Hearts and Flowers Time Again

February 3, 2017

dont-give-up

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

January 31, 2017

 

If you’ve been in a store lately you’ve seen a lot of red trying to entice you to purchase your Valentine gifts, cards, and chocolates before you leave the store.

The history of Valentine’s Day seems murky as there is more than one St Valentine. One thing is clear today there are a lot different ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world to include mass weddings, dressing up in special costumes, and one of a good day to become engaged.

There are some Christian roots in Valentine’s Day. There is an ancient Roman fertility god tradition for the same day.

Whatever the actual origin of   Valentine’s Day might be it has become a day of hearts, chocolates, flowers, and romance. It’s a day when sweethearts share some special time together. Married couples can rekindle their romance by celebrating Valentine’s Day in a special way.

This is all well and good for people who are involved or married…..if you’re single Valentine’s Day could be a traumatic experience and quite depressing.

Valentine’s Day festivities are geared for couples.

It is common for singles who struggle with depression to see the world around them paired off while they are not to have their depression worsen. They feel inadequate or feel less than because they are not with someone special. There are also singles that choose to be single.

Singles who struggle with depression; anniversaries, birthdays, holidays can cause sadness, irritability, and deeper depression. Knowing your triggers can help you get through and move past the tough days with a little planning ahead. If you know a time period is going to be difficult plan to do something other than sitting alone on your pity potty. The more time you spend on your pity potty then more you will probably spiral downward.

Depression is a treatable medical condition that many have overcome or learned to live with it is not something that occurs from lack of character, weakness or laziness. Unfortunately the stigma of the words ‘mental illness’ has been weaponized and demonized to the point many are afraid to come out the shadows to seek help. I have previously published several articles about this over the years, especially concerning veterans.

A break-up or loss of a loved one at anytime can be tough to deal with. Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays can add an extra burden. One way to grieve is by finding away to express your sadness, you’ll find it healing. Finding a good listening ear is a well known way to get through tough times, whatever they might be. A walk or a shower can help you feel better also. Staying in bed will not be helpful for the depressed or grieving and you could end up on your pity potty.

I firmly believe that each one of us can do something to help someone else. A timely smile, an encouraging word, a listening ear, perhaps a hug, or helping in a way you can is very good medicine for the giver and receiver. It could be just the hearts and flowers that were needed at that moment.

Go forth and spread those hearts and flowers each day.

 

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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New Year, Start, Get Back To Where You Once Belonged

January 6, 2017

morals-intelligence

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

January 2, 2017

 

It has been said that America is a land of second chances; I believe the country has been given another chance to right the wrongs, let’s not waste it.

Many years ago as an elected official a critical vote came before us as to decide whether we should approve a new mall.  We were also deciding which direction the town would take. The mall would mean jobs, add more commercial property to the tax base keeping the home tax rate down and require a greater need for town services.

One of the issues that needed to be addressed was what to do about the streams running under the area where the parking lot was to be. Long before the EPA, the contractor worked with us to run very large concrete pipes in the ground to allow the streams to run their natural course dumping into the same river they were already dumping into. Perhaps if we had to deal with the current EPA we’d still be waiting for their imperator. As far as I know the parking lot has never flooded because of the underground stream water in the last forty or so years. I have no idea as to whether the current EPA would have approved our common sense solution, I just know it worked.

We used common sense in deciding on what to do about the streams. When I listen to some of the nonsense that comes out of Washington DC I wonder where common sense went, did it get outlawed?  I would like Washington DC to get back to where it we once belonged using common sense and be subject to the same laws and regulations they impose.

Common Sense is defined as “sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.”

Sometimes I wish I could attach a USB cable to some politicians and download Common Sense into them.

We need some regulations, however too many can kill a business or idea.

When we require children to comply with the same regulations as a commercial restaurant while selling Lemonade in front of their home we have gone much too far.

At onetime bumpers on cars and trucks were many different heights from the ground. If the car behind had a higher front bumper than one he was rear ending he  could crash halfway into the trunk without scratching the front car’s rear bumper. The 1974 model year cars were required to have bumpers at a standard height, minimizing damages. In my opinion the standard bumper height is a common sense regulation.

