Showing posts with label compassion and courage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label compassion and courage. Show all posts

Thursday, April 9, 2020

What we do now will show what we truly are, a curse on the earth or blessing to all

Let this be my solemn vow

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 9, 2020

The world is in crisis now. The Coronavirus pandemic does not acknowledge national borders and has crossed over all the world. It strikes old and young, male and female.

Each nation has experienced great sadness. Some people have used this for their own sake. They have taken all they could, leaving many with nothing. They did not care if they spread death or not.

Yet all nations have also experienced acts of great kindness and compassion. When some risk their own lives so others may live. The list is long and worthy of so much more than simple expressions. When this is over, the world will be forever changed by what we do right here and right now.

When this season of misery is over, those who decided to take, shall be known for what they truly are and condemned for taking pleasure out of the suffering they caused.

When this season of misery is over, those who decided to give, shall be known for what they truly are and treasured for all they were willing to do for the sake of others.

When this season of misery is over, they will mourn for those they could not save and we shall comfort them.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
When this is over, the rich who used this time for their own profit shall be known for what they truly are.
Proverbs 22:16
Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
The rich, who decided to use their wealth to help others, will be known for what they truly are.
Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
All of us will be judged for what we truly are.

James 2
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn’t God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?
6 Yet, you show no respect to poor people. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into court?
7 Don’t they curse the good name of Jesus, the name that was used to bless you?
And those who did whatever they could for the sake of others, shall be known for what they truly are.
We Show Our Faith by What We Do
14 My brothers and sisters, what good does it do if someone claims to have faith but doesn’t do any good things? Can this kind of faith save him?
15 Suppose a believer, whether a man or a woman, needs clothes or food
16 and one of you tells that person, “God be with you! Stay warm, and make sure you eat enough.” If you don’t provide for that person’s physical needs, what good does it do?
17 In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.
Let us know who shall be blessed when this misery passes and let this be our solum vow, "to take this moment and live each moment" choosing to be defined by what we can be....worthy.

Matthew 5 The Beatitudes Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them.
He said:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Let There Be Peace on Earth
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jill Jackson / Sy Miller
Let There Be Peace on Earth lyrics © Mccg LLC

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Self-Compassion can go a long way to healing PTSD

On the flip side, there are facts to destroy the assumptions about PTSD

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 28, 2020

While leprosy had been reported within the Bible, there are scientific proofs of it and what cures it, as much as there is news it has not been "cured" all the way.
The first known written mention of leprosy is dated 600 B.C., but skeletal evidence of leprosy has been found dating back to 2000 B.C. Throughout history, those with leprosy have often been ostracized by their communities and families.
Ancient people thought it was a judgement from God, instead of an infection. Most assume it has been cured and no one has it anymore...but that is not the truth.
That may be a bit surprising — leprosy seems to be a disease of the past. Indeed, in 2006, the World Health Organization issued a report on "elimination of leprosy as a public health problem," stating that the number of cases had dropped by 90 percent since 1985.

But more than a decade later, leprosy persists. According to a report in The Lancet: Infectious Diseases, some 200,000 new cases, including 25,000 in children, are reported each year. About half of these new cases are in India.
What it took was for someone to think about the facts behind leprosy, to attempt to treat it for what it was, and help the patient heal. How many others thought the healer was wrong to go against what they presumed to be true...that God sent it to the person?

It took until 1873 for a scientist to find the germ that caused it, instead of the sin many blamed. Those with it, got treated, healed and lived a better quality of life.

There are a lot of presumptions on all kinds of things. On the flip side, there are facts to destroy the assumptions.

The stigma of PTSD is allowed to live on because too many believe things that are simply not true. Those assumptions infect those who are suffering instead of helping them to become healed. Too many believe there is no hope for them, and they give up. At least that is what we have been led to believe, but the truth is, many more find healing because they know the facts. They understand what PTSD is, what caused it, the different types of it, as well as, the different levels of it.

They also know that to heal it, how they think about themselves and treat themselves is vital in living a better quality of life, if not entirely cured.

Self‐Compassion, Trauma and Post‐traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review

Sarah‐Jane Winders Orlagh Murphy Kathy Looney Gary O'Reilly
First published: 27 January 2020

Self‐compassion has emerged as an important construct in the mental health literature. Although conceptual links between self‐compassion and trauma are apparent, a review has not been completed to examine whether this association is supported by empirical research findings. To systematically summarise knowledge on the association between trauma and/or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self‐compassion. Searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PubMed, Ovid Medline, Web of Science, Embase and PILOTS databases and papers reporting a direct analysis on the relationship between these constructs were identified. The search yielded 35 studies meeting inclusion criteria.

