Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Irritating Life

God's providence in my life is always irritating but hardly got discouraged. Irritations come to test the strength of my faith because they assist me in the knowledge of my own faith. (Genesis 22:1-18, Malachi 3:3-4, 1 Peter 1:6-9). In this life it is inevitable and it is useful because it produces the evidence of my true spiritual condition, humility and intimacy with God and allows God to put Himself on display in His grace.

Kindness Award

I have not fogotten and I will be passing out Kindness award that I received from Angela.

Should websites include sign language?

People who are deaf or have a hearing impairment can have problems access websites and other ICT systems. Interesting article.

open board meetings at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo

10 similar schools across New York would be forced to open their board meetings to the public under legislation introduced by............ This is good news and about time. Let's hope this will happen.

Major Decisions

As you can tell, I have been very quiet about non-spiritual and superficial issues around the world. I had deeper matters at hand like buying a house. I have been thinking spiritual thoughts (I have been posting in my other blog) and sorting out making major decisions that my wife and I are about to make.

Well...... after meeting with 3 different mortgage companies and we got all 3 approvals that we decided to accept one of them. Today, we made an offer on a house that we were looking at. It looks like we are buying a house very soon. Buying a home is an investment because we have been renting a home for the past 4 1/2 years. I am nervous big time and I know I should not be. I have a great job and great pay. My wife has a nice job but do not pay that well since it is a small non-profit organization. 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 secured jobs and we are able to pay all of our bills without problems. 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. We have used all of our tax refunds and rebates towards our debts.

I am fretting over issues as I have in the past. 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. 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.

We are able to afford to buy a house and we do have other resources that will help us our lives easier.

I will keep you posted. I can't wait to get back to "normal life" again. LOL

Jim

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thoughts about TV preachers, especially Word of Faith preachers

Paul wrote in Romans 16:18 "For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."

We all need to get to know two basic things about a preacher-

How a preacher earns his/her money

How a preacher spends his/her money

You have the clue to a preacher's character, for you have a search light that shows up the inmost recesses of a preacher's soul. You know all you need to know about a preacher's standards, motives, driving desires, and "real religion". A religion causes people to use pride in their lives by leading them to think, “Look what I’ve accomplished.” Jesus rebuked to a group religious leaders in Matthew 23:25 ".........You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Will conservatives sort out what are legitimate needs that helps citizens and what is pure greed that hurts citizens?

America was once very wealthy and today we are not because America also has failed to cure our economic needs. Money has given us more freedom, but we are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. America's attitudes towards money should be in their conviction that money is a social good, not a private possession and that the economic main purpose is the welfare of everyone in society, not the personal pleasure of the person who happens to have control over it. Throughout the Old Testament, there were lists of people who were wealthy and in fact the Book of Proverbs wrote who we use our wealth. Economic system is stewardship. So, regarding the political economic system, I have said before and I will say again, economic system is NOT the problem, its PEOPLE and their attitudes. One of my favorite quotes is from this billionaire investor Warren Buffett when he told his shareholders a few years ago: "If they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful." The idea that Jesus Christ has absolute and final authority over all of us in every detail of our lives is simply regardless of legalistic control by some evangelical Christians in the political world. We are in the world of self-deceit that we are too focused on ourselves to see the eternal truth. It is the selfish who possess the world while it is the meek who inherits the world. Church politics, controversies and worldliness have brought in the darkness that people cannot see the light. A Christian's economical life and standard of moral living are not private matters but rather they are critical issues of faith and discipleship. A Christian life in this world should be different from the world, being in the world but not of the world.

Charles Colson wrote in his book about Conservative Christians, "Who Speaks for God?'': "It's easy to become enthralled with access to places of supposed power. In time, however, without even knowing it, our well-intentioned attempts to influence government can become so entangled with a particular political agenda that it becomes our focus; our goal becomes maintaining our political access. When that happens, the gospel is held hostage to a political agenda -- and we become part of the very system we were seeking to change.''

Alumni of RIT/NTID:Removal of AG Bell Plaque


Its funny, I used lived in Bell Hall Dormitory which is next to Lyndon Baines Johnson building when I attended RIT/NTID.

I graduated from RIT/NTID (Rochester Institute of Technology)back in 1981. Lately, there have been many conversations and actions about removing AGBell plague and renaming a dormitory. Before Superbowl game, Pepsi chose to air a 60-second commercial with no audio of a couple of guys looking for “Bob’s House”. The two Deaf men driving a car through a suburban neighborhood, looking for their friend’s house. Most of you know the commercial. Anyway, before the commercial came on the air, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) President Karen Youdelman sent a letter to a Senior Vice President of PepsiCo Communications regarding her views of the Deaf community. Many NTID Alumni and student were outraged at the response from AG Bell.

