Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baptism & Confirmation Day


I thought what a better day to talk about the day I was baptized then on my birthday!  On August 21st, 2011 I experienced a rebirth and it was fist pumping good! 

On Saturday August 20th, I had to go into work.  All I could think about all day was the next day.  I knew the next day I was going to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Community of Christ Church.  I ended up having to work until about 8:00 that night.  During work, I got a text from my mother in law that she wanted me to come over.  I think we both had the same concern.  After all, my mother in law was the one who was performing the baptism.  If you don't know, I am a fairly large man.  I was wondering how my mother in law was going to do this.  So at 10:00 that night Misty and I went to her house and got in their pool, which was freezing cold, to practice dunking.  After a couple of successful dunks, we both felt better we could pull this off.  My big concern was not being able to get back up out of the water, and I would be just splashing around like crazy in there. 

Sunday, August 21st, it was the big day.  As I got dressed that morning in my white button up and khaki's, I was reflecting on me how big of a day this was.  I wanted to be sure I was in the front row.  I was excited to get this going. 

At the beginning of the service, Bruce Watson mentioned how a lady Misty didn't know was hugely impacted by Misty's blogs.  I was so proud and pleased with Misty that her words inspired someone she didn't even know.  Misty is truly a disciple through her words.  I am very blessed to have her as my wife.

Then the baptisimal charge started.  I was extremely honored be sharing this day with Rachel who was also being baptized.  Jeff Kramer did the baptisimal charge and he truly touched me.  He said that by reading my blogs, it made him want to be a better husband.   He truly made me feel like family.   At one point, he had Rachel and I stand up and had the congregation repeat.  He would say Troy's.  The congregation would say family.  I remember the moment, I stood up and faced the congregation, my body went numb and tingled.  I could truly feel God's presence like I have never felt it before.  It was truly the most amazing feeling I have ever felt.

So now we are to the point of baptism.  Rachel went first, and I could tell it was a great moment for her.  After Rachel went, My mother in law walked to the back.  She headed down in the water.  The first thing I noticed is this was a lot shallower than the swimming pool.  OH BOY!!  As I walked in the water, all those fears went away, and I remember, I just started crying.  I don't know why.  The emotions overwhelmed me.  At the moment of baptism, Mom dunked me in the water.  I wanted to make sure I could get as low as possible because I didn't want to have a do over.  I was able to fight back up to my feet, and I was so happy.  It was truly an emotional experience. I gave my mother in law a great big hug!   As I was leaving the baptisimal font I threw a fist pump up in the air.  I was like "YES, This is what a baptism is supposed to feel like."  Praise Jesus!  My pastor Bruce was at the top of the stairs to greet me, and we shared a nice big hug as well. 

I found out later on that Jeff, Eric, and Bruce were kind of back ups in case there was any trouble getting me back up to my feet.  Somebody put a bug in their ear that there could be some issues.  I think that was Daddy Corn!  Also, I think Daddy Corn could have put a little more water in that font.  :)

After my baptism, I got dressed really fast.  Momma Corn realized I didn't button my shirt right so I had to go back and button up my shirt again.  Misty wanted to make sure I looked good for my confirmation.

I had the great pleasure of having my grandma Carol Sadler and my pastor Bruce Watson confirm me as a member.  Grandma said the prayer.  It touched me how hard she worked on that prayer.  I could feel the presence of the Lord as Carol and Bruce's hands were layed upon my head.  I could also here Bruce's belly.  :)  Grandma's prayer was very informative and had a lot of heart.  It was one of the best prayers I have ever heard.  I was wondering how I was going to remember it all.  Luckily Grandma, wrote it down and gave me a copy so I can cherish it forever.  I am humbled and proud to be a member of the Community of Christ Church.  (FIST PUMP)

August 21 2011 marked the beginning of a new life for me!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Journey to Baptism and Confirmation

Sunday August 21st is one of the biggest days of my life.   I will be baptized.  Finally, I will be letting Jesus in my heart out of joy rather than fear.  I will explain more about that later in my post.  I will also be confirmed as a member of the Community of Christ Church!  Here is my journey.

