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Posts Tagged ‘Baptism’

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I’ve been hanging around a lot of leaders and wise men lately – just trying to learn and grow from them. I sat at Redemption church tonight with Bob Dunn, a Pastor who trains up youth leaders. He has years in the ministry and has been a family friend since I was little. I appreciate his friendship and the time he takes to invest in me. “Amazing Grace” has been this song that really resonates through me and we sang it tonight at church. The lyrics are powerful and I tear up every time I sing it at church. The message of forgiveness and restoration are just so meaningful to me at this point of my life. I wish the church sang it more.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when we first begun.

Everytime I hear this verse of the song, I notice the worship leaders always seem to kick things up a notch. I did a little research and found out it’s a verse that has been passed down through the African-American community and not originally written by John Newton. It’s a verse also featured in the anti-slavery book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Tom sings this out during his hour of deepest crisis. I personally felt the Spirit move as I sang out this portion of the song.

During communion, I prayed about something that has been weighing on my heart – baptism. I have procrastinated enough about it and I know it’s the next step for me in my walk. I guess I kept envisioning the perfect place and time for it and I need to just step out and be obedient. In fact, my Pastor has been encouraging us to discuss it with our MC’s. All I know is I want to be surrounded my those that have invested their time in me and have been a huge part of my sanctification process. I talked with a friend who has become near and dear to my heart about it tonight. She really encouraged me a lot about this topic and asked to be a part of praying with me about it. I want my life to be an example to others and I know this is a crucial next step for me.

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Baptism in the River

After an amazing day at VBS, we made a stop a river that Suresh says is a holy river. Both Robin and Kory wanted to get baptized in India. What a way to finish up our last day with Harvest India. Both Suresh and Marty baptized both of them as Pastors Abraham and Joseph sang praise songs. We all celebrated at the beach and let our flowers float away in the water. The day was capped off with a round of “Amazing Grace”

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I spent like 10 hours at church yesterday. But what a day it was! We had a mission board meeting and we took time to pray for all the missionaries we have sent out from Cornerstone. In the past, we have always adopted missionaries already out there and supported them. But now, we are having more and more people in our own church step and say, ‘I want to go’. Its been awesome to see. I love reading their blog pages and seeing what God is doing in their lives.

We also started mapping out what 2009 is going to look like. It was hard for me to contain myself because I have a huge hard for many of the countries we are going to. But I’m sure God will direct me in where he wants to be. I’m just excited for Cornerstone to be a part of God’s plan for the nations. We are building some amazing relationships with people out there that need to hear the love of Jesus Christ.. October 19 is missions Sunday at the church and we have some amazing stuff planned.

I hit the 5pm service at Cornerstone after my board meeting and loved the guest speaker. I think we have had guest speakers the past 6-8 Sundays with Pastor Linn being gone. But I loved the message on all of us are a part of this unique body of believers and we all play a part in it. And that the Holy Spirt gives us these gifts and talents that we are to use for his glory.

Speaking of the Spirit. I’m enjoying my own personal study of the Spirit. As I left Cornestone to attend a late night service at Praxis, I listened to a sermon on the way on the Spirit. It was a simple message that basically stated we are to repent, be filled with the Spirit and to be baptized. Sounds simple, yet we make it complicated. We asked the question, ‘do we have to be baptized?’. Or ‘when did the Spirit come in me?’ It doesn’t matter.. In 1 Peter is says that not even the prophets didn’t fully inderstand God’s power. Its very clear in scripture what we are to do. Salvation is more than a get out of jail free card, it’s about living our Christian lives to its full potential.

Then I heard a message at Praxis on discipleship. Its funny how all three of the messages I heard all tied togther. God has a funny way of doing that. We are great as churches in bringing people in and bringing them to Jesus, yet we suck at training them to be disciples. We as believers need to strive at being more Christ-like.We are to be full of the Spirit and demonstrates God’ love to others. I love this.

