Pain Shared

I haven’t blogged for so long, you, my readers, may have disappeared.  Well, I got cancer. Surprise. There is something I didn’t  have.

 

Since surgery, I have thought a lot about those of you anywhere who have pain.  There is stuff about it on this website.  But beyond that, is anyone interested in sharing personal experiences and ideas about pain.  It is such pain you may not have time to talk about it, but we might benefit from touching voices about a severe subject no one talks about.

 

MD Anderson doesn’t treat my pain because it is not from cancer. In my case, so far, cancer doesn’t hurt, it is arthritis, neuropathy and other stuff that keeps me hurting.  I take lots of pills, and try not to move unless necessary.

I also remember Sister Thea Bowman (Saints to Lean on, McGrane) who said “I’ve found that moaning is therapeutic. It’s a way of centering, the way you do in centering prayer. You concentrate your internal energies and your powers in prayer or wordless outcry to God. ”

 

Many of you know I have developed moaning and groaning to an art form. But it is not art the museum wants, so if you want to talk pain, here is a good place to tell and hear.

 

For those in pain

Check out my new writing on pain called, “Pain is Such A Pain” on this site. It deals with the consequences of pain.

Pain is the everyday fare for a lot of people I know including myself.  I’ve been thinking about how it changes the way we live, feel and interact.  It has been a good exercise since I dissected it into more than one writing.  It’s a huge subject!  My pain is about to expand as I have been diagnosed with colon cancer and am getting ready for surgery.  So I am about to find out if what I wrote about cancer and what I wrote about pain is actually useable. It’s an exercise I could have skipped, but I will let you know how the scorecard works out.

 

Who is “whole?”

Lots of theological discussion about who is whole according to church doctrine. I will put in my two cents worth.  A simple definition of wholeness is hard to come by. Life keeps happening to us, and how we meet those flinging events may help define us as whole or not.

What if, after you die, you put out your hand to shake hands with God, but you discover that God has no arms? Would God be less because he/she is different? So, this is a dumb question. God is a spirit and we are created in his image. Not a him or a her or armless. In a spiritual image. Whew! That lets me off the hook. I can’t walk or lift a full glass of water, but  I can try to attain wholeness in God’s image.

It really doesn’t matter what anyone says.  We can all strive to be whole in spiritual ways and have a fulfilling life any way we can.

Abraham Maslow wrote that to be whole you must certain needs met including food, clothing, shelter, safety ad security, love belonging, self esteem. but a few years later in his  Theory of Hiarchy, and Pyramid of Self Actualization he gives a different idea of being whole:  Knowing what ought to be known, and living accordingly makes one a whole person.

Everyone gets an even shot at what might be called wholeness, and while it is a label and I don’t like labels, using the word can make us think about our spiritual sides.

 

 

 

Eyes for new widget

You can blink all you want to while I try to get the widget for Every Child Can Bloom working so  you can see the inside pages. It’s a crazy way to do business, and every step of the way has taken time, time, time and has made me feel very stupid.  The last step, the code, hasn’t worked for days, so I called Bowker today.  They have no power due to the storm.  Sounds like me in my office: no power due to the storm of stupidity floating around. But then, wait a minute, I’m not really stupid, just stymied. Anyway, keep blinking, and one day soon you will be able to see the way Homer made my words readable and colorful. His design is worth all this effort so you can see it.

On other fronts, sorry about the power outages, and hope everyone has snowboards. If not, try a cardboard box laid out flat or pull your child around on a shovel; the handle makes for easy pulling.

Ramps’nthings Press

Ramps’nthings Press is dedicated to publishing relevant materials for persons with disabilities and those who teach them, play with them, pray with them or just enjoy their company.

For mainline publishers, there’s not much money in the publication of materials for a smaller audience than the general population, so I took a little nest egg and started Ramps’nthings. It’s a fledgling, and I have had a steep learning curve, but publishing has been a big adventure. The downside is that it takes LOTS of time, so I don’t have as much writing time.

Other publishers always did  publicity, advertising, tax information, etc. for me Now I have to do it all,  so this is an extra effort.  EVERY CHILD CAN BLOOM IN THE INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM was released last month just in time for churches to use the book to inform teachers of children how to create a comfortable climate.  I had fun putting the   book together with the help of Homer Carvajal, the best book designer ever. He takes black words on a page and makes them appealing with color and pictures.

This is a book about practical teaching and easy adjustment of attitude.

