A New Journey to the Cross
Everyone that is a Christian understands the Cross …right?
Since Pentecostal Sunday there has been a journey towards the Cross that has shaken my core into a new brokenness. We, as Christians make the sign of the cross at church, when we pray all without thinking of its power. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Spirit that crosses our hearts and sets us on fire.
Spending a few days in the hills of Georgia serving thousands of other Christians spreading His love and word at our annual trip to AtlantaFest at Stone Mountain can bring anyone to their knees. Between the Christian artists, speakers and guests there were moments of profound brokenness and healing that all were directed toward the Cross. Through pain, joy, tears and repenting, lives were changed and redemption found.
Starting with singer Matt Maher on opening night describing how broken people can be saved by the healing power of Christ and how broken hearts can be mended by taking our sins to the Cross. The theme continued throughout the festival, from artist like R3D, Thousand Foot Krutch, Rhett Walker Band to Kari Jobe there were four days of phenomenal worship and testimonies of healing. Professor and Apologist Ergun Caner broke it all down in a real ‘honest’ way describing how a Muslim was saved by one person that showed him the way to the Cross.
Throughout the event there was an organization that was one of the guests that provided presentations every day as well as offering. The group was Mission: Pre-born that actually had a bigger impact on me than I anticipated. They are an evangelistic organization that helps provide free services to women that are pregnant such as providing ultra sounds as they have statistically proven that those that see their baby on an ultra sound are less likely to want to abort the baby.
– 40% of abortion-minded women chose life WITHOUT an ultrasound machine
– 80% of abortion-minded women chose life WITH an ultrasound machine
Being abandoned the year before abortions were legalized in this country by Roe vs Wade in 1973, I came face to face again with how easily I could have been one of those statistics. Fortunately rather than being aborted, I was abandoned and in turn adopted not only by my earthly mother and father but my heavenly Father, saved by the grace of the cross.
Remember .. “A person’s a person no matter how small…” – Dr. Seuss
After spending several days serving thousands of people, both Christians and non-Christians. The event was focused on evangelism and bringing people to Christ and the Cross through the messages provided by the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association . According to SDEA “We believe in one God, existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Through the three persons in one represented by the Cross.
Watching so many people give their lives to Christ every day was a humbling experience that would bring even the strongest believer to their knees.
On Father’s Day, I attended mass in a small church in Stone Mountain, Ga., the homily that day was not focused solely of fathers, but on the steps to the cross and the three-pronged approach to prayer. When we pray we should focus on asking for forgiveness in repenting for what had gone wrong that day. Then thankfulness for those blessings that went right. Finally seeking, the seeking of Grace for the challenges and opportunities that the next day may present. By remaining focused on the Cross that we may live a life that could be considered worthy of the price.
Completely exhausted both physically, mentally and spiritually from the journey of servitude, I rested. A couple of evenings later I decided to watch something that has been in my Netflix queue for quite some time. The first episode of three that I decided to watch entitled “The Cross” coincidence ? I think not.
My Hope America with Billy Graham was one of those things you watch and then want to share. Billy Graham has been asking God for an opportunity to bring lasting hope to the entire nation. My Hope For America is that opportunity and it spoke to me in a way that it probably would not have a week or two ago.
Billy Graham at age 95 has spent his life ministering to hundreds of thousands of people for over sixty years. I remember when he visited my town back in 2000 for the Billy Graham Crusade, a time in my life where his message would have been lost on me had I attended.
In the first episode, “The Cross” not only is Billy Graham’s message powerful, but should be a message for all to take to heart. “We deserved the Cross, deserve hell and judgement. The cross demands a new lifestyle in all of us, sin is a disease of the human heart.” We were bought with a price thousands of years ago and yet live as if we have no regrets.
One of my favorite current artists was also a part of “The Cross” episode, Lecrae. Lecrae spoke about his broken past, his troubled childhood and his journey to the cross. He spoke as passionately as he sings of pain, heartache and sin.
In just a couple of weeks, between homilies at church, music in the mountains and a message from one of the most renowned evangelists of our time I have been wrecked and broken. We all have those defining moments in our lives that change the way we look at the world. Never would it be imagined that a compilation of leaders, speakers and musicians would be the perspective needed to refocus on my journey to the healing Grace and Spirit of the Cross.
Now its your turn: Have you had an experience that changed your path that you would like to share?
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.