Showing posts with label Christians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christians. Show all posts

Monday, May 16, 2022

The freewill to decide for themselves

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 16, 2022 

"Ekklesia means ‘the called out ones’ and was about God’s people, not a building."

From Stranger Angels 2nd Edition coming soon.

That is from Stranger Angels. Don't believe it because you never heard it mentioned in church? It should have been because it came from the Book of Acts 7:48-50
48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
49 “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?
Jesus gave many lessons about one faith. He preached outside and told everyone to pray to "Our Father" instead of telling them they must do it in a church. There weren't any churches back then. There were only temples. 

They did not have all these different denominations of followers of Christ. Aside from that fact, this nation has the rights of all people to decide for themselves what they believed, or did not believe. 

The founding fathers were brilliant because those were the same rights and freedoms God grated every human. The freewill to decide for themselves.

So how did we ever get to the point where a religious point of view has been granted so much power over the rest of the people in this country? That is what the abortion debate is all about and is not what all Christians think. The Presbyterians came out and defend the rights of people to choose for themselves.
PARO welcomes those who support the full range of reproductive options that ensure that every child is loved and wanted. The network is committed to ensuring that the policy of the PC(USA) is articulated, understood, and preserved for future generations.

They are not alone defending choice. Presbyterians also support gay rights, but leave it up to congregations to choose to allow it or not. Choice within the same group is a marvelous thing to do. Imagine that! There are many divisions among Christians, and as it should be, however, anyone demanding a right be removed by anyone, or group, is wrong. That is why there are so many different beliefs in Christianity. Now set that aside and realize where you live. You live in a nation built upon freedom of religion. It is so important it is in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right of all people to decide what they believe and how they will live their own lives is up to them. For the Supreme Court to dare demand everyone else obey a "moral" decision is anti-American and anti-God considering He gave us all the right to decide for ourselves.

Our moral values are often offended by those who scream the loudest because we have to defend ourselves against how they portray themselves on religious grounds. They give the false impression that they speak for all Christians.

It has gotten so bad, that my last three books had to be rewritten because while a lot of people thought the story was really good, they did not like the Bible passages. I included them in on the first editions because people who do not attend church, are usually not aware of how much power and comfort is within the pages. I had to take them out and only left the reference to where the thoughts came from.

That's the thing that really gets me because not attending a "church" is actually supported in the Bible itself. 

This is from Stranger Angels, coming soon on Amazon.

Chris, Bill and David just heard Greet talk about how Paul had Stephen stoned to death. Chris had been accused many times of trying to take down churches. Greer, the daughter of a fabulous preacher, was not just one of Chris's best friends, she was one of his defenders.

They all noticed her face changed and her back stiffened up. David took her hand, “What just happened? What’s going on with you?”

“I just remembered what else Stephen said. God! I wish I remembered it when Chris was being accused of wanting to take down the church!”

“What else did he say?”

“He said that God doesn’t live in houses built by human hands. That He created everything.” She turned to Chris, “I’m sorry that I didn’t remember that. He was saying what others said before him and that God didn’t want building and when Jesus said that Peter was the rock He wasn’t talking a stone one but a living one. He told the people to pray to His Father directly. People use the word church without understanding what Jesus was actually talking about. Ekklesia means ‘the called out ones’ and was about God’s people, not a building. That is exactly what you’ve been saying.”

Chris covered his mouth while he started at Greer. David looked at him, “She’s right. I didn’t remember that either but somehow I knew you were on the right track with what you’ve been saying all along. I mean, if a fire burns down a church, people can still pray on their own. How many churches have had to close and ended up being sold, turned into a house, or office space because people stopped going to them? Safe bet people didn’t think that God died just because their church did. They are all just places and not some kind of super connector to God.”

Bill added, “Just like my Dad and Mandy. They prayed directly to God and didn’t need a church building to do it for them.”

“You’re all right.” He turned to Greer, “That really helped and in a way, I’m glad you didn’t remember it before because that would have reenforced the things I’ve been accused of doing. Now that I know that, I’ll know what to say the next time.”

How could anyone expect someone to seek spiritual healing for PTSD or any other illness, if all they hear are voices condemning them? How can anyone learn how much they are loved by God if they never hear how He created their souls and their bodies are just a vehicle for their souls? Or that they are free to decide for themselves what they do and do not believe?

It is time for the voices of Christians to defend their faith against those who seek to silence them. We should all be tired of them deciding they have the right to decide for everyone else.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

What fills you on Easter?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 17, 2022

When you think about Easter, what comes to your mind the most? Is it getting together with family and friends? Is it decorating, buying candy or hiding eggs? Maybe getting dressed up? Carrying on a family tradition?

