Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Note: after writing this I started reading the next chapter and Francis addressed the issue I wrote about: I've included a quote at the end.

I've been reading this book on my Kindle. The main theme is that because God is so big and awesome, we should be motivated to move out into the world and serve Him in radical ways. Once again, an author rails on the church for not doing its job.

Well, not the churches I know. So I guess in my case he's preaching to the choir. The churches I know are actively involved in serving in so many ways, spanning crisis pregnancy/pro-life/adoption to buying a well for Africa to helping the poor in New York City and Chicago to sending missionaries to every continent. Individuals within the church are actively supporting and serving in many ways themselves.

The truth is, we can always do better. There's no excuse for sitting around trying to build up our own castles. We should always be looking for more radical ways to serve to the point of suffering, and not shrink back. But let's not blame the church as a whole and make everyone feel guilty. Let's build one another up and as Paul does in his letters, encourage believers to press on, grow, and glorify God more and more.

I'm not saying I don't like this book in general, just not the blaming part. We need church leaders to motivate us and I think Francis has a lot of good things to say that do just that. So would I recommend this book? Of course. It's solid truth in terms of who God is and what we're called to do in light of the gospel. Hey, I like this guy. Who can't help but be drawn to a younger more hipsterish preacher who's a surfer and takes a radical step by leaving a huge congregation and starting a new ministry to the poor in LA? So don't avoid the book based on this post; read it for yourself and see what you think.

In the chapter following his challenge to the church, Francis quotes John Piper and then says "My fear in writing the previous chapter is that it only evokes in you fear and guilt. Personal experience has taught me that actions driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living. I hope you realize instead that the answer is love."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Severe/profound language expressive and receptive disorder

This was the bottom line evaluation of the speech pathologist at Unit 5 for Samantha. But let me clarify a little. Samantha is doing okay in school, is functional in all areas as long as she has visual props (i.e. doing math w/ numerals in front of her). In all the other Unit 5 testing that was given by two other professionals, she fell w/in the average range overall, but had very low scores for tasks that required listening w/o visuals. She also had problems with memory, but not enough to affect her overall performance. She would have been deemed ineligible for services based on that, but the speech pathology results moved her into being significantly at risk. Interestingly, the other tests were based on grade level, and the speech test was based on age.

This could have been caught earlier when she was at Easter Seals for sensory processing therapy. She was tested at four years of age by a green employee and passed, much to my shock. I knew Samantha couldn't understand or communicate well, but the testing didn't render her eligible for help. So I was left to try my best to fill in the gaps I knew were there.

The meeting was on Wednesday, and then yesterday I got her report card. They don't do grade reporting yet, just Excellent, Satisfactory, etc. She's starting to drop, so although she could have been getting help before, I'm thankful that at this crucial time before third grade things are in motion for her to get extra help at school. Along with the pull-outs for reading and phonics, they'll be adding speech. She'll also get a small amount of help from Unit 5, but most of it will come from Trinity's speech teacher along w/ an IEP for the classroom.

All that said, we still need to go deeper and have her tested for auditory processing. If we find she has a disorder for that, we will likely seek help outside the school so she can function better in all of life. However, being the smart cookie that she is, when she can't think of a word, she works really hard to explain herself w/ other language. She also asks what things mean when she's confused. So I'm pleased that she's making efforts to compensate on her own; this is huge and shows that she has amazing potential. She just has to get beyond being shy with others. At home, she compensates, but for the most part doesn't do that in other settings.