Posted by: rcottrill | October 31, 2018

My Mother’s Bible

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Words: Milan Bertrand Williams (b. Oct. 30, 1860; d. ____, 1941)
Music: Charles Davis Tillman (b. Mar. 20, 1861; d. Sept. 2, 1943)

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Milan Williams)

Note: Milan Bertrand Williams was an American evangelist. His song was first published in 1893. You can see dozens of songs about mothers on the Cyber Hymnal. I’ve dealt with several of them on this blog: Tell Mother I’ll Be There; Faith of Our Mothers; Mother’s Prayers Have Followed Me (see my Index).

It’s a small leather-bound book; I have a picture of it on my phone. My mother’s Bible. She got it at the age of fifteen, after she trusted in Christ as her Saviour. It was a treasured possession while she lived, and now it’s become that for me.

What stands out about my mother is her godly character. She was a woman committed to Christian values. A woman of prayer. And a woman who really knew her Bible. Early on, she began committing the Scriptures to memory. She memorized the entire book of Psalms, and several other Bible books. On into her eighties, if you gave her the first few words of a psalm, she could quote it for you.

At her Memorial Service, a friend talked about how she first met my mother. Lorraine had been a New Yorker. She’d just moved to Canada, and married a man more than twenty years older than herself, taking on the care of his children. She said:

“I was a mother of five children when I first met Isbell. I was looking for something in my own Christian walk with the Lord, and had been invited to come to this church. I’d just settled my four younger children into their Sunday School classes, and was directed to a young women’s Bible class. Isbell was the teacher of that class.

One Sunday evening, a few weeks later, I was invited to her home. What I didn’t know, at that point in time, was that this would be the day our friendship truly began. I had a physical mother who lived in the United States. Now I had been given a spiritual mother here in Canada.

We laughed together, shared together, and most of all prayed together. And Isbell and I shared many times with the Word of God, about being a better wife and mother. I learned a lot of valuable lessons from this special lady. Down through these many years I have come through some hard times, but Mom was there for me. And she never asked anything in return for that kind of friendship.”

The “hard times” Lorraine mentions included what was happening at home. Her husband was an alcoholic, and unsaved. But she and my mother prayed earnestly that God would save Fred, and deliver him from bondage to alcohol.

One Sunday, Fred came to church. A gospel invitation was given, and while Mom and Lorraine gripped each other’s hands, Fred made his way to the front of the church, indicating his desire to commit his life to Christ. The Lord not only set him free from drink, he became a godly, loving husband and father. Fred joined my mother in heaven recently.

The gospel song called My Mother’s Bible is sentimental, and old fashioned. I suspect it’s rarely sung today. Many would label it “corny.” But it contains an important truth: that how parents live will influence their children. The Bible tells us that (Prov. 22:6). My mother’s love for God’s Word has deeply affected me. And she, in fact, was the one who led me to faith in Christ, many years ago. “Her worth is far above rubies” (Prov. 31:10).

Mr. Williams’ song says:

1) There’s a dear and precious Book,
Though it’s worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago;
When I stood at mother’s knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.

Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves
I love to look;
Thou art sweeter day by day,
As I walk the narrow way
That leads at last
To that bright home above.

3) There she read of Jesus’ love,
As He blessed the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care;
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me.”

4) Well those days are past and gone,
But their mem’ry lingers still,
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His words abide.

1) What kind of spiritual influence did your mother have on you?

2) What legacy of faith will you leave to your children or grandchildren?

Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (Milan Williams)


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