To Glorify Christ – Christ is the true head of the church and we seek to glorify Him and worship Him. (Jude 1:25)
To Reach the lost with the true gospel of Jesus by sharing our story of salvation and the story of Christ’s sacrifice. (Mark 8:35)
To Imitate Christ in every aspect of life and share with him in his sufferings. (Phil 3:10)
To Pursue a life of spiritual discipline and obedience to God’s written word. (Heb 12:8)

(Formerly Gateway International Student Ministries)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are you ready to be honest with God?

OK, this is serious. We walk around in America acting like we all believe in God. The survey we saw said 90% of Americans believe in God and 80% of Americans say they are Christians. WHAT?! Ok, so why then is this country so filled with SIN? Why is it that people can walk around in America and NOT HEAR THE NAME OF JESUS ALL AROUND US?! Well?

The answer:


Oh, yeah. We are all guilty of pretending, just like Ananias & Sapphirra did in Acts 5. They did really get the God thing so they said, "I don't really want to change my life, so I'll just pretend." How often do we do that?

Well, it a serious sin. Ananias & Sapphirra were lying to God. They were pretenders. One life on the outside, one life on the inside. What happened to them? God struck them dead. DEAD. All for lying. What would we do if we would have the same punishment for lying? The same punishment for pretending?

Guys we are all out there pretending in this life. Pretending that we are followers of Christ. Like we are different from the world. WE ALL HAVE DONE IT. But guess what. YOU DON'T HAVE TO PRETEND. For real. We'll come back to that in a bit. Let's look at a few other things...

1. Fake Christianity does NOT save your soul. It does not change the hearts of sinful people. The only thing that will save you is Christ. When we pretend, we substitute other junk for Christ. On ony Sunday morning you'll here some guy on TV talking all about money, money and more money. You can watch this guy for a month of shows and that's the whole message - money. Guess what. Money is not the gospel. Prosperity is not what changes you from the inside. Christ does. Only Christ. No one or no thing can completely change your thinking, your actions, and even your desires! Only CHRIST!! Jesus is the gospel and the gospel is what changes people. That's why Jesus told us to preach the gospel! Did Jesus say preach about money? Healing? Music? NO!!! He said preach the gospel. Dude, all that means is to tell people about your life in Jesus!!!! Tell people that you believe in Jesus' death on the cross for your sins. ONLY THEN will people change.

2. Fake Christianity does NOT make you holy. It does not cause you to turn away from your sins. The only thing that will make you holy is Jesus. (detect a theme?) You see, if we really had an encounter, an experience with Christ, then we would be totally different in out thinking, in our actions, and in our speaking. If we were really surrendered to God our lives would be so different from the sinful people around us that we would be constatnly drawing others to us. If we were actually like Christ, we wouldn't be ABLE to stay the same old person we've always been. We wouldn't lust after our cell phone, internet, tv, and backstab our friends. Instead, we would love Jesus and want to tell others about him. We would be reading the Bible at every chance. We would stop listening and watching the evil music, movies, and tv shows. We would hate sin and never want to do it. We would stop talking about our friends like they were trash. We would CHANGE!!!! Real Christianity causes CHANGE. We would clean up the things around us and want others to be clean, too!

Ok, so what the heck. What's the point?

Here it is...

If you have two lives (church life & real life, inside & outside) you are slowly killing yourself. Your soul is dying because you know what is true and you do something different. We can't do this! Jesus didn't die for you to just miss it and spend eternity in hell. He died for you to be saved from your sin.

Your next step is easy, but the folliwing life is hard.
1. Ask God to forgive you and belive that Christ died for you and all your sins - even your fake, lying Christianity.
2. STOP LYING TO GOD. That's the hard part. You have to do this every day for the rest of your life. He'll forgive you if you do, but we still have to do it.

Here's the prayer we prayed (it's from the book Real Followers):

My Prayer to God

God, please search my heart. Lord, I want to be honest. I pretend a lot, wanting to be safe, to fit in, to be accepted, and to be liked. I confess that I have wanted to preserve my image at the cost of whole-heartedly following you. I have remained silent in the presence of lies out of fear of rejection.

I confess that many of my actions are motivated by trying to live up to the expectations of others or by my own stubborn determination to build a life without you.

I don’t want virtual Christianity – existing in effect but not in fact. I come now to ask you to fill the voids in my life with the spirit of Jesus, so that I can worship and live in spirit and in truth. When people see me, I’d like them to know that I’ve been with Jesus.

