Resource, Newsletter or Periodical

Aprendiendo de los niños con discapacidades: Los niños pueden ser maestros y esto incluye a los niños con discapacidades. En esta edición de Rompiendo Barreras  los lectores comparten lecciones que han aprendido.

October 30, 2017 0 0 comments
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장애를 가진 어린이들로부터 배우기:  장애를 가진 어린이들을 포함해서 그들은 교사들이 될 수 있습니다. 이번 '장애물 헐기'에선, 독자들이 배운 교훈들을 이야기합니다.

October 28, 2017 0 0 comments
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For years, Disability Concerns has mailed Breaking Barriers on cassette tape to people with visual impairments. Though technology has changed, we continue to offer an audio version which you can find here! 

October 17, 2017 1 2 comments
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Learning from Children with Disabilities. Children can be teachers, including children with disabilities. In this issue, Breaking Barriers readers tell stories of lessons learned.

September 11, 2017 0 2 comments
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이번 주제—장애가 있는 목사님들. 장애들을 생각하는 목회자들의 장애와 목회의 상호 작용을 다룹니다.

June 29, 2017 0 0 comments
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Pastors with a disability. Clergy with disabilities reflect on the interplay of disability and ministry. 

June 23, 2017 0 0 comments
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Los cuidadores pagados. Muchas personas con discapacidad reciben apoyo de otros. Personas que contratan cuidadores, proveen cuidado, o tienen a algún ser querido que recibe cuidado pagado han escrito en esta edición artículos sobre este tema.

March 29, 2017 0 0 comments
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이번 호는 유급 간병인들. 많은 사람들이 다른 사람들로부터 도움을 받습니다. 여기에 실린 기사는 간병인을 고용하거나, 간병을 제공하거나, 유료 지원을받는 사랑하는 사람이 작성한 것입니다. 

March 27, 2017 0 0 comments
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Articles in this issue have been written by and about people who hire caregivers, provide care, or have a loved one who receives paid support. New with this issue: Breaking Barriers in an audio file. 

March 17, 2017 0 0 comments
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Kathy Nimmer’s visual decline brought grief, depression, anorexia, hopelessness, and over time a deep assurance that she has innate value as a child of God.

December 28, 2016 0 7 comments
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Esta edición presenta historias que reflejan prácticas espirituales de personas con discapacidad.

December 14, 2016 0 0 comments
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장애와 영적 연습. 장애와 함께 사는 것은 우리 자신의 영적 실천을 어떻게 형성합니까? 예수 그리스도께 -몸과 마음, 삶과 죽음에 속한 사람들은 장애의 리듬과 경건한 삶의 어떤 부분이 교차합니까? 이 문제는 장애와 함께사는 사람들의 영적 연습을 반영하는 이야기를 특징으로 합니다. 

December 14, 2016 0 0 comments
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How does living with a disability shape our own spiritual practice? Where do the rhythms of disability and devotional life intersect? This issue features stories reflecting the spiritual practices of people with disabilities.

November 14, 2016 0 0 comments
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La discapacidad y el empleo. Aunque el índice de desempleo de personas con discapacidad es casi el doble de personas sin discapacidad, tanto empleadores que han contratado personas con discapacidad y personas con discapacidad que han encontrado empleo tienen historias que contar.

October 4, 2016 0 0 comments
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장애와 일자리. 장애를 가진 사람들의 실업률은 장애가 없는 사람의 약 두 배가 되지만, 장애를 가진 자들을 고용한 고용주와 장애를 가진 자들이 일자리을 찾은 이야기들을 나눌것 입니다.

September 21, 2016 0 0 comments
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The theme of the Fall 2016 issue of Breaking Barriers features stories of people with mild, moderate and severe disabilities who have found meaningful work. 

September 19, 2016 0 2 comments
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간질과 함께 살기. 성인의 약 2 %가 그들 일생에 간질을 갖이며, 이들 중 1/3이 한번 이상을 경험한다. 여기의 이야기들은 (온라인에는 더 많이) 개인이나 혹 경험 발작이 그들이 사랑하는 사람들이 경험한 간질을 적은것이다.

