What Sword Are You Using?

July 6, 2018

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

July 4, 2018

 

Swords can be found throughout history. When we found knives and daggers were too short we made them longer into swords. Swords are an important part of human history.

One state has sword in one hand on its state shield and flag, Massachusetts. The motto, in Latin is Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem which loosely translates to “By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty”, supporting peace through strength.

God set a flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden.

The sword of the Spirit, is the word of God, the Bible is the written Word of God.

Swords in their sheaths are not ready for battle.  A dull sword is not ready either.

Tongues have been used as swords to slice and dice others by words. It would seem a growing number of people are using their tongues and written words to vitriolicly castigate others simply because they disagree with them.  Unfortunately the vitriol is increasing to a fever pitch with the intent to incite violence just because they don’t agree with the other person.

Some argue that their vitriol is just a free speech expression. Free speech ends when the speech infringes upon someone else’s rights.

Swords, just the spoken and written word can cut sharper than a two edged sword. The spoken and written words can cause pain or can be used to heal.

Bullies have perfected their art of using their spoken and written words to abuse, cause pain, fear, anxiety, and suppress the rights of others.

Bullies may have started in the school yard or they may just copycat someone else.  Bullies generally are covering up their own insecurities and   inferiority complex.

Bullies manifest themselves as perpetrators of Domestic Violence. Bullies are given to quarrellings and other assaults. Domestic Violence bullies also use verbal and physical assaults, emotional and economic pressures to abuse and exact submission harming others, such as wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends or others related or not..

Bullies while using their spoken and written words to cause pain, fear, anxiety, and suppress the rights of others have a condition of the heart. Their hearts are full of hate, fear, insecurities, anxiety and pain. Unless bullies learn to deal with this condition of their hearts they will continue to cause havoc with people around them.  The havoc of bullies can cause PTSD in those who have experienced the bully’s wrath.

The overflow of the bullies’ heart can change if the bully is open to change. The change won’t be easy but it is possible. The best way to change the bully’s condition of the heart is to allow the Sword of the Lord to do His work to make the changes and guard your heart.

Everyone has a sword such as their tongue.

A good way to check the condition of your heart is to how people react to you when they see you. Do you see love or fear in their eyes, do they come toward you or go away from you?

Everyone decides how to use their sword for good or bad.  The best way I can see to use your sword is for peaceful conditions under liberty.

 

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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Head For A Soft Landing

May 4, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

May 1, 2018

 

 

After a long hard day some people head for a soft landing into their favorite chair to unwind, relieve stress and relax. Some exercise to relieve stress, some soak in a warm tub.

Stress is any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust in response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal part of life.

Not all stress is bad.

Stress can motivate people to prepare or perform, like when they need to take a test or interview for a new job. Stress can even be life-saving in some situations. In response to danger, your body prepares to face a threat or flee to safety. In these situations, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity, all functions aimed at survival.

Harmful stress needs to be dealt with and relieved to escape what could turn out to be long term life changing events such as stroke or heart attacks.

Soaking in warm water has a soothing effect on both the body as well as the mind. Its relaxation and therapeutic benefits are based on the stimulation of blood circulation and release of muscle tension. Hot baths initially rise heart rate and temperature, and to dispel the heat, the body perspires which gets rid of toxins. Then the blood vessels dilate and improve circulation, thus removing lactic acid from muscles, lowering blood pressure and easing pain.

Many who suffer from anxiety or depression have found a good soak in a warm tub to be a natural and helpful relief. A good soak in tub has proved to be helpful for many other reasons as well.

You may also try a very natural stress reducer in getting a good night’s sleep. It is well known that insufficient sleep leaves people irritable, cranky and on edge, whereas too much sleep will have the effect of making them sluggish and depressed.

Soft landings are preferred by birds, planes, and economists. Not many people I know would prefer the sudden stop of a crash, whether it be in a plane, car or health issues. Crashes cause damage to people, property, and the economy.

