Archive for Humanity

Basic Human Needs: Sleep and Food… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , on March 2, 2019 by paulthepoke

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

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The winter wind was bitterly cold. I was curled up, with no shoes or coat, barelegged and in a skirt. I was too tired to get up from the spot I had found beside a cold brick building. I was alone. There was no one bugging me, no one wanting anything from me that I was not willing to give. I longed for rest…sleep…a friendly word…a rescuer. Could someone find me?

The concrete was so damp, the cold causing my frail, 88–pound body to ache. Yet with my head against a vent, where part of my body found warmth, the brisk aroma of ground coffee beans brought me comfort of sorts, transporting me to a different world. This aroma was occasionally overpowered by the stale, musty smell of urine, reminding me of my reality.

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/sex-trafficking-survivor-preaches-inspiration-to-women-in-st-charles-county/63-0b6bb1b3-5c66-4db8-adea-4d9d5a6347f7

Was I invisible to the world around me? Was anyone trying to find me? Wouldn’t someone please take me home! I wanted a kind person, someone who didn’t want me as an object, a thing, but someone who would allow me to belong, who would keep me safe and warm. I wanted someone to see me as a person.

My body ached; my stomach grumbled for food. Eating food is such a seemingly basic human need. Yet out here, even food came at a price. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t turn another date just to eat. The thought of what I had to do for the money to eat revolted me. I couldn’t dare to put food in my mouth. Instead, I’d get high to make it all go away—the hunger pains, the shame, the hurt, the despair. Tonight, however, I was too weak and frail to even ponder the idea of standing, much less putting on the show necessary to earn money for food or dope.

Photo: Toronto Star

This corner, this building, the warmth from the vent…if only I could meld into the bricks for a rest, a long rest. Oh, to sleep safe, to sleep without expectations of my body. To sleep in a clean, safe bed with no one touching me, no one expecting sexual deeds for that sleep—another basic human need. A shower…oh, just to soak in a tub. Oh, my! And with bubbles to wash away the filth, the grime, the smells of all those men, of all the shame.

No. Not in my world. Not in this life…

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Predestined With Free Will: Nations

Posted in Jude, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2019 by paulthepoke

Psalm 115:2-3 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.

God is in control over the nations. Yet, the nations have free will to choose their destiny.

Click on the link above for video/audio.

A nation’s destiny is based on one simple foreign policy decision. How will that nation relate to God’s chosen people, Israel? And God states…

Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” -God

A nation’s course of history is determined by their interaction and response toward nation Israel. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward the enemies of Israel. Likewise, nations who show favor towards Israel are blessed.

In Psalm 2, God makes it perfectly clear who is in charge. Notice, the nations are exhibiting their free will. They are “raging” and “plotting”. Nations are gathering together under their sovereignty. Their choice is to take on the Creator, God. And the nations think they can break free from God and His will.

Psalm 2:1-3 “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

God’s response to humanity’s rebellion towards Him… He laughs. He taunts. Then God explains how things are going to be. The Creator is in charge despite the creation’s free will. Note the terms wrath, terrify, and fury. God means business and He will emphatically put down the rebellion. His answer is The Lord Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is the headquarters.

Psalm 2:4-6 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in His wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

It is stated that He (Jesus) will rule with a rod of iron and shatter them (the nations) like clay pots. Yes, nations can choose the destiny of their nation. Their free will and choice are no match. Nations are either with God or against Him. God will rule and Christ will be in charge.

Psalm 2:6-9 I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

A warning has been issued to the leaders of Earth. Use some common sense. Homage to the Son is expected.

Psalm 2:10-12 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

Use your free will and choose the Son, Jesus Christ. Take safety in His provision for sin. He has you covered. Otherwise, sin will be judged. There is accountability and consequence to your free will sin. The destination is an eternal lake of fire.

Predestined With Free Will: Humanity

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2018 by paulthepoke

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

It is God’s will that each created, individual human being should not perish or face judgment. God wants all of us to have a change of heart and mind and return to Him.

But God created us with the capacity to choose our own way and choose the things we want. Every day we make multiple decisions. For example, I chose to hit the snooze button when the alarm clock went off this morning. I had oatmeal instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. I put on brown pants and a sweater. I did not want to shave but I chose to brush my teeth. You get the point.

On this planet, there are over 7 billion individual wills who have this same capacity. People are acting on their own behalf. Religion, culture, and lifestyle influence and dictate behavior on a global scale. Some have chosen sides for either good or evil. Some have not chosen sides and drift to their own drum. Some choose to believe in nothing.

