“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”
Isaiah 66:13

When we were expecting Erin's arrival in our lives, I was given a copy of Robert Robert Munsch's little book, "Love You Forever." Some love the text; others not so much. Some feel it captures the essence of love that is healing, transforming, and eternal; others find it insipid and the illustration of an aging mother sneaking into her adult son's bedroom as he sleeps a bit unsettling. And yet it is one of the great best sellers. As it opens, a young woman holds her newborn son and looks at him lovingly. Softy she sings to him:
"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be."

Across the pages that follow the child grows and changes, yet his mother's love is steadfast. Season after season she pours her heart into him until, at the end, it is he who gathers her frail body in his arms and holds her. I've read this book to Erin as often as she will let me. Truthfully, she'd prefer I didn't. She sees my tear-filled eyes and assumes I'm sad. She doesn't understand that they are a sign of gratitude and profound humility. She pats my arm and assures me, "It's alright, Mommy." Yes, sweet one, it is. It always will be.

It's been quite a week in the Franklin family. While Travis was still hospitalized and I was balancing the emotions around his event, the 9th anniversary of his daughter's death, the coming Mother's Day holiday, and the 3rd anniversary of the loss of my own mother, I stumbled upon scripture in song that put the little Love You Forever book in a whole new context.

“Forever Is A Long Time.
That’s How Long I’ll Love You.
That’s How Long I’ll Love You…Forever,” 

from Pastor Jason Nelson's hit single “Forever.” The song's compelling lyrics describe the eternal love that God has for us, and celebrates one of the earthly reflections of that love, the unending love shared between mother and child. Jason co-wrote the gospel song with his wife of 20 years, Tonya Nelson. Parents of two grown children, they read Robert Munsch's little book more times than they remember. Their music filled my senses and renewed my spirit.

Whatever YOU are facing; no matter how old or young you are; male or female; traditional parent or on a holy journey of a different kind - THIS is the love that healing, transforming, and eternal. It is God's love for each of us. I offer it to you on this Mother's Day as a gift. It is a love song, the text of a sacred greeting card, a promise.
One more thing. As Caleb and I previewed videos for worship on Mother's Day, we narrowed our choice down to two before deciding on one that highlights the humor in motherhood. However, for both of us, the dramatization of Love You Forever, was tempting. I offer it to you, as well. Fair warning: it may bring a tear to your eye, but it will be okay.
Thank you for waiting with us. I am grateful for your love and and covet your prayers. I'll see you in worship tomorrow, and we will praise the God who loves us all - always!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Lara

P.S. I'm so sorry your pastor wasn't gifted with this the ability to sing like Jason Nelson, but I do love you dearly!
Response to the Martin Holy Land Trip has been amazing! Our trip website is now active if you wish to register online for this "bucket list" pilgrimage. You may also register over the phone by calling EO at 1-800- 247-0017.
Tour: HL22 Code: J
Departure Date: 01-10-22
Host ID: 49779
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:

Martin Community:
Jay Bradford, Virginia Browning, Rosemary Dawes, Kristi Easterling, Doris Fash, Rev. Travis Franklin, John Longyear, Susan & Mitch McCumber, Marcie Smith, Suzie Smith, Aaron Stark

Family & Friends:
Ryan Campanaro, Kelly Cook, Jill Davis, Tanya Deaton, Lee Erickson, Nora Finn, Bonnie Fuller, Rita Morris, D.J. & Lona Rater, Deb Viney, Glendora Waldrup, Jessica Walker, Kathy Walton, Landon Wren and family, Seth Woods

Names remain for two weeks
unless otherwise requested.

Please remember to notify Deanna
regarding any changes to the prayer list.