Archive for God

Healing from Hooker Hill… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on September 5, 2020 by paulthepoke

Hopelessness, helplessness, and victimization can’t be narrowly defined, as proven by this conversation between two ultimately courageous human beings… These conditions exist across the broad spectrum of humanity, and there is only one place to find peace: from the Prince of Peace. —Mike Low (in response to the social media blurb I wrote about the following experience)

Only our God could have facilitated such an encounter. I think of these moments not only as winks from God, but as confirmation that folks are being reached from both sides. If I had not walked the path that I did, God could not have used me in the way that He has.

I spoke at a statewide summit on recovery practices held at a university. Among the other speakers were some people who were well–respected in my state and nationally. After I spoke, I was moved by the extended standing ovation from the audience. Even today, after having been honored with a number of them, such an ovation causes me to tremble in my soul. It is an extremely humbling and tremendous honor, moving me beyond words.

Soon after leaving the stage, I was approached by a woman. She informed me that she was not a professional but had her own reasons for attending the conference—reasons which she did not, at that moment, disclose. She asked me questions about the years I worked the streets in Kansas City, Missouri. She had seen photos of my mug shots. She shared that she lived halfway down the block of Independence Avenue and Spruce, a corner I had been known for working.

She said she and her son had lived there for a number of years. She described how the traffic from the working women kept her son up many nights. I said I was sorry for that experience for her and her family and her son. I validated her feelings.

She relayed that she hadn’t felt safe there. She went on to talk about the men picking up women, the women fighting with their pimps, the police stings, the beatings from the pimps, the numerous scenes she and her son had witnessed in their day–to–day life. Our trauma had become their demons.

As she spoke, she touched my hands. I rested my other hand on top of hers as she continued to speak. She remembered me very well. She remembered driving past me as she went home; she also remembered seeing me on the corner when her son would be getting off the school bus. She recalled watching me lose weight. She remembered the disruption in their home due to the women working that place we called Hooker Hill.

Then she paused, and I heard her sniffle. She gripped my hand and asked me for a hug. She confessed that she never saw past the prostitutes on that corner back then. She hadn’t understood their lives. While listening to my story and my words and watching the impact it had on the professionals who worked with criminals, she watched the crowd engage with every word. She said she saw hope in their eyes.

She thanked me for showing her that change and hope are possible among a population she had previously viewed as hopeless. She was glad I had survived and made it to the other side. She said she was honored to have met me.

We were each validated that day, but for different reasons. The conversation gave us both a chance to heal. Although I don’t remember her from my days on the streets, I do remember the school bus turning the corner. We would step back from the walkway as children would run past us, staring or calling us names or pointing at us.

There was a clear separation between us and the individuals who lived on the very streets where we had existed for years. Never once did we speak to them, nor they to us. Yet we were an everyday part of one another’s lives.

That day in that crowded university, a small chip of wholeness was restored, I believe, for the both of us. Only God’s divine direction could have facilitated such an encounter. Here we both were, so many years after I had worked that corner. It is almost unimaginable that we would encounter each other, miles away from Kansas City, in the most unexpected of places.

I believe that restoration takes on many facets. Wholeness comes in large pieces and small chips. Each one is equally valuable and necessary. That day I felt a connection to a stranger whom I had lived close to for the eight years she and her little boy lived in that house on Hooker Hill. One more little chip of healing took place.

Never underestimate the value of one small act, one simple glance, or one brief conversation. When God prompts your heart to reach out and touch another, do it. In responding, you might be part of the healing in someone
else’s life—not to mention your own.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

Through The Eyes of Grace – Christine C McDonald https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEj5RbFpuzjx_CuksAqgyXA/featured

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Faith & Prayer… Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2020 by paulthepoke
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With faith & prayer, everything always works out. Not always the way you think it will, but the way it’s supposed to be. Worrying & being anxious won’t change anything & only holds you back. The stress you cause yourself from being anxious is not healthy. Put your trust in God.

Proverbs 12:25. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Matthew 6:27. And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to your life span?

Have a worry free week my friends!!!

Healing Chips… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on August 15, 2020 by paulthepoke

But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God. —Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

When we give our healing to God and trust in His ways and timing, truly anything can happen. He graciously considers our wounds and gently leads us through healing at a pace that is in our best interest. Sometimes it comes quickly and even painfully, but then we recover that much faster. Other times, it seems as though healing will never come, and perhaps we even quit searching for it.

