Archive for the Disability

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Together for Adoption: resource links I promised this afternoon

This afternoon, I stood in front of everyone at the Together for Adoption conference and revealed my ignorance: sort of “What I didn’t know and there’s lot’s more besides.” There was so much to reveal I didn’t have time for it all, so here are links for anyone who wants more.

1. I owe tons of thanks to all my blog readers who helped me remember all I don’t know when you responded to my requests here and here. If you haven’t read through all those comments, I encourage you to take advantage of the glimpses these friends have given us into their homes.

2. As I said, my friend Dorothy Bode should have been up there with me, or instead of me. Some listeners probably agreed that it would have been less repetitive if she had been, so they wouldn’t have heard over and over, “As Dorothy told me”. . . . “As Dorothy said”. . . . I have no idea how the mother of 11 children with a houseful of hidden disabilities has time to write blog posts, and with pictures, but she does and it’s been an education for me. Dorothy’s blog. The post I quoted.

3. Three years ago I wrote a series of posts telling our adoption story. It begins here.

4. The letter Johnny wrote to me saying yes to our adoption.

Disrupting Grace: A Story of Relinquishment and Healing5. I quoted from Karen Richburg’s book, Disrupting Grace: A Story of Relinquishment and Healing.

 

 

When God Weeps6. Perhaps disability and orphan care are the most common topicsA Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty on my blog. Joni and Friends is the organization that I’ve done a lot of volunteering for. I highly any of Joni’s books, written from the perspective of decades as quadriplegic.

 

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family7. Seems like RAD came into the list several times. So let me recommend Karyn Purvis’s The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family. This has become the prime resource for parents wanting to help their children with attachment and sensory difficulties. Actually, when Johnny and I read it together, we found much of it practical and helpful for general parenting.

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder

8. Here are a couple of posts with suggestions for the person, like

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorderme, with ADD. In particular, I hope the books might be helpful.

 

9. Oh yes. And pressure cooker. I thought it was a cool –I mean sizzling — image. But maybe only us pre-microwave era oldies knew what I was talking about.

Most of All, Jesus Loves You!Do You Want a Friend?Treasuring God in Our TraditionsFaithful Women and Their Extraordinary God

 

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

ADHD, audiobooks, and a review

For the month of July 2012 The Sword can be downloaded free from christianaudio.com.

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Boredom is a major roadblock to my getting done what needs to be done, especially the repetitive, mindless tasks like clearing my desk. Don’t tell me. I already know that’s not supposed to be repetitive, but what can I say?

Enter audiobooks. My smartphone becomes a distraction–I mean that in a good way. Following a good story keeps my mind off the pain of boredom. So I hardly realize I’m completing a dreaded, long-procrastinated job.

And yes, it’s stories that keep me going. I seem to need print in front of me to follow a non-fiction line of thought. But a good story helps me escape–I mean that in a good way. So I jumped at the opportunity to download and review The Sword, by Bryan M. Litfin, from christianaudio.

Whenever I read an author who’s new to me, I start cautiously, not knowing what to expect. But when the writing is good, I soon slip out of the role of observer and into the story. That didn’t take long in The Sword, especially because Ray Porter, the narrator, is amazingly good with individual, different voices for each character. Each voice remains consistent throughout the book, and goes a long way in portraying the personality of each person in the story.

I’m stumped trying to name the type of literature, the genre. Fantasy? Sort of, but it’s “real” people in our own world. Science fiction? Sort of, but only in that it’s set hundreds of years in the future. There is no science or technology. Allegory? Not really.

So I’ll just call it historical fiction set in the distant future. The setting is several hundred years from now after a raging virus and the resulting anarchy and war have wiped out most of humanity and our arts, accomplishments, and Christianity. The descendants of the survivors live in a world similar perhaps to the world of the Roman Empire, in the sense that there is an island of civilization surrounded by unknown wilderness peopled by scattered “outsiders” comparable to the barbarians in the lands surrounding the Romans.

In the book’s setting and heroism and drama, I felt a little like I was hearing the Stephen Lawhead I used to read to our boys, like the books in the Dragon King Trilogy (which are also available for download from christianaudio: In the Hall of the Dragon King and The Warlords of Nin and The Sword and the Flame).

The heart of the story is the reactions to the Old Testament that’s been discovered. The ones who are drawn to it recognize that this scripture is the way to know the true God who had been lost to them. So as we read/listen, we see them piecing together who he is–creator, sustainer, savior–and trying to figure out what that means in their lives. They know there’s some great significance to the ancient cross symbol, but with only the Old Testament, it’s still a mystery to them.

