• The following Mother’s Day Message – ‘Prayer the Keeper of a Mother’s Soul’ was delivered at the HERITAGE WORSHIP CENTRE on Sunday, May 13, 2018 by former Progressive Labour Party MP Neletha Butterfield
God has blessed us with this day and on Mother’s Day we set aside time to honour our mothers. We know that none of us could get here without a mother and a father, but here is one day when some of us reserve our bouquets of flowers, our gifts of appreciation, our phone calls of many wishes, our stop by visits, our attendance to church with our mothers and present cards written by someone else to express in words how we feel about our mothers.
 
Mother’s Day 2018 will last according to time for twenty-four hours and all the visits and wishes will last for a while so in this changing, challenging and computerized world input in your God-given computer that mother’s need to be honoured and praised every day.
 
For in these challenging times mothers are finding it very hard to make ends meet, (we call it now difficult times) they are concerned about the breakdown of the family unit, they are concerned about the future of their children.
 
Mothers today are hurting, being abused by love ones, being disrespected by their children and yes, more and more single mothers and teenaged mothers are feeling hopeless, helpless and alone. We wear many hats and juggling numerous responsibilities. Do not be overcome or overwhelmed no matter what is going on mothers. Walk with a purpose and have the confidence today in knowing that ‘Prayer is the Keeper of a Mothers’ Soul’.
 
GOOD MORNING and a blessed Mother’s Day to all mothers.
 
To Bishop Duncan, First Lady Dr Shanda Duncan, Mother Rev Ruby Smith MR ed, JP in her absence, ministerial staff, members and friends of Heritage Worship Centre, it is with honour and a blessing to be invited to say a few words on this day of celebration to honour a lifetime of love. To all the mothers present Happy Mother’s Day.
 
I come not as a licensed evangelist nor as a preacher of the gospel but as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother to let you know that ‘Prayer is the Keeper of my Soul’.
 
My word of scripture is taken from Numbers 6: 24-26 “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD makes his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
 
Let us pray….  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.
 
In my journey of life, I knew if I had a talk with Jesus especially during some troubled times He would see me through. I can testify this morning that I have come this far through faith, prayer and the grace of God.
 
Prayer is the opening of the mind and your heart to God. Prayer is a conversation with him that unlocks the power of possibility and putting oneself in the hands of God. Prayer should be the key in the morning, throughout the day when needed and the lock at night.
 
How many of us have more that one key on our keys rings? I have eight on mine and today I would like to share a message with you on the six keys to the word prayer that will keep you and touch your soul.
 
P- Pray for Protection every day we ask God in our own way to protect us from harm and danger and at the end of the day we should praise and thank God for his safety net.
 
I can recall when I was a Cabinet Minister and it was time for the re-convening of Parliament, along with two of my female Cabinet Ministers and a former Premier, we decided to go to New York via American Airlines on a shopping spree to buy our outfits for the opening of Parliament.
 
On approaching JFK Airport noticing that the plane was circling a few times, the voice of the captain came over the intercom and said we are experiencing some mechanical troubles with the landing gear – flight attendants please prepare for an emergency landing.
 
Well that business class flight attendant was in no condition to assist us but tried desperately, she went into a panic attack. We prepared ourselves, shoes off, I looked at my colleagues one holding her high heels in her hands, the other clinging to her chest while I just sat there and prayed.
 
The captain returns to the intercom and states we now have to prepare for a crash landing. In no time and this has never happened to me, I was speaking in tongues and suddenly heard the voice of the captain again announce that the landing gear was working. What a sigh of relief and we started giving God thanks and praise for His divine protection. Just imagine what could have happened.
 
Did we have a recovery conversation when we reached the hotel still in shock?  Thank God for the two wings and a prayer of protection.
 
R -Repent and Recover. We must always ask God for forgiveness of any of our wrong doings and if we offended anyone it helps us to be a better person growing in His love. When we do that we can recover.
 
In my journey I found it so difficult to forgive, especially people who hurt me deeply. Forgiveness is a process and a healing process at that. Learn to move on.
 
Many people ask if I will be going back into politics and I say no “not wanted” did you forget. I never retired from being a politician.
 
In 2011 during a primary, my very own PLP colleague David Burt now Premier of Bermuda, ran against me three times for a well fought seat that I won in 1998 from the UBP stronghold and repeatedly won for two general elections. He won by one vote and there my political career ended.
 
It hurt, I was in pain as you can imagine that in a few months when the election was called I was unemployed and now too old to be employed. What a scary feeling after sacrificing your time and family to serve your country for approximately 20 years I guess them young ones felt my time was up.
 
It was a difficult adjustment because for all those years I now had to remember that on Fridays it was my house and the House of Assembly. I humbly adjusted myself, repented and recovered. 
 
It took me years to also forgive a very close friend personally and politically.
 
When I completed my first book ‘Speeches for the Soul’ and held my book signing, after much prayer God gave me the boldness and courage to call on that individual to read one of the chapters. She accepted and I openly asked for her forgiveness in front of my guests.
 
Repenting is difficult but it has to be done in order to recover, heal your wounds and move on walking in God’s purpose.
 
A -Ask for Assurance. Ask and it shall be given unto you press down and running over. As mothers we encounter many trials. We live in an entitlement generation. Some of our children are on standby waiting for their inheritance, while some bless their mothers through their love and their presence showing them they care.
 
