Friday, February 29, 2008

Busy week

My son who turned 21 yesterday will have a wedding tomorrow. We babysat our granddaughter last night and she is still here.

I will be getting a hair cut today as well as getting a suit.

Rehearsal and dinner are tonight.

High School Athlete with major disabilities is a very ABLE

He won yesterday and is 40-2 this season.
All that stuff about the Hillsboro senior succeeding despite lacking legs, hands or forearms? Not so important. At least not to Carter, a quadruple amputee who is beating the odds by beating opponents.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

North Carolina School for the Deaf Situation

There is growing concern in Morganton, North Carolina.

One of the biggest issue at the North Carolina School for the Deaf is the administration. Director of the school, Linda Lindsey and other administrators don't know how to use sign language fluently. From what I understand that Ms. Lindsey has been taking sign classes for 4 years and still, she is not fluent. They are unable to communicate with their students and staff members without an interpreter.

This week, on Monday, students and staff members planned to hold a protest march, but officials put a stop to that by suspending 7 students and 5 staff members.

It appears to be an ongoing problem for deaf students that administrators have not taken actions to help them.

I am now just learning this and I need to research more on this situation. Here's the link to the news NCSD averts protest

This is the school's website.

The timing could not be better because 20 years ago began "Deaf President Now" protest. Deaf President Now (DPN) was a student protest at Gallaudet University, the liberal arts university for the deaf in Washington, DC, pushing for the selection of a deaf university president. This took place between March 6 and March 13, 1988.

This situation have created the negative awareness of the administrators' attitude towards Deaf people around the nation. I am going to keep an eye on this situation and see what is really going on before I make any comment.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Way of Life: Culture

I have been reading many posts within the Deaf community about their cultural crisis. I have my issues with AG Bell and supported Deaf culture's issues. However, I am disappointed in some of the few who are so extreme in their views regarding their culture. Just any other "cultures" we deal with, there will always be controversies. There are many controversial cultural issues within the deaf community as well as outside the deaf community. The controversies are wide-ranging, and like many cultural issues, elicit strong emotions from persons involved. Culture comes from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning "to cultivate" which generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance. Deaf culture is composed of people who consider deafness to be a difference in human experience, rather than a disability even thought medically and legally, it is a disability. Deaf and hearing people are divided by language barrier because American Sign Language is considered a foreign language. Foreign to me here in USA means "other than english language".

How does Deaf differ from others with disabilities? Don't people with other disabilities have their own culture?

That is a good question and I am sure there are other "disability cultures" out there. My answer is: YES

Culture basically means "a way of life" to me, in another word, "different". Due to disabilities, they are forced to live a certain way of life according to their abilities. We are still "normal" people and we still have "normal" feelings. We are just different in how we cope with our disabilities.

The Deaf people may have their culture but there are other people who have their own culture.

However, I don't like people forcing their "culture" on us. Accepting their culture is one thing but forcing us to live in their culture is another issue.

I am not totally deaf therefore, I am not really part of the "Deaf" culture even though I want to be. But, I can't force myself to be part of the Deaf culture. I accepted the Deaf culture. The key issues is this: I want the Deaf culture to accept me as I am. Just as a person who has disabilities who wanted to be accepted as part of the society.

People still discriminate whether they realized it or not. They are simply revealing what kind of heart they have.

Compromises and Beliefs

Compromising relating to little belief issues should not bother me because almost everyone has a different belief system than I do. I have learned that people will not always agree with someone completely.

My main compromise on this issue is this: I respect others the right to have their own beliefs. Why? I have discovered that stereotyping is a common problem when debating about beliefs. Stereotyping created by those showing an incorrect judgement of a possibility by making people into stereotypes. Stereotype relating to lifestyle, disabilities, and similar others. Not everyone will believe in God. Not everyone will believe in God the way I do. Compromise does not mean people would have to give up specific beliefs.

I understand biblically that I cannot and basically not allowed to "convict" people to believe as I believe. Because this is God's role.

I am reminded of this quote:
One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. Oswald Chambers

Today, more so than ever, people are looking for "better" proofs of God. We have the technologies. We have the sciencific knowledge as well intellegence resources we use. Faith is believing there is another dimension to life other than those which can be touched, tasted, seen or felt. There is more to life than that. There is also the realm of the spirit, the invisible spiritual kingdom of God. Biblical faith is this: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1-2).

I am reminded in Romans 1:20 which said, "The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen. God's evidences are so clear that all (everyone who don't believe) are without excuse." Therefore, that's between each creatures and the Creator (God). I believe that each of us, as an individual, have a responsibility before God, to determine what is true about God and also what is false. What is true about God impacts every aspect of our lives. What is true about God -- not what each of us believe is true, but what is actually true -- determines what happens to us after we die.

I question myself this question:
Am I, no matter what kind of belief I have, am I willing to change my mind and believe the truth when I am convicted that I am mistaken? Christian faith is not optimism because it breeds false hope. I believe a Christian should not be either pessimistic or optimistic. If a Christian thinks of their future that caused them to fall back on unreasoning hope. Faith comes as a result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit Who convicts me to believe. Because only God can quickens my heart to believe. The Holy Spirit is within me because Christ dwells in my heart which Colossians 1:27 reminds me that "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) which is the burning core of the Christian faith. Faith should not be manipulated to intimidate people with doctrines but rather allow the Holy Spirit to do the work in convicting people's hearts.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blogs Rated for EXCELLENT


Well, it took me awhile to name award winners and I have came up with 4 bloggers that I want give an award to and they are:

Marja who is interested in blogging about mental health issues and her relationship with God. She recently lost her mother-in-law and she was sharing her grief. We have something in common regarding our Christian faith.

Mike who is very blut when he blogs about deaf issues. He just provoke my thoughts every time I read his blog.

Merelyme who have a different topic frequently and likes to connect with other bloggers. I enjoy reading her posts daily.

Abbie who is blogging about her Cochlear Implant (CI) experiences and her life. I enjoy her sense of humor and her views of life as she sees it.

Disabilities Awareness

JANUARY
Mental Wellness Month
Thryroid Disease Awareness Month
National Birth Defects Prevention Month (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
National Glaucoma Awareness Month (Prevent Blindness America)

FEBRUARY
National Eating Disorders Screening Program
National Wise Mental Health Consumer Month
National American Heart Month
National Women's Heart Health Day
National Have-A-Heart Day: Feb. 14 (American Heart Association)
Low Vision Awareness Month (Prevent Blindness America)
National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week
National Burn Awareness Week

MARCH
MS Awareness Week
Brain Awareness Week
Hemophilia Month (National Hemophilia Foundation)
Mental Retardation Awareness Month (The ARC)
National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month (National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome National Kidney Month (National Kidney Foundation)
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week (American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation)
American Diabetes Alert (American Diabetes Association)

APRIL
National Disability Awareness Week
Cancer Control Month (American Cancer Society)
Counseling Awareness Month (American Counseling Association)
National Autism Awareness Month (Autism Society of America)
National STD Awareness Month (American Social Health Association)
National Minority Cancer Awareness Week
WalkAmerica (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)

MAY
Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)
Better Hearing and Speech Month (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
Breathe Easy Month (American Lung Association)
Hepatitis Awareness Month (Hepatitis Foundation International)
Huntington's Disease Awareness Month (Huntingdon's Disease Society of America)
National Arthritis Month (Arthritis Foundation)
National Digestive Diseases Awareness Month (Digestive Disease National Coalition)
National High Blood Pressure Month (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center)
National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month (American Academy of Dermatology)
National Mental Health Month (National Mental Health Association)
National Neurofibromatosis Month (National Neurofibromatosis Foundation)
National Stroke Awareness Month (National Stroke Association)
National Trauma Awareness Month (American Trauma Society)
Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month (National Tuberous Sclerosis Association)
National Suicide Awareness Week (American Association of Suicidology)
National Mental Health Counseling Week (American Mental Health Counselor Association)
Childhood Depression Awareness Day (National Mental Health Association)
National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day (National Mental Illness Screening Project)
National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention (American Academy of Dermatology)
National Alcohol and Other Drug-Related Birth Defects Week (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.)
National Osteoporosis Prevention Week (National Osteoporosis Foundation)
National Stuttering Awareness Week (Stuttering Foundation of America)

