Tested By Fire

August 5, 2016

Shadrach Meshach Abednego fire
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
August 2, 2016

You’ve probably heard the phrase “If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.” Some cave under pressure instead of working through it. Tough times help mold you into a stronger person, a long as you keep plugging away.

At one time young men, who could not find their way sometimes, were offered a choice, enlist in the military or go to jail. It worked for some as basic training was a rigorous physical and mental exercise in which they were pushed beyond their known limits. They learned they can actually accomplish new tasks individually and as part of the team. These accomplishments gave them courage, strengthened their character, confidence in themselves, and provided tools to rely upon throughout life.

Unless you have always lived in a bubble, you have experienced tough situations. How you dealt with the tough situations help identify who you are.

Often people recognized as heroes believe others would have done what they did under the circumstances. They revealed who they are. I don’t recall any true heroes acting because it would help them make the cover of Time Magazine.

No matter what your station in life or situation you can be a hero to someone. Sometimes it just takes a small act of kindness to make a big difference in someone’s life.

I recently read an article how a nine year old prevented his newborn brother from being abducted from the hospital. Yes, he was a hero to his family. He just knew the women who picked up his brother was not acting as other nurses did and followed her.

I have witnessed mental health patients do small acts of kindness for other patients in the same locked ward.

I have witnessed some prisoners brighten the day of other prisoners.

Sure, there are enough evil things going on in this world to depress some people. I believe that no matter how bad your circumstances are, someone is worse off than you are.

The Priest who was beheaded at the Alter in his church has been reported to have said “Go away Devil”. His actions inspire others to remain faithful and strong in the face of evil and adversity.

We have many examples of people who faced evil and adversity, some battled depression also. Abraham Lincoln had many family tragedies, battled depression, lost a few elections, and was a Founding member of the new ant-slavery party, and became the first Republican President. A study of President Lincoln’s life will show he was tested by fire many times.

I believe God raises up certain people for certain times to lead, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Gideon, David are a few who come to mind, none of them was perfect. Not everyone would is raised up becomes famous. The attributes they all have in common is they stood strong in the face of evil and adversity as they were tested by fire.

The finest gold is refined by fire and had the dross removed. The evil and adversity we face is a way of having the dross removed from us as we are refined by fire. Just as the finest gold has the dross removed is the most valuable so are people who have the dross removed as they were tested by fire.

Testing by fire is inevitable; we have a say in the final product.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathminstries.org and http://www.familyrewalcenteraz.org

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Related

https://lorrab.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/soldiers-murdered-trying-to-protect-a-woman-being-attacked/

https://joansanusi.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/we-were-made-for-these-times/


Later May Be Too Late

July 1, 2016
Created by Readiris, Copyright IRIS 2009

Round To It

By Rev Paul N. Papas II
June 27, 2016

“I’ll do it later and when I get around to it”. When I hear this said, I draw a large circle on a piece of paper then write “To It” horizontally in the middle of the circle. Without saying a thing I present the ‘round to it’ to the speaker and ask “Now will you do it?

Someone told me recently that he was planning the 1972 New Years Eve Party

“We like to think that our delay tactics are no big deal. After all, we tell ourselves, no one is really getting hurt by the things we put off. Over time, however, our choices to postpone action can develop into a lifelong pattern of procrastination.

To get on track, we must change our attitude about procrastination, admitting it is a serious problem and noticing where we consistently put off action. It’s important to identify any feelings of doubt and discomfort that we may have, confess that procrastination has a hold in our life, and then decide in our heart to turn away from it.” – Charles Stanley

Some things just can’t wait.

A person who is bleeding profusely or who has stopped breathing can’t wait for you to finally take that first aid course.

A diabetic can not delay eating correctly without putting himself at risk of going into a Diabetic Coma. He knows when his blood sugar level drops too low that he needs to eat something fast and not wait until the next mealtime.

A person suffering from a severe mental illness can not go too long without getting help before becoming at risk of having a psychotic episode.