It seemed to me that reading about the experiences of these new followers of the true God might be a way of understanding better some of the dilemmas and fears of Christians in the unwelcoming world of the synagogue and the Roman Empire.

One small stumbling block to me was the accounts of the gatherings of believers and seekers. I thought the tone, language, agenda and format sounded too much like one of our contemporary churches or home groups.

But that anachronism was well-overbalanced by the stark realism when Elijah’s challenge to Baal is reenacted in a face-off with the evil “god.” I hardly knew whether or not I wanted God to show up in a fiery blast. I don’t want to give it away, but I was left, like the characters, wondering what his purposes are. That’s a good story. A good story that leaves the protagonists with no choice but launching out across glaciers into the unknown.

The end — of The Sword, anyway.

So I’m ready for the next two–The Gift  (at christianaudio) and The Kingdom  (at christianaudio)

 

 

 

 

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 This download was provided for review by christianaudio.com.

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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Celebrate the ministry of Joni and Friends

 

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Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Twin Cities: Groupon for our favorite gym

Lion’s Gym, our old favorite, is offering a Groupon deal this weekend. (If the link doesn’t open the Lion’s Gym page on Groupon, click “all deals” on the menu strip at the top.)

If you live in the Twin Cities and you’ve been thinking you really ought to get back in to a fitness routine, check it out. Lion’s Gym has two locations now–in St. Louis Park and in Robbinsdale.

When you go, tell Stephen that Noel sent you. It’ll be as good as if you area already his old friend. Please let me know when you sign up, so I can high-five you.

Below is what I wrote a year ago about Lion’s Gym and Stephen & Leah Menya, the owners.

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with Stephen MenyaWe ran into a friend who felt her life had been changed by training with Stephen Menya and Leah Menya (page down on “our team” page) at Lions Gym.

I have to say, my first drive-by impression was underwhelming. If I hadn’t been looking for the gym, I wouldn’t have noticed it, tucked between a tanning salon and something else in a mini-stripmall sort of building.

But we all know it’s what inside that counts. And our friend was very persuasive, so we signed up. It was amazing.

Here are some of the things I like about Lion’s Gym:

  • There’s a flavor of Africa in Stephen’s voice and words and laughter and often in the music playing.
  • He calls us Mamá and Papá as he would any other people his parents’ generation in his home village in Kenya.
  • After our one initial session, Stephen knew what we needed. Mamá needs to work on her abs. Papá needs to strengthen his lower back.
  • Stephen sets the tone at the gym, and he is outgoing, happy, and funny.
  • He introduces members to each other so we introverts can’t just sweat and be miserable in our separate corners.
  • Stephen and Leah are Christian believers, and we have prayed together about challenges in their life and business.
  • When we arrive, we sometimes hear worship music playing.
  • Where else would the encouragement to push harder be, “Don’t waste your reps!”
  • Stephen and other staff train all 3 of us at the same time, cycling us through sets on separate machines or sets of weights. I have seen them work effectively with 6 at the same time, each doing different exercises.
  • Most important, the trainers know their stuff and are good teachers. We always appreciate the breather when we pause so they can show us a chart and explain how some group of muscles works so our exercise makes sense to us.
  • Occasionally we get to see their wonderful toddler Sam. He drops into knee bends at the prompt of  ”up – down – up – down.”
  • Finally, you know that I care about life being accessible to people with disabilities. Recently, I found out that Stephen and Leah rearranged all those monstrously heavy machines so that one client who is visually impaired can make his own way around independently while he is working out.

Postscript: Matt Ledbetter joined the staff after I wrote the above. He’s good. I’ve seen him working winningly and effectively with both ends of the fitness spectrum: high-level athletes at one end and at the other end, elderly people who can hardly walk into the gym.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Desiring God Pastors Conference: Crawford Loritts

Crawford Loritts is the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. His talk this morning is especially related to his book Never Walk Away: Lessons on Integrity from a Father Who Lived It.

If you want to follow the comments in the order he made them, read from the bottom up.

