Blessed Easter…

This post is a day late… but still there is always time to reflect on the wonderful Gift of Love given to us more than 2000 years ago, when God’s own beloved Son gave up His Life so that we might have life, when He rose again after 3 days to give us hope to live life victorious through Him and His Sacrifice. Thank you God, Thank you Jesus!

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World Autism Day…

Today, 2nd April, is World Autism Day – its Light It Up Blue day.

Autism is a complex disorder… being on the spectrum (Autism Spectrum) means very different things for different kids diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The movie Rain Man does not do Autism justice… it did highlight Autism to the world but it did not do enough to explain the reality of Autism.

It is such a complex disorder of which i confess to know only the tip of the iceberg. So i will direct you to the experts – Autism Speaks.

i also want to point you to an interview given by Colleen Swindoll, daughter of well-known Christian writer and pastor, Charles Swindoll, and mother to three children, one of whom is on the spectrum.

These words she said during the interview hit home for me:

Tears are okay in our home; candid and honest soul work is openly talked about. I don’t force my kids to “like” life or put on some fake smiley face…Christ didn’t, He doesn’t tell us to do that today, and the lack of authenticity only complicates life.

i am guilty of this. i’m a non-confrontational person. i avoid conflict as much as i can. i keep the peace not because i agree with the other person but because i can not face the prospect of an argument. So there have been times i smile and say ok when it is not. And it does complicate life and makes me feel fake.

Having a special needs kid throws that all out the window. You can not afford to be unreal or sweep things under the carpet with special needs. It needs to be met head on.

The best people to show you that is your special needs child. i like what Colleen Swindoll says about her ASD son:

Of us all, he is the strongest as his body doesn’t cooperate with this life yet he keeps moving through each moment the best he can. It’s pretty simple, very humbling. He is a living picture of how God must love us, care for us, and desire us to fall into His arms for help and strength.

i pray daily for my little Heath and little Heather who have Down Syndrome and live in institutions which are so very poorly equipped to handle their special needs.  At the same time, i marvel at how their little bodies keep going on (they are almost 11 and 10 respectively). i can only say that the Lord has a hand in their lives which gives me hope that as i pray, because i know He is moving to bring their forever families closer to bringing them home. Would you pray with me? Would you consider advocating for them? Would you consider that maybe you are the family God has prepared for them?

If you know someone who is on the spectrum (adult or child), do consider doing something special for them this week, such as giving them an extra hug or simply spending the time to get to know them.


Book Recommendation: I Choose to Forgive…

i’m going to do an unusual thing today… i’m going to recommend a book which i have not yet read. You must be wondering how can i recommend a book which i have not even broken its spine to read.

Well, it is because i have heard the author of the book speak, twice. i spent last Saturday morning and this morning at Day Away Association for Women events, listening to this amazing lady speak of forgiveness and her story is all at once heart-piercing and uplifting.

She speaks of how God led her on a journey to forgive the murderer of her son. It is one of the most amazing stories i have heard and it leaves me no doubt that our God is living; alive and truly working in this world today. Her name is Dianne B. Collard and her book is called “I Choose to Forgive”.

My take-away from her talk is this:

There are many layers to forgiveness. What does this mean?
Remember the story of Peter coming to Jesus and asking, “Lord, how many times should i forgive the man who wronged me? Seven times?” And Jesus answered, “Seventy times seven”?

Did  Jesus mean that we count the number of times we forgive someone and then take revenge once the 490th “crime” has been committed? No. i have learnt that when Jesus said 70×7, He means 70 to the power of 7, which means you take 70 and multiple by 70 and do that for 7 times. Does it make sense? If you are like me and have no head for numbers, then simply take my word for it that it is a number greater than you can count. And what that really means is every time, all of the time we need to forgive, which should be a normal way to respond for someone who has experienced God’s marvelous forgiveness.

Then she brought it to another level. We can forgive the person who wronged us (but that doesn’t mean the other person is right or that the person is getting away with the “crime”). But if some time down the road, we start to feel the emotions of this “crime” again and start to resent/hate this person or the consequences of his/her action, we need to forgive again. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t forgive that first time around. It simply means that there is another layer of forgiveness we need to take it to, a deeper level. A friend reminded me: it is just like peeling an onion, every layer we peel back makes us cry but brings us closer to the core.

My eyes have been opened and there are issues i have to deal with. But it has also explained to me why i sometimes feel the way i do in certain situations. i have to take it another step further. It’s going to be hard but another important point she made was – the choice to forgive lies with ourselves, but the power to obey (follow God’s commandments to forgive) is in God.

If we are obedient to forgive, just as God commanded, then powerful blessings can flow from the throne of God into our lives and into the lives of others around us. Read to the book to find out more about these fantastic blessings which Dianne experience in her journey of forgiveness.

If you have the desire to hear the talk i heard, then leave a comment with your email and i will try to see if i can get you a copy of her talk on CD. Or visit her blog or her ministry website to find out if she is going to be speaking somewhere near you.


NOTE: All profits from the sale of her book goes to getting translations and getting the book published in countries which cannot afford to publish it. And the profits for those sales (if there are any) are given to a ministry in that country which helps people in great need. It’s a gift which keeps giving. Her statement is that she could never make money from the death of her son.