Since then, because of AG Bell’s views, many members of the Deaf/HoH communities no longer wish to honor. Its not about against oralism but rather against the promotion of cultural prejudice of the Deaf community.

I have found out as of this morning, the plaque of AGBell have been removed and now considering renaming the dormitory.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hearing Loss and other disabilities.............

Thinking lately about my deafness, multiple sclerosis and other disabilities, and I have been reading your blogs that many of us are sharing our insights from our first-hand experiences with disabilities. Our adversaries have made our will strong and made our desires to live stronger which caused our determination to be strong.

No matter what, life goes on and we will do our best to enjoy our life. :)

Happiness, Contentment and Grace

I have learned that contentment is excitement in the midst of struggles, gracefully compassion over the needs of someone who is worse off than I am , joy in the midst of pain. I have learned that true happiness and contentment comes from the Holy Spirit through God's Grace. As one of my favorite theologians said "Happy are they who know that discipleship simply means life which springs from grace". It is God's will that we submit to the Holy Spirit and keep on filling (Ephesians 5:18). Like an athlete when training, we should always keep drinking water so that we won't be dehydrated and feeling weak. With that thought in mind, we should always keep filling the Holy Spirit so that we are able to act and react any given situations. "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9).

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo

When you accept rather than fight your circumstances ---even though you don't understand them --- you open your heart's gate to God's love, peace, joy and contentment. Amy Carmichael

How hiding his deafness ruined novelist's life

For ten years, the Whitbread Award-winning author, now 73, tried to hide his hearing loss. 'Unlike other disabilities, deafness can be concealed, and it's tempting to do this, especially when it's gradual,' he says. 'It's not just about vanity, but about fears of old age and mortality.' He is a full-time writer and doesn't wear his aids while writing. 'You're meant to keep them in but I find them tiresome. I don't like hearing the keyboard.

Hearing loss is so easy to hide - it's the invisible disability.

The Dangers of Political Parties

Political extremist refers to a person or group that holds a set of beliefs that diverge from society's norm to a great degree. They show disdain for the rights and liberties of others, but resent the limitations of their own activities. They favor censorship of their enemies but use intimidation and manipulation to spread their own assertions and claims. We Americans should unite for the good of our country and not get caught up in divisive partisan political warfare that causes that solves nothing but rather creates more problems and delaying crucial important decisions that will affect all Americans.

United States government is a democracy which every citizen within the country gets to have a say in what decisions are made. The sovereignty which democracy grants to law (higher than custom or the whim of individuals or the rights of groups) creates a moral problem like must we logically accept a decision of the people to make a law which approves abortion? How to handle people with disabilities? Like for an example, recently, a federal appeals court ruled that the U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish the "bills' value". How do we handle this?

The America people are seen as the ultimate source of legitimacy in democracy and while making laws, many cannot all agree to propose legislation. Democracy is very complexed and its not that simple. Democracy is popularly associated with the principle of majority rule and it is the expression of the sovereign will of the people, however there is no easy method by which that "will" is deemed to be defined must consist of majority rule.

Rule by a extremist may easily constitute a tyranny of its own by political parties. In today's Columbus Dispatch, a national columnist named Rowland Nethaway wrote about this very issue. George Washington's warning against political parties and the divisive partisanship that inevitably accompanies party politics.

Here are George Washington's quotes:"the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it."

"agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection."

I am very nuetural when it comes to politics. I don't like telling other people what to do with their lives. I hold conservative positions on most issues but have an underlying worldview of what is happening and make decisions based on them. I am against abortion but in relation to my fellow citizens, who am I telling them what to do? I have come to conclusion that being a moderate reminds me that I have no control of what is going on in this world. Christianity will always be running against the prevailing society of individualistic views. 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.

Grace is about loving other people that we have the freedom to do so but at the same time, respect how they practice their beliefs. I just let God handle their beliefs that I disagree with. Christianity seriously while at the same time, understand sins in this world. Sins are discord, disunity, and chaos will always produce great insecurity that leads people to feel destabilize in their lives. I am one Republican who wants to see a return to traditional values that must come from the people, not the government. "We the People" are the true government. 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.

Today, political parties have unrealistic expectations and an ignorance of the way things really work in politics which is why they are losing. 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".

Famous Quote
"Where a constitution, like ours, wears a mixed aspect of monarchy and republicanism, its citizens will naturally divide into two classes of sentiment, according as their tone of body or mind, their habits, connections and callings, induce them to wish to strengthen either the monarchical or the republican features of the constitution. Some will consider it as an elective monarchy, which had better be made hereditary, and therefore endeavor to lead towards that all the forms and principles of its administration. Others will view it as an energetic republic, turning in all its points on the pivot of free and frequent elections." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1797. ME 9:377

Monday, May 19, 2008

Still alive

Hi, I am still around. Just busy here and there.

