Monday, March 31, 2008

CHRONICLES OF A BIONIC WOMAN

I love Abbie's blog she posted today about AG Bell "A.G. Bell - Oral Only Organization". I have said my thoughts about AG Bell, but Abbie's outdid my thoughts and she did it so well. We all need to have a strong deaf and hard of hearing community with a common goal in mind. We can build closer relationships and learn more about each other, which we can help each other understand one another and create a sense of belonging.

I recommend you read Abbie's blog right now by clicking on the link "A.G. Bell - Oral Only Organization"

I am considering going back to college this fall

and so I can study for Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Between 1978 and 1981, I took accounting and business courses at National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) which is one of the colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I am sending a letter and form to RIT to send transcripts to the college I am planning to attend in Columbus, Ohio.

I still have another 7 years or so left before I retire but I want to be ready. After I retire from my accounting job, I want to start a grant management consulting service, financial reporting and maybe Forensic Accounting (preventing, detecting, and investigating financial frauds). Or, I can work for CPA firms part time. I have over 27 years of accounting experiences including about 20 years in federal grants accounting and financial reporting. I understand that my experience may be counted toward the experience requirement for the CPA certificate.

I am debating to start in the summer or in the fall. It appears, according to my family's schedule, I will probably will start in the fall. This will give me time to put my act together and be ready. I have several financial resources including one from my employer's tuition reimbursement program. Employer's tuition reimbursement program is tax free up to $5,250 annually (see IRS Publication 508, Tax Benefits for Work-Related Education). I am going to apply for other financial aids even if you don't think you'll qualify, worst thing they can do me is say "NO". Anyway, I am going back to school part-time and taking night classes. If possible, sign up for online classes. I am sending a letter and form to RIT to send transcripts to the college I am planning to attend in Columbus, Ohio.

I recorded ‘Cold Case' however due to

CBS Sports, Cold Case didn't start until later so I could not finished watching it after 35 minutes (I think). So, I can't say too much about the show but I do want to say about the common assumptions by hearing people (actors) are pretty much on the mark. Assumptions are always the problem but hey, we all live in the world of assumptions. Often "assumptions" leads to arguments that begs the question may one in which a premise presupposes the conclusion in some way. Such an argument may be valid in the sense in which logicians use that term, yet provides no reason at all to believe its conclusion. Most people are not even aware that they are operating based on a set of rules because they are invisible and they may be ignorant on certain issues. Each group (i.e. Deaf Culture) shares its own set of basic assumptions which differ from the assumptions underlying the other groups (i.e. Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, community).

Assumptions and stereotyping doesn't substitute for cold hard facts about people and cultures. We all faced the fact that you assumptions were proven wrong in the past and we will be wrong in the future.

I am going to help my daughters with their income tax and I might be back tonight.

Jim

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Secret's out: Mystery-shopping gig was scam

As reported in the Columbus Dispatch

My wife and I were looking at something like this to make money however, the more I researched about this, the more I am concerned about it. This article confirms my concerns.

I just realized that I have been a subscriber for

The Columbus Dispatch for almost 27 years. I read it every morning on the bus to work during the week and when at home, I read it either in my bed or on my lazy boy type of chair.

Recommended reading in this blog.....

I found Lisa's today's post in her blog very interesting and I recommend that you read it too. This is called Chronic Illness and the Patient starts with "Blame the Patient" and about being responsibile of making healthy lifestyle choices.

Thank you Lisa.

Jim

Bipolar Disorder

I don't have bipolar disorder however, my ex-wife has it but never got treated for it and refused to get treated. My own daughter also have bipolar disorder and she got treated and doing great. I am learning that bipolar disorder is like multiple sclerosis, the victims are females more than males.

My current wife also have bipolar disorder and she is getting treated as well as getting therapy. Now that all of her 3 girls also have bipolar disorder and they all are getting treated.

I have learned that Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder because they have different levels of disorder. I don't know my ex-wife's level so I would not know. My current wife and her two of three girls have mild disorder which means they are able to cope their every mood swing without hospitalization. While my own daughter as well as one of my wife's daughters have more depressive disorder which can lead them to hospitalization. In fact, my own daughter was hospitalized about 4 times.

I get depression which is similar to bipolar disorder which characterized by a pervasive low mood, loss of interest in usual activities and diminished ability to experience pleasure. Mine is related to Multiple Sclerosis and my medications.

Bipolar disorder and depression are the most common causes for lack of self-discipline, lack of assertiveness, lack of ambition and procrastination.

We all as a family need to have a family committment of doing what is right for us and for our bodies. Joining YMCA is our first "action" to get our butts moving.

Re-educating old man to go back to self-discipline


I do have self-discipline but I am not self-disciplined as I used to be when I was younger and athelitic. I have the will power but not the discipline to follow-through. I have some habits to overcome that caused me to procrastinate and more so than often which lead me to have lack of assertiveness. My life is full of trials and my lack of assertiveness have created more problems for me. Prosrastination is my biggest enemy. I know the key to self-discipline for me is ambition which means a motivation to improve my situation. I have to do this. I want my ambition to have enthusiasm with a purpose in my life. Like Bill Bradley said once, "Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

I have to remember the reality is that everyone dies as explained in Ecclesiastes 3:19-20. I do NOT want to waste my life and die without understanding life’s purpose. No matter what kinds of dreamss and desires I have, I have to remember that my accomplishments to get what I want will only give me momentary thrills and temporary satisfaction that will never last (Isaiah 55:1-3, John 6:35).

One of my favorite Christian theologian, A. W. Tozer said "The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of 10,000 temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which, at the most, cannot concern him for very long." I understood this quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer "In view of our supreme purpose, the present difficulties and disappointments seem trivial".

I have this book called "The Purpose-Driven Life", while I love the concept of the book however doctrinally, I was having trouble with the author's concept. As I read the book, I was getting more unconfortable what the author was saying because it does not sound right biblically. The book itself is not heretical in content however, how it was written bothers me because of poor theology stemming from an inadequate bibliology. The book was written as they were new ideas. The Bible has always been the same and the ideas always have been the same. We are to look for the objective truth of Scripture and to apply that to the situation we are placed in.

I have learned to be careful how I select my daily devotional books and need to look from doctrinal perspective rather than my own satisfaction. I do not want to read watered down gospel because it is false gospel and doctrinally wrong. If I read books like A.W. Tozer, I won't see authors like Tozer water down biblical doctrines to make me spiritually easy and pleased. I want to be challenged doctrinally so my life can be more fulfilled. The idea is that the purposes are God's purposes, not mine. In 1 Timothy 4 explains that Christians must choose their priorities carefully like an athlete as to have disciplined lives forgo some desires that may hinder doing God's will and please God as you are after God's own heart.

It is my responsibility as a Christian to discern and I don't want to be gullible. I can either be gullible or discerner. I choose to be a discerner. Paul said, "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection ..." (1Corinthians 9:27). Solomon wrote in Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. What should motivate me like an athlete who trains for the Olympics to win a gold medal such self-discipline and willing to face the endurance of my life.

Before I start swimming again in two weeks, I need to exercise my mind and get motivated. Stop prosrastinating and focus on ambition to do what is right for my body, my life and my real purpose.

Take the time clipping coupons which can trim grocery bills


Around tough economic times, we have to be smart to take the time to look for, cut out, file, and use cents-off coupons. For me, to use the coupons wisely is to use coupons to buy only items I use often and when the item is already on sale. Like my "Total" Cereal which I have found about 3 coupons already and waiting for a sale. Often, I try to watch the weekly store ads the comes with my newspaper or the stores' websites. I also watch for "double coupons" when they promote them in their ads.

The key to saving is only use the coupons for products normally buy. Nothing more.

