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Warren Lamb
 
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Remarks by President Bush
At Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Day Commemoration
Arlington National Cemetery
May 31, 2004

This morning I had the honor of placing a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknowns. This custom is observed every Memorial Day on behalf of the American people as a mark of gratitude and respect.

And when this ceremony is concluded, and all of us have gone on our way, the Honor Guard will keep watch over the Tomb. Every hour of every day, on the coldest nights, in the hardest rain, there is a sentinel of the 3rd U.S. Infantry standing guard. The soldiers entrusted with that duty count it a privilege. And, today, as we reflect on the men and women who have died in the defense of America, all of us count it a privilege to be citizens of the country they served.

In the military tradition, no one is left behind on the field of battle. And our nation is determined to account for all of the missing. The same spirit can be seen in the respect we show to each life laid down for this nation. We receive them in sorrow, and we take them to an honored place to rest. At this and other cemeteries across our country, and in cemeteries abroad where heroes fell, America acknowledges a debt that is beyond our power to repay.

This weekend, we dedicated the World War II Memorial, which will stand forever as a tribute to the generation that fought that war and the more than 400,000 Americans who fell. Some here today can turn their minds back across 60 years and see the face of a buddy who never made it home. You are veterans who have not forgotten your comrades. And America will always honor the achievements and the character of your brave generation.

Through our history, America has gone to war reluctantly, because we have known the costs of war. And the war on terror we’re fighting today has brought great costs of its own. Since the hour this nation was attacked, we have seen the character of the men and women who wear our country’s uniform. In places like Kabul and Kandahar, in Mosul and Baghdad, we have seen their decency and their brave spirit. Because of their fierce courage, America is safer, two terror regimes are gone forever, and more than 50 million souls now live in freedom.

Those who have fought these battles and served this cause can be proud of all they have achieved. And these veterans of battle will carry with them for all their days the memory of the ones who did not live to be called veterans. They will remember young soldiers like Captain Joshua Byers, a West Point man born in South Carolina who died in Iraq. When this son of missionaries was given command of a 120-man combat unit, he wrote this to his parents: "I will give the men everything I have to give. I love them already, just because they’re mine. I
pray, with all my heart, that I will be able to take every single one of them home safe when we finish our mission here."

Sergeant Major Michael Stack, who was laid to rest at Arlington, wore the uniform for 28 years and is remembered as a soldier’s soldier. The sergeant major must have been quite a guy. When he was a young platoon sergeant, the recruits gave him a nickname: No Slack Billy Jack Stack. By all accounts, he was the kind of man you want in charge of a tough situation. And by the account of his mother, he finished his goodbyes with these words:
"Mom, I’m going because I believe in what I am doing. And if I don’t come back, we will meet in a better place."

Those who risked their lives on our behalf are often very clear about what matters most in their own lives, and they tell it to those they love. Master Sergeant Kelly Hornbeck, of the Special Forces, was killed in action last January, south of Samarra. To his parents back in Fort Worth, Texas, he wrote this: "I am not afraid, and neither should either of you be -- For I trust in my God and my training, two powerful forces that cannot be fully measured."

After Private First Class Jesse Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was lost last May, his family received a letter he had written to them in the event of his death. He wrote this to his son, Dakota: "You’ve taught me that life isn’t so serious, and sometimes you just have to play. You have a big, beautiful heart. Through your life, you need to keep it open and follow it. I will always be there in our park when you dream, so we can play." To his wife, Melissa, Private Givens wrote, "Do me a favor after you tuck the children in -- give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside and look at the stars and count them. Don’t forget to smile." This is the quality of the people in our uniform.

And this is the loss to our nation. Markers on these hills record the names of more than 280,000 men and women. Each was once or still is the most important person in someone’s life. With each loss in war, the world changed forever for the family and friends left behind. Each loss left others to go on, counting the years of separation, and living in the hope of reunion.

Although the burden of grief can become easier to bear, always there is the memory of another time, and the feeling of sadness over an unfinished life. Yet, the completeness of a life is not measured in length only. It is measured in the deeds and commitments that give a life its purpose. And the commitment of these lives was clear to all: They defended our nation, they liberated the oppressed, they served the cause of peace. And all Americans who have known the loss and sadness of war, whether recently or long ago, can know this: The person they love and missed is honored and remembered by the United States of America.

May God bless our country.

 
Contributed By:
Michael McCartney
 
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Tags: Parenting (add tag)
 
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One Neat Dad from a Treasury of Bible Illustrations:
Did you ever notice in the TV family The Walton’s how the father was always available; or in Little House on The Prairie, how Laura’s dad was always there for the tight squeezes? Contrast these situations with the modern dad who is gone from morning to night. Things have certainly changed since the 1930s and the earlier house on the prairie days, maybe too much. Years ago, Dr. Charlie Shedd held a contest called “One Neat Dad.” He asked contestants to send in letters recommending their dad for this great honor. Here’s a list of the ten most appreciated qualities for “One Neat Dad.”
1. He takes time for me.
2. He listens to me.
3. He plays with me.
4. He invites me to go places with him.
5. He lets me help him.
6. He treats my mother well.
7. He lets me say what I think.
8. He is nice to my friends.
9. He only punishes me when I deserve it.
10. He is not afraid to admit when he is wrong.
Qualities one to five are versions of the single word, “time!” Spell it—listen, spell it—play, spell it—help me, spell it—jump in the pickup … it all comes out in the same four letters, T-I-M-E. Time was the most appreciated trait of “One Neat Dad”!

