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TITLE: The Most Special Place
By Allen Povenmire

There are places in our country that Iíve had the privilege to visit that are considered hallowed ground. For instance, on a couple of occasions I have witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

The unbelievable precision, dignity, and respect shown at the Tomb is without comparison. The sentinels on duty 24/7 have a creed which states in part:
"My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted. In the responsibility bestowed on me, never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection...Ē
Anyone whoís ever witnessed this will agree they meet their stated standard.

Another place considered revered by all who visit is the USS Arizona Memorial, located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The memorial is built over the top of the sunken Arizona, which still entombs the remains of 1102 of her crew. As the shuttle boat takes its passengers out to the Arizona Memorial, a reverent stillness falls over you and not a word above a whisper is spoken as you walk the memorial, over the hull of the great ship. To this day, oil can still be seen rising from the wreckage to the surface of the water. The oil seeping is sometimes referred to as "the tears of the Arizona." It can not help but move you...

On a more personal level, on every Memorial Day weekend, I take my annual journey through the back roads of Kansas, decorating the grave sites of the likes of 4great-grandfather Isaac Povenmire along with several other Povenmire ancestors in Trading Post cemetery, great grandparents John and America Mae Povenmire and many others in Centerville cemetery, and on and on until reaching the Fort Scott National Cemetery, where I lay yellow roses at the grave of my father, John Dean Povenmire, who passed away in 2004.

At Dadís grave I stop and reflect upon a man I'll always hold in the greatest regard...You know these places. Places that have such special meaning, that the mere thought of them can stir you emotionally.

While we hold the aforementioned sites in high esteem, for Christians, they still pale in comparison to a place where we must bow with our utmost reverence. Websterís defines reverence as a "profound adoring." It is only at the foot of the cross that we find reason for this type of reaction. But Iím afraid the cross sometimes loses its significance. In 1Corinthians 1: 18 we read:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.(NIV)

The cross represents the very essence of the Fatherís love for us. Our salvation was nailed to it. Galatians 6:14 tells us:
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(NIV)

Webster's defines boast "to glorify oneself in speech." and with the cross, we have license to shout from the rooftops how magnificent the cross is in our lives. Wear it proudly, telling everyone around you THIS is what God has done for me...and will do for you. While being covered by the shadow of the cross, we can truly say we have something the world does not have nor can it manufacture for itself.

With that in mind, Paul warns us in Philippians 3:18
"For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ."(NIV)
Itís still true today. As the theology of tolerance becomes more and more prevalent in our world, the cross becomes more and more threatening to those outside its shadow. They are the enemies of the cross today, those who would deny its unique significance of salvation.

The cross represents the helplessness of man converging with the eternal hope of grace. Without it our worship would be meaningless, our doctrine hollow, and eternity out of our reach.

What a simple but complete plan God has for the salvation of His children. The perfect Sacrifice for the imperfect world...all done on a cross.
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