Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Sunday, December 25, 2022

"Loving kindness, warm hearts, and the stretched-out hand of tolerance"

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 25, 2022

If Christmas is a rough time of year for you, I try to remember what the day is supposed to be all about and take comfort as we celebrate a gift given with love to all mankind. Some passed it off as nothing more than a fable. To others, it is a pagan holiday considering the traditions we have to this day, originated with them. To others, it is about trying to make people happy with the gifts we buy. Yet for others, it is a day to remember those with empty stockings, no family, no friends, and no one to give them a gift.

I know Christ was not born on this day, but I believe He was born for the reasons we were told He came. He was born as most people lived in simple shelters with very few comforts. Some wonder why the Son of God would be subject to such hardships but they forget those were the people He came to comfort and heal. To let them know that love and miracles were not reserved for only the wealthy. That the true gifts we give are how we treat people all year round.

Today, if you are not celebrating it with family or friends, many more of you are doing the same thing. We won't see it in commercials or movies because people want the warm, fuzzy feeling of seeing happy people surrounded by family. I take great comfort when I see reports of people filling boxes for Toys For Tots, putting money into the Salvation Army kettles, or donating to food banks. I take comfort in seeing acts of love all year round because that is as it should be.

One of my favorite Christmas movies is The Bishop's Wife. At the end of the movie is the message I try to hang onto all year round, as it should be. I wish you a day of treasured memories and a new year filled with witnessing random acts of kindness so that you will know, that Jesus came, not just for a day, but forever.

Bishop's Wife - Christmas Sermon

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells, and with gifts. But especially with gifts.
You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled... all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up.
The stocking for the child born in a manger. It's his birthday we are celebrating. Don't ever let us forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most... and then let each put in his share. Loving kindness, warm hearts, and the stretched-out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Birth in the manger and the crucifixion on the Cross

PTSD Patrol

Kathie Costos

December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas! While it seems there isn't much to be merry about this year, there is if you look for it.

Maybe you didn't get what you wanted, or you were not able to get what someone else wanted. Maybe you have so many worries that feeling as if you are supposed to be celebrating, seems like torture. How do you celebrate Christmas when it feels like just when you thought this year couldn't get any did?

HOPE! That is what Christmas is supposed to be all about. Listen to the Christmas songs we all grew up with. (Not the funny ones I've been putting up the last few days.) Did you notice that most of them are about hope?

Between the Birth in the manger and the crucifixion on the Cross, Jesus lived a life of awesomeness! We read all about His miracles, but we tend to forget how much He suffered.

He knew what it was like to be hungry.

He knew what it was like to be lonely.

He knew what it was like to feel abandoned.

He knew what it was like to be betrayed.

He knew what it was like to grieve so much He wept.

He knew what it was like to do the right things for the right reasons and be hated for them.

He knew what it was like to be called a liar.

Yet with even more evidence of His suffering, He lived His life serving others, preaching of God's love, performing miracles, giving hope to those who had forgotten what hope in their hearts felt like, and proving to them they were loved!

One of the greatest gifts He gave was teaching them the importance of forgiving.  It was not for the sake of those who hurt Him, or those who hurt you, but more about giving yourself a gift.

Jesus didn't let what others did to Him, stop Him from being true to what He knew was right. He didn't hate those He was willing to die for, even after they betrayed them. He asked His Father to forgive them, because they had no idea what they were doing.

If we hang onto those who hurt us, the wrong done to us, then we rob ourselves of all the good that could replace what is harmful to us. Forgive others and take away the power they retain in your heart. They do don't deserved to remain there. 

Understand that if you are doing the right thing, then it is their problem, not yours. If you did the wrong thing to them, apologize to them. If they accept it, then all is well. If they do not, then it is again their problem. 

If you are having a hard time forgiving, then pray for the strength to do it, because Jesus knows what it is like to be you!

Cross posted from PTSD Patrol

And if you are struggling with PTSD because you did the right thing...know that it is not God's judgement.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Nebraska who suffered his second traumatic brain injury is making a miraculous recovery

Nebraska veteran comes out of coma in time for Christmas

WCMH/CNN 17 min ago

OMAHA, Neb. — A Purple Heart veteran from Nebraska who suffered his second traumatic brain injury is making a miraculous recovery.

Tony Belt, who fell 18 feet in a work accident, woke up from a coma before Christmas and has been able to communicate by giving a thumbs up or down. WCMH/CNN
Christmas Eve marked three months since Tony Belt fell 18 feet in a work accident, KETV reported.

