The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities

An Interview with Kathleen Bolduc

Not many of us would put together the words love and suffering. Suffering feels like anything but love. One of life’s greatest struggles is to resolve that our all-loving God allows us to suffer; in fact, Scripture repeatedly reminds us that God is love and we will suffer.

Kathleen Bolduc understands suffering, as she raised a son with disabilities. She has experienced bitter-cold sorrow and has been warmed by God’s loving embrace for more than thirty years. Her book The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities helps us understand that God’s love breaks through most often when we are broken open.

If you are enduring pain and questioning God’s love, Kathy’s words will warm your soul.

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Love is a word pregnant with warmth and hope, joy and happiness. If love were a season, it would probably be spring; and as a color, we think of red or pink. Suffering, on the other hand, feels void of warmth and life: cold, lonely, painful, and for some, hopeless. If suffering were a season, it would be winter—icy, bitter, bleak, and void of any color.

Falling in love is exciting, falling into pain is excruciating.

When God’s Wonderful Plan Doesn’t Appear So Wonderful

An Interview with John and Lynn Hampton

How many times have we heard someone say, “God has a wonderful plan for your life”? I stopped counting years ago; maybe you have too. Reconciling the truth that God’s plan for our lives is good when all we are experiencing is pain can cause tremendous confusion.

After all, Scripture emphatically says:

Daring Greatly in a Declining Culture

What makes cowards run and champions rise? How is it that some people can face their fears, die to their dreams, and still have an abundant, fulfilling life? The book of Daniel answers these questions.

Benham brothers

David and Jason Benham know exactly what it’s like to live courageously—like Daniel. Their message leads us all down that path. It’s time to rise above our circumstances and trust God regardless.

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The prophet Daniel lived as a slave in Babylon when Babylon ruled the known world. Commanded to adopt and practice Babylon’s carnal, cultural ways, Daniel chose to trust in the sovereignty of God.

He never compromised. In so doing, Daniel was eventually honored by all the people and by God.

Interview Questions:

  1. What experiences caused you to write your new book?
  2. What similarities do you find between Babylon and today?
  3. Tell us about some “oven” experiences you have been through.
  4. Isn’t the enemy amazing with distractions?
  5. What’s the difference between strategy and spiritual thinking?
  6. Which spiritual disciplines led you to the crossroads?
  7. Why does the gospel sometimes come across as offensive?
  8. What does it mean to stay on the altar in troubling times?
  9. What has been the hardest struggle besides the TV show?

Let Me Hear from You

Do you have what it takes to stand up to opposition? Would you have made the same choices Daniel made?

In our current culture, it is vital for each believer in Jesus Christ to have a solid faith; one that does not waver when the storms of life rage on. We are easily caught up in yearning to know the whys, whats, and hows of life; God calls us to trust Him alone!

Are you cultivating a courageous, committed faith or are you stuck in wanting God to answer all your questions? What part of this interview struck a chord in your life? How have you chosen to live? Do others see Jesus in you? What needs to change so you can live a victorious, Daniel-like life?

About David and Jason Benham

David and Jason BenhamThe Benham brothers are former professional baseball players, nationally acclaimed entrepreneurs, and best-selling authors of their first book, Whatever the Cost. Clearly, they are twins; each is uniquely gifted and passionate about helping others find an abundant life in Jesus Christ. Both of them are happily married and love life with their kids in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Benham Brothers Resources

For information, resources, links, and a Bible-study outline, please visit the Benham Brothers’ Web site. You will love it!

Insight for Living Ministries and Reframing Ministries Resources

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Reframing Anxiety: God’s Good Plan in How We’re Made

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.

stevefischer

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.

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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 . . .

Seeing in the Dark: Mental Health in the Church Today

You may be shocked by what you are about to read: After cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death.

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  • 41,149 suicides were reported in 2013—that’s two suicides for every reported murder, one suicide death every 12.8 minutes1“Facts and Figures,” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures, accessed Sept. 11, 2015..
  • Even more shocking is the church’s inaccurate beliefs about mental health issues, as identified in the most recent mental health study conducted by LifeWay Research.2“Study of Acute Mental Illness and Christian Faith: Research Report,” LifeWay Research, http://www.lifewayresearch.com/files/2014/09/Acute-Mental-Illness-and-Christian-Faith-Research-Report-1.pdf, accessed Sept. 11, 2015.

