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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bee Well - A Safe, Simple, Inexpensive Cure for MRSA

Now, nearly four months after surgery and 3 1/2 months after having contracted a MRSA infection in the incision of my knee surgery, I can praise God for having healed me (of the infection).

For those of you who do not know about MRSA, it is a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Staph infections, in the past, were treated with Methicillin. Now, however, if a staph infection is resistant to that drug, which was my case, Methicillin is no longer effective in killing the bacteria. In fact, MRSA has outsmarted nearly every antibiotic there is.

For over three months I struggled with MRSA and then, as quickly as it came on, it was a thing of the past. Here is how it happened:

First, you should know that the elders of our church came over and prayed for me about four weeks ago.

Now for some background about my infection:

It had started to worsen. The first site cleared with two rounds of Bactrim (sulfa antibiotic), but some staph bacteria mutated, survived and became resistant to Bactrim, which is how a second outbreak occurred. The second site had been lanced and a third and fourth site were beginning at the time that my pastors came over to pray for my healing.

My surgeon did not want to put me back on antibiotics, because the MRSA would mutate again and get stronger. I had tried 4 or 5 remedies that I had researched online, and also some complimentary treatments suggested by a naturapathic doctor, including tea tree and lavender oils, colloidal silver, mega doses of vitamin C, golden seal, coconut oil, Purification from Young Living Essential Oils, etc. These had kept the infection from becoming full-blown but nothing would kill it. Meanwhile, with all the clinic co-pays and money put out for complimentary treatments and prescriptions, we had spent a small fortune.

After the pastors come to my home to pray for me, I went online again and typed in "what kills mrsa". Bottom line - it seems that all the articles that came up heralded the wonder of something called Manuka Honey from Australia and New Zealand. I found articles about twenty years worth of studies that had been done with the remarkable results published in medical journals. And the FDA here in the U.S. has actually approved a calcium alginate wound dressing (derived from sea algae) with Manuka Honey incorporated into it.

Seems this honey kills the protein in the bacterial cell wall, therefore killing the bacteria. Also, when it comes into contact with a draining wound, the bodily fluid contacting the honey stimulates the honey to make its own hydrogen peroxide, The sugar in the honey, being hygroscopic, also acts to kill the infection by drawing out its fluid, basically dehydrating the bacteria. Futhermore, the honey contains powerful pathogenic bacteria-fighting phytochemicals from the the pollen of the plants gathered by the honeybees. And manuka works on any type of infection, not just MRSA.

So I plunked down some more money and within a few days had my liquid gold. I put the honey directly on my knee and covered it with a dressing. It changed dramatically within hours the first time I used it. It took only days before the MRSA was gone. My doctor cleared me of the infection last Wednesday.

Now I keep not only Manuka honey on hand, but also the calcium alginate wound dressing mentioned above with the honey incorporated in it. I plan to treat any infection from now on with Manuka.

Since doctors can use anything that is FDA approved, it wouldn't be out of line to ask your doctor to check it out if need be.

Click here for a link to the article about the product that has been approved for medical use called "Medihoney". (This is the information you would want to give to your doctor if you contracted MRSA.)

Go here for a site that sells Medihoney.

Go here for another article about Manuka Honey.

Finally this link will take you to the site where I bought Manuka.

Prayerfully, you will never have a need for treating an infection of this type (or any for that matter). But it is good to know that even the worst types of infection can be easily cured and inexpensively at that.

But behind this wonderful cure was God's providential hand. Not only did He bring my attention to this resource, but He created it to begin with. And, it was only after the pastors came over and prayed for me that things changed for the better. I had run out of options but God intervened.

Though I had done much research into MRSA and tried many supposed cures, the infection would not relent. In the Old Testament there is a story about a king named Asa. He had turned away from the Lord in his advanced years and then he contracted a foot disease. Second Chronicles 16:12-13 reveals Asa's self-reliance: "In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians."

God directs us in James 5:14-15 to call on the elders of the church when we're sick: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up."

But I had not done that. After reading about Asa, I was convicted about all the research, doctor's visits, complimentary and conventional treatments, etc. that I had so rigorously pursued but had never complied with God's directive to call on my pastors. Though I had prayed that the Lord would heal me, I had not sought Him as James says to.

God honors His Word. He is faithful to do so, though I know this action on the part of the elders does not always result in physical healing for varied reasons. God could have allowed my infection to continue. Sometimes He allows the affliction to remain because He will receive more glory. I think of Joni Eareckson Tada, who God did not heal even after her elders prayed for her. But as a result, Joni has brought God much glory during the course of her lifetime in a wheel chair. And God's grace has definitely been sufficient for her.

There are also people who ask for this intervention of God through the elders who have motives that are centered on self. Or perhaps they refuse to repent of sin. God does not hear that prayer. James 5 even addresses the issue of repenting so that healing may take place.

But there are those times when God does heal. In so doing, He confirms, supports and establishes esteem for the leadership of the church. One of the elders told me, "There is nothing magical about our prayers." But there is something more than magical about God's ability to either heal or provide strength and grace amidst our disabilities and weaknesses .

He is my Jehova Rophe (healer). But had He chosen not to heal me, the Lord Jesus would have made His grace sufficient for my affliction, as He did when He told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." And like Paul, I would also have been able to say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Bee Well - A Safe, Simple, Inexpensive Cure for MRSA

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spiritual Mother - What to Look for...What to Be

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
As I gear up to begin (in about a month) mentoring some precious sisters from my church, I am reminded of the heart qualities that a "spiritual mother" should possess and am challenged to examine myself afresh. These are not characteristics that any of us should work at possessing, as if we could produce these in and of ourselves. Rather these are qualities representative of Christ. The only way these traits will show up in any of us depends on the relationship we have with Him - the time we spend with Him.

When we do that - spend time with Christ - the simple fact is that we begin to resemble Him, like 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." As we behold our glorious God, the resemblance to our Father and to our Savior becomes more and more striking and obvious in us.

It is a work that the Spirit of God performs in us as we look to Christ in the Scriptures and are amazed and delighted by who He is, so much so that sin begins to loose it's grip on us. He becomes our treasure and a grand transformation takes place. As this on-going transformation occurs, we discover that loving, pleasing and serving Him become our priorities. We give up our own plans to do His will.

Does this mean that we will never sin again? Of course not. But we will be so concerned with God's glory that temptation will loose it's power resulting in an even greater sensitivity to sin. When we do sin, we will be grieved and confess that sin sooner than if we were concerned with pleasing ourselves, rather than delighting our magnificent Lord.

So anyone you or I sit under for mentoring, (what we tend to call a spiritual mother) should exude Christ-like characteristics as a result of having been at His feet (time spent captivated by Him in His word and in prayer). Then she will be empowered to get up on her own two feet to obey and depend upon Him.

So, what are these characteristics? Following are a few traits you should look for in a woman professing godliness, though this list is not comprehensive. If you are searching for a woman to disciple you, look for these qualities. But do more than search for these traits in another woman, strive for them in yourself also, as you sit at Christ's feet.

1. Do you see Christ-like characteristics in her? What are they?

2. Does she love God and her neighbor? How does it show?

3. Is she submissive:
* to her own husband (if married)? Is she always respectful toward him in public and in private conversations?
* to the elders of the church?
* by being in agreement with other "older, godly women" - her peers - concerning Biblical womanhood as briefly described in Titus 2:3-5?
* by being supportive of church ministries? Does she regularly attend worship service, mid-week Bible study, Sunday School, etc, where she is placing herself under the teaching of God's word?

4. Is she serving in the church – not just in her own private ways at home (both are necessary).

5. Does she talk much about her own difficulties or does she talk about and know that Christ is sufficient for all of life’s trials?

6. Is she a generous woman? Does she extend her hand (resources) to those in need?

7. Is she humble? Does she prefer and honor others by
* practicing best case analysis or does she speak ill of others and impugn motives?
* letting love cover petty disturbances, or is she bothered by these?
* giving way to her own plans to let another shine?
* speaking the truth in love to those who have offended her as Matthew 18:15 commands?

8. Where does she really put her confidence? Is it in Christ or in some sure-fire method that she uses?

9. Does she seem to have all the solutions or does she leave room for God to act through prayer?

10. Does she know and apply Scripture?

11. Is her house in order, or is it neglected? Could you say that she is the “guardian of her home”?

12. Does she consistently do her husband good and not evil (if she is married)? Is she truly his helpmate, giving priority to his plans, assisting him as the left hand assists the right?

13. Is she a nurturer, caring for her children, or, if single, nieces and nephews, or other children that need TLC in the body of Christ? Does she "wash the feet of the saints" (willingly do the lowliest task); is she hospitable; does she assists those with urgent needs; is she known for her good deeds (1 Timothy 5:10)?

14. Over all, what would you say her driving force is? Is she concerned for God’s kingdom and glory so that it affects every issue of her life, or is she consumed by something else, even if it is good?
Can you add to this list? Have you personally benefited from another woman in a mentoring situation (either formal or informal)? Would you be willing to share your experience with others here on this blog? If so, either email me at or leave a comment and a way I can contact you.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Spiritual Mother - What to Look for...What to Be

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Soul Food Chef

My good friend, Bev, sent me a link yesterday that is so very interesting. With one little click, I was taken to the NPR (National Public Radio) news website. And what did I see there, but an interview between NPR and Bev's son, Tim Hammack.

Tim is a gourmet chef who left a very promising career at Bouchon in the Napa Valley to work at...Well, you'll never guess, so you will just have to follow this link yourself to hear the 3-minute interview. And by the way, Tim was also featured in the New York Times, etc. and will be featured in Guide Posts magazine and more.

