Thursday, January 31, 2008

Carnival of MS Bloggers #3 Have been Posted

Carnival of MS Bloggers #3

Carnival of MS Bloggers #3 Lisa have published of MS bloggers who are sharing their experience relating to MS. Here are the list of titles you will find in Lisa's blog which will link direcly to their blogs.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis
To Tell or Not To Tell
How Was I Diagnosed?
So How Did I Get from There to Here?
Sleep, Perchance to Dream - for England?
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
Scarier than Psycho?
This is My Brain on Drugs
Why My Blog?!!

Sunday Morning Spiritual Thoughts: Striving through bumpy road.....(by the way, that's mine)

Lisa will have the next Carnival of MS Bloggers, a valentine special, will be hosted in her blog on February 14, 2008. When you have a favorite or best blog, be ready to share this with Lisa by going to blogcarnival.

Saw my doctor today..........

My wife and I went to our quarterly doctor visit for our diabetic and blood pressure check up. A week prior to our appointment, we go in and let them take our blood for the lab so our doctor can determine our health status. By the way, we do this "together" and we will support one another whenever we get sad information about our health. Oh... when we go in for "urine" sample, we go in together because we find this intimate and supportive. (TMI ? LOL).

Anyay, today's appointment, my doctor (who is a woman) picked me first which was unusual because my wife usually go first (she is with me). I found out why, my doctor was giving me "the look" about my sugar level. I hate that look and told her, don't give me "that look". She reply, is it working? I said "yeah". LOL ("the look" is her lecturing look" that most women gives). Remember Home Improvement's "The Look" (Season 5, Episode 7) which was about Tim getting a good deal on Pistons season tickets from Bud but doesn't consult with Jill before buying them for over $4,000. That gives him a "look" from Jill, the same Harry gets from his wife at the hardware store.

So, anyway, she increased Metformin from 500 mg to 1,000 mg a day for my diabetic problem and she also increased Lisinopril/HCTZ from 20/12 to 20/25 for hypertension. I am still taking the same Lovastatin level of 20mg for cholesterol as well as Aciphex 20mg for my acid reflux disease.

Now, when she started talking about my depression and asked how I was feeling. I told her I was feeling down lately and my wife spoke up and said "actually in the last 6 months he has been down". So, she increased my Fluoxetine (i.e. prozac) from 60mg to 80mg which is my highest level so far. She said she will share this with my MS doctor who monitors my Avonex medication which I take one shot each week. Depression is probably from combination from stress, MS medication and other complications.

And then it was my wife's turn and my doctor went through the same routine with her relating to her medications.

Oh, my doctor told me to visit my eye doctor since I have not gone to one for alittle over a year.

That's it for now. I am not into deep thoughts today so I will probably lurk around tonight.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hang on Sloopy

"Hang on Sloopy" is a hit song by the pop group The McCoys which was #1 in America in October 1965 and is the official rock song of the state of Ohio and The Ohio State University.

116th Ohio General Assembly designated "Hang on Sloopy" the state rock song by House Concurrent Resolution 16 on November 20, 1985.

"WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously"

"WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff."
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Hang On Sloopy: The Music of Ohio
Lyric and Songfacts

Funny Video: Irritating Cat and Patient Dog (Short Video)

Irrirtating Life

If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables -- of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and, most of all, things unfair. ------ Jeanne Guyon, in *Spiritual Torrents*
Life itself can be very irritating. I like when I heard a fellow Christian who said "God can be irritating". There have been times that irritations leads me to depression and I have been there. Daily life is an irritating game, and we’ve no choice but put up with them and play them in order to survive. Sometimes, it is my fault for having unrealistic expectations. One of my major irritated beef is people's ignorance. Most of the time, I am very tolerate and able to handle irritating people along who rub me the wrong way but ignorance bothers me the most. I try to remind myself that I was one of them once that I should understand how irritating they could be at times. At times, I just feel if I'm irritating othres like my family, friends and co-workers. AT times, being irritating cause me to feel down and wondering if I can continue to cope.

Along with "Humor", how do I build my confidence up and become less irritating so that I can really cope with my life? I read somewhere that I need to stop falling into the trap of over analysing everything, and pondering things too much. The subject of my human emotions and circumstances, God does not play with my emotions unless He was trying use my circumstances to improve my own character and faith. Whatever comes out of Him is all good and only good. The causes for my circumstances are often God-given opportunities for my spiritual growth.

Paul explains in 1 Cor. 10:13, "These has no testing taken you but such as is common to man; but God will, with the testing, also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

One of my favorite verses that I often use to remind myself is 2 Corinthians 12:9 says "God said 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." I love Marja's translation of that verse "My grace is all you need; for my power is strongest when you are weak." When I am most aware of my own weaknesses, I am more inclined to collapse into God's strength and experience His amazing grace who gives me peace. God's Grace is a wonderful feeling. God promised me that He will not to allow anything into in my life that will be too much for me to bear (1 Cor. 10:13), He will work out everything for my good in the end (Rom. 8:28), and "perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish" me in the midst of my sufferings (1 Pet. 5:10).
Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God's plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. God's love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love. Eric Liddell

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pondering "Humor" when needed....................

PONDER: To weigh mentally; Think deeply about; Consider carefully Webster's New World Dictionary

Everyday, I ponder, contemplate, consider and thinking whatever that affects my daily moods, activities and life. Thinking back, I remember behaving childlike and actually enjoying life by being playfuln and enjoy the simplicity. I desire to have a day-by-day living of feeling carefree. This week, I am having struggles with my depression especially when my wife was asking me me if I was okay since we had not made love for a few weeks now and that she misses it. Last saturday, I was writing about Dealing with Disabilities and Depression because I was feeling it and today, I am still feeling it. I was reading somewhere that depressed mood in people with multiple sclerosis often changes more significantly over time than other stable depression symptoms. I am sure that is true. Sometimes, MS patients have every reason to be depressed when needed to.

I am taking prozac and it is working but what I need to do is to start having more "humor" in my life. I don't think I am doing it enough because experts says that humor is an excellent tool for combating depression. It is often known as a "Humor is a Natural Antidote for Depression". I might start having at least ONE post about "humor" and try to have a good laugh about "life".

I find this site very useful whenever I need humor. I have many bookmarks for humor. This is just one of them. You might like it too. Squiffy's House of Fun - Laughter for Multiple Sclerosis

Enjoy !!

I like this quote: Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them. Leo Tolstoy

Often, I am reminded by Christ's definition of Beatitudes (Matthew 5) which really contradicts the world’s definition of happiness. I have had a lifelong struggle with the question of being happy as a Christian.

A.W. Tozer is one of my favorite Christian authors who often reminds me of my relationahip with "life". "If there's anything necessary to your eternal happiness but God, you're not the kind of Christian that you ought to be. For only God is the true rest." Attributes of God,pg.30

Monday, January 28, 2008

What is Fatalistic Attitude? And how do you determine.....

which attitudes are fatalistic?