As altruistic humans, we love to believe our free will is for the greater good. We conveniently neglect the consequences of our sinful choices. When we screw up, we blame God. The reality is, we are responsible for our thoughts and actions.

James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

With eternal consequences for sin, humans love to blame God as an overbearing, unfair task master. “God wants to crush us with His thumb like a bug! God is a mean, cruel ogre!” This just is not true. Listen to what the prophet Ezekiel has to say. And this is even in the Old Testament…

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

The issue is us, humanity. We have a choice. Do we choose Jesus or not? Do we accept His payment for sin or not? Eternal judgment is the cost for sin. God provides a solution for the consequence of sin. The solution is Jesus’ death on the cross.

1 Timothy 2:4-6 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

God knew before the creation of time and Earth who was going to choose His path. He also knew who was going to refuse His path. This is God’s plan for all of humanity before time. He Chose Us, Every Single One of Us.

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…

see also Romans 8:29-30

But, humanity has free will.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not speedily executed, the hearts of men become fully set on doing evil.

Lighten the Load

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on August 31, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine has assisted with writing legislation for Federal block grant dollars to states for substance abuse.

Perspective truly is everything. As you read, give yourself permission to alter your perspective. Give yourself permission to imagine for yourself a very different childhood, leading to a very different teen stage, and landing you in a very different adult world.

We have desensitized ourselves to only consider a person’s current behavior, passing judgments on them for the random snapshots we see rather than considering the whole scope of their life. If we dig deeper to see the humanity of our fellow brothers and sisters, perhaps we will walk away with better ways to help and serve that demonstrate the genuine love and compassion we carry for them in our hearts.

Maybe you can’t do much about economic exploitation or repressive political policies. But you can listen with love, lend a helping hand, share a meal, and speak an affirming word. So can I. That may not seem like much. I mean it’s not a cure-all for man’s inhumanity to man.

heart sun

But if we can make just one person’s load lighter, one person’s dream a little brighter, if we dare to give into goodness now and then, then maybe, just maybe, someone else will be inspired to try goodness too. And who knows what might happen then.

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

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

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Love, Condoms, & Moral Indignation

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is the current Director of Outreach, Advocacy and Curriculum for Restoration House.

http://restorationhousekc.com/

Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. -God

A few years ago, I operated a street outreach. We went to the streets and parks where I myself had existed for nearly two decades. We took sandwiches and basic hygiene items to the women and men in that area.

I was contacted by a TV news show who wanted to join us. The news crew had done food service during the holidays, but always in an artificial environment. They had never actually gone to the streets where the many who avoided the long feeding lines dwelled.

We brought bean burritos from Taco Bell that night, as well as water and condoms. As I handed the condoms out, the reporter stopped everything. She turned off the microphone.

I knew the deal. I had heard it before from women of faith who had joined us on these outreaches. The ladies who had so much church. I suppose, that they forgot about the human in us all.

I listened as they ranted all the reasons she couldn’t be a part of us giving out condoms. I had heard all the reasons, so I’d just hear them again. My mind raced, thinking maybe she had a new reason. She didn’t; nobody ever did.

“We are promoting their actions of prostitution” or “We can’t promote prostitutes to sell their bodies out here” were reasons commonly cited. But I was geared up and ready. Goodness knows I had given this speech at least fifty times.

 

If you are one of those individuals who might have concerns about giving out condoms in ministry work, then please continue to read this. Give this a fair shot of thought. Consider for a moment that maybe your moral indignation isn’t as productive as you think it is.

We all know by now that I was prostituted. As a formerly prostituted person, my voice provides a different perspective. During my exploitation, I was rarely in a position to go to the store to purchase condoms. If I was working for my “man” or “pimp,” my priority was to make my funds as fast as I could so I could eat and avoid drama. To state it bluntly, condoms were a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon for a trick or John to pay an extra twenty bucks to have sex with you without a condom. Statistics tell us that about 68% of all tricks are married or in a “committed” relationship. Do you think their loved ones at home have any clue they are paying for a prostitute to have sex with them, much less without a condom?

The prostitute might turn twenty dates in a 24-hour period, not to mention the times she has been raped. Keep in mind that her man or pimp has other girls he is having sex with – other prostitutes who are having unprotected sex with many others. Are you doing the math here?

