Courage In the Face Of Tragedy

March 2, 2018

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

February 26, 2018


The News is not always good and sometimes it is downright terrifying.

There are terrifying times that try men’s souls. There are times when heroes emerge from the worst tragedies.

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

“The pages of history have proven the absolute truth of this quote by Billy Graham.  A courageous act by one brave person can truly inspire others to be courageous.  No sane and rational thinking person can dispute the timeless truth of this quote.  Brave individuals throughout history have often shown despots and tyrants the hard way that courage is contagious and can spread with amazing quickness once it takes hold.” Stan Burman

Heroes come in all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds. No true hero set out to be a hero. A true hero found himself in a place and circumstance where he knew he had to act.  Examples of true heroes can be found in the 3,400 Medals of Honor recipients of our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation in 1861.

In the recent tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School many questions need to be answered. I’m sure you have heard of the Sheriff Deputies who waited outside hiding behind their police cars while students were being shot inside the school and 17 died.

There are many who tried to help as they were spurred on by one off duty police officer in shorts and a tee shirt. His courage was contagious, as Billy Graham said.

Reporters with the local paper Tribunist wrote what happened next:

“When the fire alarm went off, he didn’t think it was unusual. The panic that ensued changed his mind. When he heard shots, he ran toward the sound of the gunfire.

On the way to the school he found a student who had been shot in the leg. Sgt. Heinrich moved the boy to a dugout and stabilized him with supplies in the baseball team’s first-aid kit.

He then ran back to the school. There, he met a Coral Springs SWAT team member who had extra gear. Sgt. Heinrich threw on an extra vest (one that wasn’t rated to stop rifle fire). The SWAT officer handed over his sidearm so Sgt. Heinrich wouldn’t be unarmed, and they entered the building.

Sgt. Heinrich ran into the chaos. He didn’t wait outside. The officers from Coral Springs [Police Department] led the way. Behind them, paramedics were able to triage and treat the wounded [students]. The SWAT medics from Coral Springs provided crucial support.

[Only then did] the Broward County Sheriff’s Department [go] in after Coral Springs [people].”


Not everyone will face situations as dangerous as those faced by the Medal of Honor recipients or Sgt Heinrich.

Many of us can be heroes to someone at home or in our community by helping where we see a need. You may never receive a medal or make the news and that is okay. In someone’s life you made a positive difference and that is what counts.  Real heroes don’t need a ‘Thank you’, but will accept it.

Billy Graham’s Last Message to America & the World…listen carefully…


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






When All Seems Lost

February 2, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

January 28, 2018


Not many people have been spared the feeling at one time in their life that all is lost. That situation is an invitation to find a way to go over, under, around or through the predicament. The other choice is devolve into such a depression and allow fear and anxiety to overtake you, it is a choice.

Alcoholics and Drug addicts have to come to the bottom of their bottoms to get to the point when all seems lost. Businesses facing bankruptcy come to the point when all seems lost. A relationship breakup can bring one to a point where all seems lost. The 1929 cash brought many to the point when all seems lost, some completed suicide over it.

Some brave men and women who lost parts of their bodies as a result of injuries received in combat protecting our Freedoms probably had a few moments when all seemed lost. Many of these brave veterans overcame many obstacles to go on and lead productive lives.

Over the past several years leading up to the 2016 elections some thought the country was getting to the point when all seems lost. For many, hope has been restored as the economy is improving.

With a lot of hard work, after the 1929 cash people and businesses reinvented themselves and went on to rebuild the economy to once again become prosperous.

You can also rebuild and become prosperous.

Abraham Lincoln had many losses before he was elected President


1832 Lost job
Defeated for state legislature
Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
1833 Failed in business Appointed postmaster of New Salem, Illinois
Appointed deputy surveyor of Sangamon County
1834 Elected to Illinois state legislature
1835 Sweetheart died
1836 Had nervous breakdown Re-elected to Illinois state legislature (running first in his district)
Received license to practice law in Illinois state courts
1837 Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield
Became law partner of John T. Stuart
1838 Defeated for Speaker Nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus
Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
Served as Whig floor leader
1839 Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention
Admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
1840 Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
1841 Established new law practice with Stephen T. Logan
1842 Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
1844 Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
1846 Elected to Congress
1848 Lost renomination (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
1849 Rejected for land officer Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate Elected to Illinois state legislature (but declined seat to run for U.S. Senate)
1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate
1860 Elected President


Most people reading this won’t become President, but the point is you loose when you stop trying. Just because a door closes it does not mean there are no doors open for you…you just need to find the right one.

