Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

Free Will & Love… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on December 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

One of the most powerful and wonderful gifts God has given humanity is free will. When He created us, it was for love. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest ‘well pleased. ’”

Love is not love if it is forced; therefore God gave us the ability to choose Him, to accept Him or reject Him.

When we turn on the news, or read a book such as this one, we may find ourselves asking, “How can a loving God let these things happen?” The truth is that our sinful human choices are a consequence of rejecting the One who made us. What is more profound than the fact that He gave us the choice to reject Him is the fact that He loves us and never leaves us even in our darkest moments, and even when we don’t yet know Him.

As you read this story of human darkness, be reminded that God so filled me with His love and gave me beauty for ashes by giving me the courage to share my story and not give up on love. My love of Christ, my love for the broken, and even my love for the ignorant who still want to label me are powerful testimony of just how far–reaching God’s healing love can be when we choose to accept Him.

Let this story also serve as a reminder to us of all the wars people fight every day of their lives. We may not see these wars on the outside, but they are there. To love like Christ, unconditionally, means we love without demanding that the other person prove their worthiness of that love.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Our very ability to love exists because it was initiated by love Himself. Who are we to ever deem another unlovable or undeserving?


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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Test the Spirits… Christine McDonald

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

Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

…Of course, I thought to myself, I’m a working girl. Not even a leader of faith can allow me some safety, some sleep, some warmth, without expecting me to perform at some level. I understood all too well that being a prostitute meant the world around me viewed me differently. I knew people didn’t see us the same as everyone else.

Leaders of faith, law enforcement, case workers—it was all the same. Leaders of the faith would use you just like everyone else. The officers who arrested you would drive you someplace, only to offer to let you go if you’d perform. Sometimes you’d perform for them only to be treated horribly while they laughed and called you names. And they’d still take you to jail.

I suppose, as I consider, I have been bought/paid for by lawyers, judges, teachers, preachers, counselors, construction workers, professional athletes, journalists, cops, fathers, grandfathers uncles, brothers, husbands, boyfriends—I could go on. But one thing is absolute: They, the buyers, were from all walks of life and all economic statuses; the only common denominator they had was me, the prostituted person, an object for their play of privilege and perversions. And on this day a believer, a faith leader, an apparent “helping hand” could not see my pain, my despair.

Even the supposed good guys saw me, the prostituted, as a mere, simple object and somehow less than human and unworthy of anything beyond that identity. Thus the cycle of exploitation continued in place of the help I desperately sought.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/


Character Counts… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , on November 12, 2019 by paulthepoke

Unfortunately, some seemingly good resources can be hiding places for those who would prey on the broken and exploited. We can’t assume that someone’s title—pastor, teacher, officer, doctor, etc.—is necessarily a reflection of their character.

The enemy of our souls doesn’t have to work too hard to keep a broken soul from finding freedom or from finding Christ while they are on the street. But when glimmers and flickers of hope pop up through helping ministries and programs, it only takes one untrustworthy individual to destroy all other efforts.

Those of us who have chosen to fight against trafficking, exploitation, and the devaluing of human life must also accept the responsibility of being above reproach in our actions and words. We must be willing to shine a light on the shadows and areas of darkness even within our own organizations. To look the other way or allow these things to pass without consequence makes us equally responsible as those who are devouring human souls by turning them into commodities that can be traded, sold, or discarded.

photo: Shutterstock

Good day everyone! Be blessed! God is stirring something in KC. He is gathering His people, a little revivalish… a lot radical for Jesus! Transformational Kingdom work! Restoration for His people, hope inspired, transformational grace, endless mercies.

Stay tuned cause everyone will have a place at the Table. Keep watching in the weeks to come for the details and announcements. And I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Do Your Best… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , on October 27, 2019 by paulthepoke

From The Same Kind of Human, Seeing the Marginalized and Exploited through Eyes of Grace

God does not demand that every man attain to what is theoretically highest and best. It is better to be a good street sweeper than a bad writer, better to be a good bartender than a bad doctor, and the repentant thief who died with Jesus on Calvary was far more perfect than the holy ones who had Him nailed to the cross. And yet, abstractly speaking, what is more holy than the priesthood and less holy than the state of a criminal? The dying thief had, perhaps, disobeyed the will of God in many things: but in the most important event of his life he listened and obeyed. The Pharisees had kept the law to the letter and had spent their lives in the pursuit of a most scrupulous perfection. But they were so intent upon perfection as an abstraction that when God manifested His will and His perfection in a concrete and definite way they had no choice but to reject it. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

Christine McDonald was recently featured on Fox 4 News. See the link below for the written article and video report.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

He Really Loves Us… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Gospel with tags , , on October 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

When I got off the streets and off dope, I learned of this man who had been in the heavens who chose to be a homeless being, who was judged for His work. He knew how messed up I was. He knew how messed up the world was and would continue to be. Yet, He still chose to face the bondage of this world, to be born and to die. He was murdered in the most humiliating way so that I could have a second chance, a chance to enter the gates of Heaven. He could do something no one else could. He could forgive me my sins, and He offered me grace. He loved me so much that He was willingly born for the sole purpose of dying for me. He even knew me before I was born, and loved me.

