About Joe

Picture of Joseph Pote

Joseph Pote

I have a lot to learn about God, about the Bible, about people, about myself, and about life in general.

I do not claim to have all the answers.  I am a fellow traveler along this path we call Christian Living.  To the extent that I may have previously traveled through trials similar to yours, or can relate to issues you may be dealing with, I hope to use this blog to help provide insight and encouragement.

I was raised by Christian parents who led me to know God and taught me to study scripture at an early age.  We were literally raised in church, attending church services and Bible studies multiple times each week.  Although I have no formal seminary degree, I do have a strong background in biblical principles and inductive interpretation of scripture.

I know a little about the trials and tribulations of life in this fallen world.  I have experienced the untimely death of some who were very close to me.  I have experienced the devastation of a failed marriage.  I have experienced divorce, with accompanying custody battles.  I have experienced both single parenting and step-parenting in a blended family.  I have experienced losing my job of almost 20 years because the company closed its doors.

I have also experienced great joy in this life.  First and foremost, the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.  The joy of being used of God to positively influence someone else’s life.  The joy of seeing God use someone else to positively influence my life.  The joy of attending the births of my four children.  The joy of a loving wife.  The joy of Christian fellowship.  Both the joy and the trials of parenting.  The joy of grandparenting.  And…well…sometimes just the joy of being alive!

I hope you will enjoy my blog, and that you will post comments to share with others.


Joe Pote

53 thoughts on “About Joe

      • Joe this is your cousin Betty Jean your Uncle Bob sent me this page. I enjoyed your poem and story about the gas station. It’s good to catch up to you after all these years. I am sure your parents have told u but just in case they haven’t. I was not able to have kids of our owm but God blessed us with a girl from China. she is 7 yrs. old we got her when she was 11 months old. Our church had a yard sale for use and raised $1100 for us to adoped because we could not afort to adoped but we knew God would work it out. They had 2 more yard sales for us beause there had been so many things given for the 1st yard sale. Money even came in the mail for the adoption. We knew this was Gods will for us. He knew Bethany needed us just as much a we needed her. It was a very amazing time in our lives. Well that’s all for now. God is so good. With love Betty

        • Hey, Betty Jean! It’s so good to hear from you! Yes, it has been a long time!

          I’m so glad to hear how God has blessed your life and your family. Children are such a treasure from God!

          Thanks for sharing!

          If you like, you can also e-mail at joe (dot) pote01 (at) gmail (dot) com. Or you can contact me on facebook.

    • Joe, I am ‘Emma’, and you wrote a comment about my poem, and placed a link to your website. I loved your poem! Thank you so much for sharing! I will bookmark your website – it’s fantastic!
      God bless you!

      • I’m so glad you stopped by, Emma!

        I loved your poem on “Crying out for Justice” blog. A very powerful poem about the day-to-day struggle while enduring one of life’s major trials.

        I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

        God Bless!

  1. Joe,

    When we leave tiny earth, one lasting thing we leave behind are genetics.

    During this humbling process, the tallest trees catch the most wind. They also sway the most and require the most water and nutrients. Is it easier to be a shorter tree? Which tree is more productive: Billy Graham or the person reponsible for Billy Graham’s initial awakening?


    • Dan,

      So glad to hear from you! I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you, but wasn’t sure how to get in touch with you. Would you drop me an e-mail at joe (dot) pote01 (at) gmail (dot) com with your contact info?


    • Thanks, Richard! I appreciate it. Most of the time it’s fun. Sometimes, it’s just frustrating. Communication is always something of a trial-and-error experiment, I’m afraid…

  2. God sent me another blessing today when an old friend suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I am so interested in reading and hearing what you have to say old friend. I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the faith your entire family lives by and truly look forward to hearing more about your own experiences! Redeemed indeed! What a gift this feels like for me. Hard to explain. Extremely excited…

    • Thank you, Ronnie! I’m really looking forward to getting reacquainted with you, and hearing of your experiences, as well.

  3. Joe, I liked what you said here about yourself. Probably all of us can identify with everything you said……even divorce, if not our own, one of another member of our family. I am so happy to have met you here on this wonderful (?) thing we call the internet! I think we met via a writer’s page on facebook. Anyway, I look forward to our Christian friendship and thank God for those like you who reflect the light of His son! God continue to bless you and give you great joy!

    • I feel the same way about you, Judy! I’m very glad to have made your acquaintance, and thoroughly enjoy seeing God use you to bless others via your encouraging posts on FaceBook!

  4. I recently heard of your book and hope to be able to purchase a copy to read soon. From what I’ve seen of it (in reviews and excerpts), it looks as if it will be a blessing to the modern church. I write, in part, about domestic abuse and the stance the church has taken towards the abused (both blog and upcoming book–co-authored by me). Often, the abused, usually but not always a woman, is told that, if she leaves her abuser, she is the one committing the sin. It seems to me that you’ve hit the nail on the head on this: divorce isn’t always the fault of both parties. That is certainly true where abuse is present. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for your efforts in writing on this very misunderstood subject. May God bless you.

    • Anna, I love your heart for victims of domestic abuse! There are so many hurting people in need of help and grace!

      One of my sisters is director of a women’s shelter, and I am so impressed by how God uses that ministry.

      Yes, God’s heart toward His children who have experienced divorce, or who are trapped in a covenant of bondage is very misunderstood by many in the Christian church. My sister has told me that this is a frequent issue in counseling abused women at the shelter.

      The book is available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/You-Believer-been-through-Divorce/dp/1463767161/

      Thank you, so much, for the word of encouragement!

  5. Thank you for your kind words. Just wanted to let you know that I now have a kindle copy of your book and can’t wait to settle down this morning to read it. Moreover, the Pastor that I co-authored the book on domestic abuse with, Jeff Crippen, said your book looked good and he got himself a copy, also. Keep up the good work. May God bless and keep you. ~ Anna

  6. Joe, thank you for your book. I read it this evening and appreciated in particular your understanding that marriage is a covenant and the vows are the terms of that covenant. Once we understand that, we will get divorce right. Pastors, churches, Christians, Christian authors, for the most part today have it wrong and are causing abuse victims great suffering. Why do we tell people that their solemn vows in marriage are actually meaningless, which is exactly what we do when we tell an abused victim that she or he cannot divorce their abuser? That the guilty party is free to smash and dash their vows all they want, but the covenant is still binding and therefore the victim is stuck in bondage? Pretty cruel stuff. All of it is based upon, as you noted, unbiblical, mythical tradition. Thanks again!

    • Thank you, Jeff! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, and pray it will be a blessing to many.

      What you’ve said is all too true. A large segment of the Christian church has elevated “refusal to divorce” to a much higher level than honoring covenant vows, which defeats the whole purpose.

      I am reminded of Jesus’ words in speaking to the Pharisees regarding keeping the Sabbath, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”

      May God continue to bless you in your ministry, particularly in working with those trapped in abusive covenants of bondage.

      • “honoring covenant vows” is very helpful. I agree with your “Sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.” Intact marriage “at all costs” seems pharisaical to me.

  7. Joe, I enjoyed about our right to free choice.
    I am just so glad that way before we get close to making a wrong choice, start a little bit away from God’s way, He will allert us because He knows
    our heart, that we’ve already decided to stick with Him. He always alerts us with LOVE. Uncle Bob

    • Yes, very true, Uncle Bob! Throughout scripture and in my own experiences, God is always faithful to guide and direct us.

      “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

  8. Joe, as soon as I read “Jesus going through divorce?” I thought of
    John 6:66; From that time many of His disciples went back and
    walked with Him no more. They were offended.
    Of course there are several sermons in that, but that’s where my
    mind went when I read “Jesus going through divorce?”

    • Good point, Uncle Bob! Many who had previously been close to Christ left Him as He revealed more of who He truly is.

      …and He let them go.

