Follow by Email

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My Basket Overflows

I want you to meet my Mom, Anna Daisy Suderman!  Anna Daisy was born in 1907, on a farm in mid-Kansas. She grew up learning to plow, plant a garden, can food, sew clothes, play the piano, and became an excellent cook.  She married my Dad, Herman Siemens, in 1928.  They taught in a one-room school in Oklahoma for a year.
         Dad and Mom made it through the Depression with sheer determination and creativity.  They raised three children, born in 1929, 1930, and 1932.  Dad delivered mail, raised a garden, raised chickens, and milked our one cow. We lived in town, yet they were still farmers at heart.  Mom sewed for  her family and others. She grew flowers to take to the old people, even after she was eighty years old.
         I don’t know remember when Mom began her love affair with words. She enjoyed cross word puzzles and learning new words. This book of poems, Life: Full Measure…Running Over is the last book she wrote, before her death in 1998.
                  My Basket Overflows

         I want to dine on simple wholesome fare;
         All my open lines to God are trust and prayer;
         I like to run on blooming April daisy slopes
         And walk through gloomy vales with heavenly hopes.

         I need a challenge of wide-open doors.
         The soberness of tackling mundane chores;
         Display my creation master’s brilliant art
         And retain a copy for my homesick heart.

         Each time I thank the Lord for lessons learned
         I find a sparkling gem I never earned;
         This simple life is such a lovely thing,
         I can only praise the Lord and sing.

         The first poem tells about the life and faith of Anna Daisy. The book of poems reflects almost ninety-two years of her walk with the Lord. Mother poured out her life, giving and serving. God gifted her with many ways to share His love – from raising her family to giving of what she had to others.
 As a young woman, she plowed the fields where wheat would be planted and harvested. She baked bread, beginning with grinding whole kernels of wheat. She kneaded loaf after loaf of bread. The tantalizing aroma of baking bread often filled her kitchen. While she kneaded, verses of scripture flowed through her mind and into her heart, Mom desired open lines of prayer to God and trusted God and His word, above all.
         Her God-given energy and delight in life tells the way Grandma Daisy faced each day. I have often seen her through the years skip in joy in what the Lord has done. When she could no longer physically proclaim praise – she gave voice to the chorus, Doxology. No matter the hard times and losses she faced, she breathed in heavenly hopes. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
         Grandma Daisy always rose to the challenge of the day.  Whether she tried a new quilt pattern, squeezing the juice from sugar cane stalks through the wring of her Maytag washer, or building a stage-prop airplane for a play my brother was in, learning a new song on the piano, or helping me write a musical play for my elementary students to perform.
         She taught her grandchildren how to cope with mundane cleaning, always a present need, by setting and racing with the stove ‘dinger’.  The mundane parts of our lives didn’t keep her from enjoying our Father God’s creation.
         One sunset eve, on the back porch, Mom and I watched for the Evening Star – Mom’s star. As a girl, Mom watched for the star and told her secrets and joys.  She constantly felt the pull of Heaven and always retained a memory-copies of each view of His Creation in her homesick heart.
         Grandma Daisy saw life’s hardships as her book of God’s Lessons. These hardships were learning more about God’s great love. She always found a glorious gem of truth she treasured. No matter how difficult the lessons, she still sang and praised the Lord.
         What do I remember most about my Mom? I remember her enthusiasm for each day. One day she confided she viewed each day as a beautiful gift from God for her delight!
         He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:3-4.
         Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:17-18.
         I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Know Who Holds My Hand

I first heard this song many years ago. Not long ago our daughter, Anna, shared with me a memory of hearing my Dad singing this song often. His days were cut short with heart trouble. He lived his life with enthusiasm and all-out love, no matter what he did. The thought of him singing the lyrics fills my heart with joy – I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day, I don’t borrow from its sunshine,  For its skies may turn to gray. I don’t worry o’er the future, For I know what Jesus said…Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, But I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.
         The moment we share is the moment of death in God’s time. Each time I visit my husband in the nursing home my heart is transported to God’s Waiting Room, as one of my friends there named it. It is not a depressing thought, but one of ultimate hope and joy of the future with Him.
         Two phrases from John 16:31-32 catch my heart! Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. Being alone, estranged from loved ones, no matter what the reason, leaves us weeping. But our hope will ever be in Jesus through this life and beyond. Jesus knew this truth and shared it with his disciples. The disciples did not yet understand the purpose of God.  His followers would soon scatter.  Jesus knew He would soon be crucified as a blood sacrifice for all sinners. The trials and sorrows on earth would come to them, and yet, through the resurrection of Jesus on the third day they would know. They would know Jesus overcame the world, for God was with Him. The pain Jesus endured as our blood sacrifice was physical and emotional beyond our belief and understanding.
         What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position “a little lower than the angels”; and because he suffered death for us, he is now “crowned with glory and honor.” Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone.  God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. Hebrews 2:9-10.
         Who wrote this hymn of faith and trust?  Ira Stanphill, born February 14, 1914, in New Mexico. By the age of ten, Ira played the piano, organ and accordion.  Later he added xylophone, guitar and clarinet.  By the age of twelve, Ira accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior. Ira began writing gospel songs at the age of seventeen and began preaching at the age of twenty-two. Some of the songs he wrote were Mansion Over the Hilltop, Room at the Cross, We’ll Talk It Over, Happiness in the Lord, Inside Those Pearly Gates, and God can Do Anything, but Fail, and Unworthy and more.
         During a time of sorrow and stress, 1950, Ira Stanphill wrote “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”.  This was during a time of mourning for his first wife, Zelma. Ira died in 1993, just before his 80th birthday.              
         Waiting for the Lord seems to take forever. We are tied to a schedule we can manipulate on earth. Waiting for anything seems preposterous to us. We have become accustomed to ‘instant’ everything.  Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit.  It is given to us when we choose to follow Jesus.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells the way to wait most clearly…Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
         Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14.   
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
Psalm 62:5.
         Just as we wait on fruit to ripen, it takes time for our faith and trust in God to ripen. Waiting is a two-way street - So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.  Isaiah 30:18. Great is His Faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:23a)
         When we understand we live our lives in the Name of Jesus. In wonder and humility, we begin to understand His purpose for us on this earth. The Adventure of Life in Jesus is not through ‘where’ we have been, ‘what’ we have seen, or what we have ‘done’.  Our life’s Adventure begins following Jesus and ends in eternity with Christ Jesus! I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know Who holds my hand.
         Philippians 3:20 - But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
         2 Peter 3:14 - And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
         Romans 15:3-4 - For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
         Psalm 25:4-6 - Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past.
         I John 4:9-10 - God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.