Jim

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Are we corrupting our thoughts with our wishful images of God?

After time away from blogging, I have had good quiet moments and plenty of deep thoughts without getting involved with blogging. When I am facing my chronic pains or facing whatever issues at hand, I often focus on something to keep my mind busy such getting online (i.e. my Blog). I often retread to read books or get into deep thoughts about certain topics.

There are many people who have their own image of God and they believe that God have good life planned for them but there are so few who want to put themselves in a place where they can really hear Him. C.S. Lewis once said "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world".

I am finally understanding that God don't want me to live in a easy life, but rather make me a stronger Christian. I have to keep in mind that God may be withholding what I ask in order to do special work that He have placed me according to His plan and will (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

We live in an apartment and lately, my wife and I have been searching information about buying a home. This is what we have been doing lately and the process is slow due to unsure of what to do.

I am slowly coming back as we figure out what we should be doing.

Harry G. Lang: Honeoye Falls resident, a professor at National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, received

the 2008 Robert F. Panara Award for contributions to deaf education at a statewide conference held in Rochester earlier this month. (Panara, 87, presented the award.)
Harry G. Lang writes about education and history in the deaf population

Deep Thoughts: God's will

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 us. In my position, God will not hold me responsible for my lack of understanding in the mysteries of election, predestination, and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these is to look to God in deepest respect say, "0 Lord, You know all."

God's will is revealed in the New Testament:
Saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9)
Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:17-18)
Sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)
Submissive (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Suffering ( Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12)

A person's heart is the main problem. Too hard to notice the Holy Spirit's conviction and accepting God's grace.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Grace (undeserve kindness)


I'm going to have to slow down on the blogging for a while as I try to focus on issues at hand. Nothing serious. I will be back whenever I can.

Before the end of May, I will be passing out Kindness awards that I received from Angela.
In the spirit of gratitude and being thankful....and kindness, of course, I created this award. I truly love giving out kindness awards more than anything else because people who are truly kindhearted never expect a return on their actions.

The definition: n.1.
1. The quality or state of being kind. 2. An instance of kind behavior: I will always remember your many kindnesses to me.

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
Audrey Hepburn
Angela's Blog

From the Bible, I am reminded in Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Looking at kindness from one perspective, 2 Peter 1:7 "make every effort to add to your faith......brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."

I love this quote: The Christian faith is meant to be lived moment by moment. It isn't some broad, general outline--it's a long walk with a real Person. Details count: passing thoughts, small sacrifices, a few encouraging words, little acts of kindness, brief victories over nagging sins. Joni Eareckson Tada

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Theme Music from "Without a Trace" have been missing without a trace

Did you notice that Numb3rs and Without a Trace are not playing the "theme" music lately? I missed them.

Consultants relating to Deaf Education

Louisiana State Department of Education officials have chosen three consultants to recommend changes at the Louisiana School for the Deaf following the arrests on indecent behavior charges of 5 people connected to the school. See Story

I am really curious what changes they are looking into? I know its about improving the safety of this school but almost every school have similar problems with sexual predators in the school systems.

I am hoping they are not focusing on "deaf issue" of the problems because this problem is nationwide and worldwide deaf, non-deaf, able and disabled. (See Child predators finding cracks in the school system, Teachers and Sexual Misconduct and Inaction keeps sexual misconduct in schools ).

I for one will watch how Louisiana and see how they focus on the investigations.

Interferon beta-1a and Chinese hamsters


Because of Multiple Sclerosis, I have a very active immune system. Taking interferons change the behavior of the immune system by reducing the number of T-cells which are transported from the blood stream to the Central Nervous System (CNS) which reduces the number of inflammatory T-cells (TH-1) while at the same time allowing the TH-2 cells which reduce inflammation to dominate the central nervous system. Interferon beta-1a is identical to the naturally occurring protein found in the human body. This kind of interferon is manufactured by extracting the drug from Chinese hamster ovary cells which I take Biogen's Avonex which is a 30 mcg of interferon beta-1a which is injected once weekly and the most common side effects (for me) are the flu like symptoms. Avonex is manufactured by Biogen that will help modify the course of multiple sclerosis.

Volunteer.........

After working for Envionmental Protection Agency (Ohio) for almost 27 years, I decided to volunteer to be a judge for the science fair. Today's was my second year since I started doing this last year when they were looking for more judges. Today, I attended the same scince fair that have been hosted by The Ohio State University each year on OSU Campus across from OSU Ohio Stadium. I am not the "actual" judge but rather a sponsor judge for "Governor's Award for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research". I work with other judges and make selections according to the students' environmental research projects in reducing pollution and protecting the environment as well as the public. My role is to judge the 7th and 8th graders that I am very impressed with them (as I was last year). I don't think I as in their level of knowledge when I was in science. (Heck, I was busy studying sports and girls, LOL).

I plan to do this again next year.

