I remember the first time I heard the following song performed by a male quartet—in Lancaster, PA, my hometown. I was a young teenager and the song made me cry, it was so convicting and inspiring. This month, I offer it to you, as well, hoping you might have the opportunity to hear it sung on YouTube, perhaps. I can assure you that the blending of these lyrics, and the melody and harmonies, too, might stir your soul, as it always does mine.
The Cross is My Statue of Liberty
by Neil Enloe
In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.
I am proud to be called an American,
To be named with the brave and the free;
I will honor our flag and our trust in God,
And the Statue of Liberty.
On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,
With my Lord raised to the sky;
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saved can testify.
I am so glad to be called a Christian,
To be named with the ransomed and whole:
As the statue liberates the citizen,
So the cross liberates the soul.
Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,
It was there that my soul was set free:
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty!
"So he said to them, 'Let’s go to a place where we can be alone to rest for a while.' Many people were coming and going, and Jesus and the apostles didn’t even have a chance to eat." —Mark 6:31
“School’s out!” The cry rings through the crowded halls of my granddaughter’s school, and moms and dads—and some grandparents, too—sigh a collective relief and welcome the prospect of less frenzied weeks ahead…at least for the summer.
Each of us needs downtime, don’t we? Time to reflect, time to change up the typical daily schedule—the so-called "grind"—and time to inhale deeply and look ahead to a new and different routine, even if that means just planning a special menu for a cookout, or dinner in honor of our dads for Father’s Day.
During this first month of longed-for summer, let’s pause to thank God for our incredible blessings—our Lord Jesus, our families, our health, and our country.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is...peace..." —Galatians 5:22
People all around us are fearful--concerned with health, employment, extended family issues, even the future.
It's easy to fall prey to this trap. But there is a powerful source for dealing with worry, anxiety, and, yes, fear. That precious resource is God's peace—a treasure to cling to daily, sometimes hour by hour, when surrounded by the dismal news offered on twenty-four-hour media and other outlets.
The beauty of this peace-gift is that regardless of what crises may arise, divine peace endures for all time. It is in direct correlation to the sovereignty of God. Do we trust our heavenly Father's will for us, for our world? Our hearts enjoy sweet repose when we put our total confidence in our Lord...when we embrace His peace.
"So then, encourage one another and build each other up, as you are doing." —I Thessalonians 5:11
As the days approach for the start of my Spring 2015 Book Tour (through six states this time!), I am thankful for God’s hand of mercy, grace, and blessing on my life as a writer…and on the many opportunities to share my faith. I’m also thankful for the precious prayers of God’s people, and the encouragement that comes with knowing my reader-friends do pray in support of my stories, and, ultimately, this far-reaching ministry.
Meeting so many of you during my book tours is very important to me—to return, in kind, the prayer support, wherever needed, and to encourage you in your faith, as we journey together on this road called life. We need each other, and seeing your faces and hearing the stories of your own lives means everything to me.
If you are within driving distance, or live in, the following areas, I would be so blessed to greet you. Here’s the link for the book tour schedule.
Blessings for springtime…and this Easter Season!