Did you do that for me?

When I was first disabled, I was so angry at God.  Angry at Him for letting that happen to me.  When I was able-bodied, I did not even really know Him.  Although I am a believer today, I was not then.  After my brain hemorrhage, I thought it was the medical staff, particularly my doctors, which had saved my life.  I ceased to believe in any divine power.   While I had turned my back on God, He never left me.  And today, I can see His love for me in my friends that are a part of my life.  They are demonstrating His love through their actions.

Just this past weekend, I was asked to go to my church to help out with the gardening.  That is something I like and I am more than willing to help.

They had received a big shipment of bags of mulch and the goal was to spread the mulch out on the flower beds.  Not exactly something I would be great at for so many different reasons.

But one of the leaders of the project had asked me to attend and she said she had a job just for me.  So, I did go over on a beautiful early fall morning.

There were about twenty people there with bags of mulch strewn about all over the church grounds.  They were tearing open the bags and dumping the contents on the ground around the flower beds.

After the bags were emptied, they tossed them aside.  I was asked to go around, pick up, and dispose of the empty bags.

I knew I could do that and cheerfully started on my task.  However, I am no longer so mobile and bending over to pick up the discarded bags was difficult for me.

Photography by Kathleen

Photography by Kathleen

I mentioned to the leader that I wished I had my long-handled reacher at home and she exclaimed, “I have one in my car!”

And with that, she handed me the reacher and I was off.  I raced around the church grounds grabbing empty bags of mulch and then throwing them into the dumpster.

This was a job made for my powerchair and me.  I am so used to being excluded in our world, but at church, I am included and that means so much to me.

When I ask myself that rhetorical question, “Did you do that for me?”  The answer is Yes, I know He did!

Are you blessed by your friends?  We would appreciate it if you could share.  Tell us about it by posting a comment below! 






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I Want to Tell the Story

eucharist-1591663_640My husband and I have recently been attending a Catholic church near our home. He has belonged to the Catholic Church for almost twenty years, but everything about their church has been a new experience for me. I have been learning a little more about their church, and a little more about Jesus at each mass that I attend. Today was certainly a real learning experience for me. Not only do I want to tell the story, but I feel that I must tell the story!

It was Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost Sunday commemorates the day when the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’ disciples and it is considered to be the birth of the Christian church. The choir, which includes my husband, needed to be there a full hour before the service began so that they could rehearse with the orchestra.

Because of this, the early morning mass was leaving the sanctuary when we arrived. A professor that I knew from the department that I used to work in stepped out with his son. His wife is also a professor in the same department. If they had mentioned to me that they were Catholic, I don’t remember it. As a Protestant, I thought anyone who was Catholic was not a Christian and, therefore, was easily dismissed.

I am not quite sure where I came up with that Protestant prejudice, but so it was. Perhaps Martin Luther himself started that ugly rumor! :-)

The Sunday Morning choir, along with the live orchestra, filled the front of the sanctuary and because of that, I had to sit in the back of the church. Two elderly ladies also came in; one used a walker and one used a cane. They sat down one row in front of me. Our church is designed so that those with mobility impairments, such as myself, can sit up front, but today we all had to sit in the back because of the orchestra set up for this special service.

When the congregation began to say the “Our Father” prayer (The Lord’s Prayer), a friend that I have recently met in the RCIA class (Rite of Christian Initiation) stepped over to me and clasped my hand. She and I began to recite this prayer together. The fellowship that we were sharing so touched my heart that tears came to my eyes. They were most definitely “happy tears!”

Many Christian churches, including Catholics, believe in the Real Presence. The idea of the Real Presence is the belief that in the act of consecrating the bread and wine, they truly become the body, blood, soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, even though the appearance and taste of bread and wine remain. In other words, Jesus is really present! This is a belief held, in some form, by most Christians in the world today.

Our mass had progressed to sharing in the Holy Communion. Typically, this is the reason that those with mobility impairments sit up front. It allows the priest to come to them and offer them communion. Everyone got up from the pews and began walking to the altar, all except for me and those two elderly ladies sitting one row in front of me.

Several of my RCIA instructors have mentioned the complete joy they often see in the eyes of worshipers when they receive Holy Communion. These ladies knew they were missing out on the highest point of Christian worship – to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ! It just broke my heart to witness their complete disappointment and total despair.