Common sense

Common sense basically means the knowledge and the experience people have or do not have. We all have to live in efficiency and productiveness of common sense and a strong sense of desiring to be a good steward that makes sense and benefits everyone without selfish motives.

Quotes:‘Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.’ — Josh Billings

‘Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.’— George Bernard Shaw

Common Sense Manager?

I have heard stories about bad managers who had no common sense when it comes to managing a business. Take one good example that happened recently. A single mom Nicole Lilliman working in Tim Hortons in Canada got fired for giving away a Timbit to a child that was not quiet and Nicole was doing a PR for the business. She was reinstated when the dilemma hit the media to a different Tim Horton location. This single mother of four who was trying to surive, has been rehired at another Tim Hortons restaurant (same franchise owner but different manager) after what the chain described as an “overreaction” by a manager. Tim Hortons' Headquarters called the firing "an overreaction and not appropriate.” See Story

In this country, regardless if you are a manager or any other positions, "Common sense" in the United States ARE GONE ever since one woman sued MacDonald's for "hot coffee". The woman's hot coffee lawsuit was bad but what we really bad that never before filed suit against anyone, the woman said she wouldn't have brought the lawsuit against McDonald's had the Corporation not dismissed her request for compensation for medical bills. The company should have paid for her medical bills. Both, the plaintiff and the corporation didn't have the common sense to solve the issues before it went to court.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Deaf Community Resource Center: Grand Opening

in Dayton, Ohio between from 4 to 8 p.m. today, May 9th. The center, at 3333 Stanley Ave., is a dream come true for many in the local deaf community after years of planning and hard work. The founders captured $600,000 in grants from several sources, including the Ohio Department of Health and Wright State University. All 14 staff members are proficient in sign language. Read more about it in Dayton Daily News

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Interesting point of view from a woman who used to live under a communist governent

Do we really this country to be free?
Americans, she said, love to trumpet their freedom. But it's hard to square that with political correctness that straitjackets communication for fear of giving unintended offense, hair-trigger litigiousness that requires major corporations to treat customers ("Caution: Coffee is hot") like idiots for fear of being sued, zero- tolerance policies and mandatory sentencing guidelines that remove human judgment from human encounters for fear of rendering unequal justice.
Source: Snapshots of America reveal a fading picture of freedom Another view:
..........nowadays has commercial sponsorship and corporate tie-ins.

An Evangelical Manifesto

This morning, I was reading this article in my local newspaper Group wants politics out of evangelicalism. More than 70 evangelical leaders released a statement called "An Evangelical Manifesto" in an attempt to reclaim the term evangelical.
Evangelical must be restored as a religious label, not a political or cultural one, according to the statement. It defined the term as someone who follows the word of God as revealed in the Bible.
"We confess that we Evangelicals have betrayed our beliefs by our behavior"
I am a strong Christian and I am also a Patriot but I am very nuetural when it comes to politics. 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 idea that Jesus Christ has absolute and final authority over all of us in every detail of our lives is simply regardless of legalistic control by some evangelical Christians in the political world.

Governments are God's ordained. Jesus taught that the government should work in harmony with the church and should recognize its sovereignty in spiritual matters (Matt. 22:21).I do believe very much in being a responsible Christian citizen.

In conclusion, we must careful not to identify Christianity with any political parties because Jesus Christ have HIS OWN Party which is HIS KINGDOM. Christ stands alone, above and outside of every ideology of any political parties. Jesus does not and will not join any of our parties. Jesus said "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).

HBO's documentary is about a woman's deaf parents

HEAR AND NOW premieres at 8 tonight

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Struggling with two natures

When seeking God's will, do you listen to your heart or your head?

For me, both because we need to look at our whole being. I need to focus on God with all of my heart and mind. I am not a perfect Christian but I am a forgiven Christian who is still learning.

1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

The new creature in Spirit within us as for example Jesus likened the religious Pharisees to a group of dishwashers who clean the outside of a cup while leaving the inside dirty.

Karen and Steak 'n Shake

Karen who I have nominated for Gratitude with Attitude Award is still not getting answers from Steak 'n Shake which you can read more about it in Disaboom.

I won't be visiting Steak n Shake until the company do something about their situation for their customers with disabilities.

Multiple Sclerosis and Poor Communication?

No, I am not talking about poor communication between people but rather poor communication between our body parts. The protective myelin coat that surrounds nerve cells have been destroyed by an over-active immune system. In Canada, May is MS month that Canadian Institutes of Health Research(CIHR)researchers is educating the public MS from a kid's perspective. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is, essentially, is important for Canadians (as well as everyone else around the world) because Canadians have an extremely high rate of MS.

Grant provides $25,000 for hearing aids

Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation gave the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing grant of $25,000 to help provide hearing devices and other assistive technology for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals who cannot afford to pay for them on their own.

