Many of you who read this blog knew my mother. Paula Ann Schober Rose was born in Westhoff, Texas, into a strong German family. In her teen years, Paula made a passionate commitment to Christ that intensified throughout her life. After marrying my Dad, they were busy in churchwork while Dad held down a full-time job. But when I was about eight, they decided to launch out into full-time ministry in San Antonio.
My mother grew up as a practicing Catholic. But when she was in her mid-teens, she began to attend a home prayer meeting with her mother. Together, they made a new and lasting commitment to Christ, and everything changed. They were both baptized in water, and then Baptized into the Holy Spirit. Soon, her father and brother all made the same deep commitment.
Mom married my Dad, Raymond, and they both became spiritual leaders in their new full Gospel church. Mom was a glorious singer. She even recorded Christian songs with a ladies quartet. But her best concerts were the ones she sang to my brother and me as we were going to sleep. Sweet dreams.
Mom always knew how to connect with me. When we went shopping in downtown San Antonio, we walked, talked, and laughed a lot. What I thought was fun and games, was really a mother trying to keep in touch with her son. She studied my thinking and interests, and probably figured out what made me tick. But mainly she was not going to let me get lost in life.
Mom’s Catholic upbringing would often be a discussion starter. San Antonio had many historic Catholic missions and churches. One small church was in downtown San Antonio, next to Joske’s department store. Many times, she would take me into the church and explain what was happening during a Mass. She pointed out items in the church like the altars, statues, and prayer candles. It was quite an education for me, and I listened.
But, Mom had an underlying motive in almost everything she did. She seldom did something just because. Often, she wanted to teach me cognitive thinking while considering Biblical truth and spiritual precepts. She would say, “David, keep your mind in gear and think about what you are saying and doing in church.”
She would often point out that many churches teach one thing, but the Bible says something else. In amazing love, respect, and humility she would weave the Gospel story into my heart by using traditional church religious symbols, rituals, and liturgy as living illustrations. Mom taught me to think deeper than just what I saw.
When I became a pastor, the words of my Mother were always there. It became important to me that church people should think on their own. I would admonish the people to keep their mind in gear, and to think about what they were being taught. Don’t just swallow the rhetoric being presented. Study, question, and strongly consider what the Bible really says. Live by faith, but know the Word.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I salute Paula Ann Schober Rose. She bore me, loved and nursed me, and corralled my random nature. By grabbing my earlobes and tugging on my heart, she instilled respect, humility, and Christian character. In amazing love, she challenged me to think on my own and to present myself “approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV)