Mother's Day Weekend 2020

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May 09, 2020 • Beth Guckenberger

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Beth Guckenberger gives Vineyard Cincinnati an encouraging Mother's Day message.

Message Transcript

Hello and welcome to Vineyard Cincinnati Church where we believe small things done with great love can change the world. We're glad you have decided to worship with us. Happy mother's day weekend. We pray you are encouraged and invite you to worship and study God's word with a hopeful heart.

Hi. I'm Jennifer Shock, the women's pastor in our life groups ministry here. Happy Mother's Day weekend. We are so glad you're with us today. Proverbs 31 is a well known description of a woman who fears the Lord and lives an outward-focused life. Verse 20 says, "she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy." Whether you have children at home or you're a spiritual mother and mentor to younger women from others. Being generous is just a way of life. Some days we may feel like all we are capable of is openhandedness with the members of our own families. Often, however, that generosity extends far beyond the walls of our households. We remember how abundantly God has dealt with us and how he has given us all that we need, not only to meet the demands of the day, but also to live beyond ourselves by the power of his Holy spirit.

Today we can all do what it says in Proverbs 31:31 "honor her for all that her hands have done." We celebrate moms today and their generosity in our lives and we thank all of you who are generous in your giving to this church to support the work that God continues to do here. You can give your tithes and offerings at vineyardcincinnati.com/give or text the number on your screen and enter the amount that you want to give. Thank you for your ongoing and faithful giving. I'm going to pray over our offering. God, thank you so much for how generous you are with us. We want to be generous people ourselves. We give back to you a portion of what you've given and we ask you God to use these gifts and offerings to further your kingdom and bring yourself glory. We love you, Jesus, and we pray in your name. Amen.

Hello, I'm Megan Pielage from Life Reset here at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. Happy Mother's Day weekend. We believe God has something special for you today, so it's no accident that you're here. Thank you for joining us. We hope you've been encouraged in the gospels. Jesus asks many more questions than he answers. To be precise. Jesus asked 307 questions. Asking questions was central to Jesus' life and teachings. That's how we discover for ourselves, that He is the Way, the Truth and the Light. Join us next weekend as Beth Guckenberger kicks off Questions Jesus Asks and Is Still Asking. This series will address moments captured in the gospels. When Jesus asked a question revealing a biblical truth. Not only are we kicking off this series next week, but you'll also have an opportunity to get involved at the Vineyard. God said in the book of Genesis that it's not good for us to be alone.

This is especially true in our current reality. Visit our website for details that will show you step by step instructions on how to get connected to brand new e-groups at the Vineyard. If you would like to know more about the heart of Vineyard Cincinnati Church, visit our website at vineyardcincinnati.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you had $20 and you wanted to provide food for somebody in need, what would you do? If you're like most people, you'd pick a cost effective store like Walmart or Aldi and you'd go buy that person groceries. This is $20 worth of groceries purchased at Walmart. This is $20 worth of groceries purchased through your $20 registration for the Hunger Walk. Hopefully this simple visual helps you understand why we make such a big deal about the Hunger Walk every year at Vineyard Cincinnati Church. You know, every month at the Healing Center, we provide food for over 3000 guests and the Hunger Walk is a big reason why any of that is possible.

Now, there are a few secrets you need to know about the Hunger Walk. The first is that for every $20 registration you're providing this much food for in need. The second secret you need to know is that you really don't even have to show up for the event. In fact, this year you can't show up. You get to pick your own route to walk. We'd love to see how you choose to walk. Be sure to take a selfie, whether you're walking in your neighborhood or sitting on the couch. At Vineyard Cincinnati, one of our core values is Generosity. We're giving away to the world what God has given us, so I want to encourage you to register today online. Maybe consider two registrations. How about three? Either way, all of us together signing up for the hunger walk, providing food for people in need. Let's be the church together. A generous church serving the people of Cincinnati. Sign up at healingcentercincinnati.org/hungerwalk or text the word HEALING to 97000.

Children, awaken. Come alive. Stare down your apprehension. Come let us bow down and bend the knee. Let us bend our hearts before the Lord, Our Maker who brings beauty from ashes that are still on fire. His fearless love puts a stop to my tossing and turning. There is no shadow of changing your mind about me. Your love so fully and freely, oh to be free like you, Jesus. May I be, just be, free. Free from fear with You like You already know, yet You remain unmoved by my movements. You haven't missed a beat, minute, or second of resting. And our Father's knowing You woke up on that boat because You heard them calling out Your name. You would never worry about the storm. To remind them that You are the God who hears us. You are the God who sees us, fills us. Every breath you feel the Lord's blessing will never be played out or drawn out.

