letters for life


My church has  a group of youth that are pro-life. Our goal is to spread awareness about abortion and God’s view on it, and eventually end abortion in Canada forever. We were told about Letters4Life. Letters4Life is a campaign to write 100, 000 letters to our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, by May 10, the annual March for Life on Parliament Hill. I encourage you to do this, because your letter could save an unborn baby’s life.

Please take a moment to save lives. Postage is free, and you can even send a form letter if you’d like, signed by you.

 

Go here to make a difference!

happiness or joy?


Most of us would agree with this. Choose happiness. well, yeah. happiness is bien. God wants us to be happy, obviously. umm…maybe not.

My pastor raised an interesting point: what if God doesn’t want us to be happy…but joyful?

Happiness is external; joy is internal.

Happiness is based on chance; joy is based on choice.

Happiness is based on circumstance; joy is based on Christ.

– Pastor Gord (:

God doesn’t desire happiness for us because happiness is simply an emotion. It does not last, it can be stolen by the smallest things, and can quickly turn to sadness. Then you’re happy again…sad…then happy…you get the idea. If the Christian life was about being happy, many Christians would live unsatisfied lives. Imagine you were being persecuted harshly by the government, and a fellow Christian walked up to you, offered a big smile and said, “Be happy!!”, chances are you’d feel like punching them.

But if you are a Christian and are joyful, there is so much more! Joy overcomes the constant up-and-down of happy, sad, happy, sad emotions.

But joy alone is about as useful as happiness. Your joy needs to come from the Lord; otherwise it is of no worth.

Having the joy of the Lord is what separates us from the false joy of idols of other religions. From the temporary pleasure of watching Hollywood movies, Saturday night talk-shows. From music, sports…pretty much anything in this world (including shopping).

Bottom line: nothing and no one can give us joy except for the Father.

God’s joy will always bring you happiness, but happiness will not always bring joy — in fact, it very rarely will.

So what exactly is joy? Joy is a perspective that comes from knowing God is in control, no matter what.

I love 1 Peter 1:8 – 9:

…you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

In Philippians 1:9 – 11, Paul writes,

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.

Paul didn’t pray that they would be happy, he prayed that they would love each other more and more so that they might serve God better — which comes with joy.

Joy is not a quick-and-easy emotion like happiness. It takes time to cultivate a true joy in God, and there’s no way we can do it on our own. We need to recognize that God is joyful. If God is truly in us, we will allow His joy to shine through us for the world to see. Releasing your problems to the Lord takes the worry and negativity out of our lives and allows us to experience His joy more completely. Who can be joyful when a cloud is hanging over their head all the time? Most importantly, though: remain close to Jesus. Getting to know God will deepen your relationship with Him and help you learn more about Him. Ask Him to use you to shine His joy to everyone.

Joy is the evidence of God in your life.

double agents: the secret life of a Christian


More and more I’ve noticed how Christians act. One thing that has struck me is how Christians often live double lives.

What I mean by this is how Christians often tend to act one way at church at act another way at work or school.

When I became a Christian (when I was little!) I basically became a Christian because I wanted to go to Heaven, and I knew I had to accept Jesus into my heart in order to do so. I accepted Jesus into my heart twice (I didn’t think I was serious the first time). I struggled with doing devotions on a regular basis because I didn’t want to do them.

Despite my salvation in Jesus, I didn’t become a Christian until this year.

“Hold on. If you’ve accepted Jesus into your heart and made Him your Savior, you’re a Christian. So why weren’t you a Christian until several years after you asked Him into your heart?!”

When I became a Christian, I understood God’s end of it. I’m a sinner, so I can never go to Heaven ’cause it’s perfect and so is God. God sent His Son Jesus to Earth to die for us (John 3:16!) so that we can go to Heaven with Him when we die. In return we need to try to do what is right all the time and we learn what’s right through the Bible. When I became a Christian, I did it because it was the right thing to do. Still, I somehow never felt like a true Christian. I always knew something was missing.

But I now realize that being a Christian is so much more! It means literally giving your whole life to God. I have to not just be a good person, but I have to dedicate my whole life to God. And that goes beyond going to church and singing during worship, taking sermon notes and being involved in all the church functions.

That means getting rid of anything in my life that doesn’t give glory to God.

This means a serious self-check. All aspects of your life — music, friends, books, magazines, clothes, activities — need to be checked for Christ-compatibility. If it isn’t for God, weed it out.

I’m not saying that God is completely opposed to every secular piece of music out there. But I think that as Christians, we too often try to get by rather than to be unwilling to compromise. Our idea of doing what’s right it toeing the line instead of fleeing.

