Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moved.

This is my last post on this blog. I've moved to http://allaboutthememories.com - You can catch up on my story there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rosa Loves


Our friends at Rosa Loves just designed a shirt for The Preemptive Love Coalition and 60% of what you pay for it goes directly to help Hussein, an Iraqi child that needs 4,000 dollars to pay for his heart surgery. Rosa Loves has printed enough shirts to raise that amount and once we reach that goal, this shirt will be discontinued. Get one in time for Christmas and before the time to help Hussein runs out!

Get yours here.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Best Christmas Ever

It's been a while since I've told you about some of the children we've been able to help. Just yesterday we funded the heart surgeries for Wahaj, Havan and Elaf.

Wahaj's heart was so weak that he had been losing consciousness during cyanotic spells, which means that he could die at any moment. Thankfully the funding came in and he was able to be rushed to the ICU today where they were able to stabilize him as he waits for his turn to be operated on.


Elaf has a combination of heart defects and they're not sure if she'll need one or two surgeries but the good news is that the doctors said that the prognosis for Elaf's future after surgery is excellent!

Havan is in the most critical condition because he was born with tranposition of the great arteries. The cardiologist is hoping it's not too late to put them back in their proper places.


I'll keep you updated but also wanted to thank you if you played a role in helping fund these heart surgeries. We love you guys.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Scream Bloody Murder

They share a deep sorrow: an idealistic American who tried to protect the Kurds of Iraq, a Canadian general who refused to follow orders in Rwanda, a French priest who fought for the soul of Cambodia.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour traveled to the killing fields of Europe, Africa and Asia for "Scream Bloody Murder."

CNN's Christiane Amanpour traveled to the killing fields of Europe, Africa and Asia for "Scream Bloody Murder.

Each one tried to focus the world's attention on the world's most heinous crime: genocide. Each time, they were shunned, ignored or told it was someone else's problem.

To understand why, CNN's Christiane Amanpour traveled to the killing fields of Europe, Africa and Asia for a two-hour documentary, "Scream Bloody Murder."

________________

CNN has been doing a fabulous job covering these stories. I'd encourage you to watch this.

Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT

For those that want to dig deeper into US relations with Iraq, take a look at these recently unclassified documents from the Reagan administration.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gifts of the Heart.

My nephew, Samuel.


This past Monday at 2:00 p.m., my nephew Samuel had surgery on his heart. Just recently he started to have episodes where his heart would start to beat way beyond the rate that's healthy for any heart. The doctors monitored his heart and came to the conclusion that the only way to fix it would be through surgery. Samuel's situation is more common among adults but extremely rare for children.

The surgery was extremely complicated but the Doctor was able to stabilize Samuel's heart and God-willing, Samuel will never have to worry about this problem again!

We always have a ridiculous amount of things to be thankful for each day and on Thanksgiving, but today I'm so overwhelmed by the fact that we live in a country where Samuel's able to be helped within hours. I'm thankful for doctors, for medicine, for heart monitors, for sanitized instruments and nurses. I'm thankful that we only had to worry and pray for a few days before it was all over with. I'm thankful that Samuel has a healthy heart.

All of this has started me thinking about being thankful. I'm starting to think thankfulness needs to go so much further than just thanking God for our circumstances.

Thank you God for my house.

Thank you God for Samuel's health.

Thank you God for protecting my son in combat.

Thank you God for food.

Thank you God for the fact that I have it so much better off than most people in the world.

Is that all we're required to do? Just say thanks? Don't get me wrong, saying thank you is huge and we should all do it often and consistently. I wonder if we need to take it a step further though in order to make our thankfulness not just another act of glorifying ourselves.

Thank you God for my house, give me the opportunity to help those with no houses today.

Thank you God for Samuel's health, give me the opportunity to help those who need a doctor of money to be healed.

Thank you God for protecting my son in combat, give me the opportunity to comfort all the other grieving parents who have lost their son or daughter.

Thank you God for food, give me the opportunity to feed the hungry today.

Thank you God for the fact that I have it so much better off than most people in the world, give me the opportunity to bless a world that needs you.

Thankfulness shouldn't just pour out of our mouth, it should pour out of our lifestyles.

I'm rambling, but I'm thankful for Samuel today! It's humbling to think that if he was born in Iraq, his name would be on the bottom of a list of over 3,000 children. Instead of worrying and praying for just a few days, we'd be worrying for the next 5 years if we were lucky.

Instead of getting sad every time I hear the sounds of an ambulance siren, I should be overjoyed. Praise God that help is on its way. Praise God that someone cares. Praise God that the silence was shattered.

People all over the world will never hear the sound of someone on their way to help them. Break the silence!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

from generation to generation.

I always hear the same comment whenever I tell people that I work with youth. They always laugh, smack me on the back, and make some comment about how they could never work with kids. I'm never quite sure what they mean. Does it mean they don't like kids? Or they don't have the patience? Or that kids are somehow "unreachable" or that they could never invest in them? Since I never know what they mean, I never really know how to respond.

I love working with kids. I really can't think of a better use of time than investing in younger people. If only we valued them as much as _______________.

Working with kids always gives me a unique perspective on parents, even though I may never meet them. Just by watching kids interact and seeing what they value, it's often times identical to the way their parents are. What's that saying, "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree"?

Sometimes that's a great thing and sometimes it's so discouraging. Lately I've been noticing a trend among some of the kids that's been a little disturbing. We've just been hanging out when all of a sudden they'll see a Obama bumper sticker or an Obama sign and as soon as we notice it, out comes a derogatory remark or some hateful statement from their mouth. The statement wasn't directed just towards Obama but always to the person driving the car or inside the house. I noticed the same thing happen several different times. The worst part about it was that these words came from the kids that have always been looked at as leaders, much like their parents.

Where does this come from? Since when are 12 and 13 year olds this passionate about Politics? Do they form their opinions after studying each candidate and looking at both sides of each issue? Or do they just take on the attitudes and speech that their parents are demonstrating? Most parents don't want to admit that they're the people that have the greatest impact on their kids, passing off the blame to their peers or television. I can show you the stats, regardless of what you think, parents impact kids way beyond the impact their friends or television will ever have.

If you're a parent, be careful what you say. Watch your attitudes. I'm sick of hearing kids who don't know anything of politics speak hate towards any candidate. I'm sick of seeing that characteristic passed down from parents. If you want to raise up little Republicans or Democrats, that's up to you...but do not raise up sons and daughters that speak hate, in seriousness or in humor, towards anybody.

The reason I say this is because most often, politics brings out the worst in people. Whatever you think about Obama being the president for the next four years, I'd be far more concerned about the attitudes and mindsets that you pass down to your children these next four years.

Then there's other kids that get it. This past weekend I went to a birthday party for 2 high school students. There must have been close to 70 students there. It was the party every high school student would want to have. Flyers were posted everywhere and nobody was turned away. The only things that weren't allowed were birthday presents . Instead they had a box in one room where they asked everybody to put whatever money they had. They had planned a while back that they were going to give all of that money to a child in Iraq that needed money for a heart surgery.

They raised a little over 800 dollars and woke me up in the middle of the night to deliver it. They said they couldn't wait to give it away.

Their parents are the same way.

If we're going to pass on hate to our kids, let's at least pass on the hate for things worth hating. Teach them to hate materialism, the love of money, injustice, or the idea that people are the enemy. If we're going to pass on love, let's pass on the love of things worth falling in love with.

We're far too shallow in our desires and in our hatred.