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Graceful Perseverance: The Romantic Holiday

Posted February 18th, 2018 @ 09:02am

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, ?????? ??????????? ? ?????????? ???????even 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

 

 

 

 

 

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Graceful Perseverance: Changing the World!

Posted February 11th, 2018 @ 09:02am

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??????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

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Graceful Perseverance: Living with Jesus

Posted February 4th, 2018 @ 09:02am

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

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