When I heard this message, I cried. I wept. How could He love me so? Was this the same message I had heard at the soup kitchen that turned me away when I had no shoes on my feet, my body battered and bloody with road rash from being pushed out of a moving car, in paper clothes? Was this the same message I heard when I had been turned away because of “no shoes, no shirt, no service”? If I had heard such a loving and compassionate message during the years before, maybe I would have embraced His love sooner.

I am thankful for my journey of brokenness. My experiences shaped me to help others understand the plights of individuals such as myself and empower those trapped in the grip of hopelessness. However, I often wonder how many good and well–meaning believers crust the message and push broken people away rather than drawing them closer to the arms of the Father. How many lose sight of the calling to love people to Him by meeting them where they are, tending to the human needs first?

Can desperately hungry people hear your message, anyway? If they are broken, do they need confirmation of their brokenness? A loving approach with no strings attached is a powerful message. Maybe it should be as simple as the message, truly allowing love to be shared—the love of our God who sent His only begotten Son to die for us.

Somehow we Christians have missed the intersection joining the humanity of our fellow hurting humans with the love of Christ. I do not mean we aren’t preaching at these folks—we are doing that ad nauseam. No, what I
mean is that we are not engaging with their basic human needs, such as food, water, and shelter, without attaching strings of judgment and wagging fingers in our interactions with them.

If we are created in God’s image, meant to be His representatives to a broken world, then perhaps we should follow His model. Jesus tended to people’s human needs before presenting a spiritual message. He chose not to condemn when He had every right to. Perhaps we should seek to love with tangible expressions of Christ’s unconditional love. Perhaps then the message can be heard.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

I Know I Am a Sinner… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2019 by paulthepoke

I had heard of a God who was condemning. I knew I was going to burn in Hell for all my wickedness. I was full of shame and guilt. I was homeless. I was addicted. I was a prostitute. I was lost in darkness, wandering in my own wilderness. I was well aware of my brokenness. For real, I had heard this message before.

I felt shameful and dirty, things I already felt on my own. I didn’t need to hear these things from “those people”—the people who had a shower, who had shoes, who had a home. I didn’t need to hear it from those who did their good deed of scooping food on our trays, leaving them feeling a bit better about themselves. While these things were free, they still cost so much for us; the burden of the shame was equal to bags full of gold.

The last thing any of us needed was confirmation of how messed up our lives were. Believe it or not, we were all well aware of our brokenness, our bondage, our chains that gripped so cripplingly tight. I often went many days without food solely because I could not handle the damnation preached so hard and heavy at the soup kitchen mere blocks from where I existed.

The preaching required in order to receive the food that was needed to sustain life, human life, was a binding string. I left feeling judged and condemned. The last thing I wanted was a relationship with a God who was so grand that He judged harshly. Frequently we would leave talking about how painful it was to just get food. Food was successful at physically bringing us in, but the price—judgment—pushed us away in spirit. Many times, the prayers spoken over us were to remove the demons from us, rather than prayers for safety or hope or peace.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The Man Who Died for Me… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on September 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely….He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.” Oftentimes as Christians we try expressing the love of Christ through kindness alone, but as Lewis stresses, kindness is but one attribute of love; it is not actually love itself. When we consider how we love others, what is our motive? Are we satisfied if we are just the seed planter? Are we satisfied if we are simply serving?

In the book of Luke we read, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Love your enemies…

If this is how we are to treat our enemies, how should we treat those for whom we have compassion and want to see brought into His Kingdom?

Loving others is an act of obedience, but we cannot trick God. He alone sees our hearts. He knows if we are giving food to the hungry out of love, or if we are merely baiting the hungry so we can guilt them to repentance with our message—our message. God’s message is not one of trickery or condemnation, nor does it demand that broken people turn from their vices before crying out to Him. God alone can fill our empty spaces, cleanse us of our sins, and buff our rough places. He alone can draw us in.

The Lover of Our Souls draws us through compassion. He alone meets us where we are, wipes away our tears, and saves us. When we give to those who are in need, it should be the overflow of what we have been given, and it should be truly free. When we put a price or a demand on these actions, we are cheating the very ones who move His heart.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:40, NLT)

The question is: How, then, are we treating Christ?

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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