Monday, February 13, 2012

Almost 20% of Indiana Students are in special ed classes

That was the headline from our local paper yesterday. It is actually 16% of students in Indiana.

Having two children in special ed classes, I can see the positives of having children struggling in mainstream enviornment and placing them in special ed classes. Both Ellyse and Kyle have done fairly well in their classes. Ellyse especially, as she is on the border of needing the special ed assistance.

The flip side becomes what does this do long term? What does this label invoke? How does this become a stigma that she carries with her? Does this play a part in how she is treated by her peers? Does her academics prepare her for a college education or does this disqualify her?

Some of the questions may have easy and simple answers and some may not play out for years.

Here is a link to the article:

Friday, February 10, 2012

You can pre order saving our sons and daughters too

You can pre order by clicking on the link. This book is a Chicken soup style book about Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. There are 40 different authors affected by dmd and I wrote part of Kyle's story for it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

dealing with pain

Romans 7:15-
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

Last night I was again made aware of how a verse like this plays out in someones life. A young mother of 2 children who used to be one of my "youth group" kids died of a drug overdose a few months ago. I unfortunately didn't find out until yesterday. It is doubtful that many on this path plan to die, plan to ruin their lives, the plan is to ease the pain for a moment and then go on with life. Getting help down the road, or feeling guilty immediately afterwards, letting people down.

This is the second encounter of death by overdose I have experienced in the last week. A good friend of mine spoke at another young man's funeral last week who also succumed to his addiction.

Pain comes in all different forms of life. There are multiple thoughts that have run through my head over the past week.

1. Pain comes to families in many different ways. I have had it said to me that maybe God gave Kyle this disease so he wouldn't get involved in drugs or other addictions. I think that was an extremely outlandish thing to say but on the flip side, I know that those families that deal with the addiction of a loved one is extremely painful. Seeing it semi first hand, the worry and the wonder never leaves the family. The life time struggle for so many rips families apart.

2. Masking pain comes in many forms. Inner turmoil needs to be dealt with some how and there are easier ways than others to deal with it. Well the short term that is.

3. I had someone come up to me at church on Sunday who I hadn't seen in months when asked why he told me he had made some bad decisions and stayed away. I get it when we are living ashamed and guilt filled lives we want to stay away, but is that the best thing?

As I think of my situation and dealing, coping, surviving, struggling through pain and hurt it is easy to mask and hide it. I want to escape on a regular basis and I do sometimes. It may not be illegal and it may not be deemed dangerous but I still have the same mentality. I have regrets, I have issues, I can relate to Paul when he said "I dont understand my actions." I guess in some way I do understand I want to escape, I want to leave a situation I can't control. I want to leave the mundane.

As I continue to process through dealing with pain, my heart aches with those struggling through addiction and those around them. My heart aches for those who feel ashamed and hide it.

People ask me many times why I became a pastor, or am a follower of Jesus. It can simply summed up by Mark 2:14 when Jesus was asked why He came he said "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Having a relationship with a God who understands and is with us while we are in pain and suffering gets me through life on a daily basis.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Time flies

I had this strange epiphany the other night as our family was driving home from our weekly Friday night family dinner. We were flipping through the radio stations and we passed a 1980s song. I can't remember which classic band it was- Wham, whitesnake, men at work or some other band that immortilized that decade. As I was calculating the time between now and the early 1980s it was 30 years ago. I realized that when I was listening to this song in the 80s it was the 1950s that was 30 years earlier.

Time travels very quickly. Way to quickly, Kyle will be celebrating his 12th Birthday. As each week speeds by the feeling of time slipping through our hands also happens. I unfortunately do not cherish the moments very much in life. I tend to look to the future and am preoccupied with fear, hope, and excitement for what lies ahead. It is extremely difficult to sit still and enjoy today.

I have to force myself to slow down and savor times. This week I have the opportunity to do this. While Jill is in Florida, I have the time to enjoy my kids. I have the priviledge of taking them to dance class which Ayden is now a part of. (side note) last week when Ayden was getting his haircut the hairdresser asked Ayden if he played any sports. His response was "No I am more into dance."

I get to do all the mundane things of getting them dressed, ready, and off to school. Talk, listen, and help them with homework. There maybe (will be) stressful moments in this week. But there are only so many of these moments left. There are only so many moments left of childhood. Before I know it, 10 more years will pass.

Regrets come in many ways, shapes, and sizes. Regrets of how I used my time is going to be on the top of my list. The book of Ecclesiastes addresses many of these life issues. Throughout Ecclesiastes the author writes that so many parts of life is meaningless, futile, vain, or empty.

In the end of the book his summation is to "Fear God and keep his commands."

Even as I spend this next week with my kids, how is that being shown and taught to them. How is fearing God and keeping his commands being taught to my kids? How am I coveying to them that many of the pursuits of life are meaningless?

When Lady Gaga is a distant memory am I still going to be struggling with the same issues as now? Are my kids going to be searching in vain for fullfillment in ways that can't be fullfilled?