My Mother's Bible
by Susan E. Todd
August 2003


"There's a dear and precious Book,
Tho' it's worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago;
When I stood at mother's knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low."

My mother was a first generation American. Her parents were both born and raised in Ukraine, a country where my husband and I are currently serving as missionaries. My grandparents and mother grew up in the Russian Orthodox Church. My father was also a first generation American. Both his parents were born and raised in Sicily. After my parents married they faithfully attended the Roman Catholic Church until they accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The Bible was indeed a dear and precious Book to my mother for many reasons.

  • My mother recognized that the Bible is INSPIRED
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible is FROM GOD
    The Lord gave the word: (Psalm 68:11a)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible is an ESTABLISHED work
    For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible is PURE
    The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible is TRUE
    Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible SUSTAINS
    And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible ILLUMINATES
    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:105; 130)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible brings CONVICTION
    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible points us to the SAVIOUR
    Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)
  • My mother recognized that the Bible is ETERNAL
    Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)


"As she read the stories o'er,
Of those mighty men of old,
Of Joseph and of Daniel and their trials;
Of little David bold,
Who became a king at last;
Of Satan with his many wicked wiles."

The Bible became very real to my mother. As she witnessed to her own family and to my dad's, she encountered much opposition for her stand as a born-again believer. So she drew her strength from the many stories she read in the Scriptures.

  • My mother loved the Bible
    It was her favorite book. To her it was the Book of books. It was her constant companion in good times as well as bad. She read it the first thing in the morning to give her strength for the day and she read it the last thing at night to meditate on it and give her sweet repose.
  • Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Revelation 1:3)

  • My mother believed the Bible
    The King James Bible was her choice. She gave me my first Bible, a King James Version. She never questioned its authority. She never accepted any modern version.
  • For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

  • My mother studied the Bible
    The pages of her Bible were well worn. For within its pages were all the answers to all the questions she had in life as well as in her walk with the Lord.
  • Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

  • My mother memorized it
    She would be diagnosed with cancer three times, the third occurrence taking her life. Its words were what sustained her during her twenty-year battle with that dreaded disease. Despite her physical weakness over the years, each morning when she awoke her first words were, "Thank you, Lord, for another day."
  • Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)

  • My mother believed its promises
    She knew when the Lord called her home that some day she would be reunited with her family.
  • (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

  • My mother taught it
    She taught it to me as well as to others. She loved children and loved to teach them about Jesus.
  • When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (2 Timothy 1:5)

  • My mother lived it
    It guided her decisions; it directed her steps.
  • "Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." (Psalm 25:4-5)

  • My mother shared it
    Many have already met her and others will someday will greet her upon their arrival in heaven.
  • The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30)


"Then she read of Jesus' love,
As He blest the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care,
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me."

My mother was saved while listening to the radio broadcasts of Dr. J. Vernon McGee. Her desire to see her family saved was first and foremost in her heart and on her mind. She led my brother and me to the Lord and began praying for her husband, who would also trust Christ as his Saviour just a few short years before his untimely death.

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:5-6)


"Well, those days are past and gone,
But their meaning lingers still,
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His words abide."

My mother is gone now. She is in heaven with the Lord that she loved so much. She is also with her husband who died just 6 months short of their 25th anniversary. Someday her children will join her around the throne. I know that even now she is smiling down on her son, my brother Jim, a pastor in New York, and his wife Elsie as they serve the Lord faithfully in their church.

I know she is overjoyed that my husband, Michael, a pastor for 37 years, and I are missionaries and have been serving the Lord for almost seven years in Ukraine, the country of her ancestors. I know that she would be thrilled that her own daughter and son-in-law are reaching her people with the gospel. We are her heritage and legacy and the outcome of her faith in Jesus Christ and her love for the things of God.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 1:4)


"Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear-stained leaves I love to look;
Thou art sweeter day by day,
As I walk the narrow way
That leads at last to that bright home above."

"My Mother's Bible"
written by Evangelist M. B. Williams and Charlie D. Tillman
c 1893 by Charlie D. Tillman.


In Loving Memory
of my mother

Marian D. Galbo

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."
(Psalm 116:15)