July 28, 2016 0 0 comments
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Viviendo con convulsiones. Alrededor del 2 por ciento de los adultos tienen una convulsión en su vida, una tercera parte experimentan convulsiones más de una vez. Estos relatos (y más en la página de internet) están escritos por aquellos que han experimentado convulsiones o por sus seres queridos.

July 27, 2016 0 0 comments
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About 2 percent of adults have a seizure in their lifetime, and one-third of them experience more than one. The stories are written by individuals or their loved ones who have experienced seizures.

July 13, 2016 0 0 comments
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Husband and wife, Jeff and Julie Yonker, describe the challenges in learning to live with Jeff’s paralysis as well as the comfort and opportunities God gave them in this journey. This is Julie's perspective.

April 20, 2016 0 0 comments
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Adjusting to Acquired Disability. Some people have lived with disability since birth or early childhood, but others acquire a disability later in life. This issue helps readers understand the grief and the life lessons that disability can bring so that they can respond with empathy to those with an acquired disability and to their loved ones. 

March 21, 2016 0 0 comments
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Ajustándose a la discapacidad adquirida. Algunas personas han vivido con una discapacidad desde su nacimiento o desde una temprana edad, pero otros la adquieren más adelante. Esperamos que esta edición ayude a los lectores a entender el dolor y las lecciones de la vida que una discapacidad puede traer de manera que se pueda responder con empatía hacia aquellos que han adquirido una discapacidad y a sus seres queridos.

March 18, 2016 0 0 comments
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장애로 조정됨. 어떤 사람들은 출생 또는 유아부터 장애로 살았지만 어떤 사람은 인생 나중에 장애를 갖습니다. 우리는 이 문제가 독자 슬픔과 장애들이 획득 한 장애를 사는 사람들과 사랑하는 사람에게 감정 이입 응답 할 수 있도록 가져올 수 있는 삶의 교훈을 이해하는 데 도움이 되기를 바랍니다. 

March 1, 2016 0 0 comments
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El abuso y la discapacidad. Las personas con discapacidad experimentan más abuso físico, sexual y emocional que la población en general. Esperamos que esta edición ayude a los lectores a poder entender la experiencia del abuso y poder responder así responder de forma más apropiada.

February 18, 2016 0 0 comments
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학대와 장애. 일반 인구분포에 비해 장애를 가진 사람들이 더 많이 신체적, 성적, 그리고 정서적 학대를 경험한다. 우리는 이번 호가 독자들이 학대의 경험을 이해하기 시작하며 적절하게 대처하는데 도움이 돼기를 바란다. 

 

February 16, 2016 0 0 comments

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I have been hiring caregivers for 20 years and this has been the most difficult time between the low pay and economy providing so many choices for employment.

Diane, this sounds like a deeply meaningful worship service. Thank you for sharing it here. 

Here is a service we have done in the past. We have used this basic form for the past several years, with some minor changes. One of the things we often do is to give nametags to the people who attend, and have them write the name of the person (including themselves) or situation they are thinking of or mourning during this season.  Something about naming it and writing it down helps begin, or open them up to,the healing.

Solo/Duet: Breath of Heaven

 

Welcome

This evening we gather during this Christmas season in a spirit of somber

remembrance. While the rest of the world seems to celebrating the joyous

occasion, we come to manger realizing that the world is cold as stone, feelings of

loneliness and loss overwhelm, and our heart cries out help me be strong, help

me . I invite each of you this evening not to hide or suppress those feelings, but

embrace them, realizing that they bring you much closer to the real Christmas

story.

 

For this evening we remember the true story helpless babe born into a world that

was struggling, a world that was questioning where was God, and world crying

out why? The helpless babe born in cold stone room without the joyous welcome

we often picture. The helpless babe born in a family that was poor, tired, and

frightened. The helpless babe who would change all this for the world.