Despite considerable heterogeneity in study design, sample, measurement and trauma type, there was consistent evidence to suggest that increased self‐compassion is associated with less PTSD symptomatology and some evidence to suggest that reduced fear of self‐compassion is associated with less PTSD symptomatology. There was tentative evidence to suggest that interventions based, in part or whole, on a self‐compassion model potentially reduce PTSD symptoms. While findings are positive for the association between increased self‐compassion and reduced PTSD symptoms, the precise mechanism of these protective effects is unknown. Prospective and longitudinal studies would be beneficial in clarifying this. The review also highlighted the variability in what is and should be referred to as trauma exposure, indicating the need for further research to clarify the concept.
read it here
Courage and Combat PTSD
393 views•Oct 21, 2012
Kathie Costos DiCesare
252 subscribers
There are many things that keep getting missed when we talk about Combat and PTSD. This is to clear up the biggest one of all. What is courage and how does it link to being "mentally tough" so that you can push past what you were told about "resiliency" training. Chaplain Kathie "Costos" DiCesare of Wounded Times Blog tries to explain this in interview done by Union Squared Studios.

"That's one of the parts most of you forget about. PTSD didn't happen to you because you are "mentally weak" but because your courage and compassion made you care enough to act. That is not weakness. That, that comes from strength of character."

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Town destroyed by fire, another town steps up by love

California wildfires: Town hosting displaced victims for Thanksgiving feast

NBC News
By Dareh Gregorian and Rima Abdelkader
November 19, 2018

The town of Lincoln, California, is banding together to help the wildfire victims try to have a happy Thanksgiving.
Krystin Harvey, left, comforts her daughter Araya Cipollini at the remains of their home burned in the Camp Fire, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Paradise, Calif.John Locher / AP
Residents of the Sacramento suburb — population 47,000 — are putting aside their own Thanksgiving Day plans to serve meals to those who’ve been displaced by the widespread destruction.

"It’s going to be a good night out to get their minds off what's happened," one of the organizers, Jeannette Bermudez, told NBC News on Monday.

The event was "thrown together pretty fast because all of this happened so fast," said another organizer, Jack Montgomery, 38.
The local fire department held a turkey drive that resulted in over 100 turkeys being donated. The city of Lincoln offered up its event space, McBean Pavilion, for free. A local casino offered up buses for transportation to and from hotels. 
Companies were donating games and arts and crafts to keep kids busy. Townspeople and local restaurants and stores were cooking up food for the event.

My Dog's Spot, a local dog grooming shop, offered to house victims' pets during the dinner — and to give them a bath and some grooming if needed, Bermudez said.

"They'll be loved on and spoiled while their owners enjoy dinner," she said.
read more here

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Fueled the Water But Compassion is Fueling Hope

Compassion Takes Center Stage in Texas
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
August 28, 2017

What if everyday was like America's Got Talent, but instead of talent, it was about compassion? Instead of talent, you were competing with your gifts. Instead of going onto a stage, you were being watched and judged for how you used the gifts you had. Would you want to enter this contest?

I was thinking about this before work today. Since I get up around 4:00 am, it is pretty quiet with few distractions. I was checking in on how things are going in Texas when I was reading about, probably hundreds of strangers, showing up to help other strangers with whatever they had to give.

They were not trying to get on camera or get publicity. We'll probably never know the names of most of the rescuers, just like we will never know the names of the heroes doing it on a daily basis. Each one of them left their own families, their homes and put their lives on the line so they could make a difference.

Now that is compassion fueling courage! So many times we see things like this and then wonder how regular people got there? What is it inside of them that compelled them to do such a thing? When we see people getting paid to do the dangerous jobs, we don't seem too interested in wondering at all. Why is that?

There is a group that has been using their gifts abundantly. They did it in the military and then they have been doing it as civilians. TEAM RUBICON is heading into Texas. They made the announcement on Twitter

"I knew to expect devastation and hard work. What I didn’t expect was the incredible team made up of veterans and civilians ready to meet the challenges of the day. We know exactly where we’re headed and confident we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by disasters. In a single day, we’ve managed to become brothers and sisters." Lissie Hagerman USAF Veteran

Obviously they'd get my vote for compassion in action category. So would a lot of other people expecting nothing to come back to them other than the sense of having done something with their lives at the end of the day.