Sometimes I notice that distrusting of the medical system can bolster fatalistic attitudes.

Another thought is that to some people that "trusting the providence of God can bolster fatalistic attitudes".

To me, whatever we want from God, if God didn't make it happen, it didn't happen. If God wanted it to happen, it would happen. It's not fatalism. It's a confidence in providence. The fact of the matter is the visible providence of God has no respector (discriminate) of persons. God's providence is always that we shouldn't be surprised to find this a mysterious paradox of what happens around the world for His purpose. What we may need (or want) often will not fit with God's will. In In Ephesians 1:11, "He works all things according to the purpose of His own will." 'Providence" means God’s faithful, 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. God does everything--He governs everything.” God doesn’t just sit back and wait until He wants to act and then do it through a miracle.” God constantly intervenes in our lives through providence.

Scriptures reveals that no trial, no disease or illness, no accident or injury reaches us apart from God's permission. Christians can answer like Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery, As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Something to ponder :)

Ohio woman with limited use of legs learns to scuba-dive

I was reading this in my local newspaper called the "Columbus Dispatch" and it is an interesting article. Bubbles of triumph Monday,January 28, 2008 By Kevin Parks

Performance of workers with disabilities as good as co-workers

A DePaul University study found workers with disabilities performed as well as other workers while requiring about the same amount of supervision and minimal accommodations.By Barbara Rose | TRIBUNE REPORTER,January 28, 2008

I have always known that. I have had several awards like "Employee of the Year" award and I am still working at the same place for more than 27 years. People with disabilities likes to STAY BUSY.

Today.....our car got broken into

This morning, after I got out of the shower, my wife came in and told me that our van's window got smached and messed up our car. They didn't take anything because we don't keep anything valuable inside. I had to go to work so my wife took of everything by calling the police and insurance company. Glass repair service will come tomorrow and fix it up.

Why I had to go right to work this morning? Because I had to get ready for class tomorrow which I am teaching. I am not looking foward to do this. I don't like public speaking.

Also, I had to go to a store to get something and I was waiting in line with other people to pay when a woman in an electric wheelchair came by cutting us and went directly to the cashier. I got by her and tried to say something, she ignored me. This is ONE example of why the public gets disgusted by those who abused the laws. I stand in line like everyone else, waiting for my turn and she should too. People in line was swearing, complaining and I was dumbfounded.

When I see negative comments in Karen's blog about her situation, this is probably one example of why the public gets disgusted by certain group of people with disabilities. We need to educate our fellow people with disabilities about this situation because their actions and attitudes are NOT helping our causes.

How can one fellow with disabilities handle this when he or she something like that happen? What do you think?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Carnival of MS Bloggers

I went to read Lisa's blog and noticed that she is hosting "Carnival of MS Bloggers" and she is asking MS bloggers to submitting one of our best post by Tuesday, January 29, 2008 (noon).

Dancing, Dancing, Dancing, Dancing

My 17 year old step-daughter Shelby has been involved in with this dance theatre for a few years now. She loves dancing and she is a great dancer. She has been dancing most of her life. For Shelby, dancing is not an extra-curricular but rather it is her life because everywhere she is, she is always thinking about dancing.

She even dance around at home and I can see that dancing is an outlet for her. Whenever she is having a rough day, she just dance and let all of her emotions out. She comes home relaxed but still energetic. (I just don't know where she gets all of the energy).

When Shelby got involved in Columbus Dance Theatre, she got accepted into the ITP (Intensive Training Program) which was for dancers who were serious about making ballet a professional career. Last summer, Shelby got moved up when the director of the company at Columbus Dance Theatre selected all of the ITP students to an "apprentice level" as part of the professional dancers. She became an "apprentice" which basically means she helps out the Columbus Dance Theatre including teaching pre-ballet classes and under-study training programs. On top of her dancing, she is a full-time high-school student making good grades (which I am proud of her). She also have a very active social life with friends. She is your typical normal teenager who is very busy and very active. She is having a wonderful time and she also developed wonderful friendship with other dancers and students at school.

Since dancing her Shelby's life and her passion, I do dream of her to open her own studio years down the road and teach children how to dance. She plans to study choreography in college along with her other majors she might be considering.

Right now, Columbus Dance Theatre is her "dance home" where she lives while dancing. Columbus Dance Theatre is a contemporary ballet company, school, and local arts presenter, founded in 1998 by Artistic Director Tim Veach. Columbus Dance Theatre has two locations in Columbus:
Columbus Dance Theatre 592 E. Main St. Columbus, OH 43215 (614) 849-0227
The School of Columbus Dance Theatre 2468 E. Main St. Bexley, OH 43209 (614) 231-0227

For those who live in Central Ohio, you can come and watch. Upcoming performances will be:
Ten Cents a Dance = February 15th and 16th
New Dance Project = April 4th and 5th
Dancing Alone = April 18th, 19th & 20th
Tenth Anniversary Concert = May 16th & 17th

For more details, please go here: Upcoming Dance Performances

By the way, my wife is proud to work for Columbus Dance Theatre. She works there part-time and she enjoys being around dancers and helping new students get into the programs. She works with students' parents when working out class schedules and paperwork. Carole is a busy woman there and sometimes I get drafted to help out when needed. *grin*
Shelby on second from left, in the back. "ITP Spring Performance"
"CDT as Des Grisettes"

The Consumerist: Reported on December 11, 2007

TGIFriday's has apologized after refusing to accommodate a disabled teen and her trained companion dog, says the Suburban Chicago Daily Herald:

By the way, this site also report Karen's situation as well.

People with Disabilities: Socially involved leads to Politically involved....

There are about an estimated 40 million voters with disabilities of all kinds including those who are aging, deafness, Mutliple Sclerosis and other disabilities. Nowadays, many of us are involved in way or another politically that are usually within community-minded and socially involved. Blogging is one example of socially and politically involved.

As disabled people became more socially involved, they also became more politically involved as part of improving our lives. Over the years, there have been growing memberships and attendance at various disability organizations such as Deaf Associations, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and others. I was supporting for "Speech and Hearing" but lately, I notice their lacking in some departments.

Like when I visited for first Men with Multiple Sclerosis support group, it was larger than I expected and the turn-out was great. I can see that disabled people are fitting into a community and getting involved with other disabled people to share that they are not theirs alone and all concerns are shared by many others. Since laws like ADA are not really helping educating the public, I am learning that I should not be relying on any political parties to improve political consciousness amongst disabled people. We, people with disabilities will be educating the public of what they need to know.

Political candidates needs to understant that it is not their political parties they should be worrying about because they should worry about 40 million people with disabilities and the importance of active political involvement by people with disabilities. The heart of advocacy and political involvement is voting.

I am curious, in your opinion, which political parties are really supportive for people with disabilities?

