The Rest of the Story
Permission granted by Ann Landers and Creators Syndicate for the use of the following quote.
Internet becoming asset to people with physical handicaps
DEAR Ann Landers: I teach computer science at the University of Memphis. One of the most satisfying aspects of my job has been dealing with severely handicapped students. One student, a quadriplegic, was able to complete four years of college because he could dictate papers to his computer. He is now working on an MBA degree and will be a major asset to some employer. Another student, who is blind, earned his degree by having his computer "read" material to him. He is now working for the Alliance for the Blind, setting up computer facilities for the visually handicapped. Both of these students could search libraries and reference materials in a way that would have been impossible a few years ago without the assistance of a full-time aide. My class also used the Internet to contact similarly handicapped working professionals who helped us solve the problems we faced. The second student, incidentally, married a normally sighted woman he met on the Internet.
Professor Edward Ordman, University of Memphis
Dear Professor Ordman:
Thank you for your upbeat letter in support of the Internet. I have received so many horror stories about people who met online and in chat rooms, it's a pleasure to get another point of view.
The above is an excerpt from the Ann Landers' column that ran nationally on July 29 last year. The second student referenced in the Professor's letter is Darryl Ochsner, a member here at Grace Bible Church. In the words of another media figure, I've asked him to supply "the rest of the story". --Editor
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes -- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! --Job 19:25-27
I have been asked to write some things about this article and myself. To write of what God has done for me, and to do it as poorly as I do, doesn't seem to do justice to the gift of grace God has bestowed. God evaluates written words highly. After all, He did give us His own instruction in this format. It is written: Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD --Psalm 102:18
This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. --Jeremiah 30:2
What follows is a most imperfect account of God's dealings with me.
. . . because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. --John 20:29
As I continue in this world of darkness, I find that I must trust in many invisible things. I've often wondered if the reason that I can believe in an invisible God is due to that fact. However, others in my same circumstances are unable to do so, so I must trace this fact back to God's grace.
To sketch my background, I lost my vision as an adult. Through the sovereignty of God, I came to live in a different city from where the vision loss first occurred in order to attend school. Before this loss, I was taught to be an individual, both by my culture, my peers, and, especially, by the Universities I attended. I was taught to live for myself, and I readily accepted this teaching.
Yet as my physical world became darker, I was confronted by people -- some of whom claimed to be "Christian" -- who noted my circumstances and then asked why I wasn't angry at God? -- Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die! -- Job 2:9
At first, I did not know how to answer that question. Later, I began to hear about the God that was Ruler of the universe. This was not the "god" that changed with man's customs or current beliefs. This was the immutable God Who does not rely upon man nor is limited by man's decisions in any way. This God touched my heart. Slowly, I began to grow in grace as the spiritual world became lighter and the physical world ebbed to total darkness.
Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? --Exodus 4:11
God had put me in a place where only He knew what would happen in my life, and only in time would I learn. I enrolled at the University of Memphis to study computers, and received a computer that could speak what was on the screen. I started getting interested in the Internet and saw how much God's word was needed to reach these millions of people. I started posting articles written by deacons and elders to electronic bulletin boards. More and more, I became drawn to this task. During this time, I started corresponding with many different people via the Internet, including people on a Christian penpal list. (The penpal list was set up by e-mail so that a person wanting penpals could write to the rest of the group.) Through this e-mail list, I met the girl who later became my wife.
Though at times I have been surprised at the places that God has taken me and what has occurred in my life, I am learning that nothing is too great for God. He is the supreme commander of this universe and is the loving shepherd of His flock.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. -- Rom 8:18
So what is blindness? I would dare to say that many people largely misunderstand the concept of blindness. The faith that some put in their eyesight is overwhelmingly greater than their faith in Jesus Christ. How can you tell if this is true? Solomon had everything that this world could offer, and yet had a meaningless life. Solomon even said in Ecclesiates 1:8: "The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing." And he didn't have to listen to these modern rap groups or see what the youth of today are wearing, either! Consider what a person does when their eyesight is failing: they diligently seek out someone or something that will solve their problem. Now consider the spiritual blindness that afflicts this same person. How diligent now is the person in seeking out a remedy and the Great Physician, Jesus Christ? Certainly, if Christ has laid hold of this person's heart, nothing can hold back their diligence in seeking out His path. Most, however, greatly desire to cure physical pain and blindness, but do not understand how much more important their spiritual blindness is. Sometimes, I believe that they think nothing is worse than physical blindness. I think it is better to be blind and know Christ than to be sighted and not know Him. It is when we fully comprehend that God remains sovereign at all times, that our vision begins to clear. If you do not understand the sovereignty of God, then may I say that your blindness will have more impact upon you than physical blindness.
For those that haven't completely comprehended the full scope of these words, let me add a few words. Is meeting one's future spouse in this way all that remarkable? Is it any more remarkable than Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch? The God of times past is still the God of today. His hand is still present and His miracles still take place daily.
(If you are interested in contacting Darryl, he may be reached by e-mail
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