Healing at the Cross Posts

My childhood highlighted Easter. Not as ecstatic as Christmas, but carrying its own mixture of excitement, Easter differed from Christmas, much like death opposes birth, accentuating two poles of a man’s existence. Indeed, all the candy and gifts were affected by those Bible stories, most importantly, the one of cruel death. Memories include the emotions and guilt which filled my Childhood as I longed for release. Christmas gave a few days of solace, but Easter did not. The pre-Easter season of Lent featured the imposed fast– abstaining from certain pleasures. It was not yet a voluntary give-up for me. It lasted 40 days. Following that came the hideous picture of suffering death — we didn’t know how much blame we were supposed to assume, but we were told our sins were the reason for Jesus’ death. The Resurrection story did little to undo that mental pain — a basket full of…

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In reading, I came across these four definitions: If I have an “Idea” it means: “ the criterion by which we establish the discrepancy Between what is, and what should be,” this we call the idea. If it becomes an “Ideal”: When we understand the idea to be a kind of critical principle, which subjects our actual existence to judgment, and when we accept it as a goal to be attained, so that it becomes an image of what we should be, then the idea becomes an ideal. Utopia? “the ideal is given concrete form… on top of this the hopeful thesis is maintained that our world is actually capable of reaching this state… we are therefore committed to ensure it’s realization.” We speak of this as utopia. Ideology? “an ideal that has become pragmatic.” “The ideal and utopia may not be revered at all because of their intrinsic value,…

Read More Idea, Ideal, Utopia, Ideology

Proverbs 20:8 teaches:  “A king that sits in the throne of judgment scatters away all evil with his eyes.” “We are made Kings to rule over our own lusts to some degree. We are not Kings to be freed altogether from them, but Kings to strive against them . It is a Liberty to fight and in fighting to overcome it last. The liberty of sanctification is not a liberty that ends combat with our corruptions, but a gracious Liberty to keep them under, till by subduing them little by little, we have a perfect victory.” “What greater encouragement can a man have to fight against his enemy, than when he is sure of final victory before he fights.” all quotes are from Richard Sibbes, “Glorious Freedom.” He adds these observations, “Grace does not take away liberty. No, it establishes liberty.” “…It is the manner of the reasonable creature to do…

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  Matthew 9 teaches the Words of Jesus, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Repentance is a gift from God: The Psalmist cries, “Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.”  Psalm 25:16 The people cry,”Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” Psalm 80:3 David cries, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 Ezra cries, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.” Psalm 119:37 Who restored Adam and Eve after their sin? God restored them — God took away their fig leaves and then God killed…

Read More Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright!

  Dr. Carl H. Stevens tells a story of virtue: “Ned Bedford, one of John Rockefeller’s closest business advisers, told the story of how Mr. Rockefeller dealt with a man whose wrong decision cost his oil company a huge sum of m o n e y. Mr. Bedford made an appointment to discuss how to deal with the man. Expecting Mr. Rockefeller to be angry, even though the loss was not his fault, Mr. Bedford was prepared for a difficult meeting. When he went into the office , he noticed a notepad in Mr. Rockefeller’s hands. On that pad was a list of twenty-five virtues that characterized the man who had cost Standard Oil two million dollars. “ You know this man has saved me money five or six times—saved me far more than two million,” Mr. Rockefeller said. “I am going to give him a raise.”” From, “Christ Is My…

Read More Virtue/Love

I sang a song once, ’twas the joy of my heart. It carried a tear-drop to surface, on folk far apart. A plain song it was, without much buzz, but oil was hidden, ’twas oil of love. With one it brought laughter, with another, gave joy, some thought of heaven, I remembered my boy! My Mother, my Dad too, George and Merrilee, Bill Kraskie and Kevin, again I will see. I visited a place called Auschwitz, where they do a security check still. They must have guards, but not to hurt — no, they resist only liars and haters who try to erase this death-camp from historical record. But I was allowed to see the piles; of shoes, cups, prosthetic devises, eye-glasses, and a room of hair, (human). I saw a chamber, I saw an oven, a chimney; I saw names and faces, pictures of herded people. I read poems.…

Read More I Sang a Song

  “Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art, Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence, my light.” Be Thou my wisdom, Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee, Thou with me Lord; Thou my great Father, I Thy true son; Thou with me dwelling and I with Thee one. Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for the fight; be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight; Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high-tower; raise thou me heaven-ward, O Power of my power. High King of heaven, Thy victory won; may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Son; Heart of my own heart, whatever befall; still be my vision, O Ruler of all.” I’ve always loved the words of this song; So much content , So much meaning — “My best thought, Thy presence, my life, My wisdom, My true word,…

Read More Be Thou My Vision, Lord of my Heart

Joshua would be 40 years old on April 10 if he had survived his bout with cancer. 14 years have past since his untimely passing. We remember him today. I have thought of Josh much this past 14 years, but I am okay. God has allowed my imperfect life to continue and has paid me back with many blessings of the spiritual  and physical sort. I have enjoyed the friendship of God’s Spirit, of Jesus, and the Father. I have been allowed to simply be myself, to speak transparently, to have a ministry with the broken hearted. I have felt God’s loving comfort for grievers; I have identified with their pain. These things we have learned from Joshua’s life and dying: The events of life, thrills or tragedy, are not mere speed-bumps to recover from, but are doorways which open to new worlds. Many hidden gifts and desires opened for…

Read More Joshua Sliva

  Do you often grapple over the many decisions, including non-decisions, that brought you to your present circumstances? Lets try. There was the life changing time when Christ became real, the decision to marry, and the decision to have children. There was the decision for Bible College, moving to another state, finding a new job. These events are on the positive side of planning. Then there was the unforeseen happenings: the departure of a spouse, the death of a child, the loss of a job, the pains of sickness. On top of that are the many unthinkable mistakes, abuses, betrayals, and cowardly opting-outs. These were the lessons, hard to be learned, and may have stolen a large part of our lives. Nevertheless here we are. What are we to think about it all? The Apostle beautifully says: ” But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of…

Read More The Long and Wrong Roads of the Past

  “Feeling the stress of a fallen world is part of existence. We might call this the’blues.’ Romans 8:23 teaches, ‘we groan.’” “The blues are common to the lot of a fallen human race.” “… Expectation of a carefree life or constant euphoria and excitement are neither scriptural nor true to experience.” Steven Waterhouse “The fact that you have become a Christian does not mean that you cease to have to live with yourself — You will have to live with yourself as long as you are alive. ” Martin Lloyd Jones Depression is related to 1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things, 2. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless, 3. Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much, 4. Feeling tired or having little energy, 5. Poor appetite or overeating, 6. …you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down, 7. Trouble concentrating on things, 8. Moving or speaking so slowly,…

Read More The Blues