God Will Guard Our Hearts And Minds Against Those Who Judge

How does He do that, God is invisible. He does when we decide to believe in His Power, Goodness, and Wisdom. We then sense His presence. It is a hard task because flesh and blood people can be imposing and forceful especially when you are the one being called out as an outsider not typical in abilities/looks/etc. This is especially hard for the families/ parents of someone who is not typical. You watch the pain and isolation on the face of your loved one. You want to protect them and teach that person a lesson or at least convince them of the merits of accepting each person as an individual not putting people into boxes but looking at each person’s strengths/ weaknesses as opportunities for growth. They mostly do not listen!

There is one catch for God to do what He says He will….We strive for no revenge, ill thoughts, hatred, judgment on our part as much as we can manage ourselves then Christ through the Holy Spirit makes up the difference. It not about perfect behavior, it is about your heart’s intent!  We pray for and bless those who we consider our enemies leaving them in God’s hands to work out the details that we can not control.  It is about casting our cares upon the mighty capable shoulders of Christ who has full authority in our matters when we release them into His care. He will work everything out for our good as we chose faith over our own reasoning of what to do to take care of the situation. The Holy Spirit will direct our words, actions, and even emotions if we allow Him to do so unknowingly hurt or judge those who they don’t understand or chose to not understand for a large number of reasons. He will guard our hearts whose mind is stayed on Him. Yeah God!

This is not easy by any stretch of the imagination! but by my testimony and by many others it is true. As a new creature in Him, we are so much more than what we came into the world with the first time around. As the reborn into the Kingdom of God, we have amazing possibilities. ( see list available as pdf. knowing who I am in Christ- Joyce Meyer)

 

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Accommodations, a Slippery Slope in Education for Those With Disabilities and for Teachers…..

If I haven’t heard this once, heard it a thousand times plus…
Today as I rest my sick body my brain doesn’t stop and a thought came to me. Accommodations, It’s a different perspective and human nature that make something so complicated that seems so logical and reasonable to some of us but not to others.

Accommodations seem to be exceptions that require reciprocal responses when you don’t needs them. When you need them they are your normal way of working which does not require a favor.

I will say many things out loud that others think about and in the trenches of teaching those with disabilities we are not making a lot of headway or progress because the day to day process are based on an ideal setting, a trained and willing staff that is not overwhelmed with the great many other things that are asked of them. This is special educators and regular educators. There are limited resources and unchallenged preconceived notions that make progress like pushing a Cadillac up a steep hill.

So what is the solution…unfortunately there is one way to solve this issue but maybe our perspective changing can help. The change being oiled by understanding, compassion, knowledge. I know that is what has helped me. Coming in to education with guns blazing to be someone to convince and change my sphere of influence to be one that is a well oiled special education setting, to win over the hearts to be a school that serve each child to meet their needs teachers eagerly seeking my knowledge and experience to fill in their gaps of experience and knowledge. I’m a nice, compassionate, team player! Well that got me through the first five years ending in cynicism and burnout.

I saw the magnitude of burden laid on my shoulders and those of the  regular education teachers shoulders was great. Parents going through a gambit of emotions- cycle of grief- most times not knowing what to do and what to expect from their child and the school/ teachers.

I know I am setting up a pretty grim picture… but we live in a broken world where there are no direct paths for teaching and seeing progress in students who learn, think, speak, write, move, see, hear atypically. That’s why they have an Individualized Education Program but people are still intent on having them fit the mold because it  makes it easier for them to understand.

Once we leave the standardized comparison of students’ performance, it’s a whole new ball game and how do we grade that on a report card?

This may sound like some spiritual cop out but it isn’t…

I know from personal experience God has an individual plan for each of our lives from my experience as a person with learning disabilities that far reached anything that a school could have come up with. I prayed even as a young kid for God to help me because I knew I was different from my peers and they knew it too. The fallacy of not wanting to label your child is not valid. Pretty much an alert person knows when they are an atypical person in their environment. I think it’s the uncomfortable part of not knowing in which way they are atypical and what  to expect.

He has always been faithful to me but He didn’t not take my differences away which I wish He would have many times over. But He has told me He has set me apart for a good purpose and an life to be lived as an individual. I did OK in K-12 grades not great because of the overwhelming experience of it academically and socially. And you have to know my disabilities were not defined for me until I was 26 years old in community college which I did very well in college because I had more control.

At that point, I had a whole load of baggage concerning my self-images that He is helping me still unpack and put nicely back into my soul according to my identity based on His opinion of me and the way He sees me20170406_221001.jpg.

Which brings me to the spiritual aspect of accommodations, seeing people as God sees them as someone with strengths, gifts, and talents not focusing on their lack or differences. Asking God to lead and guide us in this seeing of the person to see what His plan for them is because He knows exactly who they are, what they needs and where their future will take them.

So I have come back to a place where in my job and the lives of my own children into the hands of God asking for His hands to be the director and follow His lead. He knows and all my training can not make it work out ideally as everyone would like, including myself. He knows best and I rely and trust in Him completely! As I rest in Him and partner with Him my burden is significantly lifted and burn out is stayed off.

