The very first gift my husband bought me as newlyweds was a new Bible, and the second gift was a silver cross.
That Bible, affectionately known by Blossom as my 'fast-flickin' Bible because it's so worn and full of notes that I can find any passage very quickly, is falling apart from years of love and use.
The silver cross, a relatively plain but not small cross, never left my neck for more than a decade and it too became battered and bruised through years of wear.
But one day I looked on the cross with different eyes, letting the horror of Christ's crucifixion, the agony and pain and betrayal it signified, wash away my desire to wear that silver cross and so I took it off and packed it away. I no longer wanted to carry the symbol of an instrument of torture on my body.
Many years followed and each time we moved house, town or state, I'd look once more upon that battered silver cross and ponder what it stood for before replacing it with my other jewellery and packing it up in a moving box.
Then one day something changed. One move brought a change. Again we were moving house, and I held that silver cross in the palm of my hand and cried. The emotions I'd once felt washed away and all I saw in it was LOVE.
The greatest LOVE.
The battered and neglected silver cross was placed back on a chain and as it rested on my chest I felt a surge of love and gratitude that filled me from head to toe.
Satan can turn any beautiful thing into a source of discouragement, despair, rejection and pain. He relished the cross as it stood high on Calvary and he delighted in the agony of my Lord as he hung, clinging to life, bleeding, battered, disfigured from extreme physical torture. Satan stood ready to glory in his own victory as Jesus laboured with each final breath.
But that's not the end of the story. The life which slipped away from Jesus as he offered up His Spirit to the Father was not an end, not a victory for the powers of darkness...no, not at all!
In dying Christ destroyed the enemy's hold, snatching back the keys to the Kingdom, and in rising from the dead He stood triumphant over satan and opened wide the way back into the arms of God, a way marked out in His own blood shed for us.
What satan meant for evil, God meant for good.
What satan devised in pure hatred, God required for the fulfilment of pure LOVE.
So for me, the cross today is a testament to LOVE, a LOVE that no man can be, no man can give, no man can create.
This LOVE was paid for with Sovereign blood, and when the stone was rolled away that blood washed away satan's power...it washed over me, it washed over you, it cleans and repairs and renews and refreshes and instead of taking life it gives life. Life eternal. A LOVE life. A love gift that will never lose it's power to redeem the lost.
I first drew up this design in a simpler style just after I had that revelation of LOVE for the cross and shared it on my blog when I was just dipping my toes into the world of pattern design.
It was given to a friend who had just come to know Jesus and I've wanted to stitch it again ever since.
Last week I refined it, giving it more LOVE, a reflection of the increasing LOVE I have for Jesus with each passing day of my life.
If you would like to stitch "The Greatest Love" please accept this as very small gift of love from me, flowing from the LOVE of our Saviour who gives the greatest gifts of all.
Your sister in Christ,
Thanks Jenny for the beautiful pattern and for the reminder of how great the love of God is for us.
Thank you for this beautiful reminder of Jesus’ love for us. I too have a very old, much read and loved Bible that was falling apart so that I was afraid to carry it. My husband gifted me a beautiful new Bible and several years later my mom left hers to me when she passed. I think I am so blessed to have these 3 Bibles which were all given to me with love.
apreciada jenny gusto en saludarla no imagina la alegria que senti cuando vi su cruz de amor, estos dias he estado inversa en un proyecto tambien con diseños de cruses ya que estoy preparando unos cirios para la iglesia, con motivo de la proximidad de la semana santa, estoy tratando de copiar el diseño pero no logro ver el patron cuando realizo el proceso el sistema me dice que ya esta en mi carrito, sin embargo, no logro ver el diseño estoy me ha pasado desde hace algun tiempo agradeceria su recomendacion al respecto, me hace cilusion bordar su cruz de amor.
con mi agradecimiento y mi corazon en cristo jesus
I have not grown up with the Bible so I do not know it Iike I maybe should. I do however know what.I believe and that I live my life as a God Loving person. Thank you for this sweet cross to stitch. What a blessing you have found with wearing your beloved cross once again. XO
Carmen (fernandez), after the pattern is in your cart you must 'proceed to checkout'. The pattern is free but you must still complete the checkout process. xx
merci pour ce beau témoignage !!!!
et pour cette jolie croix que j'ai bien envie de broder
Très bon dimanche
What a beautiful post and thank you for the free pattern. I like that Blossom calls your first Bible your 'fast flickin' Bible'.... I have one like that too, but the words are now too little for my eyes!
Lovely story. Have you ever done a pattern using hands as the feature. As I have aged I have grown to so appreciate their place in the world because of all the things they do. From a baby grabbing my finger, to walking down the aisle with my husband to holding my mother's hand as she left this earth. I also kind of imagine Christ holding out his hand for me as I walk towards heaven.
Sweet Jenny, I also Have a cross from my husband and through the years struggled with wearing it. When wearing it I find myself through the day reaching up to finger it, you know immediately the shape you are holding and I will pause and thank him once more for his gift to me. I find nothing wrong in wearing one cross. I do struggle when I see cross earrings and cross bracelets with a bunch of crosses on them. Then I feel they look like ornaments of jewelry and that does bother me. Maybe I need to change my outlook, I don't know.
Jim got me started using a Bible app for my daily devotions. I usually go outside and sit on our porch swing when doing them. Here in Texas I can do it year round with only having to bundle up about 1-1 1/2 months. He thought it would be easier on my arthritic hands if I wasn't carrying my flickin Bible. I have enjoyed the app but soon found I had to have my Bible also. I needed it to write my notes in and to be able to go to other places I felt called to.
