Monthly Archives: March 2006


The title for this post does not come from an "us or them" mindset. The title for this post is inspired by a program that is being sponsored by a local hospital called "Bikes for the Rest of Us". I'm at the point where I'm going to have to declare a major - special ed or something else - you can tell where my heart is...

Every day as school, I see a different kind of technology - it's a life thing.

For most of us, going to school (even if it's homeschool), eating,
breathing, moving are a normal part of life. For the rest of us, things aren't that easy.

Because of technology, the rest of us can go to school every day.

We have about thirty school buses that come to our school every day. Most of them have lifts like this one.

Some of the students come to school in "ambu-cabs" - but most of them come to school on buses.

Because of technology, kids can go places - a lot of places!There are chairs with all kinds of colors and sizes.

Technology helps the rest of us breathe easier.

It helps the rest of us eat.

Some of our students get all of their nutrition with the help
of this technology, others just need a little help.

But there's so much more to life!

Thanks to technology, kids at my school can walk.This is a walker (I think the brand is Rifton). It can be used with or without the "seat". With this walker, kids develop leg muscles and more)

Thanks to technology, kids can ride a bike.This bike (from Rifton) has a padded "seatbelt" and velcro feet straps so that little feet won't slip. The handle on the front is so an adult can help steer or pull.

They can even ride with a friend.

This "bike for two" is so much fun! It is, however, very expensive.

Kids can walk with a buddy.
(This is less complicated than it looks - really. With the support of
the seat - between the big wheels - a student can "stand" and push
the walker with his or her hands, like a wheel chair, only standing up, putting them at eye level with the person they're walking with.

Sometimes they just need a good squeeze.

This is a "squeeze machine". Some folks with autism or ADD/ADHD come through this feeling more "organized." I don't know why it works...but it works.

And (last but not least) the rest of us like playgrounds, too!

This is a "wheelchair swing". The gate is let down and with both front and
back gates up, the chair is secure. For a lot of kids, just being able to feel the wind in their face as they swing back and forth - the look on their faces says it all.

But for all the technology, for all of the great things it does and lets us will never replace...

I have a request. If you have a desire to be a part of this "technology" - it is so rewarding and there are so many ways to help!

Donate time. Volunteer at a local school - we are a "center-based" program - all of our kids have special needs. Hold a hand, walk with a kid, read a book.

"Fix stuff". The school I work at has a few volunteers that come in every so often to just fix stuff. There are a lot of wheels, a lot of chains. Just keeping them all oiled can be a challenge.

Donate money. This equipment is expensive! Every little bit helps and our governments generally don't provide enough.Donate stuff. "Ensure", diapers, pull-ups, towels,'s all needed.

This is what I do - it's where my heart is. Most days, I can't imagine doing anything other than what I'm doing (although some of the difficulties in our classroom I could do without).

It's not easy - but it is worth it.

The "girl-child" and I are a "group" in our class and we have a project due. Our subject is "the History of Christian Music", concentrating on the tension between "Contemporary Christian Music Industry" and the independents.

I ran across the words to this hymn by Martin Luther.

"We All Believe in One True God"

1. We all believe in one true God,
Who created earth and heaven,
The Father, who to us in love
Hath the right of children given.
He both soul and body feedeth,
All we need He doth provide us;
He through snares and perils leadeth,
Watching that no harm betide us.
He careth for us day and night,
All things are governed by His might.

2. We all believe in Jesus Christ,
His own Son, our Lord, possessing
An equal Godhead, throne, and might,
Source of every grace and blessing.
Born of Mary, virgin mother,
By the power of the Spirit,
Made true man, our elder Brother,
That the lost might life inherit;
Was crucified for sinful men
And raised by God to life again.

3. We all confess the Holy Ghost,
Who sweet grace and comfort giveth
And with the Father and the Son
In eternal glory liveth;
Who the Church, His own creation,
Keeps in unity of spirit.
Here forgiveness and salvation
Daily come through Jesus' merit.
All flesh shall rise, and we shall be
In bliss with God eternally. Amen.


You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

(This is pretty long, there are three subjects (all related) and the last one has a question (so you'll have to read the whole thing - hah!)

Here are some words from Yahoo News:

The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," the official said Sunday...Rahman also told the Italian newspaper that his family — including his ex-wife and teenage daughters — reported him to the authorities three weeks ago.

He said he made his choice to become a Christian "in small steps," after he left Afghanistan 16 years ago. He moved to Pakistan, then Germany. He tried to get a visa in Belgium.

