Christmas

Christmas 1776 – The Battle of Trenton

George-Washington--300x219

Christmas of 1776 marked the first major victory for the Continental Army.  Several months earlier, General Washington’s troops lost New York City to the British and eventually retreated south.  The British army chased the Americans through New Jersey and Delaware en route to Philadelphia, the Continental capital.  The situation was made even more dire by the prospect of a vastly reduced number of Continental troops after December 31, when enlistments were due to expire.

In early December the Continental Army crossed the Delaware and destroyed or captured all watercraft for a 75-mile stretch along the river to deter the British from crossing.  The British leaders evidently thought the Continental Army was no threat, and General Howe decided to move his men into winter quarters in Trenton, Pennington and Bordentown, New Jersey, with a base of operations in Brunswick.

Washington decided to make a bold move and attack Trenton, where Hessian troops were wintering.  On December 25, the Americans formed into three divisions and were to cross the river at three separate locations once night fell.  Washington personally led one division.  The weather was poor.  Ice chunks were floating in the river, and the falling snow soon turned to sleet and hail driven by a bitterly cold wind.  Once the troops – many lacking warm winter clothing and shoes – crossed the river, they marched nine miles to the town of Trenton.  The Hessian soldiers were celebrating Christmas in a traditional German style, never expecting an attack on the morning of December 26.

The Continental Army’s overwhelming victory at Trenton had several important consequences.  The Americans managed to capture more than 900 men and their weapons and accouterments, and lost only two soldiers.  British General Howe was so stunned by the outcome of Trenton that he sent for General Cornwallis, who was about to board a ship for England, to return to New Jersey to command the army.  For the American cause, Trenton was a great morale booster, and General Washington became an overnight hero! 

Article courtesy of http://www.historyisfun.org/blog/christmas-1776/

US NAVY SAILOR’S “T’was The Night Before Christmas”

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

T’was the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 40-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero we saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”

“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.
The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.”

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”

Merry Christmas to all my brothers & sisters currently serving on active duty, in the reserves, retired or veterans (like me). Fair Winds & Following Seas!  Never Forget; WE OWN THE SEAS!~ JGT

DoriNavy1stClass (4)

USN 1979 – 1990

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A SAILOR’S CHRISTMAS AT SEA

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

The sea is cold, the night is dark… the blowing wind is crisp,
I stare across the ship’s huge deck… I did not get my wish.
I wanted so, to be at home… this year on Christmas Eve,
But this will be the year that I… did not get Christmas leave.

I stand and think about my family… gathered by the tree,
I know that one will say my name… and then they’ll think of me.
I am not there to share their joy… my country needs me here,
But I am not the only one… who won’t get home this year.

I miss my family but I am… on guard for my country,
Protecting those who can have Christmas… is my first duty.
Many men have given all… for us to have that right,
And I feel honored just to sacrifice… a Christmas night.

But still I’m feeling so alone… as many of us are,
As I just stand here on the deck… and watch a Christmas star.
I guess it is a Christmas star… it shines for all it’s worth,
And I think back to when a star… foretold His peace on earth.’

If only people felt this calm… as on this Christmas Eve,
And not create hostilities… that make their brothers grieve.
Then we could have a peaceful world… as it was meant to be,
But until then we must stand guard… and this night it is me.

Once again my thoughts turn home… my family safe and sound,
Because this ship and other men… are ready to stand ground.
The Navy and the other branches… keep us safe and strong,
So those at home can celebrate… and sing their Christmas song.

But knowing that I must do this… I can’t hold back a tear,
Wishing I was home this Christmas… sharing in the cheer.
Seeing all my families faces… lights and Christmas trim,
Now the night is getting darker… as I think of them.

Trying now to fight this feeling… of such loneliness,
Softly speaking to myself… a lonely Christmas wish.
Actually my Christmas wish… is now a Christmas prayer,
Thank you for the men who serve… our country everywhere.

Thank you for our families… who enjoy this Christmas free,
Thank you for the other men… who serve this ship with me.
Thank you for allowing me… to make this sacrifice,
A joyous Christmas for our families… makes it worth the price.

May there be peace within you today.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our
Wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

~Author Unknown~

This former “WIN” (Such was the PC term for ‘Women in the Navy’ during the over 11 years I served on active duty) salutes ALL of my brothers & sisters currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps. Air Force, Army & Coast Guard throughout the World Today~ Yesterday & Tomorrow! I salute ALL U.S. Military Veterans who have or ever have taken the following oath & most especially, those that have Given Their Last Full Measure of Devotion to the Citizens & People of the United States of America.

