Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
— Isaiah 41:10, English Standard Version
We often feel the need to hide our brokenness, sin, pain and suffering behind a mask of happiness and perfection.
We conceal our true selves out of fear or self-preservation. The masks we wear become so comfortable and familiar. They become part of us and we would feel naked without them.
During those moments when our guard is down and we remove the mask, we feel vulnerable and exposed, but we are also authentic and raw.
Wearing the mask only perpetuates the pain and loneliness. But when we take the mask off, we open our hearts to the presence of God and to healing, restoration and transformation.
When we summon the courage and remove the mask we feel the presence of God surround and strengthen us.
Peace and love to you. “Soli Deo gloria.” To God alone be the glory.
HEATHER HODGES is a mom, wife, artist, inspirational speaker and follower of Christ. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Abilene Christian University in Texas and has been in ministry alongside her husband, Wade, for almost 20 years. They worship with the Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas, where Wade Hodges serves a preaching minister, with their sons Caleb and Elijah. See her gallery at heatherhodgesart.com.
by Andrea Young
Written on September 18, 2017
Tami Pickett had a lot of questions about baptism. Her son Joshua was studying WBS lessons when he signed up his mother for the courses. Larry Baum, a teacher passionate to share the truth of God’s Word, adopted Tami off the Student Board. Larry is a member at the Burleson church of Christ in Burleson, Texas.
Larry was impressed by Tami because she was gracious and always responded to questions with scripture. He also related to her background, because he was sprinkled as a baby like Tami. After completing “Born of Water and Spirit” Tami said that it was a “stunning revelation” that she needed to be fully immersed. She sent a note to Larry saying that she was ready to be baptized.
Larry then contacted Kella Jones, a WBS follow-up partner who also worships with the Burleson congregation, to connect with Tami. Kella said that Tami was one of her fastest follow-up students because she was so eager to be baptized. Kella contacted Bob Pulliam, the preacher of Fry Road church of Christ in Houston, Texas. He counseled her and she was baptized that very day! Tami, who is also a photographer, didn’t even think of having her picture taken because she was focused on her commitment to God and was overwhelmed with joy! Larry said,
I felt so happy when she requested baptism and especially when she was. I just thanked God that His Spirit opened her eyes and heart to the truth. Praise God and all the Glory goes to Him.
Presently, Tami is affected by hurricane Harvey, but counts her blessings. She still has power, water, and her new church family! Please pray for her in her walk in Christ as she suffers through effects of the storm. Pray that Tami might be a light to her community as they all work through the tremendous aftermath of the hurricane.