Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Call of the Cross

We believe that the history of the world is but the history of His influence and that the center of the whole universe is the cross of Calvary. ~Alexander Maclaren

It was almost more than this woman could bear, this woman who birthed the Holy Child.   The pain in its intensity allowed no room for tears, just  groans pushed from her breaking heart.  How can a mother watch her child suffer without suffering herself?

As she opened her eyes, gazing upward, it was there--the cross, rising high above it all.  Above the soldiers' bickering over the Crucified's clothing, above the followers of Jesus who believe He is the Son of God, above the thieves hanging on their own crosses.  Above this woman called Mother, yes, the cross rose high above it all.

Last evening I watched young people, fresh from studying Greek, Methods of Teaching and Theology, perform "Behold the Lamb."  They led me once again to the cross.  I scribbled furiously in the dark, as I witnessed the scenes unfold.   My pen danced in time with the palms waving in praise as Jesus entered Jerusalem.  It slowed in shame as Judas, chosen by Jesus to be His disciple, betrayed his Lord.  And then, the cross!  Hundreds of years after Mary watched her Son die, another woman stilled her pen, gazing upward to look at the cross.

The things of earth call--the noise of constant chatter, the daily activities of living, the dismay of heartaches--and yet still, the cross rises high above it all.  Somewhere amid the journey to Calvary, the pounding of the nails, the pressing of the thorns, the Sacrifice is made.  In those hallowed moments--when the sky darkens, when the veil of the temple is torn from top to bottom, when God Himself turns His back on the sin His Son died for, that cross becomes the symbol of the sacrifice.

It is our responsibility to raise that cross for others.  Our Savior promised, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  That cross pierces the darkness, calling us to a holy walk with Him.  I hear the call while preparing for Resurrection Sunday.  The writer of Leviticus first recorded God's convicting words, Be ye holy as I am holy.   Peter quoted the words in his book:  Because it is written, Be ye holy as I am holy.

In the imperfections of Peter I see hope.  Hope that amid my impetuousness, amid the careless betrayals my actions sometimes speak, amid the failure in allowing sleep to overtake the call for prayer, that I can claim that holy walk calling to me.  The call of the cross rises high! 


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hop on the Blessing Train

Melanie has sheltered me in so many ways the last few weeks while I was trying to finish up some writing projects.  Besides helping extra with the blog, one day she came over and cleaned our family room--even the windows. When Melanie cleans it's sparkling! I invited her family for Easter Sunday and she insisted on making most of the meal and eating at her home.  I'm a blessed momma!  Here are Melanie's thoughts on a blessing project she put together this week. ~Pamela

“If you expect the blessings of God, be kind to His people.” Abu Bakr

“A-ha,” thought Hoppity-Hop Bunny as he was brushing his fluffy white tail. Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. I think I will make a gift for my bunny friends. Let’s see, hmm, oh – maybe a nice bag of carrot sticks should do the trick. Hoppity-Hop Bunny smiled at the thought of carrot sticks and hipp-et-y hopped his way to the general store.
Once inside, Hoppity-Hop Bunny made his way to Aisle #2 for the carrot sticks, but something else orange caught his eye in Aisle #1. He spouted out another quick “A-ha” and came up with a new idea – how about a bag full of Reese's peanut butter pieces? It would look good in a bag for my friends – and yummier too! I’ll make it into the shape of a carrot!

Well, I know I feel like Hoppity-Hop Bunny. I usually gravitate towards the non-healthier colored orange foods. But don’t we all sometimes like to cradle a few pieces of a treasured treat from a friend?

I enjoy giving little gifts to the sweet ladies of our church. If I were to give a gift to each (50 or so) at one time, that could become overwhelming and possibly I would never attempt giving one time, let alone multiple times. So, I select a few ladies at a time. I have another idea up my sleeve for the ladies who will not be getting this ‘carrot’ blessing bag... but something a little farther down the road. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t bless them with a warm smile, hug or  joyful “Hello! You look lovely today!” until it’s time for their bigger blessing!

Missy is expecting another little blessing in June
Occasionally I like to tag-team with someone else – two people can bless at once! My friend, Missy, came over one morning and we made handmade cards and tied our pre-made gifts while the chatter of a four-year-old and two 1-year-olds played happily in the background. The gifts then became more economical for each of us, we were able to be together for some coffee/friend time, and ultimately were able to bless more ladies by teaming up. Can’t beat that!

Want to hop onto the blessing train? This gift was not original. All you need to do is a Google or Pinterest search and you will have your fill of “Carrot Bags.” Such fun! (Walmart and Target carry the bags we used. We personalized the tops by cutting them down and creating our own ‘grass.’)

Missy's Reflections...

It was fun to visit with Melanie, and watch our kiddos play together. Morgan was determined to make me the grandma in her play world. She also kept reminding me that I am having a baby. We were switching pretty quickly from reality to fantasy. She brings a smile with her wherever she goes. 

While the main goal of the visit was to make a little something for the ladies of the church, our time was also very relaxing. Melanie made coffee and bagels. We [adults] chatted. As a mom of young children, it is necessary to converse with an adult from time to time. If not, I find myself referring to the ladies' restroom as a potty to someone that is over the age of twenty. 

We accomplished our goal, but we also had fun doing it. Hope you have a Happy Easter!

Linked to: