Pulpit Aflame Ministries
“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.”
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The Embers

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Missing Mom Today

Dad and Mom just a few days before Mom went to Heaven.

Dad and Mom just a few days before Mom went to Heaven.

Three years ago, today, on April 1, 2016, my sweet mother, Patricia Brandenburg, stepped into the presence of her Saviour. She was, and is, my hero. She was a great example of a lady, and even more, she was an example of what a Christian should be. When I preached her memorial service, I made many statements about her that described the characteristics of her life that reveal her commitment to Christ, the ministry, and her family.

I. Mom was a Servant

Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 

If you knew anything about Mom, you would know that she was a servant. It did not matter in what setting you found her, she wanted to serve, she lived to serve!

  • If a class at church needed a helper, she was there

  • If the Girl Scouts needed a leader, she was there

  • How many boxes of Girls Scout Cookies did she help Charlotte (my sister) sell?

  • If the Cub Scouts needed a Den Mother, she was there

Mom LOVED church!

  • She grew up in church

  • She kept us in church

  • She did not SEND us to church, she TOOK us to church 

Mom, teaching children, using Flannel Graph

Mom, teaching children, using Flannel Graph

Mom did more than GO to church, she SERVED in the CHURCH!

  •   She was a Sunday School teacher

  • She was a Children’s Church Worker (at the Troy Baptist Temple)
    When Mr. & Mrs. Ivan Shaver were asked to start the Children’s Church at e Troy Baptist Temple, Mom and Dad were the first people to volunteer as workers. Six months later the Shavers left to take a church and Mom & Dad were the leaders!

 

A perfect example of Mom being a servant was when I was pastoring my first church, Charity Baptist Church in Tipp City, Ohio. We were getting ready to have a revival meeting and wanted to get flyers about the meeting to every home in our town. Mom walked the streets, going door-to-door, every day for a week passing out flyers for the revival meeting. She walked so much that her feet were so sore that she could barely walk…but all of the flyers were passed out!

Singer Sewing Machine.jpg

Mom was always trying to FIX things. If something needed to be done, she did it! She was well known for her “vintage” green Singer sewing machine. She could, and did, sew everything! When my sister needed a dress for a special occasion, mom would build one! She sewed many slip covers and table cloths for Dad’s Gospel Magic programs.  

1964 Chevelle convertible

1964 Chevelle convertible

My favorite story of her sewing machine is this one: One day we were visiting Mom and Dad. Our daughter Becky was a little girl and we were driving our 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu convertible. (It was an amazing car!) The biggest problem we had with that car was that the soft plastic rear window was broken. We needed a new window, but really couldn’t afford one. Mom saw it and said, “Doug, that is just soft plastic. We could go to U.S. Plastics in Lima, Ohio and buy the material. I can sew it in with my sewing machine.” We went to work removing the top and the window. In just a few hours we had a new window in our Chevy! As I said, Mom like to fix things! She always wanted to do something for others. She would rather buy Dad a suit than a dress for herself.

 

II. Mom was a Saint

Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

Mom was a saint! O, I don’t mean she was perfect. But she was a child of God and knew what that meant!

1. She was a SAINT because she was SAVED!

  • Mom was saved at age 12 at a Bonfire Service at a Christian Camp (1945)

 

2. She was a SAINT because she served

  • She surrendered to missions the next year (1946) at the Bonfire Service at camp when she was 13

  • She went to Prairie Bible Institute in Canada after she graduated from Nursing School

  • She was a Sunday School Teacher

  • She loved to go to Winona Lake Bible Conference Center

Mom was the first in our family to begin serving in a ministry to children. She served in:

  • Good News Clubs

  • Five Day Clubs

  • Migrant Camp

  • Fair Ministry

  • Children’s church

  • Kids Krusades (for 30 years) Stood beside dad!

She LOVED the Lord. She SERVED the Lord. She FOLLOWED the Lord. Mom taught me how to do all of those things!

3. She was a SAINT because she had a Secret Place (devotional life)

She read her Bible! (We knew where her Bible Reading Chart was.)

Dr. Oliver B. Greene

Dr. Oliver B. Greene

Every day she would listen to great preachers on the radio. She would listen to Dr. Oliver B. Green (The Gospel Hour), M.R. Dehaan (Radio Bible Class), J. Vernon McGee (Thru the Bible Radio) and Brother Lester Roloff (Family Altar Broadcast). She would record the broadcast of Dr. Oliver B. Green so that we could listen to it later in the day.

Mom also used devotional booklets. Every day she read from Our Daily Bread and The Upper Room.

 

III. She was a Succourer

Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you:
for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

A succourer is one who meets needs, it is one who is a comforter. Mom was that to the extreme!

1. She was a Nurse

She loved to care for people. She served in a hospital, nursing home and private duty.

Mom - Nurse.jpg

 

2. She was a Missionary Nurse

She served in New Mexico among the Hopi Indians. This demonstrated her love for people and for the Lord.

 

3. She was a Camp Nurse

There are too many stories to tell in this setting. Let me just say, it is not a good thing when you are goofing around a junior camp at church, you brother gets hurt because of something you may or may not have done, and you have to go to see the nurse, and the nurse is your mother! I plead the Fifth!

 

4. She was a Clown

Giggles and Grinz the Clowns

Giggles and Grinz the Clowns

After Mom and Dad retired from their regular jobs, they were not being scheduled for many Children’s Gospel Magic programs. They still wanted to serve people. They found a way, they went to Clown College. For 12 ½ years they volunteered at area hospitals to go room to room to cheer up people, dressed as clowns. They were known as Giggles and Grinz the Clowns.

 

Mom LOVED life.

  • She was always laughing!

  • Her clown name was “Giggles”

  • It seems VERY appropriate that she would die on April Fool’s Day!

 


5. Loving Wife and Mother

Mom loved Dad! They were married for fifty seven years! After Dad retired they were inseparable. They did EVERYTHING together!

One thing EVERYONE noticed was how much Mom & Dad loved each other!

  • It was in her eyes
    You could see it in how she looked at him!

  • It was in her voice
    She ALWAYS spoke well of dad
    She would call him a “rotten egg”
    That’s how we knew mom was OK

  • It was in her lean
    She would always be leaning towards him!

She loved us kids. We NEVER doubted that! She would work as a nurse at night, so she could be home with us when we got home from school. She was ALWAYS there when we needed her!

She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Romans 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you:
for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

If God asked me to write a few verses in Romans 16, my mother’s name would be listed along with Phebe.

  • If ever there was a SERVANT of the CHURCH, it was my mother

  • If ever there was a SAINT, it was my mother

  • If ever there was a SUCCOURER, it was my mother

 

We miss Mom. No one could EVER take her place. We still grieve. We have an empty place in our hearts. But we are determined to take the lessons she taught us and live them!

 

Douglas Brandenburg