November 11, 2012
I had a good but brief experience with God at the age of 15, but I drifted away. I later met a man named Matt at work in Newport, Oregon, who spoke a lot about the Bible and God. For seven years he pressed me about my beliefs of God but I kept listening to the nay-sayers about Jesus. I lived my fleshy life and Matt lived his life steady as a rock. Well needless to say my life was a roller-coaster ride with many ups and downs.
In May I hit a spiritual rock bottom. Matt's church was on my way home every day from work. Driving by one day it demanded my attention yet I drove by. I didn’t get far and had to turn around and go back. God convicted me and I started attending church regularly! But the flesh thing rose up again. God has His plans but I wanted my plans. I set out after my own plans.
I ended up eventually in Roseburg in August. God kept nudging me and I began feeling that I needed to find a place to live in this wilderness of Roseburg. I do think it started as if I was cast into the wilderness. No friends no family, just me. As I looked for a place to live in Roseburg, I kept ending up on W. Lookinglass Rd. It is noisy and crowded in comparison to what I was used to but, man, was I drawn to that area. So I settled in. A new friend at work invited me to his church in Sutherlin but it was too far for me to get to. He then suggested if I wanted a closer church I should check out Redeemer’s. He said Steve is a great pastor and - Oh, by the way - it is right down your street! I felt the nudge of conviction for God had made it so easy for me to go to Church. Well, I have been attending. I have had my ups and downs but here I am learning and loving God and His son Jesus. What started as a journey into the wilderness has turned into a promised land. I have a church that is teaching me and loving me.
About a month ago I felt a nudge and began inquiring about baptism. After a phone conversation with Pastor Hugh, he sent me some information on baptism to look over. I was looking forward to getting it but, somehow when it came the packet was misplaced. Last Wednesday I was on my knees for the first time and pouring out everything in my life, including baptism and what did He want me to do. I had been walking to work but that day I decided to take my truck and out from under the seat I see an envelope. It was my packet of baptism information. It had not been more than 10 minutes since I had prayed. I followed up quickly and did not hesitate. Here I am, Lord.
Delbert Tobin Foley
I’ve been raised in the church. My parents and sisters and I all had strong ties to the church and I had many close friends through church. But I knew quite early on that it wasn’t enough. I knew that even though I had asked the Lord to be my Savior, there was more to it. I watched my wife be baptized years ago and I have watched how much that changed her life and her commitment to Christ and her family. Now I am seeking that for myself. I have been dragging my feet for a long time because I know it means a commitment to God, my church, my family and friends to be more Christ-like. I am ready. McKenna Shea Foley
I have been a Christian all my life and I’ve gone to Redeemer’s since I was a baby. I have accepted Christ into my life and I am ready to make a commitment to becoming closer to God and changing my ways to become a better follower of Christ.
James Scott Campbell
I became a Christian at the age of 11, by way of my Sunday school teacher. My parents did not attend, but they made sure we did. I never got into much trouble. I married at age 20 and had 2 wonderful girls who are both grown and gone and doing well. In 2005, after 33 years of a wonderful marriage, my wife passed away due to cancer. I remarried for 5 years but that did not work out. I am currently attending Redeemer’s Divorce Care class. I have no doubt that for the last 5 years the Lord has instructed me to be baptized. The feeling is now very strong and I am determined to follow His will. As a young senior I am about to open a new chapter of my life. The book of Titus is guiding me. With the Lord’s hand, He will show me new horizons.
I attended church as a child with my parents and my four brothers. When I was a teenager I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. My mother was a wonderful person and a devout Christian. She lived her adult life for Jesus, and was a wonderful testimony not only to her family but to every person she met. I am so thankful to have had her in my life as my mother, a friend, and as a role model of true faith and dedication to the Lord.
For the past 30+ years I have talked more ABOUT God, than talking TO Him. Always giving thanks for the blessings that He has given me, and certainly always looking to Him during my times of grief, stress and need. Always relying on His mercy & grace, but not reading His word, nor behaving as a follower of Jesus in my daily living.
