A Creative Dad

This is a fun story about a creative dad.

A disabled dad who cannot carry his daughter in the normal way has come up with an ingenious method to lift her up when they are on the move.

Like any 20-month-old toddler, Esther Souza gets a bit tired from walking around – so her dad Manoel Izo lets her climb onto his crutches and ride on them while he walks. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

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Positive Attitudes

With the new year upon us, it is important to stay focused. Whatever our situations and circumstances, a positive attitude is vital.

I often teach about happiness and what has become exceedingly clear is this: There are seven qualities chronically unhappy people have mastered.

According to Psychology Today, University of California researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky states: “40 percent of our of our capacity for happiness is within our power to change.”

If this is true and it is, there’s hope for us all. There are billions of people on our planet and clearly some are truly happy. The rest of us bounce back and forth between happiness and unhappiness depending on the day. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Magdala – Lesson from the Promised Land

The Home of Mary Magdalene

One of the greatest treats of our trip through Israel was our stop at Migdal, more commonly known as Magdala. This stop was special because the site is not yet open to the public. The dig was still in progress.

My pastor happened to be friends with Father Kelly who oversees the entire project, hence, our ticket in, to see what had been discovered thus far. The Catholic Church purchased the plot of land on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with the intent to build a retreat for women. As they began to dig the foundation, they unearthed ruins. In Israel if that happens the project is halted until archeologists figure out what has been dug up.

It turned out they had discovered Magdala, the home town of Mary Magdalene. The most exciting find was a carved stone pedestal unearthed from inside the synagogue. A replica of the menorah had been carved into its side from the Temple in Jerusalem. This proves the existence of the Jewish Temple during that era, which some would like to discount.

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But what really caused my bells and whistles to go off, was knowing the chances are quite high that Jesus unrolled the scriptures atop that very stone pedestal. Scripture tells us He taught from synagogue to synagogue around the Galilee.

As yet, we don’t know much about the town of Magdala, but we do know something about a woman that was born there. Her name was Mary, who later was called Mary Magdalene. She had an encounter with Jesus that completely revolutionized her life. We don’t know the type of things she was involved in before she met our Lord, but one thing we do know.

Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. She was possessed with not one demon, but seven. This was a woman who lived in torment. Most likely her life was hell on earth. Then Jesus came along, delivered her, and great was her deliverance. Her life was never the same.

Mary was one of the women who followed Jesus from town to town ministering to His needs and to the needs of the disciples. She did this at her own expense, because she had been forgiven and delivered from much, and she loved much. She was at the cross when Jesus died, and she was at the tomb soon after His resurrection.

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after He rose from the dead. What an honor! She was the first with proof that He had risen.

Are you tormented by something in your life or struggle with something you can’t conquer on your own? Take it to Jesus. He is the great deliverer.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

The Sea of Galilee – Lessons from the Promised Land

Jesus and the Sea of Galilee

The early morning sun peeked through the rising mist as we boarded the boat bobbing on the Sea of Galilee, also called the Lake of Gennesaret. The crisp air was full with expectation and whispered the name of Jesus. We were on calm and hallowed water.

The mere mention of the Sea of Galilee and one thinks, Jesus. It was on this body of water that Jesus manifested His divine power. He calmed the raging waves and howling wind with just a word, walked on water, and caused men to fall to their knees proclaiming He must be the Son of God.

From my boat, I took in the distant shorelines around me. Jesus began His ministry in the Galilee area and walked along those very shores. What did He do along them? A good share of His ministry happened on those beaches and in the various surrounding towns and villages.

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Peter, Andrew, James and John were picked to be Jesus’ disciples at the water’s edge. He told them to cast out their nets again, even though they had caught nothing all night. They followed His instruction and caught more than their nets could handle.

In small boats, He preached from the sea to get space from the pressing crowds. He healed the sick at its waterside and cast out demons restoring people’s lives. He sent Peter to throw a hook into its water to catch a fish. In the mouth of the fish, Peter found money to pay their taxes.

Jesus made the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding area a miraculous place. He changed the world from a small and insignificant spot on earth.

After His death and resurrection, He told his disciples to go to Galilee and He would meet them there, and He did, concluding His ministry in the Galilee area by appearing to His followers. Jesus came to His tired disciples, who had fished all night, but had caught nothing. He called to them to cast their net to the other side of the boat. When they did, their net came up full. As they came ashore, Jesus had fish and bread cooking on a fire, and He served them breakfast.

