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Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

        I have been observing alot of situations in the news and in the events that happen around me…I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret in overcoming any challenges or events in life has to be in deciding not to let any circumstances or event define the rest of your life.  I think a person’s attitude or determination is the key factor.

        Have you ever known someone who has gotten stuck in life?  You know…the the type of person who just can’t seem to be able to get past a certain event, challenge or obstacle?  It is a person who dwells on all of the lost opportunities in life; any negative situations they have encountered, the after-effects or consequences from a trauma or difficulty that they have faced; events that have been a cross road in their life.  We all have them; so what determines who overcomes and who seems to be buried under a load of defeat?  (more…)

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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      Now that the historic 2008 election for the President of the United States is over and Barack Obama has won…there will be great expectations.  Obama really ran on the platform of “change”.  As the agent of change…he will be watched and judged in a way like no other before him.  Everyone is expecting miracles; and miracles, is what this nation needs.  Families are looking for stability in their lives.

       As we have demonstrated to the world over the last few months…we have to get our finances as a country and as a world under control.  We must heal the breakdown of credit and the housing industry…the buying, selling and foreclosure of homes.  We must address the nations dependency on oil from foreign countries.  We must investigate and explore alternative forms of energy.  We must address the dwindling funding that forms the foundation of education in both lower and higher education.  We must find a way to insure those who have no medical insurance.  We need to apply some solutions to the social security flux which will drain the funds because of the aging population.  We must repair relationships with countries around the world that have been badly damaged over the last 8 years.  We must continue to protect ourselves and others who are under siege from terrorists around the world.  We must insure that our children have opportunities before them that children from other countries have. 

        I say we meaning, African Americans and all Americans, Democrats and Republics, conservatives and liberals, men and women…it doesn’t matter who you are…we are in this thing called life together…and that is how we have to approach solutions to the problems that we face as a country.

        With an unprecedented stacked deck of Democrats in the House & Senate, as well as a Democratic President, we will have great expectations from Barack Obama as leader of the United States. Republicans have taken the heat for the condition of the United States for quite some time…now it is time for Democrats to prove their worth as they lead our citizens.  

         Is President elect Obama up to the task?  He had better be…because it is unacceptable to think about the alternative; and, the impact it will have on this country if he fails at any one of the aforemented issues; as well as many, many more issues which are in need of major renovation to become healthy once again.

         Hopefully, we will not, in our zeal to affect change in this country, continue to attack the basic values of conservative America.  We are seeing escalating legal attacks on the defination of traditional views of marriage and family.  We have people who are determined to stretch the defination to include gay marriages as a legally recognized state of marriage.  There are those who seek to further liberal ideas such as legalizing marijuana and prostitution; or expanding the limits of abortion.  It seems that traditional values in this country are being turning upside down…what has been considered to be right is now viewed as wrong and is prone to challenge.

        There is some real resistance against such change, from those who consider themselves conservative; to fight and stand up to those challenges; by those who not only believe in a liberal view of rights and responsibilities but, those who seek to change how we govern ourselves regarding those issues.  So is Barack Obama up to the task of effective leadership of such diverse approaches to life?  Time will be the judge! In the meantime, citizens of the United States have a right to great expectations.

       

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        This election has electrified American’s like no other election in my memory.  People have strong reactions to the ups and downs on the daily news.  The media’s interpetation of what is happening minute- by- minute in the run for the Presidency of the United States is very slanted in it’s presentation.  It gives the impression that one doesn’t even need to vote…that it is already a done deal…IT IS NOT!  Everyone who is able must vote.  Everyone has a voice and must use it to choose who they wish to represent them in the leadership of their country.

          It has been called everything from a very prettified “Historic Election” to “A Mess”.  From the outset of this journey…it was touted as an election to take notice of, be a part of and yet; once the Democrats chose their candidate…and the Republicans chose theirs, the battle lines have been drawn.  The media has all but declared a win for Barack Obama.