      God never uses covenant as a tool to enslave…

  9. Hi Joe. We have the same name, only spelled differently. This is my first visit to your blog and I’ve really enjoyed it. I followed your link from Getting Down with Jesus – God Bumps. So glad I did. Now I’m off to comment on your latest post. Have a super blessed day!

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and writing, Joe. I really enjoyed your site and definitely plan to use some of your work in my sermons (credited to you, of course!)

    Peace be yours!

    • Super! I’m glad my site was a blessing to you, and even more that you will use it to bless others.

      For myself, there tends to be a good deal of overlap between my blog posts and my Sunday School lessons.

      Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

  11. I loved the comments you left on ‘always learning’ although the title is deceiving as anyone who doesn’t agree with their literal views have their comments deleted and they are usually blocked.
    From what I have read of your blog I like, good on you for standing up to Lori and ken and their narrow minded and dangerous views and advice.

    • Thank you, ATG, and welcome to the blog!

      There are a lot of hurting people being pushed into submitting to abusive bondage by the very people who should be encouraging them toward liberty in Christ.

      Blessings to you!

      • I thought you would like this about the new pope. http://distractify.com/people/reasons-why-pope-francis-is-the-person-of-the-year/

        Some of lorri’s post have made my skin crawl, they seem to be focused solely on the Pauline letters believing them to be for everyone, they do not research the original meanings or the history of the writer, if they did they would find as I did that there are many theorists that believe some of these letters to be fake, some scriptures and gospels are locked away at the Vatican and have never been included in the bible, they would find that many of their Christian holidays and traditions are actually pagan or Jewish holidays and traditions, they would find that there have been too many translations done to the gospels and scriptures for them to be taken literally. They are intolerant, sexist, biased, judgemental, narrow minds and self centered, too wrapped up in their own ‘holiness’ to see that if a deity does exist they are actually sinning against it.

        • I actually prescribe to a literal conservative interpretation of the Bible, myself. I also love studying biblical covenants and see a deep richness of covenant references throughout the Bible.

          However, I also believe that many within the Christian church have been taught to believe man-made traditions about marriage and divorce that are contrary to what the Bible teaches…and lift verses out of context to justify their traditions.

          Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another.”

          We can be confident that any theology that leads toward replacing love and justice with rigid rules is not following the heart of God, nor the intent of the gospel message.

          Blessings to you, ATG!

          • Many Christians don’t realise where many of their traditions came from, Christmas is actually a pagan holiday called winter solstice.
            As for the literal belief of the bible I think one must be careful as the bible has gone through many translations and there are also scriptures at the Vatican that were never included, therefore not all the information is included or free from translation errors.
            You have obviously done a bit of research into Christianity and it’s history, many fundamentalist Christians refuse to accept that anything but their personal interpretation of the bible is truth. They are hypocritical as they have the sin of pride yet condemn everyone else, it is a big turn off for anyone wanting to learn about Christianity.

            • Actually, the Bible is by far the most reliable ancient text in existence. Scholars have copies of thousands of ancient documents in the original languages (Greek for New Testament and Hebrew/Chaldean for Old Testament) dated within a couple of hundred years of the original writing.

              Modern English translations all are translated from multiple reliable documents in the original language.

              Of course, there are still translation issues. Sometimes the original meaning of a given sentence is obscure. Sometimes, the translator’s perspective shows thru in their selection of English wording.

              I like to use http://www.biblegateway.com/ as it allows me to read the same verse in a wide variety of translations.

              I also use http://www.blueletterbible.org/ to learn more about the text in the original languages.

              You might enjoy reading some of Lee Strobel’s books, where he digs into questions about the authenticity of scripture and reliability of scriptural testimony: http://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Faith-Compilation-ebook/dp/B0039W58QM/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388585330&sr=1-9&keywords=lee+strobel

              Blessings to you, ATG, today and throughout the new year!

