Archive for faith

Faith & Prayer… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2020 by paulthepoke
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With faith & prayer, everything always works out. Not always the way you think it will, but the way it’s supposed to be. Worrying & being anxious won’t change anything & only holds you back. The stress you cause yourself from being anxious is not healthy. Put your trust in God.

Proverbs 12:25. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Matthew 6:27. And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life span?

Have a worry free week my friends!!!

Tisha B`Av, 9th of Av, 5720/2020

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2020 by paulthepoke

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem is looking forward to the rebuilding of the third Temple. In recent years, the Temple Institute has chosen the 9th of Av as day to look to a brighter future. The following comments and video link are from http://www.templeinstitute.org/

Disease and despair are darkening our world. Fear and hatred and rage and anger, loss and loneliness have become the keywords of 2020. Tisha B’av, (the 9th of Av) the day of the destruction of the Holy Temple, but also the day that the rebuilding of the Holy Temple begins, is a reminder that even in our deepest, darkest despair, a better world beckons. Hope and joy and peace and unity are not just words, but a path to a brighter tomorrow. Together we can build a better future!

http://www.templeinstitute.org/

The 9th of Av is a day of mourning in Israel. Tragedy came about because of the account of Numbers 13-14. This event occurred immediately after God had delivered Israel out of bondage in Egypt. The short story is the Lord told Moses to send a group of spies to go scout the Promised Land. The spies came back and proclaimed the Jews could not take the land because of the inhabitants of the land were too big and too strong. The people rebelled against Moses. The people stated they would rather go back to Egypt. The nation, except Caleb and Joshua, did not believe God would give them the Promised Land.

Photo: Reddit.com

We know the events occurred during the grape harvest per the text. In Israel, grapes are harvested in late summer.

Numbers 13:20 “…and whether the land is rich or poor, and whether there are trees in it or not. Be of good courage and bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

This event is said to have occurred on the 9th of Av. God pronounced judgment on the nation at that time.

Tisha b’Av: Av is a Hebrew month. To a Jew, this is a date, the 9th of Av. It is the 11th month of the civil calendar or the 5th month of the religious calendar. It usually occurs during July or August on the Gregorian calendar.

This year, the 9th of Av begins at sunset on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Per God, a day runs from sunset to sunset as stated during the creation week in Genesis.  Av is not named in the Bible.

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This date is said to be a reminder of nation Israel’s lack of faith in God.

Here is a list of Jewish history on the 9th of Av.

  1. 586 BC, the first Temple was destroyed.
  2. 70 AD, the second Temple was destroyed.
  3. 135 AD, Betar fell. It was the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt.
  4. 136 AD, one year after the fall of Betar, the Temple area was plowed.
  5. 1290 AD, Jews were expelled from England.
  6. 1492 AD, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B’Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil.
  7. 1914 AD, World War I began the downward slide to the Holocaust.
  8. 2005 AD, Israel turns over the Gaza Strip.

References for dates courtesy of: http://www.jewfaq.org, http://www.chabad.org, https://www.templeinstitute.org

We Do Hugs Around Here… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2020 by paulthepoke

On a trip out of state a couple of months ago, I spoke to a large group of individuals exiting prison, as well as their families and supporters of faith–based recovery groups.

Photo by Kamille Sampaio on Pexels.com

Afterward, I was approached by a lovely woman. At first, she said she wanted to shake my hand. I said, “Shoot, we do hugs around here,” and I hugged her. She went on to say she had been in a recovery center/community that also had housing. They had an area for reading with a shelf of books, and my first book, Cry Purple, was one of the books on the shelves. She said she took my book to her room with every intention of reading it.

That night, her addiction called her, and the urge to use was out of control. She said she fought it for a while but finally grabbed her purse, combed her hair, and walked out of the recovery community center, but not before stepping back into her room and putting my book in her bag. She said she just stole my book. She told me she couldn’t help it and wasn’t sure what made her grab it.

She got high, ran out of money, and ended up in a house with other people getting high. She tried to settle into sleep. A day and a half passed. Then she picked up my book and read it. It took her four hours, but she read every page. She fell asleep, got up, and went back to the center with the book in hand. She said that even though she had stolen the book and gotten high, she had to return it because every female in the center/community needed to read it. So she returned to the center to return the stolen book and tell the staff that every woman needed to read it.

