There are some days when I find my church especially special. These days make me deeply humbled that I get to attend Bel Air Presbyterian Church (BAPC) and make me so grateful to God for its presence in my life.
And, I get to raise my son in this church??!! WOW.
A few Sundays ago, I felt this way.
Our church does something called beach baptisms. We have the Pacific Ocean just a few miles away, so why not take advantage of this gigantic baptistry? The church brings in the In-N-Out truck for dinner, which makes it even more amazing than it already is. (For those who don’t know, In-N-Out is a So-Cal fast food burger chain that is fresh and delicious–everyone loves that place–plus the owners are Christian; see John 3:16 on the bottom of their cups).
Eating it is so fun.
Eating it on the beach is even more fun.
Eating it on the beach while fellowshipping with people from our Church is the most fun.
Throughout this ocean side baptismal service, I had chills on the back of my neck as I watched our Pastor dunk people in and out of the freezing Pacific Ocean water. First, the praise band led us in multiple worship songs/hymns to commence the service. As everyone sang the words to “How Great Thou Art”, I had to fight back tears at the beauty of that moment. There were people from all over Los Angeles gathered on this beach overlooking the Malibu mountains in the distance, singing songs of praise to God. I think heaven might feel a little bit like this.
Now I grew up Presbyterian and was sprinkled as an infant. After an incredible mission trip to Malawi, Africa, I had Pastor Jay baptize me through immersion in July of 2006. BAPC is an unusual Presbyterian church in that they have these oceanside baptisms for adults in addition to separately sprinkling infants. I gotta say, I really do like baptism by immersion once a person is an age where they can choose it. I like the thought of people being able to remember the day that they publicly declared their faith and were deeply humbled by getting immersed in the water–even if there were 6-foot, freezing cold ocean waves (I guess that’s one reason I married a Baptist!)
A Few Annoucements:
–Today marks the One Year Anniversary of my sweet friend’s company launch, Pop and Lolli. You may remember that Jay and I chaired the charity event linked to this company launch on 10/10/10. Congrats, Mia, on such an incredible and successful 1st year!
–I have a big eye appointment on Monday to see what is going on since the surgery/consider more surgery/check-in with my eye’s general progression and current state. Please pray for Dr. Goldberg to know how to handle this most difficult case!
–I’m speaking at Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL tomorrow night (the 11th, Tuesday) at 7pm. This speaking engagement was such a gift to me timing-wise. My 1st cousin’s wedding was this past weekend (I read scripture and James was the ring bearer), and Eastern Hills flew me in a little early*, so I could go to this beautiful, outdoor, Georgia wedding! Soon there will be a lot of pics for your viewing pleasure on my mom’s blog from our cowboy-inspired wedding weekend in Northeast GA.
–I’m so sorry that I did not tell you about this speaking event in advance. It just snuck up on me, and it sold out very quickly! I’m always so touched by how many people from coast to coast actually turn out after reading my whereabouts on here. It is so special! A few save-the-dates so I won’t do this again: Nov 12th: Sea Coast Grace Church in Orange County, CA, Jan 20th: MOPS at Calvary Christian Church in the Pacific Palisades, and Feb 25th: Casa Colina’s “Tribute to Courage” Gala (I’m being featured as the Guest of Honor)!
* This is the 5th time a group in the South has flown me in for a speaking engagement. Each time, I have been able to visit family and friends and enjoy being with so many precious loved ones on both sides of my family on the East coast. It has been yet another special blessing (a true Romans 8:28 thing in fact) in this tough situation. I am very blessed.