Archive for North Texas

North Texas community embraces people with Down syndrome

Posted in Disability, Down Syndrome with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2018 by saynsumthn
Down syndrome

Blake Pyron, who lives in the small North Texas town of Sanger, has become the state’s first businessman with Down syndrome. Live Action recently sent a film crew to Denton County, Texas, to meet Blake, who, with the encouragement of his amazing family and supportive community, started Blake’s Snow Shack at the young age of 20.

Blake’s mother, Mary Ann, told Live Action News that she always wanted to be a mother. She has two sons: Mitchell, and his younger brother Blake, who was born with Down syndrome.

Blake became the youngest person in his city to own a business and he also became the first business owner with Down syndrome in his hometown of Sanger (and possibly all of Texas).

Image: Mary Ann and Blake Pyron for World Down Syndrome Day

Mary Ann and Blake Pyron for World Down Syndrome Day

As a result, Blake’s business has been recognized by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as well as other dignitaries, and Blake has been featured on many media outlets both nationally and internationally. Blake’s Snow Shack has also received a NASCAR endorsement.

Live Action News spoke with Mary Ann about how the community has embraced Blake. “Early on, I thought that it would be harder for Blake to make friends than his brother Mitchell,” she said. But that wasn’t the case. Blake is extremely outgoing and has become quite a legend in his community.

Image: Blake and brother Mitchell Pyron

Blake Pyron (R) and brother Mitchell Pyron (L)

“Once people people get to know him, they find it easy to like him. He has a lot of friends,” she stated.

One of Blake’s oldest and best friends is the son of Jennifer Watts, a long time friend of the family. Jennifer told Live Action News how her son Brance, who is currently playing football at Emporia State University in Kansas, became good friends with Blake.

Image: Jennifer Watts

Jennifer Watts

“My son was one of Blake’s ‘helpers.’ They were friends through school and lived in the same neighborhood,” she said. Blake and Brance began their friendship in the fourth grade. “Brance’s teacher, Mrs. Morris, was the one who was instrumental in that,” Jennifer said. “They were in the same home room and she knew Blake needed a helper. She had two or three students capable of managing their work and helping others. My son was one of them.”

Image: Brance Watts and Blake Pyron

Brance Watts (LH) and Blake Pyron (RH)

Jennifer said that the concept behind “Blake’s helper” was inclusion, and if Blake needed help, Brance would be a peer helper for him.

“Blake nicknamed Brance ‘Kip.’ And the name has stuck,” she said. “When Blake was participating in Special Olympics, Brance would get on the field and do his warm up walks and cheer him on.”

“Whenever Blake and Brance were in High School, Blake was part of their football team. He started out as a water boy and would run out through the sign. Their senior year, Blake was made an honorary team captain, ” Jennifer recalled.

Image: Blake Pyron and the Sanger football team

Blake  out front with Sanger football team

Pastor Jim Mann, an avid sports enthusiast and lead pastor at New Life Church in Sanger, has watched the community support Blake for years. Pastor Mann said that by the time he first met Blake, he was already embraced by the community. “He was a popular football team player, just one of the guys. That says a lot about a community to me.”

Image: Pastor Jim Mann

Pastor Jim Mann

Pastor Mann pointed to Blake’s family and praised the way Blake’s parents always encouraged him to do what he wanted to do.

Blake’s mom, Mary Ann, said exposure is key, and that Blake and her entire family loved to volunteer and do things around the community:

Our family served the community and that included Blake.  Because of that, we have had families tell us that their children are better people for having Blake as a friend. Family dynamic has also helped. His big brother Mitchell has been his biggest fan since day one.

Blake wanted to play football just like his big brother Mitchell, so Sanger High School and his coach made him the manager. He would run out with the flag in support of the team.

Blake’s football coach, Chuck Galbreath, was part of the community support for Blake and others with disabilities. He named not only Blake but another young student with Down syndrome, Austin Waters, as Honorary Team Captains.

“They’re an inspiration for all of us. I know for me, specifically,” the coach told the media in the video below.

“Whenever I talk to other moms, I tell them to be involved. All moms should be involved with their kids lives, but moms of kids with special needs have to do double time,” Mary Ann said.

She told Live Action News that as a result of the way Blake brought the community together around football, he was granted Sanger’s Citizen of the Year award in 2015.

Image: Blake Pyron gets Citizen of the Year Award

Blake receives Citizen of the Year award from Sanger, Texas

Blake graduated in 2015, but Mary Ann told Live Action News that because Blake paved the way, there is now another young man with Down syndrome at his old school who will have the same opportunities opening up to him. “If Blake had not paved the way, that wouldn’t be happening.”

In addition to football, Blake also loves music. His mother said she allowed Blake to follow his dreams and as a result, it was Blake that changed the world. “Blake loved music and we had a friend who taught him the guitar,” Mary Ann said. “He said, ‘If it doesn’t work, no hard feelings.’ And it worked.”

Image: Blake Pyron has Down syndrome and plays guitar

 

“[Our friend] said, ‘I never thought Blake could play the guitar. I am so glad I gave him the chance.’ He is now teaching a young lady with autism. Blake has opened his heart to expand.”

Pastor Mann said that family, church and community are key to coming alongside any family who has a child with special needs. New Life Church embraces all kinds of people, he said, pointing out that he has several families in his congregation who have disabilities or children with special needs. “When you have a church and an entire town behind you, it makes it a lot better,” he said.

Pastor Mann recalled the day that Blake hung out his shingle at Blake’s Snow Shack. “He was tearing it up – he had a lot of people eating snow cones.”

Image: Blake Pyron owns Blake's Snow Shack

Blake Pyron owns Blake’s Snow Shack

Although he usually doesn’t eat snow cones himself, Pastor Mann makes an effort to buy them from Blake anyway. “We’ve hired him a couple of times to do Vacation Bible School (VBS); he’s always the main attraction. The line is long.”

Live Action News asked these three how other communities could embrace people with Down syndrome just like Sanger has.

“Just embrace them like anyone else – just give them a chance,” Blake’s mother said. “Be accepting. Open your heart up to them as an individual, regardless of any diagnosis. Everyone should be seen as an equal. We are really all more alike than we are different.”

Jennifer agreed. “It means everything, the teacher being instrumental in creating a classroom environment where students of all abilities are welcome and where children help one another, the comradery and the team aspect, the environment she created — that’s real. I know it taught my son. It gave him an opportunity to help someone else and he felt good about that. It gave him an opportunity to help others. I felt it was just as beneficial to the quote unquote ‘normal students’ as it was to the students of disabilities.”

“Part of the solution is to celebrate people like Blake,” Pastor Mann stated. “Sanger has really embraced him, without being told they have to. It was authentic. It was real.”

“Blake brings hope to people,” said his number one fan, his mother Mary Ann. “He has such a wonderful personality. A lot of people with Down Syndrome do. I feel like these people who have gotten to know Blake – if they ever receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome, they will say, ‘Hey, I knew this really cool kid with Down syndrome.’”

Image: Blake Pyron

Down syndrome business owner Blake Pyron

 

Pastor Mann summed it all up: “You celebrate these people as people. See them for what they are and what they can contribute. Blake is always smiling. He always gives you a thumbs up. He is Sanger’s most famous resident. ”

Special Note: Wednesday, March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) and Blake, as one of 12 speakers across the globe, has been invited to speak on Disability Employment at the United Nations Headquarters. Blake is expected to speak about the benefits and struggles of owning his own business, the reach of families that come to see him, and the impact his business has had within the community. The following day, on March 22, 2018, Blake will ring the NASDAQ opening bell at 8:30 am CT. Blake may be one of the first men with Down syndrome to to this.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Note:

Blake speaks to United Nations (2018)

 

 

Blake was invited to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange as well:

Thousands march against abortion in Dallas, Bishop rides motorcycle for Unborn babies

Posted in Bikers for Life, Pro-Life, Roe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2015 by saynsumthn

Thousands marched in Dallas today to protest the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision which legalized abortion on demand in America.

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The infamous Roe v. Wade case began in Texas after pro-abortion lawyer Sarah Weddington challenged the Texas law prohibiting abortion in 1970.

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Thousands of marchers lined up behind pro-life Bikers from Bikers for Life to head toward the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse, where Roe was originally filed.

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About 40 bikes lined up in front of marchers.

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Bikers join pro-life marchers at rally point.

This year, Dallas Bishop Keven Farrell joined the Bikers. As the march began, Bishop Farrell rode a red motorcycle for a few blocks before getting off to join the pro-life marchers.

Photo Credit: Carole Novielli

Photo Credit: Carole Novielli

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Bishop Farrell greeted the pro-lifers at the rally point saying the group would not give up the fight to end child killing.

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Let nobody ever doubt,” Bishop Farrell said, “that we will stand up and that we will never say that we will ever give up. We are determined to bring this victory home. We will do it!.”

We have many challenges ahead but we can never falter and we can never weaken. God is on our side and once God is on our side, we will not fail- He promised us…

Also speaking at the march was Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress who said that Supreme Courts gets cases wrong like Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade.

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This is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats or Liberals and Conservatives, it is a battle between good and evil, between light and darkness, between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. And it is a battle we are going to win,” Jeffress told the crowd.

As expected, there was a virtual blackout of the march by the news media. There were only three pro-abortion protesters present at the event. One abortion advocate held a sign that read, “Free abortions on demand,” and when confronted by a pro-life woman at the rally, he and the female pro-choicers with him gave weak arguments while admitting that abortion takes the life of a baby in the womb.

The event has been documented on Life Dynamics’ Bikers for Life website – see more here:

Rally in Dallas for Persecuted Christians

Posted in ISIS, Islam, persecution with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2014 by saynsumthn

The Islamic group, ISIS or ISIL has slaughtered Christians and other religious minorities in the region. ISIS has taken captive women and children and sold them as sex slaves. As a result, many Christians have been forced to flee the area.

