July 2010

God’s Spirit Moved

Genesis 1:1 and 2

Central Theme:  God‘s Spirit moves in my life.

Introduction–Bring a copy of some project tha you have completed.  Tell about it.  I brought a copyof the book,  Mothers are People Too. I explained that this is the story of our family.  I began to write when God spoke to me that I would be a writer.  I wanted to do it; I prayed about it; I talked about it; I even did an outline.  But this book did not get written until I moved from the TV and my family and sat down at the typewriter and started writing.  We all have a story and that story begins when God moved.

       I.     Have a member read Genesis 1:1 and 2

          A. God‘s movement in my life is something which began long before I was born.

          B. God knew me and saw me and planned my at creation.

          C. God even had a plan for my salvation.

           II.     God‘s Spirit moved.

              A. That part of God which broods with gentleness and peace began the movement of the world.

              B. This shows us that God‘s first impulse toward us was in love, not judgement.

     III.     Let’s look at the work of the Holy Spirit

              A. He is the part of God which draws us to Himself.

              B. He is the part of God which constantly works with me and woos me with love.

              C. He is the part of God that is always gentle, kind and loving.

Conclusion–God‘s loving spirit brooded or moved toward our creation.

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APD case action that led to a request for hearing.
Good information for anyone who requested a hearing.


Here is a link to view the sample letters:
Or copy this link into your browser https://acrobat.com/#d=gLQXKyxg9GmhoevPt7RFyw

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PCA services for children with developmental disabilities are restored. Advocacy Center settles lawsuit with AHCA.

The State agreed to identify any person whose personal care assistant (PCA) services KePRO had reduced in the last twelve months, (through June 7, 2009) and to reinstate each person�s PCA services to the former level. The State further agreed to notify each individual that their hours were being reinstated and that their cases would be re-reviewed by KePRO (or any successor peer review organization). These notices will tell each recipient that if they believe their hours have not been reinstated, they can contact a specific person at AHCA.

If you receive notification of a reduction or termination of
personal care services from KePRO, please contact the
Advocacy Center for persons with disabilities, Inc.
850-488-9071 Toll Free: (800) 342-0823 TDD: (800) 346-4127

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Announcing The Posting of 1115
Medicaid Waiver Extension Request


On June 30, 2010, the Agency submitted the 3-year waiver extension request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as specified in SB 1484. The waiver extension request can be viewed at: http://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/medicaid_reform/index.shtml

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March with APD to Recognize the ADA

July 26 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States. In Florida, the public is invited to join the March for Opportunity in Tallahassee on Monday, July 26, to show their support for the ADA. Marchers should gather in the morning about 10 a.m. at Park Avenue and Monroe Street, with the walk beginning promptly at 10:30 a.m. Marchers will proceed down Monroe Street to the Capitol
Courtyard. A celebratory ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Capitol
Courtyard with remarks from disability advocates and dignitaries.
The event is free and open to the public.

Click here to read more about this story.

AHCA pilot project will verify that home health
services are delivered to Medicaid recipients.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) today announced the launch of the Telephonic Home Health Service Delivery Monitoring and Verification (DMV) pilot project in Miami-Dade County. This project will allow the Florida Medicaid program to verify that home health services were actually delivered to the Medicaid recipient.

�Reducing fraud is an important priority for our Medicaid program,� said Agency Secretary Thomas W. Arnold. �I am pleased that this project is underway, giving us one more tool to ensure that taxpayers� dollars are spent only on services actually provided to recipients.�

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FloridaGroupHome.ComFlorida UniteFloridaAutism.org

727-841-8943 or click the link Add My Company

Today, the choir was supposed to sing at a fund-raiser for an organization called Love, Inc.  They work with many churches to help the community with needs that one church cannot provide.  For the past two years, they have given us the opportunity to come and sing and PROMOTE Special Gathering during their fund-raiser.  Amazingly generous.

The choir was prepared to sing and looking forward to it after a month of rest during June.  Because it’s been over a month since we have sung and there was a mid-week change in staff in the two group homes, where some of our members live, I knew I needed to call and remind them.  However, their phones were either busy or out-of-order when I repeatedly tried. 

