The sign of God’s Covenant with Daniel

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Daniel's baptism - Pastor Andy Young with John, Daniel, and me

Daniel’s baptism – Pastor Andy Young with John, Daniel, and me

This morning little Daniel was baptized at our church here in England – Naunton Lane Evangelical Presbyterian Church (part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales.)  We went over to the pastor’s house afterwards to just hang out since it was our next-to-the-last Sunday and the kids like to play together, so there will be quite a few pictures from that 🙂

The Pastor preached a great sermon on infant baptism this morning that talked about baptism being a sign of God’s covenant with his people in the New Testament.  Since we are Reformed, we basically believe that God’s grace precedes faith — in other words, only by God’s grace are we able to have a saving faith.  There are many in our church, and all throughout Christendom, who think that you must be a professing believer in Christ in order to be baptized, so the sermon was just a few points about why we were choosing to baptize Daniel.  In our church this is not a divisive issue, since we do not think that one’s view on baptism should disrupt the fellowship of believers who enjoy worshiping the Lord together.  Unlike the Catholic faith, we do not baptize infants believing that it procures them salvation — instead, we baptize as a sign that God has made a covenant with believers and their children, just as he did in the Old Testament with circumcision.  Not going to go into all the points that the pastor made today, but it was a very concise summing up of the matter in the limited time he had (his sermons are usually about 45 minutes.)  By all means if you want to ask me more questions about it then leave a comment 🙂

Anyway, the children all did well through the service, and Greer only had to be disciplined once but otherwise sat there quietly the whole time.  Daniel slept, up until the cold water on his head, and that was right near the end of the service 🙂  After church there was a “bring and share” lunch (what Americans call a potluck) for the church to be able to say goodbye to our family which was very lovely 🙂  One of the ladies at church had sent a meal home with John the first Sunday after we had Daniel, as well as a cute little outfit.  They don’t really do baby showers over here on a regular basis, but it was very kind that a few different people have given me gifts whenever they have met Daniel (the piano teacher’s wife even gave us a nice cozy blanket the other night!)  Then today, someone gave us a homemade little quilt for him, and another gave us a Peter Rabbit rattle (so fitting for being born in England!)

The text on the quilt reads: Daniel Feanor Armstrong 17-7-12

The text on the quilt reads: Daniel Feanor Armstrong 17-7-12

She even put his name on it, date of birth, and her name 🙂  (Notice the British write their dates backwards of ours!)  So sweet of everyone!  Another family sent a card made by the children that said, “I love you Daniel!”  Little kids are so sweet 🙂  Here are a few pictures from the luncheon today:

Greer and Beatrice, friends at last!

Greer and Beatrice, friends at last!

This is one of the pastor’s three daughters, Beatrice, 2  1/2, holding the umbrella up for Greer.  They used to push each other around quite a bit, but finally Greer is to the point where she gives Beatrice a cuddle (a hug) on her own instead of running from Beatrice every time she comes near 🙂 Of course it rained off and on all day as it has all week…notice one finger up a nose and another’s in her mouth…

After the lunch we went over to Pastor’s house, as I said, and another family from America visited as well.  The husband of that family is getting a PhD basically in Cuneiform (called Assyriology) from Oxford, so they live over there.  It’s about 50 minutes to our church, but they’ve visited about three times now and are thinking of joining the church because it’s more what they are used to from the states rather than the Church of England church where they are now.  (We drove 45 minutes to church as well since it is the only Presbyterian church around 🙂 )  It was nice to visit with them, and their three sons almost evened out the posse — 7 little girls to 4 little boys (we’re not counting Daniel.)  Once they left, we were down to 7 girls, and 1 boy – poor Gabriel!  He was okay, though, since he mostly built with legos and read books 🙂  We then had “tea” (which is the term loosely applied to any evening meal, especially that served earlier to children when parents are going to have a later supper) consisting of muffins, jam, cheese, and cucumber slices.  Yes, they were what we call “English muffins” in the States, but of course they only have to say “muffins” over here 🙂

The whole family, with the Pastor on his couch

The whole family, with the Pastor on his couch

Daniel, staring me down

Daniel, staring me down

Muffin time! Liesl and Gabriel

Muffin time! Liesl and Gabriel

Claire in the background, and Beatrice up front

Claire in the background, and Beatrice up front

Greer, John, and the pastor's daughter Amelia

Greer, John, and the pastor’s daughter Amelia

Pastor Young and John

Pastor Young and John

Marmite, something people spread on toast. Disgusting.

Marmite, something people spread on toast. Disgusting.

Pastor loves Marmite, which a – here let me google it – From the web: “Marmite is made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. The British version of the product is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavour, which is extremely salty. This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company’s marketing slogan: “Love it or hate it.” A similar product is the Australian Vegemite.”  There you have it.  John tried it just to be adventurous and discovered it was repulsive.  I had it on a previous visit and also hated it 🙂

Greer with a jelly-face

Greer with a jelly-face

What Daniel did most of the visit

What Daniel did most of the visit

The pastor's wife, Davinia

The pastor’s wife, Davinia

After tea we drove home to start the mammoth job left to us — packing our suitcases!! Our movers for the unaccompanied baggage (ie an express shipment) come tomorrow morning, so we need to see what fits in the suitcase and what will need to go with the movers.  We worked on that for about an hour and a half and are now on a break (oops – it’s been too long of a break now, but we’ll be getting back to it after I feed Daniel…)  Here’s what some of the kids looked like on the drive home — Gabriel is probably this energized from the delicious homemade brownies Davinia gave us after tea, and Greer is zonked from having had no nap all day 🙂

Greer, Gabriel, and Claire

Greer, Gabriel, and Claire

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One thought on “The sign of God’s Covenant with Daniel

  1. Vegemite is disgusting, so I imagine Marmite is also. Love the pictures. The girls look nice with their hair up. Good luck with the packing!

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