 

We Gather in God's Presence

Lono, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May

my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. I am overwhelmed

with troubles, and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those

who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. (Psalm 88:1-4)

Light Christ Candle

 

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the

land of deep darkness a light has dawned ... For to us a child is born, to us a son

is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the

greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. (lsaiah 9:2 & 6-7)

 

Song:  O Little Town of Bethlehem

 

God's Greeting/Mutual Greetings

 

We Remember and Seek Comfort

 

Advent Candle Lighting: A Litany of Remembrance

 

First Candle; Persons who have been loved and lost

 

We light the first Advent candle and remember those persons who have been

loved and lost. We pause to remember their names, their faces, their voices.

We give thanks for the memory that binds them to us in this season.

Lord, surround us all with your eternal love.

 

AII sing: O come, O Come, lmmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.

 

(silence)

 

Word of comfort: Psalm 103:13-17

As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,

he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,

they flourish like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,

and  its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord's love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children's children

 

Second Candle: Pain of Loss

 

We light a second candle mindful of the pain of loss: the loss of relationships,

the loss of jobs, or the loss of health. As we gather up the pain of the past,

we offer it to you, O God, asking that into our open hands you will place the

gift of peace.

Hold, help, heal us, O God.

 

All sing: O come, O Bright and Morning Star, and bring us comfort from afar!

Dispel the shadows of the night. And tum our darkness into light.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.

 

(silence)

 

Word of Comfort: Psalm 139:11-12 (NLT)

I could ask the darkness to hide me

and the light around me to become night but

even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

Darkness and light are the same to you.

 

Third Candle: Pain of Our Loss

 

We light a third candle to remember ourselves and the pain of our loss in this

Christmas season. We pause and remember the past weeks, months and,

for some of us, years of difficult times. We remember the poignancy of

memories, the grief, the sadness, the hurts, the fears.

We remember that the dawn overcomes the darkness.

AII sing: O come, O Key of David, come and open wide our heavenly home

Make safe for us the heavenward road and bar the way to death's abode.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.

 

(silence)

 

Word of Comfort: Psalm 34.19 (NLT)

The righteous person faces many troubles,

but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

 

Fourth Candle: Remember others suffering with us

 

We light a fourth candle to remember all who have shared in our sorrow. We

thank you for their compassion, for their presence with us in times when our

hurt went deeper than words could express. We remember that you, Lord,

came to sympathize with our weakness and to carry our sorrows.

We thank you for those who held us and pointed to your light.

 

All sing: O come, O King of Nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind.

Bid all our sad divisions cease and be yourself our King of Peace.

Rejoicel Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.

 

(silence)

 

Word of Comfort: Matthew 5:4 and 7

Blessed are those who mourn, for the will be comforted.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

 

Prayer of Comfort

 

We Hear God's Word

Scripture: John 1:1-5

Message: Christmas in the Darkness and Storm

 

We Respond in Hope

 

Prayer of Hope

 

God of compassion, we come again to you as Christmas nears. We grieve over

what might have been. A death or loss or struggle tarnishes our experience of

this season. We feel cut off from joy, lost from what we once felt, wondering if

the light will indeed come. We find ourselves adrift, alone, lost. Lord, help us

find our way.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

The Advent season reminds us of what used to be but is no more. Memories of

what was, and the fear of what may be, keep us from the joy of today. All around

are the sounds of celebration, but joy eludes us. Be near us this night.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

In this season of Advent waiting, we bring you those sorrows and longings too

deep for words. Hear the groans of our heart and tend us with your comfort and

grace.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

In the silence, we bring you our own words of need, our own words of hope.

 

(silence)

 

ln this dark night, let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives

rest in you. ln the quietness of this night, may your peace enfold us and all dear

to us, and all who have no peace. Keep us in the truth that the night is nearly

over; the day is almost here. We look expectantly to a new day, to new joys.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

 

Word of Hope: Psalm 33:22,lsaiah 40:31and Romans 15:13

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Lighting of Candles and Song of Peace: Silent Night

While we sing Silent Night,

ail who wish are invited forward to prayerfully light a candle -

in memory, in honor, in gratitude, in hope, in love-

inviting the love of Christ to dispel our darkness.