An usher came up to me and asked me if I wanted to receive communion. As a non-Catholic, I am not able to participate in the communion, but I told him that those two ladies sitting beside me wanted to. And with that, he was gone. I did not know what was happening, but in just a matter of moments, Father Tim, our priest, showed up and gave the host to both ladies.

Catholic teaching says that a priest is an alter Christus. That means that they consider him to be acting in the person of Christ at every sacrament, including mass. These two elderly ladies wanted to receive Jesus and Father Tim brought Him to them!

Once again, I was able to witness God at work through His earthly servants. It was simply astounding to get to witness this! I guess it was just another part of God’s special plan for me.

Have you ever considered going to a mass in your neighborhood?  It is a most interesting experience and you will even get to meet Jesus there.  Really!  If you have a comment to share, please scroll down and leave your comment.







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Life goes on…turn the page.

I was just searching for my testimony earlier this morning and I thought to myself, “boy, that was a long time ago.”  It has been a long time – I have believed in Jesus Christ for almost twenty years now.  Twenty years of both good and bad, but through it all, I knew I was living my life on His firm foundation.  To paraphrase my favorite fictional southern belle, Scarlet O’Hara, tomorrow will always be another day … but my tomorrows certainly have not been what I expected.  My plan was very different from God’s Plan.  His plan has been so much better.  I will be forever so grateful for that and each day has been a day for me to appreciate!

I was single in my thirties; I got married in my forties; and now I am in my fifties.  I must say my disability seemed to go better in my thirties and forties.  I am not finding my fifties and a disability to be as much fun!  But, each day is a day that I now get to share with Robert, my husband.

The little church at which we met has now dissolved.  Robert and I needed a new church and he said he wanted to try out a nearby Catholic church.  Everything Catholic is new to me, but Robert is so happy to be there.  That is more than enough of a reason for me to want to be there, also.

Our new church has the wheelchair seating up front and because of my poor vision, that worked out well for me. The seating area is also right next to the choir section.  Robert does have a beautiful singing voice and he happily sung along with the choir each Sunday that we attended.  On the third Sunday, the choir director came up to Robert, handed him a stack of choral books, and said, “You will join the choir!”  The choir had two other male singers, both tenors, and Robert, with his deep baritone voice just underscores the harmonious choral sound.

I guess that just has to be God’s perfect plan once again!

Speaking of that, it has been amazing how many Catholic converts I have met recently.  I have also been reading a number of books by different authors that were once Protestant, but have decided to convert to Catholicism.   So much so, that I have been thinking’ “OK God, here we go again!”

Another glorious sunriseSo far, I have no plans to convert, but life goes on …turn the page.

Do you have a comment?  I would appreciate it if you would scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment. 



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Divine Coincidence

for-a-reasonThis thought is purely subjective on my part. The Lord tells us that His thoughts are different from our thoughts. But, I wonder about this. Was there a reason behind my brain injury? Could it be a divine coincidence?

I have had two different friends in my life that were central in taking me to church regularly, and ultimately in leading me to know Him as my personal savior. There was a long time in between, but both of these friends have now had brain surgeries. It’s not like everyone has a brain surgery.

I was not a believer when I first met these two friends. Did He bring me into their lives just so they could learn that our life goes on after a traumatic brain injury? I doubt if I will ever know for sure, but I do know that is how I want to see this.

In the book of Esther, Mordecai tells Esther that perhaps she came to her position “for such a time as this.” Was my brain injury for this reason?

Many times, I have found myself at a certain point in my life and thought, “God, is this the reason that I am here now?” Did my brain injury happen for this reason?

It seems reassuring to me if I could know God’s plan for my life. It would be more fulfilling. In a broader sense, I do know His plan for my life. He wants me to be His child, just as He rewards all of those who seek Him. But for the finer details…

Oh, so many times, I do things that I regret. I do things that I fear my heavenly father would not approve of. When the Apostle Paul said he did not understand the things that he did, I know exactly what he was talking about. Been there; done that many times over. “Many a conflict, many a doubt,” as the song says. I, too, have that same sinful nature as the Apostle Paul.

And yet, He gave His life for me and for you. Lord, I thank you for the path that you have guided me on throughout my life.

Lord, You have used my disability for so many beneficial purposes.  I want to thank you for your two dedicated children that brought me to church for years.  It is because of these two friends that I now consider myself a believer.  Thank you for allowing me to be in their lives.  Thank you for the divine coincidence.  Do you have a comment?  I would appreciate it if you would scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment. 


