By my cross. By my praise.

I was late, and I was more than slightly irritated. I had a catchy hard-rock song rolling around in my brain as I jumped out of bed.
 I like Wednesdays. They are my half-way point. Like having a bag of new chips between your hands, getting ready to make that oh-so-satisfying pull to open them. The anticipation of the weekend is savored, and the passing minutes seem to be more appreciated and valued. 
Except -  that attention-demanding beat pounding in my head. Ugh.

So I asked God. "Fill me with songs of praise today, Lord!" Stuffing my face with a hasty piece of buttered bread, I grabbed my bags and headed for my car.

"O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider ...."

As my morning drive ritual, I flipped on the radio, hoping to catch the teaching of my dear brother in Christ Mr. Alistair Begg. His Scottish lilt that I find so pleasant and calming started reading Scripture.


The next thirty minutes I sat in that wonderful traffic seemed to be just for me.
 I WAS LATE!! What sweet bliss to be right there where I was suppose to be, with that horrid song long gone. I needed those minutes, that encouragement. So this below is what I then scribbled on my way to school, smiling ridiculously in the midst of the 5 mph speeds.
 Pretty sure I looked like a nut. 

 If any of you is in trouble let him pray. If anyone is cheerful let him sing praises to God. ~James 5:13~

I am to be a joy-marked soul! One that exudes it, shares it, spills it everywhere. Not a joy known by mere man, but one that I have tasted and taken from the One who gives all good things. One that I am marked by distinctly. 
Because I have Jesus Christ as my Savior.
James speaks of specific mark of the believer - it is an outpouring of praise. Looking deeper now, that word means "sing psalms, to worship." A recognizing praise - not at myself, nor others, but my Creator God!
It is an enabling praise. A genuine overflow. Not depending on circumstances, but depending on that One you praise.  

"...consider all the worlds Thy hands have made. I see the stars..."

I am to be a cross-bearing soulOne that recognizes that God's command is His enabling. Whereas the world's command is self-enabling. That never ends happily, for we are a sinful people and we worship self. You hear people refer to limitations of all kinds as "the cross I must bear." They speak of things beyond their choosing. You are given these crosses whether or not you have any intention of following Christ.
So many choose to follow no one but themselves with many a burden upon them. Choosing the cross of Christ means not only following Someone Else, but also taking up a easy yoke and a light burden.

"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. ~Luke 9:23~

"....I hear the rolling thunder; Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee! 
How great Thou Art."

 Marked contentedly by my cross and my praise outpouring, not forgetting that He has traveled this road before me.

Oh. Then you know what? I made it to school right on time. 

Here is the sermon by Alistair Begg that I heard. I recommend it. :)


  1. I love the term "joy-marked"!! Lovely lessons - thank you for writing them down! <3


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The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can't really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture. ~ E. Elliot

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