Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 82

[July 7, 2024]  With a quick motion, I was dunked underwater by Preacher John at the Southern Baptist Church of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, in the Fall of 1961.  He gently bent me backward and then straight up with one hand over my mouth and nose and the other on my upper back and said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  I was wet and a little shocked at the suddenness of the baptism, even though I was expecting it.  Shocked, just like the time Dad threw me into a lake to “teach” me how to swim.

I remember several decades ago – in the latter 1960s – I think it was Ann Landers who asked her readers to give their thoughts on the question, “Do you consider yourself religious?” to her surprise, a majority said NO.  Ann herself thought those with bad religious experiences would be more inclined to vote on the question.  Regardless … their answer is as depressing as it is unfortunate.  At least in those times, people publicly expressed their support for God and the Church.

Right away, I will out myself as a believer, a Christian!   I long harbored the secret that someday I might be a “man of the cloth” to help spread the word that everyone can be forgiven and accepted into the Kingdom of God.  My parents would have been happy to get me out of the house, no matter what I’d chosen to do with my life, and into something more than being an army man or ditch digger.

The hippies of the day loved me and, for the life of me, I could never figure out why. Hippies were part of the 60s counterculture movement, being for peace, love, and justice, living a lifestyle of recreational drugs, casual sex, communal living, and folk music.  They were on my side of Christianity regardless that I thought they were weirdos and smelled terrible.  I have nothing but sympathy for them, and later in my college days, I came to know several of them personally.  Occasionally, a few of their followers could be found farming near where I lived.  They were not very bright but always seemed to have a smile.  But, unlike me, at least they were dedicated to their cause.

Therefore, it was a miracle the preacher allowed me, such a young and immature boy, to be baptized.  I had told him that I was willing to devote myself to God despite my reputation of misbehavior, a disagreeable personality, an unwillingness to pay attention, habitually running off and, for the most part, unruly even to the point of driving my teachers crazy.  Only God would accept me.  Maybe my family and dogs would.  Certainly not others.

The Sunday prior, after our preacher asked if anyone would come forward to offer their life to God, I stood up and walked the long walk down the church nave – the center aisle – in front of the entire congregation.  I don’t know what came over me.  I wasn’t frightened, not one bit, but it was as if there was a calling for me.  Mom and Dad were there, along with my brother and sister.  I’m convinced that Mom was most surprised because she, of all people, had to put up with me and my many imperfections, including me wanting to be a comedian, or army man, or whatever.  My good friend Wilson was there.  “What’d you dat for, you dimwit?” he yelled out and then got the back of his head slapped by his dad.

The baptism occurred in the church sanctuary, partially enclosed with thick, green-tinted glass, giving a nice view to the congregation in attendance.  A few minutes before, I was standing in Preacher John’s office with two others, both adults, as the puny me looking up at a young man and woman, and all of them were as nervous as a cat staring through a screen door at a dog.  We were dressed in white robes, and I wore swimming trunks underneath.  I don’t remember much else except preacher John, standing waist-deep in the water with his hand outreached for my little hand.

Kisses and hugs from my Mom, Bigmama, and Auntie Jean afterward at our home as we celebrated.  Dad said he was proud of me, which was rare praise from a man of high moral standards.  My cousins were there but only interested in fried chicken and cold watermelon.  Oh, and the famous pecan pie that Bigmama made special for the occasion.  The fabulous meal was the best part of my religious conversion.  It was like changing from a knuckle-dragging heathen, eating grubs and tree bark, to a robe-wearing monk, having a fancy meal at a French cuisine restaurant.

My new life challenge was how to stay on a new-found, righteous path.  Would it be impossible for me to follow?  Or, could I hang in there doing good?  Indeed, I did have something to aim for.  With my trusty dogs Sparky and Prince at my side, even a dumb Southern hick like me could stand on moral ground.  My dogs helped shore up my courage, and I was about to undergo some of the greatest struggles ever.


NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

30 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 82

  1. Joe Omerrod

    Another letter and beautifully written to your granddaughter, and I believe she will appreciate this one more than most because it is a tell of your core beliefs.

  2. Abu'l Faḍl ابوالفضل

    God Bless you, Gen. Doug Satterfield.

    1. Pastor John 🙏

      Abu, yes indeed, God Bless Gen. Satterfield and his family too.

  3. Yiddy of Macedonia

    Gen. Satterfield … sir! … thanks for another letter to your granddaughter. As you know, I’m a huge huge fan of you and especially of these letters. I have not just gained insight into you while growing up in Louisiana, but also got some wonderful ideas to do the same and write letters to my children who I hope will share with my future grandchildren. Love all your letters and now we are at #82. Please consider going beyond your limit of 100.

  4. Xerces II

    💖 Don’t ya just love this blog? 😁 I do! 👀 I see many folks who are simply adrift in life and yet they fail to get their sh## together long enough to get on the right and good path. 🤦‍♀️ If you want to hop on the righteous path, it is there waiting for you. 🐾 God Bless all that are here reading Gen. Satterfield’s blog and his advice to live a better life. 🤣 Laugh and be open to others.

  5. Bryan Z. Lee

    Man o’ man! Another letter. And it made my day.

