Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Message

Keitha (Jo's Mum), Shekinah and Jo Brookshaw

This Mother's Day sermon is now a guest blog from Lt. Jo Brookshaw. Preached by Jo at Palmerston Salvation Army on 13th May, 2012.
These past 5 days my husband Pete, the kids and I have been engaged in a challenge on living with extreme poverty, called “Live below the Line”. We’ve had a food budget of $2 per day per person over the last 5 days. $40 to feed a family of 4 for five days. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it was a challenge we wanted to take to understand, in a small way, the struggle of living below the poverty line. Half of the world's population live on under $2 per day! As you could imagine, it was difficult to manage juggling healthy, budget-conscious meals that the whole family would accept… but we did it! And pulled through... 

I know some Mothers who know exactly what it’s like to manage the stress and complexity of looking after family matters. Issues that are financial, educational, nutritional, social, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, developmental… hormonal??!! The life of a mum can be complex and at times, pretty stressful right?

TRUST your Mum
My grandmother was a Salvation Army officer in the days when you weren’t guaranteed a wage, she’d lived through a war, her husband died when my mum was 5 (5 girls). She had experienced a lot of hardship. I always knew her to have a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

Most of my childhood she lived in a little cottage-unit with a big backyard and a birdbath on a pillar. Every day she would feed the birds leftover bread. My mum told me that one day my Grandma ran out of bread, so she baked a batch of scones for them! I trust my Grandma’s recipe; my Mum has tested it herself and now I use it. Before google, this is how people learned life-skills, they trusted those who came before them, to teach them the best methods! Your Mum is smarter than you think…

It takes a day like Mother's Day for us to reflect and acknowledge the great things about our mums. What is your mum really good at? Would you trust her in that area? If she was good at cooking you would trust her when she bakes a cake! Mums generally have the best interests of their children at heart. If you trust your Mum to look after you, trust what she says. Of course Mums aren’t perfect in every area, but remember that in many ways she is your foundation. I know when I’m sick, no matter how well my husband Pete looks after me – my mum is the one I really want!

Proverbs 31:1-9 - Mother's Good advice (NIV)
1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers! 3 Do not spend your strength on women, your vigour on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! 7 Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

RESPECT your Mum (Mom)
Not everyone has a great mother, that’s a fact. Mother's Day is hard for some. But everyone can show respect to their mum for the influence she has had on their life, however small. Respect only counts if it is consistent with your expression of it, so be respectful in your words, your actions and your conduct.
If you have a mum or are a mum that trusts in God, then seek to honour God in everything that you do. In your parenting, seek to make God’s name shine in your family, share your faith journey together and pray for each other.

On this Mother's Day, I want to share with you something that I have found to be true in my family: in humility as you each seek God with all your heart and journey into holiness, you will be drawn together in unity and love. This is a simple concept, but true for friendships, marriages, families and churches. With a humble heart, chase after God and see if it isn’t true!

So respect your Mum – God says so…

Leviticus 19:3 (NIV) “Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.”

Ephesians 6:1 (NIV) “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”

1Kings 2:19- How to Treat Mom (NIV)
19 When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

LOVE your MumDoes your Mum show you that she loves you? Then give some love back: let your Mum know that you love and appreciate her – often! And show her in many ways.
Some of you may have read Gary Chapman's Book – The Five love languages. Your mum exhibits one or more of the five love languages in her life. It might be helpful this Mother's Day to consider which love language she expresses the most.
Words of AffirmationActions don’t always speak louder than words. Give unsolicited compliments – say something nice to your mum that she doesn’t expect.
Quality TimeGive her your full, undivided attention. Have some special time together and just chat with her (no distractions).
Receiving GiftsThis isn’t about buying ‘stuff’ for your Mum (although she may have got some lovely presents today!); your mum thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. You know your mum, so give her something she likes, it tells her you care, and she is valued above whatever was sacrificed to bring her the gift.
Acts of ServiceCan mopping the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on your mum will speak volumes. The words she might most want to hear is: “Let me do that for you.”
Physical TouchHugs, pats on the back, holding hands, big squishy cuddles and yes, lots of kisses — can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.
The Five Love Languages:

Do you know which your mum likes the best? If not try them all – it’s mother’s day!

Proverbs 31:28-30 (NIV)
“Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praises her. "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

Exodus 20:12 (NIV)
"Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you."

Trust + Respect + Love = JOY!

Proverbs 23:22-25- Give Your Mother Joy (NIV)
Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. 23 Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. 24 The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. 25 May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!”

I think Mother’s Day is an important day for Mother’s to do some work too – your job is to reflect on the journey of motherhood, to remember times past and recognise the growth and development in yourself and in your family. Seek to build on it. Count your blessings. Take time to ‘treasure’ this moment in your life, just as Mary did at the events surrounding Jesus’ birth:

LUKE 2:19 (NIV)
“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Keep your treasured memories as precious jewels to be protected and brought out on occasion to remind you of the beauty and blessings you have in your life. Remember when you wear these necklaces to treasure those special people who gave them to you - they trust you, respect you and love you! Then in joy, praise the God who gave them to you.

A MOTHERS’ DAY CREED (Source unknown)
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.

I believe in the love Mary gave her Son,
that caused her to follow him in his ministry
and stand by his cross as he died.

I believe in the love of all mothers,
and its importance in the lives of the children they bear.

It is stronger than steel, softer than down,
and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside.

It closes wounds, melts disappointments,
and enables the weakest child to stand tall and straight
in the fields of adversity.

I believe that this love, even at its best, is only the shadow love of God,
 a dark reflection of all that we expect of him in this life and the next.

And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights in the world
is a mother who lets this greater love flow through her to her child,
blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch and the tears of her joy.

Thank God for mothers,
and thank mothers for helping us understand God!

This guest Mother's Day sermon/message was written by Lieutenant Joanne Brookshaw.

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