           Each candidate has claimed that it is time for change.  Most Americans couldn’t agree more with that; however, the last few weeks have been increasing in ugliness.  Citizens are not happy with the direction our country has taken in the quality of life, nor in the image that has been projected of Americans around the world.  That has to be addressed.  Add into the chaos of the multi national financial systems collapse, and the housing market crisis, and throw into the mix health care & job losses; and you should have a clear platform for a political candidate to voice their position and their solutions.  It hasn’t happened yet.  The candidates are too afraid of voicing their true position on the issues in fear of alienating some section of voters…so we are left to our own impressions of where the candidates stand.

          Part of the fear and anxiety in this country has been the lack of information needed to make an informed decision.  Questions have been raised about personal integrity, honesty and positions of faith.  Candidates can say what they want about the image that they try to project…however, actions speak louder than all of the words written for them by their well-paid speech writers.  The truth of who a candidate really is will eventually come out.  I just hope that each will reveal themselves before the actual election.  We are in real trouble when the media and celebrity spokespersons are the go to sources of information.  We only learn what they want us to learn. 

           Hate and violence should never have a place in American politics.  Let the candidates show and declare their true value systems and positions on the issues.  There is a huge movement that has building over the last decade or so, against people of faith who try to vote their values and who hold their political leaders to some level of positive role modeling.  Why is that wrong? In my opinion, it isn’t.  Standards of behavior should be based on an acceptable level to the people that the candidates represent.

           We have, over the years, removed God from our schools, we have demanded seperation of church and state, and some talk of taking that even farther by removing the “Under God” from our pledge of allegience.  There is even an organization dedicated to supporting non-believers in God or atheists in their candidacy; it is called, Godless Americans Political Action Committee.  They have a right to form their committee just as others have a right to question a candidate about their alliance to such an organization and how it will affect their position should they be election to a position of power.  Plain and simple; let the truth be known if you are associated with such an organization and let the voter’s decide whether you merit a vote or not; don’t hide your involvement and don’t lie to the people who you would represent if elected.

            Really, if you are a Christian…this election is about staking your claim for your personal beliefs and value systems.  Don’t vote in this election based just on your economic situation; or, on falling for the one liner…”we want change”….because…if you don’t vote your Christian values then you and the rest of the citizens of the United States are on a slippery slope.  Quality of life is in question as it is with all of the challenges to traditional religious views such as one man one woman marriages and standing up for family values.  If we allow our leadership to rest in the hands of people who don’t consider themselves accountable to a higher power or authority under God, then we really are in trouble as a nation.

            I don’t think that America is ready, willing or able to endorse Godlessness in our Political leaders; do you?

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What Are You Going to Accomplish Today?

        Are you living your life fully or are you going through the motions just waiting for something to happen to change the way things are?  Do you have long term and short term goals in place?  Are you focussed on enjoying today while planning for tomorrow?  Life is an interesting mix of failures, accomplishments, goals; each has their place in your life to enable you to be successful in your personal and professional life.

         Have you ever heard how people answer questions about their life?  Anyone ever said to you…it is just another day?  That my friend, is a life that is un-fulfilled.  That is a person who isn’t engaged with their purpose in life.  Maybe they don’t know that they live and breathe for a reason.  Every person has gifts, ideas, experiences, talents, and knowledge that is meant to move them and others through life in a positive way.  Sitting on those  qualities and hoarding them without using them to improve life is a one way trip to no-where.

          Do you know anyone who has to learn life the hard way?  Are they condemned to experience life through failure?  Or , are they equipped to live and learn from the mistakes and the successes of others…saving themselves time and enabling them to succeed more quickly and efficiently?

           I want to tell you about an opportunity to experience something that has never been done before.  There is going to be a life changing seminar in Long Beach, California Sept 26-28th put on by Brendon Burchard, author, life coach, businessman and motivational speaker.   Brendon wrote the book, Life’s Golden Ticket last year and made a huge impact on those who have read it.  It was published by Harper Collins.  He has put together a program that is going to address personal and professional growth as well as wealth building.  Can you use any help in those areas?

