From the VA: Afghanistan: Let’s Talk About It

Veterans from all eras are reacting to the events in Afghanistan, such as the U.S withdrawal and the takeover by the Taliban.

You are not alone.

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service. It’s normal to feel this way. Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies, connect with a peer-to-peer network, or sign up for mental health services. Scroll down for a list common reactions and coping advice.
Resources available right now

Veterans Crisis Line – If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 or visit http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/For emergency mental health care, you can also go directly to your local VA medical center 24/7 regardless of your discharge status or enrollment in other VA health care.

Vet Centers – Discuss how you feel with other Veterans in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are Veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.

VA Mental Health Services Guide – This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.

MakeTheConnection.net – information, resources, and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.

RallyPoint – Talk to other Veterans online. Discuss: What are your feelings as the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan after 20 years of US involvement?

Download VA’s self-help apps – Tools to help deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) –  Request a Peer Mentor

VA Women Veterans Call Center – Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 6:30PM ET)

VA Caregiver Support Line – Call 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 5PM ET)

Together We Served –Find your battle buddies through unit pages

George W. Bush Institute – Need help or want to talk? Check In or call:1-630-522-4904 or email: checkin@veteranwellnessalliance.org

Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes – Join the Community

American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network – Peer Support and Mentoring

Team Red, White & Blue – Hundreds of events weekly. Find a chapter in your area.

Student Veterans of America – Find a campus chapter to connect with.

Team Rubicon – Find a local support squad.
Common Reactions
In reaction to current events in Afghanistan, Veterans may:

Feel frustrated, sad, helpless, grief or distressed
Feel angry or betrayed
Experience an increase in mental health symptoms like symptoms of PTSD or depression
Sleep poorly, drink more or use more drugs 
Try to avoid all reminders or media or shy away from social situations
Have more military and homecoming memories

Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. They may feel more moral distress about experiences they had during their service.

Veterans may feel like they need to expect and/or prepare for the worst. For example, they may:

Become overly protective, vigilant, and guarded
Become preoccupied by danger
Feel a need to avoid being shocked by, or unprepared for, what may happen in the future

Feeling distress is a normal reaction to negative events, especially ones that feel personal. It can be helpful to let yourself feel those feelings rather than try to avoid them. Often, these feelings will naturally run their course. If they continue without easing up or if you feel overwhelmed by them, the suggestions below can be helpful.

Strategies for Managing Ongoing Distress

At this moment, it may seem like all is lost, like your service or your sacrifices were for nothing. Consider the ways that your service made a difference, the impact it had on others’ lives or on your own life. Remember that now is just one moment in time and that things will continue to change.

It can be helpful to focus on the present and to engage in the activities that are most meaningful and valuable to you. Is there something you can do today that is important to you?  This can be as an individual, a family member, a parent, or a community member. Something that is meaningful to you in regard to your work or your spirituality? Such activities won’t change the past or the things you can’t control, but they can help life feel meaningful and reduce distress, despite the things you cannot change.

It can also help to consider your thinking. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helpful to you right now. Are there ways you can change your thinking to be more accurate and less distressing? For example, are you using extreme thinking where you see the situation as all bad or all good?  If so, try and think in less extreme terms. For example, rather than thinking “my service in Afghanistan was useless” consider instead “I helped keep Afghanistan safe.”

Finally, consider more general coping strategies that you may want to try including:

Engage in Positive Activities. Try to engage in positive, healthy, or meaningful activities, even if they are small, simple actions. Doing things that are rewarding, meaningful, or enjoyable, even if you don’t feel like it, can make you feel better.

Stay Connected. Spend time with people who give you a sense of security, calm, or happiness, or those who best understand what you are going through.

Practice Good Self Care. Look for positive coping strategies that help you manage your emotions. Listening to music, exercising, practicing breathing routines, spending time in nature or with animals, journaling, or reading inspirational text are some simple ways to help manage overwhelming or distressing emotions.

