Welcome the very first episode of the Baptist Mom Show!
In this very first episode I share about the purpose of the Baptist Mom Show, a little bit about my family and who we are… and share with you how God worked in my life to bring me from a life of depression and emptiness to a life of joy and peace!
Nicole Munoz here and welcome to the very first episode of the Baptist Mom Show. I am so, so, so excited about this show. I have been praying about doing a show like this for some time and I finally feel God’s hand leading and guiding me in doing this. So, I would like to start off by sharing a little bit about who I am.
My husband and I are Independent Baptist missionaries serving in Puebla, Mexico. You can go ahead and check out our website. It’s reachingpuebla.com. So, that is www.reachingpuebla.com. We’ve been there since 2001 and it has been just one great adventure after another. We are also the parents of seven children and at the time of this podcast, they range in ages from 2 through 12.
All right, so the Baptist Mom Show, it’s a place where I can share some of the things that God has placed on my heart. Now, the Baptist Mom Show is primarily for Baptist women and other Baptist moms out there and one of the things that I wanted to talk about first, so one of the things that God has been burdening my heart for is for our children because I do have seven children. So, children have a very special place in my heart, but not just my children, but the children in our churches.
As a missionary I’ve traveled to many churches and I’ve seen many young people and the one thing that I’ve notice that has been burdening my heart is that I’ve seen the young people, that the children in the church, the teenagers, that they may be dressed the right way, they may have the right bible, they may have their hair done the right way, they may go soul winning, they may never miss a church service, but I’ve noticed that they are missing one thing. The one thing that I’ve seen that’s missing in a lot of our churches is, is joy.
So, what I’m hoping that is that through these podcasts that as a mom, as a Baptist mom, you’re going to get some tips on how you can bring that joy back into your children’s hearts, how to bring that joy back into your youth group and how you too as a mom can have the joy of the Lord again. So, the verse that I’ve chosen for the Baptist Mom Show, it’s Galatians 5:22 which says, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith”, and I know many of you are already familiar with that Bible verse.
So, where I really have a burden for making sure that if we truly understand that verse, what we’re going to see is that if we’re abiding with Christ, if we’re connected to Christ, if we’re connected to the Vine, then we’re going to be producing fruit. The Bible doesn’t say, but the fruit of the spirit is a million souls saved, or the fruit of the spirit is a big church, or the fruit of the spirit is a large Sunday School class or the fruit of the spirit is a long skirt, or the fruit of the spirit is that you’re going to be talking the right way or have the right hair cut. The Bible says, but the fruit of the spirit is love and joy and I think that it’s something that we’re missing is we’ve put so much emphasis rightly so.
Don’t get me wrong. I am 100% for standards and the more you listen to my podcast, you’re going to see that. But, one thing that we just are missing so much is that joy, that sparkle of joy in our children’s eyes and we need to get that back. We need to be abiding with Christ. We need to be connected to Christ. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and if we are, then we are going to have true joy in our lives.
Well, let’s get started. Are you ready? So, for this first episode of the Baptist Mom Show, I would like to share a little bit about my salvation testimony. I think it’s a fitting start of the Baptist Mom Show. So, I grew up in a middle class family in southern California. Like the typical young person, I went to public schools, I did pretty well academically. I was passionate about gymnastics. I actually competed and placed in the top three for my region. So, that was something I always spent a lot of time doing, I really enjoyed doing.
When I went to high school, I tried out and became a cheerleader. So, from the outside it appeared I had a pretty typical, good life, a good normal life. Inside, however, it was a completely different story. Inside I always felt like something was missing. I felt like there was a big hole in my heart and from the age of about 13 on, I began to suffer from depression and I was actually hospitalized several times, a result of the depression because of how severe it was and different thoughts of suicide and some half-hearted attempts at suicide and some other problems that I had there also.
So then at about age 14, I began to fill the void in my heart with other things such as drinking and drugs and partying with an older crowd of friends and I’m just trying to fill that void, that emptiness that I had in my heart. Well, while this was going on, one of my friends… we used to call him Jim Bo, so Jim Bo if you’re listening, this is all about you. So, his name was Jim. We used to call him Jim Bo. He had gotten saved and Jim started to pray for me and for my other friends and later on he told me he did pray specifically for me. Basically, his prayer to God was, Lord if you can save Nicole, I’ll believe that you can do anything.
