Sunday, October 29, 2017

Reformation Day

This Tuesday, most people will be celebrating Halloween with kids going around collecting candy and adults watching scary movies. Before the commercialization we know today, October 31 was reformation day. This year marks an anniversary for the reformation that is unlikely to be in the news.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This started what we now know as the protestant reformation. Luther saw how the Roman Catholic church was not following God's Word and boldly declared his work on the church door.

In the 500 years since the reformation, many denominations have started and are now based on God's word. The other reformers such as John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, and others worked to get the Bible into a language that everybody understood and made it possible for all to read. Some paid with their lives and we see the results of their efforts today with Bibles freely available in most countries and languages. However, we're getting close to needing another reformation.

In many of today's churches, we water down areas that talk about a need for repentance from sin. People sitting in church pews (or chairs more often) are often just their for an hour of entertainment and anything that just feels good. It's also common for churches to abandon early parts of Genesis to secular interpretation with evolution and just say to trust in Jesus.

As in Luther's day, the church is following man's ideas and not scripture. Modern evangelism touts God as love and will fill a God shaped hole in your heart. The hearers then just add on Christian to their title and don't lead a changed life.

The world has now invaded the church instead of the church influencing the world around us. I pray that the 500 year anniversary of the reformation will help to remind the Christian church about its roots and start digging back to them. I'll see what opportunities I get in this coming week of the quad life.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Everyone is familiar with your own point of view. Certain activities, phrases, and actions are normal in your own view and those around you. When you experience an outside perspective, some items that you're familiar with may look odd.

This week, I received an email version of the New Mobility magazine. One of the articles was about a quadriplegic who has made a living with assistive technology. The opening picture is of him using a wireless head set for his phone and chin controlled wheelchair. My first reaction was curiosity in what he was using and that it looked cool. Thinking for a second, that's what I look like with my phone.

Looking through my eyes, I don't see the stuff I use or how it looks like when I'm using various devices. In my early years as a camp counselor, one of the campers was also a high level quad. As I rolled by his bed one morning, I looked down and saw he wasn't moving and thought he had fallen asleep again. I commented to another counselor and she corrected me that he was actually dancing to the music. Looking again, yes his head was bopping around to the stereo that was running, exactly the same as I do.

The problem was I looked at his chest and arms for movement and didn't look up to his head. I have seen others using a mouth stick for various activities and think it looks challenging. Once again, I only need to look in the mirror to see the exact same scene.

Getting outside of our own viewpoint can sometimes be very helpful to better understand a topic. It's what I try to do in classes and when I study apologetics. Seeing it from multiple angles helps to work with someone that has a different point of view.

As you go throughout this week, try to look at problems from a different perspective. It is interesting in the quad life and helps to better understand the world God has given.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Teacher Hunt

As is pretty normal, last week was a fairly busy week again. Tuesday was my regular biking in Des Moines, Thursday had a meeting for Medicaid renewal and a church meeting, and Friday was speaking at school.

This was my last scheduled school for the year, but I'm hoping to get a few more for spring. If I do, I hope they are a bit calmer. My last visit for the year was with my biggest school, three classes of second graders back to back. By the end of the day, I was having trouble remembering what I had said where, but each class was unique.

During my presentation, I show the students how I write with my mouth and then let them try it on there own. When older kids see me, this is usually the part they remember the most and it's a fun activity. The first class went as usual, but the second group had a bit of a difference.

After I did my demo, the kids started to give it a try. However, just as one girl got the marker near her mouth, she put her hand over her mouth, ran to the trash can, and threw up. The teacher was helping another fidgety student, so I got her attention and she quickly ushered the student, with trash can, out of the room.

Thankfully, the rest of the class didn't seem to notice and I just continued on as usual. During the remainder of my presentation, the teacher kept busy wiping down the door knob, student's desk, and area where the trash can had been. I pray the young lady is feeling well again and won't have memories of a different kind if we get to meet again.

My church's pastor search team started up again, so I'm back to listening to sermons during my flat time. I was also asked this week to preach at a church next month, so I started writing my own sermon to present. With ideas running through my head and listening to multiple preachers, I'm not sure which thoughts are original anymore.

As I continue to learn in the quad life, I never what to expect in any situation. My only scheduled activity this coming week is biking again, so hopefully it will be just the routine. God is in control of it all, even sudden illnesses.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

No longer very good

A week ago today was another mass shooting in the U.S., this time in Las Vegas. The conspiracy theories abound on what took place, but the fact remains that another 58 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.

In Genesis 1:31, God looked at creation, everything in the universe, and called it very good. If you look to the original wording, He said it was exceedingly good, or perfect. It doesn't take much observation to see the world we live in today is not perfect by any means.

Large massacres of people by gunmen is almost starting to become common. However, smaller sometimes more personal tragedies such as cancer, suicide, and young children sustaining life altering injuries in car accidents are things we experience almost daily. Even when Jesus was on earth, we read in Luke 13 about people being killed by the governor and when a tower fell on them.

The question most people ask is why do these things happen? What is wrong with this once perfect world? The answer goes back to Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve, the head of all people, sinned against God. They said by their actions they wanted to do things their way and to leave God out of it, and the consequences were given.

As a result, God withdrew some of His sustaining power and allows some sins to occur. Now, all of creation groans as in childbirth until the present time (Romans 8). As the world continues to go against God's will, we continue to see sin and its results increase.

What should be our reaction when these events occur? As a consequence of sin, death entered the world and it is appointed once for every person to die, and then the judgment. Jesus' response to the tragedies He was asked about was to repent, or you will likewise perish. Therefore, these events should be a reminder that our time will come, most likely when we least expect it.

As I tell grade school students, living the quad life is not part of the original very good creation. However, God has not left us as orphans and we can still serve Him and follow His commands. May everyone continue to do this in the week to come as well as whatever time we have been given.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


At the end of every month, I do an activity that I somewhat dread, billing. Looking through how much work was done for each client and sending out invoices as appropriate is a task I quickly get tired of doing. I did originally start college in an accounting field, but I'm thankful every month that I did not continue.

I find it somewhat odd that the monthly fun, as I'll say, is still referred to as doing paperwork. However, paper is rarely involved in any of it. Everything is tracked electronically and emailed to each client. I wonder if some day we will transition away from the term paperwork to something more specific such as invoicing, or another term as yet to be invented.

With the beginning of October, it signals the end of my time with one of my long-term, and busier, clients. I worked with them through another company (I was the middle quad) and they are now moving to another web developer. We may still work together some, but still not sure what that will become. When you only average about six to eight hours of work a month, any decrease is noticed.

For a long time now, I keep having a feeling that a major transition is coming. With my very limited time upright, decreasing web development work likely isn't a bad thing, at least temporarily. However, the question keeps running through my head of changing to what? I had one new college class ask me to come, but it was on a day that didn't work. Since that initial contact, I haven't heard back from them.

Speaking more would be great during the warm months, but I couldn't do too much and increase my time sitting. Do to weather concerns, I don't schedule anything from Thanksgiving through about St. Patrick's Day. It's only about three months, but that's still a long time period not to be productive.

If a transition comes some day, I know God has it all in His hands according to His time. I'm not one that just live the quad life and sit or lay around all day and not do anything. As always, I will wait and see what the weeks and months ahead will bring. Fall is starting to become more evident in Iowa, so time of hibernation will soon be upon me. For now, another week and more scheduled activities are ahead!