Turned Tragedy Into Triumph

April 1, 2020

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 31, 2020

 

 

As a butterfly isn’t made overnight, neither are we what we become. What we are today is not what we were yesterday or will be tomorrow.

It takes four stages to become a butterfly: egg; caterpillar; chrysalis, then an adult butterfly.  To become a butterfly, a caterpillar first digests much of itself. But certain groups of cells survive, turning the soup into eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures.

The cells in our bodies are dying and are being replaced all the time as our appearance gets older.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.”
― Thomas Paine

On a sweltering day in his small Iowa town, Matt Gage dove into a pool. When he surfaced, his entire left side was useless.

Fortunately, the nine-year-old’s cousin was there to pull him from the water. At the hospital, the doctor diagnosed heat stroke. But after being transferred to the Mayo Clinic, Matt was whisked into emergency surgery with a different diagnosis, the kind usually reserved for the elderly. Matt had suffered not just heatstroke but an actual a stroke.

The prognosis was grim. The neurosurgeon didn’t expect Matt to wake up. If he did, he’d be a vegetable.

But Matt did wake up. The neurosurgeon told Matt he’d never be able to move his left side again. With the young boy’s dream of becoming the next Michael Jordan destroyed, he ignored his father’s urging to try to move his leg. “I can’t,” Matt would say.

Finally, his father confronted him. “Matt, what did ‘can’t’ ever do for you?” his father said. “If you say you can’t do it, you’re not gonna do it. If you don’t start believing in yourself and believing something can happen, that you can get better, then you’re gonna be in a wheelchair.”

He began to make progress. First, he moved his left leg. Then he moved his left arm. He started walking with a brace before leaving the hospital.

Although his left side had a limited range of motion, Matt eventually played basketball, ran a 5K, and even took up skiing. He became a professor and athletic trainer for various universities. He now gives hope to other young stroke victims and their families by showing them that they, too, can get married, have kids, and enjoy successful careers.

Matt believes God used his stroke to help others. If he could relive the moment that changed his life, he says, “Now, today, I would tell you that I wouldn’t want it any different.” (1)

“Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone. Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory. Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.”
― John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

“Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.” ― Saint Frances de Sales

“Whatever troubles we may face, we can trust God to give us strength to triumph.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita

We are living in close quarters now as the wave of coronavirus weaves through different communities around the globe. None of us knows who will be affected next. We are in this together. Over the years we have drifted apart, not even knowing our neighbors. This is a good time to spend with your family, neighbors, and with God becoming our own butterfly.

Let’s call and write those whom we have left to ‘when we get the time’ today. Help everyone you can in anyway you can, making the load a little lighter for all of us.  We can accomplish more together than we can on our own.  Together we will make our community, state, and nation better than when we started this journey. We should see more butterflies as fruits of our labor soon.

 

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://listverse.com/2014/12/23/10-inspiring-stories-of-people-who-turned-tragedy-into-triumph/

 


Danger, Danger, Danger

January 30, 2020

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

January 28, 2020

 

 

People who practice their religious faith regularly may be getting some earthly benefits: They appear to be healthier compared to people who never attend a house of worship. A study conducted by sociologists at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., found that 4 percent of those who regularly went to church or synagogue reported poor health, compared with 9 percent of those who did not attend a house of worship. And 36 percent of weekly worshipers reported they were in excellent health, compared with 26 percent of non-attenders.

Why the difference? Researchers aren’t sure, but they say the reason may be that people attending weekly services may be more likely to see friends who ask about their health and can recommend a doctor. (1)

This tends to support the notion that there is safety in numbers. Like minded people who fellowship together give each other strength and complete each other with their different gifts and talents.

 

Really good players discipline themselves to do the right thing (in regard to football, or hockey, or whatever it is). They discipline themselves to do the right thing regardless of how the game was going at any given moment—and regardless of how everybody else was playing. They will make use of the truth about their game! And then he added, “When you have a whole team of men who do that, they win almost all the time.”