 

Passing of the Peace

Benediction: 1 Peter 5:10-11

And the God of atl grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after

you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you

strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

Joyce, thanks for sharing additional resources. 

Diane, what a loving service your congregation does for hurting people in your congregation and community. Because you do this every year, you may have developed some resources as a congregation. If you have, would you like to share them so that others can benefit from your work?

Thank you for posting this! We do a Blue Christmas service annually, and those who attend are always so appreciative.  These resources are helpful to give us some new ideas.  Thanks!

Also consider these resources from Reformed Worship

A Time to Weep--During Advent

Real Joy, Genuine Faith: Biblical Lament during Advent

Light for Our Wilderness: A Candlelight Service

From Lament to Praise: A New Year Eve's Journey Through the Psalms

RW subscribers can also access "Longest Night: A Service of Christmas Mourning" in the latest issue (RW 125). 

Also see: Lift Up Your Hearts #62 "An Advent Lament". 

Beautiful prayer. Thanks for sharing. 

The impression I get from the excerpts of The Disabled God is that Jesus' stigmata somehow still affect His ability to use His hands and feet as though He were limping along or would have difficulty using His hands to open a jar or drive a nail through a plank of wood.  Yet He doesn't seem to have had any difficulty breaking the bread when He was having dinner with the two disciples at Emmaus.  So,if Christ's scars don't impede His functioning after His resurrection, in what way is He disabled?

I second this! 

I so appreciate how your ministry walks the talk on accessibility! Thanks for modeling it for the rest of us learners. 

Mark,

I appreciate your approach.

"I sadly think the CRCNA and the Banner have contributed to the current polarization and divisiveness"

Truth has been spoken, even if it is not heard. 

I agree that we should reach out to show kindness to others, although that may be viewed antagonistically by someone who wants to be "left alone". In the case of the Las Vegas shooter it may be too soon to fully analyze him. While he preferred to gamble alone with a machine, he did have a "girlfriend" and may have hired female companionship shortly before his rampage. There is plenty of room for speculation.

This kind of evaluation is outside of my area of expertise, but I think that the current social divisiveness and dehumanizing may be a factor in motivating mass killers. I agree with MLK that we should judge people as individuals. Today, many judge others by their race, gender, political orientation, social status, age, and even which side of the border (U.S., Canada, or Mexico) they are on, and there is a general denigrating (or extolling) of those in one group or another.

All members of an ethnic group are not criminals, or at least untrustworthy. All members of another group are not "a blessing". All members of law enforcement are not racists. Thinking like this leads to dehumanizing others, and think what dehumanizing has done in the case of the unborn. Not long ago abortion was generally considered abhorrent, now many openly defend "woman's right to choose" (to kill her unborn child), which is "only a blob of tissue" (that has fingers and toes and a beating heart), but can be dismembered for body parts, and if I disagree I'm anti-woman and an evil person. The abortion industry is kind of a rampage, too, but the victims are killed one at a time.

Other mass killings have targeted specific groups of people. The Oklahoma City bombing was a protest against government. The 9/11 attack using airplanes was religiously-oriented, as have been attacks by cars, trucks, and guns in Europe, and the Orlando nightclub shootings. These were perpetrated by people who needed to be loved, but may not have been lonely persons. The killers were all people who simply thought other people should be killed. Now we hear of individuals who weren't concerned about the victims in Las Vegas because of their perceived political orientation. (Check Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 106-107 on that. Are they also killers by that definition?)

I sadly think the CRCNA and the Banner have contributed to the current polarization and divisiveness by official pronouncements and reporting. An example of this is the denominational reaction to the disastrous Charlottesville rally and protest of this summer. Instead of saying, "A plague on both your houses", as I did, the excesses of Antifa and other violent counter-protestors who showed up with masks and weapons were ignored. Freedom of speech applies to all, regardless of how despicable their message, but that does not include physical violence or destruction of property by either side. We can't complain only about misbehavior by the bad guys on the other side and ignore misbehavior by bad guys we agree with.

