Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baptism By Squirt

Oh what an awesome worship service was experienced at Northbrook Church on Sunday. The music, the message, the baptism! Woohooo!

A friend of mine was baptized on Sunday, and baptisms at Northbrook are something to celebrate! Baptisms anywhere are things to celebrate! At Northbrook we celebrate baptisms by hearing testimony from the person who will be baptized, but because Melissa is deathly afraid of standing up and talking in front of people, to the point she literally feared fainting, Paul, theBaptism pastor, brought Melissa to the front and spoke for her. He shared with the church family about some of the spiritual markers in Melissa's life and how God used different people to plant seeds of faith in her. He also shared with some hesitation and added "God works in mysterious ways", that Melissa realized her need for salvation while reading the first few books in the Left Behind series. She read about characters recognizing their need for a personal relationship for Christ and who got down on their needs to ask forgiveness and to be saved from eternal separation from God. One day, she quietly asked Jesus to save her and He did! That was a little over five years ago.

MelissaMelissa had never been baptized and thought it time to do that. Her fear of being in front of people kept her from publically demonstrating her faith through baptism, but God answered her prayer seeking courage and Melissa was obedient. After Paul finished relaying Melissa's testimony, the church body is asked to offer some scripture and words of encouragement. Many people offered up touching words and tributes to Melissa who is very popular at Northbrook as she has been serving as the church administrative assistant for a couple of years now. After everyone had an opportunity to share encouragement, Melissa was baptized. The place broke out in celebratory applause! Woohooo!

Melissa is a member of my SaLT group (small group, cell group) and we meet for study right after the service. Our leader, Walt, had another "baptism" planned for Melissa and it was all in fun. We all were in on it and were awaiting Melissa's arrival to SaLT.

Melissa arrived and as usual we began sharing different prayer needs. Then WaLT opened by asking for anyone who still has encouragement to share with Melissa and maybe felt too intimidated to share in the "Big Room", can share in this smaller, more intimate setting. Some chose to share and then is was Walt's turn. He encouraged Melissa with his words and then came the cue....

Squirt Gun...so we all grabbed our concealed "weapons", our squirt guns, and blasted Melissa with water! Leave it to SaLT with WaLT to baptize by squirt! It was hysterical and Melissa loved it! She laughed and laughed! Unfortunately, I was already two hours late for work so I stood and announced "I hate to squirt and run, but I gotta go!". I gave Melissa a hug, got a little wet in the process, and headed out.

I was so blessed by God through Northbrook Sunday, and I am thankful that I was two and a half hours late to work!

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