Friday, April 30, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 30

April 30
Praising God! The Tide Will Turn!

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 1:20, NIV)

“What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” (Isaiah 46:11, NIV)

Praise God that He will fulfill every one of His promises, and that we will live to see Him turn the tide of autism for good.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 29

April 29
Children of Destiny

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV)

“but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels won't, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are-high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean-nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.” (Romans 8:37-39, TLB)

Pray that those struggling with autism would know who they are in Christ despite their current challenges.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 28

April 28
Wisdom for Practitioners

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4, NIV)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5, NIV)

Pray that practitioners who treat persons with autism would have great wisdom, understanding, and creativity.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 27

April 27
God's Hope for the Future

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11-12, NIV)

“Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23, NLT)

Give praise to God for His wonderful promises of hope for the future. Thank Him that he will do all He has promised!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 26

April 26
Advocacy in Places of Power

“A king's rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.” (Proverbs 19:12, NIV)

“Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel” (Daniel 1:9, NIV)

Pray for God’s favor on those who are voices for the autism community and that they would be heard in places of power.

Autism Awareness Month-day 26

April 26
Advocacy in Places of Power

“A king's rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.” (Proverbs 19:12, NIV)

“Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel” (Daniel 1:9, NIV)

Pray for God’s favor on those who are voices for the autism community and that they would be heard in places of power.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 25

April 25
Schools and Administrators

“Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14, NLT)

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7, NIV)

Pray that those who make decisions about school programs and placements would truly be led by the Lord.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 24

April 24
Wisdom and Provision

“If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can't make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.” (James 1:5-8, NLT)

“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.” (Ps 1:3, NLT)

Pray for God’s wisdom and His provision to be flowing in the lives of families who are affected by autism.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 23

April 23
Fasting to Turn the Tide*

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6, NIV)

“Declare a holy fast ; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.” (Joel 1:14, NIV)

Fasting is a powerful tool of prayer. Consider fasting in some way today as you pray that the tide will turn and autism end.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 22

April 22
Proper Care, No Matter Where

“He protects you day and night. He keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. He keeps his eye upon you as you come and go and always guards you.” (Psalm 121:6-8, TLB)

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2, NIV)

Ask God to ensure that in every setting these children enter they may have “proper care, no matter where.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 21

April 21
Vaccine Injury and Autism

“‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’” (Psalm 12:5, NIV)

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32, NIV)

Pray that the complete truth about the role of vaccines in autism will be fully exposed and definitive to all.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 20

April 20
Understanding Among Believers

“Try to show as much compassion as your Father does.” (Luke 6:36, TLB)

“My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring.” (1 John 3:18, NCV)

Pray that fellow Christian believers will seek to both understand and reach out to families struggling with autism.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 19

April 19
Government Agencies

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)

"Do not pass along untrue reports. Do not cooperate with an evil man by affirming on the witness stand something you know is false.” (Exodus 23:1, TLB)

Pray that godly people of integrity will come into power in government agencies in order to bring justice and truth.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 18

April 18
Funding for Education

“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.” (Psalm 41:1-3, NIV)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

Pray that those who make funding decisions will have the mind of God as they seek to allocate funds for special education.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 17

April 17
Family and Friends

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
(Proverbs 17:17, NIV)

“these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family”
(1 Timothy 5:4, NIV)

Pray that family members and friends would be touched by the many needs and offer help and support as they are able.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Autism Awareness Month-day 16

April 16
Fighting to Turn the Tide

“We are human, but we don't wage war with human plans and methods. We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil's strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ. And we will punish those who remained disobedient after the rest of you became loyal and obedient.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-6, NLT)

“With God's help we shall do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.”
(Psalm 60:12, TLB)

Pray that God’s people would rise up in prayer over autism in order to see the tide turned and afflicted people set free.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Receptive Language: Autism Awareness Month-Day 13

I'm remembering the days of early intervention when I'd listen to speech therapists place markers on a chart to indicate Reid's language development. I took solace hearing the voice of the assessor tell me that Reid's receptive language was significantly closer to his chronological target age than his expressive language which was tanking dreadfully.