A girlfriend or wife learns she is pregnant, and during this joyous announcement from her doctor she is also informed of another piece of highly unexpected – but far from joyous – news that she is now HIV positive. This is an extra “gift” contracted from her husband or her boyfriend – the john who purchased sex from a prostitute. Of course, this means he is infected as well. So, stop and think of how this woman and her unborn child’s life are forever affected by the man’s urge to purchase sex from a prostitute.

Please note. I am not saying all prostitutes have HIV. I worked the streets for nearly two decades and am HIV free! But I have friends who have died of AIDS and some who live with it daily.

This is yet another reason we must end the purchase of human beings. This cycle of exploitation and suffering affects not only the purchaser and the prostituted individual. There are also innocent victims who are affected who play no role in the event yet end up suffering from it.

If we are truly attempting to connect to the humanity of this complex issue, then offering condoms for the prostituted persons we encounter is not only responsible help; it is loving help. Withholding something that could save a life simply because of our moral objections to its use doesn’t stop the activity. Nor does it convict the buyer or seller of sex. All it does is place additional conditions on love and help, therefore devaluing both love and help until neither is recognizable.

HIV is only one of many damaging effects these acts have on unintended victims. The collateral damage abounds in so many ways we can’t easily see. If we are going to truly help, we must be careful of misapplying our moral objections in ways that further compound, rather than help, the problem.

Our ministry is not only for the buyer and seller, but the unintended victims whose lives can be unknowingly changed forever by someone else’s choice to pay for another human being for their own sexual gratification.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

Be Living Water

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2018 by paulthepoke

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… -Jesus

Christine McDonald

Featuring Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is a Member of the Missouri State Advisory Council for Behavioral Health & Substance Disorders.

Trigger warning. Do you see them? The unseen all around you?

So yesterday we did street outreach. Every time I hear these words from women when I offer them food…

“I am starving, I have not eaten in days” or “I have been trying to figure out when I was gonna be able to eat again.”

I hear the almost tears as they say thank you for the food. I continually pray I never forget all those years I was hungry. I was just wanting someone to see me, to see my pain, see my hopelessness, my longing to be cared about. I just wanted my simple humanity to be noticed.

There are times when we all want to slip into 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. 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. The rest of humanity either ignores them or only sees them when they can be used.

water well

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.

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? Let Him help us see those around us as He does.

Each and every soul on this planet was fearfully and wonderfully made. Each one is a treasure to the One we love most. He is calling us to see them as precious treasures too.

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Millennial Kingdom: 1,000 Years

Posted in Millennial Kingdom, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2016 by paulthepoke

Oddly enough, there is much debate about the Millennial Kingdom. Some think we are in the kingdom now. The critic says, “It is a spiritual kingdom…”

If we are in Christ’s Kingdom as of January 2016, we are getting ripped off. Where is the peace? Where is the prosperity? Where is the security?

Even more bizarre, some argue the length of the Kingdom. Revelation 20 is very clear. There will be a 1,000 year period of time prior to eternity set apart for humanity where Jesus Christ will rule. There will be many witnesses to this 1,000 year period.

The time is effectively marked by Satan’s imprisonment and release from jail.

keys

sunrayministry.org

Satan and an angel from Heaven understand 1,000 years will be involved. Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years

Satan will not be incarcerated forever. He will have a 1,000 year sentence. Satan will not be reformed or rehabilitated when he gets out of jail, once a liar always a liar. Revelation 20:3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Believers in Christ who will be beheaded during the Tribulation testify to the length of the Kingdom. Tribulation believers will be resurrected before the Millennium starts. They get to rule with Jesus during this Millennium. Revelation 20:4b …and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Those who do not believe in Christ understand the Kingdom is to last 1,000 years. They are in holding in Hades (Greek) or Sheol (Hebrew). Their resurrection does not come until after the Kingdom. These are the folks who are destined for the Lake of Fire. They are physically and spiritually dead. Revelation 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed…

Those who believe Jesus died for their sins are eternal. They will never die. Believers get to rule with Christ. Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Satan will be locked up and unable to tempt humanity. Despite 1,000 years of wonderful conditions on planet Earth under the leadership of Christ, humanity is more than willing to follow Satan. Time is short for Satan. The Lake of Fire is calling. He will be let out of the hole and countless people will join forces with him. They decide to declare war on Jesus and His saints in Jerusalem. Even under prosperity and peace, humanity will turn on God the man. Revelation 20:7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison…

Per Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for “thousand” is chilioi. It means… a thousand. Jesus Christ and His saints will rule for 1,000 years while Satan is confined.

Don’t fall for the trap. If my circumstances were better…

Humanity, left to its own devices, under the best of conditions, apart from God, is a failure.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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