Are you where you want to be?

Have your goals been reached?

What can you do today to accomplish your goals?

If you have not found that open door, keeping seeking it, it is there.

Be encouraged by those who have overcome. They did not do it alone, but they purposed to overcome and you can too.

Today is a new day, a blank page in history. We may not be able to control the events today; however we can chose our reaction.  All may not be lost, just headed in a different direction.

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



Look, The Glass Is Half Full

December 1, 2017


By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

Nov 28, 2017


The story is told of two psychologists who sought to determine whether heredity or environment decided a child’s mental outlook. So they placed a pessimistic child in a lovely room chucked-full of beautiful toys, and an optimistic child in a room filled with horse manure. Hours later the pessimistic kid was found in the corner, pouting. “Why aren’t you playing with your toys,” the psychologists inquired? “Cause soon as I do, someone will come and take them away from me!” By contrast, they discovered the optimistic child enthusiastically swimming and diving through the manure. His reason? “Man! With all this manure, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!”

Which child would you rather be around? The pessimistic child is often not easy going or fun to be around.  I would venture to say most people would go the other way to avoid the pessimistic child.

Pessimism is an attitude that one is not competent enough to control the situation at hand backed by the anticipation of failure thereby programming themselves with an excuse for failure. Pessimism prevents one from fully committing to a project or event. The refusal to fully commit could cause one to bail from something that otherwise could have been beneficial.

Pessimism could be a defense mechanism to reduce effects of traumatic or disturbing events that one experienced.

A less talented optimistic team could defeat a greater talented pessimistic team because of their optimism.

One’s outlook on life has a lot to do with whether you are an optimist  or a pessimist. One’s outlook on life could determine whether one would spiral down into depression.

Shorter days and holidays can also contribute to depression and anxiety.

Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “the block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a steppingstone in the path of the strong.”

Now you can choose this day whether the block of granite is an obstacle or a stepping stone, whether the glass is half empty or half full.  Yes you can.

“Optimists, on the other hand, seem to approach life in a way that pays off. They’re more resilient in the face of disaster or tragedy and are happier with their lives in general. But it’s not all in their heads. They are generally healthier, have stronger hearts, and tend to live longer. They’re even more resistant to colds.

One reason is because optimists learn to cope well and make connections with others who help and support, says Barbara Fredrickson, head of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina. “You’re better equipped to deal with the difficulties in life because, in the good moments, you’ve accrued more skills and resources,” she explains.” (1)


You may be able to retrain from pessimism to optimism with the help of family, friends, counselors, life coaches, or other professional, once you first decide the block of granite is a stepping stone, the glass half full.

Enjoy your optimistic life.

Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah


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








Can We Still Celebrate With Thanksgiving?

November 3, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 31, 2017



We are heading into the holiday season with the busiest travel day of the year, Thanksgiving. Certainly we are a long way from the original time and spirit of the first great feast enjoyed by the Pilgrims and Indians who were native to the land.

The Indians helped the Pilgrims survive and get through the tough first few years. They worked together and learned from each other. The Pilgrims would have starved if the Indians had not taught the Pilgrims how to plant, fish, and hunt in the new land.

Once the first bountiful harvest was completed a celebration of thanksgiving began. Two different cultures had worked through some tough days and were rejoicing together.

True, the Pilgrims and Indians dressed differently however they were similar in that they had family as a base unit.  They were also similar in their worship. Pilgrims worshiped our Creator God and the Indians worshiped the Great Spirit. There are several parallels with what the Pilgrims and Indians worship. It is not a great leap for Indians to become Christians.

In later years the Indians did not fare as well in the land they once dominated. Had the same spirit of cooperation that existed at the first Thanksgiving been maintained many tragedies would have been averted.  That is our history for good, bad, or indifferent.

