Come on Down to the River…

(August 4, 2014)

My goal is to start writing on a weekly basis (or more often).

I plan to make a poll this week to get to know my readers a bit better… please keep an eye out for that.

I planned to write this post last week, but every time I updated and tried to save, the work did not save. Maybe I should go back to writing these out on paper first… Blog friends: what is your process?

If this post had a theme song or background music, I’d have to probably pick “Lay ‘Em Down” by NEEDTOBREATHE. So, if you’d like to start that song, “Washed by the Water”, or any good ole hymn, now’s the chance…

Our church is a SBC (Southern Baptist Church), so obviously we baptize.

Matthew 3:11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

 

The baptisms today are an outward expression, a representation, of an inward change… of the repentance and death of old self, of the new life in Him, of the entrance of the Holy Spirit!

Our pastors baptize throughout the year, but we also have special services down at the river, the Tennessee River… down at Ditto Landing.

Now, I must give a disclaimer that I have not been down to the river for one of these baptisms. I was baptized years ago by Bro. A.L. Courtney. He and Mrs. Myra will always have a special place in my heart. I want to make it down in support and celebration with my brothers and sisters, but I haven’t been able to do so. River baptisms, how cool is that?

Side Note: One mistake I made in high school was not making it to my friend’s baptism in the lake before she went home (to another country). I should have been there for her. Shout out to her if she reads this – I love you! And as My precious neighbor always tells my little girl, “and Jesus loves you too!”

Last Sunday our pastor shared a highlight video of last year’s river baptisms to announce, promote, and pump us up for this year’s River Baptisms that happened yesterday.

In the video (link above), as many were rising up, they wiped their faces, shook the water off, and things like that, with smiles. I thought that it was a great image of how we are, as new believers… shaking the old off, wiping our eyes… tears of repentance, joy, and forgiveness. Wiping our faces… in amazement, at the clarity, at the peace, at the new life.

It’s been many, many years since I shared my faith and obedience in “believer’s baptism”, but it’s as real and fresh more real and fresh each day. His mercies are new each morning!

Lamentations 3:22-24 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning;Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“Therefore I have hope in Him.”

This thought may be nothing new to you, or to me… but it was just special to reflect on and really rejoice with them as they shook off the old, amazed and refreshed, reborn.

I don’t know if I found the right words to use to describe what I’m trying to say. I hope that past all of the church lingo, it touched you.

What are some small moments you’ve had lately that were just sweet and special… and inspired (by the Holy Spirit)? What do you do with those moments? Do you journal them? They’ll be special to reflect on again. Share them?

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