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From one baptism to another

Leighton Skinner

Grandpa and Great Grandpa, a believer who follows God, a member of Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena

I was born in the state of Texas into a Christian family. My grandfather, the oldest of seven children, became a minister as a young man. In fact, out of the seven children, four were ministers. My parents took my brother and me to church on Sundays. There was no question about it; Sundays were for church only!

I often heard my parents talking about Jesus. They seemed to have a strong faith which influenced us. I was baptized with my brother and a few other kids when I was nine. In my young mind, Jesus was this remote figure I did not know much about. I was baptized because it felt like that's what you were supposed to do, but I did not know the true meaning of baptism.

Later in my life, I attended church regularly, but I didn't really know the Lord, nor did I have any personal relationship with Him.

Things changed when I met Henry Jones. Henry was starting small groups and gave me the flyer regarding a small group called “Men in Real Life.” I decided to join this group to get to know my Lord and Savior better. There I met many brothers in the Lord. We had weekly Bible Studies as well as social events. My relationship with these brothers deepened with time.

As I walked with them, I became aware of what it took to be a disciple of God, to go out and spread the word. They taught me that it is more than just going to church on Sundays, sitting and listening to the pastor, and worshipping. Don’t get me wrong, that's equally important!

My participation has greatly strengthened my faith. In the short time I have been there, these brothers in Christ have taught me so much about our Savior. They have taught me things I thought I knew but had misinterpreted. Through different lessons, they have helped me walk more closely with Christ.

These brothers have taught me that following Christ is a narrow road that leads to eternity, and conforming to the world is a wide road that leads to destruction. It is such a pleasure to sit and talk to these men and hear their perspectives about God, and I have a lot of faith in their teaching. We got to know each other by sharing our life experiences.

I feel I was embraced by these brothers and by God's love. Gradually, I developed a personal and intimate relationship with God and came to know His goodness. Studying His words and praying have become crucial parts of my life. I understand that the Holy Spirit teaches us to be more like Christ and, by doing so, have deep knowledge about God.

More than ever, I am convinced of Christ’s love. He stepped down from heaven to come and die on the cross for the sins of the world. How can I not serve a God like that?

Everything I do is through Him because He loves me so. Knowing that baptism, an outward showing of an inward faith in Jesus Christ, is symbolic of His death and resurrection, on September 18, 2022, I was baptized in front of the whole church to recommit my faith in Christ. What a happy day it was!

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalms 46:10 "be still and know that I am God."

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