Thursday, September 24, 2009

Missional Theology: Justification

I keep up with this fabulous website,

It's a great tool and resource to know what scripture teaches us about knowing Him and sharing His truth with others around us on a daily basis in our natural surroundings. Below is a great article about how important it is to know that we are Justified by Jesus Christ and we need to share this truth with others.

Below is an article from this website.

Knowing what is involved in justification and why it is necessary is extremely important, but it means nothing if it does not move us to mission. Realizing that we are justified by and before a holy God through Jesus should move us to invite others to experience the same justification. This should not be an aspect of theology that we casually graze over, but rather it should be a heart-felt mentality that we embrace deeply and live with consistently.

We can approach God confidently as a justified people because we are not coming to God based on our actions or ability to obey. Whether we are living in obedience, disobedience, good deeds, or bad deeds, we are still approaching God in the righteousness of Christ. On our best day we are unable to please God with our good deeds. In fact, God declares that our righteousness is like a filthy rag to God. While this belief of justification is common amongst evangelicals in theory, it is not usually lived out in practice. Most evangelicals, myself included, get so caught up in following moral checklists and rules that we forget the fact that if we are believers in Christ, we are standing in the righteousness of Christ. When we do all the right things, we are standing in the righteousness of Christ. When we fall into sin, we are standing in the righteousness of Christ.

I am not making a case for anarchy or disobedience for believers once we are saved. God makes it clear that he expects us to follow him in faithful obedience and to walk in good deeds all the days of our lives. However, I am saying that because God through Christ justifies us in salvation, our access and approach to God is never dependent upon our righteous, but rather the perfect righteousness of Christ. This is the beauty of justification. This is the truth that should cause us to fall at the feet of Jesus daily, thanking him for this gift of righteous.

The truth of justification also enables us to focus on Jesus and point others to Him. So many of us are so consumed with our sin struggles and our own righteousness that we do not have the time or the energy to minister and serve others. We often feel this way because we are bearing all of our sin and grief and do not have any room left to bear the sin and grief of others. The problem with this mentality that plagues so many of us is that we cannot bear our own sin, much less others. However, the beauty of justification is that Jesus bore all of our sin and actually became sin for us so we could be declared righteous. If we truly get the idea of justification in our lives, we will be able to listen to others and equip others to know Jesus and experience the justification he offers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

North Village Church

So we have officially started having Sunday services at North Village Church!! Not that it is about a Sunday service, but it's cool to be able to worship God together with music and teaching. So September 13th was our official 1st Sunday and this past Sunday was our 2nd service.

It's been such an encouragement to see God provide and open doors in the community and in people's hearts. It just confirms for me that this is where God wants us to be. It's sad to say I could not just trust that this is where God wants us to be, I had to have him show me by providing earthly securities of a place to meet, people, finances, and much more. I love that God is so graciously loving that in this learning time he lead me so gently.

We have three different "neighborhood gatherings" every week which has been a fun time of eating together, hanging out, and looking at scripture. We talk about hard questions and have an open environment to ask questions. We are all ok with not being ok. We know none of us are perfect so why try to hide our imperfections. We know we all have hurts and struggles and we don't have to hide them.

Check out the website to learn about more ways you can get plugged in.

Up coming events:

Back to School Supply Drive - September 13th

Austin Dog Fair 2.0 - October 17th

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

Friday, September 18, 2009

4 months!!

Ok, so Neela is officially 4 months! Crazy! I can't believe how quickly the time has pasted and how big she is. The other day I saw a 2 week old newborn and she was tiny! Neela was so much bigger. I just can't believe how she is growing and stealing my heart more everyday.

Fun New Deveopments:
- She started sucking her thumb.
- She puts her feet in her mouth. This is hilarious!
- She giggles a lot and sometimes I don't know what sets it off. The other day Tim and I took her on a walk outside and in the middle of our conversation she just started giggling so hard. It was so funny!
- She rolled over. (well, a little trouble with the top of her body :) )
- She likes to just watch me do things around the house.
- We starting to try to put her down at 8pm or 9pm and it works for the most part. She has trouble putting herself to sleep but once she is a sleep she sleeps until 7:30-8am.
- She is grabbing her "hanging toys"
- She loves to touch our faces.
- She loves the outdoors. She loves to look at trees. (she has loved the outdoors for awhile :) )
- When I pray with her she laughs. (i think she just thinks I am talking to her :) )

It has definitely been an adjustment for us to have a baby in our lives, but we wouldn't trade it for anything. To do date nights there has to be a lot more planning, nights can be unpredictable when putting her to bed, or going out to public places just takes a little more effort. But in the end, well worth it. She brings so much joy into our lives with every laugh and smile.

A few places she has been since she's been born:
- Dallas
- Nana and Nani's house
- Paw Paw and Mi Mi's house
- Chad Uncle and Shubhra Mausi's house
- The State Capitol
- The Almo
= The Riverwalk
- Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
- North Village Church (every Sunday :) )
- The City Church
- 6th Street (we are starting her young :) )
- Lake Austin
- Round Rock Baseball Team game
Just a few off the top of my head.

Yay for Neela's life. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sameer and April's Wedding

Sameer and April were married on August 22nd in Belton, TX. It was a beautiful outside wedding.

Neela was such a champ. She made it through the hot ceremony and enjoyed the cool evening of catching up with old friends and celebrating the day. This was her first outside wedding. She was so happy for Sameer Mamu.

Mr. and Mrs. Sameer Bhattacharya

Neela keeping herself busy. :)

Neela saw everyone else eating food and decided she needed to grub as well.

Is she not the sweetest baby ever!

Our fun family!

Ok, so this is a funny story. So Shubhra and I did not know what each other's dresses looked like or even the color. I bought my dress like 2 days before the wedding and she had bought hers a few weeks ago, but we got dresses that were the exact same color. It was so funny. We felt like we were secret bridesmaids. hee! hee!

Here is the happy couple.