 ‘I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.’ 

Who am I? I am a Christian! I am an American! I am a U.S. Navy Veteran. I am a Woman & Proud Wife of a Retired U.S. Navy Chief. We are so much more than this but we owe our lives to our God & the Country we each served for over 32 years combined. To that end, I’d like to wish you ALL a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! And~ God Bless Us~ Every One! -JGT

A Conversation With GOD

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it.”  JOB 33:14 (ESV)

Man: “God, can I ask You a question?”
God: “Sure.”
Man: “Promise, You won’t get mad?”
God: “I promise.”
Man: “Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?”
God: “What do you mean?”
Man: “Well, I woke up late.”
God: “Yes.”
Man: “Then my car took forever to start.”
God: “Okay.”
Man: “At lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait.”
God: “Ah huh.”
Man: “On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call.”
God: “All right.”
Man: “And on top of it all, when I got home I just wanted to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?”

God: “Let me see… the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.”

Man (humbled): “Oh.”

GOD: “I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.”

Man: (ashamed) Oh, No!

God: “The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Man (embarrassed): “Okay.”

God: “Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call. I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.”

Man (softly): “I see, God.”

God: “Oh, and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.”

Man: “I’m Sorry, God.”

God: “Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust ME…. in All things, the Good & the bad.”

Man: “I will trust You.”

God: “And don’t doubt that MY plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.”

Man: “I won’t, God. And let me just tell you, God… Thank You for Everything today and Always!”

God: “You’re welcome, child. It was just another day of being your GOD and looking after MY Children.”

“I’m sorry to disturb you! My name is GOD. You barely have time for me and yet I love you and always bless you. I am always with you. I need you to spend 30 minutes of your time with ME today. Don’t pray. Just chat. Today I want this message across the world before midnight. Will you help? Please do not ignore it and I’ll help you with something that you are in need of.  A blessing is coming your way. Tomorrow will be the Best Day of your Life.”

White House Calling Christmas Trees, Holiday Trees!

I ran across this on the internet today and felt the need to post it to my blog.  Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year, which prompted Ben Stein, to say, on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, the following:

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

Ben SteinIt doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger  scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a nativity scene, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her, ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (Regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’sson committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what a bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully ~ Ben Stein

Merry Christmas, Ben and have a Wonderful & Happy New Year! ~JGT

 

THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914

The Christmas Truce of 1914

pic 1During World War I, in the bitter winter of 1914, on the battlefields of Flanders, one of the most unusual events in all of human history took place. The Germans had been in a fierce battle with the British and French. Both sides were dug in, safe in muddy, man-made trenches six to eight feet deep that seemed to stretch forever.

All of a sudden, German troops began to put small Christmas trees, lit with candles, outside of their trenches. Then, they began to sing songs. Across the way, in the “no man’s land” between them, came songs from the British and French troops. Incredibly, many of the Germans, who had worked in England before the war, were able to speak good enough English to propose a “Christmas” truce.

A spontaneous truce resulted. Soldiers left their trenches, meeting in the middle in fortified pic2trenches to shake hands. The first order of business was to bury the dead who had been previously unreachable because of the conflict. Then, they exchanged gifts. Chocolate cake, cognac, postcards, newspapers, tobacco. In a few places, along the trenches, soldiers exchanged rifles for soccer balls and began to play soccer in the snow.

According to Stanley Weintraub, who wrote about this event in his book, “Silent Night”, “Signboards arose up and down the trenches in a variety of shapes. They were usually in English, or – from the Germans – in fractured English. Rightly, the Germans assumed that the other side could not read traditional gothic lettering, and that few English understood pic 3spoken German. ‘YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT’ was the most frequently employed German message. Some British units improvised ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ banners and waited for a response. More placards on both sides popped up.”

Rare photo shows German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meeting in “no man’s land” on December 26, 1914.

It truce didn’t last forever. In fact, some of the generals didn’t like it at all and commanded their troops to resume shooting at each other. After all, they were in a war. Soldiers eventually did resume shooting at each other. But for a few precious moments there was peace on earth good will toward men. There’s something about Christmas that changes people. It happened over 2000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. It’s been happening over and over again down through the years of time.

Although the Christmas Truce of 1914 may seem like a distant myth to those now at arms in parts of the world where vast cultural differences between combatants make such an occurrence impossible, it remains a symbol of hope to those who believe that a recognition of our common humanity may someday reverse the maxim that “Peace is harder to make than war.”

