Another first for Sumana: carving pumpkins. Of course, it was the cleaning out of the pumpkin that she attempted. I tried the carving part. What a bummer, though, we had no sharp knives in the house. Her pumpkin is one of the homeliest one's I've ever seen! But now she knows about carving pumpkins for Halloween.
Tonight we went to Crosswinds for the evening service. I'm soooo glad we went. The new pastor, Joe Roberts, shared a really challenging message. I've always struggled with the idea that Christianity seems to tell people, " You've messed up. You need to get right with God and get your ticket to heaven." That's it. Joe quoted a source that really resonated with Andrew and me. He said this view is like an item that has a bar code. Once it's scanned, 'Blip,' it's good to go. Is that all there is to Christianity? 'Blip' . . .you're good to go????
Joe shared God's original plan, His dream, for this world. He started in Genesis. God created the world and the things in it for us to care for. He had a plan, an order so that everything would exist in harmony. Jump ahead to Revelation. God makes His throne among His people, here on earth. His dream is fulfilled. All the stuff in between Genesis and Revelation is how we messed up and God had to fix it; how He had to make a plan to get us back to His original dream.
Now I don't want you to get me wrong. Forgiveness is still important. Trusting in the work of Christ on the cross is still paramount. However, focusing on that and making that one-time decision the bulk of your faith is selling yourself (and God) short. He wants us to LIVE life here and now . . . to find fulfillment in what we do now . . . not just floating through life waiting to get to the 'end'. He wants to use us NOW and throughout eternity.
I was really jazzed to hear this view of Christianity. It makes so much sense. It still addresses the need for Christ to make us right with God, but it also addresses the needs we face everyday and the needs of the world around us. Once we are made right with God, He can use us and we can impact our world for Him. Please check out Joe's message for yourself at crosswindsonline.org
PS-11/1/09- I just looked at my notes from last time Joe spoke. The bottom line: it's not just about accepting Jesus . . . it's about following Him.