 

I'd suggest getting on the "Canada is superior" train isn't constructive.  The US Declaration of Independence isn't US law frankly.  The Articles of Confederation were adopted after the Declaration, which were scrapped for the US Consitution.  To quote the Declaration is rhetorically cute perhaps but that's about it.  The rant of "rugged American individualism" smacks more of Canadian snobbery than reality.

The US and Canada are quite different in quite a number of ways, the biggest of which I think is population (which then creates other differences).  Compared to the US, the whole of Canada is  a single state.  Indeed, I believe California bests Canada both in population and economic output.  All of which means that in general, Canadians may act more like a rural area than an urban area.  And indeed, the greater the population (the more urban), the less people know and interact with each other, and vice versa.  Which may explain why so few of these kinds of events (zero?) happen in farm country Iowa.

I'm not enough of an anthropologist to know if individualism is stronger in the US than Canada, but other Canadian friends have told me the same, so I'm inclined to believe you. One Canadian friend suggested that the difference is already highlighted in our founding documents, with the US Declaration of Independence highlighting the individualistic pursuit of rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and the Canadian Constitution Act of 1867 emphasizing the collective goals of "peace, order, and good goverment." 

For example, a CNN article quotes Sue Klebold, mother of a rampage killer, "I wish I had known then what I know now: that it was possible for everything to seem fine with him when it was not, and that behaviors I mistook as normal for a moody teenager were actually subtle signs of psychological deterioration. . . . I taught him how to protect himself from a host of dangers: lightning, snake bites, head injuries, skin cancer, smoking, drinking, sexually transmitted diseases, drug addiction, reckless driving, even carbon monoxide poisoning. It never occurred to me that the gravest danger -- to him and, as it turned out, to so many others -- might come from within. Most of us do not see suicidal thinking as the health threat that it is. We are not trained to identify it in others, to help others appropriately, or to respond in a healthy way if we have these feelings ourselves."

What about the myth of rugged individualism that pervades American culture?  You may not be conscious of it, but it motivates a lot of decisions people make.  At least from up here, north of the border, Americans seem a lot more individualistic than we Canadians are.

That's a good point, Doug. Social isolation is bad for one's health, in general, and Junger makes that point eloquently. Your point raises a clarification I should add. When mass shootings happen, folks look for someone to blame. By suggesting that showing love to people who are socially isolated, and that if this were done widely it might reduce the number of rampage killings, I'm not saying that the people around all the mass shooters are to blame for their murderous behavior. For all I know, many of them may have tried reaching out, but had all their efforts rebuffed. Still, Scripture's teaching is that when someone in our own lives rejects us, we need to keep on loving anyway. 

Great post Mark.  Thanks for not going down a political rabbit hole rant.

Indeed, I think it is clear, at least for those us us who are "older" (and have seen societal changes) that "social bonds" are generally much thinner than they used to be.  I perhaps don't think that "America emphasizes individualism" (as if there is a government ad campaign for it), but indeed, the political freedom we have, coupled with our wealth, allows anyone who may be so inclined (by personality disposition or otherwise) to become socially isolated.  Today, neighbors not knowing neighbors but "minding their own business" is normal, even if decades ago, not so much.

And this isolation can be deadly, in many ways, this LV shooting being perhaps only one particularly dreadful manifestation of that.

Thanks for this, Mark. I have been anxious after the last shooting and unsure how to proceed but these words helped. May we all refocus on God's call to love our neighbor. 

Jenny, thanks for the question. We'll get the info to you privately. Mark

Could you tell me if there is a Disability Advocate close to my home church. Hope Fellowship Courtice Ontario.

