Archive for God

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)

There Shall Be Seven Weeks: Re-establishing the Law

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2021 by paulthepoke

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, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

The angel Gabriel indicated to Daniel the time frame before the coming of the Messiah or the “anointed one” shall be a total of 69 weeks. The time period is separated.

seven weeks or (7 X 7) + sixty-two weeks or (62 X 7) = 483 years.

483 years X 360 days = 173,880 days.

The focus is the initial seven weeks or 49 years.

The initial 49 years of the time period are the events described in the book of Nehemiah after the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem.

With the construction of Jerusalem and the wall completed, Nehemiah focused on the re-establishment of God’s Law.

Nehemiah 8:2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.

Notice the time point.

…on the first day of the seventh month. This would be the beginning of the Fall Feasts. The day is Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets. Today, we also know it as Rosh Hashanah.

For more information on the Feast of Trumpets, see the links below.

According to Mosaic Law, Yom Teruah is a call for the people to assemble. Ezra read the Law to the assembled people in Jerusalem.

While reading the Law to the people of Jerusalem, Israel learned of Sukkot, Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths. This is the third and last holiday of the Fall Feasts. This festival is a week-long festival from Tishri 15 to 21 on a Hebrew calendar.

Israel would follow the instructions for “The Feast” as directed by the Mosaic Law. Jews communicated throughout the Promised Land about the occasion. They gathered the required materials and built their booths. The people responded with participation and celebration.

This would mark the first time in Israel’s history, the Jewish people would celebrate Sukkot as God had communicated to Moses in the Law in the land of Israel.

Nehemiah 8:17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing

Israel renewed their commitment to God. They gathered as a nation in Jerusalem. The people listened to the Law as read by Ezra. And they kept the Fall Feasts.

Nehemiah 8:18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.

God waited patiently on His chosen people. 1,000 years after Moses delivered God’s Law, Israel repented. They returned to God.

Divine Intervention… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on January 22, 2021 by paulthepoke

Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands. —bell hooks

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who helped many Jews escape Nazi Germany before being captured herself, once wrote, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” In her book The Hiding Place, she tells stories of flea−ridden work rooms in the concentration camp that were so grossly infested that the Nazi guards wouldn’t enter. Because of this, she was able to tell others of God’s love without being interrupted.

There is no darkness that can hide us from His gaze, and no earthly journey that can truly carry us away from
His heart. He watches, provides, pursues, and waits for each of us. Then, as we look back over the course of our lives and give the light a chance to shine on areas we had previously written off to the dark, we discover He was with us all along.

Esther 4:14 says, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”

Once we make the discovery that our life has purpose, regardless of how we’ve lived up to that point, we can begin to walk out on a whole new journey with a fresh passion. We are all granted a choice. We can keep doing as we have always done, or we can choose the path intended for us and designed for us all along. Who knows if perhaps you were made for such a time as this?

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/

Love… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , , , on January 19, 2021 by paulthepoke

It saddens me when I see individuals or “hate groups” blame God for evil done in this world. God is love & I imagine all the evil saddens Him as well. There is no greater love than the love that God has for us. Such a great love that He gave His only Son to die for our sins. God wants us to overcome evil with love. Share love today.

red heart beads
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one & only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Have a loving & good week my friends!!!

Our Response… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2021 by paulthepoke

We can’t control how others treat us, but we can control how we react. It’s easy to want to get even with someone who has wronged you, but God says to leave it to him to avenge evil. Getting revenge may seem like a temporary good feeling, but in the long run it will leave you feeling sick inside. Be at peace & focus on those that love you & lift you up. Don’t allow wrong doers space in your head.

Romans 12:17 Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Have a blessed week my friends!!!

Blessings in Blindness… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on January 8, 2021 by paulthepoke

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

My blindness proved this promise true in my life. My blindness taught me how God created us to work together as a whole for Him and His work. In no way do I see that as a punishment. I learned to see people without the clutter of visual judgment.

Faith believes in something you can’t see or touch. You just know that you know that you know that you know. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and mercy is not getting what you do deserve.

When I was sighted, I lived in such a deep darkness. No words can explain it fully. Today my life is full of light. Do I still have hurt? Yes. But God has taken every experience of my journey—prostitution, addiction, prison time, abuse, violence, all of it—and restored me to such a place that I can now help others. Those very experiences provide me with a point of connection to those trapped in the middle of such lives and those on the other side. I get to help these individuals understand what their lives can truly look like.

