Monday, April 25, 2011

My Baptism Testimony

My name is Melissa Neufeld. Some of you know me as Jonathan’s wife, and God has truly blessed me with an amazing husband and a wonderful marriage. Some of you know me as David, Noah, Angeline and Samara’s mom (or the crazy lady who had 4 children in 5 years). Despite severe sleep deprivation and a house that is never tidy I have been truly blessed by through motherhood as well. But the reason I stand before you today is because I am a daughter, not only of my earthly parents (whom I love deeply) but also of my heavenly Father… your sister in Christ.

Believing in God is not something new to me. In fact I can not remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. Going to church on the other hand was not something that was a regular part of my life growing up. I did attend enough to know what church was and to learn some bible stories. I also have memories of praying when I was quite a young child. Believing in God has always been part of who I am so much so that I can honestly say believing there is no god requires much more faith to me then believing THERE IS.

I have had many turning points in my 28 years of life and though I can not name an exact date I would say that I became a Christian when I was about 16 years old. At this point I was regularly attending church and youth group, reading my bible daily and just growing in my understanding of God. I would have to describe my conversion to be when my believing faith transformed into faith in action. I accepted Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (which we are celebrating this Easter Sunday), experienced healing and reconciliation through the acknowledgement and forgiveness of my sins and made a decision to live for God’s purposes rather than my own.

So, why wasn’t I baptized then?
All of this took place in and surrounding the Catholic Church I was part of, baptized into when I was a baby. There was no reason for me to even think to be baptized at that point in my faith journey. As I continued on in my teenage years I also attended a Baptist church and youth group and eventually associated myself more as a “Christian” not wanting to chose a denomination as a title be it “Catholic” or “Baptist.” Whenever baptism came up I felt uneasy and I have never been comfortable with the idea of re-baptism BUT I always said that if God spoke to my heart to be baptized as an adult that I would. It was in February of this year that I was driving in my mini van with my beautiful children… listening to “Praise” on the radio in just an ordinary moment that God’s Spirit spoke. So here I am.

God has been at work in my heart and in my life and has been convicting me of what I came to know so many years ago. I believe that God is calling me to be obedient to his word through baptism and in my everyday life.

1 John 2:5-6 says:
“If anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

This truth is something I can not escape from. I am reminded of it as I listen to the chorus of this song by Casting Crowns (If We Are The Body).

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way 

I want to raise my children to know “There is a way”… to know that God loves them… to know that sin separates them from God. To know that Jesus is God’s son who’s death on the cross is THE WAY to make atonement for our sins and to reconcile us to God. I know that seeing me love God, obey His Word and live like Christ will teach them these truths more then hearing it from my lips.

As I publicly proclaim my faith I am making a commitment to be obedient to God’s word and to live like Christ.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Baptism

I (Melissa) decided in February that I would like to be baptized as an adult (was already baptized when I was a baby). We have set the date for Easter Sunday during the 11am service at Bethany Baptist Church in Richmond. Easter is a busy time filled with family events and dinners and many will be away or simply unable to attend but I wanted to get the word out in case anyone wanted to come. I will be posting my testimony on Easter Sunday for those who can't make it but are interested in reading what it is all about. If you are interested in coming and need more information please contact me.