Archive for love

Father’s Day, 2022

Posted in #PaulthePoke with tags , on June 19, 2022 by paulthepoke

2 Corinthians 12:14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

Wishing all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day. Encouraging all to follow the loving example of our Heavenly Father. Love our children and provide for them. Show them grace, mercy, patience and forgiveness. Teach them the ways of God.

1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us.

Luke 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

https://www.amazon.com/Paul-Lehr/e/B09W8FB77N

Vladimir Putin Quotes Jesus

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2022 by paulthepoke

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Independent Newspaper Nigeria

March 19, 2022, Moscow: President Vladimir Putin was hosting a pro war pep rally. He delivered a speech justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As stated by Putin, the reason for the “Special Military Operation” is as follows.

“…to get people out of their misery, out of this genocide, that is the main reason, the motive and purpose of the military operation that we began in Donbas and Ukraine,” Russian President Putin.

Putin would later go on to quote Jesus in John 15:13.

‘There is no greater love than if someone gives his soul for his friends,’ Vladimir Putin.

The issue is the translation of one word. Putin used the Russian word душу (dushu). This word is translated as “soul” in English.

John, under the direction of the Holy Spirit utilized the Greek word ψυχή/psuché. Per Strong’s Concordance, the word means breath or the soul.

Yet, our English translators of the English Standard Version, King James Version, and New American Standard Bible use the word “life” in John 15:13. To take it a step further, I could not find one English translation that did not use the word “life”.

I am not questioning Putin’s beliefs. That is between him and his Maker. He claims to be a Russian Orthodox Christian. Historically, Putin states he is not comfortable talking publicly about his beliefs.

https://theweek.com/russia/1011510/putin-quotes-jesus-to-justify-invasion-of-ukraine

Let me be clear. I am not supporting Putin as a Bible scholar or theologian or wordsmith. Putin is quoting the verse within the context of his justification for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an act of love as he sees it.

Look at the context of the verse from the standpoint of Jesus, “Love on another.

John 15:12-17 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Another practical application of the verses… Russians and Ukrainians, love one another. I currently don’t see much fruit being cultivated with the current geopolitical conflict.

My point is this. Be discerning. Study God’s word and understand it for yourself. Don’t take my word or Putin’s word. Read the Bible and interact with the words. Let the Spirit of God interact and communicate with you personally. Set aside preconceived notions and biases and listen to what is actually being said.

Freedom in Christ

Posted in Freedom in Christ with tags , , , , , , on January 9, 2022 by paulthepoke

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. NASB

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ESV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. KJV

We are opening a series to start the new year. The topic is “Freedom in Christ”.

Note the three translations from the English Standard Version (ESV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the King James Version (KJV). There is purpose in understanding how translators operate. Translators are looking at the original Greek text as written by the Apostle Paul in the case of the verse from Galatians. Ultimately, the Spirit of God is the author as communicated to Paul as written in the original Koine Greek. This is the common, street language of the day in the first century.

So what is Biblical “freedom” or “liberty”? What are free from? How does one live in “freedom”? Why are we free? What does a Christian do with their newly found “freedom”? What does it mean to be free?

What is “freedom” or “liberty”? This is the Greek word ἐλευθερία/eleutheria. Multiple lexicons and dictionaries state the term as freedom or liberty. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the term as liberty to do or to omit things having no relation to salvation; the liberty to do as one pleases.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free…

Christ’s work on the cross set us free. He paid for the consequence of humanity’s sin. The result is our freedom. We are free from sin. We are called to live in freedom apart from sin.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Humanity and culture have perverted the notion of freedom and liberty. The world says, “Do whatever you want.” The world wants to negate the consequence of these choices. We also have choices in Christ.

We are not free to sin. Yes we will still sin, hopefully less and less as we grow in Christ. But those sins are covered too. We are forgiven. He loves us as we are. And we are called to love others in our freedom. Give and provide for others.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

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At some point, this nonsense will be brought to a close. Jesus Christ will reign and there will be consequences.

Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our lowly condition into conformity with His glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Accept God’s Grace… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2021 by paulthepoke

There is someone out there today whom God, our Father in heaven, wants to know that He can forgive you and He wants to more than anything. He already sees and knows every detail about your life all the way back to when He created you until now, even to the end of your life if you have an end.