One of the reasons he prayed that prayer was because of all of our friends. I was pretty much one of the worst ones out there. Out there as far as with the drinking and partying and my school attendance had dropped down significantly with skipping a lot of classes and so he began to pray for me. He began to witness to me and some other of my friends also and we kind of just blew him off. We didn’t really be like, “Wow, well, if that’s great, if that works for you, great. We won’t judge you. We’ll still love you, but okay.” We really didn’t know what to think about one of our friends that used to party with us that was now all of a sudden talking to us about religion.
So, that had probably happened maybe in, I don’t know, June, July, August and then something after that happened. After that first time that he began to witness to me, something strange began to happen in my life. I remember one day I was at the high school and after school, the school gets out, you’re hanging out with your friends and my friend Desiree ran up to me. She’s like, “Nicole, Nicole, you need to come hear this guy. He is so crazy. You need to come listen to him”. I’m like, “sure”, I didn’t have any idea what she was talking about, so she took me to the front of the school patio area where there’s a lot of kids waiting for their parents to get picked up from school which is pretty close to the street and there was this guy. Now, I thought his name was Alex and I thought Alex was a high school student and I thought he was a psychology major and he had a clipboard, he had a hat on, he had a backpack and some shorts. He looked like a high school student. I later found out he wasn’t a high school student. I later found out that he was actually a youth pastor of a church that dressed up like a high school student to get onto campus so that he could witness to teenagers. Shh! Don’t tell anybody. So, that was a few years ago, so he probably won’t get in trouble anymore.
But, he was there and he had a clipboard and he’s like, I’m just doing a survey. I’m just asking people “what do you think love is?” I thought, “wow! That’s an interesting question. What is love? I don’t really feel like I know love. I don’t really feel like I have love”, and it made me think and I gave him my answer what I thought it was at that time as a 15 year old. He’s like, “okay, well, did you know that God is love?” He began to witness to me and, of course, I just kind of blew him off and gave him my answers that I thought.
But, whatever I said to him it created an impression on him or maybe it was the way I was dressed or something because Alex told me later that after he met me, he went back to the van after they were done with him and a bunch of kids from his youth group. They went back to the van and he asked all the teenagers in the youth group to say, “Hey, you guys, you need to pray for this girl Nicole. She is very, very lost. There’s lost people out there, but Nicole, she is very lost. So, you all need to pray for Nicole.” So, yeah, I don’t know. We’ll have to ask him what impression I made on him at that time.
So, these teenagers then began to also pray for me to get saved. Well, shortly after that some strange things began to happen. We lived by the beach and there’s a pier on the beach. I remember distinctly one occasion when we were hanging out on the pier. I was just hanging out with my friends, walking around and there was a group of kids, maybe two or three kids and one of them came up to me and they put their hand on my shoulder. I didn’t know this person at all, but they just came up to me, put their hands on my shoulder and they looked at me in the eyes and they said, “God is love and God loves you”. They turned around and then they walked away. I didn’t really know what to think about that.
Then I remember another time, we were hanging out at the mall. Again, in a group of two or three people and another person walked up to me. Again, they said, “Hey, I just want to let you know that God loves you”, and they left and I don’t remember… this was several years ago. I won’t say how many, but I don’t remember that it was a big discussion or a big conversation. But, I do remember that there was just random people walking up to me wherever I went telling me, “God loves you”.
That just made an impression on me, so much in fact, those two times I remember. But, there were several other incidents very similar because I said to my friends, “You know what? I don’t want to leave my house because these Christians, they are following me around everywhere I go. I don’t want to leave my house. I don’t want to talk to these people anymore.” So, I remember saying that to one of my friends.
I remember thinking that I felt like I was being followed around by them. So, these things were just kind of like seeds that were being planted. Little seeds of saying, “God loves you, God cares about you”, and my friend Jim continued to invite me to church and continued to try to witness to me and tried to get me to listen to him from the Bible about how to be saved.
I do remember one time sitting down with him and he went through the whole entire plan of salvation and I just thought, “Wow! This is so boring. I don’t want to listen to this. I don’t want anything to do with this. This guy is absolutely crazy”, but I remembered his life had changed, and he was now totally different, and he seemed to have something I didn’t have anymore, and that was joy.
