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That Friday da Holy Spirit waz messin' with me all day. "2morrow mornin' after u preach your sermon," He said, "I want u 2 make an altar call, but specifically 4 baptizm."
4 baptizm!? I thought, No way! U want me 2 seal da deal? I ain't no clozer! Let da pastor do that! Who am I? I'm just a lay preacha!
U c, that weekend I waz da guest speaka @ this off da chain big youth event called SDA Rhapsody 003. & bein' a youth speaka, I have preached mo' than 100 sermonz from L.A. 2 Canada. I have made plenty of altar callz, but hardly ever 4 baptizm! So when God asked me 2 do it on da real, I got a lil' scared. So I kinda put it in the back of my head & ignored it.
Sabbath mornin' Pastor Manny Cruz, da director of da event, asked me a favor. He said, "Yo, Willy, I want u 2 do somethin' 4 me. 2day, after da sermon, when u do da altar call, can u do it specifically 4 baptizm?"
I waz like, What? God, U really want me 2 do this, huh? OK, I'm a "just do it," like da old Nike sloagan.
B4 I tell u da dissapointin' resultz, lemme tell u a lil' about myself.
Lil' big me
I grew up in a Black neighborhood. It wazn't exactly da PJ's (projects), but it was crazy.
Every stereotypical thang that u c in hood moviez, we had it on my block. Drugz, gang-bangerz, police raidz, etc., & sometimez we would hear a gun blast from some knucklehead'z pistol. We also had a rat & roach problem! Me & my brotha would shoot them with a BB gun. Man, if we were smarter, we could've sold them dead rodentz 2 Fear Factor, & we would've gotten paid!
Anywayz, I rolled with a Iil' crew called da T.U.F. (The Ultimate Force). It wazn't hardcore like da Bloodz n Cripz, but we were still considered a street gang by da Broward's Sherrif Office.
I became a thief. Sometimez we would jump people 4 no reazon @ all. I became very disrespectful with my mom. I got kicked out of my crib twice. I got kicked out of school, & I got fired from almost all of my jobz 4 fightin'.
Spiritually speakin', I wazn't bound for heaven. & 2 top that all off, I waz weighin' almost 400 poundz! Now I weigh 399-I'm loozin' weight! Yes!
I had all that goin' on @ da same time, & 1 day I just felt like endin' it all. U c, I waz alwayz insecure about my weight. I felt ugly. I waz alwayz da last 2 get picked in school, 2 b on a team, or somethin'. I waz alwayz da catcher-4 both of da teamz! That's when u know u sorry! I waz short & fat.
1 day I just about had enough & thought, U know what? I'm goin' 2 do it. I'm goin' 2 commit suicide. No 1 iz gonna care anywayz. I'm useless. I'm a loser.
That night I went home with those thoughts in my head, & @ that time we had a pistol in da house. I started 2 cry out 2 da God my mama taught me about when I waz a liI' shorty.
But nothin'. It waz like God's answerin' machine kept pickin' up, sayin', "I am not here right now, but pleaze leave a message."
God, I need U now! Give me a sign that U love me!
Ah, man 4get it! God don't even care. I'm goin' 2 kill myself!
But I had gotten so tired & worn out from ballin' that I fell asleep.
Da next mornin' this elderly lady knocked on my door & asked my mom if she had a son.
My motha said, "Yes."
"Then she told her 2 give me somethin.'" It waz a medallion with a cross. It also has Jesus on it, with Hiz handz open wide like tellin' me, "Prodigal son, it's time 4 u 2 come back home."
I waz like, Whoa! I felt like I waz on Touched By an Angel! I had never met that lady b4 in my life. I looked out da window & saw da gray hairz on her head. I waz Iike, Man, I alwayz thought that my guardian angel waz built like Vin Diesel. Instead, she lookz like that old lady from Titanic!
But u know what? Who carez how she looked. God spoke 2 me that day. Da Holy Spirit told me, "No way, Jose. U ain't gonna kill yo'self on My watch, baby! "For I know da planz I have 4 u . . . planz 2 prosper u & not 2 harm u, planz 2 give u hope & a future" "since u r precious & honored in my sight, & because I love u" (see Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 43:4).
So I got on my kneez that mornin' & sent God anotha knee-mail entitled, "God, I'm sorry! I don't wanna die anymore!"
& Jesus replied, "Don't worry about it, papi. I have already died 4 u."
Goin' thru with it
Back 2 Rhapsody. Da stage waz set. We had just seen an awesome drama. Da praize & worship waz str8! All that waz left waz 4 me 2 do my part-make an altar call "specifically 4 baptizm." So I did.
I must've called out 4 like 5 minutez & nobody waz gettin' up. I waz like, What have I gotten myself in2? I waz embarrassed. Then, all of a sudden, 2 people got up. Then 1 more. Then anotha. A total of 7 people 2 get baptized!
Praize God! Oh, did I say, "dissapointin' resultz"? Well, I meant 4 satan. God waz victorious!
So, 2day, I challenge u-all da "youngbloodz," or anybody else that readz this article-trust God & obey Him. He will never fail u. He hasn't failed me yet. & u know what? I don't think He ever will.
"God doesn't call da qualified, He qualifies da onez He callz."
Know what? Maybe I am a "loser"-but of a different kind: "Whoever loses his life 4 my sake will find it" (see Matthew 10:39).
Willy Ramos lives in Hollywood, Florida. He's a lay preacher and evangelist. His ministry is called Escogido Street Ministriez, and he explains, "Escogido meanz "chozen" in Spanish. It comez from Isaiah 41:9." He loves to write poetry, read, laugh, and draw cartoons.Add Comment
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