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Praise God; that was the phrase I would here every morning when my dad would drop me off for school. Although my family has gone through many hard times, they have grown to know Christ and wanted to share that with their kids. I grew up in the kind of household that if you said “shut up” then you were going to be spanked several times. I knew one thing on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights; you go to church. Church became a hobby to me, I didn’t hate going there but it was just what you did. I thought that all families were like that also, I didn’t realize till my teenage years that not everyone goes to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. But as I grew older and started really listening to what my friends would talk about at school, I saw that life wasn’t all about going to church and being a Christian for some people.

During my seventh grade year, my church went to a youth rally at a local church on weekend. Because of this rally and the message it sent, I realized and wanted to give my life to Jesus through baptism. It was awesome, I got home as a young teenager and actually talked to my mom about what it really means to be a Christian and to pick up your cross and follow him. So that very next weekend, my dad baptized me in front of the whole church on Sunday morning. It was an awesome feeling knowing that because of Jesus’ grace and mercy, I will be with him one day and spend eternity with him. Although I was on top of the world at this point, I still didn’t know fully what I had gotten into. So the next few years, I live the typical Christian life. I was trying to be the perfect person by doing the right stuff, I would try not to cuss, I would try to wear as many WWJD bracelets as I could so that I wouldn’t have to talk to them about Christ and they could just see it on my wrist, I would not join in on conversations with my friends that I knew were not right, I was just living life on cruise control. My freshman summer going into sophomore year was a big summer for me. I remember that my friends from church and in the youth group went to some camp named Kadesh that I had never heard about. That week that they all went to camp was one of the most boring weeks of the summer because I was home bored while all of my friends were having fun at some camp called Kadesh. So when the end of the week came around, I remember seeing my friends and hanging out with them for the first time. I just remember how much I could see how much that week at camp had changed their lives. Because of this, I wanted to start taking my faith more seriously just like all my friends were. So I would listen more in church, ask more questions to my mom and dad, and even read my bible and pray more. Then one day my world was shook up so much that I didn’t know how to handle it. I was playing basketball outside with my neighbor having a fun time when my mom calls me in and tells me that I have a phone call from one of my best friends. Because I was in such a hyper mood, I answered the phone hyper and was not ready for what was about to hit me. He told me to listen and to calm down, once I finally calmed down a bit he told me that our best friend Alex had died in a plane crash. I didn’t know what to say, I just sat there for about a minute speechless. Although I would like to tell you that this



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