October 2011


Teaching our members the importance of Halloween can enhance their day and teach lessons of faith and sacrifice.  These are the trow meaning of Halloween.

Yesterday, I found a doll that I received at Christmas when I was in the fourth or fifth grade.  It was a “walking doll,” stuck back in a closet, I barely use.  These specialty dolls would walk if you held their hand and moved them in exactly the right way.

Walking dolls were the rage that year and every little girl got one.  Even though I was getting too old for dolls, I love it and I’ve kept it in the top of a closet for about 55 years.  She is a mess and certainly won’t ever be a sell-able item in years to come.

A good friend collected marbles all during his childhood.  Today, they are valuable collectibles.  However, his parents decided that these toys belonged to them–not him.  In fact, without consulting him, they gave the marble treasure to his sister.

All Saints’ Day costumes

All of us have special memories from our childhood.  Some are gifts and toys.  Most of them revolve about special days and events.  For me Halloween was one of those.  I grew up in the days that parents didn’t buy costumes.  All the children in the neighborhood got together and we made our own dress-up attire.  The guys wore their baseball uniforms or wore an eye batch and their older sister’s white blouse with their dad’s over-sized pants and became pirates.  The less creative girls, like me, were usually gypsies.

The candy was the super star of the day.  We cared little about what the day meant.  Yet, we loved getting that candy from neighbors.  By the time my children were at the trick-or-treat stage, creepy crawlers had moved onto the scenes because parents had started to manage the day and the event.  One home in our neighborhood was decorated.   Sears always had costume pajamas that I purchased for the children.  My daughter was always an angel.

All Saints’ Day light

In reality, Halloween is a transliteration of the two words Hallowed Eve or Holy Eve.  October 31 is the day before one of the most holy days of the Christian calendar, All Saints Day. On November 1, the church in the 1800’s took the day to remember saints who have lived and died to insure the spread of the good news of Christ’s death and God’s redeeming love.

I am often asked what I think about Halloween.  In short, I don’t celebrate the day.  However, I hate that playing with evil and a glorification of Satan has overtaken a holy time of remembrance.  Goulds and skeletons which celebrate death and slaughter are freely greeted.  Yet, the holy Babe who was laid in a manger and Holy Week are being outlawed.  After all, remembering God’s sacrificial love is much more dangerous to society than blatant evil.

Could it be that the Church has given away another holy time?  How many of us celebrate November 1, All Saints Day?  Wouldn’t a renewal of this holiday by the Church at least off set for Christians a holiday gone bad?

God gives us the Power change our lives

Ephesians 6:7

Central Theme:  God wants us to serve others.

Introduction–A man told me that he saw a another man mopping up a spill.  He said, “I assume you are the manager.”  The bosses in stores get to do the dirty work.  God’s way is to promote us into becoming a servant to everyone Have a member read Ephesians 6:7.

I.     Tell the story of James’ and John’s mother and Dorcas.

A. Mom wanted James and John to be number one in the Kingdom.

B. Dorcas knew how to be number one.

1.  She was a servant to everyone.

II.     At Special Gathering, no one gets to big to do the dirty work.

A. Show the fanny packs we use at camp.

1.  They have rubber gloves because the people who wear the fanny packs get to clean up messes–nasty messes.

B. We had a staff one time who told me that he didn‘t clean up messes any more that he had paid his dues–that was the wrong answer.

III.     God wants us all to be the servant.

A. Our deacons get the jobs that no one else wants to do like setting up the building.

B. They don‘t get to push the wheel chairs because everyone wants to do that.

C. They get to clean the floors, set up tables and chair, etc.

Conclusion  The heart of a real man of God must be to serve others.

For your information:  This is a memo from Cathy Beldell, Deputy General Counsel for APD regarding justification of cost reductions in res hab.  