I called early the morning of the event to remind our members to wear or take their choir uniforms to work because I picking them up after work.  However, when I finally reached the staff where my anchor voice person lives, he said, “Oh, no, Terr’s mother called and she is picking up Terr from work to take her home.  She won’t be going.”  Terr has become more and more vital to us because I have five men who are inexperienced and much lower functioning and two men who lack confidence.  There is only one other lady and she greatly depends on Terr to lead her, also. 

Within two hours I received a call from the mother of the other woman in the choir.  She was full of apologies.  “Becky has a terrible cold and a blood vessel has burst in my eye.  I cannot drive.  Becky can’t come.”  For me that settled it.  We would not sing.  My women more than carry the melody of the choir.  They are essential to the sound. 

When I finally was able to reach the others, I found that for one reason or another, it was also impossible for them to sing.  Two of the men could not be reach, Larry and Carlos.  That was fine.  They would accompany me and I had been given the option of speaking instead of singing.  I would speak.  There would be no singing.  Larry was happy with that.

However, Carlos, whose disability is within the autism spectrum, was ready, willing and delighted to sing.  Larry acquiesced.  The result was a wonderful duo of three songs.  I was thrilled and so were they.  I don’t think that either one of them believed that they could do this and I certainly was surprised. 

After the event and I was driving home.  I remembered their broad smiles and confident steps.  It would be just like the Lord to orchestrate this entire debacle to help boast their confidence in Him, I thought.  In my spirit, I could see the Lord’s smile.  It was as though He was saying to me, “You guessed it.”

Amazing, extravagant love God shares with all of us.  I’m so thrilled to be His child.  And I’m also thrilled to know that Carlos and Larry are the objects of His great care and concern.

Most people who are involved in special needs ministries find ourselves wearing many hats.  On Sunday morning at 10:00AM, we are “the pastor.”  By the end of the day, we may be maintenance person, teacher, administrator.  By the end of the week, we have probably worn every hat in ministry there is to wear.  Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date data base is part of the miriad of tasks that can be frustrating in the course of your activity.  There are many reasons for the frustrations.  However, sending out a regular mailing makes even the most saintly matriarch want to pull out someone’s teeth. 

If you have ever done third-class or fourth-class mailing, you know that the US Postal Service is adamant about your having the zip-code plus four digits on your postage labels.  However, finding those last four digits can be an adventure in lunacy. 

Don’t even try the Postal Services’ web page.  Half of the numbers you request will not show up as valid addresses.  You must put into their system the exact address that THEY want to get your request answered.  I called the post office to inquire about this problem.  I was told that if the Postal Service website cannot give you the zip-code plus four, you should put 0000 (four zeros) at the end of the first five digits.  That worked for a time.

Yet, recently we were told that we must have the correct nine digits or we could not send out our mail.  All of our mail would be held back or returned to us.  That is when I discovered, MapQuest’s website will give you zip-code plus four digits.  You only need to put into the computer what you have; and the website will be able figure out what is needed to complete your task.  Almost every time you will receive the correct nine digits without any problem.

If you haven’t used MapQuest, you can Google it and it will come up.  If you don’t have MapQuest in your favorite’s column, put it there. 

Fishing for those elusive last four digits of the zip-code can be a frustrating time waster.  However, MapQuest makes the task easier than you can imagine.

You probably remember that the Prophet Amos was a herdsman and a farmer of  figs from the sycamore tree.  As I researched to preach about Amos on Sunday, I wanted to know more about this interesting fruit.  Additionally, I’ve always been fascinated with the farmer/turned prophet.  This morning I took the time to look up and find a picture of the tree and the fruit.  The genus of the tree is in the Ficus family and it is known as the Egyptian Sycamore fig tree.  The fruit looks like the fruit of the sea grape that grows wild in Florida along the shoreline.  It is sweeter than the fruit of the fig trees that we are accustomed to eating. 

Amos was harvesting his fruit some 760 years before Christ was born and about 2703 years before I was born.  Yet, because of the Bible, I can read and search the heart of this common man who became a powerful prophet to the nation of Israel.  He was a Jew who lived in Judah.  These two nations, Judah and Israel, were sworn enemies.  Therefore, it is interesting that God used Amos to become the man who proclaimed the message of destruction to Israel.

It appears from the Hebrew word that is used to describe his occupation, Amos was more than a “watcher of sheep or shepherd.”  He was probably a breeder of sheep and he was a herdsman which indicated that he herded and bred larger animals also.  After a brief study, it seems that this man was not a “perfect fit” for the task that God assigned to him.

