heart toward the highway,
even the way
which thou wentest..."
~ Jeremiah 21:31
| "Baptists" is more
than an info or resource web site--it represents a journey.
Having come to Christ as
a teenager, my life was one of committed service to God. This space
does not allow me to share the many wonderful experiences or the challenging
moments that were a normal part of my everyday life for so many years.
However, life has a way of
colliding with even the strongest of believers and I was one of those who
did not steer clear in time. Most of what finally led to my being
totaled out of the Lord's work had to do with not maintaining what was
considered by God and His Word as being the most important human relationship
in my life. After 30-plus years of marriage, we separated, divorced,
and went our separate ways.
Likening my over-five years
of being single again to the children of Israel wondering through the wilderness
because of their sin would be a nice dramatic touch. However, it
would not be accurate or true. In fact, those years were filled with
many points of growth, both emotional and spiritual. Having found
myself wrecked on the side of the road in a state of total emotional burn
out and spiritual exhaustion, God's Spirit of comfort kept me reassured
through the worst moments. Having gone from owning a new custom built
home with two cars in the driveway, to renting a nine by twelve room from
another divorced guy, His love was my seat belt and safety harness.
While others were counting me out of the race, God had parked me in His
garage and was doing a complete overhaul. The gawkers would slow
down as they passed by the wreckage of my life and, instead of lending
assistance, rebuke me for not living up to their expectations. They
wanted me to be as strong as a Hummer all-terain vehicle. I always
knew that I was just a basic Ford.
A year-and-a-half before
posting this site, God brought a wonderful woman into my life. Although,
not of the Baptist persuasion, Marilyn was more than sympathetic to all
that I shared with her concerning my previous life. Furthermore,
her love for me is deeply genuine. Even though she could not personally
relate to all that I had experienced as a Christian while adhering to Baptist
doctrines and principles, she knew that it still meant much to me even
though I was spiritually broken down on the side of the road.
It was she who determined
that we should attend an Easter service at a nearby Baptist church.
I had visited the church only a few times but had been impressed by the
quality of the services and the truly genuine spirit of the pastor.
John Hays was called to the church when it was still a mission. After
a quarter of a century, it is now a thriving congregation of over 1,700
attendees every Sunday with a large church campus and a worldwide ministry.
Having trusted Christ as
her personal Savior, Marilyn was baptized by immersion. I joined
the church by statement that same Sunday. Since then, we have continued
to grow in the Lord. Whether it is long discussions about Bible topics,
a point that hit home when our pastor was preaching, or attending the various
services and events of the church, our tanks are getting filled up and
we are driving down life's highway together.
Many gave up on me.
Some made it their business to inform me that they had consigned my wrecked
life to the junk yard. However, a few kept praying. God answered
I've accepted the fact that
the opportunities for Christian service afforded a man who has been more
spiritually consistent are not to be mine. However, this web site
has given me a way to find expression; to still be able to do something
for Him that makes a difference and perhaps help others of His children
along the way.
Thus, "Baptists" has
provided me with a means to still be of service to God.
My hope is that it will provide
you with some insights, truths, understanding, knowledge, and perhaps a
little direction on your own personal journey. Your comments are
most welcomed should you want to use the link at the bottom of each page
to send an e-mail my way.
| By the way, if
you are wondering who those two people are in the graphic to the right
of the header on the top of each page, well, that's Pastor John baptizing
back on the road again.