From:  Cathy Bedell/APD/DCF
To:  10/18/2011 04:56 Gerald Siebens/APD/DCF@DCF, Zaynab  PM Salman/APD/DCF@DCF, Llamilys Bello/APD/DCF@DCF, Tomea Sippio-Smith/APD/DCF@DCF, Melinda Powers/APD/DCF@DCF, Angela Green/APD/DCF@DCF, Melissa  Dinwoodie/APD/DCF@DCF
> cc Jamie Morrow/APD/DCF@DCF, Denise  Arnold/APD/DCF@DCF
Subject  Re cost plan reviews of res hab services

In response to the question posed at our Monday meeting about the reduction of res hab services as part of the cost plan review, the following is my understanding of what is required.
If a reduction to res hab IB or BF is recommended, that decision should be supported and reviewed by the area behavior analyst. It should also be supported by the support plan or progress notes.

If the reduction is related to other res hab levels,i.e., extensive 1 or minimal, the area staff can make that decision based on facility reports or the support plan. This is especially true where res hab may have been adjusted upward for a temporary condition–recent surgery or increase in behavior incidents– and never reduced, as well as where the behavior or condition that supported the original placement has diminished or no longer exists.
> Catherine Bedell
> Deputy General Counsel
> Agency for Persons with Disabilities
> 4030 Esplanade Way; Suite 380
> Tallahassee, FL 32399-0950
> Phone: 850.414.0139
> Fax: 850.410.0665
> Toll Free: 1.866.273.2273
> E-mail: cathy_bedell@apd.state.fl.us

The mentally challenged community loves Halloween and they are encouraged by the professionals who work with them to celebrate the day in a big way.  Therefore, we should be teaching them the roots and truth behind this day of Christian remembrance.  This will help.

About 1400 years ago, the Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) Church unofficially adopted a fun celebration the day before All Saints’ Feast Day.  The day became known as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween.

The purpose  of this time was to mock evil.  Dressing up like skeletons and wearing death masks, people–young and old–paraded through the streets and celebrated our freedom from evil through the sacrifice of Jesus.

After studying the subject, it appears that this All Hallow’s Eve  commemoration sprang up as an informal celebration.  Later, known as Halloween, the day formed from a joyful expression rising from the villagers and common folk who wanted to express in a playful and joy-filled way their release from sin and fear.

Other than Resurrection Day, All Saints’ Day is the most holy day within the Liturgical Calendar.  It started within the eastern (Byzantine) and western (Roman Catholic) churches, sometime in the early 600’s.

The foundation of the celebration came from the tremendous persecution Christians experienced in the early days of the church.  Torture and death under the Roman Empire had run rampant for the early believers.  Rome’s emperors needed a scape goat to explain the decline of the empire.  Torturing Christians became a reflective entertainment for the masses.  It was a distraction from the woes the Roman citizens were experiencing.  As a result, All Saints Day was a holy day of honoring these martyrs.  Christians still living expressed their love and gratitude for the sacrifices and deaths of the early Christians.

The scriptural bases was the New Testament teaching that those Christians who have died pray for us who are still alive, interceding before the Father.  This is not a day to worship the saints but to venerate and acknowledge their past, present and future contributions to the growth of all Christians, by remembering their prayers and faithfulness.  At first it was time of feasting to remember the martyrs.  Later, the expressions of joy were extended to all saints, living and dead.  Within the Roman Catholic Church, this celebration is focused on men and women who have been canonized as saints.  Most Protestants dropped the celebration of All Saints Day, even though they have clung to the celebration of Halloween.

In the 600’s, the day before All Saints Day (Halloween) became a time to remember the poor.  Dressed in their evil-mocking costumes and masks, the poor would visit the homes of their more prosperous neighbors.  The poor would be given sweet buns to carry back to their families.  It appears that the custom grew from the fact that the more prosperous neighbors wanted to be sure that the entire community would have enough provision to celebrate All Saints’ Day.  This wasn’t a custom glorifying begging but of blessing others with gifts.  The giving of sweets was an expression of love by the Church, desiring that all people would share in God’s gracious provision on this holy day.  As the custom grew, it playfully became known as trick-or-treat.

