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Listen to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I pray. – Psalm 5:2 (NRSV)
We cry to be heard, Lord. The sounds of my despair may be a nuisance to some, but you listen patiently, knowingly. Sometimes my cries may be silent to ears but not to you! I cry to you because I know you care.
I cry to be freed. Many bars cage me and keep me a prisoner, trapped by my pain, confused because I don’t understand why, confined and I am afraid.
So many things -
Then, you come! You pick me up and carry me to a place where it’s just you and me, a place of joy and peace and rest. O, how my heart rejoices. My cries stop because deep inside I know you are with me. You care!
My soul purrs like the softness of a lost kitten found, cradled, safe, wanted, loved. Is not this the desires of all hearts, Lord? To escape from all that confines and keeps us from you? The need to be what you have created us to be? Freedom is given; how wonderful it is. I can go where I want, become whom you want me to be, and know for certain that you are but a cry away.
In the night you are there. Before the dawn you heard my pleas, and you came. You know what I want, and you know that what I want most is you there, with me.
Please show me somehow that when my hurts are cutting to my very core, you have been healing me. My body’s aches and pains will cease. My brain pain will be taken away and replaced with courage and rest. My heart’s distresses will be soothed and joy – your joy – again will be mine. How wonderful are your gifts of love.
I am safe now – safe from death, safe from hell. You, Lord, are my assurance, my life. On the cross you bore me. From the grave you’ll raise me. You bought me, and I am yours. Forever!
But now I cry. It’s not a cry of defeat, but it’s a cry of happiness because I know I am loved. I cry because you have the power and yours is the will to set me apart from any evil that might threaten me. None can touch me, except by your permission; you have promised that all things shall work to my good because I love you and you have called me to your very purpose (Romans 8:28).
Thank you, Father, for hearing my cry, the cry of a baby born anew by thy Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Guard me always against all that would harm me – even myself. Amen!
Inspired by Storm’s cries in “home hospital” and Janet’s loving response at 4 a.m.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Rugged and Stained or Polished?
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto
death, even the death of the cross.” -
* * *
An ad was inserted in the newspaper the other day from a major retailer that advertised over two pages of jewelry crosses. You could have your own cross, or give someone else a beautiful cross, for between $47.50 and $84.99.
Most of us who profess Christ as savior, and many who don’t, have and wear them. They’re around the necks of athletes on TV, actors and actresses, and just plain folk like you and me. I have one made of Jade, a gift from a former member on one of the churches I served years ago. Like other decorative jewelry, it’s beautiful. Janet has several, a special one made of mammoth tusk millions of years old, carved by our oldest son, Don II.
This has caused me to pause in wondering about my attitude. Do I want a beautiful symbol to testify about that horrible death of Jesus on his cross, which provided the means of my salvation? Do I want just beautiful jewelry? Or, am I symbolically saying that, in obedience to Luke 9:23, I am willing to pick up my cross daily, wear it around my neck and testify to my beautiful love for Jesus. Just make sure it’s made of something precious, is beautiful and will be the envy of other people?
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am not condemning wearing a cross as a testimony to others and as a reminder to myself what Jesus did and is doing for me. I am trying to keep perspective on what my understanding of the Lord’s commandment means to me!
These thoughts also come up in my mind at Christmas. Homes, inside and out, are decorated with beautiful things in supposed celebration of the birth of Christ. And, there are Easter decorations now, St. Patrick decorations, Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, Valentine’s Day decorations, as nauseam.
Actually, what I have to deal with here is being judgmental. There is no way I can know another person’s heart, sometimes not even my own.
The Apostle Paul encountered a similar thing, I believe, when his followers told him others were preaching about Jesus and their intentions were, well, questionable. Paul responded, “Whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is being preached, I rejoice and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
So, whether it is a testimony or jewelry, or both, the cross is displayed to others, Christ is lifted up and I will rejoice.
Lord, Jesus, please help me to grow
When others motives I don’t know.
Whatever gives witness of Thee
May I rejoice, whatever their sincerity
All in the Cross
Look, it all consists in the cross, and it all lies in dying; and there is no other
way to life and true peace within. -
Once Christians Got Crosses for Free
Clarence Jordan, author of the "Cotton Patch" New Testament translation and founder
of the interracial Koinonia farm in Americus, Georgia, was getting a red-
"That cross alone cost us ten thousand dollars," the minister said with a satisfied smile.
"You got cheated," said Jordan. "Times were when Christians could get them for
Christianity A Sign of Contradiction
A true Christian is a sign of contradiction-
Many Christians are only "Christaholics" and not disciples at all. Disciples are
There is no automatic joy. Christ is not a happiness capsule; he is the way to
the Father. But the way to the Father is not a carnival ride in which we sit and
do nothing while we are whisked through various spiritual sensations. -
The world and the Cross do not get along too well together, and comfort and holiness
do not share the same room. -
The cross is rough and it is deadly, but it is effective. -
Religion That Demands Nothing Worth Nothing
At the very heart of the Christian gospel is a cross-
It may take a crucified church to bring a crucified Christ before the eyes of the