Photos: From The Illustrated London News of January 9, 1915: “British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing Trenches”
A cross, left in Saint-Yves (Saint-Yvon – Ploegsteert; Comines-Warneton in Belgium) in 1999, to commemorate the site of the Christmas Truce. The text reads: “1914 – The Khaki Chum’s Christmas Truce – 1999 – 85 Years  “Lest We Forget”
German soldiers of the 134th Saxon Regiment and British soldiers of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment meet in no man’s land, December 26th.

*Courtesy “Together We Served” Dispatches

HOMELESS VETERANS ARE SNUBBED IN FAVOR OF ILLEGALS!

No Room for Vets in the Inn”  by Katie Kieffer,  Dec 22, 2014

homeless-veteranHomeless American veterans shiver in the bitter cold while illegal immigrants receive subsidized four-year degrees. At midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold, Christ was born in a stable after his parents were turned away by every innkeeper. Joseph and Mary did not respond with entitlement: “If you don’t shelter us, then you’re racist.” Rather, they used their ingenuity to find an alternative birthplace for their son among friends—farm animals, shepherds, kings, and angels—beneath the light of an extraordinary star.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7

Earlier this month, I spoke at American Legion Post 3 in Lincoln, NE. I was impressed by how veterans—many of them disabled or elderly—are actively working to serve homeless veterans in their community. The post commander distributed a long list of items including bath towels, silverware and blankets that he wanted help gathering for local homeless vets. Post 3 American Legion Riders and the Legionnaires were also planning monthly pancake breakfasts where homeless veterans could receive warm meals served by friendly faces.

Veterans who are active within the American Legion are working very hard to help their brothers and sisters who have served their country—only to find themselves on the streets. However, it is troubling to see that our federal government seems to be prioritizing aid for illegal immigrants over care for our homeless veterans.

American Legion National Commander Michael D. Helm has taken a firm stand against the current administration’s recent executive order, which will essentially grant amnesty to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. On November 20, Helm wrote

“The American Legion urges the President in the strongest possible terms to put our security, and our citizens’ interests and wishes, ahead of providing amnesty for millions of immigrants here illegally. …we have reached out to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to offer our help in bringing immigrants to full citizenship. Rewarding illegal immigration is a slap in the face to those who have obeyed the law and patiently went through the process.”

Indeed, legal experts such as American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow call the President’s executive order “an unconstitutional power grab of historic proportions.” ArthurSchwab, federal judge in United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, authored a 38-page ruling last week showing that the President’s order violates the Constitution’s “Take Care” clause, which states: [The President] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed….”

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that the President enforce the laws. Only Congress, per the Constitution, may make laws. Since the executive order changes U.S. immigration law by decree of the President rather than through an act of Congress, it is unconstitutional.

Amnesty proponents often cite the economic contributions of illegal immigrants. Certainly, many illegal immigrants do backbreaking work. They have also broken our laws. Veterans, in contrast, served while risking their lives to defend our laws. Until every homeless veteran is in permanent housing, we should not be granting work permits and college financial aid packages to illegal immigrants.

Plus, here’s the dirty little secret: the current executive order is not about helping destitute people achieve the American Dream. It’s about buying votes. A careful read of a Dec. 14 New York Times article reveals that organizations fronting as advocacy groups are brainwashing illegal immigrants to abhor Republicans so as to secure millions of future votes for Democrats.

Immigration is a non-partisan issue, and Latinos should not be used as pawns for lobby groups, non-profits and crony capitalists. The current administration has used young people (Millennials), gays, blacks and women to win votes while abandoning and betraying our veterans like Lt. Clint Lorance and Sgt. Rob Richards. Now, the administration is using Latinos for votes.

Here’s the real humanitarian crisis: our political leadership has no respect for veterans. Veterans were denied access to the WWII, Vietnam and Korean War memorials in Washington, D.C.—while amnesty advocates were allowed on the National Mall and the state of California confiscated millions of taxpayer dollars to bankroll the education of illegal immigrants.

50,000 veterans will cope with homelessness every night this winter—while the President promises protection from deportation and work permits for up to 5 million illegal immigrants.

Away on a bleacher, no cot for a bed, a veteran lay down his sweet head. The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay—in solidarity with the little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

In 2015, demand that your government make room for vets in America—“the inn” they fought so hard to defend.

Read the entire article at TownHall.com