Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Themes: Bread of Life, Mother's Day
Volume 7 No. 415 May 12, 2017
III. Featured Articles: Mother's Day

A Mother's Ambition!

by Dr. Harold L. White

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-23

Ten men and one woman are hanging onto a rope that extends down from a helicopter.
The weight of eleven people is too much for the rope, so the group declares that one person has to jump off.
No one can make the choice of who should go until finally the woman volunteers.

She gives a very moving speech, saying that she is a mother and will sacrifice her life to save the others. Mothers are used to giving up things for their husbands and their children. When she finishes speaking, all the men start clapping.

Mothers are used to giving up things for their husbands and their children.
Mothers also have ambitions for her children.

Salome had ambitions for her children.
She was Jesus' aunt.
Salome and Jesus' mother, Mary, were sisters.
Two of her sons, James and John were disciples of Jesus, they were Jesus' first cousins,
and became part of the inner circle of the disciples.

Salome came to Jesus and asked: "Grant that these my two sons may sit one at your right hand, and the other on your left, in thy kingdom."

And Jesus answered: "Ye do not know what you ask."

Jesus knew that Salome had a very selfish ambition.

She made the mistake that mothers shouldn't make.
She had a very selfish ambition. Salome wanted her boys to have prominent positions with Jesus.
She wanted them to have positions of power and prominence.
I don't believe that Salome knew her true ambitions.
She was asking that Jesus set aside His will and accept hers.
It was as though that she knew better than Jesus did the needs of the kingdom.
Actually, she was probably using her sons to achieve her own selfish ends.
It's sad to see that kind of ambition.
It is sad when someone tries to gain something for him or herself by using someone else.
It's especially sad when it involves a parent.
Sometimes, parents do not realize their real motives,

Because of the answer of Jesus, I don't believe that Salome knew her true motive.
One of the most tragic illustration of that in the Bible involved another woman named, Salome. She was step-daughter of King Herod.

One night King Herod had party and everybody got drunk.
Salome, danced at that party for the king and his guests.
King Herod was so overwhelmed by her performance that he offered her anything she wanted up to half of his kingdom.
Salome turned to her mother, Herodias, for advice.
This mother was faced with an important decision.

She could have said: "Salome, ask to receive a gracious inheritance"…
or "Ask for the chance to travel to study with the great teachers as that you will be inspired to become all that God wants you to be."

But Herodias had her own evil intentions.
She hated John the Baptist, and so she said to her daughter:
"Salome, ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
She used her daughter for her own evil purposes.

It is tragic when mothers or fathers use their children to live vicariously through them.
That was Salome's problem when she came to Jesus.
She was using her sons for her own purposes.
And Jesus said: "You do not know what you are asking."

Jesus said: " I, Myself, will come to leadership in the Kingdom only through terrible, costly suffering.
Are your sons ready for that? I don't think you know what it is that you are asking. "

An Italian boy had a great ambition to be a singer.
His mother took him to a noted music teacher, but the teacher turned the boy away saying: "Your voice sounds like a heavy wind blowing through loose shutters."

But the boy wouldn't give up his dream.
So his mother said: "If you are willing to work at it, then I will work with you.
If you believe that God will bring the deepest melodies out of a life which is committed to Him and seeks His will and His gift, if you are willing to go at it like that, then I will go with you."

The boy said: "I am."

The boy surrendered himself both to the Lord and to the discipline of study.
The mother did without a lot of things.
She didn't even wear shoes so that she could save money to pay for his instruction.

One night, years later, in November of 1903, that young man stepped onto the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and began to sing.
The next day the newspapers were filled with the news that the "The voice of the century" had been heard.
The boy's name was Enrico Caruso.
He became known simply as "The Great Caruso"-

Enrico Caruso's mother never prayed that he might be given the Metropolitan Opera.
She prayed instead that he would be given a disciplined spirit and a committed life, and out of that discipline and commitment would come whatever God wished to give.
Hers was a rightly directed faith.

Salome, on the other hand, came to Jesus with her selfish demands.
She wanted what she wanted without considering what was really best for her sons.
As my children grew, so did my awareness that I did not know what was best for my children.
But I also knew that God knows, and I continued to pray that God will be done in their lives.

"The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

The most important ambition of every mothers should be for their children to become believers in Jesus. Then, pray that God's will dominate them all the days of their lives.
When they are in God's care and keeping, they will an abundant life here and life forever.

That should be every Mother's ambition.

