Our wounded warriors keep right on saving people

It takes a certain type of man or woman to choose the military. It's a tough life - not only the rigorous discipline, but being away from loved ones, putting yourself in harm's way, and often doing things that seem ... well, pointless (How long have we been in Iraq??)

But there is a program that takes our Wounded Warriors and puts them to work in a very meaningful way:

Dahlia Luallen was forced to leave the Army honorably after 8-years because of a series of injuries. She is now an intern at Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta as part of the HERO program.
When her military career ended she wondered what she would do next. "For me, when I got out I didn't just want to go back to work," Luallen said. "I wanted to continue to serve my country. It was not by choice when it happened."
That's when she heard from a former instructor about the HERO program and said she jumped at it. "Because it gave me that sense of what I felt when I was in the military," she said. "I felt like I was going to be doing something that was going to impact society."
Luallen is one of four people in the HERO program at HIS in Atlanta, which is overseen by Deputy Special Agent in Charge Greg Wiest. "They get to come here and work with us to bring that same work ethic, same desire, to serve the American public and more importantly to rescue children," he said.
Luallen received three months training and will serve ten months as an intern before being considered as a full-time analyst at HSI. She explained what HERO analysts do. "Whenever they go out on a warrant and they seize computers, I'm the one that goes through the computers and the evidence," she said.
Atlanta HERO analysts recently investigated the case of an Emory University Professor charged with Sexual Exploitation of Children. Epidemiology Professor Kevin Sullivan was arrested on June 15, 2015. A federal criminal complaint says pornographic images of girls, one 4 to 7 years old, were found on a digital hard drive in Sullivan's office at the Rollins School of Public Health.
Computers, hard drives, flash drives and a cell phone were seized from Sullivan's office and his home in Atlanta, according to the complaint. The complaint said Sullivan "attempted to destroy evidence on his desktop computer." HERO analysts in Atlanta searched all those electronic devices for child pornographic images.
Those are images Luallen finds every day on computers. "If you're human, you're going to feel a certain way about seeing these things happening to kids," she said.
But Luallen says finding and viewing disturbing pictures of children on a daily basis is what drives her. Military veterans in the HERO program not only find the evidence, they often are in on the arrests and the rescues of children. "Sometimes you get to see the kids," Luallen said. "So, you know, this is a child that I'm saving."
Hard to imagine doing this work, day in and day out. That's why we call them "heroes."

A Korean View On The Life Of Christ

From New Liturgical Movement:




Manic Monday

1. I was listening to the radio on Friday, and heard a song that quoted Micah:

You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

It occurred to me that this is exactly what Pope Francis exemplifies: he speaks to the world about what true justice is, he loves the good in every person he comes in contact with, and he is a humble man. His visit to the US has given us much to think about, pray about, and learn from.

2. Spent the weekend with my mom, who is now in assisted living. It's hard to see such a strong and independent woman become weaker and weaker in body (though not spirit!) For me, it's also terribly difficult in that I've always relied on my Mom as a sounding board. Now, I have to be hers. This role reversal with an aging parent is not one bit of fun. But again, in Scripture, we know that there is a time and season for all things.

3. The ground under my feet is incredibly unstable right now. No details: but I stand in the need of prayer!

4. My dark-haired daughter is so strong and so brave. Yet, PTSD and depression creep out of the cave and overwhelm her occasionally.  She's been struggling. I know she'll be fine, but right now, she too stands in the need of prayer.

5. This theme keeps showing up in my life. That usually means God is telling me something:


Getting Through Suffering

This is such a great post from Robert J. Wicks at onFaith! Please take the time to go over there and read it.

One of the greatest gifts we can share with others is a sense of our own peace, but we can’t share what we don’t have. Spiritual resilience, the ability not only to bounce back from adversity but to deepen as a result of it, is essential to becoming a better person — parent, friend, member of a spiritual community, the list continues.
Today, the world seems to be such an insecure, stressful, and even dangerous place. Spiritual hunger, physical ills, financial pressures, unemployment, and loss of trust in many of the institutions our parents (and past generations) counted on constantly threaten our faith in ourselves and our God.

What to do? Read on.

Monday, Monday: Can't trust that day

"Monday, Monday" - artist M.E. Bailey
1. Verse for today: "Humble yourself before the Lord and He will exalt you." - James 4:10. Praying for humility is a frightening thing, so praying for courage as well.

2. +ArtPrizeGR is about to take over my town. I usually have girlfriends come to town, but our little tribe is literally between daughters' weddings. DH and I are hoping to do a little exploring of our own this year. I love ArtPrize!

3. Had the opportunity to speak twice last week on human trafficking - always a privilege. Check out my friend Pamela Alderman's work:


4. Still can't believe I have a married kid! So happy to have a new son-in-law!

Suicide Prevention: It could be you

I've talked about my depression and anxiety before. I've even talked about my checking myself in to a local mental health facility. But I haven't really talked about suicide.

Twenty years ago, if you had told me I'd battle the urge to commit suicide, I'd never believe you. When it happened to me, I didn't tell anyone. It seemed too dark and too scary to speak out loud - as if the very act of talking about it would somehow bring me a step closer to the act.

I thought about all the pills and alcohol in my house, and how taking them might stop the pain. I thought about crashing my car. I knew a good spot, I thought.

When those thoughts got too real, I checked myself in.

After I'd been in the hospital for a few days, something amazing happened. I sat in a small group and listened to people give voice to the same thoughts I was having. It gave me courage. For the first time, I talked about my struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide. And people listened. They talked to me, and supported me. I felt safe - safe enough to keep talking - and that saved me.

If you're having these thoughts, talk to someone, preferably a professional. If you're not sure where to start, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255. Someone there will talk with you and help you.

Give yourself the chance to speak. It will save your life.

God, the stand-up comedian: Provider of laughter and water

"Blue Water Mirage" - artist Carol Owen
Let it never be said that God has no sense of humor.

I have to get a medical test later today that requires fasting from both food and drink. First,let me tell you I am the worst fast-er in the world. I hate it. All I can think about is food, water, tea, more food. Then, one of the medications I take gives me a very dry mouth. You could say that this sets me up for a lousy morning.

So I settle in to say my morning prayers.

All who are thirsty, come to the living waters!

and

Like the deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God.

and

All who are thirsty, come to the water. You who have no mone, come receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk.

There's a theme there, right? It's not just me ...

Like so many of us, I have a lot of prayers to lift up to the Lord daily. Health issues, money problems, worries about work and kids - all of these are try to give to the Lord in prayer, trusting that He will answer all my needs according to His holy will.

This morning, He providentially reminded me how much I need Him. I need him more than I need food or water. I need to yearn for him, to come to him empty-handed in trust, hope and love. He is the living water, the only water that truly matters.

Always Faithful

We went to Mass last night, and had an older priest. In his homily, he exhorted us to "semper paratus:" Be prepared. The Gospel,...