A recovering alcoholic can’t wait until later to refuse to drink alcohol.

A One Day Sale won’t wait for you until next week.

Once you arrive upon a situation, which you know your help will make a difference in improving the situation, it is time to act. If you need to get around to it, follow the instructions in the first paragraph. You just may be the right, one, person in the right place, at the right time, to help that situation improve.

If everybody waited for somebody else to act, then nobody would get it done.

You don’t have to go too far, in these times, to find someone in need. Yes, you have to take care of your family first. You’re not called to give away everything you have. Give out of your abundance. Most often, your time is more appreciated, and more fruitful, when helping others with their situation.

You are also called to protect your family, which means that you can’t let the wolves move into the sheep pen. A good Sheppard guards and protects his flock.

People in your community could use your help. Your community could use your help. By community, I don’t mean only your local village, town or city.

Don’t procrastinate. If you need to get around to it, follow the instructions in the first paragraph.

While your home is being consumed by fire, you probably would not want to call a procrastinating fire department as the whole community could have been razed by fire by the time they found the instructions in the first paragraph.

If procrastination is your modus operandi, don’t wait, throw it off today, the life you save may be your own.

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


What Happened To Servant Leaders?

June 3, 2016

Talents gifts serve
By Rev Paul N. Papas II

May 30, 2016

 

There is a common phrase that says,’ the more things change, the more they remain the same’. Frankly, it is not always true.

Growing up I would see a full flag holder attached to each parking meter in the downtown area for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, and July 4th. We had a parade on Memorial Day and July 3rd that ended up at the park where the Fireworks display usually ended too soon in a big flourish.  People from all over the town came together over these very patriotic events. No matter their backgrounds or political beliefs, we were all Americans first.

This patriotic environment instilled a pride in being American. Something inside is stirred me upon seeing rows of American Flags line the streets.

At that time people who served in elective or appointed offices generally had the idea that it was a duty and honor to serve in a position for a period of time then return to private life, following the example of George Washington in declining to seek a third term as President.

In his Farwell address Washington sought to convince the American people that his service was no longer necessary by, once again, as he had in his first inaugural address, telling them that he truly believed he was never qualified to be president and, if he accomplished anything during his presidency, it was as a result of their support and efforts to help the country survive and prosper. Despite his confidence that the country would survive without his leadership, Washington used the majority of the letter to offer advice as a “parting friend” on what he believed were the greatest threats to the destruction of the nation.

While I served in different positions the patriotic lessons and the examples of many who served before me who never thought holding a political office was a career path.

Republicans and Democrats had differences of course however we did not have emails, faxes, text messages, and few had caller ID on their phones. We actually talked, either in person or on the phone, and found a path to resolve issues.

If there was a message that needed to be disturbed around town it went by way of telephone or printed flyer that was delivered to every home in town. We had a typewriter and a print shop on standby. Phones were dumb, you either dialed on a Rotary Dial or had a Touch Tone Phone, no apps. George Washington had much less than that during his twenty years of service.

Those years saw many improvements especially in the areas of helping those less fortunate and those suffering from a mental illness.  As with any request or requests for improvements we asked the questions: ’What if it were me or a family member of mine?’ and is this something that a church or private business should be handling? In a way, we were libertarian in not wanting government involved in every aspect of life.

We had a limited amount of revenue and the budget had to be balanced with respect to Police, Fire, Schools, various other services budgets while maintaining roads and town property.

You can liken the attitude of a public servant leader to that of a member of the military, he or she serves for a set numbers of years then goes back into private life. The difference between the two is; members of the military are well aware that they may be coming home in a casket. Either way the servant leader or a member of the military zeal to serve was no less diminished.

One area of improvement recognizing and treating what at one time was known as shell shock. Today PTSD is recognized as one the treatable issues first responders, victims or witnesses of abuse or tragedy can suffer in the same manner as a combat veteran can experience. Today self education and education of loved ones can greatly enhance the PTSD suffers recovery.

