The Perfect Mother

Proverbs 31:28 says Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her

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Aha.  I knew I would get you to read post after reading the title.  I hope my post today will take the pressure off of you to be the perfect mother by telling you that there is no perfect mother, no not one.

When I am in my car, preaching is on the radio.  This morning I heard one small statement from a preacher before reaching my destination that has rolled around in my mind all day.  The pastor said, “You will never be the mother your children think you should be.”

Since I did not hear the full teaching I tried to break down what this statement might have meant.  If he was referencing a teenage child, I get it.  They want you to be like the COOL parents who don’t have rules or curfews for their kids.  A toddler or small child doesn’t like it when their mothers say no.  What about an adult child?  Could he have meant an adult child would look back over their years at home and pick apart the good and bad parenting skills of their mom and dad?  Would parents ever measure up to their adult child’s expectations of how they should have been raised?

After mulling this over all day, I began to reflect on my children’s life and how I impacted them as a mother.  I can tell you that I messed up allot, mostly on my first born.  She was our guinea pig.  None of them came with an owners manual so we had to figure it out on our own.  Then when number two came along, I thought I knew exactly what to do and then I had boy and boy was he different.  Again no owners manual.  Number three came along and I decided who needed an owners manual, this one had to be perfect.  Threes a charm right?  Again no owners manual.

Although I was not a perfect mother and although I made mistakes I tried my best to be a good Christian mother. Below are a few scriptures that I tried to live by as I raised my children.  Remember I said tried and remember I also said I messed up allot.

  1. Gentleness: Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
  2. A Teacher: Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
  3. A Trainer: Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go;  even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  4. A Disciplinarian: Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
  5. Forgiving: Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  6. Love My Husband: Titus 2:4-5 … and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
  7. A Prayer Warrior: Luke 18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
  8. Trust In The Lord: Psalms 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
  9. Taught them Work Ethic: Proverbs 31:17 She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.
  10. Mama Bear: Ok so this one isn’t in the bible, however Psalms 127:3 says Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

After I compare myself to the scriptures I tried to live by, I think I was an ok mom.  My kids call me, check on me, send me cards, buy me presents, come to visit and tell me they love me.  I am one blessed mama who is not perfect but who is perfectly loved.  Read the scripture s every day and try to do what you can to follow them. You will be or you are a great mom.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Happy Mothers Day!

Dance Today

2 Samuel 6:14-16 Wearing a linen ephod, David danced in the Lord’s presence with all his might.  He and the entire nation of Israel brought the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the sounding of rams’ horns. When the ark of the Lord came to the City of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked out of a window and saw King David leaping and dancing in the Lord’s presence, so she despised him.

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I remember when I was a little girl my parents loved to listen and dance to country music.  One of my favorite memories was when my dad would gently lift me by my arms and place my feet on top of his then we would dance together.  It was so much fun and something I always looked forward to.  No matter where I was in the house when I heard the record player, most of you will not know what this is, and the music playing, I would run into the room hoping to dance with my dad.  Dancing was joy to my tiny heart.

I think the fact that David expressed his joy by dancing is why I love this section of the Bible so much.  In this story, David is transporting the ark to Jerusalem. As the ark was being transported, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, and a Levite named Uzzah took hold of the ark. God’s anger burned against Uzzah and He struck him down and he died. Uzzah’s punishment does appear to be extreme for what we might consider to be a good deed.  

God had given Moses and Aaron specific instructions about the Tent of Meeting and the movement of the Ark of the Covenant. “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 4:15). No matter how innocently it was done, touching the ark was in direct violation of God’s law and was to result in death. This was a means of preserving the sense of God’s holiness and the fear of drawing near to Him without appropriate preparation.  David was not following all the guidelines that God had given for the transportation of the ark.  If he had, this incident may never have happened. ( A story for another day)

Once Uzzah dies, David becomes angry with God and then the anger turned to fear.  He stops the transportation of the ark. Instead of continuing on to the city, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.  David goes back home and leaves the ark at Obed-Edoms home for 3 months.  Now isn’t that like us as Christians.  Things are going good and we are worshipping God then something happens to us or someone we love and we get mad and maybe even afraid.

Well the scripture continues to say that the LORD blessed Obed-Edom and his entire household.  David decided that the Lord wasn’t mad at him and he wasn’t mad at the Lord.  He decided to go to Obed-Edom with some men to bring the ark back to the city of David.  Scripture says he went there to get the ark rejoicing along the way.  David rejoiced there and back and as the ark entered the city he was rejoicing so much he broke out in dance.

Some of us need to stop being angry and stop being afraid of God and start doing some praising and dancing.  God is blessing other people and their households and not yours. Why?  Maybe because they rejoicing and praising Him in good times and in bad times.

As some of you may know I was diagnosed with skin cancer not too long ago.  Some people thought I should be afraid while others were afraid for me.  My husbands words rang in my ears through the period of time I heard the news until the time I got the all clear report…”Do you trust Him?”  He often asks me this question about God when I am worried or anxious.  So, I answered this question to myself…YES., YES I TRUST HIM.

