Archive for the Culture Category

Group Think… Featuring Guy Micholic

Posted in Culture, Guy Micholic with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2019 by paulthepoke

Who’s willing to take that step, to speak up according to their convictions regardless of outcome? So many times, I see that folks are willing to speak boldly when their opinions echo the general consensus. But what happens when the consensus is wrong?

Being naturally curious about the mechanics of the “group think” mentality, I’ve searched deeply for to discover the tell-tale effects of “group think” or “mob rules” within society, both at large, as well as interconnecting microcosms of the phenomena pervading the environment in which we live. It seems that someone or something has been continuously manipulating the minds of individuals to think along certain lines, within ever narrowing parameters.

What I’ve discovered is akin to a model used in animal training techniques. In the beginning the trainer presents a set of parameters that are wide and flexible, thereby making it easy for the animal to comply. A reward system is established, teaching the animal that obedience to these loosely based guidelines produces results that are both pleasant and desirable. As the training process continues the parameters are gradually narrowed, becoming more complicated and difficult to traverse. The ultimate goal of the trainer is to manipulate the animal’s behavior to such a degree that it becomes robotic. Once this goal is accomplished the animal no longer focuses or relies upon its own senses, but rather remains solely focused upon the parameters themselves in decision making processes.

Unfortunately for the animal, the God given instincts it was born with are no longer prevalent in its daily routine of behavior. The power of decision making has now been given over to the trainer, and for what purpose? The trainer has effectively harnessed the animal in such a way that he becomes the beneficiary of its actions, rather than the animal itself. Too often the trainer is self-motivated, seeking nothing more than to enrich himself in some way, having no actual regard for the creature in which he manipulates.

In my opinion this same process has been applied to mankind. We have been given certain unnatural parameters in which we are expected to abide. Paradigms have been created with the intent of forming us into incompatible groups, thus making it easier for the trainers to maintain and control. This form of control has been honed and improved upon over several millennium, taking many different shapes, disguising itself in many forms.

But there is one factor the trainers have not included within their equations, and that is the mind and Spirit of the Creator. He is the original programmer, the designer of all we survey. He sets the parameters for which we were created to comply with. No human, no angel, no alien is able to supersede or assume authority over the mechanics of our true purpose. We were created to glorify God in all we do. This inclination, when adhered to, benefits the individual as well as all of mankind. All of the suffering and ugliness that we witness here is a direct result of rebellion against His laws, laws that were written upon our very hearts.

God’s laws should take precedent over our emotions. Our hearts, having been manipulated by various factors, such as self-will, self-gratification, have been conditioned to seek out all things that steer us away from the will of God, making us soft targets to manipulate. We should not fully trust our heart but should first make it subject to the will of God.

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Spreading the Word With Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , on December 28, 2018 by paulthepoke

I am humbled that one of my books is now used on 3 college campuses. The other is used on 2 college campuses and 4 university campuses. Classes include narrative writing styles to domestic missions to human trafficking to women’s issues in recovery addiction classes.

From secular campuses to biblical/faith campuses, I am humbled that students across the USA are seeing wider thought processes. I am even more humbled that my works were chosen for such educational processes.

I am also excited that 3 churches are working through one of my books to grow it’s people in 2019. And I am excited to engage with those groups through that process. I am even more excited that they are of different faiths.

I believe we should never be limited by religiosity faith or lack there of. Christians can be some of the most narrow minded and judgmental people.

Guard against approaching others from moral standards Bible verses. Consider Bible verses with Christ like hearts and allowing His heart and Spirit to guide us.

Always honored and humbled when God chooses to use me as a vessel for Him.

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

Read more at…

A Merry Christmas on the Street

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on December 14, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine works for legislative change in Missouri metropolitans.

Caution, adult content.

It was Christmas morning in the late ’90s. I had showered on Christmas Eve, at a house that had no electricity and no heat, but had running water. I had grabbed a fresh change of clothes at the local thrift store on Truman Road in Kansas City. I changed outside in the parking lot between the dumpsters, tossing the dirty clothes I had worn for the last four, maybe five, days.