The thing is, when you are a giver, accustomed to using your gifts, and have nothing to do, it actually wears on your soul more than the exhaustion of giving what you could in the first place. Not being used, makes you feel as if you are not needed and then that is when everything you did in the past comes back with the worst you faced instead of how doing the best you could do filled your soul.

So, how about when you are considering how to help the people in Texas, you consider helping TEAM RUBICON help others as well as helping them help each other use the gifts they have to give?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Facebook Post About Courage In Battle Strange Twist

Facebook user caught out sharing transgender man’s photo in attempt to shame Caitlyn Jenner Australia
5 HOURS AGO JUNE 13, 2015
Mark Hogancamp’s amazing story was revealed in The New York Times in May. It turns out the 53-year-old was the victim of a vicious assault outside a bar in 2000 because he was transgender.

A MAN who used a picture of two army soldiers in the heat of battle to shame Caitlyn Jenner’s “brave” transition has been humbled after an amazing discovery was made about the post.

Terry Coffey found a picture of what he thought was a war battle and posted it on Facebook with the caption “This is what real American courage, heroism and bravery looks like”.

He was posting after getting upset that Caitlyn Jenner was labelled a hero for revealing herself as a woman and it was shared more than 800,000 times.

But it turned out the picture was fake.

The ‘men’ in the picture turned out to be toy figurines.

In an ironic twist, those figurines were created by a cross-dresser who turned out to be the biggest hero of them all.
read more here

Monday, May 19, 2014

Medal of Honor, PTSD and the Wisdom to Know the Difference

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 19, 2014

"Wisdom. Let us be attentive." It is a call before a bible passage is read during church services at a Greek Orthodox Church. Wisdom comes from what others have learned and shared. We take their experiences, couple them with our own and if there is a connection to what we understand, we gain more from them. If you think something is real but are wrong, you'll still think it until someone proves you are.
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12)

Over 30 years ago I needed to know what "shell shock" was because my Dad said he saw it in my husband the day they met. That led to understanding what became Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has been a learning experience ever since.

I have read experts and research papers but gained far more knowledge from average people learning from them. There are things experts talk about that are much different from what we experience. They say marriages fail but they don't say why that happens far too often in veteran families. We know why.

We know it is very hard to stay married under normal circumstances. When PTSD is tossed into the issues, it is almost impossible to overcome unless we are committed to each other, yet time and time again I meet couples married far longer than I have been. Melvin and Mary have been married for 53 years.

Melvin Morris, Vietnam Veteran Medal of Honor
Morris became one of the first soldiers to don a "green beret" in 1961 and volunteered twice for deployments to Vietnam during the war. After his Sept 17, 1969, ordeal, the then-Staff Sgt. Morris received a Distinguished Service Cross in 1970. He said he never realized that being black might have kept the higher honor from him.

I met them at a fundraiser for Homes for Our Troops at the Orlando Nam Knights when they teamed u with Orlando Semper Fidelis America. Very special couple and they are trying to make sure that all veterans get treated for PTSD.

Then there is another Vietnam veteran Medal of Honor Hero Sammy Davis and his wife Dixie. They want veterans treated for PTSD.

It isn't just Vietnam veterans with the Medal of Honor coming forward to prove that courage does not prevent PTSD. All that is required is that they had the courage to act on caring for others to the point where they were willing to die for someone else.

Sgt. Kyle White Medal of Honor for Afghanistan, talks about PTSD and getting help.
Sgt. Kyle White reflects on receiving Medal of Honor Last week, retired Sgt. Kyle White received the Medal of Honor for saving the life of a fellow soldier during an ambush in Afghanistan. Sgt. White joins Morning Joe to discuss. Col. Jack Jacobs also joins the conversation.

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, Medal of Honor, Afghanistan also fights for PTSD veterans
For 33-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, it seemed only natural to thank his support group, including mental health professionals, which helped him cope with psychological wounds he suffered after surviving one of the most intense firefights in the Afghan war.

Carter was a guest speaker at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 114th annual Founders Day Banquet on Sunday evening at the Brown Palace Hotel. In an interview before the banquet, Carter spoke about his work in removing the stigma associated with post- traumatic stress disorder.