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It’s as simple as A, B, C

The-Specialist-Class-posterI once taught a Bible Study class at my church that was designed for adults with developmental disabilities.  We called the class the Specialists, which comes from an idea in a book that I once read.  The author mentioned speaking to a group of disability specialists, and I thought that is exactly what each student in this class is — a Specialist!  In every class, we talked about loving Jesus and I always told my students that knowing Him was as simple as A, B, C.  Just admit, believe, and confess that Jesus is your Lord.  Once there were three students in the class all with widely varying abilities.

There was one student in the class who was near to the end of his earthly life and he had very limited abilities, but could still remember his A, B, C’s.  If I were to say to Bill, “Knowing Jesus is as simple as what?”  He would always answer me with a grin and say, “A, B, C! “

And then there was Charlie, who had a better memory and could answer the question about knowing Jesus by telling me “You have to Admit, Believe, and Confess that Jesus is your Lord.”

Sheri had the greatest abilities in our class and she even knew how to read.  She could always read the plan of salvation from our study book.  A is to ADMIT you’re a sinner; B is to BELIEVE the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God; and C is to CONFESS that you will make Jesus your Lord.

Those were fun days.  Bill has now passed away and my church has since dissolved.  Life does change, mostly when you are not expecting it, but to personally know Jesus is still as simple as it ever was.  If you are anything like me, perhaps you have done some things in your past that you regret.  It is never too late to turn your life around and to give your heart to the Lord.  Why, it’s as simple as A, B, C!

Do you have a comment?  I would appreciate it if you would scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment. 




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An Updated Version: My Prince in Slightly Rusty Armor

My Prince in Slightly Rusty ArmorIt is now February here and quite cold outside.  As my husband left for work this morning, he told me that it was going to be really cold today.  I told him that I had no intention of leaving the house!  But it is not always like that and just every once in a while, it is warm around here and I might be out.  And then trouble ensues from there. 😀


He was driving a white sedan rather than riding a white stallion.  Recently, I went to a store down the street and about half way home on my return trip, I realized that the charge on my power wheelchair battery was quickly losing power.  I knew I was in a pickle, but I had no choice but to continue to my house and hope that I could get there.  When suddenly, from a faraway land (well, ok, it was a suburb nearby), my prince in slightly rusty armor rode to my rescue and helped me to reach my final destination; or, get home!

It turns out that my prince was actually my husband.  Robert had felt sick that day and left work early.

I knew that I was having chair trouble and I actually had my battery charger with me, but I was on a city street and there was not an electrical outlet anywhere to be found.

The street that goes to our house has a slight incline to it.  When my battery charge is low, any incline can make it impossible to move forward.

So, it seemed like I was moving about one inch a minute.  At a snail’s pace.

I have discovered that when my battery charge is low, for whatever reason, my chair will go better if I can turn around and go big wheel first.  Because of that, I was driving up the hill backwards.  All in an effort to get myself home.

My vision is poor anyway and driving up the street backwards didn’t help any.  I had just spun myself around in a forward position, when I noticed a white sedan stopped right in front of me.  Then a man in a dark blue shirt jumped out of the car and I figured it was a police officer offering me assistance.

And the man says, “Raeanne, do you need help?”  I looked up and instantly I knew it was Robert!  My hero!  I had been rescued!

He drove the car home and returned to me and pushed me home.  Robert, my prince in slightly rusty armor!

Have you found your prince?  We would love to hear your story!  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment. 

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The Goal by Pastor Bill Reid

God's Grace and Light fills my life

God’s Grace and Light fills my life

 There has been so much anger and even hatred directed towards God lately and I just am not able to understand it.  I’ve had my fair share of struggles certainly; we all have.  Jesus told us to expect that.  This I know.  But I also know that my heavenly father is the most awesome God!  It will forever be that I have decided to follow Jesus.  No going back!  My pastor’s message for this Sunday, “The Goal,” is an excellent reminder that I wanted to share with you. Pastor Bill’s Bulletin Blurb follows:


As we approach Christmas, it is so easy for us to take our eyes off the goal of what the holiday means. We forget about celebrating what God has done for us, becoming a man and dying on Calvary’s cross. Maybe it’s not that we forget, but that we are so bombarded by the worldly view of Christmas, that the Christ child seems to be just one more add-on to an already too busy schedule. Perhaps we need to be reminded about what Paul tells us in Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Our goal at Christmas is to celebrate Jesus and the gift of life he has brought to us.

