Archive for love

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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

 

Jude: Called, Loved, & Kept

Posted in Jude, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:1b To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

…those who are called… In the original Greek, the word for “those” is the definite article τοῖς. It is the plural form of what would be translated as “the”. Definite articles are a big deal in the Greek language. The koine Greek of the New Testament has no indefinite articles like we do in English. There are no “a” or “an” in the language. A definite article is a point of emphasis.

God the Father describes “those” as called or κλετοσ/kletos. The idea is called, invited (to a banquet); invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ; called to (the discharge of) some office; divinely selected and appointed.

Everybody is ultimately invited to the call of Jesus Christ. Salvation is for all of humanity.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…

…beloved… “Those” are “loved”. 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.

The concept is God has loved us from the past and His love will never end. His love for us is eternal. It is God who has shown us what love is and how to love.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

 

…in God the Father… The verse states “those” are “in” God positionally. As believers in Jesus, this is our place. We are in the body of Christ. Believers are sealed with the Spirit. Jude states we are fixed in the Father. This position is confirmed by John as well as others.

John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

 

and kept for Jesus Christ: The Father has looked upon “those” and τερεο/tereo or “kept”. Tereo means: to attend to carefully, take care of or to guard. Metaphorically to keep, one in the state in which he is; to observe or to reserve: to undergo something.

The point is God has always “kept” us and He will continue to “keep” us. The Father does not change in the way He views us.

We are “kept” for Jesus Christ. The language is vague. But is there an implication something is coming to “those”???

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.

 

 

Our Daily Bread, Love & Pray… Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , on October 7, 2018 by paulthepoke

I see the words love & pray as action verbs. I believe they are the two most mentioned action verbs in the Bible as well. That tells me our days should always involve loving & praying. Love is mentioned 310 times & pray 313 times in the King James Version. That’s a lot of times in the instruction book for life. Are you loving & praying enough?

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John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Have an awesome week my friends!!!

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

Our Daily Bread, Love Big… Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , on September 9, 2018 by paulthepoke

Love so big that there is never any question about it. Never make them wonder if they are loved. Two people wanting each other happy & feeling loved will last. Love always wins.

Romans 12:10 Love one another in brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

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Have a loving week my friends!!!

 

 

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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