There were always folks willing to buy sex on Christmas. Men “treating themselves to a Christmas gift.” Men thinking that if they buy sex on Christmas they are giving a “gift” to the prostituted. Such men dared not divulge their perversities to those they were in a relationship with or married to. Instead, they “gifted” their twisted sexual desires or fetishes as a selfish gift to themselves and supposedly a generous gift to their prostitute of choice. They paid a prostitute on Christmas to indulge their perversion.

I saw the bright red car heading my way. I made it to the corner and turned to walk up the block when he turned again. As I approached the street that ran behind Apple Market, he sat there waiting in his shiny sports car. He backed up slowly, rolled down the passenger window and smiled. “Get in,” he said.

As I stepped into the car, he reached his arm toward the back seat. I paused hesitantly with the car door still open, watching intently to see what he was reaching for before getting completely in the car. He pulled out a single rose. I closed the door as he handed it to me. I looked at him and back at the rose and said, “Thanks.” We drove off.

He asked if I was hungry, and I said, “Yes.” He said, “Let’s get you some food first, okay?” I said, “Sure.” We drove to a few places close by, but they were closed.

I smelled the rose and touched the petals. They were soft and beautiful against the stark winter landscape. Looking at the rose, he said, “The 7–11 where I got that is open. Shall we just go there to get you some food?” I agreed. I made nachos, piling on as much chili and cheese as the paper container would hold. I grabbed a bottle of OJ and a lighter and met him at the counter.

He asked if I needed cigarettes, and I said, “No, I don’t smoke.” He glanced at the lighter I was sliding in my jeans pocket, but he did not probe further and I did not offer an explanation of my addiction. We got back in the car and I thanked him. He encouraged me to go ahead and eat. He continued driving around the area where he had picked me up.

Then he said, “I saw you out last night. You’ve changed clothes since then, and you look nice.” I thanked him while thinking to myself, small talk? Really? But at least he was kind. As I finished up my food, I thanked him for letting me eat first.

“Okay, now let’s talk business,” I said. He reached into his shirt pocket and handed me a crisp $100 bill. He said, “We’re both alone on Christmas, but I have a home to go to, a warm place.” He nodded toward the hundred dollar bill in my hand. “That’s yours. Can I give you a lift to a hotel so you can have a warm place?”

The curious driver spoke again. “Well, why don’t you tell me where you would like me to drop you off so you won’t have to walk any more than you have to? It’s the least I can do. It’s a holiday, and all. I know it’s not much, but I really don’t want to take you to a dope house or anything like that, if you don’t mind.”

That’s when I realized he was giving me the money expecting nothing in return. Perplexed, I asked, “So you’re just giving me a hundred bucks and going about your business?” He smiled at me and said, “Yes, I am.” I clarified, “You don’t want anything. For real?” He said, “No I don’t. I guess you don’t get that much, huh?”

I just sat there trying to process it and finally answered, “No. No I do not.”

On this day, however, this prostituted woman would not have to have a man put his hands on her. This moment was like a miracle: no one touching me, no one pawing me.

A day of, what felt to me at that moment, freedom. A state of being that rarely found its place on my journey of life. On that blustery winter day, that gift of freedom, the connection to me as a human and not an object, was the best Christmas gift I had ever received, maybe in my entire lifetime.

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

Read more at…

https://www.amazon.com/Same-Kind-Human-Marginalized-Exploited/dp/154080044X

https://www.amazon.com/Cry-Purple-Christine-McDonald/dp/1482053616

We All Wear Masks… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on December 9, 2018 by paulthepoke

MasqueradeWe all wear masks, a façade we can control and manage that tells the world who we are—or at least who we want them to think we are. Yet deep down, our greatest longing is to be known for who we truly are. We want to be seen and accepted for who we are, unfiltered.

As children, we show our true selves with unadulterated abandon. We are full of life, hope, dreams, and open arms. We imagine ourselves as fighter pilots, princesses, doctors, lawyers, nurses, astronauts, or anything else our imaginations can dream up. As we grow older, experiences teach us to show people only the parts of us they can’t hurt, even if they try. Life and growing cynicism stamp out the sky–high dreams we once held. No child says, “I want to be a prostitute, homeless, raped, or addicted when I grow up.”

