What a wonderful day! Today, my twins were baptized. They publicly declared their love for Christ, their identification with his death, resurrection, sufferings, and desire to follow Him all the days of their lives.
They each gave their testimonies...I really loved working with them on this project this week! I will share them here in written form (I can't readily get the video online).
Anna went first. She said,
"Hello, my name is Anna Pence and I am 12 years old. I am thankful that my parents have always raised me in the Lord. Each year, at Easter, we make resurrection buns by taking a marshmallow that we pretend is Jesus’ body, wrapped in the burial cloth, and sealing it inside the dough of a roll. Once it is baked, it keeps the form of the ‘tomb’ that we made, but it is empty. The marshmallow is gone, except for a small bit of white goo in the bottom of the resurrection bun, which we say is the empty burial cloth that Jesus left behind.
When I was 5 years old, after this project, on Easter morning, I accepted Jesus as my savior. My parents led me through the prayer of salvation.
After my salvation, I could almost hear the Holy Spirit telling me if something was ok to do or not. When I would do something against this prompting, I feel guilty, and the need to correct my actions.
In the last couple of years, I have spent more time with God, praising Him, in prayer and in His Word. And have seen growth in my life where God is working to mold me to be more like Christ, and changing things in my life to better reflect God’s will and purpose.
I now enjoy spending time in God’s Word, too. My favorite passage is 1 Corinthians, 13:4-8a. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I like this passage because God is love, so it is describing who God is, and that God will never fail. It is a passage of hope. And a passage to challenge me to be like Christ in this way to others."
I loved getting to see my husband, and their pastor, Cary Green baptize them into the faith!
Bailey's testimony was as follows...
"Hello, my name is Bailey Pence, and I am 12 years old. My story started out like Anna’s. When we were 5, after making resurrection buns, I also said the salvation prayer. But I didn't feel sorry over my sin or the need to change.
In the last couple of years I have felt convicted and guilty of my sins. But I didn't really understand what it was or what to do with it, until last week. My mom and I went for a walk, just the two of us. She started asking if I thought I was saved, and why I didn't want to be baptized.
In talking about it, I realized that I was not saved, and that day I confessed my sin, repented, and accepted Jesus into my heart. I accepted His death on the cross as punishment for my sins.
I thought that I was saved before, because I had said the right words, but really, I was one of the goats that Jesus talked about in Matthew 25. They also thought that they were saved, but their lives had no fruit, just like mine.
I now feel guilty when I sin, and convicted by the Holy Spirit, until I make it right, confessing my sin to God and whoever else I need to confess to.
My favorite verse is Philippians 1:1-2, If anyone has any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded. Having the same love, being one is Spirit and purpose.
I am excited about the changes in me, and now look forward to God conforming me to be more like Christ each day."
What an honor it was to be able to see Bailey's heart...to be available to her and sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to have such a profound impact on my sweet daughter's heart! God is so good! Only He could have orchestrated such a thing, and could have brought about this kind of heart change in someone.
The pastor then mentioned after Bailey's testimony about this very thing...that Anna's desire to be baptized brought about the confrontation of sin in Bailey, and ultimately, God used it to draw her to Himself!
Here is Bailey's baptism...
The day was beautiful! The weather couldn't have been better...normal for us this time of year is upper 50's. Today was 80 degrees! But the water was still very cold...
Afterwards, we went to the pastor's house for a pot luck (something I have always enjoyed, but am now coming to dread since Brianna's diagnosis of food allergies - now pot lucks are kind of scary!), and a very fun cake made by their oldest daughter, in the shape of an octopus (though it had 10 arms, one for each of the people being baptized), and on each tentacle was the name of one person being baptized.
|Callie just looked too cute not to take her picture!|
|The twins waiting in the hot sun...|
|They received a MacArther Study Bible |
(something that I would actually like!)
as a gift from the elders of the church!
|The fun 'deco-pus' as we decided it was more accurately described.|
Here are all of the people who were baptized today!
Congratulations girls. I am so proud of you and the commitment that you have made. I am so proud of who you are, and the young ladies that you are becoming. It is such a blessing, a privilege and an honor to be your mother!