Monday, March 14, 2011

Baptism Day!

Mercy.

What a journey we have been on as a family! We left our church after 10 years in August of 2009 and began months and months of trying to find us a new home. We all know or can imagine the emotions that are experienced when you go through something like this. It was especially hard for me because I was our Children's Ministry Director as well. I was experiencing a death almost when we left. However, God called us to leave and we left.

In January of 2010, we began visiting Englewood Baptist Church and visited for 9 months until we joined. However, when you go from Methodist to Baptist there is a small bump in the road that you must be willing to step over for you to be a full blown member into the church. This is NOT where we need to get into "but you were baptized as a baby or went through confirmation and why are you being baptized again" kind of thing. Ok? Thanks.

This is what I do know about the Baptist church and this whole "becoming a member thing." (And I stole this right from the EBC bulletin so I wouldn't say something wrong)

HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?

1. Present yourself for membership during any worship service when
the invitation is given.

2. Express your desire for membership through one of the following means:

Profession of faith: If you have never received Jesus as Savior
and Lord and/or never publicly confessed Him, you will be given
the opportunity to do so.

Transfer of membership from another Southern Baptist Church

By statement of faith: If you have previously made a public decision,
acknowledging that you have received Christ as your Savior and
Lord, we will be happy to receive you. It will be necessary for you to
be baptized at Englewood if you have never been baptized
Scripturally (as a believer, by immersion, in the name of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit, and as a symbol of your salvation).

3. Attend the Discover Englewood Class See inside for more info.

Soooooo....long story short, we were never baptized by immersion and so that was the small bump we had to overcome. Four of us have received Christ and baptized as babies, one of us, had not received Christ but was baptized as a baby.

Gosh...are you confused yet???

We discussed all this a lot and realized that we were simply saying before EBC that we publically confess Christ as our Savior and we will be baptized as Jesus was and we have the privilege of experiencing this as a family.....minus little man at 10 years old.

Well, as God would see fit, little guy started asking me questions and talking about how you become a Christian. He is in every church service at EBC and has heard the "Baptist language" which is different than the Methodist language that we had been exposed to for 10 years and he is also in a Christian school. He has been hearing about salvation for quite some time on a very regular basis. So, we get to this week and he is ready to take the plunge!!!! Being a momma who has never had this privilege before (because the older two had been in the Methodist church) of leading her youngest to Christ was the highlight of my life. :) Dad, momma, and little guy prayed and talked and talked and he asked the Lord into his heart on March 11, 2011!

Celebrate good times come on!!!! (KC and the Sunshine Band insert)

So...not wanting to go outside the logistics of what to do when a child is saved and the family is being baptized on Sunday....you hunt down your precious pastor on a Saturday at the zoo FOR CRYING OUT LOUD PEOPLE!!!! (felt so horrible about this, but what a wired woman to do?)

We talked on the phone and Pastor Ben was so kind and saw the unique situation and just asked us to send Dylan to their "Stepping Stones" class after he was baptized and allow the knowledge and further instruction about becoming a christian after the fact instead of on the front end.

"I PROMISE I PROMISE I PROMISE BEN!!!!" And, then I screamed a bunch of "thank you's" into the phone.

Bless.

So.....we had the opportunity for us ALL to be baptized on Sunday morning, March 13, 2011.

Praise Jesus what a day.

However, momma was a nervous wreck and running off of some kind of holy adrenaline that day. I was a mess. I felt sure I would be the first to die of a heart attack in the baptistry.

Mercy.

So, here we go....the precious little guy went first. I totally teared up. I watched the entire family be baptized as I was "in line" to go last. It was sight for this momma to take it all in. WOW!!! I saw all of their sweet faces go under the water and I saw the "new" come up with big ole fat grins attached. The Spirit was at work yesterday. Oh, yes He was.



























So, there ya have it!!! It was indeed a special day for us. I cannot wait to see the video that the church will provide because I have NO MEMORY WHATSOEVER of what sweet Ben said over each of us. ;)

I'm going out on a limb here, but not really, and I shall say this.....

Regardless of denomination I pray you are in a bible teaching church and hearing the truth Sunday after Sunday and people are coming to know Christ. The end. Hell is real. Jesus is real. I choose Him.

Love y'all to pieces!
Fran and family

36 comments:

Jen said...

FRAN!!! That is BEAUITFUL!! What a precious, beautiful family moment.

Heather {Desperately Seeking} said...

smiling big! love you!