I've heard, enough times to believe it now, that even our "lowest functioning" friends on the spectrum have heard it all! Too many examples of severely impacted autistics, like Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, Sue Rubin, Carly Fleischman, and new authors, Peyton Goddard and Jeremy Sicile-Kira, are succeeding in making their voices known too assume otherwise. They understand, alright.

Presume competence. (Poster available from Disability is Natural.) And then, hope that those of us whose expressive language may be off the charts, will hush up long enough to have a prayer of hearing the voice of God too!

April 13
Hearing the Voice
of God

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8, NIV)

“God is great and powerful; no other teacher is like him.” (Job 36:22, NCV)

Pray that those with autism will hear God’s voice in their hearts, regardless of inabilities to communicate with others.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here

Monday, April 12, 2010

A God Who Never Gives Up on the Hopeless: Autism Awareness Month-Day 12

The lyrics of this Tommy Walker song, "These Things are True of You," rang through my mind as I prayed this morning's verses. Make these things true of us too Lord. Oh, to be like the God who is "stands up for justice and truth, loves mercy and forgiveness, and never gives up on the hopeless ones...." That is the line that gets me every time, for there are so many of us.

April 12
Justice and Truth

“Then at last everyone will know that good is rewarded, and that there is a God who judges justly here on earth.” (Psalm 58:11, TLB)

“‘Here is your part: Tell the truth. Be fair. Live at peace with everyone. Don't plot harm to others; don't swear that something is true when it isn't! How I hate all that sort of thing!’ says the Lord.” (Zechariah 8:16-17, TLB)

Pray that the God of justice and truth will help those who have been treated unfairly or illegally will be vindicated.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Praying for Education: Autism Awareness Month-Day 11

Double check.
They make it sound so easy.

For those who are ready for Autism 601, consider the Summer Autism conference June 28-30 at University of San Diego Autism Institute. The vision of Dr. Anne Donnellan, it is highly recommended by a cadre of regular attenders. I think this is my year to go, at the urging of many who consider it a philosophical home base for perceiving adolescents and adults individuals on the spectrum. What educational program has benefitted you most?

April 11
Educational Programs

“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw” (Proverbs 24:32, NIV)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8, NIV)

Pray that those who develop and refine programs for autism would have deep insight and wisdom from God.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Authority to Overcome: Autism Awareness Month-Day 9

I have taken Reid for healing prayer many times: to individuals in our community, to the Healing Rooms (a powerful international ministry) as well as had intercessors come to the house multiple times since he was born. It is always fabulous. We come away changed by a beautiful visual image, or profound understanding of a verse or assurance of God's presence. Complete healing though, of the kind I am sure God is capable, has not yet happened. I also come away wanting more power or more results.

Who has the authority to do miracles even greater than those Jesus did? Just the professionals? The child's parents? An entire congregated body of Christ? Today's verse says, "those who have faith in me." Is that why I go to those who seem to have more faith than I or more experience or more exposure to the miraculous. Without fail, they are the ones who admonish us to be the very ones to appropriate more healing to Reid.

So continue the quiet, consistent, authoritative prayers of his parents late at night after he's asleep. Lord, I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.

Francis MacNutt and Mark Geppert are two authors whose simple yet radical books on prayer rally my faith and give me resolve to carry on. Check them out.

April 9
Our Authority to Turn the Tide

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:11-14, NIV)

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”
(Luke 10:19, NIV)

Pray that we in the Body of Christ would understand the power we have in prayer and would use it to defeat autism.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Got heart? Autism Awareness Month-Day 8

A question occurs to me when reading today's verses: Who are the brokenhearted in our scenario? The parents, the siblings, or those with autism themselves? Could it be that all of us to some extent are brokenhearted? It may be a universal human condition that runs along a continuum...which would mean Christ really did come for all of us.

I am enjoying getting to know Heather T. Forbes from afar (ie. stalking her on Twitter). An adoptive mom, therapist and parenting specialist, whose Beyond Consequences materials support families through shock and surprise type behaviors in the attachment model. Her frequent reminders keep the love that never fails on my lips and fear at bay as I parent. Today's was:

Children need an outlet to express themselves emotionally. When they reach their window of tolerance of emotional stress, they act out in an effort to communicate their discomfort and release this build-up of negative energy. Their internal state literally becomes unbearable to them and they seek regulation through the outburst of behavior. Opening up the environment in order for them to share with a parent creates a larger window of tolerance and a feeling of being supported. As Daniel Siegel has said, 'If it is shareable, then it is bearable.'