Update: Since I first posted this story back in August of 2009 here on Gracethe original 3-minute interview with Tim has become unavailable. But I did find another video about the chef-training program that Tim began at the Richmond Rescue Mission here at this link

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

A Soul Food Chef

Friday, August 7, 2009

An Update and Some Musings on Suffering

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. "

The last post I put up was three weeks ago, (go here to read the first post about my knee surgery) so I thought it might be time for an update on my recovery. I apologize for being so lax in getting back into blogging, but I have just not been motivated for various reasons.

Overall, my progress has been good. I did get back my range of motion and then some. (Thank you, Jehova Rophe!) I can now bend my knee 100 degrees which is pretty good from what I understand. That 100 degrees may be the full extent to which I can bend because scar tissue is preventing further progress. I'll find out more about that this Tuesday at therapy.

Also, I was cleared for the MRSA infection (how thankful I am for that!), though there still is one little red spot that concerns me. It hasn't gotten any larger and I am praying that it will soon disappear altogether. The doc gave me the ok to start my physical therapy again, but as soon as I used the CPM machine (continuous passive motion machine), I put my hip out and had to stop exercising for another four days. However, I 'm now back at it again.

Throughout this ordeal, the Lord has seen fit to continue to place many physical trials before me. Total knee replacement surgery, in and of itself, makes for a very challenging recovery, let alone all the extra bumps in the road that I am experiencing. I am still struggling with the thrush and fungal infection in my stomach. That should begin to improve now that I am off of the antibiotic, which by the way was Bactrim, a medication that I am allergic to and was told that I had to take it regardless of my allergy.

But because I am allergic to Bactrim, it has caused a new problem. Namely, I have developed a stomach ulcer as a result of having taken two rounds of it. So I've been prescribed yet another medication to treat the new problem. And because of the intense pain that the ulcer has caused, I am again taking more of the Percocet (pain medication). Eventually, the pain will subside as I heal and, God willing, I will try again to get off of that narcotic.

Sometimes it seems that there will be no end to this. At times I become very disheartened. "Where are you God?", I have asked on many days. I know what it means not to be able to pray as Romans 8:26 describes, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..." How thankful I am for this sweet promise. The Spirit of God is praying for me.

The other day I picked my Bible and looked at this verse in Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15) In the margin I had written, "Would I be able to say this, Lord, under great trial? Strengthen me in my puny struggles to embrace You, O God, as my refuge and strength." I just cried when I read that, knowing that I had already, by God's sufficient grace, committed myself in such a way in the midst of my little trial.

And as I sat and tried to read on in the book of Job, I realized that I couldn't even get past that one verse. I thought, "Job could not have written this book while he was suffering so greatly because I cannot even read it in my meager sufferings." It gave me a new perspective on those who suffer chronically and on the sufferings of Christ as he drank in the bitter cup of the Cross. As a result, God has laid on me a new burden to pray for those I know of that suffer chronic physical disabilities and pain. And it has also impressed upon me afresh what my salvation cost the Lord Jesus Christ - so great a salvation.

"Lehman Strauss, in his book, Waiting on the Lord, said concerning his most severe trial, "This unexpected trial has changed my well-laid plans, but I know that God's plans are far better than mine." That is what I am learning to say. Though I had not planned for such a lengthy recovery, God planned differently. Though I planned to be up and back into my daily routine by now, God planned differently.

His plan is best and by His grace I will give Him thanks for it. He is producing endurance in me, conforming me to the character of Christ, teaching me to have a heart of thanksgiving, and impressing upon me the importance of not neglecting so a great salvation. I would never have planned for those things, but those are the things of that are of the greatest importance to God - eternal things. My plans were only temporal.

With all of this in mind, it has been my greatest yearning from the very beginning to honor and glorify the Lord throughout this trial. I simply do not want to waste this pain. I want to gain the utmost glory for my Sovereign Lord and the highest good for the body of Christ (including myself) through this valley. Following are some verses that have helped me stay focused in and through this trial - to bring me back from the shadows of despair into the light of His glorious presence. May God use this, His word, to cheer you also in the valley that you face:

Psalm 31:19-20 - "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence..." (I love this reality. My Savior has done this for me many times during this trial.)

Isaiah 41:10 - "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Psalm 25:15 - "My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare." (The snare for me isn't the pain and setbacks, but rather, how quickly my heart can resort to despair in the midst of those setbacks.)

Psalm 27:13-14 - "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"

Isaiah 40:29-31 - "He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

Psalm 73:25, 26, 28 - "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works."

Deuteronomy 31:8 -
"And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."

Psalm 50:14-15 - "Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." (God gave me this text the day before my surgery and it has continued to encourage me and remind me that my part in all of this is to have a thankful heart and fulfill my vows to trust Him.)

Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Such a precious promise!)