He has toured the country and spoken to countless media outlets since Obama placed the medal around his neck Aug. 26. He wants to see the D removed from PTSD.

Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, Medal of Honor Afghanistan
Adversity “is not best dealt with by oneself; it’s overcome by the help of others and hard work and the will to get through it,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry, the Army’s most recent Medal of Honor recipient, told an audience of nearly 750 behavioral health experts and military leaders.

Petry discussed his recovery and the people who helped pull him through during the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury’s Warrior Resilience Conference. This conference, in its fourth year, is intended to equip service members, units, families and communities with resilience-building techniques and tools.

The list of Medal of Honor Heroes proving that even the courageous have to fight PTSD can go on and on.

Maybe now we can start to talk about the other facts of PTSD and stop people from saying that only weak minded veterans get PTSD? The younger generation can learn from the experience of the older, wiser ones.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Where was God when we needed Him?

This is the most asked question from veterans.
No matter what happened
they never stopped caring. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Veteran still changing lives even though he's homeless

If you want to know why I do this everyday, it is stories just like this. While I wish I could post them all the time, telling the sad stories makes a story like this all the more wonderful.

How many times have you walked by a homeless person and never once consider them as another human with a past or how they got to be where they are? Do they feel? Do they need a smile or a kind word? This story shows what can happen when this young woman took the time to talk to a homeless veteran. She showed him kindness and he returned that kindness with compassion for her. Great time of year to remind each of us that caring about others is not just a Christmastime thing but more about making miracles happen one simple act of kindness at a time.
Homeless Veteran Tony's Gift Goes Viral On Reddit (PHOTO)
The Huffington Post
By Hayley Hudson
Posted: 12/06/2012

In a post that's going viral on Reddit, a bearded man with weathered skin smiles for a photo next to a beautiful girl.

Redditor pmrhobo identifies the unlikely pair of friends as his sister and Tony, a homeless veteran who hangs out near her workplace. According to his sister, who typed up the story for pmrhobo to share, the two of them talk and eat lunch together often.

"Tony tells me about his war stories, loved ones, and who should win the Super Bowl," she wrote in the Dec. 5 post. "I tell Tony about my problems, loved ones, and how I don't really care who should win the Super Bowl."

Over the past month, which she described as one of the hardest times of her life, Tony helped her navigate some tough personal issues.

"At times there really seemed as if there wouldn't be solace," she wrote. "Tony was there for me, listened each day as things got worse and surely pushed me to move forward and continue working toward my dreams and ambitions."

One day, Tony's steady support culminated when he made a gesture that took her completely by surprise: read it here

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shoeless Man in Viral Photo Was Homeless Veteran

I still think that NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo proves compassion lives in Manhattan when he took his own money to buy socks and shoes for a man he thought needed them. After all, it was a cold night. The store clerk gave his employee discount to help the officer pay for them. The stranger waited long enough to find out what was going on to capture this act of compassion on a camera.

Now a reporter discovered the man he helped is not homeless, at least not homeless anymore. He was homeless but was provided with a place to live by the VA in 2011. In other words he was a homeless veteran.

Shoeless Man in Viral Photo Not Homeless: Officials
Jeffrey Hillman, the barefooted recipient of boots from a caring NYPD officer, has an apartment in the Bronx, the I-Team has learned
By Melissa Russo
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012

He may be shoeless, but he is not homeless.

Jeffrey Hillman, the barefooted recipient of boots from an NYPD officer last week, has an apartment in the Bronx, NBC 4 New York's I-Team first reported.

“He does have stable housing,” said Seth Diamond, New York City's homeless services commissioner. “We’ve worked with Mr. Hillman for years.”

Hillman used to be homeless, but entered shelter in 2009 before moving into an apartment secured by Veterans Affairs in 2011, the I-Team has confirmed. He pays his rent using a lifetime voucher for homeless veterans and his Social Security income.

Despite his permanent home, Hillman panhandles in Times Square, usually without shoes.

In fact, when an NBC producer spotted him Saturday night and snapped a picture, his new boots from Officer Lawrence Deprimo were nowhere to be seen. He's offered varying accounts of why he was not wearing them and did not mention that he had an apartment to call home.
read more here

I don't think less of this story now. I think it means much more. Consider that this NYPD officer had so much compassion in him all he cared about what helping someone just because he needed it. He didn't ask how he got to be where he was or anything past the fact this man had nothing on his feet. Nothing can change what Officer DePrimo did.