I am going to look into each Disability Related Organizations and find out which political parties they are usually supportive with. In the past, I didn't much politically and lately, I am thinking more deeper.

By the way, in the past few years, I have been involved in the following organizations directly or indirectly:

1. American Diabetes Association
2. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
3. National Multiple Sclerosis Society (also NMSS Ohio)
4. The Arc - organization on mental retardation
5. The Columbus Speech and Hearing Center
6. The Hearing Loss Association of America

Sunday Morning Spiritual Thoughts: Striving through bumpy road.....

When I was growing up, never really had a cold until I moved away from my parents house. I was very athletic, swam for 30 plus years and road cycling 25 to 100 miles every weekend. When I was healthy physically, I have learned nothing about about real life until recently. My deafness which I was born with, is not an illness but rather a disability. Looking back. I was very healthy and was able to do anything that a "normal able" people could do but hear. I hardly missed any work, I was able to my daily activities. I was able to do many things that more "disabled" person may not be able to do so. Until later in life that is. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002. Today, I am healthy but do get sick at times however, there are days that MS can affect my daily activities. Many people asked me how do I cope, I responded that I have learned to cope with God's grace.

I have seen people who overcame their situations into positive regardless the situation. I also have experiences by overcoming my own situations as well. God's knowledge of my own discouragements are more than just knowledge; His knowledge is more personal, warm, and compassionate. He knows every pains I have been facing. Inside me, I know I am not alone because He is with me. Making a strong conviction to decided on what is affecting me, my attitude is to move on by living in faith. Accepting God's purposes and plans of God however He sees fit in my life. My faith is to believe Him and allow Him to adjust my life according to His will. I am to be aware of obstacles and hindrances I would be facing throughout my life that will throw me off balance. What should motivate me is like an athlete who trains for the Olympics to win a gold medal with such self-discipline and willing to face the challenges. In 2 Corinthians 9:8, Paul reminded me that God is able to provide unlimited grace abound to me, so that in all things at all times, having all that I need, I will abound in every everything I do. For when I am weak inside me, God's grace will make me strong. Like a journey of a child with his father, a child is unable to imagine events but a child will know and trust his father.That's how I am with God. Learning from great faiths in the Bible, I saw that their circumstances did not control them that they have reacted to their circumstances which clearly show what kind of people they were and most importantly, how faithful they were. They actually understood God's grace. God is adjusting my own 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.

I have been studying about a man name "Job" in the Old Testament for a long time and learned about his own sufferings and how he coped them. Job reads like history. It talks about a man named Job. He lived in the land of Uz. It relates details about his family, his life, and his suffering. It communicates to us his friends' interest in his suffering, and the spiritual struggling with which Job dealt. What's interesting is that other biblical writers refer to Job as a real person. Ezekiel refers to Job along with Noah and Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14,20). And James draws upon the example of Job to comfort the suffering, proving the point that God is merciful. He commends the endurance of Job (Jas. 5:11). 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. God's main purpose in redemption was not to make my life happy, healthy and free of trouble but rather His main purpose was to rescue me from my sin that I was born with by transforming me from within to the image of Jesus by the power of His Grace. God has given me His grace to sanctify me through the sources of "thorns" which are weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties in my life. Through God's GRACE, my life will be go through "Perseverance that must finish the work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:4). James says count it all joy when I fall into various trials cause trials will provide God's perfecting work. Peter says after I have suffered a while the Lord will make me perfect. God uses suffering to reveal my spiritual condition. Reading the beginning of Psalm 23 that stars with "The LORD is my shepherd", in John 10 explains that Jesus is my Shepherd that He releases me from fear (John 10:1-8, 11-13), He satisfies my spiritual hunger (John 10:9-10), and He brings me together with others to the flock (John 10:11-18)

Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The main thing to understand and remember is that Jesus is MY SHEPHERD that He will supply all my needs (Phil. 4:19) and that He knows everything about my life (Ps. 139:3), cares about me (1 Pet. 5:7), has the power for every difficulty (Ps. 62:11), is perfecting me to be like Christ (Phil. 1:6), and that nothing escapes Him (Ps. 147:5), that will lead me to be stable, not anxious living.

With that, I am not thankful that I am deaf however I am thankful because in my circumstance of my deafness, I have communicated with other deaf people to know Christ as Jesus said in John 9:3 "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

That's what I am to be thankful for. I am not thankful for what I am experiecing but I am thankful in what I am living in through God's grace.

God reminded me of His promises through the Bible:
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Spiritual thanksgiving is that I can rejoice because I do count in God's promises for me which are greater than my own trials. In the Old Testament, God taught me examples of GREAT faiths listed in Hebrews, Chapter 11 which is a chapter everyone may know called "Hall of Faiths".

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

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

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Deaf Read about Audism Definition of audism is defined as a term used to describe discrimination or stereotypes against deaf or hard of hearing people. In the deaf culture, calling someone an audist is akin to calling someone a racist. People who have audist attutides are considered to be audists.

An attitude based on pathological thinking, which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear; like racism, sexism, audism judges, labels, and limits individuals on the basis of whether a person hears and speaks. (Humphrey and Alcorn 1995: 85)

Stereotyping in general created by those showing an incorrect judgement of a possibility by making people into stereotypes.

Karen's example of accepting myself proves why

its hard to like myself when I love who I am. Its hard to like what I am when I face life like Karen's. Not as bad as hers though. Audism is sad in this world. This kind of discrimination often makes me feel low and not liking myself.


I feel sick about some people's negative comments about Karen's experience in the Steak 'n Shake Fiasco. In about 4 of her blog posts about her experiences and she received a combined of almost 200 comments. Most of the comments are positive and supportive while others are downright mean and ignorant. Some of the "anonymous posters' sarcasms were sneering, jesting and mocking her situation. They are very insensitive to what disabled people are going through. A deaf person have as much rights to use a drive-thru service as much as a person who can't work able to use self-serve gasoline for their vehicles. Laws requires gas stations to treat disable people as normal people who gets the same benefits despite of their disabilities. They have the same right to use self-serve prices without paying full-service price gasoline.

I am going to repeat what I have said in her blog but changed some wordings for this post.
What Karen did was one of the examples of "disabiliies movement history". In the past, people with disabilties have spoken up as she did and there were some people who were very critical of their outspoken mission. But, they didn't give up because they believed what was right and wrong as Martin Luther King did. In the United States, we have wonderful laws that protects the disabilities however those laws have not changed those "able" people's (without disabilties) attitudes towards those who have disabilities.

Karen is making history as part of the disability rights movements that are still educating people about the structural and attitudinal barriers in the United States that are the fundamental cause for the discrimination and oppression faced by disabled people.