Isaiah 45:2-3 - "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (And He has done just that! Go here to read how sweetly God has blessed me in this regard.)

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

An Update and Some Musings on Suffering

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Come Sing in the Midst of the Darkness

"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you will know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3

It has been four weeks today since my knee surgery (Monday, June 29th). Though I wanted to put up a post sooner, sitting at my computer desk has been difficult to say the least. Even now, I am in a recliner with Robert's laptop on a lap tray.

This has been a very challenging recovery. The hospital stay was easy until two days after the surgery when I developed a nasty fungal (yeast) stomach infection. Since then, the course of events has gone as follows:

July 1st - Treated with drug for stomach infection; infection improving.

July 2nd - Home from the hospital; infection still improving, but intense nausea.

July 3rd - Home health nurse and physical therapist visit; changed the course of pain medication, lessening the amount. Off of stomach medication because it was causing nausea.

July 4th - Intense knee pain all day, especially when exercising.

July 5th - Spent 6 hours in the emergency room because of intense pain; was released with new pain medication; returned home and took new medication only to have a severe reaction to it. Switched back to old medication, but increased the amount. Pain is more manageable.

July 6th - Developed thrush (fungal yeast mouth infection).

July 7th - Began treating thrush with a probiotic supplement, probiotic foods and prescribed drug.

July 8th - Thrush is better.

July 9th - Since coming home, I am spending 4-6 hours a day on a "continuous passive motion" machine, which bends my knee to regain range of motion. Also, have been attempting to do physical therapy exercises though intense pain often cuts this short.

July 10th - I am learning how to manage snacks, meals and medication as meds taken on an empty stomach cause much stomach distress.

July 11th - Exercising is still very difficult and I am discouraged, knowing that my range of motion depends on this.

July 13th - Began to cut back on narcotic pain meds; thrush still present.

July 14th - Cutting back more on pain meds.

July 15th - A most difficult day - spent all day crying with no control. I think I'd become addicted to the pain meds and was coming down from them.

July 16th - A much better day. I went for physical therapy as an outpatient. The session was very painful but overall productive. The therapist told me to take more pain medication (oh no!) so I'd be able to do the exercises.

July 17th - Went back to the old pain medication schedule. I am able to exercise more freely now.

July 18th - In the morning I noticed a little red spot the size of a pea at the very top of my incision (incision is about 10 inches long). Called Kaiser and they said it sounded like nothing.

July 20th - Today, three weeks after surgery, I reached the four-week goal of bending my knee 90 degrees. Yippee! The physical therapist noticed a red spot, now the size of a quarter, and says we should keep an eye on it.

July 21st - The red spot is now the size of a 50 cent piece. After dinner, I notice that the spot is slightly opened and draining a small amount of yucky discharge. Time to go to the doctor.

July 22nd - I had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, who says I have a "stitch abscess". He opens and drains it, clips off the bad part of the stitch, swabs the wound to be sent to the lab and dresses it. Prescription for Keflex (antibiotic) given. I am to return on July 24th (two days later).

July 23rd - The infection site is larger today - now the size of a medium peach. Antibiotic is not touching it. If it gets into my knee joint the surgery will be destroyed.

July 24th - I visited the doctor who tells us that the infection is MRSA (pronounced "mersa") - the worst possible news. This is the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph bacteria that has the medical world in a panic. The doctor warns of the dangers of this infection and prescribes Bactrim. I am told to stop exercising and using the CPM machine until the infection is under control. (There goes all my hard work and range of motion!)

At home this past Friday (after getting the bad news), I called a naturopathic doctor and she made certain recommendations. I am on antibiotics and am also following the course of treatment given by the naturopath. One thing she told me to do was to apply tea tree and lavender essential oils directly to the wound as these destroy the bacteria without creating any resistance. Something is helping because the infection site is shrinking.

Now for the point of all this...
Now, for what is really important and why I shared my struggle with you. Through all of this, the Lord has been so kind and near. On some nights I would just lay weeping because of the pain. Robert took it upon himself, at those times, to sing to me. He began with "Gentle Shepherd" and has since added in many more songs.

This has been so precious. For one thing, I had never heard Robert sing all on his own before (in over 32 years of marriage!). He's only ever sung with music. So perhaps you can imagine how sweet it was to hear him next to me soothing me in song with thoughts of my kind shepherd. This has now become something we look forward to every evening at bedtime.

Once Robert starts singing, it isn't long before my heart is also compelled to worship. And in that worship, the presence of Christ completely transcends the physical pain and I find myself falling asleep. Oh, how precious He is! This indeed has been a priceless treasure wrought out of the darkness.
In no way am I out of the woods with this MRSA infection. And I am still struggling with the stomach and mouth infections. Robert just got over a week-long bout with the stomach flu. He is feeling much better but has so much on his plate right now. Please pray for us, that:

1. We might keep our eyes on our kind and gentle shepherd.
2. We might not waste this trial, but cooperate with God's sovereign purposes and bring Him glory.
3. Our God might restore my health and mobility.