Know that even through our trials we can still avail ourselves to God and pray. Don’t give up.
 
Our children make some of the weirdest choices and with bad choices there are consequences, even though we have trained them but the scripture states: “Train them up in the way they should go and they are old they will not depart from it” – meaning they will find their rightful place in serving God.
 
Continue to ask God in prayer with the blessed assurance of faith He will answer your prayer request. Know that “God has your back”.
 
Y -Yield to God no matter what it is, but yield to what the power of God can do for you.  The more you yield the more you are healed.
 
When a mother has lost a child tragically, unexpectedly, or having a son or a daughter not speaking, it becomes a painful reminder and they just can’t wait until Mother’s Day is over to continue with their daily lives.
 
Mother’s Day is a constant reminder of the pain, disappointment and suffering. I am guilty and it is a process. But just as we yield at the stop sign that says “yield right of way”, well we need to “yield to God right away”.
 
God holds those suffering closer to him. Even if we are personally saddened, we can comfort and witness to others who may be going through the same things that we are.  When you yield to God you will be grateful that you did because it is in that place you will find peace, be blessed and enjoy life to the fullest.
 
E – Encourage one another. I need encouragement to strengthen my soul, it keeps our minds clean and our hands inspired to serve. Encouragement is shared with the hopes that it will lift someone’s heart. Pray to God to make you an encourager if you are not one already.
 
Before I began teaching a class on Thursday evening I received this card from a student that read: “Thank you – Dear Ms Butterfield, I am very thankful to get the scholarship for my GED. Words cannot describe how greatly appreciative I am. To tell you the truth, I just wanted to give up, but then your loving spirit just kept on uplifting me. Thanks again for believing in me.”
 
Like some of you I receive enough of those encouraging Whatsapp messages, especially while in Jamaica with two hours difference in time and its beeping 5 o’clock in the morning.
 
How many of us encourage one another? Don’t forget your pastor… send a card or an email. Nothing encourages a pastor like hearing specific ways God used a sermon or counselling session to encourage you.
 
I thank God for my sistahs, friends and family who encourage me. Encouragement is the everyday opportunity to highlight for others the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
 
R -Restore and Rejoice. God is the only source of restoration and hope. No sense trying something else. Psalm 23 verse 3 “He restores my soul….”  Psalm 51: 12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and withhold me with a willing spirit…”  2 Corinthians 13: 9 “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.”
 
The key to restore is prayer. God wants us as mothers to have our health, emotions, lives and souls restored. God has been good to me and I have so much to be grateful and thankful to Him, rejoice.
 
I have been blessed as a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother.  It’s in the word of God that I will be blessed through my childrens’, childrens’, childrens’. Amen.
 
I have been blessed as an educator and politician …. I have been blessed to have stayed connected to some of my school girlfriends.
 
God has been stretching my faith and walk with him in so many new ways. I am now an author of five books to encourage your Souls. 
  • Know that God will restore your soul Jeremiah 30:17
  • Your life Ruth 4:15
  • Your joy Psalm 51:12
  • The wasted years Joel 2:25
  • Your path Isiah 58:12
God is a God of unlimited second chances. He is willing and ready to restore your soul, just as He has restored me.
 
In closing, forty-seven years ago on May 10th, a mother’s heart was saddened on the news that her son had been crushed to death by a cargo container. That mother was my grandmother, twenty-seven years ago on May 4th my mother passed.
 
Mother’s Day was always a special day for our family, but things changed for us because my Mother’s brothers’ tragic accident happened on her birthday. Not only did it hurt her deeply, but celebrating both Mother’s Day and her birthday was difficult for her and the entire family.
 
I have personally struggled with this for years and anyone who has lost a mother in the month of May I am sure understands.
 
When Bishop asked me to bring a message on prayer I did hesitate for a brief moment, but caught myself and said as a woman of God you can share how prayer and faithfulness has kept you. Thank you, Bishop Duncan for allowing me to share some of my testimonies on my journey.
 
Jesus is coming, the times that have been shall be no more but in the meantime, whenever you need just call on Jesus and reflect on the 6 Keys of Prayer that have kept me –  PROTECTION, REPENT, ASK, YIELD, ENCOURAGE and RESTORE.
 
I leave this poem with you today especially mothers to encourage and uplift your souls entitled….  ‘I am drinking from my saucer’.
 
I AM DRINKING FROM MY SAUCER
I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now,
But I don’t worry about that much I’m happy anyhow.
For as I go along life’s journey, I’m reaping better than I sowed,
I’m drinking from my saucer ’cause my cup has overflowed.
I haven’t got a lot of riches and sometimes the going’s tough,
But there are caring people around me and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for all His blessings and the mercies He’s bestowed,
I’m drinking from my saucer ’cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong my faith wore somewhat thin,
But all at once the dark clouds broke and the sun peeped through again.
So Lord, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed,
I’m drinking from my saucer cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage when the way grows steep and rough,
I’ll not ask for other blessings, I’m already blessed enough.
May I never be too busy to help others bear their loads
With them I’ll share my saucer, cause my Blue Mountain cup has overflowed.
 
* Music………. God Restores…  God blesses, God restores, He has restored my SOUL with His healing hands I have been made whole again. On this Mother’s Day know that God restores for I am a living testimony that He restores.
 
God bless you today and always thank you.
 
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