True, true. I am convinced that is the appeal of blogging to so many of us. This virtual black hole is a place to share, almost anonymously, what would otherwise cause me to explode. We all seek to release negative energy, prefer freedom from oppression, light to dark, and joy to heartbreak. How do your kids express themselves?

Pray that we post late enough at night to have given our kids time and space to explore their feelings from the day. (Allie and I just finished a midnight snack.) Sleep tight.

April 8
Healing for Broken Hearts

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1, NIV)

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
(Psalm 34:18, NIV)

Pray that those suffering from autism would experience God’s tangible healing of their broken hearts.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Alleluias after Easter!

Are there memories etched in your mind that would be establishing shots in a movie of your life? Have you ever wandered aimlessly alone through a bookstore and found a book that was written just for you?

I have. One cold, wintry night 9 years ago in a suburb of Chicago, I was encouraged by my husband to "just get out for awhile." As ever, I found myself inevitably combing the shelves of a bookstore in search of something very specific but nothing in particular. That night I found a little gem, Changed by A Child by Barbara Gill, that satisfied my craving.

If I were to go out tonight on that same hunt, I am sure I'd come home carrying Autism & Alleluias by Kathy Deyer Bolduc. This handheld, personal treasure is a godsend of hopeful, gutsy true grit that lets me know I am still not alone on this road through adolescent autism to glory.

My copy is already circled, starred, underlined and doggeared. I don't think there has ever been a book that scratched so many of my itches. Like a psalmist, Kathy tells it like it is in raw poetic honesty. In each of 39 vignettes, she captures God's intended purpose in real challenges and celebrates how her son, Joel, has shown her His grace.

She does not stifle the truth like a proverbial church lady, but writes candidly enough to have me welling up and ultimately sobbing at the beauty of almost every 2-page devotional.

She gets the daily calls from school; she knows the "anger that's been tamped down for months;" she "reads his moods like an investor watches the stock market;" "exhaustion is her constant companion." AND (not but), it has made her holy.

Her "body remains in the front pew of College Hill Presbyterian Church, but her spirit stands in the sacred presence of God." I love that line!

Thank you Kathy for being one of the saints who has gone before and written it done for our benefit. I would add you to the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame after Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Rahab.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40

If you are free tomorrow at 2:00 EDT, tune into a webinar with the author. "A Place Called Acceptance" (click here to register) will also include Bill Gaventa, Editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health, and Ginny Thornbugh, program director for the Interfaith Initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Faith in Medicine? Autism Awareness Month-Day 7

Joni Earecksen Tada's devotional arrived this morning with this line embedded, "Gut-wrenching questions honor God." How true. And good, since 15 years into our journey, there are more questions than answers.

She continues, "Despair directed at God is a way of encountering him, opening ourselves up to the one and only Someone who can actually do something about our plight. And when, with our questions, we either collide with the Almighty or merely bump up against him, we can never be the same. We never are when we experience God."

The more medical solutions I hear proposed, the more skeptical I become of science. No matter how research-based the answer, a spiritual matter remains. The two cannot be separated. In autism, a miracle diet for one child makes no difference in another.

In my mind, the quandry ends up where it all began: I am lying on a hospital bed awaiting a fertility treatment which seemed to me a shoo in. Can I be graphic? They prepared to put Jim's sperm into my cervix to get us pregnant, right? Wrong. As we held hands and said one last prayer in the romantic flourescent light of the Kaiser exam room, I queried the technician, "What is the effectiveness rate of this again?" His reply was significantly and shockingly less than 50%. Our adoption pursuit began shortly thereafter.

In that moment, Jim and I realized our hope belonged was in God not science. He alone ordains life, causes conception, and now holds the key to any healing that may benefit Reid or our family.

Today's verses remind me that our quest for healing, wholeness, and victory for our loved ones with autism will only come through faith in God and wisdom from on high.

April 7
Medical Answers

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
(Proverbs 2:1-8, NIV)

“Jesus answered, ‘Because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth, if your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. All things will be possible for you.’”
(Matthew 17:20, NCV)

Pray that the Lord would grant divine insight to researchers as they seek medical answers to the mysteries of autism.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Autism Goes to Church -Day 6-Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Practical Ways the Church has served our Family

Our church doesn't have a special needs ministry per se. All of my griping and groaning have not brought that about however, I must say Reid is an integral part of the community. It has been with a set jaw and selfish stubbornness that Jim and I insist on worshipping every Sunday, which means taking Reid with us.

Even in our sin and the church's programmatic void, God has seen fit to bless us richly through individual members' actions and service. Many have a heart to follow Christ...and find him seated next to Reid in the west transept. How has the church fed us when we were hungry? Let me count the ways:

10. The deacons delivered a dinner and movie gift certificate after diagnosis.

9. The church nursery readily loans videos to Reid and lets him "do the controls" for the toddlers when he comes-a-visiting.

8. Larry, a magnanimous, self-appointed greeter, makes sure we are welcomed by name every single Sunday, whether or not Reid returns the greeting.

7. Dorothea, a retired school principal, waives our late fines in the church library.

6. Pastors walk back 6 or 8 pews to say "good morning" to their buddy, Reid.

5. The music director invited Reid's fledgling band, The Kingsmen, to step out of the margins and perform last Advent to a rousing standing ovation.

4. A special ed teacher shadows Reid as an usher in the balcony.

3. Our high school youth director showed this MTV clip to orient kids before Reid joined their fellowship.

2. A faithful prayer team lifts our family in prayer almost every week.

1. For a time, Reid served as the A/V guy in the preschool room cueing up their video lesson.

I have heard wonderful stories of other churches serving hungry and tired families experiencing autism by providing laundry help, respite care, date night, mentor buddies, or comrades at an IEP meeting. Perhaps the most profound example is at Beth-El Fellowship in Fort Worth, Texas. Arlyn and Will Kantz are planting a totally inclusive, sensory-based sanctuary with many other revolutionary touches designed to include everyone in worship and church.

My sidelined motivation to formalize a program at our church has segued into an friendship with numerous other churches in San Diego. The Cohort of Special Needs Ministry sprouted quickly as an offshoot of the first Concert of Prayer as an alternate way to serve the dozen families I know who used to attend our church but don't anymore. They stopped coming when it became unwieldy with their child with autism. How many more are struggling and have not met Jesus along the way, let alone any of His modern-day servants. Where are they on Sunday morning?

Pray for more light in the darkness.

April 6
Churches and Autism

"Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day.” Isaiah 58:10

“What a wonderful God we have-he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does he do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Pray that churches will recognize the unmet needs of autism families and pursue practical ways of ministering to them.

Excerpted from Children of Destiny Turning the Tide! Prayer Thrust calendar here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Peace and Order: Autism Awareness Month-Day 5

My immediate reaction to today's theme, "laws and legal systems," is to slam on the brakes and retreat to a healthy distance. I have flashbacks of overzealous, intimidating policemen approaching in my rear view mirror through the glare of their high beams to slap me with a speeding ticket. My hands quivered then and even now at the memory.

Maintaining law and order has been alternatively dubbed "Keeping the Peace" on squad cars in more than one American town. Now peace, that is a different matter. My hands stop quaking at that thought. I crave peace.

My understanding of peace was dramatically enhanced after doing Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself Bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. She summarized how Patience waits; Joy cometh; Love never fails; and Peace rules. In other words, when the Prince of Peace, our Savior Jesus is on the throne, there is peace. Whether he rules in our hearts, homes, nations, or worlds, His authority is what brings about peace. The increase of His government accompanies the increase of peace. He himself is our peace. (Ephesians 2:13-14)

That model is in operation in at least one small town in West Virginia where the blogging father of an adopted son with autism works his beat. Read Greg Lucas' incredible example and weep at the tenderness of how he intuitively and appropriately keeps the peace. With no weapons or sirens, he restores order in the name of Jesus as much as the power vested in him by the state of West Virginia.

His other blog, Defending Mayberry, is aptly named as he has the wisdom and humility of Andy Griffith, in any number of reruns but this one in particular about crime. I pray for more like Greg Lucas in our legal system with compassion, insight, and self-restraint for every circumstance.