Donna @ Way More Homemade said...

First of all, I am so so excited for y'all. And I want to say what a blessing to read your testimony that you did not let the denominational differences get in the way of you being where the Lord wants you.

That being said, I'm guessing it's by design that you didn't let us see a picture of YOU after your baptism with your wet head. :)

Love you!
Donna

Heather said...

I love it Fran!! Your obedience will be blessed!! I love your sweet family and your heart for the Lord!! We are all rejoicing with you!! These pictures are beautiful and priceless! I love you sweet friend!!

Mary R Snyder said...

Love this - what an incredible blessing to be all baptized together. The Lord is doing such an amazing work in & through you.... it's a joy & an honor to witness His hand in your life.

beckyjomama said...

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I went from Methodist to Baptist too - and was baptized by a 91 year old preacher (I was fairly certain I was end up never comin back up!!). I am soooooo happy for all of you! SO happy! Praises are flowing and there is MUCH rejoicing in Heaven!

Love you girl!

connorcolesmom said...

That just made me CRY!!
REJOICE!!!
I am so happy for you and your family!
What a blessing to be able to watch your ENTIRE family be baptized!
And you made me LOL when you said you thought for sure you would be the first to have a heart attack in the baptismal!!! LOL
You are SOO funny
much love

Diane said...

Thank you so much for sharing this special moment with us !! I am truly overcome with emotion ! I cannot think of anything more special than 'identifying with Christ' as a family in the form of baptism! May God use your testimony in the lives of many as a result of your public commitment to Him! God Bless you !!!!! diane

Mary Lou said...

Made me cry, yes indeed. Reminded me of my own baptism into the Baptist church....did not bother me one bit...I had gotten truly saved outside of church (having grown up in the Methodist church)so this requirement to be a Baptist was one I welcomed with open arms. What a testimony to our Lord. Thanks for sharing....

3girlsmom said...

I was happily reading this post with a grin on my face and then I saw the pic of sweet Dylan's face as he came out of the water. The tears started there and haven't stopped yet. How BEAUTIFUL. I am so happy for you, proud of you, and cannot wait to be next door neighbors in heaven with you.

And I will admit that I'm a little disappointed that there wasn't a cannonball entry....

Love you and your peeps so much. I thank the Lord DAILY for the gift of you. I love how he orchestrated the whole thing and continues to bless me with your friendship. Better yet, he continues to bless me with your SISTERHOOD.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

How cool that all five of you did this together, Fran. What a special memory for your family. WOW!

My husband was a Southern Baptist pastor for years and years and years (and now we go to a Lutheran church--ha!) but one of the huge obstacles he encountered was people wanting to join our church but NOT wanting to be re-baptized (immersion) when coming from another denomination. My husband was actually pretty laid back about the whole thing but it was always inspiring to me when people said: Sure, whatever it takes. I'll get re-baptized.

Your family is beautiful. And you made a beautiful memory together. Congrats!

Patty said...

I was smiling and crying as I was reading your post and looking at your pictures! What a blessed day. I have been Baptist all of my life but the best moment was watching my two sons get saved and baptized.
So happy for you and your family.
Love,
Patty

Fran said...

Oh, I just love y'all!!!

Two things...

It was a blurry picture of me with wet hair so i spared you. Ha! I promise.

We went to church before this service so we wouldn't have to go to church with momma's awful hair.

One more...we celebrated by eating Wendy's because noone was there and who cares if momma's hair is wet and stringy and gross.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Great pictures Fran! Growing up Baptist I love a good dunking!!! I have to say something now though that will probably make me cry as I write. You may remember me asking you questions about Children's Ministries, because I was too a Director of Children's Ministries at our church. Long story short, I stepped down on December 31st. I struggle with not the decision, but the reasons behind the decision. I don't want to leave the church, but it is so HARD every sunday to be faced with some of the issues. When you mentioned "a death", that is exactly how I feel on ssssooo many levels. I knew that telling that to someone who would understand would help. I hurt, and sometimes it's hard to explain why. I am happy for you all, that you have found a church home! I long to feel the love and unity I used to feel here, but no longer do. I am sad. I hope this isn't dumping, just needed to tell someone who would understand.

Michele said...

Awesome!! So happy for y'all, Fran! Thanks for sharing!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a beautiful story....I grew up Baptist and get it......you have such a beautiful family....
Loved that you shared the day with us

Kate said...

Yay! How awesome!

HIS Child said...

