Talking Past or Real Conversation

November 30, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

November 26, 2018

 

 

If we don’t communicate we can’t get anything accomplished. At one time we all spoke the same language making easy to get our point across.  Many problems today can be traced back to our failure to communicate.

At one time we all spoke the same language, then came the idea to build a tower to reach the heavens.  The tower of Babel story is one of the saddest and most significant stories in the Bible. It is sad because it reveals the widespread rebellion in the human heart. It is significant because it reshaped the development of future cultures.

The descendants of Noah were living in the area of Mesopotami in Babylon. They settled in a land named Shinar. The population was growing and they all spoke one language. The people decided to build a tall, proud symbol of how great they had made their nation. The Babylonians wanted a tower that would “reach to the heavens” so that they could be like God and that they would not need Him. They began to construct a great ziggurat.

God did not like the pride and arrogance in the hearts of the people. God caused the people to suddenly speak different languages so they could not communicate and work together to build the tower. This caused the people to scatter across the land. The tower was named The Tower of Babel because the word Babel means confusion. This story is a powerful reminder of how important it is to obey God’s Word and to not think that we can build a successful but godless life on our own! (1)

We do like to hear ourselves talk and receive a physical boost when we do. Rejection could send us into a fight or flight mode. It was found that executives used “telling statements” 85% of the time, leaving a mire 15% for questions. On top of that, almost all the questions they asked were actually statements in disguise. For the most part no one was being convinced except the speaker.

To add to the failure to communicate our brain disconnects about every 12-18 seconds to evaluate and process, which means we’re often paying as much attention to our own thoughts as we are to other people’s words.

After acknowledging the problem individually the simple fix is to remember we have two ears and one mouth. We should use our ears twice as much as we speak.

There are people who have learned to communicate effectively despite their inability to speak.

Some get frustrated, anxious, and depressed and spiral downward when they know they are not heard. People who get frustrated, anxious, and depressed and spiral downward could then be treated for mental health issues, all for a failure to communicate.

Some act out and become violent when they feel their point of view is not being heard or believed. This violent acting out can cause physical harm to others and damage to property.  The damage to property and physical harm by this group is because of a failure to communicate.

The simple fix to end talking past others for all who desire to effectively communicate is to use are ears twice as much as we use our mouths. The simple fix is healthier and safer for all concerned and the country as a whole. The simple fix can be put in place one person at a time, no votes or committees are needed.

Let’s implement the simple fix today and use our ears twice as much as we use our mouths.

 

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

 

 

(1) https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-stories/the-tower-of-babel.html


Myth v History

November 2, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 30, 2018

 

 

Your foundation establishes who you are, your character, and your direction.

Those who control the writing of the history books can influence future generations. The writers of history get the opportunity to select what shows up in textbooks. The writers of textbooks are however unable to change the facts of history.

Before we had written books history was orally passed down from generation to generation. One could think that over a passing of time the oral memorization and recitation of history through the generations would have distorted the material facts.

A good example of history that was rewritten is the Exodus. Some sources still call it a myth and state there is no evidence that such an event happened.  The myth supporters use their own imagination then justify and rationalize how it was not possible for such an event to happen.

As justification for their skepticism, scholars point to the lack of references in Egyptian chronicles of the period to either the Hebrews’ sojourn in Egypt or the Exodus.

But as Jeffrey Sheler points out in the book, “Is The Bible True?,” while there may be no specific mention of the Hebrews in ancient Egyptian records, there is plenty of indirect and circumstantial evidence.

One surviving document refers to a people called the “apiru,” who were workers in an unidentified building project. And this document dates from the reign of Rameses II, the pharaoh of the Exodus.

Scholars have noted the similarity between “apiru” and “Hebrew” — there is no “h” in Semitic languages. Many consider the document a reference to not only the Hebrews in Egypt, but also to their forced labor.

Even those who don’t go that far say that this document, along with others, attests to the presence of a large Semitic population in Egypt at the time of the Exodus.

What were they doing there? Forced labor.  In fact, as James Hoffmeier, a professor at Wheaton College points out, “the practice of using forced labor for building projects is only documented for the period of 1450 to 1200 [B.C.], the very time most biblical historians place the Israelites in Egypt.”

As for the absence of references to the Exodus, Sheler points out that Egyptian chronicles were much more propaganda than history. And what ancient despot would want to memorialize an embarrassing defeat?

A writer for Biblical Review offered a humorous translation of what this chronicle of defeat would have said: ” … Rameses the Great … before whom all tremble in awe … announced that the man Moses had kicked his royal [seat] for all the world to see, thus proving that God is Yahweh and the 2000-year-old culture of Egypt is a lie …”(1)

The Exodus was one of the greatest rescues in history of an enslaved group leading to the miracle of the parting of the sea. The Hebrews were up against the sea with the Pharaoh’s Army bearing down upon them. If there was ever a time for fear and anxiety to take over the crowd and their leader Moses is was then.

The importance of the parting of the Red Sea is that this one event is the final act in God’s delivering His people from slavery in Egypt. The exodus from Egypt and the parting of the red sea is the single greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament, and it is continually recalled to represent God’s saving power. The events of the exodus, including parting and crossing of the Red Sea, are immortalized in the Bible and bring to remembrance God’s saving works in their worship

God prophesied to Abraham that his descendants would become slaves in a foreign nation for 400 years, but God promised to deliver them.

Ultimately, Moses did not allow fear and anxiety to take over and he showed courage and intestinal fortitude which allowed God to work His miracle of parting the Red Sea.

A life based on a myth is a recipe for failure; it is like building your house on quicksand.

If you have the courage and the intestinal fortitude to face your fears you will grow despite your history and help make tomorrow a better day.

 

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) Copyright (c) 2000 Prison Fellowship Ministries.  “BreakPoint with Chuck Colson” is a radio ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

 


Do You Really Want Justice?

October 5, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

October 1, 2018

 

Would you agree that if the accuser brings a false report of wrongdoing that the one bringing the false report should receive the punishment he wanted imposed upon the falsely accused?

After a wrongful incarceration: “The innocent person released after years of wrongful incarceration … they’re on the courthouse steps with their lawyers looking very triumphant. That person gets nothing from the state, no transportation home, no home, no apology, nothing.” (1)

After spending the majority of his life behind prison walls, the job search was understandably difficult “Filling out job applications meant accounting for the 38-year gap in his employment history. And while Clay’s conviction was overturned by a judge, an employer checking for a criminal background would still see his arrest for murder.” (1)

Using the opening question should the one who wrongfully spent 38 years in prison be replaced by the one who falsely accused him?

It might happen at least in one case where a grand jury indicted a former Louisville detective who worked on the cases of at least three innocent men who were wrongly convicted. (2)

Where does a falsely accused person go to get his good name back?

In cases where people are convicted in the court of public opinion without due process, where do they get their good name back?  Where do they work unmolested to support their family?

The ideas of justice and righteousness are deeply connected in the Bible. Both are richly applied to many things, from fair weights and measures, to just legal proceedings, to good personal conduct, to honesty and truthfulness, to an individual’s right or just claim, to employers’ economically just behaviors, to judges’ fair decisions, to the governmental responsibilities of kings and rulers.

The clear meaning of “justice” is “what is right”, the way things are supposed to be. The fairness of laws coupled with fair and equal treatment under the law is common biblical concerns. Justice can also mean “deliverance,” “victory,” “vindication,” or “prosperity” — but for all, not just a few. Justice is part of God’s purpose in redemption.

Unfortunately many today have taken up violence as their first response where civil public discourse used to be common place.

Those causing the violence are intent on instilling fear, just like any bully. Unfortunately this violence could cause serious injuries both physically and to ones mental health.

There is certainly nothing wrong with expressing your disagreement, it is the manner and form of your expression which may become disagreeable.

In times in the not too distant passed it was common to sit around a table to share and discuss differing views and resolving problems. We could get there again, starting today one person at a time.

If we could get back to have to having civil public discourse we would have a lot less people being falsely accused, a lot less fear and anxiety as well .

Ready to begin?

 

 

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 

 

Deuteronomy 19:1-21 (NKJV)

16  If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing,
17  then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days.
18  And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother,
19  then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
20  And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.

