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Sunday School taught me that a Christian is a person who has “asked Jesus into their heart”, has done the ABC’s: accept, believe, confess.  I am wondering if this was perhaps an incomplete explanation of being a Christian (By “Christian” I mean one who follows Christ, not necessarily an adherent to the established religion called Christianity).

The Bible says that even the demons believe.  According to my upbringing (and I believe, according to Scripture), we are to accept Jesus as our “personal Lord and Savior”.  I’m definitely not the first one to say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious that many who call themselves Christians embrace the “Savior” part, while the “Lord” part falls by the wayside.  I think Jesus was pretty clear on expressing that he desired for the church (his bride) to be set apart, to be a light in the world, to be different from everyone else.  It looks like that’s where the Lord part comes in.

Being a Christian is not just accepting the potential risk and purchasing fire insurance.  It’s not a “get out of hell free” card that you get and keep for later.  It is obedience. 

Of course we aren’t perfect, and He knows that, and has already allowed for it within the gifts of grace and mercy.  However just because the parent of a 3-year-old knows that their child will not be perfect in obedience does not mean that the parent does not still expect it.  The parent expects obedience, but realizes that their child is not perfect.  If the standard was lowered, then would the child still have something to strive for, something to encourage continual improvement?  If the standard was lowered, then perhaps the behavior would worsen accordingly.

Just throwing a theory out here… perhaps the reason God holds such high standards for His children is to give us something to strive for.  It seems to be human nature to adjust our efforts to the expectations.  If the expectation is a fourth-year university-level paper, then we have a certain level of effort.  If however the expectation is an explanation of why you didn’t enjoy your chicken carbonara on a restaurant customer satisfaction survey, then you likely won’t be pulling an all-nighter surrounded by stacks of reference materials and resources, with your handy reference guide at hand to ensure your citations are correct.

That said, I want to ensure that my efforts in following Christ (which is simply a natural response to the grace that He has given to me) are less and less hampered by sin.  I want to be continually transformed to be more like Him, and for this I must resist the devil.  I must believe the Truth of Jesus Christ over the lies of Satan.  I choose to continually resist my sinful tendencies and allow Christ to mold me and use me, making me into the child He desires me to be.

Perhaps that’s a better definition of a real Christian.  It seems to have less to do with what you believe, and more with how you live.  Don’t get me wrong – I think certain beliefs are necessary for a Christian… but I do not think they are the foundation on which a Christian is judged.  As I mentioned above, even the demons believe.  So what makes us different?  I think it’s the way we live.

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I am amazed.  I just called Westjet to inquire about a booking for Sam and Bonnie (my bosses).  I dialed the 1-800 #, and a REAL live human being picked up right away, asking how she could help me.  It was so bizarre… no answering machine, no voice-recognition technology, no annoying options that never get you anywhere… just a real person.

I asked why that was, and said they weren’t having a very high volume of calls, so they were all just working away very efficiently today.

Amazing, just amazing.  My faith in the possibility of good customer service has been restored!  It is possible!  Take heed ye Rogers, ye Bell, ye, CIBC… take heed!

My January 11 Resolution (a new year’s resolution in disguise with approximately the same amount of motivation, much more intent, and way better reasoning than “the year just changed”).

I resolve to clean my house.  Realllllly well and regularly.  I’m talking wall-scrubbing, closet-weeding, window-washing, furniture-moving-and-dusting kind of cleaning.

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I know, I know, all of you super-organized clean freaks out there are currently wrinkling your noses in righteous indignation exclaiming to your computer screens, “ewww… I would never allow my cleaning to fall behind”…

But I gotta admit – I am an expert at leading a very busy life and allowing those dedication-requiring cleaning jobs to fall by the wayside.  So I resolve on this day of January 11 to make a cleaning schedule and stick to it.  I like cleaning – it makes me happy – therefore this should be a snap.  Furthermore, I resolve to use less and less chemical cleaners and more and more natural cleaners, eventually ridding my home of toxic cleaning chemicals altogether.

I’ll let you know next January 11 how the resolution goes.

(as written in an email by my husband, Chris)

As some of you may have heard Kenya is making major headlines right now in international news.  On December 27 a presidential election was held, the results of which have yielded Kenya’s closest presidential race in history.  Although President Kibaki has declared himself re-elected, his rival Raila Odinga has declared that the election was rigged and much violence has been the result.  To date over 300 people have been killed, and more violence is feared in the days ahead.  To make matters worse, I believe there is significant spiritual warfare taking place as one of Odinga’s suspected goals in seeking the presidency is to turn Kenya into a Muslim state, and institute Sharia law.  This would mean significant persecution of Christians, and the removal of all missionaries.

My wife Beth recently had the opportunity to travel to Kenya with Africa Inland Mission as part of her role as Short Term Assistant.  We both have many missionary friends living in and around Nairobi, and until now Kenya has been a very peaceful place for missionaries to be.  Just outside of Nairobi is a large missionary boarding school, Rift Valley Academy.  Missionaries and their families are keeping a low profile right now as their is some fear of targeted attacks against westerners.

Please join with us in prayer for the restoration of peace in Kenya.  We know that God is able to do mighty works even in the midst of crisis.  Please also pray for the many missionary families who are uncertain of what may come next, and especially for the many children who are away from their parents in boarding school.

If you would like more information, a good source is BBC Africa http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/default.stm

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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