His blessing will never be insufficient, empty or void. The Lord pushing isn't a breaking, but a building up. Push is a common phrase heard when trying to bring something new into a space of uncertainty. Just like a mother pushes their child, the Lord continually pushes His children to trust Him, bringing us to our knees. There's victory in our push to see the light, to be the light. He is the Light at the end of this tunnel. He is light in darkness far from the peaceful shore. So children, awaken. Stare down your apprehensions. To every mother, daughter, son, and father, God is in this. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy, so be strong and do not be afraid. God is coming to your rescue. He is kinder than we know. His blessing goes beyond our expectations. His promises are Yes and Amen.

He is doing a new thing, establishing a new dream, new normals in this Earth. The last will be first, so push through your pain, push through your frustration. But without pressure, there is no diamond. Revel in His Glory, oh lover of humanity, Redeemer of our insanity. Who touched my jaded eyes and who saved my banded soul, and who freed my barren mind. And now my heart unfolds because He rose, because He rose and it is not the end of your story. So revel in His Glory. It's not the end of your story. So we revel in this truth. We revel in this Glory. He is proof that all things work together for those who trust in Him.

Vineyard Cincinnati, Happy Mother's Day weekend. I am so excited to bring this message to our community today. Before we get started, I just wanted to say that I, I'm really looking forward to the virtual Hunger Walk. I think it will be, it's really never been cooler to take a walk before and it's a great opportunity for you to connect with the people in your life at the same time, making a difference for the Healing Center. So I hope you get a chance to make that commitment today. I also wanted to thank you that those of you who had a chance to reach out and tell me what you were thinking about the idea of revival, the message we had last weekend, if you haven't had a chance to watch it, you can. You can jump on the website and watch that at any time. But as we unpacked Psalm 85 and we asked God for a fresh outpouring of his spirit in our lives and our church and our city and our state and our world, it's been fun to hear the ways in which you and your families have been praying for revival.

Let's continue to do it. That is the kind of prayer that we'll, we'll, we'll just do it and do it and do it. God loves to hear us ask him to move. But on this Mother's Day weekend, I wanted to just acknowledge that for some of us, this is a difficult day because maybe because of COVID 19 you don't have the opportunity to travel and be with your mom. Maybe she's in a vulnerable population and there might be some disappointment associated with today. And if that's your situation, I'm really sorry. I'm very aware that not everybody who's listening today are mothers and maybe you had a mother that didn't act in all the ways that she should have it. It's difficult to remember her on a day like today. I know that there are some of mothers who are in a waiting phase and this day reminds you of what that weight feels like.

I know moms don't all act the same. Some of us stay at home and some of us work, some of us cook and some of us carry out. Some of us, you know, we're step-mom, single moms, foster moms, grandmoms fill in the blank moms. I mean there's all kinds of ways in which this day gets unfolded and unpacked and I just, because of that diversity, I wanted you to know that today's message is actually going to be about God. We're going to talk about mothers and we're going to talk about children, but the focus of our message today will never leave God. The more we learn about his nature, the more we understand and appreciate the women that are around us, who have been made in His Image. The culture today is saying all kinds of things about women and motherhood. And I am desperate for the church to lead this conversation for us not to look at Hollywood or media or politicians or you name it, to tell us what women and moms, what, how God made them.

Let's, let's start with the gift that God gave us. Let's open up our Bibles and let's see what God said about women. Jesus was radical in his approach towards women. I think about John chapter four. You know that story about the Samaritan woman at the well. She had a really colored, checkered past and Jesus wasn't afraid to let her know that he knew everything about her. And then he sent her away to go and tell people about who he is. Before Paul, before John, before Peter, before all of the other missionaries that we read about in the Bible, the very first missionary that God sent was a woman from a hard place. I love the story. You know, John chapter 20, after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the very first word out of the mouth of the resurrected King was "Woman". He was talking to Mary Magdalene from the very beginning.

