Archive for love

Ripple Effects… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by paulthepoke

For every woman and girl violently attacked, we reduce our humanity. For every woman forced into unprotected sex because men demand this, we destroy dignity and pride. Every woman who has to sell her life for sex we condemn to a lifetime in prison. For every moment we remain silent, we conspire against our women. For every woman infected by HIV, we destroy a generation. —Nelson Mandela

Collateral damage is what we call the loss or injury caused to the unintended victims of an action or event. Many times, when we venture out in a helping capacity, we have our sights squarely focused on the population we serve. Yet, oftentimes, those individuals we serve touch the lives of many we may never encounter.

Compassion and love at their best grow and extend indefinitely. The things we do out of love for others can have a massive ripple effect across time and space. Likewise, the things we don’t do can carry greater, far reaching ramifications. What if one simple, yet sometimes controversial, moment of service could save a life? Conversely, what if a misapplied moral objection costs a life?

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When we consider human trafficking, exploitation, and prostitution, we tend to recognize the purchaser/exploiter as well as the person being used. However, there is another population that is inadvertently affected yet rarely lands on our radar. Sometimes our narrow view of the impact and our tightly clung–to moral objections have unintended consequences.

When we think of serving and how we serve, the most important thing we can do is put on the love of Christ and remember how much He loves and how He would give all for just one person. We have to ask ourselves, Is making a moral statement that will inevitably be lost more important than the individual?

Jesus was well known in His day for spending His time with those viewed as the biggest sinners. When the religious leaders of the day attacked Him for this, He told a parable about a shepherd who had 100 beloved sheep and one ran away. In the parable, the shepherd left the 99 to go after the one. The Son of God did not withhold His presence from the “sinners” to make a moral statement. Instead, He left us all with a clear example to follow. He made it crystal clear that every one of those “sinners” was invaluable to Him.

Even while knowing His days were limited, Jesus didn’t spend His time with His family and loved ones. Instead, He chose to spend time among the untouchables of His day. And though He—the perfect, holy God of the universe—had many moral objections to their actions, He didn’t let those moral objections become the focus or stand in the way of an opportunity to touch their hearts.

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

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Real Friends in Times of Need… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on March 13, 2020 by paulthepoke

What makes the simple act of shaming or blaming people complicated is the knowledge that they each had a specific history, and the more we know about it, the easier it becomes to understand why they did what they did. —Richard Holloway, Godless Morality

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One of God’s greatest gifts to us during times of crisis, struggle, or tragedy is the “family” He places in our life to walk with us. Family isn’t always our blood relatives. Proverbs 17:17 says it best: “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (NLT)

There are some who use emotional withdrawal as a means of correction or to demonstrate displeasure with a loved one’s actions or choices. Some might think of it as a shunning. If you don’t conform or comply, then you are refused the affection, concern, help, or attention you desire and we all crave.

This mentality raises the question: Is it real love if it so easily and willingly manipulates? Isn’t love unconditional in its gift? This isn’t to say that all actions are approved or all choices are overlooked. But doesn’t real love look like something altogether different than a conditional carrot we dangle and make available only for those who comply?

When Christ laid down His life for this world, it was a free gift. It was given for any who would accept it. He never asks us to get our act together before we accept His love. In fact, His love is what changes us. It shapes and molds us, conforming us more and more to His image. The only condition placed on His love is that we accept it. In fact, if we ignore it, He pursues us still.

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If we view love as something that can be taken advantage of, then perhaps we’re going about it all wrong. Love should be so free that it can’t be stolen. Love is the most renewable resource we have. It is priceless, powerful, conquering—it is all the things an evil world would love to harness and put a price on. But it is also incorruptible. The best the world can do, then, is mimic real love. It is this pseudo love that controls, extorts, destroys, dominates, and demands submission from others.

Let’s take a minute to think about those tougher relationships in our lives. Proverbs 18:24 says, “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” (NLT) What kind of friend are we to the world around us, particularly to those who are hurting? Are we willing to get a little mud on our shoes by hanging in there with someone on their worst days? Are we willing to be their voice? To speak their last words and tell their story?

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

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The Primary Purpose of the Gospel – And an Accurate Perspective… Rodna Epley

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Rodna Epley with tags , , , , on February 4, 2020 by paulthepoke

Jesus came down from the Father and went back up to the Father. He restored us to the Father. That’s the reason Jesus came and did all that He did—to restore, to reconcile us to the Father.

We are seated in heavenly places in Christ now, already restored to the Father. Knowing this changes our entire lives and the way that we see everything. It changes the way we see ourselves. It changes the way we see the world. It changes the way we see God.

It shifts our perspective from standing on the earth looking up and victimized, to the position of being seated in Christ where He is on the throne of glory with the earth as our footstool, and where all principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness are beneath us.

