FAQ — FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I get on the Walk Right In Ministries mailing list?
How can I get Larry and/or Lisa to come speak at my event?
For information about scheduling retreats, book parties, testimonies, or other types of events, please visit the EVENTS page at www.walkrightin.org. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for availability and booking.
What is Angelman Syndrome and how can I learn more about it?
Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a rare genetic disorder involving chromosome #15. Common symptoms include severe developmental delays, speech impairment, balance and movement disorders, and unique behaviors. Seizures and microcephaly are involved with eighty percent of those affected. It is commonly misdiagnosed as autism and cerebral palsy.
In eighty percent of cases, a specific region of the maternal chromosome is deleted. In other cases, that chromosome region is functioning abnormally. Current estimates suggest as many as 5,000 cases in the U.S. and Canada.
What is the specific genetic mechanism causing Angelman Syndrome in Carly's case?
Carly is missing a large part of region 15q12 and its surrounding area (including the UBE3A gene) from the maternally derived chromosome #15. This is the most common genetic mechanism causing Angelman Syndrome and occurs in 68% of all individuals with the syndrome.
It is important to note that there are four different known genetic mechanisms that can cause Angelman Syndrome. Very specific genetic testing is required to detect the chromosomal or DNA problems associated with each case of Angelman Syndrome. For information about diagnostic testing, go to http://www.angelman.org/healthcare-professionals/diagnostic-testing/.
How do you approach Carly's education and therapies?
Carly's education has always been a combination of public school and home education. She attends a local junior high with a start time modified for some medical reasons. Home-based therapeutic and educational activities are designed to keep her healthy and having fun while maximizing her developmental potential, whatever that may be. The Jamiesons have been working with the guidance and support of the the National Association for Child Development for many years. NACD is their primary resource for coordinating health, nutrition, development, behavior, sleep and seizure issues. For information about NACD, go to www.nacd.org .
What does it mean to have a personal and life-saving relationship with Jesus?
From the beginning of time, one of God’s greatest desires has been to enjoy relationship with us even to the point of spending intimate time in our presence. In Genesis 3:8 we see that God was right there with Adam and Eve. Tragically, after they sinned, Genesis 3:23 tells us that intimacy was broken. Sin separated them from God and we share that legacy because if we had been there, we would have done the same thing. God loved us enough to give us the free will to choose trusting Him or going our own way. He desperately hoped we would choose nearness to Him over slavery to sin — self-reliance, pride, covetousness, and other forms of disobedience.
God gave mankind chance after chance to remain faithfully with Him but we have repeatedly turned away. Because of God’s holiness, a price has to be paid for that rebellion. Jesus, by dying on the cross, paid that price on our behalf. Because Jesus lived a sinless life, He was the only atoning sacrifice that could pay the price — thoroughly and eternally. In order for us to return to a state of intimacy with God, we must acknowledge our sinfulness, repent (grieve what it has caused), and receive the gift of Jesus’ salvation from the penalty of sin (eternal death). This is a very personal decision and a life-changing opportunity as well.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:9-11
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
How did Larry come into a personal and life-saving relationship with Jesus?
I was raised in the church. After we moved to Minnesota from California when I was 5, my mom made sure that she, my brother, my sister and me went to church although my dad remained only an occasional church-goer. We attended a small country church outside of Lewiston, Minnesota called Lewiston Church of the Brethren. The Church of the Brethren is one of the three historic peace churches (along with the Mennonites and the Quakers) and has a lot of influences from Pennsylvania Dutch background. I spent the next 13 years at that church, growing up through the childrens’ ministry program into the small youth group. I was baptized and became a member when I was 15. I thought going to church was just a normal thing to do but I didn’t really know anything about a having personal relationship with Jesus.
After graduating from high school and spending a year in Quebec as an exchange student, I moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota. As often happens with students leaving for college, I stopped attending church for a time. Lisa and I met during our first week at the University and quickly became good friends, occasionally going to church on Sundays together, but not very often. We were married in the same Lutheran church where Lisa’s mother grew up and, in the early years of our marriage, I became increasingly involved in church activities but I still didn’t really have any idea that my relationship with the Lord could have a real impact on my daily life.
In 1991, we moved to the suburbs and started trying to have a family. After our daughter Alex was born in 1993, we found a church closer to home recognizing that would be easier for us if we wanted our children to be actively involved. This began a period of significant spiritual awakening and development for me. God became real to me in a way that I had never experienced before. We got involved in a small group that radically changed our lives. My relationship with Jesus became more than just a Sunday event, as scripture reading, prayer, meditation, memorization, and other spiritual disciplines became part of my daily routine. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by Christian brothers who cared about me and whether I was growing in my relationship with Jesus. Part of growing in my personal relationship with Jesus involved His doing some pruning in my life over a number of issues. The period between 1997 and 1998 was a very painful one for Lisa and me as we went through some significant marriage issues.