           This is an affordable event.  It is not going to be held in a traditional hotel environment where they present you with recycled information and then grab your money.  This experience is going to include, music, business advice, life changing information on gathering business partners, personal growth experts, the power of impact, and learning how to build upon what you have and the contacts in your life.  If any of this interests you…you may want to click on this link to find out how you can be there to see this extra-ordinary event unfold.  It will make history as it takes place under a big top tent.  Nothing boring here 🙂  Here is your link to more information…and some free audio snippets of an interview:  http://www.lifesgoldenticket.com/preview 

            Also at this event, you will see the results of Ken McArthur’s Boot Camp Impact Action Team and what they were able to accomplish in their teamwork by joining together to make a positive impact in an area of life that touches so many.  It is important to support the Impact Action Team and the work that they are doing!  Check out the person that was chosen to receive the benefit of their impact here:  http://speakupsavelives.org/  Meet Deremiah CPE…see how you can help impact the world.

             Find a way to get there…and discover what your purpose in life is; and, how you can nurture that purpose, and allow it to blossom.  You will understand how to take the promise of the seeds in your life and turn them into the amazing life that they were meant to be!  Are you up to the challenge, are you willing to enjoy each day to the fullest, living your life with purpose and clarity, achieving all that you are meant to achieve; and, spreading the message that we are all here to encourage and lift each other up?  Life is too short to spend it wishing for more, accepting less and resenting those who understand how to make things happen in a positive way, Don’t you think so too?  Come on, check it out:  http://www.lifesgoldenticket.com/preview  If you don’t listen to anything else, listen to the last audio…where he talks about his amazing un-precedented money back guarantee!  He sounds pretty confident to me that you will not leave the event un-changed or un-happy!

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         Support is a simple enough word; but, more importantly it is a powerful tool.  My dictionary says this about support:  To hold or bear weight, to tolerate, to give assistance, approval or aid.

          Quite often we hear the word in association with divorce as in spousal or child support.  This is usually in regards to finances.  This too is important in life…because truthfully, needing money to survive is a basic necessity in our world.  But there are many types of support that we need to survive.

           We need physical support throughout life such as encouragement through hugs, pat on the back, a kiss, food, water, shelter, a high five now and again.  We need emotional support that carries us through the hard times.  Most often the emotional support comes in the form of a mixture of physical touch and verbal words of encouragement.  When our words and our body language don’t match…people pick up on that and feel rejected.  But when you combine words with positive body language…that has the power to lift people up and help them to overcome obstacles and challenges that they face.

          Today, my family will be supporting three wonderful human beings that our family has been blessed to know.  All three are teachers at the core of who they are…in fact, they are “professionals”…teachers also by trade.

          One teacher, Mrs. K, has been battling cancer since her son was born 4 years ago.  She is a young woman who has given so much to her special education students and their families.  She has been making an impact on those around her by inspiring and teaching even during her illness.  

          Her husband and child have been a source of love and encouragement.  Her former students (she has not been able to work for the last 2 years because of her treatments) have motivated her and connected with her to communicate their love and support for her.  She has touched the lives of so many people that i think it surprises her how many people care about what she is going through.  Today, there is a community fundraiser to help her family out financially; as she continues to fight against the cancer that has spread in her body, even though her treatments have been aggressive.  This community support, i hope, goes along way to bring a surge of love and support to Mrs. K and her whole family.  I pray that they are lifted up and touched by the level of love (and finances) sent their way.

         Today also, we will go and support and celebrate a marital union of two other teachers who have been a big part of our family, for years.  They are blending a family officially and legally.  But more importantly, they are blending a family physically and emotionally.  One is a special education teacher who has been bringing educational support to our community’s families who have children with challenges.  We are blessed to know Mr. S.    His bride, J, will soon be Mrs. S.    She has waited 5 years for this day.  Together they will have 5 children in their family.  “J” has been teaching one of my children in a homeschool environment for the last year.  She has brought much love and support to our family as well.

         The thing about support is that it requires sacrifice.  What you put out there into the world comes back.  Support, either you’ve got what it takes…or you don’t.  Who can you find to support today?

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       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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