The same foundation that gave WGBH $1 Million to support the public broadcaster's work in making media accessible to people with disabilities. WGBH's studio complex in Brighton named The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH. If anyone remembers, in the 1970s, WGBH made history when it developed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing TV viewers which began in Boston, MA and began television broadcasted first-ever captioned: an episode of WGBH's cooking series, The French Chef with Julia Child. WGBH is a pioneer and leader in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions.

Legalistic, Liberalistic and Moralistic

My today's devotion:

Legalistic: My own concept of obedience makes me feel very safe that if its part of my life, I will impose on others. If they are not following my formula of legalistic beliefs, they are not being obedient according to my understanding of the Scriptures.

Liberalistic: I rationalize that certain rules, regulations, laws (ceremonial) and/or any other concept of commandments in the Bible do not apply today. If I see it does not apply, then others are not being obedient according to my understanding of the Scriptures.

Moralistic: I am following my resolutions according to my understanding of the Scriptures that being radical and focusing on agendas to accomplish God’s will even though I understand this is a “self-effort” rather than “grace-power”.

When we trivialize the Scriptures, we reduce God’s Commandments of our Christian Life to formulas (legalism) which lead me to be “proud” of my efforts, or we rationalize away the demands (liberalism) which makes me comfortable with my life, or we fabricate a list of things (agenda) we are going to do for God (moralism) which makes me tired, all three (legalism, liberalism and moralism) replaces God’s grace and need for Jesus Christ. If we allow ourselves to the bondage to a corruption of nature (i.e., legalism, liberalism and moralism), then we are not free as the Bible defines it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May is "Better Speech and Hearing Month"

I have been thinking of the comments regarding my post Disability Harassment
Some of the comments were:
When I was a kid, only the deaf kids at Mark Keppel school (ASL) bullied me while Field (oral) school deafies didn't.
Students never bullied a hearing aid user at Maryland School. It was at Gallaudet when the user experienced the first ridicule and was asked, "Why hearing aids? You from St. Mary's at Buffalo?" To which the user replied, "You have a single-track mind!" and walked out.
When growing up with my old hearing-aids that were very visible, I have faced my own bullies, mostly from fellow deaf students. I was being bullied by those who didn't considered me deaf enough. By nature, all of us are bias therefore it is very easy for us to be bias. Its a struggle in this world for hearing-impaired people who is trying to live our lives in both deaf and hearing worlds. There's nothing wrong to live in a Deaf culture and there's nothing wrong to live in a Hearing culture life so I don't have to choose one but rather "both".

Now that I have Multiple Sclerosis, I am trying to live my life against the barriers of many "able" mindless people.

I am focusing on "better living" more than better hearing, better speech and better body. I know my hearing, speech and body are not going to get better. However, my "life" CAN get better. I am doing what is BEST for me because this is my life. Many obstacles such as discrimination, attitudes, ignorance, stereotyping, or alienation are still around me whether I realized them or not. They are not going to effect or control my life. For me to really understand "quality of life" is to effectively use knowledge and technology to improve my own quality of life.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tomorrow: The Columbus Speech & Hearing Center

Great Communicators luncheon presenting Cal Ripken, Jr.
When? May 6, 2009
Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Tammy Sebastian
Phone number: 614-261-5413
Email: tsebastian@columbusspeech.org

More information go to Columbus Speech & Hearing Center's website

Hearing loss affects all forms of relationships

A survey indicates that 48 percent of the respondents feel that their marriages have suffered because of their spouses' hearing loss. About 57 percent feel their spouse is reluctant to get his or her hearing checked and 46 percent feel that denial is the number one reason their significant other is hesitant to get his or her hearing checked. Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Also, communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States.

Regardless of if its marriage or any other relationship, one of the most critical challenges facing persons with hearing loss is their ability to access verbal information. To many, hearing loss is a hidden disability that is often unnoticeable, it can create significant barriers to communication.

With me being hearing-impaired, background noise can make it difficult or impossible to understand what person may be saying and the amount of background noise that would simply be annoying or distracting for me.

Thankfully, my wife and I have a great communication relationship. She wishes that I teach her more sign language so she can communicate with me when I am not wearing my hearing-aids. I am completely deaf without them.

Needs versus Wants


The latest survey of business expectations predicts economic conditions will deteriorate and many people are going to rely on needs more than wants. One important idea in economics is that of needs and wants. Needs would be defined as goods or services that are required. This would include the needs for food, clothing, shelter, health care. Wants are goods or services that are not necessary but that we desire or wish for.

