Posts Tagged mother

International Woman’s Day

Today is International Woman’s Day. As far as I am concerned every day is Woman’s Day. My mother worked long hard hours in a cotton mill and then came home and took care of her family. She and my dad did everything together. In later years she had her own lawn mower. His was gas operated. Hers was electric. My maternal grandmother worked as dis most of my aunts. My sister has worked outside the home from as soon as she could and for as long as she could. She helped raise three wonderful sons. Mt late wife taught kindergarten, art classes, and painted. Carol, my current wife, taught in South Carolina Schools for twenty-eight years.

My daughter, Suzanne, has worked in the hotel industry since late high school. She got her degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and has never looked back. She raised a terrific son. My granddaughter , Christina, teaches in child care after graduating from the College of Charleston. Her other grandmother also had a distinguished teaching career.

As an administrator I had many wonderful female employees who were paid on the same level as their male counterparts. It has been my great joy to work with many brilliant, talented, dedicated, hardworking women.

In religious circles, there are brilliant examples of women who lead the way: Dr. Molly Marshall, Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, and Dr. Linda Bridges to name only a few. My own congregation could not function without Lori Lethco, Emory Hiott, Beverly Bradley, Pat Ezell, Jane Hamrick, Ann Cheek, Susanne Jeter, Linda Lentz, Brandy Brown, Donna Parrish, Debbie Mack, Sue Murner and a host of others.

I have learned the hard way all of the things that my two wives, daughter and sister have done for me that I took for granted. No matter how hard I work, I can never repay their efforts great and small on my behalf. All I can do now is work for and vote for justice for all women everywhere..

*The picture is of my parents taken by my son, Michael.

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Lovely Character – FBC Charleston

This is the fourth in a series of devotionals published by First Baptist Church of Charleston in connection with Say Something Nice Sunday and Effective Communication month.

Scripture Focus:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
— I Corinthians 13:1

As Christians, love should be the defining characteristic of all our communication. It is often said that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Care and love are interchangeable. When my mother came to live with us, she was deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease. She could do absolutely nothing for herself. My wife dedicated herself to mother’s care. It made no difference what her needs were or how late the hour, she received unqualified loving care. She loved mother although as far as we could tell, mother had no clue as to who was taking care of her. Mother never lost her smile. I think that smile spoke volumes about the care she was receiving.

On that terrible morning when I was the one to break the news that mother had gone to join dad around God’s throne, Liz had such a difficult time accepting the reality. Volumes have been written about the strife that many mothers-in-laws have with daughters-in-law, but nothing could be further from the truth in this case. It was love at first sight. Liz often said to me, “Your mother became my mother.” What husband could want more than that? I was blessed beyond measure. When I was writing my book, Speaking in Church Made Simple, I learned that the two of them had the same favorite Bible verse. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable unto thee, my strength and my redeemer.”
Prayer Focus:
Dear God, help me never to forget that love is the great conqueror
in all our relationships. Amen.

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Civility Starts with Us

Civility Starts with Us

What can we do to advance the cause of civility in today’s verbally toxic society? We must realize how powerful words are and how lethal they can be. Remember the admonition of Arthur Caliandro, former pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, “”I can never know just how my words will be received by their intended receiver.” Today we would have to add to that or by someone who hears my words through the media or other sources.

Resolve not to add to the situation by responding with hostile remarks or actions. Don’t encourage explosive words from others or pass them on. Let those words languish where they are. Famed preacher/writer Norman Vincent Peale gave the best advice, “Don’t walk away from negative people. Run.”

Recent racial remarks, acts of vandalism, and threats made against members of congress show just how far we have moved from a civil society. We have moved from attacking each other’s arguments to attempting to destroy each other both literally and figuratively. There is more than enough blame to go around, but assigning blame will not solve the problem. Who is to blame depends on our perspective.

Acting with civility doesn’t mean giving up your ideas or accepting the opinions of others. It means respecting the other person. I love the story about the women playing bridge at Fort Hood. An older lady announced, “I am not going to sit here and listen to you telling lies about Ike.” She has the right approach.

My father told me a wonderful story which has stayed with me about a men’s meeting. The guest speaker looked around the room and said, “I don’t see any ladies present and so I have a great story for you.”At that moment a man stood up and proclaimed, “No. There aren’t any ladies here, but there are some mighty fine gentlemen.”

Taking personal responsibility for what goes on around us is not always easy or without personal risk; however, it is the only way to create an atmosphere that is conducive to productive, respectful dialogue.

Practicing civility is more than not adding to the verbal poison; it also involves being a positive influence. We need to utter a kind word. We can encourage those around us. We can demonstrate that there is a better way to act. Look around you. There is someone close by who needs a cheerful, uplifting word from you. Don’t let the opportunity pass.

My mother never failed to remind me that there is never a cause for rudeness.

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Thankful Thursday – Denise Gwinn

            On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for my niece, Denise Gwinn – “DeNiece.” Denise was married to my late nephew, Danny. Denise is the wonderful woman that helped him turn his life around. She watched over him during his long illness. Most of all she loved him and is the mother of their son, Wesley.  She is a warm-hearted, no-nonsense, and hard-working  person that can always be counted on. She is a committed Christian. Her pastor and church were fantastic during Danny’s illness and his death. I was amazed by their response. Wesley is fortunate to have a mother who is as committed to him as she is although he can’t get away with much.. His welfare is always uppermost in her mind.  Denise is a fun person to be around. She has a great sense of humor. On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for the presence of Denise Gwinn in my life.

            Thankful Thursday is a day set aside to honor someone special to our lives and to let her or him know of our gratitude. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say Something Nice; Be a Lifter. You will be glad that you did.

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