  12. I will check them out. Thanks for not trying to change my mind on my beliefs, I enjoy discussions with people who are religious, I like to gain as much knowledge as I can, but I find it annoying and disappointing when others refuse to consider others beliefs or are judgmental and self righteous. I may not agree with others but I would never force my beliefs on them as many have tried to do to me ( both Christians an atheists) I just believe no one can really know what is the right belief as religion is based on faith not facts. Hope you can continue to help others rejected by so called ‘good’ people. Have a good new year, Cheers!!

    • Thank YOU, ATG!

      I appreciate your input and encouragement.

      Like you, I enjoy sharing ideas and perspectives, but don’t like someone treating my viewpoints as unimportant while trying to force me to accept their point of view.

      Have a blessed new year!

      • I am actually replying to your post sent to atheist girl about bible authenticity. I agree with all the resources you posted. I have also learned a great deal from Lee Strobel’s easy-to-understand and very logical argument about the authenticity of scripture. As I told my Bible study leader (who thinks I have gone off the deep end because I am living in another room for 5 months and haven’t been to church in weeks trying to heal from abuse and the church’s response to it) “My relationship with God has actually deepened. Since I am no longer contending with daily abuse, I have been able to focus on the Word with clarity. I don’t doubt the inerrancy of scripture. I doubt man’s interpretation of scripture. God has a relationship with me, personally, for a reason; so I don’t have to depend on man’s interpretation of what He wants me to do.” He seemed to “get it”

        • “I don’t doubt the inerrancy of scripture. I doubt man’s interpretation of scripture.”

          So true! I trust God’s word and I trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. I value input from trusted theologians…but do not accept it as having scriptural authority.

          Debby, it sounds like you are doing great in setting and defending healthy boundaries while pursuing God’s heart. So glad for you!

          Please also have a safety plan. Your local abuse center or women’s shelter should be able to help with planning.

          God bless!

  13. Dear Mr. Pote,
    I was preparing a lesson for my Bible study group last week and had planned to touch on the topic of redemption. I made a note to myself that God redeemed the children of Israel from Egypt. As it so happened, I did not bring up that point during the study session. Afterwards I thought about it and I found myself saying to myself, “Wait a minute … how exactly did that redemption from Egypt work?”
    After much searching (I like biblegateway too, by the way, but ordinarily use biblehub more often) I came across your article, “What is Redemption?”
    “Oh yeah!” I thought!
    Good article! I’m saving it.
    God bless,

    • Fantastic!

      I’m glad you came across my blog and glad it was a blessing to you. I hope you’ll visit here more often.

      Thanks for taking the time to drop a note, Monty!

      God bless!


  14. Covenant release? Are you kidding?!!l Is such a thing possible? Isn’t that like…becoming unborn after being alive for 20 years? I will be searching your website and the one I found you on (something about Justice; a friend just directed me there today). I don’t want easy answers…I want the truth, even if it burns me up whole. If there is any truth to this thing, I want to know…because it would be *such* a relief. If you have a blog entry or article to direct me to, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I’ll just keep reading till I find…or not…what I’m looking for. Thanks

  15. Joe, love your writing! I, too, went through a divorce – it was the hardest decision of my life. It took me 6 years to ruminate on something that took 6 months to complete.

    One thing, for me, – I don’t see my prior marriage as “failed.” I didn’t fail at marriage. My children’s father failed at it – he failed to honor our covenant. I had a choice to either tolerate his continual and habitual failing/sin or to end the marriage. I choose to protect myself and children – physically, financially and spiritually.

    I prefer the term ‘mismarriage.’

    • “One thing, for me, – I don’t see my prior marriage as “failed.” I didn’t fail at marriage”

      Yes, very good point, Sarah!

      And one that is too often missed by those who have not experienced it. The ending of a relationship is NOT indicative of failure by both parties of the relationship.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Have a blessed day!

  16. I found your blog while searching for a Biblical answer to a troubling question. If you are able, can you please email me that I may seek your guidance?
    Thank you.

  17. Greetings, Joe,
    I like your site and have saved it. May I have permission to use your scriptural definition of the word “redemption” in a Bible study of the Gospel of Mark that I am in the process of putting together? The definition is in you article, “What Is Redemption?”
    Thank you,

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