 
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SermonCentral Staff
 
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Tags: Culture (add tag)
 
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WHAT IS CULTURE?

What is culture? It is the ways of thinking, living, and behaving that define a people and underlie its achievements. It is a nation’s collective mind, its sense of right and wrong, the way it perceives reality, and its definition of self. Culture is the morals and habits a mother strives to instill in her children. It is the obligations we acknowledge toward our neighbors, our community, and our government. It is the worker’s dedication to craftsmanship and the owner’s acceptance of the responsibilities of stewardship. It is the standards we set and enforce for ourselves and for others: our definitions of duty, honor, and character. It is our collective conscience.

Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Winning the New Civil War, p. 169.

 
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HONORING OUR FATHERS

I believe there is something in us--a law written on our hearts--that says, "Honor your father and mother." That’s how it’s stated in the Bible, but you’ll find it in all of the world’s religions. The ancient Chinese Analects advise, "surely proper behaviour to parent and elder brothers is the [tree] trunk of goodness."
We must consciously attempt, first of all, to find the good in our fathers, no matter how badly they seemed to have fathered us. To put a spin on Marc Antony’s cry: "We have not come to bury our fathers under the dirt of our accusations; we’ve come to praise them for what we have discovered in them, and for what they have given us." What our fathers did right is every bit as important as what they did wrong.
If, as C.S. Lewis wrote, "fatherhood must be at the core of the universe," then disrespect for a father means engaging in ...

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Contributed By:
Timothy Smith
 
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Erma Bombeck writes in one of her books, "When did I become the mother and the mother become the child? Does it begin one night when you are asleep and your mother is restless? And you go in her room and tuck the blanket around her bare arms? Does it appear one afternoon when, in a moment of irritation, you snap, "How can I give you a home permanent if you won’t sit still?" Or did it come the rainy afternoon when you were driving home from the store and you slammed on your brakes, and your arms sprang protectively between her and the windshield... and your eyes met with a knowing, sad look. The transition comes slowly, as it began between her and her mother. The changing of power, the transferring of responsibility, the passing down of duty. Suddenly you are spewing out the familiar phrases learned at the knee of your mother. "Of coarse, you’re sick. Don’t you think I know when you’re not feeling well? "So where’s your sweater? You know how cold the stores get with the A/C." "You look very nice today. Didn’t I tell you’d like that dress?" "Did you take your nap this morning." And on the parents part rebellion.. "I’ll thank you to let me make my own decisions. I know when I’m tired! Stop treating me like some kind of child." But that’s exactly what has happened. Slowly, almost imperceptibly. So you bathe and pat dry the body that once housed you. You spoon feed the lips that once kissed your cuts and bruises and made them "all better." You never really thought it would be like this. Then one day while riding with your daughter, she slams on her brakes and her arm flies out instinctively in front of you. My..... so soon. That’s the love cycle of the family Don’t despise your parents when they are older.. accept, appreciate & affirm them. Honor your Mother and Father.

 
Contributed By:
Eric Vertein
 
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Luther felt that our love for God should be so compelling, that when it comes to the commandment to honor our mothers, even if we didn’t have mothers, we ought to ask God to give us mothers erected out of stone or wood, so we would have an avenue by which to keep this commandment. Yet Luther exclaims “How much more gladly should we be to honor and obey, since God has given us living mothers!” [Luther’s Large Catechism]. Blessing after blessing has come from God through them. May it also be said of us, that we have learned to become blessings to them.

 
Contributed By:
Eric Vertein
 
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Against all those monks, who tried to think of the best ways to serve God, stood this one command: “Honor your father and mother.” Luther said, “Where will these poor wretches hide when in the sight of God and all the world they shall blush with shame before a young child who has lived according to this commandment.” [Luther’s Large Catechism] You could feed hundreds of the poor and give shelter to thousands of homeless, but if you despise your mother, you are despising God. A little child handing her mother a freshly picked dandelion has outdone you.

 
Contributed By:
Bobby Scobey
 
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While we are reviewing the Ten Commandments, let me also give you some “sign language” to remember all ten in order.

1 – Raise your index finger – I am the Lord, your God. You shall have no other gods before me.

2 – Raise your first two fingers – The second looks like the first – but it isn’t. You shall not make an imitation, a carved image; you shall not bow down and worship it.

3 - Three fingers make a “W” – Watch your words. Do not take the name of God in vain.

4 - Four fingers with thumb folded into palm – The thumb is resting beneath the others. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

5 - Five fingers make a salute – Honor your father and mother.

6 - Point your right index finger into your left palm – Do no murder.

7 – Place the first two fingers of your right hand behind the other hand – These two shall not go off hiding behind the others to do sinful things. Do not commit adultery.

8 – Eight fingers in air resemble the bars of a cell – Do ...

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"We must feel toward our people as a father toward his children; yea, the most tender love of a mother must not surpass ours. We must even travail in birth, till Christ be formed in them. They should see that we care for no outward thing, neither liberty, nor honor, nor life, in comparison to their salvation... When the people see that you truly love them, they will hear anything from you...Oh therefore, see that you feel a tender love for your people in your hearts, and let them perceive it in your speech and conduct. Let them see that you spend and are spent for their sakes."
Baxter, Richard

 
Contributed By:
Alan Perkins
 
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The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, "A faithful man who can find?" may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects.
34. Resolved, in narration’s never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day.
39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.
41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord."
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.
64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear’, of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

 
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