Archive for God

Ask God Into Your Heart… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , on May 4, 2021 by paulthepoke
Photo: Pinterest

We all get conflicted about what’s in our heart at times. Pray about it, & then don’t be afraid to follow your heart. God will guide you to His fulfillment. Be confident in where it leads you. If it is truly what God has put in your heart, you will be rewarded greatly. Do what is in your heart. The Lord has put it there. Nobody ever got their reward by standing still. Have hope & move forward. Go for it, because God’s got your back.

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Have a great and rewarding week my friends!!!

The Real Deal… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 19:7-14

Key verse: “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” -Psalm 19:10

Over the centuries and ages, nations and communities have gone to war for spoils in the form of gold, silver and for territories bearing rich mineral resources and promising vast untapped wealth. Africa was violently balkanized between the 19th and 20th centuries because of her enormous potential riches. Till today, there is still more strife on the continent as a result of the quest for the control of riches. But the word of God insists that mankind could save itself needless heartache, loss and stress if it follows the counsel of its Creator.

“The statutes of the LORD are right… More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:8,10,11

Not only is the way prescribed in the Bible better; when we keep to it, there will not be payback of regrets as man has witnessed in struggles over wealth.

There is a double portion of blessing packed into adhering to God’s precepts. While it offers far more than what this world gives, it also warns about what the Lord requires to enable one make heaven. Now, knowledge of that is certainly a precious possession, weightier and nobler than all the wealth of the world.

Man has incurred much loss through the centuries for placing earthly earnings above God’s laws. But the real and perfect deal is the word of God, which suffices for peace and contentment here on earth and for eternity with Christ Jesus in heaven.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Aim for heaven’s golden streets, not ephemeral earthly earnings.

Love More, Judge Less… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , , , , , on April 20, 2021 by paulthepoke
symbols of justice and law on table of judge
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Passing judgement on a person’s sin, makes you an equal sinner. God didn’t make a list of sins & say one was worse than the other. He did however say that the greatest thing we can do is love. Let’s all love more…

James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.

Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” -Jesus

Have a loving week my friends!!!

The Omnipotence Of God… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , on April 16, 2021 by paulthepoke

TEXT: ISAIAH 40:12-20

To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Isaiah 40:18).

God’s influence is overwhelming and can be perceived everywhere. A songwriter, after a cursory look at the creation, was left with no choice than to chant, “How great thou art”.

Prophet Isaiah tries to put in perspective and in a language that can be easily understood, how powerful God is. His ability to forgive sin can also be discerned from here. The prophet says that the nations were as nothing before Him, not merely because of His immensity but because of their insufficiency to make any atonement by their oblations for the iniquities which they had committed.

Isaiah describes the foolishness of idolatry and how the practice makes a lot of demand on the practitioners above their abilities and capacity.

“He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved” (verse 20).

Yet, God does not make such a demand on His worshippers. In looking at His plan for our salvation and the eventual coming of Christ to atone for our sins, we have every reason to be grateful to God, serve Him and entrust our whole being to Him.

In view of the great power of God and the incomprehensibility of His might, those who refuse to follow and worship Him are reveling in His long-suffering; but if they fail to repent, they will regret when He comes in His fury upon all children of disobedience. To avoid this fate, submit yourself to His omnipotence, repent of all known sin and ensure you serve Him unreservedly.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: ACTS 9 – 10

*THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:* God’s mercy is great towards all who serve Him. 

Answers To A Vision… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on March 19, 2021 by paulthepoke

Although this all seemed to take forever, the vision was gone as quickly as it had come. I knew deep in my heart my soul that this was God.

I sobbed. I hadn’t gone looking for God, but somehow He had found me.

I realized that God had been with me all along. He was with me through my journey of exploitation, homelessness, and substance abuse. He had been present in all of those experiences. He had brought it all full circle. Here I was, alone in the house we rented, just one block from where I had worked for so many years. We were just a block and a half from the corners where I had prayed for death near those three churches.

