Thursday, March 16, 2006

Autistic teen scores major points in basketball game

February 22, 2006
- By Web Staff

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - An autistic teenager proved hoop dreams can come true.

Jason McElwain is the basketball manager for Athena-Greece High School. For three years, he suited up and sat on the sidelines during every game.

On Feb. 15, the coach let him play in the school's final varsity basketball game of the season. What happened on the court surprised everyone.

Jason scored from behind the three-point line. Then he did it again. And again. In all, Jason netted 20 points during the last four minutes of the game.

The crowd went crazy, surging onto the court. Players and audience members lifted Jason onto their shoulders, with a big grin across his face.

Jason's secret: stay focused on the game.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pot holes and Pits

Yesterday I had the privilege of being the inspirational speaker for 50 University students from Pepperdine University , and about 10 of their teachers. They are in Heidelberg on a student study abroad program. I shared with them a few lessons I have learned from Josephs life (Gen 37-50). 1. The first thing I said was that know one was safe from falling into a pit (having a very big problem).Joseph was the favorite son, he was very well provided for, and still he ended up as a slave,and then as a prisoner. I never expected to see my first born child suffer so much. Autism has been a pit for Jessica, and for me. But know one is safe from a pit! 2. Even though it looks like Joseph never knew he would ever be free from his prison, he was still very faithful with both his natural gifts, and his spiritual gifts. So often I've wanted to use my daughter's sickness as an excuse for doing nothing.I finally know God does not require me to keep up with the Jones, or Smiths, or anyone! He does require me to take a good look at my own personal gifting, both natural and supernatural, and be faithful with what He has given me. Jessica is no excuse for laziness! 3. Finally I have learned not to lose my faith in a pit. Joseph had every reason to be angry at God. When he was called to interpit the dream of Pharaoh, He was still trusting God, and was very clear to say that his power came from God. I can tell you I could not make it without Gods help. God is my help, my hope, my wisdom, and my joy. Too many people curse God even when they hit a pot hole, and lose their faith in a pit. You need God in a pit.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jessica's writing

Jessica began talking when she was 6 months old. Her first word was "Mama"! She stopped speaking when she was about 18 months old, after a MMR vaccination. There is a saying, "just because you can not talk, doesn't mean you have nothing to say". I am grateful Jessica sometimes expresses herself in writing. Here is one of her poems...

Spring Awakening

Spring prepares for resurrection

finds it's companions

Heavens laugh with delight

Crying has been removed.

Meadows are green, brooksare flowing,

life aplenty fills the air.

May music be heard at day

and let the night bring calm.

Meadows are green, sprouts come out

a gentle breeze

makes Winter time wear away.

Hearts are happy to be alive

and good things everyone can give.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The value of life

When I was in College I took an ethics class. We debated about abortion, and what makes a life valuable.I would say a good 70 % of the class said they would easily decide to get an abortion if they knew the child they carried(or their girl friend carried) had a birth defect. I argued all life has value. I don't believe abortion is ok! Jessicas autism has had a profound impact upon my life. I would never have chosen her autism. If I could see her healed, I would be very happy. Still, I never would have chosen abortion. As hard as it has been parenting Jessica, she is worth the world! There is no person to equal her as a teacher. I am a totally different person because she is my daughter. I think a perfect world does not produce perfect people. We become compassionate with practice.