  6. corralesdon

    Remember your Faith. — a chapter in Gen. Satterfield’s book “55 Rules for a Good Life”
    Today in the West, we find that faith in God is mocked as primitive and superstitious; at its best, faith is, we are told, for the uneducated and gullible. No one who has seen the great scientific advancements in medicine, engineering, agriculture, and such, can believe in an unseen higher being. Yet, looking at people’s behavior, we can see that we all operate with faith; we are always stepping into the unknown. We all take a leap of faith to exist. Yet many trivialize and demonize religious faith and those who believe in God and His principles. This resistance can be explained due at least in part to the fear of those who belittle religious faith, but that is not the point here. Faith isn’t evidence-based, nor based on observation, scientific study, or finding proof in the excavations of ancient tombs or cities for religious texts, relics, or bones of the faithful.

    1. Kerry

      corralesdon, that is one of the reasons that I got a copy of his book. This is his second book and I do love that book for the “rules” that he puts forward for us to consider. Follow the rules, and you will have a good life. Fail to follow them, and …. well, you might not have a good life at all.

      1. Veronica Stillman

        … and know when NOT to follow the rules. That is another of Gen. Satterfield’s rules.
        RULE 25 “Obey the rules but know when to break them.” on page 76 of his book. 😁

      2. Mikka Solarno

        RULE 22: Be loyal to your family, respect them, honor and protect them. Dedicate yourself to their well-being, for they are the ones who are on your team.

        This is why I love his book so much. Gen. Satterfield knows of what he speaks. This is a theme, a long-running theme in his book and in this website that he runs.
        Keep up the great work you are doing here Gen. Satterfield and I look forward to the next letter to your granddaughter.

  7. HAL

    As a man of God myself, thankyou sir for your devotion to Christianity and to those who would be part of us. I found today’s article a tad surprising with all the humility and goodness expressed by this little boy (Doug Satterfield) and that his family would be supportive of him giving himself up to the Lord. Those days you were growing up might be “different” than today, but as much as things change, one’s devotion to the Lord does not ever change. I’m happy that I was able to devote myself and my wife has done the same, and it is amazing how much BETTER our lives are once we made God part of our lives. And we enjoy everyday as if it is a new day and the start of a better world. Gen. Satterfield, thank you so much for your letters to your granddaughter, as today, it has made me and my wife happy that we are regular readers of your blog.

  8. Wellington McBeth👀

    Sir, thank you for making my Sunday morning a great day as I get ready for church services. 🙏

  9. Max Foster

    I’m surprised by this paragraph. “Right away, I will out myself as a believer, a Christian! I long harbored the secret that someday I might be a “man of the cloth” to help spread the word that everyone can be forgiven and accepted into the Kingdom of God. My parents would have been happy to get me out of the house, no matter what I’d chosen to do with my life, and into something more than being an army man or ditch digger.” Gen. Satterfield had many ideas about what he wanted to be when he grew up. Now, I think it is time for him to devote a future article to those thoughts of his, then. And link them together. Thanks. Just a suggestion.

    1. Jonnie the Bart

      Good idea, Max. I too would like to read an article on all those possible occupations that he wanted to be as a kid.

  10. Lady Hawk

    ❤❤❤❤❤ Hey, Gen. Satterfield, thanks for another great letter to your granddaughter. Loved it. ❤❤❤❤❤

  11. Saul McPherson

    No 82 (Church and Baptism) what a great topic and well written, and made to tell us about another piece in trying to understand the little boy Doug Satterfield. Well done!!!! Thank you sir, for your continued dedication to educating us into what it was like many years ago, so many years ago in the 1950s and 1960s and how you were able to become who you are. And I think this is what may have been the core of your values and ways to treating others well. I am too a Christian and make no bones about it.

    1. Martin Shiell

      Saul, and with a religious name too. I think many of us enjoy these “letters to my granddaughter” because they remind us of ourselves when we were little kids running around and doing what kids do. These letters are sometimes, to me anyway, are an escape to the more simpler times.

      1. Library Helmsman

        Martin, right, and I read them for entertainment purposes but I also will acknowledge these letters communicate much more and I’m learning a lot about those times before we entered crazy world where politics became so embedded in our national psyche.

      2. Frank Graham

        Good comments here and great letter by Gen. Satterfield.

        1. The Golly Woman from EHT

          … Frank and all, if you get a chance to purchase Gen. Satterfield’s latest book “55 Rules for a Good Life,” you will see that he has a chapter on this very topic.
          “Remember your faith. As you go out into the world, be aware that you will be tempted to forsake your beliefs and reject those who follow those religious beliefs. The temptations will be strong and without end. Holding onto your faith will test your character, and, perhaps sadly, you will find that many like you have given up their faith because of the pressure from friends, co-workers, and acquaintances, those that you respect and admire. Remember that your faith will carry you through difficult times and connect you with those doing good in their communities through church, synagogue, or mosque. The value of faith should never be underestimated.” – Gen. Doug Satterfield in his book.

          1. Wesley Brown

            Very nice!!!!! 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
            I’ll have to get a copy of my own.

          2. Frontier Man

            Well written and thank you for the reminder of how well that Gen. Satterfield wrote his book “55 Rules for a Good Life” and can be found on Amazon and other book sites.

  12. Rev. Michael Cain

    Way cool, God Bless you, Gen. Doug Satterfield and your family.


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