It could only be God’s perfect timing. Just thinking about it right now, as I write this—my goodness, the individual pieces required to make this all happen simultaneously fill me with awe!

Moments after my “vision,” I heard a knock at the door as my heart still pounded and tears still flowed. I was scared to open the door, but then I heard a woman say, “Hello! I’m Kris, from the church down the street.” I opened the door and let her in, and we visited. She invited us to church. It was just down the street, on the corner. I agreed. For sure, this was what I needed to continue on my path of growth, away from the streets!

After I started attending the church, I realized it was located right across from my favorite corner, the one where I had worked for years. It was the one with the three churches—one that ran me off all the time, another that had police parked in the parking lot, ready to run me off. Then there was this little one. It was very small, kind of like a little house, located behind Sonic. I had slept in its doorway before, and gotten high in the parking lot. I had even been invited in for service one year by someone who was going into the church on a Sunday morning.

Now, here I sat years later, inside that same church. I asked someone, wanting to make sure I was correct in my thinking about where it was. I was.

Feeling a connection, feeling drawn to attend, I joined that little church and got baptized. When I was taken out of the baptism water, I asked, while wiping the water away from my face, “Can I join your outreach team now?” They agreed, and I started attending the meetings.

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

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

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Dead Sea Scrolls and the Cave of Horror

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2021 by paulthepoke
Part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets scroll, written in Greek.
Shai Halevi, IAA

March 2021, Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA): It has been 60 years since there have been archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Research in the Judean Desert has unearthed Greek translations of the Bible prophets Nahum and Zechariah.

The scroll was found in the “Cave of Horror”. The cave got its name when discovered in the 1950’s. There were skeletons from over 40 people found in the cave. The cavern is tucked away 80 meters below the top of the ridge.

Other finds include a woven basket with a lid. Archaeologists estimate the basket to be over 10,500 years old per carbon dating provided by Professor Elisabetta Boaretto of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The basket has a volume of up to 100 liters.

Cache of Bar Kokhba coins as found.
Ofer Sion, IAA

A mummified child was discovered. Data suggests the child was aged from 6 to 12 years in age and lived approximately 6,000 years ago.

Coins from the Bar Kochba revolt were found. This historic event occurred in 133 to 135 A.D. Other artifacts from the same era included: arrow and spear tips, woven fabric, sandals, and lice combs.

For those interested in more detail, click on the link below.

https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium-israel-finds-new-dead-sea-scroll-first-such-discovery-in-60-years-1.9621317

Archaeologists and journalists are intrigued and excited about the material finds in the cave. However, not much has been written about the message of the Scripture discovered.

Granted, critics and naysayers would disagree. But, these are two passages from two prophets. A prophet or a nabi in the Hebrew is a spokesman or a speaker on behalf of God. These prophets are delivering instructions and a warning to us in the 21st century.

Zechariah penned these verses about 2,500 years ago.

Zechariah 8:16-17 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.

Nahum wrote these words about 2,680 years ago.

Nahum 1:5-6 The mountains quake before Him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before Him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the heat of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by Him.

For those who are willing to read one more verse in Nahum.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Are these verses for our world today and a message from God? So what do you think? God’s providential timing or mere chance and coincidence?

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Marriage & the First Commandment

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile. These events are covered in Nehemiah 8-13. Israel is getting back to God’s ways.

Nehemiah 10:1a On the seals are the names of Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah…

It is from this verse we learn of Nehemiah’s position and title. We have the term “governor” in English. The original Hebrew text has the word tirshatha which is a Persian word for “governor”. This term is used five times in the Bible and only by Nehemiah and Ezra.

Nehemiah 10:1-27 is a list of people who were willing to seal their name as a commitment to keep God’s laws and commandments. Others willing to commit to God’s law included a pretty comprehensive list. These folks were required to swear allegiance to God with their obedience (Nehemiah 10:29).

