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{HeartTouchers.com}   *Stolen Childhoods* 

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If you enjoy this email service, I encourage
you to spread the word to family and friends that we
may bring inspiration the lives of many!  If you
are not on the list and this has been passed along
to you, join us by visiting:

http://www.HeartTouchers.com

Be sure to check out our inspirational list just for teenagers!

http://www.Heart4Teens.com


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Good morning HeartTouchers.com readers!

Before we get to today's story by Kathy Whirity, I wanted to let all of you know that our youth group will be participating in the 30 Hour Famine this coming weekend.  For more information on what this is all about you can check out their website at:

http://www.30HourFamine.org

Teenagers get a pretty bad rap most of the time... and sometimes it is deserved.  However, the teenagers from our youth group are going to try and make a difference in the lives of kids who are starving through a very well respected organization called World Vision.  Basically our teens are voluntarily going to go without food for 30 hours to raise money to fight world hunger.  Each youth asks people to sponsor them and then during those thirty hours they do service projects and learn more about the plight of those in other countries.

As a youth group we are trying to raise $2000 to send in to World Vision.  Would you be willing to sponsor us?  If you are, you can send a check for any amount.  (No amount is too small.)  Make your checks out to "World Vision" and send it to:

FCC Youth
Faith Community Church
2931 Lucerne Dr.
Janesville, WI 53545

Your donation is tax deductible so be sure to include your return address so we can send you a receipt.

This is the third year we have done this and I am very proud of our teenagers who are trying to make a difference in this world!

Thank you for considering this and thank you for being a member of HeartTouchers.com!

From my family to yours,
Michael


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STOLEN CHILDHOODS

By: Kathy Whirity


The lyrics to the old song kept replaying in my mind: "We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time."
 
Bill and I were taking our evening walk.  The weather was predictably hot and muggy for this July night. Children were out and about; playing ball, some riding bikes, others racing by on motorized scooters, and older teens hung out on corners enjoying the summer night and each other's company.
 
As we walked we noticed another sign of summer -- chalk outlines of hopscotch decorating front sidewalks.  The sounds of summer could be heard in the laughter of these happy children. With school out and summer vacation in full swing, they had a lot to celebrate.
 
Before we knew it we reached our destination, my sister-in-law, Marie's house. It was there we heard some shocking news.  A young man from our Mt. Greenwood community had died as a result of being hit by an alleged drunk driver.  I say alleged because he refused a breathalyzer test even though those at the scene distinctly smelled the strong odor of alcohol.
 
This is happening far too frequently -- the grievous irresponsibility of overindulgence by imbibed individuals is killing and maiming our innocent children.

Alcohol is the evil culprit that sacrifices the safety of our kids as they play outside, in what should be safe surroundings. Drunk drivers strip our society of its security to let kid be kids and enjoy their time outdoors.

You never think it can happen to you.  But then it hits home.  A boy from the neighborhood gets killed; a great kid who went to school with my nieces.  Suddenly, it puts a face to this nightmare epidemic.
 
The 4th of July is a day meant to celebrate America's freedom.  On the way home from fire works festivities that night we noticed a group of people, standing in a circle, lit candles in hand. It took me less than a second to realize that this was not a gathering of people celebrating the 4th of July. This was a quiet memorial for Andrew  -- the victim of a drunk driver. A thought came to me as I saw them all obviously comforting each other in prayer.  Let freedom ring but let justice be served by those who choose to drink and drive, and kill.  
 
There's a pall in the summertime air in this community.  The sound of children's laughter is still carried on the warm summer breeze, but for parents the harsh reality has hit home. Once again it's the innocent victim who succumbs to the deadly choice of a drunk driver who carelessly gets behind the wheel, turning his vehicle into a weapon of death and destruction.  And, as is usually the case, he walks away unscathed, truly the biggest travesty of all.
 
Andrew was just a few blocks away from his house when he was struck. His father was by his side within minutes of the accident. What this greiving father wanted more than anything was to hug his son and tell him how much he loved him.  Sadly, he never got the chance -- Andrew never regained consciousness, and died two days later at Christ Hospital.
 
Our laws, all too often, seem to accommodate the criminal.  When our children are senselessly dying at the hands of drunk drivers, society, as a whole, should demand better from our politicians, for this is insanity.

I cannot help but to think of Andrew as that old song continues to play in my head: "We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time."

Young Andrew didn't run out of time, it was cruelly taken from him. There will will be no more seasons in the sun for a young man described as giving, caring, kind and outgoing.
 
All his dad wanted was to hug his son and tell him he loved him.  In his shoes, is that not what any of us would've wanted?  We never know what awaits our kids when they head out the door. We try to appease ourselves with thoughts that something like this will never happen to us.  Then we hear this tragic news and we're not so sure.
 
Don't forget to hug your kids today -- right this minute!  Tell them you love them until they're sick of hearing it and then tell them some more.

Let your words cover them like a verbal security blanket of assurance -- wherever they go -- for their sake and for your own sense of security, just in case there comes a day when you may not have the chance.


(c) 2005 Kathy Whirity
kathywhirity@yahoo.com
 

Kathy Whirity lives in Chicago where she shares her life and love with her husband of 28 years, Bill, their two daughters Jaime and Katie, and two rambunctious retrievers, Holly and Hannah. Kathy is a newspaper columnist who writes sentimental musings on family life.


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Thought For The Day:

"Render more service than that for which you are
paid and you will soon be paid for more than
you render. This is the law of increasing returns."
--Napoleon Hill


Verse for the Day:

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will
also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously
will also reap generously." 2 Corinthians 9:6


Kid's Thought For The Day:

"Don't let the spaghetti sauce leak onto your green beans."


Parent's Thought For The Day

"The good news is that grandchildren keep
you young. The bad news is that after you
spend time with them you feel your age."
--Joan Holleman


Coach's Thought For The Day

Habit is most difficult to defeat. If you delete the
first letter, it doesn't not change "a bit" Delete
another and you still have a "bit" left. Take off
still another and the whole of it remains. But
if you take off another, it is wholly used up.
Goes to prove if you want to get rid of a habit,
you must throw it off altogether. --Mandel


Deep Thought For The Day:

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper
to you because someone has printed gibberish
all over it and put your name at the top."
--English Professor, Ohio University



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Michael's updated book Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter," is finally here! ($13.95)

Visit the link below to preview the book!  Personalized autographed copies are available at no extra charge and we pay the shipping for you!  An E-book version is also available for just $3.25!

http://www.hearttouchers.com/books

Be sure to let us know who you would like it autographed for and then allow about two weeks for us to sign it and send it on its way to you.Credit card, PayPal, Checks, and Money orders accepted! The book is also available through Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Booklocker.com

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Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Love,
Trisha
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
Check out my video production business
by visiting: http://www.hearttouchers.com/video_imagery

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Do you feel as if life has no meaning for you?
http://www.greatcom.org/english/four.htm
Transfer your photographs or old home movies over to DVD all set to music that makes your memories come alive! Give the gift that will touch your family's heart and soul.
Chimney Balloon Fireplace Damper

Do you have a drafty or stinky fireplace? A Chimney Balloon fireplace damper can stop the cold draft, bad smell and save you money on your heating bill.

 

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