mental retardation


Is there a time that you can remember that you were pressured beyond your ability to cope? There have been many for me.

As a child, my mother told me again and again that I was constantly burning the candle at both ends. For years, I had no idea what she meant. When I finally understood her, I was sure that I was getting ready to “burn out” at any moment because she had been giving me that dreaded warning for a decade.

It’s been many years since her stern predictions and I’m still burning.

I’ve found that God is my source and strength, especially in times of stress. We are preparing for Camp Agape which is May 23 to 26. There are many details for getting ready and for being responsible for 100 people and their safety.

Yet, again and again, I find the Lord going before me and preparing my way. I’ve learned to rest in Him and trust that He will make a way. And He always does even though my eyesight gets foggy and dim through the smoke my candle burning generates.

 

Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/simplelife/2014/05/pressure-time.html#ixzz31vkjlINu Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/simplelife/2014/05/pressure-time.html#PxUwgqSoxPWQxIIE.99

Who are the helpers at church
When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it  (Gal 6:10:

Introduction–Some years ago, we were all glued to our TV’s because two boys were kidnapped.  Then they were found . Ben (4days old) and Shawn (4 ½ years old) were kidnapped by a man and the police found them yesterday. Everyone is said that a young teenager named Mitchell was the key to finding the boys because he was willing to help his friend in identifying a truck. We are all to be helpers for others.  Have a member read, Galatians 6:10.

  1. The story of the first men who were chosen to be helpers in the church.
  2. The church would come together, bring their food and eat their meals together. The Jewish men were helping their older family members who were women to have food.
  3. The non-Jewish women did not have a family member to help them so they were not getting food.
  4. They complained and the Apostles decided they could not wait on the table but they would choose men who could help these women get the food they needed.

All of us need help at certain times in our lives.

  1. The Lord send helpers to the church because there were older women who were not being given the food they needed.
  2. Last week we had a funeral for my brother-in-law and it was sad but wonderful because we were able to spend time together and be with the family.  We were all helping each other.  But there were some people who were doing more than their share.
  3. These men and woman and boys and girls were happy to be able to help.
  4. God has designated certain men and women who love helping.

There are other people who are better at studying and planning for the church.  We all have a special place in the church.

  1. I am usually better at planning and studying and sharing the gospel.
  2. Our teachers are all gifted in sharing God’s word with you.
  3. There are some of us who really want to be helpers.  They take up the money and help with the chairs.

All of us are important to the Lord and to the work of the Lord.  We need all of God’s people to work together and share the gifts that God has given to them.

Minimum Wage Executive Order to Include People with Disabilities

white house signingWashington, DC (February 12, 2014) – Today, the White House announced that President Barack Obama will sign an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for all future federal contract workers, including workers with disabilities.

This Covers individuals with disabilities.  Under current law, workers whose productivity is affected because of their disabilities may be paid less than the wage paid to others doing the same job under certain specialized certificate programs. Under this Executive Order, all individuals working under service or concessions contracts with the federal government will be covered by the same $10.10 per hour minimum wage protections.

By including people with disabilities in his Executive Order, the President has opened the doors of equal opportunity to many federally contracted employees with disabilities.

partyYesterday, I found myself “stuck” at a party I had not wanted to attend.  As part of our ministry, we escort our members to afternoon socials that are held by our county recreation department for people with special needs.  One parent asked me to take her daughter from our program to the social.

I was concerned because this member needs constant supervision.  I explained to the mom that my Sunday mornings begin before 7:00AM; and I did not plan to stay at the party which ended at 4PM.  I was assured that the parent would meet me at the party as soon as I got there.  It was two hours later before a parent arrived.

another partyI confess there was plenty of good conversation to keep me entertained.  However, I stewed about the two-hour delay in his arrival.

This morning I received an email which contained a teaching about God’s grace by Hector Perez of MarketPlace Ministries.  I wish I had read this before I spent the afternoon trying not to be miserable.  Yet, failing.

Perez suggests five practical ways you and I can demonstrate grace no matter what situation we find ourselves:

  1. Pray for a humble and contrite heart.
  2. Get rid of having a judgmental spirit.
  3. Esteem others better than myself.
  4. Avoid comparing myself to others.
  5. Embrace God’s grace every day.

We know that grace is unmerited favor.  We also know that God wants us to demonstrate His unmerited favor no matter what the situation.  These steps are simple enough that even I could access them into my life.

Points of light

When President George H. W. Bush gave the first Points of Lights Award, it went to a NASA employee named Frank S. Howard who was a volunteer for The Special Gathering of Indian River.

The fact that Frank S. Howard was my husband and I am the area director for The Special Gathering of Indian River, I’ve felt a close connection to the organization.  As President Obama and the Bush family celebrate this fine organization, I cannot help but remember the surprise and joy we shared when the award was given.

