Want Some Encouragement? Read The Cross Has Spoken!

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Pastor, coach, history teacher, and committed “encourager” Tee Jackson has just released his eighth and newest book, entitled The Cross Has Spoken. I think that given the uncertainty of the times, it has truly come our way “just in time.” Tee’s premise is simple, which is the very nature of the gospel, and that is that the most powerful encouragement is that which “can be found by having a relationship with Jesus Christ,” he says.

As of this writing, Israel is in a state of full-on declared war with Hamas after being brutally attacked on Yom Kippur a week ago, Iran is in the mix, we don’t have a Speaker of the House in the U.S. Congress, Taiwan is extremely vulnerable to attack by the Chinese, the economy is iffy, and the politics in the run-up to election season are predictably nasty. It is indeed a time, as Jesus said, of “wars and rumors of wars.” So, how in the world can we be encouraged?

Well, even though we have been promised tough times, and instability has appeared often throughout history, our Savior said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” How did He do that? By dying for us.

When Tee and I spoke about this newest volume, we discussed the “back story” of one of the chapters of the book wherein Tee illustrates what it means to have the Cross “speak” through a hymn written over 50 years ago by Bill and Gloria Gaither. Tee was not aware that when Gloria wrote her part of the song, “Because He Lives” she had been struggling about the fact that then, as now, America was in trouble, there was unrest everywhere, and she was pregnant with their third child. What was life going to be like for their newest little one? The Lord came and comforted her, and she was able to release the fear and go on to trust that He had everything under control, even in the midst of such turmoil. Gloria had a little boy by the name of Benjy, who interestingly was born in Mobile, AL, in 1971. The lyrics from the song that Tee uses to illustrate the chapter entitled “Why Jesus Came To Earth,” say in part,

God sent His son
They called Him Jesus
He came to love
Heal and forgive
He bled and died
To buy my pardon
An empty grave
Is there to prove
My savior lives


And because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know
He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives

Copyright: © 1971 William J. Gaither, Inc. All rights controlled by Gaither Copyright Management. Jeremiah 29:11.

The song has gone on to be one of the most familiar and well-loved songs ever produced by the Gaithers, and Tee told me his own “back story” about “Because He Lives.” He was attending college at Samford University, and one day he experienced what he said was “the most beautiful music I have ever heard, and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from.” He looked and noticed that people were standing on the balconies of their dorm rooms, listening and looking, as Tee was. It turns out that the Gaithers were on the Samford University campus, recording “Because He Lives” in the music building. “It was so heavenly, it was like the Rapture had happened,” he said. Tee goes on to say in this chapter, “I was a lost soul. I thought I was a good person. When Jesus came into my life, I was changed forever! I would like you to have a similar experience. Call upon the Lord while He can be found.”

One other chapter that particularly warmed my heart is called “We Can Be Jubilant.” In it, the example Tee gives is regarding the night before he and Jackie were married. He had decided to wait until then to give Jackie her engagement ring, and completely surprised her. “She opened the box and the diamond ring twinkled in the light. Tears spattered from her eyes and she gave me a big hug. She stepped back, looked at the ring, and said, ‘It is beautiful! Thank you!’” We can be jubilant that such a hope of love is ours because the Cross has spoken, and this is a gift that you can give to yourself or others today. Tee’s books are published by Christian Faith Publishing, and can be purchased on Amazon. Get yours today, and settle it in your heart that there is lasting hope to be found, even in these wild times.

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner