This website is about building a backyard observatory, favorite Bible verses, favorite quotes and astronomy videos.
Gateway to the Heavens
(Porta dei Cieli)
What is a Christian?
Have you ever wondered: “What exactly is a Christian?” Learning about Christianity will totally change your life in amazing and beautiful ways! Read on!
What is a Christian?
A Christian is a person who believes in and follows the teachings of the person known as Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is God’s son and messenger of God’s exuberant love. Jesus was sent by God to teach us about the world’s greatest love story. Jesus was a remarkable, real, flesh and blood person. While on earth, he lived among us in the country of Judea (now Palestine and Israel). God sent Jesus to teach us about God first-hand. While Jesus was on earth, he taught us many things about how to live a good life and even how we can live again after our physical life on earth is over. The great things Jesus taught while he was among us are recorded in many historical documents and detailed in a book known as the Bible. Through the Bible, Jesus tells us about God’s completely dependable, boundless love.
Why is Jesus so important?
God sent Jesus to us as a gift. While Jesus lived on earth, he not only taught us about God, but he also paid for all the wrong things we’ve done. The record of Jesus’ teachings and how he paid for our sins is written in the Bible. Jesus paved the way for us to have a personal relationship with God the Creator himself.
What do Christians believe?
Christians believe that God is real, alive and loves each one of us deeply. God loves us so profoundly that he sent his only son Jesus to live with us, teach us and take away our sins. Christians believe that God’s love for each of us is so deep that we are loved even though - and no matter what - we have done. God created everyone and loves everyone, regardless of our past. God longs for us to be with him. He has provided a way for us to be with him forever. Once we are connected with God, nothing can separate us from him, not even death itself. For those who believe in God, there is a reuniting of the spiritual and physical body after death.
Out of the generosity of God, each of us has been given special talents. Christians believe that a life with God brings out the best in those talents. As a Christian you will be empowered to blossom, adventurously expectant, into all the unique greatness that God meant you to have.
What is Grace?
Grace is an undeserved or unmerited love. God’s grace is that he forgives us and loves us even though we don’t always deserve forgiveness or love. You cannot work for this free gift - all you need to do is receive it – just as you are now. You don’t need to do good things before God begins to love you. God created you - he already loves you as his own precious child. It is God’s desire to bless all his children. You are an heir to all God’s abundance. God is patiently waiting for all of us to accept this free gift of passionate love. What a great feeling to know that God always loves you and that no one can ever take that gift from you.
What do Christians have that I might want?
● A life filled with purpose instead of emptiness; companionship rather than loneliness; strength and calmness rather than fear; hope instead of despair.
● A life with the blessing of forgiveness, healing from a hurt and bruised life and the promise of rest from heavy burdens.
● God’s dependable, inexhaustible supply of wisdom, hope, power, strength and an abundance of every good thing including unlimited help in dealing with real-life, everyday issues.
● A life where your capacity to face problems is not measured by your strength, but by God’s strength on your behalf.
● A higher purpose in life – much more than material success, public recognition, busy activities or acquisitions. A life with Jesus will get you swept up in a new life; a life more challenging, richer and bigger than you can imagine.
● A personal relationship with God and never-ending love from the great Creator. Fresh strength to deal with all the issues of the human heart.
● A full, whole life now and after death, forever with God.
● Real love, real peace, real joy.
Why should I be a Christian? Can’t I just clean up my act and do good things in life?
In a life without God, you will miss all the riches and abundance that the great Creator has already promised and planned for you. Your life, with God at the center, is the key to the treasure of wisdom, peace, confidence and fulfillment. And most importantly, ever-lasting life after your earthly life is finished.
What if I admit my wrongs … and God forgives me … but I goof up and do something wrong again?
God is the master of new beginnings and second chances. We’re all imperfect and there are no perfect Christians … everyone makes mistakes, and everyone can be forgiven. Doing wrong things separates us from God and mending our wrongs brings us closer to God. We are all human and sometimes we still make poor choices even after we accept Jesus into our lives. The key is to clean house, persist in trying to become better; keep asking Jesus for guidance, and keep God at the center of our life. A life with Jesus is a life of constant renewal, growth and beautiful transformation.
How do I become a Christian?
1. Embrace the reality that God loves you unconditionally.
2. Align your life with Jesus and place your trust in him to be the leader of your life from today on.
How can I talk with God about all the things that are on my mind?
It’s easy. You can talk directly to God, anytime, anywhere, in your own words. There are no right or wrong words to use when you talk to God. God knows what you need even before you ask. You can talk with God silently or out loud. You can share all your troubles, difficulties, sorrows, happiness and joys with God. Talking with God is called prayer. God always answers your prayers – although prayers are sometimes answered in very unexpected and astonishing ways that we may not immediately understand.
If I want to become a Christian, what do I do? … Dive in!
Right Living - Once you become friends with God, you’ll want to live life in a way that pleases God. The Bible will teach you the values and principles that you’ll want to follow with obedient trust. You’ll want to love and serve God like you would love and serve your very best friend – not because you have to, but because you want to.
Find a church to connect with others in learning more about God and how to love one another. In church you can energize and renew yourself each week and get encouragement from new friends. In church you will learn the important traditions that Jesus asked us to follow. Through church, your many God-given talents will blossom, and together with other Christians, you can make a real difference where you live and in the world.
Share the priceless, good news that you will find in Jesus with other people who are unaware of the wonderful, free gift of God’s love. Go out into the world and share the good news – loving God means loving one another and helping others live well. Since we are all God’s children, we are all brothers and sisters. The world is desperately hungry for the love and joy that you will find in Jesus Christ!
Offer Gifts – It is an honor to serve God with your gifts of time, talent and money. God is an extravagant provider and it is good to return a portion of the abundance we receive. Giving from your newfound abundance is simply a faithful response to your loving relationship with God.
Study the Bible - God gave us the Bible as a way to get to know him. The more we know, the stronger and more fulfilling our relationship will become. In the Bible, God outlines the good things that make life rewarding and the things that we should stay away from that will mess up our lives. Some Bible translations are written in styles more easily understood than others. A popular translation of the Bible is the “New Revised Standard Version.” An even easier-to-read version is called “The Message” which is written in a modern, conversational style. There are versions of the Bible that have comments written in the margins to help explain what you’re reading like the “New International Version Student Bible.” There are also many versions of the Bible on CD’s. Finally, churches have Bible study groups where you join with others in reading and learning what God has to say.
Pray and Listen – You can and should talk and listen to God any time of the day or night. Here are four prayers to help get you started.
● Heavenly Father, I don’t want to live a life separated from You. I want to be loved by You forever. Today and from now on, I place my life in Your hands, knowing that You will love me, forgive me and never abandon me. I know that with You, there is no problem too big and I will rely on You to lead me through any difficulty. I know that a life with You will not just be a full life, but a life of overflowing abundance and peace. Thank you for Your promise to give me all that I need and more. In Jesus’ name I pray these things. Amen.
● Jesus, I know that I’ve lived an imperfect life. But I believe Your promise that You will forgive my shortcomings. Jesus, please come into my life, heal my wounds, make me whole, and stay with me forever. Pull my life together and keep me out of harm’s way. I ask that You heal me inside and out. I accept my place in the world as Your precious child. I place my trust in You alone and I accept Your free gifts of forgiveness, everlasting love and Your promise of life with You after this life is done. Amen.
● Loving God, I want You in my life. I’m sorry for any hurts that I’ve created in other people. Thank You for loving me even though I haven’t lived a faultless life. I accept Your promise of forgiveness. I know that with You, I can become the whole person You want me to be and that, with You, I will lack no good thing. I invite you to plant in me what you would have me do in this life. Thank You for giving me a fresh start and a zest for life. Help me to be more like You in everything I say and in everything I do. I know that it is Your will to give me a life that is valuable, worthwhile and full. In Jesus’ name I ask these things. Amen.
● Gracious God, I know that I have not always lived a right life and I’ve chosen my ways over Your ways. I have not given You a chance to lead my life. Right now I want to put my trust in You. I want to follow You and I want You to lead me. I want to begin living a new life under Your great plan, not mine. Please give my life and my work meaning. Thank You for forgiving my wrongs and for promising to take care of me now and forever. I know that with You on my side, I can triumph over all obstacles including death itself. I pray these things in Jesus’ name; through whom all things are possible. Amen.