April 5

Laws and Legal Systems

"For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us." (Isaiah 33:22, NIV)

"There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD." (Proverbs 21:30, NIV)

Pray that the Lord’s heart toward the weak would be reflected in the laws written to protect those with autism.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

People Who Need People: Autism Awareness Month-Day 4

Ahhhhhh........the sigh of relief that comes when you know your child is in competent hands. The shoulders drop and regular breathing resumes. I just carried a tutor's bags and boxes upstairs and came back down to hear their joyful laughter and productive movement through the ceiling. The assurance that for 2 hours, you can safely invest in some uninterrupted personal time is as much the value of the therapist as the therapy itself. The question is whether to zero in on Bible study homework, pay some bills, savor a cappuccino, or start dinner....hmmmm, what will it be?

So many caring and gifted teachers, aides, and therapists have blessed us over the years. With remarkable optimism, skill, and stamina they have deposited buckets and buckets of energy into Reid. An osteopath found it palpable once in an exam, "I can tell he's had some good work." Once upon a time, I took pictures of each hire and laminated them on PECS cards so Reid could learn their names and keep track of his weekly calendar. It's incomplete but here are a few I found. God BLESS them everyone...the saints of God...

April 4

Teachers, Aides, and Therapists

"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
(2 Chronicles 15:7, NIV

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
(1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

Pray that those who teach and provide therapy will feel successful and rewarded by the Lord for their efforts.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Harmony or a Gong Show? Autism Awareness Month-day 3

Beautiful isn't it with a gentle breeze off the lake?

Lately, I am noticing our family is like a windchime. Maybe yours is too; a set of individuals closely interacting as a matter of course, striking each other by design, resonating effortlessly and unintentionally. We were designed to make music; but many days it sounds like just noise. A perfect plan run amok almost as soon as it began with Adam and Eve in the garden. Before sundown they were konking into each other in dissonant blame and a cacophony of shame.

At this very moment, my gut is painfully aware of the real stress on marriages where autism is a variable. Even when you embrace it as God's purpose, the windchimes can go off more like fragments in a frenzied tornado than this video depicts.

One member of the ensemble's fear plays against another's panic. One chime's anger crashes into another's grief. Sadness collides with confusion nearly severing the ties that hold them all together. It's messy and tangled; far from what the designer composed.

I pray today's verses clinging to the idyllic image in the video as a metaphor for what God alone can restore in any family.

April 3
Parents and Marriages

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV)

"for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power." (Philippians 4:13, TLB)

Pray for the parents of children with autism, that they will have hope and wisdom, and that their marriages be protected.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Join the Thunder in Prayer: Autism Awareness Month-Day 2

Ready for day 2? I'm sure you are not weary yet but if you ever are, this excerpt from Ben Patterson's book reinvigorated me. Join the thunder!

So we must pray, because the work of the church is God’s work, not ours! We must also pray because prayer actually gets God’s work done. That’s the way prayer is seen in heaven. Ponder this scene in the throne room of heaven: An angel stands before God holding a golden censer, burning incense that is mixed with the prayers of the saints on earth. These prayers go up before God, and then are mixed with fire from the altar and hurled back down on earth. The amazing result is cataclysm on earth, “peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:5).

Now picture the saints on earth, huddled in their prayer meetings. If their experience of prayer is anything like mine can be, they may often feel their prayers are barely making it to the ceiling, or are dribbling out and rustling across the floor like dry leaves. Prayer doesn’t frequently bring with it the sensation of cosmic power unleashed, what poet Georg Herbert called “reversed thunder.” But that is exactly what is happening! The whole creation is shaken by the prayers of the saints. Something is happening as they pray. Work is being done, whether they see it or not. Deepening Your Conversation, 24-25

April 2
God's Power to Turn the Tide

"Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of -- infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes."
(Ephesians 3:20, TLB)

"Then Jesus told them, 'Truly, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this Mount of Olives, 'Move over into the ocean,' and it will. You can get anything -- anything you ask for in prayer -- if you believe.'"
(Matthew 21:21-22, TLB)

Pray that we would see the evidence of God’s authority over autism in individuals and a complete end to this epidemic.