Yes, I miss having servant leaders in office who offer a portion of their lives to help make this a better place to live, instead of career politicians. Yes, hope springs eternal that we have not seen the last of the two thousand year old concept of servant leaders. May we look closely and choose wisely as the sanity we may save may be our own.

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 

 

WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CDOC-106sdoc21/pdf/GPO-CDOC-106sdoc21.pdf

 

Just A Common Soldier

Memorial Day: Why We Remember

Star Spangled Banner As You’ve Never Heard It

strong people help others

image from Sacredtouches.com


Have We All Gone Mad About Restrooms?

May 6, 2016

restroom-pervert
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
May 2, 2016

Yes, the economy is in the toilet and people who mean us harm are at the door. Noisy groups want to blockade whole states, and tape mouths shut over who gets into a restroom.

Let’s be clear. This is not a new offense just dreamt up by someone. This is the latest salvo in a forty year plan to destroy the family (1). To be more precise its roots are found in Genesis 3:15.

To be clear, I stand with the Sheriff in the video who said that if a guy follows my wife or daughter into the restroom, we’re going to make the news.

Men are designed and called to protect women and children (2)

Psalm 82:3 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The amount of documented cases of assaults and sexual assaults upon women and children is sobering (3). It is troubling that we are opening wide the restroom doors to any pervert who would be able to do their damage while barricading those who would protect them.

Let’s say Jane, who appears to be a full grown adult yet, has the mind of an 8 year old and is suffering with anxiety, depression, and PTSD is in a ladies room stall. In comes Jack with a beard in a dress and for the moment claims to be a women. Jack did not arrive in the ladies room to relieve himself and leave. Jack is looking for easy prey and his next victim. Jack is larger than Jane who innocently suspects nothing of danger while in the stall. Jack opens Jane’s stall door and brutalizes Jane leaving her in a heap curled up on the floor, never to be the same again.

Jack who claims to be a girl says he has a perfect right to be in the Ladies Room because he indentifies as a women. The sex thing…., it is okay… it is just part of his culture and she was there.

The same group claiming that Jack has a RIGHT to be in the Ladies Room also pushed for The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was the first major law to help government agencies and victim advocates work together to fight domestic violence, sexual assault, and other types of violence against women. It created new punishments for certain crimes and started programs to prevent violence and help victims. Over the years, the law has been expanded to provide more programs and services. (4) also see the factsheet (5).

Is Jack prosecuted pursuant to The Violence Against Women Act? Considering the current climate, it would allow the pervert to walk because he was wearing a dress and his culture permits brutal rape.

Jane on the other hand is revictimized every time she tells of her nightmare in the Ladies Room stall to a Police Officer, Judicial Officer or medical person and probably every time she closes her eyes.

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed have men go into the Men’s Room (it has three letters) and Women go into the Ladies’ Room (it has more than three letters.)

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

(1) https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/leading-us-down-the-aisle-dems-4-point-plan-to-destroy-the-family/ and https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/video-the-homosexual-manifesto-is-just-satire-silly-americans/ and
https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/video-homosexuals-aiming-for-your-kids/ and https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/video-5-times-transgender-men-abused-women-and-children-in-bathrooms-personal-experiences/

(2) http://parentleadership.com/protect.html

(3) https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/sex-crimes-at-target-stores/

(4) https://www.justice.gov/ovw and http://womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/laws-on-violence-against-women/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act

(5) https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/vawa_factsheet.pdf

trans-restroom


Knowledge, Pass It On

April 1, 2016

Those who don't know history Edmund Burke
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
March 29, 2016

What good is knowledge unless we pass it on? Before we had the written word information was memorized and passed on from generation to generation. Later we had scrolls, then books to store and pass on knowledge.

You may have heard: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Isn’t that what parents do with their children pretty much from the beginning? We teach our children fire is hot and can be used for good and bad purposes. We teach our children right from wrong while instilling values.