"In Peshawar I worked for a humanitarian organization. They were Catholics," Rahman said. "I started talking to them about religion, I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind."

Mr. Rahman needs our prayers. He is receiving the refining fire in a way that very few of us ever will and from other quotes I have read, it sounds very much like he has the peace of the Holy Spirit.

There's a bumper sticker or t-shirt or something like that I've seen that says, "If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

(This is all hypothosis, since there really isn't much more than this to go on)

I believe this move on the court's part does NOT say that there is a lack of evidence (to the world) of Mr. Rahman's Christianity. The court is under the scrutiny of the world and by releasing Rahman, they are able to (like Pilate) wash their hands of the affair - being fairly certain that releasing him to the Muslim population would have the same end result as a state execution, only without the black eye for the state.

Given who Rahman's are, it would also appear that (like many other parts of the world), the power of an ex-wife to wreak havoc on a man's life and to turn his children against him is in play here. If his Rahman's ex-wife is the one who is testifying, there may not be much more "information" or evidence that would stand up in a court. This could be where the "lack of information" is coming from.

The fact that Rahman is confessing his Lord and Saviour doesn't seem to be coming into play, except that if the state wants to extricate itself from a sticky problem, his confession needs to be dealt with. The solution? Label him insane.

Christians in the West don't know what form persecution will take - is this it? Not "you can't buy food" or "you'll be beaten in the street" (although these may certainly happen). But could persecution of Christians come in the form of marginalizing them by simply declaring them mentally incompetent? This was an interesting thought for me, in the middle of Mr. Rahman's perserverence and the danger that he is in (whether the danger comes from the state or from the mob).

But...on to discussions on other blogs.

BoarsheadTavern has been discussing the "L" in TULIP. What does this mean to Mr. Rahman? He said, "Somebody, a long time ago, did it for all of us..." He obviously isn't a universalist, but this isn't the standard "L" of the Calvinist, either.

We don't know how he came to be a Christian. Here's one possibility: He talked to Catholics, they gave him a Bible, he read it and believed.

Rahman said, "I read the Bible, it opened my heart and my mind."

There are a couple of folks out there who are not putting "Christian" (yes, in quotes) when writing about Rahman, as though they are questioning his Christianity because he first talked to Catholics.

I say: based on Rahman's testimony, "I read the Bible, it opened my heart and mind," it seems to me that anybody who would question his Christianity is questioning the sufficiency of the Scripture.

A couple of the same folks said that Rahman's impending martyrdom would be "sullied" by bloggers who he does not know discussing the "L" in TULIP.

On one day - these bloggers were defending Rahman's martyrdom from the mere DISCUSSION of a theological point - two days later they are questioning his very Christianity.

Which sullies the martyrdom more? Discussing the "L"? Or questioning the martyr's very salvation? (By the way, one of the things that I truly appreciate about Reformed theology is that God gets to pick!)

This is a man who (from his testimony) has the Bible. Are there Calvinists telling him that "all doesn't mean all"? Are there Arminians telling him that "elect" doesn't really mean "chosen"? (This is as much supposition as anybody else is committing, but I'm going by what the man was quoted as saying.) I don't know if his Bible was even in English - and if you can get the "all means all", or "elect means chosen" or even the "L" from the text that he was reading!

The man is standing firm - he's declaring publically that he follows Christ and he's endangering his life by doing so. I'm not going to question that.

On John 3:16:

This is the passage that sort of started the whole thing...the "whosoever" part.

My daughter and I took a Greek class together last summer and one of our class assignments was to translate a verse. I knew it was John 3:16, but I was a little confused.

The Greek text didn't have the "whosoever" in there! Translated, it went something like "For God loved the world (kosmos, creation) that He sent His son - His only Son - so that those who are found in Him might have the life eternal."

The question then becomes NOT "are you one of the whosovers?" It becomes "are you found in Christ?"

I'm not sure if there are different Greek texts to translate from, or how "whosoever" got in there, or whether that's just something that I'm going to have to take 3 more years of Greek in order to figure out...

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A long, long time ago I went backpacking in Arizona to see some ruins. It was a great trip and we did the overnight thing...

There was a sign on the outhouse door, "Please do not let the door slam - you will disturb the peace of our valley."

Tonight, that came back to me. There are video games, laptops and cd players all running in the living room. I also have an extra (loud) teenager (I enjoy having him around, but he is loud).

A particular obnoxious song began playing and I remembered that sign.

"Boys, you are disturbing the peace of my valley!"

Devon said, "you don't even have a valley."