Slowly, over the 1500 years that have elapsed, the customs of dressing up and receiving sweet treats from neighbors has stuck.  Sadly, the original meaning of the celebration has been long forgotten, even by Christians.  In fact, within Protestant traditions, the day is more and more rejected as witchcraft, wicca and other evil religious orders have adopted the day as a time of glorification of evil, rather than mocking.

Too often within the traditions of the Church, mocking evil becomes glorification.  Christian feast days–like Christmas and Resurrection Day–become an excuse for drunkenness and gluttony.  Perhaps Halloween–the day before a time of most holy remembrance–should not be ignored by Christian.  Perhaps it should become a wake-up call.  While we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, our Adamic nature lurks concealed by religious zeal ready to pounce and pervert even those things which are most holy in our lives.

When does mocking evil become glorification?  It isn’t merely the day of Halloween that I struggle.  I wrestle with it every day.  Maybe we need to learn to respect and avoid the enemy of our souls.  The Bible tells us to flee from evil rather than try to overcome evil in our own strength.  Jesus’ death releases us from the fear of death and hell; it doesn’t give us license to flirt with sin.

In the meantime, I want to bless the children in my neighborhood with sweet treats.  I will pray for them, asking God that they too will become part of the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church.

  


Dear AAIDD Member,

Halloween is coming soon. Hopefully your kids or grandchildren are all prepared for costumes and who or what they will be. And, time to buy or make whatever you are giving away for treats.

You may hear the clergy voice in me by making the analogy that this is also the time to celebrate colleagues and organizations for who they are and who or what they have been and contributed to the field and the people we support. I’ll try to resist carrying the analogy too far, but as you may know, a national award can indeed be a real treat to the people or organizations who receive them, as well as to the people who take the time to send in the nominations.

So if you feel so inclined, conspire with some others as you wish to send in a nomination or two. And, feel free to spread this invitation to non AAIDD members or networks.

The deadline for the 2012 AAIDD Award nominations has been extended until Friday, November 11. 

Thank you!

For more information and to download the nomination form, please visit the AAIDD website here
Membership in AAIDD is not required to be nominated.
Nominate a deserving individual today!

Bill Gaventa, Chair, AAIDD Awards and Fellowship Committee

This is an email I received from Bev Linder today.  I wanted to share this with you.  Brad had many physical disabilities and died a few years ago.

logo
Dear friends,
The following is one of the blogs on my website.  Many of you who receive this mailing may not be aware of my blog.  To view more blogs click here.
When I was home schooling Brad, I would sometimes go out of the house for a while and leave him doing his schoolwork.  He would invariably call me, and about 95% of the time, his first words were, “When will you be home, Mom?”  My answer varied–sometimes I had a bunch to do yet; sometimes, I had only one or two more errands; and some days I would say, “Guess what, Brad.  I’m driving into our driveway right now and should be walking through the door any minute!” Now Brad is in heaven…

 

…and while I was out today, I looked at my cell phone and I could almost hear him saying, “When will you be home, Mom?”  It struck me that Brad really is still waiting for me to come home, only now it is our eternal Home.  I believe with all my heart that our loved ones in heaven still love us and look forward to being with us just as much as we look forward to being with them.
The difference now is that I don’t know when I will be Home.  I may still have much to do on this earth; or maybe I only have a few things that God wants me to accomplish; or maybe I am just about to walk through that door!
And just like when I would leave Brad home when I did my errands, although he is looking forward to seeing me and others that he loves, he is not sitting around idly. When he was here, he was busy doing his school work.  Now, he is busy in heaven.  2 Corinthians 5:9 says, “Therefore we have as our ambition whether at home or absent (whether in heaven or still on earth) to be pleasing to Him.”  I have the same ambition as my son (and other loved ones in heaven)–to be pleasing to Christ in my service.
And I’ll be Home, soon Brad…not sure how soon, but soon!
Bev Linder
contact me at:
This is a description of a good friend’s adventure in December 2010.  Dave is the executive director Gillespie Services which provides housing and day services for people within the intellectually disabled community.  A Special Gathering volunteer, he  is a quiet man, not prone to exaggeration, extremes or drama.