When this "day of trouble" began with the stomach infection, I asked the Lord to draw very near to me and also give me a poem to honor Him. That prayer was answered last night. May you be encouraged in your struggle to seek Him, thank Him, praise Him and sing to Him (even, or rather, especially in the darkness of your trial).

Come Sing in the Midst of the Darkness

When it seems that the night will o'erwhelm you,
And the gloom has you close to despair, 
Come sing in the midst of the darkness,
Rich treasure God hath for you there. 

Cease mourning - His arms are about you; 
But the midnight of pain hides His face; 
Rejoice and give thanks midst your weeping, 
And you'll know His sweet presence and grace.

The darkness will flee when you praise Him;
The night will shine forth as the day; 
Great billows of Christ's healing comfort 
Will sooth and give peace all the way. 

Christ is your rich treasure in darkness.
His presence will transcend the pain. 
Tears of anguish will turn to rejoicing.
Christ is all that you need - bless His Name!

"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you will know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Come Sing in the Midst of the Darkness

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Cloud of Witnesses - Daughters of the King: The Martyrdom of the Margarets

A Picture of Radical Christian Womanhood
Here in America we are just seeing the beginnings of what it means to be hated for Christ's sake. Although we still retain our freedom to worship, with all the current effort to carve out a "politically correct" society, it is not difficult to see on the horizon a day when those freedoms could be limited or even removed altogether. Serious Christians can envision, I believe, the making of a government in our country which prescribes certain forms of "worship" and condemns others - really only one - fervent Christianity. Even now, it is alright to attend church, if that church conforms to the politically correct agenda. (The situation with the abortionist who was murdered comes to mind. He was loved and accepted in what could be termed a "politically correct" church.) I think this type of censorship must be how religious freedoms were seized in the past from other peoples and cultures.

One of those societies was Scotland in the 17th century. There were numerous atrocities committed there toward Christians during a period that became known as "The Killing Times" (beginning in 1600). People were imprisoned, tortured, banished, hanged, beheaded or shot on sight for worshiping according to the dictates of their redeemed and Biblically informed consciences.

At the same time, parish preachers were required by law to conform to state church hierarchy or be expelled from their congregations during "The Great Ejection" in 1662. These faithful men, who simply desired to love, worship and preach the crucified, risen and glorious Christ were branded, like animals, on the cheek with either a "C" (for Covenanter) or "P" (for Puritan) and driven from their churches and even their homes.

With no safe haven in any village to flee to, they, along with their families were forced to make their homes in the hills, dwelling in caves or crude huts. Stripped of their annual salary, these preachers and their loved ones lived without so much as a roof over their heads. Having no income, they depended on their compassionate sisters and brothers in Christ for basic needs.

But this cruel banishment did not silence them. They continued to preach Christ whenever an opportunity arose and of course, they encouraged one another with Scripture. They knew too well the fugitive-life that David experienced when he was forced to escape from King Saul. The Psalms must have been especially comforting to their weary hearts in the cold, austere hills and caves of Scotland.

Standing out as one of the most ruthless acts of violence during the Killing Times was the murder of two women, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Though an inexcusable atrocity, this case serves as a poignant witness of the loyalty and courage manifested by so many who have been persecuted for the sake of the Name. The two women, Margaret Lauchlison and Margaret Wilson, were martyred by heartless men for their love for Christ and refusal to adhere to the prescribed worship of the state.

Lauchlison, a 63 year-old widow of a carpenter from the parish of Kirkinner, was known for her devotion to her Savior and for her good deeds toward all. Wilson, a farmer's daughter and only 18 years of age from Glenvenrock Farm in Peinninghame parish had been mentored by the older Margaret. She had dissented from the state-run Presbyterian church, complacent as it was and which her parents attended, to join ranks with those who were were known as "Covenanters".

For their loyalty to Chirst and faithful obedience to His word, the women were tied to posts in Wigtown Bay and drowned as the tide rose over their heads. Lauchlison's stake was driven into the sands the furthest out in the tide so that she would drown first. This was done in hopes that Miss Wilson would recant and swear allegiance to the king as she saw her spiritual mother struggling with death.

As this horrific scene opened, Margaret Lauchlison's final moments actually served to embolden the younger woman's love for Christ so that she was all the more resolved to remain faithful. What her tormentors had hoped would motivate her to recant, instead, insured that she would not.

What did Margaret Wilson see that flamed her passion for her Lord as the waves swept time and again over Mrs. Lauchlison? She saw her faithful mentor fix her gaze upward, and heard her reciting Romans 8 and praying, even as she breathed her last. In the midst of this struggle, Wilson was asked by her captors what she thought of her widow companion now. She replied, "Ah, what do I see but Christ wrestling there!" She saw in her mentor, the same sufferings she knew to be true of her Savior and considered her friend blessed for having experienced Christ's degradation.