My whole family grew up going to the Methodist Church.   We really weren't a church going family, but when we did go, we went to the Methodist Church in Sidney.  I have nothing but great things to say about the church.  I was involved in a lot of activities.  My congregation was great.  I made a lot of good friends. 

In college, I started to lose my way a little bit.  I never lost my faith in Jesus Christ, but I started questioning things about my faith.  There are some things I just didn't understand about my church.  Onr thing was definately baptism.  I was baptised when I was a baby.  I was thinking to myself how does a baby know what is going on in baptism.  I was thinking that this should be a moment you remember.  You should know what you are doing when you are being baptized.   This caused me to try to explore other churches but nothing attached to me, so I started going back to the Methodist Church.

Then my dad died in 1993, and I lost a lot of faith in a lot of things for a while.  I was looking for answers.  I then met a man while playing basketball at college.  He happened to be youth pastor at church in Maryville.   He invited me to a bible study which I went to.  He mentioned how if you don't join their church you would go to hell.  He said instruments in church were forbidden. You must worship just like Jesus.  We didn't celebrate Christian holidays like Easter and Christmas.  And they believed in full emersion baptism which is what I believe in.     He was very convincing and with my mind still kind of messed up about my dad's passing, I soaked it all in and got baptized out of fear that I was going to hell, not out of the joy of accepting Jesus Christ as my savior. 

After I graduated from college I went home for a little bit.  And then I just had this anger come over me how I was brainwashed by this church.   So of course I was confused again looking for answers.  After I moved to Kansas City, I started going to the Methodist Church again.  I enjoyed the services and learned a lot, but I still felt the same way about the Methodist Church.  I think it is a great church, but I still had a difference of opinion on some of their beliefs.

In 2006, things started to turn around for me.  I met the love of my life Misty Corn.  Misty told me about the Church she went to.  She explained to me how her church was a break from Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints.  I grew up in a Methodist Church.  There was the Old Testament and New Testament.  I of course associate Latter Day Saints with Joseph Smith, which growing up, I really didn't hear good things about him.   Then we are adding the Book of Mormon which I grew up thinking this book was not good.  Then to find out there was another book called the Doctrine of Covenants written by people who had messages from God.   Hmmm...  I wasn't sure about this but I kept my heart open to the idea.

I ended up going to a couple of services with Misty before we got married.   I could tell from the moment I walked in the sense of community of this church.   I could tell this church wanted to do good things.  I felt welcomed there.  I was still very skeptical of a lot of the beliefs since it was a long way from what I grew up on, but I was definately willing to keep on learning about the church.  Misty can tell you I had a lot of questions for her about the church.

In June of 2009, Misty and I moved to Odessa.    Misty and I made a committment that we were going to go to church more often.   I wanted to learn more.  I read about all the Sacraments of the church and I was fascinated by them.   After I started studying a little more about what this church believed in, I got excited.
 They didn't worship Joseph Smith like I thought for a little while.  They worship Jesus Christ.  This is a Christian based chruch that believes in Jesus Christ.     This church has the fundamental beliefs that I was looking for.   This church believes in Community and helping the needy.   So now my worry about the church's mission is solved.

So now how about the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants.  I found this on the community of Christ website and it really spoke to me. 

With other Christians, we affirm the Bible as the foundational scripture for the church. In addition, the Community of Christ uses the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture. We do not use these sacred writings to replace the witness of the Bible or improve upon it, but because they confirm its message that Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God (Preface of the Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants 76: 3g). We have heard Christ speak in all three books of scripture, and bear witness that he is “alive forever and ever” (Revelation 1:18).

The Book of Mormon and Doctrine of Covenants are another reference to the word of Jesus Christ.  I like the bible is the foundational scripture.  I also think the Doctrine of Covenants is so enlightening.  I like that this church is evolving every day.

It didn't take me long to realize that this was going to be my church home. I think one of the turning points for me has been watching the transformation of the Vic and Vanessa Dutel.  When I saw Vic get baptized, that is when it clicked for me.  That was a real powerful moment for me.     I knew about 3 months after I started going to this church regularly I wanted to be baptized in this church and confirmed.    However, I didn't want to rush it, I wanted to make sure.  Misty was really good about keeping me grounded and making sure that this was something I wanted to do. 