Now, Christians in America are calling for an end to this genocide.

In fact, Dallas area Pastors, churches, and concerned citizens in North Texas are coming together to show support for these Christian brothers and sisters under extreme persecution in Iraq.

Believers and concerned citizens are joining to bring attention to the genocide faced by Iraqi Christians.

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The rally will take place at:
Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla Street Dallas, TX
September 14, 2014 at 4:30pm

WHAT TO WEAR AT THE RALLY:

WEAreN

The Islamic State in Iraq is painting an Arabic “N”–for Nazarene–on the homes of Christians.

In a show of solidarity, Christians all across the world are adapting that letter, using it as a social media avatar or a logo.

Attendees are encouraged to print off the #WeAreN (red and white) image off the Facebook page and either wear it or carry it. In addition, those attending the rally can carry a red cross.

A press conference will be held days prior to this rally and will include dignitaries and local pastors.

The Press Release reads, in part:

The deliberate targeting and persecution of Christians by ISIS in Iraq, as well as the blatant attacks on Christian communities throughout the Middle East has caused great concern and offense within the Christian communities of Dallas, Fort Worth and surrounding counties. In Iraq, many Christians are fleeing their homes and cities to escape the brutal jihad against Christians at the hands of ISIS. Many are now refugees in need of humanitarian aid. As confirmed by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and the Vatican, 100,000 Christians are murdered every year because of their faith. Open Doors Ministry has stated that 9 out of 10 countries cited for the worst atrocities against Christians are Muslim.

Iraqi born Pastor Jalil Dawood of the Arabic Church of Dallas and Pastor Stephen Broden of the Fair Park Bible Fellowship will be featured speakers at the rally.

In addition, other notable speakers and pastors will be present.

For more information: Contact: Pastor Stephen E. Broden 214-394-0098 Facebook: DFW Rally of Support for Persecuted Christians http://www.facebook.com/DFWrallyforpersecutedChristians

Press Conference Details:
WHEN: Wednesday September 10, 2014 at 10:00 am
WHERE: Fair Park Bible Fellowship 1321 Rowan Ave. Dallas, Texas 75115

The media is invited to attend and receive additional information about the concerns of the Christian community on this important issue.

This Facebook page has been set up for updates on the rally. https://www.facebook.com/DFWrallyforpersecutedChristians

The Dallas area rally has received the interest of several other media outlets like WorldNet Daily KDKR, and the Janet Mefford Show, Janet Folger, and the Christian Post ( links below)

http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/isis-wont-stay-in-middle-east/

http://yourlisten.com/rally4persecuted/live-the-word-w-john-nieder-and-pastor-jalil-dawood-dallas

http://yourlisten.com/rally4persecuted/dfw-rally-janet-mefford-interviews-pastor-dawood

yourlisten.com/rally4persecuted/dallas-rally-commentary-by-janet-folger

5 Things Americans Can Do to Help Persecuted Christians in Iraq

http://www.christianpost.com/news/5-things-americans-can-do-to-help-persecuted-christians-in-iraq-125821/

Texas adds late term abortion centers

Posted in Abortion, Curtis Boyd, Late term abortion with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2010 by saynsumthn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Texas adds late term abortion centers", posted with vodpod

1/7/2010

DALLAS, TX – Joanne Underwood stood quietly outside a Dallas abortion clinic and prayed in the cold Sunday air. Underwood, who has been a sidewalk counselor for a decade says she is disturbed to see women, some of them six months pregnant entering the clinic. “We know they go in there for abortions, but to see them visibly showing the pregnancy is so sad”.

Late term abortion services are being offered to women at the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center on Greenville Avenue. The center opened recently and is the only facility in Dallas to offer an abortion up to the 24th week of the pregnancy.

In a YouTube video, clinic owner, Dr. Curtis Boyd can be seen talking about the day that abortion was legalized by the US Supreme Court. By law, Boyd is required to have a surgery center to perform the late term procedure. Dr. Boyd did not return repeated phone calls.

Pro-life advocates say they are devastated to see the return of the late term abortion procedure. “There were 14 months where we didn’t have this horrible practice”, says director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Karen Garnett.

Garnett says Dr. Boyd stepped in when another facility closed and brought the procedure back to North Texas. “He predicts that he will perform 2000 late term abortions in this facility each year”.

The late term abortion debate has also seen a spike in Houston, where a Planned Parenthood clinic is set to open. The clinic is being called the largest abortion facility in the country and will offer late term procedures. Pro-choice advocates dispute that there is an expansion taking place. “There are 254 counties in Texas and less than 10 have abortion services”, says Dallas attorney, Susan Hays.

Hays says abortion providers are consolidating, not expanding. She says partly out of fear after high profile cases like the shooting of Kansas abortionist, Dr. George Tiller. “Health care providers have had to build their own facilities so they can provide that security”, says Hays.