An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cathedral Ceilings and Looking for the Cross

Words seem to have failed me lately as I haven't been much in the writing mood. I think with the holidays I have switched to survival mode~ it happens every year between deer hunting opener and New Years day. A stretch of time filled with too much adrenaline, sugar, parties and expectations. One year we scheduled a week long family vacation to the Bahamas during this busy season (yes, that's me on a white sandy Bahama beach), but since we can't afford that every year I tend to go on a mental vacation instead. And I notice it's not just me, either. All around me people give up their normal routines to try to cram too much fun into just a matter of days. We spend too much money on things we don't need and think those things will really satisfy us this time, and then we schedule too many parties with all the people we were too busy to spend time with the rest of the year.

I have fallen into a bit of a pity-party mode as the firsts without Trent come slamming in one right after the other. And, as I tend to go the physical route when the emotional route is too hard, I have been pondering things like tearing out the kitchen ceiling and creating a vaulted bead board cathedral theme. I have a sister that likes to tear things down (like walls) when life gets a little consuming, so I pretty much have convinced myself that between her and I (and Cole) we could tackle this project and complete it before December 25, or at least before my birthday on the 31st. Yes, just a bit of anxiety kicking in here. That's why I write, that's why I farm, that's why I take 332 pictures at any given event, that's why I buy old farmhouses; it makes dealing with the anxiety just a bit easier.

So, onto my other ramblings . . . ramblings that woke me up before 6:00 a.m. and almost made me get out of my warm bed and start the coffee pot to enjoy the quiet house and ponder eternal truths.

I've noticed that we live in a cross-less Christian culture. There is a lot of talk about Jesus, a lot of hype about Him, and a lot of books and entertainment sold about Him, but there's not a lot of pointing to the cross. Our pastor made the interesting comment yesterday that the gospel is only the gospel when the cross is pointed out. The cross represents our sin; an issue that nobody seems to want to talk too much about. We like the fact that there's a heaven to look forward to one day, but not so much the thought of our sin or the price paid so that we could go there.

For years I have asked the question about any given sermon, book, article, etc.: "Who is it about? God or me? Who did I learn more about? God or me?"

Most of it seems to be about me. And "me" likes it to be all about "me", but since God said He wouldn't share His glory, and as I realize who "me" really is, there is only one conclusion: it really is all about God.

So now I've added to my search "Is the cross pointed out?"

The cross that Jesus hung on, the cross that God ordained before the creation of the world, the cross that points out sin, the cross that we are called to carry every day as believers walking in this foreign land. The ugly cross, the bloody cross, the shameful cross. The beautiful cross, the joy that was seen beyond the cross, the cross that meant the enemy was defeated. Is that cross pointed out?

Not the pretty cross that we wear around our necks or dangling from our ears. But the cross that means we know who we are; we know that we are sinners saved only by grace. We know that our God has good plans for us, that He doesn't make mistakes, that it will all glorify Him. The cross that reveals it was our sin that held our Savior there, and put Him there in the first place. The cross that means we know this God, really know Him; know His Word, and believe it enough to obey it.

Easy believism runs rampant amongst professing believers. But God won't accept easy believism on That Day. I've watched (not too seriously, but it's always there) the media, and what is popular in America's Christianity, and what books are selling. What I find is that the gospel is lacking. People still want to believe in their works and their presumed own worth for acceptance. But only the cross, and what Jesus did on it, provides acceptance.

I had a dream. I love it when God sends me dreams about Trent. I find my soul trusting God, but at the same time my arms and my heart longing for Trent to be here. I continue to fight the battle to not trust my deceiving heart, but rather to trust God's word (Jeremiah 17:9).

In the dream we were just at my sister's house; just "being", just being normal. And Trent was there, and I was thrilled that he was back, and I wanted to never wake up. As he held one twin cousin in a headlock, though, he looked up at me and through his smile he said, "Mom, you know I can't stay here. I don't even want to stay here."

But I want you here, my heart cried. And my soul cried out at the same time, knowing God never makes mistakes, trusting Him more than my heart, more than the pain. I know Trent, I know. And he had those long Ken-doll locks, not the spiked hair, and his smile was still the same, and I can almost hear him giggle even now as I type this and see his eyes twinkle. So I cry and I pray and I force the words to come out, and then when they do I let them flow with the tears so that I can feel again instead of being numb and I can pick up my own cross, gladly, and set my face as flint towards God and His ways for the joy set before me.

And I still may go do a search on how to vent peaked ceilings and wire can-lights and measure how much extra bead board we have sitting in the pump house and then make another pot of coffee and see what Traci is up to today because that's just the way I am.


TheLazyJ said...

Matthew Henry says that, "Hypocrites...are told of free salvation, of the believer's privileges, and the happiness of heaven; and, without any change of heart, without any abiding conviction of their own depravity, their need of a Savior, or the excellence of holiness, they soon profess an unwarranted assurance."

Joel Beeke says, "Hell is no longer hell, heaven is no longer heaven, grace is no longer grace, sin is no longer sin, Christ is no longer Christ, God is no longer God, and the Bible is no longer the everlasting Word of God."

The Bible says:
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Finally, your sister says: I love you. I miss Trent. And I look forward to the day that we will all be reunited in our heavenly home, all the tears wiped away, no more fear of death. Lifting you up, my dear sister.

About the ceiling, remember my fall down those stairs??? No tearing out ceilings today; how's tomorrow look???!!

OurCrazyFarm said...

Not sure who the first two men were, but I know who you are :)) and I love you too! Okay~ you're booked for tomorrow!

Renee said...

First, I love the idea of ripping down ceilings yourself, especially after paying someone to do our remodel and 9 months later it is still not complete. Second, you pay for gas to Michigan and you have free room and board for all of you here:) You would just have to help with chores!

Scott said...

Ooooo, I love Matthew Henry! I use him a ton in my sermon preperations. But I've got something else to offer...
Get yourself to St. Johns MI and hang out with the McCausey clan for a week! You're all invited and we will hang out, play board games, eat all the cheese you bring, watch some movies and chit-chat about the better football team, MSU or Wisconsin. All of this for the low-low price of chores on the hobby farm. I'll take a full week off to entertain and you can co-host with me on the Tuesday you are with us. It doesn't get much better than that... (I think).

OurCrazyFarm said...

HAHA Renee!! I DIDN'T pay somebody to remodel my kitchen 2 years ago and it's still not done:)) My poor husband!!

That offer is too good to pass up! And I know how to do goat chores! A field trip may have to go on the spring schedule:)) You're right Scott~ hanging out, cheese, and chit chat~ it doesn't get much better than that!