Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Would Jesus REALLY Do

According to this article on the Star Trubine website, Carol Race wanted to take her family to mass at St. Joseph’s where they had attended for 12 years. A Sheriff’s deputy waiting in her own driveway reminded her that if she took her 13-year-old son who experiences Autism to St. Joseph’s Church, she would be arrested. This is based on a restraining order taken out by the church to prevent her son’s attendance in church.

I have written about the parents role in asking for what a child needs to make church a welcoming environment here . In fact, there is a video of my son participating in friendship and worship time at our church in that post. However, it seems important to note that it takes willingness on the part of the church to make adaptations and accommodations to make it work too.

While contemplating that story I saw numerous bumper stickers stating “What Would Jesus Do”. That begs the question about which would be Jesus’ response getting the restraining order or finding some way to make it work. He answered that in Mark 10:13-16 (American Standard Version quoted below):

“13And they were bringing unto him little children, that he should touch them: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. 15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein. 16And he took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.”

Pope Benedict demonstrated what I believe that Jesus would have done in that while tens of thousands of young people waited outside at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY he met with and blessed disabled children. See article on CNN website here. He said to them:

"Sometimes, it is challenging to find a reason for what appears only as a difficulty to be overcome or even pain to be endured," the pope told the children and their caregivers.

"God has blessed you with life and with differing talents and gifts. Through these, you are able to serve him and society in various ways."

I happened to watch part of Pope Benedict’s time with the children and observed how touched he was by them. He went through the lines touching their faces before speaking and literally broke free of his guides to touch several of them again on his way out of the event.

I plan to stray from my message to parents for the next few blog posts and address churches on what I believe the Lord would show us and how churches can reach out to families with special needs.

Until Next Time,

Peggy Lou Morgan

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Billy Ray and Donna

On Saturday when the Pastor was snapping pictures for me he caught this picture of Billy Ray proudly snowing a pretty worn out picture of his special friend "donnagert" as he calls her (he often adds something to people's names).
Donna and her husband Max are "snowbirds" so they are gone during the winter months but she maintains her relationship with Billy Ray by cell phone. A conversation with Donna never fails to perk him up. While they are in town she makes him high fiber cookies with helps with the bowel issues common in Autism.
This picture was taken in September 2006 when friends of mine from Salem were coming for a barbecue and I had invited several of our church friends. It happened to fall on Donna's birthday. They wanted to bring something and I suggested that her husband just get a cake for her birthday so Billy Ray could blow out the candles for her. He is not big on cakes (at least not then) but he loves the candle blowing part. The picture is blurring so you can't see much of anyone but Billy Ray and Donna but he loves the pictures. He has two copies one he carries around a lot and this one on the refrigerator. He has been showing several ladies the picture when they were bringing meals since I have been ill. He is so proud of his Donna.
Donna makes such a special effort to understand what Billy Ray likes and how he needs things to be. She inquires a lot and this has given me a chance to teach her all things Billy Ray. During my recent crisis this was a great comfort for me because I realize she probably knows Billy Ray better than anyone outside the family right now and would be available to advocate for him if I wasn't.
I have written more about this relationship in my new book that comes out next Fall (if I get it finished and to the publisher in time) so I won't elaborate here. However, I want to make the point that there is lots of things that can be done to support families with special needs that don't take a lot struggle.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Neither Snow Nor Dark

This is one of the pictures that Pastor Lighthill took the night that his wife, Denise, brought dinner. He sent me the pictures yesterday and I added one to the original post but wanted to put the one with all the snow separately because I know that Big Brother in Arizona and Nick in California love the snow pictures.
Yesterday Larry and Billy Ray took some snow pictures at his son's cabin and I will post some of those later for the kids to see.
I am going to see my primary care provider today. My blood pressure is down a bit and I am feeling a little better this morning.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Doing Better

I am at home. Still feel really tired and weak but my blood pressure is down for the first time this year. They found no blockage in my stress test even though they thought there was in the hospital. I think it was answered prayer.

The cardiologist thinks the breathing problems and weakness are because of the blood pressure problems which run on both sides of my family but haven't really effected me until now. He started me yet another blood pressure medication which seems to be working already. He also thinks the severe burning is acid reflex which is certainly easier to deal with than heart issues and our family primary can take care of that. I will follow up with our family primary tomorrow.

Sorry I didn't get on here and let you know that I was okay last night. We had rough day with over a foot of new snow yesterday morning and fighting to get to the clinic to finish the stress test. Then we got a cell phone call relative to the death of my uncle in Idaho.

Untl next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Monday, January 07, 2008

One down, one to go

The first part of the stress is done. I won't know any results until after the tests tomorrow and my meeting with my cardiologist, Dr. Koch afterwards. I do know that they didn't find anything concerning them enough to keep me at the hospital tonight.

Billy Ray went with our friend and consultant Keddie to get a hair and have lunch but he wouldn't eat. By the time we got home all of us were pretty hungry. Sandi from church brought us a wonderful casserole, garlic bread, green beans and jello salad. She even brought Billy Ray cookies right out of the oven. It really hit the spot for all of us.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Knowing God Through the Love of His People

There is so much I want to share with you this morning. A lot has gone on since I last wrote on this blog. I won’t finish updating you today but I wanted to get started.

In the midst of writing a new book we have had some problems and the love and support shown to us by our little church reminds me so much of Jeremiah 22:16:

“He helped those who were poor and needy, so everything went well for him. That is what it means to know God,” says the Lord.”[1]

In a very real way, we have come to know God even better through the love and care we have received. Here is a recent example:

On New Year ’s Eve just before midnight, I suddenly experienced great difficulty breathing. After a terrifying ambulance ride I spent the rest of the night and most of New Year’s Day at the hospital. At this point, it is believed that I had a small heart attack and possibly have some sort of blockage.

I have been able to be home but not able to do a lot since then. Wednesday morning several people including Pastor Lighthill and others came to pray for me. That evening the ladies ministry began bringing in dinner every night. Billy Ray is really getting into this having ladies bring dinner. The picture is with Denise Lighthill on the night she brought it.

Since starting this blog I have gotten email from people in churches who say that they don’t know how to reach out to families of special needs children and adults. The reality is that much of what our church does for us they would do for any other family in the church who has had health or other difficulty. I remember my Mom taking meals to folks when there had been a death in the family or someone was ill.

The amazing thing to me this past year is the way the Lord seems to speak our needs and even wants. Here’s a couple of examples that showed God’s love to me:

The ladies’ ministry has a secret sister program where everyone draws names and does things secretly throughout the year for the person whose name they drew. All last year I kept saying that the person who drew my name must have been in our home and really knew me. I was convinced that it was our pastor’s wife because there were cards with verses about lighthouses, gifts with lighthouses and things that I could really use. To my surprise my secret sister was Sonia, who I don’t know well at all and she has never been to my house. When I thanked her , I marveled at how she could know such perfect gifts. She said that she prayed about it because she didn’t know me well and each time the Lord just seem to lead her to something.

Also regarding the meals the ladies have brought in, it has amazed me how many family favorites have been brought that no one would know unless the Lord led.

I written on this blog and elsewhere about what I like to call the Lighthouse Concept where we look to the Lord to know what to do for our children with special needs. Apparently it works very well for knowing how to reach out to others too!!!

At noon today I have a stress test scheduled to try to discover if there is blockage in my heart. There is another one scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday. I will try to keep you posted on how we are doing. If they would find blockage and I have to go to surgery, Pastor Lighthill will post on here so you know how we are.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
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[1]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 . Word Bibles: Dallas, TX