JUNE
National Hernia Awareness Month
National HIV Testing Day
National Scleroderma Awareness Month (United Scleroderma Foundation)
National Aphasia Awareness Week (National Aphasia Association)
National Headache Awareness Week (National Headache Foundation)
Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (Helen Keller National Center)

JULY
Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month (Hemochromatosis Foundation)

AUGUST
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month (Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy)

SEPTEMBER
Leukemia Society Month (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)
Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (Prostate Health Council)
National Cholesterol Education Month (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center)
National Pediculosis Prevention Month
National Pediculosis Association
National Sickle Cell Month (Sickle Cell Disease Association of America)
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition)
National Rehabilitation Week (National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation)
Hearing Aid Awareness Week (International Hearing Society)
National 5-A-Day Week (Cancer Information Service)
National Reye's Syndrome Week (National Reye's Syndrome Foundation)
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (National Childhood Cancer Foundation)
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
Deaf Awareness Week


OCTOBER
Breast Cancer Control Month (American Cancer Society)
Celiac Sprue Awareness Month (Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America)
Healthy Lung Month (American Lung Association)
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Cancer Information Service)
National Campaign for Healthier Babies Month (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
National Liver Awareness Month (American Liver Foundation)
National Lupus Awareness Month (National Lupus Foundation of America)
National Physical Therapy Month (American Physical Therapy Association)
National Spina Bifida Prevention Month (Spina Bifida Association of America)
National Spinal Health Month (American Chiropractic Association)
Rett Syndrome Awareness Month (International Rett Syndrome Association)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month (SIDS Alliance)
American Heart Walk (American Heart Association)
Mental Illness Awareness Week (American Psychiatric Association)
National Depression Screening Days (National Mental Illness Screening Project)
National Hepatitis Awareness Week (American Liver Foundation)
National Red Ribbon Celebration (National Family Partnership)
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation)
National AIDS Awareness Month
World Mental Health Day (World Federation for Mental Health)
National Psoriasis Awareness Month (The National Psoriasis Foundation)
National Brain Injury Awareness Month
Pastoral Care Week

NOVEMBER
Diabetic Eye Disease Month (Prevent Blindness America)
National Alzheimer's Awareness Month (Alzheimer's Association)
National Diabetes Month (American Diabetes Association)
National Epilepsy Month
Epilepsy Foundation of America
National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Week (Brain Aneurysm Foundation)
National Home Care Month
National Hospice Month

DECEMBER
World AIDS Day (American Association for World Health)
National Aplastic Anemia Awareness Week (Aplastic Anemia Foundation of America, Inc.)

Did I miss any awareness day/week/month?

Shelley Anne Beattie, Deaf Body Builder and Gladiator

In the 1990s, I was part of the fitness movement and regularly attended Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic every year here in Columbus. The Arnold Classic is an annual bodybuilding and other sports competitions. The Arnold Classic includes three competitions for women: Ms. International, Fitness International, and Figure International. It has also been expanded to feature gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, fencing, table tennis, yoga, martial arts, strongman competitions, archery, wrestling, powerlifting and many other sports.

Arnold Classic will be happening this weekend (February 29th to March 2nd) at downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Anyway, back to Shelley Beattie, she died last week Shelley Beattie passed away on February 16, 2008. I saw her in person back in the 1990's when she was here in Columbus. Its sad that Shelley has died. She was deaf and she even made on the cover of DeafLife magazine twice in the 1990s. Shelley appeared on the American Gladiators TV show as "Siren" and stayed with them for several seasons until she retired from the sport.

They did not announce the cause of her death but there is rumor that steriods complicated her health in the last few years.

Dog stole truck

When Charles McCowan came out, the truck and his dog, Max were gone so he called police, assuming the truck had been stolen. In reality, his dog stole the truck.
See video

Sunday Morning Spiritual Thoughts

Passion. Its easy to be a Christian but not easy to become a Disciple. For over 30 years, I had the passion to study God and wanted to be part of God's missions. I had the passion but I didn't have the commitment of what it means to be a disciple.

However, I am born with my sinful nature, I still have to deal with my issue with pride because pride can lead me to think, “Look what I've accomplished.” If I seek God from my self-centered desire rather than God-centered desire, God will give me an answer I will not like. I must be careful of what I ask for.

Therefore, I am not perfect, but I thank God and my Lord Jesus Christ that I am done with the past and I do now trust in my Savior for full deliverance from all my sins. Can God use me despite my sinful past? I have found that God uses unqualified people to accomplish God’s spiritual purposes. Here are the following God’s chosen and called unqualified people to serve Him.
1. Lot got drunk and committed incest.
2. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery.
3. Jacob deceived his father.
4. Moses murdered.
5. David murdered and committed adultery.
6. Jonah got angry with God (in a sinful way)
7. Paul (Saul) murdered Christians
8. All 12 of Jesus disciples were not qualified to be the Apostles however Jesus called them.

I love this quote:
"To put the matter at its simplest, Jesus Christ came to make bad men good."
James Denney, Scottish Theologian

God will use ordinary good people as well as ordinary very sinful people to accomplish great things. Through out the history (in the past 2,000 years), God uses people of limitless backgrounds who can do great things.

When I thought of my own flaws and look at God's grace, I repented. He not only forgave my sins but rebuilded my lives from where I was and I am today. I know that God's love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). I undestand that God's Grace with love refuses to take human failure as final. With Christ in me, my human failures are never final. He is not finished with me yet. As Apostle Paul was explaining in his letters that we need to put the past behind us, accept the forgiveness of Christ and serve and praise Him in the days remaining on this earth. Because, Paul who murdered Christians before he became a Christian knows and understand this. He was humbled by God and accepted His Grace. I sin because I am a sinner. God looks into my heart for my spiritual obedience towards Him rather than working on my perfection. I will never be perfect as long as I live in my body which is why God's grace is more than sufficient. In order for me to understand God's grace, I need to understand God's Grace that will make me understand God's holiness.

Being a Christian, I understand that God is graceful, holy and loving; that I am a sinner, I was made in the image of God through Adam; that Christ's death was the substitute payment for my sin; and that because of Jesus' payment, I am granted access to the heart of God. I can still sin by accident because this is part of my sinful nature.

One of the greatest examples I have learn is from Lot's wife. Lot's wife died when she looked back. Looking back means I relied on my flesh's desires more than God's desires. Being a Christian means to focus my energies on this one thing, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us to heaven." (Phillippians 3:13-14 NLT). “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:27).

My spiritual education and background are:
*Took several courses (correspondence and on-site) Moody Bible Institute through a local Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
*Took courses at a local Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
*Dallas Theological Seminary: Developing Lay Leadership (correspondence courses were related to Church Government, Church Leadership, Church Administration and Basic Doctrines).
* On my own time, I have studied may topics and I have many books. I have read so many books that I want to read them again.

What is stopping me? That's the real question that I have been asking myself for years. I think I know why and I have been afraid to acknowledge this. I just don't know how to deal with it. I am not even attending a church faithfully even though my wife and I are looking for a new "home Church" to be part of. The writer of Hebrews 10:24-25 commands every believer to be a part of such a local body and reveals why this is necessary. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

So why? I can't get along with men. I don't even have a male friend that I can count on. In the past, I have seen Churches that were looking for better methods when they are forgetting that God is looking for better men who leads. We have to remember that we are not alone and that our spiritual lives that we will always face both negatives and positives. Men simply cannot reveal their weaknesses like women do. Spiritual growth requires Christian men learn from our mistakes that while examining our mistakes, we must be careful to avoid two opposite errors: the first is being too easy on ourselves and the second is being too hard. There was no real commitment to each other. Local Churches needs to have a strong conscious of making “relationships” as their goal and not the “program” of men's groups. We need to have men connecting with other men. I can't connect with other men. I can connect women easily but not men. Men's ministry is very tough because if it were easy, more churches would be successful at it.

Jesus gave us one great example. Jesus had 12 men for 3 years and He kept challenging them at the core to reach out to other men to help them get connected. This is called discipleship.

So anyway, I will just wait and see until my wife and I find a new home church. We are looking for a church that have communion every Sunday.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hall of Faith and Spiritual Depression


Another of my "Hall of Faith" is David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. After leaving medicine in 1927, Dr. Lloyd-Jones became the minister of a Welsh Presbyterian Church in Aberavon, South Wales. He was there until 1938, when he moved to London to share the ministry of Westminster Chapel in Buckingham Gate with Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, who retired in 1943. His ministry lasted for thirty years until He retired in August 1968. He then engaged in a wider preaching ministry and in writing until shortly before his death in 1981.

