Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How Great Thou Art - Carrie Underwood Goes Viral

It's no surprise that country music fans were anticipating the TV special Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country, which was taped at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards weekend earlier this month and aired Friday night on CBS. However, it was a gospel song performed at the show that unexpectedly crossed all boundary lines and created a viral sensation over the weekend.

Carrie Underwood was just one of many huge names in the allstar lineup, but her duet with Vince Gill of the classic standard "How Great Thou Art" managed to bring down the entire house--and internet, at that. According to Yahoo! data, searches for Underwood's rendition of the tune spiked a whopping 362% on Saturday.

If you cannot see the video below, watch it HERE!

Underwood and Gill's fellow stars in the audience appeared moved by the performance, as well. Martina McBride stares transfixed at the stage, the ordinarily humorous Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert watch reverently, while Sugarland's Kristian Bush nods his head and Jennifer Nettles mouths "What a voice."

After hitting the final, climactic notes, Underwood wrapped the powerful performance up with a hug for Gill. Then, she wiped away a few tears...and faced a standing ovation from her peers. How great, indeed.

Sources: YouTube and Yahoo Music Blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April Newsletter

If you would like to read my Easter/April newsletter brimming with heart stopping, amazing and wonderful news for your reading pleasure, please click HERE or click on the photo!

Groove in G

Playing for Change News! Below is the new original Song Around the World titled "Groove in G.". This track started in West Africa with a musical group named Tinariwen. More musicians were added to the song as it transformed into a global jam with its roots in the blues spanning 5 continents.

Enjoy the positive connections and please support the upcoming release, "PFC 2 - Songs Around the World," a CD/DVD coming out May 31st everywhere music is sold!!

If you don't see the image below, click HERE to view the video.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The African Children's choir

Tonight I had the joyful honor of going to a performance of the African Children's Choir in a nearby town of New Harmony. The Choir is a made up of children ages 7 to 12 from several African nations. Since its inception, the choir has included children from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana. Many of the children have lost one or both parents to AIDS and other poverty-related diseases, and all of them are victims of extreme poverty.

The Choir was founded in 1984 in Uganda as a Christian charity and has expanded since. For each new tour, new children are selected for the choir, with each tour lasting from a year to a year and a half. The choir serves as the main fund raising branch for its parent organization, Music For Life Institute, with proceeds from the choir's work used to fund education and relief efforts for African children affected by poverty and disease. Over 7,000 children in several African nations are currently being supported through the program.

CNN International made a wonderful documentary on the Choir for Inside Africa that aired in January. For those of you who missed it, you can watch the entire documentary right here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 2011 Connections!

My baby! Watch the latest edition of Connections below! I love producung these updates for Mercy Ships with the talented help of Scott Shellhorse! Hey, feel free to nominate us for a YouTube or webbie award! :-)

Thousands of hopeful men, women, and children were seen during this year's surgical screenings as Mercy Ships starts its Field Service to bring hope and healing to Sierra Leone. This month's update also looks at the Hospital Support Facilities modular units that are being constructed to help expand the capacity of the onboard hospital. Watch these special moments in this month's edition of Connections.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mercy Ships, Dedicated to Excellence in World Health Care, is Celebrating World Health Day

The procurement department at the Mercy Ships International Operations Center in Garden Valley, Texas, is charged with the daunting task of shipping medications, lab supplies, hospital equipment, and medical supplies (among other things) to their hospital ship in West Africa.

Dr. James McDaniel checking in at the Tyler
Airport. One way Mercy Ships gets temperature-
sensitive materials to the ship in Africa
is via volunteers carry-on luggage.
Mercy Ships is dedicated to improving World Health in some of the most poverty-stricken nations on earth. The focus of 2011 World Health Day, celebrated on April 7, is the importance of antimicrobial agents — antibiotics, antivirals and chemotherapeutic agents, among others.

Getting vital medications to the developing world in a timely manner is a challenging task. No one goes to greater lengths to ensure their patients are provided with these life-saving medications than the international charity, Mercy Ships.

The procurement department at the Mercy Ships International Operations Center in Garden Valley, Texas, is charged with the daunting task of shipping medications, lab supplies, hospital equipment, and medical supplies (among other things) to their hospital ship in West Africa. These items are either donated by generous providers or purchased.

“We send one 25,000-pound shipping container every month to the Africa Mercy, packed with medical, food, and technical supplies needed to keep our ship and its programs operational,” says Russ Holmes, Director of International Procurement at Mercy Ships. “About half of the container is solely medical supplies.”

Transporting the container can take up to eight weeks. Once the container is cleared through customs in the host country, the medical supplies are unloaded and available for surgeons and nurses to use to treat patients.

A few key pharmaceuticals, however, require a climate-controlled environment and a first-class method of shipping. Normal shipping procedures do not offer a temperature-sensitive option and are not cost-effective for items like tetanus vaccines, TB vaccines and media plates for the onboard laboratory.

Pharmacist Miriam Tillman accepts the medicine and
checks it into the system for patient use.
The medicine arrived safe and sound in Sierra Leone.
Mercy Ships has found a creative, dependable, and practical way to overcome this obstacle. -- putting these items in the compassionate hands of their volunteers.

For instance, last month Dr. James McDaniel, an orthopedic surgeon traveling to serve on the Africa Mercy, checked an extra piece of luggage at the ticket counter. One rolling suitcase carried clothes and necessities. The other — a rolling cooler — contained vaccines and hospital lab supplies.

“As a volunteer, I’m here to do whatever I can to further the mission of Mercy Ships,” explained Dr. McDaniel. This form of delivery takes 36-40 hours and is the most efficient way of getting climate-controlled supplies to the ship in a timely and effective manner.

Approximately 38 hours later, Dr. McDaniel delivered the cooler to the hospital supply coordinator on the ship. The important medicine was then available for immediate use.

Life-changing surgeries are only successful when the appropriate pharmaceuticals are available to treat patients. The two key teams at Mercy Ships that make this happen are the Advance team and the International Procurement Department. Advance secures the proper authorization to import pharmaceuticals into West African countries, and the procurement team acquires the items and works out the logistics that make the delivery of the drugs a safe and efficient process.

Thanks to these groups, as well as loyal volunteers who are willing to serve as couriers, the forgotten poor of West Africa have access to vital medications that have the potential to save hundreds — even thousands — of lives.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Little Christian Humor

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the

computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of

hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, 'THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set

up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge

who does the better job.'

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused.

They faxed.

They e-mailed.

They e-mailed with attachments..

They downloaded.

They did spreadsheets!

They wrote reports.

They created labels and cards.

They created charts and graphs.

They did some genealogy reports .

They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed

across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went


Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the


Jesus just sighed....

Finally, the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their

computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:

'It's gone! It's all GONE! 'I lost everything when the power went out!'

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past

two hours of work.

Satan observed this and became irate.

'Wait!' he screamed. That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his

work and I don't have any?'

God just shrugged and said,