The Lord restored our marriage just in time for us to enter our most challenging period. That period was precipitated by the birth of our third daughter, Carolyn (Carly). Carly’s life was difficult from Day 1, and our lives were turned upside down immediately. If not for the strengthening of our marriage and being surrounded by a loving church family, I’m not sure we would have made it through. I am constantly reminded of my utter powerlessness and dependence on Jesus. Today I am grateful for God's grace and strength, and remain inspired to keep growing in my relationship with Him.
How did Lisa come into a personal and life-saving relationship with Jesus?
I grew up in a Christian home and had an awareness of God from a young age but He seemed distant and uninvolved with my life. We moved several times when I was young and I was seriously bullied for three years in middle school so I wrote in my journal a lot and found comfort in my loneliness by hoping God really cared and wasn’t far away.
When I was 14, I attended a youth rally at my high school in Southern Ontario. My eyes were opened to the need for a personal saving relationship with Jesus when someone asked how I knew for sure that I was a Christian and challenged me to consider, "What do you think being a Christian really means?" My answer, I realized, was typical but rather incomplete. I had grown up in a church-going family and thought that was what made me a Christian. Thinking through my answer to the question changed my life. The songs I had been writing began to express my love for Jesus, my gratitude for new and treasured relationships with godly friends, and the things I was learning about faith. Unfortunately, I responded inappropriately to sexual advances during a date in high school which triggered years of confusion and wrestling with God about my faith and purity.
During the early years of my marriage, I struggled to experience “fullness of life” in Christ but held tight to the assurance that I was forgiven and loved by God. I kept sensing that there was “something more” — something I was missing. In the mid 1990s, God’s grace came into my life and marriage on a whole new level when God began opening Larry’s and my eyes to many lies that were consuming us. As God was healing me and my marriage, our third daughter was born with severe disabilities. In our experiences of marriage crisis and parenting a child with special needs, my relationship with Jesus became my stronghold and source of peace. I have been learning to live a life of surrender to the Almighty God who has filled me with true joy today. The Lord has shown me forgiveness and comfort, freedom from shame, and a life of anticipating without fear what will be next.
Throughout much of my life, I've been learning how to like myself and live within the strengths of who God made me to be. I am a deep thinker and a deep feeler. I’m passionate about a lot of things. So what’s ruminating inside of me can get complicated. Some important verses from scripture for me are found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. God uses this regularly to comfort, strengthen, and inspire me. I have been learning through lots of time dwelling in the presence of Jesus — mostly through prayer journaling, singing worship songs and hymns, and reading God’s Word — that life is a great adventure. It is truly God’s mercy that has kept me safe, strong, and happy lifting me out of sin and suffering many times. God has proven over and over again that His love always accomplishes more than I ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21)! Now, more than ever, He is empowering me to live my faith out loud so that others will see hope and share in the glory of God!
How can I get closer to God and have a more tangible experience of Him?
God wants us to live in freedom and fullness.
If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Despite the fact that God’s Word is entirely trustworthy, these can be very hard truths to believe when we are in a difficult season of life or experiencing some kind of crisis. We can feel trapped, confused, and robbed of the things that make life satisfying, enjoyable, hopeful, and richly full. Nonetheless, in good times and in hard times, the single greatest thing you can do is dwell in the presence of God just as Jesus did in crisis (John 17), saturate your mind with God’s promises and truths (Joshua 1:7-9, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and surround yourself with others who love God and will support you in resting at Jesus’ feet (Hebrews 10:25, Mark 2:1-5, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
God uses a lifestyle surrendered to Jesus Christ, saturated with the Word and prayer, and surrounded with Christ-centered fellowship to increase our awareness and understanding of Him. Prayerfully ask God to develop your "radar" to see how He is at work around you. Keep your antennaue up and take every opportunity to express gratitude to Him for the ways you see His love and power. Just as you earnestly seek Him, He remains always available. When you knock, he promises to open the door to Himself. When you ask Him to show His glory, He reveals more of Himself. So keep pursuing God — for rest assured, He never stops pursuing you!
How has your experience with suffering shaped your passions?
