Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Home Business

I've got a new subject to blog about.  Today, I became a Lindt Chocolate R.S.V.P. Consultant.  I'll be doing home parties etc. like you see with jewelry, dishware, purses, etc.  I have never done anything like this before, but it seems like a good idea.  I've been looking for something "me" to do.  So, if you live nearby and would like to have a fun night sitting with some girlfriends eating chocolate (and really, why wouldn't you?), let's talk.  I should have my starter kit in about a week's time, and now I am busily preparing and watching videos.

I think it will be fun to chronicle my experience here. so this may be the beginning of a series.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The View from Buck Mountain

For Todd's birthday we climbed a mountain, something he would like to have done more of during this busy, busy summer.  Sadly, we were a week ahead of getting really prime fall foliage colors.  The weather was nice, warm enough to sweat a little while climbing but not terribly hot.   The walk itself was muddy, since the weather has been so wet this year.  We crossed streams and slimy patches on rocks and wet logs.  When we got near the top, other hikers on their way down congratulated Little Princess for her success.  She definitely started to lose her steam and needed some encouragement right about there!

 Buck Mountain is on the East side of Lake George.  From the top we watched speed boats and sail boats on the Lake and pointed out The Sagamore resort and The Narrows.  It was a hazy day.  The breeze at the top felt chilly!  All told the climb took us about 5 hours, average speed 1 mile per hour.  Some of us have long legs, but one of us doesn't!  We didn't spend too much time at the top, since we didn't get started until after lunch and it would have gotten dark if we had waited much longer.
This was an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon in October and we recommend it to all our able-bodied friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Baptism

I rarely do anything the usual way.  I guess my parents raised a non-conformist, and if I had to guess I'd say it was on purpose.  (Although I must confess I struggle with this habit all the time.  I don't always want to stand out, but I am who I am.)  I've been told I think differently at Bible study, and that we didn't get called to our ministry overseas in the "right" way. (We got type of ministry first, love for country later.)  So, it should come as no surprise to those who know me that, weeks before my 36th birthday, having considered myself a Christian all my life, I got baptized last week.

I'm no expert on all the traditions of the denominations, but the "usual" ways of baptism might be these:  1. Infant baptism, which was done for me by sprinkling,  2. Teenage baptism, by whatever means but usually when a child is considered old enough for an adult decision (13 or 14?).  3. Adult baptism, by either means, usually when a person has just become a Christian or has experienced a major change in heart and desires a public re-commitment.

I haven't had any major leaps of faith lately.  Certainly, God is at work every day in me, but the basic idea that I am a believer in Christ has not changed. When I was in college I felt like I learned who Jesus actually was for the first time and had to ask myself whether I'd still follow Him under the new definition.  So if I made an adult decision I made it then, but without fanfare.  It was no public event, nor have I a date to cite as some do.

 I knew when my kids were born that I wanted them to have the experience of adult baptism, and they were dedicated as infants instead.  For some of their births we were in a church that practiced dedication, but for the younger ones we were in the same denomination where we were both sprinkled as infants.  At that time we went with the non-conformist route and asked that they be dedicated anyway.  We had accommodating pastors for this.  Two of the kids then decided to ask for baptism when they were 7 or 8, so they were sprinkled.  They were old enough to agree with their dedication then that they wanted to remain in the church, and I didn't want to hold them back from this expression of faith.  I do still hope that they will want an immersion baptism when they are older.

Why, then, decide 18 years later to have an immersion baptism?  In truth I have wanted that for quite some time. In preparation for graduate school I took a theology class and came to understand the nature of the idea and the different understandings of baptism for myself for the first time.  The debate over the idea of Re-baptism (or the Anabaptist movement) was actually a Pretty Big Deal in church history.  I am thankful that we've come to a place in history where we can agree to disagree on these things, and nobody dies.  My personal decision and the one in place for our kids is that Biblical baptism took place when an adult made a decision.  People have set in place other traditions and meanings for this, and these have made sense to them in their time and setting.  But I wanted the experience that most closely resembled the early church.

Having decided that so long ago, I have attended several baptism services where I wished I could participate.  It seemed wrong to agree in principle with it, yet to never have done it.  Sometimes, I had missed the opportunity to prepare for it (a required class or interview), or was a guest at the church where it was happening.  Basically, I hadn't pursued it because I was waiting for Todd to agree with me and join me.  He had basically the same experience as I did with infant baptism and adult decision.  For a variety of reasons that are his own, he wasn't ready to join the Anabaptist movement until the opportunity presented itself again two weeks ago.  We got the call on a Thursday, confirmed that we wanted to do it on Friday, and were baptized on Sunday.
I know that this ritual only confirms something that took place in my heart, and works no magic of itself.  Christ regenerated me, not the bath.  But it feels good to bring my experience in line with my beliefs.