And remember: Watch @desiringgodPastors Conference in 4 languages —  #English #Spanish #Chinese &#Russian::ht.ly/8Lv0j

NoelPiper10:10am

Work of the Holy Spirit: I have never had [in myself] everything I need to do what God’s calling me to do. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon

NoelPiper10:07am Work of the Spirit– 5. WALK: the Spirit gives us power to do boldly what we need to do. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper10:06am Work of the Spirit– 4. Live: He fills our lives by living in us, and we model that life before our children. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper10:06amWork of the Spirit–3. Fruit: We don’t produce fruits of the Spirit. They are supernatural work of the Spirit. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper10:04amWork of the Spirit– 2. Led: If you’re led by the Spirit, you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper10:01amWork of the Spirit — 1. Walk: Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:58am The Holy Spirit is not an influence. He’s a person who has regenerated, baptized, sealed us. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:57amHow easy it is to ignore the work & power of the Holy Spirit in transformation. @CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:55amIn cemetery with my son: Remember, these people paid your “tuition,” as we are for the next generation. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:52amPop, as I’m walking out the door when a teenager: Do right. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:51amPop, after racist incident: That’s all right. We know who we are. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:50amPop: How people treat you should never define you. It’s not what people call you; it’s what you answer to. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:49amPop, about report card: How can somebody be so smart & so dumb at the same time? @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:48amRespect is the incubator for honor. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:45amPop’s 3 D’s with no negotiating: Dishonesty, Disobedience, Disrespect. @CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:43amPop’s lessons in manhood– 4. Out of integrity comes your inheritance. @CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:43am Pop’s lessons in manhood– 3. Out of discipline comes integrity. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:42amPop’s lessons in manhood– 2. Out of strength comes discipline. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:41amPop’s lessons in manhood– 1. Out of struggle comes strength. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:40amPop never sat down & had a talk with me about manhood. He just lived it. @CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:39amA real man embraces obligation & responsibility–not curse words or burden, but his purpose in life. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:38amTeen thinks manhood=doing what I feel like. Father needs to pull himthrough to knowing right & wrong. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:36amA father teaches what to say “no” to, so a child knows what to say “yes” to.@CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:35amA father teaches limits, the banks of the river that leads to the destination he wants his children to reach. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:33amBroad category of need,met primarily (but not only) by father: accountability, discipline, parameters, goals. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:29amBroad category of need, primarily (but not only) from mother: touch, affirmation, warmth. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:28amEvery 28 days a woman is reminded of who she is. A man knows he’s a man only when a key man tells him so. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:25amMy history not only intact Black family. I’m ticked when we set up a new kind of slavery to entitlement. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:24amI want to keep my eyes set on where I’m going: that city built by God. @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:23amWe have lost a noble vision of eternity, of a city built not by hands, but by God.@CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:18am @CrawfordLoritts‘ father: Karen didn’t ask to marry you. You asked to marry her, and you better take care of her. #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:16amMy father (slave grandson) wasn’t God. WAS a man of impeccable integrity. I’ve always wanted to be like him @CrawfordLoritts #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:10amBe careful of your ego. God spoke to Balaam’s ass. Make your own application. @CrawfordLoritts#dgpascon
NoelPiper9:05amMother washed my mouth with soap for saying “Shut up” to my sister. I’d learn respect if she had anything to do with it.@JohnPiper #dgpascon
NoelPiper9:03am@CrawfordLoritts is Senior Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, Roswell, GA. #dgpascon  ow.ly/8ME1W
NoelPiper8:49amPhoto: Hundreds of pastors begin day together with prayer. #dgpascon   pic.twitter.com/mHCF0lgV
NoelPiper8:20am@CrawfordLoritts speaks at 8:30 session about lessons learned from his father. #dgpascon  ow.ly/8Myvb
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

When Joy to the World isn’t our world

You don’t have to live many Christmases before you realize that the emotions of Christmas are not all joy. In fact, some years we may wonder if joy will ever come again.

I’m thinking about that reality now, after hearing from some people who are suffering right now. The causes are quite different, but for all of them, Christmas as they’ve known it seems like another planet.

That makes me want to put it down in stark black and white: Christmas can be hard, really hard, unbearably hard–all the more when we look around at all the jolliness and feel like we’re alone in our grief or pain or loneliness or uncertainty or fear or hopelessness or confusion or alienation or . . . .

A few years ago, I wrote to a friend whose child had come through a crisis not long before Christmas.

I realize that it doesn’t resolve your situation to hear that you’re not alone. But I pray it might help lighten the burden at least a little to see what some others have to say, people who are in your shoes now or they have been there.

These articles are in no particular order and are from from various perspectives. I think it will be quite possible as you read to substitute your own challenges or the struggles of a person you love.