We are both entirely changed people because of the trials we have faced and for that we are grateful!We don’t wish suffering on anyone, yet we know what beauty can come out of "ashes." We admit to getting a little excited when we have the opportunity to meet and pray for someone going through a hard time because we know that God is always near and He promises to use even the worst of times for good purposes when we love Him and seek Him through it! So out of our own experiences, as a result of witnessing lives transformed for the better out of hardship, and because of the trustworthy promises of God’s Word, we have come to be passionate about these beliefs:
There is great spiritual value in hardship.
Giving and receiving in the context of community results in highly satisfying and fruitful living.
The practice of gratitude is critical when persevering through trials.
God is both creative and economical in how he heals people.
God is very much at work in our circumstances and He speaks very personally to us through the Bible.
More than ever, we passionately desire to help connect and equip people for growth in faith, obedience, and hope in Jesus Christ. We appreciate opportunities to learn about Biblical and effective resources so that we can help make them visible to others who may benefit from them, particularly when they are facing difficult circumstances. For example, many years ago our marriage and our individual faith walks were drawn to an awesome new place in the Light of Jesus’ love through certified Christian Temperament Counselors who are members of the National Christian Counselors Association. We have been fortunate to connect several other couples and families with counselors so they have been encouraged and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. There have also been various opportunities to educate others about effective methods for home schooling children, especially those with special needs.
We want to see people experiencing fulfilling, Christ-centered life together and sharing their stories for the glory of God.
How long did it take you to write the book?
The long answer is YEARS.
It was one fall afternoon after Lisa finished reading Bruce Wilkinson's The Dream Giver that a direction finally became clear. She sat prayerfully convicted and inspired to press beyond her fears, doubts, and insecurities. Before the end of that day, we had documented the outline for a 6-week small group Bible Study addressing hard questions people ask about surrender, faith, hope, joy, and purpose (sharing) when they are facing life-altering circumstances. We were certain of one thing: God wanted us to encourage others in living their journeys through suffering within the context of Christ-centered small groups. Several other details quickly fell into place including an assurance that we were supposed to write the study as a couple and consider calling it Finding Glory in the Thorns. Larry wasn’t sure yet about that being the right title but we agreed to go to bed that night committing the matter to prayer. A couple of weeks later, Lisa went on a 48-hour weekend writing retreat in our friends’ basement and started framing up the design and sketching out who should write what.
Two months later, we were having dinner with an author friend who listened to our ideas and suggested we get a literary agent. One thing led to another and we contracted an agent. Her great enthusiasm for our story, her confidence in us, and her shared passion about pointing others to Christ in adversity spurred us on right away. She also convinced us that “the book” must precede “the study” from a publisher’s perspective. So through that winter and spring we tried to resist all that had kept us from writing "the book" in the first place and spent a handful of weekends together in our friends’ basement, each taking our own portions and developing our story. Almost nothing was done during the summer months but energy and focus started growing again when we returned to the basement retreat center in the fall. Suddenly, despite Christmas creeping closer, we felt swept up with momentum. When there were only two weeks left before Christmas, we began to wonder if the Lord was actually going to make a way for us to wrap up the first full draft of our manuscript as a Christmas gift for our agent and parents. Night after night we sat up writing into the early morning hours sensing God was bringing it all together. Larry would drop into bed for 4 or 5 hours and then to go to work. (Carly slept beautifully during that stretch of time. We got a kick out of the irony and Divine intervention. While we were losing a VERY RARE opportunity for uninterrupted sleep, we were being given a chance to focus together on a project God clearly wanted finished.)
That first full manuscript was frantically wrapped with a big red bow and placed under the tree just moments before Lisa's parents arrived in town on December 23rd. The Road Map you see today follows the same general outline as the original Bible Study vision that had been planted in us 14 months earlier. But apparently God wanted us to write a longer “introductory session” than we originally thought. Basically, that is what grew into Part 1 of the book.
How can I participate in this ministry?
Walk Right In Ministries is a volunteer operated and donor funded organization. Your prayers, service and financial contributions make it possible for us to continue in our mission to equip and connect people for growth in Jesus Christ. To make a donation, CLICK HERE. To partner with us in prayer, contact us at email@example.com. There are many ways to serve as well so please let us know how you would like to share in this ministry!
Another way to participate in this ministry is to share your story. Tell us how you see God working in your life by writing firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk Right In Ministries loves to share Glory Stories about how others are seeing the power and presence of God in their lives. Follow the "Glory Stories" tag at our blog to read more and share at http://www.walkrightinministries.blogspot.com/?m=1.
We are very grateful and blessed by your partnership!