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Charlotte Pence on Her Time as an Atheist, and What Solidified Her Faith in Christ

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Many Christians across the nation identify closely with the deeply faithful Second Family, led by outspoken Christian and Vice President Mike Pence.

The Pence family have been outspoken proponents of biblical values and rarely shy away from publically declaring their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Vice President and Karen Pence have even been criticized and some would say mocked for their close adherence to strict standards for how they spend their time with members of the opposite sex, but in today’s hyper-sexualized world where the bonds of marriage are often belittled, many admire the Second Couple’s commitment to their clearly strong marriage.

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Together, they’ve raised three children, and some Pence critics may be surprised to find that when it comes to faith, they’ve always encouraged their children to find their own path.

This, of course, will likely add to the respect many Christian parents may already feel for the Pence family, as while we may all worry about our children’s salvation, at the end of the day, all we can truly hope and pray for is that they find their way to the Throne of Christ in a truly authentic way.

This is what happened to Charlotte Pence, the Pences’ 25-year-old daughter, who details the twists and turns her path to faith has taken in her life, and what ultimately led her to a solid faith in Jesus in her recently-released book, Where You Go: Life Lessons From My Father.

In an interview with Christian Post, she shared how despite an upbringing that was immersed in biblical values, she still had to find her own way to His throne:

Having gone to DePaul University in Chicago for undergraduate studies, Pence spent her junior year studying at the University of Oxford in England in 2015. Her experience at Oxford is one in which she has blogged about but also one that caused her to seriously question the religious beliefs and traditions in which she was brought up.

While at Oxford, Pence admits that she “turned away from God” and had “not wanted anything to do with religion.” But at the same time, she felt like God was coming after her.

“I was interested in atheism for a while,” she told CP. “I wasn’t as interested in Christianity. As I say in the book, that left me with more questions than answers.”

In a chapter titled “Let Your Faith be a Uniting Force,” Pence recalled that she was “floating” on her own without God and thought she was fine during her time at Oxford.

“I had become interested in atheism and spent much of the year reading from thought leaders in this area,” she wrote in the book. “I was interested in other types of ideas, ones I had not been raised in. I stopped going to church and reading my Bible.”

Pence added that she even avoided seeing “religious friends” and “wanted to do life without God.”

“I believed I didn’t need him but as the year went on, I felt increasingly hopeless,” Pence wrote. “I think I still believed in God, but I wanted to try living without the burden of religious ideas. I thought my questions would go away or be answered. I thought maybe I would no longer care and I would be able to live in an agnostic way. Maybe a part of me even wished I could, but atheism didn’t answer any questions I had.”

Through this time, Pence credits her parents’ for their patience and understanding as she grappled with these topics.

“They were definitely very understanding,” she said. “I know that they have always shown me just what an example of unconditional love really looks like. They were always willing and open to talk about any questions I had about their faith. They were definitely present in my life at that time. Ultimately, my faith had to just become my own and once it did, there was really no going back for me.”

Pence says that reading theologians like C.S. Lewis and Alister McGrath helped her find her way back to God, but a family trip to Israel during her time at Oxford had the biggest impact.

“I believe it was my time spent in Israel where I truly became a Christian, where my faith was solidified for me,” Pence wrote. “I had always had faith, but it became my own there and I have never really turned back since coming into this realization.”

In Israel, many of the people no matter their religion “acknowledge the truth of the history of the Bible,” she noted.

“They recognize the events took place,” she said. “They just don’t necessarily agree on all the details.”

“I felt a serious camaraderie and connection with these people,” she added. “It was as if we were all on the same journey, and we had converged on one path for a particular point in time. I walked down that path and listened to their stories and experiences. We discussed the importance of faith in each of our lives and found commonality in our shared traditions.”

She said that it was on the plane ride back, she found herself turning back to God, and asked Him to take her back.

I was on a plane, listening to a religious song, and I began to cry,” she explained. “In that moment, I came home to my Savior, to my friend, I understood. I needed Him and He took me back with open arms. This incredible feeling of acceptance and renewal is one I can not put into words, I cannot recreate, I cannot justify. It just is. It is a free gift, and one I cannot live without. And I have never been more sure of anything.”