Nehemiah 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the temple servants, and all who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who have knowledge and understanding…

The first item on the agenda with Nehemiah is marriage. The first item on God’s agenda in the garden was marriage.

Nehemiah 10:30 We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.

This is a reminder from the Mosaic Law. The law is mentioned in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

Exodus 34:16 …and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods. See also Deuteronomy 7:3-4.

The issue is ultimately worshipping the God of Israel. If a man marries a pagan worshipping woman, he will follow her spiritually. He will turn his back from God and go another way. The result will be a violation of the First Commandment.

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

Solomon for all of his wisdom did not follow this command. He intermarried many times over and the result was pagan shrines, temples, and idols being built all over Israel. His heart was with pleasing his wives instead of worshipping and focusing on God.

Granted, we are not under the Mosaic Law today in Jesus Christ. For Christians, the issue is not marrying within our tribe or country. We are called to seek the like-minded in Christ in marriage.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Christians should present themselves differently. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we are free from the bondage of sin. He fulfilled the law for us. Jesus imputed righteousness to believers. An unbeliever remains stained with the guilt of sin.

Jesus calls believers to be salt and light for the world. 1 John 1-2 proclaims believers should walk in the light of Christ and keep His commandments. How can an unbeliever illuminate if they are not in the source of light?

In all cases whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament, this is ultimately about having one’s heart set towards God. Place God first in your lives. Stay focused on God. He knows and wants what is best for us.

My Introduction to God… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2021 by paulthepoke

I understand the kind of rage that can bring you to the brink of taking a life. I also understand today the profound intervention of God preventing my ability to act on that rage, even when the opportunity was presented.

I have shared experiences, and thoughts, of my journey. I hope I have brought some insight that you hadn’t considered before. By understanding the life of a prostituted or homeless or addicted individual a little bit better, I believe our compassion toward those individuals can grow.

I believe I have succeeded in debunking the Pretty Woman scenario of prostitution for all who have read this book. And just because another person’s situation doesn’t look like scenes from the movie Taken, it doesn’t mean he or she isn’t a victim. An individual’s vulnerabilities may be exploited in any number of ways. Exploitation in general is too complex to exhaustively define or discuss in one book. It is my hope, however, that your personal perceptions of victimization, abuse, and exploitation have expanded to include those who are often ignored completely.

I pray I have been able to help you develop empathy for these souls. My journey was not an exception to the rule. My story is a reflection of a common and present reality of thousands, if not millions, of others.

I hope you have been challenged to look beneath the surface of these individuals and ask yourself: How did this person get here? I hope you can set aside judgment and pursue genuine interest in that particular individual’s story. Every person has a story.

Now I would like to share a little of my personal God experience and journey, and the events that led to His introduction into my life. It is clear that He was present throughout my journey, or I wouldn’t be sitting here in my living room writing this book for you to read. While I was unaware at the time, looking back, I know He kept me. The odds were certainly stacked against me. I should have died out there.

I worked Independence Avenue and Spruce. Many of my friends were murdered during my years on those streets. I believed they had somehow found their out. After I tried to get help a few times, I quit fighting my situation. As I’ve shared throughout this book, I would reach out only to be victimized in a different way. After so many years in darkness, the only thing I had real hope for was an end to my life.

I had heard the preaching from the church folks at the soup kitchens. They reminded me of how wicked and evil individuals like me were, but they assured me that if we repented, we wouldn’t die in the flames of Hell.

I knew nothing about a compassionate, loving God who loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, knowing we would be a mess. I had never heard of the God who generously gives grace and forgiveness.

After all of the beatings, rapes, drugs, malnutrition, lack of sleep, and exhaustion of being homeless, I was resigned to the fact that I was all on my own. The reality I lived was all there really was.

For the longest time, I believed I was a renegade. But the reality is, I was used up and my body was riddled with scars. My soul was tormented. No man/pimp wanted me to work for him anymore. I was used up and discarded even by the lowest of the lower class of street pimps.

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

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

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: God Is With Us

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2021 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:25b …there shall be seven weeks…

The context of this series of posts is the course of the Jewish people for the initial 49 years of the 483 year period communicated from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel. The city of Jerusalem has been rebuilt post exile.

As the Israelites read the law, confessed their sins, and worshipped God, the priests made a proclamation.

Nehemiah 9:5b “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.”

The focus of the announcement was a history of who God is and what God has done. It was a time for review and reminder. God is with us.

  • God is the Creator (Nehemiah 9:6).
  • God called Abram and established a covenant with Abraham (Nehemiah 9:7-8).
  • God saw and heard the misery and poverty of His people in Egypt (Nehemiah 9:9).
  • God performed miracles against Pharaoh and Egypt (Nehemiah 9:10).
  • God divided the Red Sea (Nehemiah 9:11).
  • God led by smoke and fire (Nehemiah 9:12).
  • God delivered the law on Mount Sinai (Nehemiah 9:13-14).
  • God provided manna and water (Nehemiah 9:15).
  • God was forgiving, gracious, and compassionate when Israel disobeyed (Nehemiah 9:16-17).
  • God stuck with and continued provision for Israel even when they made idols (Nehemiah 9:18-20).
  • God provided and clothes were preserved for forty years in the desert (Nehemiah 9:21).
  • God gave Israel the Promised Land and the people multiplied (Nehemiah 9:22-24).
  • God delivered prosperity to His people (Nehemiah 9:25).
  • God gave Israel to oppressors because of their disobedience (Nehemiah 9:26-30).
  • God does not forsake Israel and remains gracious and compassionate (Nehemiah 9:31-32).
  • God is just (Nehemiah 9:33).

At this point in the proclamation, Israel admits their iniquities and sins. They know they are guilty many times over. Israel realizes they are deserving of punishment.

  • Every level of society from top to bottom was disobedient to the law (Nehemiah 9:34).
  • Israel did not serve God or repent (Nehemiah 9:35).
  • Israel acknowledges slavery to God and the land due to sin (Nehemiah 9:36-37).

The good news, Israel is not stuck in its past because of sin. God has an answer for sin. Gabriel told Daniel a Messiah is coming.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince…

From our view point today in the 21st century, history tells us Israel rejected their Messiah at His first coming. Despite the rejection, Jesus died on the cross for their sins as well as the remainder of humanity.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Colossians 2:14 By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

~

But there is more good news for those who believe in Jesus. He is coming again.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

For those who think this is nonsense and do not believe. Your choice has consequences regardless of what you think.

Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Perfect Peace… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2021 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

John 14:27 Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.

Perfect peace is probably the strongest indicator given to us by the Father that we are operating in His glory at any given moment, but another sure indicator are the words that we consistently speak. There can be many evidences of His glory manifesting in our lives, but our words are a huge one! They are either a dead give-away of walking in the old nature, or a living give-away of walking in the new nature. On a very simple level is optimism verses pessimism, positivity verses negativity. A person speaking positively doesn’t mean that he is in Christ, but it is an indicator on a very low level. What words are said are even more important and more of indicator.

A Christian who speaks negatively at length is still operating out of the old nature. What he says may be true, but they aren’t words to restore. Reconciling someone to the Father (and I’m not just talking about salvation) must bring that person all the way up to where Christ is at the Father’s right hand.

It can’t stop and cry forever at the cross, and it can’t condemn others with words that continually remind them they messed up or got it wrong. While the cross is one of the steps or way-points, and a very important one, even a daily one, it must be coupled with the rising from the dead to new life, and then ascending to the right hand of the Father where we overcome. That happens now as we live. Not knowing this causes people to live defeated lives and in condemnation when we don’t have to. We must go full circle to the Father to overcome anything. Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (John 14:12)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” (John 16:28)

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