Saturday, May 08, 2010

When your special needs kid leaves home... for good.

Greg Lucas writes for all of us with special needs kids.

He hugged his brothers and sister; then dad and mom. Before walking to the car he picked up his small computer talker that he wears around his neck and said, “Goodbye”. He waved like the grand marshal in a ticker tape parade and blew us volley of passionate kisses.

I buckled him into the back seat of the care worker’s car. And just like that…he was gone.

For a brief moment I felt like a normal parent watching his 17 year old son drive away to college. Then, in almost a panic, it seemed like someone had just kidnapped our baby boy. Like a good cop and faithful father, I wanted to run after the car, catch the kidnapper and rescue my son.

Then I realized—this was the rescue.

Jake was moving to the best quality of adult life that we could offer. My selfish attitude of, “No one can care for my son as good as myself” faded into the submission and surrender of his future to the care of my sovereign God.

My wife and I sat on the front porch swing most of that day--wondering…grieving…resting. It was almost like a death in the family, except no one came with food and condolences. We were all alone.

I told a friend it was like we had just completed a marathon together, but when we crossed the finish line no one was there to cheer us on. Then we realized the race had been over for quite some time. All the lights were off and the crowds had gone home. There was no celebration, just exhaustion, weariness and fatigue. We embraced each other at the finish line knowing we lost, but still grasping for the hope that at the very least, we finished the race.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Special Needs, Justin Reimer, David Murray, Challies and Me

Connected Kingdom Podcast, Episode 4 | Challies Dot Com

I was the happy guest of Tim Challies and David Murray this week on their newest episode of Connected Kingdom. You can listen to the interview at the link above.

Normally I would not point this out, but as I thought about it today, it struck me as a good opportunity to highlight the work of the The Elisha Foundation. TEF is a charity I have worked with for several years that runs free retreats for families who care for special needs children. It is a wonderful work and I love being able to serve here.

The interview with me is good if you skip my parts and listen to Justin Reimer, the founder of TEF. He has a thousand good ideas of how a church should help families who deal with special needs members. But his one big idea is best of all!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Help when you are tempted

Jesus’ sympathy for sinners has more to do with identifying with them in their suffering as they resist temptation than it does with coddling them when they have succumbed to temptation. To hold off sin when it looks so appealing is a form of suffering that Jesus knows full well.
What brings me great joy is that Jesus, because “he himself has suffered when tempted… is able to help” us when we are tempted. He responds to the cry of a Christian that pleads for grace to not sin. That is suffering and He gets it.
Our problem so much of the time is that we barely cry out. We cry like a snubbed toddler – enough (we think) to get some attention and then justify our sin when “help” does not come. We need to learn to keep crying until He comes.
Once I heard a thump and scream in my house. It came from the stairwell and it was the voice of a girl who had recently had knee surgery. You can bet I got to that very authentic cry for help in a hurry. Why would we think Jesus would be any different? I guess I am suggesting that the problem lies more in our pathetic, unbelieving cries than it does in the One who is “able to help those who are being tempted.”
Don’t lose heart, Christian. And don’t give up so fast. Your Lord Jesus stands in authentic, unashamed solidarity with you and He will help.

For more, read Hebrews 2:17-18.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Christian SEO Offers Free Admission to Toronto Pastors Conference -

Christian SEO Offers Free Admission to Pastors Conference -

"Toronto, Canada, May 03, 2010 --( This year, pastors who attend the Toronto Pastors Conference and go on to hire Strider, Inc. to design a new website for their church will have the price of their conference admittance deducted from their total Strider bill. This allows pastors to, in effect, attend the conference free of charge. If a church member attends, the church will be eligible to receive the same web design discount, and if multiple members attend, the discount will be greater. Strider, Inc.'s website states that a discount will also be provided for attendees who hire them for church website search engine optimization or maintenance. If conference attendees have personal or business websites, Strider has agreed to give them a discount on web design work as well."