A Mother’s Day prayer

I know there are a lot of them out there, but here’s my humble submission to the bunch. Happy Mother’s Day and may God be glorified.

Holy God,
on this Mother’s Day,
we come first and foremost to worship You.
May we not lose sight of that.
For we are especially reminded,
on this day,
that it is You, though the love of mothers of all types,
who show what it truly means to love a child.
For it is through the death and resurrection of Your one and only son,
Jesus,
that we have eternal life.
That is love
and that right there is deserving of our worship and thanks.

But also, Lord God almighty,
we honor those women
You have used as instruments of Your love in our lives.
In whatever form they come,
we thank You, oh God.
In whatever role they have played in our lives,
we thank you, oh God.
Therefore,
it is not only the passage of DNA that determines the motherhood of a woman
but rather the love that they show.

May You continue to nourish Your children
through the self-sacrificing love of a mother.
May you continue to bless these women
that you may be glorified through them.
To You,
oh God,
be all worship and praise this day and always.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Birth Mother’s Day 2017

Some of you who stop by here regularly may (or may not) know that I am a proud daddy. My wife and I adopted our daughter, Mayah, in April 2013 and then adopted our son, Malachi in November 2014. They did not come from our DNA but we love them as if they did; for this was God’s plan for our lives. Some may be tempted to think that we adopted because we were unable to have children biologically ~ Yes and no. We weren’t able to have children in that way; not because of physical reasons (both of us were perfectly able to conceive children), but rather, God intervened, and praise be to God for that. After years of “trying” we finally answered God’s call. Long story short, 10 months after starting the adoption process, Mayah came into our lives. Eighteen months later, Malachi joined the family. God’s plan for our family, after He refined us through the fire of a failed adoption, was for us to parent these two beautiful children.

Why am I writing about this now? Well, today is an often forgotten day for many. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. So much hoopla goes into that day, and rightly so. Our mother’s deserve this kind of attention but today is Birth Mother’s Day. This day is always the day before Mother’s Day with the purpose of remembering those loving mother’s who made a decision many of us can not even fathom. They may not be mothering a particular child today, but they showed an incredible love in deciding that it was in the best interest of their child to be raised by someone else. For whatever reason, these mother’s, instead of aborting their baby, carried them to full term in order that their baby could have a chance at life; a life given by God. These mother’s saw the baby in their womb as a living being who deserved to live, even if they couldn’t support their child. They recognized that their were others who were very able and willing to raise children, even through it was not happening for them biologically. These mother’s are special people who had the forethought and insight to do what they did and thus deserve their day.

Each night, during our prayers, we pray for Mayah and Malachi’s respective birth mommies. We don’t hide the fact that they are adopted. We celebrate this. We talk about their respective stories and we honor their birth mommies. So if you know of a mother who has made this difficult but loving decision, make sure you honor them as Mother’s Day may be a difficult day for them. Thank God for these special people. We certainly do, and not just today, but each and every day.

Happy Birth Mother’s Day 🙂

The (daddy) Pastor -|—

A Mother’s Heart

A mother’s heart is:
Loving
Kind
Compassionate
Forgiving
Empathetic
Lost without you
Reflective (referring to God’s love)
Strong
Patient
Generous
Godly
Healing
Safe
Humble
Wise

And…I could go on…but you get my point.

I have always known these qualities about my own mother but I think I have taken these qualities for granted.  Not anymore…not since I have seen a brand new mother in my life (my wife) reflect these qualities to our new little girl.  I have now gained a whole new appreciation for mothers as I see my wife in action in a brand new role; a role that just seems natural for her.

Thank you, God!

Thank you Mom 🙂

And thank you to all moms out there.

God…what can I say but thank you for my mom, my grandmothers, my wife and all mothers.  Thank you for using them to shower us with your love; to keep us safe; to raise us to know you.  Bless all mothers this day and always.  May they continue to be faithful to their calling and may your love continue to shine forth through them.  In Jesus name, Amen!

The pastor (and new daddy) -|—

Sunday morning prayer – Pentecost Day

Happy Pentecost Day (and Mother’s Day)!

Asking and receiving
Last night, while watching the news, I said to my wife that I had forgotten to pick up some candy at the store when we where there earlier.  The candy basket that I have for my children’s lessons was nearly empty…not enough for the kids on Sunday.  So I started thinking that if I got going early enough, I could stop at the store on my way out to Belmont for worship.  The problem was that there was no guarantee I would remember to stop at the store.  Well…this morning when I went up to the sanctuary to prepare for worship; there on the counter in the sacristy was my children’s lesson basket…filled with candy.  Wow…ask and you shall receive.  "Thanks, God."

A realization
I realized yesterday that I must be pretty serious about this marathon I am going to run in October.  Yesterday (Saturday, May 10) was to be my 9 mile run day.  My day was already pretty busy so my window of time to run was fairly small, but when it came time to run it was raining lightly.  Since I didn’t have time to wait I still got ready and ended up running in the rain for a few miles.  I guess I AM serious about this running thing.  And you know…it was kind of nice (in a weird sort of way) to run in the rain.

Prayer
Today we recognize and celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit to those first disciples and to us.  We thank God for His presence in our lives.  We thank Jesus for not leaving us orphaned.  We thank the Holy Spirit for the gift of faith.  But let us not forget to thank our mothers today.  But don’t forget those women (who may not be "mothers") for playing a motherly role in your life (or the lives of others).  They deserve thanks as well.  So with all that in mind, let’s pray…

Good, gracious and loving God, you came to those first disciples on that first Pentecost Day in power and authority.  You gave them courage to boldly proclaim the Good News of Jesus dying and rising that we may live.  They announced forgiveness.  They announced Truth.  They proclaimed life.  Lord God, we pray for that same boldness; for that same Spirit to fill our hearts so we may be courageous in a world that demands much from us.  We pray for courage so others may come to know you through our words and deeds.  And, God…we thank you for loving us through mothers, whether they be biological or others who serve as a mother for us.  Mothers are indeed a gift from you.  Thank you, God.  We pray this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord…Amen.

God bless and take care!
-edh-

Mother’s Day

I have a question…

…Sunday is Mother’s Day (as if anyone needs to be reminded) AND it is Pentecost Sunday.  But Pentecost aside, how do you treat Mother’s Day in worship?  I have heard sermons on Mother’s Day that were about mothers and I left wondering if this day (and Father’s Day) were days where we can give Jesus a break and preach about someone else.

Now…with it being Pentecost this Sunday do you try to work in mothers someplace into the Pentecost story or do you lay aside the Pentecost text completely or what?

For me…this is want I am doing:  I am preaching on the Acts 2 text were the disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit and start preaching in the native tongue of the people gathered.  Actually, my main point is talked about more in my previous post titled "Desperate".  Later in the service I will have a special recognition of the mothers and offer a prayer for them.  After worship, all mothers will be presented with a red carnation.  And that is Mother’s Day at Salem.  Am I dissing mothers too much by not preaching about mothers?

I want to make sure mothers are honored on Mother’s Day.  After all…they deserve it (especially my mother) but I don’t want to neglect the preaching of the gospel either.  I know there is probably a way to work both into a sermon, but with the text on Sunday…that is not the direction I was drawn.  What are you doing in worship?  How "should" mothers be honored?

-edh-