Everybody has a history. No matter how much you fret about your history you can not change it. Those who dwell in the past risk losing sight of the future and miss its Blessings.  Living in the regrets can be awful depressing.

Part of healing from depression, anxiety and PTSD is getting past yesterday. It would be helpful to get up out of the chair, walk over to the door, turn the knob and open the door, cross the threshold, walk out of yesterday, close the door on yesterday and step into the future.  Now you can celebrate freedom from the past with thanksgiving.

There are many reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving; the birth of child, a new job, a new home or even just another day above the grass.

Perhaps taking a fresh look at your circumstances could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Perhaps volunteering to serve at a Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by one of many organizations could give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

Helping someone helps change your focus and can give you reasons to celebrate with thanksgiving.

One person at a time we can get back to the spirit of the first Thanksgiving and I’d be happy to meet you there…What are you waiting for?


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




Can We Come Together?

October 6, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 3, 2017



If you have a problem with someone don’t take it out on everybody else.  How do problems get solved, by an open an honest debate. Unfortunately it appears many have lost the art of debating.

Debating is an age-old way of discovering facts and persuading others, it is an argument with rules. Debating provides practice in developing sound and logical arguments.

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword; for the most part this is true when we look at some of history’s greatest speakers and writers using their powers of language to persuade. Words change opinions, words shape the course of history and when the swords have been put down, it is words that form countries from the ashes of the bloodshed of the old.

The man who arguably began the concept of the debate, Plato was a fine writer and philosopher and makes up a trio with Aristotle and Socrates. Many of his ‘dialogues’ are in written form and address specific issues brought up with other Greek thinkers. He is most famous for the Gorgias Dialogue in which he seeks the true definition of rhetoric one of the key principles in the debating process. He also critiques Athenian oratory in the text. (1)

You probably have heard of the Lincoln – Douglas Debates which many say Lincoln won. Lincoln did not win that election however he was later considered for the Republican nomination for president where he was elected twice because of the debates.

Modern debates have made and broken candidates. It has been said that Nixon lost the election in 1960 because Kennedy was better in the debates.

Politics was not as contentious then as it is today. Some people today have their minds made up and they don’t want to be confused with the facts.  It used to be considered an honor and a pleasure to serve in public office. Many today believe they have a right to be in a certain office and throw tantrums when their coronation is canceled by the employer, We The People.

Here is an example of a lighter moment that helped win the debate and the office:

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” Ronald Reagan quipped during the 1984 presidential debates when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President. The line — a classic example of Reagan’s sense of humor — even solicited a laugh from Democratic opponent Walter Mondale. (The Republican actor-turned-statesman ended up winning by a landslide).

Once upon a time high schools and college debate teams were very popular. For awhile debate teams were cut from official activities. Recently debate teams have been returning. The lack of debating skills learned and honed on debate teams or otherwise has manifested itself in many of today’s contentious business, public, and political meetings. Yelling, violent protests, and demeaning statements have become common ways today to ‘persuade’ others. These people have not learned that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

The yelling, violent protests and demeaning statement can cause or exacerbate fear, anxiety, PTSD, physical injury, and do suppress free speech. That is not the USA I grew up in and should not be accepted as a new normal.

Everyone has an opinion even if it does not agree with yours. Can you see theirs? In a debate you just might find some common thread which could begin the process of coming together on some issue or issues.

The USA I grew up in the teacher read the 100 Psalm in the classroom everyday in the beginning of each school day.

“ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”


Can we come together?


Yes, if more people learn and practice the art of debating we can. Will you do your part?


Come Together – John Lennon/The Beatles (Live In New York City)




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









Doing Some House Cleaning…

September 1, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

August 29, 2017


Every so often there comes a time when a reevaluation is needed. Whether you are in charge of a household, a multinational corporation or public official results matter.

It is true that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. It is also true that a few motivated people working together can accomplish more than a large group working as individuals. I may not be the best speller, but I am certain there is no ‘I’ in team.

In a household someone has to make sure the chores are done, the food is prepared, the laundry is done, and the yard is clean, just to name a few things that help a household member function.

