Mothers and Grandmothers

May 6, 2011

"I am grateful to God when I remember you..... I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you." Selected from 2 Timothy 3 - 7 Words to the young man getting ready for a life in ministry always remind me of the influence of my grandmothers and my mother. Mother's Day might have become a greeting card - candy - flower opportunity ( we certainly have a propensity for turning most things into commercial enterprise) however, setting a time to reflect on those persons who most influenced us, especially in the ways of the faith, is a good exercise. My grandmothers were strong women of faith. Grandmother Stroud was one of those women talked about in Methodist history who were the strength and power of teaching ministry and formation of disciples in the church. She was a formidable woman whose goodness was lived out in the classrooms of the church basement, and the community she served as a mission field. Grandmother Aggie was a church executive directing women's ministry across 2 states. Seeing a woman in the pulpit was not unusual for me; Aggie was there often. She is the one who brought missionaries from all over the world into our home. I grew up with a broad understanding of the church and its influence in the world. But it was Mother who taught me to pray. There was not a time when I ever left the house that she did not say, "I am praying for you." Her constant prayer gave witness to great trust in God and a great ability to persevere the trials of her life. This Mother's Day, I give thanks for their lives and their witnesses of love of God and love of neighbor. I pray that I have not been so caught up in the work of ministry that my own children and grandchildren have not seen beyond those schedules that have taken me away from them, witness of my love of God and my love of people. I pray that this heritage of faith will continue as part of our family DNA. May God be glorified through all of us. Question for reflection: Who are those people who have most influenced your faith? What is the greatest gift they have given you?

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