Archive for the Culture Category

Precious in His Eyes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2019 by paulthepoke

…My hands were shaking. As I looked up, I saw a truck flash his lights as he drove past and turned the corner. I jumped out of the fountain and ran and jumped in his truck. I knew that if I had money to get dope, I could cope. It was the only way I could cope. It was how I removed myself and made the pain go away. It was how I kept the shame at bay and survived.

I heard once in a meeting that if I had not chosen to use, then I wouldn’t have ever faced the horrific situations I faced. I have often been perplexed by that statement. I am responsible for using, I guess. I suffered from a disease of addiction and the endless cycle it created.

However, I am not responsible for another’s evil actions. I am not responsible for those who seek out the broken, the weak, the invisible of our society, the ones everyone knows no one will go looking for if they go missing, the ones no one dares make eye contact with, the ones society has deemed less than human, without equal value as a human being.

Years later, as I reflect on my growth, I value myself as many things. From addict to child of God, I am human with as much value as any other. I understand the Word of God, and have my own relationship with Him.

The God of my understanding loves the outcasts, those who are shunned and viewed by others as disposable. I can’t help but remember the women and men who were homeless, who were prostituted, who were mentally ill, who were addicted, who were vulnerable, and who died horrific deaths at the hands of those from a higher socioeconomic class, death by people who see themselves as worthy of life while others are not.

What people like me and like them need is to be seen as the priceless treasures they are to the God who created them. Then, and only then, can they truly believe that a way out is possible, that the cycle can end, and that there is another way of coping and living with the pain they have experienced. They need to be set free from the pain and trauma, no matter who caused it or why they are the way they are. They need someone to look at them and say, “You are precious in His eyes, and He loves you. Oh, how He loves you.”

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Christine McDonald to Speak at INSPIRE

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on August 16, 2019 by paulthepoke

As a child, Christine McDonald’s life at home was nightmarish. She was in a poverty-stricken, fatherless home. Her mother struggled with mental illness. She suffered from sexual abuse. She’d been in juvenile justice and foster care.

She ran away — dozens of time.

Now an author, whose first book about her journey out of sexual exploitation and human trafficking is to be made into a film, McDonald is a consultant and motivational speaker…

https://www.facebook.com/events/472527770156471/permalink/489917895084125/

Christine is set to speak about under-served and marginalized populations during INSPIRE, a daylong women’s conference September 14, 2019 to raise money for homeless children and help women “nourish, beautify and feed their souls.”

INSPIRE is 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. September 14 at Miller Performing Arts Center, 501 Madison St. in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Tickets are $50 and may be found at haloworldwide.org. Once on the site, click on “Events,” then on “INSPIRE: A women’s conference to benefit HALO.”

A tab for buying tickets is on that page. VIP tickets, which cost $100, will allow ticket-holders to attend a meet-and-greet with speakers at a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception following the event from 4-6 p.m. in the Bella Vista Room at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 422 Monroe St. in Jefferson City, Missouri.

For the complete article, see the link below.

http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2019/aug/15/sex-trafficking-survivor-speak-halo-event/790785/

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/


Sunday Morning Service… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on August 10, 2019 by paulthepoke

Extreme Caution!!! Very Adult Content!!!

Every Sunday morning he’d pull up. I always watched for his car. He was always in his suit with gospel music playing and a Bible in the passenger seat. He’d roll down his window and say, “You don’t have any dope on you, right? You know I don’t want that stuff in my car.” Then he’d say, as I opened the door, “No smoking cigarettes, either. No smoking in my car. This is the Lord’s Day.”

I knew the deal. I mean, every Sunday morning there he was. He’d say, “Your money is in the ashtray.” The ashtray was clean, holding only a crisp 20 and a 5 folded up together, and a piece of mint gum every time. That was for afterwards.

He’d sing his praises to the Lord as we drove to his favorite spot, and he’d remind me that there was an extra 10 in the visor if I “swallowed.” We’d park, he’d pray, and then he’d remind me he had to hurry because he had to make it to church. He was a pastor.

He’d always share with me the sermon topic of the day. We would do our business and he’d let me know when I could have my gum. He’d always rush back because he had left the wife at home to wash the car before church, so we had to hurry it up. His car was always spotted with water from the car wash down the street.

Often I’d see him drive past me again later, with his wife and family members in the car, on his way to preach the Word of God. He’d tell me how sinful drugs were, yet he paid for sex as a married man, a preacher in the church. He would remind me of my sins as he dropped me off.

In the eyes of fellow humans, I suppose there wasn’t too great a disparity between his actions and mine. However, if I understand the Bible correctly, God tells us that there is a tremendous disparity. As a man of God, this pastor had a duty not to mislead the children of God.

