This is a video that I found very helpful. Really explains Heaven from the Jewish perspective. This video is done by “First Fruits of Zion”. Have a look.
Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
It was 2 days before Christmas and I made the mistake of watching a video called “Extreme Love: Autism” documented by the BBC’s Louis Theroux. This was definitely not something that gave me Christmas Spirit. The whole thing left a dark cloud over my head for days.
The purposes of making documentaries is to educate the public and make them more aware. This does not show the broad spectrum of autism, but extreme cases (severely affected by autism). This would seem like shocking behavior to people who do not understand some of these negative behavior traits of ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nothing positive can come from this program other then frightening people.
What my biggest concern is eventually they’ll be genetic testing for autism and this is not something people should see due to it not being a fair balance. Today startling reports of 98% of pregnancies are ended if they are found to have Down Syndrome. Other genetic testings are done to weed out these (non perfect fetuses). They told me knowledge is power so you would be prepared – no surprises. I agreed and had the testing done like everyone else is encouraged. It’s not far off with the startling numbers of children with Autism that researchers will soon have the answers and will begin testing for this during pregnancy.
The title alone is very telling “Extreme Love”. What does that even mean? Oh, if you have a child like these demonstrated you’d have to try extra hard to love them? It upsetting me and I cried throughout watching at the obvious pain and frustration these children were going through.
Our son Silas is also considered special needs being diagnosed severely autistic. I can safely say our love for him knows no bounds. The thought of it being difficult to love him is absolutely ridiculous. It’s not an easy life but trouble loving them enough? Are we any different from the next person? Nope. It makes no difference whether your child has mild, moderate or severe autism, or whatever disability. Ask any parent who has a child that is different from others and you’ll see very quickly they have no regrets about having their child, and love them just as much as their other children. We don’t love them less because they are different.
Educating the public about the realities of these children’s special needs is totally fine. I have zero problem with that. All this mother would like to see is the whole story rather then distorted version of how bad it can get. People need to be more open minded about the possibilities these children’s futures have. Many autistic children lead productive lives and contribute/offer much to society.
This documentary lacked balance and showed mostly older children that have become a true problem for the parents. Parents crying and about how difficult their lives serves no purpose. The video ends on the note of what will we do with these burdens once they turn 18? Group homes? Bagging groceries the rest of their lives? Sounds promising right? I will say this, most of the parents showed immense love for their children, but were at their wits end. From one parent to another I get it. It is hard, but there is always the good moments. These needed to be shown. It left Louis Theroux (man conducting interviews for his documentary), simply astounded by the parents determination.
All I know for sure is this…Silas knows authentic love from us and we do not consider him a burden of any kind. Real genuine parent child love. The Lord blessed us with an amazing child who has changed our lives for the better. I thank God for blessing us with two beautiful children.
Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
As I sit here and ponder thoughts of the happenings this past year has encompassed, I find myself dealing with an internal struggle of conflicting emotions. By nature I feel as though my mind goes to the negative before it considers the positives. Back and forth I go being pleased in one moment and worrying the next.
A big draft is coming in my window and need to put a sweater on. I think “Wow, we really need to put some sort of seal over this window.” Not “Better order some new windows for this older drafty home.” That’s not going to happen, so I don’t even consider it. That is so down on the list of needs of necessities.
We live in a world of illusions. It’s so easy to assume things these days by what we see and hear on social media. Oh this person is poor because they live in a bad area, or those people are wealthy because they just posted a picture of their brand new expensive vehicle.
Looking from the outside people probably assume we have money. In fact I’m convinced now that people believe this. Why you may wonder? The information I’ve inadvertently shared with our “Friends” through conversation and some publicly for promotional purposes have likely given a false image of success/wealth.
*Live in large home with an apartment
*Photo albums of our kids/life that show the inside of our home
*Started up and run a large community playgroup absorbing cost
*Participate & promote fundraising/charity events
*Spoke openly about expensive diet plan I used to be on
*Have been a host for a number of sales parties
*Donated a large amount of toys to fill our church’s needs
I do my best to only put out good energy. Lets face it, not many want to hear about our troubles. So much bad stuff is going on in the news that I try and be upbeat to contrast the bad messages we constantly are hit with.
What people don’t know is that my husband works 2 full time jobs, and has for about two years. When we hear so and so owns/runs their own business, many jump to the conclusion that they must be successful. Not necessarily. It usually means the person is hard working because they are following their passion. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? The payoff is fantastic. Is it the almighty dollar they are striving for? Sure, most are, but not us.
How do you measure success? Is it the actual amount deposited every month? If that’s the case then we are a far cry from what most would consider successful. But the message sometimes we send out to our friends and family is that we are doing great, or in other words, no struggling.
The truth is, we are struggling. On this blog, you readers don’t actually know me personally. We share a common interest about God’s promises after this life ends. It’s oddly enough a safe place for me to be honest about the real things that bring me to my knees and take my sleep away at times.
The reality is for starters we own 1 vehicle, do not vacation, nearly all of our clothing is used, function on a strict budget, unable to do necessary upgrades in our home (new septic tank), add insulation, replace rotting porch, and are in major debt. The list is long and we take care of the glaring things in order. We’ve made some foolish choices that have contributed to where we are right now. Life is messy.
Here is what I know for sure. The Lord is always faithful. He knows our needs before we ask. But He wants us to remain humble and truly learn to depend on Him. My faith that everything is going to be OK is strong. That’s why I just keep smiling despite the realities of our ongoing financial difficulties. I have this joy in my heart that never leaves me, because I know this life is temporary. God has gotten us out of some mighty sticky situations in the past, and He’ll do so again when the need arises.
“Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.” Corrie Ten Boom
I think we can all identify with some of these all too human approaches to prayer. This is one of my favorites.
