iBelieve Magazine February 2015

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Top Christian communicator Lisa Bevere talks about successful marriage, ministry and putting faith in Christ

Former opera singer Ben Cooley explains how he’s now singing a different tune and helping to fight human trafficking

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Edward Johnson explains how his faith was tested when his brother Edvin was stabbed to death

Diagnosed with MS, Dawn Pringle attended a crusade where she felt God’s healing power

When Nick Chanda heard a voice he realised it was time to stop partying and chasing women

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Don’t miss resident chef Emily Roberts cooking up healthy recipes, including spicy mixed bean soup

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How to understand rugby

Ask Julia Agony aunt Julia Immonen gives her advice to all your questions

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Everyone needs some pruning and reshaping, writes Joyce Meyer

We cannot ignore those who are in debt, urges David Littlewood

Daddy Diaries Sleeping isn’t everything, reckons Mark Wreford

Illicit sex whispers exotic promises, says Jeff Lucas

Why Carl Beech is getting comfortable with being middle aged

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How good is the app that helps you to track your spiritual life?

True love comes from understanding God’s love for us, writes evangelist J.John

Valentine’s Day isn’t always celebrated around the world with chocolates and flowers

Money Changes to pensions could help you

Going Places The rather surprising destination of Addis Ababa

Devotion Matthew Murray’s idiot’s guide to prayer has some brilliant tips to help

Why I Believe Mission trips help build the faith of Alan Bartram

More than 40,000 people heard the Archbishop of Canterbury make a stirring speech about prayer during the launch of a three-month initiative

46 iReviews Books & music

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iBelieve editor, Peter Wreford

True love makes demands of you that go far beyond reasonableness

 

Ah love. L.O.V.E. Can’t get away from it this time of year, as the Hollywood ‘hot pink’ idea of perfect relationships fills the windows of shops everywhere. I’m not a fan of gratuitous money-spinning festivals (like Valentine’s Day), but the reality is that love truly is worth celebrating.

Over 30 years ago now, my beautiful bride Helen walked down the aisle on one of the happiest days of my life. Looking back over three decades, it’s fascinating to see how our lives have become intertwined. Somewhere along the line, the edges start to blur and I stop making sense without her.

It’s a beautiful picture of the potential of humankind to be open to this kind of defining love – a love that makes demands of you that go far beyond reasonableness, but gives you back yourself, only better.

It’s in our openness and our vulnerability – something which marriage is all about – that we can truly offer ourselves to God and allow him to shape us. Maybe this is why the Bible uses marriage to talk about the relationship between God and his people.

Grace, after all, is deeply concerned with how we see ourselves. It is God’s gift to us that demonstrates his desire for us: we come to know ourselves as – firstly – deeply loved.

If you can look past the pink, the hearts, the schmaltz and the glitter, there’s something deeply important demonstrated in what Valentine’s Day celebrates. That’s why I love what J.John has written for us this month and why I’m so proud of all that my friend Ben Cooley is doing to demonstrate love to people who will never see it otherwise. And it’s why I’ll never stop buying flowers. At the end of the day, I guess it’s just me being made in the image of a romantic God!

iBelieve Magazine

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