Your "Greatest Love" is beautiful. I feel blessed to add it to my designs. Thank you for such a wonderful gift. Doing the Love in chain stitch really makes it stand out. Not your usual back stitch. A stitch I have been using on the Garden of Contentment blocks words as I really wanted them to stand out a bit more is split stitch. I also am using a number 8 pearl cotton just on the words. I have always found split stitch a bit more forgiving than back stitch. I am having trouble with my eyesight at the moment so I need the forgiveness. lol Have a wonderful day.
Queridísima Jenny muchísimas gracias por tu hermoso patrón y sobre todo por tu hermosa historia. Tengo muchas versiones de la Biblia diferentes para mis estudios pero hay una que está totalmente remendada y guardada con mucho cuidado: Es mi primera biblia y Dios quiso que la encontrara en una mochila que debieron robar a alguien y tiraron en mi portal. Sólo contenía una biblia y una pluma. Quien perdió esa biblia, ya entonces vieja y subrayada, nunca sabrá el destino que Dios tenía para ella. Empecé a leerla y a preguntar sobre lo que contenía y dos años después acepté a Jesús como mi Señor y di testimonio público de mi conversión con el bautismo. La Palabra de Dios nunca vuelve vacía!!! A Él la gloria y honra!!!
Thank you so much for the lovely stitchery. I do not know my bible that well. But I do know my love of God and to live a Christian lifestyle and do for others. I try very hard to be a good Christian. And pray all the time. We are all so truly blessed. I do not understand how others do not believe in Christ. This is a beautiful design. I remember when you posted the other cross quiet a long time ago now. I love you my friend and sister in stitch and Christ. I truly believe God brought you into my life Jenny and lives of so many other women. You are making a difference in the world. You make me inspire to be a better person.
Hello Jenny; Reading this special part of your life and how you dealt with it and learned from it was especially touching. I do not remember who gave me my Bible, I must ask my Mother and see if she remembers. I also have a newer Bible that has bigger print with study sections and many other features that I enjoy using alongside my Main Bible. Thank you for sharing this special post and sharing this lovely embroidery pattern! God Bless You and have a great day!
Hi Jenny. Thank you so much for this wonderful post full of The Lord Jesus and the free gift of salvation that He purchased for us on the Cross of Calvary❣❣❣Truly, it IS the greatest gift ever given❣🙏❣Amazing Love❣💝❣️Thank you for sharing your life stories with us Jenny❣️Thank you also, for sharing this beautiful pattern❣️🎼💝 It's just lovely❣❣❣ God bless you for investing your life into other's lives❣💐❣ Smiles, Deborah:-)
Take heart, Jenny, in the words of London preacher Charles Spurgeon (mid 1800s} ‘A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isnt’. There is a strong thread of Faith and Love in all your postings, even when you express doubt. I live half a world away, and this touches me deeply…
The depth and breadth of God's love for us is unfathomable by us mere mortals, but I am certainly glad I know I am surrounded by it every nanosecond! We are so blessed!
Thank you so much for sharing this, Jenny. It expresses so many of the things I feel, as well. Our church doesn't use images of the cross, but I have so many other Christian friends who do, and it will be lovely to stitch this for them. I like the image of the cross with the vine of floral love wrapping around it. Love overcomes all hate, and Christ has overcome all evil to give us eternal life and the resurrection. It's so beautiful that your marriage was founded first on the gospel of Christ and his love. There can be no better foundation.
Thank you for the pattern and the reminder of how great Christ loves us all.
God bless you my beautiful Christian sister. You have blessed me this Sunday with your lovely testimony.
That is a wonderful way to view the cross and what it signifies to Christians. I agree.
I loved the sermons given by my priest when he spoke of the cross as a solid, earthly, visible reminder of Christ’s co-suffering Love. Christ not only took on the punishment for our sins, as a Living God, continues to carry our sins, our heartache, our grief, and our suffering in this life if we will only ask Him to make us aware of and draw strength from His active, co-suffering Love.
Isn’t that a lovely, uplifting thought during this season of Lent and as we look forward to the celebration of His resurrection??!!
Thank you once again for your words. Yes, Love. The ultimate expression of Love. And thank you once again for your generosity in giving us this pattern.
Thank you for this beautiful gift. Your craft brightens my days, and I enjoy your Christian writing. Bless you!
Jenny, I posted a thank you but I felt the need to add more. I appreciate your words and art you share with us! Your posts are a blessing and inspiration to me. Today, you somehow touched on things pertinent to me such as the Bible filled with notes. I have a study Bible and a less filled one for Church. I too stopped wearing my cross necklace for a while until I came to see that it is a symbol of my Salvation made possible by the perfect love that Jesus, Christ, my Savior gave when He died willingly on the cross for the lost of the world. Please keep up the good work and ministry you are doing! You are in my thoughts and prayers, Dear Sister in Christ.
I've been reading your blog for some years now and I must tell you thank you muchly for the continuing inspiration and encouragement that flows from your writing. You truly are a woman after God's own heart. Cherish your Christian husband. My husband has yet to come to know Jesus.
Lyn in northern New South Wales.
Thank you Jenny for the beautiful pattern.
Yes, honey, I did one when I was very first dipping my toes into stitchery design. It's been on my mind to re-do it again and I just might.
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