Multinational corporations have many layers of management that have to be informed of and carryout the approved plan of action. Management is judged on their performance as well as how much they brought in or saved the corporation. Corporations exist to make money, if they consistently loose money or take a huge financial loss they could go bankrupt. Some corporations go bankrupt and reopen the next day in a new name with a clean slate. Employees of multinational corporations typically don’t have contracts binding them to their jobs making their tenure subject to the approval of management.

Multinational corporations have to answer to their shareholders, especially those holding large numbers of shares. Large shareholders often have influence over the direction of corporations.

Elected officials have to answer to the voters. Unfortunately those who seek public office often do not have sufficient funds to pay for the campaign process to get elected.  In reality those who seek public office either borrow money or seek donations to pay for the campaign process. There are many lobbyist who are eager to arrange for donations for the candidate with the idea that candidate, once in office, will vote the way the lobbyist wants. The candidate gets donations to pay for the campaign process and the lobbyist buys a vote for his client. The purchased votes can cause the public official to vote against those to whom he or she is supposed to be beholden…the voters.

The purchased votes often make it appear that there is only one party in Congress, some call it a UniParty, and some call it the Establishment.

The good news not all elected officials are bought and paid for. Not all elected officials are infected with the group think disease.

Some could think the elected officials infected with the group think disease have more than one personality (one for the voters and one for their donors) or they could appear to have Borderline Personality Disorder.

See if these symptoms match any current public officials or groups in the news:

“Everyone has problems with emotions or behaviors sometimes. But if you have borderline personality disorder, the problems are severe, repeat over a long time, and disrupt your life. The most common symptoms include:

  • Intense emotions and mood swings.
  • Harmful, impulsive behaviors. These may include things like substance abusebinge eating, out-of-control spending, risky sexual behavior, and reckless driving.
  • Relationship problems. You may see others as either “good” or “bad” and may shift from one view to the other suddenly, for minor reasons. This can make relationships very difficult.
  • Low self-worth.
  • A frantic fear of being left alone (abandoned). This fear may lead to frantic attempts to hold on to those around you. Or it may cause you to reject others before they can reject you.
  • Aggressive behavior.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Feeling empty inside.
  • Problems with anger, such as violent temper tantrums.
  • Hurting yourself, such as cutting or burning yourself.
  • Suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts.
  • Times when you feel paranoid or lose a sense of reality (psychosis).

It’s easy to confuse this disorder with other mental illnesses. And they may overlap. So if you think that you or someone you know may have borderline personality disorder, see a doctor. Don’t try to diagnose yourself.” (1)

Some groups or elected officials infected with the group think disease have become violent and threatening of late when someone disagrees with them making them a danger to themselves or to those around them. Behavior which makes them a danger to themselves or to those around them could be a reason to have them properly evaluated.

One of the foundations of the USA is the First Amendment which guarantees USA Citizens the Right to Disagree. Being assaulted for disagreeing with the speaker is not protected by the First Amendment.

There are elected officials who have shown very good leadership ability in bringing people together to accomplish the missions. Then there are others who feel if they harass and harangue they can bully people into carrying out their agenda. Perhaps they have not learned that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Disasters can bring a good insight into an elected official’s leadership ability. In May of 2013 Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin showed her leadership ability when she brought many people together to recover after some pretty devastating tornados within her state. Churches provided much needed places in the communities for communication,  rest, shelter and supplies.  No one was waiting for or looking for Air Force One  (2)

Today we learned at a major briefing that the Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been working and coordinating with the President and his cabinet for more than a week to assist victims of Harvey. The President brought three cabinet members and their chief assistants to Texas with him. (3)  Recovery should begin faster than with Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy as Oklahoma and Texas Governors and the President show a leadership style that is more conducive to accomplishing the mission and putting the people first. Again, churches are providing much needed places in the communities for communication, rest, shelter and supplies.

There was a TV crew shooting live when it came across a two men who needed a rescue. The National Guard helicopter had issues because of the power lines. The second man who lost everything because of Harvey and did not know the first man got in trouble in the fast moving water when he tried to rescue the first man. The TV crew asked the viewers if anyone nearby had a boat to rescue the two men. Within minutes several people with boats showed up and the two men were rescued. (3)

The spirit of Harvey’s victims reminded me of the Katrina victims in the way they look out for and help neighbors and strangers. The aerial view of Harvey’s damage looked very much like the aerial view of Katrina’s damage as I flew in as a volunteer. (4)

In times of need, such as after natural disasters be it hurricanes, tornadoes, or massive snow blizzards I have witnessed neighbors and strangers pull together and help each other out. Yes, there are those who will be antisocial and take advantage of those in need and they can be dealt with.

