About Me

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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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The Peace the Surpasses Human Understanding

Posted by Don Paine

Peace is the cry of the World all around
The varied ways to achieve it are everywhere found
While peace talks are held in a harbor of pearls
Plans for war in the other's heart twirls

Peace after all is elusive at best
When the heart is nit at rest
Deceit and maneuvers the day manipulates
The night plans the head he decapitates

He told me I had no peace and I needed some
He shouted it at me, I  mused myself to unwind
The one who has peace is calmer after all
Where the frightened soul by his anger is blind

The trick is so clearly divine
to give up my life without losing it in time
It is the fragmented pieces in the mind of hatred
That must be sacrificed to the power of red

Patience and perspective win out over time
The way of peace is to put all hostility and war too bed!
What brings peace is not military or police at night
It comes when all hearts in compassion are right

When Truth violates trust

Posted by Don Paine

 Truth, when spoken in anger, judgment and out of fear can be nasty, disrespectful, wreck less cruel,rude, and life imprisoning.

Truth, when spoken with clarity, calmness, and compassion is healing, healthy and life changing 

Jesus came to set the captives free (imprisoned not by the iron bars of self `interests
They are like blind bats leading the sighted blind  the blind leading the blind
Jesus cameTo heal the broken-hearted with his palms that took the anger and hatred of the world and transform them into hands of peace, love, and forgiveness 
To show Gods favor not to a select few but to show his favor to and for all.  God shows favor to all and has no favorites at all.

For God Speaks today as of old through his word, Np preacher can add to the word so plain

Posted by Don Paine


Winning the War

Posted by Don Paine

Winning the War

Hostility and belligerence is seen every day
In classrooms in street corners guns have their say
While people in churches pray for peace in our world
People with anger plan terror to unfurl

A new found stability helps me to be more calm
A new found understanding of the fatigue of compassion
Helps me to be decrease my feeling of the sweaty palm
A new found perspective, steadily creates life passion

It  helps me to be full of compassion without Losing my footing
To be fully human, the goal, includes mistakes after all
To be more forgiving, the commitment to stand tall
Honesty and humility are partners with sorrow teaming

Winning the battle is less important than the war winning
In the end it is not who wins the argument that truly wins
It is the one with humility and honesty that is a true friend
The only thing that last forever is relationships after all

by Dawn Paine

Tenderhearted and Bravehearted

Posted by Don Paine

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. -Ephesians 4:32

The Knot that knots us together is in all of us, everyone

Posted by Don Paine

Dr. Michael D. Yapko is a clinical psychologist and author, whose work is focused in the areas of treating depression, developing brief psychotherapies and advancing the clinical applications of hypnosis.

Dr. Michael Yapko who I studied with in 1996, is a clinical psychologist in California.  His focus is on treating depression, and developing techniques of self hypnosis. One of the mantra's I recall from my training with him was the truthful statement "that not every though you think is worthy to be thought about!"  In my devotional this morning, I began to think of many similar statements.......here are some of them

The Knot that knots us together is in all of us, everyone

Not every thought is worth thinking about.
Not every feeling needs to be expressed
Not every angry reaction need result in an hostile response
Not any act of aggression can justify a responsive act of aggression
Not every disagreement has to separate and fragment mature friends
Not every action need be responded to by an equal and opposing reaction.
Not any act of disrespect can be used to justify another act of disrespect
No act of war is justified though the act of war can be made justifiable
Not every moment of euphoria and excitement can be transmitted with words.

Every moment needs to be treasured
Every day needs to be savored
Every week is to be honored with a special day of rest
Every Month is to be marked a a shifting of the moon
Every year has moments of reflection, sadness, redemption and release
Every decade becomes the launching pad for a new beginning
Every century the beginning of a generating life for the next generation
Every event needs to be seen with an eye of faith, embraced as a "bashert"
All who engage in intentional acts of compassion pay attention to the still small voice.

By Dawn Paine

A Time to Learn

Posted by Don Paine

I woke up this morning as if from a dream and nightmare of the last few days.  I was feeling a bit like the character Charles Dickens portrayed in A Christmas Carol (not the season for this in one sense but it is on target with my season of learning).  Scrooge had a dream and when he had woken up because it had seemed so much, he was surprised to find it was Christmas morning.  Smart as he was he did one thing that is pay for a Turkey to be sent to Tiny Tim's home coupled with a take the day off to dad..  He also greeted everyone with an "I am alive" enthusiasm and "acts of compassion" because previously he had none.