For some, it is going to church and hearing about how Jesus walked out of the Sepulcher. For me it is thinking about all the people who believed that Jesus was the Son of God and then watching Him die on the cross. Imagine if you were there. Would you feel as if what you believed had just been proven wrong? Or, would you remember the other things you saw happen with your own eyes that Jesus did?

Would you remember seeing the lame walk, the blind see, the crowd being fed by five loaves of bread and two fish? Would you remember what it was like to hear His voice and feel the your soul being lifted up by His words? Would you still believe He was the Son of God and His life was not really over?

There are things we may think are impossible, until we see them with our own eyes. Still, when other things happen, we tend to forget about God turning hopeless situations into miracles. I imagine the people spent three days feeling as if an innocent, wonderful man, was put to death and that was the end of His story. His mission and life ended as far as they knew and with Him went their hopes.

Then think about what it was like for them to hear that the Sepulcher was empty and He lived. Think about those who were with Him and fearing for their own lives, and then seeing Him, hearing His voice, looking into His eyes and seeing the marks on His hands and feet. The impossible became possible. People knew that what they believed was actually true and the knew everything He said to them was true.

We all know what it is like to do the right thing and suffer for it. We know what it is like to be praised for helping someone by the same people who walk away when we ask for help. We know what it is like to want to visit the lonely people we know, call them and pray for them, as much as we know what it is like when no one is there for us.

We know what it is like to hunger for hope when it seems no matter what we do, how many times we ask for help or search for solutions, nothing changes. Then we wonder why we are left abandoned by those we stood by. Why were we left hungry by those we fed? Why are we not worthy of support by those we supported?

Jesus had served His Father and did what He was sent to do. He suffered for it but then was glorified. He knows everything we're going through, including getting angry, crying and struggling to do the right thing.

We celebrate His birth and His Resurrection, but we forget about how His life matters in our own. Nothing we go through is not known and experienced by Him. He knows what it is like when we lose hope, feel as if no one cares about us. When people do not believe what we say. When we are abandon and let alone. He knows what it is like to do what God wants us to do, and suffer for it. What it is like to help others, but no one will help us.

He also knows what it is like to feel being a part of miracles to others. He wanted to save everyone and heal everyone, but not everyone wanted what He had to give. That did not stop Him from doing what He could and nothing stop Him from doing what He can now.

No matter how lonely you are, because of Him, God hears our prayers. No matter how we are treated, God sees it and He will not abandon us. People walk away from us but The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always with us. I know I am comforted by all the times when everything seemed so hopeless for me, but God turned it all around. Right now, I am comforted knowing no matter how lonely I feel, God is still there and trying to work things out for the miracle I've been praying for. He is there for you too.

This Easter Day, remember what this day is truly about and let it fill you with the hope of miracles in your own life everyday and let it guide you to being part of a miracle to others.

Kathie Costos author of healing PTSD books.

Latest books

The Lost Son

Part One

Alive Again
The Lost Son Part Two

Stranger Angels
The Lost Son Part Three

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

what we know is not all that can be seen

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 5, 2022

Fox News' viewers can change their attitudes with exposure to CNN on MSNBC shows that what we think, is always based on what we know. The problem is, what we know is not all that can be seen. And that is usually the reason why things don't change for the better. 

The research was conducted by Political scientists David Broockman of Stanford University and Joshua Kalla of Yale University. What they found is that people only know what the source of their information tells them. We live in a time when we want to learn the easy way, the quickest way and all too often, we learn based on what we already think. If we are not curious, we do not search for answers. We stopped reading manuals as soon as we were able to find a video on YouTube about how to do what we want to do. What this research shows is, when people have a different source of information, they begin to realize that what they know, is not always what is real.
Part of what’s interesting about the study is that it captured not just the difference between CNN’s and Fox News’ ideological outlooks, but also their differing commitments to sharing certain facts. Most notably, CNN was more likely to offer factual information that reflected more poorly on Donald Trump — and the Fox viewers who switched realized this: Participants who switched were less likely to agree that “if Donald Trump did something bad, Fox News would discuss it.”

This happens all the time. It happened with COVID. How many times have you had conversations with people who said COVID was a hoax and did not want to believe any facts? I know it happened a lot of times with me when I was shopping and people would ask me why I was wearing a mask, as if I was the stupid one. I'd look at them and think they were selfish and ingorant. I wore one because I didn't want to infect anyone else if I had been exposed to it, including my husband. I didn't want to be faced with living with regret that I did not do something so simple to protect him. The study shows where COVID deniers got their information from.
The switchers were more likely to care about Covid, learn different information about current events and feel more negatively toward Trump and the GOP. This isn’t to say the experiment revolutionized people’s worldviews. The Fox News viewers who switched to CNN generally continued to hold perspectives that accord with a right-wing media diet and worldview, and the experiment didn’t change whom they’d vote for. Even so, it's still striking that it took just four weeks for some of them to shift in some attitudes and observations of facts.