Even though it’s been almost a year since it happened, each time he tells his experience, he cries.  Usually, people who hear his story cry.  In his simple telling, there is  powerful evidence of God’s mercy and grace.

I had chest pains and was so dizzy I could not lift my head. My wife called an ambulance and I was taken to our local hospital in Melbourne, Florida.
Around 2AM the next morning my journey to heaven began.  I went through a tunnel filled with  gorgeous flowers. The colors and smell were nothing I had ever seen or smelled.  I went through light on the other side.
I saw a white fence that went on for as far as I could see; and I saw an angel who was just a little bigger than I am.  She had  wings and she was playing a harp.   She played the harp during my entire visit to heaven.
On the other side of the fence I could see a road made of gold and Jesus standing at the gate. The road was firm and solid but so clear that I could see the clouds underneath it.
When I saw Jesus, I thought, Wow! It is really him.  He looks exactly like his pictures, except his eyes are a bright sky-blue.  He wore a white robe with gold fringe.
Next, I saw four of my family members. They were dressed in white.  I saw my mother, step-father (who raised me), grandmother (my mother’s mother) and my Uncle Mike. (My mother raised him starting at ten years old when my grandmother died of a heart attack.  He was like my brother.)  They all looked between 21 and 34 years of age.
I talked with my mother first. I asked her if she was still in pain. She had died of cancer. She said, “No.” She asked me how my brothers and sister are doing.
I talked to my step-dad and brought up that I was disappointed that he never got around to legally adopting me.  That had been his plan, but inadequate funding prevented him from being able to carry out the plan. He was the Chief of Police of Stow, Ohio.  He died of a heart attack when I was 15 years old.  He said that he was also very sorry that he was unable to get that done for me.
Next I talked with my Uncle Mike.  He also died of a heart attack.  He suffered with heart pain before his death and refused to seek help.  I asked him why he didn’t go to the doctor and he said that he didn’t want anyone to cut him open. I told him that I had open heart surgery and that it isn’t that bad and that he could be alive today if he had sought help. He again stated that he didn’t want anyone to cut him open and he was happy in heaven.
The last family member I talked to was my grandmother.  I thanked her for helping me with my speech when I was in elementary school.  At that time, I had a speech impediment.  She worked with me on some of the letters that gave me trouble.  She told me that was a great time for her being with me. Grandmother was shocked that I remembered this.  My grandmother looked younger than I ever remember seeing her.
After I talked with each one of my family present, Jesus talked to me. He said I could enter the gate if I wanted. However, he said my job on earth was not complete and he wanted me to return.  ”But,” Jesus said to me, “it is your choice.”  He would let me enter the gate if I wanted.  He told me I had a wonderful family. I told Jesus I would return to earth.  Jesus said, “I’m glad you made this choice.”
When I returned, I did not go through the tunnel. I could see my body sitting up in my hospital bed.  I remember thinking, “How am I sitting up? I wasn’t able to sit up earlier.”  You see, I was so dizzy when I came to the hospital, I could not lift my head. I remember floating through the air and returning into my body.
I wanted to call my best friend, Linda, and my wife, Pam, to tell them. I looked at the clock and it was 3:00AM. Jesus spoke to my heart and said, “You can wait until morning to tell the story. You will remember it.”
I waited until morning and called my wife and asked her and my friend to come to the hospital as I just returned from heaven and wanted to tell them my story.
My friend Linda said she believed I died because I expelled my body fluids and the nurse had to clean me up. My trip seemed to take about 15 to 20 minutes.  Yet, I was connected to heart monitors.  I was never pronounced dead, nor did any of the heart monitors show any signs of death.  I guess it is true that a day is like a thousand years and vice versa to God.  He can do all this work in the twinkle of an eye.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/simplelife/#ixzz1bszo4Nv6

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