Category Archives: Articles

A Response to an Unwelcoming Church

A South Carolina man and his service dog was recently denied access by a church. My colleagues and I were shocked. As my friend, Steve wrote: “Every time I start to think that churches are finally starting to “get” the idea of welcoming kids and adults with disabilities, some elder board dreams up an absurd policy that convinces me I’m wrong.”

My service dog and I was too denied access to a church years ago, and the lessons I learned from the experience strengthen my faith and helped me understand how to approach this issue with churches. I have yet  used these arguments with a church, but I think I’m on solid ground.

The excerpt below is from my book, In the Accessible Church (self published, 2013). I post this as a response to the church and to further educate the faith community.


Continue reading A Response to an Unwelcoming Church

My Experience at the 2018 Warrior Games

Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.”

  -Neil Marcus

I was surprised at how nice it was at the swim meet. It was not too loud or humid in the Air Force Academy’s Natatorium. I parked my chair near the starting blocks to watch some heats. After a while, the cheers got louder and louder as a race was finishing. I looked up at the giant tv screen and saw a participant making his way down the pool on his back. He seemed to be swimming a simple backstroke, something I might swim. Continue reading My Experience at the 2018 Warrior Games

Worship with a passion

I was glad to see my friend on my way into church. I can count on Dan to hear me out when I have burdens on my heart, and I had more than my share on that particular day. Dan and I spent a few minutes talking until it was time to go into the sanctuary. The opening prayer was just ending as I wheeled through the door. Right then, I felt a strong presence of the Holy Spirit like a warm, familiar comforter wrapping me up from head to toe. In an instant, my concerns that had consumed me just a couple of seconds before didn’t seem as important. Continue reading Worship with a passion

Where’s the Church?

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m very opinionated with my politics. I’ve backed off a lot with my postings since Trump won the election, but my commitment to the conservative point of view hasn’t changed. (Actually I’m probably more of a classic liberal these days, but I won’t go there.) I’ve struggled writing this piece (I’ve been working on it on and off for a couple of months) and debating whether to post it to the blog. First, I don’t want my blog to be known for my political views. Second, this certain subject could be misunderstood in that I don’t want any government programs to help me. Put all the burden on the church. I’m not that stupid! As I say in the piece, maybe the Lord does help me through the government. I’m just asking what is the role for each organization.

I know I’ll get push back, maybe even called names. Pray for me that I can handle it! I’m just asking questions so the country and people living with disabilities can thrive in the years to come.

Continue reading Where’s the Church?

Mary Jane and me

Mary Jane Ponten was born in Chicago in the early 30s. The beginning seemed bleak. “This baby is too weak to survive,” the doctors told the parents. “You better give her a name right away for her gravestone.” But even doctors can be wrong. At ten days old, they let Mary Jane’s parents take her home “to enjoy her as long as she lives.” Continue reading Mary Jane and me