Healing at the Cross Posts

Grief stricken, a person isolated their psychological pain. Strong willed? Strong minded? The current generation harnesses many soul powers like “isolation”. Coping mechanisms or defense mechanisms can hold back the flood tides sometimes. Where do these come from? “A well-known categorization of defense mechanisms by George Vaillant in 1994 differentiated between immature defense mechanisms, such as projection (blaming others) and denial, and mature defenses, like humor and sublimation (turning your unconscious motives into productive activity).” Sounds like we have grown more sophisticated? Not just yet. Here are some other “modern” mechanisms: Isolation — keeps yourself clueless about your flaws and missteps. Self-Compensation — your attempt to find an external outlet to feel better.  Dissipation — you turn all of your anxieties onto some idealized version of yourself. Interesting, however, “The criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of a defense mechanism, in the Nanjing authors’ model, include whether it (a) distorts the individual’s self-representation (self-image), or (b) causes poorer relations with others.”…

Read More Pretend No More

In Paul’s  “Romans”  letter  we delight in a plethora of plenty, an Easter basket of colors, a bounty of beautiful treats, a bundle of love. First,  a plethora of plenty; We have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. by faith we stand in Grace. Second, an Easter basket of colors; While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. Third, a bounty of beautiful treats; The gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounds to the many, The free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. By the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness we reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Fourth, a bundle of…

Read More Easter, The Unspeakable Gift of Christ

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:11-14 Light brightens up our darkness, and in the light we gain more and more light in the rooms of our soul. Rooms of our soul? The metaphor was first painted by our Founder and Pastor, Dr. Carl Stevens. He states, “The first thing grace teaches us is to deny ungodliness. Then we can live “soberly”—with discreet, quiet truth, having the rooms of our soul filled with categorical doctrine.” He continues, “Once the foundation, which is Christ, has been established in…

Read More Light up the Rooms of Your Soul

Michael Dorstewitz wrote an interesting editorial at newsmax.com  Here is an excerpt: “‘Columnist Elizabeth Bruenig suggested Tuesday in The Washington Post that, “It’s time to give socialism a try. Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture,’ she wrote.’ Her piece appears to be based on the fundamental misconception that people in a capitalist society struggle to obtain their own individual piece of the economic pie. While there may be but one ‘economic pie’ in a socialist society, in capitalism, each person is given the freedom  to create his own pie.” Michael Dorstewitz O my Lord! What a metaphor for the Christian Life! Do you realize that you have been given a “pie” and this pie can be…

Read More Free to Run

  There hides a secret place and there a person finds a stairway leading up. In that secret place of Song of Solomon 2:14 the safe zone promotes our elevation, our lift, our rising above. There He encourages our voice, our countenance. There hides another place, a strong tower, where we  also ascend to the highest overlook possible. Here, in His nature, we are above our enemies. A third hiding place preserves from trouble; songs of deliverance flow around.  Another places us under His wing’s shadow. Psalm 32:7, Proverbs 18:10. Psalm 91:1 Corrie and Betsie ten Boom were middle-aged sisters working in their father’s watchmaker shop in pre-WWII Holland. Their uneventful lives are disrupted with the coming of the Nazis. Suspected of hiding Jews & caught breaking rationing rules, they are sent to a concentration camp, where their Christian faith keeps them from despair and bitterness. Betsie eventually dies, but Corrie…

Read More The Secret Place

  A believer reckons two things: I’m dead indeed unto sin. I’m alive unto God. Well here’s three:  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 We reckon as in our soul’s ledger book  — zero on the sin side, heavy on the resurrection side, light on the suffering side. To conceal or reveal? that is a question in reckoning? It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.. ..It is his (man’s) glory to pass over a transgression. A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter. Proverbs 11:13 A prudent man conceals knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. Proverbs 12:23 …God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their…

Read More Reckoning — Alive Unto God

“While imprisoned in a tiny prison cell for his attempts to reform the Church, sixteenth-century Spanish mystic John of the Cross composed many of his now classic poems of the soul’s longing for God. This poem is, “Dark Night of the Soul.” On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings—oh, happy chance! — I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest. In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised—oh, happy chance! — In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where He (well I knew who!) was awaiting me— A place where none appeared. Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more…

Read More “Dark Night of the Soul.”

  Paul McCartney wrote of a blackbird singing in the dead of night; Paul, the apostle sang with Silas in jail at night and David played the harp for troubled Saul. “…I sing because I’m free, His eye is on this sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Have you ever sung a song in a dark time? “The whip-poor-will is a nocturnal bird. This means it wakes at night and sleeps during the day. It sings loudly at dusk.” “Thrushes are famous for their singing ability, but many people who appreciate bird song consider the hermit thrush to have the best song of all birds. It often sings in the late evening or at night.” “In cities, birds sometimes sing at night during the breeding season. …This was possibly because the birds confused the high levels of artificial light with sunrise. Other research in the UK on European robins showed a…

Read More Night Bird

“The world? “The world is not interested in us. Today everything is possible, even the crematoria…” His voice broke. Father, I said, “If that is true I don’t want to wait. I’ll run into the electrified barbed wire. That would be easier than a slow death in the flames.” “…everyone around us was weeping. Someone began to recite Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I don’t know whether, during the history of the Jewish people, men have ever before recited Kaddish for themselves.” “…May His name be celebrated and sanctified…whispered my father.” “For the first time I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible master of the universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?”  One who suffered deeply  was Elie Wiesel, so written in his book, “Night.” Men facing the harshest of the harsh bend…

Read More Hanging by a Thread

  “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” “So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone!”Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5 “Then one of the seraphim flew to…

Read More Holy God-Merciful Savior