When the money GETS TIGHT, we must get a feel for what "needs" are and "wants" are. The "economic slowdown" is getting more slower. This will affect many jobs in the future that if people are not buying, the jobs will not be there. Consumer spending and retail sales are the backbone of the nation's economy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The National Deaf Business Institute's (NDBI)

The National Deaf Business Institute's (NDBI) provides support for starting, managing, or growing business. This site has a list of 67 businesses under 32 cateogries.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities

Small Business and Self Employment for People with Disabilities. The Office of Disability Employment Policy is place for people with disabilities to explore many options available for starting a business. Starting a business is a major task for anyone. People with disabilities face additional barriers. Source: United States Department of Labor

6 Words

I have been tagged by Angela for a "My Life in Six Words" meme.

What is a meme? A meme is basically in two ways:
1. Meme--pronounced 'mem', a memory
2. Meme--rhymes with 'theme', a theme where I am tagged to answer questions about 'me' or myself... Here's my 6 words:
Life's obstacles are our life's lessons.

I tag the following people to do the "meme". :)

Brain Cheese (Linda)
Abbie
Nancie
whimsicalnbrainpan

Success Stories

The Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation: Success Stories that empowered individuals with disabilities who achieved employment, economic self-sufficiency and independence

A business owned by a Person with a Disability (PD)

A business owned by a Person with a Disability (PD) is a for profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories which is at least 51 percent owned, controlled and operated by physically-challenged individuals. A person with a disability is defined as one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. A not-for-profit agency for persons with disabilities that is exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code is also considered a business owned by a person with a disability.

Person with a disability shall mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who has a medically diagnosed, severe physical or mental disability that results from amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiphegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, mental retardation, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders (including MS, stroke and epilepsy), paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, specific learning disabilities, or end state renal failure disease; and substantially limits at least one of the major life activities such as mobility, communication, self-care, self-direction, interpersonal skills, work tolerance or work skills in terms of employability; or any other disability or combination of disabilities which is determined by an evaluation of rehabilitation potential to cause a comparable degree of substantial functional limitation similar to the specific list of disabilities listed above.

Information and Links:
Organizing A Business Plan
By Ohio State University.

Guidances:Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities

To Start:
Starting a business in Ohio: Ohio Business Gateway To help you start a business legally. You can also go to this site: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division

To go The 1st Stop Business Connection is a free state-level information needed to get started or continue on an entrepreneurial journey. This will provide a business information kit which contains the basics all business must know and the state-level regulations and forms specifically for your business.

Depending on the legal form of business such as Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, LLC or whatever, this will required a business person to register the business name as a legal entity with the The Secretary of State of Ohio's Business Services Webpage

Those who are intending doing a business that will collect sales tax, are required to register with Ohio Department of Taxation

Join Columbus' location SCORE is a volunteer organization that uses the skill and experience of retired executives to assist individuals with their decisions to begin or to operate small businesses. SCORE counseling sessions are usually held in SCORE office in downtown Columbus, 401 N. Front St., Suite 20

The Small Business Development Centers of Ohio (SBDC of Ohio) provide free, professional, in-depth and confidential business consulting and training to new and existing entrepreneurs For me, I live in Franklin County and my contact will be at The Ohio SBDC at Columbus State Community College.

For additional information, go to the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio's EntrepreneurOhio.org

State VR Agencies Expand Self-Employment Opportunities

Why do people with disabilities start their own businesses?

Spotlight Business run by people with Disabilities

I have been thinking that I might create a "Spotlight" businesses run by people with disabilities especially Deaf and Multiple Sclerosis. I would prefer find businesses in Ohio but I am more than happy to post about any businesses in the United States. I will post "Spotlight Business run by people with Disabilities" as I whenever I come across a business which could be once a week, once a month or several times a day, depending on when I learned about the businesses.

My first is one I have posted in the past which is Deaf Initiatives, Inc.which 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.

If you live in Central Ohio or nearby....consider adopting

Deaf White German Shepherd This deaf White German Shepherd in Ohio Needs a Home!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Columbus Dance Theatre and my daughter


One of my daughters is a member of The Columbus Dance Theatre where she is a faculty as well as a company apprentice dancer. Last night, the dancers danced the choreography that she had created and everyone thought she did a wonderful job. When some people found out that she is only a junior in high school. They were impressed and said that she have a great future in choreophraphy. I hope so, her dance made me cried last night and it was the first time I ever cried at a ballet dance performance. In fact, after the dance was over, I looked around and saw some people also cried. Some made comments like "wow".

I am proud of my her and she deserved the recognition.

If you live in Columbus area (Ohio), there are two performances which are at 3 PM and 7 PM. I encourage you to go and watch. Young dancers did a great job last night.

Jim

Gratitude with an Attitude Award


On April 10th, I recieved an award relating to "Attitude" from a fellow blogger.

Now I will award the people below with this award because they all have GREAT attitudes in different ways depending on their situations. I have learned to enjoy their blogs and admire their attitude towards life.

