October 23, 2000
With an axe, two logs and nails, Joe White, the president of Kanakuk-Kanakomo Kamps, Inc., and founder of Kids Across America, built a cross during the chapel address at Oklahoma Baptist University, Wednesday, Oct. 18.
White described the event of the cross as the central figure in all of history. "The greatest sermon ever spoken was the sermon Christ preached with the cross on his back when he said 'Father forgive them'," White said.
White was "the cross-builder" in a role-play dressed in sandals with his sleeves rolled up. In front of the students, he built a life size cross to represent the cross on which Jesus died.
The cross-builder told the story of making crosses for twenty years and having never seen a person live through the "painful and sure death" of crucifixion. The Christ, he said, had claimed to be the son of God and that he would rise again after three days.
The cross-builder couldn't believe him although he wanted to. He said, "If it isn't true the story will last a month or maybe a year before being forgotten."
At the end of the role-play, White explained that we still haven't forgotten Christ's death on the cross.
White described his "King" to the students asking, "Do you know him well?"
"My King is the pathway to peace, highway to holiness, gateway to glory," he said, repeating, "Do you know him well?"
White gave the example of Paul as a Christian who knew his King and "chained his heart to Christ."
Wearing chains on his wrist, White told the audience that a month and a half ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. Faced with this crisis, White asked God, "Will you carry me through?"
He received peace from God and views every day as a bonus. He challenged the students to ask God the same question.
"It is easy to be sidetracked but we must ask ourselves, are we chained to Christ or chained to the world?" White said.
Being chained to the world only brings disappointment but a Christian who is not just saved but is chained to Christ will see real change in his life, he said.
"Be transparent with God," White said. "The chain never breaks and never stops."
White brought golden chain links for the students to take to remind them of the challenge to live their lives "chained to Christ."
White and his wife, Debbie Jo, have four children, Jamie-Jo, Courtney, Brady and Cooper.