Today marks 5 years since I was baptized at Northridge Church (formerly North Baptist). Our lead pastor wrote about that particular Sunday in a blog post shortly afterwards that you can read here.
The decision to be baptized by immersion was a difficult one for me. I wrestled with it for over a year before I finally made the decision. In the end, it was about my pride and my image before other believers. I was infant baptized, became a follower just after high school, but didn't see the significance of baptism for years.
Then my conscience bothered me regularly. I thought that because I had been a believer for a few years, I had effectively "accepted" my infant baptism and didn't need to perform a ritual I associated with being a "baby Christian". But eventually the conviction grew too strong and I submitted to God's word -- I had nothing to lose but my pride and so much to gain (including the joy of publicly declaring my faith and the ability to become a member at the local church that I love with all of my heart).
I haven't regretted that decision once. It was the start of a dramatic shift for my wife and I as we began to grow by leaps and bounds in our faith, both independently and together (we had only been married for 6 months at that point). But the most dramatic shift was our involvement in our local church.
Not long after, North Baptist changed names to Northridge Church and built a new wing to house our growing regular attendance. In another blog post, this one about our first Sunday in the new building, has a comment that I posted (dated Feb 9, 2010...you can see the post here).
Heather and I tagged ourselves and some other people in pictures of the first service in the new building on Facebook. Shortly after, a few of our friends saw the pictures and commented on how amazing our church looks and sounds from all they've heard.
We are so blessed to be where we are. We know that wherever I have to go for school and work, we'll always be trying to find a way to come back and settle in Rochester so we can be a part of this family and ministry. It's so amazing what God has done here!
That was almost three years ago, shortly after my qualifying exam for my Master's degree in Biophysics -- when I expected a long career in scientific research. We found a way to settle in Rochester after all, but in a way I never would have guessed.
To God be the glory for plans, purposes and possibilities that are far beyond what I could imagine. I am so thankful that He is God and I am not...