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Faith Journey Map

Holly Ross' Faith Journey Map for Created and Called for Community with Dr. Miller. (8AM TR). Due 2/19/13

Holly Ross

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Faith Journey Map

My Faith Journey Born into the Gaithersburg Church of the Nazarene family Messiah College I grew up in a Nazarene church (a Wesleyan denomination). My whole family attended, and I always went to Sunday School, Kid's Church, and VBS. When I was four years old, I "asked Jesus into my heart" during church musical practice. My family always prayed together before meals and whoever was putting me to bed prayed with me too. Early on, I was able to understand that God was meant to be an important part of our lives. One of my childhood friends and neighbors decided when he was in eighth grade that he wanted to be wicken. This intimidated my middle school self. I knew that some people didn't believe in the Christian God, but I had never considered that people in the United States adhered to other religious beliefs. Soon I began to realize that I needed to be able to defend my faith or at least explain it to those who asked. Being Exposed to Different Views In seventh grade I was convinced to join my church's Bible quizzing team. This gave me the motivation necessary to spend time in the Word daily and commit large portions of it to memory. It also allowed me to dive into fellowship with the other Nazarene teenagers in our district.
As a result, I was encouraged to attend the district teen camp. Not only was it more fun than I had imagined, but I was blown away by the worship services and learned that my job as a Christian wasn't done once I had accepted Christ. We're all called to dedicate our whole lives to serving him and furthering his Kingdom. A very influential verse for me my first of six years of camp was Luke 9:23. Maturing in the Church Above is my favorite Bible verse. More recently I've begun to find my identity in my faith. As I entered high school, I was willing to allow people to know without a doubt that I was Christian. I was hoping that people would notice I was different, and that they would make the connection between my actions and my cross necklace or Christian T-shirt. Also, I finally shared my testimony and was baptized, a public confession of my faith. "He must become greater; I must become less."
-John 3:30, NIV Since arriving at Messiah, my perspective on many aspects of my spirituality has already changed. In my molecular and cellular biology class, we read a book by Francis Collins that is making me seriously consider the validity of evolution. Thankfully, I now know how it's possible to reconcile faith and science. Also, I've had the opportunity to try new churches and find what my own personal beliefs are as opposed to the beliefs I grew up under. It's been a learning experience as I discover different people's interpretations of the perfection of Scripture, the role of women in the church, and more. I can't wait to learn more about how to find my identity and life purpose in Christ while I continue my education here and learn to love the Lord with my mind. Holly Ross
Dr. Miller Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23, NIV Nazarene Youth Conference 2011 Best week of my life. Controversial Issues At this gathering of over 6,000 teenagers, I was encouraged to see so many people my age just as passionate as me about God. We performed service projects in Louisville, worshiped God together, and heard from several amazing speakers like Francis Chan and Reggie Dabbs. The theme, "A World Unbroken" shaped my worldview. I came to realize how everyone is in need of God's redemptive love and that we are broken so that we can help unbreak others and restore to world to its intended holiness. The atmosphere was incredible. Looking back, it was probably one of the reasons I decided to go to a Christian college. Back at school, a friend I'd had since second grade told me she was lesbian. She was struggling with her faith because she didn't think it was possible to find a church that found homosexuality permissible. Consequently, I was forced to evaluate my own beliefs and to search for God's position in her newfound identity. I was surpised to learn that she had originally been afraid to come out to me because she was worried that I wouldn't be her friend anymore. I've learned that regardless of how the church feels about her new identity, she still needs to be shown God's love.
Then we began to discuss evolution in biology. I found myself disagreeing with macroevolution, not wanting to believe that God didn't make humans individually as opposed to merely making one common ancestor. On my own time I read Lee Strobel's book "A Case for a Creator" and was encouraged by the ability of many scientists to retain their Creationist beliefs.
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