I can relate.  I've had people do that to me too, and I don't have a speech problem.  But I do have a disability, schizophrenia, and at one time, when I was taking a certain kind of anti-psychotics I guess I tended to look a bit wooden.  It's amazing how easily people tend to assume that because one has a disability, one is also--necessarily--intellectually deficient as well.  As if intellectual deficiency were an inevitable dimension of all disabilities. 

posted in: Indispensable

The Google 'recaptcha' tool we're using works on mobile and touchscreen devices. It usually shows the "I am not a robot" checkbox but will occasionally show swiggly text if it needs more verification. Both forms work with assistive devices like screen readers.

If you're not seeing it at all, no problem. That means verification isn't needed.

But if you're seeing an altogether different style of captcha (not labeled 'Recaptcha') then let me know which page it's appearing on and we'll check into it further.

Unfortunately, there is not a I am not a robot box! Also, a lot of people use tablets and phones which don't use a mouse. This trend will only increase in the future as the mouse is slowly disappearing. Thank You for your efforts. 

Thanks for the question, Lori. The Network uses Google's "recaptcha" service which has been built with accessibility in mind.  Its latest version reduces the need for people to decipher swiggly text (instead, clicking a much easier 'I am not a robot' box) and also offers an audio option instead of the visual option. You can read more about it in this accessibility review of the service.

We've hopefully switched all the captchas over to this newer tool but if we missed anywhere please let us know by emailing the page URL (and screenshot, if convenient) to network@crcna.org and we'll check into it.

Ken, yes, we were fortunate, and I thank God for that. I pray that God will sustain you in the challenges you are facing. Mark

Thank You , for your efforts and care for families with crisis! 

I am so touched to hear your story, the Lord carries us during those times! Unfortunately the system you refer too exists here too depending on your financial state! I am facing many health issues and cannot receive all the care I need because of our system of insurance! You were Fortunate to have the care you needed and that makes me thankful!

Good perspective! Thx from someone who needs lower branches! 

That was beautiful in so many ways!

Thanks Mark, and Rod. :-)

Yes, too often if someone has a disability affecting one part of their life, others assume that the disability affects all parts of the person's life. As you point out, that's not true at all. Among some people with disabilities I know, I've seen extraordinary creativity in finding workarounds to get things done. 

 Besides, even if someone without arms can't pack grocery bags, it doesn't mean they CAN'T do ANYTHING else.  Having no arms doesn't mean that people cannot think.   In Québec we have a singer who was born with stubby arms and only three fingers on each hand as well as virtually no legs as a result of his mother having taken Thalidomide during her pregnancy, but the guy still finds a way to strum his guitar and begot perfectly normal kids, though I don't know why I insist on this.  The biggest employment hurdle to overcome for people with disabilities is the narrow-mindedness and lack of imagination of able-bodied people.  Here too we see too many chronically normal people placing roadblocks in front of people with disabilities trying to find gainful employment.

 Abortion is pertinent inasmuch as it is the abortion of children with disabilities such as Down's Syndrome, for example, since a lot of couples will decide to abort a pregnancy when they know that the baby to be born is likely to have the disability.  In fact, some tests such as the one--can't think of the term--where the pregnant mother has some amniotic fluid drawn through a siringe and this liquid is then taken to the nearest lab taped to her body to be kept at body temperature with the purpose of determining whether the fetus has DS or not, so she and her partner can then decide to terminate the pregnancy or not.  I have heard that there are new procedures to make that diagnosis now that are less invasive such as a blood test.

Michele, yes, with regard to suicide, a gracious Christian community can be a powerful healing presence. I appreciate the article you sent me via email: Striking differences in rates of suicide attempts between provinces revealed in mental health findings. I didn't realize that teens and young adults have highest rates of suicide attempts, and yet have the most difficulty getting mental health care. Here too, the church can play a critical, healing role. A friend who has lived with depression and who attempted suicide told me that she told her story recently to her church youth group. She said that the young people were not only attentive, but really benefitted from her dispelling some of the stigma of mental illness by her talking so openly about her own journey. 