Groups or elected officials infected with the group think disease whether or not they have become violent and threatening or condone those who have become violent or threatening need to be dealt with. Elected officials can be removed, arrested, or voted out depending on their level of involvement.

If more people thought and acted like the Good Samaritan and not like those who passed the injured man the road we’d live in a much nicer world. Yes, one person can make a difference. What difference will you make today?

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








Military vets bring specialized skillset to Harvey response

Texas father describes mandatory evacuation with five kids




Try A Little Brushing

August 4, 2017

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

August 1, 2017


The world around you may be descending in chaos, but you don’t have to go with it. Try a little brushing.

When the lights go off when you’re in the middle of a project, try a little brushing.

The bird flying overhead may splat something on the top of your head, but you don’t have to let the bird build a nest in your hair.

If you watch the news or many programs on TV you might be getting anxious about the condition of the world. The TV has been pushing violence for awhile now. The days of Ozzie and Harriett and Leave it Beaver on TV are long gone. If you believed most of what is pushed on many TV news and talk programs today you could end up on some heavy anti-depressants and checking your healthcare package to see if you are covered.

It is especially frustrating and down right madding when you have been to a nice family friendly event to see it portrayed as evil on the TV screen.

The violence on TV is part of an agenda and you don’t have to watch it. Try a little brushing.

Brushing your hair or of a loved one, or pet reaps great results.

Benefits of Brushing Your Hair (1)

Brushing Your Hair with a Boar Bristle Brush is Cleansing

Did you know that brushing your hair is a form of dry shampooing! Proper brushing can eliminate waste materials, including deposits of uric acid crystals, catarrh and other acids and impurities that build up and become encrusted on the scalp. (I know, that sentence is totally gross.) With so much talk about the benefits of ditching toxic shampoos, implementing proper hair brushing can help keep your hair hygiene in check. And it’s easy.

Brushing Conditions and Strengthens Your Hair

Yep, the benefits of hair brushing go beyond simply cleaning your hair, it also conditions. (Talk about a two in one shampoo/conditioner!) Scalp stimulation from both hair brushing and scalp massaging help distribute your natural sebum evenly through the hair. This helps your overall hair health and keeps those shiny locks resilient and strong. In addition, as your hair is coated with sebum you’ll find moisture is restored, and the hair is generally more sheen, smooth, and manageable.

Brushing your Hair Helps Prevent Hair Loss

This benefit of hair brushing was surprising to me. I have to admit, hair loss hasn’t been an issue for me (I tend to have more hair than I know what to do with!) But hair brushing with a boar bristle brush stimulates the capillaries, increasing blood circulation in the scalp and transporting oxygen and nutrients to the hair stem, root and bulb. It also helps to balance the sebaceous glands by stimulating them and allowing them to breathe while retaining natural oils. Sebaceous gland imbalance is often to blame for hair loss, as overproduction and underproduction of sebum cause weakening and undernourishment of the scalp.

Cat’s Fur: Problems and Grooming (2)

Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin. One or two brushings per week will help kitty to keep her healthy glow and allow her to bask in yummy together time-and you’ll find that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer able to groom so meticulously on her own.

Healthy Coat and Skin

Before brushing, check out the condition of your kitty’s coat. If it’s healthy, her hair will have a natural gloss and spring back under your hand when you touch it. There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas and ticks, and her skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.

Calming A Child By Brushing (3)

Many children with sensory processing disorder or autism spectrum disorder receive occupational therapy. Often times these children are prescribed a sensory diet that may include a brushing technique used for calming. According to occupational therapist Michelle Mitchell, writing for the Sensory Perception Disorder Companion, the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol is the technique commonly used in these cases.

Next time the power goes off get out the brush and start the calming, cleansing, stimulating action of brushing your hair, your loved one’s hair or your kitty.

You might enjoy it enough to shut off the TV and try a little brushing.

When life’s stress gets to you…try a little brushing.

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






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