Opinion

Do you have a new Nature?

Angel Torres

There is a church in Alfred that many students go to called “The Lighthouse Christian Fellowship.”  “Knowing God’s word and building a relationship with the lord can be important in one’s life,” says Pastor Roger, the lead worshiper of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship. Pastor Roger added, “But some people may disagree. Some may disagree with God’s word, and disregard the Bible as if it is useless. It is always up to you to want a change in your life – no one gets forced into having a relationship with God.” Pastor Roger, and his wife, Momma Penny welcome students to join the “Lighthouse Christian Fellowship.”

“Everyone has had their own experiences in their life; whether it is good or bad, God can make a difference out of it,” says Pastor Roger. Some students from Alfred State College and Alfred University who go to church on Sundays admit to the bad decisions they have made and want to change. Just like any caring family, members of the church make everyone feel welcomed. Momma Penny says, “It is wonderful to have that. Even though you are away from home, you still have a family that is willing to speak with you and help you in any way – whether it would be from speaking about God and the Holy Spirit, or even spending time with our family.”

Ricardo Ramos, a fifth year student, had this to say: “Pastor Roger spoke with such boldness and honesty in my first night at Bible Study; God used him in tremendous ways, and he has been using him greatly since then, in order to speak the real truth of God. That first night in Bible Study, Pastor’s teachings were so down to Earth! I loved how Pastor Roger never spoke out on his own understanding but of the word of God, which is the Bible.”

Many young people attend the Church’s Sunday morning Services, and also attend Bible Studies, which are on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. “It makes me believe that this generation of teenagers that have rough or smooth backgrounds can and are willing to make a difference in their life by following God,” says an unnamed Sophomore.

“For the first time going to church in Alfred on September 16th, 2012, I had an amazing experience. Being around new people showed me diversity in culture, ethnicity, and anything else that makes an outside appearance of a physical body different within the church or anywhere is a great thing. It is a great thing because even though we look different, we praise the same God for the same purpose – and that purpose is to follow the way of God. People are down-to-earth – I felt as welcomed as I do in the church I attend back at home. People are very humble and greet you in a family-like fashion. My friends on campus go to the Bible Studies and Sunday Services. I feel very blessed being able to follow the word of God. Being there with my peers makes me even more comfortable in being a part of God’s worship. I would recommend people to come to the Church and Bible Studies. There is more to life than partying, drinking, and having that kind of fun,” says a sophomore who prefers to be anonymous.

I spoke to some people who are a part of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship picked out one or more things they have learned in Bible Studies or Sunday services that made a positive difference in their life and explained why.

“One thing I learned from Bible studies was that God must be your first love. God being your first love means that you love Him above All things and put Him first. Pastor Roger was teaching on this topic. He began by talking about how the Church needs to be how the Church was in the book of Acts. The people had fellowship were filled with the Holy Spirit. Pastor Roger, then turned to the Scripture and read, ‘Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.’  (Revelation 2:4, 5 NKJV),” said Dennis Dueño. “This is when it struck me that although I said with my lips that I love God, I didn’t know what it was to really love Him, and baseball was my first love. I always dreamed of becoming a Major League ball player, so that drove me to succeed with the help of God, not realizing that God was not first – he needed to be,” said Dennis Dueño.

Other Students echoed Dueño’s words.

Yoelvin Molina, a senior at Alfred State College, said, “Something I learned is that everyone’s life is driven by something. Right now you may be driven by a problem, a pressure, or a deadline. There are hundreds of circumstances values and emotions that can drive your life. For example, many people I driven by guilt. They spend their entire lives running away from regrets and hiding their shame. They are all the forces that can drive your life, but will only lead to the same dead end: unnecessary stress and unfulfilled life.”

Beverley Coats, a second year culinary student, simply said, “I learned how declaring things into your life by faith and trust in God can make you a stronger Christian.”

“Overall, being a part of lighthouse has given me more of a deeper relationship with God as well as with my brothers and sisters. I learned patience love and humbleness and these things are needed to deal with my everyday life and I hope that with the way I carry myself and with the light in my heart that Jesus has given me, I pray that I can plant as much seeds as I can to draw people who are lost towards God,” said Sammy, who is best known as ‘Superman,’ also a culinary student.

Ramos added, “I knew that out of my own strength. It would have been impossible to change myself. I tried many times and it did not work. So, I had to let God change me by submitting everything I am to him and letting go of everything I was holding on to.”

Dennis Dueño recalls exactly when that “letting go” happened for him. “I kept going to the bible study, however, it wasn’t until I went on a conference, retreat that I decided to give my life solely to Jesus Christ and got saved, and was filled with the spirit and power of God. That was the best thing I’ve ever done, because Jesus changed my life, and every day, as Paul said we need to renew our mind daily, and repent from our sinful nature that we were all born with because of the disobedience of Adam and eve in the garden. I now have a new nature, and am able to live freely in the name of Jesus and have developed a relationship with the God of the universe. Do you have a new nature?”

“In my time of being here in Alfred, NY, a part of the Lighthouse Christian Fellowship church, I have learned to never take my blessings for granted. I learned that God’s word is very powerful — so powerful that he even spoke to me. God told me I was going to be a messenger to young people. Spreading his word through Christ is his plan. I have learned about differences in an ordinary point of view, and an extraordinary one. The extraordinary one that god wants me to seek is the abundant life. We all go through struggles, obstacles, and trials — all of these factors in our lives help us to become who we are today and the next day,” said Manuel, a sophomore.

Many students going away to college understand they have all the freedom in the world to do whatever they want. Instead of taking your freedom for granted, maybe the freedom that you obtain can consist of following God’s word and giving it a try, according to Pastor Roger. It comes down to a question that Dennis Dueño asked, “Do you have a new nature?”

If you would like to know more about the “Lighthouse Christian Fellowship,” go to our webpage at www.LCFalfred.edu. You can also find us on Facebook. Search: Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Alfred. We also have Bible studies that are held at the Physical and Health Science building in room106.

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