When I wrote part 2 of The Lost Son, Alive Again, this was the topic of the book. Chris and his friends wanted to help people see the truth because all they knew were lies. Chris didn't just battle ignorance of #PTSD, he battled the ignorance of people thinking they mattered more than anyone else. He showed how evil people were outnumbered by people doing good.

Read ALIVE AGAIN and learn how to fight to get people to see what they have not seen.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

"prove the Holy Spirit"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 29, 2021
“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:9

I put this picture on Facebook and someone left a comment that I needed to "prove the Holy Spirit." Easy to tell that was someone who has never understood it. I wrote that basically it was asking someone to "prove love" when no one can see love, but they can see what love does.

I cannot see God, but I see His work come to life when others act on love for the sake of others. I saw it in the actions of others every time my life was on the line. (Keep in mind that I survived over ten events.) It would have been very easy for them to turn away from the needs of a stranger, but they showed compassion and took the time to help me. That is what love does.

Oh sure, you can talk about the physical kind of love but that is a mutual benefit. When it comes the spiritual kind of love, that is also a mutual benefit but far beyond whatever we feel at the moment we give, or receive, because it does not end with that interaction. It is carried on through the lives of those involved.

For me, after I was helped, it did not end with me. I passed it on every time I saw someone else hurting. It did not end for those who helped me, even thought I never saw them again, but they carried the knowledge of making a difference in the life of someone else with them. It is not hard to figure out they continued to repeat other acts of compassion.

Where did all of that come from? It came from the Holy Spirit that is within them.

It is also clear, that even after all the years I have devoted my life to helping others heal PTSD, these two books were written together and there is no way I could have written them without God's messenger that lives in me.

Read The Lost Son and Alive Again on Amazon and maybe you can start your New Year with a new view of what love is. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

God sent His Only Son to be a never ending story to the world

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 25, 2021 

Today, Christmas Day, we celebrated the birth of Jesus. It is a shame that we do not seem to notice that He is an example of a life with a never ending story. Oh, sure, we know He sacrificed His life on the Cross but His story did not end that day. As a matter of fact, it is still being written.

If you survived the cause of PTSD, you have witnessed His story still being written in those who came to help you. It is still begin written in through the lives of those who dedicate their lives toward helping you find hope for a happier life, compassion to help you know you matter, those who help you understand how much power you do have over the life ahead of you. Above all, through those who help you understand that God did not do it to you, but is there to help you heal.

For almost forty years, I know that is why I have done whatever I could to help and I know why I did it. I survived over ten events and remember all of it. The physical pain, the emotional turmoil, a million unanswerable questions, but I also remember what it was like to heal. What it was like to not just smile again, but feel the emotion behind it.

Above all, once I stopped focusing on what someone did to me, I was able to focus on what others did for me. No matter what happened, it always ended the same way. Someone came to help me and that began the healing.

None of our stories are even really ended. They are carried on in the lives of others we come into contact with, just as the lives of others are still being written through us.

When I wrote The Lost Son it was an answer to my prayers. I struggled with trying to find a new way of saying what I had said for almost four decades. It took a couple of weeks of praying and then one day, I sat down at my computer and the work flowed out of me. What I had not planned on was writing two books to tell our stories of healing through faith in God and when others come to answer our prayers. They heard God asking them and they responded. After all, that is the way miracles still happen. I am living proof of that.

The books are for what never seems to get covered in the news. There are over fifteen million of us being added every year to the number of survivors struggling to heal PTSD. The thing is, even after becoming an expert on PTSD, I had no clue I was one of them because my case was odd. The first time I faced death happened twice in one night, but I was only five years old. The rest was also different because of the way I looked at life, and God. I never read anything about someone like me, so I decided to write it.

These books are for everyone struggling from all different causes and helping others find their way out of spiritual darkness. They are not intended to replace mental health professional help, but to infuse it with the power of faith. They are also written for others like me, among the churchless children of God who do not feel as if there is a place for us in a building. We too can experience God's love, much like the way Jesus taught us to pray directly to Our Father. He prayed outside most of the time.

Churches are find for a lot of people but most of the people I helped over all these years, they believe in God but consider themselves spiritual instead of religious. It is not that we are wrong not wanting to go to church, but that we simply don't feel as if we belong there.