I for one fellow blogger support Karen and I say, ignore those who disagree with her simply because they are still ignorant of the issues.
Discrimination is a problem faced by disabled (not just deaf people) people and their families around the world. We have come a long way since the Disability rights movement started in the 1970s which were led by individuals with disabilities. Life does not discriminate but people with attitudes discriminates people. There are times when our honest expression of an opinion will be misinterpreted, our motive and heart misread. I truly believe this poster is discriminating Karen of how she speaks and how deaf people express themselves. Maybe they are not aware of how deaf culture express and communicate.

You can see ignorance in some of their posts.

Accepting As I am.....................

To continue from Lisa's blog about why I am blogging, in Today, in Merelyme's blog, she writes about "Loving Yo'self: Part One". I recommend that you read her blog because she made some interesting points which made me think. I think this is a good topic to discuss in your own blog. Both Merelyme's and Lisa's blogs have made provoking thoughts about why we blog and why we need to love ourselves.

We blog because we want to love ourselves as we are even when we dislike what we are or how our lives are living. I am going to repeat what I said a comment section:

There are times that I do not like myself but I love who I am. I am accepting as who I am while trying to work on areas that I don't like. However, in some departments, I can't do anything about them because they are "part of me" regardless. Accepting myself can be difficult at times. I am learning not to do "I can do it myself" approach because when I do that, I think I am capable of anything when in reality, I can't. I want people to see me with approval without judgements but I can't do anything about their thoughts and attitudes. They are not in my control. But I can control myself with help because whether I believe it or not, it's a fact that God is in control of my life. If I don't believe it, I'm just robbing myself of the enjoyment of the fact. There is no question that my adversities are difficult and it usually takes me by surprise and seems to strike me when I am most vulnerable. I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary in order to lear to cope with my life. Sometimes, I fail to remember the place of suffering in the broader scheme of things. For me to refuse suffering is to refuse my personal growth.

I love who I am but I dislike who I am. Interest paradox huh?

This is a good topic and I am going to link your blog in my blog today. Thanks for sharing.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Why am I Blogging?

Today, I had a really busy day at work and didn't know what to think for tonight's topic until I read Lisa's Why My Blog?!! This past week, I have thinking about that because ever since I started blogging, I started with political issues because its election year.

Lately, I figured this out that the main reason I blog is because I found it valuable for my sanity. Another is that I have learned that God left me no time for disputing about His providence plans and why things are happening to me. While pondering my life and my relationship with God, I have learned that, rather than losing myself in trying to discern for sure what the cause is and trying to figure out why this thing is happening to me, it’s important that I ask the deeper question, How am I to respond to it? It is something of a paradox that while my thoughts deeply affect my will and go far to determine my choices. The main thing I need to remember is that "my will" has the power to control my thoughts. I am more into in thoughts than I am into feelings but I have both which helps me make decisions based on logical analysis and reasoning rather than feelings. I learn better by reading and I am able to concentrate better on anything that is written than hearing someone talking. I always prefer to “Be Prepared” and plan for worst-case scenario with many contingencies in place and with that thinking, I do enjoy sense of adventure of the unexpected as a challenge however; I like to take advantage of chances without failing. I prefer old fashioned amount of routine in my life to feel the predictability without any drama. I am realistic by facts and practicality in my life. I am man that is "matter of fact person" which means I concentrate on what is happening in my life rather than pondering about my future.

Just this past two years, I have learned a great deal what it means to understand "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance". I am beginning to know what Romans 5:3-5 really means when Paul wrote, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." I am realizing that God through the Holy Spirit that leads my thoughts and shapes my character as He directs my life. 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. God uses people with the right life experiences by putting them through the right spiritual directions and teaching them the right spiritual lessons. Reading Proverbs really helped me alot over the years and this one verse made a mark in my mind and heart, Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? With that, going into the New Testament,in Acts 17:24-29 explains that God determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live. Jesus even assured me when He 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. If God can control two sparrows, then He will do the same for me creatures as well. Life is an learning experience for me and I am thankful for the educaation that God has provided me that no college or any other educational system can beat.

Anyway, blogging helps me whether people read my blog or not. Its nice to know that people are reading. I am learning to discuss my personal thoughts and feelings with my readers and trust that they will respect my individuality and that I will do the same respect in turn.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Boycott Message for A Deaf Mom Shares Her World

I refuse to eat at Steak and Shake until Karen Putz gets an apology from the CEO of the company himself,Alan B Gilman. Please join me in spreading the word & standing up for Karen and everyone else with a disability who wants a goddamn shake. You can make a feedback to them on their website Tell us about a recent experience at a specific store. Tell them about that you are unhappy with this situation. I send them a message this afternoon already.

You can read her experiences in her Blog

I left a comment on her blog with these encouraging words:
Wonderful. I hope this will educate the public and other resturaunts who have "drive-thru" services to learn from this.

This is one of example of "disabiliies movement history" that you have made. People with disabilties in the past have spoken up as you did.

I am proud of you and admire your courage.

Your fellow deaf blogger.

As I wrote about disability discrimination, I will repeat with this quote from this blog:
In the United States, we have wonderful laws that protects the disabilities however those laws have not changed "able" people's attitudes towards them. I believe the laws were mostly useful for raising the level of awareness and consciousness. However, the disability rights movements are still educating people about the structural and attitudinal barriers in the United States and similar industrialized countries that are the fundamental cause for the discrimination and oppression faced by disabled people.

This is a funny commercial.....

I was reading one of the bloggers I was reading today on "Outrageous" and saw this funny commerical by Pepsi that will be aired in their new Super Bowl commercial: "Celebrate Diversity". By the way, this commercial do NOT have sounds but rather "sub-titled"

Remember I told you about a deaf blogger who was denied service?

She appeared on her local ABC news that titled "Hearing-impaired woman claims Steak 'n' Shake denied service" which you can watch but this is without closed caption You can read her blog since she have made a few announcements and comments since her experience yesterday. A Deaf Mom Shares Her World

Joni and Friends of Ohio

Joni and Friends is a not-for-profit Christian organization dedicated to accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community. Their mission is to communicate the Gospel and equip Christ-honoring Churches worldwide, and to evangelize and disciple people affected by disabilities.

Earlier, I have posted that one of my "Hall of Faiths" is Joni Eareckson Tada I always respected her organization and she has done so much for Christian Churches around the world.

Joni and Friends International Disability Center

By the way, there are only 4 local Churches in my area that are listed in Joni's website that serves people with disibilities. I have visisted two of them and I have not visit the other two. In fact, I was a member of one of them for years but no longer attending there due to issues that my wife and I were experiences. I still love the Church and I still have my heart set on this church. It was time for us to move on.

If you are curious to know if a local Church in your area is on the list, you can go here: CHURCHES AND ORGANIZATIONS WITH DISABILITY MINISTRIES

My faith....

I was debating with other Christians about "faith" so I thought I repeat what I have posted in another blog.

