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Of journeys and process — Actor Stephen Baldwin speaks
Actor Stephen Baldwin speaks
Laughter, openness and rapt attention were present on Saturday at La Mision de Jesus church as actor and Christian activist Stephen Baldwin talked about his journey to God.
Baldwin was keynote speaker at the fourth annual Man Alive conference.
“I just show up and do my best to do what God is calling me to,” said Baldwin. He is the brother of actors Alec, Daniel and Billy Baldwin.
Man Alive Founder Milt Davis was pleased with how the event played out.
“It’s going good,” he said. “Stephen Baldwin brought them down.”
Baldwin shared his experience of not only coming to God, but of his commitment.
“I made a commitment to God that as long as he keeps confirming in my heart that he’s real and even sometimes there’s doubt I already know he’s real, so I’m in. The question becomes what is, for me, in one word what God wants from me,” said Baldwin.
He then picked three men from the crowd and asked them to sum up, in one word, what God wants from people. He said what God wants from us is love.
A common theme throughout his address was that of “Love Jesus.”
“We’re designed in this world, this culture, in this society, to be cool and macho. So, it’s hard in our intelligence and sensibility to understand Love Jesus,” said Baldwin. “But, I, Stephen Baldwin, cannot love Jesus in my own effort. You cannot love Jesus in your own intelligence, but if you become willing to go through a process and in that process the Holy Spirit comes into your life and heart then by that spirit you can start to learn and understand all of these things.”
After a murmuring of agreement by the crowd he asked them to repeat a simple mantra of “I can’t, but he can.”
Baldwin became a born-again Christian through a series of events that started 20 years ago when he and his wife were living in Tucson, Ariz. A nanny, from his wife’s native country of Brazil, came to work for them. She only spoke Portuguese.
“In the first two weeks every song she sings in Portuguese is about Jesus,” said Stephen Baldwin.
After a few weeks of this, his wife sat down with the nanny and asked her why. According to Stephen Baldwin, the nanny told him that a prophet in her church told her that the people she worked for would eventually become born-again Christians and would have their own ministry.
Once they moved back to New York his wife started to attend a Brazilian church. It was after the move that his wife became born again.
“This was cool. I was cool with it,” Baldwin said. “In the next year, I watched my wife get into this experience that was mind blowing.”
After nine months of seeing his wife kneel with her face on the floor in prayer and reading the bible twice a day, he said he had an epiphany.
“God made me curious enough about it to get to a point where I was curious enough to wonder what was going on with her so that I would say I want to know what that is,” he said.
After reaching this decision, September 11 happened.
“9/11 became the moment for me where the impossible became possible,” said Baldwin.
“Now for me anything is possible.”
Shortly thereafter he gave his life to Jesus.
Members of the audience were pleased with address.
“It was amazing. He became a better person,” said Marshall Conrad.
Javier Ibarra, a youth pastor at the church, agreed.
“It was good. He was really transparent,” he said.
Dennis Townsend, who helped to pick the speaker at this year’s conference, was satisfied with their choice.
“After hearing the first message, he’s perfect. He’s speaking to everybody at their level,” said Townsend.
The conference also featured 21 workshops ranging from a session on fatherly advice to overcoming addictions.
For the youth there were two additional sessions.