There are certain foods and activities which add to stress then again there are certain foods and activities which reduce stress. Generally processed food can help produce stress as your body in not adequately fed with required nutrients. Long stays in front of a TV or computer can cause or add to stress.

Soft landings can be found in spending quality time with your family or pets. Horses, dogs, and cats crave personal attention and help you to a soft landing.

Eight Ways Your Pet Can Help You with  Relieve Your Stress and A Soft Landing: 1. Just being around an animal decreases your blood pressure; 2. Our pets decrease our reactions to stressful situations; 3. Pet owners on average get more exercise; 4. People with pets are less likely to say they feel loneliness; 5. Pets help you be in the moment; 6. Pets lower stress by fulfilling our need for touch; 7. Pets seem to help support feelings that make you more resilient at dealing with stress; 8. Finally, they make us laugh(1)

 

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) http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/8-ways-your-pet-can-help-relieve-your-stress

 

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/pets-depression#1

 


Devolving Into History

April 6, 2018

Rev Paul N. Papas II

April 1, 2018

 

 

Instead of learning from history it appears we are trying to repeat the old bad ways with a high tech twist.

Old ways are not necessarily bad ways while at the same token not all new ways are good.

I would think most people would not want live in a time before Due Process was considered a Right to be guaranteed.

Due process is required for committing someone to a psychiatric facility. In the old days people who were a problem to someone with power would just make arrangements to have a person committed. Once committed; the person was discredited, no longer believed and the family, business or political problem was resolved. Today proper notice must be given and hearings held.

Many of the Mental Health issues that were once ‘treated’ with extreme measures, such physical or chemical lobotomies can be addressed with the help of caring, knowledgeable people.  PTSD, once called shell shock, fear, anxiety, and depression are among those which can be treated with the help of caring, knowledgeable people.  Getting to the root of the problem is the beginning of true lasting healing.

Homeowners had much less protection in the old days than they do today before a foreclosure. There are many horror stories people loosing their homes for a variety of reasons including seizing the wrong property. Mortgage lenders are not generally known for their forgiveness.

The Ancient World Was Pro-Death

Down through history, many have believed that death could solve problems.

About the middle of the 6th century before Christ, a boy was born to a wealthy nobleman in India in the province of Bihar.  His name is Mahavira.  His parents, though well-to-do, belonged to a sect that looked upon birth as a curse, and upon suicide as a blessed privilege.  When their son, Mahavira, reached his 31st year they ended their lives by voluntary starvation.

The young man, moved to the depths of his soul, renounced the world and its cruel ways, divested himself of all clothing, and wandered through western Bengal as an ascetic.  From his life a new sect was born, the Jains, which had a considerable effect upon India, including Gandhi, the revered man we know who would starve himself to death on the basis of policy.

Some notable ancient Greeks also believed that death could solve some things.  A Greek scholar, D.W. Palmer, compiled an impressive list of quotations from Greek lyric poetry, drama, philosophy, and rhetoric to establish the fact that in the Greek world there was a widespread belief that death is preferred for those whose life is a burden.  By it one was delivered from the troubles of earthly existence; death brings rest from one’s labors.

Socrates expressed this on one occasion when he said: “And if there is no consciousness but it is like a sleep when the sleeper does not even see a dream, death would be a wonderful gain” (Socrates’ words in Plato, Ap. 40, C-D).  Josephus, the historian, wrote about the oppressed of his time: “They had no opportunity to put up a strong fight, but reckoned it a gain if they died, a misfortune to live” (Josephus, Ant. 15. 158).

Our culture seems to be devolving back into a culture of death during my lifetime as witnessed by violent rhetoric, violent actions and lawlessness reported in the media.

 

The Easter faith is counter to such “pro-death” views.  It opts for life.  When death starts to look inviting, one must be reminded that one “is still here,” and to that fact one must bow.

