In my classes I talk about writing for authentic audiences other than each other and the teacher. I need to practice what I preach. So this will be baptism by fire in more than one way.
Obedience is a word interpreted totally based on the attitude of the person who is up to the task. With a cheerful heart and willingness to be lead it can be a wonderful experience for all the people involved. If you don’t by in it will feel forced, painful and not something you will enjoy.
I have been in church my whole life. I don’t remember many Sundays were we didn’t attend as a family at a number of wonderful church locations and church families. I was baptized as a child and have pictures to prove it. In Junior High I gave my life to Christ at a rally before our yearly pray at the pole rally. I was excited and just at the right age to understand that Jesus died for my sins and my life was committed to introducing people to him. My parents, family, friends, and church family were there to show/live out these lessons in my life for which I am forever grateful.
My church experience with baptism was always one where babies were baptized and dedicated at a very early age. It wasn’t until I went to college and tried a number of different churches I saw people being baptized as adults. I came to my own assumption that they weren’t baptized as children and were making this decision as adults. Every time i saw someone being baptized I revisited this assumption, wrongly as I would later discover, and felt secure in my baptism as a child being sufficient. But then something started to happen. I began to think about it more and more each time. It would gnaw at me longer and longer each time a baptism was held at church or I was aware of family/friends/students/colleagues being baptized. The Holy Spirit was doing his work in me.
In August of this year I heard a sermon on baptism preached in a way that I had never heard before. The pastor made two points that stuck with me. Every other time I saw a baptism in service I was being prepared to hear this. 1. Baptism as a child is for your parents and is a symbol of them dedicating you into church family. For this I am forever grateful my parents were wise and faithful to raise me in accordance to the biblical principles they were living. They set a great example which we were blessed to continue with our daughter this past spring. 2. We are called to be baptized in the water by Jesus. It should be our desire to obey him in this to demonstrate our committent to live as he calls us.
I was floored by this. My heart and head was being worked on this whole time and this made me stand up in church, go down to the front sign up and commit to being baptized. August 26th was the day. I am so thankful to my Lord for leading to this moment in my life where he can be glorified by my obedience.
I want to thank my wife, Danielle, for being there to support me. She is my rock and my best friend. Her strength and confidence in me allow me to lead our family in the path the Lord has laid out for us.
I want to thank my parents, Chris and Fran, for choosing very early to dedicate their family and all they do to the glory of the Lord. This example is impacting hundreds, if not thousands of people all over the country and world. Your faith is evident in the way you do everything and the way you treat everyone.
I want to thank my sisters for being a wonderful example of how to live your faith out loud so it impacts the whole world around them. I don’t say it to them enough, but they inspire me to be a better christian.
Thank you to everyone who came to support me on Sunday. Thank you: Scott, Raymond, Justin, Kyra, Aaron, Melissa, Dennis, Jacquie, Ava, Eddie, Maddie, Logan, Scout, Pierce, Gentry, Bradley, Deanne, Chad, Charles, Jennea, and I know I am missing someone so thank you everyone.
“Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words” -St. Francis of Assisi