Heather and I took a trip to Hawaii after our Birthday Celebration. We went to the island of Kauai. It was so beautiful. We didn’t spend enough time there as we wanted. I’m sure 2 full weeks wouldn’t have been enough. We scuba dived in the southern part of the island, took a helicopter ride over the entire island and went to a Luau. It was a blast and a memory that won’t soon be forgotten!!
Great Story on Christianity:
An elderly professor of world religions surprised his colleagues by declaring his commitment to Christ. He explained: “It was as if I had fallen into a deep, abandoned well. Muhammad came by and told me it was the will of Allah that I be in this well, then he left. The Buddha came by and told me if I would cease desire I would cease to suffer in the well, then he left. A Hindu teacher came by and told me if I was faithful in the well I would escape through reincarnation, then he left. Confucius came by and told me if I’d not tripped I would not be in the well, then he left. Jesus came by, saw me, and got into the well with me. That is why I am a Christian.”
On Twitter, there was a guy I followed that posted some neat topics about current events. I noticed one day that I hadn’t seen his posts in a while, so I went to find him and see what he was doing and why he wasn’t posting. I found out via his profile exclamation, “I used to post a lot of cool stuff, but I don’t anymore, get over it!”. I laughed to myself for several reasons.
First, it was pretty funny what he said.
Second, I realized he either got bored or something else happened, but the mundane of daily current events must have gotten to him. No substance.
My thoughts then wandered back to me. I was thinking about this blog and my twitter account and what I say and post, etc. What I began years ago on this blog and since I have been tweeting is that “It’s not about me or current events, necessarily”, but my focus has always been more Faith/Jesus based and less about me or current events. I enjoy posting random things and talking about my life, but ultimately I knew that my profile ultimately would end up like the guy’s quote earlier.
So, in closing, I do realize that I am finite and God is infinite and to talk about Him is wayyy more relevant than I ever will be.
So this past summer my wife and I took some time off from our regular church to visit another church as we typically do every summer. What happened next was pretty wild.
We visited this church in NW Houston and enjoyed going the first time. We decided to go back again the following Sunday and really enjoyed it again. We even got invited to a SS Class by a wonderful couple and enjoyed that class as well. What we noticed after leaving the parking lot that second visit, was on their church program, there was a small inscription below the grand name of the Church that stated it was a Baptist Church. We were surprised at noticing this since we didn’t see your typical loud sort of dancing in the aisles type of folks. At least that’s what I think of when I think of typical Baptist Churches. Anyway, we didn’t really make a big deal out of it, since the Church had great preaching and the worship time was excellent as well. We continued to go to this church for the rest of the summer and really felt a calling to join this Church and leave our old Church. We felt that we were being called to another Church and that this Church would fit that bill.
Well, after inquiring from a couple of members of the Church about membership, they told me to discuss membership with one of the associate pastors. So I did. I met with him at lunch one day and asked him about what it takes to join their Baptist Church. He told me everything I knew and expected except one very big difference and that was Baptism. I told him I had not been ‘dunked’ AKA ‘Fully Immersed’ Baptism, but more like sprinkled Baptism. We agreed that after this point, he would go back to the Head Pastor and that they would discuss this topic with the Board of Deacons at their Church. I said great, let me know what they say please and we left it at that.
Several weeks later, the associate pastor sends me a short email and says let’s meet. I agreed to do so and we met this past Wednesday. He told me that the board of Deacons had met and had a short 2 points and that was the end of that conversation on that topic. They said point 1) They couldn’t meet with every family individual that wanted to join their Church and find out about who was or wasn’t Baptised or fully immersed and 2) That it’s the Baptist Church and we are known for Baptism ‘dunking’ and that’s how we have always done it and that’s what makes us Baptist. Thus, my membership into their Church would have to be by ‘Full Immersion’ Baptism or else we couldn’t join their Church.
My immediate thoughts were sad and profound. I thought, man, Jesus Wept(John 11:35). Here we are in 2013 as one body of believers trying to make it in this crazy world and trying to reach out to a lost world that NEEDS Jesus and here you are pushing away a family that wants to join your church because of BAPTISM??? Not because I have never been baptized, but because of the ‘way’ I was baptized…WOW!
I was shocked and dismayed. I never knew that this was how the Baptist Church is. I never knew that regardless of your standing with ‘The Church’ and your standing in your community and your standing with God almighty, if you’re not Baptised by ‘FULL IMMERSION’ well you can’t join ‘our’ church.
I feel very sad for the Baptist Church as a whole today. I have had a little time to swallow what I have been told and it still doesn’t make me happy nor does it make me ever want to cross the doors of ANY Baptist Church EVER again, however I do know that those in that church will make it to Heaven because salvation isn’t predicated on baptism. Just sad to know that they alienate people when they stand on this ‘sand’ of ground. We are to be welcoming to those who want to accept Christ Jesus and not push away those who need to know about the Gospel and Good News of Jesus. For me, they are pushing away and hindering the body of Christ and not fulfilling the Great Commission. We need to do everything I believe, to bring those to Christ at any cost and then to find out that, well, you can’t join our church because you MUST be ‘Dunked’ by baptism to join. That’s complete hypocrisy to Christ teachings.
If the letter of the law was what the Pharisees and Sadducees were guilty of 2000 years ago, then so is the Baptist Church today. They state that because Jesus was Baptised in the Jordan river, then they must do so because of the same, by full immersion. Well, if that is true, then everyone better go to the Jordan River and get Baptised otherwise, per the letter of the law, any other place is unequal and thus should not be accepted!
