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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What a Forgiving God...

Wow...is all I can say about Sunday. We had a baptism service at 3PM at another church in the area since we are sort of in a make shift building at this point. We had 20 people to baptize and it was sooo amazing. I just knew Sunday was going to be awesome....from the my prayer time before church to getting to service. It was like it was just such a reverent repentent time....moved into a celebration time of who God is and what He has done for us. I was truely amazed at how God worked...When people were getting baptized...people were leaving that baptism pool a new creation..you could just see it. We had thorough teaching on Wednesday night about it and its significance to the believer. We had people who had been baptized who never really understood what they were doing...they were just doing because they knew it was something you do after giving your heart to Jesus. One girl gave her heart to Jesus last year and was baptized last year...but she said, "I did not know what I was doing..the church just said you need to be baptized...but this time I feel God working and I know that I will not be the same...it is almost as if God is plucking up those weeds of sin that have been there for so long." It was truely amazing. I was like I was being baptized all over again!!
Also..some of you know the couple that lives next door to Jason and I...well, they were not Christians and we had tried to share with them for so long...then at the first of this year they started to look at houses to buy..Jason and i was heart broken...like maybe we didn't do enough. Well, nothing seemed to work out for them to buy a house...shortly after that they started coming to church...and soon gave their hearts to the Lord...they are very active and they were both baptized Sunday as well...and you know I was balling the entire time they were being baptized. Ashley admitted to me that they just came because they figured we would leave them alone if they came and then the Lord grabbed their hearts. Isn't it amazing how God works.Most of their family was there to see Ashley and Travis get baptized..and most of them need Jesus also..so we are praying for them as well. Ashley is also pregnant and due around Jan. 6th. She is starting to have some problems so pray for her and the baby. Her little boy is the one AG plays with all the time.
I got baptized at the age of 7 or 8 after asking Jesus into my heart at 6 years old. I can remember sitting by the bed in my house with my Dad and brother, Corey. We ask Jesus to come into our hearts. Corey got baptized before I did because I was scared to go under the water. Funny..huh. Well, the next time it came around..I went ahead because I knew I needed to and Corey had done it...well, I knew what I was doing, but I did not understand the significance of what I was doing. I was just being dunked in water...I was more worried about choking in the water...then my dress was causing problems and I was worried people would see under my dress. Too many worries to get what I was doing. Well, about 4 years ago..Mom and I both got rebaptized because she was baptized as a young child. When we were...I cannot begin to describe to you the difference I felt. It was such a memorable moment in my life...I understood and had prepared my heart...to die to those things inside of me as I was under the water and prepared to come up a new creation...not just transformed..God makes us new..He doesn't rebuild...we are NEW!! How awesome is that!!
Although I was saved at 6 years old...it was a process...I would read my Bible off and on...with my Dad being a preacher and all He would ask us questions to see what God was teaching us...well, I would read just enough to be able to tell him something. I knew I needed to be reading it...but did not make it a priority. I even knew then that I was called to Ministry. I felt that calling so deeply. But I had a long way to go. Well, when I went to college...Rhonda and I went on the journey team retreat...this was at the beginning of our freshmen year...so many people were passionate about God and would read their Bible's and write in their journals about what God was teaching them. They were always sharing with us what God was doing. After that weekend...Rhonda and I would sit on our beds across from each other in New Dorm and do our quite time. I can still remember...that is when God really began to transform me and mold me into more of what He wanted instead of what Amanda was trying to build. It was just a steady growth from there. I can truely say that AU and all the teaching and training along with the friendships helped to transform my live. I guess I really do have to give Eric Pratt credit...all those time he would challenge us and make us do things we really didn't want to do...I understand now why he did those things. I am forever grateful. (EVEN FOR THE PAPERS I HAD TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT DOING SENIOR YEAR!! HAHA!!...still not sure if i actually learned anything from all that though!!)
I challenge you...claim victory in your life today over those things that hold you back from being all that you can be in Christ. What is getting in your way of giving it all to HIM!!

1 comments:

Miss Arhonda said...

WOW! What an amazing God we serve. What a glorious time for your body of believers to celebrate! Praise the Lord for that... it never gets old! Thanks for reminding me and refreshing my Spirit about a great start in our walk with the Lord. What great memories and wonderful challenges to our life! Love you!