"If I did, you'd be disturbing it."


We got up this morning to no hot water. It seems that in my messing around with the furnace I also did something unhelpful to the water heater and turned off the pilot light.

Tom got that lit again, so we do have hot water.

The furnace is making buzzing noises, but won't turn on.
- the thermostat does what the inside of the thermostat is supposed to do
- the fan on the furnace works (blows cold air)
- the motor buzzes, but it won't kick on.
- we have an electronic ignition, not a pilot light

I'm guessing that it might be the ignition (the furnace has a sticker on it with all the work its had done and it's had to have one ignition replaced at 3 years old and that was 3 years ago.

On the bright side, the house is holding heat very nicely. Two space heaters is keeping it "not quiet comfortable" - but comfortable with an extra layer. This will get us through until the beginning of the week, so I don't have to pay the surcharge.



Yet another go-round in the blogosphere has me thinking. Thinking about relating and an interesting exchange we had in my class (at a secular college)

It's about the "L" in the TULIP - "limited atonement".

I believe that atonement is limited, so I'm not arguing that point at all. In either Arminianism or Calvinism - or any variation on either of the themes, atonement is limited - the controversy is whether atonement is limited by God or by man. (Strong's says atonement is "in the NT of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ" - so clearly atonement is limited to believers). The divisiveness within the circles I read is more complicated than that, but again - that is not where my thoughts are.

Some folks say (my words) - "if you don't preach the "L", you're not preaching the whole Gospel." (or you're preaching a watered down Gospel)

My question is "why?" Why does this "L" cause so much disturbance in the peace between brothers and sisters?

Should the "L" make a difference in the way I treat unbelievers?

Should the "L" make a difference in the way I treat believers?

Should the "L" in TULIP affect my behavior more or less than the "L" in 1 Corinthians 13:13?

(I end up having to say a lot: "I live in a very special place.")

Here is the exchange:
(these are not the exact words, but it definitely hits the all the points)

I was in class (at a secular college) Tuesday night and we were going over the philosophy of Rene Descartes. The last class we had gone over Thomas Aquinas.

(I live in a very special place.)
There is a young man that often sits near me - it's a pretty small class - and Tuesday night we went back to talking about Aquinas. Somebody asked again about (the way Aquinas put it) "The problem of evil". That brought us to the tension between God's perfection and the existence of evil. That brought us to free will.

(I live in a very special place.)
A couple of people tried to explain evil in terms of free will.

The professor asked, "Why would a perfect God create man if He knew that they were going to sin?"

We heard the normal answers and one student answered, "So that He could send a Saviour. He knew that we were all going to sin and the only reason that we can be saved is because God sent Jesus."

In my weekly reflection writing, I've been very open about my theology, so the professor kind of looked at I jumped in.

(I live in a very special place.)
"Well, I'm reformed. So any tension between free will and the sovereignty of God really doesn't bother me much." Everybody was looking at me.

"Why would a perfect God create man if He knew that they were going to sin?"

"Everything points to the glory of God. How can we know what Good is, unless we've seen evil? How can we understand light unless we've seen darkness? God is the only perfection that is."

The young man (I have gotten the impression that he might be a Buddhist or something of the sort) had moved right over next to me. "Are you really saying that we have to meet Satan before we can meet God?"

I looked right at him and said, "We all do. I did."

Somebody else said, "You have to know that you're a sinner before you can accept Christ."
A young woman added, "You have to be sorry that you're a sinner."

What would you call this exchange?
- The only perfect being is God.
- Everybody is a sinner.
- You have to be "sorry".
- The only way we can be saved is through Christ.
- All of this is for the glory of God.

But then again...I missed the "L" in TULIP.

So, what do you call this exchange? (and did I mention that I live in a very special place?)

My furnace quit today. And it's Friday and very, very expensive to call a furnace guy for an emergency call on a weekend.

Here are the blessings.

My house appears to be holding heat amazingly well.
We have doors to close off about half of the house. This is working.
We found two "tower" space heaters at Walmart on clearance.
These two (plus the one we had) should keep the downstairs livable.

The biggest blessing:
The furnace waited until nearly the end of March, so it is not "literally" freezing.

However...should some prayers go up and should God choose to "heal" my furnace, all the praise would go to Him.


I turned the "little paper" in tonight-

I forgot I have parent-teacher's conferences this Tuesday and Thursday, so my after school work time on my larger paper is very reduced. So... 😉

My "reflection question" for next week is based on Rene Descartes: Is the idea of "God" clear and distinct?