I’ve been sidetracked for few days in a very arduous, but worthy endeavor — burning the candle at both ends for a while. And with this story, I am going to have to give away a few clues to my real-life personal identity But, I knew I was going to have to own up to it one day soon anyway. I’ve been very busy helping to host a 90th birthday celebration for my dear, sweet mother. Yep, and it was a doozy.
Because reaching one’s 90th birthday is such a significant and blessed event, I am going to take you into our grand celebration to experience a little bit of it with our family and friends. I prepared a written review of the celebration and activities, which was circulated as a public service to those who had attended, and for the benefit of those who could not attend. So, come on. Join us, as we commemorate this joyful occasion. I’m only going to give asterisks in place of our names, to protect our identities until the day of the ‘unveiling.’
The Bible asks the searching question, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” (Prov 31:1). Every time I hear that question, I feel like a kid in school, who wants to raise his hand and shout: “Uuh! Uuh! I can. I can. I’ve found one right here, my own dear mother, B***** *****.” Well folks, the verdict is in from many witnesses: “Well *****, we all concur. After much inspection and investigation, we find that B***** ***** is indeed a virtuous woman.” Shucks, even my dear departed Dad, ***** ***** has left for us a witness, which echoes from heaven throughout our times. He once said to my mother, B*****, you’re the best Christian I know.”
On yesterday, Saturday, January 25, 2014 we held a 90th Birthday Celebration for her at the church fellowship hall. The theme for the occasion was “It’s all about the bling !” because my mother is known far and wide for dressing to the hilt, and adorning herself with the finest of sparkling jewelry. The party was well attended by a host of relatives from near and far, and by good friends. It was a joyous occasion. We all had a good time, giving our one big “group hug” to my mother. We also had a great ‘after party’ gathering at my mom’s house that was equally a joyous celebration. The house was filled with a great gathering, and full of joy and laughter. The whole affair was just phenomenal. I have to thank my sister, ***** *****, and my adoptive sister, K**** *****, for planning and coordinating the entire event. Below, to continue to celebrate Mom, and to further commemorate that joyful event, I share the prayer, which I do believe that the Lord himself did inspire for the occasion.
(You know, when my sister asked me well in advance to give the prayer and grace for this occasion, I said, “No problem.” I thought initially that I’d just do like we preachers always do; which is, I’d just step to the podium, breathe in a little Holy Spirit inspiration, and then exhale a fully anointed prayer. But the Lord tapped me on the shoulder early this morning and said, “Son, that just won’t do.” I said, “Why, Lord?” And he said, “Consider the style, the flash, the flamboyance, the glamour, the utter splendor of the one you are celebrating.” Then He said, “Son, this is no time to wing it. This is a time to BLING it!!!”
So, I must confess to you that the prayer that you are about to hear is from a little divine inspiration that has been PRE-RECORDED !”)
Mom’s 90th Birthday Celebration Prayer
O Lord God our Father, and precious Lord Jesus Christ, on you we now call, for you are One who, like David said, “Preserves his saints,” and “lifts up our heads above our enemies all around.” You are the One who is excellent in Majesty, who has robed yourself with light, as with a garment. You are the One, who as my grandfather, H**** *****, used to say, “Sits high and looks low,” and who like Mary said, “puts down the mighty from their seats, and exalts those of low degree.”
Lord, we come today to give thee thanks and praise for the long life of YOUR daughter, and our mother, sister, and friend, B***** *****. Lord, we acknowledge that she is a very great gift from you, and we say “Thank you, Lord.” We thank you for gifting her to us and making her what her very own name implies. You named her ‘B*****,’ which means a “Sojourner through life.” For, you have caused her life to span from early in the 20th century until now, the time of what we call “The Joshua Generation.” You named her ‘*****,’ which means, “A Tower” – a strong watchtower of virtue and wisdom. You named her ‘*****,’ which means, “Gaining a Divine Perspective.” And, you named her ‘*****,’ which means, “A Full Count of the Cost.”
And, you have brought her on this great sojourn, from the very lap of her freed-slave grandparents, W**** and *****, until this blessed time; an hour when even a Black man in America can, like President Obama said, live the “Dreams from [his] Father.”
We give thanks, because You have made her a true and radiant Crown Jewel of thy goodness; and, as one brother said, “A Prolific Ambassador of Peace;” one who carries herself, conducts herself, and dresses herself in a manner fit for a king, even the King of Kings, which is you, O Lord Jesus Christ.
Lastly, Lord, we give thee thanks, because you have made her to be the real deal, a daughter who lives out the true calling of her faith. She is one who is the same in secret as in public, who rises early in the morning to pray and spend time alone with God, who visits the poor and needy and helps them, who shows love and kindness to all people without discrimination, who is a true nightingale to those who are sick and infirm, who rises up early, lives industriously, and is in every way, a virtuous woman: a mother to many and to all who would call Jesus their Lord and Savior – a true “Mother in Zion.”
Yes Lord, we thank you for having one like her in our midst. And, we thank you that we all could be here at this time to celebrate that she is ninety years young.
Do you anticipate living 90 years like Mom? Are you ready to leave this world at any time if you don’t? Suppose Saint Peter met you at the pearly gates, and asked you, “Why should I let you into my Lord’s Heaven?” How would you answer him? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tell him something like, “Come on, Peter. Outta my way! You know I’m a member of the royal family.”
If you haven’t already, then pray the following suggested prayer, and you will be just that — a member of the royal family of God and of His Majesty the King, Jesus Christ our Lord. And, going home to heaven some day, will be a joyfully anticipated blessed event. It will be an occasion to celebrate too.
Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open my heart and life now to receive you as Savior and Lord. Come in and take control of my life. Give me your Holy Spirit. Come and make me the kind of person you meant for me to be. Amen.
Did you pray that prayer? Then, on the solid-rock foundation of simple child-like faith, I now pronounce you a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Mark this date on your calendar. It’s the first day of your eternal life. Congratulations! And welcome to the family.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000
If you are already a Christian, but are in need of repentance and rededication, then pray this prayer,
Lord Jesus, please forgive me not serving you the way that I should. I open up my heart now, and give you full access and control. Have your way, Lord. Cleanse me from my all sin and idolatry. Fill me with your Holy Spirit again. Renew me, Lord. Make me the kind of person and servant I ought to be. Amen.
For 24-hour prayer and for help finding a church, call 1-888-731-1000