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

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(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

 

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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


Here We Go Again

October 4, 2019

Cartoon Bully intimidating a man. Isolated

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

September 30, 2019

 

 

How long would you sit through a horror film before you got up and left?  Would you sit through the same horror film so many times that you would you be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Some people have reoccurring dreams where they keep falling. For some, those dreams of falling are so real that they are afraid to go to sleep.

No one is immune to fear or worry. Those who learn to make their fear work for them are more successful and go on to experience the beauty of peace.

There are those who prey upon others by bullying and inciting fear in weaker people feeding their victims’ fears. The bully exploits the fears of others.

The Domestic Violence bully exploits the fears of their victims and cuts off avenues of escape which only heighten the anxiety level of the victim. The Domestic Violence bully claims victimhood and tries to silence the actual victims by fear and intimidation.

The Domestic Terrorist bully exploits the fears of a community or nation, while claiming victimhood and trying to silence the actual victims. Domestic Terrorists employ dangerous methods which can injure or kill large groups within the community.

Life can be frightening enough without having bullies of any kind added to the mix. The fear the bullies cause add stress to our lives that we did not need.

There are days that we just feel stressed from too many things to do and with not enough time to accomplish it all.  When the threat is even less obvious, we might feel restless, bored, or antsy (Nothing good is on TV). Perhaps we find ourselves procrastinating to avoid a certain task or encounter (I’ll pay the bills tomorrow), or we find ourselves compulsively driven to finish projects, accomplish goals, or meet deadlines (I can’t relax until I get this done). Fears inhibit our ability to begin or complete tasks big or small, which can exacerbate the situation raising the anxiety level.

Fear is an emotion that typically occurs when we perceive a threat to our personal well-being. Sometimes, it can prompt action against the threat. Fear is a common emotion experienced by most people at some point or another; it’s considered to be a normal, natural part of life.

However, fear can lead people to experience a wide array of physical and mental changes, and irrational or intense fear may interfere with a person’s happiness, sense of security, and ability to function effectively.

Fear can lead you to avoid actions or events. This fear can keep you in the prison of avoidance.

Fear can lead to self medication to suppress the fear, pain, and anxiety. Ironically sell medication can spiral down to addition and death.

Sometimes the assistance of a professional is required to get back on track.

Fear can be tamed.

Fear takes energy.

Fear can be a positive motivational factor.

There are plenty of people and groups who play on our fears and want to turn us in a certain direction. Advertisers often create a need, present their solution and push for a sale.

For three years we have witnessed a group people trying to convince us that up is down and down is up. Now that their scheme is unraveling they are flailing. As they unravel, often times they resort to incoherent and irrelevant arguments.

Lifeguards can tell you the most dangerous person to rescue is a drowning person who is flailing.

It remains to be seen how much collateral damage the drowning group trying to play on our fears will cause this time. They remind me of a two year old throwing a tantrum in a supermarket isle. Good parents know the remedies available. One could only hope they would become penitent children avoiding being fired.

Taming your fears and overcoming worry includes just saying NO to bullies.

 

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


Related

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/video-ptsd-coach-app-help-at-your-fingertips/


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


Related

 

Should reporters air own opinions in public? Americans sound off ‘Era of low trust in media globally’


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



Related

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/video-ptsd-coach-app-help-at-your-fingertips/


Story Behind The Scars

July 5, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

July, 2, 2019

 

 

Unless you have been exceptionally lucky (hint, I don’t believe in luck) then you have a scar or two. Some scars are visible and some are not. Do you remember the time you bumped into the table when you were three, probably not.

We get scars from accidents, surgery, combat wounds, or perhaps from being a victim of a violent crime. Physical scars can heal faster than emotional or psychological scars.  Emotional or psychological scars may need assistance from someone else. That assistance could come in the form of a listening ear or by way of trained individuals.

Scars can be tender or sensitive to the touch especially when fresh. Once healed, tapping the healed scar and deep massage around the scar are two excellent ways of speeding up the scar desensitisation process.

Healing could include forgiveness for someone who harmed you. Forgiveness does no mean forgetting.

“Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger to perturb our emotional well-being.

It is critical to remember that forgiveness doesn’t automatically mean a reconciliation. We don’t have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviors from someone who has hurt us.

Although burying the hatchet usually brings peace to the soul, there may be some exceptions to that advice, such as a case of sexual abuse. Sometimes a victim becomes more empowered when they give themselves permission not to forgive.

Equally, and perhaps more important, is learning to acknowledge your missteps and forgive yourself. Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and therefore with others.” (1)

“One reason we resist forgiving is that we don’t really understand what forgiveness is or how it works. We think we do, but we don’t.

