June 2012


I received an alarming phone call from a parent of a young woman who is in trouble. She is still at the age that she should not be distressed about life and death issues; nevertheless, her fate hangs in the balance almost daily.

Everything in me shouts, “This should not be!” Children should not be dealing with such weighty issues. But she is not the only child who has become plagued with thoughts and actions that force them to take mature stands that are far beyond their emotional abilities to cope.

It appears that no longer are only adults forced to walk through deep shadow lands of great depression, doubt and fear. Because of demonic attack, even children raised in Christian homes with godly parents are now being forced to wander aimlessly into vast wastelands of the mind and spirit.

While details cannot and should not be given, I am requesting that people pray not only for the three young people with whom I have personal contact but that our children be held up in prayer pleading for God’s protection of our young. I personally know of three young people ranging from the ages of 10 to 20 who are on the verge of horrific danger. Two of them are under the age of 13.

It is time for Christians to be alerted and called to action in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to guard against such attacks on our children. Many parents within the disability community report that dealing with their child’s weaknesses has been the worst and best thing with which they have ever been forced to deal. Jack Green, an pastor from Alabama, used to say, “Only God can strike a straight lick from a crooked stick.” Like Moses, we need to raise our staffs before the Lord, striking at the heart of our enemy who is seeking to destroy a new generation.

While none of these children deal with developmental or intellectual disabilities, each of them has a vital connection with Special Gathering.  Do you know of any children who are under unusual attack? What do you believe could be the reason for this onslaught?
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/simplelife/#ixzz1yXWI6bM2

God is Forgiving

Lord, you are kind and forgiving and have great love for those who call to you (Psalm 86:5).

Central Theme:   God forgives everyone, even me.

Introduction–If I have a cup of water and I pour it on to this rag, what will happen?  The rag will get wet.  (If appropriate pour the water on to the floor.  If not pour it into a saucer or rag.)  This rag is wet and it will be wet for a long time.  If I slap Sam in the face, will it hurt?  Yes.  I can’t instantly make this rag dry again.  If I hit Sam, I can‘t take it back.  Folks, we find ourselves in a mess.  Because we sin and we can’t take the bad things back.  We can’t make the rag dry or the slap not hurt.  But there is one thing we have.  We can get God’s forgiveness when we sin. Have a member read Psalm 86:5.

I.     Tell the story of David and Bathsheba

1.  David slept with Bathsheba; then he killed her husband.

2.  God told David that he was a sinner.

II.     David asked God to forgive him.

A. God did forgive David.

1.  Many years later, God says that David was a man whose heart was like God‘s.

2.  But David had sinned and even God’s forgiveness did not take away the results of those sins.

B.  David‘s little son died and many other bad things happened to his family after that.

III.     God forgives but he does not always take away the bad effects of those sins.  –ex a woman who became a Christian after she had killed someone.  She still had to die for her crime.

Conclusion–God forgives everyone who asks for forgiveness.

APD Regional Directors and Strategic Planning

On May 8 and 9, the six new regional directors for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) met in Tallahassee to begin planning for the restructuring of the APD offices throughout the state.

APD Director Mike Hansen kicked off the meeting. Several program areas presented updates to the regional directors to ensure that they were aware of the latest information.

The new APD regional directors are:

  • Lynne Daw for the Northwest Region
  • Gayle Granger for the Northeast Region
  • Merari Perez for the Central Region
  • Geri Williams for the Suncoast Region
  • Gerry Driscoll for the Southeast Region
  • Evelyn Alvarez for the Southern Region

Following the regional planning meeting, the regional directors joined the rest of the agency for an APD Strategic Plan webinar. Each team leader presented an update on the activities that have occurred as part of the team’s strategic objective.

 

_____________________________________

 

Webinar for CDC+ Personal Care Services Transition

This transition will affect CDC+ consumers under the age of 21 who wish to obtain PCA service via Medicaid State Plan AND self-direct the approved PCA funds via their CDC+ monthly budget. Consultants who serve these consumers are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled Webinars.

For more information call your local APD area office or contact Alexandra Weimorts CDC+ Director

Consumer Directed Care Plus Services

Agency for Persons with Disabilities

Phone: 850/414-6609 Fax: 850/414-7761

Blackberry: 850/274-1230

Areas 9 & 10
June 14, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Area 11
July 10, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
July 19, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 1 & 2
August 7, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
August 16, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm

Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 4, 12 & 13
September 4, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
September 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 8 & 23
October 2, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
October 11, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

Areas 3, 7, 14 & 15
November 8, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm
November 13, 2012
Representative Training 10am – 12pm
Consultant Training 1pm – 3pm

 

World Trade Center site   Site of the World Trade Center March 2007

Over the past two months, I’ve been thinking.  What wonderful things could have happened if Jacob had given his twin brother, Esau, the bowl of soup he requested, rather than selling it to him?