From Alive Again The Lost Son Part Two
"Thank you all for coming. I am Chris Papadopoulos. Blessed Are The Peacemakers Ingredients of Miracles tells the story of how on September 13th 2019, a Friday the 13th by the way, I sat on my bed with a gun in my hand. It was seven years after surviving a bomb blast covering war, but that night, there was a war going on inside my soul. All I could think about was ending my suffering. An angel of light and goodness was fighting against an angel of darkness and evil inside of me. The angel of light managed to declare a minor victory and I was not happy about that. The next thing I knew, I was walking to my home away from home, this bar. Strange thinking about it now, because even as depressed as I was, I was still worried about hurting someone else, so I walked instead of risking driving drunk and hurting someone else. Apparently God had other plans for how to end my suffering.

I was talking to the only friend I thought I had, Ed, the bartender,” he waited for them to stop laughing. He turned to point to Ed. “I really wanted to say good bye to him. While I was sucking down another drink, a group of men walked in carrying the answer to my prayers. This is Bill and David and Drake. We also have Alex, Mary and Benjamin, all in the book. We have with us Grace and she’s the reason I called this press conference. A couple of nights ago, we were all eating dinner at the Inn in Gabriel when a woman came to us. She was wondering if the people in the books were real. She said she was sure her Dad helped the Boston Police Officer named Frank, who ended up saving Grace. She got to meet someone her father helped without even knowing it. She thanked us for proving that the stories of our lives never stop being written. They are in fact, never ending stories of life. And she was right. We’re all living proof that those who helped us, were helped by others before them and who knows how many other generations it goes back to. We don’t even know how far forward it goes while we’re still alive.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we want our life stories to be about light and goodness, or do we want to pass on darkness and evil? We’re capable of both and we’ve seen how darkness and evil spreads. David has something to say about that.”

The story of our lives does go on and what we pass on to others, is defined by us and what we choose to do with our lives. Look at this list.
Causes of PTSD from The Mayo Clinic
Risk factors
People of all ages can have post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may make you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, such as:
Experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma
Having experienced other trauma earlier in life, such as childhood abuse
Having a job that increases your risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders
Having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
Having problems with substance misuse, such as excess drinking or drug use
Lacking a good support system of family and friends
Having blood relatives with mental health problems, including anxiety or depression Kinds of traumatic events
The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include:
Combat exposure
Childhood physical abuse
Sexual violence
Physical assault
Being threatened with a weapon
An accident
Many other traumatic events also can lead to PTSD, such as fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack, and other extreme or life-threatening events.


After surviving a traumatic event, many people have PTSD-like symptoms at first, such as being unable to stop thinking about what's happened. Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, guilt — all are common reactions to trauma. However, the majority of people exposed to trauma do not develop long-term post-traumatic stress disorder.

Getting timely help and support may prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. This may mean turning to family and friends who will listen and offer comfort. It may mean seeking out a mental health professional for a brief course of therapy. Some people may also find it helpful to turn to their faith community.

Support from others also may help prevent you from turning to unhealthy coping methods, such as misuse of alcohol or drugs.

If you want to begin to believe in miracles again, today would be a great day to start since we are remembering the day when God sent His Only Son to be a never ending story to the world. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Just about any where there are Vets there is a Point Man presence

Point Man turning lost into found and healed

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 16, 2020

From Point Man's website
Since 1984, when Seattle Police Officer and Vietnam Veteran Bill Landreth noticed he was arresting the same people each night, he discovered most were Vietnam vets like himself that just never seemed to have quite made it home. He began to meet with them in coffee shops and on a regular basis for fellowship and prayer. Soon, Point Man Ministries was conceived and became a staple of the Seattle area. Bills untimely death soon after put the future of Point Man in jeopardy.

However, Chuck Dean, publisher of a Veterans self help newspaper, Reveille, had a vision for the ministry and developed it into a system of small groups across the USA for the purpose of mutual support and fellowship. These groups are known as Outposts. Worldwide there are hundreds of Outposts and Homefront groups serving the families of veterans.

PMIM is run by veterans from all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds. Although, the primary focus of Point Man has always been to offer spiritual healing from PTSD, Point Man today is involved in group meetings, publishing, hospital visits, conferences, supplying speakers for churches and veteran groups, welcome home projects and community support. Just about any where there are Vets there is a Point Man presence. All services offered by Point Man are free of charge.

From Wounded Times September 21, 2007
The leader of the Newark post, Russ Clark, is a retired Marine who fought in Vietnam. Clark was a Methodist minister for 25 years before leaving the pastorate due to life upheaval brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He knows firsthand the devastation PTSD can bring into the lives of veterans and their families.

“I lost a family. I lost a ministry. Point Man is now my calling,” Clark explained. He said helping other veterans has brought him great healing. He encourages other veterans to reach out to those with similar experiences.

read it here

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A simple casket with an American flag for Vietnam Veteran Andrew Elmer Wright

Miracle for Marine serving in Iraq

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
May 14, 2020

There are many stories about homeless veterans, but the one that stands out the most in my mind, is the string of miracles that happened, because the story grabbed my heart.