Motherhood: Still the Most Important Institution

by Grady Scott


Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) first suggested the national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her own mother so dearly. At a memorial service for her mother on May 10, 1908, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation (her mother's favorite flower) to each person who attended. Within the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity, and Mother's Day was observed in a number of large cities in the U.S. On May 9, 1914, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day. He established the day as a time for "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."

While not a spiritual holiday observed by Christians, this is a good day to reflect of motherhood and pay tribute to godly mothers.



A. To be a mother is a holy privilege from God.

1. Look at what Eve said when she gave birth for the first time.
a. Genesis 4:1 - "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD."

2. Becoming a mother is the greatest joy that a person can have in this life.
a. John 16:21 - "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world."

B. Children are a gift from God.

1. Psalms 127:3 - "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

2. God specially designed the woman physically and emotionally to not only conceive and bear a child but to nurture and raise a child as well.


A. The playboy philosophy.

1. This philosophy looks upon women as playthings and objects of lust. Motherhood simply complicates the playboys "fun."

2. Many husbands have become infected with this philosophy, resenting the time that children take away from them. One father once complained to his friends, "We had so much fun until that baby was born." This shows a selfish side.

3. This goes against the spirit and letter of what the Bible says concerning the place of women/mothers in general in society and specifically what it says about the place of mothers in family.
a. Matthew 5:28- "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
b. 1 Peter 3:7- "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

B. The Feminist Movement.

1. Modern feminism looks down upon motherhood as degrading and a trap to keep women "barefoot and pregnant."

2. Everything is done today to foster the notion that fulfillment comes from working outside the home instead of being a mother.

3. The Bible stresses the homemaking responsibility of mothers.
a. Titus 2:4- "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

4. In spite of what some think, the Bible does not prohibit women from working. It does, however, teach that this should be supplementary to her role as a keeper of the home.
a. Proverbs 31:10-24

5. The problem is when huge numbers of mothers enter the workplace full-time to the exclusion of raising children properly. The children lose the nurturing of a mother in the home. They turn to surrogate mothers (grandmothers, aunts, day care workers). This is not a blanket condemnation of all mother who have to work. Mothers, however, net to be careful that they work out of necessity and not out of a desire to have things or have “freedom.” Never be ashamed of the fact that you are mothers.

C. Abortion has caused many women to hate their roles as mothers.

1. The belief that a woman has absolute control over her own body has caused mothers to despise the child in their womb.

2. Many women have bought the satanic lie that the child of their body is not a human life. Add to this the rise of sexual promiscuity and over a million abortions result each year in the United States.

3. The fact is that mankind is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The taking of human life is murder and is deserving of death (Genesis 9:6). God hates those who shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17).

4. Every child deserves to live, even those who are “unwanted.” Give those who cannot have children can adopt.

D. Divorce has eroded the foundations of motherhood.

1. It has forced many mothers, who did not desire to work, to choose between welfare and working outside the home.

2. It has taken a great support for the godly mother, a godly father, out of the home.

3. It has also caused many women to make bad choices, including unwise second marriages and living with boyfrieds, to put food on the table.

4. God still hates divorce!
a. Malachi 2:15-16 "But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16) For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.""

5. The ease of divorce has lulled many women into the Devil’s lie of, “If it doesn’t work out I’ll just divorce him and get another.”
b. Matthew 19:9


A. Godly mothers.

1. Hannah, the mother of Samuel.

a. She promised God that she would dedicate her son completely to Him if God would give her conception.
1. 1 Samuel 1:11- "And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."

b. Mothers should be willing to put God first and seek to dedicate her child to the service of the Lord. The godly mother will not be so much concerned with how much money their children make when they become adults as how faithful they will be to the Lord and what service they will be to Him.

2. Mary, the mother of Jesus.

a. She was thankful to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:41-45).

b. She willingly followed her son all the way to the cross (John 19:25) and afterward to the beginning of the church (Acts 1:14).

3. Lois and Eunice.

a. They show the power of a mother’s influence. Godliness was “passed on” through three generations.

b. Lois was faithful to God, passed on that faith to her daughter Eunice, who influenced her son Timothy to follow God.

1. 2 Timothy 1:5- "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."

2. 1 John 3:18- "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."

c. There can be little doubt that Eunice and, if she were still living, Lois were encouragers of Timothy in his work of preaching the Gospel.

B. Wicked Mothers.

1. Jezebel.

a. She was a wicked idol worshiper (1 Kings 16:31).
b. She lied, cheated, and was hypocritical.
c. She fulfilled the proverb found in Ezekiel 16:44 -"Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter." Her daughter Athaliah turned out just as wicked as her mother.

