Gone Off The Rails

September 1, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

30 August 2022

Most people prefer a balance. When things go out of balance trouble begins. When your tire goes out of round or begins to separate, steering can be difficult. If you are driving on the highway, even at the speed limit, and your out of round or separating tire has a failure it could cause a blow out.  Your car could end up in a ditch flipped over, on its side, or upright. You could roll over multiple times before your car comes to rest in a ditch or in the lanes of traffic.  That out of round or separated should have been discovered by the way the car handled and replaced before it caused an untold number of injuries, damages, and perhaps deaths.  

A commuter train which hits something on the tracks or crosses a defective rail can derail causing an untold number of injuries, damages, and perhaps deaths. Railroads regularly inspect their rails.

At the first sign of trouble fear, anxiety, and other signs of danger begin to manifest themselves. Some will be treated for PTSD after a bad tire blowout, train derailment or other trauma.

Go off the rails is an idiom that has been in use for over one hundred years. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition

Let’s examine the meaning of the expression go off the rails, where it came from and its use in sentences.

To go off the rails means to behave in an abnormal way, to act in an insane manner or highly unpredictable or illogical manner. When applied to a situation or institution, the idiom go off the rails may mean that things have gotten out of control or have careened into unexpected or unmanageable territory.

The phrase go off the rails has been in use since the mid-1800s and is a reference to a train derailment. When a train goes off the rails it is no longer progressing along its preordained track and is uncontrollable and chaotic.

Today, the mental picture conjured by the idiom go off the rails is most probably of a roller coaster car leaving its track. The first commercial roller coaster was installed at Coney Island, New York, in the 1880s.

The idiom go off the rails predates that. Related phrases are goes off the rails, went off the rails, going off the rails. (1)

Here are some examples:

The residents of Hollyoaks gather for the funeral of tragic teen Lily McQueen, who lost her life earlier this month when she died from sepsis as a result of wounds from her self-harming addiction, and it appears no one is struggling with the loss more than her husband Prince McQueen (Malique Thompson-Dwyer) who starts to go off the rails as he’s gripped by grief. (2)

“Let me just say, I’m very, very dismayed and disappointed that the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails yesterday and today,” Pelosi told reporters at a news conference in Virginia. (3)

As we start to chat, the members of the vivacious vocal trio Diva Station warn me that our conversation about their first major concert, with the subtitle Songs Through the Ages might go off the rails.  (4)

In an abnormal or malfunctioning condition, as in Her political campaign has been off the rails for months. The phrase occurs commonly with go, as in Once the superintendent resigned, the effort to reform the school system went off the rails. This idiom alludes to the rails on which trains run; if a train goes off the rails, it stops or crashes. [Mid-1800s] (5)

It could be easily said that many in the world have gone off the rails by their actions or reactions to other people or events. For awhile people where told to ignore common sense and not to believe what you see and hear, that if there was something wrong, it was you. The media had a strong hand in gas lighting us and for awhile it was working until it didn’t.

One day parents realized off the rails agenda school boards and teachers were ramming filth down their child’s throats. Parents where told they had no say in what is being taught in the classroom. Parents were arrested and harassed by various agencies, until parents started replacing school board members at the ballot box.  For awhile it was working until it didn’t.

Children are a Blessing from God and should be treated as such. Children are our future leaders, train them to walk uprightly and we’ll have good leaders in our future.

Regularly check to keep the balance to stay on the rails.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

(1) https://grammarist.com/idiom/go-off-the-rails/

(2) https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/soaps/hollyoaks/gun-drama-at-lilys-funeral-as-prince-goes-bad-in-hollyoaks/

(3) https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Pelosi-Disappointed-that-Barr-is-going-off-the-rails-586444

(4) https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/

(5) https://www.dictionary.com/browse/off-the-rails


Related

https://www.christianpost.com/news/school-choice-debate-ensues-in-texas-governors-race.html


Faith, Tested and Tried

August 4, 2022

2 August 2022 By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

Everyday you are Blessed with another day above the grass is another opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade.