Story from Wounded Times

Vietnam Vet Andrew Elmer Wright found a home as a homeless vet

March 25, 2010

A simple casket with an American flag for Vietnam Veteran Andrew Elmer Wright.

A simple bouquet of flowers was placed with a simple photo a church member snapped.

By all accounts, Andrew was a simple man with simple needs but what was evident today is that Andrew was anything but a "simple" man.

A few days ago I received an email from Chaplain Lyle Schmeiser, DAV Chapter 16, asking for people to attend a funeral for a homeless Vietnam veteran. After posting about funerals for the forgotten for many years across the country, I felt compelled to attend.

As I drove to the Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home, I imagined an empty room knowing how few people would show up for a funeral like this. All the other homeless veteran stories flooded my thoughts and this, I thought, would be just one more of them.

When I arrived, I discovered the funeral home was paying for the funeral. Pastor Joel Reif, of First United Church of Christ asked them if they could help out to bury this veteran and they did. They put together a beautiful service with Honor Guard and a 21 gun salute by the VFW post.

I asked a man there what he knew about Andrew and his eyes filled. He smiled and then told me how Andrew wouldn't drink the water from the tap. He'd send this man for bottled water, always insisting on paying for it. When the water was on sale, he'd buy Andrew an extra case of water but Andrew was upset because the man didn't use the extra money for gas.

Then Pastor Joel filled in more of Andrew's life. Andrew got back from Vietnam, got married and had children. His wife passed away and Andrew remarried. For some reason the marriage didn't work out. Soon the state came to take his children away. Andrew did all he could to get his children back, but after years of trying, he gave up and lost hope.
Discover the string of miracles that happened here

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Veteran dying of COVID-19, unable to speak, sang God Bless America before he died!

Veteran's last words hold special meaning to family

May 9, 2020

Tom McDermott was pretty amazing — he survived polio, nearly became a priest and even worked on nuclear submarines while he was in the military.

McDermott's family said goodbye to the 84-year-old who battled Alzheimer's and coronavirus in his final days, but it was his last words that left them all in awe.

"He was on comfort measures and there was no expectation he was communicating," said Vin McDermott, Tom's son.

Doctors said Tom McDermott's lungs were overwhelmed by the virus and he never spoke again. Instead, he sang.

While Tom McDermott's family was at mass, a call came from the hospital: his last words were a song: "God Bless America."

"I don't know where the memory to sing or the energy to sing came from," Vin McDermott said.
read it here

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Farmers dump crops durning pandemic shut down...families go hungry?

update Dole donating more than 2 million pounds of fresh produce to food banks, communities in need

update Free milk, cheese and yogurt at SUNY Morrisville dairy drive-through to support families, farmers

update: Idaho farm gave away potatoes for free so they wouldn't go to waste Cranney Farms in Oakley has thousands of potatoes they were expecting to sell. Instead of dumping them, they gave them away.

Milk to be rescued from Wisconsin dairy farmers, given to people in need

In a press release sent early Wednesday morning, the Hunger Task Force said it will commit up to $1 million to the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery. The money will be used to buy it back from dairy farmers and supply it to those in need.

Stop dumping harvest when you can feed the hungry

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 14, 2020

We just had Easter, the day we honor the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, but too many forget what He taught us. That is apparent today when farms are dumping produce and milk, because they cannot sell it.
"About 7 o’clock Tuesday night, Golden E Dairy got the call that any dairy farmer would dread. They were being asked to dump 25,000 gallons of fresh milk a day because there was no place for it to go as the marketplace for dairy products has been gutted by the closure of restaurants, schools, hotels and food service businesses." USA Today

Dean and Betsy Brightly turned a farm of just a few hundred acres in the late 1970s to over 2,000 acres today and grow a plethora of plants with a focus on cabbage and butternut squash. Brightly Farms has never had to dump food like they did this year as demand dropped for their crop they refrigerate until this time. “We still have a couple hundred tons,” said Dean, “which is over $100,000 worth of product that we probably are going to have to dump.” RochesterFirst

They said they had no choice, but they did, and still do. They can choose to do the right thing by helping the food banks all across the country to feed the hungry.

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

Matthew 25:44-45
As they are dumping their harvests, this is what is happening as people line up for whatever they can get to help them feed their families.
Six THOUSAND families line up in their cars for hours at a food bank in San Antonio as millions across the country turn to charity organizations to keep from going hungry during coronavirus lockdown
Families in need waited hours to get their hands on fresh fruit, vegetables and other non-perishable goods that have become hard to find in traditional stores as panic-buying leaves shelves empty. The sight of long rows of cars waiting outside food banks has become more frequent since the pandemic has made its impact on the United States, with similar scenes seen in Florida and Pennsylvania in the last two weeks. Daily Mail

Do the right thing and contact your local food bank to see how you can help instead of wasting what you were blessed with.

