How The Church Can Reach Out To The Disabled

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In the United States and most probably in other countries, people with disabilities are often downgraded. You can only imagine what it feels like for a blind person to order in a restaurant or an individual who uses a wheelchair going on a plane ride. The challenges can be every day for these disabled individuals to join in even the simplest activities. Going to church doesn’t exclude this, and sometimes those with disabilities don’t have nice stories to tell when they get home – only that they didn’t find it a place for comfort and connection.

Opportunities to help the disabled are right in our very eyes, especially with finding them a faith community. Here are ways that a church can reach out to them and make them better believers of togetherness, connection, and spirituality.

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  • Create A Space For Them. Most churches place speakers outside to accommodate the people who are not able to get inside during service as well for those who live nearby. It would also be great if a screen were placed in a quiet room, so families with autistic children and other disabled individuals can comfortably watch and listen to the service. This can make all the difference for them and may reduce their worries and anxieties about going to church.
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  • Encourage Them To Join Ministry. Churchgoers naturally look for a connection with others and an opportunity to serve and make a difference. One thing to consider is how the church community can make it accessible for the disabled to get involved as well. As an active member, you can open the topic of encouraging them to join ministry activities, particularly those that are possible for them too. These activities may include providing coffee or greeting service, nursery duty, and powerpoint presentations. There are always many disabled persons who are willing to serve if they are given a chance.

 

  • Provide Accessibility. There was an article that talked about a disabled person in a wheelchair who stopped going to church when he moved into a new place, simply because the restroom was in the basement. This is why church leaders need to make sure that restrooms are made available for those with disabilities. Aisles can also be made wider, so they can make their way to the front when they want to or when they are invited to come up. Ministers or deacons can also be assigned for them so they can make communion comfortably and not miss out on doing what they went there for – to practice their faith.

 

  • Label Reserved Areas. Just as families with autistic kids have an assigned section, the church can also label areas for disabled members. Some of them have sensory processing disorders, which makes a normal-volume of music seem like it’s deafening or warm-colored lights that can be overpowering for them. Providing them with a labeled section that quieter than the church hall or designed with curtains can make them feel comfortable and will encourage them to attend service. For the deaf, it would be designating them to a place where they can see the interpreter.

 

Conclusion

An individual with a disability attends a service in church to learn more about Jesus and find for himself a community that will help him strengthen his faith. He wants to be considered as a part of Christ’s family like the rest, not someone who is broken and needs to be repaired.

If you are disabled, approach a church member, and air your concerns to him, give him a chance to help you. If you are not disabled and desire to help the wounded, talk to a member and find ways to make these adjustments possible for them, so that they will feel welcomed and valued.

 

 

 

How I Turned My Biggest Weakness Into A Strength

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Sometimes we envy the ones who are rich, popular, or extraordinary (why not?). However, most of them have sad stories of their own too. Just like Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Archer Martin. What do they have in common? They’re all famous geniuses. What else? They all have dyslexia.

My son has a language disability. He’s now 20, but when he was much younger, he was so aloof, and he would always stay at the back of the classroom, afraid of speaking the wrong words at the wrong time. When he gets home, he would tell me that he knew what he wanted to say, but it wouldn’t come out the way he thought. I brought him to a speech therapist, and he somehow improved, but still, he had to practice what he would say before speaking in public.

As if it was not enough, he also has an exceptional motor disability. He couldn’t tie his shoelaces by himself, and he would write big letters because he couldn’t adjust his handwriting. His teachers were struggling to teach him and became frustrated when they would fail.

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The Turning Point

When he was 18, he met a friend who had dyslexia, but he was nothing like my son. He was confident, strong, and somehow happy. What he said to him changed the way he saw himself: “Your disability does not define you, but instead, you are shaped by them.”

With his disabilities, my son eventually learned to strive hard to adapt to public speaking and in events where he would have to use his motor skills. Through his journey, he instilled perseverance and patience and became stronger in spirit. Most people think that excellent speaking and writing skills equal to high intelligence. My son would prove that wrong – he has had a remarkable academic career.

Of course, it was not a walk in the park. We were supportive of his dreams and never failed to show him how much we love him. One time, he told me that he was starting to see the strengths of those with disabilities. He had disabled friends in college, and not surprisingly, they all did well, even excelling in some areas like research. He then learned that Einstein dropped out when he was in seventh grade – and look how successful he became!

Each year, he was more determined to prove to himself that his biggest weakness would soon become his greatest strength. He won awards in Science and Math Competitions. I can’t remember when it was exactly, but when he had dinner one night, I noticed that he spoke much, much better, and I was overwhelmed with happiness. He said he was seeing a speech therapist who helped him with memorization and speech. His most significant achievement after graduating from college was being hired to be a Chemistry teacher – weakness turned strength after all.

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Failure Is Not To Be Feared

My son has grown so much, not despite but BECAUSE OF his disabilities, and his compassion for others who are struggling with disabilities and weaknesses is immense. He would tell his students never to give up and always go for their dreams, to face the negativity in them, and turn them into positivity. When he spoke and mispronounced some words, he would shrug his shoulders, smile, and keep going. That’s the spirit that he imbued to his students – and ultimately to us.