Medical missionary Bruce Olson was captured by Columbian communists in October 1988. He was beaten and kept bound most of the time. The soldiers were waiting for a ransom, but the mission wouldn’t pay. Olson endured pain by concentrating on the spirit and doing God’s will in his current situation. He was tortured but able to influence the guerrillas by teaching and healing them.

After a while they even let him conduct worship services. They couldn’t understand how he could pay back evil with good. Olson was able to lead some of them to the Lord. While very ill a bird sang outside, reminding him of how the Motilone Indians sang the Scriptures. When the soldiers could not break him they apologized and released him.

Certainly through Bruce Olson’s ordeal during his time of capture he could have experienced fear, anxiety, depression, or even suicidal thoughts. Perhaps he could have suffered from PTSD. Bruce Olson chose to exhibit Faith as a Mustard Seed (Matthew 17:20) and submit to God and watch the devil fled (James 4: 7-8)

We are on a pilgrimage which is a step-by-step process.

It’s like a hiker on a narrow mountainside trail, unable to see the path ahead. Sometimes the way is clearly marked out before him. At other times, it turns abruptly to the right or left, becomes rugged or muddy, rises or falls sharply. All he knows is that he must take the next step.

But our spiritual walk of faith differs from that of a mountain hiker. Through faith in Christ, we can keep moving forward with full confidence that we will reach our destination.

This anonymous poem describes the walk of faith:

When you come to the edge

Of all light you have known,

And are about to step off into darkness,

Faith is knowing there’ll be something to stand on,

Or you will be taught how to fly.

Perhaps today you are right at the rim of a shadowy unknown. You know you must move forward, but you can’t see 10 feet ahead. God has brought you to this place not to abandon you but to show you–perhaps as never before–that you can trust Him completely.

Go ahead. Prayerfully step into the unknown future. God has promised to be there for you (Heb. 13:5). You can be sure “there’ll be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” –DCE

Faith is not a leap into the dark but a step into the light.

An old lady in England who had stood the bombings with amazing fortitude was asked the secret of her calmness in the midst of such frightful danger. She replied, “Well, every night I says my prayers and then I remembers how the parson told us God is always watching; so I go to sleep. After all, there’s no need for both of us to stay awake!”

William Moses Tidwell, “Pointed Illustrations.”

How many lemons have you come across today? How many lemons have you turned into lemonade today?

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org


Celebrating Life and Freedom

June 30, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

June 26, 2022

This July we continue to Celebrate Life and Freedom. June ended with three OUTSTANDING decisions from the United States Supreme Court confirming there is still hope.

Freedom and Life come from God. Those who deny or hate God also deny or hate Freedom and Life for anyone other than themselves.

In 1976…..

I was stabbed four times while working at a part time job. The stabbings were: in the back, a quarter inch from the heart; the head; the hand; and the leg. Scars of those stabs and chest tubes are present today. I was rushed to the hospital in the back of a police cruiser.  They called my wife to hurry to the hospital as they did not expect me to make it another half hour.  Two brand new doctors attended to me. There was nothing they could do. I left my body to the edge of the wall and ceiling and saw them working on me. I heard a voice say: “It is not your time”. Then I returned to my body and felt pain and heard the two brand new Doctors… in there second week…yell “He’s back.”

This is not a subject that is regularly talked about in the family. At the time I had one daughter, who could have ended up being an only child, however God had other plans and made sure that did not happen.

June 25th this year seemed to be good day to share the events of that day in 1976. This happened at 11:30 PM and I was dead for twenty minutes, yet I was not saved until 1980.

I often say my two other children are miracle children. All three of them are precious to me as well as to God ❤️

This shows how precious you are. God knows the future and had you planned from the beginning. ❤️

Well, they are definitely glad I came back and still here!!! So am I.

This gives an added meaning to; this the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

My oldest remembers her mother definitely telling her that story, and she definitely remembers me mentioning it as well… It just seems very surreal!

Some people who experience trauma suffer for years with a whole host of problems such as anxiety, depression and even PTSD. Some self medicate with prescription, alcohol or illegal drugs. By God’s Grace I never had those issues.

Some people had abortions suffer from regret, shame, guilt, anxiety, depression, self loathing, and even PTSD. Some self medicate with prescription, alcohol or illegal drugs.

