“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

We just wrapped up an epic night in the this history of Elevation Church. Hundreds of people got baptized at three of our locations. Though it was an incredibly public evening – with thousands of us cheering on each person in the tank – I can assure you it was an intensely personal experience for each of the beautiful people in line.

I know, because I was in that line in 2008 waiting to get baptized myself. Our church was only two years old. We were at Elevation Providence and I’d been waiting until my mother could fly in from Spokane, Washington to participate in a day that would be a turning point for me.

I’d been a follower of Christ since college when a friend walked me through what it meant to put Jesus at the center of my life. And when I got baptized, I remember being so happy, and so grateful for this refreshing new phase in my faith. I didn’t realize how far from God I had become in the way I led my life.

It’s been an amazing journey since then. I’m grateful for the people who’ve invested in me, believed in me, and encouraged me along this path. But the biggest change I’ve had to make is how I’ve had to learn to pray MORE and talk LESS. I’ve had to learn to trust God to work in people’s lives instead of trying to do the work for him. That just wasn’t working out so well for me.

I would often scream out loud, “Why will no one listen to me?!!!”

I suppose it’s because I was talking too much. Criticizing too much. Preaching too much. Loving too little.

So yes, my mantra these days is “Pray more, talk less, LOVE always.” In the working it out, I’m finding that God is showing up in beautiful ways I never anticipated. I’m finding it is true that LOVE never fails. And I’m grateful that I am raised to life in Christ.

Below: Family baptism gallery – Tonia 2008, Ciara 2011, Cooper 2013.

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