Self-discipline means dedicating your time to grocery shopping and meal planning will cut your spending by up to 50 percent. You do not have any self-discipline if picking up items that aren't on your list that costs more than you want to spent.

Yesterday, parents and staff, protest Saturday outside St. Mary’s School for the Deaf

Read more about it about by clicking Pickets at School for Deaf support fired teacher

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lifestyle Changes and get healthy

I am thinking about my commitment to swim again and I can't wait to start swimming again. I won't be able to swim until I get my ear plugs that will arrive about two weeks from yesterday. Being deaf and wearing hearing-aids, I can't afford to have ear infections that I often get when swimming so ear plugs are great investments.

Swimming is great for those who has diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Exercise is an important component in managing my MS as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. Financially, I am tight and regardless how tight I am, my family will be joining YMCA. My wife has diabetes as well and she wants to exercise therefore, we are getting a family membership package. I have flexible spending accounts (FSAs) which allows me currently pay for prescription drugs and doctor visits with pre-tax dollars. I want to use this for membership and according to the benefits list, I am eligible only if my doctor prescribes for me to exercise. In 2001, the IRS released its Revenue Ruling 2002-19, which states that certain health club service fees, not including health club dues, may qualify as tax-favored medical expenses. Such services must be prescribed by a physician for the treatment of a disease, including, but not limited to, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, counseling for weight-reduction, nutrition, cholesterol, or hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Physical inactivity are associated with 23% of health plan charges and 27% of national health care charges. I say, I need help to find ways to stay active that is financially affortable.

Anyway, I am going to check with my doctor and see if she could prescribe for me to join YMCA.

Alliance and Diplomacy

To clarify my thoughts on CI issues in my previous posts. I am for CI but rather against AGBell's agenda regarding CI. My main issues is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing's (AGBell's) negative attitude towards the Deaf culture in general. For years, they have been promoting myths that Deaf culture using ASL isolates themselves from mainstream society including hard of hearing which includes those who had CI. This type of stereotyping is causing strife between many deaf individuals. Its not about CI technology but rather the attitude towards CI itself. Within the Deaf Community and so-called deaf experts like AGBell, we are struggling with two different theories on the education and well-being of deaf children. AGBell's attitudes appears to be oppressive towards those who primary uses ASL and ignores important factors regarding the Deaf world itself. Their form of stereotyping have created by showing their incorrect judgements of a possibility by making people into stereotypes that leads to myths. We all need to be careful not to stereotype any deaf individuals or deaf groups. Deaf individuals differ from each other as much as hearing people do.

I believe parents are to help their deaf children endure with deafness by having the early intervention to successfully acquire language is to use combination of sign language and/or spoken language. We must remember that the Deaf culture is based on the heritage and traditions of the Deaf community, not about deafness itself. We are to treat all deaf individuals equal opportunity to undertand all aspects of the deaf community, culture and education. This is really about about non-culturally Deaf people learning to accept Deaf culture & language without judgements.

I am getting tired of seeing many professionals accepting AGbell's agendas without checking all other aspects. AGBell's agendas toward the Deaf Culture are very biased and they are stereotyping through prejudice. One example that AGBell have successfully teamed up with is this: The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) are pleased to announce........ AGBell's audism basically means they discriminate or stereotyping against Deaf Culture or individuals. Audism means a system of practice, behavior, belief, or attitude. Members of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, including audiologist and speech teacher that value hearing aids or cochlear implants or any other technologies.

What we should do is have diplomacy to have all organizations who work with deaf individuals be united that we all get together in alliance to accept all aspects of deafness.

Lights Out at 8 PM

Remember to turn those lights out tonight at 8pm for Earth Hour. Today, at 8 pm in Sydney went dark for Earth Hour Right now, at the time of this post, it is about 12:35 am in Sydney. Earth Hour is an international event that asks households and businesses to turn off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for one hour on the evening of 29 March at 8 pm local time until 9 pm to promote electricity conservation and thus lower carbon emissions.

For more information about Earth Hour Earth Hour - North America website.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Diplomacy and attitude in this society

In relating to "Mistaken Identity" story about two girls. One survived and one died that I posted earlier today. It is amazing to me how both parents behaved with positive attitude towards one another during their toughest 5 months since the accident. I am seeing "this is not about 'me' but rather about 'all of us and God'".

To me diplomacy in this world is being graceful towards others regardless how I think of them or how I feel about them. Learning to love and accept others is an important part discipleship. God through my Mediator, Jesus Christ have established a meaningful intimate friendship. I have learned to understand that God is the deeper life and much more than "faith systems". I have learned that as a Christian, I must decide whether I will put my emphasis on what is important in God's will more than my will. The Holy Spirit have taught me to be humble in situations and be fruitful in bearing one another with love.

One of the most important lessons I have learned as a Christian that a Christian life cannot be lived individually.

Why?

Because, in Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together."

The spiritual people within the church are to come alongside the fleshly and lift them up. Its not about what I am going to gain from God but rather I am cared by others as I am. A church is an assembly of believers. Just like a family, a local church is our spiritual family. It is only in the local body to which one is committed that there can be the level of intimacy that is required for spiritual growth with brothers/sisters in Christ "to love and good deeds." Only through that kind spiritual initamcy where we can encourage one another. A church is an assembly of believers and is made up of real spiritual people. Now.. when we are talking about "spiritual Christians", we need to figure out what kind of "community" within a local Church. If the people are submitting to the Holy Spirit, who will give them fruit. Quality is measured by the Christ-like living of a local church members. The primary reason to become a participating member is not to gain a personal advantage, but to identify with the characteristics of biblical maturity and commitment to the mission and future of a local church.

When you read their stories like "Mistaken Identity", you can't help and think about other similar stories around the world. One of my favorites is Corrie ten Boom's stories. Corrie ten Boom was schedule to die in Nazi Camp like the rest of family did, but came out of Nazi prison alive due to clerical error through God's divine intervention. Through Corrie ten Boom, God was glorified through Corrie's ministry through many years until the day she died. Her ministry is still alive even though she is no longer with us physically but she is in heaven.

People just refused to see God allow evil to happen for His Glory. An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. The bad events are circumscribed by a loving providence and God promises to use them all for His ultimate good for HIS GLORY. There is a verse in the Bible that God promises that there won’t be anything so bad happen to me that I am not able to bear it. God does everything--He governs everything. Faith is accepting God's Will. There is confusion between the determined Will of God and a Christian's responsibility as a Christian. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "My thoughts are completely different from yours, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." God is adjusting our history to His purposes. He knows what He's doing. I have to learn to trust His will, His power to do His will, and His timing to do it 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.

People forget the Story of Job (or they refused to believe). From the Book of Job, we see that God is in complete control. Satan had neither the power nor the authority to do anything without the permission of God. It was consistent with God's nature and will for him to have allowed those things to happen to Job. The point of the story of Job is about God's Sovereign. Not really about Job. People always focus on Job more than God's sovereign.

Jesus said clearly about a penny's worth of sparrows compare to us. Matthew 10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. If God can control with those two sparrows, then He will do the same for His children as well. In reality, the blessings are from God, the Holy Spirit-and using that person as an instrument to do God's will and plan.

Over the years, I have seen God's interventions that I thought they surely could happened but didn't since God had another plan. Everything that happens in our lives (including trials) somehow fits into the plan of God. Most of the time, God allows evil to happen, other times, God divinely intervene situations when He has a plan that will Glorify Him.

