Friday, July 18, 2008

Oldest Daughter's Baptism

This past Spring, our 17 year old daughter was baptized. It happened to be 23 years to the day when I was baptized in the same church. We were very happy. This is what every Christian parent prays for: the day when all you've taught them, is not just their parents' faith, but their own.
Our daughter made a profession of faith when she was young. She was attending a Christian school where they heard the gospel every day. One of the teachers (Miss T.J.) was giving her testimony. She said she always went everywhere with her parents, but realized that she wouldn't automatically go with them to heaven.
I knew nothing about what was said in school or the impact it had on her, until late that night, after she'd been in bed for a while. She came out and told me what her teacher said, and with tears in her eyes, said, "I want to serve God my whole life."
With children, you need to be careful about 'decisioning' them, because they naturally want to please. The fact that God worked in her heart and then she told me, showed the genuineness of her conversion. Some years later she struggled with the assurance of salvation and I told her it's like a child crossing a busy street with their parent. The parent doesn't count on the child's hold of him for security, but the parent's hold of the child. It's not how much we love God that matters, but how much he loves us, and that is the most secure place to be.
The evidence of a changed life followed: she had a concern for the lost, a desire to do what God wanted with her life, and a sweet disposition (except for the usual hormonal fluctuations as a teen, and a stubborn streak she inherited from me).
The day she was baptized, many of her friends, and ours, came from out of town and from sister churches. She had a few rows of pews filled to see her get immersed. She is now working as a counsellor at a Christian summer camp for inner city kids, and loves it. She's going into Social Services in the fall.
After the baptism, we had thrity people over for dinner. The weather forecast was bleak, but we prayed about it, because our house is too small to host such a gathering indoors. We got a beautiful day and ate out on the deck and in the backyard.
Because it was early spring, the yard wasn't at its' best and our deck hadn't been refinished. The old me would have freaked out about it, not to mention feeding thirty people, but I just reminded myself that no one really cared about those things, and that they were here to celebrate this happy event with us, and that life was made up of moments like these. (I am getting mellower with age).

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