2. Herodias, the wife of Herod.

a. She was the wife of Herod’s brother and was an adulterer (Matthew 14:3-4).

b. She influenced her daughter Salome to do wickedness. They teamed together to have Herod kill John the Baptist.

c. Matthew 14:6- "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. 7) Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. 8) And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. 9) And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. 10) And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison."


A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world." The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world." While Jesus is the true light of the world, you mother can be the light which will lead your children to Christ.

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott

The Christian Family

by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild

Scripture: Galatians 3:26-29 and Matthew 12:46-50

As long as I can remember the media in North America has been concerned about the family and this past few month's crop of articles has been no exception.

Several times in recent months I have read articles in places like McLeans Magazine and The London Free Press that speak about family.

Some of these articles have deplored the breakdown of the family

- the neglect
- the abuse
- the lack of stability and unity.

Some have spoken about how the structure of the family is changing: how the extended family of children, parents, grandparents and uncles and cousins has long gone and how even the so-called nuclear family of 2 parents and 2 children bravely facing the world is also disappearing.

Most articles have stated that we need to redefine the family, that somehow our understanding of what the family is, or should be, needs to be recast.

Statistics Canada defines the family this way -

A now married couple (with or without never-married sons and/or daughters or either or both spouses), a couple living common law (again with or with never-married sons and/or daughters or either or both spouses), or a lone parent of any marital status, with at least one never-married son or daughter living in the same dwelling.

Of more use, and certainly more understandable, is the Vanier Institute of The Family's definition:

Any combination of two or more persons bound together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth, and/or adoption or placement and who, together assume responsibilities for various combinations of some of the following:

- physical maintenance and care of group members
- addition of new members through procreation or adoption
- socialization of children
- production, consumption and distribution of goods and services
- affective nurturance -- love.

Today we celebrate Mothers Day, a day which the church calls Christian Family Sunday.

Many of us here in this church may be wondering what a Christian family is and whether or not we have one.

It is a normal kind of question - one that is useful to meditate upon occasionally, and if you don't ask yourself this question once in a while, perhaps you ought.

Some of you may feel that the family you belong is a failure,
you may feel guilty about what you have done within your family,
- or angry about what has been done to you or to someone else within your family..

and so concluded that whatever a Christian family is - you don't have one.

I know that many people feel that they are failures in their roles within their families -
- fathers believe that they while they do a lot for their kids they don't do enough with them;
- mothers believe that they haven't been smart enough or strong enough or known enough to care for their children as well they might have,
- sons believe that they haven't honoured their parents as well as they might have,
- daughters that they haven't helped as much as they should have,
- siblings think that they haven't communicated as well as they could have.

Whatever the family is, whatever our family is, it arouses great emotions within us, and sad to say, for some guilt and anger are as common within them when they think of their family as is joy and gladness.

Today I want to say this about family -
I want to say to you that a family - a Christian family - a good family - is defined by one thing and one thing alone - it is defined by the love of God.

God's love establishes a Christian family, and God's love maintains the Christian family, and as long as you love - as long as you try to care for others as Christ cares for you - you are doing all that God asks of you, all that God wants of you, and this whether or not you are married or divorced, whether you are single or widowed, whether you are young or old whether you have - or don't have children. and whether or not you make mistakes or are as perfect as the man on the moon.

Christ was very concerned about the family He insisted that we not cheat our parents out of the duties we owe them that our offerings to God should never be made at the expense of our care for our mother's and fathers.

The Apostles, speaking in His name, and by the power of His Spirit, tell us that we should not provoke our children or anger our elders,
that we should respect one another, care for one another, submit to one another, even as He submitted his life to God for our sake, even as he served us so that we might know how to serve one another.

Jesus was, and is, concerned for the practical day to day aspects of living as members of a family - as members of the basic biological unit of parent and child..

But Jesus also changed the definition of family He told us that there is only one family that counts, that there is only one family that is eternal and unchangeable, that there is only one family that is satisfying, and that is the family that he came to make us a part of, the family of God.

"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

My mother and father and children live on the West Coast. Charlene's parents and two of three of her children live on the East Coast. Some would say that they are far away - and they are. And at times it hurts. at times it feels lonely.

But we have family here in Springfield/Corinth as well. We have mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters - we even have aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces, and we play together, we work together, we celebrate together, and on occasion, we grieve together.