As we go about our days, we tend to focus on where we are in the moment. Yet in Scripture, we constantly see the writers looking back on what God has done in the past to remind them of what He may yet do in the future. In the following story, we see a healing moment that came in an instant, but had been a long time coming. We can never grow enough in the areas of patience and grace.

My journey of healing began years before I was free from life on the streets. My journey of healing began the moment God dreamed me up in His heart. This is true of each of us. Our journeys aren’t relegated to one moment. Our lives are stories that ebb and flow; each of us is who we are today because of all the days that came before.

As you reach out to the hurting and broken around you, remember that you are a piece of God’s plan. Loving people right here and right now is all He asks of you. Those moments of compassion and love that you give build and build into a story you couldn’t have conceived on your own.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Gabriel Visits Daniel a Second Time

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Angels with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2020 by paulthepoke

Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans…

In general, history records Babylon was taken by the Persian Empire in 539 BC. This is the year Daniel is about to be visited again by the angel Gabriel.

The last time Gabriel visited Daniel was 14 years earlier. We know Daniel received understanding of the first vision from Daniel 8:1 in the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar to be about 553 BC.

Gabriel’s second visitation would be a reminder of the fulfillment of his first message to Daniel. Babylon was promised to fall to the Medes and Persians and lose its seat of the world’s dominant power. Gabriel appears a second time to Daniel after his initial prophecy from God was reality.

Daniel 9:20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God…

Daniel 9:20 is an effective summary of his petition to God in Daniel 9:3-19. Daniel is approaching God in prayer. Daniel is more concerned about God’s name and His reputation. He knows God is forgiving and merciful.

~

Daniel 9:21 …while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.

…the man Gabriel… God’s messenger Gabriel appears as a man or ish in the Hebrew. Gabriel looks like a man.

In both cases when Gabriel visits Daniel, he appears as a man. The first time in Daniel 8:15 Gabriel was described as a geber. This is the term for a mighty warrior. Gabriel is physically imposing and intimidating.

…came to me in swift flight… Gabriel arrived in a condition of yeaph in the Hebrew. He was tired, weary, or faint. Gabriel appears to be in a hurry to get to Daniel.

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…the time of the evening sacrifice. Gabriel visited Daniel in the mid afternoon. Typically, the evening sacrifice at the Temple took place at the ninth hour. This would translate to 3:00 in the afternoon for us in the western world and culture.

Cornelius also encountered an angel in the ninth hour in the book of Acts.

Acts 10:3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.”

Jesus died on the cross at the ninth hour or 3:00 p.m.

Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Choices and Outcomes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on August 8, 2020 by paulthepoke

My choices that day haunted me for years. After I got clean and was in college, I attempted to find information about my daughter. No luck. I had abandoned her. If her adoptive family had told her she was adopted, I might have a chance to connect with her when she was an adult. I prayed that if it was God’s will, it would happen.

Then one day it happened. I got a private message. I had been in the hospital for a number of weeks, unable to walk due to complicated medical issues. I was reviewing my dozens of messages, and there it sat: a private message introduction from the woman who had adopted my little girl.

She knew who I was. She said she had kept track of me for a while. She said that little girl knew who I was, too. I wept.

I was facing life–threatening situations, and yet a long–held prayer was being answered. I finally knew she was okay, she was safe, and, most of all, she was loved. But I had not met her and wasn’t sure if that would happen.

Then one day, in August 2015, I was preparing to speak to a room of about 200 individuals about human trafficking. A woman approached me and said, “Hello. I’m the woman who adopted your little girl.”

I paused, and my heart skipped a beat. Then I heard another voice say, “And I’m your little girl.”

“What?!” That is all I could say. I stood and asked if I could touch her. Was this real? Could it be? It was indeed.

It was time for my presentation. I told them both I wasn’t sure I could speak for 90 minutes and not share what had just happened. I asked if they were okay with my sharing about them being there. They said of course.

About four or five minutes into my speech, I could hardly talk. I was trembling. I had to share. So, to that room of strangers, in that church, I shared the blessing from God with all in attendance. We all wept together. And we all rejoiced together.

The courage that my baby’s adoptive mom, who I am proud to call friend, had to bring her that day astounds me. She gave me the chance to meet that little baby I had fallen in love with so long ago. I know today, without a doubt, that I made the best choice I ever could have for her little life.

One thing I have learned is that if I continue trying doing the best I can, God is faithful. He throws amazing situations, and gifts such as this one, to confirm His grace and presence in my life. Although mankind still judges me, holding against me the stigmas of my past, the Creator of All continues to shower me with love and grace.