Moyes' novel perpetuates a dangerous narrative that it is up to all of us to call out and challenge. Thanks for doing that with this post! 

Thanks for this post, Mark.  I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but I have lived in a state that has chosen to glorify "death with dignity," and in the process diminished the value of human life, especially when it is "less than perfect."

  Good article.  I especially appreciated the fact that mental illness was mentioned as an important factor in suicide attempts, particularly when it is under-treated or untreated altogether.  Having had suicidal thoughts myself when my illness was not diagnosed, let alone treated, I think it is very important that this issue be addressed by the church with compassion BOTH for those who are contemplating it and those who live with survivor guilt, "Why didn't I see the signs?"  Neither would benefit from a condemning attitude.

Angie, thanks for sharing. Yes, we too are so thankful for the health insurance provided for Dylan; otherwise the horror of that time would have been multiplied.  I'm thankful we could focus on Dylan, not on how to pay the bills. Still, it was shattering to make the decision that the most loving thing we could do for our child was to allow him to die. One of the nurses in neo-natal helped us with this by saying, bluntly but accurately, "There are things that are worse than death." I thank God for his sustaining grace through that terrible time and for the support of many loving people. 

Life is precious. Thank you for sharing your story of Dylan, Mark, and for your honesty that there are no easy answers in this life. I'm thankful that as Christians we know that God holds all things in his hands - all the complications of health care - and even life and death are in his strong and loving hands.

Mark, thank you for sharing these very personal reflections about Dylan and the agonizing decisions you and Bev made. I've heard you describe the circumstances before, but reading it now brings a fresh dimension of impact and makes it all so current, even 23 years later.

Thank you, too, for making the connection to Charlie Gard's circumstances, the contrasting approaches to healthcare, and the larger point about what generosity looks like in the context of limited resources. Particularly in light of the political drama still unfolding in the U.S., your prayerful reflections are so helpful in humanizing the challenges, the costs, and the ethics of healthcare.

Thanks for posting this, Mark. Ten months ago, my husband and I had to make the soul-crushing decision to tell the doctors to stop trying to revive our daughter. To this day, I don't know how we had the strength to do that. However, we do take comfort in the fact that just about every medical resource and effort available was used to give our daughter the best chance at life. We always felt that the hospital and its staff valued her life and was committed to helping her thrive. We are also blessed to live in a state that covers the medical expenses of severely premature babies like my daughter. Without that blessing, we would have faced an astronomical hospital bill for her month of life. It breaks my heart that other parents in similar situations aren't blessed with this same level of support and are forced to fight systems that don't value the life of their child in the way they should. 

Steve - yes! We will be recording the webinar and will post it on our Worship Ministries website several days after the webinar takes place. That way many more can take advantage of the learning.

Hi Steve, I know Worship Ministries is planning to post this webinar recording on The Network. Stay tuned later this week! 

Will this webinar be available for listening to at a later time?

Hi Justin, 

I have two copies of Someone Cares, which were given to me from John. Has he run out of copies? If so, I can certainly give you a copy when I'm in the area next.

Blessings, 

Victor

Michele, yes, getting help is so important. It's a huge step, and I would guess for many people it feels like failure. Of course, as you well know, getting help is a step back toward health. I hope that our society, and people in churches especially, will start to view getting help for a mental illness as the same wise decision as getting help for heart trouble or knee pain or vision problems. 

 Guilt is a bad motivation to do things.  I know.  as someone in recovery from schizophrenia, depression was my main negative symptom and guilt the main one of that.  Before I was treated for this illness I felt guilty for breathing, let alone failing to do stuff.  It nearly drove me to suicide, and even after I'd decided not to throw myself into a river I still had suicidal thoughts.  GET HELP.   It's the only way.

Gary, yes, not just triangles within our families, but within the communities of our churches. In answer to your question, I hope and pray that this will be the case, not only for pastors but for everyone else in the church too. 

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Steve Nyenhuis
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Kelly Vander Pol
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Sue Edison-Swift
Michele Gyselinck