In June of this year, a Christian friend of mine named Connie, told me about her Church, and suggested I listen to some of the sermons online. I followed her suggestion and began listening to sermons from Trail Christian Fellowship Church in Eagle Point, OR. The Lord used Pastor Rick’s teaching to open my eyes and my heart to the life I should be living. When searching for a church in Roseburg one of the Pastors from TCF recommended Redeemer’s. I now attend the early Sunday morning services at Redeemer’s. I am a bit concerned about the rest of the congregation being bored, because it sure seems like Pastor Steve is talking directly to me!
I know the Lord worked through Connie the evening she told me about her church and I will always be grateful for that. I have rededicated my life to Christ, and I now spend my days talking TO Him, and talking ABOUT Him with a lot more conviction and praise. I am amazed daily at the power of the Holy Spirit! Praise the Lord!
I was baptized early in my life. I remember my dad helping the pastor, my siblings standing in line waiting, the altar open and filled with water for the baptism. What I don't remember is an understanding of why I was going through that ceremony. Looking back, I believe it was because that is what my parents wanted and what others were doing at the time. My life or beliefs were not altered by that event.
I remember the day I walked away from Jesus. I was so very angry that He let my dear friend Debbie die in a car accident. I remember the scene, my dad telling me she was gone, the funeral, having to say goodbye when I didn't want to and didn't know how to. I was told that she went to heaven, that God has a purpose for everything, that I shouldn't be mad, or miss her, or feel abandoned. Apparently, I was too young to know all of those things. I blamed God for all of my pain.
The church I grew up in did not speak of a relationship with Jesus, only of the wrath of God, the necessity of repenting sin and the hell that was full of sinners, fire/brimstone, and agony. It was easy to walk away from this religion. Through the next two decades I explored other religions, called myself "spiritual" rather than religious.
During the last year of my life it seemed that I had everything I wanted: a family, a house I loved, the ability to stay home with my son, an adequate income that supported the lifestyle we wanted to live. Yet I was still mostly unhappy and wanting more, but wasn't sure what that "more" was. Three months ago, my life was turned upside down by a very unexpected and overwhelming event. As I started to talk with friends about what was happening I received an unsettling yet ultimately life-changing response from a friend. My friends had learned that discussing religion with me was a difficult and sometimes argument-inducing exercise so they very rarely brought it up. This friend took a chance and acknowledged that reaching out to God would be the only action I could take to help me through this trauma. I respected this friend because of what I had seen this friend go through over the years and how this friend responded to those events. God appeared very present and a strong influence for my friend’s life.
When I walked into Redeemer’s for the first time, I was concerned that I would feel those same emotions I had when I was younger: claustrophobia, judgment, trapped. To my surprise, I felt none of that, so I went back. Each week I cried throughout the beautiful music and the message but felt comfortable, secure and more at peace than I have in a very long time. When baptism was mentioned I immediately knew it was the next step in my path as a Christian. I joked with a friend recently that I have been speaking with Jesus so often that I wonder how anyone else can get a word in, but I know now that He listens to all of us, hears our words and responds in a way that only He can. We just have to be willing to listen and follow.
Mary Ann Eckard
I was married nearly 56 years when I lost my husband to adrenal cancer this last year. It has been an uphill struggle just to get out of bed in the morning to begin my day.
My husband Ray and I did everything together. We especially loved golfing 3 to 4 days weekly for many years. We were strong, healthy, energetic partners that loved life! The day he left us I just felt so lost and empty. I wanted to be strong for my daughter and son, but my heart was broken and I thought I would never be able to smile again. As the months passed I continued to mourn his passing and missed his hugs.
My daughter, Kimberly, suggested we start attending Redeemer’s Fellowship together. We both are new and have been attending for only five weeks, but we love it. Everyone is so friendly and caring. We both are attending the Grief Share class together with Ruth Botens.
Yes, I miss Ray and would give anything to have him back by my side, but I know God has a plan for all of us and good things will eventually surface for my family. Both my daughter and I are being baptized together to become closer to God and follow the path he has planned for us. We are looking forward to sharing this moment together. Kimberly Ann Eckard
I was raised in a home that stopped going to church when I was young. I've always wanted to participate in church, but was married to a man for 22 years that refused to go with me. So I decided not to attend alone.