When Christmas Stinks, by Michael Monroe

Joy (and Grief) and Joy at Christmas, by Molly Piper

The angels’ words were a battle cry, by Joni Eareckson Tada

FAS and Christmas, by Julie Martindale

“Suffering is the reason for the season,” Charles Colson

White Elephant: Explain that to an FASD Kiddo, by Barb Clark

He Says There’s Something Worse than Death, by John Knight (poem by John Piper)

God Uses Silly Videos to Make Much of Himself, by John Knight

The Most Important Posting I Will Ever Write . . . & a Christmas Greeting, by Mike Evans

Home for Christmas, by Greg Lucas

Together on the Ledge, by Lisa Qualls

A request to you: Please share with us resources that have helped you in your difficult times.

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Music when Christmas is hard

There have been times in my life when I felt as if I were living and moving in a thick, muffled fog–when my heart couldn’t see or hear anything clearly, if at all. I can look back on a few of those times and know the exact moment when a glimmer of light broke through. It happened with music. I don’t know how music which enters through the ears can shine a beam of light into the heart. It doesn’t work metaphorically or physically, but that’s what happened.

Today, I’ve been collecting things I’ve read from people writing about their Christmas celebrations when it’s hard to celebrate. I was struck by the role music plays or has played for some of them.

Need some Theology with that Hymn, M’am?, by Carrie Zeman

Drive-by Caroling, by Julie Martindale

Christmas Joy, by Joni Eareckson Tada

Request for you: Please share with us music that speaks especially to your heart at Christmas.

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011

What I forgot to say

ADD in action . . . When I listed some gift ideas for the ADDer you love, I forgot to list the 2 items that had been in my mind in the first place that prompted me to post the list. So here are 2 more gift ideas. Both of these have been a great help to me.

First Alert PIR725 Compact Fluorescent Bulb Compatible Motion Sensing SocketMotion-sensor light bulb base. After one more less-than-happy conversation about lights left burning in the basement laundry room–OK! About me leaving the lights burning–a thought struck me. Lots of people have motion sensor lights outside their houses. Might there be such a thing for inside?

Yes, there is. The base screws into the place where you have been screwing in your bulb, and then you screw the bulb into the base. In other words, there’s no electrical installation required. And yes, that has eliminated one thing to be unhappy about. That alone makes it worth the price, and I suppose the savings in electricity will balance it out eventually. (Note that only some available bases work with fluorescent “bulbs,” which of course are another electricity saver.)

Chums Rolled Leather Eyewear RetainerEyeglasses “tether.” For some reason, I can’t just put on my glasses and keep them on. For years, when I take them off, I close them and often hang them by one arm in the neck of my shirt, where they usually were safe. But then, there are the times when I leaned over and they fell on the floor, collecting scratches and the times I laid them somewhere and couldn’t remember where.

I bought my newest glasses before a trip to the Grand Canyon, and I imagined them slipping out and falling, falling, falling. So I squeezed my mind’s eye shut against my stereotypes of people who hang their glasses around their necks.

I’m a convert. Since then, I can’t remember one time when I said, “Where are my glasses?” And my 3-month-old glasses have not one scratch–an all-time record for me.

I’ve taken advantage of my craft stash of beads to make my own necklacey holders too. May as well treat this ADD tool as a fashion accessory. Maybe I’ll even make earrings to match.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Just the Way I Am

Just the Way I Am: God's Good Design in DisabilityJust the Way I Am: God’s Good Design in Disability is a remarkable book written by a remarkable woman.

Krista Horning was born with Apert Syndrome. She has undergone more than 60 surgeries to her face, bones, and joints. Through her pain and suffering, Krista has seen and knows the goodness, love, and power of God.

In Just the Way I Am, she makes simple/profound statements about the sovereignty of God and uses Scripture to show where she has learned these truths.

This book has made such an impact since its release last year that it sold out well ahead of  what had been expected. Here’s the update on the next print run. Soon!

In the meantime, you can read the book online.

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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Inside that mind . . .

Inside that mind.

I wish I could see at times.

I think it would be fascinating

to know what goes on in there.

Jason Wilkie, about his son.

April is Autism Awareness Month.

I hope you will take time to scroll through these photos collected by Alan Taylor from around the globe, including one of Jason Wilkie’s son.

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You may also be interested in some autism-related resources I posted earlier–books I have learned a lot from.

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Monday, March 7th, 2011

In like a lamb, leave like a lion

[Don't miss the amazing gift offered at the end of this post. Gift. No strings attached.]

