The Day I Grew Up

My brother Paul (21), my mother Veena, and me when we dropped Paul off at the Atlanta airport after his visit for Fall Break.

22 years ago this Sunday, I was a young child sitting in church when my mom suddenly told me to call an usher.  Here is what happened the day I almost lost my mom and brother... and how that experience still impacts me today.   My mom was 29 weeks pregnant, and I was a spunky six-year-old.  It was a Sunday, so my mom and I were in the morning church service (typical).  My dad was out of town on business (also typical).  It was November 11, 1990.The kind ushers had just taken up the o … [Read more...]

Cracker Barrel Salutes Veterans with Month-Long Celebration

cracker barrel - veterans day sign

Are you looking for a way to get a head start on your Christmas shopping and support the troops at the same time?  Here is a great initiative that offers you the opportunity to do just that!Cracker Barrel Old Country Store salutes veterans of the United States military, many of whom are guests and employees, with a special month-long celebration of Veterans Day in addition to year round efforts.   From November 1 through November 30, 2012, Cracker Barrel will donate 10% of the retail sales pr … [Read more...]

September 11, Eleven Years Later: A Tribute to My Uncle and the FDNY

Lt. Kevin W. Donnelly was among the Ladder Company 3 firefighters killed while trying to rescue others from the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001.

Sean Donnelly's uncle, Kevin Donnelly, was a lieutenant in the FDNY’s Ladder 3 Company and was killed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, after climbing 60 floors trying to save everyone he could.  Eleven years after that tragic day, Sean reflects on his uncle's heroism and sacrifice:The question, “Where were you on 9/11?” is echoing throughout America this week.  Well, I can describe every minute of that day, and the following week as well.That’s because my u … [Read more...]

Lopez Lomong: How do you spell “AMERICA”?

Lopez Lomong (second from right) racing at the 2012 US Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo credit: T. Banse/VOA)

In our first piece in the Lopez Lomong series on the Salt Shaker, we shared an overview of his story from World Vision.  Then, Lopez described his terrifying experience of being ripped away from his parents by rebel soldiers at the age of 6. After his kidnapping, Lopez was taken to a camp where boys were forced to become rebel soldiers, killing other people, or dying themselves.  From there, a series of miracles occurred. Lopez was befriended by three older boys in the camp, who rescued him and f … [Read more...]

Lopez Lomong: I Was Running for My Life, Now I Run for Team USA

Lopez Lomong, 27, was born in South Sudan and is now an American track and field Olympic athlete.

What is the most compelling story of the London 2012 Olympics?  The story of Team USA Olympian Lopez Lomong -- one of the "lost boys of Sudan" -- involves the youngest country on the planet, sacrifice, love, hope, sweat and tears.  We look forward to highlighting his adventures, and we join the people of South Sudan in honoring this amazing athlete and human being!  We shared an overview of his story from World Vision, and this is the first in a series of in-depth articles by Lomong:Cold. The … [Read more...]

From Sudanese “Lost Boy” to U.S. Olympian: The Story of Lopez Lomong

Lopez Lomong is a Sudanese-born American runner who proudly carried the U.S. flag in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will also compete in the London 2012 Olympics. (Photo: Andrea Peer/World Vision)

We are thrilled to highlight the story of Lopez Lomong, who is running with Team USA in the London 2012 Olympics. But behind his remarkable accomplishment is a turbulent — and inspiring — life story of danger, poverty, and ultimate redemption.  This South Sudan native is not only training hard to compete, but is also working tirelessly to bring help and hope to children and families in his home country who continue to struggle one year after the celebration of its independence.  My dream of … [Read more...]

A Father’s Legacy, A Son’s Autism, and the Power of Redemption: A Conversation with Emily Colson

Emily Colson and her dad grew closer through the years.

Most people remember the late Chuck Colson as the White House “hatchet man” and convicted Watergate felon turned Evangelical Christian leader and and founder of Prison Fellowship and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.  Colson passed away on April 21 at the age of 80 after complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage, and I had the honor of attending his Memorial Service at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. on May 16.  Though the service was a somber occasion, it was also … [Read more...]


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