Friday, March 23, 2012

My Baptism

I was raised in a minister’s home. I’m a “PK”. We lived in a small town in the heart of Ohio until I was about to turn 8, then we moved to North Syracuse, New York to start a new church. There were many Sundays where our family of five were the only ones in the folding chairs of the rented building, listening to my mother play the piano and my dad preach the sermon. The church grew slowly, family by family.

As we outgrew a rented building, we would move to a larger rented building until finally we were able to build our own facility that would house the North Syracuse Church of Christ.

My dad was also the camp director at Mountain View Christian Camp, in Dansville, New York. I loved going to camp. It was a great place to be the tom boy that I was.

In August of 1969, while at camp, my dad and my brother were having a serious conversation under a tree. I casually wandered over to them and asked what they were talking about.

My brother wanted to be baptized. I said, “I want to be baptized too!” Dad asked me a few questions, I knew all the answers, and that evening, my brother and I walked down into the pond and were baptized.

The pond was slimy. Gooey mud gushed up through my toes as I stepped into the water. Unfiltered pond water surrounded me as I went under and it sputtered from my nose and mouth as I came up out of the water. It was gross. And I was thinking, “I could have waited until Sunday morning and could have been baptized in the clean water of the baptistery at church!”

I can’t say that the event of my baptism changed my life. It should have. I wanted to be baptized because my brother was being baptized. I did love the Bible, however.  I began reading it. Listened intently to every sermon I heard. I went to Bible College…5 years. No degree. But lots of Bible classes. God’s Word changed me.

Through my study I found that my baptism at that early age was because of my obedience to Jesus’ command and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I received God’s forgiveness, the Holy Spirit to be my Guide, my Counselor, my Comforter, and so much more; and Christ’s blood that sanctified and redeemed me. But I also learned that I missed the dying to self part at baptism. I didn’t sacrifice anything at that point. I did make that commitment to Christ again later as a young adult. I allowed God to work in me to take off the old self and put on his glory.

I still love God’s Word and can’t seem to get enough of what God has to say to me. It’s alive and living and is my weapon against Satan.

I’m thankful for that pond water at Mountain View because when I came out of that dirty, slimy water, I was as clean as the baptistery water at the North Syracuse Church of Christ.

“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7b)

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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