Brazilian soccer star Roberto Firmino, who now plays for Liverpool, recently shared on Instagram about his emotional baptism ceremony with his teammate, Alisson Becker, and wife by his side.
The soccer stars and all of Firmino's friends and family members wore Hillsong, "cross=love" t-shirts for the baptism.
"I gave you my failures and the victories I will give you too. My greatest title is Your Love Jesus!" Firmino wrote in Portuguese of his special day in the video caption.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
The Brazilian athlete currently plays striker for England's Premier League team, Liverpool, the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup winners.
His teammate, Becker, named "best goalkeeper" in 2019, and Firmino's wife were both moved with emotion as they saw the soccer star's declaration of faith on Wednesday.
The video of his baptism shows Firmino walking into the pool sporting a smile as his friends and family await. The 28-year-old gives a short testimony in Portuguese and is then dunked in the water.
He emerged from the pool and emotionally hugged his wife, Larissa. As they embraced the couple wiped the tears from their eyes. A Portuguese version of Lauren Daigle's "You Say" plays in the video to help capture the emotion of the moment.
Becker, an outspoken Christian, also took to social media to share his thoughts after witnessing his friend's commitment to Christ.
"What God did for us on the night of 01/14/2020 we will never forget !! I am still speechless to describe the love of Jesus!" Becker wrote in Portuguese on Instagram. "Very happy to have participated in a moment like this, the baptism of people I love so much! Thank you so much Jesus, I love you !!!"
In the past, Becker attributed his success as a goalkeeper to his faith.
"You need to be very focused on football," he said, according to Premier Christian, adding, "and I think faith is important too. If you believe in God, you know you have to do your best on the pitch and put love into everything you do in life."
Recently revealed to the public, 20yr old Hulvey (who is also a singer, rapper and producer) did not think that his dream to be in the music industry would be realized after getting a couple of rejections from reach Records. He thought his life would stuck to wiping toilets.
Here is what he had to say:
“I was wiping toilets for a minute,” said Hulvey, which kept him afloat in between working on the music and sending music to Ben Washer only to receive a gracious, but firm “no thanks” from the Reach Records co-founder and CEO. While toiling at the $10 per hour job, Hulvey, who dropped out of college to pursue music, began to wonder if bagging milk and eggs was his fate. In a conversation laced with divine providence, an older mentor asked him a question that changed everything. So what?
“What if God had you scrubbing toilets? Would you be OK?” Hulvey realized that he was clinging to a notion of fame that could never satisfy. His heart was after the wrong things, broken by things that can’t last, in need of healing from the only Person able to make things right.
“I had to let go.” Releasing his dreams to God gave Hulvey a better plan for his life and from there, new musical inspiration was born.
We wish him all the best as he steps into his calling.
TobyMac's son, Truett Foster McKeehan, died of an accidental overdose last October, a representative has confirmed.
In a statement to People magazine, the representative said McKeehan overdosed on fentanyl and amphetamines.
The 21 year old aspiring rapper died suddenly on Oct. 23, 2019. The Davidson County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed that first responders went to the family’s home in Franklin, Tennessee, after 911 was called to report a young male suffering cardiac arrest.
More than 70,200 Americans died in 2017 from using illegal or prescription drugs. Of that number over 47,600 died from an opioid overdose, a twofold increase in just one decade, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Earlier this month, TobyMac released a song titled “21 Years,” calling it an “honest” letter to his first-born child.
Although he admits he never wanted to pen such a song, the Christian pioneer hopes the new single will help others who are also grieving the loss of a loved one.
"'21 Years’ is a song I wrote about the recent passing of my firstborn son, Truett Foster McKeehan. I loved him with all my heart. Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it,” he tweeted.
The McKeehan family has been surrounded by people who've been helping them through this tragic loss and the Grammy Award-winning artist said he's grateful for the support.
“Writing this song felt like an honest confession of the questions, pain, anger, doubt, mercy and promise that describes the journey I’m probably only beginning. The rest is yet to come. One thing I know is that I am not alone. God didn’t promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us. And I’m holding dearly to that promise for my son as well as myself,” he added.
Some of the emotional words of “21 years” say, “Why would You give and then take him away? Suddenly end, could You not let it fade? What I would give for a couple of days.”
Upon hearing the tragic news, TobyMac, who was on tour in Canada at the time, flew back home to Tennessee to be with his wife and four other children.
The family has since launched the Truett Foster Foundation where donations made in Truett’s name will help send “vulnerable youth to college, that they may realize their God-given potential to change the lives of others,” the foundation says on its website.
One hundred percent of the donations will be used to fund scholarships in partnership with the Global Orphan Project. The Christian organization will underwrite all general and administrative expenses in honor of the aspiring musician.
Gospel pioneer Kirk Franklin shared some advice he received for the new year while battling depression and anxiety amid a string of deaths among his friends.
"In 2019, I experienced a high amount of loss in my life. I went to more funerals in 2019 than I've ever been to in my life. I went to the funerals of friends, the funerals of people's parents and the funeral of people's kids and it was a lot," the performer took stated on Instagram Friday.
Franklin was a support to his pastor, Tony Evans, in the recent loss of his wife, Christian artist TobyMac, who buried his 21-year-old son, and others. The magnitude of loss surrounding Franklin took a toll on him and brought on anxiety.
"It just really brought a lot of anxiety. To me, I really struggle with a lot of anxiety and really got into a funk that I couldn't really get out of. [It was] this just really dark funk, that I was in, depression, battling it. Not only that, just the anx that death can bring to you also is this anxiety about the future. It's a fear of who's next, what's next?" Franklin confessed.
The gospel music trailblazer decided to jump on a call with his "godly" therapist while in the Dominican Republic, where he currently went to decompress.
"I was just talking to him about being very anxious and very consumed with fear and worry and just the struggle with it all. He said, 'When I begin to live a life of gratitude, more gratitude then I will begin to be more selfless because fear is rooted in self," Franklin said.
"Think about it, when you start a fearful conversation it's 'What about me? What's going to happen to me? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to make it? They're going to hurt me, I'm going to get sick, I'm going to lose this'... Everything starts with I, it's very self-focused. So if we can begin to live a life of gratitude, always giving thanks even when things are dark, they could be darker."
His trip to the Dominican Republic also helped him to realize how fortunate he is. Franklin said he's witnessed "seven and eight and nine people sleep in one bedroom with no electricity, no windows." He also talked about the danger of sex trafficking in the country.
"I promise you. It can be worse. So living a life of gratitude, then you will begin to be more selfless, give God thanks for what He has already done," the Texas native continued.
Franklin shared one final piece of advice his therapist gave him.
"He said to me 'Kirk, you need to be more grateful.' I'm saying it to you this way. 'I am a miracle I am not acknowledging.' You need to say that to yourself; you need to look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'I am a miracle I am not acknowledging' because when we're so busy worrying and in fear or whatever, we forget that because it could be worse. Seeing another day is a miracle."
Franklin reflected, "The fact that we're still alive is another miracle, the fact that we still have the activities of our limbs, the fact that we made it this far, that we were not stillborn, that that we're here. We are a miracle we are not acknowledging. Hope that encourages you, it encouraged me ... Have a strong year."
Courtesy of The Christian Post