The most special moments, though, are when we meet someone who truly sees us in spite of our efforts to put up an impenetrable wall. As scary as those moments are, they are the most freeing, too. To have another person validate our uniqueness among humanity breathes value all over our soul. It is as if, in that moment, our Creator whispers through that person, saying, “I still see you and I know you. No matter where you are, you are mine and you are loved.” When David wrote, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14, NIV), he took a moment to see himself as God sees him. He recognized that he was a marvelous creation of a marvelous God.

Christine McDonald

Each person you come into contact with is a marvelous creation of a marvelous God. He or she is dearly and deeply loved by a God who knows us each intimately, even down to the numbers of hairs on our head.

Luke 12:7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Take a moment today to “see” someone. Loving others is that simple.

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

 

Read more at…

Christine McDonald & Bishop Michael Curry

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on November 22, 2018 by paulthepoke

The Right Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, interviews Christine McDonald, author of Cry Purple (crypurple.com) and an advocate for survivors of sex trafficking, about what we can do to combat trafficking.

Filming for Christine’s autobiographical movie “Cry Purple” started October 2018. Coming soon to a theater near you.

Matthew 1:5-6, 16 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king… of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

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

Read more at…

https://www.amazon.com/Cry-Purple-Christine-McDonald/dp/1482053616

Precious in HIS Sight

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldChristine has assisted in writing Federal legislation for block grant dollars to states for Substance Abuse.

Our culture ascribes value to people based on a million things that are never listed or mentioned in the Bible as qualifiers for God’s grace and love. We can have compassion for all of the hurting we encounter. I pray that we are challenged to look, not at the behaviors of the moment, but at the people beneath. I hope we dig a little deeper and begin to fight for people.

Instead of passing judgment on the spot, what if we simply asked, “How did this individual get here, right here at this moment in time?” Then we could ask, “God, what would you have me see and do for this individual, right here at this moment in time?”

To be like Christ, we must look beyond the shell; then we will see a hurting individual and not just a label. Labeling can be just as damning as the objectification practiced by the buyers of sex. Let me reiterate: We are as guilty of objectification and commodifying people as the buyers of sex are when we accept and view people according to labels: “prostitute”, “addict”, “disturbed”, “criminal”, etc. I could continue the list, but I think you get the picture here.

homeless eyes

We must look past the classification to the created person. God knows each one of us so well that He knows the numbers of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), so don’t you think He probably knows that guy on the street by name and not as “the addict?”

How do we look beyond the shell? How do we see beneath the surface of those we have a heart for? We have to be intentional, asking God to reveal this to us. We have to be humbled and willing to be uncomfortable.

What can we do? How can we change this? We have to get educated! We have to ask the right questions! And we, as a community, have to shift our views from criminal to hurting individuals for these populations!

Let’s hope eyes will be opened to see these individuals through new eyes, so that together we can make a real difference.

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

Read more at…

What are We Becoming? !!!

Posted in Culture, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2018 by paulthepoke

tastytreat_frontIt’s really sad what’s been happening in these past couple of weeks. Bombs have been sent to politicians, elderly, weak and helpless people have been killed in a place of worship and we wonder why or what’s going on. What makes this worse is some of our top political leaders promote this kind of evil. I want ask you as I ask myself “What are we becoming?”, “Who do you/I want to be?” This has nothing to do with what political side you are on but a question on what road do we want to choose not just for ourselves but for others. I’d like to share what 1 Peter 3:8 says:

8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to 
this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

10 For,“Whoever would love life and see good day must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

I like the part where Peter indicates that when repay evil with blessing, we (you) will inherit a blessing. Isn’t that what we want in our lives are blessings? I know I do.

I’d like to ask a hard question here, Do you support this type of evil or are you in agreement with it? The bombs being sent, or people being gunned down in a synagogue. If you do, then ask if this will bring blessing in your life. Do you want blessing in your life?

Go-Vote-500x500

I want to challenge you, (and myself), to spread some peace/blessing this week. We can start by praying for our leaders. It doesn’t matter what political party you support. ALL of our leaders in ALL branches of our government need our prayer. Pray also for our enemies whether its personal enemies or the enemies we hear about in the news. Also very important is to VOTE!!. If you’re over 18, you have a great responsibility to make a difference. So Please Vote. Let me emphasize that I am NOT choosing a party here. I am indicating that you need to vote.

Get Your Blessing!!

Dave

www.SoaringSaxman.com/tasty-treat

 

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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