Thursday, August 6, 2015

WHY SEVEN IN TEN AMERICANS CHOOSE TO BE CHRISTIANS


Why seven in ten Americans choose to be Christians
By Ada Brownell
Despite antagonistic secularism in our schools, government, and diminishing freedom of religion, 70 percent of Americans say they are Christians, according to Pew Research Center.
Why?
Probably for the reasons I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ.

Foremost, Jesus loves me and I love Him. God declares his love throughout the Bible, even in Old Testament books where his laws are written.
 In a time of discouragement I complained to the Lord, “Heaven is so silent!”
An answer flowed through my being. “I demonstrated my love for you on the cross and that message still resonates around the world.”
My sins were forgiven when I accepted Jesus as Savior, but redemption goes beyond freedom from slavery to sin. It changed who I am.

I gave up my selfishness and greed. My name has been published many places, but I’ve never wanted to be famous. I grew up in extreme poverty, but never desired riches. My family, born-again one by one shortly after I, the eighth child, was born, demonstrated when you have the Lord, you have joy, love, and everything you need.
What happiness I experienced when I understood because of Jesus, I could live forever! That truth became even more precious when our Carolyn died of cancer. I rejoiced because we’ll see her again.
Being a Christian gives me a purpose in life: a desire to be part of something greater than myself. I’ve done this by telling others about Jesus, by helping and loving those in need, and by giving to solid Christian organizations that bless others.
Ada Brownell a few years ago
America would be in sad shape without its Judeo- Christian heritage. Charities housed and fed the homeless and hungry around the world for centuries. Many colleges and universities including Harvard and Yale were started by Christians, as well as some early public schools. Hospitals were established by religious people and organizations, In Pueblo, Parkview is Episcopal and St. Mary-Corwin is Catholic.
Pastors and lay people visit those in jail, minister to the sick, comfort the dying and grieving. They teach from the Bible how to live, have a good marriage, be a good parent, and how to get to Heaven. The ministry of the church probably has a lot to do with my marriage of 62 years and children that serve the Lord.
The power of prayer greatly affects me, too.
  “Jesus!” I cried when our car with almost slick tires wandered head-on toward a semi-truck on an icy mountain pass. Our vehicle moved into the correct lane as if a hand had shoved it over.
 We prayed when our Gary and his family traveled through a blizzard toward Denver. He could see cars crashing into each other ahead. To avoid an accident, he drove off the interstate into deep snow outside Colorado Springs.
 A friend from Denver was there within minutes with his four-wheel drive vehicle.  “Gary! Fancy seeing you here.”
 Gary, his wife and small children were soon safe in a warm motel.
We’ve had so many answers to prayer over the years I can’t name them all. Gwen was thought to have multiple sclerosis. Tests showed Gary had only 40 percent kidney function. Jaron Craig had symptoms of leukemia. Later tests showed our children did not have the expected disease. Jeanette, Jaron and grandchildren had serious episodes with asthma. Yet all are O.K.
Prayer isn’t always answered the way we hope. We lost Carolyn to cancer, but experienced the peace and comfort we‘re told about in God’s Word.
My confidence for the future is tied to my faith. The world’s problems never outweigh God’s mercy and grace for those who follow him.
This article is reprinted from The Pueblo Chieftain in Pueblo, Colo., on July 25, 2015.

Ada Brownell is a retired reporter for The Chieftain.