Please hear this prayer as the expression of my heart. Father, separate me from the pretender who’s deep down inside. Amen.

We love you.
Jonathan & Kara

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cell Phone vs. The Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones? What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it? What if we flipped through it several times a day? What if we used it to receive messages from the text? What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it? What if we used it as we traveled? What if we used it in case of an emergency? What if we upgraded it to get the latest version?

This is something to make you go...hmmm...where is my Bible?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we dont ever have to worry about our bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Real Followers?

So what do think about all this real follower business? Do you think we need to shape up? Do you think we're doing things just fine as followers of Christ?

Can people tell the difference in you? Do they really KNOW that you are a Christian without you saying it?

Tonight we talked about taking a dive into the life Jesus has to offer. We just can't have it the way the world says and the way Jesus says. We just can't do life both ways - like the sinful world one day and like a holy disciple the next. What the heck?

Following Jesus takes a radical change in our life. We have to have change in the way we act, the way we talk, the way we think, the way we do EVERYTHING! Jesus didn't water it down like we do today. We say "being Christian is easy, just accept Jesus" but Jesus said "give it all up or you can't be my follower!" Woah! GIVE IT ALL UP! But here's the cool thing. When we give up our natural behaviors for a life with Jesus, He is going to change us from the inside. Soon, if we really commit ourselves to Him, we will no longer WANT all the junk the world has for us. Seriously!

But here's another thing - we can't just wait around until "we feel like it" or until the cows come home. Following Jesus requires us to do it - RIGHT NOW! Yeah, that's right. Christ is calling us, NOW. We have to answer, NOW. Following Christ, acting like Jesus, being a new person - none of these is easy or even convenient. But we have to answer! Changing what we watch on tv and listen to on the radio is not something we really WANT to do. If we keep doing it then our Christianity is fake. Oops. I said it. That's right. You can NOT worship God in one second (at church) then listen to filth on the radio the next second (on your way home from church)! If you are not totally disgusted by the bad stuff around you, then you need to examine your heart!

So let's have a look inside this week. Seek God. Ask yourself if you are changed, totally radically turned up-side-down for Jesus. JUMP!!!!

Once you dive into a life with Jesus, you can't help but be changed. Don't think your change brings you close to God. That's not the way it works. Know that being close to God is what makes you change.

Say NO to - I change then God loves me.
Say YES to - God loves me then I change.

You see, an encounter with God is what makes you change. You can't do it! Whew! So get going, start seeking God and He will totally change you!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Think for yourself...

So, Wednesday night was awewome! We had all kinds of discussion going on about everything from tattoos to predestination. Where does that ever happen? It seemed like you were all excited about what what your peers were bringing into the conversations. So we have some questions...

  1. Were you challenged in your current thinking?
  2. Based on the many views that other students presented, do you think it is important to read the Bible?
  3. Why?
  4. Were you challenged to love other Christians even if they are at a different church?
  5. What did you think about the statements in your student notes page?
  6. What was the most important NEW thing you learned?

Get some answers in here quick!

Poll: Faith, Family Make Youth Happy

Article Date: Aug 31, 2007

Poll: Faith, Family Make Youth Happy

A newly-released survey by The Associated Press and MTV suggests religion and family are the top two factors in the happiness of U.S. 13 to 24 year-olds. Lisa Pearce, investigator for the National Study of Youth and Religion, told AP, "It's easier for kids who are happy and have things going well in their life to find the time and energy to participate in religion."

The survey asked more than 100 questions of 1,280 people aged 13-24. It found 80 percent of those who call religion or spirituality the most important thing in their lives say they are happy, compared to 60 percent who say faith isn't important to them, Ecumenical News International reported.

Forty-four percent said religion and spirituality is very important, 21 percent responded somewhat important, 20 percent said it plays a small part in their lives and 14 percent said it plays no role. Pearce, assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, said "It could be kids who have bad experiences in church end up leaving and being unhappy with religion."

When it comes to spirituality, 68 percent percent agreed with the statement, "I follow my own religious and spiritual beliefs, but I think that other religious beliefs could be true as well." Thirty-one percent responded, "I strongly believe that my religious beliefs are true and universal, and that other religious beliefs are not right."

Spending time with family was the top answer to the question, "What brings you happiness?" followed by spending time with friends, then with another person.

Check CR Online for the original story.