Stick to Your Routines. It can be helpful to stick to a schedule for when you sleep, eat, work, and do other day-to-day activities.

Limit Media Exposure. Limit how much news you take in if media coverage is increasing your distress.

Use a mobile app. Consider one of VA’s self-help apps (see https://www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/) such as PTSD Coach which has tools that can help you deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.

PTSD Coach Online. A series of online video coaches will guide you through 17 tools to help you manage stress. PTSD Coach Online is used on a computer, rather than a mobile device, and therefore can offer tools that involve writing.

If you develop your own ways of adapting to ongoing events and situations, you may gain a stronger sense of being able to deal with challenges, a greater sense of meaning or purpose, and an ability to mentor and support others in similar situations.

Friend of the Ministry – Gretchen Keskeys Releases “20 Years”

Friend of the Ministry/Podcast, Gretchen Keskeys just dropped a new video named “20 Years” in remembrance of 9/11/2001. In a private message with Gretchen, she told me,

“I just pray it’s an encouragement to this country as we look back at that time at what our country can be when we are united”.

Gretchen Keskeys Remembers 9/11 with Heartfelt “20 Years” Single and Video
Christian music songstress Gretchen Keskeys pays tribute to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with the heartfelt new single, “20 Years.” The music video, which she hand-curated, picking out and editing the content to match her vision, can be viewed now at her official YouTube channel. Watch the “20 Years” video here: https://youtu.be/WBMbicQfiHMGretchen was a young wife and mother to a one year-old when the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 took place. Rising early that day, she turned on the TV and sat down with a cup of coffee. Nothing could have prepared her for what she was about to see.”I had just turned on the news right as the second plane hit the South Tower,” she said. “Within minutes I was on the floor in tears crying out loud to God.”Her thoughts immediately went to her baby daughter and what this could mean for her. Would her husband, a firefighter, need to go into work (he did), and would he be in danger? And she watched in pure horror, agony and heartbreak as the videos began to come in of those in the towers trying to escape the flames. For every American, that day was traumatic. But up out of the ashes, something beautiful emerged in the days and weeks to come. Gretchen remembers, “There was a true and deep humbling that happened. We truly felt helpless. And God was our help and refuge. We WANTED to go to church. We found comfort and strength being near God and each other. We WANTED God to BLESS our nation. It was no longer about ‘me,’ it was about ‘us.’ And OUR nation. OUR country. We cared about each other and wanted to do everything we could to protect our nation.”  What we experienced in the aftermath of 9/11 was, as Gretchen calls it, “the most beautiful outpouring of love and patriotism and brotherly love and camaraderie that we have ever seen in this country.” We couldn’t thank our police and firefighters enough.  Throughout Gretchen’s life, when something has touched her heart, or broken it, she’s written about it. And 9/11 is no exception. For most Americans, it broke us in ways we could have never expected.As the chorus states…

And in the sadness there was beauty
A country bound as one in unity
That day back then our toughest test
But that was America at its best


Adds Gretchen, “I wrote this song with all of this on my heart as we remember the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001.”Gretchen’s upcoming fourth studio album, Her Faith, will be released this fall. Inspired in part by the trials and tribulations of 2020, and her own experience, Gretchen penned each song on the new project, which she says focuses on the hope of Christ and His help and strength to endure tough times.



About Gretchen Keskeys: Inspirational singer-songwriter Gretchen Keskeys released her third studio album, “Words of Truth” (Creative Soul Records), in 2019. Over the last 5 years, Christian music fans have quickly embraced Keskeys as one of the most powerful female voices in the genre. She stormed onto the scene in 2016 with her debut album, “Walking in the Spirit,” and 2017’s follow up, “Pure Hope.” She’s appeared on Fox News Channel, and has made frequent appearances on Christian television programs nationwide. Keskeys regularly performs at churches, events and women’s conferences nationwide, where she openly shares her songs alongside an inspirational testimony detailing her complete deliverance from anxiety and depression. And she is also a regular worship leader at the Folsom Women’s Facility at Folsom Prison. For more information, visit the official website at www.gretchenkeskeys.com and “Like” Gretchen Keskeys Music on Facebook.