As parents, it is our job to lead our children in the way they must go, but their relationship with Christ is one that they will eventually forge for themselves. It is our job to be there and love them unconditionally no matter what twist and turns that path may take.

 

 

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Faith

On What Seemed Like Another Ordinary Route, This Mailman Became A Hero

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The Bible tells us that God orders our steps. Anyone who still believes in coincidences just hasn’t encountered God’s miraculous hand in their lives.

For one mail carrier in North Carolina, what seemed like a delay in his route turned into God’s perfect timing.

Chris Petersen, who has served in the Postal Service for 32 years, was rushing to finish his Christmas Eve mail route in Cary, a town about 10 miles west of Raleigh.

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Just moments after delivering a few parcels to a neighboring home, Petersen shared with Fox News that he heard shouting coming from another house on the street.

The shouting came from Pam Hodgin, who was crying out for help after her husband, Mike, had collapsed in their home.

Petersen and two other neighbors sprang into action, running into the Hodgins’ home to assess the situation.

Mike was sprawled out on the kitchen floor, unconscious and not breathing. While fear of losing her precious husband began to grip Pam, Petersen immediately began performing CPR.

After about two minutes of Petersen administering the life-saving procedure, Mike gasped for breath and opened his eyes wide.

Emergency responders were soon at the scene, and it was determined that Mike had suffered from a sudden heart attack. If his wife hadn’t called for help at that very moment and if Petersen hadn’t been running late on his route, the Hodgins’ family holiday might have been a much darker time.

“My mother-in-law always says that everything happens for a reason,” Petersen shared with Fox News. “I was running late that day because I was meant to be there to help Mike. I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.”

“Chris is my hero,” Mike told Fox News, “and it is because of him I’m alive today to watch my grandsons grow and enjoy each new day.”

Praise God for his perfect timing! Never forget, God orders the steps of his children. The next time you find yourself running late, watch out, it might just be God setting you up to be a blessing in someone else’s life.

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Faith

The Incredible Way These Christian Students Are Bringing the Gospel to the Hearing Impaired

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When we think of how to reach all different people with the Gospel, what kind of “different” do we have in mind? People in other towns? Other countries? Maybe people in prison? What about different abilities?

Communication between deaf and hearing people is an often overlooked language barrier, but if we’re to spread the Gospel to every creature, this barrier must be overcome.

The Passion Conference was founded in 1995 by Louie Giglio, and seeks to “glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation,” according to their website.

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“Since 2007, believing worship + justice are two sides of the same coin,” the Passion website continues, “students at Passion have generously given over $18 million to 70 amazing partner organizations around the world.”

Passion, it declares, is more than just music, teaching, and preaching. It’s a movement for Christ.

“In the last week, people have gathered for football games and holiday celebrations,” Passion’s global ambassador Brad Jones said in a statement to Fox News. “During Passion 2019, 40,000 college students and leaders gathered under one name—the name of Jesus. Passion is more than an event; we exist to see this generation live for what matters most—for us, that’s the fame of Jesus.”

Previous conferences have raised millions of dollars for incredibly worthy ministries and initiatives. This year, Passion set its sights on a new target: the language barrier that prevents deaf people from receiving the Gospel in their own sign language.

If you’re unfamiliar with this issue—don’t worry, many people are—you might ask why deaf people can’t just read the Bible?

According to the Deaf Bible Society, “as many as 80 percent of Deaf children in some countries never receive access to formal education.” It’s not so simple, especially if a deaf child or adult has never been taught to read in their language.

This means that over 70 million souls worldwide who are never taught to read aren’t hearing the Gospel because, well, they can’t hear.

With over 400 different sign languages in the world, missionaries who seek to reach deaf people with God’s saving truth certainly have their work cut out for them.

So, at the 2019 Passion conference, those thousands of young people gathered to praise and worship the Lord, and then get to doing His work in the world. They raised a stunning $448,370 for the Deaf Bible Society as part of Hope in Every Language, a campaign that, according to Fox News, “helps fund and distributes translations of the stories of Jesus into the unique sign language to areas that haven’t been reached.”

Because of the Passion attendees’ tremendous giving, the New Testament gospels will be translated into the unique sign languages of Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Moldova, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia.

Praise God for this incredible work in removing yet another barrier to the Gospel! Pray that the people reached would, at least figuratively, have ears to hear His truth.

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