1. Karen
2. Lisa
3. Abbie
4. Angela
5. Nancie
6. Diane

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in your blogs. Jim

Tolerance and Acceptance

The United States was founded on freedom from persecution and on tolerance of differences in beliefs and cultural heritage. The differences (or diversity) that come from people who accepted one another without prejudice.

There are efforts to popularize the Christian faith have been extremely damaging to the Christian communities because they have mistaken the desire to maintain a spirit of tolerance rather than loving the sinners but hating their practices. We are morally obligated to treat everyone with respect, regardless of who they are and what they have done. This reflects notions such as civility, courtesy, dignity, tolerance and acceptance. Love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). Love refuses to take human failure as final. With Christ in me, my human failures are never final. Love never keeps a record of wrongs. Love forgives and love is unable to think about them anymore. Forget the past and move on. Focus on the future as I focus on Christ at the same time. Romans 4:8 (also Psalms 32:2) "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him".

Hate what is wrong and stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Live in Harmony with each other.

The bottom line is this, Christians are to act like Jesus, toward sinners and brethren in compassion, toward saints in warm affection, toward others in love. We are to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Jesus Christ has forgiven us.

Focusing on having humor with an attitude...

Humor is a powerful emotional medicine that can lower stress and dissolve negative situations. A healthy sense of humor is related to being able to laugh at oneself and one's life. Laughing at oneself can be a way of accepting and respecting oneself. When I was younger dealing with my deafness. It was not my deafness that was causing me problems. The sources of my problem were people around me and how I was coping them. Especially when they tease me about my hearing-aids or others that I often respond with humor which got them off guard with my response by diffusing a power struggle before things gets worst. Humor opens up closed little ears and minds. The more they challenge me with their teases, the more challange I give them in respond and soon they stop teasing and bullying me. We can laugh along with the bullies and that's a very healthy attitude. Hearing problems affect a lot of people. In fact, an estimated 28 million people in America have some form of hearing problem. Now my problems have transferred from my deafness to multiple sclerosis. In the past two years, I was facing stress due to various factors in my life which took a toll on my Multiple Scleorsis symptoms. I know that I am on my own worst enemy when I get sick. Keep in mind, stress is not a cause of MS. Stress and multiple sclerosis seem at times to go hand in hand. Studies have shown that stressful life events can trigger exacerbations in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). A healthy attribute of any of us whether we are disabled or not, is the ability to laugh at ourselves and our unique circumstances. Having the ability to take a light-hearted approach to life will lead to less stress. Stress can’t be avoided. The challenge is for me to keep learning how to reduce the level of stress by using it to work for me, not against, me. Humor and laughter strengthen our immune systems and help us recover from illness, as well as bring joy into our lives. Laughing relaxes the body and reduces problems associated with high blood pressure, strokes, arthritis, and ulcers. A good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at stressful situations helps mitigate the damaging physical effects of distressing emotions that we could be dealing with.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Overcoming disabilities have humbled me.......

Ever since I was aware of my deafness, multiple sclerosis and other disabilities, I kept thinking about how amazing God works in me which have made me stronger in heart and mind. He taught me to be humbled about my life.

Today, normal and able people should be aware that that people with disabilities are ordinary people (just like them) with common goals for a home, a job and a family. In 1997, a report called "Current Populations Report" (P7061:3-6) estimated 54 million persons in the United States, or nearly 20 percent of the population, currently live with disabilities. More than 10 years later, it is estimated about 63 million individuals. People with disabilities are often viewed as representing a minority of the population, in that people with disabilities may be less visible and not acknowledged. People with disabilities still are dealing with barriers that prevents them from being part of the society. Many people with disabilities have learned and have the ability to overcome barriers in their own ways and making sure that they are having quality of life regardless of barriers.

These people who have endured and overcame are the stronger ones than those who are healthy and able individuals. Our adversaries have made our will strong and made our desires to live stronger which caused our determination to be strong. There are many healthy and able people who never saw past the pain because they’re self-absorbed, they’re self-centered, they’re caught up in their own comfort. People who lived with disabilities have learned not to be self-absorbed, nor be self-centered or anything simply because we have learned the barriers that have humbled us. In this life, hardship is inevitable and it is useful because it produces the evidence of our true being of who we really are from within. A humbled human being who acknowledge that he/she has flaws and is able to overcome and be more understanding of others.

Our attitudes are found in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9-10). In Proverbs 4:23 says, “...Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

God charges each of us to personally model His attitude: “Do nothing out of ... vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2: 3-5).

Deep thoughts for the weekend.

I am going to watch my daughter perform dancing tonight. She is having a busy weekend performaing tonight through tomorrow night.