"The doctors told me he probably wasn’t going to make it to the weekend,” said Kyli Belt, Tony’s wife.

He survived that weekend, but doctors still said he would never wake up.

Tony is a fighter. He spent eight years in the Army, deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, he was shot in the head, an incident that ended his military career and sent him home with a Purple Heart. 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!

11 Year old boy got Christmas see his brother

Watch: 11-Year-Old Boy Reunited With Military Brother While Christmas Caroling At Woodbury Senior Center

By CBS3 Staff
December 18, 2019
“For weeks my parents have been asking, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ And I kept saying each and every single time, ‘I want to see my brother,'” Mark said. “Until a day ago they said, ‘So you are sticking to your word?’ And I said ‘Yes.’ And today he’s here.”

WOODBURY, N.J. (CBS) — Military homecomings always pull on the heartstrings, especially during the holiday season. An 11-year-old boy from Deptford Township had his Christmas wish come true while caroling with his Oak Valley Elementary classmates at a senior center on Wednesday morning.
Mark DiTizio told the audience at Atrium Post Acute Care of Woodbury all he wanted for Christmas was for his brother, Private Second Class Eric Shaw, to come home from the military.
read it here

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Soldier home on leave for Christmas killed with 1 year old son by wrong way driver

Soldier home for Christmas, 1-year-old son killed in Unicoi County crash

WCYB 5 News
by Caleb Perhne
December 20th 2019

UNICOI COUNTY, Tenn. — Local communities are mourning after three people died in a head-on crash on Interstate 26.

23-year-old Anthony Owens, a native of Unicoi County, and his 1-year-old son, Richard, were travelling west on the interstate Thursday night. That's when police say 42-year-old Tina Marshall of Jonesborough crashed into him driving the wrong way. All three died.

Owens' family is now grieving the loss of a son and grandson just days before Christmas.
read it here

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Veteran Navy Corpsman returned home to shocking event

Veteran surprised with thousands of Christmas lights, decorations

FOX 13 News
By Kimberly Kuizon
December 4, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. - A local veteran got quite the surprise when he returned home to find his house totally decorated for Christmas on Tuesday.

Volunteers with Florida Power & Light decorated veteran Chris Scott's home with thousands of lights. After untangling all the lights and preparing a big surprise, Chris and his family arrived.
Chris served eight years as a fleet marine force corpsman attached to the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines. In 2008, he'd been injured in Iraq, but he continued serving. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Haiti before he medically retired in 2012.

For the last two years, he's fought stage three lymphoma cancer. He's now clear, but putting up Christmas decorations can be a difficult task.

"They wanted to get lights up so we were going to start to try and work on it this week. I haven't been feeling too good lately so this is helps out a lot," he said.

Volunteers didn't disappoint, making sure their house shines bright.
read it here

Friday, December 28, 2018

Plugged back in

Today and tomorrow I will be trying to play some catch up from a much needed unplugging! 

The last time I unplugged from the site and news was back in October of 2017.

We spent Christmas in New England!

Yes, those are mushrooms growing on the tree!

New Durham has a volunteer fire department

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas delivery unlike any other

Christmas Delivery

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
December 22, 2018

***Note to readers: I am unplugged until 12/27 to plug into my family for Christmas.***

This time of year it seems as if everyone is either doing the holiday or the Holy Day. Big difference when you think about it. The holiday is tied to buying stuff, eating stuff and having fun. The Holy Day is remembering why the day came to be in the first place.

The Christmas Delivery did not come on Christmas day but it is the day we celebrate the delivery arriving into the world.

The Christmas Delivery did not come on a jet, or in a grand way at all. This Delivery came on the back of a donkey, with Mary and Joseph. Oh, sure you know the rest of the story and the gifts that the Wisemen brought. But did you ever think of the rest of the story?

The birth of Jesus was not meant to be anything other than what it was. He came into this world to deliver a message, and then, deliver His life as payment for what sins He never committed, because we managed to do all of them.

There are so many other things to be said about what Jesus was, including, a homeless person depending on the kindness of strangers. But what He inspired, was clear even in war.
read more here

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas gift of love delivered in Casselberry today

Rain did not stop Wreaths Across America in Florida

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 15, 2018

This morning in Casselberry Florida, a large group gathered together to make sure the veterans buried at All Faiths Memorial Park were not forgotten. It did not matter that it was raining.

Sgt. Dave Matthews of Never Forgotten Memorials was the MC.