Tag Archives: cross

At Calvary ~ Golden Oldie Hymn

With Easter approaching, my thoughts always shift to the cross and to what Christ accomplished at Calvary.  Join with me in remembering this lovely old hymn,

At Calvary
by William Newell.
1895

Sung by Lynda Randle

At Calvary

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.
Refrain:
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!

Thank you, Jesus, for Calvary!

Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed ~ Flowering Dogwoods

Dogwood Portrait

Dogwood Portrait

Drive or stroll past the woods in Mississippi during spring and you are sure to find flowering dogwood.  Although very lovely, like the trees on which they grow, their blossoms are comparatively timid.  Partial shade-loving, dogwoods grow best hidden under the shadows of their larger woodland companions.

The forested landscapes near my home are currently speckled with white dogwoods.  However, to get these close-up photos of the flowers, I needed a tree with low-lying branches.  Unfortunately, most of them were above my reach, but after diligent search, I found one that cooperated.

Dogwood Cross

Dogwood Cross

Legend has it that the Romans used wood from dogwood to make the cross of Christ, but the story has no Scriptural support. However, the blooms lend themselves nicely to the tale and certainly have a hint of the Passion.

Consider the cross shape of the flowers with blood-like stains on their edges, their fluted striations resembling stripes and the wounded appearance of the petal ends.  It does make for convincing comparisons to the account of how Jesus died. 

Subtle Hints

Subtle Hints

The dogwood legend is likely just that.  However, blooming as they do around Easter, the flowers will always remind me of the cross.  Within them, there is a subtle hint of the Gospel message.

Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed

Hidden dogwood tree,
Boldly lower your branches.
Reveal your story;
For the lost, don’t take chances. 

Although just legend,
Golgotha’s wood was yours,
It’s worth repeating,
Since nobody knows for sure.

Revisit the tale
About your lovely flowers.
How cross-like they form
Amid gentle spring showers.

Blooms that hint of Christ;
His Passion, of which we’ve heard.
Petals bearing wounds,
Reminding what He endured.

So, tell it once more;
Dying onlookers to sway.
A portrait of Him;
Subtle gospel you portray.

****

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Dogwood B&W

Dogwood B&W

Words and photos by Sue Nash/ © 2014

For similar posts, follow this link to Easter

Chiseled in Stone ~ Look Closer, Don’t Dismiss the Elderly

Old stone cross in local, historic cemetery

Old stone cross in local, historic cemetery

The closer I get
The more a masterpiece you appear

Looking back at them
How replete with memories are your years

****

At a cursory glance, you seem chiseled in stone, of rock quarried from ancient ruins.  Your body weathered, as a once stately elm now tattered from the storms.

To get to know you seems pointless; the path to your heart long trodden, too hardened to trespass.  Your aged years seem to have finalized the need for further discourse.

All too quickly, then, I summarize and dismiss you.  My conclusions cause me to walk away, seeking friendship with a more vibrant sort.

It is only by drawing nearer that I see more.

Close up of the lovely etched flower

Close up of the lovely etched flower

There are subtle colors forged into your withered front.  There is a fluidity of joy beneath the frozen surface of your countenance.  There is a fire of enthusiasm smoldering silently within.

A lifetime of memories lie etched in every wrinkled line, wanting to break free from their dormant cocoon.  Waiting for someone to draw them out.  Longing for someone to listen and understand.

“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 20:5

Words and photos by Sue Nash © 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You ~ Covered

Cross necklace given to me by a friend

Cross necklace given to me by a friend

The challenge this week is to “share a photograph with a prominent color (or assortment of colors) that reveals more about you.”

Red describes me perfectly.  My sins are covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 

“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”
Romans 4:7
KJV

For similar posts, see Weekly Photo Challenge

From The Daily Post

Friday ~ Thanks

Feature FridayThank You for the cross, Lord, on which You died.
Thank You for the hope that in You we find.
Thank You for Your presence in which we can abide.
Thank You for Your arms of love open wide.

Anyone else amazed at how fast this year is going?  Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it.

Even though Thanksgiving is when we officially set aside a day for gratitude, it is never too early to give thanks.  In fact, we should offer gratitude to the Lord every day for all that He has done. 

Join me in giving thanks.  Let’s celebrate thanks-giving in September!

I started us off with my poem.  Now it is you turn to share something for which you are grateful.

I Will Never Get Over the Cross

Sunset with cross

Sunset with cross ~ was hard getting a crisp silhouette of the cross with the trees in the background, but I think it still turned out nice with the colorful clouds

I Will Never Get Over the Cross

The Jesus we love is no longer on the cross.
The Christ we follow arose.

But I don’t ever want to get over the cross.

The Savior we serve is at the right hand of the Father. 
We can now approach boldly to His throne.

But I don’t ever want to get over the cross.

The cross is where Jesus paid the penalty for my sins.
The cross is what brought me to my knees.

I don’t ever want to get over the cross.

Hallelujah forever for the cross.
Because of the rugged cross I am free!