We have come a long way in the way we treat our sick and injured over the years. At one time no one thought it was necessary for doctors to wash their hands between operations or between patients. At one time the depressed were just locked away and forgotten or forced to have a lobotomy. President George Washington was treated with blood letting. It is thought Presidents Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield could have survived the assassins’ bullet wounds if they have today’s medical technology.

Some industries have almost become extinct because of over regulation. We now have an opportunity to through off those over burdening regulation in 2017.

We fought a Revolution over regulations, taxes and policies which became over burdening and had the original BREXIT in 1776.

Thomas Paine wrote a very influential Pamphlet called Common Sense which produced support for our War for Independence from the British who treated the American Colonists like peasants. The British government wanted to fund their worldwide adventures on the backs of the American Colonists who objected. Thomas Paine’s Pamphlet proved to be a best selling book and is still available in many formats, some are for free such as on  http://www.gutenberg.org .

The Introduction of Common Sense reads in part: “PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.

As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of England hath undertaken in his OWN RIGHT, to support the Parliament in what he calls THEIRS, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpations of either…….

The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are affected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The laying of a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling….”  (1)

It is time we get back to where we once belonged using Common Sense in our dealings, in governing, and in being governed working together to resolve the issues that are before us.

 

The Beatles – get back

 

Reference (1) http://www.varsitytutors.com/ebooks/earlyamerica/CommonSense/3755.txt

 

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


A Time For Sharing And Giving

December 2, 2016

Thankful count the ways
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
November 29, 2016

We can finally breathe. After eight years of being insulted, deceived, mistreated, unjustly reviled and maligned the Eagle will soon be able to soar to new heights again. The abuser is moving out, but somehow I think he’ll be lurking around corners waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

Most of the abuse has been psychological with wounds that may not be visible to the naked eye. Just like in a home, victims of psychological abuse can be of any age or gender. This form of abuse is often difficult to prove. It includes threatening the victim with violence, harassing them at home, outside the home, at school or work, denying the victim access to others (e.g., refusing to allow the victim to see friends, preventing use of the telephone), confining the victim to home or area, destroying or taking the victim’s property. Many abusers will arrange it so that his victims are totally dependent upon the abuser, making it very difficult for the victim to move out. Many abusers will arrange it so that all money and services are controlled by the abuser.

After eight years of abuse fewer people have their homes, their health, or jobs. Black Friday was more like Bleak Friday.

After eight years of abuse the number of suicides is up. Twenty two Veterans a day alone are completing suicide.

We can finally breathe again. The new guy loves the Eagle and is preparing to restore the Eagle’s habitat and make the Eagle great again. The new guy is going about the business of building bridges with various people, some of whom bitterly opposed him. The new guy is refusing his salary and is working for free. The new guy is leading by example, giving and sharing.

We may not have much, but we can dust ourselves off and work with our neighbors to restore the Eagle’s habitat. The task is yuge and may appear to be overwhelming for some. You’ll be surprised how much we can accomplish and how quickly we can accomplish it by working together.

Sometimes overwhelming feelings rise up within us or we face difficult experiences: relational conflict, chronic illness, failure, job loss, and rejection to name a few. When a big problem presents itself, it is tempting to curl into a ball and allow worry to consume us mentally and physically. The best way to overcome the overwhelming tasks is to start working on completing the task. Instead of focusing on the mountain before you focus on pebbles in front of you. As you begin working on the task you will find that you begin to heal from the eight years of abuse.

Christmas is fast coming upon us. May I suggest a gift that will keep on giving, the gift of self sharing time with your neighbors to pitch in to restore the Eagle’s habitat? 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.famlyrenewalcenteraz.org


America’s Choosing and PTSD

November 4, 2016

ptsd-one-piece

By Rev Paul N. Papas II
November 1, 2016

Certainly we all make choices every day, some have more consequences than others. In a few days America will make a choice that will affect which direction the country will take, whether or not it will remain a Republic, and whether it will recover from PTSD.

Having experienced a wide variety of campaigns and presidents beginning with Dwight David Eisenhower (Ike) this current presidential election seems to have created the most interest by voters. This one has also created the most PTSD.

