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Volume 4: Issue 6
May/June 2000

Suffering


Table Of Contents


Cover Story: Suffering:

Our Contribution to Suffering
--By: Rev. Vera I. Bourne

None of us are called to be "Messiahs" for no matter how great our need (either subconscious or conscious) for self-sacrifice, or how obsessive this belief may be. God's gift at Calvary provided healing, forgiveness and wholeness for all of humanity. God needs no more Messiahs.


Not "If", but "When"
-- By: John Campbell

While I do not believe that God directly punishes anyone for their careless or deliberately cruel actions towards another, I do believe that there are natural spiritual Laws that God set into action when the Universe was created, and Jesus to me spelled it out best: "What you sow, you will also reap."

Some Thoughts on Suffering
--By: Gale Green

Suffering has visited some of our heart-homes so often it feels like an old friend. Let it be a guest, learn from it all you can, it will often teach you more wisdom than the good times will.


How to Transcend the Spiritual Sufferings of the Wilderness Experience
--By: Jerry S. Maneker

If suffering was an indication that one was out of the will of God, one could thereby conclude that every one of the heroes of faith in Scripture was out of God's will. It is a spiritual fact that suffering that is brought about by unGodly forces can not only be redemptive, but show us to be in God's will, in that the closer one draws to God, the more he or she will be called upon to suffer.


Suffering or Tempering?
--By: Robin Bachtell

I was a transsexual! The Lord had dealt me yet another blow, I thought!! ... My suffering was well deserved, I was a freak... a perverted, twisted joke of a human being.


Attitude Can Ease Suffering
--By: Steven Hopesharer

What the author hopes will happen for the reader is that this article will give him or her hope that regardless of the pain they may be experiencing because they have been rejected by family, former friends, the church or society as a whole, peace can be experienced merely by a change in one's attitude regarding their afflictions and there is a good reason for not giving up on one's self.


The Psalm of Grace
--By: Gregory Gadow

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
And why are you so far away from my distress?


My Grace is Sufficient for You!
--By: Steve Pearson

After several weeks of receiving this answer, I understood that I was not to ask any more, but to accept that God desired to keep me as I was, a gay man. God had said "NO!" and I had to start learning how to live with that.


An Angry and Desperate Prayer to a God I'm Not at All Sure I Even Believe In
--By: Kim Boykin

If you're so damned good, why all this suffering?!?! Why have the past ten years of my life been so miserable? Oh sure, sometimes it's been okay, but please, please, give me joy! I want joy! I want thoroughgoing peace. Why can't I have it?


The Purpose of Suffering
--By: Lucas Hawkins

Before the foundation of the world, from eternity past, God has chosen us (believers) as "holy," which means we have been set apart, for Him, with an eternal purpose. There is an eternal purpose in everything we get involved in. Even on this earthly, temporal situation, there is an eternal purpose in it.



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Homospirituality

With Feeling
Four: Lessons of Spirit and Flesh

--By: Neil Ellis Orts

God and sex. One, I learned about through very intentional, formal instruction, the other, through hearsay and secret books and brief, embarrassed sections in health class. The connection between the two was implicit and vague but strong enough to stop conversation if one came up in the discussion of the other.


When Your Dogma Eats Your Karma
--By: L. Louise

The Bible is not, nor was it intended to be, a recipe book for the petty concerns of daily life. It was intended to remind us to look up, when those petty concerns become overwhelming.


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Youth:

Reconciling our Homosexuality -- It is possible! Part 2
--By: Steve Payne

I am going to present several scriptures that will help on reconciling our homosexuality and also to prove that homosexuality isn't a sin.


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Features:

Our House: A New Film Takes a Real Look at Gay and Lesbian Families
-- By: Candace Chellew

"... the documentary profiles sixteen sons and daughters-between the ages of four and twenty-three-in five families who are facing the usual highs and lows of growing up while encountering varied reactions from extended family, classmates, teachers, neighbors, and public officials."


Finishing The Journey:
A United Methodist Church Tackles a Thorny Issue

-- By: Candace Chellew

Rev. Thornburg hopes those who do take time to read the book will come away with a better understanding of the issue facing the church and why homosexuals should be welcomed.


Black United Methodist Church in Boston Breaks New Ground
-- By: HRC Press Release

The Union United Church, a 125-member institution led by Rev. Theodore L. Lockhart, voted to become a "reconciling and inclusive" church - a term that essentially means a church that accepts and affirms gay and lesbian people.


Letters To The Editor

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From The Pulpit:

On Being Put to the Test
--By: Dr. Rodney E. Wilmoth

Why does God permit testing of our faith? Because such tests stretch our faith to its outer limits.


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Bible Study and Inspiration:

Part 3:"My Love, How You Delight Me":
The Song of Songs Through Gay Eyes

--By: Tom Yeshua

Jesus remains at the door, pleading with us to open. His love is nothing to play games with. In a world where true love is in short supply, none of us can afford to let him, who is love itself, stay outside, bathed in the dew of our indifference.


What Does the Lord Require: An Exegesis of Micah 6:1-8
--By: Candace Chellew

Despite the fact that God has repeatedly saved the people and blessed them, the people remain clueless about what God truly wants of them. They have sacrificed and still have practiced injustice, oppression and evil and have displayed haughtiness. God tells them their sacrifices are not what God requires of them.


Sexual Orientation in the Word of God
--By: Rev. Chancellor C. Roberts, II

Having studied the whole debate from all sides, I can only conclude that the attraction itself is that desire, that stretching out after, that longing, described in Genesis 3:16. Thus, it is there that we see the origin of sexual orientation.


Suffering in the Service of Christ
--By: Steve Pearson

Let us be honest for a minute: how many of us, as gay, bisexual, or transgendered men and women following Christ, have not at some point understood Jeremiah's prayer in chapter 20? How many of us have not wished never to have been born rather than to struggle with our sexuality on the one side and our church on the other?


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Holy Humor!

The Untold Story

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