He still loves you, immensely, intensely, more than you may ever realize in this life. Please do not give up. He can fix anything literally, no matter how bad, no matter how hurtful, no matter how impossible it seems. What seems unbearable and unforgiveable in this moment can change in an instant. No matter how many sins you have committed, especially the ones you think passed the threshold of God being able to forgive. All can be forgiven. Nothing is too hard for Him.

If you have written yourself off, God has written you back in. He is a good Father who will do anything to bring His son or daughter back home. Your sins which are many and too hurtful to even think about. Or perhaps you have lost feeling over them and that worries you, can be forgiven, all of them instantly. The entire weight of it all, no matter how heavy or ugly, is lifted off you. You will feel it go too. The weight of it gone, just like that.

Your Father loves you more than you can imagine. He is not condemning you. He wants to heal you completely, and He is the Healer. That is why He sent Jesus. That is why the Father walked this earth through His Son Jesus and took man to his worst end so that he can bring man to his best end, forever reconciled to Him.

Though it is a mystery, Jesus gave up His life so that the old nature of sin and the propensity toward sin can be put to death in you. He rose from the dead by the glory of the Father so that His life. The new nature of His own glory can be imparted to you. This is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

But He does not leave you in a state of only hope that can be disappointed. His glory wakes up within you as He fills you with His Spirit and the new nature of His own glory begins to operate in you.

Jesus went to be with the Father, and He showed you the way to the Father, and He sat down at the Father’s right hand on the very throne of glory, so that you can be seated there with Him right now and forever.

Allow yourself to be forgiven. Dare to see just how far God’s grace and glory can reach and transform. What have you got to lose? The very moment I decided to give God a 100% chance show me who He is, is the very moment He showed up. He was always there, but He showed me that He was there. He did not wait to interact with me. He only briefly waited for me to show a genuine attempt to know Him.

If this is for you, know that you are not alone, and that I am praying for you. Your Father in heaven does love you and can fix literally anything. All suffering is meant for His glory. The greater the suffering the more His glory is about to be released. It is at the point of being released. Please give Him that chance. In fact, the more you have sinned, the more you will be able to love God, because the depth of our ability to love corresponds to the depth of His forgiveness toward us.

Luke 7:45-47 Jesus said, “You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

If this is for you, pray this with me,

“Father in heaven, thank you for giving me this chance to be forgiven. My sins, which are many, I give to you. Thank you for giving your Son Jesus to die for me on the cross and take my place. Thank you for raising Him from the dead by your own glory and raising me from the dead with Him. Thank you for seating Jesus at your right hand on the throne of glory and seating me there with Him. I know I do not deserve that and there is no way I can earn that position in Christ, but I receive it by faith. Your word says that I have access into your presence through the door of Christ and through your promises to me. Thank you that you loved me so much that you died for me even while I was still a sinner. You believed this day would happen when I would come to you and finally surrender my life to you. Without Christ I know that I can do nothing, but with Christ nothing is impossible, and all things are possible. I am trusting that your word is true and that you can make something wonderful of my life. I promise that if you give me all of you then I will give you all of me to the best that I know how. Baptize me in your Spirit and fill me with your glory Father. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that Christ in me put to death the old nature in me. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead by the glory of the Father and raised me up with Him. I believe that Jesus went to be with the Father and brought me there with Him. I choose You Papa because You first chose me. I love You Father because You first loved me. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for your favor. Thank you for giving me your Spirit and making me perfect on the inside in the inner man. Thank you for the daily transformation of my mind that is to come as I make your word my home and you teach me how to be your child and to operate in your glory, which is Christ in me that I am learning to wear on me on the outside. Thank you for eternal life and for all that you will do in me from here on out. Thank you that you are strength in my weakness, that you are filling me with joy and taking away my sorrow, that you are imparting to me your vision for me so that I can know my life has meaning. I give you all of me because you gave me all of you. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.”

Building Relationships With the Hurting… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on July 23, 2021 by paulthepoke

Building a relationship with someone you are working with or trying to help is difficult. It is especially difficult for those coming at this from a faith–based approach. We have a true desire to embrace them, hug them, and tell them how much we love them.

