Friday, March 30, 2012

Blessed to be Back Home

Titus and Becky came home from the hospital at 2:30pm today. I think the smile on his face pretty much says how he feels about being home.

Within minutes of taking this picture, Titus was sound asleep - and a few minutes later, Becky was sound asleep. I'm sure they are both very happy to be back in their own beds.

It was a long week, but we are always incredibly grateful and blessed on how we are carried through the week by prayers, support, and food.

Ever since our boys were young, whenever we drop them off anywhere (and we still say it today), we always leave them with 3 small words - Be a Blessing! And today, I want to thank all of you for being a blessing to our family.

And speaking of blessings, Titus' Fotolanthropy video continues to be viewed, shared, blogged, and posted all over the place. We love knowing that Titus' story is being a blessing to others.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hunger is not a Game

Much has been written and posted about the Hunger Games over the last week. The much anticipated movie 'The Hunger Games' brought in $155 million on it's opening week - and buzz is strong that it's second weekend will continue to be big.

And there is an incredible irony to that.

The movie (and book) shows a society that values entertainment over life. The reality game aspect of 24 tributes thrown into the arena is equal parts Survivor, Gladiator, and Lord of the Flies. And all is filmed for the rest of the country to watch their performance, bet on their success, and send gifts (hmmm - kind of sounds like American Idol)  until one wins it all - and is set for life.

And yet, with all the talk of teen-on-teen violence, I think we are missing the parallels to our own society.

You see, we will spend $155m in one weekend (not including the spend on popcorn/candy/pop) to see a movie called the Hunger Games, but did we do anything to wipe out hunger?

And if you think that statistic is startling, Americans spend $2.3 billion (yes . . that is a B as in BILLION) on candy for Halloween last year. Considering our youth in America are struggling with childhood obesity, that's a bit ironic that we will spend that much money to give out candy for ONE night of the year.

And why . . . because we want to be entertained, we want to be full, we want to have fun.

Meanwhile, millions of children are dying around the world due to hunger, famine, lack of clean water. For the cost of $900 or less, a well can be drilled in Africa that provides clean water for a village. If a village has clean water, children do not have to spend their day walking to miles to a water source and back  (sometimes multiple times a day) - which means they can attend school and get an education. And if a child can have clean water and receive an education, he can change the scourge of poverty and famine that he lives in.

Wouldn't it be great if the producer/distributor of the movie stated they really wanted to do something about the real hunger games in this world and donated a part of the profits to ending hunger.

Wouldn't it be great if we all made a donation to our local food bank (or started to save money to drill a well in Africa) equal to the amount of money that we spent on our personal entertainment/comfort this week? If you can spend $4 for a cup of coffee everyday, imagine how many kids could eat for $4 (and let's face it, do we all really NEED another cup of coffee - some of you have a little too much caffienne as it is).

Let me be transparent - I have read the trilogy of 'The Hunger Games' (haven't seen the movie . .  yet). I thoroughly enjoyed them as fiction books. And, yes, I have let Aidan and Noah read them (ages 15 and 13). Personally, I didn't find the violence in the book to be anymore violent than what I have read in my Bible. And I do realize there is a difference between a sentence telling of a killing versus a brutal depiction of it on the big screen. But, I didn't see violence as the theme of the book.

I saw the humanity of a girl who loved her family and friends so much that she was willing to sacrifice her own life (Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13).

I saw that the events of a life may not be what you envisioned, but there are times you have to step up and do that which is right ("For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14)

I saw a society in the book that valued entertainment more than worship, selfishness more than selflessness, pain more than grace, power more than serving. And I realized, we may be closer to the region of Panem than we think.

But, as shown in the book - one small spark can catch fire - and one person who is willing can make a difference. One person can help inspire others to make a difference, to right a wrong, to change their world. And as Christians, isn't that what we should be doing - changing our world . . . catching fire?


I almost hate to blog this - but Titus has been fever free for over 12 hours (probably longer) and he is showing improvement. At this rate, he (and Becky) should be able to come home tomorrow (Friday). Which would be absolutely wonderful - we have a full weekend coming up.
  • Tucker has his first machine-pitch baseball game Friday night and Saturday morning. I think he has slept in his uniform all week getting ready for the game.
  • Aidan continues to line up jobs on the weekend as he is earning money for Africa Mission Trip this summer. I truly appreciate his strong work ethic and willingness to find ways to work for his trip. Becky and I would LOVE to go with him (Africa is on my bucket list), but it's not going to happen this year.
  • As melancholy as Noah is, I believe Noah has learned this week how much he misses everyone being around the house. I anticipate Noah spending a lot of time playing with Tucker and Cade, watching over Titus, and just being in the room with his mom.
  • And much like Noah, Quita (the golden) has really missed everyone in the house. Everynight I come home, she has been hyper - even though she has been home with Noah all day. Well - not everynight. Last night she was hiding from me when I got home at 9:30 pm. And then I found out she had eaten the remaining blueberry pie that I was dreaming about all day. This week, I found her in Titus' room in Titus bed - she can't be a guard dog without her little boy to protect.

