Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal! This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the LORD JESUS CHRIST and ALL that He has done for me (and NOT what I have done)—who saved and changed(inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!" Christ said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."(John 15:5). For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Journaling in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia Olson, BSN, RN

About The Authorღ

Erlinda Mejia Olson
A New Life in Christ: My Personal Testimony of Faith
Penned on Monday, July 13th, 1998 at 19:05PM CDT
Minneapolis, Minnesota

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

LORD Jesus, I don't deserve 
to serve You. While You are
altogether lovely - I am not. 
While You are Perfect - I am
not. I dedicate this journal to
You. My heart will always be
broken before You, my God
and my Redeemer. To You be
all the glory and honor! 
"Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid; do not be
discouraged, for the LORD
your God will be with you
wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
I was raised as a Catholic and went to a Catholic school growing up. I used to sincerely believe that my Catholic religion (or any religion for that matter) was my ticket to Heaven but I was sincerely wrong. Despite of the burden I had in my heart about my religion, I paid no attention and went on with my life. In the summer of 1998, God got hold of my heart, I surrendered my life to Christ. I realized that I am a great sinner before God and no church, religion (man-made doctrine or creeds, lengthy repetitive prayers, infant baptism, penance, novenas, etc.) or any good deeds that I have done can save me. Being a good person cannot even save anyone—no one is good, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). I realized I needed a Savior, and Jesus Christ is the Great Savior—the only way to Heaven— Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). I asked God for the forgiveness of my sin and received His Son, Jesus Christ as my LORD and Personal Savior—the only way I can be freely justified (Romans 3:24). I put my faith in the finished work of the LORD Jesus Christ alone for my salvation (John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9). On February 14, 1999, I received the believers' baptism by immersion—in obedience to Christ and my public identification of His death, burial, and resurrection. Most of us think that our faith and beliefs are something to be kept in private but God's Word has proved me wrong. God's Word has shown me that we are to be salt and light in this world which means to open our mouth and speak to testify for what Christ has done for us and to witness to others of His plan of salvation. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:13-14).
Having been born again by the salvation of Jesus Christ by His precious blood and finished works on the Cross that I found a Personal Relationship with the True and Living God—who hears me, who communicates with me, who can relate to every human need, pain, grief, rejection, and fear; Who convicts and transforms human lives; and ultimately, Who unconditionally loved me and died for me. Who completely changed my life for His greater glory and honor. I am living my new life in Christ alongside with my husband, David—who led me to Christ in 1998, Christ's great gift to me—next to His salvation. My husband and I are current members of Radisson Road Baptist Church for our continued spiritual growth, to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with our fellow believers, sharing His gospel to the world in obedience to His Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and through my God-given profession as a licensed Registered Nurse. A Redeemed Nurse by Christ, in Christ, of Christ, and for Christ.  I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14).

My life verses: 
Galatians 2:20 ~ "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Philippians 1:21 ~ "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 
Mark 10:45 ~ "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Doctrinal Statement: What I Believe

This doctrinal statement does not exhaust the extent of my faith. God's Word, the Bible, is the sole and final Authority and the only source of all that I believe:

The Bible ~ I believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired Word of God in the original autographs (2 Tim. 3:16-17), that it was written by men controlled by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Pet. 1:20-21), and therefore without error. It is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

The Trinity ~ I believe in the Trinity of the Godhead; there is one God (Deut 6:4) eternally existing in three equal but distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18-19; 2 Cor. 13:14).

God the Father ~ I believe in God, the Father, and rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men (Dan. 2:21; 4:17), that He hears and answers prayer (John 15:16), and that He saves from sin and eternal damnation all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 3:16,18; 6:44). I believe He has a paternal relationship to believers only (John 8:41-44, Rom. 8:15).

God the Son ~ I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16), born of a virgin (Matt. 1:23), sinless in His life (1 Pet. 2:21-22), Who atoned for the sins of the world by His death, burial, and bodily resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4). I believe in His ascension into Heaven (Acts 1:9), His perpetual intercession for His people (Heb. 7:25), His personal coming in the air for His church prior to the seven year tribulation (1 Thes. 4:13-18), and His return to earth at the close of the tribulation to establish His millennial Kingdom (Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).