Dr. Morgan and Dr. Lloyd-Jones' association was a fitting example of how Christians can work together even when they differ on secondary issues.

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan was an Arminian and his Bible exposition, though famous, did not deal in the great doctrines of the Reformation.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was in the tradition of Spurgeon, Whitefield, the Puritans and the Reformers.

Yet the two men respected each other's positions and talents and their brief partnership, until Campbell Morgan died at the end of the war, was peaceful and much furthered the work of Christ in London.

From reading his books, I have learned that Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who did not approach the Bible from a dispensational perspective, states in his book, Revival, "Let us not forget that the camp of Israel was the, then, church of God. In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was the church in the wilderness." (Page 166)

One of his famous quotes:
"If I may say so in passing, the thing that has given me greatest pleasure, and greatest encouragement of all the things I have ever been told that people say about my ministry, is this. It was said by a lady, who remonstrated, and said, 'This man preaches to us as if we were sinners!' Quite so. You see, you must not be searched, you must not be examined, you are all right. Of course, denounce those sinners who are outside, or those liberals, but, why, we are the people who are orthodox! We do not need that, we need instruction. We want these general lectures, these addresses, these character studies. How interesting, how nice. But we must not be disturbed. There is nothing wrong with us. And so such people, as you see everywhere in the Bible and in the history of the Church, have always disliked anything that searches them, or makes them feel uncomfortable, or probes them."
Dr. Lloyd-Jones was brought up in Welsh Calvinistic Methodism, first as a boy in Wales and then as a teenager and student in London, when the Charing Cross Chapel, which his family attended. If you have never heard of the Calvinistic Methodists the very term may seem contradictory. Because of his spiritual foundations in that movement it would be wise to take some time to hear an explanation of that denomination from Martyn Lloyd-Jones himself. Though he did not truly found it, Welsh Calvinistic Methodism finds its roots in George Whitefield. During the mid 1700's the churches of Great Britain could be divided into two main camps. The Methodist branch (under John Wesley) was Arminian meaning they emphasized man's free will. The Presbyterian and Congregationalist were Calvinistic meaning they emphasized the sovereignty of God in salvation. Both of these camps had their problems. The Methodist ignored the nature of the doctrines of Grace and the need for depraved man to be regenerated by the effectual call of God. On the other hand the Calvinists (including many Baptists) had become hyper-Calvinistic meaning they began to deny the free offer of the gospel to all men and the need for evangelism and missions. In many ways Calvinistic Methodism sought the best of both sides. These Welsh Christians were thorough believers in the doctrines of Grace. Unlike their English counterparts, however, they did not believe that being Calvinistic means ignoring one's heart and emotions. They were aware of what George Whitefield called a "felt Christ."

Lloyd-Jones rightly notes that right doctrine apart from this "felt" Christ had inherent problems. The Welsh church saw a need to return to Bible preaching rather preaching of doctrinal statements, Catechism and Confessions. One other great concern of the Calvinistic Methodist Church was revival. For that reason Lloyd-Jones observed that he believed that Jonathan Edwards was in his heart a Calvinistic Methodist.

While the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church had itself grown cold by the time of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, it history played an important part in formulating his life and ministry.

"The Doctor" reintroduced in his preaching ministry the need for careful, expository preaching. He restored to Great Britain what it had known under Spurgeon and that was a hungering for the unfettered Word of God itself over liturgy and religious form. The British expositor Martyn Lloyd-Jones have said ''In a sense, a depressed Christian is a contradiction in terms'' Dr. Jones does a marvelous job of breaking down each of these traits found in those in the doldrums and sheds the light of Scripture on each as he takes a solely Christian look at the root of these problems and how to deal with them biblically. Dr. Jones explains that by living according to God's pattern, by thinking according to God's pattern and by feeling according to God's pattern, right attitudes, right thoughts, right actions. You have to police your life and your action ultimately will control your stability. That means you have to be disciplined.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in writing his book on Spiritual Depression, of course he was a medical doctor, he was a physician to the queen before he felt the call of God to preach and teach the Word of God. And he suggested that this matter of looking at God's power coming into action at the end of our resources was similar to the issue of health. He put it this way, he said, "Health is something that results from right living. Health cannot be obtained directly or immediately or in and of itself. There is a sense in which I am prepared to say that a man should not think of his health as such at all. Health is the result of right living. And I say exactly the same thing about this question of power in our Christian lives."

"I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression is this, that we allow ourself to talk to us instead of talking to ourself. . . . Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?" ([Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965], p. 20).

"Now we believe that God extends His Kingdom partly through His people and we know that He has often times done some of the most notable things in the history of the church through the simple Christian living of some quite ordinary people. Nothing is more important, therefore, than that we should be delivered from a condition which gives other people looking at us the impression that to be a Christian means to be unhappy, to be sad, to be morbid and that the Christian is one who scorns delights and lives laborious days"

"I defy you to read the life of any saint that has ever adorned the life of the church without seeing at once that the greatest characteristic in the life of that saint was discipline and order. Invariably it is the universal characteristic of all the outstanding men and women. Read about Henry Martin, David Brainerd, Jonathan Edwards, the brothers Wesley and Whitfield, read their journals. It does not matter what branch of the church they belong to, they have all disciplined their lives and have insisted upon the need for this and obviously it is something that is thoroughly scriptural and absolutely essential"

But what's a Christian to do to effectively combat spiritual depression (but not get bogged down with the guilt of it all)?

Believing that Christian joy was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity in the early centuries, Lloyd-Jones reveals the causes that have robbed you of your spiritual vitality and shows you how to find complete joy through the mind and spirit of Christ. Based on 21 sermons that the author preached at the Westminster Chapel in London. 300 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.

Lloyd-Jones addressing the following issues that many who are downcast find themselves afflicted by:
* Lack of a foundation in Christ
* Lack of clarity
* Poor spiritual balance between the mind, heart, and will
* Inability to receive forgiveness for all their sins
* Inability to move beyond past failures
* Fear of the future
* Placing too much confidence in emotions
* Faulty love of oneself and a general contempt for others
* Lack of faith
* Seeing only bad and not good
* Bondage to dead legalism
* Failing to recognize false teachings
* Weariness
* Lack of discipline
* Failure to handle trials appropriately
* Failure to respond correctly to chastening
* Bitterness

"Faith, having refused to be controlled by circumstances, reminds itself of what it believes and what it knows.... Whatever your circumstances at this moment, bring all you know to be true of your relationship to God to bear upon it. Then you will know full well that He will never allow anything to happen to you that is harmful. 'All things work together for good to them that love God'.... I do not suggest that you will be able to understand everything that is happening. You may not have a full explanation of it; but you will know for certain that God is not unconcerned. That is impossible. The One who has done the greatest thing of all for you, must be concerned about you in everything, and though the clouds are thick and you cannot see His face, you know He is there" (Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), p. 145).

This is one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Jones. We cannot change circumstances, but we can triumph in them. We can be 'more than conquerors'; and we become so as we are found 'looking unto Jesus'. Look at Him! Look at the nights He spent in prayer, look at His knowledge of the Word of God, look at the way in which He 'exercised His senses'. . . . We must become imitators of Him. We must look beyond men, we must look to the Son of God and what He has done in order 'to save us out of this present evil world', and to introduce us to the glory that awaits us with God" (The Christian Soldier [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977], pp. 93-94).

Anyway, I need to read this book again because I need a good reminder of my faith. I wonder if I still have it or did I loaned it to someone? I will find out soon enough.

My Saturday's Deep Thoughts about life.

I have been thinking lately. I know that's scary, because when Jim is thinking, we are in trouble. *smile*

God have already reserved my time of death (which I do not know when) because He is my Creator and I don't have complete control over my life. Life does not discriminate between believers and unbelievers like plane crashes, accidents, illnesses and deaths. The fact of the matter is the visible providence of God has no respector (discriminate) of persons. I arrived naked from the womb of my mother; I will leave in the same condition--with nothing. Ecclesiastes 3:2: "a time to be born and a time to die". What made God decided that I was born on December 11th? Why am I living this way?