My walk with Jesus has been over 15 years strong. I was at a Methodist Church, when I was baptized, not a Baptist Church. I was sprinkled with Holy Water and accepted Jesus that same day, 15 years ago on April 19, 1998. Are you stating that my salvation and baptism is null and void because I wasn’t ‘dunked’? I think not. I don’t think they believe that either, but if my baptism isn’t good enough on that day I was baptized, then what are they saying by making that stand?!?!
Thanks for the short time we were able to be a part of your church, but your ‘law’ you live by is flawed and must be changed. Because we ‘always have done it like that’ is not a justification for preventing people from being a healthy member of your congregation.
Sad to write this, Sad to believe this is true, Sad to know that there could have been a wonderful relationship that could have bloomed.
For final clarification, it would be easy to ask folks that want to join the Baptist church, that if they haven’t been baptized before, that they will be baptized by full immersion, but if they have been baptized, then they will accept that baptism. Simple in my opinion.
I will pray that God changes the Baptist Church’s stand on this.
Well school begins this coming Monday. Which marks the end of the summer for students whereas those who have jobs keep working all summer like ME. All good. It has been an enjoyable one. Highlights below:
we have enjoyed going to see the Houston Astros this season. We purchased a mini season package and went to about 2 games a month. That has been fun.
We have enjoyed our pool – that is the community pool – but it seems like we’re the only ones that use it mostly. We have enjoyed heather and I playing tennis in the evening time. Shes not much of a player (self admitted) but is getting better every time we play.
We visited my Cali family this past weekend. It was good to see everyone. We stayed at the Huntington Beach Waterfront Hotel and that was real nice. It was right across the street from the beach and I loved it. We had 2 great days out there and even got to see Heathers cousin Bobby and his girlfriend Kaitlyn who came down from LA.
We also took a trip to Gulf Breeze,Fl to see Bradford for the 4th this summer. It was a nice visit, but instead of making it to the beach like we planned, it rained the whole weekend. It was still nice though.
We have a big Bday bash planned for heather and myself this October and excited about that. We also are going to Hawaii to celebrate. Can’t wait!!!!!
until next time. Blessings!!
Here is a link to Erasmus from Wikipedia. I also got this little write-up from Jim Dennison because I subscribe to his blog and find it pretty fascinating. He sends out his blog daily and has a Christian spin on current events. I think you will find it very helpful yourself and I advise you to subscribe as well. So thanks Jim for this and thank our forefathers like D. Erasmus for knowledge worthy of reading hundreds of years later:
Erasmus (1466-1536), in his classic Handbook of the Militant Christian, advised us to “use temptation as a means to virtue. If your inclinations are to be greedy and selfish, increase your donations to charity. If you tend toward boasting, make a deliberate effort to be humble in all things. This way you can find in temptation a renewed determination to increase in piety. This procedure is the one that most galls Satan. It makes him afraid to tempt you because nothing is more hateful to the Author of Evil than that he should be responsible for some good.”
Imparting wisdom is not that easy. Especially when it comes to young people. What I have learned though is that those who seek it will find it.
As you grow older you take notes of things that have worked and haven’t worked. Like wasting time with sales people in person or on the phone(Don’t do it). But, more importantly is God and your relationship with Jesus. This relationship will be your most important relationship of your entire life, bet!!
So to impart the most important wisdom is to share about my life experiences walking with God with you. Memorizing scripture is one of the first ways in which you can begin to grow in your walk with God. Building close relationships with other Christians is also important. You need those around you to keep you accountable and hold you to a higher standard. Reading scripture is second to none as well. You need to know what God says about topics you will face in your time here on earth and how Jesus responded to those situations as well. Having a healthy Church home(close to where you live) is also needed.
As I’m writing this I am thinking of many scriptures that come to mind to justify my imparted wisdom to you. Don’t give up the assembling of yourselves together(Hebrews 10:25) – As iron sharpens iron, so does one brother sharpen another(Proverbs 27:17). These are scriptures I know by heart.
The opposite of these is true as well. Pray for those you want to evangelise and spend quality time with them and build a rapport. Help them to know that you care and when they realize that, they will realize that your God is real and loves them too!
Stay away from those who are rebellious and spew hatred, racism and evil deeds. They will do nothing but cause you harm now and possibly forever. Pray for them, but keep those people out of your circle of friends.
Trust…that everyone in your life will disappoint you! The quicker you come to this realization, the better off you will be. Then realize that God will never leave nor forsake you. He loves you and always wants the best for you, even if you think that it is not the best in that moment. That HE should be your trust and he will take care of you.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge,
but Fools despise wisdom and instruction – Proverbs 1:7
I have feelings.
All kinds of different feelings that go through my mind and heart everyday, just like you. My feelings for today have been how much I wish I could spend more time with my wife and daughter. Wishing that I could call in a sick day and spend it with them-all day long! Not that I wanted to go anywhere special or do much of anything except just BE there and listen and smile and laugh and enjoy moments. I feel like life is going too fast at times. I feel like my daughter’s 1 year birthday last weekend came so fast in this past year.
I feel like time is going fast and slow at times. I don’t feel like I’m not spending the time with my family of doing what I love to do, just that irregardless I feel like time is slipping away. I know time is one of the most precious gifts we get daily and don’t take advantage of. My motto: Carpe Diem holds true this day. Seize the day. What would I do? Where would I go? My only thought that lingers is being with my family. Seeing their pretty happy faces. My girls. I love them so.
What do you feel?