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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Angel Parties

Julia decided she wanted to be baptized at RVA, to publicly declare her faith in the context of this quite Baptist culture.  Even though all our kids were baptized as infants in the Presbyterian church, we have maintained that God would not mind if they chose to repeat that sacrament as mature believers.  She was one of 9 kids who went through classes with the pastor this term.  Each gave a testimony of faith in their own words, then had one or two siblings or friends read favorite Bible verses aloud.  Julia chose Zeph 3:17 and Gal 2:20, read by Jack and Acacia.

 Julia's testimony declared that she wants to live for God's glory and spread His name throughout the earth wherever He will lead.  She said she desired to have one pure passion for Christ above all else, dedicating every breath and every heartbeat back to Him forever.
In the  baptism pool each baptizer said some other words from Scripture.  Scott spoke about the symbolism of death and resurrection and the way all of creation is being redeemed and renewed by the Gospel, and how this baptism signals Julia's participation in God's work.
 I prayed for her as her friend Savvy wrapped her in a towel, and mentor/teacher/friend Bethany gave a benediction.  This is a place where we see the beauty of a community who helps us raise our children, truly a group project.

Here is the prayer, please read it prayerfully for Julia today:
God our Father, Jesus our Lord and Saviour, and Holy Spirit our Helper, We give your Name glory today as we witness the life and testimony of Julia.

We ask that your Kingdom would come more fully to this earth through her life, and that you would bless your people and your creation through her, that you would so fill her with love that she would be a source of water for the thirsty and healing for the hurting.  May the word of her testimony and the abandon of her life in love be your instruments for transformation in this broken, beautiful world.

May your will be done in her life as it is in Heaven, bringing her the peace of your reign, growing her in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.  May she ever be a tree planted by rivers of Living Water, fruitful and enduring in her faith.

Give her every day her daily bread, your physical provision and your sustaining word and presence.  
 Forgive her when she falls short of your best for her, and give her a generous spirit to forgive others
 Protect her in all her paths as she walks with courage and grace into a needy world, give her solid community and life-long friends, and deliver her from the Evil One.  When your ways are hard may she say "Let it be unto me according to your word."  Assure her of your goodness all the days of her life.
Lord we thank you for Julia from the deepest part of our hearts and pray she would be a jewel in your crown.

Now to Him who is able to keep Julia from stumbling, And to present her faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding Joy,
To God our Saviour who alone is wise, 
Be glory and majesty, dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
This is the stuff of Angel parties, the behold-I-am-well-pleased of God Himself.  And a reminder that all the other stuff, the late nights and early mornings and sorrowful stories and sweat and tears, pales in comparison.  So thankful for this daughter and all our kids.

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