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Luke 12:17-21

Sunday, April 5, 2020

His Love redeemed all of us!

Honoring those who risk their lives on Palm Sunday

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 12, 2020

For many Christians, today is Palm Sunday. (Sorry fellow Greeks but ours is next week.)

I spent most of the day thinking about Jesus and wondering what was going on in His mind when He was greeted by the crowd and palms laid down on His path. He knew His time on this earth was almost over and this day would be the turning point.
Matthew 21 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.

15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,“‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

Yet knowing what was going to happen to Him, He still reacted with love and compassion. He still did what He could to heal those who needed Him. Nothing about Him changed.

His Love redeemed all of us!

Today we see so much suffering all over the world. No country has been spared from the pandemic. We see greedy people try to make whatever money they can, much like the money changers confronted by Jesus.  We see hoards of people taking whatever they can, leaving many to leave with nothing they need. We see crowds of people who want to see an event, even though they can become infected with the virus, spread it out into their own homes and communities.

There is a greater infection among us, and that is when people decide what they want to do is all that should matter to the world. They are special in their own eyes. Everyone else suffering for what they do is someone else's problem. Yet these same people will be the first ones screaming for other people to take care of them.

Today we also see more people acting like Jesus, risking their own lives to save strangers. We see them show compassion and courage. We see people act out of pure love doing whatever they can to make someone else's life better.

Too many times we hear people say that there are no more miracles. We see them all around us everyday when some decide to do what they want for themselves, and others, with the same ability to be selfish, turn around and do selfless acts, no matter what price they may pay...even if it costs them their own life.

Friday, April 3, 2020

"...persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed"

"Commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God"

In times of trouble such as these, it can be hard to find hope. It is so much easier to find misery. The thing is, hope surrounds us even though we are reluctant to see it.

I love to see reports of regular people rising above their own pain, fears and concerns, to take care of total strangers. They exemplify what true heroes are.

We are called to rise above our circumstances at the moment because we know we may be "...persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" because we are not alone in any of these times of trouble.

2 Corinthians 4 New International Version (NIV)
Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of  faith, we also believe and therefore speak,

14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Archbishop Elpidophoros addresses the faithful regarding #COVID19

While some seem to think that going to church is OK, this is what our Archbishop thinks about our obligation to our communities and especially the healthcare workers.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Why are you still looking for proof of God's Love?

God's Love Surrounds Us

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 28, 2020

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

In troubled times, people seem to find it hard to believe that God is real. They say prove it, yet, if they open their eyes, they see proof of God everyday.

Right now while most of the country is isolating because of the Coronavirus, we are lonely and afraid that someone we love will be stricken by it.

We see hoarders taking whatever they can, while some are left leaving stores with nothing they need.

We see people act as if it is horrible they cannot go out and enjoy their lives in groups of friends and total strangers, only to pass on the virus to others who did not have a choice in their actions.

None of those selfish acts came from God or what Jesus came to teach His Brothers and Sisters. It came because they allowed their own will, their own lust, their own self worth rise above every one else.

We are all capable of being like that. It is easier to take than to give. Easier to anger than forgive. So why is it that so many others are putting everyone else ahead of themselves? God's Love!

God Is Love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen.

And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:7-21
We see it when Doctors and nurses work long hours under extreme stress to do whatever they can to save as many lives as possible even though it puts their own lives in danger.

We see it when members of law enforcement show up every shift to protect the citizens in their communities while many of members of those communities hate them.

We see it in other first responders when they leave their own families and homes, put their lives in jeopardy to save strangers.

When people line up to take food to shut ins it is there.

We see it when people all over the country take the time to sew masks for hospital staff it is there.

Whenever you are looking for proof of God's Love, it only means you are not really looking at what is already there!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

What do we receive in return for our time than to see a veteran's life change from hopelessness to healing?

Faith In Healing PTSD Hardly New

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 20, 2020

The recent news about the Department of Veterans Affairs joining forces with faith based groups is something wonderful, yet troubling at the same time.

While more and more groups have been popping up all over the country for over a decade, we have been wondering if any of them noticed what others had already begun long before these new leaders heard the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wondering what else did they miss?

It is obvious they missed a group dedicated to delivering the awesome power of healing through peer support based on someone else who knew what it was like to be willing to sacrifice His life for the sake of others...Jesus.