One of the reasons I disagree with Word of Faith doctrines is because they don't believe in God allows that kind of suffering for Christians. Even though the word "suffering" have been mentioned many times throughout the Old and New Testaments. The concept of the unity of all things written in the Scriptures that God will reconcile all things (i.e. sufferings) unto Himself. Truth wounds through life's experiences as well as from the Word of God. The truth resolves some difficulties and creates more difficulties. Without sufferings, Pride will always gets in the way of God's glory. We suffer to keep down pride (2 Cor. 12:7). Suffering is a process as Scriptures said “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, proven character; and . . .” (Rom. 5:3-4). “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking in nothing” (Jam. 1:3-4).

Deaf Community, Disabilities Communities and .....

diversity. Today, deaf community is more socially diverse and more accepting of other deaf people who may be different. I want the deaf culture to be around longer but it is vanishing quickly by some extremists. Currently, there is strife going on within the deaf community regarding cochlear implants. Like many deaf people, I view those who had cochlear implants are STILL very much part of the deaf community. Some extremists say that they are no longer part of the Deaf culture.

Where does that put me?

I am not totally deaf. I don't have cochlear implant. I have hearing-aids and to many deaf, they view me as "hearing" because I can communicate like hearing people. There are those who say that I am not part of the Deaf culture. Wait, I know ASL and I am not really part of ASL just because I not totally deaf?

I have Multiple Sclerosis and I belong to various groups that are part of "Multiple Sclerosis" community.

Regardless if I am deaf or not. Or I have Multiple Sclerosis. There ought to be a better understanding of the diverse needs and challenges of various disabilities. There is no "one size fits all" disabilities.

Just rambling some thoughts today. :)

I would not be a forensic accountant for

Heather Mills. Heather Mills has told friends that she is employing a team of forensic accountants to go through Sir Paul McCartney's finances in order to get more money for herself. Right now, she is getting $50 million and $70,000 a year. She is still NOT content with that?

I would. (slap on forehead)

Looks like she don't want to work like the rest of us. Rather than get a job, she wants MORE money from Paul. If Heather wants to avoid being called a gold digger, then she should avoid asking or looking for more money from Paul. Paul was ALREADY RICH before he married her. Paul and Heather only married for a short period.

As an accountant, I would not work for a greedy person. I would work for women who needs money from those husbands who hides their money when their wives and kids need them. By the way, I am not currently forensic accountant but I can be when I retire as a consultant someday.

I think Paul missed his true love, Linda who died of cancer on April 17, 1998. They have been married for almost 30 years until she died.

Carnival of MS Bloggers #7

Carnival of MS Bloggers #7 - Creativity Edition Thank you Lisa for putting this together from the beginning. By the way, I was in one bloggers who was in one of the earlier carnivals.

Jim

Child died..... is it really from lack of faith?

In Oregon City, faith-healing believers parents of the Followers of Christ Church lost their child to illness. Dr. Christopher Young, a deputy state medical examiner, said that the child died from bacterial bronchial pneumonia and sepsis, both easily treatable with antibiotics. Her parents are members of a church that practices spiritual healing rather than seeking medical treatment, even when children become gravely ill.

Nine years ago, on January 6, 1999 Diane Sawyer, and Sam Donaldson of 20/20 did a report on the Followers of Christ, where over a thousand people attend a small church outside Portland, Oregon. An alarming number of children in the Followers have died while their parents prayed instead of getting a doctor.

Followers of Christ Church is part of Word of Faith Movement that teaches divine healing and that it was always God's will to heal. Word of Faith is not denominational however they do have main doctrines that are not accepted by other Christians. Many Christians like me are believe that Word of Faith teaches contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Word of Faith is a teaching movement kindred to many Pentecostal churches and individuals around the world. You see many of the Word of Faith preachers on TV. About 85% of the TV preachers are Word of Faith teachers. The most recognized can be found among the following: Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Oral Roberts, Rod Parsley, Kathryn Kuhlman, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin and many others. I have an issue with Word of Faith because they often help people use pride in their lives. Why? Because pride can lead a Christian to think, “Look what I’ve accomplished.”

What is not what God is about. My concept of Word of Faith is that they focuses on works in terms of “faith” towards health, wealth and prosperity. I don’t view these as the essentials of Christian life and practice.

When Christian believers become ill, the Bible encourages us to pray for healing. God still divinely heals today and healings have occurred everyday and ever minute around the world. I also encourage people not to fall into bad theology of “healing” is a sign of blessing or an indication of purer faith or spiritual growth. I take the Bible seriously and I agree that God hates suffering. Jesus spent much of His time relieving it during His three year ministry. Regarding doctrines of healing and suffering, Reformation theology provides a clear understanding of God's relationship to suffering. The real definition of “suffering” is called “sin”. God's purpose in redemption was not to make people’s lives happy, healthy and free of trouble; His purpose was to rescue them from sin then conform them from the inside out to the image of His Son by the power of His Spirit.

Like Joni Tada did in Washington DC arena, she went to see a Word of Faith preacher named Kathryn Kuhlman and you can read more about it in here. Obviously, she was not healed but she is listed as one of my Hall of Faith.

I also went to see Kathryn Kuhlman at a Rhode Island arena back in the 1970s'. Obviously, I am not healed. I explained my issues with Word of Faith Doctrine in this blog.

In my position: Divine healing will happen but God's time is not the same as our time.

I believe that God can sovereignly choose to heal whomever and whenever according to His will:
1. The gospel is good news about our sin problem, not our sicknesses (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).
2. Christ’s atonement focuses primarily upon our sins (iniquities), not our sicknesses (Lev. 16:1-34; Is. 53:5-6, 11-12; 1 Pet. 2:24).
3. Christ died for our sins, not our sicknesses (1 Cor. 15:3).
4. Christ was made sin, not sickness (2 Cor. 5:21).
5. Christ forgave our sins, not our sicknesses (1 John 2:12).
6. Christ gave Himself for our sins, not our sickness (Gal. 1:4).
7. Our bodies are corruptible and thus subject to sickness (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
8. We will all die physically (Heb. 9:27).

My Ear Plugs will not be ready


for two weeks so therefore, I will not be starting my swimming program until then.

Two Families and their Journey of Faith


A truck driver was hauling a load of baking flour and had five tickets since 1999, as well as a warning letter from the Michigan secretary of state telling him of points piling up on his license. The accident happened when the semi truck came barreling across the median and hit the vans. Many of the emergency workers arrived at the scene said this was one of the worst scenes they had witnessed in years.

Of the two girls, one of them survived and the other died. Everyone thought Whiteny Cerak died until one day, five weeks later, a therapist asked the young woman her name and she wrote: "Whitney Cerak." A book came out this past Tuesday, written by two families called "Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope". You can read an excerpt that the accident survivor in the hospital identified as Laura Van Ryn is not in fact Laura. This fact was confirmed earlier this evening through her dental records

Soon, two families united and became close friends. See more about this at Mistaken Identity at NBC Today

In the book, Cerak was explaining that she could not understand why she survived when so many others died however, she did believe that God had a purpose for what happened. Four other students and one staff member were killed while three staff members were injured along with Cerak.

I am planning to get this book.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Men and Multiple Sclerosis

Lower sex hormones, such as testosterone, is proabably partly responsible for lack of sex drive for men. According to studies I have been reading, the men's average blood testosterone level was on the low side of normal. Studies are showing that hormone that elevates physical energy and sex drive, as well as help men who has multiple sclerosis. Swimming will effectively increase opioid peptides (aka endorphins, a naturally occurring opiate that in conjunction with other neurotransmitters is responsible for exercise induced euphoria) which positively influence hormone production (i.e., increase testosterone and growth hormone). When the brain is stimulated, chemicals like endorphins are released into the blood stream which leads to better mood that leads to sexual release.

Therefore, for men, exercising creates flow of testosterone that will help increase sex drive. After getting sex drive through exercises, sex enhance mood to have sex, the more you have it, the more endorphins that are released. Endorphins are the brain's feel-good chemicals. Boy, do I missed those feelings.

