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  • Baptist Beacon

Mike helped me go topless

by Tim Patterson

PLYMOUTH, MI – Now that I have your attention, let me tell you what led up to this situation and what eventually transpired.

It was early on a Saturday morning and I was already extremely frustrated and stressed out. I truly thought that if I had the right equipment going solo on this job would be simple and easy. My confidence had been high, but alas, it soon became evident that my confidence lacked capabilities.

Even though I had researched the matter on the internet and viewed several YouTube videos of others doing it, failure had reared its ugly head and my goal was doomed. I needed help and that would necessitate me asking someone. This is so humbling for a man who prides himself on being self-sufficient. A pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstrap’s kind of guy. A man’s man. A mister fix-it, Tool Man, I can do this by myself dude. Yet the reality was that I was in need.

Some months back I purchased a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited as my daily driver and masculinity crisis vehicle. It is a wonderful ride and I truly love putting around in it. One of the reasons I purchased it was that I need to sell my two-seater convertible and get something I could more easily get in and out of without the risk of throwing out a hip. (Old age stinks!)

Yet, I still wanted to be able to have the top down and enjoy the breeze in my hair (what’s left of it), and feel the sun on my face. I guess that desire is a leftover from my Florida years. So, I purchased a Jeep that has a removable top. The only problem is, that to remove it takes either a mechanical hoist or at least two individuals. Since it was only yours truly in the garage and no mechanical hoist in sight, I was in need of help. A situation in which I find myself more often than I want in my aging years.

The fact is, that I am being forced to depend on others more and more as the months of the calendar are torn away from the others and put aside, to be discarded with the previous pages of life. I really don’t like the feeling this situation affords. It is humbling and at times down right humiliating.

I have always been the one to help. Not the helpless. I have always been the one to do the heavy lifting for others in all areas of service and life. I have always been the one that others came to for help. Not the other way around.

I have come to the realization that I can't do it all by myself and I need others. The truth is, we all need help. If not immediately, soon! We all need others.

If this current pandemic has taught me anything it is that we need each other and when we learn to depend on one another, we are better for it. The truth is, mankind is needy. Why? Because we are a mess. That’s just a way of saying we are all sinners and corrupt to the core. “We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.”

If you are hurting and in need of help because of this sorry situation we are going through, I want to encourage you to reach out to those around you who know the transforming power of the Savior and ask for help.

Yes, it can be humbling, but the fact is we are all in need in some way. Don’t let pride keep you from receiving the grace and provision He has for you.

The family we call the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) has generously set aside funds to help those of our family who are suffering and in need because of the COVID-19 crisis. These funds were received through our State Missions Offering this past year and are for the express purpose of helping those adversely impacted financially during the pandemic.

It has been my experience that those most in need are the ones who are least likely to ask for help, and this is especially true for pastors. I’m not sure of the reason, but could it possibly be you are accustomed to helping instead of being helped?

Are you the one who others usually go to? Whatever the reason for your reticence, don’t miss out on the blessings that come from asking for and accepting a helping hand.

I reached out for help and now I can gladly say that I can run around topless whenever I like.

(For more information about the State Missions Offering Pandemic Relief Fund, please contact the BSCM Offices,



Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board.


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