During our 8 months’ leave last year, one important new thing for us was beginning to work out together. Until then, Johnny was a regular runner, I was a sporadic walker, and Talitha often used our treadmill.

with Stephen MenyaWhen we were trying to decide where to go, we ran into a friend who felt her life had been changed by training with Stephen Menya and Leah Menya at Lions Gym.

I have to say, my first drive-by impression was underwhelming. If I hadn’t been looking for the gym, I wouldn’t have noticed it, tucked between a tanning salon and something else in a mini-stripmall sort of building.

But we all know it’s what inside that counts. And our friend was very persuasive, so in September, we signed up. It’s been amazing.

(Though I do think it ironic that the exercises that are supposed to keep me young and strong make me hobble painfully like a really old woman. Some days, it’s lunges that are killing me. I can’t stand up from my car seat without finding a strong handhold to pull myself up. This is good for me. This is good for me. This is good for me.)

Here are some of the things I like about Lion’s Gym:

  • The first session is always free–a good time to see the gym and get a feel for the benefits of membership.
  • There’s a flavor of Africa in Stephen’s voice and words and laughter and often in the music playing.
  • He calls us Mamá and Papá as he would any other people his parents’ generation in his home village in Kenya.
  • After our one initial free session Stephen knew what we needed. Mamá needs to work on her abs. Papá needs to strengthen his lower back.
  • Stephen sets the tone at the gym, and he is outgoing, happy, and funny.
  • He introduces members to each other so we introverts can’t just sweat and be miserable in our separate corners.
  • Stephen and Leah are Christian believers, and we have prayed together about challenges in their life and business.
  • When we arrive, we often hear worship music playing.
  • Where else would the encouragement to push harder be, “Don’t waste your reps!”
  • Stephen and other staff train all 3 of us at the same time, cycling us through sets on separate machines or sets of weights. I have seen them work effectively with 6 at the same time, each doing different exercises.
  • Most important, the trainers know their stuff and are good teachers. We always appreciate the breather when we pause so they can show us a chart and explain how some group of muscles works so our exercise makes sense to us.
  • Occasionally we get to see their wonderful toddler Sam. He drops into knee bends at the prompt of  ”up – down – up – down.”
  • Finally, you know that I care about life being accessible to people with disabilities. Recently, I found out that Stephen and Leah rearranged all those monstrously heavy machines so that one client who is visually impaired can make his own way around independently while he is working out.

Okay. Here’s the gift:

Lions Gym is offering you 4 personal fitness training sessions at half price–$140 instead of $280.

All you have to do is call 952-474-7000 before the end of March to make an appointment for your initial free session. When you get there, tell them Noel sent you. Then when you decide to follow through with four more training sessions, you will pay only half the usual price.

You know you meant to get into a fitness program at the beginning of the year, but you didn’t. Or you haven’t been able to follow through. If you live in the Twin Cities area, get back on track.

You know you need it! Go for it! Maybe I’ll see you at Lions Gym.

(And please comment here to let me know you’ve made that appointment.)

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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Nonverbal, but testifying

“Some of you know that a person with autism may be prone to perseverating.”

I’ve learned that word from friends with children with various special needs. But I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I ever heard it at the Desiring God Pastors Conference. Paul Miller grabbed my attention at that moment.

He told us a story about their daughter, Kim. I’m not going to tell you that story right now or what perseveration means. But you can hear it pretty early in the audio from Paul Miller’session.

Here’s the story I want to tell you. The Millers were in the waiting room at the emergency room when Kim had a major melt-down. “An effective way to get shown immediately to an exam room.”

As Kim cried uncontrollably, she signed repeatedly, “Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me.”

A couple of weeks later, she used her speaking computer to talk about that night, “God spoke to me.”

Now, this is not the language the Millers normally use at their house to talk about how God communicates with us. So it seemed pretty clear that Kim was telling them her own experience with God. They asked what he told her. Her answer: He said, “Don’t be afraid, Kim. I’ll be with you.” He spoke to her in words she knew from his written word.

God knows how to speak to Kim. Being terrified didn’t keep Kim from praying or from hearing God. He spoke to her with familiar words she could understand in the midst of her roiling emotions. Being nonverbal didn’t stop Kim from testifying to God’s work for her that night.

Kim’s testimony is an encouragement to me. If God wants me to hear him, he will have no trouble making himself known.

I’m guessing some of you have had similar experiences that might help the rest of us.

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