And what unites us and makes us part of all these families, our families in the East and the West - from who we received, and to whom we gave life, and our families right here - from whom also we receive life and to whom we also give life, is the love of God, and the love that is God's, the love that is felt and shown for one another.

And as long as someone, somewhere, maintains that love, our family exists, and our family is very good.

As long as one member of the family loves another, my family has not failed, nor will it ever fail,

- no matter what manner of evil that may have befallen it,
- no matter what trials and tribulations may yet beset it.

A Christian family, A Holy Family, exists wherever a love like Christ's is shown. this - no matter the state of your household or the history that you bear.

If it were not so - we would be alone.

But we are not alone!

The goodness that we associate with our family at its finest
moments during our childhood, the joy that we have experienced,
the communion that we have felt, is still with us, because God
does not permit anything good to be lost.

And new joy, new communion, keeps on coming,
it is always within our grasp
it is just a loving act away.

It comes when someone shows love to me.
It comes when I show love to someone.

That is my experience.

God gives us each other as family. He calls us together and says
to us - this is your brother, this is your sister,
this is your mother - this is your father.
As you love them, so you love me,
As you love me, so you love them.

To be in a Christian family, and to live as a member of a Christian family ought to live, is so much more than what can be defined by Statistics Canada or even the Vanier Institute, it is so much more than who we are living with, or who we used to live with.

It includes these folk most surely,
but if the state of joy and peace and even the state of
frustration and anger that I experience with these folk are anything to go on,
if the moments of pain and the incredible occasions of
rapture that I experience with them tell me anything, they
tell me that everyone around me is my family.

And this is what the bible tells me as well.

We are together the children of God
We are together the family that God has made
and when we love others and in that love nurture others and
forgive others,
when we respect and honour others and help them with their
when we walk humbly with others and worship with
others as Christ did all these things
we have everything that a person can have.

Jew or Gentile,
slave or free,
male or female,
we are one in Christ Jesus
we are the family of God.

Embrace your family,
love your family,
and God will take care of all the rest.

Thanks be to God. Amen


Our heart-felt prayer today, O God, is but this,
bless our family, and help us be a blessing to it...
Touch all those who are mothers to us - or to others....
Anoint with your healing goodness our brothers and our sisters,
Smile upon our children and help them to grow....... Lord hear our prayer......

We thank you God for our family. We thank you God for your
family -- for the family you have given us by our birth, for the
family you have bestowed by our rebirth...Lord, hear our prayer...

In the name of our Jesus we pray to you saying - Our Father...

copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks 1997 - 2006

Six Amazing Moms in the Bible

By Anita Renfroe

If you have spent your adult life trying to live up to the mothering standard set in the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs (and I know some women do), you might as well just go ahead and take up permanent residence in the I-can't-quite-measure-up lane. I have a sneaking suspicion that that woman was either a composite sketch of several stellar women, a wishful hope, or a case of one woman mistakenly believing her own press kit.

The intro to that chapter of Proverbs states that these are "the sayings of King Lemuel - an oracle that his mother taught him." Webster defines this sort of oracle as "a person giving wise or authoritative decisions or opinions." I would amend that to say that this was likely a mother hoping none of the girls her son was currently dating would ever measure up to her "oracle." Regardless, we are left with the impression that this sort of mother is the Approved Standard Version - family centered, good business woman, great cook, generous, prepared, discreet, praiseworthy, wise, and beautiful. If she was indeed a real woman - all things to all people and extraordinarily perfect - then I'm just glad we didn't have a chance to meet. She could never have considered me as part of her Potential Friend Pool.

This is precisely why I am so glad that the Bible gives us pictures of other kinds of mothers - the ones who cause us to nod our head to affirm the phrase, "If you can't be a good example then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." I have come up with examples of a few of both types in the following list. There are many other moms in God's Word, but these are a sampling of the good, the bad, and the downright bizarre.


The Original Mother - more specifically, of Cain, Abel, and Seth (and several unnamed others)

I guess if we are to commence in chronological order we would have to begin with Eve, the mother of us all. And she was the woman who made THE monumental, mind-blowing, affects-everybody forever mistake. So she probably deserves the bad rap she gets. But it wasn't like there were any other women around to make it instead of her, right? Maybe she was the first to partake of the fruit just because she was the only one who could remember where it was in the garden (women just know where stuff is). You have to feel a little bit of sympathy for the girl who didn't have a mother to ask about how things were for her back in the day. When the kids had a temperature or were teething she just had to figure it out on her own, but, then again, nobody could look at her and tell her that she was doing it all wrong. And sure, she got us into epidurals, but she had the mother of all heartache, too. Her sons were involved in the first homicide (without Nintendo and violence on TV to blame it on). She was the first mom to have to bury her child.