So why do I want to get baptized.  I already was baptized once.  Like I said before, when I got baptized when I was in college, it was out of fear and not joy.  I feel I was brainwashed by that church.  I want to feel that joy of baptism.  I want to feel the joy of Jesus Christ.  I wants those burdens and sins washed away and put God in control.  I am extremely excited!   And then after studying and a lot of observations during services, I knew I wanted to be confirmed and become a member of the Community of Christ Church.  I can't wait for Sunday! 

I wanted to end this by acknowleding a few people that were a big influence in me making this decision.

Misty, I love you so much!  Thank you for keeping me grounded.  Thank you so much for your support during this.  Thank you for putting up with all my questions. :)  Thank you for marrying me!  I probably would still be searching for meaning if I wouldn't have met you.  God knew what he was doing when he put us together.  Misty helped me realize that the Community of Christ just isn't about Odessa. It is worldwide.  She wanted to make sure I was falling in love with the Community of Christ Church, not just Odessa.    Misty and I are excited about visiting other Community of Christ Churches in our region.

Watson Family-  Thank you for welcoming me into this community.  Thank you for your friendship.  Thank you for talking to me.  Bruce, you had a huge impact on me when you presided over Misty's and my wedding.  Your love and emotion for Jesus Christ is contageous   You also have two great kids that I feel will be leaders in this church.   We are so lucky to have you as a Pastor.  Bruce, I feel blessed that you will be involved in my confirmation. 

Vic and Vanessa Dutel-  I might not say it much but you two had a huge impact in my reasoning for joining the church.  Watching you two grow in faith inspires me and I am hoping I can follow in your footsteps.

Jeff and Jenny Kramer, Pat Mead, John Mead-  Thank you for talking with me.  You all made a concerted effort to get to know me and I really appreciated it.  I don't know if some of our talking was appropriate for church but it was fun.  Jeff, I really enjoyed our brief chat fishing at Family Camp. I hope there will be a lot more conversations.   I am super excited that you will be doing the Baptisimal Charge. 

Corn Family-  Thank you Grandma Sadler for grilling me on Monday night.  I needed those questions.  You and Les are truly amazing people.   I can't think of anyone more that I would want to do my confirmation than you.  Momma Corn, I feel blessed that you will be baptizing me.  You have been so helpful with questions I have had.  I feel blessed to have you as a mother in law.  Hopefully, I don't break the glass.  :) 
Dad Corn, Thank you for being there and being your onery self.  :)

I am ready for the journey!

Want to know what Misty has to say about My Journey?  CLICK HERE to read her thoughts on the subject. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Family Camp: The Final Chapter for 2011

 This was my first family camp, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Misty and her family were so excited that I was going to family camp this year.  I knew there had to be something to it.  I got so much out of Camp this year.  I formed closer bonds with people.  I became closer with God.  I can't wait until next years camp.  There are a couple of things I would have one differently.  In this last blog, I will discuss some of those things and what I plan on doing going forward.

Lake Doniphan is a beautiful Camp Ground.  We had an awesome time, however for me I feel like I didn't take in the nature part of it as much as I wanted to.  I didn't enjoy the birds chirping, the beautiful trees, and just sitting out by the lake as much as I should have.  I didn't take that all in, so next year I want to do more of that.  I want to do more fishing and taking early morning walks.    I also think we might have been a little too guarded with Levi and Issac.  We have to realize that they are probably more familiar with the campground than we are, and there is a ton of people out there to help watch them.  Hopefully, next year Mom and Dad Corn can go, but if not, I think we would handle watching Levi and Issac better. 

Going Forth
As I mentioned before I do feel rejuvenated from this experience.  Later on this year, I do plan on being baptized and confirmed as a member of the Community of Christ Church. This experience has me ready me more than ever.  I have been reading more about the sacraments since we have been home.  I love the Community of Christ Church and I love my Congregation.   I will write about my story on this decision later on.  Another thing we are going to do is visit different churches within our region.  After meeting with a lot of the younger adults, we feel led to do this.  We  want to see the different styles of worship.  I am guessing we will do this at least once a month until we visit the churches in our region. 