Children are natural learners and between birth and five years old. From birth to three years old, children grow and learn at the fastest rate of their lifetime. It is easy to see the enormous opportunity parents, and those who care for children, have in these early years to help shape children’s learning before they start school.

I recently watched again a video of Dr Ben Carson discussing how important education is to our children, families, and country and remembered a discussion I had with my grandson who was in the seventh grade at the time.

You may be familiar with Dr Carson’s life story which I think is inspiring. Look how far he came after overcoming a long list of disadvantages. His mother knew enough to encourage him to keep going. Dr Carson knew he could go anywhere and learn anything initially through books.

He like many others learned you can always work things out if you really want to. Sometimes things look pretty hopeless. When they look the worst you have two choices: give up or keep going. Give up and you’ve lost any possibility of winning. Keep going and you could find the blessing is just ahead as you clear through the fog and hailstorm. It is a sure thing that the blessing won’t come if you give up.

Here is one example in the history of the USA which determined whether we were going to remain an independent country:

“On a rainy September 13, 1814, British warships sent a downpour of shells and rockets onto Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor, relentlessly pounding the American fort for 25 hours. The bombardment, known as the Battle of Baltimore, came only weeks after the British had attacked Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol, the Treasury and the President’s house. It was another chapter in the ongoing War of 1812.

A week earlier, Francis Scott Key, a 35-year-old American lawyer, had boarded the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay in hopes of persuading the British to release a friend who had recently been arrested. Key’s tactics were successful, but because he and his companions had gained knowledge of the impending attack on Baltimore, the British did not let them go. They allowed the Americans to return to their own vessel but continued guarding them. Under their scrutiny, Key watched on September 13 as the barrage of Fort McHenry began eight miles away.

“It seemed as though mother earth had opened and was vomiting shot and shell in a sheet of fire and brimstone,” Key wrote later. But when darkness arrived, Key saw only red erupting in the night sky. Given the scale of the attack, he was certain the British would win. The hours passed slowly, but in the clearing smoke of “the dawn’s early light” on September 14, he saw the American flag—not the British Union Jack—flying over the fort, announcing an American victory.

Key put his thoughts on paper while still on board the ship, setting his words to the tune of a popular English song. His brother-in-law, commander of a militia at Fort McHenry, read Key’s work and had it distributed under the name “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” The Baltimore Patriot newspaper soon printed it, and within weeks, Key’s poem, now called “The Star-Spangled Banner,” appeared in print across the country, immortalizing his words—and forever naming the flag it celebrated. “

Source

Back to the conversation with my grandson, we were discussing our country’s history when I learned that he did not know key events leading up to the Second World War Being a student of history I imparted what I knew about WW II. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my grandson. I remember thinking at the time what a sad indictment of our schools that our future leaders don’t know how we got to where we are today.

How can the children of today become tomorrow’s parents, teachers, doctors, and leaders without knowing how to gather the facts? Anyone can read from a script handed to them, which means they are just followers. However life is about new challenges everyday. Being new means the script has not yet been written. Leaders in any field may need to pave through uncharted waters, without a script. How can cures for diseases be discovered without critical thinking scientists?

Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles can all do our part in shaping tomorrow by instilling family values, a thirst for knowledge, and knowledge of history in our future leaders. Remember, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke

Are you ready to shape tomorrow?

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


Making The Right Choice Is Not Always Easy

March 4, 2016

boss v leader
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
March 1, 2016

Not making a decision is a decision. There hundreds if not thousands of decisions to be made everyday, starting with should I ignore the alarm clock?

Good decision-making is a skill that comes easily to some people, not so easily to others. Choices can be confusing. Choices can make you anxious. They can cost you peace of mind, even after you’ve made the decision. Have you ever spent hours in your head trying to “undo” the choice you made?