In this world, I have learned that by doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His providence plans and why things are happening around me. Acts 17:24-29 (NIV) explains God's providence PERFECTLY........ "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill.

Ever since I was aware of my deafness (a disability), I kept thinking about how amazing God works in my life regardless what happened to me because my life has taught me to look at others who went through similar and I have seen what God has done for them. God is adjusting my history according to His purposes. He knows what He's doing that I have to learn to trust His will, His power, and His timing when the time is right, and not until then. That's the essence of real faith. God carries out His will in His perfect power and timing. My own growing pains were different than others. Some may be worst than others.

God truly knows what will wake people up and turn to Him. We all assumed that we have planned and executed our lives according to our own free-wills, but in reality, we were really never aware that our lives have always been guided by God because He knows how to handle our free-will decisions and when we do make them, God allow us to go through tough circumstances to wake us up from our own choices. There's a lot of suffering to be entered into in this world.

Throughout my life, I have learned that suffering remindes me the distressing fact of my mortality that is often too easily ignored. Suffering reminds me of my frailty and hints of the coming of death. Thinking of this sounds painful but there is enough truth in suffering to take it seriously that we all must die one day. In my life, suffering gently prods my consciousness and forced me to contemplate the unpalatable but real fact of my future death and how I view life relates to suffering is a very sobering thought. My life's experiences have laid the foundation for my new way of thinking, living and hoping in this world. There are many people who never see past the pain because they’re self-absorbed, they’re self-centered, they’re caught up in their own comfort and I decided not to be that way.

Throughout my life were my "wake-up calls" that lead me into "deep thinking". God got me thinking and lead me into life-changing experiences that heighten my effectiveness as a human being. One of my major wake-up calls from God was when I was diagnosed with Multiples Sclerosis and that got me thinking. When I was a prodigal Christian, I was away from God in which He was trying to wake me up by giving me rough circumstances and the finally, He woke me up.

In the past few years, I have learned that just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into my life, so also through Christ my comfort overflows. "Is there sufficient grace to help me in every issue of life?" Life is filled with difficulty. Life is filled with pain and sorrow and suffering. Bad things happen to everybody because we are living in a sinful world. Things will go wrong, they will go wrong all the time and that God has given me the grace to survive.

Friday, February 22, 2008

After being blushed with embarrassment and feeling foolish,

I told my wife that I need to look at my calendar closely. I do have a Men with MS Support Group meeting next thursday. LOL

Understanding AG Bell and why Deaf people view them as enemies

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) is the world's largest membership organization focusing on the use of spoken language by individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Majority of the members are usually parents of children with hearing loss and professionals (e.g., audiologists, speech-language pathologists, physicians, psychologists, and researchers). It is unclear what percentage (%) of the members are those individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Two primary focuses of AG Bell are oral-speech and hearing technology (e.g., hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices). I am aware that most audiologists do not know sign language when meeting with deaf individuals. The AG Bell also have "The AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language" which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the delivery of comprehensive services to children and adults who are deaf or hard-of-hearing through the certification of professionals who work with these individuals.

So far, according to their past history (i.e. Pepsi commercial), AG Bell have proven that they are against American Sign Language (ASL) and not willing to work with other deaf individuals and organzations who support ASL.

Why?

This goes back to 1883 in Alexander Graham Bell's book "Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race" which was submitted to the National Academy of Sciences. Bell argued, with breathtaking hubris, that to avoid this calamity, we must "commence our efforts on behalf of the deaf-mute by changing his social environment" (p. 46). Residential schools, where most Deaf children acquired language, identity, and a life partner, should be closed and Deaf people educated in small day schools. Sign language should be banished; Deaf teachers fired. Bell's Memoir received wide newspaper coverage. Bell's actions led many to believe that there would be, or already were, laws prohibiting Deaf marriage. There was much consternation among Deaf people contemplating marriage. Some hearing parents of Deaf children chose to have their children sterilized. Also in a 1912 report from Bell's eugenics section of the Breeders' Association cites his census of blind and Deaf persons and lists "socially unfit" classes to "be eliminated from the human stock" (American Genetic Association, 1912, p. 3).

Why many deaf people do not want to be a member of AG Bell's organzation? AG Bell’s public relations often using lobbyists and lobbyist groups to promote their causes that are often well-funded. The Alexander Graham Bell Association is using their multi-million-dollar budget to tell parents of deaf children to deny Deaf children the opportunity to learn American Sign Language at a young age when it was important. When I was a deaf child, I wished I knew how to communicate even when I can't hear and speak. At least, I got a start in communication skills in my "mind" regardless how I communicate. I do NOT like AG Bell's ideology that denies children with hearing loss the opportunity to develop their cognitive skills at a young age and getting a late start "socially".

I had a very late start "socially" and by the time I was a teenager, I was still behind time "socially" and didn't like it at all. During my teenage years, I worked hard to over-come that once I understood my main problems. When I was younger, I didn't realized it until I became "aware" of my weaknesses.

At least, I over-came and I am happy. However, I do not want any deaf children to go through that as I did. Parents needs to start working their child's cognitive skills at a very early age whether through signing until or "IF" they have "hearing cability" and "start to learn to listen the engish language". What happens if a child will not be able to hear after surgeries and other avenues? If a deaf child learned sign language before speaking, they will learn faster and will be able to "over-come" their social skills quickly.

Can you tell that I am still mad at AG Bell? LOL

Deaf Baptist Church Property In Ohio

Auctioneer Scott Heise said about 15 people came to the Saturday, Feb. 16, auction, but no one bid on the 12,000-square-foot building on Mason Road in Warren County.

Questions about God and Faith

In Merelyme's blog yesterday, she is curious how other bloggers believe and I gave my answer. Her questions the most common questions we all faced over the years. I thought I share this with my readers. A writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote about faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1-2). Faith comes as a result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit-He quickens our hearts to believe. Christian faith is not optimism because it breeds false hope. I believe a Christian should not be either pessimistic or optimistic. If a Christian thinks of their future that caused them to fall back on unreasoning hope from a "human point of view". I love this quote from an old TV show, "I always admired atheists. I think it takes a lot of faith." Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Seoul Mates, 1991.

1. Do you believe there is a God? Yes, I believe in God who created me as well as saved me.

2. Do you believe there is a heaven? Yes, I do. Christ through His death and resurrection, every legal hindrance has been met and satisfied. There is nothing that can keep me from the promise. Hebrews 9:15 "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."

3. Do you believe there is a hell? Yes, I do. I believe that without Christ through the Holy Spirit, we are nothing except worthy of going through the WIDE GATE of hell because of sins we have inherited from Adam. The very first "sinner" that went to hell was Lucifer (now Satan) and in my view, Lucifer (Satan) is the grandfather of sins.

4. Do you meditate or pray? Majority of my prayers are through my heart and mind than my mouth. Humility is putting God first in our prayers while pride is putting God last in our prayers. To me, all prayers are formal coming from my heart. There is "NO" wrong way to pray since prayer is spiritual from the heart. That's between God and the believer who worship. Jeremiah 17:10 "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." One thing we have to remember is that prayer basically means “transferring my “will” to God’s will”.

5. What belief most sustains you...helps you through challenging times? This is one of my main topics in my blog. God has given me His grace to cope with my sufferings through the sources of "thorns" which are weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties in this life. God's providences in my life were my "wake-up calls" as well as making me a better Christian. I realized that when I am trying to understand why He is doing this, my life is more peaceful and more enjoyable. Even though God will not take away my problems but He always been there for me when I am facing problems.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Got home late

I took the bus to the library for what I thought to be a meeting but no way home until my wife pick me up. She was going to pick me up after a show that she and her daughter went to see at a local high school. So, I waited by browsing the library, checked out some books and then went to starbucks for coffee and reading.

Due to bad weather (snow), we had to drive slow coming home.

I am going to bed but I will be home early tomorrow from work since its my "shot" day so I will be online.

See you tomorrow.

Jim

I feel stupid

I got here and there's no meeting. The meeting is next week. LOL

I am feeling better today

My mood is better and I got more productive at work. Right now, I am the public library waiting for the 7 pm Men's MS Support Group to start in one of the meeting rooms.

I will be home around 9:30 and will check online then.

Thanks for your support.

Jim

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I am feeling down this week and today's was my

worst thus far. I am going to turn in and go to sleep early. I hope tomorrow I will be in a better mood.

