Tag Archives: Baptism

A Reflection of Goodness

Another lap around the sun and 2016 comes to a close as we prepare for the start of a whole new again.  Before I begin, I pray that you all had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year!

I’ve been reflecting this morning on the goings on of 2016.  There have been many good times and difficult times.  Times of joy and times of trial and testing.  Overall, I reflect on 2016 and what I see as the pure goodness of God reflected throughout everything.  I can hardly believe the movement He has made just in my life and that of my family.  Even on days where it feels like I’ve been removed, He has been there every step of the way.  Unfailing love and faithfulness.  Continued goodness in everything.

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Amber’s Baptism

I’ll just start with January 31.  I stood in front of our church family and Baptized my wife and our 3 children, exactly one year to the day that I nailed the stake in the ground and surrendered my life to Christ in the mountains of Colorado.  I mean, wow!  That’s nothing but a God thing right there.  To see the movement that had taken place in that year prior, was so amazing and now to see the journey of growth in each of them has been nothing short of amazing and good.

 

 

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Shawn Baptism

 

We’ve times of trials and joy with our children this year, from the baseball field with our middle child, to our oldest graduating high school and starting college.  Through all of these things we see God present.  Seeing our children begin to desire a deeper relationship with God and to build relationship with peers in our church family has been huge.  They take after Amber and me as very quiet and to themselves.  Natural introverts and Move Aways in their styles of relating.  I’ve seen God working in their hearts this year more and more and them being more respective to it.  It’s been so good to see.

 

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Brandon Baptism

I see my bride and the movement in her own life.  I pray daily for her to move on a parallel journey with me as a woman and bride in our desires to seek God and grow as disciples.  To see her eagerness day after day to spend time with God and know him and them to talk with me almost like a kid in a candy store with such joy and excitement from all God is revealing to her as she walks with him each day.  And now to see her desire to build relationships with other women continue to grow.  Just immense.

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Ashley Baptism

I look on what God has done in my life as well and just stand in amazement.  He took me out to Colorado for a 2nd time in May to unplug and spend time at the feet of older men seeking counsel over my story and setting up the coming decade to work toward becoming an integrated whole and holy man.  That journey has set the stage for what is going on now.  In September we launched our counseling ministry and I have been blessed with the chance to speak life into different individuals and couples.  On top of that, I began to lead along with another brother and friend, a mens’ discipleship group.  That’s been huge for me to finally build a band of brothers of peers to get to know, to lead, and to do life-on-life with.  Thankful for these men and for the mentors and sages that also speak into my life now.

I can definitely say that I’m not the same as yesterday.  I know there’s so much more ahead and can barely believe that I’m here now. 3-5 years ago, I never would have thought to have a year like this and to have a life moving the way it is.  God’s hand is moving in every aspect of my life.  It’s truly amazing.

I reflect on 2016 with great joy and I look to 2017 with eyes on the narrow road continuing to follow where God leads.  I can already see things He is setting before me through the counseling ministry, mens’ ministry, and in my family and relationships.  I move into the new year a man of hope.  A dangerous hope for good.  Dangerous for good.

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Still Buzzing! Unforgettable Time

How in the world do I even begin to describe the elation, excitement, and joy that I have felt this week since this past Sunday.  As I shared last week, I was afforded the honor of baptizing my wife, Amber, and our three teenagers on Sunday.  I’ve spoken in front of various sized groups in the past on different things, but this experience was something that was so different.  It was by far the largest crowd I’ve ever been in front of.  People I know and love.  Usually nerves would hit me with something like that, but in this case, it was was like the Holy Spirit took a hold of me and led me through it all.  I had no worries, no nerves, just pure excitement and joy.

What was even bigger was the impact, not only in the statement we made as a family and I as the head of my home, but in the way this ministered to so many people who needed something like this.  My friend and pastor, Tim, called me afterwards telling me that this would go down as the most memorable moment of my life and the power of the moment was huge.  The impact that this moment made to people was immense.  God really used our family to send a message that we can be united in Him.  We can come alive in Christ and forge ahead as a family and with our own individual identities in Christ.

I write this and share this not to boast about my own doings, but to share just what the power of the Holy Spirit and being fully surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus can do, not just for your life, but for others.  It has made my family light-up and I firmly believe that this one act.  This 5 minute moment sent a ripple effect that I’m certain will last across the Body.

I’m standing on cloud nine from the events of this week. I look forward to a continued life of growth and sanctification with my wife and as our children move forward.  I’m glad to have been able to share this and I wanted to share this with all of you as well.  God Bless!

Exciting Growth

WAH_BootCampI get amazed every day at the works of the God and how He works in our lives and in those around us.  As I wrote the other day, a year ago, my life was forever transformed when I venture out to Colorado for the Wild at Heart Boot Camp. The Lord transformed me in such a way, causing me to change the way I live and the way I look at life.  It also changed my outlook and approach as a husband and dad.  I had always done the best I thought I knew as a husband and father, but I was still falling way short in many ways.  I didn’t know how to truly be godly husband and father and lead my family the way they deserved to be led and the way God has called me to lead them.

The transformation has been tremendous in that it has resonated from my life to my wife and children.  They are the most precious people in this world to me and to see them respond has been so amazing.  I think we’ve always had a strong marriage, but I truly believe that my wife, Amber, and I are closer than we have ever been with a truly Christ centered relationship.  To see Amber grow has been so amazing.  It used to be that we would argue over matters of faith, because I was dragging her along in it.  I didn’t know how to approach it.  Now she is so alive.  In God’s Word daily getting to know Him personally and then our conversations on what we read and just life are so full of substance and life.

