Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pluralism in the American Chruch. GG Christians....

Here is an interesting article about the American Church. I'll just post some statistics from the article:

  • More than half of all Christians also believe that some non-Christians can get into heaven.
  • 71 percent of American adults say they are more likely to develop their own set of religious beliefs than to accept a defined set of teachings from a particular church.
  • 61 percent pick and choose from the beliefs of different denominations. For people under the age of 25, the number rises to 82 percent.
  • Nearly half do not believe in the existence of Satan.
  • One-third believe Jesus sinned while on earth.
  • Two-fifths say they don't have a responsibility to share their faith with others.
  • 35,000 Americans found a majority of Christians saying that people of other religions can find salvation and eternal life.
  • 65 percent of American Christians (including 47 percent of Evangelicals) do indeed think that many different religions can lead to eternal life.
  • 80 percent cited one non-Christian faith as a route to salvation; 61 percent named two or more.
  • When asked about how to obtain eternal life: 30 percent say correct beliefs are what counts, 29 percent say salvation depends on one's actions during life, while 10 percent say both are essential.
  • Forty-two percent of religious Americans also say atheists are able to find eternal life.


Note: The article is from a Christian Science magazine which can't be trusted theologically... but polls are polls.

A note to professing Christians: Let me try to be very simple and clear on what you believe as a Christian:
  • You are a sinner. You have in some form or fashion disobeyed God. Not just you, but everyone. This includes but is not limited to: Muslims, Jews, Christians, St. Paul, the Pope, my pastor, me, my wife, your golf caddy, and your mom.
  • The punishment for your sin is the holy and just wrath of God (i.e. Hell)
  • God didn't want to see us go to Hell because He loves us.
  • God is a just God. He simply couldn't just turn a blind eye to our sin. It had to be punished.
  • God took the form of a man called Jesus Christ to live a perfect life so that He could take the punishment we deserve.
  • God's Holy and Just wrath was appeased in Christ's death on a cross.
  • Christ's righteousness is now imputed on the behalf of those who believe in Him.
  • God looks at those who believe as 'perfect' because of Christ sacrifice.
  • God only allows 'perfect' people into His presence (i.e. Heaven)
Here are some concluding remarks to rebuttal the heartbreaking statistics:
  • The only way to get to Heaven is through Christ. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me [Jesus]." John 14:6
  • Only those who believe in Christ will be saved. "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
  • The Bible is the Word of God. It is all you need. It is the 'Christian Handbook.' If you do not believe the bible then perhaps you should reexamine your religious claims. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3:16
  • Jesus never sinned. He was the only one that didn't sin. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15
Where do you stand? Do you believe any of this?


Also please pray for our neighbors.  Wherever we live we want to do ministry, we want to reach out to those around us, serve them, show them & tell them of the love of Christ.  We have met a few:

>Right next door to us is a Mexican family, and I think like 10 people live in that apartment...mostly children.  The mother (maybe) is named Monica.  I think she is close to the only one who speaks good English.  She's very sweet & I have a few conversations with her, but hope to get to have many more.  There is a boy there named Nada, another named Jose, and the father (maybe) is Jo-el.  Then there is a lot more kids that we have yet to meet...I think they have a few girls.  
>The apartment right across from us is a couple, who I believe has a son.  I have only met the husband or dad (maybe) his name is Terry.
>The apartment downstairs and diagonal from us is two guys (possibly more) one's name is Robert and the other i can't remember :-/ I met Robert like the day after I moved in...he's very nice and said that if I ever needed anything to just ask
>The apartment next to them is a family ( i think) they have 2 boys that live there, the older one is named Floyd and the younger is Garret.  The younger one has little glasses and is so cute!! Then there was a girl there one day (i forgot her name) but I asked if she lived there and she said that her dad I dunno.
>Then the apartment diagonal from them is a guy and his fiance.  The guys name is Zach (i think) and I have yet to meet his fiance.
>And we haven't met anyone from  the apartment directly under us.

This Friday or Saturday we plan to bring each of our neighbors salsa & cookies and introduce ourselves and let them know if they need anything to ask us and to possibly offer babysitting!  Please pray that this time would be glorifying to the Lord and fruitful.  


James & I are back from the honeymoon and are settling into our new little apartment and learning to adjust to real life together.  I'm loving this time, yet there are aspects of it that are hard to adjust to.

