Earlier this week, boys and girls from Grace Community School came to the IDC for a visit – I always enjoy sharing my story and showing the children my art studio. The kids made ‘Gospel bracelets’ for our Wheels for the World outreach (you can see Allison explaining the black, red, white, blue, green and gold beads to me and the students). Then, of course, every child received a box of 24 Crayola crayons. I always look at these visits as a chance to help shape young hearts to not only love Christ, but to cultivate good attitudes toward people with disabilities. After all, Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Find out how you can create Gospel bracelets for a Wheels for the World outreach!
I want you to know that I just received word that Michael, the quadriplegic with cancer whom I wrote about in my most recent blog post, passed away today, May 30 at 12:30 pm. When I spoke with him on the phone Monday, he sounded a little anxious, but I sang to him the hymn “God Will Take Care of You.” Thank you for praying and shepherding him across that great divide between here and heaven – and please do download and share the article I gave Michael that inspired him so. Who knows when God may call us home?! Again, thank you for praying and caring.
I love hanging out with other quadriplegics, and last week I had a chance to 'talk shop' with our intern, Kevin, and Michael, a quadriplegic who was visiting the IDC that day. Michael told us he was just diagnosed with an aggressive kind of cancer with a 0% survival rate. We talked about many things, not the least of which was how Michael could wisely use his remaining days for the advancement of Christ's kingdom (it was such a poignant and powerful time with these two). Would you like to read the gist of what I said to Michael? Then take a minute and download this article… and share it with your Facebook friends! I have a feeling the insights will bless you just like we were blessed that day!
This weekend Ken and his Bible-study buddies head to the Bahamas for his annual 'flyfishing for bonefish' – see if you can pick him out in the photo (how about that beautiful rainbow above the Bahamian flats)! It's hurricane season out in the Atlantic, so if the Spirit moves, pray for fair weather (also for nice, fat fish). My husband has been advocating constantly by my side through countless cancer "checkup" appointments, so I'm very happy for him to have this much-needed break!
Before I had my diving accident, I loved to paint. So when I broke my neck (resulting in quadriplegia), I was heartbroken that I might never paint again. But once I learned how to draw in occupational therapy, it was like 'getting my life' back. To me, the ability to hold brushes between my teeth was a gift from God. And ever since those days in OT, I've loved sharing my artwork with others. The way I look at it, it testifies of the grace of Jesus in weakness. And if God can empower me to rise above my circumstances, His grace can help anybody! Looking for a great way to inspire others to rise above their challenges? Consider sending them my new Floral Note Cards. Each card highlights one of my paintings of favorite flowers – roses, tulips, water lilies, and gladiolas. And I would be honored if you chose to use them… all to the glory of God!
Back in 1994 I wrote a book called Heaven... Your Real Home – and I had the best time writing it! The following year in 1995 I recorded a collection of children’s songs about heaven and called it Harps & Halos (check out some of the music on our Kids’ Corner). While digging through our archives, we ‘discovered’ a special video I filmed for the book and CD. So take a moment and enjoy my first (and only :-) music video! Because I love talking, writing, and singing about heaven – the place where we’ll be with Jesus forever! Remember, as you remain faithful in the midst of pain or problems; if you persevere without grumbling or complaining; if you stand up under persecution and bless your enemies rather than reviling them, you are not only accruing eternal reward, you are giving greater glory to God. You’re telling the world that God is worth it! Jonathan Edwards, the great American theologian in the 1700s, said, “Our reward in heaven will be an increased capacity for joy, service and worship for all of eternity.” Friend, heaven will be more "heavenly" to the degree that you have obeyed Christ on earth – and He ...
Good Bible teachers – I mean the kind who make you dig deep in the Word to mine out hard-won treasures –teachers like that are hard to come by these days. So many leaders gloss over the ‘hard sayings of Jesus’ and the more obscure, difficult-to-understand passages of the Old Testament. But not my friend, Nancy Leigh. She knows that the key to Christian maturity is following after God’s own heart in His Word (then obeying what He says).
I love seeing the fresh, happy faces of our summer interns as I wheel through the IDC – so meet Victoria (in the beige shirt) and Mary Clark (in white). Both girls just finished their first and second year at Mississippi State University (flying to California right after finals). Victoria is a Special Education major and, among other responsibilities, is helping us organize and execute our West Coast Disability Summit May 18-19. Mary Clark wants to become an occupational therapist – she's learning about disability ministry worldwide, as well as partnership strategies with a focus on our work in Jordan. These young women represent the new face of disability ministry and I absolutely love their passion for Jesus Christ. (By the way, this week Ken and I arrive home from Chuck Colson's memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral… we'll head right for our West Coast Disability Summit. So thank you for praying for fresh energy)!
Today Ken and I will be flying to Washington DC to attend a memorial service for Chuck Colson at the Washington National Cathedral. Please pray for safety as we travel, as well as a chance to encourage the Colson family and our friends at Prison Fellowship Ministries who will be attending the service. If you have a minute, watch this video…
When Jesus blessed the children, I'm certain their smiles touched his heart… Just like they touch ours! Just look at how happy three-year-old Carlos is with his new pediatric wheelchair (he has cerebral palsy and this style wheelchair will 'grow' with him)! Carlos' parents have a hard life, but still, they want the best for their son – so when they heard that Wheels for the World was coming to Mexico, they made the long hike with their son to Guadalajara’s Getsemani Baptist Church. His parents heard the Gospel of Christ and their little boy even got something extra to smile about – a teddy bear made by the sewing team. Yep, it's what Wheels for the World is all about, and I can't thank you enough for your prayers and support that make outreach like this possible!