Mother of Isaac

This is the mom who gives hope to everyone who waited a little late to get started on the Mommy Track. Not that she didn't try; her womb was just on a different biological clock. God made a promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. This led Sarah to the logical conclusion that she would be the mother of many nations. When that wasn't happening in a timely manner, Sarah decided to do her own "thang," so to speak. She gave her handmaiden Hagar as her maternal stunt double. This resulted in a child but not the child. When the messenger of the Lord told Abraham that it really would be Sarah that was going to deliver the promised baby, Sarah overheard, laughed, and promptly got in trouble for it. But if you were her age you would laugh, too, just thinking about how the breast-feeding would be easy now that she could just lay Isaac on her lap to do it. Sarah is a sister who could laugh at her late start with motherhood knowing that good things come to those who wait.

Mother of Jacob and Esau

For every mom who has ever had the temptation to play favorites with her children, pay attention to Rebekah. She didn't just play favorites, she schemed and connived and was an accessory to one of the biggest Daddy Dupes in all of history. It says it plain in Scripture that Isaac loved Esau because he was an outdoors-man but Rebekah loved Jacob. This kind of favoritism does not bode well for a family. When the lines are drawn and it is obvious who is thick with whom, life can get very messy. Rebekah was in collusion with Jacob (even his name meant "trickster") to take the birthright from his older brother. I'm sure she rationalized that it wasn't such a bad thing since the twin boys were only separated by moments, but her hand in helping Jacob trick his father was her way of thumbing her nose at the order of things and a diss to her dying husband. Turns out that this family rift lasted for a long time. Rebekah reminds us that it is a dangerous thing to use maternal power for manipulation.

Mother of Solomon

Bathsheba was well-named as it was her "bath-ing" that attracted the attention of King David. Their illicit affair resulted in the birth of a son. David tried for some damage control by sending her husband out to war, back to the house hoping for a copulating cover-up, and then out to the frontlines to get killed. (And we think we have seriously evil plots in ourcurrent movies.) David got his wish - Bathsheba's husband was killed in battle, and David thought he had gotten away with it. Nathan confronted him and David repented bitterly. But we never really hear how it all affected Bathsheba. Their sin is well documented and the effects to David's household long-lasting. However, a son was born from their union and Solomon turned out to be a peaceable ruler whose wisdom was legendary. Bathsheba's motherhood gives women hope that, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy and the birth of your child, God can redeem any situation. You never know, you might just have the wisest person ever on the planet staring back at you from that high chair.

Mother of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam

If there was ever a mom whose life would have made a great screenplay for a Lifetime for Women movie it would be Jochebed. You just have to give it up for her and the midwives who, in their act of civil disobedience, allowed Moses to be born. Those midwives, when asked by the pharaoh why they were not killing the boy babies as commanded, replied that the Hebrew women were "too vigorous" and popped those babies out before they could get there! Thus baby Moses was born but had to be sent down the river (literally) with his sister serving as lookout, only to be pulled out of the water by the pharaoh's daughter, who secured the services of Moses' biological mom to nanny him. Talk about movie script material! Oh wait. They've already done that. Anyway, Moses' mom shows us that the determination and ingenuity of a desperate mother can result in surprising circumstances. Oh, the places you'll go!

Mother of Jesus

Talk about your Personal EPT . . . I mean Mary's was early, EARLY! And accurate, too. Angelic visitation definitely qualifies as a sure thing. But the favored girl had to have some concerns because unwed pregnancy was a little different back then. You could get stoned for it. I'm sure she was very relieved to find out that the angel had given her beau, Joseph, the same message. And yes, she was going to give birth to the divine Gift of heaven, but, as any mother knows, all gifts come with some work attached. She still had to change the Baby Jesus' diapers, soothe him as he teethed, teach him to walk, and clean up his skinned knees. She had to cook the meals and wash his clothes and do all the things that moms do for their children. It's interesting the places we see Mary pop up in the gospels - for example, at the temple sending out an APB for her boy. (I believe I might have grounded Jesus if he told me that he was just doing his father's business, but no such reaction from Mary is recorded.) Another of my favorite mother moments of Mary's was when she was at the wedding feast apparently exasperated with her thirty-year-old son for not doing that "thing" he could do with the water. When Jesus seems to refuse to come through the way she knows he can, she goes around him and tells the servants to get ready to do something for him. And Jesus does the miracle. I would have loved to have been there to see the looks pass between mother and son that night. And then we see Mary at the crucifixion. Disciples may scatter, followers may be in hiding, but a mother stays when the rest of the world walks away. In fact, Mary is a rich tapestry of real motherhood: a lot of excitement followed by years of work and moments of intense pain. But through it all, mothers are there.