For all of you who are struggling with something today and thinking that they won’t succeed, do not give up. Do not fear failure. My son faced defeat and weakness head-on, and he just realized with flying colors.

 

 

Benefits Of Being Part Of A Faith Community

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I’ve been going to church since I was very young since most of my family members are part of a church community. I speak from experience about what I feel as beneficial about being part of a faith community. I wouldn’t say that I am super religious. I am just a practical person who happens to have my own beliefs about my faith without the intention of influencing others to any particular religion.

I believe that being actively part of a faith community can improve one’s life in several ways.

  1. It Creates Relationships With Supportive Individuals. Through the church group or community, you can create friendships and build bonds with people who have gone through or are going through similar journeys as you. They help you keep yourself focused on the direction that you want to go, which hopefully is towards the better road. You have people you can call when you’re facing difficulty or establish social connections.
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  1. You Have A Consistent Place To Contemplate Or Recover. Being part of a faith community means having a place of solace where you can go and replenish yourself when you’re drained, lonely, or need some comfort. A place of spirituality nurtures a sense of identity and belongingness.
  2. It Engages You To Do Ministry Work. As a church member, this allows you to share your blessings with others in the form of ministry work. This will help you improve your social, team, and leadership skills as you continue to meet different kinds of people and share your faith with them. Most importantly, it instills a good character that you can be proud of.
  3. You Have A Ready Place To Get Married Or Christen Your Kids With Divine Blessings. For someone like me, who’s been loving and living the church life, I must get married in a church surrounded by the people who matter to me. I feel so blessed, safe, and happy. Soon, my babies will be baptized in the community church that I am a part of.
  4. You Have A Community That You Can Run To For Personal Or Financial Need. This is true in that most faith community members have instilled in them kindness and generosity so much so that they would be willing to help financially. Financial problems are not rare, especially with families who are struggling. Needless to say, you are also encouraged to do the same when your fellow church members need your help as well.
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  1. You Can Honor Your Dead Loved Ones Knowing That You Can Pray For Them With The Community. All of us want to honor our loved ones’ past lives appropriately, without having to think where to have the funeral. There is usually a group or committee assigned to these things, such as taking care of the logistics, schedule of prayers and services, etc. Mourning won’t be as lonely.

 My years of experience of being a faith community member have only given me more than I can ask for. I want that for you too. 

 

Changing Your Life Through Giving

 

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It has been a well-known fact that giving is the key to happiness. Up until today, research continually supports the idea that giving one’s time, effort, skills, and treasures is a great way to finding meaning, overcoming trials, and discovering one’s fulfillment and purpose in life. It is true what Winston Churchill once said – “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Here are some great reminders to ourselves why giving is so vital in changing our lives for the better.

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  • Giving Makes Us Feel Happy. When we share our time, money, and effort with others, we somehow become ecstatic, and our mood improves. This is apparently because when we do good, we typically feel good. It’s innate.

 

  • Being Generous Improves Our Mental Health. Our lives are a collection of habits, they say. What we practice doing, and what we are used to doing daily becomes the person that we are, the beliefs that we stand for, and the characters that we portray. If we strive to give something of ourselves every day, generosity becomes part of who we are as humans. Ultimately, if the world were filled with kind and generous individuals, wouldn’t it be a better place to live in?

 

  • Giving Helps Us Move On With Life. As humans, we are innately social beings, and we thrive and survive taking care of each other. Giving is somehow part of that survival journey that we go through. Even when we share water and food with others, we are moving forward with life with kindness and generosity. We wouldn’t survive this world if we lived with greed. Through sharing, we are indeed helping each other survive and live longer.
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  • Giving Improves The Relationships We Have. Giving and sharing with others strengthen our existing relationships and builds new ones. It’s because kindness and generosity make us see people in a positive light while encouraging a sense of fellowship and community, a social as well as a personal connection with others.

Making Giving A Habit

We should encourage each other to be generous to enjoy generosity’s benefits mentioned above. So how do we do that? Keep these reminders in mind.

  • Stay committed to making it a habit. Once you decide to practice generosity, commit to include it into your daily routine. Start with daily then progress to weekly and monthly.
  • Don’t make it complicated. It’s okay if you’re having difficulty changing. It doesn’t happen entirely in a day, so don’t overdo it and don’t take too much responsibility. Do things simply so you’ll have an easier time incorporating it into your routine. You can start by choosing a student in the school that you can share your food with.
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  • Learn to appreciate other people’s generosity. Although we would love to give and feel good about it, others might be trying to do the same. Learn to recognize their gesture by saying thank you and accepting their generosity as well. This is also the right way for you to discover other means of giving.
  • Be empathic. This is such a profound and robust feeling, as it involves the ability to understand someone’s situation by trying to be in his or her place – ‘trying to be in his or her shoes.’ Soon you will realize that you don’t need to feel their pain or other hurting emotions they’re going through.

