Telling Stories

It was surreal coming out of the water. When I was completely engulfed in the water, it felt like time had stopped and I just looked around and had a moment with God. I was just with Him. This moment cannot be described on paper, or in this case, on your digital screen. Being baptized is something that I’ve seen but did not completely know how important it is until I actually experienced it.

My testimony was so short because I couldn’t fit it all on one paper. There is so much more that God has done in my life but they’re all those small details… I love those details because they all tie into a story. And that is what I need to share everyday, not just that one day.
While writing my testimony that would be read before I was baptized, I was so paranoid that my testimony wasn’t perfect or good enough for that moment. The sentences were too choppy, I couldn’t put into words what God has done over the past year, and I ended up repeatedly erasing everything I had attempted to write.
Then I remembered something that I had learned about baptism; I don’t need to be perfect or put together to be baptized. That was a lie the devil had been telling me for years and I finally realized that I was never gonna have it all together. That is impossible. I need God to hold me together everyday of my life. And that is what my testimony was. It is not picture-perfect and it is long with a lot of details. I messed up a lot. The road has been long and at times dreary. But God held me together all this time and continued to work in my life throughout the troubled times. That was what I needed to say.
Baptism is an amazing decision you can make in your life. But I’ve realized, over the past few days, that it is what happens afterwards that is when you faith is really put in the spotlight. The devil has really been attacking me just in these past few days. I got baptized 4 days ago. And here I am, already feeling the weight of temptation. Theres temptation everyday, but the decisions are more real to me now because of my perspective. My proclamation was true Sunday morning, so am I going to live that way? I sure am trying to!
Tell your story.
 I grew up in a Christian home and have known Jesus my whole life. I never thought my story was significant or worth a listen. But when you give your life to Christ, completely surrendering your desires and heart, He will do mighty things in your life. He will write your story. He is writing your story right now. Share it. People love to hear stories. Its something that draws us together. We can share experiences with each other, laughter with each other, advice with each other, love with each other. This is something God has given you to use for His kingdom. If you think you can’t do anything and don’t know how to contribute to God’s Kingdom, the answer is simple. Share your story. The testimony you share could birth many new testimonies of how Jesus moves in others’ lives.
Romans 6:4 
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Matthew 28:19-20
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Acts 1:8
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Philemon 1:6
And I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.

How To Change The World.

Sunday night, as I was preparing for a long week of school starting that next day, I was reflecting on how I was doing and where I was at. I think its important that we do that every once in a while. Its important to always know who you are, what we are doing, and why we are doing whatever it is we are doing.

So as I was thinking, I recalled how many times I had complained that day. The more I really thought about it, the more times I remembered me complaining. Why is it so easy to complain? Seriously, I get caught in that “complaining mode” too often. It becomes apart of our personalities and our conversations as we sit there and talk about how hungry we are and how cold it is and how tired we are and how much homework we have… It is very sad.

Something you probably hear a lot is “Live like its your last day on earth” or something like that. We hear it all the time. But I have never connected that saying to my words. I have never thought about my last words. If I knew that I had one day to live, what would I say to everyone? Those moments would be precious and I wouldn’t want to waste time with small talk. And I definitely wouldn’t be complaining. I would be telling people how much I love them and any advice or regrets I had in my life. I would want people to learn from my life and lead a great one, not hear my complaining and me feeling sorry for myself.

Your words are so influential. They change the course of this world everyday. How you treat someone will effect them for the rest of their life because its one domino that will start a chain reaction. Whether or not you think your small talk with someone at school or at work is meaningless, you need to realize that everything you say is meaningful. So make it good.

This week, I’ve been trying not to complain as much and think more positively throughout my days at school. It has been difficult to steer clear of those complaints that are always on the tip of my tongue. But what God has shown me through that is to think, really think, about the words I’m saying. I don’t want people to think that I am a complainer and I have nothing good in my life. I have so many good things in my life. God is always good. My family is amazing. My friends are always there for me. I have food, water, clothes, a house…The list goes on. Why am I complaining? Because I didn’t get enough sleep last night because I stayed up too late? Why poison the air with negative comments about something that was my fault?

Our words portray many things. Our hearts, our character, but also our God. If you say that you are Christian, people are listening to your words in all kinds of different situations. Do you realize the power you have with your words?

God needs you to represent your faith well because others that don’t know Him are looking to you for answers. If you’re seen complaining, why would they want what you have with Jesus? Or they will hear that and go ahead and complain with you. Complaining is very contagious.

I want to challenge you to think, really think, about your words the rest of this week and this weekend. Always remember that they can change the world.

Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Matthew 15:18

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Matthew 12:36

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,