These moms in the Bible reveal to us that mother-love is fierce and stubborn to a fault - even wrong-headed sometimes. We do right things for wrong reasons and wrong things because we think everyone needs our help. When you look at the moms in the Bible say a silent prayer of thanks that these women are included along side the Oracle of Lemuel in Proverbs 31 to bring snapshots of reality and spiritual caution cones to our journey.

Excerpted from 'If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother' by Anita Renfroe, Copyright 2006. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Described as a "shot of espresso in a decaf world," Anita Renfroe is a highly original, spontaneous, and unashamedly real comedian, musician, and author. She unleashes her distinctive brand of musical comedy to packed-out churches and clubs across the United States.

Being a Mother!
Somebody said a mother is an unskilled laborer . . .
Somebody never gave a squirmy infant a bath.

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby...
Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother "normal" is now history.

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back . . .
Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother's job consists of wiping noses and changing diapers. . .
Somebody doesn't know that a child is much more than the shell he lives in.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct . . .
Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring . . .
Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said teachers, psychologists and pediatricians know more about children than their mothers . . .
Somebody hasn't invested her heart in another human being.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good" . . .
That somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said being a mother is what you do in your spare time . . .
Somebody doesn't know that when you're a mother,you're a mother ALL the time.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices . . .
Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child wind up and hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother . . .
Somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.

Somebody said you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first . . .
Somebody doesn't have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books . . .
Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery . . .
Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten or on a plane headed for military "boot camp.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married . . .
Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home . . .
Somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said being a mother is a side dish on the plate of life . . .
Somebody doesn't know what fills you up.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her . . .
Somebody isn't a mother.

Moms: Let's Make This Pledge

by Lysa TerKeurst

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
- Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

I really want to be a great mom. I want to raise kids who love the Lord, are respectful, kind, and smart, and all the other things we want for our kids.

So, I pray. I read parenting books. I teach manners, kiss the skinned knees, and help the teen process her first broken heart. I plan the family dinners, the date nights, and the vacations. I keep track of who needs what and when. I set the appointments and the discipline parameters and the alarm clock so we can get up and do it all again tomorrow.

And through every minute, I am hyper aware of my frailties and faults.

My heart wants to be incredibly patient and organized and excited about reading books out loud.

But then I get tired. And overextended. And suddenly my day finds me getting snappy, losing track of all those papers sent home from school, and skipping pages to hurry to the end of the book that started off with such promise.

There is a gap between my desires and my reality.

I bet this is true for many moms, so we should all understand those hard places, right? But somewhere in the day-to-day, we can forget how important it is to support each other as moms and sisters in Christ. We can forget the need to foster a sense of community. And as soon as we forget these things, it's much easier for thoughts of judgment to creep in.

In those moments, it's crucial to remember that being a source of encouragement for others is biblical. Our key verse, Hebrews 3:13 tells us to "encourage one another daily" so that we aren't "hardened by sin's deceitfulness" which causes us to judge.

So, I was just wondering if we might all make a little pact together today. To build each other up. To not judge one another. Ever. Even when we parent differently. Even when my kids act like I never taught them manners.

Might you give me the benefit of the doubt? Just assume it's a bad moment, but this isn't an indication of all our moments.

And then I'll give you the benefit of the doubt when your child messes up.

Or I hear you snap in Target and make threats to your kids that betray every good intention you had that morning. When you prayed. And read the parenting books. And taught manners, kissed skinned knees, planned the dinner, and all the other zillions of things you did so well.

Instead of judging you, I will love you.

And maybe you can love me too.

Yes, I think we moms should pledge to encourage one another each day. And never judge one another. We're all desperately trying to do this mothering thing right.

Dear Lord, forgive me for not extending grace at times to others. I am a woman who desperately needs it, so I should be a woman who freely offers it. Help me to build others up and to love them as You love us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Reflect and Respond:

Think of a mom you know who really needs encouragement and support in this season of her life. Make a list of three things you could do or say over the next few weeks that would communicate intentionality and love toward her.

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (NIV)

1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (NIV)

© 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Source: Encouragement for Today

Malankara World Journal Issues with the Theme: Mother's Day


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