Faith Matters for April 7, 2012

Yard cross turns light on Easter

The lighted cross in front of Carol Bourgeois’ Baton Rouge home is her way of casting Easter in the same light and importance to the Christian faith as Christmas.

“It is simple but displays for all who ride by the reason for this season,” Bourgeois said of the nearly 6-foot cross.

Bourgeois, 49, said the celebration of Easter doesn’t enjoy the same kind of hype that Christmas does, so she hopes her display will help in some small way emphasize the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

“If I could reach one person and touch them, that’s worth it to me,” she said.

Bourgeois said she asked her husband, Bill, to build the cross two years ago and she decorated it with Christmas lights. She said the cross stays up year-round, and she lit it up a couple of weeks ago for the Easter season and plans to keep it lit for about a week after Easter.

“Just looking up at the cross lit on my house reminds me of the reasons that I wake up every day and the things I’m thankful for,” she said.

The cross also has been a conversation piece, Bourgeois said.

“The neighbors say it’s just an inspiration,” she said.

More than merely displaying a cross for neighbors and the world to see, Bourgeois said, she’s thankful for her relationship with Christ, the one who died on a cross. That faith and relationship was instilled as a child.

“I just grew up in the church and it meant the world to me and on many different levels it’s saved my life,” said Bourgeois, a member of Jefferson United Methodist Church. “I know there’s a lot of people in worse shape than I am. But I’m thankful that I have a Lord and Savior to go to when I need him.”

Plentiful harvest

The “laborers” were told to get busy and go where God sends them to save lost souls.

Minister Bernadine St. Cyr, of Greater St. Peter Baptist Church in New Roads, drove that message home at a prayer breakfast March 31 at St. Alma Baptist Church in Lakeland.

“My sisters and brothers, we can’t get comfortable,” St. Cyr said. “We can’t be satisfied with our own salvation. We must make a rededication today to lead others to Christ.”

The breakfast was sponsored by the church’s Evangelism and Outreach Ministry. The theme was “Praying for the Laborers and the Lost” based on Matthew 9:36-38, which reads in part: “Then saith (Jesus) unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”

St. Cyr said it takes a willingness to put in the work and have a compassionate heart for the lost.

“Jesus looked at the multitude and he referred to them as a field ripe for harvest,” she said. “Many people are ready to give their time to Jesus, but many of them are waiting for us to show up. Yes, the laborers are few, but are you willing and able to be a laborer for the Lord? Are you willing to share with others what Jesus have already done for you?”

The breakfast consisted of nearly two hours of praise and worship and powerful praying, including prayers for laborers, the lost, teens, young adults and the movement of the Holy Spirit.

“Our work is a continuous work,” St. Cyr said. “We must be willing to go where God says go. We must be willing to move when God says move. This is the due season.”

Book of Proverbs

Many of the principles and lessons in Proverbs are applicable 3,000 years after its writing, and that is why Louisiana author Frank LaRosa thinks it’s so important to understand the Old Testament book.

LaRosa, of River Ridge, studied the book extensively and used three different Bible interpretations to come up with his new book “The Book of Proverbs in Plain English” (Authorhouse Publishers).

“The Proverbs cover a wide variety of topics that will help you live better and wiser,” Larosa writes. “But if you can’t understand the message, how can you apply them to your life?”

The theme of Proverbs is the nature of true wisdom as written by King Solomon, Larosa explains.

In the 128-page book, LaRosa takes key passages from each of the 31 chapters of Proverbs and rewords them in “plain English.” He provides space at the end of each chapter of the book for readers to share what they’ve learned.

Chapter 4 in LaRosa’s book is titled “Security in Wisdom.” It starts out with the reading of Proverbs 4:1-4 which LaRosa translates from King James, New Living Translation and Message Bible as: “Hear, my children, listen to your father’s instruction, pay attention and grow wise. For I am giving you good doctrine. Do not turn away from my teaching. When I was my father’s son, loved tenderly by my mother and an only child. My father told me, ‘Let your heart retain my words and follow my instructions and you will live.’ ”

Part of LaRosa’s explanation on the text: “One of the greatest responsibilities of a parent is to encourage their children to become wise. David, Solomon’s father, encouraged him when he was young, to seek wisdom ... Wisdom should be passed along from generation to generation, from parents to children. All wisdom comes from God and parents can only urge their children to turn to him. If you have never been taught this way, you can learn wisdom from the Scriptures and pass them on to your own children.”

ä ON THE INTERNET:

http://www.authorhouse.com

Faith Matters runs every other Saturday in The Advocate. Contact Terry Robinson at (225) 388-0238 or email trobinson@theadvocate.com.