Graceful Perseverance: The Three Seasons of Life (Part 2 of 3)

This week’s blog is part two of a three-part series called The Three Seasons of Life. Today, I’m discussing the second season, the testing season. How and why God tests his children is a mystery. What do we need to do and what do we need to watch for? What life tests do we need to pass, if any, in order to make it in The Lambs Book of Life?

i.e. The Lambs Book of Life – Not everyone has his or her name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life! One’s name is not written in at birth, nor does he or she have it written in by the sovereign choice of God. A person’s name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life only because he or she chooses to ask God to place it there. – The Lamb’s Book of Life:

Once we have passed all tests specifically designed for us, what are God’s next assignments for us while we are here on this earth? We think there are so many unanswered questions, but the answers are in His word, the roadmap of our lives.

The second season is the testing season. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. – Job 23:10.

The season of testing is very similar to the season of teaching, except the season of testing requires we realize that the world we live in is full of temptations. The media overwhelms us with greed, lust and cynicism which then becomes a vicious and ugly trap. Even though none of us are immune to this exposure, we do have free choice in the matter. The Internet, commercials and social media are forever tempting us to buy, spend, and invest in things of this world.

Social media is forever luring us into sinful acts, whether personal or in a social setting. The buying temptations lure us to the belief that we never can have enough. We are convinced “retail therapy” works in our lives, but only ends up becoming a financial hardship because we fall victims to the temptations all around us. We all have favorite stores, shops and restaurants and when we visit them, we can get swallowed up by the potential harm we may be causing ourselves financially.

The credit card frenzy tempts all of us to buy, buy and buy with more and more plastic. The credit card industry has made it too easy to first get a credit card and then the second temptation is increasing the credit limit so we can purchase even more. As we accumulate more and more stuff, we discover we are headed for financial disaster.

Do not love the world or anything in the world…The world and it’s desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. – 1 John 2:15, 17.

The pressure to own more and better stuff than our neighbors is nothing but a evil trap and does nothing but weigh us down. To combat these temptations, we must stay in daily communication with the Lord, praying for protection and discernment.

Second, we must stay alert in order to recognize the battle of temptation that is being waged against all of us.

Believers must live with the tension of being in the world, but not belonging to it. ~ Hezekiah.

What some of us do not realize is God is the God of ownership of all things. God owns everything in and of this world. He is the creator of all things. We own nothing. In faith, God owns everything; we know God owns everything; by earthly measures we know man only owns some things. But know that God is a free and generous God, and He blesses us with things to tend to, and matters for us to manage while we are here (our families, children, jobs, homes).

He knows the desires of our heart. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4. We should also learn that what He blesses us with can also be taken away. We need to realize we are not owned by stuff, we are owned by Christ. Test me, Lord and try me, examine my heart and my mind. – Psalm 26:2. Passing this test of temptation in this world means we are living in freedom, a Christ freedom, a Christ freedom life from earthly bondage. Believers must live with the tension of being in the world, but not belonging to it. ~ Hezekiah.

Christ is the only open hand in this life, not things or stuff in this world. His expectation is also a test of the temptations. An obvious test would be that of a millionaire’s life. With all his riches, does he live in a mansion and horde his money for his own or does he help by giving to others like the less fortunate, the homeless or the weak who surround him everyday? Does he live in a mansion and doesn’t give to others? Or does he take the financial blessings that come from God in the first place and share his blessings with others? This situation is a true test. How many of us realize that we are influenced daily with worldly stuff that is intended to suck us in and consume us?

The most important test is whether we focus on our relationship with God. Imagine how this situation looks in the eyes of Christ. That’s why we’ve been blessed with His word, the roadmap for our life. God gave us the Ten Commandments to live by, a new life of freedom. A life free of sin. The Ten Commandments are the bookends of our life. The Ten Commandments represent the freedom to a better life so we do not fall into bondage with things of this world.

As a Christian, we learn how to be content with what we have; that contentment sets us free. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.  – Philippians 4:12-13. 