Exercise is an important investment for me

Exercise helps with weight control, strengthens muscles, keeps bones strong, battles stress, enhances sleep and improve better moods.

I want to be careful because starting with a burst of enthusiasm to exercise and only to see that initial momentum evaporate within over time. When I start something new, I am filled with tremendous optimism and feeling ready. I have to remember that this surge of energy will inevitably end and I need to prepare for that moment.

So how do I stay motivated and stay on track with my goals?

I really believe that this all comes down to good planning, understanding realistic expectations, and a proper attitude. Part of staying motivated is being realistic about what I can achieve within the timeframe I have set up for myself.

I have Multiple Sclerosis and as I said earlier in my blog that I am going back to swimming. Swimming improves cardiovascular fitness. I am not sure if anyone knows that I have type 2 diabetes. Swimming is a great physical activity for people with diabetes. When swimming, muscle cells more efficiently absorb blood sugar which lowers blood sugar levels.

So another goal of mine is exercise regularly if I want to live longer because the glucose control benefits from exercise can last for hours and days. I have to keep swimming for the rest of my life in order to control my diabetes. Also, I want to lose about 20 to 25 lbs by getting to down the weight I was back in year 2000.

I have set up my swimming plan and diary. Now I am shopping for bathing suit and goggles. I have made an appointment to get ear plugs so I won't have wet ears after I swim since I wear hearing-aids.

Swimming is a healthy activity that can be continued for a lifetime. In the past, swimming have helped me develop my life skills such as sportsmanship, time-management, self-discipline, goal-setting, and an increased sense of self-worth. I want to get those back in my life. Oh yeah, BETTER SEX drive.

I have decided not to join the Masters Swim Team that is located at Ohio State University. My wife and I have decided to have a family package at the local YMCA here in Columbus. We can use any of the branches. For me, I will swim at the downtown YMCA before I go to work in the mornings. The family will use one of the two nearby branches. YMCA also have Masters Swimming and I can get the same benefits through them.

Spring and new goals...................

God have convicted me to turn my heart, my life, my health, my mind, my time, my money and my talents to God. God knows me so well that He will do His providential actions at the very moment of my need according to His will. Letting go is going to help me when something no longer serves my own growth. Over the years, I have been rebuilding my life a new foundation. I am looking at what need within me have been challenging. My frustrations aren't anyone's problem but mine. It all begins inside of me. By changing what I believe, deserve, letting go of my negative thoughts by embracing my thoughts in positive ways and changing my behaviors. Life can be hard, but it is considerably harder by criticizing myself and depriving myself of what I deserve: joy, love, abundance, happiness, and laughter.

Swimming is one of my agendas. I have more that I am looking into for spring and summer. Options are unlimited.

Will keep you posted after I get settled down.

Jim

Federal Funding for Deaf schools in New York

In this website relating Deaf Education in New York, where they desire "to meet State and federal guidelines". See Link Relating to Deaf schools in the State of New York, State of New York receives federal funding for $ 10 million a year for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA). For State Fiscal Year 2007-2008 (school year), State of New York distributes private schools for the Blind and Deaf with an additional $4.73 million in Federal IDEA funds for a total of $122.83 million. See page 3 of this site: Document Site

Samples 2 awards to State of New York for 2006 and 2007 for Individuals with Disabilities Education Acts:
1. Award for 2006
2. Award for 2007

The objectives of most compliance requirements for Federal programs administered by States that only eligible individuals or organizations participate is consistent across all programs. Governmental subrecipients (i.e. private schools) are subject to the provisions of the A-102 Common Rule when managing federal funding. Governmental units assume responsibility for administering Federal funds in a manner consistent with underlying agreements, program objectives, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award.

I am really interested how State of New York auditors are reviewing the private schools' financial records and if they are complying with the federal government's Circular A-133 Audit requirements. This will be interesting.

Monday, March 24, 2008

NY spends about $111 million for the deaf and

blind schools that are treated like private schools. St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo is back in the news again today. Deaf and Hard of Hearing people around the nation will be watching to see "what the board does or doesn’t do". This school is unique because it is run like a private school, but state-funded like all other public schools in the state of New York. Like any public schools, St. Mary School for the Deaf receive state money and possibly federal money. This is where as quoted by the newspaper:
"Students are frustrated. Staff feels betrayed. Parents feel ignored".
One of the biggest issues is this: Board executive committee members have more authority and not listening to teachers, parents and students needs and making it more difficult for them to bring concerns to any of the board members. The State of New York spends about $111 million for the deaf and blind schools without much monitoring.

I wrote about this issue in March 19th blog titled
"Why should private schools (i.e. in New York) that gets federal funding keep their meetings secret?"
The board meetings are closed to anyone including parents, staff or students are allowed in. Board members are not even required to release minutes from its meetings or even to tell what was voted on. About 11 private nonprofit schools serving the blind and deaf in New York State are exempted from the state’s Freedom of Information Law. See this link for New York's :Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

I believe that should be changed. I encouraged those who live in New York to write to their state representatives about this issue. New York State Senate and New York State Assembly

Increase libido for me?

Well... my sex drive is still low. I am glad that I am going back to swimming. They say that swimming is the best exercise for better health and better sex.

Almost all MS patients can't handle heat-whether generated by temperatures outside the body or by exercise-may cause temporary worsening of many MS symptoms. In these cases, eradicating the heat eliminates the problem. Some temperature-sensitive patients find that a cold bath may temporarily relieve their symptoms. For the same reason, swimming is often a good exercise choice for people with MS. Exercise is an important part of maintaining function for the person with MS, therefore, swimming is often recommended because it allows strenuous activity without overheating.

Swimming is the best exercise without adding stress to knees, ankles, legs and the back. A major benefit of swimming is the near weightlessness, which can help swimmers strengthen their shoulders and abdominal muscles. The exercise also strengthens the heart and helps decrease problems associated with diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and allergies. Better sex is another benefit from swimming (or Aerobic exercise). Those who swim (Aerobic exercise) regularly tend to have higher levels of desire, greater sex confidence and frequency, and an enhanced ability to better arousal.

Why is swimming (or any form of aerobic exercise) is real libido booster?

Many experts says that aerobic exercise triggers the release of endorphins, opiate-like chemicals produced in the brain that create a sense of well-being, which makes you more receptive to sex which also boost your self-esteem, confidence and body image, all of which are important factors to maintain a positive attitude.

Anyway, I am going to swim about 1 mile each time I swim. Lap Swimming in a 25 tyard pool is 2 lengths, from the starting point to the other end and back again. 72 laps makes 1 mile (144 lengths). When I was swimming a few years back, I used to do a mile within 40 minutes. Not sure about now so I will find out when I start.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Feature: Deaf Organization for Young People

Deaf Initiatives is an Ohio organization focusing on youth who are deaf or hard of hearing, and their families, have access to resources, professionals and activities that will help guide them into becoming successful and contributing members of our society. Keepsake Theme Quilts and Wall Hangings is a non-profit organization that employs deaf and hard of hearing adults. They are an entity of Deaf Initiatives that provides initiatives to help strengthen the potential of youth that are deaf or hard of hearing. See The TEAM at their workshop site

History Channel's website: The Protestant Reformation

Last night, my wife and I were watching on History Channel's "The Protestant Reformation" and good thing I recorded it. It was a very good documentary. Go to History Channel's website: The Protestant Reformation for more information.