Augustine wrote, “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure, to find him the greatest human achievement.” Maybe the three thoughts in this brief quote are what we need to help us keep our Christmas season focused on Christ.

We need to fall in love with God. I am afraid that for many of us, our relationship with God is nothing more than a passing acquaintance. We know him in our head, we have prayed the sinner’s prayer; but we have never fallen in love with Jesus. When we love a person, that individual becomes the most important part of our life. If we truly loved Jesus, the celebration of his birth would be in the forefront of our holiday festivities.

At Christmas, we seek a lot of things: presents, time with family, good food, time off from work, parties, and more. In I Chronicles 16:11, the writer reminds us to “seek his face continuously.” Christmas is a time for us to seek God. To draw ourselves into closer relationship with him; to express our gratitude for his wonderful gift; to praise him for being a benevolent God; these can only be done by making him the most important part of what we seek in the holiday season.

Christmas is a time for people who have a personal relationship with Jesus. If you have never had the opportunity to invite him into your life, this Christmas season would be a great time to do so. Or, maybe you have a family member or friend who is not part of God’s family. This would be the best of times to help them know Jesus as Lord, and experience the real meaning of the Christmas season.

I encourage you to stay focused this Christmas on the real meaning of the season.

Pastor Bill

Please join us any Sunday at 11 AM at Neil Avenue Baptist Church.  We are close by to The Ohio State University campus.  If you want to leave a comment, please scroll down below.

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And He Sat Down at the Right Hand of God: Loving the Lord

Sanctuary at Neil AvenueI worked to graduate college and find good employment and then, it was all taken away from me. More bittersweet days. The days when I could compose eloquent text are just gone from me now, but this I do remember. The hour I first believed was on a Thanksgiving morning. And it was the most beautiful morning when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I have been loving the Lord for several decades now and because of that my heart now sings!  Below is the post of the day I first believed:

Singing A New Song: The Hour I First Believed

About a year and a half after my disability began, I returned to college with the goal of finally graduating and ultimately, of finding employment as a college graduate.  While I was a student, I was very busy with school activities. I never even suspected the hour I first believed.  Never Ever!

After I had graduated from the university, my activities came to an abrupt end.  My life involved waking up and getting on the Internet.  I would do that for roughly twelve hours then go back to bed.  And the next day, I got to do it all over again.

After several months of that, I was bored out of my mind.  It just so happened that a ministry group from a local church had been coming to my apartment complex for the past several years.  A young woman about my age had been cleaning at my apartment during this time.  We enjoyed each other’s company and always had a good time together. If I ever had any “church” questions, she would always be able to answer them, but I really wasn’t that interested in church.  It was more my way of trying to placate her.

I had mentioned to her how completely bored I was and she volunteered to take me to church with her.  It wasn’t that I wanted to go to church to hear the word or anything; it was just that I wanted to get out of my apartment. So, I agreed to go.

Well, the first Sunday that I went to church, I just loved what I was hearing!  In his sermon, the pastor kept saying that God has a special plan for you.  I knew very little about Jesus and the Bible at that time and I wanted to learn more.

I am a former English major and the one person that I knew who had written on both English and Christianity was CS Lewis.  He piqued my curiosity regarding God with his apologetic “Mere Christianity.”  A friend from church gave me an old copy of “Joni” that she had and a whole new world opened up for me.  I loved learning about God; I loved reading about God; I loved going to church each Sunday, but I just was not ready to take that final leap of faith.  Throughout this time, I would hear the idea that God has a special plan for you seemingly everywhere. For me, it became a recurring theme.

But, I still was not willing to make that ultimate commitment for Christ. Believers would always talk about that one awesome day when Jesus entered their heart, but it just wasn’t happening for me.

One night, I had been involved in an online discussion about Jack Kevorkian.  At that time, he was actively involved in supposed “mercy killings.”  A lady with Multiple Sclerosis, who expected her condition to progressively deteriorate, opted for Dr. Kevorkian to help her with an assisted suicide.

This seemed fundamentally wrong to me on several levels and I voiced my objections to her final decision.  I mentioned that after my near-death disabling experience there was nothing that I wanted more than to be alive.  Because I nearly died, I have learned to appreciate my gift of life.

A short while later, I received an email response from a radical extremist who used a lot of hate language.  One thing that he said was that he hoped that I would be “sterilized so that I wouldn’t pollute the gene pool.”  I was terrified.  I was afraid to go out of my apartment because I expected some radical lunatic to perform a “mercy killing” extermination on me!  The only relief that I got that night was when I was finally able to fall asleep.

