Category Archives: Faith for Hope
So this past Sunday I got baptized. That’s me in the middle with my bald-headed self coming up from the dunk.
This was a watershed event in my life because it was a public profession of my faith – our baptisms are held at the ocean front in Virginia Beach!
In reflection, here are the three things I’ve realized from my baptism-
I’ve been accountable to my Lord since I was born again. On the other hand, this outward profession of my faith seemed a little out of my comfort zone. Probably because I realized that now my actions, words, and thoughts may be judged by my peers – everyone who surrounds me. You know, the Christian who talks the talk but has a harder time walking it?
What I think, do, and say has the possibility of being put under a microscope and analyzed to see whether or not I’m walking my talk. And that is good. I like this idea of being held accountable by my peers because it will help me be a better person.
It will take me to the next level of humility. It will teach my when I don’t act in accordance with a God whom I now believe loves all…no matter their story, hurts, failures, and brokenness. This is the Lord I’ve come to know in the past several years. And I want to be held accountable against His bar of
These can be difficult ideals to live up to at times, but with the help and support of ALL my friends, the process will be a worthwhile journey.
2. Self analysis
This is the perfect time for me to take a personal inventory. How have I done to this point? What changes do I need to make moving forward? What are my goals in life? Are they in alignment with His will? How have I treated others? Have I held people up, or brought them down? Have I spoken life enhancing words to someone, or have my words been toxic to their ears?
Answering these questions will lead to an honest assessment of my life to this point. The answers will help me understand my performance. The answers may not be things I want to hear, but they will help me to empathize and understand the impact I’ve had on people’s lives – whether helpful and positive, or hurtful and negative.
3. Desire to grow
I was born with an innate desire for self-improvement. Maybe it’s because I was also born with a harsh superego that thrashes me each day. Either way, this event marks a new stage in my life.
Baptism doesn’t make you a new person, it’s just an outward act for an inward decision.
Baptism doesn’t make you a kinder or happier person.
It doesn’t make you personable with everyone you meet.
It doesn’t give you the patience to weather the DMV lines, or go the extra mile for someone that’s wronged you. That’s what the Lord does in your life.
Me, I have a long ways to go. I am selfish. I say hurtful things. I say things out of anger or defensiveness. I act carelessly.
Not all the time.
But I have my fair share friend, believe you me. It is the Lord’s mercy, grace, and compassion that has turned me into any of the good things I am today. They are for His glory and due to His will.
He has blessed me with things like patience (through many, many, MANY trials), and my own life after I hanged myself last September.
He has also blessed me with the things He has taken away – toxic relationships, a failed marriage, a decreased streak of anger and resentment.
This event was a milestone in my growth as a man, as much as it was an event in my growth within my faith.
Thank you for taking your time to read this post. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section. Do you have a particular way in which your baptism (or other life event) has positively effected you?
I heard this song today and the words just struck me to the heart.
I’ve been there so many times.
Thought someone else might need to hear them, too.
“Save My Life”
I know your name I know you don’t know mine
But I won’t hold that against you
You come here every Friday night
I take your order and try to be polite
And hide what I’ve been going through
If you looked me right in the eye
Would see the pain deep inside
Would you take the time to
Tell me what I need to hear
Tell me that I’m not forgotten
Show me there’s a God
Who can be more than all I’ve ever wanted
‘Cause right now I need a little hope
I need to know that I’m not alone
Maybe God is calling you tonight
To tell me something
That might save my life
I’m the pastor at your church
For all these years you’ve listened to my words
You think I know all the answers
But I’ve got doubts and questions too
Behind this smile I’m really just like you
Afraid and tired and insecure
If you look me right in the eye
Would you see the real me inside
Would you take the time to
Save my life
I am just like everyone
Jesus I need You, I need Your Love
To save my life
Thank you to Dan for nominating me for this challenge and pushing me to become a better blogger. Please check out his site and the challenge at – http://hi-im-dan-and-im-an-addict.rehab/2015/06/29/3-days-3-quotes-challenge-day-1/
There is a story behind this quote. And it’s found in the halls of the Virginia Beach Juvenile/Domestic courthouse.
Courage. I was afraid at how the events would unfold.
Strength. I was weak of heart.
Having to stand in front of a judge for false accusations regarding visitation issues with my daughter.
I got up slowly that day. Cautiously. And sat down at my kitchen table to spend my Quiet Time in my devotionals. This time always has a calming effect on me and helps me to reorient my compass no matter the situation.
Today was no exception.
So I prayed and said, “Lord, let your will be done.” That was it. That’s all it took.
The devotional for that day was focused around this verse. For the rest of the day I was calmly assured that things would work out. I didn’t know how. But they did.
Dan asked that I nominate three other bloggers for this challenge. There are several more than that whom I know you will be blessed to hear what they have to say, and I cannot just limit it to three.
♦ Each of you will nominate three others who will do the same to repeat the process.
♦ You will have three days to post three quotes.
♦ Dan told a story behind each of his quotes. And I used visuals for mine with a short blurb behind it. The format is up to you.
Here are my nominations-
So to me, these two devotionals are what Jesus is all about.
As a child I grew up to believe that the Lord was some sort of angry God waiting to cast judgment on my every decision. The Jesus Calling app has led me to a different understanding.
He is a Lord who cares and is empathetic. He laughs when I laugh and he hurts when I am sad.
These devotionals have helped bring me through my valleys…my times of worry, anxiety, and pain.
I’ve posted these devotionals from my journal in the hopes that they touch the hearts of my friends who feel like I used to (and sometimes, still) feel-
♦ I grew up, and still struggle with shame and guilt
♦ I still struggle with my self-image
♦ I was angry, especially at God – sometimes my current circumstances
♦ I felt lost
♦ I hated going to church, and I hated when other Christians judged me and pressured me
♦ I struggle with depression and feelings of worthlessness
If you need peace in your life RIGHT NOW, I encourage you to get the Jesus Calling app and search “Peace”. Thank you for taking the time to read this and passing it along to others.