Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

“Religiosity”

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2019 by paulthepoke

Mark 8:22-26 And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.” Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

Christine McDonald recently spoke at First Baptist Church North Kansas City. She spoke about Jesus, the blind man at Bethsaida, and “Religiosity” in the church. Click on the link below for her presentation.

http://www.fbcnkc.org/files/3-31-19.mp3?fbclid=IwAR1dOUwFJE_k-jstzX2tJSbruCvTH_tGNHykEVw9psFSph4tY8kZbTd2GTE

Bravely Awards

The Bravely Awards have been established to honor individuals or organizations that have strengthened our community by bringing attention to social justice issues including sexual exploitation, abuse and addiction. Awardees have demonstrated the highest level of commitment and dedication to the mission and vision of Bravely and furthered our cause through their life’s work. The inaugural honorees include Rev. Traci Blackmon, Joan Lipkin, Christine McDonald and Aisha Sultan.

Bravely is a residential program for women who have survived sexual exploitation (prostitution and trafficking), abuse and addiction.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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MUST Have Control? Let It Go… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on April 5, 2019 by paulthepoke

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.” – 1 Samuel 15:23

A friend of mine who is a jet pilot once told me that whenever a jet goes out of control and begins to spin, the only thing to do is totally take your hands off the controls and the plane will right itself. This goes against our natural inclination to control and manipulate in order to bring things back under control. It is scary to be out of control. Or is it?

Saul was a man out of control. He was losing control of his kingdom to David. He was losing the favor of God and the people. It began as compromises. Eventually he was given a final test to obey the voice of God fully. He was instructed to kill the Amalekites completely; but he failed to follow through.

The prophet Samuel delivered a hard word to King Saul, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king” (1 Samuel 15:26).

Saul obeyed partially, but not fully. It was partial obedience that led to his removal as king of Israel and his calling from God. But why did Saul do such a thing?

“I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.” (1 Samuel 15:24b).

Saul’s fear and insecurity made him more afraid of the people and what they thought than of God. At the core of Saul’s disobedience was fear of losing control. That fear of losing control led to partial obedience and the loss of his reign as king.

How many of us are in danger of losing God’s blessing due to partial obedience? How many of us have such a need to control people and circumstances that we fail to fully walk in obedience to God’s voice in our lives? Saul provides a great lesson for us as believers. The need to over-control things around us can prevent us from receiving all that God has for us. Today, take an inventory of your control quotient.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Leaving the Street… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2019 by paulthepoke

I rarely share this experience, as it haunts me today in a variety of ways. It is not like the physical trauma that haunts me, such as some of the violence I endured, or the mental anguish of starvation, or the sheer exhaustion of being homeless and the need to continually be on the move. No, this is so different for me.

There was a time in the early ‘90s in Kansas City when I attempted suicide. I was back on the streets, hopeless, and in despair. This was one of my last attempts before I realized I just couldn’t take my own life.

I joined an outpatient treatment group. As part of this program, I would be given an apartment if I went and stayed in a mental health respite home. As you can imagine, drug addiction was really the least of my many demons.

Reuters, Claro Cortes IV

It is difficult to be off the streets yet not have money to get a soda or eat. When providing for yourself is within the scope of your ability, it is hard to refrain from exercising that ability. I had dealt with hunger for such a prolonged period of time because of drugs and poverty. I had lacked the freedom to eat whenever I was hungry, so hunger was something I wanted to avoid at all costs.

I wanted to feel free. I now had a place to sleep and shower daily. Even though meals were provided, having even a couple of dollars in my pocket felt empowering. Just knowing I could buy a soda if I wanted to, or purchase a snack if I was hungry, felt so, so good. It was natural to turn to what I knew so that I could have those dollars that gave me that freedom. For me and others like me, the ability to buy even little things for yourself is a new freedom that, when denied, becomes a trigger, making you desperate to keep that freedom and the ability to choose.

Plus, my value as a human being had been tied to the money I earned as a prostituted person for so long. My only sense of validation of worthiness came from the purchase of my body. As I tried to move beyond shame and find other things to validate my existence, I faced a twisted, deep, internal battle. People wonder why a prostituted person would willfully turn a trick when she finally has food and shelter at her feet. Yet the world of commercial exploitation is multifaceted, and leaving it is more complex than most people could ever possibly imagine.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Reminder, Saved By Grace… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2019 by paulthepoke

Everyone be blessed!

JUDGING OUTSIDERS IS UN-CHRISTIAN
Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church. Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others. Paul also reminds us to drop the uppity-attitude; that none of us were saved by the good we did but by grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

So what can you do?
1. STOP JUDGING NON-CHRISTIANS. START LOVING THEM.
Very few people have been judged into life-change. Many have been loved into it.

Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

2. EMPATHIZE WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t a Christian, what would I be doing?” Chances are, you might be doing exactly what the non-Christians in your neighborhood are doing. Understanding that and empathizing with that completely changes how you see people. And they can tell how you see them.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

3. HANG OUT WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Jesus did. And caught plenty of disapproval for it.

Mark 2:15-16 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

4. PRAY FOR UNCHURCHED PEOPLE
How many unchurched people do you pray for daily? How many people you disagree with do you pray for daily? It is impossible to hate someone you genuinely pray for daily.

