Archive for July, 2011

Joseph Austin gets baptized in the Jordan River.

by   |  07.05.11  |  Honors Student Achievements

One thing I have battled with in my faith is my baptism.  I was raised Baptist and remember getting baptized like it was yesterday at my home church, First Baptist Church in Mont Belivieu.  I can recall going up to the front of the church and getting hidden in Bro. Glenn Howard’s arms away from the crowd at the time because I was so shy.  I told him I was ready to get baptized and I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart.  After the closing song Bro. Glenn announced my profession to the church!  I was thrilled, people were shaking my hand and calling me brother.  I was so excited and remember the next Sunday getting baptized.

I walked in, wearing my white robe into a hot tub of water and wondering if Jesus did the same thing.  I got submerged and at the time was not to sure of what that was about, all I knew was I that Jesus was real and was related to God.  I was also just 8 years old.

When I moved to Leakey, Tx I was 16 and started going to church at Concan Church of Christ and began questioning my commitment to God.  I doubted if God recognized my baptism at 8, because I did not fully fathom was truly happened and what my LORD did for me on that cross.  I talked to Coach Crafton about it several times who was taking me to church there and he told me to go for it.  The truth was, at Concan, on a good day had about 50 members 99% were all baptized.  I was nervous about going forward and telling people that I shammed God when I was younger, the guilt continued to weigh me down.

June 12, 2011 all the guilt I had was taken away.  I walked into the Jordan River like a young child, smiling from ear to ear; I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. The water was not as deep as it should have been for a 6’ foot man like me, but I got on my knees and looked to the heavens.  Mr. Austin, who is not related to me , but I’ve really grown to love as man of God, told me how proud he was of what I had overcome so far in my short life.  I have felt like I’ve battled through a lot in my life already and I know God is ‘holding every tear’ for me.  The LORD is so good to me and has always replaced a scar with a beautiful blessing.  Mr. Austin then submerged me in the Jordan River along with all of my doubts and sin, and I came up a new man.

There was no dove come down, but what there was a feeling of peace and calm I have never truly experienced.  I felt like I was with God and He was with me there at the Jordan like I had never experienced Him before. I got out of the water and knew that I was in the same body of water that Jesus Christ was.  While, it was not the same location it is still an amazing feeling to have that connection with Christ.  I am thankful for God’s love and the miracle of baptism and how you can truly be cleansed not because of special water, such as the Jordan, but because of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross.  I cannot fathom the land here in Israel, I can just thank God for the privilege He has given to me.  We serve an awesome God!