I have too much compassion or rather my compassion gets me into trouble.  One illustration serves the purpose of telling you what I mean.  Years ago my wise son said to me, Dad I do not know why you see so many clients, why you see people for basically nothing, and so you struggle financially?  At the time I was seeing 40 clients over half of which were not paying me a full rate, insurance companies were refusing to cover an I continued to see them, and even wealthy clients were asking me for a discount and I was granting it.  My son's idea was that if I saw 20 people and they paid me straight up then I would make double the money in half the time and be abel to relax.  My prideful response was,
"I do not know what you would call that but you would not call that a ministry.  Today I think I heard but did not listen to my son,

My self protective response was because I care about people.  Because it is a ministry not just a business.  Today I am in the position I am in financially and emotionally because I did not keep and monitor a balance between care of others and care for self.

It is time to learn and I am learning.

I feel like so much has come to me lately because I am forcing myself to take some time for myself so I can return to the practice of caring for people through counseling and also maintain good not selfish self-care.

Thank you son for your wisdom that I know will make you a good father one day.

Expanding God's Blessing

Posted by Don Paine

At the New York City Marathon we began after 9/11 singing God Bless America as part of the benediction of the Worship Service held at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island where the marathon starts.

The New York City Marathon is an international event here in America.  I began to think as great as this benediction is it is really "self serving".  To have peace in our world all nations and all faiths need to come together and pledge solidarity, solitude, and a commitment of safety and peace, liberty and justice for All.

In that spirit I am writing the first draft of: "God Bless Our Universe"

All comments are welcome.

God Bless our universe
The earth a gift of your love
Stand beside us 
and guide us
Through the night with light from above 

From the mountains to the desserts
From the oceans to skies above

God bless all of us with love for all
God keep all of us in light of call

Transparency leads to Transformation

Posted by Don Paine

I was at a conference of the church and they were debating a resolution re: Calling all religious groups into an honest self appraisal and an commitment to be transformed into the church that God designed.

The Resolution:  "We call all religious groups to comment to not using religious rationalization for any act of aggression against any other religious or secular group".  Among the whereas's presented and debated but not included was the most revealing about where the problem is and where the solution is.

Transparency is the key to transform the aggression of our world into living in peace with all people.

The phrase that was rejected was a call to transparency:  Where we as a Christian Church are calling all religious groups to commit to not use religion as a rationalization we must lead by example and ask forgiveness of other people groups who we have in our time of self serving and justifying rationalization to act with aggression toward any other person or group of person and ourselves commit to step out of the darkness of our own history into the light of inclusive and redemptive compassion toward all and in all.

It made me sad when this was rejected.

It is a willingness to acknowledge our wrongness in the past that will help those who are in the present engaging in self even God justifying acts of aggression.

While anyone can justify acts of aggression towards others no act of aggression is justified.

Transparency is key.

Welcome sign

Posted by Don Paine

One thing that is common to every church and religious houses of worship is a sign that says:

Everyone is Welcome or some expression of that kind.  

Let's be honest about it.  While the church may want to be welcoming the idea of "You are Welcome here" is an elusive idea and a more elusive experience.  Churches tend to make people who believe the way they do, think the way people do, look the way others look so that only people who fit that profile really are welcome.

The Book of Revelation 22:17 tells us says, "whosoever will, let him drink freely of the water of life".
That is a welcome sign that God puts out there.  Everyone regardless of anything is welcome to drink of  the water of life which by the way is free.

There is a well here and you are invited to drink deeply of that well.

Here that challenge to see that everyone regardless of anything is Welcome.

To do so we have to let go of all our prejudices, biases, and judgment and see all people with compassion in a two dimensional way.  We need to be compassionate toward all people and we need to see compassion in all people.

Working at making people feel welcome is the work and witness of the church, of people.


Posted by Don Paine

I was walking with a friend yesterday morning and he commented that he does not feel welcome in the church.

