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Live and love every day as Jesus did
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First things first: Please allow me to wish a happy Mother’s Day to each and every mother reading this column today. I sincerely wish you a wonderful day on the one day of the year designated to honor you for your love and sacrifice for others.  
If you know me at all, you are aware of my great admiration for my dad.  Other than Jesus Christ himself, he has been the one man I have admired above all others. He has been a marvelous example of Christian faith, and even today I ask for his advice. Rarely does a day go by that we do not speak.
But I have to admit something: My mom probably was a greater influence on my life when I was younger. She was a stay-at-home mom, so we were together constantly.
Even when she went back to work when my younger sister started school, she worked at the school. We were together all the time.
You have to understand something about my mom: She grew up in abject poverty. The ninth of 10 children, her father died when she was young. She was the only one in her family to graduate from high school. She did not get her first pair of glasses until she went to work and bought them for herself at age 19.  
Mom was an outstanding basketball player in the 1950s. In those days, girls were thought to be too “delicate” to play by the same rules as the boys, so she only played defense. When she and her guard teammates got the ball, they dribbled to half-court and threw it to the forwards who then would try to score on the other end of the floor.
She played ball the way she lived life — tenaciously. As my dad once put it, “Could you imagine trying to score a basket against her when she really did not want you to score?”  
My answer to that would be “negative.” Mom never once said to me, “You wait until your dad gets home.” If I was to be punished, she took care of it on the spot.
She even said to me when I was older, “I used to spank you once a day. If I didn’t know the reason, I figured you did.”  
I share this with you today as an encouragement. I can’t call Mom tomorrow; she’s been gone nine years now. What I would give to hear her beautiful alto voice again, but it won’t be in this life.
That is not the case for all of you. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to mend fences and share love today while you still can.  
God wants us to live and to love as Jesus did. Be careful to do that today.

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