Frank S. Howard

Frank S. Howard

Frank Howard was an Technological Scientist at NASA.  He had five inventions to his credit and many award, including Kennedy Space Center Employee of the Year.

Frank Howard was a Bible teacher for the Special Gathering.  He loved and supported this the population and felt it was an honor to teach the members of his class.

The Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our mission is the evangelization and discipleship of mentally challenged (intellectually disabled)  individuals.  There are seven programs dotting the East Coast from Florida to South Carolina.

end of a roadCarla is not adjusting well to this time.  It is an end of an era for her.  Carla  is a high functioning person with intellectual disabilities.   Both parents have died.  She became too ill to live in her own apartment any longer.  For health and safety reasons, Carla has been moved into a group home where she can receive medical attention and help with personal care.

Joseph is experiencing the opposite.  It is also an end of an era for him.  His mother’s health has forced his family to make a hard decision.  He, too, has been moved into a group home.  While living at home, Joseph was never allowed to dress, shave or clean himself.  He was told where to go and what to do.  At the group home, he is required to clean, dress and shave himself.  He must take part in the chores and activities of the household.  He is required to do his own laundry and clean his own room.

Carla’s personality is softly pleasant.  Her manners are tender and appealing.  Joseph’s manner is gruff and abrasive.  He never walks.  He struts, giving the impression that he thinks more highly of himself than he ought.

unhappy catWhile Carla finds group home living restrictive and oppressive, Joseph has never had more freedom.  Carla has fewer chores and responsibilities now that she no longer lives in her own apartment. Someone cooks her meals, helps her with her household chores when necessary.   Without even informing her, the staff completes the paperwork required by the government which she often hid rather than traverse through the unintelligible maze of questions.  Carla resents the assistance she receives.

The demands on Joseph have multiplied but his finds increasing freedom in this new arrangement even though it is wrapped tightly with chores and requirements.  Of course, Joseph has never been one to complain.  He takes life as it come; and he trusts the Lord to work things out for his benefit.  Joseph often prays out loud, seriously or happily asking God to help him.

Carla admits that she almost never prays.  The requirements of “religion” are much too difficult and confining.  Carla cannot grasp the concept of God being a friend–her friend.

Joseph’s cognitive level is far below Carla’s but his faith quotient soars far above most other people.  He prays and expects an answer “because God loves me.”  He believes that “all things work” for his good because “God said it in the Bible.  Therefore, it’s true.”

In short, Carla is miserable and has been for years.  Joseph is joyous. Each day is a welcomed adventure.

sitting on a porchEach of us come to times in our lives when things radically change.  We graduate from college.  We get married.  Our first baby is born.  The first child enters kindergarten.  Then poof.   In a few short days, she is entering college.  The children leave home.  The children come back home.  A spouse dies.

Our IQ does not determine the position of our misery barometer.  Through prayer and fellowship with our Heavenly Father and Savior, Redeemer, Friend Jesus that our barometer are adjusting determining the joy and love into which we motivate through life.  I am praying that my life will follow the example set by Joseph.  Even though, he is a young man with a lousy personality and low IQ.  Joseph has tapped into the life-giving force of the Lord Jesus.  His example gives my hope and joy.

smile of friendship Since there are three levels of friendship–causal, close and committed–it should be our goal to move as many friendships as humanly possible from a causal to a committed friendship. There is means that there are at least 10 things that each of us can and should do in nurturing a friendship grow.

  1. building friendship1.  Recognize you need friends.  It’s the first step that leads to better and more secure friendships.
  2. Look for others in need of a friend.  This may mean reaching out to people whom you might otherwise pass over.
  3. Ask God to bring a faithful friend into your life.
  4. Be approachable by smiling at others.  At times, I’ve been to that I look stern when I’m not aware of my expression.  This means to me that I must be more aware and adjust my facial expression.
  5. Speak to others by name.  Learn names and say the name often.
  6. friendshipListen attentively to others.  Look at the face of the speaker and keep your eyes on the face of the person speaking.
  7. Give genuine compliments and encouragement.  Ge caught noticing the good things in a person.
  8. Ask open-ended question.  Is your daughter feeling better?  How is the job?
  9. Help others verbalize their feelings.  You don’t seem quite yourself today, are you feeling all right?
  10. Look for the kernel of truth in your friends’ criticism.

I’ve learned a great deal about friendship living within the mentally challenged community.  In general, these are people who give of themselves without reserve to people they preceive as an authority figure.  With the slightest encouragement, you become their friend for life.  Yet, shifting on the other foot, they find interacting with their peer may be more difficult.  Within Special Gathering, which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community, we endeavor to help our members establish valued and long-lasting friendship with their peers.

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