Will visit your blogs tomorrow.

Jim :)

Retired Deaf Leader Launches Online Hub for Deaf and Hard of Hearing


A retired leader in the deaf community has taken it upon himself to harness the resources of the web for the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) community by putting together a website - www.deafhoh.com, which has the potential of becoming the premier destination for the deaf and hard of hearing community on the Internet.

Link

Despite parents' pleas, state cuts autism services

Panel allows new rule that limits funding, Wednesday, February 20, 2008 2:57 AM, By Alan Johnson, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Personal Economy and Budget Cuts.....

I am not sure about everyone else, but my family is struggling to make ends with our cost of living because housing and utility costs rose including monthly food and automobile fuel costs. I take the bus to work daily which means I saved over $250 a month of wear/tear, fuel and parking costs just by paying for a simple bus pass.

My family is one of those America’s working middle-class families who are facing a wave of economic insecurity even though we do have a secured job and we are paying our bills. However, our expenses are higher than our income due to prices going up such as food, auto fuel, others and especially medical bills. Our medical bills have been getting bigger over the years.

My wife and I are making efforts to cut costs and reduce the amount of not needed costs which means giving up what we enjoyed.

I am sure many of us have financial fears regarding the effects of the corporations and businesses attitude in regarding working with us because they are in the business of making money and they don't care if we have problems. This is just another specific economic area that affect other economic areas and they are all related. Corporations and other businesses needs to remember that we consumers drive the U.S. economy according to our ability pay for supply of goods and services that debts are in nominal terms, falling sales and wages made it impossible to service the debt. When that happens, everything else in economy will be affected. There are limited programs that help people survive through bad economic times because many corporation do not want to work with us. They rather have the government work with us while they reaping in millions.

In one of my posts in this blog, I posted about most corporations are paying their CEOs and other exectuves too much and I find that disgussing. Shareholders needs to speak up and tell the executives to shape up or else. While I understand the logic behind the salary amount which competition is expected because they attract a large number of qaulified applicants. I know CEOs face long hours, considerable travel, and intense pressure but we have to remember, there are hundreds of thousands CEOs who are not making over $ 150,000 a year including non-profit agencies. It is very laughable when many CEOs earning more than 100 times the average wage. They should be helping the company and sharing their wealth with their workers. CEO's bonuses are even WORST and their employees working their butts of making the companies success, executives should also have their bonuses should flow through so all members of a company have a reason to perform.

The purpose of the corporation was and still is to generate profits for its investors (shareholders) which is not a problem for me because I am one of those "investors". However, I am the investors who are trying to live while executives are making more money than they deserve. Therefore, corporations and major investment holders really do not serve minor investors but their own. Our relatives ran into these kind of business people in the past (1800's, 1900's and years later) and they were often referred to as "politicians as villains and businessmen as heroes" and they still are today. Today, many corporations are restructuring two processes that are known as "downsizing" and "outsourcing", because they are basically shedding of higher-paid employees (not exectuves) and the hiring of low-wage contingent workers elsewhere. Therefore, there are American workers who are not making money or not making enough money to help with the economy.

Back to our budget plan.....
After paying off debts, we are going to invest more so that when economic crisis come again, we will be ready and will not rely on corporations and government. Since my income can only pay so much therefore, in the future, I am going to make some changes in my budget to focus on a much more simple living than I am living now. My first step to making better choices about my family spend our money by living consciously. This is not about to "consume less" but rather to "consume differently" to save money in the long run.

My family's first focus is our current debts. We are going to use our tax refunds and rebates towards our debts. Close out some accounts that are considered wasteful even though they do "help U.S. economy". I am sorry to say that our rebates are not really going to help U.S.'s economy since many companies do not and will not like working with consumers so therefore, there's no point working with them and I rather spent my money to companies that desires to help the economy by working with consumers rather than relying on the government alone.

If I remember correctly, the last time we received tax-rebate checks, most Americans have used the money to pay off their debt -- not spent it in the stores. Recently, the UBS Securities commissioned survey was released by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. found that 43% of the 1,000 surveyed Americans would pay off debt, while 26% said they would save the money and only 24% said they would spend it.

So... this week and weekend, we are going over our bills and find ways to cut costs. We are cutting our cable and phone features.

Oh yes, in terms of investments, I am looking into investing into companies that don't have high executives salaries and bonuses. I want companies to work for investors and consumers more than they are working for their own bank accounts, pockets and wallets. I would encourage all investors do the same.

Are you all facing similar issues as I am?

Monday, February 18, 2008

I discovered a website through another blogger.....

Disaboom.com was founded by Dr. J. Glen House, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation who is also a quadriplegic.

Billy Joel: "Just The Way You Are" On "Sesame Street" signing by Marlee Matlin

Not Captioned

Provoking Video: Disability Etiquette Opener

Quotes from Disabled Individuals and Experts

Get A Life! from independentliving.org
If we accept that all human life has value, it follows that we should strive to make each life valued. Sadly, in current society, some lives are deemed more valuable than others.
It is a sad fact that the majority of the public, think disabled lives are flawed or simply not worth living. In a recent UK newspaper poll 32% said they would want to abort if they found they were carrying a disabled child.
I was a few days old when the seriousness of my disability was discovered. Strange as it may seem I can remember the change in the attitude of the people around me, from calm and loving to panicky and hostile. A message clearly and firmly slipped into my unconscious saying that people would prefer it if I died. It seems that since then I have spent nearly all my life desperately trying to prove that I should be alive, that I was not suffering (even when I was) that I was not worthless, but indeed exceptionally worthwhile.
“I became quadriplegic following a sporting accident 17 years ago. I was ventilator dependent for a while and at times said to people, “I wish I was dead!” I am now extraordinarily glad no one acted on that and assisted suicide was not legal. I think the first difficulty I faced was the fact that, like many people, I had a terribly negative image of disability. When you suddenly become severely disabled you still have that viewpoint. Before I was disabled, I was working as a junior doctor. That brought me into contact with disabled people and I remember clerking in a man with quadriplegia. My reaction was, how could anyone live like that? I said to my then girlfriend, “I’d rather be dead, if I couldn’t play sport”.
The danger is the assumption that disability, in this case the physical condition brought about by Multiple Sclerosis, is sufficient to explain the intolerable nature of life.
Society seems content to consign Mrs Pretty to the graveyard, yet no one would dare think the same of Stephen Hawking! If the Mrs Prettys of this world are so different that they would be better off dead then the same should be said of Stephen Hawking. Or do we want Hawking to live because of his intelligence? Where do we draw the line?
THE VALUE OF LIFE WITH A DISABILITY
Most of society sees people with disabilities as persons who are flawed, pitiful and without dignity. But we see ourselves as a vital and proud community, with values of our own that enhance our quality of life, values that could enhance life for all:
Click on the link above to see the list.

Balanced views

Around the blog, there are talks about what I have been posting lately. One of my dearest blogger have posted hers as well. Merelyme posted two topics that got me thinking today and they are: My focus is my child and Integrity. Even since I ran into her blog, I admired and respected her as well as her posts. There are some good provoking thoughts around the blog in the past few days. I thought I wanted to share this.

Jim

Disabilities and Quality of Life

Well, my night's was alittle rough since the side effects from my avonex shot for multiple sclerosis were affecting me. This does not happen very often but it did last night. Therefore, I could not sleep and thought about a few issues I have seen in the blog in the past few days. There were some interesting provoking thoughts out there which have triggered some deep thoughts in many of us. This is not my first time dealing with this since I have been dealing with this ever since I was a child, from a "disability's perspective" and I often raise this question "Who define my own quality of life?". I have learned that in the Deaf culture, their definition of quality of life and ASL and how they have relationships in terms of communicating regardless what others (i.e. experts) think or believe.

I want to start with one of my quotes I have made in my journals:
“Okay, I have hearing loss and multiple sclerosis, and those are the ways of life for me that I cannot change them. I can live with them. I take silence and pain as come and I have learned master them in my life. My disabilities do not have me. I have the disabilities and I accept them because I know who I am from the inside. Everything has its wonders, even silence and pain, and I learn whatever disabilities and difficulties I may be in, I am happily content.” I like this quote by Canadian Mark Pickup (disabled with multiple sclerosis): “I have been more service to God disabled than during my able-bodied years. This didn’t happen despite my disability but because of my disability.”
In my own experiences, the government, the so-called experts, as well as society still have physical and societal barriers inhibiting fulfillment of quality of life for those who are disabled.