Romans 12:9 says,

Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.

*Note: anything that isn’t FOR God is AGAINST God; thus anything that isn’t completely for Him is evil because God is good.

Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

That’s pretty much everything in your life.

Being a Christian isn’t just something you do on Sunday mornings with just your soul. It’s something that shows in every area of your life. Like an elder at my church said, “It’s easy for me to be a Christian on Sunday, in the presence of other believers; but what about the other six days of the week in the workplace or school?

One person’s testimony goes like this:

I was trying to get this kid [who wasn’t a Christian] on my basketball team to come out to church with me one Sunday morning or youth. He never wanted to go, but I kept bugging him. Finally he said to me, “Why would I want to come to church or youth? What’s so special about them? You’re no different than I am; if they’re so good, how come you’re the same as me?” This really hit home for me because I realized that even though I claimed to be a Christian and salt and light, I was really no different in my actions than anyone else at school.

If we are called to be salt and light but act the same as other non-Christians, how will they ever see the Light?

Jesus literally wants us to be different from others. At school, I don’t do anything that other kids do that goes against my faith in Jesus. My friends notice this. I’ve been called “innocent” and “perfect.” I know I’m the farthest from those but I’m happy that my friends notice a difference. I’ve chosen to take their observations as a compliment, because it shows I’m succeeding in being set apart for Christ.

If we can’t follow Jesus with everything in us, we will never be a true Christian. I had to realize this before I felt like a real Christian.

God doesn’t require just your soul, or just your heart, or just your mind, or just your Sundays, or just your Bible reading.

He requires all of you.

gay or straight?


Today, we live in a culture which supports homosexuality. In public high schools, we see gay-straight alliance clubs. Mandatory gay-straight alliance assemblies. Posters advertising equality. Laws supporting same-sex marriage. Protests against “homosexual prejudice.” Everywhere we turn, we see more and more people supporting the new fad of homosexuality — and not only that, but encouraging it.

As Christians, we are commanded to be a light to the world. We can easily be tempted to join these groups. It seems right. After all, they’re advertising equality. Freedom. Peace. That’s what God supports too, isn’t it?

He does…but He doesn’t support homosexuality. There isn’t much the Bible says about homosexuality…but what it does say isn’t good.

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

– Romans 1:25 – 27 (NIV)

These desires to practice homosexuality are called shameful, unnatural, and indecent, and those who practiced these things  “received…due penalty for their perversion.”

God doesn’t have anything good to say about it.

Some might argue, “This is Paul’s opinion; after all, this is just a letter he sent to some other people. God didn’t actually say that…” (I don’t believe this statement because I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and God-inspired, and God would not have allowed it into the Bible if He didn’t want it in there.)

Leviticus 18:22 —

Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

I doubt it could get much clearer than that…

You can read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. When Lot took in two travellers (who were actually angels) for the night, people from all over Sodom came, pressuring Lot to send them out so they could rape these men.

God burned the cities with fire from heaven.

Obviously He was a little displeased.

1 Corinthians 6:9 – 10 reads,

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

As Christians, we need to take a stand against homosexuality. We need to stand out, against the darkness of the world, and call it wrong. We need to be God’s light in a world of chaos and darkness.

Some people believe that homosexuals are fine. Some believe that some people are born that way — therefore, it’s acceptable.

I don’t believe either of these things because I don’t think that God would allow any one of us to be born that way. While we are sinners, I think we make the decision to be homosexual — consciously or not. Some are more “prone” to it, you might say — are tempted easier. Others are “straight” and are not attracted to the same sex.

Regardless, homosexuality is wrong and “detestable” in God’s sight. As Christians, we need to stand firm in our faith and take the same stand against homosexuality.

However, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that we should look down on homosexuals. I’m not saying we should treat them with less respect than “straight” people. We need to treat them with the same respect, love, and kindness as anyone else we encounter.

For in God’s eyes, we are all sinners — not one of us is better than anyone else.

We need to hate the sin; not the sinner.

On the YouTube video “180 Movie,” the interviewer asks an interviewee, “Have you ever looked at someone with lust before?”

The girl replies, “No, I’m gay.”

That doesn’t mean that she’s never looked at someone with lust! Just because the person you’re lusting after isn’t of the opposite sex does not mean that you haven’t lusted. Looking at anyone with any type of sexual interest is lust.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking your sin is okay, or that it’s not actually sin. Come clean before God.

Take a stand against homosexuality, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will be rewarded for your actions.

Emily-Sue