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A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:
“Mother’s Day 2020 sure looked a lot different this year due to COVID-19. Some family gatherings were not held, travel to see distant mothers was curtailed, the ‘take Mom out to dinner’ was either takeout or order in. Things have really changed in the last few months for all of us.
“But one thing has not changed — the importance of our mothers. The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1912. Mothers were to be recognized as an important part of our culture and lives. The heart of a mother is like a rare jewel. They love their children during the worst and best of times.
“Yet all mothers are not the same. Author and speaker Patsy Clairmont says, ‘Normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer.’ We are all different. She shared that as women we may ‘struggle, fail, start over and celebrate.’ But we are mothers who can love unlike any other person.
“A familiar mother’s day poem written in the early 1900s is:
M is for the many things she gave me,
O means only that she’s growing old.
T is for the tears she shed to save me,
H is for her heart of purest gold.
E is for her eyes with love light shining,
R means right, and right she’ll always be.
“God created families and gave mothers a unique place in that unit. We can love, give of ourselves, cook, clean, wash clothes, put Band-Aids on scrapes, be the first one up in the morning or the last one down at night. We juggle a lot of things including raising children, working at jobs, managing a home and sometimes finding time for ourselves.
“Each day is a new beginning of what lies before us. We have destiny, purpose and the power to do and be all that we are called to be. Nothing can stop us except ourselves. As mothers, we need to find the strength to face each day knowing that God loves us.
“This scripture seems to be written just for mothers: ‘Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.’ — Philippians 2:1-4 NIV.”
My devotional, “Bigger Than Your Fears,” is by Anne Graham Lotz, from “Fixing My Eyes On Jesus.”
“A righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear.” — Psalm 112:6-8.
“Who of us hasn’t spent nights tossing and turning? Nights when we look at the clock and it barely moves? We lie there mulling over situations and issues, most of which we can do nothing about — but fearful of the outcome.
“In John 14:1, Jesus says, ‘Trust in God; trust also in Me.’
“The answer to fear…is faith. When I’m fearful for a loved one or for something that’s coming up in my life, I’m comforted and calmed as I meditate on who God is. It helps me plant my faith in someone bigger than my fears.
“The next time fear overwhelms you, think about who God is. Look for a scripture verse that underscores God’s characteristics. Then consider your situation in light of who He is.
“Trust God. He will never fail you, leave you, or forsake you. You can count on Him!”
Hope for today: As bad as our suffering and fears may seem, there is always hope. We just have to ask God to comfort us. He is always there waiting for us.
Lawrence Edwards and I, teachers of the Median Sunday school class, ask that you continue your Bible study in, “Dealing With Messy Relationships.” This is the third installment in a six-session lesson, “Forgive.” This week’s installment is “Forgiveness restores and strengthens relationships,” with scripture from Matthew 18: 21-28, 32-33.
“Sometimes we’re better off paying a higher price for something. A lot of things come at a high price, but they’re worth it. I’d put forgiveness in that ‘high-price’ category. But even though it can be costly, forgiveness is a great investment in any relationship.
“Even in the best of relationships, we will hurt or disappoint each other. Forgiving a misunderstanding or unintentional mistake is usually easier than when the person ‘knows better’ and does something offensive or hurtful anyway. We may also struggle to forgive a blunder committed over and again. Finally, at times we may be hesitant to forgive because by doing so, we feel like we’re saying what someone did was OK.
“Forgiveness is the stuff of healthy marriages, families and churches. Relationships grow when we let go of a hurt, a wound, or a critical remark.
“In these verses, we see Jesus did not differentiate between circumstances or allow for exceptions. In Jesus’ story of the unforgiving servant, allow the Word of God to run through you, removing any remnants of unforgiveness. Just as He forgave us, He expects us to forgive others.”
• Susan and Lawrence Edwards continue to work at the crossroads.
• Jamie and Chad Horner are doing a lot of yard work at their home. They are putting in flower beds, a koi pond and deck and are completing numerous other projects. They invited their Uncle Bobby, Uncle Chester, Jonathan, mom Dianne and others to help. Fun time.
• Lynn Griffin and her family spent Mother’s Day with her mom.
• So many of us moms received calls or visits from our children. Great Mother’s Day.
• Jerry Hobgood spent his birthday with Melba getting dinner and celebrating at home.
• Don’t forget, just because we are not able to do our celebrations or normal habits now because of the virus, we do not have to cancel these events. Just postpone them. Have a bigger and better event later. Look forward to that.
• North Carolina’s economic reopening is now in the first phase. Some things are starting to open up. Just be mindful and be careful.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Jean Bunn and Beth Baines.
• Ann Browder’s sister and my dad are both in nursing homes. They have just learned these nursing homes now have coronavirus cases. Ann and I are asking for special prayers for our loved ones.
• Please keep all front-line heroes in your prayers.
• Please don’t forget the people in the nursing homes in your area. So many are suffering with COVID-19.
• Birthday blessings to Sandra Breedlove (May 19) and Ann Browder.
If you have news, please call or email me. I can’t print it if I don’t know. I do prefer an email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone number is 252-478-2846. You may leave a message.
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.