The Whitby Family Displays the Cross

I met Sheree Whitby at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July 2011.  I was immediately drawn to her as there was this aura, a sense of purpose and profound love for God and for her family, that oozed out of her as she shared her heart with me there.  And so I’m pleased and honored to introduce to you my new friend and fellow carrier of the cross, Sheree Whitby.

Carrying the cross is more than wearing a designer shirt with the emblem or a jeweled necklace with a glowing Jesus. Although, there is nothing wrong with that expression, the cross is meant to be displayed through our actions more so than our speech. Our family has embroidered the cross on our lives one step at a time.

I would love to write of the grandiose acts of the Fruit of the Spirit.  However, Jesus’ carrying of the cross was done in ultimate humility. After being greatly inspired to pick up my cross at the Montrose Christian Writer’s Conference, I came home on fire for evangelism. My elaborate plans to resurrect the cross in my family’s life were overshadowed with our work, chores, schedules and unexpected tragedies and triumphs.

I decided to keep it simple. My oldest son Devin and I went to an area                                 arts and crafts shop to find some crosses. Our first set of crosses was foam and came with a bag of letters.

We decided to get Darren, my youngest son with severe special needs, involved to stick the letters in their place. On the crosses, GOD was placed horizontally and LOVE was placed vertically. Devin had the great idea of hanging them around the house on almost every doorknob. I added hanging them outside on tree branches. We were excited and felt a sense of accomplishment.

To bring more visibility to the cross, I made a second trip to the arts and crafts store to purchase wooden crosses. Upon my return home, I spray painted them cherry red and placed them at the four corners of our property, after my husband and I secured our land in prayer.

The second trip was prompted by an unexpected dead bird landing on our mat at the front door. Unsure of the intent or the earthly sender, we knew we had to counterattack with the blood of Jesus and the cross.
The remainders of the wooden crosses were placed on my children’s bedroom
walls, close to the trees in our front yard and on our porch close to the front
door.

Halloween was a night to remember, and a noteworthy moment for me as a mother. Devin agreed to follow the vision God gave me without my coercion. Instead of joining the world in celebrating Halloween, he decided we whould package red cellophane bags with candy, my business card and a scripture.

Twenty bags filled with the cross we are bearing as a family touched the lives of children and their parents tonight.

As we struggle to combat the enemy in our daily walk with Christ, we cannot forget
that we are in this world, but not of this world (John 17:16). It only takes
the simplest deed to lift our cross for Jesus and impact the world.

Sheree Whitby is an anointed youth pastor, writer and
speaker. She is a child advocate who has a heart for disadvantaged children. As a former teacher, she believes it is essential for each person to strive for excellence in their pursuit of knowledge. Currently, she resides in Maryland with her husband and three children.

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About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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6 Responses to The Whitby Family Displays the Cross

  1. Jean Oathout says:

    Thank you for sharing with us this family’s story. Such beautiful children. May God richly bless…

    Like

  2. I agree, Jean. And I think Sharee ought to chime in here and tell us all about that “New York Times Bestseller” that I see when I scroll over her name! Give up the mystery, Sharee! What’s that about?

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    • Sheree says:

      Here’s the story: My husband and I were writing prayer requests for what we wanted God to do by the end of this year. He wrote down that I would be a New York Times Bestseller. At first, I thought he had lost it and considering we were writing 11 blessings collectively, I thought it was a waste of a prayer God could really answer…lol
      After a few times praying our list, I decided to receive it! I’ll write about it, when I receive it! lol

      Like

      • I love that! I just edited a book for Sue Z. McGray, Independent Sales Director for Mary Kay. Sue said that even when her children were small, she had them post a picture of their next goal up on the refrigerator. As a child, we put up pics like a skateboard or a doll and later a car. As we mature, our hearts leap when God taps on our hearts in new ways to use the abilities he’s given us. Finding a picture that represents that goal and posting it in a central place is a good way to keep that faith in front of you. Or you may have that line or that word, as you do Sheree, that keeps you looking higher for the plans God has up ahead. Some people call that visualization, and some call it faith. Of course, faith is being sure of what I hope for and laying hold of what we cannot see, calling it forth. That’s a whole new blog entry!

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