She was allowed back into the program, which is where she was at the time when we met. She thanked me for writing the book and said she felt like she was not alone when she read it.

It has been a couple of years since I met her at that event, but she still messages me from time to time to let me know she is still in the free world and has not returned to prison. She remains clean and tells me that I sparked hope in her to move beyond her past. She has thanked me repeatedly. She says she looks at her shame differently today and is now full of hope. The most recent message I got from her said, “I know stealing is wrong.” She said she had prostituted herself for money to get high, but had never stolen things before. She considers stealing my book the best criminal action she has ever committed in her life; she has no regrets. When she heard I would be at the event that night, she walked a number of blocks to ensure that she had a chance to meet me in person and to share with me that my journey gave her hope.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Be Courageous… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , on April 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

Key verse: Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

TEXT: JOSHUA 1:1-9

@beholy404

Courage is a contagious virtue, but discouragement and despair are strong weapons in the hand of Satan to destabilize and derail a seemingly mighty strategist. Many mighty men have lost the battles of life in moments of discouragement and despair. So, add to your faith courage to have good success. Joshua was a brilliant military strategist, a warrior and a special assistant to Moses before the latter died. God told him to take over the leadership of Israel to lead them to the Promised Land. He repeatedly encouraged Joshua to be strong and be of good courage.

Change is a natural occurrence in life. Times of difficulty, depression and dire needs often come and go. These periods of crises and challenges are not strange to men and women of God in every generation. Standing on the promises of God courageously is the only panacea when believers are faced with illness, fear, discouragement, disappointment and seemingly overwhelming tasks and circumstances of life. The exit of one person does not necessarily close the chapter of God’s promises for His own people.

Moses’ death was a great blow to Joshua and the nation of Israel. Joshua needed courage to move ahead and fulfill God’s instruction for his life because he was afraid to lead a rebellious nation like Israel.

Courage is the bedrock of success or achievement in life. Only those with persistence, faith and courage can obey divine instructions when the task seems impossible. Absolute dependence on God moves Him to pour His grace upon us and we are empowered to achieve great things.

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* Courage is like a propeller that moves the engine.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: LUKE 17 – 19

Test the Spirits… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on November 22, 2019 by paulthepoke

Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

…Of course, I thought to myself, I’m a working girl. Not even a leader of faith can allow me some safety, some sleep, some warmth, without expecting me to perform at some level. I understood all too well that being a prostitute meant the world around me viewed me differently. I knew people didn’t see us the same as everyone else.

Leaders of faith, law enforcement, case workers—it was all the same. Leaders of the faith would use you just like everyone else. The officers who arrested you would drive you someplace, only to offer to let you go if you’d perform. Sometimes you’d perform for them only to be treated horribly while they laughed and called you names. And they’d still take you to jail.

I suppose, as I consider, I have been bought/paid for by lawyers, judges, teachers, preachers, counselors, construction workers, professional athletes, journalists, cops, fathers, grandfathers uncles, brothers, husbands, boyfriends—I could go on. But one thing is absolute: They, the buyers, were from all walks of life and all economic statuses; the only common denominator they had was me, the prostituted person, an object for their play of privilege and perversions. And on this day a believer, a faith leader, an apparent “helping hand” could not see my pain, my despair.

Even the supposed good guys saw me, the prostituted, as a mere, simple object and somehow less than human and unworthy of anything beyond that identity. Thus the cycle of exploitation continued in place of the help I desperately sought.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/


How do You DO that, Jesus? -Michael Stone

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Michael Stone with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2019 by paulthepoke

You are omnipresent. That means that you are everywhere at once, ever present everywhere. That’s amazing to me. You are God, so I don’t struggle understanding that.

You are omniscient. That means that you know everything. That blows me away, yet, because You are God, I have no problem understanding that.

You are omnipotent. That is almost incomprehensible, yet, because You are God, I get it. You have always existed.

You have no beginning and no ending. I don’t really understand that with the finite mind that You created me with, but by faith I believe it wholeheartedly.

You created everything out of nothing but Your Word. I’m flabbergasted, yet, You are God, so it was really not a big effort for You at all.

You spoke light into utter darkness just by saying “LIGHT”. Okay, then! That’s all it took, because You are God.

You humbled Yourself and became a man to show us that we could be sinless and full of love, then You gave Yourself as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb, taking our place so that we may live with You forever. That’s amazing love. I accept that. I receive that.