“No matter what it was caused by, shame can hurt us for many years and may become a “nourishment” for the opinions that we have about ourselves. Under the influence of conditional love or rude and abusive treatment, a person, consciously or not, assimilates a certain “disordered pack” of ideas about their own personality.  You may find many women say about themselves: “There is nothing good in me”, “I am stupid”, “It’s my own fault that I became pregnant”, “I need to hide this for the rest of my life”, “I am not worthy (or capable) to be a mother”, “I am not worthy to have normal relations with a man”, “I had one abortion already, why shouldn’t I have one more?”, “I need to punish myself or let other people treat me badly because I don’t deserve anything else.”

While feeling of guilt can be corrected, in some instances rather quickly, by asking forgiveness for our mistakes, feeling of shame can only be healed by love and truth and may require much longer time.

In freeing yourself from the power of shame, a woman needs to remember that who she is, is not defined by actions or opinions of other people. No matter how many mistakes she personally made, she is a human being that deserves love and respect for her dignity. Since feeling of shame may have its roots in very early childhood or due to rude and abusive treatments, this woman may need strong reassurance from friends and family, that no matter how bad her mistakes were she is loved unconditionally. (4)

On the day I shared the events of 1976 I did not know God had been orchestrating events that would culminate in affirming: our right to defend ourselves (1); our right to determine how we govern ourselves (2); our right to pray (3). God was orchestrating these events as He did in providing the tree Zacchaeus the Tax Collector would climb on to see Jesus (Luke 19:1-10); and providing that Joseph would be in charge in Egypt after being sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph’s brothers meant it for evil but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). Joseph saved many lives.

Another time God was orchestrating events, according to Kelvin Cochran; slavery saved many lives and was good for African Americans in long run (5). You can watch his testimony in Freedom Sunday video below. Kelvin Cochran was fired as the Fire Chief for writing and publishing his Christian family book “How did you know I was naked”. Kelvin Cochran also shared how his faith sustained him. The city of Atlanta settled with Kelvin Cochran for $1.5M. He shares how his faith in Jesus carried him through.

The church has a tremendous opportunity to walk with everyone who hurts or have hurt others, no matter the circumstances, to help each one of them become the whole, healthy, joyful people God intended them to be.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

—-

Freedom Sunday | June 26, 2022

 (1) Download and read the actual ruling:

NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL. v. BRUEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW YORK STATE POLICE, ET AL. (Second Amendment)

(2) Download and read the actual ruling:

DOBBS, STATE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL. v. JACKSON WOMEN’S HEALTH ORGANIZATION ET AL. (Abortion – Roe v Wade)

(3) Download and read the actual ruling:

KENNEDY v. BREMERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT (Praying Coach win)

(4) https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2022/06/30/guilt-and-shame-telling-them-apart/

(5) https://www.facebook.com/MTHumanRights/videos/kelvin-cochran-says-slavery-good-for-african-americans-in-long-run/1225763617563206/


Related

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-orders-lower-courts-reconsider-gun-law-challenges-2022-06-30/


Is It Too Much To Ask?

June 2, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

31May 2022

First thing in the morning you can’t decide whether to shower before or after you get dressed, that is what the message looks like sometimes.

Edifying communications today are a tall order. It’s tough enough to develop messaging for brands in a constantly changing market. But when we have to not only craft the message but ensure that all the branches of the organization are consistently delivering the same version, it can be downright impossible, especially when the message is build on a lie. The larger the organization, the more challenging it is. When members of the organization are so easily offended from within and without it and they shift from one crisis to another, sometimes at a lightening speed, it is a wonder that neck braces from whiplash aren’t a badge of office.  

Saul Alinsky espoused his Rules for Radicals in which he recommends mostly working within the system to overwhelm and implode the system. Below, you’ll find Alinsky’s list of 13 “Rules for Radicals,” offered with his proviso that political activism cannot be a self-serving enterprise: “People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people.” It is a good thing we live in a Constitutional Republic and not a democracy.

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.
8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

Alinsky’s rules can and have been used for anti-democratic designs. But he defines the U.S. as a “society predicated on voluntarism.” His vision of democracy leans heavily on that of keen outside observer of early America, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French philosopher “gravely warned,” writes Alinsky, “that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene.” (1)

About fourteen years ago we started living under a group who lived by the next quote: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before,” said Rahm Emanuel, who was then a U.S. congressman.

Is it any wonder their message is not consistently coherent. Chaos seems to be the norm in their messaging.  Chaos in the streets seems to be their desire. Once chaos has been fomented then a central heavy hand can institute things that you think you could not do before. An unchecked central heavy hand could install things voters would never allow in a paper ballot only election. 

Is it too much to ask to heed the warning of Alexis de Tocqueville and stay regularly involved in the action of governing otherwise we will watch self-government pass from the scene?

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

—–

Reference:

(1) https://www.openculture.com/2017/02/13-rules-for-radicals.html


Related

https://tedgioia.substack.com/p/14-warning-signs-that-you-are-living?s=r


Snagglepuss Is Still Around

May 5, 2022

May 3, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

“Church?!? Why bother? It’s just a hangout for hypocrites!” I’ve heard that before, haven’t you? Some have managed to express their dissatisfaction with a little more literary panache, as did Daniel Defoe [Robinson Crusoe] who wrote:

Wherever God erects a house of prayer,

The devil always builds a chapel there;

And ’twill be found upon examination,

The latter has the largest congregation.

Or Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thought, “God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.” (1)

Sometimes we just have to admit some truths that we would rather not admit. I was looking through the cable guide while watching television and came across the Cartoon Channel. I made the remark to my wife that they just don’t have good cartoons any more. You know — Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd; the Road Runner; and, of course, Popeye.  I thought about one particular character that I just loved as a boy … Snagglepuss, the toothless lion. Nobody was afraid of him.

The Bible reminds us that Satan goes about as a lion just looking for one that is afraid of him. He’s looking for someone to deceive so that he can “steal, kill, and destroy”. The Body of Christ has sometimes suffered from a lack of memory. We must remember that just like old Snagglepuss, this lion is toothless. His roar is much more frightening than his bite. He stands no chance, and indeed, has already been defeated by the real LION.

In Amos 3:8 we read, “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” This Lion is the Lion of Judah. The early Church witnessed what happens when we are in the presence of the Lion. The Scriptures tell us how Peter and John witnessed of the power of Christ. Acts 4:13 reads, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

There is always the temptation of being intimidated and even bullied by Ol’ Toothless, but when we come into the presence of the LION and hear his roar and know His power, and then we will have victory in our life.

The Enemy is defeated and his roar is muffled, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah, King Jesus lives and reigns, and His roar causes Satan to tremble and the Church to rejoice. Come into His presence today and walk victoriously … the LION is with you!

There is a noisy group who are trying to deceive even the elect, as the Bible written two thousand years ago said would happen. The noisy group would have you believe that the Supreme Court would abolish the ability to abort a baby.  A reversal of Roe v Wade would only remove a fictional constitutional right. You would still be able to murder babies if Roe were reversed. The noisy group is fearful that other fictional rights might also disappear in time.

Notice how Paul Harvey’s 1965 Warning broadcast came true:

“If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of its real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.

To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…

And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I’d soon have families at war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I’d take from those who have, and give to those who want until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious.

And what do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus, I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing what he’s doing.”

Paul Harvey, good day.

Will you heed Paul Harvey’s 1965 warning?

Leave Snagglepuss the toothless loin in the ditch and join the Lion of Judah if you haven’t already.  The Lion of Judah will lead through the dark places and bring you into the light.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

__________

(1) Dr. Steven A. Peay, “Life Together: The Authentic Church”



The Forecast Was True

March 31, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 29, 2022

A forecast is a prediction of events to come such as a storm in the sky. Not all forecasts come true as they often rely upon science and man’s interpretation.

There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A FENCE AROUND IT, AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and he leased it to vine-growers and went on a journey. And when the harvest time approached, he sent his representatives to the vine-growers to receive his fruit. And the vine-growers took his representatives and beat one, killed another, and stoned another.  Again, he sent other representatives, more than the first; and they did the same things to them. But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let’s kill him and take possession of his inheritance!’  And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.  

They questioned when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will the owner do to those vine-growers?”  The answer was, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the fruit in the proper seasons.” (1)

The owner of the property was not permitted to use the property as the owner wished. Local people had contracted with the owner to work the land and pay for their use of the land as tenants. The tenants became lawless and thought they could bully the owner to stay away. The owner sent several representatives to collect the rent. The tenants beat and killed some of the owner’s representatives. The tenants underestimated their power and authority as the owner eventually removed the lawless tenants and re-rented the property to tenants who were lawful and would pay their rent to the owner.

The owner was very accustomed to being hated and opposed.  The owner instructed his followers that they would be hated and opposed because they first hated and opposed the owner.

It was forecasted for many years that the owner would be born and in a way in which scientists would say is impossible. There is a certain segment of today’s population which denies hates and opposes the owner.

The owner’s birth was so feared that the local king had thousands of baby boys under the age of two years old killed in attempt to kill the owner and eliminate the threat to the local king’s reign as king. The local king had not understood the forecast as the owner was coming to proclaim His Kingdom which was not of this world.

The chief priests and the elders came to the owner and ask him, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?”

By asking these questions, they were looking for a way to discredit the owner. The owner had spent the better part of the last three years demonstrating with signs and wonders where His authority came from, but the religious establishment didn’t really want to know.

The owner was despised and hated before birth. The local king tried to eliminate the owner before the owner could walk. The local authorities, priests and elders constantly tried to manufacture reasons to stone the owner to death for perceived violations of the law. Many who forecasted the owner’s arrival and who have followed the owner since have endured similar attacks.

If you think you have it bad, remember what the owner endured for you.

If you have not already answered the owner’s call, now would be a great time to know the owner as his return is near. Call upon the owner while he may be found. Receive your free gift from the owner which the owner already paid for – entrance into the Kingdom which is not of this world, salvation and eternal life.

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org   and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

—-

(1) Matthew 21:33-41



Related


Enforced Silence

March 3, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 1, 2022

The disturbing trend of silencing speakers who don’t speak the official narrative is causing angst for Joe and Jane citizen as big tech happily joins in on the censorship. This high tech lynching has recently been expanded to forcibly silencing congressmen and state legislators. This enforced silence does not allow the full range of ideas to be aired in public. This forced silence also violates a foundational principle of our Constitutional Republic and the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. Enforced silence is a form of abuse. Abuse is known to cause fear, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Attorneys are taught that if you can’t win on the facts, argue the procedures.

Those who don’t have the facts on their side and feel insecure feel they have the right to forcibly silence opposing views.

Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas says that the “function of free speech … is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.” In Terminiello v. Chicago, the Supreme Court limits the scope of the “fighting words” doctrine (1)

In what would become one of the most famous passages in First Amendment history, Justice Brennan announced our First Amendment freedoms represented a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” , the Supreme Court  In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.(1)

Justice Louis Brandeis writes in his concurring opinion a passage that becomes a fundamental First Amendment principle: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence” in  WHITNEY V. CALIFORNIA (1)

First Amendment

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.

Arguably, the First Amendment is also most important to the maintenance of our Constitutional Republic.

The first part of the First Amendment reflects the framers’ experience with the long history of religious strife in Europe. They realized that religious discord can be explosive and cause tremendous disruption in politics. It would be doubly so if one religious sect were favored over all others. So, they ensured that federal government cannot interfere in the citizens’ practice of their religion.

The freedoms of speech, press, assembly and the right to petition the government and seek redress of grievances proclaim that citizens have the right to hold the government accountable. Freedom of speech and press allows citizens to communicate their ideas verbally and in writing, while freedom of assembly lets them publicly express a common interest. The right to petition allows citizens to point out to the government where it did not follow the law, to seek changes, as well as damages for their missteps

“Liberty is to faction – [political parties or movements] what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires,” said James Madison, the principal framer of the Constitution. “But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” (2)

Robust debate is essential to our form of government, a Constitutional Republic. Without robust debate cigarette ads would still air on TV.  Without robust debate Doctors would still be recommending certain cigarettes in TV ads.  Without robust debate women could not own property. Without robust debate women would not have the right to Vote.

Let’s shut down enforced silence and return to honest robust debates.  

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

References

(1) https://www.thefire.org/first-amendment-library/special-collections/timeline/the-history-of-free-speech/

(2) https://editorials.voa.gov/a/the-importance-of-the-first-amendment-/3733070.html

Democrats Are Pressuring Companies to Censor For Them: a Violation of the First Amendment

Marc Elias Was Caught Putting Out Why He Wants To End The First Amendment

Levin Slams Media Matters Over Their Latest Hit Job


Related

https://www.kold.com/2022/03/01/arizona-senate-has-censured-wendy-rogers-with-24-3-vote/

Arizona Stands With Congressman Paul Gosar: Group Releases Letter in Opposition to Censure Vote and Silencing of Arizona Lawmaker

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/where_does_free_speech_end_and_government_censorship_begin_on_the_football_field_school_bans_coach_from_silently_praying_after_games

https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/boon-big-tech-alternatives-google-challenger-duckduckgo

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/82105/malinformation-the-newest-weapon-in-the-censorship-regimes.html

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/february/12/lifting-of-us-propaganda-ban-gives-new-meaning-to-old-song/

https://www.projectveritas.com/news/video-of-unconstitutional-fbi-raid-on-project-veritas-journalists-home-armed/

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/04/01/uk-lawyer-fined-500-saying-free-speech-dying-due-islamists-other-muslims-wins-appeal/

http://www.westernjournal.com/former-reddit-ceo-tries-make-free-speechers-label-insult/

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2022/04/14/twitters-blue-checkmark-brigade-freaks-out-over-elon-musks-buyout-plan/

https://cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/rep-jordan-first-amendment-not-threat-democracy-its-what-preserves

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/04/21/barack-obama-calls-more-censorship-first-amendment-does-not-apply-facebook-twitter/


We Have, We Can, We Will Again

February 3, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

February 1, 2022

If you get your history or civics lessons from CNN you might think this is Fake News. This country is much more like its motto of “Out of many, one” then unable to accomplish anything together. There are pockets of exceptions, but generally over the past couple of years the media’s narrative of the citizen’s behavior has failed when it comes to accuracy.

In the 1770s our Forefathers of different backgrounds worked together to found our Christian nation out from under the largest, best trained, and best equipped army of its day.  Our Forefathers gave us a Constitutional Republic which has thwarted many attacks from within and without over time.

Some of the attacks have caused great anxiety and panic yet we came together and we got through them.

Many events have brought people together since our founding. Some of those uniting events were hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.

Some of the things I experienced in the Blizzard of 78 prepared me for the Chelsea fire and later Katrina.

On February 6, 1978 I checked the weather before heading out for work and did not hear anything abnormal, certainly nothing about a blizzard. Normally there would be several warnings about a blizzard coming in a day or so. In 1978 there were no cell phones with weather alerts; we had radio, TV, and print newspapers. Don Kent was still a fixture in weather forecasting.

I was at my third stop of the day when I noticed an eerie feeling and eerie looking sky, something was not right. Only a few snow flakes had fallen, something was not right. I cut the day short and headed home. I only had two exits to go on the highway but the snow was coming down rather heavily by the time I arrived home.

We have come to realize that was the beginning of the Blizzard of ’78. The snow covered some first floor windows. Roads became impassable; cars were left in the middle of the streets or highways. Very few stores were open; the ones which were open ran out of items.  It was a wet heavy snow and the high winds produced its own damage and high drifts. Some children were told to keep their hands on the building as they walked outside their homes. Some people were later found on their walkway or stoop as they did not know how close they were to their own front door.  Neighbors helped each other the best they could.

At that time I was a member of the National Guard, which the governor called out. With full field gear I walked three towns over to the nearest armory, which is now closed. Someone did give me a ride part of the way there on a snowmobile.

One mission we had was to check the cars on the roads and highways for survivors. Some let their cars run with the windows closed and were overcome with their exhaust fumes.

We guarded a road on the coast, seen in the video below. On that road we hit a patch of gavel that bounced, we were walking the roof of a car. Thankfully the car was empty. There was one house, built on stilts, on that road which still had power and the residents were guarding the road from their porch.

