Monday, September 15, 2014

perfect day for a Fall Kickoff!

What a day! My heart is overwhelmed with joy!

This morning was our Fall Kick Off at our church, Jericho Ridge, and we celebrated with a baby dedication, two baptisms and a bbq. It was awesome. The sun was blazing; it is was just a perfect day to share it with family and friends.

To top it off, my own Abi-girl shared a brief testimony at the end of the service, and then we went outside for a baptism.  She spoke so clearly and confidently and I was so proud of her. She wasn't too sure what to say, or what words were the best, or how to explain something that she feels, but it came out great! Everyone's story is personal and none is ever wrong. (even if some of us feel it has to contain certain elements to be a proper testimony. I had to stop myself from adding information or pieces to her story as she worked on it, and kept reminding myself to encourage her to say the truth from the heart.)  The power is in Him, and every "proper" testimony just needs to point back to who HE is to us and what HE has done.  And she is able to share that.  

She talked about how she grew up in a Christian home and school, attending church and hearing the stories of God and Jesus so much so that He became some sort of "celebrity" to her!  That sounds different to me, to put it in those terms, but it makes sense in a world where people are elevated to celebrity status, and are "idols" and "liked" and where the goal of many youth today are to become that recognized as well. To say that Jesus became a "celebrity" would be to admit that He became someone to be looked up to, to be recognized, to be followed. A hero. And if she chooses Him to be the celebrity she looks up to, how wonderful!

She mentioned how she was wondering about His purpose for her life, and what direction to go in and feeling lost when she had an asthma attack a few years ago so severe that we needed to call 9-1-1 and where she stopped breathing. It was after she was healed that she knew that God must have a plan for her life!

(with Pastor Brad, our Lead Pastor and Pastor Mike, our Youth Pastor, while Justin gives his testimony)

After the service, we all filed outside to watch the two youth get baptized. (after we picked up our kids from the Kids at the Ridge, which is our Sunday School program. I was worried I'd be late to the baptism in having to go upstairs for the Youngers and then downstairs for B and then outside, but it worked out good! We made it in time!)

(I love that dimple!)


I was good listening to her testimony and didn't shed any tears, but listened in awe as she shared her story. It was after she came up out of that water that I cried. But that's okay. They were happy tears. It's good to cry at things like these!

My heart is so happy, so overwhelmed, so full of joy that she has chosen to be baptized and to set herself apart publicly.

 (I love her smile in this one. She looks so peaceful as she is ready to go under.)


I didn't get to affirm Abi publicly, but I did share this with her in a letter:

You have mentioned how you have been awed at the thought of God breathing life into dust to create man, and how the song "Late have I loved you" by Gungor has meant a lot to you. In 2 Corinthians 2:15, it says that "we are to God the aroma of Christ." Abi, He has breathed His breath on you and set you apart!

I want to encourage you with this passage in Deuteronomy 26:17-19:  You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in His ways and that you will keep His decrees, commands and laws and that you will obey Him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are His daughter, His Treasured Possession, as He promised. He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame, and honour high above the nations He has made and that you will be a daughter holy to the Lord your God, as He promised.

 It is so incredible to know and see how she has chosen to walk in this faith, and how her confidence has grown over the years. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing your child make that decision!

After the baptisms, we walked over and had a big church BBQ at the picnic shelter, which of course, my Hunny was cooking for on the bbq we lend out.  (not that we had a lot of shelter from the sun, it was so hot!) The whole family sat together...we had my parents, my mother in law and her boyfriend, my sister and her family, my sister in law and her family, even grandma T came out! It was so wonderful to have them be witnesses and to celebrate Abi!

 (Rhys looking so dapper in his bow tie!)


It was a perfectly hot day! The kids played at the park and the waterpark for a bit. (although I didn't think of swimsuits or towels for the Youngers. I let them get wet anyways and ride home in their damp underwear!)


 The Fuel group (gr 5 and 6) decided to test the laws of physics in that if you put enough rubber bands around a watermelon, will it will explode? 

It does! Into many pieces!  It splatted on Kai's face, but he was rewarded with a huge chunk to eat afterwards! The Fuel boys thought it was pretty cool! (my Hunny leads that group, and since he grew up in the Boy Scouts he comes up with some funny, and different, projects for them to do!)

For a hot summery morning, it was a great Fall Kick Off event for our church!
The day was perfect and I am so happy to be able to share this day with family and friends. We are so blessed with this girl!

Abi mentioned in her testimony that this song has touched her. It is by the band Gungor, called Late Have I Loved You and comes from Augustine Confessions X.27. It is so beautiful and I have been known to play it really loud in the van while driving by myself! Hear it below.

***Thank-you also for friends and family and JRCC who let me use their photos of the event as well. Theirs are the bright and beautiful ones.  I really really need to get a new camera...or learn how to take beautiful shots on my old falling apart one!!!


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