When a problem arises a like minded will have a multitude of counselors to assist in resolving the problem.

At this time the world is trying to contain and eradicate a virus that is quickly spreading.

“The coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, began at an animal and seafood market in the city of Wuhan and has since spread to several other countries, including the United States. The illness is now said to be transferable between humans.

As news of the virus spread and death tolls began to spike, many have begun to question how dangerous the new outbreak is. Coronaviruses, which get their name from their crown-like appearance, come in many types that cause illnesses in people and animals.

Most coronaviruses cause mild symptoms such as the common cold that patients easily recover from. Other strains of the virus such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) can cause pneumonia and possible death.

SARS killed 770 of 8,000 people infected in 2002-2003. MERS killed about three or four out of every 10 people infected, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said

In an effort to curb the spread of the disease, the city of Wuhan shut down all air and train traffic to contain it. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Jan. 22 it would hold off on declaring a public health emergency of global concern.” (2)

The President offered China direct aid and assistance to fight the  coronavirus which currently has five victims in the USA.  China has declined the offer of assistance. I am not sure I’d like to see Chinese troops walking around the local mall. The problem is so severe in China they have four construction companies building two hospitals near each other. The video below shows the work in progress.

 

The USA is evacuating thousands of Americans from China.

Working together we’ll be able to find away to contain and eradicate this virus also.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the country which has an aggressive war against religion is experiencing this fast spreading coronavirus which has left cities looking like ghost towns.

 

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) Spokesman Review, October, 1992

(2) https://www.foxnews.com/health/how-dangerous-is-coronavirus



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In Defense of Backbone

January 2, 2020

 

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

December 31, 2019

 

 

 

Recent events highlight the great divide between those with and those without a backbone to stand against evil.  Many of those without a backbone to stand against evil are either perpetrating it or enabling evil.

At the time of his death, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, also known as “The Fighting Quaker”, was the most decorated Marine in US history; he was the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two separate military actions. He had also become an unrelenting voice against the business of war.

General Smedley is quoted as saying: “There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights.”

General Smedley:

  • Received 16 military medals, 5 for valor. Is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice.
  • Wrote the 1935 exposé that linked business and the military titled “War Is A Racket.”
  • Ran for Senate as a Republican in 1932.

In 1934, Butler went before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to expose a conspiracy against the government. He had been recruited by a group of wealthy Pro-Fascists who had hoped to use him in a coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He went along, gathering intelligence about the plot, and took it to Congress. Butler’s assertions were not aggressively pursued, and the matter was largely dismissed. However, an internal report to Congress from HUAC confirmed the veracity of the plot. (1)

In the Second World War we had many outstanding civilian and military leaders which worked to win the war against evil. One such Military Leader is General George C. Patton, see the video below:

 

Plots to over throw governments go back thousands of years in history.  Various groups stated various reasons for their coup or attempted coup.  At this time it appears our country has a group who attempted to subvert the will of the voters. Maybe their methods were different today than the ones General Butler testified to, but the results would have been the same had they been successful, the forced removal of a duly elected sitting president.

Perhaps those participants in the attempted coup are so narcissistic they take no care for fear, anxiety, and despondency they cause in others.  The participants don’t realize they are exposing themselves to be the obnoxious, insecure, morally bankrupt, mental runts of the litter that they are. Those participants were hoping to foment civil unrest; it turns out the general populace saw through and didn’t fall for the participants scam.

The participants would have us not protect ourselves. In six seconds a murder was stopped, much faster than police could arrive. See the graphic video below:

Still one of the participants insists it is irrational that we should be able to protect ourselves. See the video below:

 

Schoolyard bullies have a smaller territory than dictators of countries and smaller territories than the coup participants.

 

Keep your backbone in place, defend your home and your Bill of Rights or you may loose them both and wake up under a ruthless dictator.

