If there’s anyone who understood grace, it’s Paul. The apostle was once one of the worst persecutors of Christians. Yet instead of being punished, Paul was given God’s most precious mission. To share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. Not because Paul earned it, nor proven himself worthy. For no one can ever be good enough to earn a perfect God’s perfect favor. But all because of the unmerited mercy of our Lord. The definition of grace is getting what we don’t deserve and not getting what we do. The sin we commit comes with the penalty of death. But because of His amazing love, God sent His Son to take the punishment we deserve, giving us the undeserved gift of forgiveness, and eternal life. It was God’s grace that empowered Paul’s transformation. And if we let Him, God will transform us as well.
Church, Family Members Calling For Investigation After 63 year Old Pastor Marries 19 Year old Parishioner
Church members and family members are calling for an investigation into a Pentecostal church bishop in Iowa who recently married a 19-year-old girl. Bishop Dwight Reed is 63 and leads Christ Apostolic Temple in Des Moines, Iowa. In November 2021, Reed married 19-year-old Jordan Goodlett, a longtime church member and former student at the church’s school. An outside clergyman accuses the bishop of “gross abuse of power” and years-long “grooming” of an underage congregant. And some of the teen’s family members and fellow church members also say they’re concerned she is a victim of clergy abuse. Read more about the controversy here.
Poll Of Ministers Shows More Are Struggling With Mental Health Challenges
More than 60 percent of pastors say stress is a challenge in their day-to-day ministry, according to a new Lifeway Research survey that also found that roughly half list “discouragement” as a common barrier. The poll of 1,000 American Protestant pastors, released Tuesday, found that 63 percent of pastors say they battle stress and 48 percent face discouragement. Just over one in four (28 percent) say loneliness or lack of friendships is a problem, while about one in four (18 percent) say depression is an issue. Younger pastors are more likely than older pastors to list stress, discouragement, loneliness and depression as issues. Read more about the poll here.
Woman Marries Cat To Avoid Eviction
Deborah Hodge, 49, married her 5-year-old cat, India, on April 19 in a public park in southeast London. Both Hodge and her cat wore tuxedo-styled outfits for the occasion. The decision to marry her cat came after Hodge was previously forced to give up three other pets – two Huskies and one cat – because of landlord rules barring residents from owning pets. India meowed through her vows as Deborah’s friends watched on, including one who legally ordained the civil union. “I recited vows under the universe that no man will ever tear myself and India apart,” she said. Read more about the wedding here.
Ukrainian refugees Find Shelter In Irish Medieval Castle
When Irishman Barry Haughian and his wife Lola watched Ukrainians flee their homes, they decided to offer up their second home, a 15th century castle in the west of Ireland. Within a day Haughian was on a plane to Poland, having set up a Facebook account for the first time to offer refuge. Eleven Ukrainians returned with him to Ballindooley Castle. A month after their arrival, five of the group have found jobs. Their children are settled in school and play on the half acre estate with local kids, whose families constantly drop in everything from spare fridges, televisions and bags of turf to baskets of fresh eggs for Maria Nazarchuk, the keen baker of the group. Read more about the generosity here.
When Christ was crucified, He broke the dominion of sin over man. Now as believers, although sin may vex us, it will not dominate us. Because when Christ was resurrected, we were also spiritually resurrected. At the moment we receive Christ as our Savior, God goes to work on our fleshly heart of stone. He begins molding it into one that is alive and pulsing with desire to glorify Him. No longer do we desire to continue walking in sin. It’s a process of surrender, and a process that can be accomplished by God alone. Everyday He is at work within our circumstances, emotions, experiences and deepest desires. And it’s our job to let Him do His. This may require hard times and struggles, but God will prevail. He will dig out and uproot every enticement of sin in our lives, giving us victory over each one!