Looking back two previous presidential campaigns come to mind as we head to the polls: 1964 Goldwater v Johnson (LBJ) and 1980 Reagan v Carter. In 1964 before instant news or communications Johnson told the most fanciful lies about Goldwater, painting Goldwater as fruitcake. Goldwater had written a book about what his presidency would look like. Johnson kept saying Goldwater was crazy. Johnson had the advantage of being the sitting president and the press at his beckon call. Goldwater often warned us about the Globalist. An actor, named Ronald Reagan, came to Goldwater’s defense and presented what was then a rare Coast to Coast Broadcast, in a Time of Choosing.

“A Time for Choosing” by Ronald Reagan

After LBJ was reelected he did much of what Goldwater had outlined in his book and had ridiculed Goldwater for.

Goldwater and Reagan were not the only voices of warning, as you can watch below both Eisenhower and Kennedy also warned us.

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex.

JFK Secret Societies Speech

The 1980 presidential campaign had many twists and turns, perhaps not as many the current 2016 presidential campaign. A large group of professional politicians strongly opposed Ronald Reagan. They said of Reagan he is too…old, etc. Reagan appeared to be behind in the polls then won in a landslide.

I see the 1964 and 1980 presidential campaigns of LBJ and Jimmy Carter as the basis of the professional politician running for president.

In contrast I see a bit of Ike, JFK, and Reagan in the businessman running for president.

JFK in his Secret Societies speech could have been talking to us today. JFK was actually talking about current events of the cold war and how nontraditional enemies were gaining information on how the US was battling the Cold War. In this speech JFK points out “the need for far greater “official” secrecy”…as well as “the need for a far greater public information”.

JFK admits “I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed,” but also states, “and would not seek to impose it if I had one.” This a major difference from where most of today’s professional politicians stand.

There has been so much information, which is mostly propaganda, provided in this presidential election that many may feel they have been traumatized by professional politicians who feel entitled to be elected. The overload of propaganda has traumatized many in this nation, giving them PTSD. This PTSD can cause problems with trust, closeness, communication, and problem solving. These problems may affect the way the survivor acts with others. In turn, the way a loved one responds to him or her affects the trauma survivor. A circular pattern can develop that may sometimes harm relationships.

What It Feels Like To Have PTSD

I think is it time for America to choose to end the professional politicians’ dependence on our wallets and have them go to work for a living. Let the nation recover from the PTSD caused by the professional politicians.

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.famlyrenewalcenteraz.org

ptsd-notallwounds
ptsd-soldier-consoles-peer


Is It Supposed To Be Fair?

October 7, 2016

Same Yesterday he13 8-2 Kristiann1
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
October 4, 2016

I hear a lot of talk lately about how many things are not fair. Who said life was fair?

Whose standard would be used in order for something to be judged fair? The mere fact that a judgment must be made insures a standard must be used to measure against. A judgment of competing ideas or goal requires that a determination be made as to which idea or portion of an idea is better than another. When a judgment is made it also means one idea or part of an idea was discriminated against. Judgments such as this have been made by each of us for many years, such as what we wear and how we wear it. The clothes we chose not to wear could complain it is not fair that they were not chosen and that they were discriminated against.

A house must be built upon a good foundation to withstand whatever weather throws at it such as wind, rain, snow, and water run-off.

Property lines must be determined from known benchmarks in order to be accurate and fair for property owners.

Building trades use a level and plumb to insure the house is level and vertically straight.

To properly build a house certain standards must be used, for example a foot must always contain twelve inches. An eight foot wall must use lumber that has eight feet with each foot containing twelve inches. Should lumber be used with ten inches in each foot the wall would be too short jeopardizing the integrity and stability of the house.

For some reason in recent years the idea that things must always be fair has become popular. Someone makes a judgment that something is unfair and the berating begins. The berating inevitably includes charges of discrimination. The person making the charge of discrimination may not realize that in order to make that judgment that person had to discriminate against one idea to judge the other idea more worthy.

Medical Doctors have standards they use in diagnosing any illness, whether it is a skin rash, broken bones, or PTSD, discriminating against one idea to judge the other idea more worthy.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Fair as:

• agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable
• treating people in a way that does not favor some over others
• not too harsh or critical

As we can see the dictionary definitions support the idea that a judgment must be made and discrimination against an opposing idea is required. Simply put each time someone demands fairness they are, perhaps unknowingly, demanding a discriminatory act.

