Blog from Keith Simpson

 Confirmation Reflections

Several months ago, my family and I started this wonderful journey together working toward Alexandra’s baptism and Confirmation and our Reaffirmation of Faith. The classes, called Foundations of Faith, were developed and led by Kim Reindel. This has been an incredible family learning experience that has brought us closer together. We were able to watch Alexandra’s faith grow as she learned more about God and as she moved toward making the decision to be baptized and then to announce her dedication to the Lord. This process moved us in ways we could never have imagined. The three of us learned and grew in our faith together.

Jackie and I were not raised in the Methodist Church so the learning curve was steep for us too. Jackie was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church and I was baptized in the Baptist Church as a teenager. Thanks to the vision of Kim, Jackie and I were able to go through this process with Alexandra as a family instead of just Alexandra going through it only with other 12-year-olds. Throughout this process, we also learned about the foundations of the Methodist Church.

The three of us will carry this experience and what we learned through the rest of our lives. During this entire process, Kim challenged us and helped us think outside of the box. She encouraged us to look at many things from different perspectives for ourselves as well as looking at issues from the perspectives of others. This was such an eye-opening experience for me especially. I always try to respect the opinions of others and what they have to say but often don’t really “LISTEN” to what they are really saying. We all must try to remember that we all have the right to our opinion and to our individuality and even though those opinions may differ from ours, they are equally important to the good of the situation.

It’s hard for me sometimes to acknowledge an option that greatly differs from my own. I do really believe that God wants us to listen to what others have to say and to respect those opinions or beliefs regardless if it clashes with our own. Just because we respect those opinions doesn’t mean we have to agree with them or change how we believe. Along with this same line of thinking, it’s also not up to us to judge anyone. That is left to the Lord. When we start to judge others based on opinion or belief, we start down a path that isn’t meant for us to go. During these classes, I found myself really listening to what the others in the group were saying and thinking.  That listening helped me to feel like I was growing spiritually. I really believe we can always learn something from listening to others if we just open our minds and heart. Collectively we are stronger than we are alone. This means also the Church is stronger with our collective faith and participation. As I am sitting writing this, that thought really struck me. I believe we should always be actively engaged with being a disciple of Christ. To me, this means we should never be satisfied with the number of people at our worship services. We should always be engaged in spreading the Word of God and bringing more people into the House of God to hear the message and grow with us. In turn, these people go out and spread the word and more people are brought in to hear the word and so on.

On this same line of thinking, Kim took us to visit different church’s to see and experience the way others worship. Again, an eye-opening experience each time. Each church had a different way of worshiping but they were still Christians. Just because our methods of worship are a little different, doesn’t mean we are that different. We all worship God and are Christians. This journey has been one of tremendous learning. It has opened my heart in ways I would never have expected and it brought my family closer together spiritually. Watching Alexandra get baptized and then confirm her love of God and her willingness to choose this path for her life was a powerful experience that I will never forget. Her life is now forever changed.

I will leave you with some scripture.

God Bless you all,  Keith Simpson

 

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

 
 

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