Archive for love your neighbor

Jude: Love

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

This is the second time the word αγαπαο/agapao or “love” is used by Jude. For what it’s worth, scholars argue whether the term is used three or four times by Jude.

This is αγαπαο/agapao. This is God’s “love” for us. Defined as love, affection, good will, benevolence, to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly. This love is the nature of God.

Get the flutter out of your stomach and the tingle out of your senses. This love is purposeful with selection. God chooses us despite our issues.

God is love. He is αγαπαο/agapao.

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

God demonstrated His αγαπαο/agapao for broken humanity by sending His Son.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

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In response to God’s love, we are called to αγαπαο/agapao. We are called to love with all of our being and all that we have to offer; heart, soul, mind, and strength. In the verses below from Mark 12, the original language communicates this love is a future action. Jesus is telling us how and who to love.

Which begs the questions, do we put God first in our lives? Order matters to Jesus. He put God above others. Have we made personal sacrifices for God? Do we love God with intensity and passion? Do we sacrifice ourselves on behalf of others? Do we love our neighbors with the same gusto as we love ourselves?

Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

Jude places the focus on the concepts of mercy and peace and love. May these ideals be multiplied and lavished. May an abundance be heaped upon you, the believer in Jesus Christ.

 

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Attitude Check

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

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine Clarity McDonald

Christine is a requested, featured guest speaker for many conferences and outreach events.

Luke 6:41-42 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye, when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. -Jesus

Examine yourself and your thoughts regarding homelessness, prostitution, the disease of addiction/addicts, and individuals who have been in prison.

Ask yourself:
• Do I have a clear understanding of poverty and breaking those cycles?
• Do I believe “once a criminal always a criminal”?
• Do I believe that the most helpful thing I can do for a homeless individual is tell them of a job opening, or give them a job application?
• Do I believe that prostitution is a choice?
• Do I believe that the solution for addicts is just abstinence? And that if they just wouldn’t use all would be well?

I encourage you to answer these questions now.

Dear Reader, I pray that as you read God will open your eyes to see every person around you through eyes of love and grace through the very eyes of Jesus. I pray that you will recognize each and every individual, regardless of their  background or choices or present state, as the same kind of human—precious individuals created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:26-27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

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

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.

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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.

 

Read more at…

 

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

 

Cry Purple

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2018 by paulthepoke

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

 

Featuring Christine “Clarity” McDonald

cry purple

Cry Purple, by Christine McDonald, is the story of the author’s long journey from nearly two decades of homelessness, street-corner prostitution, crack addiction, and many stints in jail to her present life of total blindness, motherhood, and happiness.

The first two-thirds of the book tell the grim story of her youthful unhappiness, how and when she got into prostitution and drug addiction, the horrendous levels of violence that she and some of her fellow prostitutes suffered, and how the drugs eventually reduced her to an almost animal-like state. It was only when she hit rock bottom that she finally found the will to seek help and change her ways.

However, after getting clean and then engaged, she had numerous other difficulties and sorrows ahead of her: losing her sight due to a disease and having both her eyeballs removed, having a special-needs daughter that she had to give up for adoption due to her inability to care for her, and  watching her relationship with her children’s father dissolve.

Christine McDonaldShe currently lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area with her young son, Ricky. She practices an open adoption relationship with her daughter’s adoptive parents. She loves doing motivational speaking, and she does all she can to help and to advocate for ex offenders, addicts, and prostituted and trafficked women.  One of her largest passions is educating people out side of these circumstances to help them have a better understanding of the barriers society has placed before these under served populations to put their lives back together.

Filming for “Cry Purple” the movie is set to begin in October 2018. Interviews and writing are currently being completed. Release of the movie is tentatively set for sometime in 2019.

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

 

To contact Christine directly send a E mail to:

Christine.crypurple@gmail.com

http://www.crypurple.com/

To purchase at Amazon.com, click on link below.

 

Straight Talk…Love Your Enemies, Rodna Epley

Posted in Rodna Epley with tags , , , , on June 6, 2017 by paulthepoke

 

Rodna

Matthew 5:43-45 Jesus said… “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…

From what I’ve seen most Christians don’t know how to “love their enemies” or “turn the other cheek” nor do we even try to obey that command directly from Jesus. I’m still learning and trying. At first I had to discover what “loving my enemies meant” and then I had to be willing to apply the concept in real life situations. It’s very difficult at first because it feels like injustice and more suffering piling upon ourselves. But eventually it becomes easier the more we do it. And we learn it feels more like honoring God and giving that person (enemy) a chance to be saved. Loving our enemies causes us to see more from God’s perspective. It removes “us” as a barrier to God’s deliverance of that person: and even of us. It doesn’t cause an “enemy” to have more control (maybe for the moment). It causes them to feel unworthy (later) of such grace and kindness that they become sorrowful and repent.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch

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