As Christians, we must learn what it  means to be full or empty, to have plenty or to have little. The Lord desires us to pass many tests in this life so that we may learn how to become living examples, more like Jesus. We need to learn to live a life of open hands, not of closed hands. God bestows blessings upon each of us in our lives. Living a life of open hands is when we graciously learn to give to others, and in return God will continue to bless us as His reward. The Lord does not favor those who hoard things for their own pleasures. But He does favor those who He has blessed with plenty and continues to share with those in need.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli,
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: The Three Seasons of Life (Part 1 of 3)

Have you ever given much thought to the idea that life unfolds through a series of seasons? Does it sometimes feel like a particular season of your life is going wonderfully? You feel like you are on top of the world and you are bursting with emotions that feel like life doesn’t get any better?

And yet in other seasons of your life, you feel that you’ve hit rock bottom, and you have no clue or direction on how to climb out. It is within these troubled times you feel you have no clue or direction on how to climb out. It is within these troubled times you feel you have nowhere to turn. In this time of despair, you feel that your situation couldn’t get any worse, and you find yourself overwhelmed by depression, anger, and hostility, all pointed directly at God. I’ve heard many people, while in troubled times say. “If there was a God, He wouldn’t put me through this pain and suffering. Why would He allow this to happen to me if He really loves me?”

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposed and some for common use? – Romans 9:20-21.

I see these three seasons applicable for all of us, we who are really the same lump of clay for the master potter to do with according to His will for our lives. I believe there are three distinct seasons – the teaching season, the testing season and the promoting season. In the next three weeks, I will share my own insights, beliefs and convictions supported by biblical scripture: Jesus’ word that without the Lord first in our lives, we have nothing. But with Him we have everything.

In the teaching season of our lives our experiences are unfolding according to the Lord’s plan so that He may teach us a life lesson or even show us something new about our true selves that we didn’t know before. “The difference between school and life is we are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, we are given a test that teaches us a lesson.” – Tom Bodett. For He is the teacher and we are the students. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:20.

Some examples of life lessons may be job loss, drug addictions, obesity, the death of a friend or family member, adultery, broken marriages, abusive spouses, suicide attempts, chronic depression, and other addictions. How do we react to these hardships when we find ourselves in the middle of darkness? Anger is typically the first emotion, followed closely by fear. Fear quickly spirals into negative thoughts and worries, causing us to be angry at the world, God, and those closest to us.

We are quick to anger and slow to peace. All because we’ve fallen into hardship. Sound familiar? Do you “react” this way? What if we remove the emotions from the equation (the onset of anger, fear and worry)? What if instead we turn our eyes to our Heavenly Father and ask Him for help in the middle of darkness? Or better yet, learn to trust Him in all of our circumstances. “When God pushes us to the edge, trust Him fully, because only two things can happen. Either He will catch us or He will teach us how to fly.” – FB Quotes Gate.

I call on the Lord in my distress and He answers me. – Psalm 120:1. Have you ever thought that maybe the Lord is allowing us to go through hardships because He’s attempting to teach us something? He is also teaching us that nothing or no one in this fallen world can help us more than He can. He leaves us in this place of despair until we have exhausted our own fight so that we discover we can’t do it on our own, and it’s time to reach out to Him, for He’s the only one left who can help. His word promises to never leave our side. In 7,000 years, He has never abandoned His children. He’s not going to start now.

In this season of teaching, He wants more than ever for us to acquire the same wisdom and understanding in our situation, more like He did when He was here in the flesh. When God walked the earth (in the flesh), better known as Jesus of Nazareth, He, too, faced many hardships. Christ Jesus wants more than anything for His children, who He loves beyond our imagination, to turn to Him and cry out to Him for help in our times of need. Non-believers say, “He’s an unseen God, what can He do to get me out of my situation?”

He allowed you to experience the situation in the first place, because He knows where He’s attempting to lead you. He not only knows your destination, but He also knows every step it takes for you to get there. Of course, He knows the outcome of your situation, even long before you go through it. A common Christian belief is “If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it!”

