Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Remembering Mom

My mother left this world to be with Jesus on March 18, 2013. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I find myself thinking of her and missing her more than I can express. So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m posting some excerpts from a piece I read at Mom’s memorial service in March. This post is much longer than most, please bear with me on that.

Grandma

It’s when I lie down at night that the memories come in like a flood. The earliest memories of Christmas mornings when Mom was more excited to watch us open our gifts than we were. “Don’t open your presents until you wake us up first!” she’d say. She didn’t want to miss the delight on our faces. There are memories of playing hooky from school with Mom’s full approval. We would “make a day of it,” shopping at Kresgees and afterwards eating lunch at the local burger joint. Or, letting us stay home some Tuesdays to spend time with our grandparents when they came to visit. She called it a bad case of Nana and Pampa-itis. Mom, always there, always loving, always sticking up for us, helping with school projects (more than likely last-minute and due the very next day), walking us to our girl scout meetings, wiping away our tears and making us laugh with her goofy sense of humor.

I think the most important thing mom taught me growing up was to be kind to others. She’d tell me, “Just think how you would feel if someone treated you that way.” She had a way of tenderizing our hearts and eliciting compassion for the plight of those less fortunate. Mom was our biggest fan and most loyal cheerleader. She encouraged us to do our best, to be thankful, to respect people and to love our family. I cannot think of one single moment in my life when I doubted Mom’s love for me. She loved me when I was most unlovable, and even at the height of my knuckleheadedness, Mom’s love was unconditional.

As an adult I continued to learn from Mom and came into a fuller realization of the sacrifices she made for her loved ones. She was an example in homemaking, in loving her husband and in putting others first. Mom somehow mastered the art of influencing us without being overbearing, the balance of sharing her life-experience without actually giving advice, and the feat of being involved in our lives without intruding. She welcomed our spouses into her heart fully and without wavering–no in-laws here! And, she was the quintessential grandma to her grandchildren. She told me once, “Terrie, you won’t believe it now, but you will love your grandchildren as much as you do your own kids.” (She was right, by the way.)

Graciously, God gave us many wonderful years with our Mother. Over the months before she died, Mom fought the fight of her life. She was so courageous, and true to who she was, I suspect that her bravado was more for her husband and family’s sake than for her own. But, I think it’s important to note that cancer had no victory over my mother. Her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. She is absent from her body, but present with her Lord. Although her battle with disease was more than formidable, I am certain she see’s it now as a momentary and light affliction, nothing in comparison to the eternal weight of glory she is experiencing in heaven.

You see, Mom was loved by her husband, her kids, her grandkids, her family and her friends. But most importantly, she was beloved of God for the sake of His Son. My siblings and I had the privilege and honor of escorting our Mother into the waiting arms of Jesus. She left this world knowing she was loved and passed from death into life eternal.

It comforts me to know this is true. She is done fighting, done worrying, finished with carrying the pain and struggle of sickness. But how can this be? My mom is in Heaven at this very moment, enjoying what will be the grandest adventure above and beyond anything she could ever ask or imagine, not because she earned it, but because she was a sinner who needed a Savior (just like we all do) and cried out to Jesus for forgiveness of her sins. God graciously answered her prayer because whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. For it is by grace through faith Mom was granted so great a salvation, this was not her own doing nor by her own merit, but a gift from God. What good news this is! So think right now of the brightest and best enjoyment or the purest and lightest joy you can experience here on earth. Now, multiply that by an infinity of numbers and enlarge it by untold universes and you may get an idea of what Mom is basking in at this very moment and for an eternity of moments!

It’s been said that the degree to which you love someone is proportionate to the depth of grief you will experience when they are gone. And so we grieve. But not as those who are without hope! Very often I find myself speaking of Mom in the present tense, as if she were still alive. But, I do not correct myself because Mom is presently living in the glorious truth of God’s promises–all yes and amen in Christ Jesus! And she is with us here in a million different memories and a host of lasting joys; these a balm for our grief and a good and perfect gift coming down from the Father of Lights. It’s just like Mom to pass on to Glory before me. It will make it easier when my time comes because I know she’ll be waiting on the other side.