We have had chances to visit a few times and to continue to grow and get to know one another. I am truly humbled that God would find me worthy of such a gift. I am excited to be a part of her life, and am continually thankful that God used this as a piece of healing for me—as well as, hopefully, for her.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Heartfelt Plea… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 17:1-15

Key verse: Psalm 17:13 “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword”.

@beholy404

When the Roman Empire was being sacked by the hordes of godless barbarians that invaded the territory in the fifth century, Leo, the praying Bishop of Rome, approached Attila the Hun, leader of the occupying armies, to plead for the Church and the city. He made a passionate plea that Rome be spared from the savagery and the destruction that had attended the attacks of the soldiers. Leo warned Attila not to risk the vengeance of heaven by plundering Rome and the Church. He listened to the churchman’s desperate prayer and withdrew his men.

More than one thousand five hundred years earlier, David, the future king of Israel, had also found himself in a tight corner that threatened his existence the same way the Church and the city of Rome were about to be brought to their knees. He and his men were being hounded by King Saul.

As no help was in sight and with Saul seeming to close in on him and his men, David turned to heaven for help. He spoke of coming face to face with death. It was not all despair, however, as he also talked of the mercy and power of a great God who saves those who sincerely call on Him in times of danger. The Lord did not disappoint the young man who discarded his own military prowess and called for divine intervention when he was at his wits’ end. David had the last laugh as the Lord gave him the final victory and confounded Saul. Man is also ensnared by problems he has brought on himself through the pursuit of false philosophy and rebellious religion, all of which have alienated him from God and the truth. He cannot get relief or redemption in any earth-bound solution. Only a renunciation of the world’s sin and a plea to God for help can deliver him.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Man without God is helpless in the face of satanic challenges.  

The Greatest… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: PSALM 19:1-6

Key verse: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1).

@beholy404

Any presentation that proclaims the Irrefutable greatness and glory of the Creator of heaven and earth must itself be great! Anything that celebrates the majesty of Jehovah and His “handiwork” is itself distinguished.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Since the world has turned into crowds of gainsayers who do not accept the fact of a galactic system put in place by a Designer, believers like David and followers of Jesus Christ cannot but constantly join “the heavens (to) declare the glory of God”. That is what the “sweet psalmist of Israel” harps on as he reveals that it is impossible to have a great design (the universe comprising heaven, our planet, the sun, moon, stars, outer space, etc.) without a Designer – God.

His works assert the matchless magnitude of the One who brought them into existence. They do not need evolutionists or scientists to tell them the creation story. They, the work of His hands, constitute enough evidence of the creative force that spoke the planetary system into existence. That knocks out all other contrary claims and renders them unacceptable by heaven. Beyond that, they serve as a perpetual pointer to God’s existence.

If these non-living works of creation would recognize and honor their Creator, He deserves infinitely greater acknowledgement from those He formed in His own image. He needs the believer’s worship in complete holiness. He wants the sinner to receive the salvation plan He worked out through the death and resurrection of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. He expects the backslider to return to the narrow path of righteousness. Above all, He wants us to obey His commandment to preach the gospel to the entire world without ceasing.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Preaching salvation to the lost amounts to aligning with heaven to declare the glory of God.

The Bible IN ONE YEAR: NUMBERS 3 – 4  

God’s Blessing in His Time… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on July 3, 2020 by paulthepoke

I’ll share with you a story that shows us how God loves us, how He blesses us in spite of our past mistakes. He always blesses in His timing, and, just as He sometimes answers prayers differently than we may ask. His blessings may not be what we expect, either. We don’t always know what’s best for us.

He knows all. He knows the whole story of our lives. He knows the perfect answer, the perfect blessing, and the perfect time. He is faithful!

I remember being really tired, much more than usual. No matter what I did or how much I slept, I was so tired, just wanting to sleep. I had done drugs for years, but now I found myself crawling under the tables in laundromats at night to just sleep. What was going on with me?

I had been picked up on a ticket and had gone to the city jail. I remember falling to the ground in the police station as they asked me to stand against the wall until my name was called for me to be booked in. I was taken to the emergency room, where they discovered I was dehydrated and severely underweight.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

They came in later and told me I was pregnant. Really? I remember asking, “What did you just say?” They repeated those three life–changing words: “You are pregnant.” I responded, “I can’t be pregnant.” The emergency room professional seemed to be holding back a smirk, replying, “Well, Ms. McDonald, you are a prostitute. Don’t you know how the whole pregnancy thing works?”

