Vickie, Colleen and Neil’s Baptism Pictures

Please let me share some pictures of our very special day (8-27-11) at Tampa First.

Vickie, fourth from the left, moved into the apartments next door to our church. She immediately started visiting our church, and joined my Sabbath morning SS Growth group as well as my Wednesday morning Community Bible Study. This is a  picture of her at my Wednesday Community Bible study. She told me after just a couple of weeks, that she grew up mostly without a family and for me to share with everyone that when she came to this church, it was the first time in her life she felt like she was part of a family! And she is an active part of our church family too. She is already helping out with church office work and other things.

Neil, on my right, was re-baptized today, after coming back to the Lord earlier this year. While homeless, he turned his life over to Jesus, came back to church and finished his associate medical degree! Neil has been an inspiration to me, and I am so glad we have become friends.

Colleen, being baptized by Pastor Brad, completed her baptism workbook with her mother’s help. I also studied with her in my baptism class earlier this year. Colleen is very active in our Adventures club. Colleen writes: “I want to be baptized because I love Jesus and I want to give my life to Him.”

Neil writes: ”

    • Being rebaptized,means a lot,God is willing to forgive me of my sins,to be able to start all over again,is a blessing,my Heart is burning for the love he has granted us,to know what it means to humble yourself and the most strongest Word to me,Faith,not just hearing it,but seeing His amazing love at work,He has blessed me with the chance to see my sisters and brothers in Christ,and to be able to let others not just know,but see,that we are his children,and the purpose he has for us.AMEN!!

      Vickie writes: “Baptism is the beginning of my new life. I go under with the old but come up strong and new!”

      Jim, my assistant leader of the Wednesday Community Bible Study group welcomes Vickie to the family!

      Scott, one of our local elders is congratulating Neil after his baptism.

      My SS Growth Group had a luncheon for Neil and Vickie after their baptisms. Colleen celebrated with her family. Here, Neil is with David and Aimee, and his family, who came all the way from Chicago for this special event.

      Donna and I had our picture taken with Vickie.

      Don’t let the sun go down on you before you make your decision for Jesus Christ! He loves you so much He gave all of His life for you. Will you give all of your life for Him? I would love to visit with you about being baptized. You can call me at 813-933-7505 or write to me at LayPastor@TampaAdventist.net

Aaliyah and Trei’s Baptism Pictures

Sabbath, July 16 was another special Sabbath for the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist church as two young people gave their lives to Jesus in baptism. They wanted to give all of themselves to Jesus because He had given all of Himself for them.

In 2008 ASI came to Tampa and held some evangelistic meetings. Wes, an ASI Bible worker met and studied with Larry and Janice, who became baptized. It did not stop there though.  For the next three years Larry and Janice have been sharing Jesus with all of their friends and family. Several of their family members have been visiting my New Believers Sabbath School Growth Group. Larry in now a deacon, and Janice distributes literature in her neighborhood and everywhere she goes.

Larry and Janice’s granddaughter, Aaliyah also goes with Janice, distributing literature and inviting people to church. She had been wanting to be baptized for a while. She did a very good job on her baptism workbook, and when I came over to study with her and her grandmother, she always had all of her lessons filled out, along with some insightful notes she had made at the end.

Trei and his parents faitfully attended my baptism class at church on Sabbath mornings. Trei completed his work and was always happy to pray and answer questions in my class. Trei’s mother Leila is also helping me with a Growth Group on Wednesday nights. Trei and his family like to encourage others to know Jesus and to share Bible truths with them.

Pastor Brad went over the baptismal vows with Aaliyah and Trei before the baptism.

“I want to be baptized because I love God and want Him in my life. I want to be closer to Him. I know He is more important than anything else. I’m ready to give up my life for Him and my heart inside is saying I need to be baptized.” -Trei

“Getting baptized for Jesus means becoming a better person and follwing Jesus and the commandments. I want to be baptized so I can have my sins washed away not go behind God’s back and sin all the time. I want to live a new and better life for Jesus.” – Aaliyah

Russel Norton was one of the first to welcome Trei and Aaliyah to the Tampa First family right after church service today.

 

Revelation 10; Spreading the Good News

I am writing this morning from the beautiful Tampa First SDA Church.

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. Revelation 10:11

 We are to give the last warning of God to men, and what should be our earnestness in studying the Bible and our zeal in spreading the light! Let every soul who has received the divine illumination seek to impart it. Let the workers go from house to house, opening the Bible to the people, circulating the publications, telling others of the light that has blessed their own souls. Let literature be distributed judiciously, on the trains, in the street, on the great ships that ply the sea, and through the mails.  {9T 122.3} 
     A great work is to be done, and those who know the truth should make mighty intercession for help. The love of Christ must fill their own hearts. The Spirit of Christ must be poured out upon them, and they must be making ready to stand in the judgment. As they consecrate themselves to God, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others. We must no longer sleep on Satan’s enchanted ground, but call into requisition all our resources, availing ourselves of every facility with which Providence has furnished us. The last warning is to be proclaimed before “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings,” and the promise is given, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Revelation 10:11; Matthew 28:20.  {9T 12} 

 The Lord will fit men and women–yes, and children, as He did Samuel–for His work, making them His messengers. He who never slumbers or sleeps watches over each worker, choosing his sphere of labor. All heaven is watching the warfare which, under apparently discouraging circumstances, God’s servants are carrying on. New conquests are being achieved, new honors won, as the Lord’s servants, rallying round the banner of their Redeemer, go forth to fight the good fight of faith. All the heavenly angels are at the service of the humble, believing people of God; and as the Lord’s army of workers here below sing their songs of praise, the choir above join with them in thanksgiving, ascribing praise to God and to His Son. {7T 71}

As well as carrying out my regular responsibilities as a Bible Worker at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church, I have also been teaching the young people at Tampa Adventist Academy to mark their Bibles and give Bible studies. This week I have begun a baptism class with about 28 kids. Seven of them have already been baptized but wanted to take the class as a “refresher course.” I decided to let them attend but to also have them help Pastor Brad and me in actually doing some of the presentations! I have made Power Point Presentations out of the In Light of The Cross Bible study guides, so each baptized student will have an opportunity to give a lesson in the baptism class. I was amazed how excited the kids were to do this!