John 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

For years I thought that my own faith saved me but later, I have learned that regeneration precedes faith. People are always confused about the relationship of faith to regeneration. Faith before regeneration to me is a "faith system" that leads some to believe that their decision “settles things with God” for all eternity which can lead them to eternal hell. The biblical perspective is that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives assurance, not the evangelist or any other person. Recognizing the Jesus voice is like a sheep recognizing the shepherd's voice. Only the Holy Spirit can prick a person's heart to cause a person to hear Christ's voice. Jesus said in John 10:14-15 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." The Holy Spirit, not the Church. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 "For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance (conviction), as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake."

Ephesians 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." The Word of God is tuned to speak to our inner conscience and demonstrates with spiritual convictions.

A spiritually dead person cannot will himself to live anymore than a physically dead person can will himself to come back to life. If the dead person (spiritually or physically) is to come back to life he/she will have to be resurrected by God. In the spiritual realm this means he/she must be born from above. A spiritually dead person is without the Holy Spirit, therefore we do not have the "ability" to get saved on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to prick and quicken us to be alive. Without the Holy Spirit is total depravity. The Holy Spirit is the only person that can quicken people to be saved. Through the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of life and light and love. Faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit, without the Holy Spirit, you can't have faith and without the Holy Spirit, you can't be spiritual. If you don't have faith, then you don't have the Holy Spirit. Faith don't come before the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit comes before Faith. Faith will express itself in faith deeds not just words alone.

Blogging Against Disablism

I was reading Kathryn's blog about "May 1 is Blogging Against Disablism Day: my two sense" which I have learned about this program. So, I joined.

A gang of youths beat and tortured a disabled man to death for "sport", a court heard today. From Kathryn's blog,Black Arm Bands for Brent Martin" I have seen how the violence that disabled people had to go through. I remember growing up, I was experiencing the same thing with those bullies who thinks disabled kids are nothing to them. There's a lack of education from the school system as well as from their parents about disabled people. Ignorance often is the blame.

Disabilities Minstry in Local Churches

I was reading Faith & Health Wire's blog and saw this post about Special Needs Ministry . This blog lists good information about special needs ministries. This one of the main issues I have with many local churches today. 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. Many churches often treats disabilities, especially with the deaf community as 2nd or 3rd class citizens. A disabled Christian believer can enrich in a Christian community, Christians with disabilities – especially those in positions of leadership can serve as God's best examples of His power being made perfect in weakness. The Bible also teaches us to bear the burdens of someone with a disability fulfils 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.

"Steak and Shake Denies Service"

I want to share another blogger's disability this week's experience in the ignorant world on the topic of "Steak and Shake Denies Service"

Please read and I can related becaues I am deaf myself.

This makes me boil.


When I got to Merelyme's blog and reading her posts. I need to say that one of her posts got me thinking this week. Last night, I posted about "Love" and this love started by Merelyme. I would like to invite all of you for a virtual bed-in to celebrate love. I agree with her and we all need love regardless. Sometime when things get rough, love is probably the best medicine out there. Hugging, cuddling and affections always makes me feel better. My wife and I love to cuddle.

So, when things get rough, remember love first. Love heals.

Invisible Disabilities

Well, I visited my first blogger on my list and ran into Lisa's blog about Individual Challenges and this is my reply to her post.
Boy, I can relate. When I was younger, I took piano lessons at the Boston School for the Deaf and then when I was in middle and high schools, I played in the band. I played the trumpet.

I wanted to be part the "hearing world". I am legally deaf but can hear almost normal with the help of technology called hearing-aids.

Anyway, my wife recently convinced me not to hide my hearing aids by keeping my hair SHORT.

I know I am qualified to have a disability card for handicapped spots but I declined because I know there are worst disabled people out there who needs them more than I do. Besides, I needed a good walking exercise so I often park way out.

We do have a handicapped card for our daughter who has major cerebral palsy.

Thanks for the good post. Jim :)
When reading Lisa's post reminded me about a website I visited awhile back and have not visited since. This site is called The Invisible Disabilities Advocate . Its an online support group for people with invisible disabilities.

I thought I share this before I go to my next blogger's posts.


Today, I was surprise to see my blog was mentioned in MS Christian Org about "Life's Experiences". I felt honored and humbled.

Anyway, I am home today and didn't go to work today. I just woke up about 15 minutes ago. Fatigue got to me this morning but now I am alittle better. I probably was feeling that way last night when I was not in the mood to "blog".

Today, I feel like lurking about and see who's blogging today. (smile).

Have a wonderful day today.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


There's talk of love around the blog and I thought I share mine.

Practicing charity (love) is a toughie depending on someone's view because we might argue over things that we love which can cause damages to the friendship. If its hard to forgive, then it is hard to love another because love unconditionally forgives. Love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). Love refuses to take human failure as 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.

Have a great night everyone and I will be back to my "normal" blogging. I am tired tonight.

Jim :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I have joined the MS Patient Registry

To read more about this, see Lisa's blog here: The NARCOMS Project, MS Patient Registry

I thought I share some of my answers so people can see what kind of experiences I have with MS.

Moderate Disability: I don't have any limitations in my walking ability. However, I do have significant problems due to MS that limit daily activities in other ways.

Minimal Gait Disability: Minor but noticeable effects on mobility. I am making minor adjustments in my work or lifestyle because of some difficulty in walking. I have given up some particularly strenuous because of walking problems.

Minimal Hand Disability: I have some problems with my hands, but it has not changed my activities.I do not write as well as I used to.

Normal Vision Functionally normal; no limitations on activity or lifestyle: MS has not affected my vision.I wear glasses but otherwise my vision is normal.

Mild Fatigue Disability: Fatigue occasionally forces me to change some of my activities (e.g., once a week or less).

Mild Cognitive Disability: Memory problems or confusion occasionally affect some of my activities (e.g., once a week or less).

Normal Bladder/Bowel: Functionally normal; no limitations on activity or lifestyle.I have not noticed any problems with my bladder or bowel control.

Minimal Sensory Disability: I have some problems with numbness or tingling, but it does not interfere with my activities.

Mild Spasticity Disability: Spasticity occasionally forces me to change some of my activities (e.g., once a week or less).

Minimal Pain: I notice some problems with pain, but they do not interfere with my activities.

Mild Depression: Depression occasionally forces me to change some of my activities (e.g., once a week or less).

Minimal tremor or loss of coordination: Sometimes I have some tremor or loss of coordination, but it does not interfere with my activities.