I said, rather hatefully, I might add, “I know how it works. I am a prostitute and that is why I cannot be pregnant. How far along am I?”

They told me I was so underweight that it would be hard to tell, but they ordered an ultrasound. They brought me sandwiches and some Sprite, and I waited.

Oh, my gosh, I was thinking, this can’t be real! God only knows who the father is. I sure didn’t have a clue. I’m living in a park, sleeping in empty, abandoned buildings. I can’t be a mother! I didn’t even know what year or month it was.

After the ultrasound, they returned. “We think you’re about 12 to 14 weeks along, but it’s hard to tell.”

At least three months pregnant? Are you kidding me? The jeans I had on were a size zero, and I needed a belt to hold them up.

I was returned to the city jail. I believe I did 10 days, and then I was released. I still reflect back to that time in the emergency room, a place that was not unfamiliar to me. Why didn’t they send a social worker at that time, to offer some services? I believe it was because I was a known homeless prostitute who also suffered with the disease of addiction. I mean, I have worked with a lot of individuals over the years, and the ER staff generally asks if the patient wants to speak to a social worker. Is that because I’m present, so it appears that someone cares for them? Or is it because we have become more understanding of human trafficking and the darkness and many facets of prostituted persons’ lives? I’m not sure…

To be continued…

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

A More Perfect Way… Joshua of Ghana

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Joshua Ghana with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2020 by paulthepoke

TEXT: LEVITICUS 16:20-34

Key verse: Leviticus 16:30 “For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD”

@beholy404

Sin is man’s greatest challenge on earth. It separates man from God. Sin enslaves and no one can on his own free himself from it. The more man attempts to pull himself out of sin, the more he sinks into the abyss of helplessness. To be free from sin therefore, would require the intervention of superior power; the One who created man, Who alone knows how to disentangle him from the tyranny of evil and wickedness.

God took the initiative with the children of Israel when He appointed Aaron to be the High Priest. His job was essentially to make atonement for their sins. To do this, a day was set aside each year for him to enter into the most holy place in the temple, make animal sacrifices to cleanse his own sin and the sin of the people. The animal sacrifices only covered sins for a short period but could not cleanse it indefinitely. So, every year, the entire nation stood still to allow the high priest repeat this ritual of atonement under very strict rules. Without doubt, this old system of atonementor covering sins, was grossly limited and did not provide a permanent solution to man’s sin problem.

Whilst Aaron’s animal sacrifices only succeeded in temporarily covering the sins of the people, Christ’s sacrifice of Himself brought total cleansing from sin, once and for all. While Aaron made long preparations before appearing before God, we can now come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and grace in time of need. Of course, now, we do not just prepare our body but our hearts as we approach God in prayer of faith through Christ.

As many as are willing can have their sins forgiven and their guilt removed as they confess and forsake their sins; accept Christ as Lord and Savior and place their trust in the spotless Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the whole world.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: In Jesus is found the only route to God.

Reconciliation… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2020 by paulthepoke

The pattern of the prodigal is: rebellion, ruin, repentance, reconciliation, restoration. —Edwin Louis Cole

God’s grand plan for all of creation boils down to one thing: reconciliation. From the moment of mankind’s “fall,” we as humans have been on a journey carrying us further and further away from truth as we continue to indulge in the idol worship of self. At the same time, God’s love, though sometimes seemingly nonexistent, has pursued the human heart for generations, culminating in the most incredible act of grace we call the Crucifixion.

It was on a cross that the most innocent of men bore the punishment that should have belonged to all of us. There has never been any act more unfair or more unjust than Jesus becoming a sacrifice for every amount of evil we could conceive. If God never did another thing for humanity, we would still have to recognize this deeply passionate gift of love. Yet His acts of love didn’t end on the cross.

God’s deep desire to be reconciled to His children motivates all He does. Second Corinthians 5:20 (NLT) says, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.” We are Christ’s ambassadors. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” Our expressions of love and kindness help reconcile a lost, hurting world to a loving Father who is eager to heal broken hearts.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

As I share my own story of reconciliation, have hope. God can reconcile relationships. Where it is impossible to reconcile the relationship, He can reconcile our emotions and give us peace and contentment.

Contact Information:
Christine C. McDonald
636-487-8986
Christine.CryPurple@gmail.com

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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