Once the water had risen to threaten Wilson's own physical life, the soldiers withdrew her from her stake to safety and attempted to convince her that she should recant. They told her that her life would be spared if she would only say, "God save the King". Of course the King's salvation was something she had long prayed for so she answered, "God save him if He will, for it is his salvation that I desire."

This was not the answer Miss Wilson's tormentors were looking for. So they bound her once again to the stake and just as she was nigh to entering her eternity, they removed her again to higher ground, this time to be implored by her desperate and unbelieving father and mother to deny her Lord. After many entreaties by her parents and the soldiers, she gave her resolute answer once more, "No, because I love the Lord."

She was lashed again to her stake, the instrument by which she would enter heaven and see the One she so loved, along with her friend, Margaret Lauchlison. As she waited for the inevitable, she too, like her mentor, recited Romans 8:35-39, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So on that cold day in January, 1681, both Margarets entered into eternity with their kind Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Their martyrdom did not accomplish what was intended, rather it simply ushered them into an eternity with the Lord. They had not been separated from His love. They had been united in His love and His presence, where there is fullness of joy.

What an example of radical Christian womanhood! Paul commanded Titus, pastor of the church on the Island of Crete, to teach the older women to be reverent in their behavior, so that they could train the younger women in godliness (Titus 2:3-6). As Miss Wilson's mentor, the older Margaret had done just that. She not only trained her by her life, but Margaret Lauchlison stood firm and faithful as the younger Margaret's example in death also - the example Miss Wilson, herself, followed not many moments later.

I wonder how many of today's Christian women (I include myself) are so resolute in their love for the Savior and so committed to nurture the younger generation of women for God's glory?

The Martyrs of Scotland by Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889)

There was gladness in Zion, her standard was flying,
Free o'er her battlements glorious and gay.
All fair as the morning shone forth her adorning,
And fearful to foes was her godly array.

There is mourning in Zion, her standard is lying
Defiled in the dust, to the spoiler a prey;
And now there is wailing, and sorrow prevailing,
For the best of her children are weeded away.

The good have been taken, their place is forsaken -
The man and the maiden, the green and the gray;
The voice of the weepers wails over the sleepers -
The martyrs of Scotland that now are away.

The hue of her waters is crimsoned with slaughters,
And the blood of the martyrs has reddened the clay;
And dark desolation broods over the nation,
For the faithful are perished, the good are away.

On the mountains of heather they slumber together.
On the wastes of the moorland their bodies decay.
How sound is their sleeping, how safe is their keeping
Though far from their kindred they molder away.

Their blessing shall hover, their children to cover,
Like the cloud of the desert, by night and by day.
Oh, never to perish, their names let us cherish,
The martyrs of Scotland that now are away.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

A Cloud of Witnesses - Daughters of the King: The Martyrdom of the Margarets

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Origin of Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. In fact, today is the one-hundred-and-first anniversary of this day to honor our nation's protectors and providers of the family. The following video tells the story of how this tradition all began. Take a few moments to watch what inspired this one hundred year old institution.

Now take another minute to view the details of this honorable day first practiced by the daughter mentioned in the above video.

Happy Father's Day to all of you men who are truly fathering and/or grandfathering a child (or children) for their good. Happy Father's Day especially to my husband. (As for my own father, he is enjoying a glorious never-ending day in eternity with his Heavenly Father.)

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

The Origin of Father's Day

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take the Challenge - Talk to Yourself!

Here is a challenge for you: Talk to yourself! Yes, talk to yourself. That may sound odd. We have always heard that it is alright to talk to ourselves as long as we do not answer. Well, it could be that it is really okay to even answer ourselves.

Think about this. Most of the time we do not talk to ourselves. Rather, we listen to ourselves and this gets us into more trouble than just about anything else. Martin Lloyd Jones said, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself?"

You may wonder what the difference is. What exactly do we hear when we listen to ourselves? Well, if you are like me, you hear very much the same kind of complaining I hear as I listen to myself. Typically, it goes something like, "Why am I the only one cleaning up around here?" Or, "O, brother, I have so much to do today. Why does my life have to be so complicated?" Or, "There I go again. Won't I ever learn to get this right?" Or, "Jerk!!! What do you mean pulling our in front of me like that? You must have gotten your driver's license out of a Cracker Jack box!" Or, "Why did I say I'd do this? When will I learn to say "no, no, no!"?" Or, "I really should have been given the credit for that. Why did so-and-so slight me? She must not like me. In fact, she always uses my ideas and takes credit for them, herself." And on and on and on...