Which immunological therapies have you taken in the last six months?
Plasmapheresis/Plasma Exchange - No, never taken
Natalizumab (Tysabri®) - No, never taken
Prednisone (Oral) - No, never taken
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) - No, never taken
Interferon Beta-1b (Betaseron®/Betaferon®) - No, never taken
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®) - No, never taken
Azathioprine (Imuran®) - No, never taken
ACTH -Adrenocorticotropic hormone (Actar®) - No, never taken
Celcept (Mycophenolate®) - No, never taken
Cladribine (Leustat®) - No, never taken
Interferon Beta-1a (Avonex®) - Yes
Glatiramer Acetate (Copaxone) - No, never taken
Interferon Beta-1a (Rebif®) - No, never taken
Gamma Globulin (IVIG) - No, never taken

You indicated that you have taken these therapies. Please indicate which ones you are taking now or have taken in the past.
Interferon Beta-1a (Avonex®) - Taking now

Life's Experiences

I have been thinking and reminding myself that I should be aware that my practice as a Christian is to understand where God will meet me which is in the core and that is in my heart. The more I know about God, the more ready I am to believe Him for everything, because I know Him. I can choose to serve God as I see fit in my heart, mind and soul however God may change my decision as He directs me to another direction. He did lead me into life-changing experiences that truth wounds through my life's experiences. God's providences in my life were my "wake-up calls" as well as making me a better Christian. I realized that when I am trying to understand why He is doing this, my life is more peaceful and more enjoyable. Even though God will not take away my problems but He always been there for me when I am facing problems. What did my "life" teach me? What have I learned from this "life"? Trials including my disabilities taught me that God is more concerned with my character which He is building in me. He comforts me in His arms through His power of Grace on the journey to His destiny for me as Paul explains: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4). In the Bible, God uses people with the right life experiences by putting them through the right spiritual directions and teaching them the right spiritual lessons. Knowledge of the mystery is having the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously. Its not about how I "practice" my faith to draw near to God, but rather how my "heart" is when God is with me. Life's trials are often a two-sided coin:

One side trials may be viewed as coming from God to bring out the BEST in me (See: Gen. 22:1-2, 15-18; Hebrews 11:17).

On the other side of the coin, Satan attempts to tempt us and trials to bring out the WORST in me (see: James 1:13-14).

I could have despise my trials instead of embracing them as Romans 9:18 said, "Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden". From my experiences, I can see there are serious casualties to life’s real issues. When some people don’t get it, they get angry or fustrated or bitter which leads to despise because they misjudge and failed to consider to the real purpose and scope of what is happening. That’s “hardening against God” rather than "responding in faith". Many look at trials with despair and despondency while others despise them, some feel God is far off. I have learned that Jesus has given me opportunities to do the what I can do with my life dispite of my circumstances. This is the prospect of all opportunities through "His Providential Will" which I call "coincidences" in my life which perhaps God will make sure that whatever needs to be done, will be done at His right time and place. (See Romans 8:28-29).

God has humbled me so that I can learn to have the right attitude in my life. He wants to conform and transform me to the image of Christ. Scriptures reveals that no trial, no disease or illness, no accident or injury reaches us apart from God's permission. Christians can answer like Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” God's purpose in redemption was not to make my life happy, healthy and free of trouble but rather His purpose was to rescue me from eternal sin and then conform me from the inside out to the image of His Son by the power of His Spirit. My disabilities allows my life of Christ to be manifested that God builds strength, virtue, compassion, faith and sacrificial love into me in order “to become conformed to the image of His son.” (Romans 8:29)God uses suffering to reveal my spiritual condition. God answers not by removing the pain, because the pain was productive, rather God gave Grace to endure. In this life it is inevitable and it is useful because it produces the evidence of your true spiritual condition, humility and intimacy with God and allows God to put Himself on display in His grace.

"God's purpose in increasing our trials is to sensitize us to people we never would have been able to relate to otherwise." Joni Eareckson Tada

"Most of the verses written about praise in God's Word were voiced by people faced with crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other difficult situations." Joni Eareckson Tada

Canadian Mark Pickup (disabled with multiple sclerosis) said, “I have been more service to God disabled than during my able-bodied years. This didn’t happen despite my disability but because of my disability.”

I will not allow negative circumstances control my life just because I am deaf, I have multiple sclerosis, other circumstances I have. As a Christian, I am happy that God have taught me with those circumstances so that I can understand His grace.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Turn Turn Turn

Now, that I have a granddaughter. I have been thinking of an Old Testament wisdom about "life". Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes of what he saw. Ecclesiastes 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

This is my thoughts from reading Ecclesiastes
I arrived naked from the womb of my mother; I will leave in the same condition--with nothing. There's a right time and way for everything. It's true that no one knows what's going to happen, or when. Life leads to death that life, while it lasts, will soon be over. There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth. A right time for birth and another for death. A right time to plant and another to reap. A right time to get sick and another to heal. A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer. A right time to make love and another to abstain. A right time to embrace and another to part, A right time to search and another to count your losses. A right time to hold on and another to let go. A right time to rip out and another to mend. A right time to shut up and another to speak up. A right time to love and another to hate.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Now... I want to play a song sang by the Byrds that probably most of you know (if you are over 40 years old). A song that was played back in the mid 1960s that the song/words were adapted from Book of Ecclesiastes. "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)", often abbreviated to "Turn! Turn! Turn!", is a song written and composed by Pete Seeger in the 1950s. Seeger waited until 1962 to record it, releasing the song on his album The Bitter and The Sweet.

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear its not too late

Pictures of my Granddaughter.....

Its official.....

My son called earlier today. I am now officially a "grandpa". A baby girl, born at 2:34 AM (EST), 6 LBS 14 oz. Her name is Olivia.

I need to make a mental note that I became a grandfather at 49 years old.

Below are pictures of my son, his wife along with me and my wife.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Remember Me Video (Views: Over 22,434,392)

This is a GREAT video. Learned this from an article in the Columbus Dispatch after a story came out from FOXNEWS about 15 year-old Lizzie Palmer's video. This video is inspiring, sobering, sad and very necessary. CNN anchor John Roberts interviewed Lizzie. She has ties to the military and has friends and family serving in Iraq. All of our soldiers, in fact, need the country's support that we are to support the troops, even if you don't support the war. Many Americans tend to remember the mistakes and politics that led us there, rather than the faces of the men and women who serve and defend us. Lizzie Palmer, a young lady from Columbus, Ohio, felt compelled to do her part to remind people of those faces.

Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District, the first Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress, got choked up when saw the video. He said with this quote:
"The attention span of the American public is so small, these men and women are heroes, and they need a thank you, they need to know that they are missed and loved." Later: "I want to meet this young lady and thank her myself, I think what she did is important."

See her other wonderful videos: FlutieCutie's Videos

Videos: What is Multiple Sclerosis

An excellant animation about Multiple Sclerosis

Another excellant animation about Multiple Sclerosis.

This video is dedicated to all those suffering from Multiple sclerosis and their family and friends who suffer along with them. Mostly songs, captions and pictures.