Knowing we are restored to the Father (restored to glory) causes the Word of God (Bible) to come alive immediately and make perfect sense, because it removes the veil that is over our eyes—the veil of a broken perspective.

Everything Jesus did was to restore us to the Father: the Father of glory…and love. He is the WAY to the Father. This is the primary message of the Gospel and everything Jesus taught. And He did it all for love, so that we would know the kind of love that holds no record of wrong, the kind of love that makes us able to love even our enemies.

I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father” (John 16:28).

And where I go you know, and the way you know…Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4,6).

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-6).

And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was…And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:5,22-23).

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44,45,48).

Free Will & Love… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , on December 3, 2019 by paulthepoke

Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

One of the most powerful and wonderful gifts God has given humanity is free will. When He created us, it was for love. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest ‘well pleased. ’”

Love is not love if it is forced; therefore God gave us the ability to choose Him, to accept Him or reject Him.

When we turn on the news, or read a book such as this one, we may find ourselves asking, “How can a loving God let these things happen?” The truth is that our sinful human choices are a consequence of rejecting the One who made us. What is more profound than the fact that He gave us the choice to reject Him is the fact that He loves us and never leaves us even in our darkest moments, and even when we don’t yet know Him.

As you read this story of human darkness, be reminded that God so filled me with His love and gave me beauty for ashes by giving me the courage to share my story and not give up on love. My love of Christ, my love for the broken, and even my love for the ignorant who still want to label me are powerful testimony of just how far–reaching God’s healing love can be when we choose to accept Him.

Let this story also serve as a reminder to us of all the wars people fight every day of their lives. We may not see these wars on the outside, but they are there. To love like Christ, unconditionally, means we love without demanding that the other person prove their worthiness of that love.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Our very ability to love exists because it was initiated by love Himself. Who are we to ever deem another unlovable or undeserving?


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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

The Gospel 33 AD

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Gospel, Resurrection, Spring Feasts with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2019 by paulthepoke

This is the most important decision a person will ever make. Eternal destiny is on the line and at stake. The idea bears repeating. God takes the time in Scripture to repeat Himself numerous times.

This is the good news of Jesus Christ. This is of the utmost importance as stated by the Apostle Paul. This is the priority. As believers in Jesus Christ, we should draw a line in the sand and stick a flag in the ground over this issue. If a person does not get the issue of the gospel of Jesus Christ right, big time eternal problems.

Jesus Christ died. He was buried. And He was raised.

This is the gospel message of Jesus Christ, really “good news”.

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Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

~

Paul Lehr is read by millions in over 190 countries. He is the author of Rapture The Bride Redeemed and Revelation The Last Letter. He is also the host of https://paulthepoke.com/

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The Man Who Died for Me… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , on September 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely….He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. —Dieter F. Uchtdorf

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.” Oftentimes as Christians we try expressing the love of Christ through kindness alone, but as Lewis stresses, kindness is but one attribute of love; it is not actually love itself. When we consider how we love others, what is our motive? Are we satisfied if we are just the seed planter? Are we satisfied if we are simply serving?

In the book of Luke we read, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Love your enemies…

If this is how we are to treat our enemies, how should we treat those for whom we have compassion and want to see brought into His Kingdom?

Loving others is an act of obedience, but we cannot trick God. He alone sees our hearts. He knows if we are giving food to the hungry out of love, or if we are merely baiting the hungry so we can guilt them to repentance with our message—our message. God’s message is not one of trickery or condemnation, nor does it demand that broken people turn from their vices before crying out to Him. God alone can fill our empty spaces, cleanse us of our sins, and buff our rough places. He alone can draw us in.

The Lover of Our Souls draws us through compassion. He alone meets us where we are, wipes away our tears, and saves us. When we give to those who are in need, it should be the overflow of what we have been given, and it should be truly free. When we put a price or a demand on these actions, we are cheating the very ones who move His heart.

“And the King will say, ‘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)

The question is: How, then, are we treating Christ?

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Precious in His Eyes… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on September 7, 2019 by paulthepoke

…My hands were shaking. As I looked up, I saw a truck flash his lights as he drove past and turned the corner. I jumped out of the fountain and ran and jumped in his truck. I knew that if I had money to get dope, I could cope. It was the only way I could cope. It was how I removed myself and made the pain go away. It was how I kept the shame at bay and survived.

I heard once in a meeting that if I had not chosen to use, then I wouldn’t have ever faced the horrific situations I faced. I have often been perplexed by that statement. I am responsible for using, I guess. I suffered from a disease of addiction and the endless cycle it created.

However, I am not responsible for another’s evil actions. I am not responsible for those who seek out the broken, the weak, the invisible of our society, the ones everyone knows no one will go looking for if they go missing, the ones no one dares make eye contact with, the ones society has deemed less than human, without equal value as a human being.

Years later, as I reflect on my growth, I value myself as many things. From addict to child of God, I am human with as much value as any other. I understand the Word of God, and have my own relationship with Him.