Now what makes this story better is that the man helped had been a homeless veteran up until last year when the VA stepped in and found him a place to live. Part of President Obama's pledge to get veterans off the street by 2014.

Yes, he does have a place to live now and yes DePrimo proved that compassion does not ask anything more than what is needed. Beyond that it also proved that sometimes the people we help may not need it as much as we may think at the time but we do it instead of requiring proof first.

Officer DePrimo showed compassion lives in New York and nothing can change that.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo proves compassion lives in Manhattan

UPDATE Shoeless man in viral photo was homeless veteran
Larry DePrimo, NYPD Cop, Buys Homeless Man Boots (PHOTO)
By Anthony M DeStefano
Posted: 11/29/2012
You have to like what NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo did for a barefoot man in Manhattan one frigid night this month. In fact, more than 260,000 Facebook users have "liked" DePrimo's actions, a number that's growing every day.

After a tourist from Arizona snapped a photo of DePrimo, of Holbrook, giving the man socks and boots to ward off the cold, the image became an instant hit on the NYPD's Facebook page.
read more here

Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to barefoot man warms hearts online
Cop keeps receipt in his vest 'to remind me that sometimes people have it worse'
NBC News
On a cold November night in Times Square, Officer Lawrence DePrimo was working a counterterrorism post when he encountered an older, barefooted homeless man. The officer disappeared for a moment, then returned with a new pair of boots, and knelt to help the man put them on.

The act of kindness would have gone unnoticed and mostly forgotten, had it not been for a tourist from Arizona.

Her snapshot — taken with her cellphone on Nov. 14 and posted to the New York Police Department’s official Facebook page late Tuesday — has made Officer DePrimo an overnight Internet hero.

By Wednesday evening, the post had been viewed 1.6 million times, and had attracted nearly 275,000 “likes” and more than 16,000 comments — a runaway hit for a Police Department that waded warily onto the social media platform this summer with mostly canned photos of gun seizures, award ceremonies and the police commissioner.

Among all of those posts, the blurry image of Officer DePrimo kneeling to help the shoeless man as he sat on 42nd Street stood out. “This is definitely the most viral,” said Barbara Chen, a spokeswoman for the department who helps manage its Facebook page.

Mr. Cano volunteered to give the officer his employee discount to bring down the regular $100 price of the all-weather boots to a little more than $75.

read more here

Photo of NYPD officer giving boots to barefoot man warms hearts online Cop keeps receipt in his vest 'to remind me that sometimes people have it worse'
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion
By Amy Standen
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder has pushed the VA to explore new and sometimes unorthodox treatments. In one VA facility in Menlo Park, Calif., veterans of current and past wars gather to meditate and break down the shields that combat forced them to hold.
Marine Esteban Brojas is rocking back and forth in his chair in a rehabilitation center for veterans in Menlo Park, Calif. He rubs his hands together so quickly you can hear them.

"You know, you're going into a building, and you know there's a grenade being popped in there," he says, "and there's a woman and a child in there ... and you're part of that?"

When Brojas came back from Iraq in 2003 to his home in Greenfield, Calif., he reunited with his wife and met his newborn daughter for the first time. His wife was excited to see him, but he found himself not wanting to pick up his daughter.

"The fact of holding my daughter in my arms, you know, or even being intimate with my wife? Very difficult. Very difficult because of the trauma," he says.

Multiply Brojas by the hundreds of thousands of newly returned servicemen and servicewomen the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates are suffering from PTSD, and you can see the scale of the problem here. These men and women cannot leave combat completely behind.
read more here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You were more than enough for the moment

Chaplain Kathie
Reading what Papa Roy had to say today is like a frying pan smack on my head from God. Insignificant pretty much sums up the way I feel all the time, but you'd also have to add in inadequate as well.

It doesn't matter how many times I hear that I am helping a lot of veterans or saved a life, because I keep thinking about all the others I never come into contact with and the veterans I am just unable to reach for whatever reason. I want to help all of them, help all the families, help all the troops, help all the homeless veterans find a place to live and help everyone else, but I can't. Whatever I'm able to do, in whatever small way, is never good enough, important enough, fast enough. Because I argue with God so much, once in a while He'll hit me over the head with some common sense and this is one of those days.