The skill of good decision-making has become increasingly important in this day and age. So much information is decimated at a rapid rate today by way of the internet and social media that it can add to the confusion.  Good decision making is needed to determine the validity of what is being thrown at us also.  Because we have an abundance of choices, both with the simple things in life and the serious things in life make a choice with a clear mind is difficult enough. Add low blood sugar, illness, or medication to the mix and the decision making process slows or stops which could add frustration. Frustration can bring us into a downward spiral of confusion which can make the decision making process come to a halt.

For those who are considered to be Bipolar, “decision making” is more difficult to say the least. Part of the struggle with making decisions is related to how far you have come with accepting your diagnosis and whether you are “stable or unstable” at the time of making a decision. Those who are not stable will generally have all sorts of struggles with things such as decision making.

When bipolar symptoms flare up you can struggle with either depression or mania and “judgment” is usually quite impaired. Thought processes are generally speeded up when mania is present and slowed down during depressive episodes. When this occurs there is an imbalance and decisions tend to be “all over the place”. Not only is poor judgment experienced but there is a struggle with focusing. Poor focus can lead to impulsive actions. As one can imagine this really impacts the ability to think clearly and make a good decision.

Moods can affect the decision making process also. Good moods can have you doing the correct steps to make good decisions. If you’re on a high or manic thoughts are so fast that in reality you’re really not thinking everything through and decisions could be impulsive.

On the contrary when you in depressive state thoughts are slowed and are generally quite negative. So again the thought process is not at a level of stability thus making poor decisions could be made as you’re not capable of thinking things through as much as you should.

There are times when good counsel of friends or professionals are needed. They can advise, but at some point decisions need to be made.

Decision making skills can be developed with practice. As decision making skills are practiced confidence will build to make more and bigger decisions.

If you are in a position to make decisions for others then you should have already developed the skill of decision making as someone’s life could depend upon it.

Effective leaders have refined their decision making skills almost to a fine art. Effective leaders know how to assemble teams of people who have also refined their decision making skills to accomplish certain goals. Effective leaders don’t assemble ‘yes men’ for an appearance of a team.

In any group there will be a leader. The best leaders will not only have refined decision making skills they will also have learned to bring people together to accomplish goals. The best leaders not only know how to lead, they also know how to follow. It is true, no man is an island.

When you have the opportunity to help select a leader look at what they have accomplished. Take a close look at who they count as their associates.  If they have adult children watch to see the values that were instilled in them. The leader you select should reflect refined decision making skills that best reflect your values.

Decide to make a decision, your life and the lives of others are affected.

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


Do You Have The Courage?

February 5, 2016

reagan moral courage

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

February 2, 2016

 

Courage is not the absence of fear, rather acting in spite of fear.

You have to have in you, what is above you, to withstand what is around you.  Yes, sometimes we do not have the strength on our own to perform the tasks at hand.

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham

“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have” Ronald Reagan 

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen” Winston Churchill

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.

Taking a look at the news around the world today can be quite disheartening to say the least. It just seems to get worse everyday. You might ask what I can do about it.  The answer is simple, stand up for what is right.  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr Martin Luther King.

In 42 B.C. Cicero, said “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.”

A student said his master: “You teach me fighting, but you talk of peace. How do you reconcile the two?” The master replied: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war.”

courage churchill

How far will you let things go before you say enough?

Would you stop or prevent anyone from being abused or harmed in anyway?

Would you step up when someone is being bullied?

Would you prefer your church or the Supreme Court define sin?

Would you allow a drug dealer to sit in your living room to peddle his wares to your elementary school age children?  I doubt the drug dealer would explain all the pain and debauchery that comes with drug addiction as he tries to get your elementary school age children hooked.

Real Dads have courage. A Dad is much more than someone who fathered a child. Real Dads have the courage to lead and protect their family.

Real leaders have courage.

One of the major problems in this world today is that we lack real bona fide leaders who will stand up for what is right.  Remember: “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” Billy Graham.

 Will you be one who takes a stand and stiffens the spine of others?

 

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


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