Most of us assume that if we forgive our offenders, they are let off the hook — scot-free — and get to go about their merry ways while we unfairly suffer from their actions. We also may think that we have to be friendly with them again, or go back to the old relationship. While God commands us to forgive others, he never told us to keep trusting those who violated our trust or even to like being around those who hurt us.

The first step to understanding forgiveness is learning what it is and isn’t. The next step is giving yourself permission to forgive and forget, letting go of the bitterness while remembering very clearly your rights to healthy boundaries.” (2)

We have a two hundred and forty plus year old relationship I want to discuss.  This week we celebrate the birth of our country. Just like any family, group, town, state or country we have had some bumps along the way. Yes, we have accumulated some scars along the way. Despite the scars or perhaps because of the scars we are the greatest country that ever existed, warts and all.  We have the greatest country that ever existed because we have a good foundation, and because people have defended her against enemies both foreign and domestic.

Not everyone in our country agrees on defining the issues or how to address them. We have the right to disagree and peacefully air out our differences without becoming disagreeable. Violent protests are an end in and of itself and rarely produce willing converts. Violent protests create greater divisions.

My fellow veterans and those currently serving did so and do so in order to preserve our hard fought freedom and liberty.  May I suggest that we as a country look for more ways to heal our scars rather than reopening or opening new wounds?

Healing our wounds and scars will lead to glorious birthday celebrations. We can accomplish more healing by working together than we can by being at odds with each other.

What is the story behind your scars?  Do you have any scars that need to be healed, if so today is a good day to begin the healing?

Would you stand with me to help heal the scars?

Facing the Challenge (60s)

 

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.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/forgiveness

(2) https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/forgiveness-and-restoration/forgiveness-what-it-is-and-what-it-isnt



Missing Them Is A Hard Thing

May 3, 2019

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

April 30, 2019

 

 

The loss of a loved one can bring a pendulum of emotions. It is expected that a child will bury their parents. Parents care for, raise and guide their children while they shape their values.

One of the greatest traumas imaginable is when parents have to deal with the death of a child.   Producing greater stress than dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, a child’s death is especially traumatic because it is often unexpected as well as being in violation of the usual order of things in which the child is expected to bury the parent.

If you have never experienced the death of a child, it’s extremely difficult to know what to say to someone facing this type of loss. The death of a child is unnatural, unfair, and tragic.

Although the circumstances can be different, death is a permanent change of address from this side of eternity to the other. Your loved one is no longer available to call or hug. Your loved one, however, is still with you in your heart.

A remembrance of the good times is very helpful. Focusing of missed opportunities can lead to depression.   While words can never fully express how much someone means to us, language can still provide comfort, solace, hope, and even inspiration following the death of a loved one.

A parent being deployed brings a different set of anxiety and fear than a child going off to war. Parents are expected to protect their children and normally the parents are easily accessible. When children go off to war, they are protecting their parents.

There are times when elderly parents need the assistance and protection of their children. Be good to your children as they may one day make decisions for you.

Upon the death of a loved a final, a funeral service fills several important needs.

  • Funerals help us acknowledge that someone we love has died.
  • Funerals allow us to say goodbye.
  • Funerals offer continuity and hope for the living.
  • Funerals provide a support system for us, friends, family members and the community.
  • Funerals allow us to reflect on the meaning of life and death

A funeral comprises the rites, rituals, ceremonies and/or other meaningful observances that human beings conduct in order to honor or memorialize a person who died, whether held with or without the physical presence of the deceased’s remains.

Even if you never experienced it, I’m sure you can understand that the death of a child is especially painful. Everyone grieves in different ways. Sometimes celebrating the life of your departed loved one is the best way to heal.

Former Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, Rich Hill, revealed to the media on March 6, 2014 that his infant son, Brooks, passed away on February 24, reports CBS Boston. The nomadic Hill had signed with the Red Sox in January 2014 so that he could be close to his family and son, who was being treated at Mass General. Rich Hill, his wife Caitlin, and son Brice have a wonderful storey at https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/rich-hill-mlb-dodgers

Children are a Blessing of the Lord.  There are plenty of couples who are looking for the Blessings of children. My question is not judgmental but why would anyone choose to end the life of a Blessing of a child?

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


Related 

https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/video-born-debate-very-much-alive-in-left-abortion-attempt-survivor/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/01/democrat-on-abortion-some-kids-are-unwanted-so-you-kill-them-now-or-you-kill-them-later/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/02/rep-bradley-byrne-condemns-horrific-abortion-comments-from-alabama-democrat/

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/grazie-christie/judge-issues-injunction-against-trump-title-x-rule-offers-expectant

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/huckabee-abortion-violates-unborn-childs-5th-and-14th-amendment-rights

 


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