When I was ten, my parents could do no wrong, but by the time I was thirteen, they could do no right. Both perspectives were clouded and inaccurate. Like a pendulum swinging, the teenage perspective corrected the naive childish view. Today I’m able to evaluate my upbringing with greater clarity.
My parents? They were the greatest. Really, I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting—I was lucky. Yeah, a couple of times they punished me unjustly, but that seems pretty insignificant now when weighed against the number of times I didn’t get punished because I didn’t get caught.
The thing I admire most about my parents is the way they taught their values to their children. I can’t remember too many times that we studied the Bible together or had a structured time of teaching, but they taught us with their actions.
When they attended our recitals or ball games, they taught us that we were important to them. When they did their jobs with excellence, and required the same of us, they taught us the value of work.
Every week, Mama gave us an allowance and let us spend it any way we wanted. By giving us freedom, they taught us responsibility and the value of a dollar.
By taking us to church every Sunday, they taught us the value of worship, and by accepting us, even when we made bad choices, they taught us the meaning of unconditional love.
Yeah, there was a time I would have traded my parents for another set. Today, I pray, that my children’s parents are as good to them as mine were (are) to me.
Jim L. Wilson, Fresh Start Devotionals (Fresno, CA: Willow City Press, 2009).
ROOM AT THE CROSS FOR YOU
Words and Music by Ira R. Stanphill, 1914–1994
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Out of the varied experiences of a fruitful life have come the many moving hymns of Ira F. Stanphill. As a child he traveled by covered wagon from Arkansas to New Mexico, then later moved to Oklahoma and Kansas. Converted at age 12, Stanphill began preaching at 22 in revival meetings and later served pastorates in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas. At 17 he wrote his first gospel song and traveled for several years with evangelists, playing the piano, organ, ukulele and accordion.
Mr. Stanphill began to write his own gospel hymns, and he employed the unusual practice of creating a text from titles suggested from the congregation during a service. He would explain:
“The basic reason I have written songs is that I love God and Christ has loved me. Most of my songs are the outgrowth of real experiences with Christ. I think they appeal to people because I have had trials, heartaches, and sorrow in my own life, and I know what I write about.”
“Room at the Cross” was a title suggested to Ira in 1946 at one of his meetings. He wrote it on a scrap of paper, which he found in his pocket after returning home. Impressed with the title, he quickly wrote both words and music as they appear today. Since then the song has been recorded by numerous Christian artists, translated into Spanish, German, and Italian, and was used as the closing theme of the national broadcast Revival Time for many years. Only eternity will reveal the number who have been directed to Christ through this one gospel hymn that reminds us that there is always room at the cross for one more sinner.
The cross upon which Jesus died is a shelter in which we can hide; and its grace so free is sufficient for me, and deep is its fountain—as wide as the sea.
Tho millions have found Him a friend and have turned from the sins they have sinned, the Savior still waits to open the gates and welcome a sinner before it’s too late.
The hand of my Savior is strong, and the love of my Savior is long; through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain, the blood flows from Calv’ry to cleanse every stain.
Chorus: There’s room at the cross for you; tho millions have come, there’s still room for one—Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.
F or Today: Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9, 10, 13; 1 Timothy 1:15; Hebrews 2:3
No one can hear the message of God’s great love as displayed at Calvary and remain unmoved. Resolve to invite some needy sinner to come to the cross. Share this musical truth with that person—
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990). 181.