What would have happened had Jacob decided against tricking his father? What if he had decided against pretending to be his brother Esau?

What would have happened if Joseph’s brother had chosen to ignore their younger brother’s silly antics and their father’s favoritism toward the boy.  Understanding instead to bless their old father and the young son of his old age.  What would have happened?

I know. I’ve had the same thoughts.  God in his foreknowledge used their sin and selfishness to bring about his glorious deliverance of the entire nation of Israel.

But what would have happened had these men and women chose to do the best thing, the holy thing?  If God can work such glory out of hideous mistakes, what can he do with obedience and submission to his will and ways?

In chosing our own rocky path as Jacob and Rebekah and Issac and the Joseph’s brother did, we have seen the fulfillment of Romans, “All things work for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.”  But the lingering question has stirred my heart.  What if I choose God’s way, instead?  What would be the glory the world could encounter?  Dwight L. Moody said,  “The world has not seen the impact one man sold out to God can have.”

Within the mentally challenged community we often encounter parents of children who are born with disabilities.   Is it any wonder that these men and women may be plagued with the what ifquestions of life?  My question today is “What if our choices become Godly, holy paths in life?  Salvation means that we can choose God’s path, God’s way.  What if we DID choose God’s way?  What would happen then?

It’s been too long.  I’ve not had a preteen/teenager living in my home for many years.  Our first child was a boy and his transition from child to pre-adult was quick and violent.  My perfect child exploded in so many ways that I was left reeling in shock, terror and despair.  Later, I learned–but didn’t realize at the time–that an explosion is the only way to venture into the unknown and horrifying land called Adulthood.

Our second explosion came in the form of a daughter.  She was different.  She exploded slowly with fireworks rather than an atom bomb.  However, a continual burst of cherry bombs and fire crackers is equally unnerving after six months or so.

I have to admit the third child exploded in so many different ways that it was almost a relief.  Marked by a passion for Christ and missions, she erupted all over the world (literally) with trips and adventures that took her from Europe to Asia.

But my last venture into this explosive mine field was more than 20 years ago.  My skills in dodging and weaving have not been sharpened in so many years, that I’m out of practice and I’ve completely lost my edge.

This week I’ve been staying with an exceptionally gifted and intelligent young woman whose parents are out of town.  Her manners have been honed by the protective virtues of parents with one child who deeply desired that she have five siblings.  With the only child, there is the tricky jig of monitoring every movement while desiring to show parental love.  Because none of us are perfect, this results in amazingly healthy ways of showing our love spotted with some unhealthy ways, as well.

This young woman thrives on debate.  I believe she came out of the womb thinking of ways to debate the weather, books, toads, God and the universal secrets of life.  Carefully, she uncovers your views by asking a miriad of questions; and then before you can know what slammed you, she takes the opposite side and destroys your position.  For a person like me who loves The Debate, it has been an exciting and exhilirating couple of days.

But I must confess that I’m lost most of the time we are together.  One moment, as comrades, we are battling the unphathanable depths of literature and drama.  Then, within moments, we’ve been thrown into a battle of wits between the two of us.  Everything in me says, “Don’t argue with her.”  I know this is wisdom.  It is  the best and only path. Nevertheless, I seem powerless to resist the pull of the surging waves that hit me.  Then once caught in the undertow, I struggle to swim along the shore to be able to get my feet back onto the ground.

In short, I’m a stranger in a strange land.  Yet, rather than depressing or disappointing me, the opposite effect emerges.  Being with a young, gifted child who is on the trembling edge of adulthood has been excilerating and wonderfully pleasant for me.  As she slammed the door, this morning yelling, “I don’t have time for all this.  I have to go,”  Closing the door, I silently prayed for her and I knew that her time with me has been much more depressing than excilerating.  But that is strange land in which she now lives and she will live here for almost a decade.  Nothing can make it better, except a deep relationship with the Lord, buckets of love and time.

Mark has been a close friend for as many years as I’ve worked with The Special Gathering, which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  We were talking on the phone as we do at least once a week.  Mark began calling me on a regular basis about five years ago. Even though he is 20 years my junior we have a deep friendship and I value his opinion.

“For years, I’ve felt your passion for the mentally challenged community but I’m only beginning to understand it,” he confessed to me last week.  “At times, that passion has been more intimidating than contagious.”