Last year my father died of cancer and my husband was sentenced to 6 years in prison for a crime he still states he didn't commit. These two heart-wrenching, life-changing events took place within 12 days of one another. I was devastated and felt lost and alone for many months. I was forced to get out of bed because of my job, but my feet felt like two heavy weights as I worked my 12-hour shifts as an RN at Mercy Medical Center.
Now, over one year later, I decided to walk into Redeemer’s all by myself, sit in the front row, and pray to God for His help and guidance. After leaving church the first morning I felt better, not great, but better. I returned the following Sunday and repeated my routine of praying and listening to Pastor Steve. I started singing and listening to the wonderful upbeat band. It began to feel like home. I attended the third and forth week and my life was beginning to change for the better.
I purchased a Holman Illustration Study Bible and began reading. My brain absorbed everything like a sponge. I used a daily devotional book to help with finding the different verses for me to concentrate on. I began to feel life becoming worth living again. I joined Redeemer’s Grief Share class with my mother, Maryann Eckard, and we both are going through our healing process together.
I know it's very important for me to continue to follow God's plan! I don't feel alone anymore because I pray for God to be with me continuously. I do feel His presence all through my day and I know how blessed I am to have Him back in my life. He can direct my decisions. I no longer feel tired, run down, and lifeless. I want to be baptized so that God knows He is my one and only. He is the one I want to follow. He is the one I give my problems to. He is the one that will always be there with me and for me. He is the one that will NEVER leave me. He is my Saving Grace. I want to prove to Him how much I love him, worship Him, will follow Him, will live a Christian life for Him, and always pray to Him for His guidance. I need Him in my life FOREVER!
My story is a simple one. I was baptized as an infant and raised in a Christian home. I have loved, trusted, and followed the Lord all of my life except a bit of teen rebellion! I have always believed that my early baptism was enough, but in the last few months the Lord has been nudging me in a new direction. I have had several "discussions" with Him about this, and each day in my devotional time, I feel a stronger and stronger pull that an adult baptism is something I need to do. I recently read in Acts 22:16 "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name." And so, I come to be baptized following His lead in faithfulness to Him.
I was born Manuel Dovalos Ortega, and raised in the Catholic church. I married and had 4 children and worked very hard providing for them. Later in my life, my oldest son and his wife took me to their church, pastored by Raul Reese. That was where I first learned about Christ. I also learned about Christ as I watched my son and his wife walk with Christ and their lifestyle. I could see that my life was missing a true walk and relationship with Christ.
I moved to Canyonville, Oregon where I met Mitze, a church going woman. She got me to attend church again and I am learning how to become a good Christian man. I want to be baptized as my declaration to be one with my Lord. Having already asked Christ to be the Lord of my life, it is now time to make a public declaration for all to see that I believe and want to follow my Lord. My baptism is my decision to announce my life with Christ. Soon I hope to marry again with Mitze, to be equally yoked in Christ and to walk as one. I look forward to being baptized and my new life with my Lord Jesus Christ.
Teresa Rose LaZear
I grew up in Indiana. I was raised Catholic and followed the Catholic teaching until I was 9 years old, when my father died. After his death I no longer attended church regularly. I always believed in God but did not understand Him. I never knew the Bible was His story. For the next 16 years I lived knowing there was a God but not knowing God. When I was 25, I got married and had 4 kids. I went back to the Catholic Church and raised my kids as I was raised. After 8 years of marriage, my husband started using drugs and our marriage unraveled. I turned my back on God. Then, I met John who was an amazing Christian. But after a short 5 years and a surgery gone bad, John died at age 40. I was left widowed with 4 young kids. I stayed mad at God for the next 8 years. I put all my energy into working and raising my kids. I was so alone yet I knew something was missing.
