Archive for the ‘News’ Category


Every generation has a defining moment.  Everybody has days that will foever be ingrained in their memory.  While there are have been a number of those moments and days in my own life, there are few that I remember with such emotional clarity as April 20, 1999.

It was on this day 10 years ago that news quickly spread across the country of the horrific events at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  Two armed students entered the school, opening fire and tossing homemade bombs killing 12 students and a teacher and then turning their guns on themselves.

I remember coming home from school that day (I was in 8th grade, which in my district is included at the high school) and being glued to the coverage on CNN.  Fear, grief and uncertainty overcame me as I watched the continuing reports.  There are images (like the one above) that will be forever ingrained in my memory from that day.  Students running for their lives out the door of their high school, a place that up until that point had always seemed to be a “safe” place.  No high school would ever again be considered “safe.”

Even more than the media coverage, though, I was shaken to the core by the stories that began emerging regarding the supposed martyrdom of Rachel Scott and Cassie Bernall.  I had heard ancient stories of people who had been killed for their faith, but the emerging stories (whether fully true or not) of these girls being questioned about their faith in God or being targeted in the shooting for their Christian faith made such martyrdom a reality.  These girls were just like me – typical American teenagers who happened to be actively involved in their churches – and in an instant they were gone.

In light of this year’s 10th anniversary of the shooting, I have been re-reading some of the books on my shelf about the stories of these two girls: Rachel’s Tears and She Said Yes.  I first read these books in high school, and re-reading them has allowed me to revisit some of the emotions and challenges that I faced as a high schooler dealing with the nation wide impact of the events at Columbine.

Now, 10 years later, I choose to remember: not the violence and tragedy of that day, but rather the hope that I have seen rising up as a result.  The events that took place on April 20, 1999 will forever be etched on our minds and hearts – may we rise to the challenges, remember the lost, and embrace the hope of healing.


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50,000 Shoes

I realize I’m a little late in posting this, but with only 19 days remaining in the 50 days of the challenge, I’m really saddened by the huge gap remaining to reach the goal of 50,000 pairs of shoes.  Soles4Souls is a Nashville based charity with one goal: to make shoes available to people in the world who need shoes.  It seems simple, but with the extent of poverty around the world, it’s a bigger challenge than we can imagine.

Nashville-based Soles4Souls(TM) facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide.  Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.5 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in 61 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan.  The Charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America.  Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.  Visit www.giveshoes.org for more information.

So, I’m not sure how many regular readers I have here, but I figure I’ll do my part to get the word out.  This is a cause I believe in.  Everyone’s got $5 (or more!) – just skip that morning Starbucks for a day or two and make a real difference in someone’s life by meeting a simple need.  There’s still a long way to go before the 50,000 pairs goal is met – let’s do this thing!

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Last year I went shopping on “Black Friday”.  I vowed that I would never again participate in such a comercialized and consumeristic mess again.  I find it ridiculous that we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday and then are immediately driven by greed and selfishness to buy, buy, buy on “Black Friday”.  What’s the point of even counting our blessings Thursday?  Do we even do that anymore?  Or are we too busy making lists of all the things we want (or “need”? ) to buy on Black Friday.

Greed is an ugly thing.  Today greed got really ugly for some folks at a Wal*Mart in New York (full story from cnn.com here) as a man was trampled to death by the crowds entering the store at 5am.  What is that important?

I hope they got what they wanted.

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