Happy Easter Funnies




Happy Easter Everyone

For Christians, the fear of death is cancelled in the hope of bodily resurrection. Since Christ's resurrection is central to the Christian faith, mention of His resurrection occurs in literally thousands of songs and hymns. "Messiah" is George Frideric Handel's best known work. "Messiah" was designed and selected from the New and Old Testaments of the Bible based on a libretto by Charles Jennens. Handel might never have written "Messiah" had Jennens not sent him a letter a compilation of scriptures which focused on the Christ of God. Handel felt deeply moved in his spirit and began to write. Within seven days he had completed part one of "Messiah," which concerned Jesus' birth that is often played during Christmas. He wrote the redemption part in another nine days and then, in less than one week, Handel completed the resurrection and future reign of Christ portion including the "Hallelujah Chorus" which is often played during Easter. Anyway, this is one of my favorites songs and after 250+ years, Messiah still holds its extraordinary grip on musician and audience member alike.

Christianity's concept of the Messiah ("the anointed one"). In Christianity, the Messiah is Jesus. The work is a presentation of Jesus' life and its significance according to Christian doctrine.


Handel's Messiah
George Frederic Handel (1695-1759)

PART ONE : The prophesy and realization of God's plan to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah

(1) Overture Sinfony

(2) Comfort Ye Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
(Isaiah 40:1-3)

(3) Every Valley Air (Tenor or Soprano)
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.
(Isaiah 40:4)

(4) And the Glory of the Lord Chorus
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40:5)

(5) Thus saith the Lord Recitative (Bass)
Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts; Yet once a little while and I will shake the heav'ns and the earth, the sea and the dry land: And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come.
(Haggai 2:6-7)
The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.
(Malachi 3:1)

(6) But who may abide the Day of His Coming? Air (Alto or Bass)
But who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.
(Malachi 3:2)

(7) And He shall Purify Chorus
And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
(Malachi 3:3)

(8) Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive Recitative (Alto or Counter Tenor)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, GOD WITH US.
(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

(9) O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion Air (Alto) & Chorus
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your God! O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, (Isaiah 40:9)
Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Isaiah 60:1)

(10) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth Recitative (Bass)
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
(Isaiah 60:2-3)

(11) The people that walked in darkness Air (Bass)
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(Isaiah 9:2)

(12) For unto Us a Child is born Chorus
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

(13) Pastoral Symphony (Pifa)

(14) There were shepherds abiding in the field Recitative (Soprano)
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
(Luke 2:8)

(15) And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them Recitative (Soprano)
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.
(Luke 2:9)

(16) And the Angel said unto them Recitative (Soprano)
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:10-11)

(17) And suddenly there was with the Angel Recitative (Soprano)
And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:
(Luke 2:13)

(18) Glory to God Chorus
Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.
(Luke 2:14)

(19) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion Air (Soprano or Tenor)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.
(Zecharaiah 9:9-10)

(20) Then shall the eyes of the blind Recitative (Soprano or Alto)
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.
(Isaiah 35:5-6)

(21) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd Aria (Soprano or Alto)
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
(Isaiah 40:11)
Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, an He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Matthew 11:28-29)

(22) His yoke is easy Chorus
His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.
(Matthew 11:30)


PART TWO : The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Jesus, mankind's rejection of God's offer, and mankind's utter defeat when trying to oppose the power of the Almighty

(23) Behold the lamb of God Chorus
Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.
(John 1:29)

(24) He was despised Air (Alto or Counter Tenor)
He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
(Isaiah 53:3)
He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.
(Isaiah 50:6)

(25) Surely He hath borne our griefs Chorus
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows! He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.
(Isaiah 53:4-5)

(26) And with His stripes we are healed Chorus
And with His stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5)

(27) All we like sheep have gone astray Chorus
All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
(Isaiah 53:6)

(28) All they that see him laugh him to scorn Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn; they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying:
(Psalms 22:7)

(29) He trusted in God Chorus
He trusted in God that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, if He delight in Him.
(Psalms 22:8; Matthew 27:43)

(30) Thy rebuke hath broken His heart Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
Thy rebuke hath broken His heart: He is full of heaviness. He looked for some to have pity on Him, but there was no man, neither found He any to comfort Him.
(Psalms 69:20)

(31) Behold, and see if there be any sorrow Arioso (Tenor or Soprano)
Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto His sorrow.
(Lamentations 1:12)

(32) He was cut off out of the land of the living Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
He was cut off out the land of the living: for the transgressions of Thy people was He stricken.
(Isaiah 53:8)

(33) But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell Air (Tenor or Soprano)
But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell; nor didst Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.
(Psalms 16:10; Acts 2:27)

(34) Lift up your heads, O ye gates Chorus
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.
(Psalms 24:7-10)

(35) Unto which of the angels said He at any time Recitative (Tenor or Soprano)
Unto which of the angels said He at any time: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee?
(Hebrews 1:5; Psalm 2:7)

(36) Let all the angels of God worship Him Chorus
Let all the angels of God worship Him.
(Hebrews 1:6)

(37) Thou art gone up on high Air (Alto or Bass)
Thou art gone up on high; Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even from Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.
(Psalms 68:18; Ephesians 4:8)

(38) The Lord gave the word Chorus
The Lord gave the word; great was the company of the preachers.
(Psalms 68:11)

(39) How beautiful are the feet Air (Soprano or Counter Tenor)
How beautiful are the feet of them: that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things.
(Romans 10:15; Isaiah 52:7)

(40) Their sound is gone out Chorus
Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.
(Romans 10:18; Psalms 19:4)

(41) Why do the nations so furiously rage together? Air (Bass)
Why do the nations so furiously rage together, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed.
(Psalms 2:1-2; Acts 4:25-26)

(42) Let us break their bonds asunder Chorus
Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
(Psalms 2:3)

(43) He that dwelleth in heaven Recitative (Tenor)
He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.
(Psalms 2:4)

(44) Thou shalt break them Air (Tenor)
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
(Psalms 2:9)

(45) Hallelujah Chorus
Hallelujah! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
(Revelation 19:6)
The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
(Revelation 11:15)
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
(Revelation 19:16)
Hallelujah!


PART THREE : A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death

(46) I know that my redeemer liveth Air (Soprano)
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.
(Job 19:25-26)
For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep.
(I Corinthians 15:20)

(47) Since by man came death Chorus
Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
(I Corinthians 15:21-22)

(48) Behold I tell you a mystery Recitative (Bass)
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
(I Corinthians 15:51-52)

(49) The trumpet shall sound Air (Bass)
The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.
(I Corinthians 15:52-53)

(50) Then shall be brought to pass Recitative (Alto or Counter Tenor)
Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.
(I Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8)

(51) O death where is thy sting? Duet (Alto/Tenor/Counter Tenor)
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
(I Corinthians 15:55-56; Hosea 13:14)

(52) But thanks be to God Chorus
But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(I Corinthians 15:57)

(53) If God be for us Air (Soprano or Contralto)
If God be for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31)
Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.
(Romans 8:33-34)

(54) Worthy is the Lamb Chorus
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 5:12-13)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ASL Culture versus Non-ASL deaf people

Politically, deaf ideologies differ depending who are talking to. This is a case called “Non-ASL versus ASL” Deaf communities. Both are divided. Many of non-ASL deaf people do not agree with AG Bell's ideologies (anti-AG Bell) while at the same time accept the Deaf culture's ASL (pro-ASL) . All deaf individuals are fighting and causing segregations which causes rejections of many non-ASL deaf individuals which are confusing to many parents of deaf children. In this world, we are clashing between realism and idealism.

Right now, the Deaf individuals are getting more divided over issues that are meaningless. Deaf people should be united in educating parents of deaf children who have the authority and freedom to choose their children’s communication at home and in school. All deaf individuals including hearing people are competing ideologies to win the support of parents of deaf children. With medical technologies including cochlear implants are currently available today. Even the hearing-aids have became more powerful and useful. We need to find common ground to educate parents everything that is available without excluding anything.