God the Holy Spirit ~ I believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4) Who convicts (John 16:8-11; 14:26), regenerates (Tit. 3:5), baptizes (1 Cor. 12:12-13), indwells (1 Cor. 6:19-20), seals (Eph. 1:13), and fills (Acts 4:31; Eph. 5). I believe Spirit baptism takes place at the time of regeneration (cf. Acts 10:44-47; 11:16) and that the filling of the Spirit is manifested by the fruits of the Spirit rather than by any specific spiritual gift (Gal. 5:16; 22-23; Acts 4:31; 1 Cor. 13:8). I believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit—such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues has ceased to be operational because the Bible is complete and has been translated in different languages all over the world. I believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God in some instances may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing but not in the same way as Jesus Himself or the Apostles during their time raised the dead and healed all manners of sicknesses instantaneously apart from any doctors (1 Corinthians 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22).

Creation ~ I believe in the direct creation by God—of the physical universe, all spirit beings, man, and lower forms of life—in six solar days, without the process of evolution. The early chapters of Genesis are literal and accurate history. God sustains all creation but exists in no necessary relationship to it (Gen 1, 2; John 1:3, Col. 1:15-17).

Spirit Beings ~ I believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings (Col. 1:16; Heb. 12:22). One of these, though created holy by God, sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan, the Devil, the enemy of his Creator, leading a host of angels in rebellion against God (Eze. 28:12-17; Rev. 12:7-9). He became the god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Matt 25:41; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:1,2; Rev. 20:10).

Mankind ~ I believe that all men are sinners by nature (Rom 3:9-20; 5:12; Eph. 2:3) and under the condemnation of God (John 3:18,36). The only remedy for this condition is Holy Spirit regeneration through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as payment for one’s sins (John 3:8,14,18a; Heb. 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-22). I believe regeneration is the irrevocable act of God, thus securing the believer for all eternity (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39). I believe the Bible does not teach that God created any person for the purpose of condemnation (John 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9).

Human Sexuality ~ I believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. I believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, transvestism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; 19:5,13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1). I believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender (Gen 1:26-28; Deut. 22:5). I believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).

Final Destinies ~ I believe that the souls of believers in Christ do at death immediately pass into His presence (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23) and there remain until the resurrection of the body at the rapture when soul and body reunited shall stand before Christ to be judged of their Christian works for the giving of rewards; and they shall then be associated with Christ forever in glory (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). The souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final resurrection at the end of the millennium for judgment; the result of this judgment will be that all will be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thes. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:11-15).

Separation ~ I believe that separation is a doctrine as well as a practice and that the separation principle runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I believe that true spiritual fellowship is the result of a common faith and practice. I believe there are four aspects of Biblical separation: (a) Political separation - the separation of the church from the state (Luke 20:25). (b) Personal separation - the separation of the believer from the world and sin in order to serve God. This involves a separation from acts of sin, the world system, the unbeliever, heretics, and false teachers (Josh. 24:15; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 5:15-18; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 John. 4:1; 2 John 10,11;). (c) Ecclesiastical separation - the separation of the church from apostasy. Each local church is independent and autonomous and must be free from interference by any other ecclesiastical authority. I believe we are to reprove apostates rather than recognize them, to rebuke rather than to reason with them, to reject rather than to receive or unite with them. This includes but is not limited to the World and National Council of Churches and the Baptist World Alliance. I believe that loyalty to Christ also demands separation from those groups content to walk with or tolerate religious unbelief such as the National Association of Evangelicals and the Southern Baptist Convention (2 Cor. 6:14-17; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; 2 John 10-11). (d) Practical separation - the separation of the believer from an erring brother. I believe that we must separate from those who continue in disobedience to the Word of God. This includes the trouble maker, the disorderly, and the immoral brother (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thes. 3:6,14,15; Tit. 3:10).

