by Bill Martin        Why is it that we like to complicate our lives? I ask the question because lately I've been listening to all kinds of people talk about God in their lives. It just seems to me that God, knowing we're good at messing things up, made His part pretty easy.

       This past week or so is a perfect example. The lead stories on the news have been about teenagers having and killing their children, fiery riots and arrests at local Universities, intense fighting about money for crumbling schools. People ask me often what it's like being a Christian and working in this environment. My answer is, living a real Christian life is not always the easiest thing to do, but getting to be Christian is not difficult. At least it's not supposed to be.

       Without God I would not be able to make it through one day reporting on all of the tragedy. My peace comes from God and knowing simply, I am saved by Grace. Sound too simple, it's not. That's God's promise!

       Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God, not by works, so that no can boast"

       Romans 11:6 "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

       What does this mean in English? A relationship with God is a pure and simple gift. We can't earn it. We can't buy it. God gives the gift because he loves us and knowing He loves me gets me up in the morning and gets me to work.

       One important note though, you have to take the gift. You have to reach out with your arms, your heart, and your soul and take it.

       John 1:12 "Yet to all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."

       You can't be too proud to admit you need Christ in your life. Look, nobody's perfect. I look at my own life sometimes and it's downright scary, my pride, my lack of patience and more. The beauty is, God knows it all.

       Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

       Psalm 139:4 "before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord."

       I know a whole lot of people though who are working on being real Christians, day in and day out. I love being around them. I love listening to them. I love praying with them. They are the true friends in every since of the word. Real Christians understand clearly, John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

       Christ loved us enough to die for us. That's a love I almost can't fathom and I know I can't fix my own life, or deal with the daily tragedy on the news, without Him.

       Romans 5:8: " But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

       Romans 10:13 "for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved"

       I think it's important to remember while we struggle through life, God's gift is simple to take, and best of all it's free. That's how we are saved, nothing more and nothing less.

Bill Martin is a multiple winner of Emmy and Associated Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. He was also included into the Ohio Television/Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.