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belong
 With Aaron Ironside
THE MARRIAGE
by
Brian Taylor

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charisma news

What to Do When You Feel Like God Is Picking on You

"Why me, Lord?" Have you ever asked God that question? "Why not pick somebody else for this? Why am I always the one going through the fire?"

In the good times we say, "Lord, I love You." We quote, "Oh, in the volume of the book it is written of me I delight to do Your will, O Lord.".....More

faithwire

Cardinal: Western Society has ‘Embraced the Craziest Ideologies’ and is ‘More Destructive Than the Terror of the Islamists’

The Guinean prelate of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Robert Sarah, has made some bold remarks at a mass which formed part of the annual Paris-Chartres pilgrimage. Speaking on the moral and spiritual decline of the West to some 15,000 Catholics at Chartres Cathedral, Sarah said our modern culture .....MORE

barnabas fund

Trapped Kachin Christians reach safety in dramatic elephant escape in Myanmar

Barnabas Fund contacts report that although they are now free and safe, many are still in desperate need and thousands of Kachin have taken

 shelter in churches. There is also the threat of further attacks by the military: “Please continue to pray for the Kachin....More

the catholic herald

No, it is not offensive to refer to God as ‘He’

Jesus clearly uses male pronouns in the 'Our Father’. Who are we to call that oppressive?Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday and so I have been reading Trinity: A Story of Deep Delight by a Dominican sister, Anne Marie Mongoven.....more

Christian Headlines

Turkey Returns Confiscated Syriac Church Property Deeds

Syriac Orthodox Christians have welcomed the Turkish government’s return of 55 title deeds, representing nearly half of their ancient church

properties in southeast Turkey, which had been confiscated by the state in recent years. .....More

christian today

Trump revives summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

U.S. President Donald Trump, in a complete reversal, said on Friday he would hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore in the latest twist in the high-stakes diplomacy over eliminating Pyonyang's nuclear arms programme........More

End time headlines

What is the secretive Bilderberg gathering? Are they plotting the New World Order?

The secretive Bilderberg Group gathers for its annual meeting next week, which this year takes place in Turin, Italy.  A collective of elite North American and European politicians, business leaders, financiers and academics, the group has attracted a good deal of suspicion.....More

crosswalk

Are You a Worrier or a Warrior? (Here’s How to Tell)

My oldest daughter, Kate, is a lieutenant in the US Army. As her mom, I love that my oldest girl is both a woman and a warrior. One of the things I admire most about her life as a soldier is the daily discipline in preparing for battle. Her life as a soldier has ...More

sight

US Catholic diocese quits Maine Council of Churches

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, is withdrawing from the Maine Council of Churches in a bid to distance itself from LGBT advocacy and other stances that the church says could compromise its public moral witness.The decision comes after a council decision to let its public positions be determined by a majority vote among its members.......more

world watch monitor

Nationalism: religion as a form of belonging – and exclusion

Amid rapid, transformative globalisation, many Asian nations have in recent decades found nationalist voices coming to the fore. Religion can

be co-opted into national identity. But where any one religion is made part of national identity......More

Christian examiner

Generation Z, Social Justice, and the Gospel

Many members of Generation Z are choosing justice over the gospel, but

they don't have to. They can choose both. Generation Z—roughly those young

people born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s—is known for a lot of

things: its technological savvy, its commitment to social justice,....More

gateway news

Senior Christian leaders meet to discuss Code of Conduct

At a meeting convened by The Evangelical Association of South Africa (TEASA) and South African Council of Churches ( SACC) on Wednesday May 23, a broad cross-section of senior Christian leaders met in Kempton Park to discuss the key issues raised by the CRL Rights Commission’s Report on the “Commercialisation” of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems. This meeting followed meetings....More

The Christian Post

Biblical Principles Pay Off

At Watered Gardens Gospel Rescue Mission, I've met many men and women

 who've traded the freedom of God-given work for the chains of government

-sponsored welfare. Decades of failed welfare policies have led many of them to believe they are better off not working, ....... More

virtue online

NEW ZEALAND: Same-sex blessing vote could split Anglican church

Conservative Canterbury Anglicans could leave the church after it voted to allow blessings of same-sex married couples. Rakaia vicar Al Drye, of St Mark's church, and Shirley vicar Jay Behan, of St Stephen's church, have both resigned from the Anglican general synod and are looking at ways to leave the church. The synod last week voted to pass a motion allowing same-sex blessings in Anglican churches. The motion was was an attempt to compromise on the issue in order to keep the church united..........More

pravoslavie

“Suffering for Christ is Part of Our Faith”

 —Vladyka, tell us please, how and when you did you learn that the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny had been attacked? I was in the Republic of Ingushetia Saturday night, in our New Sinai-Holy Protection Monastery, serving the All-Night Vigil. They came up and told me during the service that a shootout was going on in Grozny....More

PERFECT LOVE

 

Perfect love.

 

Unconditional love.

 

Infinite love.

 

Hard to conceive.

 

Not the kind of love that professes exclusivity and then six months later is found sordidly rutting with the nearest available alternative.

 

Not the kind of love that says it is unconditional and then spends the next 20 years tearing you down and withholding affection unless you say/do/be exactly what is required.

 

Not the kind of love that wrecks you instead of completing you.

 

Not even the kind of love that tries so hard to give and give and give, and love and love and love, but because both the lover and the love are broken, the giving and the receiving and the loving never are perfect. Nor unconditional.

 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-8.

 

Most of us can do some of that some of the time. Some of us can do most of that nearly all the time. When I read and meditate upon those verses, I feel sorry for the people I love. I sell them short.

 

God does all of it all the time.

 

He simply says “Relax. Nothing you have ever done, or ever will do, will stop me loving you. The same infinite energy I used to create the universe, I channel into my love for you. The same infinite wisdom I used to formulate my perfect plan for the world, I channel into creating the joyous, abundant, peace-filled life that is available for you. I love everybody else at the same intensity as I love you, but I know you perfectly, better than you do yourself, and I want a relationship with you as an individual, and I love you in the one way that is perfectly aligned with your personality. I will always be gentle with you – I will show you what you are doing wrong, but never, never, never will I withhold my unconditional love for you. I want to protect you and nurture you and nourish you and build you and free you and comfort you and strengthen you and – love you and love you and love you and love you. Always. Forever.”

 

The agony, misery and loneliness of losing someone I love (for me, so far only my father), even with my imperfect love, are awful. The opportunity to continue loving that person, in an active, relational sense, ripped away.

 

I suspect that if my love was perfect, the agony, misery and loneliness would be even worse. The gap between the joy of the loving relationship and the horror of it ending would be much (infinitely?) bigger than the gap I experienced.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.

 

So here are two of the only three beings (I don’t have space to get technical about the Holy Trinity here, so cut me a break and just go with two beings) who have ever been able to practice perfect love, voluntarily, willingly, planfully destroying the best, most loving relationship there has ever been, for my benefit.

 

And yours.

 

The greater the love, the greater the sacrifice.

 

Perfect love, perfect sacrifice.

 

One day we will know that perfect love clearly.

 

To know perfect, unconditional, infinite love, and to know that you will never experience it personally for all eternity, would be one of hell’s greatest torments.

 

To know perfect, unconditional, infinite love, and to know that you will experience it personally for all eternity, will be one of heaven’s greatest joys.

 

But you can start now.

 

God bless,

Chris

 

 

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