God has used all of the trauma and the disparity to shape me in so many ways. He has given me a unique voice to lead others to see the underbelly of our society more clearly and help them find ways to better serve these individuals. He has used my experiences to break my heart for the kinds of things that break His. For that I am thankful.

blindfolded woman with a candle
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I have invisible scars I will forever carry, but my God is so amazing that when those things are placed in His hands, He can provide healing, love, and restoration. He can change hearts and mend wounds and hurts. He is far better at it than I am. I mean, let’s look at the gravity of it for real.

God is the Creator of all, the King of the entire universe. If He can forgive my mistakes, if He can wipe my slate clean and see the good in me, if He is for me, then who can be against me? I can’t allow human beings who can’t see me as He sees me to inflict harm to my heart as I follow His path for me. After all, it was not a human being who kept me safe on the streets. It was not a human who recovered me from the hopelessness, disparity, and suffering. It was God. I couldn’t see that while in the middle of it all. But I see it now. He was there. He is why I survived.

Being blind has its challenges. I had to relearn everything I ever knew. However, what I knew was defective; it was broken. I mean, I lived in a park outdoors, digging in trash cans and urinating outside. I slept in dirt and washed with random water hoses as I’d sneak into people’s backyards. So, I missed out on a lot of seeing stuff—like what was in stores, or what “normal” things looked like. But take me to my old hood, and I have the visions engraved in my memory; just as my skin holds my scars, my mind holds my trauma.

Because of many of my experiences on this earth, I truly struggled with hope, love, trust, and faith. However, the loss of my sight is something I see as a tool to draw me closer to God and better understand Him. It helps bring me to a place to receive Him as the guiding eyes in my life.

So my blindness grew me. My blindness helped me see. It truly was a blessing. While it is something tragic to some, something others see as a punishment, to me, it is a gift. I am not saying that living without sight isn’t a challenge. It is a nuisance, for sure. But I have vision without sight. I know many sighted who have not learned to walk in faith, and I know many sighted who have neither vision of hope nor the ability to see. Frankly, it is a much greater travesty to live without the vision of hope than to live without physical sight.

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/

Ethnicity Into Eternity… Mickey Sutliff

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Mickey Sutliff with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2020 by paulthepoke

Acts 17:26 …and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation…

God is the one who determines or sets the boundaries and times for the nations, which ‘He created from one man’ (Acts 17:26).

Acts 17:27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

And He is at work in culture, nations and ethnicities ‘that they should seek Him and find Him’ (Acts 17:27).

It was my experience and became a personal value to see the intentionality and unique ways the LORD works in culture & ethnicities (nations) to reveal and draw men to Himself.  As I walked life & worshipped with my African American brothers and sisters, I saw our LORD and Savior in ways that were new, broader and more glorious. I saw Him from new facets of perspective and how He meets us in our life circumstance (which flow from our upbringing, culturally, socioeconomically, etc.) that I could not see from my own limited experiences and circumstance or even the way in which my own cultural background ‘fashioned’ Him.

Revelation 21:24-26 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it…

Based, not only on Revelation 5:9 & 7:9 but also Revelation 21:24-26, the ‘nations’ are still identifiable and noteworthy in the ‘new man’ (Ephesians 2:15-22) that will move into Eternity with our LORD.

Ephesians 2:15-22 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

I believe this is significant, even though we are unified into one new identity in our Lord Jesus. We will also still retain our identifiable ‘ethnicity’ to be an eternal glory for the LORD to His redemptive purpose and the unconditional reach of His love. These ‘secondary identities’ of ethnicity become the ‘song of the Redeemed’ to the Lamb of God in Revelation 5:9 “…for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

Consider, God raises His redeemed to be imperishable, immortal, spiritual, heavenly, etc. (as described in 1 Corinthians 15:42-57), AND YET chooses to retain the ethnicities of each forever and ever…. If it is important to the Father to maintain these distinctives as a glory to Son in eternity, it should be one that I need to embrace and seek to see in the Church this side of Eternity. Understanding our ‘secondary’ ethnic identities as an eternal value and priority of the LORD with respect to expressing the redemptive work of Christ, should lead us to value AND pursue diversity within the Body, desiring to see our local bodies reflect the eternal glory scripture has revealed to us.

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