Today is the ten year anniversary of one of the biggest, and the most important moments in my life. Honestly, one could go as saying this moment helped shaped and provide the very foundation of the person I have become, and will continue to transform into as I grow older.
Ten years ago, on August 4th, 2012, yours truly was baptized and declared to the world my intention to follow my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
As with most baptisms of new Christians, or those who waited before the moment was right like myself, I was asked to give a brief speech, a testimony if you will, before my baptism. Traditionally, I decided to share with those who were in attendance a little bit of my life, and what brought me to that very stage on that day.
Today, in celebrating this10th anniversary, and continuing to live a transparent life through this little blog called Dome Pondering, I've decided to shared with you the text of that very testimony.
It is not much, as at seventeen, I was lucky enough to find and accept Christ at the early age of twelve. Therefore, I warn you DP devotee, it is not as climactic or interesting as some who have lived quite the life before finally doing business with God. However, reading and looking back on that time, the text itself serves as a template for exactly what change my life forever.
The seventeen years I lived before that moment surely cannot compare to the ten that followed to this point in terms of experience, decisions, temptations, trials, and tribulations. That's clearly obvious in any individual's life - unless you're some type of child star. Nonetheless, at that point, sharing such a personal issue at such a young age was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Among the many, many, public speeches I've made through High School, College, College debates, Grad School, and now my professional life, this one still remains at the top.
And today, revealing this to the world is still just as hard.
However, ultimately, it is in celebration of a changed life, a triumphant moment, and most of all, a loving God.
Without further adieu, below is the testimony of yours truly given on August 4th, 2002. I hope you enjoy. And most of all, I hope it somehow sparks interests of faith for you as well.
I grew up as a kid being taught about how good God is and what he did. I believed it, but never really understood it completely. I was very arrogant and self-serving in everything that I did in my life. Whether it was school or life, I did what it took to make sure I got ahead. I made sure I got what I wanted. Despite my actions, and like most people, I thought I was on my way to heaven because I was a "good person" and hey, I didn't kill anyone!
However, in January of 1998, a friend and I were walking by this very church when we noticed a few guys playing basketball. While watching eagerly and in admiration, a man who we will later become close with named "Mr. V" approached us and invited us in. After playing basketball, a little football, and some pool, everyone made their way into an indoor basketball court of the church. It was here where my friend and I began to wonder what we got ourselves into. Little that we knew, the meeting was a weekly boys church youth group. Mr. V talked about life, current and the future, death, and the question of whether we knew where we were going after we died.
It was a really free and open conversation among the hundred or so of us ranging from twelve to twenty-five. Questions and numerous topics were discussed.
From what I remember, the discussion, lesson, and his message were so powerful, that many were scared of leaving and possibly dying that night.
Over the next few weeks I attended the youth groups regularly. Surprisingly I began to attend for the lessons and the discussions more than for the games.
On a Friday afternoon in April of 1998, I rushed home after baseball practice to attend the seven o'clock youth group. During Mr. V's message, he challenged us to speak with him if we were really serious about what he spoke of. After the youth group, I stayed, along with others, and spoke with him. Firing question after question. Receiving answer after answer.
It was then I realized I was not as good as I thought I was and that simply "believing" was not enough. In fact, I knew at that point that I was not good enough before a perfect God, and that something most people scoff at and offer up as usual "religious" stuff, that Jesus was indeed the way, the truth, and the life. That night I decided to give my heart, life, and will over to God.
Shortly after, I regularly attended Sunday servies with my parents, and this time made it a point to actually not sleep or daydream through them. A couple months later, I began volunteering, and before you knew it, I was working here as the media supervisor overlooking the very power point presentations you see on the screen, the lights we use on this stage, and managing the sound for the awesome band that we have every Sunday morning.
In the year 2000, I gave up playing baseball on my H.S. team to pursue this part of my life through further missions and projects that have further changed my life forever. I focused all of my attention on my new love, Jesus Christ.
As opposed to living for myself and going through life claiming to "believe", I now live for Jesus, and I now know for sure in my heart that I live to see His will go forward.