Many experts and people often treats disabilities as 2nd or 3rd class citizens as for finding ways to "cure them" rather than helping them with their disabilties. We live in a world which places great emphasis on beauty, wealth and power. People with disabilities are often a symbol of the opposite – they struggle with physical or mental imperfection, powerlessness and often poverty. This only adds to the stigma which isolates them, separating them from the mainstream of life. This fix or cure is a form of discrimination is a problem faced by disabled people including children around the world.

We need to have a solid and sound concept to understand disabilities and how those with disabilities can enjoy quality of life. People with disabilities are God's best visual aids to demonstrate how they treat those with disabilities.

What exactly is "quality of life"?

What is really the true definition of "quality of life"?

In terms of quality of life, many people took on other meanings such as "satisfaction with life" or "as good as someone else's life."

Now we are dealing with "quality of life from society's perspective" and "quality of life from the individual's perspective who is disabled".

To really understand "quality of life" is to effectively use knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities requires understanding the many meanings of disability and of quality of life. What can we do to make a difference in the quality of life for those with disabilities?

Therapies and rehabilitation services will always improve the quality of life by helping clients become productive citizens or live independently.

The real key is:
"How and what kinds of therapies and rehab" can help? From a non-disabled perspective? Or from disabled perspective?

Often, I noticed that there are some rehabilitation efforts may increase functioning but not improve the quality of life. There are areas that are still facing barriers in one form or another. Improving the material quality of life, improving public safety and security, improving education, Christianity and spiritual values, increasing employment or improving work conditions for those who are truly disabled, improving the cultural quality (i.e. Deaf Culture) of life, improving the psychological and social quality of life and much more.

I am sure this discussion will be on-going for the rest of my life. LOL

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sense of Humor



Parents with Disabled Children facing a situation that is common

I was reading Casdok's blog today and noticed as a parent, she is facing a situation that many, many parents of sorts of disabilities face everyday. From my own experiences, I have seen in the deaf community for years and many parents of deaf children have been divided on this as well. I love Casdok's quote in her blog "Autism is fine! My son is fine, I love every autistic inch of him. And im sure autistic people themselves who read this would be very upset." Many of her comments were also positive. Here what some have said:
I agree with your sentiment. All of my kids have disabilities and I still love everything about them.
In my opinion I think that this is one of the critical questions that parents and autistic people face from the moment that they are first diagnosed. I'm very much in the camp who celebrates my children, and tries to gear our therapy/choices to enable them to have as fulfilling a life as possible without trying to "cure" them.
My son doesn't want his autism cured. He wants to be accepted as the person he is. Is his life easy? No. Does his autism stand in the way of achieving some of his goals? Yes. Has his autim caused him to find himself in danger for lack of understanding social situations completely? Yes. Can anyone say their life is easy, that they easily achieve all of their goals and have never found themselves in danger for misreading social cues?

How many parents out there can say their children have lived perfect, easy lives and have followed the path of total, unencumbered success? All parents find the most difficulty accepting their children when their children fail to live up to parental expectations. Not everyone goes to Harvard,becomes a doctor, is straight, gets married or pops out grandkids......................His life would be easier and happier if the world could see him as a valid, valuable, and wanted human being.
This is my comment in her blog:
Reading this reminds me of many parents of deaf children. There are some who wants to "fix" deafness and there are others who wants to make the best for the child dispite the circumstances.

The same situation with parents of autism children. They are divided and disagree on certain issues.

My wife has a daughter with severed cerbral palsy and mild mentally challenged. We love who she is while at the same time, get frustated with her disabilities. We will never change the way she is unless there was a miracle. We accepted who she is as she is. We love her as she is regardless.

Parents of deaf children wants to their kids who can hear so they can "love them more". What's wrong with loving them as they are even "if" they can't be fixed?

Thank you for sharing this.

Jim
It appears that regardless of what disabilities of children that parents are facing, this type of issue will always be divided and we will never be truly united. We can learn to accept this as a fact of life and we will find ways to deal with it. I love Angela's comment and she said this beautifully as she post in her blog...
I think I would be a basket case if I couldn't see the humor in Autism. I like Karen's strip...I think she does a good job of saying the things that many only dare to briefly think about. People need to lighten up a bit and take it for what it is...a release that allows her to lighten the enormity of Autism while making people feel like it is okay to have those passing thoughts. Thanks for the great post!!

I have to move my butt and renew and rejoin.....

I have been so busy and I keep forgetting to do the following:

Join National Association of the Deaf

Join Hearing Loss Association of America

Renew my membership with National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Possibly joining Multiple Sclerosis Association of America

Join Central Ohio Chapter, Association of Government Accountants

Join National Grants Management Association

Maybe join American Association of Grant Professionals

That is the list so far.

Been wondering when or if AG Bell will fix the their own damages?

Ever since the superbowl game, I have been wondering (still wondering) if AGBell responded to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)'s letter to Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell) about their comments on their letter to PepsiCo.

To this day, I have not seen any responses from AG Bell. A few days after the letter was posted in AG Bell's homepage, the letter link was taken down. We can still find the letter elsewhere and it is still exists within AG Bell's website because I was still able to access to it even though the link is no longer there on the website.

I will always be looking for AG Bell's efforts to fix their mistakes and the longer this is taking for them to fix this, the more I understand their arrogant of their views of the deaf.

I do admire those who make efforts to reconcile their differences and make the best of everything TOGETHER.

Idealism and Politics (i.e. Deaf-Right, Religious Right)

As I was reading around the blogs and I truly noticed that many Americans (including me)are idealists. I noticed that this is especially within the deaf community because I found that there are some hard-core deaf idealists out there. I thought "AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing" was bad but I also notice that "deaf-right" individuals are just as bad as AG Bell.

This is the same for everyone else who are doing the same thing whatever their motives might be. Lack of balance is often the direct consequence of over-emphasis on certain topics while ignoring others that are related. There is a fine balance between legalism and liberalism. Both are wrong. Everything is allowable but not everything is allowable. People are really confused the balance between what the world ought to be.

One good example is National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is doing a great job keeping the balance politically for ALL those who have suffered hearing loss whether they use ASL or not.

Idealism basically means holding on to a set of beliefs which are a rigid system of the way life is "supposed to be" or "should be". Belief system you have adopted about how things "should be done" which often gets challenged by the way things are in reality. I also noticed that many idealists find it difficult to fully accept anyone the way they really are and chronically attempt to control them so that they can become the way they "should ideally be" which often leads to become fatalistic, hostile, pessimistic, and negativistic attitudes.

I truly believe that "over-idealism" is a control issue and that it is at the root of our need to overcontrol situations, people, places, or things in order to ensure that they come into compliance with our ideal image of the way reality is supposed to be. Adolf Hitler was one example of "over-idealism".

Politically, to me idealism is freedom without people telling me what to do or how should I live my life. One of my favorite Presidents of all time was Abraham Lincoln, he had one idealism that lead to civil war. Do you remember what that was? I truly believe this kind of idealism is truth. He wanted to abolish slavery.

The truth is, true freedom does not come without a cost, true security does not come without freedom.

I remember reading that Martin Luther was against idealism within the Church. He contended for a Christianity of churches that would embrace freedom. Christianity of churches that would renounce force and live only by the Word and the Spirit. That the Scripture is the only standard for all issues of personal life and that we’re going to stand with the Scripture. This is what Luther said: "I say that God wants no compulsory service. I say it a hundred thousand times: God wants no compulsory service. No one can or ought to be compelled to believe. But, a soul of man is an eternal thing above all that is temporal; therefore, only by an eternal Word, must it be governed and grasped."

In this world, we are clashing between realism and idealism. To me, I am a centrist politically because centrists are realists who tend to accept conditions as they are and to define the ends and means of policy by the measures of anticipated gains, costs, necessities, and chances of success. Centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes. As a Centrist, I personally desire to be well-balanced, calm, careful, steady, and sane while choosing my options politically.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My younger days... the only deaf swimmer on the team



I have been been swimming in the water since I was very young and been on many swim teams over the years all the way up to my 30's. Back in the 60's and 70's when I was on various swim teams, during swim meets, I had one disadvantage that other swimmers had that I didn't was to hear the "starter". They were able to dive off the block before I could react so I was always last in the water. During the 3 year period that I was in my highest peak in swimming by coming in "first" in many events for butterfly and freestyle. I wonder what my "timings" would be if I started at the same time against other swimmers? Would I have been ahead of them like Mark Spitz did in the Olympics?

