December 2011


A Unique Summer College Experience 

For teens with Asperger’s, Nonverbal, ADHD and other Learning Differences

Dear Debra,

Applications are arriving daily for our 2-week Summer Programs for teens 16-19 withAsperger’s, ADHD and NLD and other Learning Differences.Don’t miss this unique opportunity at six college or university locations in the US!

If you’re interested in joining us for another fun summer submit your application now! Participants who join us this summer can expect expert staff and outstanding programming, a top-rated college or university setting, and plenty of action-packed learning and recreational activities.

During our two exciting weeks together, participants will be introduced to CIP’s comprehensive curriculum, developing goals through the Person-Centered Planning process, practicing independent living skills and social competencies. Best of all, participants will have lots of opportunities to build new friendships and have plenty of fun!

FUN Activities!

During the CIP Summer Program we feature theme-based curriculum, connecting important concepts with fun social activities throughout the day.  

All locations feature:

  • Rock climbing or ropes course
  • Bowling
  • Movies
  • Laser Tag
  • Amusement or Water Park
  • A Field Day with CIP students
  • 1 meal per day at a restaurant
  • Board games
  • Yoga or meditation

Other activities may include:

  • Zoos, kayaking, baseball games, mini golfing, and/or roller skating
  • Museums (Children’s, Science, Art or Naval and Military)
  • Local attractions including Alcatraz (Northern California), Niagara Falls (New York), Kennedy Space Center (Florida),  Boston Aquarium (Massachusetts), and Wonderlab Science Museum (Indiana) just to name a few! 

Summer Program Dates & Locations

CSU Dominguez Hills *NEW* 

Carson, CA

July 1- July 15, 2012

 

Florida Tech

Melbourne, FL

June 24 – July 8, 2012

  

Indiana University

Bloomington, IN

July 1 – July 15, 2012

More info

 

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

July 8 – July 22, 2012

More info

 

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

July 15 – July 29, 2012

More info

  

Elms College

Chicopee, MA

July 15 – July 29, 2012

More info

 

Apply or Learn More! 

*Acceptance is limited to 12 students at each location. Applications are processed on a first-come first-served basis. There is a $50 application fee. Full payment of $3,975 is due upon acceptance.

Answers for many of your general questions.

We hope that you’ll join us for an incredible two weeks that students will remember for a long time to come! 

Sincerely,

Abby Tierney

Summer Program Coordinator

College Internship Program

phone: (877) 566-9247 x 13

fax: (413) 243-2517 

info@cipsummer.com

18 Park St

Lee, MA 01238

www.cipsummer.com

Life is Precious to the Lord

Exodus 1:16-17

Central Theme:  If life is precious to the Lord, then life should be precious to us also.

Introduction—I asked a young mother who was a volunteer to bring up her baby.  I asked her to tell about feeling him before he was born.  Was he alive?  Was he a child before he was born? Was he a baby right after he was born?

       5.     Have a member read Exodus 1:16-17.

I.     Tell the story of Moses as a baby.

A. God’s people had respect for human life.

B. They would not kill the little babies.

II.     No matter who tells you different, you must have respect of life.

A. God wants us to respect life, even our own lives.

B. We are sometimes encouraged to do dangerous things.

C. I had a good friend who was encouraged to go out to the bars and drink and even get drunk.

D. She became an alcoholic.

E.  She is now a very sick person.  If you had known her years ago, you wouldn’t recognize her now.

F.  She listened to other people; she did not have respect for her own body.

G. God made each of us and we should have great respect for everyone.  We should start with respecting our own bodies.

II.     Each of us should respect human live.

A.  Not just little babies but each other.

B. We show respect for life by living clean and good lives.

Conclusion–God‘s people did not want to kill the babies.  They respected and wanted to save lives.  We should show respect for life also.  We should start with respecting our own lives.

Each year, I wrestled with what to teach and preach on the Sunday of Christmas.  Then I got the best advice regarding this that I’ve ever received.  It came from Richard Stimson, The Special Gathering executive director.  His advice was simple.

Tell the story.  People don’t come to church in overflowing crowds to hear a new revelation.  They simply want to hear the story of the birth of the Savior of the world.  They want hear about the virgin girl and her perplexed fiance.  They want to wonder in the glory of angels and Magi and “Peace on earth.  Goodwill to me.”  They desire to search with the shepherds for a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.

It’s the story they come to hear.  People want to hear and rejoice in The Story.