 

Conclusion

As we keep in mind the health benefits and how giving can make a change in our lives, we would like to pose a challenge to you today. Think of someone you can share your blessings with – and start giving.

 

 

 

Positive Thinking After Your Cancer Diagnosis – Therapist Suggested These Tips

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We all know that being diagnosed with cancer is something that is not readily accepted by the person suffering from it. You had your life planned out, and then the worst news hit you – everything is a blur. You think about how your family and loved ones will be once you’re gone, and it breaks your heart. Well, it’s not easy, and some even go to a therapist for additional emotional support and assistance. Hence, there are ways to live your life amidst your cancer diagnosis.

Continue reading “Positive Thinking After Your Cancer Diagnosis – Therapist Suggested These Tips”

My Life Struggle With Leukemia

On the previous years of my life, everything was astounding. I have a loving family who is always there to support me in my school as well as career paths. I got surrounded by a lot of good friends that I hang out with, and I am living a life that pretty much has everything. But I guess there is never an ending to what God has planned for you. The perfection of my life that I thought I had begun to change when I got diagnosed with leukemia. Therapists, psychologists, doctors, and caregivers become my fortress. That is, of course, aside from the loving friends and family I already have.

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How It All Begin

It was summer, and I was perfectly fine before the beach. I am enjoying the breezy and refreshing feel of the water until I blacked out and the wave crashed on me. I never knew what happened after that until I woke up in the hospital where everyone in my family has gathered around. They were sobbing and crying, and I was like, “I’m still, alive, right?” I am trying to hold my grip even though I knew there is something wrong. Then my mom had to break it. “You have leukemia,” that is what she said. I tried asking her again though I am sure I heard her correctly. I didn’t get the clarification I need because she did not respond. However, I started to feel the chill when she stared at me with tears in her eyes. Seriously, it felt like hell. I was only fourteen back then. What am I supposed to do? How should I react to the unfortunate news? Everything that day was blurry, and all I was thinking was, “Oh My God, I am dying.”

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The Mental And Emotional Battle

After knowing that I had leukemia, I never felt the same. I am always sad and lonely. I felt so hopeless, exhausted, and unwilling to live. I get anxious all the time and frequently thought tomorrow I’ll be gone. I developed depression. I keep questioning people and God why it has to be me. I often get emotional breakdown where I cried my heart out night and day. I began feeling afraid of doing everything. I lose the interest of talking to people. I become so desperate into wanting to be alone. Everyone wanted me to find the light so I can try to move on, but I can’t. Everything in my mind has already disappeared. There is nothing in it that motivated me to look at the future once again. I am damaged, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Leukemia left me broken inside and out. My life slowly began slipping into the waters of depression. I can no longer see faith in everything. Until one night, I began to write a suicide note that truly represents all the things I want to tell my family, friends, and the world. In my letter, I wrote down I was sorry. I apologized for not being the best. I thanked them for providing everything I need. I wrote down each of the things about them I love the most. I enumerated the experiences and memories I had spent with them that truly made me happy. I looked back and reminisced on my past, and I came to realize it was indeed an excellent reason for living.

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The Realization

After writing down all the things I am thankful for and reading my letter once more, something in my head hit me. I don’t want to die. I want to live. I realized I was too focused on thinking that I will never become happy again when, in fact, happiness is entirely in front of me. I was busy forming an idea that things will never get better, but I didn’t pay attention to those beautiful things I still have. I am not dead, and I can create and share memories with the people I love the most.

After that realization, I begin to picture out suicide as the most stupid thing I will ever have to consider. Never again in my entire life, killing myself will come across my mind. I am loved, and I love the people around me. I deserve to be happy. So as a message to all of those who are suffering the condition same as mine, realize one thing. Learn to value life because everything in it can make you smile, laugh, and dream.

Cancer Patients With Their Mental Health Problems

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There are more than 360,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year. Cancer doesn’t affect the physical body but also mental health. Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing event and anything that drastic can affect one’s psyche. Even after treatment, things aren’t expected to go back to normal, so patients are still concerned by illness, just in their mental state.

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Behavioral Health’s Contribution To Lowering Suicide Incidents In The US

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. That translates to 47,173 Americans dying because of suicide just in 2017. Moreover, apart from these suicide cases, 1,400,000 more suicide attempts were recorded. These numbers mean that for every single waking day, 129 people die while taking their own lives. Some reports diagnosed mental health concerns in more than 90% of the people who die by suicide. This state makes it valid to target the behavioral health’s improvement to at least lower the number of suicide incidents. Continue reading “Behavioral Health’s Contribution To Lowering Suicide Incidents In The US”

Important Facts You Need To Know About Leukemia

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Most people think of leukemia as predominantly a condition seen among children, but it is something that adults usually have. It is more common in men compared to women, and more in whites compared to African-Americans. Families with loved ones inflicted with leukemia should have enough knowledge of what it is and how it affects the lives of their loved ones.

Continue reading “Important Facts You Need To Know About Leukemia”