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)   www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org




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)

www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org





(1) http://infomory.com/famous/famous-debaters-in-history/



Old Fashion Still Good

April 7, 2017

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

April 3, 2017


Every time I think that I have heard it all, there comes another one. Now it appears that people, who are hell-bent on indoctrinating everyone that up is down, and down is up, are upset with the Vice President. Why, because he will not have dinner with a women alone who is not his wife and without his wife being present. Nor will he go to an event that serves booze, if his wife is absent. To the Vice President and every other man who thinks the same way, I say BRAVO!

Ever since God and prayer were kicked out of schools we have witnessed, at an ever increasing rapid rate, the decline of the family. With the decline of the family came a myriad of social, political, and metal health issues.

Call me old fashioned, or politically incorrect, if you’d like. I was taught men should stand up when a woman entered the room and hold the door for women and elders. Today there are those who would attach a negative connotation to these actions. To those I say “it is mind over matter”. I don’t mind, and they don’t matter.

If you choose to stand in quicksand rather than on a rock, don’t be surprised when you’re soon buried under a lot of dirt.

By refusing to have dinner with a woman without his wife being present and not going to an event that serves booze if his wife is absent, a husband communicates his dedication to his wife alone, and avoids any appearance of evil. The husband’s dedication to his wife prevents inappropriate  actions on his part that could lead to the break up of his family. This can also be said for a wife’s dedication to her husband in the same manner.  Family break ups, which lead to a divorce, are only good for making divorce lawyers rich.

Family break ups often lead to some level of short or long term emotional, mental health and trust issues.

Family break ups can be also caused by, or lead to abuse issues.  Abuse issues often lead to some level of short or long term emotional, mental health and trust issues. Abusive relationships, or encounters, affect a lot more than the abuser and the abused. People who have been abused often become abusers.

Abuse can be caused by or lead to involvement with the multi-billion dollar porn industry. Pornography objectifies and dehumanizes men and women. Pornography destroys relationships as it creates a false understanding of interpersonal relationships.

The multi billion dollar pornography industry is tied to the multi billion dollar sex trafficking industry which seeks to satisfy the unrealistic needs created and supported by the pornography industry.

A husband who refuses to dine with a women without his wife present and refuses to attend a function that serves booze without his wife present guards against allowing any temptation to break his wedding vows. The same can be said for a wife who refuses to dine with a man without her husband present or attend a function that serves booze without her husband present. Couples who guard against temptation are less likely to end up in divorce court and all the tragedies of breaking up a family.

Couples who are dedicated to each other will work through issues either by themselves or with the help of another person, as the need may arise.

I applaud those couples who show this type of dedication to each other, gentlemen who hold doors for ladies, stands when a lady enters the room, and helps her with her chair as she is seated.   Call me old fashioned. Old fashioned is still good.

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


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 





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


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


Where Is Your House Built?

October 2, 2015

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II
September 29, 2015

The power of a storm can be devastating to life and property. Lives can be altered in a few brief moments often without warning. The question for each reader is; are you prepared?

As our plane load of volunteers made its final approach to land in Mississippi almost ten years ago after Katrina hit I thought we were being inserted into a war zone. I wondered which of my skills and training would be most needed here. It turned out the combination of my combat medic, public service (11-5 on the ballot), and Pastoral experiences were a good fit.

We went to lend our hands, our ears, and our hearts to those who had not much more than their lives spared by the powerful wind, rain and ocean. The painted lines on standing building showed the forty foot water levels. The picture which was published Dec 19, 2005 (1) shows the aftermath of the ocean as it plowed into and shredded through the first floor of a home leaving the second floor pretty much in tact.

These Americans gratefully accepted the food, water, clothing, tools, building materials, and other assistance the Salvation Army and their Southern Baptists partners provided at no charge. I was happy to part of that team. This is how the Americans spirit acts in times of trouble.

As I helped serve the Thanksgiving Dinner I was struck by the concern those being served had for us volunteers. They willingly shared with each other and us. We of course wanted to make sure they were cared for. We had homes to go back to, most of them did not. For me this was the best re-enactment of the First Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

This might sound like a Thanksgiving message; it is if you understand that these Americans were thankful for what they had. They were not focusing on what they lost.

It was surprising to me that I did not witness any major signs of what is generally termed Mental Illness. Sometimes stress would show up and was easily handled. Stress can arrive at any address without an invitation.

Right now our country is experiencing a great amount of stress as a result of minority of very noisy and pushy people who deny the very foundation of our country, God. The noisy and pushy minority try to shout down anyone who disagrees with them. The Silent Majority needs to make its voice heard at each possible legitimate opportunity.

How do you think the scientific oriented nosy pushy minority would feel after they discovered The Beauty Of Laminin in this video.

Most people have seen pictures of sinkholes or homes sliding down a hillside because of a mudslide. Some would saw our country is sliding down a mudslide at this moment. Perhaps they are paying too much attention to the noisy and pushy minority.

Let’s go back to the published picture. This particular home was apparently built on a good foundation and solid construction principles. Even though the first floor was ripped open some of the first floor wall and TV can be seen in the companion unpublished picture. Again, the second floor was pretty much intact. You can call that amazing in an area where the high water marks reached forty feet high.


One reason for this particular home having so much in tact and not been reduced to ruble is where it was built. It was built on good solid ground.

Our country is built on good solid ground and can withstand the storms raging against it. The Silent Majority needs to lend their hands, their ears, and their hearts to our country and reject all those who mean to destroy her.

*In their book I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHEIST, Norm Geisler and Frank Turek point to the tensions of incoherence inherent in the atheistic worldview. They write, “The very fact that Darwinists think they have reasons to be atheists presupposes that God actually exists. How so? Because REASONS require that this universe be a REASONABLE one that presupposes there is order, logic, design, and truth. But order, logic, design, and truth can only exist and be known if there is an unchangeable objective source and standard of such things… Like all non-theistic worldviews, Darwinism borrows from the theistic worldview in order to make its own view intelligible.”(2) The foundation of atheistic faith allows for an unstable structure of interpretation.

In dire contrast, Christ calls us to consider the foundation of a worldview starting with him. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matthew 7:24-26). I am often awed by the glimpses of biblical truths in culture, which often go unrecognized or disregarded as biblical. To hear a psychologist speak of sin and moral accountability as a necessary qualifier in understanding human behavior, or a cultural analyst proclaim the effectiveness of setting aside one day out of the workweek for rest is to hear the stirrings of an efficient and knowing Creator, whose design and purpose surrounds us.(3)

At the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. there is a large wooden altar from a synagogue that was vandalized by Nazi soldiers who had come to remove the Jewish citizens of the city. Across the altar is a single phrase of Hebrew carved deeply into the wood. Though it bears the hack marks of axes that attempted to delete the words, the phrase is still decipherable. It simply reads: “Know before Whom you stand.”

We can attempt to eradicate the name of God; we can begin without Christ at the foundation of our belief system. But it will never negate His presence.

1. Dec 19, 2005 Page one of the MetroWest Daily News “Minister Recalls Post Karina ‘War Zone’.

2. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHEIST (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004), 130, authors’ emphasis.

3. Referencing Hobart Mowrer, “Sin, the Lesser of Two Evils,” American Psychologist, 15 (1960): 301-304.) and Douglas Rushkoff, “Remember the Sabbath: An Argument in Favor of a Day Off,” December 1999.

*Copyright 2005 Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Reprinted with permission. “A Slice of Infinity” is a radio ministry of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

The photos were taken by me and are my 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


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