Most of us understand that obeying God is what we should want to do.  There are some decisions that probably won’t change our lives.  When I go into a restaurant, I’m handed a menu.   I must make a choice about what I’m going to eat.  My husband used to tell me, “Linda, it’s not your last meal.  Just choose something.”

But not everything in our lives should be a choice.  There are some things and some people that I should obey–speed laws, my husband, my boss.  God wants us to learn how to obey Him in the same way that Joseph learned.

In Matthew 1:24 we read about Joseph, When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph took Mary as his wife.”

Mary was going to have a baby and the baby didn’t belong to Joseph.  Being a good man, Joseph wanted to do good to Mary.  He had decided that he would send her away; and she would have the baby.  But an angel came to him and told Joseph that God was the father of this baby.  In spite of the obvious objections and misgivings, Joseph decided to obey God.

Joseph did have a choice but his choice was to obey.  Obedience was an option; but if he did obey he would be in big trouble.  I can imagine that even after the angel had spoken to Joseph, he probably had concerns about obeying.

He knew his life would be changed forever.  He knew that this baby was not his child.  His family, friends and neighbors would suspect him for getting Mary pregnant before they were married.  He knew that for a lifetime he would live in shame because no one would understand.

Obeying God may take many forms.  When we get ready to make an important decision, such as buying a house or changing jobs, who do we want to please?  Our husband or wife, our children, our boss or ourselves.  Do we think about pleasing God?

When we are ready to make a smaller decision, when we are with our boy/girl friend, who do we want to please? Ourselves? Our boy/girlfriend?  Or the Lord?

When it is time to be generous in regard to our money? Do we want to please God.  Or do we want to soothe our conscious?

Joseph did obey because God sent an angel to instruct him.  Good sense said that Joseph would not have a good life, if he chose to obey God.  Joseph made the right choice.  He married Mary.  For eternity, Joseph will be honored for that decision.  Yet, he could not see the future and making the decision was not easy.  There are times that we obey only because we know that it is what God wants.

I am a real believer in delayed gratification.  In fact, as much as I love gifts, I love the anticipation even more.  As a child, I gave up the Christmas gift hunt.  The annual childhood adventure wasn’t hard in our house, because our home was small and there weren’t many hiding places.  But I loved the wait.

Daddy always locked the cellar where he spent hours working on new toys and refurbishing old favorites until they were like new.  Mother’s hiding job was harder because her sewing machine was in clear view.  We usually shopped with her when she bought the material for the mountains of new clothes she would make for us.

My last Christmas at home, Mother made me a wonderful new coat.  It was red with gusset sleeves and I thought it was the most beautiful coat I’d ever seen.  The fact that she made it added to its value for me.  I was married two weeks after Christmas that year so she spent added hours that fall working on my wedding dress and my trousseau.

I’ve always felt sorry for people who had to have Christmas or to get married without my mother.  She made all our clothes, working endless hours sewing and fixing and shopping.  That year, she planned the wedding, made my dress and my going-away suit.  She made the food for the reception and shopped for the cake.  My job was to pick out the bride’s maid dress patterns and materials, design my wedding dress and stand for hours for fittings.

After Mother died, I found that the gifts didn’t end.  At last I had the money to purchase the garden furniture that I’d been eyeing for about four years.  I took a small part of my inheritance and went to the store to buy the chairs, tables and couch.

Before I purchased them, I walked out of the store.  I knew that an era was over.  Thanks to mother’s careful savings, I wouldn’t be searching and saving for the perfect combo for my backyard garden.  I would have them.

I also knew that Mother’s gifts to me were almost complete.  I went to my closet and felt one more time my lace wedding dress, now faded with age.  The next day I returned to the store.  Over night, the set I wanted had gone on sale.  I was able to buy it at a huge savings.

I giggled as I purchased my garden set.  Mother’s gift giving wasn’t over.  When I sat on them perched perfectly under the shade of the gazebo.  I cried and laughed and thanked God for a wonderful mother who helped her children understand and cherish the wonder of His love.  I silently praised him for a mother who made elegant wedding gowns and who taught me to wait for better gifts and to love sales.

One of my close friends said to us as we were discussing her travel plans over the holidays, “Don’t feel sorry for me.  I love my travel time.  I don’t have to drive; I’m going to fly.  I don’t have to fight traffic.  I’m not responsible for the flight.  I can get to the airport early and have a leisurely breakfast of gooie cinnamon buns without feeling guilty because that’s the healthiest thing in the airport.”