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.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/major-general-smedley-butler

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/01/pinkerton-the-attacks-in-new-york-and-texas-move-the-gun-control-debate-in-the-direction-the-founders-wanted/

https://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/digenova-comey-and-brennan-are-coup-leaders-and-obama-knew-all-about

Trump praises Texas gun laws, armed churchgoers for ending shooting in 6 seconds

https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/video-trained-armed-protection-in-church-watch-good-guy-with-a-gun-in-texas-church/


A Christmas Story

December 8, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

December 7, 2019

 

 

The Christmas Story is story of a hero. The greatest evil the world has ever known made the greatest hero the world has ever known. Crucifixion was the cruelest form of torture and execution man devised or used.

Not every hero since has given up his life for another. Heroes generally take no concern for their own life while trying to save the lives of others.

The acknowledgement and veneration of heroes has existed for centuries. It was the ancient Greeks who are accredited with first coining the designation.

A very recent tragedy brought to light another hero.  A young graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, whose dream was to become a pilot, is a hero after he reportedly related crucial information about the identity of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola shooter to first responders, despite having been shot several times, a family member revealed.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who were killed Friday morning when Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire on a flight training program for foreign military personnel, Adam Watson revealed in a Facebook post. (1)

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who was killed Friday morning.

“Today has been the worst day of my life. My youngest brother gave his life for his country in a senseless shooting. Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own. After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable. He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. When we were little I gave Kaleb the name little poot and it stuck. It eventually evolved into pootis and finally uncle poot. Just wish I could talk to him one more time or wrestle with him one more time even though he could probably take me now. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. “(2)

Simply put, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward.

Philip Zimbardo: What Makes a Hero?

 

Christians who helped Jews during the Holocaust were in the same situation as other civilians who helped imprison or kill Jews, or ignored their suffering. The situation provided the impetus to act heroically or malevolently. People choose one path or the other.

Some choose a path to meet the needs of others. For example there is New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson will use his custom-made “My Cause, My Cleats” cleats to bring attention to his One More Foundation. H e created the One More Thing Foundation to spread the love and hope of Christ to one more soul.

“And, we do that by following the three charges that are given in Micah 6:8 when it talks about doing justice, loving-kindness, and walking humbly with our God,” he explained.

Watson said that, for the last decade, the foundation has given him the opportunity to meet people with “real needs” and “to know the one who can meet their needs forever and ever.”

“Whether it’s promoting and giving food to those who are hungry, doing events around the holidays, promoting education, standing against injustice — whether that be sex trafficking, abortion, or racial injustice … and also, just bringing kindness to people,” he continued. (3)

Courtesy of Eric J. Adler and the New England Patriots

Heroes | Restoring Faith in Humanity | 2017

 

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” — Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player.

There have been thousands of unnamed and unknown heroes over the centuries. Heroes include those who stood ready, who fought and who died for the cause of freedom, first responders, those who served others, and the many that have helped someone without regard to their personal safety,

The true Christmas Story is an everyday story.

The real reason for the season was born to die and save us all.

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://www.foxnews.com/us/naval-academy-grad-shot-5-times-hero

(2)  https://www.facebook.com/adam.watson.397/posts/3471855006187806

(3)  https://www.foxnews.com/media/patriots-benjamin-watson-one-more-foundation-my-cause-my-cleats

 

——-

Below are a handful of links to heroes

https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/2019/11/14/sons-american-revolution-honor-first-responders-heroic-acts/4193217002/

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/08/05/soldier-praised-for-heroic-act-at-el-paso-shooting-what-i-did-was-what-i-was-supposed-to-do/23788523/

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2019/09/17/hero-westchester-cops-honored/2354177001/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bradley-plane-crash-heroic-acts-saved-lives-in-deadly-b-17-bomber-crash-official-says/

https://www.usla.org/page/HEROIC

https://publicholidays.la/anguilla/national-heroes-and-heroines-day/


Thanksgiving Chipmunk

October 31, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

October 29, 2019

 

 

Most people think of Thanksgiving as Turkey Day, a time to overeat then park in front of the television.

“Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life. From ancient times, Native People of North America have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for ceremonies or celebrations.

As with Native traditions in America, celebrations – complete with merrymaking and feasting – in England and throughout Europe after a successful crop are as ancient as the harvest-time itself. In 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with feasting and sport (recreation). To these people of strong Christian faith, this was not merely a revel; it was also a joyous outpouring of gratitude.” (1)

Depending upon your outlook you either see reasons to rejoice and be glad or search for reasons to complain. Life can be a half full or half empty glass or perhaps a glass overflowing.

Recently after surgery, in recovery, the whole surgical team was around my bed. I thought someone called a vote, they had not. I did say the Chipmunk was off my back. My doctor said, “The monkey was off [my] back.” I repeated it and we all laughed. Needless to say the patient pulled through.

Some months ago a doctor noticed a grapefruit growing on my back. A Sonogram, CT scan, MRI confirmed the Chipmunk had to go. One of the scans looked like a Chipmunk, with an arm and eye…the name stuck. Fortunately the Chipmunk was a benign lipoma. There was no way to be sure until the scalpel was applied.

As you can image the time from discovery to removal were full of questions.  Had I been the half empty type I probably could have worried myself into a fetal position. Instead everyday there was a reason to rejoice and be glad.

“Early in 1621, the Pilgrims had built crude huts and a common house on the shores of Plymouth Bay. Then soon thereafter neighboring Indians began to build relations with the Pilgrims. SQUANTO, a local Indian who had been kidnapped and taken to England nearly a decade before, served as an interpreter with the local tribes. Squanto taught the Pilgrims to fertilize the soil with dried fish remains to produce a stellar corn crop.

MASSASOIT, the chief of the nearby Wampanoags, signed a treaty of alliance with the Pilgrims in the summer. In exchange for assistance with defense against the feared Narragansett tribe, Massasoit supplemented the food supply of the Pilgrims for the first few years.” (2)

From the beginning people helped people to make this country great and they rejoiced and celebrated accomplishments together.

It took a surgical team made up people with different talents to remove the Chipmunk.  Had we called a vote I would have voted the team to be Number One.

The Chipmunk became a reason to rejoice and be glad, a Thanksgiving Chipmunk.  Throw off that monkey and rejoice and be glad.

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-history

 

(2) http://www.ushistory.org/us/3b.asp


What Is Going On?

September 8, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

September 7, 2019

 

 

 

I admit sometimes I forget, and sometimes I can’t remember, and I don’t remember which it is. I tell the kids don’t get old and that I don’t know how that can be done, just don’t get old. Yes, they just look at me.

Where does one call to find out the offense of day, moment is? Is there a central clearing house? It sure seems like you can turn TV stations to find the same words and the same outrage coming from different talking heads. I figure someone is passing out words to say. Would someone please give me the phone number of who has a list of the current offense words, hats or whatever? This growing list is giving me a headache.

When I grew up our news came from newspapers where opinions were found in the Editorial section. News contained facts not propaganda.

Newspapers were printed once, maybe twice a day, or weekly.

There were no computers, cell phones, texting, emails, twitter, facebook or other such things that instantly post pictures and information to people worldwide.  When someone needed or wanted to pass along information or pictures if they didn’t meet in person they put them in the mail.

TV news was on early in the morning, at noon, 6 and 11pm in black and white. There were no twenty four hour TV stations. AM radio was mostly music, FM broadcasts were rare.

No one was shot up into space yet. President Eisenhower had not yet warned us of the dangers of the military industrial complex.

In others words people looked each other in the eye and spoke to each other.

Yes, in some ways you could say life was slower compared to today. In some ways life was more relaxed than today.

There actually is a way to support my statement that life was more relaxed then.  The amount of people suffering from anxiety, which is the activation of the Fight or Flight System, rose in response to increase to the strains of everyday life from the 1950s on.