Jesus set women up in a way where they were honored. He made them, he knew what they were capable of. They were created in his image. He let Mary sit at his feet the way a student would sit at a rabbi's feet. He understood and he was, he was willing to break the mold. And in that way, I just, I want us to start in our Bibles in Genesis chapter one, verse 26 and 27 where it says God created mankind in his own image. Then the image of God, he created them, male and female. He created them. So that means, hear me say this loud and clear: Jesus was a man. God taught us to pray with Our Father who art in heaven. I'm not negating any of that, but I want the moms and the women today to hear me say that we have been made in God's image.

We are not other. All that we are, all that God made us, came from who God is. Like mothers, God does things like shield and care and guard and hover and catch his children. That's the nature of God and he stamped that nature and to our moms. Listen to this verse in Deuteronomy chapter 32:10 in a desert land, he found them in a barren and howling waste. He shielded them and he cared for them. He guarded them as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young that spread its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. That's the nature of God. He's a, he's a shield or carer guard or protector, catcher of his kids. When I was a missionary in Mexico one night, you kind of have to make your own fun when you're a missionary and there was like one of those mystery parties where you get assigned a character and you dress up in character and it was one of the other missionaries 40th birthday.

So I left my children in the care of one of our older daughters and I went a couple doors down to participate in this, this costume party. And the character I was assigned was a lounge dancer and a lounge singer. So I had more makeup than most missionaries, where I had these hair extensions on. I had all these gold chains on. I had heels higher than I probably should have been wearing and I was over there playing this, this party that evening with all the other staff. And all of a sudden our daughter came running over to the house to tell me that my youngest son had fallen off the shoulders of my oldest son and that he was bleeding really bad. So we went running over to the house. As soon as I saw my son Aiden and he was bleeding all over the place.

He eventually, he would have over 20 stitches in his chin and heads bleed a lot. So he was covered in blood. I just scooped him up. That's what moms do. I sat in the back seat as my husband drove us to the emergency room. When I went bounding through the doors of that emergency room, I realized I probably looked ridiculous, right? I had crazy long hair and too much makeup and platform heels and gold jewelry and I was covered in blood, but I could have cared less when anybody else was thinking. I thought to myself, it is my job to cover, to hover, to protect, to guard, to catch my child when he falls. That's what moms do and the fact that that was going on inside of me is because I have been made in the image of God. That's how God is. One of our other sons was playing football here in Cincinnati and he got hit as a wide receiver after he caught the ball and it was a really big hit.

My husband and I were both commenting to each other about it, and as he came off to the sideline, he was kind of standing funny and I said to my husband, I think he broke something. It looks like he broke something and he's like, what do you mean it looks like he broke something? I'm like, it looks like he broke something. And he said, how can you tell? I'm like, I can tell by the way he's standing. Like mamas know, and let me tell you something. If mamas know, God knows even more. Every time we try to hide our pain from him, he knows he sees us. Every time your mom asks you if you're okay and you just roll your eyes, she's acting like Jesus. That's every time you want to grit your teeth and pretend like you're not hurting. Jesus, He longs to do things like protect you, cover you, hover over you, shield you like mothers.

God also gives life here. This verse in Isaiah 42. It says, do I bring the moment of birth and not give delivery? Says the Lord. Do I close up the wound when I bring to delivery, says your God. Isaiah 66 says, for a long time I've kept silent. I've been quiet and held myself back, but now like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I guess I pant. I gave birth to my first child the first year I lived in Mexico 22 years ago and I hardly spoke the language. It was our first year as a missionary. And I remember the day I went into labor, I was thinking to myself, here's to hoping everybody understands what to do next. I got into the hospital. Several hours into labor. This nurse came into the room and she asked me a question in Spanish. She said, quireres oxytocino and I had been there long enough to know the word quieres means, do you want, and I'd also been there long enough to know the word tacino means bacon.

And I looked over at my husband Tom, I said, I think she just asked me if I wanted some bacon. And I'm like, you know what? It kind of sounds good. I think the answer's yes. And he said, I think you should say yes all day long today. So I said to her si si, she left and came back various times in the next hour fixing things with my IVs and my monitors and everything. But she never brought me some bacon. And so now an hour later, deeper into labor, I was mad. And all the ways that laboring moms get to be mad. And I said to the nurse, donde esta, (where is) mi tocino (my bacon), and she's like, you can't have any bacon today. You can't even eat today. What do you mean bacon? I said, you asked me if I want bacon, and now I want bacon, and now