If we would actually just listen to the record that is replaying in our heads, how disgusted we would be at what we hear. When we listen to another person giving verbal expression to these same kind of complaints (that we excuse in our own heads), would we not like to rebuke that one for such words? These kind of thoughts are always and only about ourselves. And the only way to change these base self-focused thoughts into God-glorifying thoughts is to do what David did in Scripture - talk to ourselves rather than listen to ourselves.
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." Psalm 43:5

"My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God." Psalm 62:5-7
"On a daily basis", C. J. Mahaney says, "we are faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth...about who God is and what He's accomplished on the Cross for us in His Son, Jesus."

You may wonder what the harm is in having such thoughts. After all, isn't a thought just a thought? I'd have to say "no" to that question. Wrong thoughts dwelt upon always give way to outward actions, whether that is a sharp, unkind, disrespectful word to your husband or mother, etc., or an act of violence toward another human being. Every murder started out as thoughts of hatred.

Thoughts are lofty things, whether good or bad. Second Corinthians 10:5-6 nails it, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." "Every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" are those negative self-focused thoughts that pass through my mind. When I choose to dwell on those thoughts, it becomes sin for me. After all, that thought is a "lofty thing raised up against" what I know to be true about my unchanging, faithful God who works everything for my good and His glory.That thought is a lie about God and His sovereign dealings in my life.

So we must be telling ourselves what is true about God. Philippians exhorts us to "think on what is true". How do we do that? We must reorient our minds to dwell on truth, and the way that happens is by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12 :2 is the key. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Our minds are transformed by God's word, the Bible. What goes into our brains comes out as thoughts. One of the things we learn in Scripture is to do what David did. Refuse to listen to the lofty lies raised up against the knowledge of God. Check those thoughts. Bring them into captivity. Give them no freedom to thrive and grow in your mind. When you find your mind wandering, do not listen. Begin at once to talk to yourself about what is true. "God is good and He loves me." "God has graciously forgiven that sin. I will thank Him at all times." "There is no one like the Lord. No one has ever loved me so much. His plans for me are good, to give me a future and a hope." "I love the Lord. My hope is in Him alone. Only He can bring good out of this situation. O, may He be glorified."

So take the challenge! Talk to yourself. Then your thoughts will be glorifying to the Lord.

"...You know me, O Lord; you see me and test my thoughts about You." Jeremiah 12:3

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24


Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Take the Challenge - Talk to Yourself!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No, Mr. President!

My husband brought my attention to this video by John Piper. Please watch it. It only lasts a little over 3 minutes. And even more importantly, commit to doing what John Piper says those who hope in a Sovereign God will do (at the end of the video).


Posted by Sharon Kaufman

No, Mr. President!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Bird's Eye View

My daughter found this robin's nest in a rose bush this afternoon and took a photo of it. She said it made her day. And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess I don't need to say anymore. Just enjoy God's creation (well at least a photo of it).

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

A Bird's Eye View

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Come, then Sing, then Fall, then Cry, then Dance, then Fly to Jesus and Live!

This song so inspires me to want to do just what it says - "come to", "sing to", "fall on", "cry to", "dance with", and "fly to Jesus". Every time I listen to it, my heart is so stirred to love my Savior more; and I find myself rejoicing, weeping and singing. This so aptly describes the Christian life! Read the words (posted below the player) as you listen to the song and LIVE!

Note: Before starting this song, scroll to the very bottom of the page and turn off the main play list by clicking on the two bars.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Come to Jesus
Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die;
Raise you head for Love is passing by.
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus and live.

Now you burden's lifted
And carried far away.
Precious blood has washed away the stain.
So sing to Jesus.
Sing to Jesus.
Sing to Jesus and live.

And like a newborn baby,
Don't be afraid to crawl;
And remember when we walk
Sometimes we fall.
So fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus and live.

Sometimes the way is lonely;
Steep and filled with pain.
So if your sky is dark
And pours the rain,
Then cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus and live.

Oh, and when the love spills over,
And music fills the night;
And when you can't contain
Your joy inside.
Then dance with Jesus.
Dance with Jesus.
Dance with Jesus and live.

And with your final heartbeat,
You kiss the world goodbye;
And go in peace
And laugh on glory's side.
Then fly to Jesus.
Fly to Jesus.
Fly to Jesus and live.
However, knowing how prone I am to wander, I've added one more verse to sing that goes like this:
And when temptation vexes,
And steals your heart away;
Confess your sin to Jesus,
Turn and pray.
Return to Jesus.
Return to Jesus.
Return to Jesus and live.

As Dr. Laura says, "Now go and do the right thing!"


Posted by Sharon Kaufman

First Come, then Sing, then Fall, then Cry, then Dance, then Fly to Jesus and Live!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Normal - Isn't That a City in Illinois?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an unrealistic idea that has persistently reemerged in my thinking. That is the pie-in-the-sky notion that goes something like this: “When I get past this (name whatever irritation or inconvenience you are currently experiencing – “both children in diapers”, “not enough kitchen counter-top space”, “pain in my knee”, “a house that never stays clean”, “a temporary commitment and deadline”, “doing my laundry at a laundromat”, etc.), things will be “normal” again and life will get easier.”