For my kids, they have grown a great deal as well.  They are all very quite and reserved like their parents, but they have responded in so many great ways as well in their desire to learn more.  Our conversations have deeper substance about life and faith.  It’s not just about superficial things.  They are realizing the priorities in life and are each excited about using the gifts God has blessed them with out in the world in a such a way that glorifies Him.

baptism_deadtosin_0005_group-1-e1321461157261With all this life change, this Sunday, January 31, one year to the day from when I nailed the stake in the ground to follow Christ no matter the cost, I will be Baptizing my wife and our 3 children.  It’s such an exciting time for our family and huge testimony and statement to how far we’ve come in just the last year.  To stand before our church family with my family as they also have nailed that stake in the ground is just beyond any words I can really put together.  I am proud of each of them for being willing to take this step in obedience in their walk with Christ.

This is a testament of what can happen when, as men, we take the steps to truly lead our wives and our children in a real and godly manner.  I have this resolution on a wall in my house that concludes with “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15.  That was hung up nearly 4 year ago, but it was not until 3 years later that it became real truth.  That I shed the poser and false self and begin walking with God as I was supposed to be and my family has responded to this.  My wife just glows with the light of Holy Spirit now.  Her beauty is even more tremendous than it has ever been.  Our children, while they still battle as teenagers with daily life, have really come a great distance as well and you can see the Lord’s work in them.

HisFavorite-01We are all God’s favorite.  He has had us in mind from before the beginning.  In John 17:22-23 Jesus, in His prayer to the Father says, “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me.  May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”  I’m thankful to have realized that through Christ we are united now with the Father and that He loves us as much as He loves the Son.  To now reflect the love of the Father with my family, they now know they are also loved deeply by me and the Father.  They know where I stand now, no longer waffling back and forth unsure of life, but now with the confidence of 10 men knowing where I stand now alive in Christ and they are responding.  It’s tremendous and the Lord’s work will continue as we are now stronger than ever before.

“A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian… and most of all, his family ought to know.” – D.L. Moody

Amazing Week and Amazing People

These last few days have been more than I could have ever hoped for.  As I wrote last week, this past Sunday, I made the decision to be Baptized declaring my faith in Jesus Christ to the world.  The man that Baptized me is someone I have grown to have great respect and love for as a friend and brother in the Christ as well as a pastor and mentor.  Truly blessed and honored that having this guy, who has been a big part of my journey, to do this for me.  Many have differing view of what Baptism is.  This is not where my salvation lies, but rather the way to show the world that I died with Christ to my sins and have now been raised to a new life in Christ.

What was one of the most amazing parts of the day was the genuine love that was poured out from people.  Not just from my family, Amber and the kids, but from having my mom come out, a brother from the Wild at Heart Boot Camp, and then so many that are a part of my church family including brothers that have joined in my faith walk.  I’m a real subtle  and laid back kind of guy, but through this whole thing as I sat in that water, there was a smile on my face, that I could not get rid of.  My pastor shared some of my story and then hearing the cheers of those in the congregation, was so awesome.

That night, we had the chance to celebrate more as Mac Powell from Third Day came out for a night of worship, joining our awesome worship team.  What a great way to cap off an amazing day and one I will never forget.  I feel like God has just opened up so much in my life.

Being around everyone through this celebration; I’m reminded of the importance of fellowship and having people in your life to walk in the faith with.  There is true discipleship of walking with God and being guided by the Holy Spirit.  There is also genuine discipleship and fellowship in doing life with others in the faith.  I’ve had some awesome encounters with brothers this week and I can only pray to grow more, spiritually from these moments.  It’s so important to have real and authentic connections with people throughout our life and I’m blessed God has brought these men in to my life.

I have not written much this week as I’ve been just basking in all that has happened and what is to come.  It doesn’t stop here.   The growth will continue.  Here are a few pictures from Sunday…

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Washed By The Water

This Sunday, August 23, is going to be another huge day in my life, and especially in my journey in faith in Christ.  I have thought about his for some time, and have now decided that I will be Baptized.  Yes, I was Baptized 23 years ago, but at that time, I just got wet.  I did so under the thought that it was the right thing to do, but there was no ‘why’ behind it.  There was no real surrender to Christ in my heart and I was not at point to really get to know Him.  But now, 23 years later, I know the ‘why.’  Having given myself fully to Christ with full repentance and surrender, it is now time to do this and this time to do it for real.

I used to be self-righteous in the sense that, yes, I already got Baptized.  I’m good to go.  I realized thought it was not yet well with my soul.  I needed to show the world that I truly have repented of my sins, I have surrendered to the will of the Father, I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I want to live my life with Him above all else from here on out.

I’ve shared a good bit of my journey on this blog.  My life has been radically transformed through my faith and surrender to Christ.  He has made me new and showed me my brokenness, and took me there so that I could be healed and restored.  23 years ago, I never sought to develop and grow in a real relationship with God.  Now I am intentional on walking with Him every day, growing spiritually through each day I spend in His Word, in prayer, and in communion with my family in the faith.

The excitement I have to share this with everyone is so overwhelming.  This is my way of publicly declaring that my life and my heart has been transformed radically.  No longer hiding, but seeking to live a life as an authentic man of God.  It’s going to awesome.  I’ll share some of my experience and pictures later.