About a year ago I had a friend at work who was a Christian who asked me about my faith. I told him I was still angry at God. He told me the story of Ruth. I read and studied it and started to understand more about the Bible and the lessons it holds for us. We came to Redeemers together for the first time after being invited by a co-worker (Cindy). The first time I went to church something strange happened that I did not understand. I was so confused. After the sermon I started to try to look up on the computer what it feels like to be "touched by the hand of God." There wasn’t much information. I decided to go back to Redeemer’s the next week alone to see if it happened again, and it did. After the sermon, while singing, (I never sang at church before because I sound so bad) I felt a warm feeling touch me and I started to cry. I was embarrassed because I did not know why I was crying.
I came to the church a couple more times and felt great after church. Even after working all night the church experience was so different it made me feel good. I tried to get a friend to come with me so I was not alone, but he wouldn't. Somehow that pulled me away and I stopped coming. Then, after a major event in my life happened, I decided I was not going to give in to the temptation to run and hide. I promised myself if I came to Redeemer’s and still felt the hand of God I would dedicate my life to God, and it happened. I am so blessed. I filled out a card requesting guidance and after the first letter from Pastor Steve I felt the need to be baptized. I know I walk into the church alone but I am no longer alone. I pray my children and my boyfriend will someday know the feeling I get every Sunday, and every time I pray. The tears are no longer from being sad but they are cleansing my soul.
I grew up in California. I guess my childhood was pretty normal. My parents did not attend church but my brother and I went to Sunday school. My dad was probably the biggest influence in my life. I was very close to him and he was a wonderful father. I grew up with very low self-esteem. I wasn't one of the “cool kids.”
In my late teens I started experimenting with drugs. It was a way for me to fit in. The next 30 years of my life were spent as an addict. When my daughter was little I decided I needed to change my life. I started going to a fellowship and got clean. I remained clean for 3 years and then I met and married my ex-husband. I went right back into addiction. My marriage was centered around drugs and alcohol and it soon became abusive. My parents had moved to Oregon a few years prior, so I decided it was time to get out. After I moved here I was in and out of my battle with drugs.
I just kept thinking how good my life was when I was going to church and building my relationship with Christ. It was the only time in my life that I had peace in my heart. I knew a life with Christ was the only chance I had. Around that time, I received a call that my dad had died suddenly. Losing my father was what brought me to my knees. In that moment I started praying again and haven't stopped. I spent my life as a sinner, but God gave His only Son to save us. Now my life is spent humbled before my Lord and Savior.
August 12, 2012
My belief in God goes back to my childhood, where I was lucky enough to accompany my Grandma Tiny to church. During these times, she shared her faith with me, and showed me what it was like to be a devoted Christian - her example and the faith that was instilled in me, has been with me ever since. Throughout middle school and high school, I joined my friends as an active participant in youth groups. At that point in time, I asked God to forgive me for my sins, but during my college years, my relationship with Him was distanced, possibly non-existent at times.
Dan came into my life in 2005 and we were married in 2008. Throughout our time together, we have experienced a few of life's challenges. I've always had faith that things happen for a reason, and that God doesn't give us more than we can handle - but during these times I wasn't so sure. Looking back, I see that it was all part of His plan. He put us together to lean on each other, to lift one another up, to get through all He has given us.
A couple years ago, some friends of ours invited us to come to Redeemer's with them. Coming into a new church after such a long absence was a little intimidating, but it welcomed us with open arms and has been very comforting ever since. Being part of the church is something that we needed in our life. The missing piece. My belief in God, has been renewed and strengthened. I stand here today as a believer, showing my obedience to the One who first loved me.
I am so blessed that my husband has chosen to do the same, so we can begin the next chapter of our lives.
Ever since I can remember, Christ has been a part of my life. However, I have never allowed Him complete control of my life until coming to Redeemer's with my family and learning about the sacrifice Christ made for me. I have had numerous tragedies in my life, in which, I feel I would have never survived without Christ taking control and steering me in the right direction. As a child at church camp, I asked Christ to forgive my sins and accepted him as my Savior. Until now, I did not fully understand the importance of becoming baptized. I want everyone to know I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and He is in control of my life. I truly feel without the guidance of Him throughout my life, I would not be here now.