I wasn’t sure that his comments were meant as a compliment or a point of correction.  He continued, “Because of your passion, I could not help but feel that I should be doing something, as well.”

Passion is an interesting emotion.  It comes from desire, knowledge and deep concern or deep joy.  Most of the time when I write or speak about the mentally challenged community, it is done from a deep sense of joy.  I feel a great sense of humility to be given the honor to be able to serve this amazing population.  In the decades that I’ve been ministering in this cloistered sub-culture, my heart has been moved more by joy than frustration.

Concern can be passed from one person to another.  Fear and doubt grow like orange mold when groups are infected with the life-robbing spores.  Joy can be transferred through laughter.  Even a smile can change the moment for another person.

But passion must come from within the individual.  Godly passion comes from seeds planted by the Holy Spirit in the heart of a person.  No amount of preachy talk, scolding, or coaxing produces passion.  Even experience and camaraderie will not produce passion.

Passion forces and then allows you to go against the very fiber of you personality.  I have friends who have such a passion for displaced women that they have built and fostered a ministry for these women, complete with a new building.  They are sold out regarding their commitment.  Yet, they live frugal lives.  They watch every dime and quarter, not allowing even one to slip through their fingers.

I believe that God has given me a great gift to be passionate about a people who may be ignored in the hustle and bluster of 21th century maneuvering.  What is the passion of your life?  Do you believe that God has given this to you? or have circumstances allowed/forced you to become passionate?


Amar Patel

Brevard Achievement Center Names Amar Patel as New President and Chief Executive Officer

Rockledge, Fla. – The Board of Directors of the Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) is pleased to announce that Amar Patel, a BAC board member since 2009, has been selected as the agency’s new president and chief executive officer. Patel will replace retiring President and CEO, Dayle Olson, effective June 18.

Patel has been employed by Harris Corporation since 2004 when he began as a test engineer directly after graduating from the University of Florida. During his eight years at Harris, Patel earned positions of increasing responsibility. His most recent leadership role was as program manager of F35, the largest avionics program to date at the Melbourne-based communications and information technology firm. Prior to this position, Patel served as program manager of F22 where he oversaw a multi-million dollar production program. While program manager for both F35 and F22, the programs achieved 100% on-time delivery with zero quality rejects. Prior to becoming a program manager, he was given an engineering process award for process innovation in the implementation of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

“After an extensive and competitive search process, I could not be more pleased that Amar will be assuming the position as President of Brevard Achievement Center,” said BAC Board Chair, Travis Proctor. “He is an accomplished leader with proven success at managing large operations and has a demonstrated passion for persons with disabilities. The Board is confident that the agency will not only continue to thrive, but reach new heights under Amar’s direction.”

At Harris, Patel was chosen to serve as a loaned leader for the company’s 2007 United Way campaign. It was in this capacity that he realized his passion for making a difference.

“When I went out into the community for United Way and saw so many wonderful non profits doing so much with so little, it truly made me realize that I wanted to be more connected to our community,” said Patel. “The opportunity to lead a premier organization like the Brevard Achievement Center is one that doesn’t come along often. I am extremely grateful for the chance to take BAC to an even greater level of achievement.”

Proctor also noted that Patel is taking the helm at a key time for the agency thanks to strong leadership from Olson.

“BAC recently received a $1 million state grant to fund on-site training programs for out- of-work adults with disabilities at employment sites within Brevard County that cater to the hospitality, medical and technical fields,” said Proctor. “BAC also was recently chosen as one of 500 national, non profit finalists in the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Program. But, the agency’s most impressive accomplishment is that it has no debt. That is because of the remarkable leadership Dayle Olson has provided over the past 15 years. I’m sure there are many incoming CEO’s that would love to inherit an organization in such a strong strategic position.”

Patel holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Florida.

When not climbing the career ladder, Patel and his wife, Megan can be found climbing mountains in the U.S. and beyond. His love of the sport also inspired him to serve as a director of RockOn, a local non profit whose mission is to foster independence through rock climbing for kids with disabilities.

The Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) was established in 1968 by a group of parents and community members concerned about the lack of vocational services for persons with disabilities. Today its mission, to assist individuals with disabilities so they achieve vocational and social independence, is fulfilled by approximately 89 staff members throughout its headquarters in Rockledge, Titusville and Melbourne, Florida. The Center serves over 4,200 clients via 14 programs including Ability One® which allows clients the chance to integrate into the workforce at seven contracted federal employment sites in Florida and one in Puerto Rico. BAC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nationally accredited agency recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International) and is a United Way partner. For more information, visit http://www.bacbrevard.com or call (321) 632-8610.

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