Reading, laughing (at your humor), and crying tears of joy for the amazing blessing. Isn't just like Him to let Momma go last and see the beauty rise from the plunge. Overwhelmed in a mighty fine way for you and the family.

Hugs for So. Calif.
Celeste

HisTreasuredPossession said...

I agree with Robyn...D's face was glowing and made me so very happy.

I love y'all so much! This was such a sweet day of Familiness...can't top it.

And a hearty amen on the denomination mattering little. Getting into a Bible believe-teaching, Jesus following-discipling church beats any boundaries I can think of!

smiling for ear to ear,
rachel

Alana said...

This is wonderful beyond words! Pure beauty!

Kelly S. said...

That is the sweetest thing EVER!! Tears. What a sweet family, and how precious that God would allow everyone to be baptized together :)
Our journey's in this respect are very similar. I was raised in a Methodist church, saved in confirmation class, and married a Baptist. So I too have been, (these are my husbands hillbilly words) sprinkled, sprinkled, and dunked. It's all good. Just so thankful to know Jesus and love Him!
Congratulations!!

Georgia Jan said...

Fran! Now you just know what this does to your friend, the Baptist pastor's wife, don't you? JOY - SHEER JOY! The complete thrill of seeing the blessings for your family follow your obedience to Him in your journey HOME to EBC is so WONDERFUL. My husband and I teach the "class" at our church and it's called "Second Life" because we are "Second Baptist!" Sweet!!! I love our lessons on baptism and I'm so thankful to see how you just all did this and that YOU ALL got to be baptized together! I LOVE YOU FRAN!!!

Jan :)

Little Steps Of Faith said...

I love you Fran Thomas! You are such an encourager! I LOVED hearing that accent of yours come through this post:) and KC and the Sunshine band...oh yea girl, perfect song:)
I understand what you mean completely and truly, and I am SO happy that you were all baptized, and that it is so important to your family.
It's a blessing to see, and one that makes me want to cry.
After I've experienced your journey from a distance in this, my only thing to say is PRAISE HIM:)

xoxo
angie

Cheryl said...

Oh Fran!!!
I still am crying even after taking the time to read all the other comments!
What an amazing example you & your husband are setting for your sons. I have no doubt that this will influence generations of Thomas'.

Love you so much!

Lindsee said...

I read each word with sheer delight! What a wonderful day and the BEST memory for your entire family. I pray Jesus rocks their world and that he sticks on them, like he does on you. Much love!

Linds

Heather said...

This is so wonderful!

BARBIE said...

How wonderful that you got to experience baptism together as a family. Brought tears to my eyes.

StLphotogirl said...

I love the pictures. I totally understand what you are saying about baptism. I have seen this happen in our church where we are now. Thanks for sharing this post and for having a great attitude about church qwerky-ness.

Kathryn said...

FINALLY got to read this and see the pics! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Kathryn said...

Okay - had to cut that comment short because I realized it was time to leave work - lol

I'm so glad you have the code to post a link to your blog - I am going to put it on mine (not that I get a lot of traffic on mine, but I still want to share with those who do stop by). Is there a way that I can subscribe to your blog so that I know when you post something new? I called myself looking but couldn't find anything - course, I was in a bit of a hurry so I'll look again, too.

Thank you so much for sharing this momentous day with all of us. What a joy and honor for the whole family to be baptized all at the same time! WOW! God is so awesome!

I look forward to reading more of your writings :)

Shelley said...

Oh Fran, that is just SO wonderful!!!!

Darlene R. said...

Fran, this is awesome! Praise the Lord your little guy received Christ and you were all able to be baptized together! Thanks for sharing your day.
Love, Darlene

Tina said...

Hi Fran,

I stumbled upon you from twitter! And what a perfect time too! To read your story of baptism! I got chills just reading about you and your family!
I am also SBC, even serving with the IMB (International Mission Board) supported by SBC churches! So I could say I am one of your missionaries! ;-) And your church looks to be quite active in missions! Love it!
Blessings to you!! I think I'll start following! =)

Jeanie Cullip said...

awesome!

Sheryl said...

How wonderful! What a wonderful thing that you will have to look back on. Sitting down with one of your own and sharing how to come to Christ. And then all of you being baptized.

God is so wonderful!

Sheryl

Jerry Sinclair - Faithful & True of Jacksonville, FL said...

Fran,

What a wonderful story! God turned your fear of Baptism into salvation for the little one!

I hope to join your LINKEDin network.

God bless...

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

Boy 1

Boy 2

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