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Mama's Bible

Mother’s Day 2020. Praise the Lord for all the good mothers who have brought love and common sense into the family.

My mother, Paula, was one of those special moms whose guidance still speaks into my life today. I still miss her hugs, singing, and dramatic story-times. Her look of approval would make my heart leap. But, her glance of dissatisfaction, would melt my core.

As the wife of a minister, Mom had many Bibles. Somehow, I acquired one of her Bibles and would preach from it on Mother’s Day. Inside of Mama’s Bible, is a treasure-trove of her handwritten notes, markings, and comments. Mom used a red pencil to mark specific scriptures that spoke to her.

Occasionally, the red line was bolder as in Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord: that is My name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Yes, even today, the emphasis Mom placed on that verse rattles my core.

Other times, the red line was lighter and emphasized a word that was cheerful or inspiring as in Hebrews 4:9, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Even today, that makes my heart leap.

As precious as her markings were, I still love to read her comments. In the front of her Bible Mom wrote, “Love nourishes but does not possess. In love we affirm one another but do not dominate. To love is not to win or lose, but to help and be helped.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning could not have penned it more beautifully.

But the best part was between the Old and New Testaments under, “Family Record.” Mom wrote, “Sunday, July 31, 1932, Mother and Paula were baptized in a creek in water, in Westhoff, Texas, along with 7 other church members by Bro. Gritzmacher, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

Knowing that Mom was baptized in water, by immersion, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Ghost, teaches doctrine, church polity, and theology in action. Pastor Gritzmacher knew the Word, and this young teenage girl received it with full commitment. And that commitment flowed to me and onto several generations after me.

And just look at the details! While some people would have just said that they got baptized, Mom filled in all the blanks. And these details remind me that Mom never did anything half-way. She was 100% or she was not there.

Mama’s Bible provides critical guidance for living as a forthright Christian. Love Jesus. Your decisions matter. Be committed 100%. Pay attention. Remember the details. Pass on your beliefs in a manner that is understandable and absolute. Thanks Mom!

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