Daily reminder from Papa Roy

Good morning, Friends! Blessings to you.

Laying aside every weight

In a universe so incomparably vast, in a world so marvelously diverse, we can be paralyzed by our presumed insignificance and impotence in the face of such staggering enormity. But in moments of simple faith, we can be calmed by our reverence and dependence upon the Creator and Sustainer of such wonders. We can find great comfort that our lives are in his hands. We can rejoice that he has promised to bless and guide our efforts in him. (Phil Ware)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Each day is a gift

"Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank. I am still depositing." (Cecil Thompson)

In God we trust: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8))

Papa Roy

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

Over the years I've learned a lot of things about our veterans and the men and women we count on everyday right here in this country. Firemen can't save every home, but think about what it would be like if they didn't save any. Police officers can't catch every criminal or save every life, but think about what it would be like if they were not willing to try. I think you're getting the point here.

The troops train to do their jobs, get their blood boiling as adrenaline pumps through every ounce of their body to swing into action. When one of them dies, most of them will be left wondering what was the point of them being there if they could not save the life of their friend. Some with deep compassion will take the blame into their hearts and carry that weight the rest of their lives.

What's the point when the outcome was the same? What good does it do to feel when you walk away with so much pain?

If they were not there, the outcome would have been different because they would not be there caring, feeling, praying and comforting others.

If they did not have compassion within them, they would not be able to show that God was there in the moments of the darkest terror because they had compassion within them.

The pain they carry weighs them down because they do not understand where it comes from or why they feel so much pain while others seem to be able to just walk away.

They do not see that this happens in every aspect of their own lives when some will walk by someone else in need while they rush to help. Someone will drive around a car crash while they rush to it to help strangers. Someone will refuse to help anyone while they seem to be the first to stand in line offering whatever they have to share or donate.

They cannot do it all or do it perfectly every time. These are the times that try their souls and shatter their faith. They look at what they were not able to do instead of seeing what they were able to do because their compassion cannot allow anyone to suffer while they are standing by.

The problem is they forget that Christ Himself did not heal every lame person, every sick person, feed every hungry mouth, calm every stormy soul. He asked that those who followed Him did their part. He asked that everyone hearing His voice find the compassion within them to help the others waiting for help.

While we may all want to do it all, all the time, we cannot, but because we did try, did feel, did act, we were able to do our part, no matter how insignificant it seems to be to us, no matter how many we did not help, the fact is, we helped some.

The people we manage to help or save, may end up doing the same for someone else or may end up being changed for the better because a stranger helped them. We don't know what happens after we leave where we were needed but what we can do is trust that things ended up differently because we tried. Maybe one act of kindness offered to a stranger will be remembered years from now and they will do something differently because we cared? Who knows? We need to take comfort that God sends us to where we are needed if we follow where He leads us and stop not being satisfied with whatever small part we were supposed to do. We cannot see the big picture but He surely can.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

God gave us Godly Men

The daily reminder from Papa Roy, and IFOC Chaplain and dear friend, sent today puts what I've been trying to say a lot better than I could. He always manages to do it.

Good morning, Friends! Grace to you.

Sent by Papa Roy
God, Give us Godly Men

God, give us men...ribbed with the steel of Your who will not flinch when the battle is fierce...who won’t acquiesce at the bargaining table or compromise in principle. Give us men who won’t retreat on the who won’t sell out for lucre or convenience. God, give us men who won’t be bought, bartered, or badgered by the who will go the distance, pay the price, suffer the loss...make the sacrifice...stand the ground, and hold high the torch of conviction in the face of pressure. (Bob Moorehead)

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:21)

When soldiers are in combat, they see all the worst mankind is capable of because they focus on staying alive. They cannot see what is within them as a gift in the midst of all the suffering. This is not about God picking sides but standing by the side of the soldier and living within him.

To each man and woman, there is a gift within each of us to provide us with everything we need to overcome the world. By this I mean anything that happens in our lives, living for the purpose we came into this world for.

Godly men and women walk this earth as simply as any other human, each contributing according to their own gifts. For the men and women with the courage to risk their lives for others, there are many among them with the gift of deep compassion. These are the men and women suffering the most with PTSD because the level they are able to feel is so deep and consuming, it penetrates their soul. If they are able to find God there in the moments of "evil" as man destroys man, they know they were there for a reason and God was with them. If they cannot find God in those moments, then they walk away from it thinking God either judged them, condemned them or abandoned them. They cannot see their compassion was from God and was there all the time.

