Tuesday, December 27, 2016

    Wait A Minute

     Blogs are a wonderful way of expressing one's personal views and connecting with a vast demographic of people across the world. They have the ability to expose strengths, weaknesses, loves, hates, and so much more. Today I have the distinct pleasure of sharing a piece of work that will make you think a little deeper about something that affects all Americans.

     Donald V. Sims served this country from 1976-1979 as an active duty enlisted solider in the United States Army. He then returned to service in 1984 under the umbrella of the United States Army Reserve as an officer. During this time, the war named Desert Storm commenced and he was deployed to Iraq with the 321st Material Management Command Unit, specializing in logistics. In 1996 he retired as a Captain, and in 2016 retired from Lockheed Martin after 31years of diligent service. He volunteers at the VA Medical Center in Dallas, Texas every Wednesday. The words I'm about to share with you were penned over a year and a half ago, by him. He has always desired to share them with the world, but feels an urgency to do so now with the new administration coming into office.

     For the next 4 minutes, throw away the thoughts of who you voted for, who you felt should have won, or how you feel about the last administration and the upcoming one. For the next 4 minutes, read the following words as a citizen and a human being. Without futher ado...

Before We Go To War

Before we go to War:

When it comes to War, as a country, we must be committed to the task at hand. This means destroying the enemy’s means to create War. We do not hold back. We accept all that comes with War: destruction of property, loss of life for our warriors, enemy combatants and civilians, the war crimes, the monetary cost, post war duties that take years and the scars, the broken bodies and minds on both sides of the conflict.

Before we go to War:

Why don’t we spend some time at Walter Reed Hospital, better yet visit one of the more modern VA facilities. Virginia has a good one, as well as Texas, and even Arkansas. You should be able to locate a facility close to you. Visit the in-patent unit. There will be patients you can spend time with. Brace yourself. This will be a very humbling experience. If you can muster a “hello” and an introduction when you meet one of our Warriors, I salute you. 

You are not finished.

Take some time and stop by the Unit where severe head injuries are treated. You will not be able to get too far into the ward. You will know you are in the presence of wounded men and women. I recommend you don’t stay too long in this Ward. One more stop. We need see to the Warriors who have lost a limb--arm, leg, maybe both legs. The spinal cord injuries should be close. Take a few minutes to post up in this unit too.
·         Do not stare. Do not ask what happen. Don’t you dare cry
·         You can pray. You can encourage. You can offer your services. You can say thank you.
·         Do not cry.

Before we go to War:                                                                                                            

We have to visit with seasoned veterans. Many of these defenders of our way of life are kind of on their last leg. They have a load of stories and plenty of advice. Each story has its own special beginning and ending. The most miraculous part will be their love to share their life experience with a complete stranger.  Then again you are not really a stranger. You will soon be a member of this special group. We are going to War?

Before we go to War:

Contact a family member of a fallen Warrior, a mother or father, husband or wife, and let them know how much you appreciate their sacrifice. Tell them you do not take their sacrifice for granted. Tell this mourning soul you know just how they feel. Well, maybe you shouldn’t tell them you know how they feel. You probably don’t know. You could say it to yourself though.
Pray for the innocent lives that were lost in our past Wars. I am talking about non-combatants: children, mothers and the elderly. Pray for all the suffering this next War will create. Pray our goal is noble. Thank God for his grace and mercy. We will need it more than ever.

Before we go to War:

No salute to the fallen Warriors is complete without a visit to one of our Veteran Cemeteries. These patches of earth are immaculately maintained. The funeral services are unforgettable. The real attraction is the rows and rows of tombstones perfectly aligned. Did I forget to mention this is the final resting place for countless Warriors?
Gentlemen, remove your hat if you are wearing one.

Before we go to War:

Ask Congress and the Executive Branch of our Government if their loved ones will be volunteering to serve our great country. In fact, tell your elected official you will meet him/her at the local recruiting office. Tell your elected official to bring along a couple of talk-show hosts who seem to be eager to taste War.  Before we go to war.

After we go to War:

It is important we all do something with no expectation we will be compensated. That means no expectation of any type of recognition. No financial contributions will suffice volunteering. We all need to smell the pain of War, I think seeing it is not enough. We need to feel it. We need to be moved by the effects of War, “Before we go to War”. 

Donald V. Sims,                                                                                                          

Monday, November 7, 2016

I have had the pleasure of meeting many people in my humble 39 years here on earth. Some of them were more pleasant than others but all have been learning lessons in some way. This next encounter definitely ranks under one of the pleasant ones. Please enjoy my interview with Aaqila Rasheed!

1.    Where are you from originally? 
I am originally from Oakland, CA.

Oakland is beautiful! It's a city that I want to visit one day. And the skyline is breathtaking!

2.    Have you traveled out of the country? If so, where? 
I have been to Spain and Kenya. Both countries are simply breathtaking. They are both very rich in culture, history, and pride. I would love to go back to either places again.

Kenya is beautiful as well. There were numerous pictures that popped up when I typed in "Kenya". Some of them showed the skyline of the metropolitan area and others depicted the culturally diverse population of this area. But this picture caught my eye because of the setting/rising sun and the amazing ambiance it sets. I'm sure you were privy to this scene more than once while visiting Kenya. What a blessing. I can understand why you want to go back. Not to mention the food you had a chance to try. Definitely a bucket list contender.

3.    Listening to music or reading? 
Listening to music

I'm torn between the two because I love both reading and listening to music. They can be a useful source of peace when things are a little crazy. I listen to music every single day. If you haven't already, I urge you to listen to Lauryn Hill's gripping and soul exposing, MTV Unplugged 2.0 Full Album. Life changing.

4.    Advice to your younger self?
 My advice would be to not let others or your circumstances define who you are. Your identity is found in Christ and He says you are wonderfully made.

5.    Name one person you would want to have dinner with? Where would you take them? And what's one question you would ask them?
I would want to have dinner with Queen Nefertiti. I have always admired her symbolism for strength and beauty. I would ask her, “How in the world did they build the pyramids?”

Yes, she would be very intriguing. I did some research on her, and she was quite the character.

6.    Favorite color?
Purple, the color of royalty.

7.    Favorite musical artist? 
I have so many favorites. One is John Legend. His voice is amazing and he’s a great writer.

I am a radio fan of his and appreciate his ability to go beyond what is current and comfortable, but instead allows his gift to guide him in ways that produce musical genius. And I sound just like the female version of him when I sing...in the shower...on Wednesday's...after listening to the motivational speaker, ET Thomas.

8.    Steak or pasta?
Pasta every day! Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta with shrimp and broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese to be exact.

Yes, yes and yes!!! I don't think it can get any better than pasta with broccoli and shrimp!!! I am confident that if I had to have a last meal...it would be this. A medium well cooked steak with extra seasoning, grilled veggies, and french fries with bacon and cheese would be a close second.

9.    If our technological advances continue at the pace they are on, we will likely be able to go into outer space as regular ol' citizens. If given the opportunity, would you go?
 I would definitely go! I love to travel. If I could travel to outer space, that would be great. I am so fascinated by the things God has created. To be able to see it with my own eyes would no doubt leave me speechless. :)

This concludes our interview! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and allowing others to learn more about you. I pray many blessings over you and your family. May God continue to be your guiding light. Be well. 

Bee L Kirk
City of the Guardians
The Matthew 7:12 Movement


Aaqila Rasheed | Marketing Director