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Monday, April 16, 2018

Garden Serenity

I read and re-read this poem and in my heart, I pictured a young girl, wearing a homemade bonnet, walking behind a plow under the hot sun.  She learned how to make straight furrows in the black dirt of mid-Kansas with her Papa Suderman watching and teaching her to keep her eyes on the standard - fence pole in the distance.
   Anna Daisy enjoyed working with her Papa on the farm, remembering God created the Heavens and the Earth long ago. She knew the presence of her Dad gave loving guidance to make the furors straight even as her Father in Heaven guided her throughout her life..
   In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.  His power and goodness gave her faith in Him. She looked upon farming and gardening as a direct link to God Who watered the earth so long ago.  God created Anna Daisy to work in His creation, one step at a time in bad times and good.
         God’s constant presence gave her life-changing understanding of His Love. Her life became a straight furrow of life filled with good deeds and praising Him.  She continued learning through the gifts God gave her of writing poetry, praise, and gospel songs and her faith grew, as did the flowers she gave to others.
         When we lived in Watonga, Oklahoma, she made many trips to the ‘Siemens Cellar’ with canned jars of fruit and vegetables, she and her husband grew together.  They delighted in the Lord’s blessings from the garden.
         Anna Daisy lived and loved whole-heartedly. She held the straight path of faith through her life.  One day, in her last days, Anna Daisy lived with me. A lady came to visit Mom.  The visitor left, telling me how thankful she was to be able to minister to Mom.  When I checked on Mom after the visit, she confided to me, “I’m so glad I could minister to her.” It was then I knew the purpose of a church family – to minister to each other – in the name of Jesus Christ. 
         The last two lines of Garden SerenityFor when I kneel upon the sod,
I have such lovely talks with God.
         Walking this earth, making a straight furrow of faith is possible if I hold on to the hand of our Lord and Savior and delight in His Presence. 

                           Garden Serenity
                  I cannot rightly call it toil
                  When sprigs are planted into the soil;
                  Although I water, mulch, and hoe,
                  God’s elements will make them grow.

                  The plants, the sun, and even weeds
                  Fulfill my very basic needs;
                  For when I kneel upon the sod,
                  I have such lovely talks with God.

         Colossians 3:16-17- Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
         Genesis 2:5-7 - Neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the Lord God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land. Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
Genesis 2:7-9 -Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I Kings 4:24-25 - Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders.  During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.
Isaiah 58:10-12 - Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.  Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.  Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Jeremiah 31:11-13 - For the Lord has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them. They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts -- the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone. The young women will dance for joy, and the men—old and young—will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Traveler

   My Dad worked nights at the Post Office when we were young. It was during the great depression. How would Dad sleep with three small children in a three-room house?  Mother would often take us for a ride. Her constant quest was a beautiful shade tree, her criteria for a picnic! She would say, “I wonder where this road leads?”
   Once, Mother stopped on a country road.  Something wasn’t right.  We felt her angst as she stopped the car and walked further to the empty place where a bridge should have been. No sign warning us!  I remember thinking my Mom was the bravest person I knew.  She would protect us.
    Later, we left home and made our homes far away. Dad and Mother traveled long distances from Oklahoma to California, Utah, and wherever I was living at the time.  There were also trips to Kansas where Mom’s family lived. There was no need for a ‘bucket list’ for a vacation.  It was more of a ‘Love List’ giving them reasons to travel.
    The last two lines of Mother’s Poem, The Traveler, caught my eye. “And my travels turn to ‘froth and foam’ – unraveling in a one-way ticket to Home.” 
                           The Traveler
         I dreamt of life in some exotic land
         Where fountains flow – like Tripoli or Rome:
         Contempt for things well-known lured me to stand
         On mountain peaks ten thousand miles from home.
         At first my itching feet skipped over miles
         Where ridges rose to greet idyllic scenes;
         Raw thirst was quenched at spas and tree-fringed isles
         Where bridges spanned blue bays and deep ravines.
         I eagle-viewed the landscape, soaring high
         And engineered time-tables to new dreams
         Where regal crews bowed low to satisfy
         With pioneering craft to conquer streams
                  Until my travels turn to froth and foam
                  Unraveling in a one-way ticket home.
   We are travelers through this life, and our destination is not far-flung lists of destinations.  Just one place – Home with Jesus. The Love of Jesus draws us through this life to our final destination – our Heavenly Home – as we walk and live with Him in our allotted time on earth.
    John 14:1-3, one of my favorite scriptures, gives us our way Home. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am

   There is no need to pack or plan the itinerary through a Travel Agency to Heaven. The last six years of his life, my dear husband suffered from dementia. His one desire became, to go home, although he had no understanding of where Home could be.
   An old quote is Home is where the heart is, and Ed’s heart belonged to God in all he said and did. Our celebration of his life on Good Friday, began with a song, his granddaughter, Jenny, sang. “Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m just goin’ home. Quiet like, some still day, I’m just goin’ home. It’s not far, just close by through an open door, Work all done, care laid by, going to fear no more…
     II Corinthians 5:6-7, 17 - "So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
    My ‘bucket list’ has only one destination – Heaven. God provides the transportation and makes me a new creation. He provides an everlasting home in Heaven. I can only imagine… the glory waits for those who call upon His Name and walk with Him! The reunion with loved ones in Heaven is just the beginning of the joys that await us.

   Psalm 30:4-5, 11-12 - Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!  Praise his holy name. For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning…You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!