Thought for the Day:
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:25-30 ESV
There are various ways we celebrate and salute our mothers on Mother’s Day. Among those treasures of thoughtfulness are fresh cut flowers, potted plants, helping put mulch around landscaping, or possibly a gift of jewelry. Still others might simply spend an afternoon just chatting and giving mom their undivided attention.
Regardless of the manner in which you celebrated this special day in the past, this year might be your first without your mom’s physical presence, or perhaps your first encounter where mom no longer knows who you are. In other words, Mother’s Day is going to be a bit different. Growing up in a church setting, my remembrances of Mother’s Day always included a special message from the pastor on the value of a godly mother. The pews were filled with moms and their children. It might not be the normal seating arrangement for the children on a Sunday morning, but on Mother’s Day there was an exception. Children recognized the significance of this special day and gave up sitting with friends as a gift to mom. Daddy always made sure my mom had a beautiful corsage to wear and she beamed as she was asked to stand in recognition with other mothers in the congregation as a tribute to the godly woman she has always been to us.
Living away from home and with Mom’s birthday two weeks before Mother’s Day, it’s been quite a few years since we’ve been in church together on this special day. Mom is now in a nursing home with growing dementia, Daddy’s gone home to be with the Lord and us kids, well, we are spread out and seldom are in the same place at the same time. My husband has tried to continue the traditional way I remember Mother’s Day being celebrated, but with our children living away and life being busy we are not always together on this day. But my favorite gift is one of time with each of my children and the most special gift of all are those occasions when they are sitting next to me on Sunday morning of Mother’s Day. That, to me, is the greatest gift of honor I could receive.
Church pews are seemingly growing a bit empty these days of mothers with their children on Mother’s Day. Due to distance and life in general, church doesn’t seem to be a high priority as a way to celebrate mom. In fact, it appears sufficient to simply present a card with a gift card tucked inside so mom can pick out a gift for herself. If I couldn’t get to my mom for Mother’s Day I always tried to have flowers sent. I do understand in greater depth what mom meant when asked about a gift for her. She would just say, “You don’t have to buy me anything. Let’s just sit and talk for a while.” Such a simple request I wish I had realized the importance of sitting and chatting. It didn’t cost a thing, but truly made mom’s day a special Mother’s Day!
Father God, thank you for our mothers. They are a gift of empathy, support, encouragement, courage and strength. May we express our love in countless ways before we are no longer able to do so. Thank you for the faith and love our Christian mothers have for the Lord Jesus and for sharing that love with us, their children. May we be faithful in passing it along to future generations. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
One of the many prominent lessons I am learning from the late Billy Graham's many video messages is his continual reference of "The Bible says..." as he quoted scripture and talked about the Lord's lessons for us to heed and live by. So often we step to the right or left and begin our conversations with, "In my opinion..." and off we go. Does our opinion really matter? On what authority do we stand? Do we build our opinions on countless articles written by various individuals, whose faith basis is unknown or totally not aligned with our own, rendering us a steadfast position on whatever subject is being brought to our attention?
I am fully aware that the skeptical minds in this world will reply, "But the Bible was written by various individuals also. How do we know this was the truth and not just what those so called 'Christians' wanted us to hear and believe?" The big difference is the reference, "the Bible says". The Bible is the authoritative Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit. God's Word has endured countless inquiries, numerous debates and more criticism than imaginable. It has withstood 2,000 years of questions and theories and was copied and recopied with a great deal of accuracy which, by the way, other manuscripts from ancient days have endured, and are readily accepted without question.
Recently I wrote about a comedian that takes center stage on television each evening. I simply stated we needed to pray for him. It is certainly never my intent to judge another since I am not a perfect person. I am simply a sinner saved by the grace of Almighty God. Actions and deeds are all we have to show others that we are trying to live by what "The Bible says..." I personally disagree with anyone who speaks against the President of the United States. The name of the man or woman in office is due the very same respect as those in the past. There have been several men that have occupied the office of presidency that I have disagreed with their words, actions and deeds, but we are nonetheless reminded to pray for our leaders. To me, that is needed and should be our highest priority. Using a public forum to bash the person holding the highest office in the land is wrong....plain and simple. And currently disrespect doesn't stop with the President. The Washington White House Correspondents Dinner is another example of a disgusting rant aimed at countless individuals who were completely blindsided by an angry individual who, once again, carried it off as comic relief. I will pray for all of our concerns in this nation, but continuing to laugh at another's expense is distasteful and certainly not what the Lord has intended for his followers. He loved us so much that He gave His Son to die for our sins so that we might live eternally. Love one another....love....that is the main focus we are to have with one another until breath leaves our bodies. We are not to judge, but the Bible clearly states we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," Hebrews 12:1 What do witnesses do? They witness.
May I be worthy of the death Christ suffered on that cruel cross. May I seek to find the best in others and do all I can to help my fellow man/woman/child. May God be given all the glory for a witness that brings Him honor. And may we all heed what "the Bible says..."
God bless, my friends!