Anatomy of a Nerve

Famous mother of children with disabilities

Legendary opera singer Beverly Sills passed away at the age of 78 (May 25, 1929 – July 2, 2007). "Bubbles" was an American icon and was once compared to the Statue of Liberty. Katie Couric pays tribute to the diva. (

Beverly was perhaps the best-known American opera singer in the 1960s and 1970s. Sills' now high-profile career landed her on the cover of Time magazine in 1971, labeling her as "America's Queen of Opera." Sills focused a more important force for popularizing opera than any other singer of her era through her many appearances on talk shows, including those with Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, David Frost, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore. Sills even had her own talk show, "Lifestyles with Beverly Sills" on NBC. In 1979 she even appeared on The Muppet Show. She co-hosted The View for Best Friends Week on November 9, 2006, as Barbara Walters' best friend. She said that she didn't sing anymore, even in the shower, to preserve the memory of her voice.

With her daughter, Muffy, at her bedside, Beverly Sills succumbed to cancer on July 2, 2007, at the age of 78. Sills lent her celebrity to further her charity work for the prevention and treatment of birth defects. See more in Special mother to the special children. Her two children, Muffy, at age two, she was diagnosed as suffering from severe hearing loss and then several months later, Peter was diagnosed as mentally retarded. Years later, Muffy also was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. National MS Society Mourns the Loss of Beverly Sills Greenough In 2005, Beverly Sills and Carol Burnett (friendship lasting three decades), were together again in public to raise funds for multiple sclerosis,that afflicts her daughter.

Why am I telling you this? I went to a deaf school with Muffy near Boston for about 5 years before she moved to New York. Then I saw her again at NTID (RIT) for two years. After I heard about her being diagnosed with MS, I contacted her again and chatted for a bit before we lost touch with each other. I am hoping to reach her again someday which I think I will. By the way, when in school outside Boston, we had a crush on each other but we were kids (around 10 years old).

To learn more about Bevery Sills, to go: Beverly Sills Online

By the way, about two months later, on September 6, 2007, another great opera singer Luciano Pavarotti has died at 71 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. There will never be anyone to impact the opera scene the same way that Sills or Pavarotti did.

New England Patriots

I was born in the suburbs of Boston and grew up and lived in MA for 19 years before moving away. In my heart, I will always be loyal to all Boston/New England sports team including New England Patriots. I am a die-hard loyal to the Boston Red Sox.

Game is starting in about 10 mins so I will be watching and rooting for my team.

Hall of Faith: Abraham Lincoln

It is NOT up to me to figure out whether President Lincoln a Christian or not. This is between God and him.

Lincoln's relationship with God is a subject highly debated by historians. Some say Lincoln was an unbeliever while many say he was a "deeply religious" man that daily sought God's guidance. Lincoln grew up in a poor dirt-farming family in the upper South and lower Midwest without privilege, position, or much formal education. The world of his upbringing was much closer to the culture of Puritanism than the culture of narcissism. Lincoln had very few books when he was growing up so he read the Bible with great care. His later speeches and ordinary conversation were peppered with biblical quotations and allusions.

When one reads Lincoln's presidential speeches, filled with his pleas to the American people to seek God's aid and guidance, and demonstrative of his own dependence on God's mercy, it is difficult to comprehend any scholar that would see Lincoln as anything but a man that sincerely depended on God. In that day, "born again" was not a commonly used, or understood, phrase and it is likely that his relationship with God lacking due to his reluctance to join any specific church or denomination. It is true that Lincoln never did join a church, although he attended church services regularly while President. The reason he gave for never joining a church was that he could never be satisfied with all the dogmas and creeds that the denominational churches of his day required. He found the harsh infighting among Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Disciples, and others repulsive. As a consequence, Lincoln several times professed willingness to join a church that required nothing of its members but heartfelt love to God and to one's neighbors. The competing creeds of the churches were not for him.

Here are some of Lincoln's quotes:
"When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel, 'Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul."
He also said
"That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular....I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion."
The Christian character of President Lincoln is an American enigma. A lifelong non-churchgoer, Lincoln has been the subject of numerous speculations concerning his faith. He was more intensely spiritual than almost any other American President, yet the confusion about the genuineness of Lincoln's Christianity arises from the ambiguities of his early life. The very first Republican President was Abraham Lincoln. The Republican Party was established in 1854 by a coalition of former Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free-Soilers who opposed the expansion of slavery and held a vision for modernizing the United States. On Monday, September 22, 1862, in a meeting of his Cabinet on the second floor of the White House, Lincoln seemed a bit embarrassed. He was trying to explain the timing of the Emancipation Proclamation, but was not sure anyone else would understand. Lincoln's words were an honest, even brutal acknowledgment that man is not always able to arrange the world as he would like. Lincoln intuitively understood the drama of sin and redemption better than most traditional believers.
“If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?”
Lincoln saying that it was on a God who is attentive to history and has it in his power to affect our course. The bad events are circumscribed by a loving providence that there is a verse in the Bible that God promises that there won’t be anything so bad happen to us that we are not able to bear it. God does everything--He governs everything. Faith is accepting God's Will. God is adjusting our history to His purposes. He knows what He's doing. We 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. Reading the book of Esther show how God controls history through providence. There isn't a miracle in the book and the name of God isn't mentioned but at the same time, without anyone realizing that God is always in control of every single event in this world. The king mentioned in Esther favored Esther and Mordecai, spared all the Jewish people, made Mordecai the Prime Minister and hanged Haman on the gallows he build himself for the Jewish people and preserved the nation Israel. Hadassah, "myrtle" in Hebrew (Esther 2:7), or Esther, "star" or "Ishtar" in Persian. One of the greatest and most essential attributes of God is His sovereignty, God rules over all things and controls all things. God also uses providence to accomplish His will in the world. You won't find the word providence in the Bible. It's like the word Trinity. God directs and uses events to accomplish His own Will which meant: "the providence of God." Romans 8:28 says, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Lincoln's faith have revealed when tough circumstances drove him to deeper contemplation of God and the divine will even when he was casual about Christian observance. He was a man of profound morality, an almost unbearable God-consciousness, and a deep belief in the freedom of God to transcend the limited vision of humanity. Therefore, Abraham is listed as one of my "Hall of Faiths".

Income Tax Refunds and Rebates

In order to "rescue" the economy from a possible recession, congress is working on including tax rebates of at least $300 a person - and maybe as much as $800 for individuals and $1,600 for married couples. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke endorsed the idea of putting money into the hands of those who would spend it quickly and boost the flagging economy.

The rush to swing behind a stimulus plan underscored the political imperative of responding to a growing concern about the possibility of recession. The concept to make the economy to work is making sure a plan can put cash into the hands of poor people and the middle class so that they can either spent on what they need or reduce their debts so that they can shop without fear. While other people who already have money, can use the rebates to buy stocks and make sure the stock market is healthy. Any economic stimulus plan also should aid people who've lost their homes or are fighting to avoid foreclosure and help states facing shortfalls.

