OK, Now What?

On February 12, 2014 I made a life changing decision. I was baptized. I buried the old me and a new me rose in it’s place. It’s truly an amazing feeling. In the month that has passed I’ve really stepped back and taken a look at my feelings, my behavior, and how I’m viewed by others. I don’t want to be one of those Christians that others look at and say “She certainly isn’t acting like a Christian.” Trust me, people do that. I’ve done it!

In January 2014, as I was praying one evening before bed, I made the decision to go to the church affiliated with my son’s school. Not knowing if my husband was working or not, I told him that our son and I would be attending the morning service. That’s when my transformation began. A beautiful young lady (who happens to be the pastor’s grand daughter) gave me the book Muscle And A Shovel to read. My husband intercepted the book (he was able to attend church with me that Sunday) and read it first and it was life changing for him. He insisted that I read it and in doing so I learned more about the Bible and the church than I had in my entire life. He chose to be baptized first and after I finished the book I did the same. I had always known that I needed to be baptized but never knew WHY. Now I knew. My heart was ready.

My pre-baptism days consisted of poor decisions, bad behavior, negative energy, and just overall sin. Speaking of sin, yes everyone sins. It’s up to us as Christians to avoid as much sin as we possibly can. Our pastor just spoke of this last week in church…we are all slaves to sin. It’s our job to do what’s right. Sure some people sin without knowing it but others know that what they’re doing is wrong, yet do it anyway. You don’t just sin “a little bit”. I’ve learned that sin is sin regardless of how big or small. I’m working every day to be a better person. Some days it’s a struggle to not revert back to my old way of thinking. I’ve seen others very quickly fall back into their old ways of thinking and doing and it’s so disappointing.

After baptism some people say “Ok, now what? I’ve been baptized so I’m good for eternity.” **two thumbs up** I don’t believe that’s true. I believe in faithful study of God’s word, faithful attendance at church, showing your faith (James 2:17-24) and trusting in God in everything in your life. I’ve learned that you’ve got to make baptism STICK.  You’ve GOT to do the work. Saying you’ll do it and actually doing it are two different things. I know people are watching and waiting to see what God does for me. Maybe they’re on the fence of making the decision to commit their lives to God. You can’t convince someone of how wonderful this gift is if you’re sinning “just a little bit” here and there. What kind of example is that for others?

I’ve taken my baptism very seriously, much to the dislike of others. I guess I’m cramping their style. Oh well!  I’ve attended church every Sunday, I now attend a ladies Bible study on Wednesdays, and I’ve attended a few Wednesday night services. I admit I should be more active in my attendance on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and I’m working on that. The ladies Bible class that I attend is full of inspirational, Godly women. Women that I look up to and hope to be one day. They’re all beautiful, amazing women of all ages and it’s truly an honor to study with them. There’s a sense of love and unity as soon as I walk into the room and when I leave I am uplifted and in such a happy place.

I guess the purpose of this post is to just speak and reflect on the changes in my life. I want to work diligently every day to become a better Christian. I want my kids to look at me with a new respect. I hope that my path can be an inspiration to others. If people wonder why my viewpoints have changed, why my posts on Facebook are a little more kind towards others, and why I’m not encouraging some of the inappropriate behavior of others, it’s because I put my faith in the forefront of my life. I don’t feel like I’m now better than anyone else, but I do feel like I’m in a better place. I’ll end with my favorite scripture:  

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. ~Psalm 103:2

You can find the book Muscle And A Shovel at http://michaelshankministries.com/  It is also available through the Kindle store on Amazon.