 

 

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/2013/03/01/new-old-weapon-of-destruction-rediscovered/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/stepping-up-use-of-new-old-weapons/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/ward-and-june-cleaver-criminalized/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/surrender-or-lose-your-head/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/abuse-home-work-church-a-boiled-frog/

 

 


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

 

YEAR FAILURES or SETBACKS SUCCESSES
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

 

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

 

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

 

 


The 2018 Flight

January 5, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

January 1, 2018

 

 

Oftentimes people send end of the year messages or first of the year greetings. The following is adapted from one such message which I wanted to share with you:

To our new and old colleagues, friends and patrons,

I believe for most of us we‘ve had a blessed flight and a great landing. Do read on, you’ll quickly catch on for this is not a customary end of the year well wishes. We’ve journeyed and landed safely to our last destination of 31st December 2017. Whilst our 2018 flight is refueling to take off with its intended destination of 31st December 2018. The voyage will again be twelve (12) months long. Consequently, loosen your seat belts, jingle and mingle. By His Grace we will complete the work we’ve started.

From our divine pilot, the new realm stopovers in addition to 2017’s giving, sharing and caring will be: plan, purpose and presence during our many complete refueling.

During our 2017 flight the following ecclesiastic, spiritual nourishment offered menu during the voyage were Cocktail of Friendship; Health; Grating of Prosperity: Bowl of Excellent; Salad of Success; Cake of Happiness, all

Accompanied by bursts of laughter…

During our devout 2018 voyage our nourishment will be knowledge and wisdom (should you choose to spiritually consume). In case of emergency of drop of cabin pressure, YOU are what you repeatedly do; therefore excellence ought to be a habit and not an act.

Additionally make certain that our service is bigger than our ego for ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity.  Pride, arrogance is the burden of a foolish person. Our calling from birth, from the moment we’ve been able to make sense of our environment has been and continues to be to impact others. Now please fasten your seat belt.

As entertainment during our upcoming 12 months voyage, will be to plan with a purpose and being in the presence of our maker.  Commit to memory, you will sharpen your wisdom; enhance your humility which by return will increase success (whatever your definition of success might be) intended for YOUR life.

Your adaptation to others who have been divinely placed in a position or places to be of assistance, to favor is undeniably the proof for honor. Often your paralyzed ‘’Exceptional Aspiration’’ lies in someone divinely placed in our surrounding to bring about that something sensational…something extraordinary you are awaiting to ensue. Frequently your ‘’Exceptional Aspiration’’ is something you can do, something you can become or something you can have. As you progress on in life with your career, projects and the list goes on… should you fail in life, you will ALWAYS be able to map out your failure to a key person or persons you chose to dishonor. When you succeed irrespective of your endeavor, you will ALWAYS be able to outline it back to the person or persons you opted to honor.

What am I saying? Honor and humility are the progenies for access. Additionally plan even if you do not have it all together. Plan with a purpose and stay in the presence of Our Maker. This I guarantee you all is the recipe for a fulfill life with a purpose.

The uncommon personal dream that God is incessantly using in your life is not to only stir honor and humility but also to provide focus, progression and an enthusiasm to awaken hope, inspire direction and make you a blessing to others.

I wish you and yours an enjoyable new 365 days voyage of 2018. Do not miss out on your destiny, which lies in obedience, consistencies to your plan, which is linked to our Maker’s Purpose, whilst remaining in His presence.

Signed by Your 2017 flight attendant.

If we follow the wisdom and intent of the 2017 flight attendant; fear, anxiety, worry and all their negative consequences will be made of no effect; PTSD will dissipate; and people will experience true joy.

Freedom, Liberty, and Joy begin with a purposeful heart and mind focused upon things that really matter. Freedom, Liberty, and Joy are a choice. Some people in prison experience more Freedom, Liberty, and Joy than some outside of prison.

True we are not even promised tomorrow, however we can choose how to live each day we are granted. How will you live yours?

 

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

 


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

 

 

 

(1)  https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/accentuating-a-positive-attitude#1

 

 


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)

www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

 

 


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