If even the Son of God asked for help, there should be no stigma associated with needing your peers to help you. After all, none of you looked down on those you were sent to help. If you were willing to die for their sake, as well as the sake of those you served with, turning to them for your own sake makes sense.

So why is it that the stigma lives on, as strong as ever, while you were brave enough to serve, are afraid to communicate with those you served with?

Point Man International Ministries has been clearing the road to #TakeBackYourLife since 1984 because a Vietnam veteran knew the price he paid for his service in Vietnam, as well as, the price he was willing to pay as a police officer in Seattle Washington.

Leaders in Point Man have been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals all over the country for years because it works. Yet, much like the 72 Jesus sent to care for others, no one knows their names.
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
Luke 10:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
They did not want to glorify themselves, they just wanted to freely share what they had been given by Jesus. It did not matter that no one knew their names, but it was they joy they received in doing the work they were sent to do that mattered the most.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
We live with that joy everyday! There is nothing to compare to what we receive in return for our time than to see a veteran's life change from hopelessness to healing! To see you go from feeling abandoned by God, to knowing you are loved!

New Veterans Affairs rule helps religious organizations provide quality services

Washington Times
By Mike Berry
February 19, 2020
Illustration on veterans and suicide by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

America faces a crisis of epidemic proportions. The number of Americans who take their own lives by suicide each day is staggering and sobering. Even one suicide is heartbreaking; a recent study estimated that 135 surviving people are affected by each suicide.

The latest data show that 17 veterans tragically take their own lives each day, and the rate shows no sign of slowing. Veterans comprise only 7.9 percent of the U.S. population, yet account for 13.5 percent of all suicides.

Americans know something has to be done to help the men and women who have selflessly served our nation, often resulting in terrible, unseen wounds. Thankfully, some Americans have answered the call to help those “who have borne the battle.”
read it here

Thursday, February 6, 2020

What if Jesus did not ask for help?

Even Jesus Needed Help

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 6, 2020

Is needing help to heal PTSD still a sign of weakness to you? Too many believe it is, yet they do not consider it to be a wise thing to do. There is not much that can be accomplished by someone without someone else to help them, believe in them and be willing to stand by their side.

If you are suffering right now because you were willing to sacrifice your life for the sake of others, and struggling, there is something you need to be reminded of.

What if Jesus did not ask for help? The Son of God did ask for it many times.

First He asked Peter and Andrew.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers. They were Simon (his other name was Peter) and Andrew, his brother. They were putting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow Me. I will make you fish for men!” At once they left their nets and followed Him.

And He asked again
Going from there, Jesus saw two other brothers. They were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were sitting in a boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
And He asked again,
read it here

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Turning Misery into Victory

'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 26, 2019

Of all the Christmas music that has been recorded, there is one song that I believe should be played all year long. It is "O Holy Night" because while we do not know the day He was born, we know it was a Holy Night, not a holiday.

I was asked to give a blessing during a dinner a few weeks ago and I told the story of how a group of Chaplains were sitting among members of the clergy when a discussion about the Birth of Jesus caused an argument.

Some pointed out how the traditions of Christmas were incorporated into a Christian celebration but the time of His birth would have to have been sometime in the spring. This went on and on until one elderly Chaplain said, "What difference does it make when He came? The fact remains He did and brought God's love. That is what the day is supposed to be all about. God's love and the love we have for others." The arguing stopped. The room was quiet, tempers cooled and hearts were filled with the real meaning of the season.

The dinner I gave the blessing at was with a group of veterans and they knew full well what it is to do for others because of love. They were willing to die to save strangers. Jesus came into the world to do that out of love. We forget such unselfish acts, just as we forget the price that they pay in return for that level of love.

We forget that throughout the centuries, the price paid by suffering souls has been documented across the world. There are many parts within the Bible that addresses this and what is possible to have victory over the misery of the moment.

Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
When someone puts their life on the line for the sake of someone else, they feel the worth of their soul and find the courage to do what they need to do. Why can't they feel the worth of their soul afterwards? Why can't they find the courage to ask for help because of what they were compelled to do? They asked for help to do what they did in battle with enemy forces. PTSD is an enemy force they do battle with daily but they have a hard time asking for help to defeat it.

Part of that is they do not have faith that it can be defeated. Yet over and over again, there is documented evidence, that while it cannot be cured, it can, and has been, defeated.

Do you want your soul to feel its worth again? Do you want to know who you are again? It is all there within you. God put it all there. Everything you needed to do what you were sent here to do, is there. Everything you needed to be able to heal from doing it, is all there.

Today may be a very hard day for you but tomorrow can be the beginning when misery ends and you start to heal. Contact Point Man on Facebook and start the "new and glorious morn" that you now know is possible and rejoice!

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What was God doing on 9 11?