This is not to be a popular way of developing an educational plan for students in public schools but it takes the person, their family putting it into God’s hands wherever they attend school-public, christian, or home-school. Christ is big enough, strong enough to take the lead wherever that person goes. When we put Him in control by asking for help, the battle becomes His. He will lead and guide through His Holy Spirit in your or your child’s, your student’s education that equips them for their purpose and life.

 

 

Anger- What Shall I do With You?

As a Christian I continued  to see the lack of concern and compassion for outliers although many recognize the needs but they don’t develop ownership of reaching out to the outliers. Much like those in the story of the good Samaritan who walked by because of variety of reasons who also did not they don’t develop ownership of reaching out to someone in obvious need.  When faced with the choice of getting involved there is the thought someone else will certainly take care of this!

People don’t respond well to anger to create change. It only in20170206_055224.jpgcites and gathers others around you that are angry as well.  I recently found less obvious forms of anger in my life that need to change to grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope and faith.

I had allowed myself to become motivated to action by this behavior where as I needed to concentrate on being the one who did not walk by and had compassion and used his own resources and time to help the vulnerable person in need. I need to let God handle the situation and provide as I release the injustices into His hands. Why should I do this when it is harder than swinging into action to make a difference.

This is a tall order and I will need the Holy Spirit to make these changes and transform.

In Colossians 3:8 We are to put away and rid ourselves of all of these things- anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses from our lips! 11 We put on a new spiritual self, being renewed and remolded into a new image of Him who created it.  12 We are His chosen on , who are purified and  holy and well beloved by God Himself by putting on behavior marked by patience, long suffering with power to endure whatever comes, with good temper. 15 letting peace which comes from Christ rule in our heart to be our umpire deciding and settling all questions that arise in our minds. Being thankful, giving praise to God always.

Next an action plan to help guide that transformation! Then we can see some real progress in dealing with this situation that instigates the emotion of anger…

ANGER-Enemy of HOPE and PEACE

As of late I have been shown my life in a self-reflective mirror that has revealed one of my greatest causes of a loss of hope and peace-Anger. I have had this constant companion in my life for a variety of reasons. Most of these stem from a lack of justice and those in the position who did not take ownership and do something about people who were marginalized- in my case someone who didn’t measure up to other’s ideal. The anger shows itself in different forms. And in some cases very justified in its expression. It had become part of my identity to which has not served me well.

Some of the more obvious forms I thought I had tackled and removed. Be angry and sin not…  My rational was Jesus became angry at injustice and expressed that to right a wrong so I kept some of my anger to push me, to drive me for a greater good but it didn’t create good, only division. The anger unchecked turns into something unhealthy.

I had made a vow to change things to help others to not experience the same damages I had experienced but it was not happening but I did find myself preaching to a choir of people that felt the same.  I now realize there is something that I can not change- people to become compassionate and do the right thing but I do know someone who can!

…..to be continued

 

Trust in God, in Self, and in Others- Tricky Business For Outliers

I believe this may be my most important blog!

Trust has always been one of the most challenging things for me. I think I understand why.

I was reading a book by Joyce Meyer, Get Your Hopes Up!, and in my mind raised the ugly head of doubt. I said to myself, hum, why? God has done so much for me and I truly believe and trust Him with everything and my life.

I read this section and the thought came to me- let me tell you what it was.

Trusting God, not yourself

As a child and a young person I questioned God why I struggled, in fact I trusted God and others more than myself. I saw my performance and abilities compared to others- not by my parents- but by others in school and other situations that kept telling me over and over again not to trust myself. In church I was suppose to memorize scripture  to please God and be a good christian, something that continues to be difficult for me. In school, not keeping up in math and not knowing right from left- feeling set apart and different. It always was so subtle because I have processing issues that are not visible and also being intelligent it always looked like it was a lack of effort on my part, not reaching my potential. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that. I could pay off my student loan and perhaps my mortgage! I had been conditioned to believe others knew better than me and simultaneously being told of course you can do it, just believe you can! Crazy!  I have been set up.

But God has done an amazing work in my life because I did trust and believe in Him. But always with this conflicting trust issues with others and how I looked to them. And in fact I still use many compensation strategies and techniques that do rely on others to use my abilities and strengths that God has given to me. But there is a shift now!

Truth is- God made me to trust Him in my weaknesses, to rely on Him first no matter what my issues are /were. He knows best! And no matter what people believe, judge, think of me it really doesn’t matter as much as I have been conditioned to think. I need to concentrate on being a person of excellence- doing my best and leaving the rest up to God. I am  not an island- no better, no worse than others. I can follow a life’s plan designed by my heavenly father that is one where I can enjoy life and feel my purpose is fulfilled without comparing myself with others.  He does send people into my life to partner with me to do the parts of my tasks that are difficult for me but I am to rely on God first, not them. And  I am loved, cherished and well thought of in my areas of strength. I can Trust myself because I Trust Him first and lead by the Holy Spirit.