I'd like some bacon. I said, kind of desperately, and she realized we had something kind of lost in translation. She went to find a bilingual physician who came in the room and said, she asked you if you want an oxytocin, oxytocin. It's the drug that speeds up labor. You told her, yes, about an hour ago. And we met our daughter shortly after. This. We literally as we bring new life into the world, we breathe life into bodies. We breathe life into dreams. We bring life into broken hearts and every single time we pick up or cheer on or carry or prop up, we're acting like Jesus. He's a life giver. He's a God giver. Like mothers. God protects. It says in Hosea 13 like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and I will rip them open like a lion,

I will devour them. A wild animal will tear them apart. You know that that emotion we associate with mothers who are protective, wildly protective of their children, that, that nature, that sense that's inside of us that came from God. We've been made in his image. And if we feel that, it's a shadow reflection of the way that God feels, his desire to protect us, to keep the things that want to hurt us at Bay. I was, uh, we were opening up a medical clinic in Mexico and I was really sick and a physician had come in from Cincinnati to help us open up the clinic. And I told him that day he got in, Hey, I've been sick for like a while and do you have any medicines that you would recommend? And he said, if you've been sick for more than 10 days. And I said yes.

And he said, well, I'm going to give you an antibiotic. And then he left to go to bed because he had been traveling all day and it was late at night. About an hour or so later, my college-,ged daughter arrived at home and she's the one that made me sick. so I know she had been sick even before me. So instead of waking the doctor up, I did something I should not have done and I gave her one of my antibiotic pills. I said, well, you see him in the morning, but I'm sure he'll say to you the same thing. He said to me and you can now get your own prescription. She took that antibiotic and I mean within 30 seconds, 45 seconds, she began to have an allergic reaction to it. Her mouth began to swell, her eyes began to swell. We realized because she's not my biological daughter and I don't have any of her medical history, that there must have been something that was reacting negatively to that medicine.

So my husband picked her up and we ran to the new brand new medical clinic where the physician was sleeping and we pounded on the door and woke him up and he was really calm and he said, she's having an allergic reaction and he administered an EpiPen and told us to take a deep breath, things would start to look better. But they didn't. They in fact continued to go in the wrong direction. And I was screaming at the top of my lungs, her lips are turning blue. And he said, yes, she's an anaphylaxis shock. And he gave her a second EpiPen and then we scooped her and rushed her to an emergency room. And as we got into that emergency room, I went crazy telling those people exactly what I thought they needed to do to take care of her. And as soon as the emergency had calmed down, I crawled up on her gurney and I got on all fours on top of her and I said, you are dating the wrong boy and you know it and Jesus just saved your life and you need to break up with that.

Boy and that is the heart of a mama bear. She is thinking about body and soul. In that moment I would have, I would have come between anything that was going to hurt her and that fierceness, that feeling I have inside of me is exactly how God feels when he wants to love and protect you. Like mothers, God doesn't forget about his child, doesn't ever forget about his child. Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget but I will not forget you says Isaiah 49. There's this book I read years ago by an author named Shaunti Feldhahn and she talked about the differences biologically, neurologically, between men and women. She talked about how in general men's brains they function like screensavers. They they focus hard on wherever it is that they are.

It has their full attention and how women's brains are more like popup windows and we have all these things that are going on all at the same time and that's especially true for a mom. No matter what it is I may be doing, I have a popup window with my kids' names on it with what's going on with them. I'm always aware of where they are and what's up with them. That sense that I have in me, God made me that way because that's how he is. We are never off of his screen. He is always aware of what we are, where we are. He, he absolutely never forgets us. A couple of years ago, Back2Back ministries had its 20th anniversary and we had a large gathering where we invited anybody who'd ever traveled on a trip with us to gather together and remember all that God had done. And somebody came to that night that I didn't recognize at first, but she told me she had been on a trip 15 years before when she was 13 years old.

She told me that she sat under a palapa roof and heard me teach about James one 27 taking care of widows and orphans and their distress and it had planted a seed inside of her and she said, I knew even then at 13 that God would do something with that truth in my life. Then she opened up her jacket and inside she was holding this impossibly small infant and she said, today, my husband and I, we foster medically fragile infants here in Hamilton County, and I just wanted you to know that that's what that seed grew up into. And I was so excited. I told her I was so excited. I told everybody that night about her how it was so cool to me that God could have moved her so significantly at such a young age to take action the way that she was.