Compassionate people are not cowards. In truth, compassion require courage or it is worthless. In the face of "evil" if compassionate people do not act against "evil" then it wins. It is not just a matter of the enemy being an example of evil, but the evil inside each of us with our own freewill to do harm to others. Each one of us are capable of living up to what we were sent to do through God's grace or turning on God to do as we see fit. Yet when we follow what our soul is saying to us, we live in moments of grace even in the fact of evil.

Selfishness is rooted in the part of us that says "do nothing" or to "seek revenge" because we focus only on ourselves. We want to stay safe when someone else is in danger. We want to seek revenge when someone has harmed us, attacked us or someone we care about. Human nature lives within each of us but it is God's nature that overcomes what humans want to do if we follow where He leads.

In a moment of combat as man is trying to destroy man, Godly men/women, filled with compassion, live as God's grace of compassion beats within them. While others may begin to be fueled by hatred and seeking revenge, the Godly show compassion enough to keep the others from turning into monsters as "evil" tries to take control over them. The Godly warrior is there with the gift from God in the midst of the worst man has to offer.

If they understand this, then they are able to heal quickly from what they see and what they have to do. God understood that goodness within would always have to combat evil within. He created a warrior angel before He created mankind. The Archangel Michael stands with a shield in his hands as a warrior angel because freewill can either fuel goodness or evil and because of this, there always has to be a greater angel among the rest with the compassion to soften others.

When they have "tender hearts" they also have to be provided with the gift of courage to act on the compassion pulling them to act with compassion. Moments of greatness when a soldier will think of others first, leave a safe distance for himself, rush into danger to save others and place himself in harms way. This required courage to act on the compassion within them for the sake of others, yet we do not see this. We see only the act of courage and honor their sacrifice with posthumous medals for their courage, but not for the compassion they felt for others to lay down their lives for them.

Some say compassion does not belong in combat but those saying it do not understand without compassionate people, the entire world would be in constant combat, there would be no rules to stop anyone, restrain them from going too far or even to inspire them to save the lives of the others they serve with. Compassion for the sake of their countrymen is what is the basis of their willingness to serve at all. We see this in the civilized world with police officers and firefighters along with first responders. They risk their lives daily for the sake of others and again, it required compassion as the basis.

When a warrior understands God's love and gifts, they are able to heal from what they go through easier than if they did not fully understand what God enabled them with. Without this understanding, they keep wondering where God was instead of knowing He was there within them. They have nothing to support them as their compassion begins to feel more of a curse instead of a gift and they suffer emotionally.

PTSD is a wound to the soul, to the region of the brain where emotions live, thus where the soul lives. Understanding the basis of what is within them can help them to heal but not understanding it allows doubt to penetrate them. They then question everything. They question the existence of God Himself because of what they saw. How could there be a loving God allowing all of that to go on? Where was God when my friend needed Him? Where was God when a child died? Where was He when I had to take a life? These questions run through their minds and as they seek the wrong answers, they seek to stop feeling because the pain becomes too great of a burden to carry alone. Without the ability to trust God anymore, they are alone.

We want God to stop wars and let us prevail, but the other side is asking the same God for the same outcome. We ask Him to save the lives of our friends, but the other side is asking the same. We ask He watch over our soldiers at the same time prayers are being given for the same from the other side. God cannot control what man does to man any more than He can control if we walk away from Him or run to Him. That is up to all of us to choose. If we know Him, trust Him and know that God has provided all we need to do what we were sent to do, then we heal from what other people do. The compassion within Godly men/women, is there for a blessing and not a curse, if we know how to find it.

If you have yet to understand God, seek the answers from the Ten Commandments and from the Red Letters of the New Testament. The Ten Commandments are in two parts. The first, about our relationship with God and the second part about our relationship with other people. It is a love letter from God. The Red Letters of the New Testament are what is reported Christ said and what He said agrees with the Ten Commandments. If whatever else you find in the pages of the Bible do not agree with them, then consider it man's interpretation of what God intended. The Bible is filled with mankind getting it wrong all the time. You will find God's love and understand the gifts/blessings He has provided you with and know He was there all along living within you through your soul. And then, then you can begin to heal.