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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Dinger's On

Saturday dawned each week and it became the ‘Day of the Dinger.’ This is the day, years before kitchen stoves sported ‘timers.’ Housecleaning became the battle cry!  Saturday was designated as the ‘Day-to-Clean-the-House- From-the-Front-Door-to-the-Back-Door.’
Then came the time Mother seemed stymied in her mission to complete the Saturday Chore Day.  She sent my little brother to the living room to vacuum the living room carpet. Gene was eight or nine years old and acquainted with Dad’s screwdriver. When no sound came from the living room, Mother checked. 
         My brother sat beside the silent vacuum cleaner with parts circled around him. “I thought it sounded like something was wrong, so I am fixing it!”  He gave us an insight into his inventive ‘fix—it’ thinking.  It must be this day Mother decided to teach the value of time by using the ‘dinger’?
         Or was it when my current story-book caught my attention and arrested my cleaning for the moment or thirty minutes?  Or perhaps it happened when Jim decided to dig for worms while taking out the trash? Just in case, Mom or Dad planned a fishing trip soon, he would be ready.
         Mother taught me not to play while I washed dishes.  I was ecstatic when my Grosmom Emilie came to live with us. She helped me with the dishes. One day Grosmom began to turn the handheld eggbeater in the dishwasher to create more bubbles. I chose my words carefully and informed her, we are not allowed to play while washing dishes. She looked puzzled.
         Slowly, we learned the value of time well spent. Then the Grandchildren came.  Anna still remembers Grandma’s ‘Dinger’ poem and quotes it to herself to spur her on in her many activities during each day. She is a Planning Queen.
         When Grandma Daisy, as her grandchildren called her, entertained four grandchildren who had come for a visit. Tim remembers bath time at Grandma Daisy’s. One tub of water for all four summer-sweaty children.  Dinger dings and oldest gets in and has to lay down in the water; Dinger dings, and he turns over. Dinger signals to get out, dry and the next one gets in. Repeat another three times. Then the inevitable Domino game begins - until Dinger dings. The last Dinger ding for the day signals bedtime. 
         We see the most beautiful flowers blooming, wilt and die, and so it is for us.  Our Lord God creates us to live this life, giving us each breath. We think we have all the time in the world to lazily live our way to the end.  Our God has plans for each of us on this earth.  He gives us gifts to do His Work on earth.  He sent Jesus to free us from guilt and follow His Leading. He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us to love one another with the same love as Jesus loves us.  We are to live together in forgiveness and His blessings. 
Our time on earth is not forever.  We were not created to stay in a fallen world but to live with our Lord for an eternity. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.  Titus 2:14.
         The woes of this world are many. There is a place where we can find rest for our souls.  Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.
When our time on earth is finished, what is our story? Day by day we make our choices. Our story is the legacy we leave behind for our children, our children’s children, and those who come after. Each day of worshiping our Lord, living for Him and loving others in our lives, and we become attuned to trusting, loving, and forgiving. It is then we rejoice for our foundation is built on the One true God, we will stand.
Hebrews 13:5, 8, For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
Romans 8:38 - And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
The Dinger’s On
The children dawdled through the morning
And soon their day was spent and gone.
Then we found a marvelous aid or helper-
We set the dinger on!

They learned a sense of time and value.
They swept the floors and mowed the lawn,
With lessons learned for school. No more the need
To set the dinger on!

Grandchildren came to stay with us:
All time to them was but a pawn
To squander thoughtlessly on meals and dressing,
We set the dinger on!

Now we are slow in all our labors,
For we have been at tasks since youthful dawn:
With lists about, we work in fury because
We set the dinger on!
                  From Kith and Kin by Anna Daisy Siemens

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11


Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Songs of Praise for Living

   From the time Mother was a young girl discovering an autoharp in the attic, she tries to make music and look for songs to praise God.
         She laughed when her Dad, the church choir director, became so overcome by enthusiastically learning a new praise song, his chair tipped over in the kitchen. His pitch pipe, and a hurriedly sung Do – Mi – Sol began each new song.
         Mother grew up in a house of music and worship. Is it any wonder that she would entitle this poem, Songs of Praise – For Living?
         Often at bedtime, after prayers were finished, we heard Mother playing worship songs on the piano softly.  She played without lights on one evening.  She explained why. In case of losing lights in the church, the music could continue. She taught piano lessons, wrote poems, stories, Scripture songs, and articles.
         Mother delighted in learning new truths in the Scripture. She baked bread, sewed all of our clothes, and baked loaf after loaf of bread.  She gardened and canned the produce from her garden.  Flowers were grown to give to the ‘old’ people when she visited them. She was often older than they were.  She taught many Bible Studies and Bible Classes. She had a strong understanding of right and wrong and taught her grandchildren as well as her children. 
         After my Dad died, Mom continued on for ten years. Then Mother left her home, her church family, and her garden, and moved to another state when she was about 84. She made a new home.  One day, she told me each morning she asked, “Lord, what do You have for me to do today?” Her list for the day came From God Himself.
         When Mother’s health began to fail, she moved into our home. When her time came to leave this earth, I sat beside her and read the 37th Psalm, her favorite. Verses 3-5 read as a remembrance of how she lived: Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. And verses 23-24 contain the promises: The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.  Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
         I often remember how Dad and Mother walked hand in hand in obedience to God the Father on this earth. When I hear the following lyrics sung, I think of the awe and wonder in their eyes as they see the fullness of their faith appear before them.  
The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance
The stars shall applaud Him with thunders of praise
The sweet light in His eyes shall enhance those awaiting
And we shall behold Him, face to face, in all his glory.

I Corinthians 15:52-53 - It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
I Thessalonians 4:16-17 - For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Songs of Praise for Living
With eighty-seven years of life on earth
I sang my purest praise when dawn
Defined the sky before the test of toil,
And sweaty sins soiled the spirit of my day:
But I needed beating drums and bugle calls
For planned agendas and conflicts won
Through high noon heat with the sun.

When labors end for twilight vesper songs
And labors end for twilight vesper songs
Of prayers, I file and store my day
Of praise upon tomorrow’s memory shelf.

And now Venus beckons me to view
God’s evening light upon His window sill:
Let carefree rest reflect each song of praise
As a soundless serenade to my soul for sleep.

Ordain, O Lord, each song I use
To glorify and honor You alone.
                           Anna Daisy Siemens

‘The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance’
Dottie Rambo, copyrighted,1980 Benson Publishing Company.