Where was God before the Towers fell?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 11, 2019

After reading about a firefighter being identified all these years later,  I was thinking about how God was in so many places on 9 11 before the Twin Towers fell.

He was there when the firefighters rushed into the buildings so they could save lives after the Towers were hit. He was there when workers were helping each other find their way out of danger. He was there when total strangers helped the wounded make their way to getting medical care, and be there to just offer a shoulder.

He was there before the South Tower fell at 9:59 and still there as people in the North Tower were trying to save lives before it fell at 10:28 am.

God was there before the passengers decided to fight the hijackers on Flight 93 causing it to crash at 10:03 am.

Thirty-seven phone calls were made by 13 persons on board the plane between the time of the hijacking at 9:28 am and the time of the crash at 10:03 am.
He was there all along. Whenever we witness someone doing anything for the sake of others, He is there.

I was going to write a long piece until I came upon something I had already written.

Looking for God in the wrong places 
by Chaplain Kathie
Wounded Times Blog
September 12, 2012

Last night I was watching The Four Crosses at Ground Zero.
"As rescue and recovery began, fireman, police, and rescue workers would be forced to endure the nightmare of working and living inside Ground Zero. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into hopelessness as the reality of what had happened sunk in. While working in Building 6 in the World Trade Center complex, workers discovered a cavernous type hole in the debris."

As I listened to some of the people there, while I thought it was a beautiful story, I kept thinking of what was missing from the program.

It is easy to wonder where God was on that horrible day as other people decided such evil acts were justified when they used everything in their power to kill. Where was He? Why didn't He stop it? How could a loving God allow it to happen?

We ask those questions all the time. We suffer in our lives, then try to figure out why God thought we deserved it. What did we do to make Him turn away from us?

If we search for Him in the dirt and debris we are looking for Him in the wrong place.

God was on those planes that hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon as much as he was on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. He was not the pilot but He was the comforter. When one hand reached out to comfort someone else, He was right there. Whenever people push past thoughts for themselves to think of someone else, He is there.

Many wonder why He didn't just cause the hijackers to suffer a heart attack an spare so many innocent lives. Others wonder why He just didn't stop them from doing it. The truth is in the Bible that God does not interfere with freewill so He would not have just snatched the hijackers out of their seats. Still how do we know He didn't try to get them to change their hearts?

It is natural for us to ask what caused other humans to do such horrible things but we miss the other question about what causes so many to do compassionate things afterwards.

What caused the police and firefighters to rush into the buildings after pure evil struck them? What caused them to climb the stairs over and over again trying to save as many lives as possible after others tried to kill as many as possible?

While the evil that man does is apparent, the good they do is inherent. It was not just public employees risking their lives that day, there were average citizens in the Towers thinking of others instead of their own lives. Some of them could have survived had they used the time they had to think of their own lives, but they had the lives of others in their thoughts and actions. It was God driving them to do for others and they had the freewill choice to allow His voice to guide them or not.

But then there were smaller miracles. Survivors reached out to help others. Strangers took the hands of other strangers, put their arms around people they would have normally just walked past under normal circumstances. Then people rushed to the area to give whatever help they could.

Days passed while more and more people showed up to help find survivors and recover bodies. God was still there hearing the prayers of the nation and comforting the weary as they refused to leave.

Families of the missing were comforted by others while the time of hope faded into thinking of funerals for when the remains were found.

Every street across the country became decorated with flags and so did our cars. We were all thinking of others glued to our TV sets and reminded to be kinder to other people.

Even members of Congress joined together on the steps side by side. And we know it took a miracle to do that.

Whenever we look for God in what has been lost, we miss where He was all along.

This is the story that caused this post
A firefighter killed on September 11 is identified 18 years later

By Faith Karimi
September 11, 2019

(CNN)A firefighter who died on September 11 was laid to rest Tuesday after his remains were identified 18 years later.
Michael Haub comforts his mother, Erika Starke, as they attend a funeral service for his father, firefighter Michael Haub.

Firefighters and loved ones gathered to mourn Michael Haub after his remains were conclusively identified, the Uniformed Firefighters Association said in a statement. It said the service was to provide his family with closure and a peace of mind after the medical examiner last week identified more of his remains that were recovered at Ground Zero.

As of July this year, the remains of only about 60% of the 2,753 people killed at the World Trade Center that day have been positively identified, according to the medical examiner's office.

Haub was a 13-year veteran of Ladder Company 4, according to the association.

"We remember him and the 342 other firefighters who perished that fateful day, and will be forever grateful for the courage they show," it said in a statement Tuesday.

In addition to the firefighters killed that day, hundreds more have died in the following years. New York officials say an additional 200 firefighters have lost their lives from illnesses linked to their time working at the World Trade Center after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
read it here