The next part of the scripture says, After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.  I believe he not only celebrated but he wanted everyone else to celebrate with him and he wanted them to go home talking about the GOOD NEWS of the ark.

God led me to this scripture to read today as I received the news that all my cancer was removed.  I think I have been motivated, not to necessarily bake bread or make raisen cake but to do a little baking when I am better and to include a note about how God has performed a miracle in my life.  I plan to ask those who receive my gift and card to not only enjoy the food I prepare but to encourage them that just maybe God can perform a miracle for them too.

I want to encourage you.  No matter whether your life is going great or going bad, God is in control.  We need to praise Him in the calm seas and in the storm.  Do a little praising, a little dancing, a little baking, a little sharing and just maybe God will bless you and your household.  DO YOU TRUST HIM?

 

Make Jesus Great Again

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Philippians 3:7-9a NLT – I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.

Some of you may be offended that I used anything similar to our Presidents words in todays title. If you are offended then be sure to read yesterdays post then come back and read today’s post. LOL. Seriously, I have had this scripture and this title on my mind for days now.

Did you know that Rock Hill has a population of 69,103 residents and is the 5th largest city in South Carolina? Did you know that there were 8051 churches in SC as of the most current statistics? That’s a lot of churches. A lot of people who attend church. If you dig deep into the statistics you can see the number of people in our city who go to church, what they believe about God and what required to be a Christian. Ultimately, the statistics show that there are a lot of people who do not go to church and/or are not saved in our city.

The scripture says everything is worthless when compared to knowing Christ. EVERYTHING. If we want to make Jesus Great Again we, the Christians have to believe He is great. Our actions and our words must show that He is great. Things that are important to us take priority in our lives. The important things are in our conversations and we make time for them. I can assure you every one that knows me and spends any time talking to me knows that my grandkids are important to me. I talk about them every chance I get. I rearrange my work and personal life for them. I take their phone calls and/or face time calls. I go to their special events and love to celebrate them on birthdays and holidays. My grandchildren are great!

This scripture also says “For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.” Ladies, there is nothing as important than Christ and our relationship with him. As a young mother and new wife I struggled with this thought. The love we have for our family, especially our own flesh and blood, is indescribable. I used to think it was unimaginable to love someone more than them. But as I have grown older I realized that God loves them more than me. Really. Hard to believe, because I love them all so much.

If we want to make America Great Again, we have to make Jesus Great Again. He is great right? Do you show it? Are you saying it? These are not questions for you to necessarily answer in this post but to internalize. We live in a time where there is much brokenness in our world. Jesus is the answer. I believe it. I have seen the miracles of families restored, marriages saved, bodies healed, forgiveness given, and entry to heaven granted by those accepting Christ as their savior. He is the greatest and He deserves our praise, our worship and He deserves to be number one in our lives.

The great news is that if you do not know Jesus you can come to know Him today. If you do know Him and you are not sharing the good news, you can decide to do it beginning right now. Ladies, we can make a difference in this world and we start in our homes. As an old saying goes, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Making Jesus Great Again begins with one person. That person spreads it to their home, their work, their friends, their family and their churches. You can do it. I believe in you! Lets make Jesus Great Again!!

Pass Comfort On

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2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I love this scripture. God will comfort us and then he wants us to pass it on. There was a movie that came out in 2000 called Pay It Forward. If you have never watched it I encourage you to have a family movie night with popcorn and pizza to watch it soon.

In the movie a social studies teacher gives an assignment to his junior high class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. One of the students, decided to create a plan for “paying forward” favors He not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, blossomed into a national phenomenon.

I know another story, this one true, of 12 men, the disciples, who followed Jesus and His way of loving others, sharing the good news about salvation and their own personal stories of how Jesus changed them, who also created a national phenomenon and the WORLD changed.

There are a few truths in this scripture that I want to encourage you with today. Verse 3 begins with “Praise be the God of Comfort.” I am sure everyone reading this scripture has been through some tough times in your life that God got you through. If you are hurting this morning, go to Him and talk to Him, cry, shout, beg…but whatever you do, go to Him. Start by Praising God for getting you through the past trials and asking him to help you with you this one. He is with you and He loves you. He will help you get through whatever you are dealing with. Maybe you are trying to stop an addiction. Maybe your child is dealing with depression or self-harm. Maybe you are struggling with a friendship, finances, your marriage, your job and/or insert your trial. GOD CAN COMFORT YOU. He is with you always and he will get you through whatever you are struggling with.

Now, for those who have gotten through a struggle, Praise God this morning. Ask Him to lead you to someone who needs to hear your story of success. Ask God to give you courage to share your story to encourage someone else. Maybe you are a private person and you don’t want anyone to know your story. PRAY. Ask God to give you the courage to not worry about the situation and what people will think about it but to help you focus on the story of God getting you through it.

The last verse of todays scripture ends with “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Help to comfort someone today because God got you through your trouble to do just that. Like the movie Pay Forward and the disciples, let’s set in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, will blossom into a national phenomenon and change the world for Christ. Whatever your trial today, know that I am praying for each of you who are in my group.