Interesting how we open up the first book of the Bible Genesis and read the words practically by heart of God’s order of creation. It’s incomprehensible how our Almighty God can create real living things out of nothingness. This scale of our planet in comparison to the enormity of not only our galaxy, but far beyond leaves me stunned. I’ve never seen images like these before. Scientist pride themselves on their powerful telescope cameras to have captured these latest findings. How could any of them believe all of this just happened and isn’t something that was supernaturally designed by a much higher being? All of their theories fall flat at the awesomeness of our Father’s handiwork. No words in our English language do justice to express how amazing they truly are.
Billy Graham is a household name, and it’s hard to believe he is 96 years young. His life has been a blessing to many and untold numbers have been lead to Christ through his evangelistic messages. This film excites me because they are real testimonies. This is not Bible stories which Hollywood takes and twist with their ridiculous versions. No this is the real deal. We have but one life here and this film shows just how quickly it can end. Are we ready for what lies ahead? Are any of us truly prepared?
The Wisdom of Right Relationships
The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because God has provided me with such good friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for the Lord. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.
Paul gave relationships a high priority too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by his fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.
What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you—to encourage you, to pray for you, and to prod you toward a more complete faith—so that you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24, niv). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never cease to challenge us to be better for the Lord.
Dr. Charles Stanley’s Daily Devotion
Psalm 91:3-4 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from deadly pestilence. He will cover you with feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
It’s been bone chilling looking at headlines the past month with the uproar in the middle east. The terror thousands are facing is all too real, and one realistic thing we can do is pray for deliverance of these people. It makes me appreciate our freedom all the more and think twice before complaining about anything. We have it so good in this region. There are more blessings then we know what to do with. It’s all about perspective.
Being a woman I have rights here that others can only dream about. I’ve agonized over the years the plight women and children face in these 3rd world countries. I’ve pleaded with God to lift the suffering of unnecessary practices of female circumcision, honor killings, poverty, sex slave industry, and torture etc. Not many of us are ignorant to these things because this is nothing new in history. We’ve all seen the skeletal images of diseased children rummaging around garbage piles, flies landing on their tear streaked faces. It breaks our hearts and turns our stomachs to even ponder their grim situations. The ongoing troubles of this world truly seem insurmountable. Man will just not unite together because of sin.
You know people in history have had one benefit that we do not have today. They had little knowledge of what went on outside of their own lives. Is ignorance bliss? Maybe before communications were what they are now, people lived simpler lives facing their own set of struggles. We take on the worlds troubles and our own, and it’s no wonder so many of us are stressed out and medicated. Today we have daily images bombarding us and beg us for help. We are torn in so many directions fueled by desperation and guilt to help with worthy causes. I do ask the Lord when will He intervene? Naturally He doesn’t answer me, but I do want Him to fix this sinful hurting world.
One thing that gives me hope is the simple fact that God is in complete control. He is overseeing it all and allows storms and suffering to occur. It’s heartbreaking seeing natural disasters sweeping away thousands of lives in mere moments. Families being scattered and separated is gut wrenching. How utterly helpless we really all are without Him in our corner. Satan and his helpers are out doing their worst in this world, and we can thank God they are restrained from having full reign.
Psalm 22:28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over nations.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.
Some of us care more deeply than others. We’ve all met the insensitive types that are callus and unfeeling when discussing world issues. They are detached and seem desensitized to human suffering. Jesus is the best role model we are to follow. The Lord gave us numerous examples in His Word. Jesus walked the earth and was often moved to compassion healing as many people as He could. He taught and gave power His disciples to heal. The gospels are filled with many passages of healing the suffering of oppressed people. The God of this universe has a host of ministering healing angels working tirelessly on our behalf.
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
My reality is different then yours. Everyone has their own set of challenges they face each and everyday. This mother is exhausted from continuous sleepless nights, and they really have been catching up with me. Being human I struggle with discouragement at times. It’s taken me nearly 2 years to wrap my mind around all of this (sons autism). I’ve experienced numerous emotions through this process and that is OK.
Recently I felt rage inside at our babysitter’s sense of humor. She is fresh out of babysitters course and has no filter. She’s just a kid so I didn’t respond unkindly but was shocked none the less. After training her and having her keep our 2 kids for short visits so my husband and I could get out for a coffee and groceries each week, she took the liberty to joke about Silas. And I quote: “Silas is like taking care of a dog. Just keep him fed and watered, and let him chew on his toys. hahaha.” Yeah, I’m not laughing with you. Obviously we’ll be going with a qualified special needs childcare worker from here on out. You get what you pay for right? Live and learn.
I attempt to have us blend in as much as possible and run our big community playgroup out of our church gym each week. This is our 3rd year operating it and am anxious to see how Silas makes out without his big sister who is going to kindergarten in a weeks time. Yippee! I do think it will be easier to run with having only one child to mind.
Patrick and I pray for progress and realize things are exactly the way they are suppose to be. Our expectations in the beginning were quite unrealistic and we are adjusting to our own reality. What we both did wrong is compare another child’s process with our sons. Isn’t it easy to look for comparisons with people in what we feel are similar situations? Forget what your child can’t do and focus on what they can do. Work with their interest and build on their strengths. All in the Lord’s good and perfect timing.
With our Father’s continual guidance and our son’s amazing therapists we are always progressing. There is a purpose for everything and my heart is enormously grateful for the beautiful child we do have. It’s fine that he cannot do things the same way as other children. I need to often remind myself of where we were. We are blessed because we can hold him back from going to school in a years time due to the timing of his birthday. More time to prepare him for public school…our biggest fear. My heart races just contemplating the thought.
Romans 15:13 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.