Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 13 No. 5 May 2011
Page 14

The Padded Cross

John Stacy

“Well, here I am, Lord. You said, ‘Take up your cross,’ and I am here to do it. It is not easy, you know, this self-denial thing. I mean to go through with it, though, yes sir. I will bet You wish more people were willing to be disciples like me. I have counted the cost and surrendered my life and it is not an easy road.”

“You mind if I look over these crosses? I would kind of like a new one. I am not fussy, you understand, but a disciple has to be relevant these days. I was wondering, are there any that are vinyl padded? I am thinking of attracting others. You see, and if I could show them a comfortable cross, I am sure I could win a lot more. Got to keep up with the population explosion and all. I need something durable so I can treasure it always. Oh, is there one that is sort of flat so it would fit under my coat? One should not be too obvious.”

“Funny, there does not seem to be much choice here. Just that coarse, rough wood. I mean, that would hurt! Do you have something more distinctive, Lord? I can tell You right now, none of my friends are going to be impressed by this shoddy workmanship! They will think I am a nut or something! My family will be just mortified!”

“What did You say? It is either one of these or forget the whole thing? But Lord, I want to be your disciple! I mean, just being with You, that is all that counts, but life has to have balance, too. You do not understand; nobody lives that way today! Who is going to be attracted by this self-denial bit? I mean, I want to, but let’s not overdo it! Start getting radical like this and they will have me off to the funny farm – know what I mean?”

“I mean, being a disciple is challenging and exciting, and I want to do it, but I do have some rights, You know! Now let’s see. No blood, okay! I just cannot stand the thought of that, Lord.”

“Lord? Lord? Now, where do you suppose He went?”

A Tribute to Mothers

Nat Evans

M… is for Mama. Mama is the one we called on when we were small, to soothe all our aches, pains, bruises and cuts. Oh, the magic of a mother’s tender touch, some comforting words and a loving kiss, and how quickly it made everything better (Proverbs. 31:15, 21, 27).

O… is for others. Mom always thinks of others ahead of herself. She will do without something she wants so her husband and children may be cared for (Proverbs 31:20). 0… is for overtime. I think of the many hours of toil by loving hands staying busy to care for children, cook meals, clean house, laundry and a thousand other things (Proverbs 31:15).

T… is for tenderness, teaching and togetherness. Nothing can match the tender care of a mother with an infant child. Mothers are incomparable teachers. Truly, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Mom keeps the home fires burning, and is usually the glue that holds the family together through thick and thin (Proverbs 31:21, 25, 31).

H… is for helper, homemaker, humility and honor. Through the years, I wonder how many times we have said these words. Mom, could you help me with this? Mom, would you please do this for me? So much work and effort in taking care of our home and we get it all done for free! This surely shows humility. “Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3; Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 1:8; 10:1; 15:20). We owe our godly mothers a debt we cannot possibly repay. We can only hope our moms will accept as partial repayment our thanks and these special words, “I love you Mom.”

E… is for example, energy and eating. The power of example (influence) of parents in the lives of their children is truly staggering (2 Timothy 1:5; Proverbs 31:15-31). Where do they get all that energy? I suspect it is love and dedication driving them on. Oh, the memories of many delicious meals, especially holidays. Each child gets his or her special dish.

R… is for the rewards of returning to the old home place, the aging, smiling faces and warm hugs (1 Kings 19:20). I think of the John Denver song, “Country Road.” R… is also for hope of reunion again on Heaven’s golden shore with loved one gone on before. I pause and think of the words from the song, “Will the circle be unbroken over there?” Let us do all we can to bring our loved ones to Christ before it is too late (Hebrews 9:27; Proverbs 11:30; 27:1)! Let us teach them the true plan of salvation and about the Lord’s church.

S… is for sacrifice. A godly mother gives of herself in so many ways that her family may benefit. She does without so her children may have. Nobody knows the work and love it takes to keep the home together, that is no one but Mother.

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