Where, oh death is your victory, and where, oh death is your sting?

By His Grace and for the Gospel,
Terrie van Baarsel


A Story Women Should Love

Sermon Notes – Pastor Milton Vincent
May 13, 2012 Mother’s Day – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

(Note from Terrie: I’m a little late with this, but it was such a good message that I wanted to post it anyway. What a blessed Mother’s Day Sermon! It’s good to re-think about it.)

Luke 10:38-42 (Martha and Mary)

This section is the story of a woman who:
-wants Jesus in her home.
-is truly seeking to serve Jesus.
-feels worried and bothered about many things.
-begins to feel alone in her concerns and labor.
-wishes she had help.
-becomes critical of others.
-brings her concerns to Jesus.

“Whatever else our Lord Jesus did, He immeasurably exalted womanhood.”
-George Morrison

"Christ in the House of Martha and Mary&q...

“Christ in the House of Martha and Mary” by Jan Vermeer, 1655. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture during this time, women had no rights. Jesus ushered in a new age where women are given new freedoms and rights. It is a turning point in the history of women.

SEVEN WAYS THAT JESUS EXALTS WOMEN IN THE STORY OF MARTHA AND MARY

1. He accepts the invitation of a woman into her home. (v. 38)
-No rabbi would have done this.
-The invitation is an act of kindness originating in the heart of a woman toward Jesus and He warmly accepts it.

2. He allows a woman to sit at His feet as a disciple. (v.39)
-Mary assumed her place as a disciple. (It’s possible that the other men disciples could have been there, also.)
-Mary was also part of the preparations to receive Jesus, but at some point sat at Jesus’ feet.
-We misread it if we think that all Mary did was sit. In v. 40 Martha says, “My sister has left me…”, implies Mary had done her part.
-Jesus does not rebuke Mary but receives her as a disciple.
-Words from the Jerusalem Talmud: “Let the words of the law be burned rather than taught to women.” Sotah 3:4

3. He gives a woman freedom to bring her complaint to Him. (v. 40)
-Avoid either mistake: 1. thinking that Mary did no work. 2. Thinking that Martha was not listening at all to Jesus.
-Martha was probably expecting Jesus to intervene.
-She becomes upset, rebuking not only Martha but Jesus too!
-But, she does bring her complaint to Jesus just as all of us should do.
-She felt comfortable doing so. We can feel safe pouring out our hearts and emotions to Jesus.

4. He looks into the heart of a woman and tells her what He sees. (v. 41)
-Jesus is showing us that the heart of a woman is important and worth His notice.
-He actually cares about our hearts.

5. He seeks to lighten the woman’s burden to only what was necessary. (v. 42)
-There are different ways of understanding what Jesus is saying here, but at the very least he is saying: You’re preparing an elaborate feast for me – but really only one simple meal is needed.
-Jesus acknowledges her service, but is telling her that he’d rather have Martha with Him than an elaborately prepared dish.

6. He tells women that the best way to serve Him is to commune with Him and let Him feed them. (v. 42)
Jesus is saying that He did not come to be served, but to serve.
-Jesus turns everything upside down!
-Jesus is the best food and the best drink.
-Jesus is not just interested in exacting service from you, but He wants to serve you. He wants relationship with Him to be your portion.

7. He promises women that the blessings of sitting at His feet will never be taken away from them. (v. 42)
-Women in the 1st century must have shouted “Hallelujah!” at this.
-He is giving women a place at the table.
-He is saying that women can be His disciples.
-This story is more than Mary vs. Martha. It is an opportunity for Jesus to express what He wants to do for all women.
-He is saying that the privilege of being a disciple of Jesus can never be taken away fom women.
-He is saying that He will be blessed by your service to Him, but to not let it distract fom relationship with Him.
-Ask Jesus how to serve Him best!
-The greatest service to Jesus is to sit at His feet and let Him serve and feed you.


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