That concludes my posts on Family Camp this year!  Later this year, I will post my story of why I wanted to join the Community of Christ Church. Why have I decided to be baptized and confirmed as a member of this church?  I am really looking forward to writing about this.  Until then, God Bless you all. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Family Camp Part 3

Family Camp was a time of worship.  It was a time to celebrate your relationship with Jesus Christ.  It was also for relaxing and having a good time!

Food and KP Duty
As a man who really enjoys his food, may I just say that the quality of food was just amazing. My favorite was probably the pulled pork sandwich for lunch!  The pizza was pretty good too.  It was a chance to have fellowship with others.  I really enjoyed my conversation with David talking about Elvis.  I know what you are thinking, why are you considering KP duty having a good time?  You just had to be there to understand it.  It was working as a team.  Misty, the boys, and I really enjoyed it.   We had KP duty on Sunday night.  Matt assigned us to the clean dishes, which means as soon as they come out of the dishwasher, we would put them away.  Levi and Issac bussed tables.  They did an outstanding job and they really enjoyed doing it.  It is just amazing how everyone pulls together to make this camp work. 

The Water!
Remember when I said the 2nd most popular question Issac asked was "Can I play with Joey?"  The most popular question Issac asked was When we going fishing?  He was fired up to go fishing.  I kept on telling him that we would on Sunday.  I am not a fisherman, even though I think I am going to become one now.   I would love to thank the adults and kids that helped Issac and Levi with hooks and helping Issac reel in the big one which I am sure will get bigger every year.   Issac was so excited.  He couldn't wait to go out again.  Unfortunately Levi didn't have as much luck during the fishing derby, but he went out the next day with the Dutels and caught a whopper.  It was also great watching Levi do boating.  He was flying around in that kayak. Misty and I were sitting under a shade tree taking it in.    Unfortunately, Issac was only able to go on the paddle boat.  He was a little sad about that, but he hung in there.  We only had 1 chance to go Swimming.  It was a little too cool most of the time we were there to swim.  The pool at Lake Doniphan is awesome!  The boys had a great time swimming there.

Talent Show
I had so much fun in the Talent Show this year. They started out announcing the fishing awards.  Guess who got the biggest fish.  Yep, you guessed it, our fisherman Issac. He was super excited he won his fishing box.  The Community of Christ sure has a lot of talent.  We had everything from group numbers, to some beautiful instrumentals, along with some really cool magic.  Levi was amazing doing his card trick up there.  That took a lot of guts.

I even decided to sign up for the talent show this year.   I decided to pay a little tribute to the king, Elvis!  I had the hair, sunglasses, and was showing a little chest.  It was tasteful though.  I sang Hound Dog.  I had such a good time up there.  Thank you ladies for rushing the stage. I know it was because of my amazing moves! :) That made the performance for me!  Of course, midway through the song, I was doing the Elvis back pedal swivel as I call it. Unfortunately, the foot didn't swivel and I landed straight on my bootie!  You aint nothin but a..... OUCH!  :)  A lot of people thought it was part of the show!  I should have stuck with that.  Thank you to everyone clapping during the song.  It was appreciated.  We will have to see what is in store for next year.   :)

My final chapter will be tomorrow.  I am going to talk about some of the regrets I had during camp, and what I hope to do going forth from camp!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Family Camp Part 2

As I said yesterday, I was going to talk about a few things about the class I was in, our experience with Issac and Levi, and talk about some friends who were there for us in our time of need.

