“How can I say thanks for the things you have done for me? Things so undeserved yet you gave to prove your love for me. The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am, and ever hope to be…I owe it all to Thee. To God be the glory! To God be the glory! To God be the glory! for the things He has done! With His blood, He has saved me. With His power, He has raised me. To God be the glory for the things He has done! Just let me live my life, let it be pleasing LORD to Thee. And should I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary!-Rev. Andrae Crouch -Songwriter – “My Tribute”
The words of Grammy Award winning songwriter Andrae Crouch’s hymn “My Tribute” are in my spirit. I am so grateful to the LORD and to my dear mother, Marion Ernestine Moody, who entered Heaven on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at the age of 91. When Andrae Crouch was 18 and working at Teen Challenge, a young man named Larry Reed, a former atheist and inmate at San Quentin Prison, told him he’d had a dream that Andrae would write a song that would go around the world. Andrae asked, “What do I have to read?” Larry quoted John 17:1-4:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify You. 2 For you granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.“
Andrae Crouch wrote “My Tribute” in ten minutes the following morning. A TRIBUTE is an act, statement or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect or admiration. It is something resulting from something else and indicating it’s worth. In worship we ascribe to God His worth as created beings. Scripture describes a TRIBUTE as a payment made periodically by one state or ruler to another, especially as a sign of dependence. Paul told the Romans, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Rom. 13:7)
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12) In Ephesians 6:2, Paul describes this as, “the first commandment with a promise.” God says we owe our parents honor. When your mom is as great as mine was, that’s not hard to do!
Marion E. Moody was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the late George Alexander and Sadell Moody on August 25, 1926. She graduated from West Philadelphia High School before receiving her
B.S. in Mathematics with a Music Minor from Hampton University in 1950. My mom was the first in our family to graduate college, and was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She worked as an accountant for the City of Philadelphia, and then found her life’s calling, as a teacher at Belmont Elementary School for 27 years. Her affection for children and standard of excellence were legendary. My mom’s love language was giving. She would anonymously meet the needs of the children in her school. Some still treat her as family. She gave of her treasure and talents to countless organizations and individuals. I literally saw scores of thank you cards for her generosity. My mom’s specialties were baking delicious homemade cakes for birthdays and sewing designer clothing for everyone’s special occasions.
My mom loved Jesus and her church, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, and was a member for 76 years! She served as a faithful and devoted leader in the Church School, coaching children as ‘The Memory Lady,’ in Vacation Bible School, and once received a teacher’s award. She even joined the chime ministry in her 80’s.
My mother adored her family, especially her sister, Dorothy, her brother Emory and me, whom she adopted as a single parent. This was the ultimate Christ-like gift, for which I am eternally grateful. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone. (John 15:13) She gave her life so that I could have mine. It’s one thing to have a child naturally, it’s quite another to seek one out, then go to an orphanage and court to bring them into your heart and home for the rest of your life. James describes looking after orphans in their distress as ‘true religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless.” (James 1:27) My mother was extremely well read and offered matriarchal wisdom and insight. She was a witty, fun-loving, loyal and kind friend. Her friendships lasted for 50 years or more. She loved to travel and enjoyed the arts. She had a great disposition and lived life to the fullest. Proverbs 31 so aptly describes my precious mother:
A woman of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
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