Economic freedom fosters the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that creates new products and jobs. It sustains America’s strength and the creation of wealth. True believers in free markets hold that government, in President Reagan’s words, “can and must provide opportunity, not smother it ... foster productivity, not stifle it.” The Republican Party is not what it used to be. As I said in my post yesterday, "Economic's chief purpose is to discover and refine just and loving means of creating, distributing, and consuming wealth to overcome poverty and to increase the material and spiritual prosperity of all citizens." Our attitudes towards money should be in our conviction that money is for a greater social good, not a private possession (like getting CEOs TOO rich when average employees are struggling). 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.

1-14-08 Blogging Against Aversives

The Massachusetts legislature is hearing 4 bills specifically against JRC, a controversial facility that uses aversive therapy to treat autism and much lesser antisocial behavior.

1-14-08 Blogging Against Aversives is a site that have list of bloggers who are writing about the issue. Other states New York have created similar "Aversives Policy". For years, governments are trying to use aversive devices, such as electroshock, pepper spray and cold-water treatments, on persons with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and other severe developmental disabilities.
"These procedures are used unjustly and unnecessarily in an attempt to change the behavior of people with autism and other developmental disabilities." Nancy Weiss, co-founder and co-director of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
For more information about this, click on Restraints and Aversives

Last sunday, I did a blog on Disabilities issues within Politics and Christianity about the disability rights movements are still educating people about the structural and attitudinal barriers in the United States and similar industrialized countries that are the fundamental cause for the discrimination and oppression faced by disabled people.

Those who think they know it all advising for "aversive devices" really don't know about disabilities at all. We STILL have not been able to change people's attitudes towards people with disabilities.

On the topic of "DisabilitY Rights Movements", click on A CHRONOLOGY OF THE DISABILITY RIGHTS MOVEMENTS One example is this: In 1965, Congress establishes the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chief executive officer (CEO)

A chief executive officer (CEO) or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer, administrator, corporate administrator, executive, or executive officer in charge of total management of a corporation, company, organization, or agency. Most corporations here in USA are paying CEOs too much and I find that disgussing. We are paying the President of USA, traditionally, who is the highest-paid public employee. President Bush currently earns $400,000 per year, along with a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment.

The First U.S. Congress voted to pay George Washington a salary of $25,000 a year, about $566,000 in 2007 terms. Washington, already a wealthy man, refused to accept his salary; however, he asked for his living expenses to be covered.

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

I like this commentary from Wall Street Journal: My Plan to Stop Corporate Abuses even though I don't completely with this thinking. I support the logic behind the reasoning.
In 1960, the average CEO made 41 times what the average worker made. But in 2005, the average CEO made over 400 times the average worker's salary. The share of corporate profits going to CEO pay has doubled since the 1990s. Meanwhile, the value of the minimum wage has plummeted 30% since 1979.
Economic's chief purpose is to discover and refine just and loving means of creating, distributing, and consuming wealth to overcome poverty and to increase the material and spiritual prosperity of all citizens. Wealth is permissionable as long as we gain wealth with honesty and without cheating and stealing. 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. In this country, people have equal opportunity to be successful but not everyone would be successful. For an example, just as everyone have the equal opportunity to excel in sports and make millions but only 2% of the population have the talent and gifts to play and make that kind of money.

In the United States, work ethic in form of stewardship and that economics are called for efficiency and productiveness of common sense and a strong sense of disiring to be a good steward of taking care of the country's citizens. 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. We all have some kind of specific needs which usually means commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood in terms of commercial or sometimes an industrial enterprise in transactions especially of an economic nature. Free market capitalism produces long-term economic growth.

My final thoughts on the political economic system: Capitalism (or socialism or any other economical system) is NOT the problem... its PEOPLE and their attitudes.

Dealing with Disabilities and Depression

I was reading one of my fellow bloggers and she made think about my past experiences as she is experiencing so I want to repeat what I wrote.

I am hard of hearing (completely deaf when not wearing hearing-aids) so I was able to hear almost "normal" and I am thankful for today's technologies. I am always self-conscience about revealing my hearing-aids so grew my hair long enough to cover them. They are behind the ears type. I don't want people to know I am hard of hearing that I am able to live normal as they can. There are times (at work), I have to let some people know that I am unable to hear and they need to speak up which I HATE doing this.

Last week, my wife encouraged me to get my hair SHORT and reveal my hearing aids. I resisted her recommendations for a long time. Finally, I gave in and tested it. So far most people don't even notice them. Now, I am not as self-concsience as I used to be. Only certain people knows about my MS and only selected people knows about my depression events.

Its not easy to talk about my depression which is why I am glad to join the men's group. All men mentioned their experiences with depression which made me felt good since I am not alone in that department. When I am dealing with my own depression, I am reminded of Christ's definition of Beatitudes (happiness listed in Matthew 5) contradicts flesh's definition of happiness. Its not about whether I am happy or sad but rather, its about whether I am spiritually happy by being faithful to God regardless my situation. We all to apply our faith through the Holy Spirit in our own life in order to live in this life. Since Adam and Eve, we all were born with one or more defects that are commonly known as S-I-N, as it is primarily symptomized by loss of moral judgment. I love this illustration that I got this a long time ago and I love it. This might help.

Recall Notice (This is like a parable to those who understand computers. I thought this is interesting)
The maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to the serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed, 'Subsequential Internal Non Morality,' or more commonly known as S-I-N, as it is primarily symptomized by loss of moral judgment.

Some of the typical symptoms:
(a) Loss of direction (All of us are born spiritual ignorant, not stupid. Through Adam, we are born spiritually dead. The nineteenth-century Scottish commentator John Eadie described it as a case of "death walking". Spiritually dead people are like zombies--they don't know they're dead and they're still going through the motions of living.)
(b) Foul vocal emissions
(c) Amnesia of origin
(d) Lack of peace and joy
(e) Selfish, or violent, behavior
(f) Depression or confusion in the mental component
(g) Fearful
(h) Idolatry

The manufacturer, who is neither liable or at fault for this defect, providing factory authorized repair and service, free charge to correct this SIN defect. The number to call for the recall station in your area is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN by Pressing R-E-P-E-N-T-A-N-C-E.

Next, download J-E-S-U-S into your life.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, JESUS repair will replace it with:
(a) Love
(b) Joy
(c) Peace
(d) Longsuffering
(e) Gentleness
(f) Goodness
(g) Faith
(h) Meekness
(i) Temperance

Please see operating manual which is the Holy Bible, for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human unit without correction, voids the manufacturer's warranty, exposing owner to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

For free emergency service, call on J-E-S-U-S.

DANGER: The human units not receiving this recall action will have to be scraped in the furnace. The SIN defect must not enter heaven or else heaven will be infected.

Authorized by: The Creator (God).
I want to repeat what I wrote about God's Grace in my previous posts. The Greek word for "dwells" is okv (oike), which means "I inhabit." "If Christ is in us, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). "My temorary body is decaying at the same time, my inner being is being renewed day by day" (2 Cor 4:16). 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).