We all live with tensions in our lives.  There is the importance of play versus work; work versus family and friends.  We wrestle with maintaining a spiritual connection with the Lord while still being authentic people.  Eating healthy diets balanced with comfort foods that may soothe your feelings during stress.  There is the need for exercise coupled with the body recouping energy gained through rest, sleep and relaxation.  If we are healthy in body, mind and spirit, we have learned to balance each of the tensions in our lives which brings a harmonious hum to each day.

Tension versus Flexibility

Tension versus Flexibility

Within every ministry there are also tensions.  If you are the pastor of a nondisabled congregation, there is usually the tension between studying to teach and preach three to five messages a week and counseling and visitation.  If you are a youth pastor, there will be the tension between study and planning verses counseling and interacting in playful ministry with the youth under your care.  If you are a hospital chaplain, there is the tension between paperwork and praying with and for people who are in pain. 

For people who work with Special Gathering we actually face all of these minitry tension.  As a ministry within the disability community, our goal is to disciple and evangelise the mentally challenged community. In addition, there is the added and constant tension between advocacy and all the other concerns in our ministry bag.  We believe that advocacy is an important part of what we do and our weblog reflects that. Nevertheless, there is a struggle to bring balance, coupled with order.  As the tier letters are going out to our members, we think we must to inform and advise.  These letters will designated the amount of funding an individual will receive for the next year. However, should that take the place of daily devotion?  Maybe and maybe not.  We actually would like to strike a balance. 

Too many people will be left in the dark in this new Tier movement by the State.  These won’t be children with dedicated, activist parents who will wisely scream, yell and demand.  These will be the people who have been placed in the community whose parents are too old to fight or dead. They are the ones who’ve been dropped on their heads during our great social experiment called “independent living.”  I have been told of one client who had $90,000 of supports has been reduced to less than the $35,000 level.  How can that happen?

Yet, we can’t lose our connection with our real Provider and Friend, the Lord Jesus.  This is a time for prayer for our members in Florida and a time for each of us to work for an equitable balance within the State budget.  There is a budget crunch.  The only thing which will bring equity will be God’s hand of balance and love.  We access that grace through His mercy and by our prayers.

What are your members facing?  If not the Tier process, what about the financial stability in your state?