Misty and I both attended the Young Adult Class.  Both Misty and I didn't say a lot during class, but were soaking it in. I was really impressed with our instructor Diane Allison.  She allowed us to be very open in class.  I loved her quirky personality.  She made class fun and spiritual.  The cookies were awesome too.    It was great to meet up with all the young adults from the different congregations expressing their views and concerns.  I am not going to get into a lot of what we discussed in class because we were asked not to, but I want all the people of this group to know that both Misty and I respect you and love you.  Misty and I also made a decision that we are going to try to visit as many congregations in our region as we can, and hopefully meet up some of you young adults at different congregations.
Issac and Levi
What a blessing to have Levi and Issac with us.  They were so excited for family camp and the joy I saw in their faces to meet with their friends was outstanding.  Levi was hanging out with Keegan, Dhiren, and the other Dutel kids, and some kids I didn't even know.  Levi was such a great brother to Issac during this trip.  He is truly one of the most caring people I know.  The cutest was the relationship of Issac and Joey.  They sure like each other quite a bit.  The 2nd most popular question Issac asked all week was Can I play with Joey?  I think some of the little girls had a  little crush on Issac too.  My favorite moments though was when they either sat on my lap or cuddled up against me.  It was truly a blessing.
I feel closer to all my congregation after this camp.  The hugs, words of encouragements, and conversations will always be remembered.  Not all of you know this,  but we had some major challenges during camp dealing with a young boy  that made it hard for us to enjoy the experience.  We love you all but there a few people that stick out in my mind.    Thank you Vic Dutel.  When we were close to the end of our rope with this young boy, you came by and saved us.  Both Misty and I learned a lot from watching you handle the situation.  We had another situation arise on Monday that I was actually able to handle.  I was thinking in my head of "What would Vic do?"   Within 10 minutes I had the situation under control. Also thank you Bruce Watson for your help during this situation as well.    Thank you Jeff Kramer for coming over and fishing with me.  Of course I had no idea what I was doing.  I haven't been fishing since high school.   I did a real good job of catching moss.   It was nice to have you there to have a conversation with.  I realized how peaceful and relaxing fishing is even when you aren't catching anything.  I plan to do a lot more fishing next year.  It looks like I will need to buy me a fishing pole.  Thank you Sarah, Elizabeth, Jenny, and I think Arielle for rushing the stage during my Elvis song.  It made me feel good.  Thank you Ilene Sheets for just being who you are.  Thank you Pat Mead for always taking an interest in what Misty and I are doing. 

Tomorrow I will be talking about some of the extracurricular activities.  You will find out Issac's most common question during camp.  You will hear about an amazing card trick and hunka hunka burning love.  I will also talk a little bit of our experience on KP Duty. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family Camp 2011 Part 1

We arrived at Lake Doniphan for Family Camp at approximately 5:00 on Friday evening.  It was a beautiful campground with lots of old trees, birds a chirpin, and the lake was magnificent beauty.  It had two mini lodges, a main lodge, classroom buildings, and a beautiful tabernacle where all the services were.    It was Misty, Levi, Issac, and myself.  Thank you so much Mom and Dad Corn for letting us use the camper!  I left Tuesday morning a different person.  I feel rejuvinated mentally and spritually.  This was just what I needed.  It also put an exclamation point on why I want to become a member of the Community of Christ Church!  It is hard to describe everything so I have decided to break it down into categories.  I will be writing a separate blog each day.  Today will be about the Services. 

Evening Services
I found out through this that I am a much bigger fan of the contemporary services mixed with some traditional. I had a little trouble keeping my focus in the evening services which were more traditional.   However, some of my favorite memories was just listening to the music of the traditional services.  It was amazing to just listen to the angelic choir of 300 people or so.  Rick Maupin is a brilliant man, and he was the speaker on two of the evenings.    I learned a lot from his sermons.  My favorite speaker in the evening services was Diane Maupin.  She had a great energy about her, and she talked about one of my favorite books of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird.  :)

Morning Show with Bruce and Andy
The morning show was my favorite part of camp.  I looked forward to this service every day.  I absolutely loved the Morning Show.  It was full of energy, fun and spirituality. There was laughter! Jesus loves you..oooohhhhh!!!  The weather and traffic reports were hilarious.  Way to go Scotty and Edna!  The Family Feud game was great, aside from a few technical hiccups. I loved hearing the Congregational Reports.  It was good to hear about the triumphs and struggles of all our congregations.  There was tears!   Of course, I am a little partial to my favorite part of the Morning Show.  I would have to say it was the Minute of Sunshine with Misty Thieman.   I was so proud of her because she spoke from the heart what she felt.  She showed a lot of vulnerability. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.   I know she touched a lot of people's hearts.  Check out her blog. She has her sunshine moments on there.   There was spirituality!  Hearing people's testimonies really touched my heart.  I loved the contemporary music in the service.  That is the type of music that touches my heart.   Communion on the last day was one of the most spiritual feeling to me.  Going up an hugging Lucas and receiving a hug on the end of the line.  You definately felt loved. 

