This past weekend was a pretty special one.
I had the privaledge to witness my oldest daughter be baptized.
It is something she has been asking to do for a while now, and this year she was unwaveringly serious it was something she wanted to do. My first instinct was to say "you're too young" but I chose to squelch my knee jerk response in favor of a more prayerful one. We had some long conversations, and did some Bible reading together. Our wonderfully gracious pastor sat and casually chatted with her on a few occasions about her desire to be baptized and asked he lots of tough questions. We didn't do any formal "baptism classes", quite honestly the Bible doesn't make a huge formal deal about preparing for a baptism...the only qualification is salvation, faith in the finished work of Christ. I believe that she has a repentant heart, she confesses Jesus as her Lord and savior, and she is showing signs of a heart regenerated. Believe and be baptized...and that's exactly what she wanted to do. This is a girl who knows what she wants. We supported and encouraged her.
So with her Daddy and our pastor by her side she made her own faith visible through the testimony of baptism.
I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for this little spit fire. She is passionate, creative, ambitious, and she has a huge heart full of big bold dreams. She is counting down the years until she can go care for orphans in China, or teach school in Africa, or serve the poor in Mexico... she's full of big ideas.
I'm praying that this little light would not grow dim but would shine for His kingdom and glory. May she live up to her name as she bears His light.
Baptism does not save us. It doesn't "seal the deal", it doesn't push us into some new level of Christianity...it is obedience. It is an outward sign of an inward work. The Holy Spirit knows that inward work in her heart, we can only take it at face value.
As we have been brought from death to life spiritually, baptism is a beautiful picture of dying to ourselves and being resurrected with Christ. That new life is one of repentance and humility. It is a life of joy, as we become adopted children of God, even though we aren't in anyway entitled (through our own effort or works) to sit at his table or benefit from his great mercy and grace. We live in great awe of his grace each day.
It was a beautiful afternoon.
That is one proud Daddy.
Actually it was a beautiful weekend.
We spent the whole weekend camping with many of our church family.
We've been blessed to be a part of this fellowship for nearly a year now.
Church isn't a place to go on Sunday mornings, a building, an event, a social club, or a political agenda platform....it's Jesus' people. The bride of Christ.
I happen to really love His people.
I've never seen a group of people serve each other so completely and joyfully. I've never seen lives so genuinely transformed by God's grace from the inside out. It's genuine.
We share communion every Sunday as we fellowship together. This weekend we joined together after the baptisms to share in the cup and bread, which is a celebration that always points us back to Jesus.
It was a super fun weekend as we shared our hearts, lives, kids, smores, hotdogs...and even some fresh fish.
( This is a video made about our church.)