We cannot continue to neglect this enormous area of need.

After personal tragedy and with professional insight, Kay Warren offers practical tools and hands-on direction for supporting individuals and families struggling with mental health challenges.

Notes:   [ + ]

1. “Facts and Figures,” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures, accessed Sept. 11, 2015.
2. “Study of Acute Mental Illness and Christian Faith: Research Report,” LifeWay Research, http://www.lifewayresearch.com/files/2014/09/Acute-Mental-Illness-and-Christian-Faith-Research-Report-1.pdf, accessed Sept. 11, 2015.

Suffering and God’s Strange, Sovereign Plan

An Interview with Michele Cushatt

We’ve all been there a time or two . . . or THREE . . . when life doesn’t let up. More specifically, trials that are agonizing and exhausting, where we long for a flicker of light or a ray of hope.

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After surviving oral cancer twice and in the midst of launching her new book Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life, the cancer came back with an unrelenting vengeance. Astonished and terrified, Michele’s prognosis was extremely bleak. She endured a year of excruciating surgeries and an unbearable recovery. In those dark hours of suffering, questions surfaced about life and faith.

Like us all, when God allows severe suffering, life’s hardest questions abound. In this interview, Michele shares extraordinary wisdom and significant truths essential to surviving life’s greatest adversities.

Reframing Ministries: Discover Purpose, Passion, and Perspective!

Sometimes, we get stuck in life’s ruts. Ever feel stuck? If so, you don’t have to remain there!

Colleen Reframing

Insight for Living Ministries can help you climb out . . . with Reframing Ministries.

If the name Reframing Ministries is unfamiliar to you, that’s okay, because it’s the brand new name for the Special Needs Department of Insight for Living Ministries.

Here’s how it will help you even more than it has.

Intentional Living: Reframing Our Mind-set

An Interview with Noah Elias

Why does it seem like some people catch all the breaks while others face one challenge after another? Or why does success come to some while others struggle and strive just to make it through one more day? In fact, what does “success” look like to you . . . where you live, what you drive, where you go, who you know?

Noah Elias

The list seems endless to most of us, but according to the enormously successful artist, entrepreneur, and mentor, Noah Elias, the definition of success is thoroughly simple and life changing. If you are looking for direction, longing for fulfillment, losing hope, or lacking the joy you expected to have in life, you cannot miss this interview!

Reframing the Autism Epidemic

It’s a parent’s fear, an educational nightmare, a massive political agenda, the subject of heated church conflicts, an American epidemic, and more. Autism. Since 2000, multidisciplinary research has helped us treat vast variations of autism, but research can’t fix autism. In many ways, “fixing” autism shifts our focus away from an essential human need . . . an eternal perspective. We seek treatments and therapies with heroic motivation and blame God when nothing changes.

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Has anyone ever considered autism may be allowed by God because of the way it can revolutionize our “typical” lives? Reframing autism begins with an eternal perspective, calling us to seek Him and learn His ways as we care for those with differences. In this interview, Emily Colson speaks about caring for her adult son Max, who has autism.

She also talks about how God continues to reveal her need for Christ and how to reframe her life by embracing autism.

Hope, Healing, and Mental Health

An Interview with Dr. Matthew Stanford

In any given year, 1 in 5 people will struggle with a mental health issue. If we said 1 in 5 people will have a compromise in physical health, we would start a prayer chain. But mention that the compromise is a mental health issue, and most people scatter, label, judge, and disappear.

Special-Needs-Interviewee

We tend to hide or deny what we cannot control or fix because most of the Western world clings to a dissected view of humanity; we partition our existence into labeled segments. We define one human life as sections of the whole . . . physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and so on, which dismisses a whole person. Labels are terribly confining and damaging; candidly, it is a self-righteous choice to judge or label any part or the whole person altogether.