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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Who is Anna Daisy?

Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV).
            Anna Daisy’s definition of delight in the Lord was in ‘serving others’!  I learned the entire chapter of Psalm 37 is what she lived by when we read the Bible together in the last years of her life. My earliest memory of this Anna Daisy, is standing by her side as she sewed clothes for others on her old treadle Singer Sewing Machine.  She began sewing doll clothes when she was a small girl.  She cut her own patterns.  One day I came home from college and she rushed from the bedroom holding the garment she had just completed – praising the Lord.  She explained, “The thread and this dress ‘came out even’.”  She gloried in small achievements and celebrated singing the Doxology often.
            She made music with her life and found joy in the melodies they made. In her writing of her life, I learned that she made music with paper wrapped around a combs, a forgotten autoharp in the attic, and a saw.  Her Dad found she had an ear for music, and she began taking piano lessons because she wanted to accompany her Dad’s choir in the Ebenfeld Church.  
            As a child, my brothers and I were often awakened by a rousing melody from the piano, and fell asleep to a soft piano lullaby.  She played for many funerals and weddings, as well as church services.  She taught me to play the piano…as well as many other students.  She taught her piano students to “pray as you play.”  She always gave God the glory for a way to praise Him. When my Dad came home from his rural route expressing a need for funeral or wedding music for his patrons, Mom always said ‘Yes’.  She didn’t know the word, ‘No’.
            Her ability to make-do with what is, astounded me. She sewed dresses from printed feed sacks.  If a hole appeared in the cloth, it was covered with a pocket or an embroidered daisy! When my brother, Jim, needed a prop plane for a school play, Mom made one out of cardboard and wheels that rolled across the stage. When I wanted a desk, she built one for me. When Dad planted and harvested sugar came during WWII sugar rationing, Mom used her wringer Maytag washing machine to extract the syrup.
            Mom was hospitable, even to feeding Charlie Collins, one of my brother’s friends.  When she compared notes with his mother, Mom learned Charlie ate with us, and went home to eat again. A pan of Mom’s cinnamon rolls often found their way to Midwest Christian College when I attended between 1947 – 1950.
            At the age of eighty-six, she wrote about her ‘accomplishments’ five years before she died, with a lingering disease – pulmonary fibrosis.   One lady came to visit Mom and confided to me as she left.  ”I came to minister to Ann, and she ministered to me.”  When I checked on Mom afterward (she lived with us for her last four years), she mentioned trying to ‘minister’ to her friend.
            When Mom taught 45 piano students each week for a period, her strength left her, and she was not able to function for a time… words became her constant companion. Now I have a filing cabinet filled with treasures of poems, articles, devotions, and stories she has written.
            Anna Daisy wrote about her ‘inner life’ and commented.  “It has always been a puzzle to me – Why would God take a sun- burned country child and make her feel so loved?  I knew I was not always loveable.”     
            She often exclaimed to me, “Why does God spoil me so much?”  She told me not to place her on a pedestal.  Her granddaughter, Anna Payne, replies …maybe a footstool?
            Mom spent hours preparing and teaching Bible Study to various groups. She used charts she made, and other helps to clarify the Word.  Mom directed the choir at church while I was in high school. One of my favorite songs was – My God and I walk in the field together…and now she is.
            How did Mom end her autobiography?  "I have seen bad things turn into blessings. I have felt God’s ‘moving spirit’ with a coming change to prepare me for a bend in my road. I have sensed His Presence in my darkest hours of sorrow and pain.  I have had a tip-toe peek into heaven. I have had gifts and privileges given to me I would not have dared to ask for, yet God gave them to me."  This brings deeper meaning to Psalms 37:4 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. My faith holds me in God’s care. I pray that I can remain faithful until it turns to sight on the other side.  My prayer is that Papa and I may tell God, “Here are our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, and those who come after. They all love and obey you!”


(Mom wrote the story of her family life and history in the book, The Lines Are Fallen, republished October 12, 2017, by Anna K Payne -- https://www.amazon.com/Lines-Fallen-Anna-Daisy-Siemens/)  


Comments? eacombs@att.net

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Why Should He Love Me So?


   Why should He love me so? Why should He love me so?  Why should my Savior to Calvary go? Why should He love me so?
        A question that begins with ‘Why’ – demands a thoughtful answer even in a song lyric.  Recently I began a *Bible Study beginning with the questions…
    Who is God? (But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:8)
    Why does God love me? (…for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.  Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” John 16:27-28)
    Why does God want us? (So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:11)
         I realized, as I shared these questions and scriptures with my husband, knowing God is love and singing Jesus Loves Me, isn’t all there is.  This love isn’t an academic statement but a daily living of love and hope in a relationship with our Creator Who truly loves us. 
         When we love with our whole hearts, we see God everywhere.  We hear God and we talk to God, praising Him.  During a Women’s Retreat, we were asked to go for a walk and pick up one item that would speak to us of God’s Love.  One lady brought back a stick – Jesus was crucified on a cross, made from a tree.  Another brought back a stone - the stone was rolled away from His Tomb and Jesus was raised from the dead!  We soon realized God-reminders surround us on every side. When we walk, we are walking with God and see Him everywhere.  No matter what our day is, we are spending it with God.
         The Fall season exhibits His glory in the beauty of color.  He colors our world with His love. The blue of the sky, the many hues of the clouds, the heat of the sun, the silvery beams of the moon declare His Presence and love.
         This God-love permeates our lives deeply with obedience, faith, forgiveness and trust. Then from the Bible Study came this scripture that brought me to my knees in thankfulness and rejoicing.  
         Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.  Isaiah 43:4
         We are honored.  God honors us?  If there is a relationship between God and us, we will honor Him with our love and allegiance and obedience.  We will walk in step with our Lord, pleasing him with our thoughts, our words, and our actions. A memory surfaces in my mind of my Dad walking with me down the aisle sixty-five years ago.  Our steps were not the same. When I reminded Dad, he quickly matched his steps to mine. We smiled.  This is relationship-living. This is honor in action.
         Honor is to respect, have a high opinion of one, honesty and integrity, recognizing a person of high regard.  When we are in a relationship with God He calls us Children of God.  We are His heirs through Jesus Christ and we are called His friends.  We were created in the image of God and He sent Jesus to die on the cross to make a way for us to come to Him.  How often I remember this scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:11 - 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.
         Robert Harkness, educated in composition and piano playing wrote the hymn, Why Should He Love Me So?  Robert Harkness played for evangelistic meetings with Reuben Torrey and Charles Alexander, who influenced his belief in Jesus.  Robert was born in 1880, in Australia, and died May 8, 1961.  During that time he conducted a radio program – The Music of the Cross, and published a correspondence course on “Evangelistic Piano Playing.”  He wrote over 2000 hymns and Gospel songs.  He toured throughout North America, England, Scandinavia and returned to Australia several times. 
         Robert Harkness wrote the words to Why Should He Love Me So while riding a bicycle.
         How great is our God?  Did this world and our lives just happen?  John Peterson wrote these lyrics:  It took a miracle to put the stars in place; It took a miracle to hang the world in space. But when he saved my soul, Cleansed and made me whole, It took a miracle of love and grace.
         Those moments in life when we feel utterly alone and without hope, and we ask, “Does anyone care or know I am hurting?”  This is when we can rejoice and count our blessings and give thanks.  Jesus loves us.  He cares.  For the resurrected King is resurrecting me
         Matthew 5:44-45 - But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.
         John 3:3 - Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
         John 1:12-13 - But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.


*Planted Flower Series Bible Study – Anna K Payne


Comments?eacombs@att.net