Here’s the part that baffles me, though, Jesus; when we believe on You and confess You as LORD, You forgive every single sin that we have ever committed. Not only that, but You take it a step further and You forget every single sin that we have ever committed. WOW! That is mind boggling! How do you DO that, Jesus?

I have a hard enough time just struggling to forget a single mistake, yet You easily forget every horrible thing that I’ve ever done! You separate my sins from Yourself as far as the east is from the west. That’s immeasurable! How do you DO that, Jesus? Your Word says that You cast our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, to never again be remembered. How do you DO that, Jesus?

Why do I continue to compare Your ability to forgive and forget with mine, or anyone else’s? That’s really not wise. You ARE God. Nothing is impossible for you. When the enemy comes to me to remind me of bad things that I have done, and I bring them back up to You, Your reply is always, “What are you talking about? I don’t recall that. You’re forgiven. It’s forgotten. Don’t look back. Keep moving forward. Trust Me.” It’s time that I stop listening to the accusations of Satan, and start listening to the truth of who You are in me. You gave us all of Your power and authority.

It’s time that I started using it. Once we as Believers, as Followers of the Way, as Christians – once we all begin walking in the authority and faith that you gave to each of us, we CAN turn the world right-side-up for You, Jesus. How do we DO that, Jesus? In Your name! THAT’S how!
Thank You, Jesus!



Dear Christian: Faith and Focus

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Michael Stone with tags , , , , , , , on September 4, 2019 by paulthepoke

It is easy to become overwhelmed by SO many things in our lives. From personal situations to global unrest. From sickness to politics. From stress to natural disasters. Where do we have our eyes, our minds, and our hearts fixed? When we’re focused on Jesus, the bad stuff doesn’t affect us in the same way, because He, being with us ALWAYS, gives us that perfect peace, the peace that transcends all understanding, peace that only He can give. Where is our focus?

Think about the time that the disciples were with Jesus and he fed 5,000 men (women & children weren’t included in the count, but were definitely there, so the total of people fed that day could be 30,000 or more) with just five small loaves of bread and two fish from one kid’s lunch. The disciples were involved in that miracle because, after Jesus thanked the Father in Heaven for the food, He broke and divided it, and had the disciples hand it out. When all was said and done, and everyone was full (and probably burping), there were 12 baskets FULL of food left over, which Jesus had the disciples collect. That was one full basket of food for each disciple to carry back. They not only got to watch Jesus perform the miracle, they also were involved in doing it by handing the food out, then they got a bonus of each one of them carrying a large basket full of leftovers when all was said and done.

After everyone was done eating, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to spend some time alone with our Father in Heaven, and that they should go on ahead and cross the lake in their boat, and that He would meet them on the other side.

Now, at least half of His 12 disciples were fishermen, and they were ALL aware of the dangers of being in a boat on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), especially during foul weather. As the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in their little boat, a storm arose – a nasty storm. As the storm got worse, and the wind and the waves were “contrary” to their safety, the disciples started to panic. They knew that at any moment their little boat could break up in the storm, and they’d all be dead. Suddenly Jesus appeared to them in the distance, walking on the water, on the stormy waves. They were all starting to freak out, thinking that He was a ghost or something. Imagine their panic! These dudes were just involved in a major miracle not eight hours earlier, and now their focus is completely in the opposite place, not on Who Jesus Is, but on their situation. He was right there, yet they were seeing Him as a menace, instead of their Salvation. They were deceived because they lost focus on Who Jesus Is, and their own authority in Him.

Well, in the middle of the disciples’ panic in that boat during the storm, Peter, in all of his zeal and passion, thought that he recognized this “scary ghost” walking on the water to be Jesus, so he called out to Him, “Master, if it’s You, tell me to come to You!” I’m pretty sure that, right about then, the disciples were probably saying, “Pete! Shut up! What’s WRONG with you?!!? You’re freakin’ talking to a ghost walking to us on the water! We’re all toast for sure, you idiot! Shut up!” Peter obviously was having none of their nonsense and called out to Jesus again, “Master, if that’s really You, command me to come to You!” Jesus obliged Peter and told him to come on out to Him – to walk on top of the stormy waves and come to Him.

Peter started to step over the edge of the boat to walk to Jesus. Right about then, I imagine, the that other 11 disciples were probably already discussing who gets Peter’s stuff when he drowns (IF they survived). Peter got out of the boat, his eyes fixed firmly on where Jesus was on the water. Peter walked on the water – on the stormy waves toward Jesus.

Now, realize this. Peter couldn’t possibly see Jesus the whole time that he was walking on the water. There were big waves between them. Jesus wasn’t floating in the air above the water. He was walking ON the water, and Peter was walking on that same water toward Jesus. Even though Peter couldn’t see Jesus all of the time while he was walking on the water, he had his eyes fixed on where Jesus was, so that, even when a wave would rise between them, he knew where Jesus was, kept his focus, and continued to walk toward Him.

Eventually, Peter got distracted by the wind and the waves. He lost focus. He looked at what was occasionally between him and Jesus, what he was already walking on top of. When this happened, Peter immediately panicked, and he started to sink. He cried out for help (probably something like, “Master, I’m SO screwed! HELP!!!“), and immediately Jesus was there and pulled him up. Notice how fast that happened – the Bible tells us that Peter only started to sink. Jesus was there in an instant, saved Peter, then put him in the boat and they went to shore.

See, it’s NOT that Jesus isn’t with us. He promised to be with us always – NOT just when we’re focused on Him, or even walking with Him, but always. No matter what, JESUS IS ALWAYS RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. He is not far, far away. He doesn’t need to be summoned from beyond. He’s right here! Right here with you!

It’s not like we have to look really hard to find Him. It’s that we need stop focusing on the problems and focus on the One and Only Solution. It’s not that hard to see someone who is standing with you, unless you’re looking in the other direction. That kind of fits in with the word, “repentance”, too. Repentance doesn’t mean to say, “I’m sorry.” to God. If it did, then hell is full of repentant people. They’re all sorry!

Repentance means to turn and go in the opposite direction, to change one’s focus, to change one’s mind, to change one’s point of view, to do a 180° turn. When we repent, our focus changes, our hearts change, our minds change, and our entire lives change because we have then died with Jesus on the cross, and now He lives in us and through us by His Holy Spirit. (Romans chapter 8, Colossians chapter 3), and we abide (live) in Him (John chapters 14, 15, and 16). When that happens, nothing that is thrown at us from the enemy has any power over us because God in all of His fullness lives in us, and we have His authority to pronounce those things dead. Remember, it’s not us that live, but Jesus that lives in us! How cool is THAT?!?



Reminder, Saved By Grace… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2019 by paulthepoke

Everyone be blessed!

JUDGING OUTSIDERS IS UN-CHRISTIAN
Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church. Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others. Paul also reminds us to drop the uppity-attitude; that none of us were saved by the good we did but by grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

So what can you do?
1. STOP JUDGING NON-CHRISTIANS. START LOVING THEM.
Very few people have been judged into life-change. Many have been loved into it.

Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

2. EMPATHIZE WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t a Christian, what would I be doing?” Chances are, you might be doing exactly what the non-Christians in your neighborhood are doing. Understanding that and empathizing with that completely changes how you see people. And they can tell how you see them.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

3. HANG OUT WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Jesus did. And caught plenty of disapproval for it.

Mark 2:15-16 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

4. PRAY FOR UNCHURCHED PEOPLE
How many unchurched people do you pray for daily? How many people you disagree with do you pray for daily? It is impossible to hate someone you genuinely pray for daily.

Luke 8:1-2 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out…

5. LIVE OUT YOUR FAITH AUTHENTICALLY
Your actions carry weight. Humility is far more attractive than pride. When a non-Christian sees integrity, it’s compelling. I just have a feeling if we in the church loved the world the way Jesus did, the world might come running to Christ. And then the change we long to see might actually begin to happen.

James 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Our Daily Bread, Patience… Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , on October 21, 2018 by paulthepoke

Everyone will go through struggles in life, it’s just a fact. Nobody is immune to it. With faith & patience, everything always works out just as it’s supposed to. God has a way of bringing us out of these dark times when we trust Him. So focus on the good & wait for the great!

corks-bobbers-floats-teaser

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Have a faithful & patient week my friends!!!

Our Daily Bread, Content… Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2018 by paulthepoke

It’s okay to want more out of life, but don’t want out of envy. There’s happiness in being content. Faith in God & doing what he puts in your heart will bring you what you need & more. Those that live life striving for more out of envy will find nothing but gloom in the end. Find happiness where you are to get more from life.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Have a content week my friends!!!

content

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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