As for me and Becky, we can't wait to have all our boys back under one roof and Becky and I can be in our own bed. When Titus is in the hospital and Becky is gone, I can't sleep - and I have stayed up way too late everynight this week and watched way too many movies. And Becky has slept in a hospital bed, gently interupted by nurses every 3 hours that come in to check on Titus.

Becky so appreciates all the prayers, phone calls, and FB posts yesterday for her birthday. That will be the other thing we get to do this weekend - celebrate her birthday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fever, Infection, Fever

As many know, we are blessed to have nursing for Titus 6 nights a week. Saturday night is the one night a week that Becky and I care for Titus which allows our nurses the opportunity to spend Saturday evening at home and allows for them to go to worship on Sunday mornings. (It may also explain to a few of you why I may nod off during worship sometimes - trust me, I LOVE FBC McKinney and Pastor Lee, but some mornings, having me sit still in a dark worship center after a night of ups and downs is just a little too comfortable).

Last Saturday night, around 3am, Titus began to run a fever. Now while running a small fever is not too big of a deal, we could observe after a few hours that this was not a run-of-the-mill fever. His breathing was labored (poor guy was just panting), his O2 SATS kept dropping and I kept turning up the O2 to maintain. By the time Becky and the boys returned from church, I was ready to take him to the ER. But, as soon as Becky got home, he showed improvement for the next few hours.

At 4pm on Sunday, we noticed that he was cycling back to breathing hard and fever and we decided that now was the time to go the ER instead of 10pm that night. Becky and Titus headed off to Medical City Childrens while I stayed home with the boys.

Since Titus is a regular visitor at Medical City Childrens Hospital, he was immediately taken back at the ER and bloodwork confirmed infection. By midnight he was ensconced in his room on the children's floor. Over the last few days, he continues to fight the fever and infection. He's on some heavy-duty antibiotics that are attacking the infection portion, but the little guy has just been miserable. Until last night, he hasn't really been resting like he usually does. But last night, he slept well and today he seems to be a little perkier.

Today was a special treat - the music therapist came by - and Titus thoroughly enjoyed feeling the vibrations of the guitar and beating the drum. As I was leaving today, physical therapy was coming in to work with him.

Becky shared with me that she had a roomful of nursing students in Titus' room last night and it gave her a chance to share how Titus is 'fearfully and wonderfully made'.

And today, March 28, is Becky's birthday. I'm sure spending the entire week at the hospital was not what she had planned this week, but she's been blessed with friends who have brought food and visited. So, while your praying for Titus, please pray for Becky. She's a blessing to me, blessing to all our boys, and such a blessing to others.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

God Hears the Prayers of the Righeous

We returned home from Honduras last night.

The word "WOW" just really doesn't convey all that occured or happened during the week. And it may take a few posts to summarize everything.

Let me recap just a bit - Our church (First Baptist McKinney) takes a spring break mission trip for the youth called AWOL (A Work of Love). This year's trip was to Siguatepeque, Honduras and we took 71 young people and adults. After 21 hours of travel (drove from Dallas to Houston, flew to Miami, flew to San Pedro Sula, bus ride to Siguatepeque) we divided into multiple teams to work with churches in the area.

My team of Deanna, Elizabeth, Kenzie, Anna Lauren, Dillon, Andrew, Landon, and Sutton, along with our incredible translator, Jose from El Salvador, went to Jesus de Otoro - a small village outside of Siguatepeque. The town is in a beautiful valley surrounded by moutains and fields of coffee beans. The only paved road in town is the highway that runs through the town. Dogs, chickens, cattle, pigs roam the streets freely - and the first lesson we learned in Honduras is that roosters crow all night long (whoever told me that roosters only crow at sunrise obviously has never been to Honduras).

As I mentioned in my last post, the team had 3 major prayer concerns and I wanted to let you know that God answered those prayers abundantly.

Many of the teens were worried about the food. Let me just say, we were fed like royalty. The pastor's wife cooked every meal for us (we slept/stayed at the Iglesia Bautista Nazarete). And her prayer request was that none of the Norte Americano's would get sick from her cooking. The church traveled many miles to purchase familiar food for us such as Corn Flakes, pancake mix, iced tea mix. We had fried fish, fried chicken, traditional Honduran meals, and developed a new dish we call the 'DillonBreakfast Burrito' which is a corn flakes, sliced bananas and honey rolled up in a pancake. No one got sick and one of the boys (who will remain nameless) even said "this is better than my Mom's home cooking" - while another stated "this beats Taco Bell".

The second prayer request was for boldness. And here is where I truly stand amazed. Each of us, each day had the opportunity to be bold in our witness. We spoke in schools, presented the gospel, and saw a harvest of souls. We picked up trash, and met people on the side of the road and saw do an incredible work of saving souls. We played soccer, went to the marketplace, went to the parks, even at the pool - and everywhere we went, God paved the way and the team was bold in presenting the gospel.