The Church ~ I believe in the Church (Matt. 16:18), a living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col. 1:16) and of which all regenerated people are members (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 5:30). I believe that a local church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41-42) baptized on an acceptable confession of faith (Acts 10:47-48), associated for worship, work and fellowship (Acts 2:42; Heb. 10:25) and having two offices, pastor and deacon (Phil. 1:1). I believe that to these visible churches were committed, for observance throughout the church age, the ordinances of baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 16:16-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26), and that God has laid upon these churches the task of witnessing to a lost world to accept Jesus Christ as Savior (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:6) and of building up the saints in the faith once for all delivered (Eph. 4:7,11-16; Jude 3). I believe that human betterment and social improvements are the inevitable by-products of the Gospel and edification (Eph 2:10; Gal. 5:22-23).

Believers Baptism ~ I believe that after a person got saved, to submit himself/herself, in the waters of baptism (immersion) in obedience to Christ. I believe that waters of baptism is a Saved Christian’s public demonstration of the profession of salvation in Christ, and to identify himself/herself in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. I believe that a person must be saved first, then baptized. I believe there is no infant baptism, but only for believers in the LORD Jesus Christ. (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 8:12-13; Acts 18:8; Acts 8:37-38; Acts 19:4-5; Acts 9:17-18; Acts 16:11-17; Acts 16:25-35; Acts 19:4-5; Acts 22:14-16; Rom. 6:4).

The True Woman Manifesto
                        (Affirming True Biblical Womanhood with Revive Our Hearts Ministry)

A personal and corporate declaration of belief, consecration, and prayerful intent—to the end that Christ may be exalted and the glory and redeeming love of God may be displayed throughout the whole earth.

We believe that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe and the Creator of life, and that all created things exist for His pleasure and to bring Him glory. (1)

We believe that the creation of humanity as male and female was a purposeful and magnificent part of God's wise plan, and that men and women were designed to reflect the image of God in complementary and distinct ways. (2)

We believe that sin has separated every human being from God and made us incapable of reflecting His image as we were created to do. Our only hope for restoration and salvation is found in repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ who lived a sinless life, died in our place, and was raised from the dead. (3)

We realize that we live in a culture that does not recognize God's right to rule, does not accept Scripture as the pattern for life, and is experiencing the consequences of abandoning God's design for men and women. (4)

We believe that Christ is redeeming this sinful world and making all things new, and that His followers are called to share in His redemptive purposes as they seek, by God's empowerment, to transform every aspect of human life that has been marred and ruined by sin. (5)

As Christian women, we desire to honor God by living counter-cultural lives that reflect the beauty of Christ and His gospel to our world.

To that end, we affirm that ...

Scripture is God's authoritative means of instructing us in His ways and it reveals His holy pattern for our womanhood, our character, our priorities, and our various roles, responsibilities, and relationships. (6)

We glorify God and experience His blessing when we accept and joyfully embrace His created design, function, and order for our lives. (7)

As redeemed sinners, we cannot live out the beauty of biblical womanhood apart from the sanctifying work of the gospel and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (8)

Men and women are both created in the image of God and are equal in value and dignity, but they have distinct roles and functions in the home and in the church. (9)

We are called as women to affirm and encourage men as they seek to express godly masculinity, and to honor and support God-ordained male leadership in the home and in the church. (10)

Marriage, as created by God, is a sacred, binding, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. (11)

When we respond humbly to male leadership in our homes and churches, we demonstrate a noble submission to authority that reflects Christ's submission to God His Father. (12)

Selfish insistence on personal rights is contrary to the spirit of Christ who humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and laid down His life for us. (13)

Human life is precious to God and is to be valued and protected, from the point of conception until rightful death. (14)

Children are a blessing from God, and women are uniquely designed to be bearers and nurturers of life, whether it be their own biological or adopted children, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, or other children in their sphere of influence. (15)

God's plan for gender is wider than marriage; all women, whether married or single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit. (16)

