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FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART September 25,2023

As a pastor, it is always exciting to take part in the baptism of a new believer. I wish I had maintained the “Record of Baptisms” that I started as a young pastor, over forty years ago. I have no idea how many people I have had the privilege of baptizing, but it has been a bunch. One of my most prized possessions is a picture on my desk of a group of people who I had baptized. It was taken at a Fall Festival, where I was dressed in my best Bill Dance costume. God called us to be “fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19).

There is an added excitement to the thrill of baptizing a young Christian when the candidate is someone near and dear to your heart. As “Grandpa,” I have had the joy of baptizing six of my eight grandchildren. Don’t get me wrong. Every person that I have had the opportunity to baptize has a special place in my heart. Yet, there is something special about seeing your prayers for your grandchildren’s salvation answered.

I have even been allowed to participate in the baptism of two of my grandchildren at their home church, New Vision Baptist Church, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I am grateful to Senior Pastor Brady Cooper and Children’s Pastor Josh Reyenga, for making this possible. Josh and I have a common connection of our past relationship with Chip Dickey. I am convinced that this was God’s way of putting the pieces in place that enabled me to baptize my precious girls.

My most recent baptismal experience this past Sunday was made even more special as I baptized our granddaughter, Charlee Kate, on her tenth birthday! We were able to celebrate her birth and her rebirth in Christ Jesus on the same day! I am grateful to our CBC family for understanding my need to be there for this special event. I am also thankful for my friend, John Yarbrough, for preaching in my absence. He brought an excellent message on “Working Out Your Own Salvation,” from Philippians 2:12-16. When we look at the abundance of evil in the world, we can get discouraged. Yet, when we see the light of Christ shining in the eyes of a new believer, we know that God is still at work in our world!

Serving in love, Bro. Jim


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