Check Us Out On TikTok!

As a ministry, we are always looking for new ways to get the Word of Jesus Christ out to more people. Having noticed numerous Pastors who are using this way of communicating, including Pastor Greg Locke – who I admire his work greatly, I have decided to test the waters.

Go here to see all of our videos, and if you feel led, “Follow” us.

Email from Lila Rose and Live Action

Ed,

I have something important to share with you …

Here’s a quote from a man we interviewed in Miami:

“I’m pro-abortion. That sounds bad, but I think that people should have the choice if they’re not ready.”

Have you ever heard someone make this statement about abortion before? How does it make you feel?

Do you think people with this perspective can change their minds?

In 5 short minutes, this man changed from pro-abortion advocate, to someone who is moved by the value of life. See his reaction here:

https://www.liveaction.org/mots-ep1/

Here’s the truth: Anyone can change. And in just 5 minutes, that’s exactly what happened with this man in Miami.

All it took was a little bit of education and an honest conversation. When we share the truth about abortion, hearts and minds change.

If you ever feel like you can’t make a difference in ending abortion, know that you can. One conversation at a time.

I’m grateful to be in these transformational efforts with you!

For life,

Lila Rose
Founder and President

Letters From My Elected Officials – Re: I oppose the ‘Equality’ Act


February 25, 2021

Dear Mr. Boston,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding the Equality Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this piece of legislation.     

The Equality Act (H.R. 5) was introduced on February 18, 2021 to the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation significantly expands the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. While I admire efforts to end discrimination in this country and believe that the government should strive to protect all Americans’ basic human rights, the Equality Act is not the way forward.     

First, the legislation is an example of federal government overreach. The federal government is not the most efficient or effective driver of change, nor should it be. When it institutes broad sweeping policies for the whole country, the federal government limits the ability of schools and communities to create individualized policies. Importantly, allowing local communities to fashion individualized responses to local problems will ensure that specific needs are addressed and allow the flexibility to address the particular complications of any one situation or case.     

The Equality Act also has religious liberty implications. The bill prevents religious schools, groups, and other organizations from creating policies that reflect their own sincerely held beliefs. The right to the free exercise of religion is fundamental to the idea of what it means to be an American. It is something that I will not vote to abridge as a United States Senator.     

Additionally, this legislation would require that all schools, athletics, and businesses allow participation in what are typically activities restricted by biological sex to those who assume an alternate gender identity. There have already been a number of issues across the United States where policies of this sort are implemented. These problems are now isolated but would only increase in frequency should this policy become federal.     

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5 on its floor the week of February 22, 2021. Should this bill come before the Senate, I will be sure to keep your comments in mind. Given the aforementioned concerns, I do not plan to support this bill in its current form.     

Thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to serve as your U.S. Senator from Indiana. Please keep in touch with me on issues of concern to you. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook for real-time updates on my activities in the U.S. Senate. If I ever may be of service, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,


Mike Braun
U.S. Senator
P.S. This message was sent by email to save taxpayer dollars.


February 25, 2021

Dear Mr. Boston,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding H.R. 5, a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Law Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” along with race, sex, and religion as protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law. I strongly oppose this legislation, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

I wholeheartedly agree that this bill is a blatant violation of Americans’ safety, privacy, and civil liberties and that is why I voted no on H.R. 5. This bill takes discrimination out the realm of the objective, observable characteristics and redefines discrimination—not in terms of fact, but of perception of ideology, forcing all Americans to conform to the beliefs of liberal politicians in D.C.