He was finally happy. He had something I didn’t have. So, time passed and it was probably about September or October. One day, my friends and I always said, “You know what? Let’s go check out this church thing. Let’s find out what Jim’s talking about”. So, we called up Jim and he was so excited to take us to church. So, he picked us up, took us to church and when we walked into church we actually ended up going to Calvary Chapel Vista in California, in Vista, California. The pastor at that time was Pastor Brian Brodersen who was actually the son-in-law of Chuck Smith who founded the Calvary Chapel Movement, the Calvary Chapel types of churches which are Bible churches and I remember walking into that church for the first time.
Now, you have to imagine. I’m a teenager and I was a very rebellious teenager. So, I remember exactly what I was wearing. I was wearing a pair of skin tight red ripped jeans with holes on the knees. I was wearing my black cowboy boots. I was wearing a heavy metal t-shirt with devil symbols all over it, you know those satanic symbols and that type of stuff; heavy metal rock concert t-shirts? I was wearing a black cowboy hat and a black leather jacket. Not the typical example of what you would imagine of someone that’s going to go to church, enter and walk into church for the first time.
But, Jim said we could just come as you are. It doesn’t matter how we didn’t have to get dressed. We didn’t have to wear any special. Jim was like, God loves you just the way you are. You can come as you are. So, we did. We went to church just like we were, just like we dressed in normal life.
As we walked into the church, we were walking towards the main auditorium because Jim, of course, he was several… I was 15 and he was probably 25 or 23, so he was heading to the main auditorium and as we were walking by we thought we heard some rock music. We were like, this is later on and just was a key which helped me to become a Baptist, but as we walked in we were like, “rock music in church? How weird. They actually have Christian rock music. What’s that?”
At that time we thought that was so cool and so we asked. We said, “Hey, Jim. What’s that? What’s that Christian rock music we hear or that rock music we hear?” He goes, “Oh, well, that’s the youth group. If you guys like, you guys can go there and I’ll meet you afterwards”. We’re like, “Well, yeah, where we have a choice to go to a youth group room where there is rock music or go in the main auditorium where they had what are called praise music. Oh, for sure, we’re going to go off to the one with the rock music”. So, we thought that was really, really interesting.
So, we went into the youth group and we sat in the back and when we walked in there, low and behold, there was Alex, the person, the youth pastor that had been witnessing to us, to me on the campus at my high school and I did not know that he was actually the youth pastor of Calvary Chapel of Vista. So, Alex, when he saw me he thought that I was coming there to cause problems. I don’t know why he thought that, of course. So, he thought I was coming there to cause problems, so what Alex did was he actually called some extra workers to come and help out just in case we had a problem. Of course, we didn’t have a problem. We were there with good intentions, but he didn’t know that at the time.
But, he welcomed us and he was so excited to see us there and I remember in the front of the room where we had our youth meeting, they had this kid, another high school student that was playing the electric guitar, they had some drums and I thought, “Wow! This is so weird that there’s rock music in a church, but okay. If that’s what they have, awesome”. So, we listened to the youth group, we were there and one of the people that I came with, one of my friends…
So, now I had my friend Jim Bo was saved and now one of my other friends that was with me. At the end of the first service that we were there and they asked if you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. If you were not 100% for sure if you were to die today, they said, “Please raise your hands.” Then as they said that, I felt that my friend that was with me when they raised their hands, of course, our eyes were closed. They kind of like leaned over and I opened my eyes, I’m like, “Their hand is up. Oh, my goodness, great. Now, I’m going to have two friends that are these crazy types of Christians”.
But, then they said, “Now if you raised your hands, please come forward”, and my friend didn’t move. But, I’m like, “They raised their hand, they need to go forward, maybe they’re afraid to go forward because of me”. Now, I was not saved, but I knew that if someone wants to do something I should not hold them back. So, I said to them, “Hey, you raised your hand. They’re telling you to go forward, go forward.” So, God used me as an unsaved person to push my friend to go forward to get saved.
So, they went forward, they got saved, and when they came back about 15-20 minutes later after the church service had ended, they had a sparkle in their eye, they had a joy in their heart that I had never seen before and I was just overwhelmed. I was like, “Oh, my goodness! What is going on?” I have another friend now that is one of these Christians and they’re happy and they’re all excited and I just didn’t know what to think about that.