He knows when things can’t get any worse for us, and there’s nowhere left to turn when we’ve hit rock bottom. Eventually we will cry out to Him. At the breaking point, we learn to surrender to Him and call upon His name. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6.

I think one of the best testimonies is for those who suffer from alcohol and drug addictions. When an addict hits rock bottom, he or she is sometimes led to the doorstep of Teen Challenge. They learn to cry out to Jesus to renew them and make them whole again. Their pain and suffering, however, can get much worse before they truly surrender to the Lord for help.

Some of us know that the only one who can save us from ourselves and our sinful ways is our Lord and Savior himself. We know we are weak and He is strong. The Lord knows each of us will eventually seek Him at some point in our lifetime. And at some point, in our seasons of desperation, our knees will bow and our tongues will confess. It is them that He will lead us and we will follow our new life of freedom with Christ Jesus as our Savior.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: Walking in the Rays of a Beautiful Son!

Welcome back, everyone! This week I felt compelled to share with you something that has deep meaning and purpose in my life.sunset in heart hands

This past week I watched an American Family Insurance commercial. The background music lyrics went like this -“Walking in the rays of a beautiful Son!” I am sure AFI’s marketing intention was very different than the way it resonated with me. I saw the ad as a blessing in disguise. When we become more attentive to the little blessings, we become better at trusting Him and what He can do through His bigger blessings.

When I heard the lyrics, “Walking in the rays of a beautiful Son,” I immediately imagined what this idea would feel like. The Holy Spirit instantly became alive in me when I repeated the lyric. Why did I have this reaction? Фантазия. Акварель, монотипия.The Holy Spirit is always waiting on the sidelines of our hearts to enter, but first we must open the door and allow Him to enter into our hearts. He will never enter without our invitation, which is why some experience the Holy Spirit, but most don’t understand how this blessing works in their lives and then choose not to believe in such silliness and doubt it.

When I seek His face, when I have my eyes only set on Him and not the day-to-day stress, I know without a doubt His spirit announces His presence. As I deepen my relationship with Christ, and fall deeper in love with Him, He reveals himself through rich blessings not just once in a while, but every day. Nothing is too trivial for Him. Nothing is too overwhelming for Him. WomanWhen our minds are captivated by the wonders of His work, and we focus on Him more than our daily struggles, He will flood us with an overwhelming feeling of peace and serenity. He gives us reassurance that He’s taking care of our concerns: He’s got it. He would never allow us to go through any situation that hasn’t passed through His hands first. Yes, even in the middle of a storm we have the ability to find peace, but only if we call upon Him.

Many of you may be curious and asking how can this be? First, the beauty of this experience is a gift that occurs by staying in the present moment with Him. Second, each of us has the ability to surround ourselves with His peace even in the middle of chaos. I do a lot of “self-talk” — whispers in the middle of stress. The self-talk whispers are always focused on Christ Jesus only because I’ve learned that He is so much more powerful than I am. When we truly believe He’s got our back, it is only through His power that He can move mountains for us. We are weak and fragile without Him. He is something bigger than ourselves. The Sacred Heart illustrationWhen our hearts are truly in the middle of His presence, we will reach out to Him; we will call upon Him; we will cry out to Him because it is in that moment we realize we can’t do this alone.

By calling upon Him, you will “Walk in the rays of a beautiful Son.” It is only then that you will truly experience Christ Jesus, the Son of God in your life. Start to practice changing your mindset. Henry Ford put it best, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” This is a mindset change in the middle of daily stress. I like to practice this cry for help – “I trust Jesus, I trust Jesus, I trust Jesus!” In any situation, good or bad, I call upon Him for His hand in the matter.

I can give you hundreds of accounts when He’s heard my cry for help, and He’s immediately by my side, protecting me and bringing peace, so that He could do His work to resolve the situation for what was best for all involved. His blessings and miracles are fail-proof, but only if you trust Him, let go of your own understanding and let God.