In the same town, one of the residents had a working phone and invited us in to make a quick call to our families to let them know we were okay.

Have we come together in a time of need, yes, Many are working together now in our hour of need to make changes for the better. Will we work together to make our communities, our state, and nation a better place, I would say yes as that is how we are built.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

Reference:


Mr. Shadow

January 6, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

January 2, 2022

It is pretty well known that pets have assisted and comforted man for a long time. What happens when they need our help? Some are cast off, abandoned, or brought to a shelter. Some shelters only hold on to the animal for so many days before euthanizing them. In today’s throw away culture I expect euthanizing unwanted pets, animals, and humans to become more prevalent. Someone said “Rescue Dog does not mean damaged… It means they have been let down by humans” That may not be 100 percent accurate, however it does reflect the throw away culture.

How does the throw away culture bear a true witness to real love? If you deny our one Creator God; love would just be a word which some like to use.

Love is a verb, an action word. Love is not that tingling feeling based in lust.

Researchers are finding that pets truly have the power to heal their owners, especially the elderly. The most serious disease for older people is not cancer or heart disease, but loneliness. (1)

When Mr. Shadow entered our home over fifteen years ago this cat could jump six foot high fences at a single bound. He was a playful, loyal, loving gentle soul. If he didn’t trust a person or two at the door he would sit or lay down between me and the person at the door. When needed he growled like a Sheppard, which none dare challenge.

Some months ago things started to change for Mr. Shadow. The first of the two signs I remember is his lack of interest in his favorite treat and he began to walk back and forth. (2)  He got to the point where he had trouble walking or doing other common tasks. He received all the assistance he needed to eat and accomplish other common tasks right to the end. At sixteen and a half years he passed away in my arms on December 6, 2021. I am glad he was not alone.

His furry friend (Mittens) of about fifteen years misses him as well. I tell her we’ll just have to wait until we get to Heaven to see him again.

“Scripture does not conclusively tell us whether our pets will make it to Heaven. However, the Bible does provide us with some significant clues regarding whether or not animals will inhabit the new heaven and the new earth.

First, animals populated the Garden of Eden. Thus, there is a precedent for believing that animals will populate Eden Restored as well. Animals are among God’s most creative creations. Thus, it would seem incredible that he would banish such wonders in Heaven.

Furthermore, while we cannot say for certain that the pets we enjoy today will be “resurrected” in eternity; I am not willing to preclude the possibility. Some of the keenest thinkers from C. S. Lewis to Peter Kreeft are not only convinced that animals in general but those pets in particular will be restored in the resurrection. If God resurrected our pets, it would be in total keeping with his overwhelming grace and goodness.

Finally, the Scriptures from first to last suggest that animals have souls. Both Moses in Genesis and John in Revelation communicate that the Creator endowed animals with souls. In the original languages of Genesis 1:20 and Revelation 8:9, nephesh and psyche respectively refer to the essence of life or soul. Not until Descartes and Hobbes and the Enlightenment did people think otherwise about animals. However, because the soul of an animal is qualitatively different from the soul of a human there is reasonable doubt that it can survive the death of its body. One thing is certain: Scripture provides us with sufficient precedence for believing that animals will inhabit the new heaven and new earth. In the words of Isaiah: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them” (Isaiah 11:6).” (3)

“God has a special reason and place for each of His created beings. Animals, too, have a purpose in God’s creation. Man, as the highest order of creation, has been given dominion over the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:26-28).

We believe that animals were intended for man’s enjoyment and use. The Bible itself does not indicate that there is life after death for animals. It may be that God’s purpose for animals is fulfilled on this earth. However, if animals would make us happier in heaven, surely there will be a place for them there.” (4)

Mr. Shadow exhibited and received unconditional love. Unconditional love is what our Creator God has for each of us. Individuals are free to accept God’s unconditional love or reject it.  

Mr. Shadow was a joy and brought us a lot of happiness.

Happiness is rooted in circumstance. Happiness doesn’t bring joy, and joy isn’t the byproduct of happiness. Joy is an attitude of the heart.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, and when we find joy it will be with comfort and wrapped in peace. It’s an attitude of the heart and spirit, often synonymous with but not limited to following Christ Jesus and pursuing a Christian life.

