Archive for hope

Rays of Hope

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2019 by paulthepoke

The story below is excerpted from my book Cry Purple.

Christine McDonald

Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Life has a way of beating a person down when they think they can’t sink any lower. Such dark moments can squeeze you until you feel there is no hope. But somewhere deep down we all have the tiniest bit of faith that the darkness isn’t supposed to be the norm. Somehow we all have a sense, though perhaps buried, that darkness is the intruder, even if darkness is all we have known. Something in us cries out for the light even if we have never known it.

Photo: Shutterstock

We see these glimmers of hope in the world around us, the sunlight warming our faces, flowers demanding our admiration, a gentle breeze hinting that change will come. It’s easy to take tiny freedoms, these small displays of beauty or simple breezes, for granted. Some of us see change or even our redemption right around the corner. Yet others live on these small moments for years, barely surviving, but surviving all the same.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

~

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Glimmers of Hope

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2019 by paulthepoke

Hope simply deals with possibilities. If something is still possible, even in our wildest dreams, if there is still a glimmer of hope, it is worth hanging on to for as long as it exists. —Peter G. Doumit, What I Know about Baseball Is What I Know about Life

In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable to illustrate the kindness and compassion He wants His followers to extend to those around them, particularly those who are often invisible in society. He says, “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)

Who are “the least of these” today?

Not much has changed since Jesus spoke those words. There are still the “invisibles” around us. They aren’t truly invisible; we just make excuses and justify our choice not to look.

Photo: Shutterstock, Pikul Noorod

“The least of these” could include a good friend who you know is struggling with something, but whose struggle you’ve not wanted to wade into with them. However, “the least of these” may also include a whole population of society you may not interact with often, or perhaps you only interact with professionally.

Jesus’ expectation of us is to be so full of His love that we love like Him by default. That means we allow our eyes, as well as our hearts, to be moved by compassion to action. Feeling sad or feeling sorry isn’t enough. We must be moved enough to be His hands, His feet, His smile, His words, His deeds.

Compassion is free, except that it demands what’s most valuable, our hearts. We must be careful to not close our hearts off to what we don’t understand. Sometimes the very thing we have guarded and protected most is the thing God purposed for us to share. Perhaps the thing you have tended with care and passion is meant to give hope to someone else.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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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/

The Cancer Called Despair

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2019 by paulthepoke

Guilt and shame are the mental/emotional cancer of prostituted persons, eating away at the very core of their being, slowly consuming the individual’s joy, hope, and life. —Christine Clarity McDonald

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines despair as, “a feeling of being without hope or of not being able to improve a situation.” Despair is not a respecter of persons. It does not care whether you have much or have little, or whether you are a saint or a sinner.

The Scriptures are full of people experiencing despair. David wrote in Psalm 40:2, “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.”

The prophet Isaiah also spoke of despair in Isaiah 59:9: “So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.”

If permitted, despair will take everything from us, including our lives. It is a lie that seeks to end our fight for life and hope in this world. At times it is even spurred on by well–intentioned but misguided people, agencies, policies, governments, and even churches.

Wherever we live, wherever our sphere of influence exists, we should consider how we can establish and maintain hope in those around us. Just as despair, guilt, and shame rob us of life, hope breathes life back into us.

God never leaves us or forsakes us. Even the smallest glimmers of hope are sparks of God beckoning us to Him. There are many moments in my life when, though I had not yet found God, I heard the whisper of hope.

Romans 5:3–5 “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

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

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Our Daily Bread…Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , on March 4, 2018 by paulthepoke

joyWhere there is joy, there is hope. When you can find joy in your day no matter what is happening, there is hope of good to come. Focus on the good that brings joy. If you continually do this, the bad seems so very little & unimportant. A thankful heart brings joy & that is good medicine.

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace of believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.

Have a joyful week my friends!!!

Our Daily Bread…Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Earthquakes/Volcanoes, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2017 by paulthepoke

Life rarely turns out like we thought it was going to when we were young, but it definitely can end up better if we put our trust in God. With His guidance, all things are possible. He wants what’s good & pleasant for us.

puerto ricoPray for the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The entire island is without power and facing many months of hardship. Pray for a break in the storms. Pray for communities and the island to come together and help their neighbor.

 mexicoflagPray for the people of Mexico following a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake and volcano eruption. Loss of life and injuries are reported as significant. Damage to buildings and infrastructure has been crushing. Mexico continues to recover from Hurricane Katia. Pray for a break in the storms and natural disasters. Pray for the Mexican communities in their time of need and hope.

Pray for this broken world…

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him & He will make your paths straight.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them & said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Have a hopeful, great, & possible weekend my friends!!!

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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