help me to always remember that Your Word is true no matter what others may say or believe. You see, I find it ironic that a person is claiming to be born gay and demanding that I respect them all while they are bashing me for believing in what they are calling an "archaic book." Why should I respect them when they don't respect me since respect is a two-way street? I cannot respect them but I can speak respectfully and state my beliefs. Thank You God for choosing to redeem me. Thank You God for choosing to allow the sinners choose to live in sin. Thank You God for demonstrating how You want me to approach the matter through Your words. Your example, not Your words, is what teaches us that we can love the sinner while hating the sin. Your words do say to hate what You hate though, and the only thing You actually hate is sin. But ALL sexual immorality is wrong. It is just that, as Kirk Cameron was trying to point out, that churches have hyperfocused on homosexuality rather than dealing with the other forms that exist as well (premarital sex, adultery, rape, incest, etc.), and that they are evidencing hypocrisy in that hyperfocus. I stand firm when I say that I do not condone any church abusing, bullying, or excluding anyone who is different, if a homosexual wants to attend church, let them. If an autistic wants to attend church, let them. Do not exclude them. The difference being though that autism is NOT a sin or a lifestyle choice whereas homosexuality is. But it is just as wrong to exclude either one of them as it is to exclude the other. Autism is genetic. Homosexuality is not. Thank You God for giving me courage to speak out and honor You and Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Whisper "Jesus"

Proverbs 29:25 - The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Dear God, You say that I should not worry about trying to please others so much as trying to please You. That is why the conflict with Oak Mountain exists. Ginny accepted me for who YOU created me to be - autism and all. She did not try to force me to be someone that You did not intend for me to be. But Mikki and. Mark did. They tried to force me to change, they tried to change my very being, just so I would be "normal." God, You did not create me to be normal. You created me to be special and to shine. You created me to blossom and bloom. Like the rose that has to unfold for us to experience its full beauty. That is how YOU created me. Tom started to see the unfolding until he acted hatefully toward me rather than work toward biblical conflict resolution which YOU Yourself would rather see. Now I rest secure knowing this and can finally write the letter this weekend. Thank You God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

So What Happens After Autism Awareness Month?

It is a new month. Which now means it is no longer autism awareness month. So now what? Do we all just forget that autism exists and that there are people, like me, who struggle with the challenges that autism presents? NO! Do you think Jesus only cared about the sick one month and then forgot about them? Why else do you think that the disciples recorded the majority of the three years of His ministry that we do know about? Not for any of us to forget. So do not forget. Take whatever you learned from it and apply it. Work toward developing intentional outreach to us, especially if you are a church leader or a church pastor. After all, if you are in a church leadership or church pastor position, then you, of all people, have a greater responsibility for outreach to them. Why? Because the majority of them are unchurched. They tried church but they got bullied, abused, asked to leave, thrown out, or excluded. Their hearts and their spirits were broken and crushed because of it. And they struggle so much already without the added pain that a church inflicted. We live with autism every minute of every hour of every day. We cannot forget it even when autism awareness month goes away until the next year. So we will not let you forget either. The scary thing that is happening this year is that one of the largest groups of diagnosed children are becoming adults who still have autism. Some of them are aging out of services and will get lost in the flow like me and many other adults with autism. Why? Because we have been forgotten by our communities, therapists, and churches. And that is sad. But now I am going to change focus for a minute and hit some highlights.

