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Summary: The sixth sermon of a seven part series, ‘Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks to Faith.’ (Mother’s Day 2008)

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(Slide 1) Last Sunday during the bridal shower that was held here after worship, I thought that it would be a very helpful thing to have several married men take the groom-to-be out to lunch and share with him some important advice we had learned from our marital experiences.

So we did… four married men and the eight children to which they belonged and this groom-to-be. We went to McDonald’s and surrounded the groom-to-be with our eight children, ages of almost 5 to 15. 4 boys and 4 girls.

Now between the four of us we have been married a total of approximately 62 years. That is average of 15.5 years. Because of such longevity, we felt that we had the right and the duty to share with him some important things about marriage life with the expressed hope of helping him early in life… not to experience the ‘dog house’ situation that many young married men seem to frequently experience.

And being men, we distilled it into some very brief and succinct points. Here they are: (Slide 1a)

‘Yes, dear…’

‘I’m sorry dear…’

‘I should have known (dear)…’

Today is Mother’s Day and it is an important day. Over the eight years I have been here, I have spoken of the history of Mother’s Day, done a couple of ‘Top Ten’ Mother’s Day lists, and told some good Mother’s Day stories. But this morning, I am sharing a brief video clip, worth the money paid for it, that really says it all about Motherhood and being a wife. To set the stage for this clip, all that I am saying is, let’s visit Rob and Laura Petrie as Rob finishes fixing the toaster:

(Slide 2) Sermon spice video clip, ‘She’s Right!’

Today is the sixth sermon of a seven part series, ‘Stepping Stones and Stumbling Blocks to Faith.’ It is also Mother’s Day and… Pentecost Sunday, the day that we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the opening chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. Today, we are focusing on the first two elements and next week I will conclude this series and remind us of the purpose and place of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

(Slide 3)

Our main text for this morning is Galatians 6:9, ‘So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.’

Being a mother is a very important and challenging role. It is exciting and joyful. There is great reward in watching your children grow up and succeed in different ways.

Being a mother is also, at times, a difficult and even, painful role. There are moments of anxiety and even grief when decisions made by our kids bother us.

This is why our main text for this morning is so important. No matter what the outcomes of our children’s own choices are, we must not ‘get tired of doing what is good.’ We need to be diligent; we need to persevere because there comes a time when a ‘harvest of blessing’ comes our way.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in life is discouragement especially when it comes to parenting. It sometimes seems that discouragement is always lurking around the corner ready and able to trip us up because the pressures and forces against us as parents are powerful and overwhelming at times.

But we must not give up, we must not get discouraged and quit! Why? Because God is just around the corner as well and He is also beside us and in front of us and behind us as we encounter the often overwhelming challenges of both parenthood and adulthood.

In my study and reading for this series I have read some very helpful things regarding the stumbling blocks and stepping stones to faith that have been shared. They have given me both food for thought as I prepare each week and also for my own personal reflection and review.

One of the most insightful and important things that I read is in regard to this stumbling block that discouragement is tied to – sloth. Now sloth is a word that we don’t often here these days. The word that we often hear these days instead of sloth is ‘lazy.’

But I suggest this morning that there is another word that goes deeper to the heart of this stumbling block than ‘lazy.’ One writer, Donald Capps, uses the word, ‘apathy’ instead of sloth or laziness.

Think with me for a moment about this. (Slide 4)

(Slide 4a)

When get discouraged…

we often give up…

We come to the place where our efforts seem futile and unproductive. No matter how hard we try, we encounter barriers that really make things difficult if not impossible. So we give up.

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