Much of my day is spent in travel time and I have to agree with her.  I sit in an air conditioned car with comfy pilot chairs and a great sound system.  I can listen to the radio, play a CD or listen to a book.  Anything I desire and enjoy it.  When I’m on the road, I can eat nothing, eat healthy or eat greasy fried chicken.

I remember my mother always made our family feel as though we would be entering a torture chamber when we entered the car on vacation.  In reality, I have fond memories of my brother punching me, my sister’s complaints and my constant whining.  I don’t know why she thought it was a miserable experience.

But I’ve learned a lot from the members of The Special Gathering.  As people who are mentally challenged, they don’t drive.  Therefore, they spend a lot of time waiting for their rides and riding public transporation.  By and large, they are happy to have time with their friends without having to answer to parents, caregivers or bosses.   They laugh and talk and sing on the bus.  The philosophy often seems to be if you can’t change it, enjoy it.

After a few years of observing their patience in regard to their daily busing adventure, I slowly shed my mother’s anticipation of uncomfortable travel and replaced it with a more realistic view of journeying from here to there.

Today, I’m traveling with my granddaughter to  DC after a few days in Virginia.  I’m remembering six years ago my grandson, Sebastian, was logging miles toward his needed mileage goal to get his full-time license by driving us from South Carolina.  He drove too fast and though we scolded him, my husband and I loved every minute of it.

The mission of our ministry of Special Gathering is to evanglize and disciple people who are intellectually delayed.  But too often they are discipling me.  In fact, there are many things I’ve learned from our members but one of the best is enjoying travel time.  If you are still dreading your time traveling, shed the tension and grief.  Learn from the members of the mentally challenged community.  If you can’t change it, enjoy them.

I woke up at 6AM with the familiar beep-dong of my iPhone that tells me that I have a message on Facebook.  I was a bit startled because I don’t EVER get messages that early.  Then I remembered it was my birthday.  I repositioned myself under the warm quilt and went back to sleep.  By the 13th beep-dong in about 15 minutes, I turned down the ringer because I planned to finish my birthday “sleep in.”

I’ve always loved that my birthday was four days before Christmas.  In my family growing up, all gifts and attention centered around Christmas.  We got one gift for our birthday but more gifts than we could count for Christmas.  Therefore, birthdays were barely recognized.  However, mine was special because I could get condolences all year round because–sadly–I was a “Christmas baby.”

As the years have passed too swiftly, I’m still happy to have my birthday four days before Christmas.  I have a cake being cooked by my daughter, a day planned with my granddaughter, a “Happy Birthday, Grandma,” from my grandson.  My Facebook beep-bong keeps singing.

I am blessed and happy that I’m having another birthday.  In fact, my heart is singing, “Happy birthday, to me…”

This past week, activity reigned within our small cloistered community of believers.  I cannot imagine Special Gatheirng without the many people who work every day helping to make things right.  On Saturday and Sunday, as I plan to put the pieces together for worship or parties for more than 100 people, I know that the volunteers would be leading the way making things happen.  And I’m never disappointed.

Arriving early on the days we have special events or dinners planned, they cook large dishes of food or purchase large cakes.  They twist and turn the ribbon to make bows and they straighten tablecloths.  They decorate and plan. David, Francois and Tom move tables and chairs. Trish cooks and brings my “strange” decorating ideas into reality.  Diane does everything from wash dishes to insure that every person is in their place.  Joanne transports people.  Susie and Barbara cook yummy treats. Pam brings the chicken and helps to keep the peace.   And the list goes on and on.

While I don’t always remember to thank the people who make Special Gathering a reality, I am so grateful for how they dedicate themselves to introducing our members to a loving Savior.  The way they live their lives preaches of the loving Lord whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day.

 

Today is my first morning of the unstressed Christmas 2011.  This weekend at Special Gathering we had two Happy Birthday, Jesus! parties. One in Vero and the other was in Melbourne.  Decorations, cake, chicken, a pasta casserole, tuna/macaroni salad and sandwiches were  a part of my responsibilities.

These make up the fun, yet stressful parties we have each year for the members of  Special Gathering which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our only goal is evangelism and discipleship.  Part of our discipleship is fellowship and that means parties.  Functioning a lot like a youth group, as we minister, we desire to teach the truths of Christ and the gospel in as many ways as possible.

I am now on vacation and spending a late, casual morning.  Other people are cooking and cleaning and stressing.  I’m loving it.