So I got off to a good start of my week with all of this. But I did get some sad news today. Last summer, a young kid named Michael (early 20’s) was brought in to see me and Jude. He had made some bad choices and was just released from jail. He was looking for a life change. We tried to get him to come to Camber. I told him of my past dealing with drugs/alcohol and my time in the can. I wanted him to know how God’s grace changed me. I could tell he wanted that. But he just couldn’t bring himself to allow God’s love to comsume him. He would leave church halfway through the service and go hang with his friends. I tried calling him several times. But I eventually lost contact with him. Michael was found dead this week of an overdose.

Here are my thoughts on this. It is NEVER too late to start living a life for Christ. I didn’t get Christianity until my 30’s. God will use you at any point of your life. Also, he can use ANYONE. Don’t believe that… then let me tell you my life story. Hear about all the crap I have been involved in and then see my life now. God’s grace changes us. But you have to accept that gift. This is why I hang around young adults. Life is too precious to give up on it. Experience God’s love and let it consume you!

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A pretty God-filled week for me. God continues to reassure me in all I do. He blesses me so much with my Bible studies and the people he puts in my life. He continues to provide for me.
I had a fun week with the boys. Its been great having things back to normal with them. We saw Iron Man. I’m a huge sucker for summer action movies. Its fun when you have boys to go see them. They are wrapping up school and I’m now in the process of planning out my summer with them. We have lots of camping trips and California trips in the works.
We started to read Daniel in my men’s group. Its been great so far. I love reading about the faith that Daniel and his companions have in God. So encouraging. We have it made when it comes to persecution for our faith compared to back then. Pastor Royce gave a message on spiritual warefare the next night. It was an amazing message. I am sad that the Mine is ending for a break soon. I started a study on Discovering God’s Will in my Lifegroup. I’m very excited for it! Then I heard a message from Ron Habermas the following night. Probably one of the top Christian theologians of our time.
I did some volunteer work at Liberty House Saturday for our Second Saturday event. I love the heart of the people that come out for this. Crossroads Youth Intervention is such an amazing ministry. They take in intercity kids from the surrounding neighborhood (very dark and violent) and give them a safe place to hang out. They tutor them and share the love of Jesus at the same time. They even take them on camping trips over the summer as well. My good friend Mike Bhatti has been doing amaing stuff there as an intern.
I took my mom out for breakfast Sunday morning for mother’s day. My mom has been good to me. She lets me vent when I need to and helps me finanially during tough times when I need it. She has helped a lot in helping me raise my kids when I need a night off. She kept me in church as a child. It was that planted seed that brought me back to Christ recently. I appreciate her.
World Vision was at the church later that day. I’m a huge supporter of them. World Vision is making a difference in the world. I have been supporting their ministry in Uganda for some time. My heart goes out to the people who work for them and what God is doing in the world through them.
My very good friend Rob got baptized Sunday as well. Love that guy. A man who admits his struggles and just has a heart and passion for Christ. He got baptized with his sister. Just an all around encouraging moment for me.
I started a new group outside of church for some men at church that afternoon. Its just a purity group for men who have been through divorce. My hope is that some of these guys will take their situations and become better men of God through it. I had a good turn out for it and I look forward to meeting these guys every month.
That evening was my last Sunday teaching 4th grade Sunday school. I’ve been blessed to do that for 2 years now. It was the first ministry I signed up for after turning my life over to Christ. I will miss those kids. I am apppreciative of the staff for believing in me and allowing me to do that. It has given me the passion to share the word to others.
I capped off my long attending Praxis church that evening. I’m really loving that church. I leave spiritually filled everytime. Pastor Justin is so passionate about the word. We just finished a series on 1 John. A pretty straight forward message to Christians on the Christian walk. I’m considering taking them up on their leadership program this summer.
So that’s what is up with me right now. Counseling sessions with da ex and da boyz this week. Praying to God that was right decsion on my part. But for the most part just going to relax and enjoy my week some friends. Hit me up…

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