God Bless,

Debra M. Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 42 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: Studying the Word

Welcome back to this week’s blog. Today I seek to do more than share with you what I have learned regarding scripture. The Holy Bible reveals the truth of our beginning, our end, our existence, our purpose on this earth and God’s plan for each of our lives. I consider myself an infant in the learning stages of understanding scripture. I’ll never proclaim to know all there is to learn about the word of God. This takes nothing short of a lifetime and even at that point we will never fully understand everything there is to know. However, it does bring me great joy and excitement to fellowship with others about the parables, psalms, proverbs, the beginning (Genesis) and the end of times (Revelation). The more knowledge I gain, the more excited I am to share what I’ve learned.

There is so much to learn about the spiritual gifts we’ve all been given. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. . . If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 4:10-11. There are not enough quiet hours in my day where I can read and absorb scripture enough to satisfy my daily thirst for more.

I am far removed from considering myself a scholar. Nevertheless, the more I read, and the more I prioritize my study time in God’s word, the more I become absorbed with scripture’s fascinating stories of our ancestors. I enjoy studying the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the followers of Jesus. I absorb the powerful story of Martha and Mary and many other testimonials in scripture of faithful stewards, followers of Jesus (God as man) that wrote their accounts and testimonials on scrolls during Jesus’ time on earth. It’s truly a life transformation if we choose to pick up the bible and read, learn and practice and more importantly, follow Jesus as our ancestors did 2,000 years ago. Do no lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. – Colossians 3:9-10

According to the Gospel of Luke 10:38-42: At the home of Martha and Mary. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to every word he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She went to the Lord and asked, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!

Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

I’ve learned so much about myself through this biblical story. I am the 21st Century Martha, distressed and worried about all the work that needs to be done in the home and all the preparations I face daily. Like Martha, I am consumed by things of lessor importance in this world when I should be desiring the same as Mary; to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, attentively listening to what He is saying to me. Of course Jesus is not with us in the flesh as He was 2,000 years ago with Martha and Mary.  Yet Jesus is very much alive today through the Holy Spirit which lives within us, through scripture, among other Christians, our shared fellowship and privately in our lives as much as we welcome Him in.

I faithfully believe each of us can be deeply rooted in the truth if we so choose. My quest in this week’s blog is to share how to walk a path that will undoubtedly grow your faith. If you are looking for a life transformation, if you are tired of your old self, simply start studying and educating yourself  using scripture. You will quickly learn why God created you. You will see the Lord’s ways, and He will show you how to share your heart and service with others, as Jesus has called each of us to do.

I know now more than ever if I set time aside in my day to read scripture, it transforms my life and it can transform yours as well. That said, studying scripture every day is not enough. We are called to do more than that. Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7. I am called to share the wisdom I’ve gained and be witness to how scripture has transformed my life so I can help lead others to the same promise; eternal life with our Heavenly Father. In this life’s endeavor, we’ve been gifted a helper and a mentor in the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who leads me, guides me and mentors me in every situation of my life.

We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. – Colossians 1:28.

The Holy Spirit works through us with the gift of prophesy. He’s the one who fills me with passion for God’s instruction. I am excited and eager to share this good news with friends, family and even strangers to help them see the truth. Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophesy. – 1 Corinthians 14:1.

The more I study and the more I become rooted in God’s Word, the more I acquire the gift of exhortation. I already want to share my spiritual growth with others. It is my desire to serve others, so they too will learn a strategy to discover God’s purpose for their lives. The Father can and does work in everyone’s life, but only if we are enlightened and encouraged to seek Him, to know Him and to learn the many reasons why God created each of us.

Brethen, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. – 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Graceful Perseverance: The Romantic Holiday

Welcome back everyone! This was a special week, a holiday week for sweethearts, lovers, and also for anyone who desires to extend their love and affection to the special valentine in their lives.

