Line Up With The Cross


Recently while we were cleaning the church, we started rearranging furniture a little as women like to do. When we were vacuuming the church sanctuary carpeting, we moved the pulpit and communion table, just a little. Oh, nothing too noticeable.

We spruced up the drapes over the window into the baptistery and refreshed the fake ivy in the opening. We moved the Elder’s and Pastor’s chairs on the podium so they were evenly balanced on either side of the stage.

Then we started putting everything back into place and being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted everything to line up straight and be pleasing to the eye.

I wanted the drapes to be open just enough to reveal the rough-cut cross of Christ with the crown of thorns hanging on it, and the purple cloth draped over it. I walked up into the baptistery to re-drape the cloth, hang the crown of thorns just right, and cover a pipe with material so it wouldn’t reflect the light.

Then we started lining up the pulpit with the baptistery window behind it. A couple of people moved the pulpit as I stood at the entry to the hallway and looked down the aisle toward the pulpit.

“A little more to the right. No, that’s too much. Back a little. That’s better.” I wanted to line up the pulpit with the cross.

Now when you walk in the front door, from the foyer into the sanctuary, your eyes are drawn to the oak communion table, the pulpit, and up, where dominating over all is the cross of Christ Jesus, with the crown of thorns He wore when He shed His blood for the world.

The communion table represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and when we receive Christ’s salvation, our communion with the Almighty God, Creator of the universe. The pulpit represents the Word of God preached in churches around the globe to hungry people who believe and to a dying world until the return of Christ.

Paul said, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Galatians 6:14 NKJV

Everything in the church must line up with the cross of Christ.

The Tricycle of Time


My daughter loaned me her one-speed bike last week. I’m going to put a comfortable old lady’s seat on it and cruise the streets of Vinita, as soon as the heat wave is over.

I got my first bike for my birthday the summer before third grade, a used bike from my older sister’s friend up the street. I could only go as far as the ends of the block. Later Mama trusted me to ride down on the southside of town where my friend Victoria and I rode Canadian Street behind the rodeo grounds at top speed, screaming as we raced down the hill.

My little brother had a tricycle about that time. He and the neighborhood kids were always riding it. The trike couldn’t keep up with my bike. In fact, they were forbidden to have it in the street.

Top speed for my one-speed bike with a rider in great condition would probably be 10 miles an hour. 10-speed bikes with all those gears have the ability to go much faster, maybe 30 or 40 miles per hour. Compare that to a car that can go 120 miles per hour or a jet airplane at 500-600 mph.

If you were going to travel from Oklahoma to California, would you take off riding a tricycle? Bicyclists do ride long distances like that on bike, and many people drive to California by car, but I would guess the majority of us travel by plane. You usually travel by whatever means will take the shortest time.

In Ezekiel 1:16, Ezekiel spoke of seeing “a wheel in the middle of a wheel.”

 The little wheel inside the big wheel was turning faster than the big wheel. Many Bible teachers have used the explanation of the little wheel in the middle being the wheel of time and the big wheel being the wheel of eternity or timelessness.

If you step off the little wheel of time, the tricycle of time, and get alone with God, you can step out onto the wheel of eternity or timelessness, where God can plan your time.

The old song says, “The big wheel turns by the grace of God.”

Silver-Leafed Maple


Grandmother had a great shade tree in her backyard–giant silver-leaf maple tree. The backyard facing east was always so shady and cool, almost like being out in the country. Grandmother’s house was just a three-room cottage, so peaceful and quiet.

I don’t recall who discovered the silver-leaf maple tree had fallen over or even which day. There might have been some wind, we aren’t sure, but the weather had been sunny. Grandmother had moved to heaven several years before and no one was living in her house.

The tree was pulled completely out of the ground, with its roots showing, an empty hole left behind. The tree trunk lay on the ground, the trunk at the base about 3 feet in diameter.  The roots were all showing—little roots, fat roots, but no tap root, not a single long root going down deep into the earth.

Jesus told a story of the farmer who went planting seed. Some seed fell on stony ground where there wasn’t much dirt. Jesus said this was like certain “people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away, but they don’t have any roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.” Mark 4:16-17 Contemporary English Version.

We’ve all seen people in the church, friendly, carrying their Bible, slipping a $20 in the collection plate. They come to church a couple of times a month and always show up on Easter and Christmas, but when hard times come, they fall away from the church.

When one loses his job or problems come in their marriage or they have trouble with the children, instead of running to God and the church, they seek out the advice of their non-Christian friends.

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalm 92: 12-13.

It’s time to get planted in church and grow a deep root.