Saturday, December 26, 2015

Why I am a Christian while Americans lose faith in God

By Ada Brownell

During Pope Francis’s visit to the United States, the media reminded us of the U.S. faith

crisis, showing almost empty and closed Catholic churches around the country
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A recent survey by Pew Research Center reported the percentage of Christians in America is declining. But the poll also found despite secularism in schools, government, and diminishing freedom of religion, 70 percent of Americans say they are Christians.
Why? Probably for reasons I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
Foremost, Jesus loves me and I love Him. God declares his love throughout the Bible.
 In a time of grieving 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.
My family, born-again one by one shortly after I, the eighth child, arrived, demonstrated when you have the Lord, you have everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
What happiness when I understood because of Jesus, I could live forever! That truth became more precious when our Carolyn died.  We’ll see her again.
Being a Christian gives me a desire to be part of something greater than myself. I tell others about Jesus; often help and love people in need; and give to credible charities.
 America would be a sad place without its Judeo-Christian influence. Religious people and organizations established most U.S. hospitals. Where I live, the Catholic Sisters of Mercy opened  Mercy Hospital in 1891. Cox Hospital started in 1906 when Ellen Burge donated a duplex to be used as a Methodist Hospital.
Many colleges and universities including Harvard and Yale were started by Christians as well as some early public schools.
Pastors and lay people visit those in jail, minister to the sick, comfort the dying and grieving, teach from the Bible how to live, have a good marriage, be a good parent, and how to get to Heaven. Being a Christian 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 shoved it over.
 We’ve had so many answers to prayer 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 suspected diseases. Jeanette, Jaron and grandchildren had serious episodes with asthma. Yet all are O.K.
Prayer isn’t always answered the way I hope. We lost Carolyn, but experienced God’s peace and comfort.
My confidence for the future is tied to my faith. Problems never outweigh God’s mercy and grace.
Ada Brownell is a retired newspaper reporter and free lance writer.