February 14, Valentine’s Day, is also known as The Feast of Saint Valentine, which is celebrated worldwide, Бокалы шампанского и подарочная коробкаeven though it’s not officially considered a holiday on other countries’ calendars. The Feast of Saint Valentine is observed by many spiritual, Christian and Non-Denominational churches by sending greeting cards and gifts, and hosting services in churches such as:

  • Anglican Communion
  • Eastern Orthodox Churches
  • Lutheran Churches
  • Catholic Churches
  • Non-Denominational Churches

Here are some historical, fun facts many of you may not know. Christian martyrs were named “Valentine.” Examples included: the Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and the Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Saint Valentine baptizing Saint Lucilla Jacopo BassanoValentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Another relic was Valentine of Terni from Dublin, Ireland, who was from the Carmelite Church. This man became a bishop around AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. Both Valentines were buried on the Via Flaminia.

220px-St-valentine_110921-01Valentine legends are fascinating. The first was The Golden Legend, which, according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was told centuries after it happened, and widely repeated. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first “valentine” card himself and addressed it to the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. The card was signed “Your Valentine.” The expression “From your Valentine” was later adopted by modern Valentine letters. This legend has since been used by both American Greetings and The History Channel.

240px-Antique_Valentine_1909_01Another legend I didn’t know about was that Saint Valentine supposedly wore a purple amethyst ring with an image of Cupid engraved on it. The ring was customarily worn on the hands of Christian bishops. Cupid was a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire; Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask these bishops to perform a marriage ceremony for them. More than likely, due to the association with Saint Valentine, the amethyst, which is thought to attract love, then became the birthstone for February.

This romantic holiday, the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed in other countries like: China, Finland, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Latin America, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Wales, although their customs and celebrations are more limited in marketing efforts compared to the US.

I’d like to wish everyone worldwide a Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Feast of Saint Valentine! May everyone extend love and affection around the world on this day and beyond!

From Your Valentine,
Debra M. Pauli

Two birds in love

* References from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia






Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: Changing the World!

Welcome back blog readers! I have to be honest with you; I have lost control of keeping up with the overflowing blog comments coming in each week. I started tracking at 5,000+ in 2014 and this week comments are up to 278,346 and growing daily. I never dreamt in a million years my blogs would be what so many in the world are thirsty for. Or as my web design company has said “Your blogs have gone VIRAL.”Cup of coffee

It appears that my subject matter each week is reaching every corner of the world, inspiring others to seriously look at life differently. Good, now that I have your attention, I want you to remove the veil and be open and compassionate to new ideas and practices in this lifetime. This insight is inspired by my own life experiences and is broadening the mindset of many others. I am showing my brother and sisters how they too have the choice and action to change their life towards something dreamy and wonderful too.

Since we haven’t met face to face or ever spoken by phone, I do feel like a pen pal to thousands of you who return to my website, and read my blogs and post comments each week. But since you don’t know me beyond my deep seated blogs, let me tell you I am a person the traditional, stereotypical American would roll their eyes at and say “She’s gone off the deep end. She’s a fool. When is she going to stop dreaming and get serious with her life?”Peace Message written on a wall

None of us are very good at describing ourselves to others. We never want to brag or boast because that’s just ego. But we also don’t want to appear weak and broken either. I know for sure that my jCrazy Hairob, the house I live in, the car I drive or the size of my bank account has absolutely, I mean absolutely, positively no reflection of my soul, my core beliefs and my huge heart for giving to others. So without me kyboshing a description of myself, I found the following description that truly speaks to the type of person I am. The author is unknown, but if I didn’t know better, I’d say they walked a thousand miles in my shoes with me, right beside me for the past 52 years.