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are united by common experience which is the struggle to communicate. As I said earlier in one of my blog posts that within the Deaf community, it is common knowledge that we all discriminate or stereotypes against each other (Deaf or hard of hearing). Various cultures will always be running against the prevailing movement of society with individualistic values. 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". 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. 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.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Mother send me this recently and I have never seen it like it before

Click on picture to enlarge

MS Blogger Community Project - Revised and Updated

Lisa (Brass and Ivory) found at least 200 Bloggers with MS. To see the list, please go to her site by clicking Lisa (Brass and Ivory) Keep in mind, new editions of the Carnival of MS Bloggers will be presented bi-weekly at Brass and Ivory.

'Children' unites deaf, hearing communities

"Children of a Lesser God" will be performed on March 28, 29, 30, April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13. Times vary. All performances the weekend of April 11 will have ASL interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing. Tickets are $24; $22 for seniors, students. Call (732) 462-9093, option 1, or visit www.centerplayers.org for tickets and details. This is located in New Jersey. Quote from the Newspaper:
For most of the people involved in the Center Players' upcoming production of the comedy-drama "Children of a Lesser God," performing this play goes beyond entertaining.

Cartoonist Jeff Stahler

Jeff Stahler is one of my favorite Editorial Cartoonists. He appears in the Columbus Dispatch. You can also see the collections of his cartoons in the following sites and I recommend you look at them:

1. UNITED MEDIA
2. The Columbus Dispatch

I love his latest:

Republicans-turned-Democrats under probe

In today's Columbus Dispatch article writes about "The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is investigating whether any Republicans broke the law when they switched parties in the March 4 presidential primary."

I live in Franklin county and even though I am a registered Republican, I did voted in the "Republican party" in the primary even though I didn't want to. I considered myself a moderate voter which means those who are relaxed and open in how we deal with the world and vote the best candidates regardless of parties. There are moderates everywhere including within each parties (Democrats and Republicans).

This is a free country if a person wants to change parties. Primary election system operates under the laws of the federal states, there can be some important differences from state to state in the operation of primaries, such as “open” or “closed” primaries. One can distinguish between closed, open, blanket (crossover), and nonpartisan primaries. Voters mark their ballots in (governmentally supervised) primary elections, registering their preferences for one nominee for each office. In open primaries, voters of the state can participate in one of the primary elections, irrespective of their party affiliation. This means voters usually don’t have to make a public statement of party choices as in the closed primaries.

Anyway, in the upcoming election this year, for John McCain, he is facing his own difficulties with the Republican party that has preferred more conservative candidates. This November's election will make the right-wing (Ideological conservatism) Republican opinion-makers including the Religious Right leaders to decide what to do with McCain because they considered him as "liberal politician".

This year's going to be the democratic Party year and the Republican Party is going to have to "rebuild" their party to realistic goals for all members.

Deaf Man in the Bible

Regarding to a deaf man sitting by the road, not hearing what Jesus have preached AND not hearing what people are saying about Jesus. I would not know a thing about Jesus. This was BEFORE sign language and BEFORE technology. In Mark 7:31-32 "Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man." This tells us clearly that the man is just sitting there, not hearing what is going on and could hardly talk. People have asked Jesus to HEAL the man. Then read verses 33-35 "After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly."

Now.. did any of the verses say that this deaf man had faith to be healed? I didn't see the word "faith" in those verses. In verses 36 and 37, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." Noticed that Jesus didn't tell the formerly deaf man to keep quiet about being healed. Jesus told witnesses to keep quiet about the healing. But of course, they could not.

During Easter, we are to think of what Christ did during His life on earth and what He has and currently been doing over the years. God says to Moses at the burning bush, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11; see also 2 Corinthians 12:7-9). No one lives and dies but by God’s sovereign authority. In Genesis, Joseph said to his family "As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people." The ministry's objective is to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the afflicted people in practical ways. God is causing all things to work together for our good, which means our eternal glory because we love God because He first loved us and purposed to bring us to His Great Glory. Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

You know what is interesting? That people with disabilities make up one of the largest minority group in the country, especially withing Christian Churches. Healing is wonderful and I believe in divine healing. No different what I am going through, or my daughters going through. I was born with deafness and later in life I was diagnosed with MS. My step-daughter was born with celebral palsy as well as mild retardation due to seizures when she was a child. My blood daughter have bipolar and personality disorder disabilities. The Bible also teaches us to bear the burdens of someone with a disability fulfills a command of scripture (Galatians 6:2). 2 Samuel 9:3-4 tells the story of David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, modeling the way the church should minister. Accountability involves "one anothers" that every members are encouraged to be actively serving and ministering their gifts. A local Church understands that people are not just looking for a Church to Worship, but a place where they can make real friendship, meaningful fellowship, and truly serving God. 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. NIV: "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."

Happy Easter, everyone.

Jim

Happy Easter

The first question is, What is Easter all about? and the second, What practical meaning does it have for the plain Christian of today? "Jesus is not here; he has risen" (Matthew 28:6), Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

What practical significance does Easter have for us? "Much in every way!" (Romans 3:2). Jesus "through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Jesus "was raised to life for our justification" (Romans 4:25). That we are not obligated to live in bondage to days and times and seasons (Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 14:4-10; 2 Corinthians 3:5-18) since Christ arose from the dead on the first day, Christians all over the world have the opportunity to set the first day as the Christian's voluntary Sabbath day.

This is interesting because "The day of Pentecost" fell on the first day of the week which the Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of Christ's promise. This happened on the first day, which is Sunday, seven (7) weeks after Jesus resurrection. (See Lev. 23:16, 50 days after the Passover Ceremonies, the day after the 7th Sabbath which is 7 weeks). The primary work of Christ in redemption is to justify, sanctify and glorify. Justify means to declare righteous before God, sanctify means to make holy, and glorify means in effect to remake the entire personality after the image of Christ.

New Covenant is sealed in the blood of Jesus, Who is our Savior and Mediator, brought us together with His Grace and Mercy that we have great spiritual and eternal freedom. The Old Testament priests, sacrifices, and sanctuary are superseded by the mediation of Jesus, the crucified, risen, and reigning God-man (Heb. 1-10), in whom believers now find their identity as the seed of Abraham and the people of God (Gal. 3:29; 1 Pet. 2:4-10). 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.

Easter reminds me this: During Jesus' ministry, Jesus spoke of His coming death. "Destroy this temple," Jesus said, referring to His body, "and I will raise it again in three days." Jesus also declared that the Father would raise Him up on the third day. In Romans 1 we read that the Spirit of God declared Jesus to be the Son of God with power "by his resurrection from the dead." Hebrews 9:14 tells us that Father, Son and Holy Spirit all had a part. The Father received the offering of the Son through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ, who is God, the blameless and sinless Son, offered as the Lamb of God, without spot and without blemish. The redemptive price was paid by the Son to the Father through the Spirit. Christ through His death and resurrection, every legal hindrance has been met and satisfied. There is nothing that can keep me from assurance except my own faith. Its not about thinking our way into salvation or to reason our way into salvation. The only way to get in is to believe Him with my heart which is sealed by the Holy Spirit.

The Book of Hebrews explains that Jesus is the mediator, the executor, of The New Covenant (The New Testament). The word mediator comes from the verb "to mediate" which means a mediator is one who stands between two parties or two factions needing to be reconciled eternally.

On the first day of every week.......(First Corinthians 16:2). It was on the first day of the week that Christ arose and so the first day, Sunday, came to be designated as the Lord's Day. On that day the early Christians gathered to worship (Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10) as do we, and in doing so we celebrate Christ's resurrection. Easter (The Resurrection) is celebrated every Sunday. The meaning of the resurrection must be rediscovered by each believing Christians till our Lord returns to earth again.

