Weddings and Marriage – Hopes and Expectations

Reflections on Marriage from Ephesians 5:21-28 – Submit to one another

Scripture Reading:

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Reflection on weddings and marriage, Hopes and Expectations:

With the Royal Wedding in England this weekend of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle it got me thinking about expectations at weddings and in marriage.  We all have hopes, dreams, and desires when it comes to life and relationships.  In a healthy relationship, expectations should be clearly expressed to avoid unintentionally offending or disappointing one another. In a marriage, we are called to seek the good of our spouse above our own comfort or desires.

As part of our wedding preparations, my wife and I attended premarital counseling and discussed our expectations after marriage.  Have you shared your hopes, dreams, and desires with your spouse or significant other?  I pray this encourages you to talk about them some more.

Prayerful Reflection on marriage and relationships:

How is God calling you to be more humble in your relationships?

What can you do to honor God and your spouse more?

How can you help others in difficult relationships find healing and hope?

For futher reflection consider watching this sermon from Grace Bible Church on “A Happy Couple’s Secret

More on Christianity

Marriage - a gift from God

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Resurrection Response

Sermon outline from April 2018, The Resurrection Response

American society has seen an increase in persecution of Christians by the media, politicians, and others. Believing in the resurrection of Jesus and knowing He is with us can help us be courageous in sharing our faith in truth and love.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

John 20:19-31 NIV:

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. 

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

(John 20:19-31 NIV)

How do you respond to the resurrection of Jesus?
– Respond with fear or joy?
• John 20:19-20
(Perfect love casts out all fear.  We can rejoice because Jesus is with us)
– With or without forgiveness?
• John 20:21-23
(We are called to ask forgiveness from God and those we offend and forgive those who repent of their sins.)
– Doubt or faith?
• John 20:24-29
(It is ok to question the faith honestly, because the Christian faith is well documented and reasonable)
– Believe and embrace life
• John 20:30-31
(We must all choose whether or not to believe in the resurrection, but choosing to believe is better because it leads to eternal life.)

Resurrection Response Reflection Questions:

How do I need to respond to Jesus?
– How can I embrace forgiveness?
– What can I do to strengthen my faith in the resurrection?
– How can I share the resurrection of Jesus with others?

resurrection response to Jesus

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The Gift of Eternal Life

Scripture:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b]

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.  – John 3:14-21 (NIV)

How can you know and share eternal life? 

  • The Gift of Eternal Life has a cost of Atonement (forgiveness of sins)

John 3:14-15 (Son of Man, not sum of man)  What Jesus did, not what you do.

  • The Gift of Eternal Life is a loving choice

John 3:16  (God loves us and chose to redeem those who would seek after God)

  • The Gift of Eternal Life is a limited choice

John 3:17-18  (Everyone must choose life or death, there is no third option)

  • Choose in your Life to Embrace and Share the light of Jesus Christ

John 3:19-21  (Choose to follow the light of Christ knowing some will reject Jesus and you)

Reflection questions on the gift of eternal life:

  • How do I need to choose life?

– How can I seek forgiveness for my sins?

– How can I show respect for other peoples choices while disagreeing?

– How can I share Jesus with others?

Resources to help embrace life:

I pray this draws you closer to God and encourages you to choose to embrace the Gift of Life in Jesus Christ. Choose Life, Choose Christ.

gift of Eternal life in Christ

 

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New Job Search page and other edits

While the overall U.S. economy is going well, the stock market has been doing some adjustments recently.  Tariffs do not normally improve the economy, but they can cause political problems.  While the unemployment rate is lower than the past 8 years, there are still many people searching for work. The job search process can be difficult, but there are resources available to make it easier.  I pray our national leaders encourage all able-bodied adults to work hard and smart and reduce our personal and national debts that more may prosper in this nation.

What is the best thing to do in the short life that God has given us? I think we should enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. This is what God intends for us to do. 19 Suppose you are very rich and able to enjoy everything you own. Then go ahead and enjoy working hard—this is God’s gift to you. 20 God will keep you so happy that you won’t have time to worry about each day.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (CEV)

New resources

This past week I added a new work search/job search page and added some resources and updated the formatting on the Military Support, Computing Resources, Financial Stewardship, and Webmaster pages.

I added Ziprecruiter.com  as a work search asset.

job search - Chaplain Paul - Deepwater Horizon oil spill recovery support Work smarter, not just harder.

I added GTMEtrix as a webmaster resource.

New financial resources:

Morningstar
Wall Street Journal
Mutual Fund Education Alliance
iShares

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New Financial Stewardship page and other good steward edits

This past week, like a good steward, I created a new Financial Stewardship page and added some resources to the Free Stuff, Sci-Fi, Government Stewardship, and Military Support pages.

Financial stewardship:

We should seek to honor God with our finances.  Using them to benefit others, not just spend it on the pleasures of this life on ourselves. Jesus called us to love our neighbors as ourselves, this is one way to do that.

Be a good steward and use your talents to help others and honor God.

New resources included the Queen of Free, Marvel movies, and a few others.