Luke 8:1-2 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out…

5. LIVE OUT YOUR FAITH AUTHENTICALLY
Your actions carry weight. Humility is far more attractive than pride. When a non-Christian sees integrity, it’s compelling. I just have a feeling if we in the church loved the world the way Jesus did, the world might come running to Christ. And then the change we long to see might actually begin to happen.

James 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Exploiting Vulnerability… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2019 by paulthepoke

The vulnerabilities of others are exploited. These “helping hands” pose as if they are doing a good deed. Yet they exploit the disparity of the poverty of others by paying them a pittance for their labor. They get cheap labor, yet can rest their heads in peace at night because they have done their “good deed” in “helping the homeless.” I have to question the motives. They are not facilitating a chance to break the chains of oppression and poverty that bind these human beings. They are perpetuating them.

By definition, the exploitation of the vulnerabilities of those who have not by those who have is trafficking, whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking. They are exploiting the tough circumstances of poverty, homelessness, maybe mental illness and addiction, for their gain, which is cheap labor or perverted pleasure.

We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a place of vulnerability. It puts such individuals on a platform to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to sex trafficking. The victims often don’t even realize what is truly happening at the time. This is part of the cold injustice of trafficking.

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this population. We cannot ignore that they are a target of traffickers who seek victims to exploit for their financial or selfish gain. We must start by recognizing trafficking and exploitation for what they are. Asking another human being to work for less pay than someone else simply because they are poor, homeless, and without other options is labor trafficking, and it is wrong. And asking another human being to perform sexual deeds in order to meet their basic human needs—the needs every person should be entitled to—is sex trafficking, and it is nothing short of grotesque.

Every person is a human being made in the image of God. No matter how desperate a person may be, he or she is not a commodity to be used!

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Basic Human Needs: Sleep and Food… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on March 2, 2019 by paulthepoke

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The winter wind was bitterly cold. I was curled up, with no shoes or coat, barelegged and in a skirt. I was too tired to get up from the spot I had found beside a cold brick building. I was alone. There was no one bugging me, no one wanting anything from me that I was not willing to give. I longed for rest…sleep…a friendly word…a rescuer. Could someone find me?

The concrete was so damp, the cold causing my frail, 88–pound body to ache. Yet with my head against a vent, where part of my body found warmth, the brisk aroma of ground coffee beans brought me comfort of sorts, transporting me to a different world. This aroma was occasionally overpowered by the stale, musty smell of urine, reminding me of my reality.

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/sex-trafficking-survivor-preaches-inspiration-to-women-in-st-charles-county/63-0b6bb1b3-5c66-4db8-adea-4d9d5a6347f7

Was I invisible to the world around me? Was anyone trying to find me? Wouldn’t someone please take me home! I wanted a kind person, someone who didn’t want me as an object, a thing, but someone who would allow me to belong, who would keep me safe and warm. I wanted someone to see me as a person.

My body ached; my stomach grumbled for food. Eating food is such a seemingly basic human need. Yet out here, even food came at a price. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t turn another date just to eat. The thought of what I had to do for the money to eat revolted me. I couldn’t dare to put food in my mouth. Instead, I’d get high to make it all go away—the hunger pains, the shame, the hurt, the despair. Tonight, however, I was too weak and frail to even ponder the idea of standing, much less putting on the show necessary to earn money for food or dope.

Photo: Toronto Star

This corner, this building, the warmth from the vent…if only I could meld into the bricks for a rest, a long rest. Oh, to sleep safe, to sleep without expectations of my body. To sleep in a clean, safe bed with no one touching me, no one expecting sexual deeds for that sleep—another basic human need. A shower…oh, just to soak in a tub. Oh, my! And with bubbles to wash away the filth, the grime, the smells of all those men, of all the shame.

No. Not in my world. Not in this life…

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Please Don’t Use Me… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2019 by paulthepoke

We have to acknowledge the intersection between poverty and homelessness as a platform for individuals to be vulnerable to be trafficked. Males are often labor trafficked, and females fall victim to commercial exploitation. We can’t continue to turn a blind eye to this population and its targeting by traffickers seeking victims to exploit for their financial gain.
—Christine Clarity McDonald

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

There are times when we all want to slip into the crowds unnoticed, but there is still a part of us that deeply longs to be known and seen and cared for. Jesus offers this to believers, and being known by the Creator of the Universe is the most profound “knowing” we could possibly experience. However, the world around us is full of broken individuals who feel invisible because they don’t yet know Christ, and the rest of humanity either ignores them or only sees them when they can be used.

In John Chapter 4, we read the story of Jesus and his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. The most profound aspect of the story isn’t that Jesus calls her out for being married multiple times. Nor is it that He knows that the man she is currently living with isn’t her husband. What is profound is that He truly knew her. He saw her. Because Jesus was able to see her, when He offered her living water, she believed.

When we claim to feel moved by the hurts and sufferings of others, yet we fail to truly see those who are hurting as individuals, our efforts to relieve suffering or bring healing fail. Sometimes such efforts even do more harm.

God doesn’t ask us to take on the world, but to offer the world hope. We are His ambassadors to a hurting world. Being intentional and thoughtful in our interactions can go a long way in offering hope to those in our sphere of influence. What if we open our hearts to Him, and let Him help us see those around us as He does?

Each and every soul on this planet was fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Each one is a treasure to the One we love most. He is calling us to see them as precious treasures, too.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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