I was adopted from Los Angeles, California Children’s Hospital by a loving Christian couple and raised in Burbank, California. I attended the Little White Chapel church, and was baptized during my adolescent years. I graduated from Burbank High where I played football and played the trombone in the school dance band & marched in the Rose Bowl Parade in 1956. I joined the US Air Force in 1956, spent 18 months in Japan, came home from the service, got married and continued attending the Little White Chapel, and later so did our kids.
I graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and went to work in the industry.
All these years, not one pastor ever mentioned the fact that to be saved you had to give your heart to the Lord, but living in a Christian home I felt I'd be saved. Many years passed and divorces and in 2005 I moved to Roseburg from Portland where I was introduced to a wonderful Christian lady, who is now my wife. She and Redeemer’s have been instrumental in my becoming a believer, hence my desire to identify with Jesus and have my sins washed away. I want to thank the Lord for bringing me to the right place, and I look forward to being closer to the Lord.
My life was chaotic, I was an IV drug user and spent over 15 years in prison. I felt unneeded, unwanted and useless.
I gave the Lord control and asked him into my heart on March 21,2008.
I made a commitment to live a life honoring and serving him. I want to be baptized again as an act of many things: appreciation, commitment, love and faith. My life is so different now. I am so blessed by His grace everyday. My Aunt and Uncle have been a huge part of my walk with the Lord and are here with me today.
I was saved in 2007 after I had enrolled into the Salvation Army's Christian based drug rehab program. I had been homeless and addicted to drugs and I wanted a different life. My first years as a baby Christian were hard and I encountered many ups and downs. The enemy took every opportunity to challenge my faith. I spent years spiraling downward until, as a loving answer from the Lord, I was provided with the opportunity to move to Oregon and make a break from my life in California. Since stepping foot onto Oregon soil, I've acquired the support I needed to ground my faith and begin my renewed walk with my Lord as one of His. So far the blessings have been AMAZING and I am grateful for every one of them. One of the biggest blessings was being welcomed into Redeemer’s so warmly. Being baptized today (August 12th) means the world to me. It is my act of proclaiming my loyalty to Christ and my promise to follow Him long and strong, for the rest of my days!
PATRICE MARY GLASSCOCK
I was raised in a Christian household. I was baptized as an infant. Next was my first holy communion. Then confirmation. I went to church every Sunday because that’s what we had to do. Around age 16, I was given a choice and I decided to stop going to church (much to the dismay of my parents). Oh, I attended on Easter and Christmas because I felt it was my duty, but I did not seriously return until I had children of my own. I wanted them to have some sort of religious education because they had to have something! But again, I was going because I felt I had to, not because I felt the desire to have a closer relationship with Jesus. When I first started attending Redeemer’s a few years ago things began to change. I started attending Bible studies. I started really learning about the Bible. A stirring was welling up inside me. I became hungry for a deeper relationship with Christ. Learning more about what baptism really means, and as a choice freely made by the believer, I have decided that now is the time to proclaim my love for Jesus and follow the direction He has for my life.
I grew up in a family that was not the happiest of households. My Grandma Hilda was always worried about me when I was growing up and she would occasionally take me to church. In my early teens, I asked Christ to forgive my sins and be my Lord and Savior at a church summer camp. My faith in Christ helped me through the difficult times at home but I drifted away from the church in my later teens. In the past six months, my wife and I started to feel compelled to attend church. This compelling feeling turned to a feeling of urgency. We asked our neighbors Pam and Ron if we could go to church with them and we first attended Redeemer’s on Fathers Day. That day changed our lives and I renewed my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am very thankful to have a place to worship like Redeemer’s and that my daughter will be raised in a Christian environment. I want to be baptized to show obedience to God and celebrate my faith in the Lord.
While attending church camp with my Grandmother Eulalia at the age of twelve, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Christ has always been there for me, even when I wasn't looking. Each day my faith grows stronger as I see all of the work that He is doing in my life. I am now finally able to see how amazing His love is if you believe. I am being baptized today to show my love and faith in God.