I said interesting thing to share.  So what would make you feel welcome?, I asked. Nothing he grumbled

It reminded me of a conversation I had with the leadership of the church that had called me to be there pastor.

There was a university just down the road so I asked, what did you do to make students welcome here?
The response, "we built the church right close to them".  It seemed they thought everyone in the neighborhood would feel the church was here for them.  It might have been that way a few centuries ago but not today.

I am glad God didn't say I built the earth close to heaven so they would feel welcome. God sent his son into the world, to where people are.  The idea of God is that you have to go to people not expect them to come to you.  

I shared with my friend that I had been at a committee meeting of a church.  One person asked me if I knew about the church in Worcester that is an outdoor church, I said yes and gave her the information she wanted.   I then said to the group why don't we have some services in the beautiful green in front of our church
I noted that many walk by the church and some of them might stop to visit if we were out there where they are.

My friend said he would stop into  service that was outside and inviting.


"If you build it they will come, does not make people feel welcome ! 

Direct and Sensitive Communication

Posted by Don Paine

A short time ago I heard someone say that they need to be direct in their conversations even if it is difficult one.  They added they also need to be sensitive.

I began to muse.  We all need to learn to speak our minds (right or wrong) in a respectful way toward the minds of others.  We need to sometimes get out of our minds to get into the mind of another particularly when they think differently.  It is my way or the highway leads to loneliness on the road of life.  Maybe what is even worse than loneliness it may lead to a life surrounded only by people who think the way you think.  The above statement made me think:

Speaking your mind without losing your mind may be achieved only when you are willing lose your mind so you can hear respectfully the mind of another person.  Mindlessness may be as rewarding as mindfulness.  In balance they may create a healthier balance in life.  Maybe even peace in our world.

One attribute worth developing is the attribute of security of mind in oneself and sensitivity of heart toward others.

Long Overdue, Right on time

Posted by Don Paine

It has been a long time since I last wrote a blog.  So do I tell all about where I have been or do I just pick up from here with a fresh start.  While where I have been may wind or wiggle its way into my blogging over the next few weeks, I want to choose "a fresh start".

Jesus said in John 3, "The wind blows where it wills and just as you never know where it comes from or where it is going (or taking you) so is everyone who is born of the Spirit".

I love this passage for three reasons
1) It tells me that being born of the Spirit is not about theology, ecclesiology,  or psychology, it is not about being right or wrong.  It is about having the courage to put up your sail and sail on.
2) It tells me to courageously trust the wind.
3) It invites me to let the wind blow away the chaff and anything that is less important than this moment.

So I simply say the winds in the valley of the shadows have had me in a whirlwind of confusion, uncertainty, in short not so good a place or space. I ignored a lot of things and people who were offering to help.  It was just not time. A part of me says it has been way to long and I need to explain.  But fresh starts are just that fresh starts.  It is so refreshing to know that you can just start fresh any day, any month, any year.

If I missed an email or a message I am sorry and I have no excuse as that is rude and disrespectful.  If you text or call me I will respond.

In our society a whole block of people say never admit you are wrong, or that you were in a dark space.  It is not strong leadership.  I am thinking that strong leadership courageously says whatever is true, including "I was wrong, I was in a bad zone".  It takes courage to come back. What do I say?

I will say this:  God works in mysterious ways the Wonder of God to display.  I arrived at our camp in Maine the end of June and as we prepared to launch the boat I noticed a beautiful scene.  I took out my phone and took a picture (what a day we live in).

I am not sure what you see. I am sure we often see what we want to see or don't see what we need to see.  What I saw was heaven meeting earth.  The God above is a mirror who lets us see light in darkness and darkness in light.  A light of hope switched on inside of me.  Not only hope for the future, but hope for forgiveness, for renewal, for refreshing, for a new beginning so I am back.  It does not matter where I was but it does matter that I am back.  The journey is the past meeting the future in reflective wonder.

A Fresh Start is always on time, the right time.  Now is the time for refreshing which is not pushing a button on your computer or iPad or iPhone marked "refresh". It is about the God above the God of love meeting you where you are and letting that be a reflection of the beauty and grandeur when heaven and earth create a reflection of wonder.

"In the wind and in the stillness, God is here"