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T.D. Jakes honors mother in ‘Mama Made the Difference’

By Amy Notarius
Rowan Public Library
Noted pastor, author and speaker T.D. Jakes celebrates mothers in “Mama Made the Difference,” available at Rowan Public Library.
Jakes founded The Potter’s House, a multiracial and nondenominational church near Dallas, and his ministries include outreach programs for the homeless, a GED literacy program, treatment programs for drug and alcohol abusers, and a prison outreach.
Jakes’ mother, Odith, was a home economics teacher, an educator “both by profession but also by her very nature” who instilled in him an appreciation of lifelong learning and wisdom. Jakes focuses much of his healing work on women suffering from abuse or low self-esteem. His book “Woman, Thou Art Loosed!” sold more than 2 million copies.
In “Mama Made the Difference,” Jakes explains that he devoted much of his 30-year ministry to seeing women healed because of the way he loved and appreciated his mother. “I want all the mothers out there to know how much their sacrifices matter, how much what they teach us really does make a difference.”
The chapters in “Mama” are broken up into different lessons, such as “Mamas Teach Us the Power of Words” and “Mamas Teach Us the Value of Support.” In the chapter on support, Jakes notes that many of us spend time and energy supporting people without being recognized for it. Mothers, especially, can be taken for granted because they are always there for their children. “You are like a floor joist n strong, stable, and essential, but not very obvious … you are someone’s silent strength and … can make a difference in that person’s life by simply being there.”
Jakes looks at the pain of childless couples enduring baby showers or Mother’s Day celebrations in a chapter exploring the need to celebrate others. In addition to Jakes’ personal recollections, celebrities Colin Powell, CeCe Winans and others write short essays about their own mothers. Each chapter ends with brief exercises for self-improvement and prayer.
Though the work is dedicated to and centered on Jakes’ mother, one of the most moving chapters concerns his great-grandmother Nancy, his paternal grandfather’s mother, who had been a slave. Jakes had the “excruciatingly painful privilege” of learning about slavery firsthand when he was in elementary school and Nancy, then nearly 100 years old, shared her stories with him.
Jakes encourages readers to study their heritage and be proud of it, to visit places their ancestors lived and worked, because our ancestors teach us to survive in order to thrive.
“We must claim their trials and triumphs as our own, weaving them into the tapestries of our experience, drawing strength and courage from … those who have gone before us.”
“Mama Made the Difference” and other works by T.D. Jakes are available at Rowan Public Library.
RPL Annual Book Sale: today, 1-4 p.m., and Monday, May 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
RPL Friends Belle Banks Review: Thursday, Stanback Room, headquarters, 7 p.m. Belle Banks will discuss “Remember Me?” “Antonement,” “The Appeal” and “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terror and Build Nations ó One School at a Time.”
Tuesday movies: May is Doris Day Movie Month. Come to headquarters at 6:30 p.m. Free refreshments will be served. Tuesday, “That Touch of Mink”; May 20, “Send Me No Flowers”; May 27, “Calamity Jane.”
May computer classes: Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Microsoft Publisher Part 2; Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Audiobooks and NetLibrary; Monday, May 19, 7 p.m., Creating Web Pages; Thursday, May 22, 1:30 p.m., Computer Survival Tips. South ó Thursday, May 22, 11 a.m., Genealogy ó Saving Stuff.
Displays: South ó student art from South Rowan High School.Children’s programs: Registration begins for this year’s Summer Reading Program, “Catch the Reading Bug!” on May 19 at headquarters and East and South branches.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Web site: For a listing of all programs at all library locations, www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

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