Mount of Holy Cross, National Day of Prayer 2009
"Since earliest times men have seen the earth and sky and all God made, and have known of His existence and great eternal power. So they will have no excuse when they stand before God at Judgment Day" (Romans 1:20, Tyndale's Living Bible).
I want to share with you an article in the March 2009 Guideposts which filled me with inspiration of how God reveals Himself in earthly creations. This cross is 1500 feet high, 750 feet wide, carved into the surface of the 14,500-foot-high Mount of the Holy Cross, a Rocky Mountain peak in Colorado. The cross was formed by a naturally occurring long, narrow, deep gorge or gully in the rock called a couloir. In summer the couloir stayed cold andsnow-filled, creating a dramatic white cross, visiblefor miles. For nearly a century, a nearby peakacross a rocky gorge has been a pilgrimage site. This annual journey is sponsored by the pastor andmembers of the Mount of the Holy Cross LutheranChurch in Edwards, Colorado. It's a steep climb, about 3,000 feet up, through pines and spruces. "Suddenly, we broke through tree line and stopped. A rocky vista spread before us, bare slopes rising to the 13,237-foot summit of Notch Mountain, where the view spot was. Our eyes were on the ground, peering at a crack in the rock, where a tiny sprig of bright blue blossoms shivered and shook in a stiff mountain wind. They were alpine forget-me-nots, a flower that, despite its delicate appearance, thrives in some of the world's bleakest, harshest landscapes. We stared at the flowers a moment, captivated by their beauty. Reluctantly we broke away and ascended to the summit. There, just a mile across a deep gorge, rose the sheer face of Mount of the Holy Cross. We stood in awe, tracing the jagged line of the cross down almost to the bottom of the gorge, where a lake called the Bowl of Tears collected runoff from the couloir. We took it all in. We didn't say much. We didn't have to."The cross…the blue forget-me-nots…the bowl of tears…Easter Sunday. I wish I could go there.
In the early years of our marriage, Jack and I would visit his grandparents on their sheep ranch in Lampasas, Texas. We enjoyed hiking up the mountains among the clumps of purple thistles, white blooming bouquets of bear grass, Spanish dagger and century plants. We climbed the steep cliff of quartz to the plateau at the top where the view of the world was fabulous. Ronnie would join the men in squirrel hunting, bringing back enough for supper. Not many kids today have this opportunity of experiencing God's earthly creations…or even studying the stars at night. My family loved spending vacations on the bay in Rockport, Texas. Everyone would go fishing except me: I'd spend the day with God watching all the species of fish swimming around the long pier; walking to town and discovering tiny, teeny flowers blooming in the grass along the roadside; watching the gorgeous sunsets; picking fresh figs from trees behind our cabin. At midnight, when folks were sleeping, I'd walk to the end of the pier and be alone with God for prayer time. These were precious times, listening to the swishing of the waves. I took my grand- children there one week-end when the seagulls were nesting in the grasses of a section of the beach. They enjoyed seeing the nests, eggs, and babies. Inland, they climbed century old trees.
I thank God for all the "mountain top" moments in my life, those unique and special moments.
"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Look around you at the great and mighty things He has done. All those leaves: No one has ever found two alike. All those snow- flakes: No two alike. All those people, each with 10 fingers--no two alike-- in all the world. These things didn't happen with a "big bang", or with a group of "monkeys." Even more amazing, God can hear everyone praying all over the world. Everybody can have a personal relationship with Him. It begins with prayer--talking to Him--inviting Him to be a part of your life. He cares for ALL His creations. The Bible, His book of instructions, tells us how to live the good life. No one can improve on the Ten Commandments, the basis for every government and society. God stands firm behind them. He does not change. John 10:30, Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." When Jesus was here on earth, He was constantly in touch with God. He prayed all night before choosing the 12 disciples. He set the example of the importance of prayer. What makes us think (sometimes) we can do something without praying first? More about that next month!
Thursday, May 7, is our 58th National Day of Prayer. The leadership has asked that we ALL pray together at 12:00 noon. Our nation is in desperate need of intercession. Crises facing our country have left our leaders perplexed and uncertain. Human answers fall short. God promises: "If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, AND PRAY, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14). Our 2009 theme is appropriately titled Prayer…America's Hope! It's based on Psalm 33:22, "May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." Although our present troubles may appear insurmountable, we can take heart in knowing that we serve a God of mercy, compassion, power.
My church, Garden Oaks Baptist Church at 3206 North Shepherd, just one block north of HWY 610, will have a special program beginning at 10:30 a.m. The doors will be open the rest of the day for prayers and meditation.; for a peaceful time with God. Come, pray with me. I would love it! A church sanctuary is a place to get away from the busyness of the world. It's a mini-retreat--a place to focus thoughts on things above; to worship. You don't have to ask God for anything when you pray; just thank Him for what you already have.
An update on the baby Dylan Mills: At the beginning, they performed a tracheotomy (an incision of the trachea [windpipe] for making an artificial breathing hole) and he was on a ventilator most of the time. Though at times he could breathe on his own, he still needs the ventilator now and then. Healing is slow--but going well. They planned to install a voice box last week so he could talk; but there was fever and coughing, and he was back on the ventilator. He still had some congestion from pneumonia. All the skin grafting is complete and is healing nicely. No more pig skin. Only time will tell about some things. They project six months of hospitalization. He may lose most of his fingers on his right hand. The left hand is ok. They are awaiting a plane to take him to the Shriner Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio for further treatment.
There is POWER in PRAYER. KEEP PRAYING. Remember the benefit planned for Saturday, April 18 at Pelican Junction in Baytown? "Several communities were battered by huge downpours in a short length of time, causing angry flash flooding concerns…This type of storm system isn't unheard of, but it's something we might have once a year and then never want to see again," said meteorologist Chris McKinney. The benefit began at 10:00 a.m. with a huge crowd. It seemed no one heeded the storm warnings--they had a good deed to take care of. There was a great turnout, and the rain that began at 2:00 wasn't much! The benefit was well supported.
Another benefit is planned for Saturday, May 9 at STANCIL PARK in CLEVELAND, TEXAS, about 45 miles north of Houston out HWY 59. A big sign on a side road directs parties to the Park on E. Houston Street. Competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. for saddle roping and ranch sorting. There will be a bake sale, live and silent auctions and plenty of Bar-B-Q!
"Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap…As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:9,10). May the Lord richly bless you in all you do in His name.
> Mount of Holy Cross, National Day of Prayer 2009