When you are first beginning a relationship with hurting individuals, you may have all the good intentions in the world by touching them, giving a hug, or saying affirming words like “I love you.” But to hurting individuals at this stage in the relationship, you are just another person wanting to touch them, hug them, or tell them you love them. Frankly, in the beginning, it is just too much. Build trust first. Allow them to have their space. Honor them as individuals and allow them to connect with you rather than trying to force a connection with them. Give them the dignity of choosing that connection. That is a dignity that has been stolen from them in nearly every other relationship.

Early in my journey, I shared some of my life with a professional caseworker. As I shared, she began to cry. She reached out, gripped my hands, and asked, “Can I just give you a hug?” I, of course, said yes. However, inside I was screaming, What is wrong with this lady? She doesn’t know me! But I had been programmed to respond that of course I wanted to hug her back, just so we could get back on focus. I mean, at least she asked me first, right?

You may desire to hug someone, but make sure you are being cognizant of his or her needs. This discretion on your part will help them begin to seek out healthy human touch. It is a huge step forward for them to seek out something as basic as a hug because they desire to be hugged or because they want to hug you due to the relationship they have developed with you. We as feel–good believers just want to love on them, so we need to find healthy ways to build those relationships and connections first. At the beginning, loving them doesn’t look like hugs. Instead, loving them is done by respecting them, their space, and their forming awareness of what they choose for themselves. That way we are fostering a more organic relationship with heartfelt hugs later on from both parties: the individual who is hurting as well as you!

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/

Building Trust and Relationships With the Hurting… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on July 10, 2021 by paulthepoke
crop friends stacking hands together
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The church can make a difference—and indeed, has a responsibility to make a difference—for men, women, girls, and boys who are hurting, victimized, addicted, exploited, and suffering. Jesus Christ came to set the captives free, and Christians have the amazing and humbling opportunity to be His hands and feet in this redemptive recovery. Christ calls us to reach out not only to those who are in physical captivity in commercial sexual exploitation escort services, street prostitution, internet exploitation, strip clubs, and other bad situations, but also to those who are captives in their own minds to the lies of the enemy and a distorted understanding of life formed by terrible experiences in their pasts.

It is a great privilege to get to build relationships with hurting individuals and assist them on their path to recovery. But there is much to be learned and understood in order to be effective and helpful in those relationships. The rest of this section is my attempt to help you process through how to foster a healthy relationship and connect with the individual in a way that is empowering for both of you.

For a person who has grown up in a relatively stable, functional environment, things like the words “I love you,” hugs, and other simple, physical touches are normal and generally accepted signs of affection, compassion, or relational affirmation. But for individuals who have been trafficked or prostituted, or are victims of other forms of abuse, these seemingly innocent gestures take on a whole different meaning.

In order to help these individuals, building a relationship of trust is vitally important. But to build that trusting relationship, you need to understand how these gestures—which might be instinctive and well–meaning for you—may affect the individuals you are trying to help. Then you will be equipped with the knowledge you need to be able to discern when these gestures are appropriate and good, and when they are not.

With victims of trafficking, violence, and abuse, you must first understand that their views on relationships have been distorted by their traffickers, abusers, and the men who paid them for their touch. Traffickers and other abusers have emotionally, physically, and sexually harmed them. They have used physical touch and the words “I love you” to coerce and manipulate. Or, worse, they have used these things to initially build trust in their targets, then shown their true selves and brought harm. Some of these individuals were victimized by family members, who used words like “I love you” while doing it. These words and actions now have a tainted internal value. They no longer convey authentic affection; they are tools of manipulation and harm.

When you are trying to build a relationship with someone you are working with, it is nature to want to extend physical gestures or words of affection and affirming. Oftentimes, the individual will reciprocate because of their preformed responses and learned behavior. You may think they are receiving your gestures well when, in fact, their response is a sign of their hurt and abuse. You could be unintentionally intruding on their space or causing them discomfort, yet they have been preprogrammed to give the expected responses instead of responding in a way true to their feelings.

For an individual who has experienced trauma, disparity, abuse, and other ill−treatment, they often have no clue what their true feelings are. The longer an individual has existed in a dysfunctional lifestyle such as substance abuse, neglect, early childhood trauma/abuse, homelessness, and prostitution, the more distanced they become from authentic emotions. Every bit of passing time adds complexity to the challenge of learning to process their true feelings and build organic relationships with friends, acquaintances, helping professionals, and family members.

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/

July 4th, 2021

Posted in #PaulthePoke with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2021 by paulthepoke
soldier statue
Photo by Scott Platt on Pexels.com

Happy Birthday America!!! It is our 245th Independence Day. Today we find ourselves at a crossroads. We are divided politically, socially, and morally. What direction is this country going to take?

I am going to leave it to the talking heads and pundits to discuss politically and socially.

What does God’s word say about freedom? I promise you it is not what you see and hear in today’s media.

At the core of American, western culture is a “me first” attitude. People are out to get theirs and often at the expense of others. The media glorifies and worships these champions of success.

As you read these verses, think about the cultural stance on the following issues.

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Sexual immorality: The culture says, “If it feels good, do it!”… among many other things.

1 Corinthians 6:12-13 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

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Neighbors: Do we even know our neighbors any more? God’s word is calling us to put the needs of others above our needs.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

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Do Good and Respect Authority

1 Peter 2:16-17 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Unfortunately, those who are acting out in violence against authority and others garner a significant portion of attention in the news. Yes, they are free to act this way. But this does not mean they are free from the consequences of their actions. Who are they serving? Are they honorable? Their actions are hardly loving.

There will be plenty of who disagree with what God has to say. Take it up with Him. He will listen. He is a big boy, He can handle it.

God’s word calls for a society where we look after others as a priority instead of ourselves. Respect, serve, love others… even the one’s we disagree with.

Do not underestimate the power of good…

1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Memorial Day, 2021… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , , , , , , on May 31, 2021 by paulthepoke

Please take the time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Please take the time to give gratitude to our active duty military personnel who protect our freedom. Enjoy time with your family and friends during this Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

The older I get the more I realize that family is everything. I regret time not spent with them. Cousins were my first best friends & are the ones that will always have my back. There’s a special bond & love in family that honestly can’t be duplicated. Family is love!

Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so don’t live like it is. Live each day as if it’s your last. Choose to spend your time wisely, doing what’s good & loving others. God gave us this life for a purpose, live with that purpose.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Ephesians 5:16 Make the best use of time, because the days are evil.

James 4:14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time & then vanishes.

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Let us not forget the freedom we have in Jesus. He sacrificed Himself for all of humanity.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”

Have a purpose filled Memorial Day Weekend my friends!!!

Grace To Those Who Hear… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Paul Beverly with tags , , , , on May 25, 2021 by paulthepoke

Why do we believe the words of those that hurt us, but can’t see what those that love us see in ourselves?

If you think those that are hurting you love you, you need to understand that they don’t know how to love. That’s not love or truth.  So many lack confidence in themselves because they only hear about the negative that some may see.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Focus on the good in others & build them up. Believe those that are building you up & try to see just a portion of what they see. Praise the positive you see in them. Give them confidence. Confidence is appealing.

Be confident in yourself…

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those that hear.

Have a grace giving week my friends!!!

“I Love You!” -God Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , on May 19, 2021 by paulthepoke

So my mom and I are walking in the park and we see a puddle in the shape of a heart. Jesus always sends us messages if we just open our eyes! ❤️❤️❤️ Betty Epley

If we just look around we can see the fingerprint of God everywhere, even on a nature walk. Here on the sidewalk 5 years ago I saw the love of our Father in heaven outlined in glory! 🥰🙏He said a big, “I love you!” in that moment. Notice all the little flower pedals that fell into the water and surrounded the heart. With the sun shining on it, the heart that He put there for anyone with eyes to see, radiated with His glory! His glory is the Protector our hearts.

“Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

“This hope (of glory) we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence (of glory) behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (Ephesians 2:4-6)

Yes and Amen! Have a blessed day everyone! Jesus and our Father both love you immensely and intensely! Don’t be afraid to come near Him. God is love. There is no need to be afraid of true love.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love drives out fear,” (1 John 4:18)

His glory is designed to protect our hearts where we can safely trust in Him without any fear at all.

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