Every Child Can Bloom in the Inclusive Classroom

 

 

Not only can every child bloom, but every teacher by tweaking the way they do things can  also BLOOM, and I tell them how to do it in my new book from Ramps’nthings Press. Available from Amazon.com,  EVERY CHILD CAN BLOOM IN THE INCLUSIVE CLASSROOM, A QUICK LOOK DISABILITIES HANDBOOK FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS AND ANY TEACHERS gives  practical helps in “quick read” as I did in my first Quick Look for Volunteer Responders.

It’s about children with and without disabilities, and covers everything from sensory overload and calming actions to successful hands on teaching practices and spiritual formation and worship. There’s a bonus of    27   exciting ways to use a story.  Intentional church policy information can help your church decide which options for grouping best suit your needs.

If you don’t know what a Venn Diagram is, you need to buy this book. If you don’t know about social thinking, you need to buy this book. This information will help you exhale and sink onto a soft cushion as you enjoy your students. Maybe you didn’t know your were holding your breath!

Homer Carvajal did a fantastic job in designing the book. He took my black and white words, and with thirty color illustrations made them come alive.  Amazing!

 

 

Bullying is Everywhere

I was recently bullied by a doctor who yelled at me, repeated accusations several times, and would not let me speak. I was surprised to tears. Not the reaction I have taught our students and parents to take. Now I know how you feel when someone bigger or in authority cuts you down, so guys, I understand.

I’m ready for next encounter with the hands in front of the face act and saying stop.  You all became very good at it, and so shall I.

Youth Camping and Summer Project Advice

Camping with youth is fun but certain to be full of surprises, especially if someone with a disability registers. Early on, find out what this person’s needs will be so you can help everyone have a good experience.  My this-website article, “Camps and Projects Can Be Inclusive,” will help you know what to do first, second and  on….   Don’t wait until the last minute when you have to gasp and wring your hands. Find out now what to do! My big camping surprise was at a Methodist teen Cedar Bluff Camp near Coffeyville, Kansas where I served as registrar. We ran out of cabins, so a few of the staff slept outside on cots next to the stage area. Being a sound sleeper, I awoke and looked up from my cot to see EVERYONE carrying their Bibles as they walked past me, snickered and pointed.  Question:  Is it worse to be seen in bed during morning watch or to be seen in cute shorty pajamas scampering toward the cabin? Answer: Wait until the opening prayer when everyone had their eyes closed. Almost everyone.

Easter Essence

The Essence of Easter

No doubt about it, a present day death and resurrection would make the six o’clock news, and by morning there would be religiously correct points of view every few hours presented by a wide range of organized believers, non-believers or dis-believers.

As in the post-Jesus days, Christians would be claiming that they have discovered a different way of life that is better than that offered by the non-Christian world.  Then the fun would begin with disagreements all around about what the good news or better way of life means. Electronic media would flash the news, cyber-net users would interpret it, commentators would probe meanings and affirm or discredit the event. The stone rolled away from the tomb would be chipped into bits much like the Berlin Wall, and sacred relics might even be hawked and bought by a well-intentioned populace.

I am profoundly glad to live now, times away from the event of Easter with the benefit of great thinkers of the ages who have put the spirit of Easter into perspective. I am thankful for my childhood memories and training of Easter and for the saints who have helped me interpret my life under the Easter umbrella..

Modern Easter News

No doubt about it, a present day death and resurrection would make the six o’clock news, and by morning there would be religiously correct points of view every few hours presented by a wide range of organized believers, non-believers or dis-believers.

As in the early post-Jesus days, Christians would be claiming that they have discovered a different way of life that is better than that offered by the non-Christian world.  Then the fun would begin with disagreements all around about what the good news or better way of life means. Electronic media would flash the news, cyber-net users would interpret it, commentators would probe meanings and affirm or discredit the event. The stone rolled away from the tomb would be chipped into bits much like the Berlin Wall, and sacred relics might even be hawked and bought by a well-intentioned populace.

I am profoundly glad to live now, centuries away from the Easter event with the benefit of great thinkers of the ages who have put it into perspective. I have benefited from the Apostle Paul and from the way disciples were motivated to follow Jesus even after his death. I have benefited from the deep deliberations of philosophers through the ages who argued and tested their ideas on each other.

I am thankful for my childhood memories and training of Easter and for all the saints who have helped me interpret my life under the Easter umbrella.