I've been trying to think of things to write that would interest my readers. I thought it might be fun to ask my readers what they were interested in by asking me questions. Here's Ask Matt Monday #1.
Lynn over at Midday Escapades asked: I see that you have a verse of the day in your sidebar. What brought you to God?
I enjoy the verse of the day thing in my sidebar because it provides me (and hopefully my readers) some encouragement/motivation each time I see it.
So, what brought me to God. I had to think about this pretty hard when I was baptized last year. Let me share a little background. As a very small child, my parents had me baptized in the United Methodist church that I grew up in. As long as I can remember, my dad was the youth pastor there, my mom was in the choir and cleaned the church. At some point, my dad became a lay pastor at the same church. With all of this, you can probably imagine how much time we spent at the church.
Not only were we at church a lot, but my parents tried really hard to instill in me the love of Jesus for me. Mom would often read the story of Jonah to me from the Bible. It is my favorite story from the Bible. I've had a few times in life that I've felt like I told God no...went another direction...then found myself back around to where I started and where God wanted me. I'm just glad I didn't have to be eaten by a whale.
Ever since I was old enough, I went to Bible School at church every summer. When I was too old to go to Bible School, I started volunteering to help with recreation (fun time) at Bible School. My dad was a leader for recreation a few years, so I got to be outside with him quite a bit. Dad would do a daily Bible study with me and the other guy that volunteered. It was one of these days that I asked Jesus to come into my life and wash away my sins.
Now, don't get me wrong, for me it wasn't like I asked Jesus into my life and immediately felt a major change in my life. I consider it a growing and maturing process for me. I've gradually learned what God can do in my life and each time I see Him work in my life, I grow a bit closer to him.
Last year, I was preparing to go on a missions trip to Mali, West Africa. As we prepared and I started journaling the journey, I decided it was time to make a commitment to God to let the "old me" die and the "new me" be born. That's kind of the way I think of baptism. So, our church was doing baptisms one Sunday just before the trip and I asked to be baptized. I can't remember for sure, but I think it was on my physical birth birthday (or at least close to it), so it had all kinds of meaning for me.
The trip to Mali was an amazing trip. I'd never been out of the USA and had only flown once before. Each night of the trip, I would do a short Bible study and journal about what I was learning and what we were doing and seeing in Mali. I'll tell you what...It's really hard to go into a country as poor as Mali. Firstly, it was hard to see the poverty level there. Boy do we have it good here in the USA. Secondly, it was hard to see so many people that don't know about Jesus, let alone have a personal relationship with Him.
This is a little bit about my journey. I began my relationship with Jesus at a fairly young age. I've had a lot of exciting journeys with Him. I'm still growing closer to Him every day.
More Questions? If any of you have more questions you'd like to ask, I'd be more than happy to answer them in future Ask Matt Mondays! Leave me a comment!!
If you enjoy creating images, I'd love to have a graphic to put at the top of Ask Matt Monday posts!