This is one of those I keep thinking and wondering "what if". LOL Believe me, I have alot of those. Today, swimming pools now have the technologies for the deaf who is able to start at the same time as "hearing" swimmers. I wished I had that when I was younger. I believed my best "time" for 50 meter freestyle was under 26 seconds and that was with "late start from the block". I can't remember my other times like my IMs and Butterflies. If I started at the same time, it would have been 24 or 25 seconds (I think).

Oh speaking of sports and I started attending my local public school (hometown)when I as about 12 years old which I was the only deaf student in the entire class. I played football when I was younger (in early 1970's) during my junior high school days but I gave up because the coaches didn't want me to play because I could not hear. All I asked for is play on the defense which was a no brainer. So, instead, I played soccer and I did well in that sport. In high school, I was the only freshman who made on the varsity soccer team and I was thankful for the coach to give me an opportunity. He was a tough coach and treated me like other players. Whenever I messed up, I get yelled at like he did with my teammates. I will always respected him for that. I considered me "able" regardless of my hearing loss. I wished there were more coaches like him during my younger days.

The deaf youth have it made over the years and didn't experienced as much as I did when I was younger. I am praying that this will continue to change over the years for the better. I am saying this for all disabilities, not just deafness.

Another Award......


I am humbled and honored to receive this award from Mother of Shrek (Casdok) If you have not visited her blog, I recommend that you go there and enjoy her blog. She is a single mother of a 19 year old non verbal autistic young man from United Kingdom. I found her blog so unique and interesting. Her thoughts are ideas are always so interesting. I have found wonderful bloggers through her blog.

One thing I have learned ever since I started blogging, I enjoy the "community" feeling that I have been missing over the years. With a busy lifestyle like working, family and other commitments, I don't have time for social activities. This is my limited social activity. :)

Anyway, she awarded 7 people for this award so I will be thinking of who will be getting this award over the weekend. I have some ideas.

Someone asked what caused my deafness.....

When my mother was pregnant, she had rebella (german measles) which was a viral infection of my auditory nerve. Last summer, I had a hearing test and it revealed that I have lost more "hearing". About ten years ago, I used to have 30 to 50 decible loss but now I am about 70 decible loss. I was diagnosed with MS in 2002 which therefore I may have had MS a few years prior to 2002 which probably first came in the late 1990's. Therefore, this is about ten years and the experts can't tell if its related to MS or simply my auditory nerve damage I was born with just got worst. Either way, to me, nerve damage is nerve damage and that I am going deaf someday. Hearing loss caused by MS is most likely due to inflammation and scarring around the eighth cranial (auditory) nerve where it enters the brain stem.

Multiple Sclerosis Researchers throughout the world now agree that acute, inflammatory, demyelinative lesions of the auditory pathways in the brain stem may cause acute hearing loss in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Although it's uncommon, a hearing deficit does sometimes occur during an acute MS flare-up.

A deputy who was videotaped dumping a paralyzed man out of his wheelchair onto a Tampa jailhouse floor turned herself in.

Deputy Arrested in Wheelchair Dump Video

Suspended Deputy faces a charge of abuse of a disabled person, a third-degree felony.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Growing up deaf while Understanding English

My wife and her kids who are hearing are catching on why I speak differently and why my english could be off.

From birth up to until I was about 4 years old, my family didn't know I was deaf until I had a hearing test in a famous hospital in Boston. I could hear loud noises but I could not communicate or even talk normally. As soon as they found out that I have a major hearing loss, my grandparents got me a new hearing-aid and I actually remembered the first day I actually HEARD anything including my mother's voice and of course a TRUCK outside the hearing-aid store. My first hearing-aid was a Zenith.

Then before attending deaf school, I was in speech therapy and then soon, I was able to talk basic words but not really having a converstation. Soon, I started attending the Boston School for the Deaf for 7 years which was an oralism school (now closed). I was not to learn or use sign language. Therefore, for 4 years or so, I had to learn how to speak before I learn to understand the english language.

I really wished I learned the english language, even through sign language because I wanted to communicate effectively. Today, even though I can hear and can communicate effectively. My grammar will always be off and words I say will always be off the mark.

In "person", I am mildly reserved and low-key person because I am usally afraid of saying something wrong grammar or speech. I am not big on small talk. I usually prefer in-dept discussion about important issues rather than small talk.

After years of thinking, I wished I learned the english language or even really communicate before I was 4 years old. I did wished that I learned sign language so I can be ahead on my "communication" skills regardless whether I can or cannot speak at the time. Its the communication that is very important and I have missed out ALOT and I had alot of "catching up" to do when I got older. The major challenge facing kids with hearing impairments is communication.

Along with my deafness, I had to struggle with the conditions that affect the development of my communication skills within personality and intelligence. Today's experts says that "Age of onset plays a crucial role in the development of language". It took me YEARS to catch up with I noticed deaf people with sign language didn't have that much of a difficulty.

I don't care what the expert says. My experiences speak for themselves.

Now... please keep in mind.... this is NOT my parents' fault nor my families. I blame this on the "so-called" experts on deafness who really didn't know it all like Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired. My family were relying on the experts and they said oralism was the way and speaking was the most important part of my education whether or not I understood english well enough.

My mother have done so much for me and I could NOT asked for a better mother. She did the best as she could as she listened to those around her. I had the best care and I have the best love that a child could have. But, I didn't really understand "relationship" and I could not understand the communication was an important part of all human relationships.

What can parents of deaf children do for their kids? Make sure they can communicate effectively so they can have a "normal" relationship. I have learned that many children with hearing problems will face both experiential and language deficiencies. My speech is so good that no one will ever know that I am deaf but if they listened to my grammar, they will figure me out.

I will say that I am jealous of those deaf people who grew up with sign language and learned the english language later because today, they are better communicators than I am. They are more advanced in grammar than I am. Does not matter how well I can hear. I will never be good in speaking and I will also never be wonderful in sign language. I will always be stuck between the "hearing" and "deaf" world.

The deaf culture population represents about 10% while people like me are 90% of the population. It would be very nice to be part one or the other.

As this moment, I am more acceptable to the hearing world because there are those who don't care how I speak. There are those deaf who would care how good I sign. If I don't sign that good, I am not considered deaf.

This is a TOUGH world out there.

Now.. battling with Multiple Sclerosis is another battle and a different ball game. LOL

Hall of Faith: Dwight Moody


Dwight Moody is listed in as one of my list personal "Hall of Faith". Dwight Moody was unquestionably the chief spokesman for the revivalist wing of the flourishing American evangelicals of his day. His central leadership role was very similar to that played by Charles Finney before the Civil War or that of Billy Graham in the era after 1950. Moody’s style on the platform was not sensational or spectacular, but more like that of a nineteenth-century businessman who won the hearts of his audiences by homely illustrations that effectively appealed to their sentiments.

For more information about Dwight Moody... go here:Dwight L. Moody

Here are his well-known quotes:
It is easier for me to have faith in the Bible than to have faith in D.L. Moody, for Moody has fooled me lots of time. Dwight L. Moody

Sin will keep you from this book. This book will keep you from sin. Dwight L. Moody

We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. Dwight L. Moody

We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God. (D.L. Moody)

"Moses spent 40 years thinking he was somebody; 40 years learning he was nobody; and 40 years discovering what God can do with a nobody." DL Moody

The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to church...is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her. Dwight L. Moody

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves. Dwight L. Moody

(About Pride) God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He's even put a "no fishing" sign over the spot. Dwight L. Moody

At a certain meeting two and a half people were converted to Christ. "A friend asked if he meant two adults and a child. The facts were just the opposite - two children and an adult. When a child is led to Christ, a whole life is saved!" Dwight L Moody

Carnival of MS Bloggers

Latest List of Bloggers from Carnival of MS Bloggers

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Youth with Disabilities in the Foster Care System

National Council on Disability to Make Recommendations

Babies with Disabilities

Senate Considers Bill to Provide Support to Babies with Disabilities

Happy Valentine's Day everyone



Wheelchair dipping situation Updates

Florida Attorney General's office is looking into whether the civil rights of a paralyzed man dumped onto a jailhouse floor were violated.