Quote from one of my favorite teachers, A.W. Tozer:
On the first day light had its birth; on the first day Christ arose; on the first day the Holy Spirit descended. Though there is much other truth to support this, for a true follower of Christ no stronger argument is needed. On the first day he will love to remember Christ's triumph; and each first day will be to him a reminder that Christ rose from depths of earth. I am thankful that I responded to the Holy Spirit's conviction and lead me to my escape of death. "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." (Romans 8:16). "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart" (1 John 5:10). The Holy Spirit opened my heart and mind so that I can turn to Christ. In my heart, I was stirred by the Holy Spirit and knew that God has spoken to me to repent.


Happy Easter everyone and I will see you in your blogs this weekend. Probably tonight if my family do not kidnap me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Still tired but getting there

I am catching up at work and by tomorrow, I should be feeling better.

By the way, I have lost some weight and looking thinner around my waist. Goody !!!!

Still, I won't wear a speedo when I swim like I used to wear when I was younger when my body had shape for speedos. (grin) Hopefully I will start swimming again next week or the following week.

Have a wonderful night everyone.

Jim

Advocacy basically means Lobbying

For many years, I have been involved lobbying lawmakers to address the need for services and protect the rights of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Directly and indirectly. In the same way, I have with other organizations like National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise money. Its that time of year, the only time I am ever get contacted by National Multiple Sclerosis Society is when they are raising money which got me thinking that organizations like NMSS are lobbyists. A basic definition of lobbying as an attempt to influence someone or government into action. Many organizations including deaf organizations like AG Bell (which I dislike) are lobbyists. AG Bell spent alot of money on lobbying. An advocate (lobbying) is one who speaks on behalf of another person or group. An 'advocacy group' is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions and policy. I realized that an advocate does not always work to pass legislation without people.

By nature, many of us are lobbyists. Lobbying basically means promoting or opposing defeat, or enactment of anything like laws relating to disabilties or medical research funding or anything else of that nature. We all are the biggest advocate even though we have NMSS but my thought is this, do they just want money from us? What else can we do?

Start at home because the most successful method for educating and persuading lawmakers to support any bill is to lobby in our home districts rather than Washington D.C. by communicating with our elected officials in the district. Prayfully and hopefully, we will find a legislator is not only sympathetic to our cause but actually be zealous for us.

Advocacy or lobbying is a long-term commitment. Never short-term.

So, what can I do when I can't affort to "donate" money, especially at this time of economic period?

Just rambling some thoughts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Back to work....


Yesterday was my first day back to work after being sick for over a week which caused me to missed 6 days of work. I am almost caught up and my work load should be normal by tomorrow afternoon. Working there for almost 27 years reminds me how much I enjoy my job and I am lucky to enjoy working. Time flies when I work. Sometimes I do missed my last express bus going home when I don't pay attention to the time.

Being an accountant, I am always focusing on my projects and forgetting about time. Sometimes, I forget lunch. I started to make sure I eat throughout the day.

I didn't post last night except posting the pictures. When I was done posting the pictures, I went to bed.

Tonight, I am not going to stay online after posting since I still tired. I am going to rest and catch up with all of my favorite bloggers tomorrow.

Have a wonderful night everyone.

Jim :)

Why should private schools (i.e. in New York) who gets federal funding

keep their meetings secret? Its cleary why St. Mary School for the Deaf in Buffalo, New York is not working for the students. This is a school where one of the deaf students' favorite teachers got dismissed by the school officials. The board members are not concerned about the teachers or students. I believe that is a major problem and we need to make the public aware of this. The board meetings are closed to anyone including parents, staff or students are allowed in. Board members are not even required to release minutes from its meetings or even to tell what was voted on.

Like any public schools, St. Mary School for the Deaf receive state money and possibly federal money. I have some concerns with this because almost all States are getting funding from the Federal Government's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law governs how states and public agencies provide individuals with disabilities. The State of New York spends about $111 million for the deaf and blind schools without internal control monitoring or financial monitoring. There's no over-sight and no assurances if the government funding is spending as it should. I doubt that either state or federal auditors audited their books. I am not sure if the schools financial records are being audited. They do file federal tax reports which is nothing. About 11 private nonprofit schools serving the blind and deaf in New York State are exempted from the state’s Freedom of Information Law.

In today's The Buffalo News, it published an articleSt. Mary’s School for the Deaf board keeps its meetings closed. One of the biggest issues is this: Board executive committee members have more authority and not listening to teachers, parents and students needs and making it more difficult for them to bring concerns to any of the board members.

I want to know how much of the State money is federal money (if any). If they are giving any federal funding, should'nt the federal government be concerned about this?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Should spammers to face criminal charges?

I think so, only by defintion set by law what defines "spammers". King of Spam pleads guilty; faces 26 years in prison

This Summer's Olympic

China's ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the Tibet violence would not hurt the Olympics.

China is hoping that this summer's Olympics would boost its international image relating to the communist government's human rights record. Opponents (like Tibetans)of China government are not stupid and they are using the opportunity to show the world what China communist government is really like and they want to show the world that China is seen as being the enforcer as the Police were doing door-to-door searches and just going in and ripping apart and looking for insurgents including Canadian and American citizens' homes. Foreign journalists were prevented from taking photos and ordered to leave.

The Tibetan protests began March 10 on the anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising. Tibet had been effectively independent for decades before Chinese communist troops entered in 1950. Read more Tibetan sovereignty debate

Forbes Magazine listed Columbus as the No. 1 up-and-coming tech city

"The cities on this list aren't the places you'd expect to be up-and-coming centers for the next generation of technologies," said Auerswald, "But 30 years ago, few would have imagined Las Vegas as the center of a real estate boom."

Scam artists use devices for deaf

Scam artists have no shame. They will use any tool to defraud businesses, including telecommunications devices for the deaf. The Augusta Chronicle

Dancing with the Stars, Feeling the beat

Ohio School for the Deaf, students twisted their bodies and crossed their feet, snapped their fingers and raised their arms to the sky. Monday, March 17, 2008 3:01 AM
By Sherri Williams, The Columbus Dispatch.
When deaf actress Marlee Matlin appears tonight on Dancing With the Stars, she will rely on other senses, too.

Fellow blogger about Dr. Laura

I love reading my fellow blogger's blogs and today, I am trying to catch up. I read one of my frequent visits even though I do not always agree with her but I do enjoy her blogs. Her blogs actually makes me think.

I like her blog she has posted over the weekend. I encourage you to read Diane's blog about Dr. Laura: "Dr. Laura Explains the Starving Males Needs". Before you read my comment below, I want you to read her blog and try to understand why women disagree with Dr. Laura and I can understand why.
I have this book called "His Needs and Her Needs" and I enjoyed the book very much. I can understand what Dr. Laura is saying even though I do NOT always agree with her. I don't know how many men understands or even follow 1 Peter 3:7. That verse is important and very helpful in my own marriage. I will always do my best to submit to my wife's feelings and wishes. Submission to me means "Live with your wives" The term translated "live" means "to dwell down with," being closely aligned, being completely at home with. The little word "with" calls for close companionship, deep-down togetherness. Husbands are the ones who should be cultivating an in-depth partnership with our mates. This word "dwell" speaks of intimacy. In every marriage, there needs to be verbal, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual togetherness. The word for "live" means to "dwell together or to be at home with." Peter is telling husbands that they are responsible for the "close togetherness" in the relationship. Providing a good living should never become a substitute for sharing deeply in life. The husband is to be sensitive to the needs of the wife. Know your wife. The success of your dwelling with your wife will be in direct proportion to your knowledge of her. Knowing your wife includes those things that others don't and won't know. Her deep fears and cares. Her disappointments as well as her expectations. Her scars and secrets and also her thoughts and dreams. It calls for a sensitive spirit, a willingness to be involved, to listen, to communicate, to care. The husband is exhorted to live with his wife "with understanding."