“The common psychological features of these problems include a mélange of symptoms involving nervousness, sadness, and malaise. The typical physical symptoms consist of headaches, fatigue, back pain, gastrointestinal complaints, and sleep and appetite difficulties, often accompanying struggles with interpersonal, financial, occupational, and health concerns. These complaints account for a large proportion of cases found in outpatient psychiatric and, especially, in general medical treatment.” (1).

Am I suggesting we go back in time, not quite? There are very many good uses of modern technology. The biggest downside I see to modern instant communications is the lack of interpersonal communications.

Interpersonal communication is the process by which we exchange information, feelings, and meanings through verbal and non-verbal messages through face-to-face communication. It is not always what is said, but how it is said and the expressions used.  The absence of interpersonal communications can lead to a misinterpretation of what was said which today could lead to quite a flurry of tweets.

My suggestions include: count to ten before sending an instant message, perhaps you’ll change what you want to say;  text less; meet as many people as you can in person to talk face to face; and take walks.  You just might find your quality of life will improve as will those around, doing your part to make the world a better place.

 

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://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888013/


Original here


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Recycled Misfits

August 2, 2019

Reverend Paul N. Papas II

July 30, 2019

 

 

 

Let’s start by looking in the mirror….I’ll let you know when to turn away from the mirror.

In the Christmas story of Rudolph: Rudolph and his elf buddy Hermey don’t fit in with the others. Rudolph looks different than the others. Hermey is not interested in making toys. In an odd plot twist, Hermey wants to be a dentist. Not surprisingly, his elf supervisor is upset with the unproductive Hermey. So the two misfit outcasts set off to find their fame and fortune.

In the mirror you see the times on the playground or gathering where you did not fit in and felt like an outcast, a misfit.

Who among us doesn’t occasionally feel battered, bruised, broken? And sometimes it’s because of something we’ve done to ourselves.

Feeling battered, bruised, and broken can lead to fear of the future, fear of success, anxiety, depression and even suicide.

Thankfully God has perfect vision, unlimited resources and doesn’t give up so easily on battered and broken people. Psalm 85 describes people who were perfect candidates for restoration and God is able to restore. God is the God of restoration and forgiveness; those who humbly come to Him are never without hope.  He remarkably and wonderfully made us, He does not make junk.

Crime victims, First Responders, and Combat Veterans may have suffered different traumatic events leaving them feeling battered, bruised, and broken and suffering the same Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), feeling like a misfit.

Then there is Eponine who seems the most like a social outcast misfit. She belongs to a gang of wretched people, and she is very poor. She has been through so much in her short life, things she should not even have experienced. She has abusive parents who don’t give two hoots about her, and she feels as if no one loves her and she is alone in the world. In the song on my own she talks about how the man she loves is I love with someone else and how she wishes he would love her. She knows he will never love her like that and sadly comes to terms of being alone because the single man she loves does not love her back. She is like the social out casts of today, because she is in a very bad group of people and usually people that are just looking for directions now a days end up in bad situations like her. Many people feel alone just like she does and many people these days go through though times where the person they love does not love them back. She has no where to go and no one good in her life to help her. She is in a hopeless situation of having terrible parents loving a man that will never love her and she abused by her father. No doubt she has lived a terrible life, and her situation is worst than most social out cast of our world today.

Often victims of abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault become the abusers.  It does not have to be that way. Breaking the cycle of abuse can be accomplished saving medical bills and lives.

Throughout life you can be a misfit because you look or dress differently or because you don’t think or talk like others around you. Just because you may look or dress differently or because you don’t think or talk like others around you it does not make you wrong, just different. Being different just may even bring to light a better way.

How many times did you recognize yourself as a misfit in the mirror? Still looking in the mirror? How many times did you overcome those situations you were a misfit? What do you still need to overcome?

If you have had more than one boyfriend or girlfriend, more than one job or overcome a misfit situation – you have been recycled. Being recycled in this manner means you still had plenty of good days ahead.

Continue to recycle your misfit situations for healthy growth. Stay looking in the mirror as long as you need.

 

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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