In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us about the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, and He is saying that we must become like little children in our faith. Then He says this, in verse 6: “But if you cause one of these little ones who trust in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

These types of spiritual disenfranchisement make it difficult for people to understand God and a loving Christ. For those who experienced things like this in our lives, this “man of God” is just the same as the rest of the men who paid to rape and violate us—the exact same as every other man who degraded us and used us for their gratifications.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Perceptions… Christine McDonald

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

The self–righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets. ―John Mark Green

Have you ever wondered how two people can stand side by side, witnessing the same event, yet report seeing two totally different things? Our past experiences shape how we interpret nearly everything around us. People from strong, loving families often have a more confident view of themselves as well as the world they interact with than those who grew up with less support.

Oftentimes, these experiences also define our perceptions of who God is, as well as what our purpose is on this planet. Those who have been raised in the church may not always be aware of how far apart their understanding of Jesus and salvation is from those who have only ever been hurt by the world.

Jesus bridged this gap time and time again throughout Scripture. His anger and “judgment” were never directed toward those who were clearly lost. After all, they already felt like they were as far from God as they could get. They saw their need for Him. Instead, we see His anger and cutting words repeatedly hurled against the religious leaders of the day who used the law to oppress people instead of freeing them or leading them back to their Creator. Such leaders had no idea of their own need for saving; hence they had no grace for others.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Neck Bones and Taters… Christine McDonald

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

There was an older black woman who lived off Prospect, and every year around the holidays she would holler at me. She called me “Blondie.” She had a large bowl of neck bones and taters with amazing tiny peppers. The peppers weren’t hot, just spicy enough for flavor.

She’d always tell me, “Now, honey, you can keep that bowl, but don’t you be leaving it out just anywhere. If you can make it back this way, just leave it on the steps. If not, then at least find it a home in a trashcan. You eat all of that, honey, ’cause you ain’t nothing but skin and bones, a walking skeleton. I say now, go on now and eat all of that, and God bless you.”

Those neck bones and taters were amazing. Year after year, she never forgot me. Once she even walked down the street about two blocks from her house because she said one of her boys had seen me out there. She always reminded me to eat every bit because I was just skin and bones. She always offered me a warm smile. She always made a point to touch my hand and look me in the eyes when she spoke to me.

One year she put $5 in my hand and kissed my cheek. Another year she tossed me a pair of gloves and an old jacket and cautioned me not to catch a cold. She even told me I had a lovely smile. I never knew her name, and she never asked mine, but I did feel human each time I heard her voice. I wasn’t invisible to her.

In the wee hours of many nights, doubtful thoughts would drift through my mind, tormenting me for a while. Would someone eventually find me? Did anyone even know I was alive? Would someone look for me if I were dead?

Everyone else who offered me food or other such necessities had strings attached—I could have it if I provided sexual services for them. After all, I was a prostitute, and my purpose in life was for their pleasure.

My neck bone and tater patroness, however, never forgot me and never asked for anything from me. When she saw me, she simply acknowledged my humanity. I always felt that, for some reason, she loved me just as I was. Somehow, this woman, if only once or twice a year, gave me just enough hope and genuine compassionate care to keep me going. Her gentle concern ignited small embers of hope and made me question if there might be more to my life, after all.

From time to time I would wonder: Did she watch for me so she could speak to me or bring me food? Was she the one person in her home, with her family, who truly knew I existed? Did she ever wonder about me? Did she wonder if I were cold or hungry or alive or dead? It seemed like she thought of me. Maybe I did exist. Maybe she alone had the ability to see my invisibility.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Don’t Worry, Be Happy… Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , on June 16, 2019 by paulthepoke

Worry & stress suck the happiness from our lives. I’ve figured out that things usually always work out just as they should, in God’s timing. Jesus said in Matthew 6, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

In other words, He’s got us covered. Stop trying to control & force things. After all, it’s God who is in control. Be patient & wait on His blessings. Realizing this will bring amazing peace…

Have a blessed week my friends!!!

No Strings Attached… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags on June 8, 2019 by paulthepoke

Let him who is without sin among you throw the first stone. John 8:7, Jesus

We all at times experience a sense of disconnection from the world around us. We wonder if anyone truly sees us. We can be completely surrounded by people who know our name, yet they are completely clueless about us and what is really going on inside. We crave connection, acknowledgement, validation—some sign that we exist, that we are known, and that we have purpose.

As we explore some poignant moments of recognition that once gave me glimmers of human connection in an otherwise invisible existence, let us consider how we can give others in our life the gift of visibility. Intentionality, appropriate touch, and eye contact are free and simple to give.

If you are feeling that disconnect today in your life, don’t wait for someone to see you. See someone else, and they will see you back. Just as we will discover in my story, if we will acknowledge others’ humanity, even after years and years have passed, they will acknowledge ours back. I will never forget the woman who never forgot me.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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