“Empathetic People – Dreamers and idealists have this sort of accidental power. Most spend their early years ridden with self-doubt, insecurity, and people pleasing habits. But their journey is inevitably derailed when this comfortable life gets uprooted by an unexpected darkness. Suddenly their trusted methods no longer seem to bring them happiness. As first this depression convinces them that they miHappy women dancingght never feel joyful again. But ultimately, it sets them on a quest for something more – for love, justice and wisdom. Once this adventure begins, there is no stopping a dreamer. And when the dreamers unite? Well, that’s how we start to change the world.”
~ Unknown

I did spend my younger years ridden with self-doubt, insecurity and depression. I was for many years derailed from my journey, my life purpose. I spent a good amount of time in the desert, in the wilderness, with a dark cloud hovering over me. My childhood was far from what most know as normal. I was uprooted from my family and shuffled around the country like a lost piece of luggage that no one wanted to claim as their own. I didn’t know what joy and happiness was. I feared I may never feel ever again.

But at some point in my journey I knew I wanted to be more than the aftermath of my past. AngeloI knew deep in my core that ultimately there was something greater, something more for love, justice and wisdom. I knew that I was created to be a soldier, a warrior and I knew I would keep to my orders in this lifetime and never quit. I believe my adventure began when I made my agreement with God to be Debra. To come into this lifetime and be Debra regardless of the external influences, positive and negative stimulus, temptations and dark, evil people around me who claimed to love me, but couldn’t nurture me in a healthy way. And so it was and so it is. Debra was born a child of God’s! Debra is a daughter, a sister, a woman, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend to many, and most importantly a soldier to her Heavenly Father.

I am also an empathetic woman, who is a dreamer aJosé Iván Bernardo Vázqueznd an idealist. That’s how I started and that’s who I will always be. And when a dreamer/idealist unites with another dreamer/idealist we are the ones who agreed upon inception that we wanted to be soldiers of love to change the world.

My adventure, my life quest is far from over! I will also tell you there have been many, many dark paths along my journey, but all of which has made me stronger, more resilient, wiser, more knowledgea雲の上の階段ble, more compassionate and understanding. I am more of a servant today who has ultimately earned the credibility to teach and inspire others that there is something more, so much more to experience love, joy and happiness in this life…or as I say “We can learn to have more Heaven on earth, and less Hell on earth!”

God Bless,
Debra M. Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: Living with Jesus

Welcome to this week’s blog. This week I am touching on the reality of our Godly or not so Godly behaviors in private and in public places. How do we behave in front of others? Are we the same person in private? The bigger question for all of us is: If Jesus were living with us, would we behave any differently? I challenge all of us to become more aware of who we “pretend” to be in public, as opposed to who we are behind closed doors.

What amazes me, is that most non-believers and even Christians cannot comprehend that regardless of our behaviors in public or private, Jesus sees us in every situation. He knows our thoughts and our hearts better than we do. He is always with us, watching over us, and by our side regardless of what we think or believe. The validity of our behavior as Christians, and as witnesses, must be apparent even when no one is around.

If Jesus were in your home and sitting next to you while you were watching TV, would you still be watching the same television shows or would you turn the channel to something cleaner and less evil or provocative because Jesus is there?

If Jesus were a guest at your dinner table, would you behave the same way? Or would you be more diligent in prayer and more loving towards others at the table?

If Jesus could hear you and your spouse having a conversation, would that conversation be without vulgar language or disrespect?

Regardless of how you answered each of these questions pertaining to your private life, Jesus is with you always. He sees all the good things we do, and he sees our sinful nature as well. We cannot escape or pretend to be something we’re not in the eyes of God. We can’t manipulate, or be insincere in front of Jesus, because he is the Master of the Universe, the maker of everything. He is everywhere all the time. He sees us pretending to be the devoted Christians on Sunday morning in church. And He sees us leaving church with slander and vulgar language falling from our lips. He sees us with mocking and gossiping behavior, condemning and laughing behind others’ backs.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye…” – Matthew 7:1-20.

We cannot be living with God on Sundays, but not Monday through Friday. He sees us pretending to be better than anyone else because we call ourselves Christians. By definition, the word Christian is more than a description of someone’s beliefs and behavior, it’s a combination of our words and actions being equally devoted to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He sees all of it.

Examples of Christian behavior are woven throughout scripture. It is these examples that we are to live by. Jesus himself spoke in great length and in great detail of how we are to behave toward each other, towards friends and even enemies and persecutors.

Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. – Ephesians 5:1.

Scripture tells us how Jesus lived his life here on earth, with accentuated love and compassion for all, including Christians, non-believers, the sinners, the evil doers, the corrupted, the lost, the forgotten, the homeless and those who were weak in their faith. Jesus lived out his life in a way that consummates the ideal example of what our behavior should look like.

To do good works means all the time. Not some of the time or only when we feel like it, but all the time, which means in both private and in public settings. It would be hypocritical of us to behave in a Jesus, Christ-like manner in public, and then in the privacy of our homes with our family and friends, behave the opposite of what is “holy and pleasing to God.” I know I am always challenging my behavior in both public and in private. Probably more so in private because that’s where many of us believe that no one will see us and if we fall short and break a commandment no one will know.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8.

It is in the privacy of our homes where we can say or do whatever is pleasing to the flesh and not have to abide by the Christian behavior God has called us to do. We think we won’t be held accountable for cruel and sinful behaviors because no one can see us. Contrary to this belief, God sees everything, everywhere, all the time. He sees our sinful nature. We don’t answer to each other, we answer to the Lord above anyone else. He knows when we are not loving our neighbor as we love ourselves even behind their backs. 

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.” – Matthew 27:37-40. 

Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. True Christian behavior is surrendering our hearts and yielding our sinful bodies to Christ so that He might continue God’s work through us and in us. What does this mean? Love your enemies, love the ones who have wronged you in your life and be a witness, a beacon of light in a dark world.

Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: The Potter’s Hands!

Welcome back to this week’s blog! This week my faith based blog focuses on “The Potter’s Hands” since we are His clay!in-the-potters-hands

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8

The Lord wants more than anything to mold us and  shape us to be more and more like Him! We are all the work of His hands. Just as the potter holds his stained clump of clay in his hands, the Lord holds us in the palms of His hands to reshape us. He doesn’t throw the clay away.



This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.”

So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw Him working at the wheel. But the pot He was shaping from the clay was marred in His hands, so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to Him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. He declared, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does? Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” – Jeremiah 18: 1-6 

maxresdefaultWe, God’s children, were born sinners. We are perfectly flawed. We are marred, scarred, blemished, stained and disfigured. Many live out their daily circumstances with the absence of the Holy Spirit. The events of our lives sometimes feel like an ultimate preconceived plan for our lives, and other times our lives are filled with suffering, pain and disappointment. It is only when we feel peace and harmony in our day-to-day experiences that we are truly connected to His spirit.

It is only when we call His spirit into our presence that He can guide us, steer us into the direction of His crafted, perfected plan for our lives. Learn to be His clay. Let Him break you down to build you back up. Just as a potter has a vision of the clay in his hands, a new creation, set apart and unique from any other, this new self, will be the one He desires us to be.pottershandwel

Trust in Him. Seek His face. Let Him break the sinful self down to transform the old self. The work of His hands will mold you, shape you into the one He intended you to be for His glory. The old self will die to the new self, but your heart must seek His face daily so that He can be alive in you through His spirit. Give your life to the potter!

Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: Leave me breadcrumbs…

Welcome back to this week’s blog.Cup of coffee

This week I felt compelled to write about the breadcrumbs God leaves for us when we stray from His straight path. Even when we can’t see with our own eyes, it’s His breads crumbs that will always redirect us to His plan for our lives, a plan that will make us stronger so we can be more like Him.  And I know when we stray, He still has a tight grip on us and He will be faithful in getting us back on the straight and narrow way. Proverbs 3:6In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (NIV).

Love TreeWhen we lose our way and there is no one there to pick us back up again, it is His bread crumbs that save us. We may get knocked down over and over, but through His grace and mercy, He finds us and gives us the strength to get back up again. Let Him hold you up. He will never leave you or forsake you. He traded His life for your life and mine. He took the nails for you and me. He freed us forever to be His martyrs.