I woke up the next morning, which was Thanksgiving morning of 1998, and I had another email from an address that I did not recognize.  At first, I considered deleting it because I assumed it was from some other person who wanted to tell me how wrong I was.  But, I thought that wouldn’t be right.  I said what I had wanted to say and now I had to listen to any other opposing opinions.  So, I opened the email.

Only it wasn’t from someone who was telling me how wrong I was.  It was from a woman who told me that she had never thought of assisted suicide in that way.  She said some other kind things, but she ended her message with “God has a special plan for you.”

With tears in my eyes,  that was the awesome hour and day that I first believed.  I knew it wasn’t just a recurring theme; it seemed to me that God was personally telling me that He had a special plan for me.  Because of that Thanksgiving morning in 1998, I now am singing a new song unto the Lord!

Do you have a comment?  I would appreciate it if you would scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment. 

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Autumn Glory

The autumn is my favorite time of year. There is just something about the crispness in the air and I have always loved the rustling and the crackling of fallen leaves. Even though it means winter is on its way, and my wheelchair and I no longer look forward to snow, I still do love the autumn glory.

When I was eighteen, I was going to school in central Ohio.  I had two suitemates, one from Texas and one from Arizona.

They had never actually experienced “fall.” I can still remember the complete joy they shared when they came into our dorm room with golden leaves in their hands. To them, it was a unique experience. They had seen the pictures, but never experienced the reality.

The holly in our front yard are also enjoying this time of year, even though it is not really their season yet.

The holly in our front yard are also enjoying this time of year, even though it is not really their season yet.

Well, I only have photos to show you, but I hope that you will be able to appreciate these pictures, also.

It IS the season for fire bushes!

It IS the season for fire bushes!


A golden tree in our front yard.

A golden tree in our front yard.

The view across our street.

The view across our street.

Just beautiful!

Just beautiful!


My husband always wants that dramatic angle!

My husband always wants that dramatic angle!

Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? Matthew 6:26

Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? Matthew 6:26

That is a view of my neighborhood today! It is just beautiful in Ohio at this time.



Even the trees appear to be dancing to the season!

Even the trees appear to be dancing to the season!

Going to our church; close by to the Ohio State University

Going to our church; close by to the Ohio State University

Truly autumn glory!

Truly autumn glory!


I just love the autumn glory in my home state! What’s your favorite season? Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave a comment. We all would love to hear from you.

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The Beginning of My New Life: “For all the blessings I can not see”

A Gift, Freely Given

Each day is a gift; that’s why they call it the “present.”

I was just tinkering around my blog when I came across this post.  While I do remember this incident, it is just too easy to forget the lesson I inferred from that day. It was my starting over again day.  The beginning of my new life.  I didn’t know it then, but it was. My original post follows:


I borrowed part of that line from Don Moen’s song, “Thank you, Lord.”  We sang that song at church last Sunday and I was reminded of the importance of giving the Lord credit for His many blessings in my life.

An online friend spoke of a “mirror of thanksgiving” but unfortunately our gratitude is often as opaque as a rock.  The daily stress and strains of our lives have a way of speeding out of control and all too often coming to a cataclysmic crash.

How typical is it to forget about rejoicing in the present and only remembering to grumble because that guy in traffic cut you off or that lady at the grocery store bumped into you as she raced by?  Sometimes, it seems that we have no reason to focus on the positive.

In the hospital and shortly after my brain hemorrhage when I thought that I could do nothing, I still remember the therapist that came into my room and showed me that I could cross my arms “Indian style.”

My left arm was drawn up at the elbow and totally immobile, but I was able to move my right arm.  Because of that, I was still able to cross my arms like I always had.

I was so excited because I thought then that the life I had known had been taken away; it was not gone, merely modified.

For me, this was a gift given to me.  My physical abilities had changed, but they were not completely gone.  I went from being expected to die, to beginning to live again.

It was a change and change is always a good thing.  Change is easier when it is done in small steps.

What I mean is that regaining my physical ability required much work.  I wish I had been able to jump up and go on with my life, but that was not the case.  It required daily therapy and continual exercise.

Twenty-five years later, those days of therapy at the rehabilitation hospital are only a distant memory.

But from each small step, we need to find a reason to be grateful.  To focus on the positive is a choice that you must make for yourself.  For me, it started with crossing my arms.

I never want to forget those days only because it reminds me of what I have to be thankful for today.

What’s your opinion?  Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

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