The beginning stages of married life are not as easy as I thought it was going to be.  It's been hard adjusting to always having him around, and to get out of the mindset that if we're together we need to be spending intentional time together.  It's been hard learning how to do 'normal' life with him...adjusting to the fact that we each have things to do, seperately, even though we might be in the same room.  It's hard learning him...learning the ways he sees respect, love, help.   It's hard to constantly treat & love someone as Christ would love them, and I fail constantly at this, but it's so important that I am constantly trying...If I'm to treat anyone as Christ were to treat them it should be James above all...we represent Christ & the Church!  The way we treat each other, the way we love each other, the way we sacrifice for each other, the way we forgive each other is such a huge testimony in itself to non-believers and a huge encouragement to believers...oh how important it is.  I pray for us and for those of you reading this that we always remember the incredible importance this is and how it could never even come close to being achieved without seeking the Lord constantly

So as life goes on, as we get more and more busy, please pray for us.  For our love for the Lord to grow daily, for our relationship with the Lord to grow stonger daily, for our marriage to grow stronger daily, for us to love & respect unconditionally, for us to lift one another up in prayer daily, for us to always sacrifice, and always forgive, just as Christ did for each of us.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We're Married!!!

We're like that, one day we're not, the next day we're husband and wife! I'm a WIFE!! and I couldn't be happier. :-)
Our wedding was PERFECT. Everyone told me to expect something to go horribly wrong, but to not sweat it, but in my eyes nothing went wrong (at least that I know about). God truly blessed our day....His day. The ceremony was exactly how we had planned...beautiful, relaxed, personal, and most of all glorifying to God. And the reception was so fun! Praise God for a wonderful day and thank God for all the people who made it happen. We are truly blessed to have such helpful & serving friends and family.

We're already back from our honeymoon, which was AWESOME!! We staying in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains and shopped, hiked, skied, ice skated, ate, slept (alot), oh yeah, and I cut my hair...short. Now we're back and are about to start real life, with a routine and everything! haha...I'm ready for it though...the way I'm wired I couldn't have been on vacation much longer, but it was so nice and much needed.

The past 2 days we've been opening presents, putting away presents, moving the rest of James' stuff in, taking back gifts, exchanging gifts, and shopping with our gift cards! Tomorrow James will go back to work, I will go grocery shopping and clean and prepare for us to start school on Tuesday.

As we get settled into married life please PLEASE intercede for us through prayer. Pray that the Lord keeps our hearts and minds from being pushed around by Satan, pray that He gives us a burning desire for Him, for obeying Him, praying to Him, and reading His word. Pray that we pray together daily and strive to love one another through Christ's love for us. Pray.
Thank you!! Love you!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009


FIVE days...we're getting married in FIVE days!! this is unbelievable! I can remember when it was 150 days and the thought of that was almost unbearable! But it's finally here...the final week of our single days. Wow.

I'm trying so hard not to get wrapped up in the little things left to do, but instead to enjoy this time and frequently stop and think of how gracious God is.
James and I both don't deserve the amazing gift of marriage...of a lifelong companion that is by your side through the good and the bad times here on this foreign planet.

And I personally don't deserve a man like James. A strong, stable man, who is so confident in the Lord. What a blessing it is to know that through hard times, when I am stressed or afraid and have lost sight of how big the Lord is, that I have a man that will always point me back to Him, the only One that can give true comfort, peace, and understanding. I am SO blessed to have a TRUE man, a godly man. A man that finds his worth in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; not in the kind or amount of 'toys' he has, or in the things he does or does not do. A man that has a servant, kind, and loving heart for others because of the love that Christ has shown to him. A man that truly has the holy spirit and has been transformed by the powerful love and grace of Christ, yet who is humble and knows that he is but dust and who never forgets what God has saved him from.
I am often in awe of this man who I will spend the rest of my life with and I often see Christ's love fleshed out in his words and actions, which brings me to a deeper understanding of the Lord and brings me closer to Him. Oh, how I don't deserve this man, but how I thank God that He has chosen James to be the head over me and our family. And thank God that I long to be his wife, his helpmate and to do him good all the days of his life (and I pray for the strength and the ability to do this). I can't wait to start life with this man, and follow him wherever the Lord leads him, and see him constantly grow into the man God desires him to be. I adore this man, I love this man, and I respect this man. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!

P.S. I can't wait to see everyone on Saturday...what a joyous day it will be!!!!!