But, after that, now that I had a couple of friends that were going to church, we decided, we ended up going to a lot of different church events, we started to go to church probably once or twice a week, we ended up going to conferences and I began to hear the plan of salvation, the pure gospel message over and over and over again. But, in my heart I was just thinking, I don’t know. I was resisting actually accepting Christ as my savior, but the seeds were being planted and I could see that now there are all these people around me that had something that I didn’t have. They had true joy.
I remember just looking around at the other church members and the other members of the youth group, seeing how they were just happy. They had smiles on their faces. They didn’t have major problems. They didn’t appear to be suffering from depression. They didn’t appear to have… There was just something different about them. So, that went on for a couple of months and then one night, it was December the 13th in 1990 when I was 15 years old, I was actually alone in my room.
So, all the seeds had been planted and the Holy Spirit had been working on my heart, had been drawing me to God and one night when I was alone in my room, I said a prayer to God and I can’t explain what made the difference, what motivated me to do that. There was just some things going on in my life and I was thinking, “Who can I call? Who can I talk to? I don’t have anyone to talk to. I don’t have anyone to call upon. The people that I think are my friends are not really my friends. I don’t really have anyone to call one. Who can I call on?” I remember thinking those thoughts, “Who can I talk to?”
I decided, well, I’m going to call on God and I remember bowing my head and closing my eyes and then I remember saying to God, December 13th, 1990, alone in my room. Now, I called myself an atheist before that, but I said, “God, I don’t even know for sure if you exist. I don’t even know for sure if you’re real, but if you are real, I give my life to you. If you are real, I give you my heart. If you are real, please forgive me of my sins and come into my heart and save me and take me to heaven when I die”.
I remember so distinctly that the moment I said those words, and you know later biblically I understood that that’s the moment that the Holy Spirit began to dwell within me because the moment you’re saved that’s when the Holy Spirit comes inside you and God seals you with his Holy Spirit and you are born into God’s family. But, I felt it that moment. I didn’t know doctrine. I didn’t know the Bible, but I felt it that moment as if God has just wrapped his arms around me and had given me a big, big hug and I remember feeling like God was rocking me to sleep.
I remember falling to sleep feeling happier than I’d ever felt in my entire life and feeling a joy and a peace that I’d never experienced before in my entire life. I knew that something had changed. Now that I knew that I didn’t understand all the doctrinal implications of everything that happened, I didn’t even know what John 3:16 was. I didn’t even know later on when in church, everyone would say, “John 3:16, John 3:16″. I’m like, “What in the world is John 3:16?” I didn’t even know John 3:16, but I did know that something changed at that moment in my life.
So, that’s how I got saved, December 13th, 1990 and the story continues. I’m going to share with you more about the story about what happened the next day, actually in our next podcast. I’m going to talk about how God began to change my life. I’m going to be sharing with you about how God moved me from the Calvary Chapel Church to the Independent Baptist Church. I’m going to be sharing with you in another episode, probably episode three, about how God worked in my life to help me to surrender to be a missionary to Mexico and in another episode, how I met God’s will for my life, my amazing husband.
But, my question to you right now is, if you were to die today, are you 100% for sure that you would go to heaven? Do you have this joy in your heart? Do you have the peace that passes understanding? If you don’t, I challenge you to call out to God. There’s no special prayer you have to pray, but I challenge you to call out to God right now and ask him in your own way to save you and to forgive you of your sins. That’s something that you’ll never ever, ever, regret and it was the day that my path to freedom, my path to joy all started on that day.
So, this concludes our Episode One of the Baptist Mom Show and I hope you will join me in Episode Two where I’m going to be talking more about what happened after the day after I got saved and how God began to work in my life to help me to change, and to grow after salvation. So, thank you so much for joining me and if you enjoyed this podcast, I hope that you can leave a comment. We’ll be embedding this podcast on the blog, on baptistmom.com and so where ever you’re listening to this podcast, if you find it on iTunes, so head on over to baptistmom.com and look for Episode One and you can leave a comment there about this show. If this was a blessing to you, I’d love to hear from here. So, thank you so much. Again, this is Nicole Munoz from the Baptist Mom Show.