I know God is no respecter of persons so if He has done this for me, He will do the same for you! His greatest gift is that He loves us and wants us to enjoy our lives, relationships, and love ourselves!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

A great song to go with this is by Nelson Hawk, Live Like You’re Loved!
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_r47Xhkf20

Where We Can Find Acceptance & Approval

 

I was just reading the story of Jesus calling out to Peter step out of the boat to come to Him on the water while a storm was raging.  Peter did! but then he panicked because theImage result for jesus walking on water surroundings appeared, felt, actually were dangerous then he then lost sight of Jesus and His ability and strength.  Jesus said,” Oh you of little faith.”  Matthew 14:28-32.

It takes a radical faith and a secure knowledge of the Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to step out when we are asked by God to step out and believe despite the appearance of our surroundings to follow through with what  He is telling us to do and believing His words to us that He can be there for us.  And in the case of the life of an outlier, someone who doesn’t appear to fit in, to be who He created us to be it is especially challenging.

God did not make a mistake when creating those of us in this situation, but it feels like it sometimes.  When we are adopted into the family of God in His Kingdom, we are instantly accepted and approved of by Him because we are seen by God with Jesus as our middleman
even though we aren’t perfect. If our intent in our heart is to be all that God wants us to be. We seek Him in relationship and in His Word, it’s all a green light, GO. He has a great plan for our lives that is not based on others opinions or views. We just need to keep our eyes on Jesus and lead by the Holy Spirit realizing He is stronger than our surroundings, circumstances, other people’s opinion, and not to give in to the feelings of being overwhelms or pegged as different.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.

I have struggled with for as long as I can remember and He has been been there for me when things aren’t going as planned in my life. It is so easy to rely on the acceptance and approval of others to guide one in decisions and when that is not there it creates a insecurity. When I have stepped out on my own because I felt it was right for me and who God make me it hasn’t always been the road others would have chosen for me. He has directed those steps and worked them out out for my good when I relied on Him. I am at peace and I see His hand in my life guiding my steps each day which is amazing. It is not without clutter and problems, but He has kept His word. I have peace when I chose to rely on Him accepting the offer of peace when I pursue and depend on it rather than my natural responses.Yeah God!

 

The Paradox of The Creative Mind

When you  have a creative brain temperament your brain perceives the world in a different way, and in a  society that generally runs on logic, it is not unlike being in a different country. Another parallel example is the difference between how a person living without a relationship with Christ versus one who does and is living according to the principals of God’s Kingdom. Understanding one of these scenarios will help you understand living with a different perspective than those around you.
The creative mind is paradoxical in nature. Within the temperament definition it will show how complicated it is. It is necessary to understand yourself and those around you in order to gain awareness which leads to a better defined life and relationships. This also helps to gain self-confidence, purpose and peace.

The most common perspective in our society is a left brain perspective which is logical, sequential and many times it feels like they assume it is the only perspective. They are unaware of a viable alternative approach. Most organizational systems are structured in a left brain manner- these are systems like schools, churches, corporations, and some families,  which makes it very difficult when you are predominantly right brained. In fact it can create a great number of issues that can be insurmountable in one’s eyes if not prepared, mentored, and then having a understanding of the nature you possess which by the way is fantastic and wonderful made.

Psalm 139:14

I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

Knowing God’s love and loving God in return, developing our relationship with him can be restore us  because of Christ’s sacrifice. We are empowered by Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to become well-balanced even with all of our complexities. He leads and guides us when to use each part of our personality and as we develop the fruit of the spirit such as self-control from Galatians 5, it increases the ease of life. It is essential we grow in faith and strength in Christ to simply our lives. It is too easy to have too much going on in one’s mind then at the same time trying to adapt to a society that doesn’t think or process information in the same way we do.It is explained further in Matthew 11:28-30- Jesus tell us as we learn of Him and His ways things become as easier.

 

Why do I think God is prompting me to bring this up ? I believe when we read in the Bible He fully intends on individual’s strengths, gifts and talents are to be coordinated with others to complete tasks and work together like in the human body.  He gives us guidelines on how we can work  together like the body with very distinct and different approaches/roles.

Romans 12

4 For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use,

5 So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another].

6 Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He
whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

7 [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

8 He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him

prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

7 [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

8 He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

9 [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good. (AMP)

Communication- How the body is connected together!

We need to understand how to interact with those who don’t see things the way we do. In what way, well I am glad you asked! First, check in with the Holy Spirit for guidance and when we speak our thoughts many times need to be structured communication, a logical format. Also observe your audience finding out who they are and how they take in information which It is like interpreting our thoughts and ideas into another language that they will understand. Visual emotionally impacting stories are a powerful tool for communication. We learn how to speak in learning logical brain terminology and culture to integrate into it.

You say why it is so important? communication and understanding are essential in all relationships/ activities. Why am I suggesting those who have a creative brain take the figurative bull by the horns to adapt our communication to those around us is because of our creative nature we are able to easily see other’s points of view. We just need the vocabulary and a more formal structure-and a whole lot of analogies and metaphors. Of course I am also saying that without the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit it is near to impossible.

If you are an eye you will not understand the job of the hand but you can conceptualize it and concede with grace to the importance of that job as well as your own. No one position is more important than another, without one another we all suffer in an less effective excellent performance and function.

To be continued…..!