Our Creator God who can make the stones cry out and made a donkey speak certainly can use Mr. Shadow or others like him to evangelize God’s love to the world,

The world needs more Mr. Shadows to overcome the God deniers.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

References

(1) https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/helped-by-your-pet/

(2)

https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/neurological/c_ct_cognitive_dysfunction_syndrome

(3) https://www.equip.org/bible_answers/will-there-be-animals-in-heaven/

(4) https://billygraham.org/answer/will-there-be-animals-in-heaven/

Related:

Some related scriptures of animals in heaven:  Genesis 1:24, Genesis 1:25, Psalms 24:1, Psalms 145:21, Proverbs 12:10, Ecclesiastes 3:1, Ecclesiastes 3:21, Isaiah 11:6-9, Isaiah 65:25, Matthew 10:29, Luke 3:6, Acts 3:19-21, Romans 8:19-22, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Revelation 5:13, Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:14

Proverbs 12:10 (NKJV)
10  A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.


The Best Gift You’ll Ever Receive?

December 2, 2021

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

November 30, 2021

It is not uncommon today to hear someone else or some group has been forced out of their jobs, careers, and livelihoods because of a nationwide power grab. This just added more stress to the spiraling downward quality of living and economy over the past year. The poor are getting poorer and some are just not poor enough.

The not poor enough either have too many assets or too much money to qualify for federal or state assistance for afford food, housing, and medicine. The not poor enough often have to choose between eating, housing, or medicine.

Here is an example:

“At age 69, Sandi Zahar takes home around $3,100 a month from Social Security and her part-time job, but still relies on a food bank.

She has diabetes and is a cancer survivor, and estimates that about a third of her income goes to her health care costs. Her income is too high to qualify for food stamps or Medicaid. And she needs to keep working to make ends meet.

“I don’t know how long I am going to be able to work,” said Zahar, who lives in Texas. “Physically, I probably shouldn’t be working … it’s taking a toll on my body.”

She’s had to make some tough decisions on how to cut back.

“I went on an insulin pump because Medicare pays for it. I don’t like it, it’s not as good for me, but it’s cheaper,” she said.

Millions of Americans like her make too much money to qualify for federal assistance, but struggle to afford to put food on the table.

More than 41 million people are “food insecure,” meaning they don’t have consistent access to adequate food, according to Feeding America. One in four people who are food insecure aren’t likely to be eligible for most federal nutrition programs, a recent report from the hunger-relief organization found.

That means they either go hungry, skip meals, or rely on food banks to fill in the gaps.

Zahar gets a box of food from the food bank once a month.

She’s careful with how she spends money on food, buying in bulk when she can and cooking longer-lasting meals.” (1)

Americans have been known as hard workers who prefer to earn their own way. Americans have also been known for being generous to a fault and ready to help their neighbor. Their neighbor could be next door or on the other side of the country if a fire, hurricane, tornado, or flood hits.

There are many organizations available to help the not poor enough, victims of disasters such as a fire, hurricane, tornado, or flood. Do your own research on the resources listed below or others you may find. The organizations listed below are good examples of what can be done to help those in need; no endorsement is implied or given. You are free to mention other helpful resources in the comments section.  

Churches and other non-profits have experienced a financial downturn as well over the past year making their resources rather sparse.  In times past they could be counted on to provide assistance.

  “5 Minutes” Film

What if you are given “5 Minute” or less…? (2)

If you had to leave your home in 5 minutes, what would you take with you? This question is just as hard for a large amount of kids who are in our foster care systems today. It’s also a question we explore through the eyes of a child in this short film produced by Serena Collins.

With Christmas coming would you please make an extra special effort to help someone in anyway you can, either directly or indirectly. You’ll both be glad you did. It may be the best gift you’ll ever receive.

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

—-

References

(1) https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/30/news/economy/food-insecurity-food-banks/index.html

(2) https://www.familieshelpingfamiliesofiowa.org

https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/SNAP-Income-Limits.aspx

http://hfinaz.com

https://www.stvincentdepaul.net/programs/adopt-a-family-christmas-program


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