“…Fairness operates at many levels. We may try to personally conduct ourselves fairly, but we are also part of a community, a society, that delivers fairness – or unfairness – to ourselves and others. It might seem tempting to see the fairness talked about in politics as separate from our personal conduct, but philosopher AC Grayling believes the two are the same. “What holds for an individual should hold for society and vice versa. The concept of fairness is univocal – it has the same meaning wherever it is applied.”(1).

Unfairness can make us angry.

Being fair requires judgment and discrimination. In order to judge there must be a standard from which to measure the various competing ideas. If the person has fluid standards, one day the foot could be eight inches, another day ten inches, and still another day a foot could be thirteen inches. Having fluid standards can create a lot of confusion for all involved devolving into chaos.

So, next time you hear about someone wanting fairness ask what standard is being used and what is being discriminated against.

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)http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/13183292.Who_said_life_was_supposed_to_be_fair_/


Manufactured Issues Are A Distraction

September 2, 2016

safe space
By Rev Paul N. Papas II
August 30, 2016

We have enough legitimate issues that need our attention and cry out for a resolution. A number of manufactured issues are being floated as a smoke screen to distract us from, and even hide, the real issues.

We have used plenty of smoke grenades to mask troop movements from the enemy. Smoke grenades come in handy when you want to confuse the enemy and keep your troops safe.

Unfortunately, there has been a rash of manufactured issues to obfuscate the real issues in order to prevent them from being addressed. Lawyers do it all too often to keep their clients from being held accountable for their actions and creating safe places for their clients to hide.

A number of today’s college students expect colleges to have safe places in order to protect them from hearing opposing opinions. If I made be so bold to ask, how does one learn anything without asking questions, hearing differing points of view, and debating issues? If no questions are asked and no issues are debated such lack of actions ensures that no problems will be solved.

How are those who are ‘educated’ in safe places every going to be able to make the decisions required in life, never mind in business, or government or as leaders?

It reminds me of a current running TV advertisement which has a patient in a dentist chair with a person examining the patient’s mouth. The examiner tells the patient how bad his cavity is and then starts to leave the room and get ready for lunch. The examiner was not a dentist, rather a ‘dental monitor’.

Unfortunately, we have a whole lot of people who no longer feel that they have to take personal responsibility for their actions. Rather than take personal responsibility, they monitor some other person to point out their perceived, real, or imaged flaws.

This is not a new problem. It started in the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve. She in turn blamed the snake. Yes, the snake practiced deceptive practices, and still does today. Adam and Eve had the choice to act, or not to act upon what they heard from the snake.

Every person has a choice whether or not to act upon what they heard from the snake. Sometimes the snakes appear as lawyers, politicians, or lawyers who become politicians.

Can you imagine going to the emergency room with a life threatening injury only to be told, that because you are (fill in the blank), you will not be treated or told to wait, and wait. A case in point is Veterans dying, or accomplishing suicide, as a result of the unexplainable failure of the Veterans Administration to treat veterans. Veterans need action, not a monitor, or career politicians’ unfulfilled promises.

Can you imagine a person experiencing a psychotic episode who is left untreated? The person experiencing a psychotic episode may harm himself or others and end up as story on the evening news.

With all our technology today, there is no excuse for not treating our veterans, or others in need of medical care. After the failure to treat, often comes an army of lawyers to spin the story to have the victims sound and look like the perpetrators.

Then we have another manufactured issue solely designed to silence any opposing views. As a country, we experienced many growing pains from which we healed, or were healing. Unfortunately, some are using a distorted version of our history to silence people who don’t think the same way. I am talking about the claim, that certain people are racist to scare them into silence. From my view point, most of those being called racist are, in fact, not racist. In the past, a claim made that someone is racist, even by members of the same race, had those being charged looking for a safe place to hide. Fortunately, some being called racist today are standing up to the bullies making the charges of racism.

The bullies who are calling others, who don’t think like them, racist are just like snake the practicing deceptive practices. Just like Adam and Eve had the choice whether or not to act upon what they heard from the snake, we have a choice not react to those scream “racists”, at opponents.

There is one safe place in which all are equal and that is at foot of the Cross. There is no racism there, as no one is better than anyone else. Titles, worldly accomplishments, and riches, mean nothing in this safe place before God.

Let’s all challenge each other to peacefully work together to find real solutions to real problems and ignore the smoke screens.

Just say NO to the snake.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is 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
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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/


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