State and federal prosecutors are being called to act after the dumping of a quadriplegic man from a wheelchair by a Hillsborough County jail deputy.

Roommate defends deputy who dumped man from wheelchair; report cites previous disciplinary problems

Neighborhood terrified of man dumped from wheelchair

Punish now, severely. A Times Editorial

I got my MSQR for the first time....

Information and key issues in multiple sclerosis (MS) from United Spinal Association.

Looks interesting.

Jim

Remember that Mayor who thought deaf people could live by

the airport? In 1994, he was considering moving deaf people near the airport to solve noise complaints. He is in the news again. This time, with the United States Marines in this AP's article: Booting Marines Lands Mayor in Crossfire (of course this is an Ohio's mayor.) Dang it.

Back in 1994, advocates for deaf people said the Mayor's original remark was an insult. After his remark was publicized in the media, he wept at a news conference and said had meant no disrespect."Nobody intended to be insensitive. My only words were that it was an interesting idea."

Looks like he didn't realized that deaf people could feel the vibrations from the big planes.

Just another example of ignorance.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Advocacies for people who have all types of hearing loss

I noticed that over the years that Hearing Loss Association of America and National Association of the Deaf have worked together on many issues. I didn't see AG Bell worked with them.

Am I the only one seeing this?

New National MS Society's magazine name.......

I got my first issue the other day. Momentum formerly known as InsideMS.

MS and Intimacy

National Multiple Sclerosis Society NMSS is looking for those who are willing to share their experiences. "Tell Us About It": For an article in a future issue of Momentum magazine called “MS vs. Good Sex,” we want to hear your experiences— bad or good. Anonymity guaranteed—your privacy will be protected.

My moods are way off this week......


even though I am having a good week at work. Very productive and very focused. In fact, I am not feeling romantic this week and I know tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Sheesh.

Hopefully, I will get romantic feelings tomorrow.

Jim

Cal Thomas' today's comment..........

I may not agree with everything he says but in this column, I do agree.

Cal Thomas: Conservatives should focus on ideas
If conservatives really want to win, they will adopt new ideas based on old principles. Conservatives are in danger of losing the coming election and future ones because they have not reinvented themselves for a new era. Liberal ideas mostly don't work. Conservatives must demonstrate to voters their ideas do.
Cal Thomas is a conservative American syndicated columnist who advocates a return to traditional values, which, he believes, must come from the people -- not their government. This is what I believe as well. As I posted earlier in my blog that I do NOT like telling other people what to do with their lives. In the United States, we are in a "democratic country" which means the Government will follow what the people want. United States are NOT a "Theocracy Government" (i.e. Christian Moral Laws). The world who are without Christ also have their own views and therefore, more often than not, the secular world views will always be in conflict with Christianity. The idea that Jesus Christ has absolute and final authority over all of us "Christians" in every detail of our lives is simply regardless of legalistic control by some evangelical Christians in the political world when trying to impose moral agendas that that do not believe in.

This week is my venting week simply because I am frustrated.

Disabilities and Public's including the Law Enforcement attitudes

Deputy dumps paralyzed man out of wheelchair

Quotes from Brian Sterner who was the victim.
“Hopefully, that’s what will come out of this, that this negative way of dealing with life and people will change.”
“It’s not about one deputy, it’s not about the sheriff, it’s not about the governor. t’s about this ridiculous — ridiculous — down-pression of people across the world, economic or whatever you want to call it. It’s just like Rodney King got beat on the street and I got thrown out of my wheelchair. It happens to people every day. It’s just now there’s cameras that catch it.”
“No question in my mind — I think these types of things occur fairly routinely, and it’s only when you have unequivocal evidence like this that something can be done about it.”


This a prime example that people don't realized that many people are born with or in the course of their life due to some tragic event gets impaired. We face many difficulties in leading even a simple life that "able" people don't have problems with.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ann Coulter

Remember Ann Coulter's comments about Jewish people on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch? Coulter told Deutsch that America should be a Christian nation, Jews should convert and that Christians "just want Jews to be perfected, as they say."

I have read Ann's commentaries and I have learned alot about the "conservatives" through her as I did with Rush Limbaugh and others.

I want to say this to Ann:
Regarding our religious freedom, The early Christians in America were interested in establishing a degree of separation of church and state because they had been persecuted by the English government and wanted to ensure their own freedom of religion in Massachusetts Bay. They also disagreed with the Catholic/Anglican idea that the church should be should be universal, encompassing every member of the community. This implied a division between the institutions of society (government) and the institutions of the church.

Christians knows that not everyone is willing to be a Christian. If a person don't want to read the Bible, then that person don't have to read the Bible. We have that freedom.
Ann Coulter is a conservative (far right) like is very much like Rush Limbaugh and she really, really do not John McCain. As a "registered" Republican, I do hold many conservative positions on most issues and I think John is the same way. If Ann is a Christian, she needs to understand that being a Christian means being a conservative by seeing how we deal with the world in humility that being witness is by her life, but she do not hide the fact that she is Christian and that how she show her spiritual light through deeds first and then words. Right now, she is mostly words and at times, her words basically made her "unbecoming a Christian". 1 Corinthians 13:5 says "Love does not act unbecomingly". Ephesians 5:4 "Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving."

I am a "conservative" like John McCain however, according to their (far right) definition of conservativism, I am NOT. They think I might be "conservative democrat" but you know, in the past few years, I have been voting mostly democrat candidates including Ohio's Governor in the last governorship election.

Republican Party is in a sad, sad position today.

ADA: One Bloggor asked me a question....

relating to one of my post
i am wondering what prompted you to write this...is there a specific incident you are thinking about. tell us the story.
Merelyme
Comment Section

Ever since I saw two opposing views of H.R. 3195 which is the "ADA Restoration Act of 2007" from U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Political Think Tank The Heritage Foundation and others that expressed their concerns about "expanding" the disabilities in the law. Of course I disageed with their theories and thinking. But this does make me wonder.

I am thinking... at what level should a person be considered "disabled" compare to "able" people in this world? I am some concerns of the ethics of some those who abuses the law, especiaally the attorneys who knows better.

Over the years, I have seen from a manager's point of view that there are those who I considered "able" were using ADA to "protect" themselves in whatever situation they were in. I have seen this happened many times over the years which frustrates me.

This new breed of opportunistic litigants who profit from exploiting this law. This kind of "fear of lawsuits" have triggered unintended consequences and those with who are really disabled will suffer at the end. Often local small businesses, non-profit organizations and governments suffer more than large corporations and governments who were able to afford legal actions.

One thing I did noticed, those who are really disabled didn't sue for money because they sought independence and equality so they can "live" while those who are "able" sue for money because they are just greedy. We have to remember that we disabled people understand that this law was originally designed to open doors for the disabled has forced some business to close their doors altogether because of non-able people's lawsuits. The key for the Americans with Disabilities Act is to provide access for the disabled, not a payday for greedy able artists.

I want ADA to be used for both employers and employees with disabilities by sitting down and find truly reasonable accommodations that can be compromised without hardship. Many people with disabilities do WANT to work and they WANT to be independent. However there are "red tape" barriers that preventing people with disabilities to gain indepedence, especially those who abuses ADA.

So... at what level of "disability" should be for a person who is qualified for ADA's reasonable accommodations?

Sure.. everyone is considered "disabled" one way or another but how severed? How bad? Compare to those who are suffering more, how bad is "disabled"?

I am disabled but I am able than most people with disabilities. I may be deaf but I am able with "reasonable" accommodations. I may have Multiple Sclerosis but I am able with "reasonable" accommodations. I just make sure I don't abuse my accommodations and understand the real purpose of the law. It is essential to understand that the ADA is a civil rights law; its purpose is to end discrimination against people with disabilities and to provide them with equal opportunity for everyone with disabilities.

Now, I want to say that I do agree with some lawsuits that some businesses, corporations and other employers deserved to be sued. I have listed a few links regarding those lawsuits that were proper and reasonable.

Of course, attorneys love and always looking for "loopholes" for courts to decide. That's where the "real" costs which can lead to problems for those who are really disabled down the road. How do we close loopholes that we think those who think they are disable but really truly able?

Thanks for letting me vent, Merelyme. (smile)