He is the first face that I see when I wake. He is the last thing I think about when I lay my head to rest. His Holy Spirit washes over me and then beauty arises one more day. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. A new day comes in the morning. He’s the reason I am alive and breathing one more day. I could never survive this life without Him. When I am on my path, without His breadcrumbs, I am lost. It is His promise to return one glorious day to lead me home that will take my breath away. Out of my ashes, He continues to carry my sins far away.

When I am lost and have strayed from the straight path, a path less traveled, and I’m falling apart, His arms are always wide open. He’s quick to forgive and slow to aMan walking on Biblenger when I make mistakes. He loves me at the blink of an eye without question. I often ask what have I done to deserve His love, but He continues to give it to me anyway. He fills me up. I can’t get enough. He’s everything I need. And when I walk away from Him, He still takes off running after me. He knows how to save me from myself. He’s the light inside my eyes that shines on my path. He gives me a reason to keep trying. He continues to give me more than I could ever dream. He knows how to bring me to my knees. He is my redeemer at the river of forgiveness.

He is everything we need. He is everything we should seek in our time of need. He takes me; He breaks me and makes me new. And when I turn my cheek from Him, He still has his grip on me; it’s what He does because of His promise to always love me. Cross silhouette and the holy blue skyHis wisdom is supreme – Proverbs 4:11-15I will guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered: when you run, you will not stumble…Do not set your foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.  Avoid it, do not travel on it: turn from it and go on your own way (NIV).

Lord, leave me your breadcrumbs, save a place for me, because I know you make everything glorious!

God Bless until next week,

Debra M. Pauli
Unstoppable Believer






Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Graceful Perseverance: A Sinner’s Crown

Welcome back to this week’s blog! This week let’s talk about sinners and a sinner’s crown. First off, none of mankind is immune to sinful behaviors. Yes, we were all created pure, holy and sin free, just as Jesus was, perfect in God’s image. But we were born into this world out of sin due to our ancestry starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Lord God said to Adam, You listened to your wife’s suggestion. You ate fruit from the tree I warned you about. I said, ‘You must not eat its fruit.’– Genesis 3:2-21.

apples on tree

All of God’s creations from man to beast, to the mountains and valleys, all on earth lived in a perfect, sin-free world until Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden. Sin fell upon the earth, and every generation born from Adam and Eve would also experience pain and suffering in this life due to our ancestors. Sin was never the design of God’s creation, but the repercussions from mankind’s disobeying of God’s commands.

Therefore, do we as sinner’s deserve a sinner’s crown? No, but it is only because of the endless grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father that He has crowned us. A sinner’s crown has been placed upon our heads because of His son’s crucifixion. Drops of BloodHis bloodshed and his resurrection saved  us and forgave us as children of God. Jesus sacrificed His life so that we may have everlasting life. Christ has paid the price for our sins, but this act doesn’t get a Christian or a non-believer a free ticket to an eternal life with our Heavenly Father who had prepared a place for us from the very beginning. A sinner’s crown is the promise from Christ that He is always with us, He is guarding us and protecting us and keeping us in constant peace. But first we must focus our minds and our hearts on Him and obey His commands even during the storms and sinful behaviors we bring upon ourselves and the sinful behaviors others bring against us in this life. And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:20.matt28.1

You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:5. It has been written for us to believe and trust in His work that our Lord and Savior truly has crowned us with His glory and honor as we make our way in this lifetime.

God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:26-27.People at the Cross

Let every thought and scripture expressed above give you faith and hope that each of us has been given a sinner’s crown to wear freely. The significant honor behind this crown requires our daily focus on Him and captivating thoughts of our Lord and Savior in both good and evil times. His promise of radiant light and amazing wonders and gifts will flood our lives because He is the one who is always with us, watching over us, protecting us and guarding us. A sinner’s crown, simply put, is His glory and honor for each of us to wear knowing He is in our presence at all times.

Blessings until next week,
Debra M. Pauli
Unstoppable Believer

Posted in Uncategorized | 213 Comments