Baptism of Felix
Sunday evening Felix was baptized at Family Camp.  It was truly an emotional experience.  I know God has big plans for Felix.  I think my favorite part was Felix and Tracy walking out in the water.  Each step getting deeper and deeper.  And then Tracy took the water and rubbed it on Felix's back.  And then the moment he was baptized, the applause happened and Felix started walking out and was shaking off the water.  I felt like he was shaking off his burdens.  He is now walking with Christ.

Later on this year, I will be walking that same walk, as I plan on being baptized and confirmed as a member of the Community of Christ!  I will write more about this decision later on.

This is something Misty told me I was going to love and it was one of the things I was looking forward to most about Family Camp!  I loved Campfires.  Misty has been teaching me campfire songs so I would be ready for this experience.  There is just something to be out in complete darkness with just the fire going singing songs and hearing testimonies. My favorite campfire songs are probably BoomChickaBoom and  Koombaya!  I loved the mixture of fun and spiritual songs.  Elizabeth, Lucas, and Kelsey did an amazing job of leading campfires.  You are true blessings!   You got me Monday night!  All it takes is a Big Jerk.  I walked right into that one.  It was awesome! 

Stay tuned for tomorrow where I will share some things about the class I was in, and about what a blessing it was to have Levi and Issac with us, and talk about some friends who were there for us in our time of need.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zoo

Well here we are! The final letter!  This has truly been a tough challenge.  I want to thank you all for reading my blog this month.  From now on, I will probably post something once or twice a week.  I don't plan on totally going away.  As you can see, my blogs are about whatever I am feeling.  It is just a little bit of this and that. 

Levi taking it all in at the Aquarium

Some of my fondest memories growing and also in my adult life were going to the zoo.   Every year during elementary school, we took a field trip to the Omaha Henry Doarly's Zoo.  It was so much fun.  I know my jaw dropped to the floor the first time I saw an elephant up close.  I remember seeing my first seal show.  It was real fun watching them jump through hoops.  It is amazing how the trainers can train them so well.

Watch out Levi!  That tiger is going to get you!

My wife and I had the great experience of taking Levi to the Omaha Zoo a couple of years ago.  It was called Snooze at the Zoo.  It was where you actually got to camp out at the zoo.  I don't know who was more excited, me or Levi.  They took us on a tour of the jungle.  I know I was freaking out because I was afraid a bat was going to get me because it was pretty dark in there.  We had a little bit of a light.  We got to see a lot of the animals at night and we along with the other campers had the zoo to ourself.  After we got back,  we played some games, and had ice cream.  We actually camped out in the aquarium.  We  got to sleep with the sharks.  Sharks and stingrays were swimming around us while we were sleeping.  Also, the penguins were in the aquarium which is my favorite bird. I find it amazing how fast they can swim and how long they can stay underwater.    It was pretty amazing.  The next morning they took us on another tour before the zoo opened.  We got to see some feeding which was neat, and then we got to spend the whole day at the zoo.  Levi had so much fun on this trip.  I would totally recommend this to anyone with little kids.    Everyone had such a good time.

Levi barking with the seal!

As far as my favorite animals at the zoo.  When I was a kid, my favorite animal was the tiger.  I loved their sly style.  I just thought they were cool looking with their black and orange stripes too.  However, I have a new favorite animal now.  It is the polar bear.  I just think they are magnificent.  I love the white coat, which really isn't white when you see it up close.   I love watching them swim, and usually they are pretty entertaining to watch at the zoo.  We saw one polar bear some kind of dance.  They like playing around with the balls too.  I can't wait to see the one at the Kansas City Zoo.

Well that wraps up my A-Z.  I hope you enjoyed it.