A gentle touch, a smile, an offer of practical support—these become the ‘words’ of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have a thing for power tools and making stuff. Who knew? I’ve made a desk and table with my son, and wainscoted the kids’ rooms . . . and most projects have gone, um, relatively well. Some have been total disasters, to be honest.
I tend to overlook the details and skip a few steps here and there. The directions say to do this or that, but I think . . .
As the storm passes, we begin to see more clearly His providential care over us. This movement through pain to clarity marks the process of transformation—the process of releasing our will and accepting His ways.
It happened at a restaurant called Seven 47 on Campus Corner in Norman, Oklahoma. I was introducing my mom, dad, and younger brother to my InterVarsity chapter leaders, Chris and Laurie, people whom I greatly respect.
About 15 minutes into the dinner, as Chris was talking, my brother, Jon, who is subject to a complex case of autism, pointed directly at Chris and blurted out,
You’re Bob the Builder!
A pause swept across the table.
I am Bob the Builder! You’re right!
And a flurry of laughter and smiles ensued. I could see Jon being included, loved, and accepted in our conversation.
Communicating with individuals with autism is, frankly, intimidating at times. It often provides a hard-to-comprehend atmosphere because there can be so much uncertainty. This is totally normal, even to families and friends who have grown up being intertwined with autism.
Chris was able to effectively communicate with my younger brother because he validated his silly statement and encouraged his goofy imagination.
Every case of autism is unique, and results or reactions from conversations usually vary, but using the method called VALID, you and I can lovingly and carefully immerse ourselves into their world.
Notes: [ + ]
|1.||↑||Adapted from Austin Dane’s blog, “How to Talk to Individuals with Autism,” posted September 2, 2016, https://www.theodysseyonline.com/siblings-with-autism. Copyright © 2016 by Austin Dane, 2016. Used by permission.|
God hears our silence, which demonstrates our faith that God is with us wherever we are.
Anxiety is a word we often label negatively. In this interview, Pastor of Biblical Counseling Steve Fischer highlights the positives of anxiety, how we complicate anxiety-producing challenges, and how God can help us view anxiety through the lens of truth, humility, grace, and support.
Anxiety . . . a word we often label negatively. We tend to put a “fear-based” frame around anxiety, forgetting to consider that anxiety may have a positive purpose.
As God made us, anxiety is an alarm system that awakens us to action in the here and now. However, today anxiety is focused on past events or assumed future challenges which result in fear-based living. Anxiety is exhausting unless we learn to reframe its purpose. If we want to live fully, addressing our core anxiety issues is essential.
Watch the Interview
In this interview, Steve Fischer highlights the positives of anxiety, how we complicate anxiety-producing challenges, and how God can help us view anxiety through the lens of . . .
Wounds require time to heal. When you don’t give wounds time to heal, they get infected. Often, a busy schedule distracts us from caring for our bruised hearts.
The weathered wooden trellises were trashed . . . or so they thought. I found some timeworn trellises stacked in a pile my folks planned to toss out. I have a thing about refurbishing or renewing stuff that appears dumpy or dilapidated, and giving it new life.
If it’s family stuff, all the better. Around my house we have a saying: “Your trash is my treasure.”
The trellises had been used for years.
- They had held fragrant climbing roses my dad cared for, cutting one for my mom each day.
- They were placed by the swimming pool where for years my kids and I swam.
- The man who built them out of wood had passed away, but his work remained.
For these reasons and more, I hauled them home, knowing they could be beautiful again.
Not long after, my daughter was engaged, and we were pinching pennies by making the most of her decorations. TA-DA . . . the trellises . . . they could work. We decided to make an A-framed arbor; each side measured about 4 ½ feet tall by 3 feet wide, held together with four vertical wood slats and six horizontal slats.
In all, each side had a bunch of smaller, square-shaped spaces, superb for her wedding style as we envisioned it in our minds.
Compassion means extending gentleness, authentic empathy, and tender mercies to another, regardless of their skin or scars or soul failures.