Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A good friend of mine, Bill Clark  from Project 52, offered up a newsletter this past week about Perspective.  How often do we get off kilter and lose that.  We tend to think our life is made better by material things.  And how wrong is that?  We see it time and time again.  Below, you'll find a story from this past week that points out the importance of doing things for people and giving back with a perspective in mind.

After watching their son survive a pair of military stints in Kuwait and Afghanistan, Andrew Steiner's parents were devastated when he was killed helping the victims of a minor Brown County traffic crash last month. But Douglas and Nicole Steiner took solace in one fact: Steiner died the way he lived, helping other people.

Andrew Steiner, a 26-year-old U.S. Army reservist, was driving to Howard just after midnight Jan. 27 when he and a friend came upon the scene of a minor crash. As they checked on the vehicles' occupants, another vehicle slammed into the wreckage, launching Steiner over an overpass railing about 30 feet away.

Andrew Steiner's funeral featured a full military send-off, with fellow members of his reserve unit, Desert Storm veterans and members of the Patriot Guard paying their respects and recalling his work overseas.  The military presence, along with warm messages on Steiner's Facebook page, brought comfort to the family, his parents said.

"These days, you hear about young people dying from drugs, alcohol, suicide," Douglas Steiner said. "Andy was trying to do something good, because he had a warm heart. And people who didn't even know him have been giving us warm thoughts. I think that helps."  "We're proud of him", said Douglas Steiner.  "The fact is, Andy is deceased because he was trying to do something good.  I wouldn't look at this any different than if Andy was overseas and his life was taken there".    

Then there is the story of  Project 52's tree planting for two young men from the Rosamond, California area, Brett Wallis and Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Lopez.  "According to Clark, "each tree planting is unique, but these plantings were truly an amazing experience".

After the trees were put in the ground, the families of Brett and Joseph presented Project 52 with dog tags that showed pictures of Brett and Joseph on the front and their favorite Bible verses on the back.

Two Men Who Have Perspective, Brett and LCpl Joseph 

The verse for Brett was Philippians 4:13.  " I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength".  The verse for Joseph, who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan, was particularly fitting.  Joshua 1:19.  "I will be strong and courageous.  I will not be terrified, or discouraged; for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go".

The Project 52 newsletter goes on to say, "in addition, Joseph's father, Arthur Pratti, shared this final text message he received from Joseph before he died.  We were floored when we read it, and it speaks directly to the importance of always keeping things in perspective each and every day".  Before you read the text and again afterward, ask yourself this.....If you knew you might die tomorrow, what kind of perspective would you have today?  What things would truly matter?      

"Hey Dad,

I'm flying out of Leather Neck tonight to my area of operation so this is the last time I will be texting you.  I have been reading the Bible every day and talking to God every day and it's been helping me a lot so far.

If for some reason something happens to me and I don't come home, make sure Mom understands I have a relationship with God now and I'm OK.

I love you Dad, see you in 7 months.

I  ask you.....does that put a different perspective on life to you?  Are you finding it a little difficult to swallow about now?  Can you even pretend to feel what that father must feel, knowing....that his son is safe with our Father.  And that his death, while so difficult to accept, is something he can can come to grips with.  I hope so....because when I read it, it choked me up big-time.  And in some fashion, I hope you too.



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