Disability Harassment

When growing up with my old hearing-aids that were very visible, I have faced my own bullies when I was in middle school but I have learned to endure and survived. In high school, I was not bullied once because I simply learned to stand up for myself and became respected by my fellow students. What really helped is that I was an athlete who made varsity soccer team as a freshman. Not many people with disabilities can do that.My only disability during high school was my deafness and I was able to do anything that hearing kids can do but hear. I need to add that when I was at deaf school, I was being bullied by those who didn't considered me deaf enough. Finally, I left the school and handled the bullies at the "hearing schools" better than I did at the deaf school.

Today, the society is generally supportive of people with disabilities but the key to education for the society to be more supportive begins in school. Bullying against those with disabilities is a problem that plagues the society. For years, the federal government always have been aware that that children with disabilities may be singled out for being “different”,less powerful and more vulnerable than other students. Many schools deny that there is a bullying problem. One good example is in Pennsylvania's school about A Palmerton Area High School student fed up over being bullied time and time again has pleaded with the school district to step up and take action. When schools don't take action, what happens then, in Louisville, Kentucky, two Jefferson County students are charged with terroristic threatening after the boys planned to attack their bullies. In Chicago, Ryan, his 13-year-old son who took his life after years of torment at the hands of a school bully. In my homestate, Massaschusetts, state health officials release prevention guide in battling bullies. They are taking a "proactive" steps to prevent bullying. It won't be easy but its a start.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.” Harvey S. Firestone

"If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed.” Lyndon B. Johnson

"Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey.” Anna Julia Cooper

Prozac may help slow multiple sclerosis

This is an interesting The anti-depressant Prozac may help curb disease activity in the relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis, a Dutch study said. I am taking generic form of prozac and I believed it has helped me in many ways ever since I was diagnosed with MS.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Deafness is a culture or disability or both?

This post is mostly for parents of deaf children who are trying to understand deafness.

In the past few years, the phrase "disabled people" have been changed "people with disabilities". A disability is a body function is impaired compare to the usual normal healthy abilities of a body and within a body, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment mental illness, and various types of chronic disease (like mulitiple scleorsis). When we are talking about deafness, deaf is a disability in wich you have a loss of one of the 5 senses that enable a human being to be "normal". When we talk about ur senses which are seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Unless the senses are working properly in the brain, we are not able to perceive and properly make use of the information from our senses. Sensory impairment usually defined the two most common disabilities which are: vision disibility and hearing disability or both which is often called dual sensory impairments. Some Deaf people and hearing-impaired individuals consider themselves disabled because of their inability to hear. Even though often Deaf people whose primary language is the sign language such as American Sign Language is a culture and don't consider themselve having a disability among each other. However, when they are in the foreign part of the United States which the primary language is English in which Deaf people is unable to hear. This means they have "disability" to hear the common spoken language which is when they feel disabled because of experiences with discrimination as well as the inability to hear. To most Deaf people, deafness is not really a disability but rather a minor thing that they can't hear.

The major barrier of deafness is the inability to communicate normally. This is where many defined as the real disability rather than "deafness". Communication is a major barrier for all people with hearing loss including myself. I am deaf without the help from hearing-aids. Not being able to hear "normally" like whispering and soft talks, I can't communicate with hearing people.

So, in terms of hearing loss, not able to hear is not a disability to me because the major disability for me is unable to communicate with those who can hear. At the same time, even though I know ASL but I don't live in the Deaf culture, I also have the inability to communicate "normally" with the Deaf culture. Disability is communication.

I have other forms of disabilities including Multiple Sclerosis so I know what the word "disability" really means.

Its a tough and confusing world out there but once you take the time to understand the basic concept of Deaf people's point of view of the word "disability", you will know know what they are talkinga about.

This is my view and not necessary common agreement among Deaf and hearing-impaired people.

Quotes of the Day

Bias and prejudice are attitudes to be kept in hand, not attitudes to be avoided. Charles Curtis

The theory of cultural bias... is the idea that a culture is based on a particular form of organization. It can't be transplanted except to another variant of that organization. Mary Douglas

"We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are." - Harry S Truman (1884-1972)

"You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same." - Unknown

"Men have become the tools of their tools."- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?" - Will Rogers (1879-1935)

An example of a parent of a deaf child asking the right questions

A parent have written a very good letter to AG Bell regarding cochlear plants forhis child (born April 20, 2008) who was found to have profound hearing loss. Surgery is the main thing that concerns him and his wife that they want answers before pursuing this.

I am very curious if AG Bell will respond to him and his wife in clear, accurate, and perhaps unbiased information? I can understand as parents, they find it very tough for parents to find the "right" path for our deaf and hearing-impaired children when their parents are not getting ALL of the information about deafness. AG Bell should be sharing all aspects of what can help parents of deaf children regardless how we think should be the right way. I am happy that these parents are questioning, looking for answers and they are being very careful with their decisions because their child may particularly be vulnerable to suffering at the hands of his parents who may be willful in their own ignorance by listening to so called "experts" relating to biased agendas.