Once my wife get her needs fulfilled, she will make sure that my needs are fulfilled as well.

The key point is that, I as a man must lead and take the responsbility of his marriage by loving his wife as he should love be.

I can understand why women dislike Dr. Laura's comment and I agree with the womens' feelings. Its never a woman's fault but rather a husband's (man's)fault when a marriage failed or when his wife is neglected.


My other blog

I am not sure if many of you are aware of this, I have another blog that I study deeper into my Christian faith for those who like to read. I don't post there as much as I post here. I do try to post at least once or twice a week but sometimes, due to time and my schedule, I might post once or twice a month. I am aware that not many agree with my faith and that I respect very much. I want to respect my readers as they read this blog.

Earth Hour 29th March

Read Casdok about March 29th "Lights Out".

Oh yes, I love this picture she has posted and I never saw anything like this.


Throughout the Bible and understanding God's desires, all of us has been given a stewardship in terms of a responsibility taking care of what God has created. We are to manage our lives, our wills and talents in taking care of our world with all the good things that God has created.

Upper Respiratory (Colds) and MS

I do NOT like having a disease that can strike at any time,espeically when I am coming down with a cold. My doctor explained to me that upper respiratory infections (colds) seem to trigger my MS flares. I have the mildest form of MS which is "relapsing-remitting". MS is a disease that immune system attacks and destroys nerve cells, nerve fibers, and myelin, which is the fatty covering that surrounds nerve fibers and cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Myelin is like a electric wire cover which electrical signals to and from your brain along wire-like extensions of the cells called axons, or nerve fibers. Myelin is the fatty substance that coats and protects these fibers, similar to the way insulation shields electrical wires. Like electric that the myelin separates nerve pathways from each other, allowing nerve impulses to travel from one location to another throughout the nervous system. One of the basic explanation for MS that I can clearly understand was this: “Multiple” refers to the multiple sites where nerve loss, or demyelination, occurs. “Sclerosis” refers to scar tissue, or “sclera” which can block or obstruct the flow of messages between nerves and muscles.

Anyway, I got two prescriptions:
1. anti-biotic for my upper respiratory infections
2. eye drops for my pink eyes.

My doctor gave me an okay to go back to work tomorrow as long as I am feeling good. I am planning to go and start having a life again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fretting

The word "fret" comes to us from the Anglo-Saxon that fret often expose our true self and bring us out from behind our disguises. Often I do fret about issues and other matters. I am still fretting about my life because I am a sinful human being (still) and trying to remember the power of God's grace.

Reminding myself is probably the hardest part of my core beliefs. I could understand Job much better now after reading so many times.

In my office, I have this cute cartoon that my mother gave me as a reminder of life in this world. It is showing a cute person wearing the Armor of God and shooting arrows (devil's schemes). A quote under the cartoon states:
"Look at it this way...... Without these trials, testing of your faith, working of patience, and fighting a good fight.......LIFE COULD BE BORING." (see 1 Peter 1:7)
Through the Sword of the Spirit, we have the power to overcome any evil that we face in this world. God is VERY ACTIVE in His moment-by-moment control over everything He has made to ensure that everything He has created are going according to His will. He is active in every detail of it. He’s active at every moment. He doesn’t stand back and let things happen because He decides to intervene if something or someone is not going according to His will. He governs the world moment-by-moment through providence, so that everything that happens, every detail of our life occurs by God's divine providence or by God’s express permission. He is in control of everything. Even the bad things that happen to us are circumscribed by a loving providence and God promises to use them all for our ultimate good. There is a verse in the Bible that God promises that there won’t be anything so bad happen to us that we’re not able to bear it.

God constantly intervenes in our lives through providence. If you read the main stories in the Old Testament relating to God's providence, God providentially led Joseph, Ruth, Esther, Job and others to accomplish great things in His eternal plan.

We do have a freewill however we need to understand God's Sovereign of His plan according to His will. Jesus said in Matthew 10:29: Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.
This is directly from the Word of God. God governs the world (Isa. 40:22-24), the nations (Isa. 40:15-17), and us (Proverbs 16:9).

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Jeremiah 10:23 [ Jeremiah's Prayer ] I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.
We have to understand that God controls everything including our freewill. The "freewill" is always subject to God's sovereignty and His divine freewill. God is absolutely powerful, that God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, that God is immutable, never changes, that God is all wise, perfectly just, holy, righteous. God is ruling all things to work together for our good and His purpose. Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

The potter (God) is working with this soft, yielding clay (us). If this clay does not submit, the potter may not be able to do what I should do according to His will. The potter still could make anything except for useful and beautiful (spiritual fruitful) out of an unyielding blob of clay. If God is going to make those kinds of vessels out of clay (us), however, we are going to have to yield to the spiritual law of surrender. Give ourselves to God as a living sacrifice and let Him have us--all of us. Of course at the same time, I understand that God, just because He is almighty, needs no support from me and He is still able to do what He wills to do. Often I noticed that the providential of God leads me to what I call "coincidences" in my life which perhaps God will make sure that His wills will be done at His right time and place. There are two worlds, set over against each other, dominated by two wills, the will of man (me) and the will of God, respectively.

God is always making provisions for my future according to His will by providing and guiding for His glory. God is very concerned about my life and He is always ready for my future. How many providence in my life that I failed to recognized in the past? I have recognized some big ones but missed the little ones. God leads me to my destiny according to His will and glory. No matter what I do, God is always guiding me through my circumstances. Nothing is impossible for Him. No matter what I do, God will direct me if I aware of it or not. I am learning that God will always lead me to His providential circumstances for my own good, in His will and for His glory. I am to turn my heart, my life, my health, my mind, my time, my money and my talents to God. God knows me so well that He will do His providential actions at the very moment of my need according to His will. For the longest time, I thought I have planned and executed my life all by myself but really never aware that my life have always been guided by God. The real issue that I have been learning recently is that the real hindrance to my spiritual progress is not fully submitting to the Holy Spirit. Nothing holy and genuine will be done in my life until my will is surrendered in active obedience to the Holy Spirit. I need to focus on my own true prayer so that I am not making efforts to persuade God to do our will; but rather to make myself submit to the Holy Spirit so that God can guide me according to His will. When I pray, I need to transfer my will to God's will. My personal destiny is depended on my response to the Holy Spirit and God's words.

I have posted this in the past and this is my REMINDER for this week after struggling last week.

Deaf Education Bill Vetoed in South Dakota

House Bill 1242 would have amended existing laws to ensure deaf and hard of hearing kids get the same attention as public schools, but South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds vetoed the bill Friday.

The Governor thinks House Bill 1242 "conflicts with the requirements of federal law."

My question is this? What requirements of federal law? From various sources I have been reading, Governor Rounds said would conflict with federal requirements for special education services and may jeopardize federal funding. House Bill 1242 would require the Board of Regents and state Education Department to establish certain programs for children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Many states are lobbying for more funding of underfunded mandates like special education. So, most federal laws relating to special education is underfund mandated laws so how could Governor Rounds jeopardize federal funding? Federal law basically requires states to offer special education services in their schools while at the same time the Federal laws do not impose any definition. Just as long as they meet special education needs within each states. Under various states' and federal school funding policies, a special-education spread the costs depending on the severity of their disability and their needs. Many States are getting funding from Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law governs how states and public agencies provide individuals with disabilities. This federal funding are available to states that adopt at least the minimum policies and procedures specified in the law regarding the education of children with disabilities.

So, I am not sure where the governor is coming from. By the way, I am an federal accountant who deals with federal grants so I am pretty much familiar with many federal programs. I am really curious what the specifics are that the Governor is referring to.