My prayer blessing for you is that your children will grow up and actually (or pretend to) like you and invite you to their home for the holiday.  I pray you will have a wonderful Christmas and be blessed without stress.  I pray that Jesus become even closer to you this year and that you will enjoy H

is presence.  I’m enjoying my Christmas.

Joseph chooses to obey God

Matthew 1:24

Central Theme:   Obeying God is what we should want to do.

Introduction–Bring a menu from a restaurant and talk about how we all have some choices to make.  But everything in our lives are not a choice.  I have to obey most of the time–speed laws, my husband, my boss.  God wants us to learn how to obey just the way Joseph did.  Have a member read Matthew 1:24.

I.     Tell about Mary and the angel and how Joseph decided to obey God.

1.  Joseph did have a choice but his choice was to obey.

2.  Obedience was an option but if he didn‘t obey he would be in big trouble.

II.     Jospeh probably did not want to obey even after the angel spoke to him.

1.  He knew his life would be changed forever.

2.  He knew that this baby would not be his.

3.  He knew that for a lifetime he would live in shame because no one would understand

III.     Obeying God may take many forms.

A. When we get ready to do our support plans, who do we want to please?

1.  Our parents or ourselves.  Do we think about pleasing God?

2.  When we are at the dance and we are with our boy/girl friend, who do we want to please ourselves, our boy/girlfriend or God?

3.  When we are at a restaurant and someone else is paying for the meal, who do we want to please ourselves or the person paying for the meal? Or do we want to please God.  The Lord pr0bably wants you to offer to pay the bill some of the time, especially if you are eating with your parents.

Conclusion–Joseph did obey because God told him to.  Everything said that he would not have a good life, if he chose to obey God.  There are times that we obey only because we know that it is what God wants.

Through collaboration with Space Coast Early Steps, Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resource System, Child & Family Consultants, Brevard Public Schools, Brevard Community College Lab School, and others, we offer you:

January 28, 2012 (Saturday) from 8:30am-12:30pm

Brevard County Public School offices in Viera
2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera, FL 32940

Sharon Tolson, (FDLRS) and Dr. Joseph Werner present Neurology/Physiology for Parents and Teachers 101: how the
brain & body work together, an overview of the sensory systems and using sensory-motor input for building effective self-regulation.

This training will be open to all parents, teachers, and health care
professionals working and living with children with sensory issues,
birth to 18 years old.

Keynote speakers will be followed by three 20-minute miniworkshops
to learn specific strategies & suggestions. Participants choose 3 sessions (at early registration-only) based on availability.

Please contact BCC Lab School: 321.433.7668 or labschools@
brevardcc.edu to register.

There will be no charge if registered before January 19.  Space will be limited. If there is room, there will be a $10 charge for registrations after 2pm January 19.

CEU’s will be awarded by BCC, only to those completing training and requesting CEU’s at early registration. BPS teachers may also submit
for Training Credits.

For more information, call:
(321) 433-7668 or visit
w w w. bre v ardcc .e du/l abschool

How May I Help You? Parent-Teacher Sensory Strategies for Children’s Self-Regulation

Mini-workshops include: Feeding the “Sensory” Child • Tools for Teachers • Using Rhythm and Movement • Brain Gym • Making a Sensory SAFE place • I Love You Rituals® • Building a Sensory Diet • Self-regulation in Daily Living • & more

Today, during a pastors’ prayer meeting, one of the pastors said to me, “Linda, I believe that you are feeling upset because of the IRS audit you are facing and God wants you to know that he isn’t upset with you and that your mistakes have been forgiven.”

This man had no idea that I had been agonizing about the mistakes I had made over a two-year period on my returns.  While my husband was dying during that time, it seems unbelievable that I made so many mistakes.

Hearing this, I couldn’t help it.  I started to cry.  As a couple of the men gathered around me to pray, I felt the Lord lift a heavy “something” from my heart.  I was surprised because I couldn’t believe that it felt almost as though a physical weight had been taken from my shoulders.

Often God allows me to go through hard times to purify me and strengthen me.  Over the past weeks, I’ve felt the Lord’s hand on me; but it has not meant a release from the concerns and worries that I was carrying.

This morning in my email, I received a daily message from a businessman–turned Bible teacher.  He wrote about Hosea 2:15.  The context is Judea’s returning to the Lord.  The Lord says, “There I will give her back her vineyards, and I will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.”  I felt that familiar stirring as the Holy Spirit made this verse real to my situation.