 

(1) https://www.innocenceproject.org/frederick-clays-life-post-exoneration/

 

(2) https://www.innocenceproject.org/former-louisville-detective-charged-with-misconduct/



Related

https://pjmedia.com/trending/students-demand-professor-fired-after-he-champions-due-process-says-accusers-sometimes-lie/

https://www.sarahpalin.com/2018/10/03/trump-scary-time-young-men-america/

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/30238-fbi-report-sinks-kavanaugh-accusers-mcconnell-schedules-cloture-vote

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/30257-always-believe-women-boy-s-life-destroyed-by-girls-false-allegations

http://conservativefighters.com/news/moms-for-kavanaugh-come-forward-with-powerful-video-to-show-support/

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/christine-blasey-ford-lawyer-michael-bromwich.html

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/10/if_fords_lawyer_needs_a_lawyer_the_fat_ladys_singing.html

https://barbwire.com/i-was-sexually-assaulted-and-i-doubt-fords-testimony/


Rightly Divide the Word and the Situation

August 2, 2018

By Rev Paul N. Papas II

July 31, 2018

 

 

Most situations in life are the result of a negotiation. The best negotiators are the ones who have refined the art of reading the situation and the parties involved.  A misread of the situation or parties can be disastrous.

Most people became involved in multiple contracts when they got a phone, opened an email account or bought a house.

How many people took the time to read the fine print? There could be something in the fine print that is objectionable. However the fine print is where the ‘gotcha clause’ is hiding in plain sight.

For a couple of thousand years, we have been warned, that whatever is done in secret will come out into the light.

A daily reading reminded me that we should rightly divide the Word. I would take that one step further to say we should rightly divide every situation.

The term rightly divide the Word has also been written to properly handle the Word, digging into the real meaning and using it in context. The Word should be separated into two or more parts, meanings, areas, or groups which fit into the context of the sentence, paragraph and chapter to determine the true meaning of the Word

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

 

Properly reading the situation will provide you the best opportunity to obtain favorable results

This command is for us to “give diligence” (Greek spoudazo) for God’s approval by “rightly dividing” the word of truth. That which is to be rightly divided is not in doubt: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The end goal is to “display yourself” as one who is, therefore, approved by God.

 

Properly understanding the people, situation, or documents will provide you the best opportunity to obtain favorable results and a peaceful outcome.

The key is to “rightly divide” the Scriptures. The Greek word orthotomeo, only used this one time, has several shades of meaning: to cut straight, to cut straight ways; to proceed on straight paths, hold a straight course; to make straight and smooth; to handle aright; to teach the truth directly and correctly.

 

This cuts down the opportunities for deceptive practices to prevail.

Two passages emphasize the way to “divide” the Scriptures. When Isaiah asked rhetorical questions about how to learn and understand biblical knowledge, the answer was “precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).Thus:

Find the major pieces first.
Find the supporting elements next.
Find the pieces throughout the text.

Solomon, as the “wise preacher,” noted that one who would teach the people knowledge must have given “good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9).

Pay attention to the words (meanings, context).
Penetrate (research) the teaching (text first, then books).
Organize the information for teaching purposes.

This kind of study preparation requires a “workman”—one who is willing to give the diligence necessary to produce the powerful sayings built on the “word of truth.” If properly prepared, the workman will never be “ashamed.” HMM III (1)

 

We are all the workman in every situation in life. You decide if you want to do life the easy way or the hard way. The hard way could lead you to spiral down the road of fear, anxiety, depression and their related costly and generally unwanted consequences.

 

When all else fails, read the directions. Pay attention to the words and their meanings in context; to the signs and the situation. Stay alert to the fine print to save yourself a lot of needless aggravation and from the road of fear, anxiety, depression and their related costly and generally unwanted consequences.

 

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 

 

 

Reference

  1. http://www.icr.org/article/10710

 


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/

 

 


Courage In the Face Of Tragedy

March 2, 2018

By Rev. Paul N. Papas II

February 26, 2018

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporters with the local paper Tribunist wrote what happened next:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Related

 

https://history.army.mil/moh/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Medal_of_Honor_recipients

http://tribunist.com/news/hes-the-heroic-police-officer-who-charged-into-douglas-high-school-in-shorts-and-a-t-shirt-to-save-lives/

 

 


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