I saw her a year later, and when I saw her the next time I said, Oh my gosh, it's great to see you again. How many babies have you taken care of over the last year? And she said, no, actually I've been taking care of the same one you saw me with that night. In fact, in the middle of this year, we started the process to bring her home permanently in our family through adoption. And I said, Oh, that's so exciting. She said, well, about a month or so ago, her mom began to get her life back together, and the County put in place a reunification plan and actually next week she's going to go back home and be with her mom. And I said, how are you doing with that? Because that's a complicated story. She said, well, I was not doing okay. At first I was frustrated and confused cause I thought for sure this is what God had asked of us.

But then I realized as I spent some time with the Lord in prayer, I felt him saying to me, all the ways you feel about that baby, I feel about that mama. And if I live inside of you, then you can feel that way about that mom because I'll put that kind of love inside of you. And she said, I felt my mission. My heart began to grow as the love I had for that daughter grew to encompass that mother. And she's like, I just began to reach out to her, send her text messages and pictures. I began to pray for her. Eventually in this last week, she's asked me if I would be the godmother of this little girl. So I'll be in her life now, forever. And I said to her, you know what it says in the Bible in John chapter 3 verse 16 that God so loves the world that he gave his only Son.

He's such a good so lover. He loved her so much, He decided all those years ago to plant the seed in the heart of a 13 year old girl, so that on this day, when given the option, she would be compelled to act on God's behalf towards that mom. That's how God loves. He doesn't forget, he doesn't forget. Like mothers, God longs to gather his children together. It tells us in the book of Luke chapter 13 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who sent you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings and you are not willing. Our family survived hurricane Alex a number of years ago and I can remember in the aftermath of the hurricane, I wanted all my children to sleep on my floor every day for the following weeks.

It just felt better for me to know where they were all the time, all in one room and that's how God is, that he longs. He likes it when we come together. He likes it. When we gathered together, it's been as planned since the very beginning. He created his people to be in his place so they could experience his presence and have his peace. It started that way in Genesis. It'll finish that way and revelation when we have these longings mom to bring everybody underneath our roof. We're exercising the godlike nature that he stamped inside of us. And I know, I know that for some of you, COVID 19 is preventing you from having all your chicks together. And that's hard on a day like today. And that, that sense of grief you might be feeling or dissonance or disquiet because you can't have them all together.

Don't push that away. Don't, don't, don't worry about the fact that's how you're feeling. That's actually your God nature inside of you. How it is that he made you. Like mothers, God comforts. It says in Isaiah 66 as a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. A number of years ago, my husband and I adopted a 12 year old boy and I don't know, we had had a family vacation planned. When you do an international adoption, you never exactly sure when they're going to come home. So we had had this vacation planned, he got home right before we were supposed to go on vacation, but I didn't want to disrupt those plans for all the rest of our family. So we went ahead and all went on vacation even though Tyler had just come to our family. And one evening all the brothers and my husband were playing monopoly and he had never played monopoly before.

And it kinda got out of hand with the, with the, all the trading that was going on and he got upset and he left the card game crying. And probably he wasn't really upset about monopoly. It'd probably been things that have been building in his heart throughout the course of the day as he was trying to make sense of his new family and new environment and new language. But he just went and settled into his bed and he started, I tell him, you just go to sleep, just, just, just go ahead and go to sleep. Tomorrow's a new day. But like 15 minutes later, one of my kids came up and said, Hey, you know, Tyler's like down in bed and he's crying. I'm like, Oh my gosh. I didn't know he was crying. So I went downstairs and I, and I comforted him and at that point there was no way for me to talk to him about, you know, boardwalk or any of the monopoly game.

At that point I just held him in my arms and I told him a few things that I knew were true. I told him things like I loved him and we weren't going anywhere and it was going to be okay, and eventually fell asleep in my arms. A couple of days later when we were at the airport leaving vacation to come home, we were all circled up and we were asking the kids like, what was your favorite thing that we did this week? And everybody was saying all the things that we spent money doing, right?. All the vacation, like activities that are not part of our regular routine. And when it was Tyler's turn to talk, we were all curious what he was going to say was his favorite part because pretty much everything we did was a brand new experience for him. And so I said, Tyler, what,

what moment of this week do you not want to forget? And he goes, Oh, that's easy. I don't ever want to forget what it felt like when you laid in bed and told me how much you loved me. Like that's what, that's what God wants to do for us. He wants to comfort us in those moments when we're not even sure we can put our finger on what it is that upsets us. Like mothers. God looks for the lost. Luke 15 says, that woman having 10 silver coins, if one of them loses her coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it. And when she found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, rejoice with me. I have found the coin that was lost. Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