And my main prayer request was that we would serve in a church that had a plan for our week. Boy, oh boy, did our pastor have a plan. The pastor had planned opportunities for us to serve each and every day - from preaching, to school programs, to playing soccer (with a few pros), to picking up trash, to making door-to-door visits with church members, to witnessing in the parks/marketplace - we did not have a dull or unplanned moment.

One of the teens stated to me in a slightly amazed/astonished voice "God REALLY answered all of our prayers!" And if there is anything I can pray that we all learned last week was this  - God hears the prayers of the righteous. Thanks for the prayers - will share more later.

Friday, March 9, 2012

AWOL: Honduras

It's late Friday night and I really should be in bed. Aidan, Noah, and I will be leaving at 6am for Honduras with 68 others from our church, FBC McKinney. AWOL (A Work of Love) is the annual spring break mission trip for our youth group and this year's trip is Siguatepeque, Honduras.

We are going there to serve - and we will be looking for any and every opportunity to spread the gospel during the week. We covet your prayers. All 3 of us will be in different groups and I have a great group of teens in my group. Please lift up Dillon, Anna Lauren, Kenzie, Landon, Sutton, Andrew, Elizabeth and my other co-leader Deanna as we serve at Nazarete church. We have been meeting as a group over the last few weeks and I'll share the 3 major concerns they have shared with me.

  • Many of them are nervous about the food - so prayers that we will graciously eat that which is before us and maintain good health while there is one of the concerns.
  • We are all praying for boldness in our witness and presentation - especially since none of us are very convincing in our spanish (but we do sing with mucho gusto).
  • And we are all praying for rest and that we will be a blessing to our host homes.
While I'm gone, Tucker and Cade are taking a camping trip with Nana while Becky and Titus rest at home. Titus has been doing great, but in the last 2 days has had a bout of the runs - let's just say last night was a blowout of nuclear proportions. While he is exhibiting no other symptoms, and we "think" he may be cutting a tooth, it's a bit unusual for him. During his last hospital stay, Titus lost his first tooth - and it appears his new one is coming in.

And mom had surgery on her hand this week to repair the fracture in her wrist. She's still in a bit of pain but is at home resting, staying on her meds, and keeping it iced.

Last of all, thank you so much for the many comments/emails about Titus Fotolanthropy video. We have so appreciated the love shown and the numerous people who have shared his video. Please keep sharing his video. We want the world to know that all children are a blessing from the Lord - and that joy can be found in all circumstances.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unexpected Joy

We have been waiting to share this with you.

Several months ago, we were approached by Fotolanthropy with an incredible opportunity. Katie Norris Photography and Jonathon Link Studios spent the day with us taping and taking pictures of Titus and the the family. Becky and I had a chance to share about Titus' story and the journey of the last 4 years.

And here's the result.

You can also see the results here.
We are thrilled. We are humbled. We are blessed. Please pass along the message of Titus and the mission of Fotolathropy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Countdown to AWOL: Honduras

In 5 days, Aidan, Noah, and I (along with 68 other youth/adults) will head out to Honduras for FBC McKinney's AWOL (A Work of Love) spring break mission trip. We are all very excited about next week and all that God has in store for us. We are each on different teams - I have 7 teens in my group (2 in high school and 5 in junior high) along with Deanna P who will be co-leading the group. At this point, we are prepared to share our testimony, share in schools about life in the USA and overall, be available to assist the church we are at with what they want us to do.

We covet your prayers during the week. Becky, Titus, Tucker, & Cade will enjoy spring break in town (although I hear that Tucker and Cade may take a small camping trip).

All I can say is - what a great way to spend Spring Break! And I have to add this on Aidan and Noah. When we decided to go, both boys came to us and told us they would pay for their trip. And they did. In fact, they worked, saved, and found ways to earn money and paid off their trip way before the final deadline of the last payment. I couldn't have been more proud of my boys and the ownership they took in earning their money for this trip.(I even asked them if they wanted to chip in and pay for some of their dad's trip - they told me I could find ways to earn the money if I put myself out there).

Titus has been doing great at school. Along with all of us, he's got allergies from all the spring in the air and wind blowing, but he's been healthy and happy while back at school.

Aidan and Noah also have their one-act plays this week for Enrichment (Aidan is in Tom Sawyer, Noah is in Charlotte's Web).

And my wonderfully active mom had a slight accident on Friday and fractured her wrist. She will be going to the orthopedic surgeon this week to find out if she needs surgery or casting. She's never had a broken bone before, but as I told her, Dad waited till he was 72 before he broke a bone, I waited till I was 32 before I broke my arm - we Daily's are just 'late in life' achievers when it comes to the broken bone department.

And last of all, Aidan is praying/preparing to go on the high-school mission trip to Africa this summer. This trip will cost a lot more than Honduras. As he told me, "don't worry dad, I have a plan". And I trust that he does - Aidan has full confidence he can earn $2500 over the next few months. And if you have any work for him, he would be glad to take it on. He can house sit, babysit, pet sit, mow lawns, clean out garages, etc. You can email him at