His writing was illustrative, forceful and concise.  He was an educated man who could afford to leave his ranch to travel to Israel for an extended visit to preach God’s message of judgement. 

Amos intrigues me for several reasons.

  1. His message is full of descriptive, vibrant  illustrations of roaring lions, a bowl of fruit, a plumb line and locust. 
  2. His preparation in life seemed to ill-prepare him for the task that he was assigned to do.
  3. In a day, when travel was done prudently, Amos left everything to give Israel God’s message of impending justice.
  4. Amos was not well-received; but that didn’t stop him from sharing the message which God had given to him.
  5. His message was progressive.  God didn’t give him everything he was to do all at once.   In progressive dreams and words, God told him what to tell the children of Israel.

Sometimes, when I step before a class of people who are mentally challenged, I still think to myself, What am I doing here?  While I’m exceedingly grateful that God has asked me to share the good news of God’s redemptive love to the special needs community, I occasionally feel inept.  I’m not a parent or even a family member of a person who is mentally challenged.  I’m not part of the professional community.  Neither my education or training has equipped me to do what I do.  I certainly don’t have a “social worker’s personality.”  No one ever calls me sweet, gentle or kind

Often, we peg certain people as perfect for a task; but God delights in breaking the mold and creating an Amos, a Jew, who preaches to Israel.  This reality makes me comfortable.  While I know my calling, there seems to be nothing that would recommend me for the position I currently hold.  The calling of God is sure and secure but it can be risky.  Just ask Amos.

This entry comes from the Department of Justice website

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Judge Orders State of Florida to Provide Community Services to Jacksonville Woman at Risk of Institutionalization

WASHINGTON – The state of Florida must provide Michele Haddad with services that will enable her to remain in her home, a U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled Wednesday. Haddad, who has quadriplegia as a result of a motorcycle accident with a drunk driver in 2007, has successfully resided in the community since the accident, but is at risk of entry into a nursing home due to changes in her caregiver situation. Haddad, who has been on the waiting list for Medicaid community-based waiver services for two years, notified the state of her increased need for services, but was told that community services would only be available if she was willing to enter a nursing home for 60 days.

The court ordered the state to provide community-based services as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) integration mandate as set forth in Olmstead v. L.C. The United States argued in a brief filed on May 25, 2010, that Haddad would suffer irreparable harm if forced to enter a nursing home to receive necessary services.

The court issued this order in the week that marks the 11th anniversary of the landmark Olmstead decision.

“In the Olmstead case, the court recognized that the unnecessary segregation of individuals with disabilities stigmatizes those individuals as unworthy of participation in community life,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “By supporting Ms. Haddad in this case, we seek to ensure that individuals with disabilities can receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate, where they can participate in their communities, interact with individuals who do not have disabilities, and make their own day to day choices.”

The U.S. government’s participation in this case is part of the administration’s efforts across the nation to affirm the fundamental right for Americans with disabilities to live independently, in what the president has deemed “The Year of Community Living.”

The full and fair enforcement of the ADA and its mandate to integrate individuals with disabilities is a major priority of the Civil Rights Division. The ADA protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination by public entities. People interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY), or access its ADA website at www.ada.gov/.

Civil Rights Division

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We are to share love with all our brothers and sisters

Romans 12:10

Central Theme:  Jesus will return to earth and take us home.

 Introduction–My brother can be a real jerk but I love him.  Some people say my sister can bossy but I respect her and she is my best friend.  Families are important to us and we should know that we should share love with them–all of them.  Have a member read Romans 12:10

       I.     Tell the story of Jacob and Esau and how they came to love each other.  

              A. These two men were very different.

              B. They set aside their differences and chose to love each other.

              C. Our family is more than our physical family.

      II.     As Christians we have many people who are our brothers and sisters.

              A. You will not get along with everyone in your Christian family. 

              B. There is not a problem with that unless we become bitter and hateful.

              C. We should show every person love–not spite or criticism.

              D. Our differences can make life more interesting and exciting.

     III.     Each of us have people who are our family and affections are a part of that love.

          A. We are to be loving and show affection to these people

          B. Affection means appropriate touching in love. 

          C. We all need affection and touching in our lives–and we need to give it to others.

Conclusion:     God wants us to relate to our family and our Christian family with love.

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