Tag Archives: Gospel

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!

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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

The Sweet Sound of Mercy

Crosses with birdThe sweet sound of mercy
That came my way.
Instead of punishment,
My debt, God paid.

The wondrous news of grace,
So freely sown.
His love, undeserving
To me was shown.

The blessedness of peace
That Jesus brought.
The veil separating,
Calvary wrought.

The glories of heaven
Await me now.
All because of God’s love;
Through Christ, poured out.

So sweet is His mercy
That set me free.
Forever I’ll praise Him,
Who died for me.

The sweet sound of mercy,
Its bells still peal.
A tune like no other;
The soul, does heal.

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
Micah 7:18

Sue Nash/2013

The following song by Casting Crowns is a nice compliment to my poem.

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner

Poetry Corner image

Don’t Be Afraid ~ Pick Up the Most Important Book in the Room

Since my dad was a Gideon, I will always appreciate their work

Since my dad was a Gideon, I will always appreciate their work

While sitting in a doctor’s office, have you ever seen a Bible?  They are hard to find these days, but when there are among all the other reading materials.  I rarely see anyone choose to read it; yet, it the Bible is the most important book in the room. 

Many times, the Lord has convicted me about this, and even if I have already read His word that day, He asks that I pick up His word and read it silently in public.  I don’t know why, but when I do, there is always a twinge inside me about what others think. 

Why is that? 

Why should what others think matter?  And if they do object, why should it matter to others that we read the Bible?

Although it shouldn’t, it takes courage to pick up a Bible and read it in public. 

If the Lord prompts you to do so, don’t be afraid.  Pick it up.  The Bible is always the most important book in any room.

“Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven”
Psalm 119:89

Sue Nash/2013

We Are One ~ A Message From Karina

A single rose bloom among many buds

A single rose bloom among many buds

This morning, the Lord awakened me early.  As I spent time with Him in prayer, He prompted me to go to the computer.  Thinking that I needed to write something on His heart, I instead discovered a surprise that He wanted me to see before I went to work today. 

My sweet friend and sister in Christ, Karina, emailed something for me that God laid on her heart, and I am both humbled and honored by this special blessing.  

As I read what she wrote, though, I realized that this message is not just for me, but for each of us, as the body of Christ.  Just as Karina is not exclusively my friend and sister, she is a sister in Christ to every true follower of His.  Although sometimes separated by distance, or have differences based on nationality, race, denomination, etc., if we are truly His, we are intricately connected because of Christ in us.   Because of Him, we are one. 

I thank you, Karina, for taking the time to share this beautiful, yet powerful message.  Those of us who know you through blogging continue to pray for God to equip and strengthen you during this difficult season in your life.  May God continue to use you in powerful ways to encourage others and spread the truth of His word.

We Are One

by Karina Susanto

We are apart by thousand miles of distance; we are apart by tunnel of time. We are apart by seasons. We are apart by culture diversity.

But,

We break barriers that divide us along lines of caste, class, gender, race, nation, and age.

We are Community of Christ and we are walking the path together and called as sisters in Christ

We yearn to be together and feel connected by an unbreakable bond, to find a true home.

We also know that we are not alone in Christ

We walk and work together with all those who proclaim the values of Christ.

We are longs to blessed and be blessing, spreading God’s love, joyful and peace to others

We are one in our belief in the worth of every person and the value of every soul in God’s sight

We are called to be a servant of the Lord through the gifts that God given to us

We are one in knowing that we must do, and not only think.

We are one in generosity. We have many ways of giving.

We avoid debates for fear that in winning the argument we will lose each other

We learn to encourage each other, strengthen each other through our adversity

We are one, called to tell others about the gospel.

We sing Him. We pray Him. Live, see, and think Him.

We lift on high the name: Christ Jesus. We testify of Christ Jesus.

We have faith in him. He makes us one.

We are one in Christ

****

“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5

“I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:23

What Ever Happened to Awe?

Awe in sunset

Awe in God’s sunsets ~ I intentionally kept the photo underexposed for a more dramatic effect

Awe – Fear mingled with admiration or reverence; reverential fear. 
Noah Webster 1828 ~ American Dictionary of the English Language

What ever happened to awe?
Did we lose it by wearing flip-flops to church?
Did we chase it away by dressing how we want?
Since man looks on the outside, but God sees into the heart, then most certainly not.

If not dress, then what happened to our fear of God?
Did it weaken by our type of worship?
Did it flee because we left hymns out?
Though some would affirm this, one type of worship song cannot define God, so on this point I really doubt.

If not because of music, then what has brought this lack of awe about?
Have we turned our churches into social clubs?
Have we taught our youth that fun and games are what going there means?
Gimmicks do diminish the simple message of the cross, and since it is close to the source, from this we all should glean.

Has replacing the cross with a watered-down message caused it?
Or could the answer be because somewhere in the mix, of teaching primarily and only about grace, the mention of hell many intentionally leave out?
Could it be that, so as not to offend or come across as intolerant, they fail to warn people about eternity’s horrific side?

Though God is love, apart from true salvation in Christ is the certainty of His judgment, and not proclaiming this truth anymore is right where the problem resides.

I realize that the very mention of hell will send many running, convinced I misunderstand God’s love.
For talk of hell is no longer in vogue, reserved instead by former preachers of fire and brimstone.

Yet, omitting hell from the discussion of our faith renders no real understanding of the extent of God’s grace.
The plight, of what happened to awe, is one that must point back to the purpose of grace in the first place.

Though grace cost us little, it cost our Savior everything, and He did so to keep us from living an eternity in torment.
Out of love, Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins to keep those who accept Him from having to face a horrible end.
The hell we deserve because of sin, God never intended that any should dwell there apart from Him.
By confronting the reality of a literal hell apart from Christ, and then comprehending what He did to reverse this awful sentence on our behalf, is the surest way to restore awe in God once again.

What are your thoughts?  What ever happened to awe?

Sue Nash/2013

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner

Whatever Happened to Awe Poetry

The Gospel in Haiku ~ Trilogy of a King

Crosses
The Gospel in Haiku ~ Trilogy of a King

Part I

King is thrice inscribed
Lofty beams on Passover

Ground underneath quakes

Part II

Stone walls, newly cut,
Dusk drifts scent of fragrant myrrh
King dressed in linen

Part III
Cloths neatly folded
A
ngels glimpsed near garden door
“Mary,” said the King

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures
1 Corinthians 15: 3, 4

Haikus are short poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image.  They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience.  The traditional style uses three non-rhyming lines with a 5-7-5 syllable format, and one of the lines sets the tone. 

I doubt my poems fit the requirements of haiku precisely.  Although I appreciate feedback and suggestions, please be gentle and remember it was, after all, my first attempt.  Thanks!

The Gospel in Haiku Poetry CornerSue Nash2013

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner