Please Pray

I had my caseworker for the insurance company handling what I get with my Medicaid Waiver come to the house unannounced after not keeping the appointment we had Friday. Okay, a minor inconvenience.

I had never met her because she is replacing the previous caseworker. There is a knock at the door. I’m still in my bedroom. The nurse comes in saying she is allergic to the dogs. I ask who is she. The nurse is so busy trying to get the dog she doesn’t answer me. So I’m getting annoyed.

She gets the dog into her cage and lets the woman in. I was already dressed. Then the caseworker comes in and just stands there looking at me smiling. After the awkward silence I finally say, “Who are you?!” Then she finally introduced herself.

Then another silence. My nurse finally asked what she needs from me. Said it was just the routine 90-day visit. Still didn’t answer the question. She asked a few questions. I had the nurse explain to her that if I had my tobii computer I would be able to talk to her better if she would be staying long. Then she finally got to the point and asked the questions one would expect.

The whole situation was a little odd and irritating. Am I overreacting here?

I was considering telling her that I’ve had anxiety since the Senate announced the details of their health care bill. I figured it wouldn’t do any good though. They may actually have said he’s having anxiety at home, let’s put him in a nursing home. I say that half joking.

I did make sure I told her all of the things I do, getting out and the like. I should have mentioned my writing.

It’s a shame we have to justify our living in the community. Or at least feel like we have to.

Trumpcare should not be what is a victory for the Republicans or the Democrats.  This bill should not be built behind closed doors.  They should look at it for what is good for the country.  Please pray that sane heads and hearts will prevail.  Give us a health bill that is not of special interests, or parties, but of the people,  by the people, and for the people.

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

 

Pray

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Little did I know

Several years back, I was taking part in a group that met as an online life group.

I “made the mistake” of saying that I wish I could start a disabled life group but my house at the time wasn’t as wheelchair accessible at the time as it could be.  My life group leader suggested that I start a disability group online.  Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the physical barriers.

Rats. My excuse didn’t work.

Then, I was afraid that I couldn’t do the job of hosting an online life group.  He said he would assist me if I needed him.

Foiled, again.

Then, my leader said that we would plan for six weeks.  If it didn’t work out by then, we could gracefully end the meetings.

Years later, we were still having life group meetings.

I want to show you the video we showed at the first meeting.  Like the main character in the video, I was scared.  I didn’t think I was worth anything.  I couldn’t do it.

The Ring Master was  there when I took my first plunge.

This video means a lot to me.  Not only was it the first video we used for the first meeting, but it showed me, in retrospect, how I started to become the man I am today.

Thank you, Lord.

 

A Prayer for Dads

 

Dads

We looked up to our father. He still is much greater than us. ~Wynton Marsalis

To be as good as our fathers we must be better, imitation is not discipleship.  ~Wendell Phillips

I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.  ~Sidney Poitier

Thank  you, Dad. ~Dwight Eldred, Jr.

 

I Love Mankind. It’s People I can’t Stand

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

Basically Paul is trying to get the point across that the only way to have the fruit of the Spirit is to consistently spend time with God. We can’t do it in our own power. It is only possible only through the grace of God.

Despite looking for the Spirit to help,  I still find myself not acting the way I should when dealing with people, especially when frustrated or angry.

Let me get more specific and talk about a situation I’ve been dealing with when it comes to my nurses. You are probably tired of me complaining about my nurses but I need to use the situations I have to illustrate my points sometimes. I hope you take it as that, an illustration of my point and not being ungrateful for the help I get.

At least half of my nurses have a habit of being on their phone at work. I used to be okay with it as long as it was during down time they have. But people don’t have the same respect for others that they had in the past. It seems like this has gotten worse in the last 5 to 10 years. I realize respect has been on the decline for much longer but it has been more noticeable to me in recent years.

Back to the problem. Nurses started being so occupied with their phone calls that they don’t hear or understand me. I’m hard enough to understand. Some started having phone calls while actively doing things for me that they really need to pay attention to. One took a conference call. Another came into the room talking so loud that my family couldn’t hear what they were watching. Then she had the nerve to get mad when she was told to get off the phone. And most recently one almost gave me medication I didn’t ask for because they were distracted by their phone. Thankfully I caught it and wasn’t something that would be dangerous.

Since they couldn’t respect the nice boundary of not using the phone we talked to our agency and set a new rule that they aren’t aloud to use the phone period barring a family emergency.

This worked for awhile. But slowly they have started sneaking calls and by Thursday, the nurse was just outright using the phone. I’m sitting here trying to have some quiet time with God and she’s talking with the phone on speaker. And earlier in the day I tried speaking nicely and asking for ten minutes of quiet. What did that get me? Ignored. I tried raising my voice. Yes, if I get mad enough I can do that but not very well. I still got ignored. If I wasn’t alone they would have been kicked out. I think they were counting on my not being able to do anything. The agency was told what happened. But if the agency can’t or won’t expect their nurses to be professional then my family and I will have to start firing people on the spot. But then I have to train someone new and my parents will lose money from not working. But they are putting me in danger when they are that distracted.

While their behavior is inexcusable, I don’t have to let their behavior dictate how I act. Some behavior and situations do require a stronger response but I should try peaceful means first.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9

I like how the New Living Translation puts it.

God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.

Some people think this means that they have to make sure there is always peace. This is unbiblical. In Romans 12 Paul says

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

He says if it’s possible and as far as it depends on you,. So it isn’t always possible for an individual to make peace. Some people are just so hellbent on getting there way or “winning” an argument that it can’t end peacefully. Just like some of my nurses are determined to thumb their noses at me and do whatever they want. They’ll get to do that but it won’t be continuing to work with me.

I can’t control how someone else reacts. I can only control how I act. I don’t have to put up with bad behavior but I don’t have to be just as big of an ass as them. The problem I have is letting my anger get the best of me and acting out of emotion. People seem to have mixed opinions on anger. Some will use scripture to justify their anger while others think it is a sin. I don’t agree with either of these. I don’t think feeling angry is a sin but a lot of the things we do with that anger are sinful. And we shouldn’t hold on to anger either.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Ephesians 4:17-18

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31

We are going to get angry. It happens to the best of us. But we don’t have to react to it like the rest of the world. Actually if we claim to be disciples of Christ we shouldn’t.

I got way off of my original topic. The reasons I was doing rather good with spending time with God but still am missing the mark with displaying are many. First, it takes time if I hadn’t been in the habit of spending time with God. It takes time for a true heart change to take place. Another reason is that I was focusing too much on what others were doing and how I wasn’t being treated the way I should. This may have been true but I am to to act in line with Christ. Also, I have to take time throughout the day to spend time with God. I can’t do one devotional in the morning and be fine the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to take long. Sometimes it can just be a quick prayer thanking him or asking him for guidance in a situation. This last one is something I have started doing but definitely need practice at. But I can say that when I do I make much better decisions.

But still, controlling my anger is hard.

What recommendations do you have for me to keep my anger in check?  How do you do that?  Leave your comments in the space below and share what  you do to maintain your cool.

Don’t choose to be crippled

I don’t use the term crippled to be offensive but to illustrate a point. You will have to keep reading to to see where I am going with this.

What does it mean to be crippled or a cripple? According to the dictionary it can be a noun an adjective.

Noun: 1 a sometimes offensive :

a lame or partly disabled person or animal

b : one that is disabled or deficient in a specified manner – a social cripple

2 : something flawed or imperfect

Adjective: Being lame, flawed, or imperfect

The term is generally considered politically incorrect nowadays because it is quite offensive when referring to a person. It is basically telling the person that there is something wrong with them as a person (implying they aren’t as valuable as non-disabled people). This is the furthest thing from the truth.

A person’s value shouldn’t be determined by his or her physical appearance. Unfortunately, we live in a society that puts way too much emphasis on physical traits. As Christians we of all people should get this. Most of the people I know get this but unfortunately many other people don’t.

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.  The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. – 1 Corinthians 12:20-22

In the above verse Paul uses a great illustration to show that every part or person in the church has value. Every single one of us have value. This doesn’t just apply to physical abilities but also to the spiritual life and gifts of someone. Sometimes as Christians we almost make celebrities out of preachers and evangelists who have a large following or bring many to Christ.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating this but sometimes we do this at the expense of those who serve in the small unseen ways. I have heard many people say “I’m no Billy Graham” or whoever it is that they admire. God doesn’t want you to be like someone else. He designed you to be who you are and gave you the talent you have to do work that is especially tailored to you.

While people like Billy Graham have gotten many to come to Jesus there were countless others in the lives of those people who helped to make their hearts receptive. It could be the prayers of a mother, the concern of a neighbor, the encouragement of a friend, a kind word from a stranger or any other number of acts. It all matters.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.  – John 9:1-3

Many times throughout the gospel Jesus broke through societal biases. The above scripture is a prime example. Jesus didn’t see the blind man as unable or unworthy to serve God. He was made blind for a purpose. That purpose was to show the works of God. God wants to work through all of us.

I think you get the point.

There is another aspect of “being crippled” that I want people to realize. Being crippled is actually a state of mind or a way of viewing yourself. This doesn’t just apply to the disabled. It can happen to anyone. Remember the last definition? Flawed or imperfect.

Technically, this is true of all of us. But too many of us define ourselves by our weaknesses. Have you ever known someone who when asked how they’re doing gives a laundry list of what’s wrong with them? They have decided to focus on what is wrong instead of what is right.

Sometimes it is the shame of past sin that can cause someone to have a bad self-image. That used to be me with my pornography addiction. I had such shame that I was convinced no one would want anything to do with me if they knew. I was also convinced that there was no way God could use me.

What I didn’t realize was that I had a choice as to whether I believed those lies. I was reading a book the other day and there is a quote that stuck out to me. One character was speaking to a recently wounded friend. “Are you crippled? Only if you decide so.”

We can either define ourselves by what we can do or by what we can’t do. The choice is ours. This is what the apostle Paul says:

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. – Romans 8:1-2

If Jesus doesn’t condemn us who are we to condemn ourselves. We are freed from the power of sin . Nothing we have done or could ever do will ever disqualify us from being loved by God and used by god. Sometimes it may feel like we’re unworthy but it’s not true. Later in Romans 8 we are told:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

When we are feeling far from God or like he can’t use us we need to remind ourselves of the above verses. If you consistently remind yourself of these truths and still can’t shake the feeling then you may need some sort of counseling or support from others. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.