Later that afternoon as I left the prayer meeting, I knew the Lord had spoken to me twice.  First, early this morning and later through these godly men.  I am praying that God will work a new integrity in all the areas of my life.

Imagine the confusion of the young mother.  Nine months before, her life had been interrupted by an angel.  He said she would conceive a child and that he would be the Son of God.  He was the Messiah–king of the earth.  When her fiance had not believed her, he had been visited by an angel.

Now they were stranded in Bethlehem.  Luke’s account of the birth tells us that she and her husband, Joseph, had traveled to this small hamlet to register to pay taxes.  While they were there, it came time for her to give birth.  But there was no room.  No place to stay.  No vacancies in the inns.

I can imagine Joseph searched frantically to find a place–any place that Mary would be comfortable.  Any room off the streets and away from preying, curious eyes.  Finally, he knocked on one door and the innkeeper offered them the stable.  Joseph looked down at Mary with hope in his eyes.

She was scared and confused.  Would the king of the world, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah be born in a stable?  Joseph wondered, What could Mary say?  She had to get out of the streets, but a stable?  Homeless and weary, Joseph escorted Mary to the small structure behind the inn.  “Where will we put the baby?” Mary asked.  Her voice filled with tears and deep, strained emotion.  “There is nothing here but a manger?”

Without a word, Joseph positioned the manger close to her as she lay down on the hay.  Knowing that there was no other choice, she pleaded,  “No, Joseph, the animals lick that thing.  We can’t put the baby in there.”  The long trip and nights sleeping outside had taken its toll on this young mother.  She was bone weary and her child would come tonight.  He would be born in a stable; and she would wrap him in swaddling cloths and lay him in the manger.

For Mary, the depth of her emotions flowed from the uncertainty of the moment and the inconvenience of this place.  Her mind must have raced, What have we done wrong?  Why has this happened?  Did I sin?  Did Joseph and I sin?  What did we do to bring us to this place?  How can I allow the Messiah to be born in a stable?

Within moments, the contractions and exhaustion replaced all thoughts of place and time.  Then, as the baby was born, Mary saw the most beautiful child she could ever imagine.  Strong, healthy and as radiant as the first morning light.  Now, he consumed her thoughts and heart.  Yet, the whispers of doubt kept trying to sweep through her mind.

Then a quiet knock and several shepherds crept into the stable.  Bowed reverently, they spoke in excited whispers about the swaddling cloths.   “Beg your pardon, Ma’am,” they said with awe through their Bethlehem accents.  Slowly, they told the story of a night spent on the hilltop keeping their sheep and angels–a multitude–too many to count.  “Peace on earth.  Good will to men of God,” the angels had said.

How could Mary understand that this child had to be born in a lowly estate so that every person would know that he was like them–even in his birth.

As we minister to people with disabilities, they have questions that often cannot be answered.  But some of them can be answered.  Did God make a mistake when he made me?  Did I sin to cause my disabilities?  Did someone else sin?  Will God reject me because of how I was born?  

The Christmas promise tells us that God does not make mistakes.  Our members weren’t a mistake.  Their sin didn’t cause their intellectual disabilities.  God made them; and when they accept Jesus as their Savior, they are made perfect in God’s sight.

Confusion can be erased in the hearts of people who know the Lord, especially within our sub-culture.  God doesn’t make juke.  He makes perfection.

I read from WordPress, there are three rules for writing a successful novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

It appears there are also three rules for building a successful ministry or church.  But sadly, no one knows what they are either.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that there are no successful ministries or churches.  Because churches are growing every day.  Thriving new ministries are in almost every town in the world.

Years ago, the pastor of a very successful church in our county was invited to the ministerium to share the secret of his success.  He gave a formula with which I agreed.  He said that if you preach God’s Word, people will come and your ministry will be successful.

There was one problem, however.  I had sat under his ministry and in the churches of every man seated around that table.  Yes, he preached God’s Word.  But so did every other men gathered there.  In fact, in my opinion, he was certainly not the best expositor of the Word among the 25 pastors who were attending the meeting.  One of the best.  But not the best.

Perhaps the real rule that must be followed is to do what God has called me to do.  The second rule is let God worry about the results.  The third rule could be desperately pray for God’s anointing and His mercy and grace to poured out on His people.

Now, if I could just figure out the three rules for writing a successful novel, I could… Nah, I better stick to what God has called me.

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