Jesus died so that man could approach God from anywhere on earth. He is always near. What is your need? Seek Him. Follow Him, just as the crowds of the Galilee did, and He will meet you.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim – Lessons from the Promised Land

The Mounts of Curses and Blessings

While we visited the West Bank, we gazed out upon two mountains. To my eye, they looked like a couple of hills, since I live at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

As we took in the sight, a Rabbi shared the story of Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. In Deuteronomy 26:16-19 the Israelites declared God to be their God. They committed themselves to walk in His ways, keep his statutes, commandments, ordinances, and listen to His voice.

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As a response, God declared them to be His people.

This happened toward the end of Moses’ life, and he gave the Israelites instructions of what to do when they crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land. Moses charged them to stand six tribes in front of Mt. Ebal and to stand the other six tribes in front of Mt. Gerizim. In the valley between the two mountains, the priests were to recite the curses.

After each curse the people were to say, Amen.

Then the blessings that were to come upon them, if they obeyed the Lord, were to be recited by the priests. Moses commanded them to do this as a reminder of how to live as a Godly people. By hearing the curses for disobedience and the blessings for obedience, they would be given the opportunity to determine to live their lives for the Lord and receive the blessings promised to them as a nation. (Deut. 27 & 28.)

When Moses was no longer with them, Joshua led the people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. At Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, Joshua and all the people (even the smallest child) were careful to follow the instructions given them by Moses, declaring the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as their God. (Josh. 8:30-35.)

Have you declared the living God to be your God? Are you living for Him? Can we expect the blessings of the lord to come to our point of need, if we are living in disobedience and sin? If you haven’t asked Jesus into your heart, why don’t you do it now?

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

Special Kids for Special People

Special Kids for Special People

I read a story on Facebook the other day in which a family with a special needs child was eating at a restaurant. I don’t know if their child was disrupting others or not, but the waitress came over with a piece of paper telling them that their bill had been paid and that God only gives special children to special people.

I started to cry when I read that story because someone out there made a difference.  I have a special needs child and let me tell you, it’s a lot of work and going out to eat is hard. I love him to death, but it is tough some days and to hear about a story like that, really made me smile.

Kelly

Changes

We’re Changing Our Blog

Kelly and I have reviewed what we are doing with our Dust 2 Diamonds blog. We feel it will be more beneficial if we narrow our focus down to just the topics of adoption and infertility. We plan to post on the subject of Adoption on Mondays and infertility on Thursdays. This will start today, August 1, 2013.

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For those who have been following our posts on Special Needs we are moving those posts to Nancy’s personal blog at www.NancyFaltermeier.Wordpress.com .

For the topic of Teen Pregnancy, we will be putting up information on our website that will always be accessible at www.dust2diamonds.Wordpress.com . Please be patient with us as we work on our website. Thank You for following our blog.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

Take Care of Yourself

You Matter, Too.

I watched a program on TV about the stresses a mother faces when raising a child with special needs, a number of years ago. The one fact that stood out to me from that piece was this. Mothers of special needs children, age faster than the norm.

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Why is that? Most parents of special needs children don’t have trouble answering that question. It’s just plain harder, breaks are rare, the worries and stresses are more, and the financial strain is more intense.

So what is one to do? Recognize you cannot do this job alone. Get help in whatever way you can. Make time for yourself and your marriage. It’s a must. The family will benefit. Who will take care of the family if you die young?

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy

Give Yourself a Break

SPECIAL NEEDS

The Importance of Getting Away

Parents of Special Needs kids often feel like they can’t leave their child in someone else’s care. This thinking, however, will lock you into a prison of your own making if you let it.

You may have extended family members who either don’t understand your child’s behavior, or they may be afraid to watch your child. My suggestion to you is to find a family who deals with similar circumstances and trade off date nights with them.

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My husband and I found friends who were willing to do this. It was a boon to all involved. It saved money on babysitting costs and provided people who were not afraid of watching a special needs child.

I was fearful in the beginning, but if you find the right fit, it will become a blessing you’ll look forward to, and allows your marriage to be nourished also.

A Diamond in the Rough,

Nancy