I will never get over the cross.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Galatians 6:14
NKJV

Sue Nash/2013

For other poems, see Poetry Corner

Never Get Over the Cross Poetry Corner

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes ~ My World

Christ means everything to me ~ He is my world

Christ means everything to me ~ He is my world

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Blessings, always

Sue Nash/2013

God is Always Within Reach ~ Gospel Blog Post

GOSPEL BLOG
A blog hosted by the Far East Broadcasting Company

Guest Post for 5/8/13

Follow the link below to read my latest post on their blog.  They would love any comments to go on their site ~

God is Always Within Reach

Not willing that any should perish, God is always within reach

Enough

The Cross Was Enough

Easter is over.  The bunnies are now toys, the baskets are on shelves, the candy is almost gone, and the brand new dresses put back on hangers.  As soon as the last church bell rang, the leftover welcome cards were gathered and the pews dusted off in anticipation of when at Christmas they will once again overflow with crowds.  For the masses, Easter and Christmas are primarily about the holiday trappings; sadly, Christ and the cross are mere obligations.  The cross message for them, like the ribbons and the eggs, is stashed away.

Fortunately, in most churches, after the crowd dissipates, the cross remains.  It is a permanent, visible fixture.  It is the primary centerpiece.  Its influence is fluid.  Easter is over, but for Believers, focus on the cross continues.  That is because for us the cross is everything.

At my local church this year, our pastor had erected an enormous wooden cross on a stand for use prior and during the Easter season.  We have another permanent cross, visible above the baptistery.  On Palm Sunday, passed out to all in the congregation were sets of cards on which one could write prayer needs based on three specific categories.  The cards were color coded as to needs of Sorrow, Sin or Salvation.  Then, during a time of praise and worship, those led to do so could tack their cards to the cross, in essence entrusting their burdens to the Christ of the cross.  It was a very moving and powerful time of worship.

Since the cross was so tall, most of the cards ended up clustering near the base, and while tacking mine on, some belonging to others kept dropping off.  As I attempted to reattach them, trying not to focus just on my own needs, I remembered that those which fell did so at the foot of the cross, and that ultimately this is the place where all of our burdens need fall.  I also remembered that no matter where they fell, the risen Christ sees them all.  With that in mind, I left mine on the cross, praying and anticipating with others for the answers we so desperately need.  I left my burdens there, or so I thought.

When Easter arrived, our staff had beautifully decorated the cross.  Drapes were folded over the cross beam, representing Christ’s royalty.  Attached to the top was a crown of thorns, and spread out over its entirety were all the cards, essentially enclosing it with the burdens of our people.  With a light radiating from below, the finished work was spectacular.

As I sat in the congregation, gazing at the cross and thinking of all the sorrows, sins and salvation needs up there, the bridge of a song being sung pricked at my own hurting heart, The cross was enough. (Jesus, Son of God by Chris Tomlin)  What I had to ask myself, as with tear-drenched eyes I sat pondering the seeming hopelessness of some of my requests, is whether I fully believe the song, “Was the cross enough?”  Is Christ enough?  Do I really believe that Jesus is big enough to reverse my sorrows, to break the stronghold of sins, and to save my lost loved ones?  Have I truly and permanently attached my burdens to the cross, or are they popping back off, like the ones I saw?

In my heart of hearts, I know with unashamed certainty that the finished work of the cross was enough.  I do not doubt that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  I have trusted Him with my life and He is now my Lord.  In my heart, I trust that the cross is enough.  My faith, however, needs feet.   I must walk out that believing in order for it to be real.  I must live as though I believe the cross is enough for any of life’s problems, no matter the difficulty.  I must leave those burdens attached to the cross.

The reality for me, and likely many of you, is that as humans we all struggle with putting our faith into practice, especially when the storms of life overwhelm.  Sorrows, illnesses, hardships, sins, burdens for the lost, and any number of other things life throws our way can at times seem larger than life and bigger than any hope of deliverance.  However, during those times, such as for some I am currently facing, the cross MUST be enough.  Without the finished work of the cross and apart from the Great I AM stepping in, there is no hope.  Storms are those situations in which we must cling ever more closely to the cross and leave our disappointments, hurts or difficulties at His feet.  He MUST come through.  If not Christ, if not for the cross, then there is no hope for any of us. For us or for the world. 

The preceding chorus of the song above, referring to Christ and all He accomplished, goes on to say,

 Be lifted higher than all You’ve overcome
Your name be louder than any other song
There is no power that can come against Your love

then continues,

the cross was enough
the cross was enough…

Although my faith does not always maintain its certainty for my heavy burdens, the cross WAS nevertheless enough because now there is no power left that can defy Christ.  While on the cross, Satan thought there was still a way to defeat Him, but whenever Jesus uttered the words, It is Finished, there was no denying Love from conquering.  From that point on until now, and carrying on into eternity, no power can defeat the Risen I AM.  No Name is greater.  No power is stronger.  No problem or difficulty is outside the capability of His power to overcome.  That overcoming power coupled with His unending love, restores my hope, and even when I cannot maintain a certainty, He will help me back up to a place of believing.

The cross was enough for no other reason than Jesus, who endured the cross for us.  He alone saves, delivers, frees, heals, and oversees.  Our problems to us can loom large compared to our power to overcome; however, as those tiny cards stuck to the massive cross at my church appear miniscule by compare, His glorious power by overcoming the cross makes the solutions to our difficulties seem small and within reach, His reach.  Now, the Risen Lord can wrap His arms of love around every sorrow or sin or lost lamb, and intervene as no other can.

No matter what, His love is enough.  No matter who, His grace is enough.  Without a doubt, the Christ of the cross is enough.

Praise God, the cross was enough!