Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A tribute to Mothers!

Mother’s day is quickly approaching and I thought I would share some memories, thoughts and a few quotes that I found for Mothers day. I hope that perhaps some of what is written below will cause you to pause and reflect on your own Mother and give thanks to God for her life.

Let me start by saying that anything I write on here will be an insufficient and futile effort to show the amount of love and respect I have for my Mother. It is hard to put into words all the things that my Mother has meant to me, but I will give it a try.

When we reflect on our childhood we all have memories we can think about and smile. In my case, I chuckle rather loudly at a several of them. I can remember several times growing up that I faked being sick so I didn’t have to get on the bus, only to have Mom put me in the car and chase down the bus when she realized I wasn’t really sick after all.

I remember in kindergarten, the one and only time I ever won anything, when I got to bring home the class hamster at the end of the school year. Mom was so happy for me too!! In fact, she was so happy that she referred to it as “the rat” after it got out of its cage during the first week.

There were the times being sprayed down with the garden hose to get the mud off before we could come in the house. Of course, there are the many times when she took care of us when we were sick or hurt too. Mom was always a great sport and she always knew just what to say at just the right time to make things feel better.

I know that I have made my Mom proud many times in my life because she has told me so. I also know that I have disappointed her many times as well, of which she has never told me. Although she never said so,  I know that I hurt her with words that cut like a knife and with actions that went against everything she ever taught me, but my Mother never wavered in her love for me. A Mother’s love knows no boundaries and I am sure I am not the only one with this kind of story.

These motherly traits are God-given and the Bible gives us many instructions in regards to Mothers. This one in Proverbs 6:20-22 (ESV) sums it up for me. It reads; My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.

Thank you Mom for raising me in the way of our Lord. Although I strayed away from Christ for a season or two, your example and your teaching were where I found my bearings when Christ began drawing me back to Him. Thank you for being that godly example to not only your three children, but to your grandchildren and all of those that know you.

I would be remiss if I did not pay tribute to my wife Katie as well for her godly example to our children. The example you are setting, and the teaching you are giving our daughters, will serve them well long after you and I have reached our heavenly home. Thank you for being a great Mother!

To all the Mothers out there and I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day! What you do every single day for your families is priceless and often goes unnoticed but you make a difference! God bless each and every one of you!

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don't even have. ~Robert Brault

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Everyday should be an Easter Celebration

I have thought about Easter this week more than I can remember. I know I should think about it all the time, but I would be lying if I said that in the past I always have. I woke up this past Monday and went to work like any other week. We had ball practices, and Life group and other things to attend as well. It was a busy week like it always is at our house.  All I know, is that seems like it’s real easy for us to fall back into the routine of life and forget about what we celebrated last week on Easter Sunday. If we are not careful, Easter becomes just another "holiday" in our life.

This week was different for me though and I found myself asking; What now? What needs to change? What should I do different in my own life? I tried to put myself into the shoes of those that followed Christ when He was crucified. I am sure they were asking the same types of questions. What now? Do we return to fishing and tax collecting? Do we stay together or do we go back to our home towns and live like everyone else? Every thing these Christ followers knew was turned upside down in the course of just a few days. Now for us, we have the luxury of history so we understand that Christ died and was resurrected, but for those early Christians they didn’t have the comfort of knowing that. It was a time of chaos and soul searching.

On a week just like this past week, Jesus met two guys on the road to Emmaus who needed Him to bear His“resurrection power” on them so they could overcome one of the saddest weekends of their lives. They were traveling home from Jerusalem, trying to comprehend the events they had just witnessed. They had to  be asking themselves....what now?  Jesus knew their hearts were aching and He wanted to bring His resurrection power to bear upon them and in Luke chapter 24 we see this story starting in Verse 17.

Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

So the question for all Christ followers is; What now? Jesus has revealed Himself to us too and He has given us His resurrection power as well. We know and understand what He did for us on the cross. So what are we going to do with this ressurection power we have? The scripture says these two men “got up and returned to Jerusalem at once” to tell the others that Christ has risen!! They didn’t make any excuses as to why they couldn’t tell their friends.  They didn't hesitate to return; they went at once to tell the others about Jesus.

You and I should be doing the same thing. We have resurrection power every day of the year, not just on Easter. We cannot treat the ressurection of Jesus as an event that we celebrate only once a year! It should be celebrated in the life of a Christian every single day in our speech and in our actions.  See we know that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most powerful event in history. Everything that we believe, all that our life and worship is all about, is based upon the foundational truth that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. That is something to be thankful for everyday, that is something for Christ followers to claim, and that is something to share with the world every single day.  Be bold and courageous for we serve a Risen Christ!

In Christ,