Suffering is an inevitable reality in a fallen world; at times we will be called to suffer for doing what is good - looking to heavenly reward rather than earthly comfort--for the sake of the gospel and the advancement of Christ's Kingdom. (17)

Mature Christian women have a responsibility to leave a legacy of faith, by discipling younger women in the Word and ways of God and modeling for the next generation lives of fruitful femininity. (18)

Believing the above, we declare our desire and intent to be "true women" of God. We consecrate ourselves to fulfill His calling and purposes for our lives. By His grace and in humble dependence on His power, we will:

1. Seek to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (19)
2. Gladly yield control of our lives to Christ as Lord--we will say "Yes, Lord" to the Word and the will of God. (20)
3. Be women of the Word, seeking to grow in our knowledge of Scripture and to live in accord with sound doctrine in every area of our lives. (21)
4. Nurture our fellowship and communion with God through prayer - in praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and supplication. (22)
5. Embrace and express our unique design and calling as women with humility, gratitude, faith, and joy. (23)
6. Seek to glorify God by cultivating such virtues as purity, modesty, submission, meekness, and love. (24)
7. Show proper respect to both men and women, created in the image of God, esteeming others as better than ourselves, seeking to build them up, and putting off bitterness, anger, and evil speaking. (25)
8. Be faithfully engaged in our local church, submitting ourselves to our spiritual leaders, growing in the context of the community of faith, and using the gifts He has given us to serve others, to build up the Body of Christ, and to fulfill His redemptive purposes in the world. (26)
9. Seek to establish homes that manifest the love, grace, beauty, and order of God, that provide a climate conducive to nurturing life, and that extend Christian hospitality to those outside the walls of our homes. (27)
10. Honor the sacredness, purity, and permanence of the marriage covenant--whether ours or others'. (28)
11. Receive children as a blessing from the Lord, seeking to train them to love and follow Christ and to consecrate their lives for the sake of His gospel and Kingdom. (29)
12. Live out the mandate of Titus 2--as older women, modeling godliness and training younger women to be pleasing to God in every respect; as younger women, receiving instruction with meekness and humility and aspiring to become mature women of God who in turn will train the next generation. (30)
13. Seek opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with unbelievers. (31)
14. Reflect God's heart for those who are poor, infirm, oppressed, widows, orphans, and prisoners, by reaching out to minister to their practical and spiritual needs in the name of Christ. (32)
15. Pray for a movement of revival and reformation among God's people that will result in the advancement of the Kingdom and gospel of Christ among all nations. (33)

Supporting Scripture:
1.) 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11
2.) Gen. 1:26-27; 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:8
3.) Gen. 3:1-7, 15-16; Mark 1:15; 1 Cor. 15:1-4
4.) Prov. 14:12; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:18, 8:6-7; 2 Tim. 3:16
5.) Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:12-14; Titus 2:14
6.) Josh. 1:8; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:15-16
7.) 1 Tim. 2:9; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Pet. 3:3-6
8.) John 15:1-5; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 2:12-13
9.) Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 5:22-33
10.) Mark 9:35; 10:42-45; Gen. 2:18; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:12-3:7
11.) Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:7-9
12.) Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Cor. 11:3
13.) Luke 13:30; John 15:13; Eph. 4:32; Phil. 2:5-8
14.) Psalm 139:13-16
15.) Gen 1:28; 9:1; Psalm 127; Titus 2:4-5
16.) 1 Cor. 11:2-16; 1 Tim. 2:9-13
17.) Matt. 5:10-12; 2 Cor. 4:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 2:21-23; 3:14-17; 4:14
18.) Titus 2:3-5
19.) Deut. 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30
20.) Psalm 25:4-5; Rom. 6:11-13; 16-18; Eph. 5:15-17
21.) Acts 17:11; 1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:17-18; Titus 2:1, 3-5, 7
22.) Psalm 5:2; Phil. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:1-2
23.) Prov. 31:10-31; Col. 3:18; Eph. 5:22-24, 33b