Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Ground Is Level At The Cross

So today...I'm all up in my feelings.

I'm not really sure what exactly that means. Holly says there are some girls in her nursing school classes who use that phrase: "Oh, she's all up in her feelings."

For me...it means I have a lot on my mind. Words, thoughts, feelings...all jumbled up and rumbling around in my head. I'm trying to make something sensible out of it, so that I don't sound like a crazy person.

As a Christian, I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in God-ordained happenings, and that things happen for a reason. Even the choices that we make of our own free will...I believe God can and does use them for teaching or reproof.

Also, I feel...and this is my personal opinion...I feel like if I hear or read a Biblical truth more than once, and from more than one source, in the matter of days or weeks...then God is trying to get my attention.

This happened this week.

March 4, 2015 was the national "Spread the Word to End the Word" day. It was all about bringing awareness to the hurt that is inflicted on others when the "R" word is used. I didn't blog about it this year, but I have in the past. Last year's post is here.

FYI: I still feel the same.

But this year, Joshua became aware of it. Because of social media and his access to it...which is a source of contention in our home, because I have tried to control monitor his access to it, but he is nearly 29 years old. All of his friends have it. I don't know how much more I can or should really do.

I wrote here how, on Sunday night, Joshua posted a heart-felt message on his Facebook about how he felt on the subject of the "R" word.

It wasn't long after his message posted, that I heard from our daughter-in-law, Morgan...and then from our son, Logan...two separate messages...about the sermon they'd heard that morning in their church.

They said their pastor preached on how the ground is level at the foot of the cross; how everyone is created by God, and therefore equal. Their pastor said that the greatest thing about love is that EVERYONE can love. Logan said that they had a special-needs choir leading their worship. Logan said the group was called the "Overcomers," and that the choir was FULL of FRIENDS in all shapes, sizes and diagnoses. Logan said the pastor was extremely patient in answering and responding to many of the FRIENDS' comments and ideas.

He said it was very powerful message.

I wish we had been there.

And, kudos to the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, for sharing this important message. Truth be told, it should be preached from every pulpit in every church across the nation. And the world.

Because if there's one place where there should be no favoritism or prejudice...if there's one place where there should be complete acceptance and love...it's the church. Am I right?

Sometimes, God will lay a burden on a person, or group of people, in the church...and then they try to reach out and show God's love to a specific group of people. When they begin to talk about starting a small group, or needing transportation, or finding teachers, or an empty classroom, or wanting other support...they can sometimes meet resistance from the staff. I'm not saying this is always the case...it's not.

At the FBC in Jonesboro, Arkansas, this ground-is-level-at-the-cross philosophy is coming right straight from the pulpit. Because, not only did the pastor share the message God had laid on his heart, his patient and respectful conversation with the individuals from the Overcomers choir set an example for the entire church.

And for the individuals with special needs.

It said, "you are valued."

It said, "God loves you and so do we."

It said, "we will listen to you."


This message isn't just for people with special needs. It's also for their parents. I think we've all heard that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Would you be surprised to know that when couples have a child who has special needs, that rate jumps to between 80-90%? Most of these families will have other children in them as well...what about them? If these families come into our churches, and we are unprepared or ill-prepared for them...what then? Because I can guarantee you they won't stay. It takes love, for sure...but it takes more than love. It takes planning and research and WORK. How can we come along and support these families?

This message, the ground is level at the foot of the cross...it's also for your unwed mothers, and the man down on his luck; it's for the one recovering from drug addiction, and the lady who has all of those wild children that no one can control in AWANA; it's for the woman with the tattoos that you stare at in church...what is that on her neck? A snake? A flower? And what does that say...those words going down her arm?

This message is for the divorced, and for the home-wrecker. It's for the foster children who can't relate to a God who loves them, because their own father never did.

This message is for the high-powered executive, and for the policeman; it's for the teacher and the prisoner and the soldier. No class, no status, no hierarchy. It's for all of us.

"There's room at the cross for you. There's room at the cross for you. Tho millions have come, there is still room for one. There is room at the cross for you."

"In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary." 1 Corinthians 12:22

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