Finally, I added some scripture references to the above pages.

good steward of the Good Shepherd

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Added family and friends page and other edits

Family and friends update
This past week, I made a number of edits including adding links back and forth on the funny and thoughtful email forward lists at the bottom of the pages so visitors can go right to the next or previous funny or thoughtful message instead of having to back track to the list page.

I also added zip code quick links on most of the Hampton Roads Church Directory pages.
Ed Paul website history - following Jesus

Added a new funny email page Resignation As An Adult

I also added a Family and Friends page.

Added some weather links:

AccuWeather
Weather Underground

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Trids and the Giant/Ogre

I was recently thinking about misspellings being part of jokes and found a few variations on a joke I got by email long ago.  Below are the variations I found recently on a giant or ogre.

From Reddit.com:

The Trids and the Giant

submitted  by laughoutloud830

Once in a land far, far away there lived a group of people called Trids. The Trids were happy except for a giant that lived on the mountain. The giant would often terrorize the Trids.

The Trids, tired of the giant, sent a group led by the community’s minister to reason with the giant. But before they could even say one word the giant kicked them down the mountain. The Trids thought maybe this was because the giant was Catholic, so they sent another group, this time led by the local priest. But alas, as they approached, the giant once again kicked them all down the mountain.

The Trids were upset until they thought that perhaps the giant was Jewish. Unfortunately, no Trids were Jewish, so they asked a rabbi of a different community for help. The Rabbi led a group of Trids up the mountain. The giant saw them coming and kicked all of them, except for the Rabbi, down the mountain. The Rabbi, knowing the giant’s past, wondered why he alone had not been kicked down the mountain, so he asked the giant. The giant laughed and replied

“Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids!”

 

From jokebuddha.com:

Once upon a time, in the middle of the ocean, there was the Island of Trid.
It seems that most of the Island of Trid was covered by a large mountain. On this mountain lived a Giant. The Giant did not allow Trids on his mountain. If a Trid dared to climb onto the mountain, the Giant would kick him into the ocean. Trids are notoriously bad swimmers, and frequently drowned when kicked into the ocean.
The Trids were a very sexual people, and the population had grown quite large. Every square inch of the island, except the mountain, was crowded with Trids.
The Trids spent their days crowded together, dreaming of the open space available on the ever visible mountain. Every few days, a Trid would decide he couldn’t stand the crowds any more. He would start to climb the mountain, and the Giant would kick the Trid into the ocean.
The Trids were a very depressed people.
One day a traveling Rabbi visited the Island of Trid. Despite their overcrowded conditions, the Trids were extremely generous to this man of God.
The Rabbi decided to return the favor, and to go plead the Trid’s case to the Giant. “Surely the Giant can be convinced to share some of the mountain with you,” the Rabbi explained.
The Trids were horrified. “Please don’t go, Rabbi”, the Trids implored. “The Giant will kick you into the ocean, and you will surely drown.”
The Rabbi was stubborn, and insisted that he talk to the Giant. The Trids sent out every boat they had. They formed a ring around the island, so that they would be able to rescue the Rabbi.
The Rabbi started walking towards the mountain. No sign of the Giant.
He walked through the foothills, and there was no sign of the Giant.
He started up the slopes of the mountain, further than any Trid had ever been. Still no sign of the Giant.
Finally he reached the summit of the mountain. There the Giant was waiting for him. The Rabbi asked “Tell me Giant, why have you allowed me to climb to the top of the mountain, without kicking me off the moment I started climbing?”
And the Giant replied, “Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids!”

There once was a town called Trid. The townspeople had a happy life, exept for one thing. There was a mountain right next to the town. On that mountain there lived an ogre. Whenever the Trids went up the mountain to herd their sheep, the ogre would kick them down – literally.
One day, a foreign rabbi came to Trid. The Trids told him about the ogre. The rabbi said, “I’ll see what I can do.”
The rabbi went up to the ogre. The ogre looked at him, but didn’t do anything. The rabbi said to the ogre, “”How come you kick down the people of Trid, but not me?”
The ogre replied, “Silly rabbi, kicks are for Trids!”

There once was this group of strange beings called Trids. The Trids were only about a foot long, and the lived in a valley next to a hill. Every day they would climb the hill to gather berries and other plant foods.
At the top of the hill lived an Ogre that always kicked the Trids down the hill.
Finally, the leader of the Trids called a local Rabbi to come help them get food and to talk to the ogre. The Rabbi stood behind a tree on the hill and watched the Trids climb up the hill.
All was fine, until the Ogre popped out of a cave and one-by-one kicked the screaming Trids down the hill.
The Rabbi scaled the hill and asked the hideous creature why he kept kicking the Trids.
The Ogre looked over at the Rabbi and simply replied, ”Silly Rabbi, Kicks are for Trids.” ‘

source: http://www.jokebuddha.com/Trids#ixzz56m3P6Me4

 

Contact me

When I think of Giants, I think of two other things:

Facing the Giants – the movie

David and Goliath – the heroic story from the Holy Bible

Previous funny email: Hot Air Balloon

Next funny email: Resignation As An Adult

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Government stewardship and Military support

Government and the military

This week I created separate pages for Government stewardship and Military support to encourage good government and honor our military.

The Government stewardship page includes watch dog organizations and links to government resources to help  you contact your representatives to encourage them to work for the good of our country.

The Military support pages includes help for education and job search for military and veterans as well as resources for family members.

government and the military - public citizen

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Creation, Genesis, and Evolution

MY PHILOSOPHY ON Creation, Genesis, and Evolution

I believe that there are a lot of people who have destructive/combative views on how the universe was created. Many people think that there are only two sides to how it occurred. Evolution or Young Earth Creation with a literal interpretation of Genesis from the bible. In Young Earth Biblical creation the universe was CREATED by GOD in a very complex design. (More information is available at Answers in Genesis) The theory of evolution claims that all life came about through a RANDOM process of genetic mutation and natural selection without a creator managing the process. There may be a reconcile aspects of both theories/paradigms.

Science and Religion

People usually fall into four categories concerning the relationship between science and religion.
1) Science always trumps religion
2) Religion always trumps science
3) They are two different discourses/domains. Spiritual/moral domains & empirical world.
4) They are two ways of knowing (continuity & convergence).

I fall into the last category when it concerns the Christian faith.
In contrast to Darwin’s theory of evolution (to which biology and genetics have proven invalid), a more sound theory of origins is the theory of inteligent design. It simply claims: “that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable.” [William A. Dembski, Intelligent Design (Downer’s Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1999), p. 106. ]
for more information, please visit Access Research Network

Interpretations of the Genesis account in the Holy Bible

There are six ways that are popularly used to interpret the creation account in Genesis.
1. Literary approach (held in the patristic period)
2. Progressive creationism or day-age theory (theistic evolution) (held from Augustine to present)
3. Pictorial or revelatory-day theory (days of revelation to Moses) (medieval period)
4. Gap theory (popularized by Scofield Reference Bible in the 1800s)
5. Flood theory (creation science or scientific creationism developed in the 1900s)
6. Appearance of age theory (don’t know the origen, but I don’t think it is worth investigating)

A variation on combining creation and evolution

Here is how the flood theory might work, Biblical Creation through genetic mutation and natural selection, aka theistic evolution. Based on a verse found later in the Bible. For the Lord, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. This theory has some support by both science and the Bible.

1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) — Big Bang
2. God created Light (Genesis 1:3) — The beginning of stars
3. God said let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other. (Genesis 1:6) — As the earth cooled the oceans formed as well as the clouds.
4. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation…” (Genesis 1:11) — Plants were the first form of life on earth
5. God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; (Genesis 1:16) — The sun and moon were created around the same time as the earth
6. Then God said, “Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures…” (Genesis 1:20) — Animal life most likely began in the ocean after plants had made enough oxygen.
7. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures…” (Genesis 1:24) — Life migrated to dry land.
8. Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) — Homo Sapien is the youngest species of the very complex animals.

The above narritive could be applied to a young earth or ancient earth model. Genetic science has shown the resiliency of genes to change and impossibility of genes randomly gaining information without a creative outside force indicate that evolution of one species to another has not happened and will not happen without divine intervention.

In February 2018, I watched a documentary on a scientific investigation on the origin of the universe and the relation of geology with the Genesis account of creation and the flood at the time of Noah.  If you have Netflix, you can check out “Is Genesis History?” with Del Tackett.

As evidence is still being examined, I will remain open to other theories as to the process of Creation, Genesis, and Evolution until I see sufficient evidence. Please let me know your thoughts on this highly debated issue.

Creation, Genesis, and Evolution - Jesus created all


Next Page: Core Beliefs of the Christian Faith

Previous Page: PEACE STEPS Bible Study

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Thoughtful emails

It is good to ponder the good and bad of life and seek to make the world a better place.  Here are some thoughtful emails forwarded to me over the years that help to make you more thoughtful about life.

Or as Michael Jackson once put it, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”

Thoughtful Emails

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFE
Look in Your Heart
Friendship
Real Friend
National Friendship Week
Why do some friends keep forwarding jokes?
I am Thankful for…
All Good
Dear God
Medicine We all Need
How Do You Live Your Dash?
Something for God to do
helping out
HEAVEN’S GROCERY STORE
Lyrics for Taps
I Went to a Party, Mom – a poem against drinking and driving.
Were You Colder Than This?
Jesus in my heart
It depends on whose hands it’s in
A Powerful Story
Special thoughts for special people
New school prayer
Too Many Officers Trading Fatigues For Business Suits
NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Someone cares for our GI’s
Military Appreciation
Freedom is not Free
A Christian is like a pumpkin
What Love Is from 4 to 8 year-olds
Angels in the Alley
Senators no vote on military pay raise
Peace Prayers

Mark 12:28-31 New International Version (NIV)

The Greatest Commandment

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c]There is no commandment greater than these.”

Thoughtful emails - live a life with purpose

Next Page: Family and Friends

Previous Page: Emails – Funny

Favorite Quotes:

  • Live long and prosper.
  • The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (Psalm 23:1)
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that all who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
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