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The Cross intersects with life by Ann Voskamp

Category: Family Talk
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How the Cross Intersects with Every Day Life: a preparing for Good Friday

Once, before we have a table with drawers for Bibles, we had this Bible Box.

Where we put all the Bibles, right by the sticky farm table, so we could eat Real Food after each meal.

There was one other book we kept in the Bible Box.

That we read after dessert. Like dessert.

That book got dog-eared and ragged. It became velveteen. And we became real.

That book was 'Radical'. Written by David Platt. God made those dog-eared pages to be kindling in us, to light something beyond us in us.

To light and awaken us to right where we are — to be a radical gift right where we are. So all together, all of us together here in this community of joy warriors, we got to send everything from One Thousand Gifts back to the Guatemala City Dump and build a school.

We were “just moms” at sinks and “just dads” at desks and “just kids” with joy dares stuck in our pockets with radical thanks to God on our lips. We were just exhausted and we were just at the end of the rope and we were just busted up, but we did hard and holy things and we were the everyday gritty radicals who murmured brazen thanks anyways.

And this is what God does —

God takes all the “just” people and uses them to just change the world — just when they don’t even know it’s happening.

God’s making a thousand things happen when we don’t even know they are happening.

God uses the “just” moms and “just” people to do just that: just change the world — them doing just what they’re called to with just what they have in their hands, with just enough faith to say thanks.

And I don’t know, maybe that’s the crazy thing: Radical Gratitude is the attitude of the revolutionaries. The radically grateful become the being radically givers.

It’s been this upending journey of letting His Cross make us radically cross-shaped. A journey part of which had the Farmer and his hick going up the Amazon in Ecuador with Compassion and some of the most hilarious and normal holy women you could know.

Sophie Hudson and I have smeared serious bug spray on and wore matchy Columbia shirts in an open boat and she’s thrown me a lifeline more than once and saying she loved me back from a pit is no understatement. Plus, she wrote the laugh-out-loud book with Bacon in the title, so there’s the “this side of heaven” perfection of that. Simply, this pig farmer’s wife loves her to the moon and back and right around a hog’s hind leg.

I’ve sat with Sophie while her pastor, David Platt, he’s preached the Cross and Christ and there are times when you are gloriously ruined and raised remade and it is right.

A few weeks back, Sophie and I laughed too loud and were just ridiculously real and David asked profoundly probing questions about how does the Cross and Everyday life look in keeping-it-real homes, and his beautiful wife, Heather, spoke these gems of singular wisdom. It was an hour and half of glory. Because it was all Jesus.

Because it was inhaling it again: The cross is not simply our door into God’s presence — but it is our only air in God’s presence. We don’t get over the cross, but rather we spend a lifetime allowing God to get the cross into us.

Because bottom line: If my life isn’t cross-centered, my life is off-centered, and the warping spin leaves me sick. My life needs centri-faith force and the centrality of that cross is the force that holds together my universe. Grace is my gravity and the Christ’s Cross is my cosmos.

The Cross isn’t just the kindling that ignites our Christian life … the Cross is the very fuel of all of our life.

If the the cross of Christ isn’t your everyday fuel, the fire you warm your heart around — then you grow cold….

Sophie said afterward it was her highlight of 2014 (true, that — the year’s still early!) but I couldn’t agree more. There is nothing as good as preaching His good news to yourself.


None of the audio recorded. Because of course.

So. David and Heather asked if we could sort of, kind of, write out some of what we said, to share at the Radical blog? Sophie did that startlingly perfect— powerfully. And yeah, I did not.

But the important thing is?

Dr. Platt is going there this Good Friday. Secret Church. Live simulcast. Six hours. Intensive study of the Word. Like the persecuted church.

Unlike the persecuted church — not at the risk of our lives. Like the persecuted church — not taking His Word which is our life for granted.

Like the persecuted church, meeting in churches and homes, all around the world, for a six hour quenching for your soul with Living Water, the only water that matters, that satisfies.

There’s nothing like standing with your Bible under a Niagara of Truth at midnight.

This Good Friday: six hours, from Genesis to Revelations, studying the Cross and Everyday life:

From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we lie down to sleep at night, how does the death of Christ on the cross transform every single detail of our day?

How does the cross compel daily disciplines like prayer and Bible reading or a regular routine of fasting and worship?

How does the cross change the way we view our jobs and vocations throughout the day as well as the way we rest and relax at the end of the day?

What, if any, unique effect does the cross have on the ways we spend our time, set our priorities, make our decisions, and love our neighbors?

How does the cross change the way we view food and exercise, sports and entertainment in this world? The Bible says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

So how do we do that? And how does the cross of Christ inevitably enable us to do that?

During this Secret Church, as we explore the implications of the death of Christ for our daily lives, we will discover the exhilarating joy that is found in following Jesus to the glory of God on a moment-by-moment, day-by-day basis.

The last two years, I’ve live tweeted Secret Church because the riches of His Word cannot not be shared.

And this year, Lord willing, our family will be gathered in our little country chapel on the evening of Good Friday with our people, farmers and mamas and truck drivers and carpenters and lanky teenagers and squalling babies and we’ll tune into Secret Church and I’ll have a kid leaning on my shoulder and a Bible open on my knee and I’ll be live tweeting Secret Church, a high point of the year, a desperate need for my soul.

To the degree you experience Jesus and the Cross as Beautiful every day, you will be changed every day into beautiful.

There’ll be dog-eared Bibles and radical prayers and kids sprawled everywhere and there’ll simply be Him.

There’s a way to become radically real and beautiful and velveteen.

Ann Voskamp


When we think of "church", we think of going to meet at a building, singing, praying, and hearing a message from a pastor or teacher. But in many places around the world, "church" meets in a home, an apartment, and sometimes even in secret. Many times there are just a few believers who know and follow Christ. These small groups of Christ-followers often meet for many hours in study, prayer, and fellowship. Sometimes they face great difficulties to meet together. In some places it may even be dangerous to gather as a church to worship, pray, and study the Word. So when they come together, they want to make the most of their time together.

Secret Church is our version of "house church" where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study—lasting 6+ hours—including a time of prayer for our brothers and sisters across the globe who are facing persecution and for those who still have not heard the gospel. This is not for the uncommitted or faint at heart. But if you desire to know God more deeply through His Word and know His church more fully around the world, then please join us for Secret Church.

Our prayer is that God will use this focused time of study and prayer to enrich our knowledge of His Word. We pray that we also would gain understanding of the state of His church and our brothers and sisters around the world who face many difficulties—and even persecution—as they follow Christ.

The objective of Secret Church is not just to come and learn for one night, but also to take what we’ve learned and pass it along to others. We also want to recognize the great need to pray and come alongside our brothers and sisters who live in places around the world where there is little to no gospel witness or where the gospel is met with resistance. We want to use what we’ve learned during this gathering to make disciples of Christ—both locally and globally.