Friday, May 23, 2008

The Elisha Foundation Retreat 2008 (4)

So, there are 8 lovely families here this year with a wide range of special needs present. I am still getting to know folks and their kids.

For the first time there is rain during TEF. That has thrown a little wrench into the plans, but Justin is the ultimate “go with the flow” dude and is making changes on the fly.

Here are some pictures from the Rock Springs Dude Ranch where we are staying…

From the balcony of the conference centre.

The rain comes down...

Another look...

The horse path. (That was for you Allie.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Elisha Foundation Retreat 2008 (3)

I am sitting in Portland’s very nice airport looking at grunge. Well, looking at grunge culture, I suppose. Lots of Birkenstocks and braids if you know what I mean.
We came though some (Hey, was that Ted Danson!?) nasty weather on the way, but the Lord was gracious to get us here safe and sound. Looks like it is about to rain though… northwest… rain… what a shock.

The Lord was gracious to give me non-talkers on my flights. I know that is not very evangelistic of me, but I took it as from Him. I was able to get done a whack of study and pray from Minneapolis to Portland. Having that time was an answer to prayer.

Now it is a bit of wait until my flight to Bend.

Wait, this is sounding like one of those, “This is Where I am Now” posts. Sorry.

P.S. Did I mention my tall decaf latte? It IS the northwest!

The Elisha Foundation Retreat 2008 (2)

(10:00AM) I just flew over the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan and for a few moments, the clouds broke and I had a crystal clear view of land and water. So clear and green and blue and vibrant!
I am praying that my ministry at TEF this year might break up some clouds for suffering families and give them at least a partial glimpse of the beautiful Saviour. It is a daunting assignment. Stephanie Hubach makes the keen observation in her book that all of us are disabled… by sin. Although some people are born more “visibly disabled” (my term) than others, we all have the image of God in us broken by sin. That means that parents of special needs kids are just in need of grace as their child. And so am I.

So, pray for all of us this weekend. Many will be there to whom Jesus is unfamiliar. My goal is to present Him in all His health, strength, hopefulness, life, grace and mercy. I will do that by preaching 6 times from the Gospel of John. John’s whole purpose in writing was that people might see that Jesus is exactly all these things, and that by seeing Him as the Saviour, might then trust in Him for life like a scuba diver trusts in his oxygen tank at 150 feet under the sea.

The One who healed so many from so many different kinds of affliction and suffering was making a point – fullness of life is in Him alone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Elisha Foundation - Retreat 2008 (1)

I leave tomorrow for Oregon to preach at the 2008 Spring Family Retreat of The Elisha Foundation. You can click here for a list of posts from last year’s retreat.

I love the whole idea of TEF – to help families who live with the “new normal” of a special needs person in the home. I have been reading a smallish book for the last two weeks that touches on this very topic. It has been taking me so long to read as it is one of those books I have to put down and ponder for a while before moving on. I will write a review, Lord willing, in the next few days (depending on whether I sit by a talker or sleeper on the plane!), but for now am happy to commend to you, “Same Lake, Different Boat” by Stephanie Hubach.

More to follow...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tim Challies Reviews "The Shack" (Free Download!)

A Review of The Shack (Download it Here)

Tim has an excellent review of The Shack available for free download today. I have read the review and find it very helpful and clear.

Church bars severely autistic boy from mass

Church bars severely autistic boy from mass

The Rev. Daniel Walz, disturbed by what he said is Adam's dangerous behavior, filed court papers to bar him from the Church of St. Joseph with a temporary restraining order against his parents.

And here is a good example of something I hope to address at least in part this week at The Elisha Foundation Retreat in Oregon - how does the church become an inclusive community, while taking everyone into consideration.

If you read the whole article carefully, you will see it is not an easy solution.

I am pretty sure a restraining order is not a good idea though!

Monday, May 19, 2008

20 Things You Didn't Know About Victoria Day

CityNews: 20 Things You Didn't Know About Victoria Day:

Are you thinking of Queen Victoria today? If you live in Canada, you ought to be.

"19. We all know that Victoria in B.C. is named after her, but so is the capital of Saskatchewan - Regina."