Since I have seen my mother get a confirmation of having autism just like I have, I believe that the cause of autism, just like ADHD, is genetic. My mother's observations stand that I displayed signs before I ever got my first vaccine. Some families have vaccinated all their children yet only have one child with autism. Some families have not vaccinated any of their children yet still have a child with autism. Some twin studies have followed both vaccinated and unvaccinated twins in which one child has autism while the other doesn't. If vaccines were the cause, then it seems like either all or none would have autism. And let us assume that each mother of each child with autism did the exact same prenatal care. Why is it that not every child who gets vaccinated has autism? It has to have a genetic link. In order for autism to be caused by vaccines, there cannot be any exceptions. Science is about facts, and the fact remains they have found NO direct cause-and-effect between autism and vaccines. Now, grant, the shots still containing mercury really need to be eliminated and a mercury-free version developed for everyone. It turns out that mercury is used as a preservative and in a person like myself who is sensitive or allergic to the preservative, they have to have alternatives. And they do for the flu shot otherwise I couldn't get it. These vaccines come in single use vials. As to MMR, they can break it down. Up until the year I was sent for a chicken pox booster that the health department didn't give me but instead gave me a combined MMR, I had separate MMR because my body couldn't handle combined vaccines apparently. But you see, if I had a child, I would rather have a child with autism than have a child end up dead or seriously deformed from an illness that could have prevented with a vaccine. Not to mention the fact that there are people like me who have immune deficiencies that could get sick and die because of an unvaccinated child. And please do not say it is for religious reasons. Where does the Bible prohibit vaccines (or birth control)? If the greatest part of Jesus' ministry was healing the sick and Luke was a doctor, then the Bible must support healthcare. 

Next topic. Autism Speaks. TACA (Talk About Curing Autism). Autism Society. I do not stand behind nor do I refuse to support any of the organizations out there, and I know these are just three. Here is why: 1. I support ANY organization that brings awareness about autism and offers resources of any kind to people who have autism and their parents or families or caregivers. 2. But I do not support any organization whose theme is "curing" autism. People complain that Autism Speaks is not letting people with autism speak. Here's the thing. Of all the people who have autism, not all of them can speak in the way that most people consider speaking. Some of them can type though. Do not let me forget this though: ALL people with autism have a voice. You just need to find the key to unlock it. And when you do, this whole new person opens up and blossoms before you. Let them! Do not do anything to damage them when they start blossoming or you will lose the full effect. Think of the person with autism as a rose. The rose has to unfold. Let it. But even though the accusation is that Autism Speaks doesn't let people with autism speak, the reality is that they do. As long as you are able to communicate to them on their page or send them e-mails or call them, they are giving you a voice. Stop being confrontational going into it if you want to effect change. As to curing autism. Please so help me, but autism does NOT need a cure! Will autism kill me like cancer? No. Is autism a disease like cancer? No. Stop trying to cure me of autism! Autism is a part of WHO I am. Just like asthma is a part of me. Autism lets me think outside the box so that I see things more exact and more concise and more colorful and more musical than others. The only thing needing a cure with regard to autism is the ignorance and the churches that bully and abuse and exclude us. They need cures. Not us. 

Moving on. Is it autistic or person with autism? It depends on the person. Me? I prefer autistic. So you should refer to me like this, "This is Susan. She has autism. She is autistic." I am autistic. When you refer to a person who plays music, do you call them a person who has musical gifts or a musician? When you refer to a person who paints, do you call them a person who has art skills or an artist or artistic? It is the same concept. I prefer to be called autistic because it is what I am. Also asthmatic. Diabetic refers to someone with diabetes. I am autistic. Please do not refer to me as a person who has or a person with autism because even though some people believe in "people first" language, I find it degrading and devaluing. It does not embrace who I am. And it is complicated. I prefer simple. 

Now. What does the future look like for people with autism? Based on my own experience of being late diagnosed, not good so far. Churches are not reaching out to us. Communities lack support for us. And therapy doesn't exist for us. Traditional Vocational Rehabilitation Services are not appropriate for us. Many job places don't want us. Not all of us can do college (I did and that is great, but had I known about the autism, would things have been different since there was not as much support then as there is now?). Not all of us can work. Not all of us can drive. Not all of us can support ourselves. Even the most high functioning of us cannot necessarily be fully independent. In communities where support exists, the chances of an autistic thriving are a lot better than in communities where there is little to no support. Those areas I mentioned. Things need to change in all of them for us to have a chance. And they need to start changing NOW. Don't wait saying that when the need arises, it will happen. The need is already there. Children with autism grow to be adults who still have autism. Don't wait. Act now.

Autism awareness will be my purpose every day that I am alive. It has to be. I live with it every day of my life. I will not let you forget. 

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