That story of a woman who looks for her lost coin, sits inside of a story about a shepherd who loses one sheep out of a hundred and leaves the 99 to find the one and the story of a prodigal son, a family that lost a son and who came back home that that idea of lost coin, lost sheep, lost son. They're all metaphors for a father who's in pursuit of a relationship with us. And I'm just wondering today, mothers, have you ever longed for someone? Have you ever loved someone who you feel like is lost? I have. And I know that feeling inside of you, like I'm not stopping. I'm not stopping until I find you out. I don't even care what condition you're in. There's nothing that will stop me from finding you. I was telling one of my foster daughters, I held up a $20 bill and I said this, except it was in pesos.

But I said this bill, this value of this bill is $20 and it doesn't matter if I crumble it, and it doesn't matter if I stomp it in the dirt. It doesn't, it doesn't matter what condition I find it in. When I open it back up again, what's its value? Its value is still $20 this is how God says, I don't care where I find you. I don't care if you're a prodigal son who has slept with the pigs. I don't care if you're a coin that's lost underneath the carpet. I don't care if you're a sheep that wandered away from 99 others. I don't care where I go. I don't care how I am going to find you. That is my nature. I am going to look for you. You, you will never lose your value in my eyes. No matter how we find you in everything that Jesus did was always perfectly on point.

He only ever did what he saw his father doing. That's what the Bible tells us. So he treated women with respect and dignity because that's what his father taught him to do. These characteristics of shielding and comforting and hovering and protecting these characteristics. They've manifested themselves inside of us because we are of God and we are from God and don't apologize for it. Moms don't ever apologize. Don't ever say I'm just being a mom or let someone ever make fun of you or mock you for exercising who it is that you were actually made to be. For those of you who are not mothering on this weekend, make room in your life for the women to use these unique gifts. Make room for the mother of your children. Make room for your own mother. Make room for the mothers that you work alongside and make room for your daughters who will become mothers possibly one day. Respect and honor how God has literally created them. And mothers, man, this is who God made you to be. Be who you are made to be for the children that are under your roof,

for those that you love, that are around you. Step into this nature, the church, it literally can't afford for you to hold back. So on this day, let's respect and honor mothers, all the ones that are around us, let's celebrate and make room for and trust their giftedness. Will you join me today in praying for these moms, the moms who are currently mothering children under their roof, who are currently mothering children born from their bodies, not born from their bodies, who are waiting for a season when they'll one day mother, who are grandmothers and have maternal influence over multiple generations. Will you pray with me for women who need to forgive mothers who weren't there for them and they wanted the way they wanted them to be? Will you pray with me for women who need to forgive themselves for not being there when they needed to be?

Will you help? We pray with me for step moms and for those who are coaching and teaching and exercising these godlike characteristics in the children and the lives of the children that are around them. Would you join me? Will you hear me this this day say to you mamas, that you're, you're killing it. You have extraordinary value. That God loves you and he delights and the way that you express his nature to the world around you. Let's pray. Oh Jesus. On this day we first thank you that you cover us. You guard us, you protect us. You shield us. You love us. You come for us. You look for us, you value us. This, all of this came because you, this is your nature. We're made in your image. Jesus, would you be with all of us today? Those of us who love this day, and those of us who find this day really hard. Would you be with,

would you help us release, would you help us to honor, would you help us to give grace to and forgive ourselves and others? Would you, Jesus, be in the middle of our family stories, comfort us? Wherever it is, we might be grieving and rejoice with us wherever it is that we're celebrating. We make you the star of today's story, as always. We ask you to come and make yourself known in our community and in our homes. Jesus, we love you. We honor you. We ask for more of you. Bring a fresh anointing of your spirit in our lives and I ask these things in the Holy and precious and resurrected name of Jesus. Amen.

Thanks for joining us for Vineyard Cincinnati Church, where for over 30 years we have believed that small things done with great love will change the world. Vineyard Cincinnati is open to everyone. No matter what your thoughts are about church or God, whether you're new to church or have been around it your whole life. You're in good company with those of us who are exploring who God is or rediscovering what church can be. If you've enjoyed this service and want to know more about us, visit vineyardcincinnati.com/connect and someone will be in touch with you very shortly. Once again, that's vineyard cincinnati.com/connect. We hope you join us again soon.