As a man of faith, there is a zero percent chance I would support a bill that limits our nation’s founding principles of freedom of religion, conscience, and speech. We are a nation that allows and embraces diverse thoughts and opinions, but this bill would grant special privileges to individuals at the expense of the freedoms of others. Americans would be forced to forgo their deeply held religious beliefs. This means requiring healthcare professional to perform procedures that violate their moral convictions and taking federal funds away from thousands of houses of worship, schools, and charities—the establishments that make up the fabric of our Hoosier community—solely because of their beliefs. That is not equality.

As your representative in Congress, I am committed to preserving Hoosiers’ right to express and practice their faith and returning the federal government to the limits of the Constitution. If you would like to speak further regarding my position on H.R. 5, please call my Washington D.C. office at 202-225-3021. It is an honor to serve Hoosiers of Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District. You can visit my website at www.pence.house.gov to learn more about how I am representing you in Congress.


        Sincerely,

       Greg Pence
       Member of Congress

Help Stop Taxpayer Funds From Going To Planned Parenthood

Defund Millions From Planned Parenthood

Click this LINK

We’re on the precipice of defunding millions from Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood aborts – kills – 345,672 babies a year – more than 900 lives a day. It now takes $616.8 million of your tax dollars a year – over $1.5 million every single day.

Planned Parenthood is profiteering from abortion, padding its bottom line by selling aborted babies’ body parts, and bragging about taking your tax dollars.

This indescribable evil must end. Now.

For decades, we’ve been fighting in Congress and at the Supreme Court to defund Planned Parenthood. Now in a stunning reversal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a new pro-life rule defunding more than $60 million of our tax dollars from Planned Parenthood – all of Title X.

This is the beginning of the end for Planned Parenthood. But they won’t go down without a fight. Planned Parenthood and more than 20 states have sued to shield Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding.

We’ve filed legal comments to defend this new pro-life rule and are now preparing a critical amicus brief.

Petition To Defund Planned Parenthood

Title X was never intended to subsidize abortion, yet Planned Parenthood receives as much as 41% of the funds. For too long, our tax dollars have been subsidizing abortion against our will. Defund the abortion industry.

Statement on Transition of Power

Tomorrow at noon, a new administration takes control of the Executive Branch of our Federal Government. Both administrations are loved and hated by significant segments of our population. That is not a new issue and we must get past the thoughts that our lives will be so much better or worse due to who occupies the White House.

As a Christian leader, I ask that Americans do what is right, and allow for this peaceful transition of government. Please Americans, threats of violence in Washington D.C. as well as State Capitals around the country need not be how we proceed. The fringe elements of both sides of the political spectrum do not represent the huge majority of our country. Do not let them define who we are or what we will become.

When it comes to who is or is not your President, that really does not matter. The fact is that Donald Trump has been THE President of the United States of America for the last four years, and at noon on January 20th, 2021 Joe Biden will become THE President of the United States of America.

That being said, I have preached since the election in November that and will continue to preach that, “God is in still in control – so Do The Right Thing”. May we all follow the teachings of the God of the Bible and His Word as we make this transition. May the love of Jesus Christ guide our paths.

Pastor Ed Boston

Ed Boston Ministries Prayer List

Ed Boston Ministries Prayer List that comes from our online Prayer Services.

Our Country

President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence along with President Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris

The Church Universal, Pastors and Christian Leaders

Aiden and Sarah McWhorter
Notes: Previously had cancer and now in a beta test.

Amanda Nease
Notes: Cellulitis and sepsis

Amanda Hurt Wood
Notes: Amy Wood regarding the after effects of the Covid virus

Bud Trobaugh
Notes: Tests

Carl Wilson

Notes: Needs Heart Surgery

Carla Reeves
Notes: Breast Cancer – surgery on 11/18

Cookie
Notes: The boys are trying to get paper work done to get her moved to Batesville! Pray things fall into place!

Dallas Hedrick
Notes: He had a wreck in Florida and has ALOT going on !

Elijah
Notes: Issue with son Josh.

Ellen Helm
Notes: Sent home to get affairs in order.

Emma
Notes: 6 year old who has leukemia tested for virus.

Emmie
Notes: Praising the Lord!

Little Emmie was discharged from hospital! She is the one who has had cancer and went into remission but cancer. came back ! She had pneumonia and Covid 19 !Was on a ventilator!

Family of Bill Nolting
Notes: Funeral was Friday

From Tammy Thixton for her daughter and granddaughter
Notes: Aww thank u they’re both doing somewhat better .. harpers lungs cleared up and she’s far exceeded the growth charts and after Schneck saying she had Cerebral Palsy amd would not talk or walk .. Riley has proved them wrong and so has Harper so definitely prayers answered .. she was injured during delivery and will probably more than likely have surgery on the eye they damaged.. but she’s talking and almost walking on her own so everything Schneck peds have said Specialist have said there’s no way .. Carrie has been put thru the wringer with all they’ve said since she was born but able to cope I guess .. just awful what drs have said that has turned out to be unfounded.. so I thank u from the bottom of my heart

Gain Family
Notes: GAINing A Kidney (The Gain Family) This group is to help support and encourage the Gain family as they walk through a difficult health journey and seek a kidney for Matthew. This group is designed for education as well as a way for the Gain family to become surrounded by their community. Please visit the Files tab for important information on how to help the Gain Family once you are in the group.
Please be sure to answer the membership question so they can see how people are hearing about them!

Gracie
Notes: Little girl with Leukemia

Gretchen – friend of Karen Ruth
Notes: I just spoke to her mom — apparently the confusion and inability to make sense was a bad reaction to the covid medication. Cleveland clinic changed her meds, sent her home after a week, and she returned to her nursing job today 😁 So scary but she’s finally on her feet. Thank you for the prayers!

Janetta Robinette
Notes: I really haven’t posted much about myself regarding my cancer and I’m not one to ask for prayers, however I could really use some right now! Thankfully I only have 5 radiation treatments left but this feels worse than any sunburn I’ve ever had.

Jessie
Notes: Little boy Jesse had tumor in head removed.. doing well right now.. however long term prognosis not good.

Kari Wegg
Notes: On of Teddy’s nurses. An Indianapolis NICU nurse who has long cared for the most vulnerable patients now needs her own life-saving care. A battle with COVID-19 has left 47-year old Kari Wegg’s lungs badly damaged. Her family said a bilateral lung transplant is the birthday gift they are praying for.

Larry Miller and family
Notes: He is in ICU on a vent !

Laurie Shelton
Notes: Inoperable Colon Cancer

Mary Bailey
Notes: Family and health issues

Melissa’s Dad (friend of Teresa)
Notes: Her dad is in a nursing home with Parkinson’s. Oh thank you it is heartbreaking to see him thru a window And all the deterioration in him since we haven’t been able to go in and talk with him and feed him and I can tell he’s missed it as well as we have thank you so much

Mary – Jennifer’s Mother
Notes: Cancer

Michelle
Notes: Breast Cancer

Mitch Robinson
Notes: Surgery recovery

Natalie’s Husband
Notes: Plays fiddle for NOCB

Pastor Nerren’s Grandson Preston
Notes: Nightmares

Shay Mikalonis
Notes: A police officer who was shot in the head is paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator and unable to speak, his family said in a statement released by police. The family statement released on twitter by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Saturday said he is expected to stay on the ventilator. He has been tentatively accepted at a spine rehabilitation center

Sheriff Matt Myers and Chief Mike Richardson
Notes: Insert your L E O Leader’s names.

Thin Blue Line

Unspoken for a friend’s granddaughter
Notes: One of my grand-daughters has been having headaches and wetting the bed. She had been having little seizures and we didn’t know it because she was having them in her sleep.. Today, my daughter found her on her bedroom floor, foaming from her mouth and having a full blown seizure