The God of my understanding loves the outcasts, those who are shunned and viewed by others as disposable. I can’t help but remember the women and men who were homeless, who were prostituted, who were mentally ill, who were addicted, who were vulnerable, and who died horrific deaths at the hands of those from a higher socioeconomic class, death by people who see themselves as worthy of life while others are not.

What people like me and like them need is to be seen as the priceless treasures they are to the God who created them. Then, and only then, can they truly believe that a way out is possible, that the cycle can end, and that there is another way of coping and living with the pain they have experienced. They need to be set free from the pain and trauma, no matter who caused it or why they are the way they are. They need someone to look at them and say, “You are precious in His eyes, and He loves you. Oh, how He loves you.”

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Oh, How He Loves You… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2019 by paulthepoke

Genuine love and compassion, the kind that truly come from Christ and are imaged in us to a broken world, view every human being as treasured and precious. People, all people, were the single motivation God had that compelled Jesus to the cross. His sacrifice was made for all sins committed before He came, all sins committed during His earthly journey, and all sins we would think up, dream up, and commit after He died and rose again.

This means that every human being has equal value and access to God’s love and amazing grace. It means that none of us are worthy or hold more value in and of ourselves, but through Him we are redeemed to become treasures. Before you accepted Him, He loved you passionately and saw you as a “not–yet–redeemed” treasure. He wanted you before you were cleaned up and polished by His blood.

That redemption transforms our value to reflect His value, and He is priceless. That redemption also cleanses our hearts and minds so that we can take on His viewpoint. Our role, as believers, is to be the human extenders of what God grants us daily, moment by moment. If His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), then it is sufficient for us and a sufficient supply for us to give others. Christ is the great equalizer!

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

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

https://crypurplemovie.com/

Relationship Killers and Choosing Love… Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2019 by paulthepoke

Thinking about my post I shared from a few years back, if you truly want a relationship to work you can NOT be selfish, controlling, or jealous. Those 3 things are what pop in my head immediately because I see it way too often. These 3 things are poison to a relationship. Each person needs their own identity, not just so & so’s wife or so & so’s husband. If one feels they aren’t trusted & not valued, their heart will slowly withdraw from the relationship.

If you want happiness in a relationship, Give without expectations. Trust wholeheartedly. Listen with sincerity. Forgive easily. Love unselfishly. Be proud of your partner. Do not place blame. Do not point out faults. Make their happiness as important as your own. Want every day to be a little better. Give them space when needed. Hold them close when needed. Never stop dating. Don’t be too proud to seek counsel or attend a marriage seminar. Seek God together.

Make your relationship amazing…. Have a happy week my friends!!!

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Tread Gently… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Gospel with tags , , , , , , , on July 19, 2019 by paulthepoke

In John Chapter 8, we see Jesus intervene when a group of men wanted to stone a woman caught in adultery. We don’t know precisely what her story is. Was she a willing participant? Was she someone who had been used by others? What we do know is that while she was “caught,” there was no man being condemned alongside her. Whoever she was caught with wasn’t even part of the story. The man who stood up for her, however, was the only perfect and blameless being to ever walk the earth.

If anyone had the authority and was justified in condemning this woman, it was Jesus. He was, after all, the Son of God. But instead, Jesus addressed her accusers, challenging them, “…but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (Verse 7, NLT) Jesus alone held that right; yet when all of them had left, one by one, He turned to her and offered her freedom.

When we encounter those who need this Gospel, yet have been cast down by life over and over again, are we offering them freedom? People know who they are. Even without ever picking up a Bible, people know when their actions are morally objectionable. What Christ offers is more than a light to illuminate the darkness. His light offers freedom. This freedom does not require that we be changed before we accept it. In fact, we can’t. The changes we require to be clean and holy in His sight can only be made by Him.

Perhaps our job as believers isn’t so much about raising a mirror to people so they see their sins. Perhaps, deep down, they already see them. Perhaps our responsibility is to show them God’s reflection of love, grace, and freedom. Perhaps, through our words and actions, consistently and patiently, we can offer them hope.

If you have not walked in the shoes of someone who has been exploited or marginalized by society, tread carefully when speaking about the hope of Christ. Be mindful of their past experiences and formulated ideas of Christians, people of faith, or believers. Their lived experiences may not have been those of goodness and love and grace. It takes a thousand good things to replace one bad thing, so tread lightly and gently, my Christian friends. You never know what brokenness someone might have experienced—even at the hands of a person who claims Jesus as Lord.

Tread gently, therefore, when speaking about the hope of Christ to those who are leaving the life, or those attempting to restore their lives from brokenness of any sort you don’t know. Many other “Christians” they have
interacted with were, like the man in this story, antithetical representations of the gospel of Jesus. If this is all they know, then the concept of God and hope and goodness is a much more difficult sell!

“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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