But what is normal? I know of a city in Illinois that is named “Normal”. And I once heard a woman say that “normal” is really only a setting on the clothes dryer. I’d have to agree with that. Life happens during all of our little and big abnormalities. In fact, those inconvenient abnormalities make up life. Life requires a constant adjustment to all the “whatevers” that the Lord chooses to use for our sanctification. If we put living on hold until after the circumstances pass…well, we will just be missing out on what Jesus called the abundant life.

How we handle these “abnormalities” is what matters. Job 5:7 says, “…man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” Jesus told us that each day would have enough of its own trouble and therefore not to worry about tomorrow. This world is not perfect. How could it be…you and I live in it?

Why not, instead, look past the annoyances to the One who said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Instead of wishing the trouble away, welcome it as an agent for your change toward Christ-likeness. Don’t contemplate life beyond your trouble. Instead find your life and your joy there amidst the trouble for the Joy Giver is there with you.

This calls for a radical adjustment to our thinking. Thinking “inconvenience or nuisance” implies that my life is interrupted. Rather think this is an “opportunity to depend upon God” for I am His - my life is not my own. Ask Christ for His strength in the task and thank Him when He gives it, then recon that you will be doing this all again tomorrow (remember what Jesus said - "each day has its own trouble"). Do not be surprised; rather know that amidst all the changes, the unchanging Savior is present – Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Can you praise and worship Him there in the midst of the annoyance? If so, you will have joy that transcends the disturbance and goes way beyond the desired “normal”.

Once this ever-changing, non-normal, whatever-life is past, we will dwell in the presence of unparalleled perfection and consistent beauty for we will be forever with the Lord. We will never have the desire for “life just to be normal again”. Who would want mundane normalcy in the stunning and indescribably majestic presence of our Lord?

What we must remember is that we can experience His stunning and majestic presence here, even in the midst of the routine irritations of an imperfect world. Dwell in that Presence now for the honor of the One who is perfecting you for that splendid, never-ending, glorious day. Why settle for “normal” when Christ and heaven can be found in the midst of our mundane inconveniences?

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Normal - Isn't That a City in Illinois?

Monday, April 20, 2009


Aren't I cute?

If you've wondered why there had been no posts for nearly two weeks, it's because we have a new addition in our home - a little "chug" puppy. "What", you ask, "is a chug?" A chug is a cross between a chihuahua and a pug.

So, now I lug-a-chug around with me in the house. This little guy's name is Tucker and he is nine weeks old now and weighs all of two and a half pounds. Sophie (our two year old beagle mix) is learning to love Tucker. The two of them have a great time romping around in the living room in the evenings.

I will be posting some pics of the two dogs at a later date.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman


Saturday, April 18, 2009

You Will Suffer

Please take ten minutes to watch John Piper remind you of your calling in Christ to a life that so magnifies Him that you will know what the Savior meant when He said, "A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you..."


Posted by Sharon Kaufman

You Will Suffer

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Safe At Shore

My husband, Robert has taught a midweek Bible study for many years. He recently assigned some extra reading - a small booklet written by C. H. Spurgeon entitled Around the Wicket Gate. What a great read - so encouraging and motivational.

I offer this excerpt from chapter two, Jesus Only:

Faith saves us because it makes us cling to Christ Jesus, and He is one with God, and thus brings us into connection with God.

I am told that, years ago, above the Falls of Niagara, a boat was upset, and two men were being carried down by the current, when persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to them, which was seized by both men.

One of the men held fast to it and was safely drawn to the bank; but the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go of the rope, and clung to the great piece of timber, for it was the bigger thing of the two, and apparently better to cling to.

Alas! The timber, with the man on it, went right over the vast abyss, because there was no union between the wood and the shore. The size of the log was no benefit to him who grasped it; it needed a connection with the shore to produce safety.

So, when a man trusts to his works, or to his prayers, or alms givings, or to sacraments, or to anything of that sort, he will not be saved because there is no junction between him and God through Christ Jesus; but faith, though it may seem to be like a slender cord, is in the hand of the great God on the shore side; infinite power pulls in the connection line, and this draws the man from destruction. Oh, the blessedness of faith, because it unites us to God by the Savior, whom He has appointed, even Jesus Christ!
If this has encouraged you and you would like to order Around the Wicket Gate for yourself, go here to Chapel Library.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Safe At Shore

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Visit With Franziska for a Spell

Over at Franziska's Pantry you will find a recipe for the most splendid Baked French Toast. It can be made up the night before and refrigerated so that there is minimal work for you in the morning. It is also very versatile in that it can actually be used for a delicious dessert when served with whipped cream instead of maple syrup (or even a little of each). But there is one more reason why I really like this recipe. It makes at least 8-10 servings so whatever is leftover can be frozen for breakfasts in the days or weeks to come.

So mosey on over and visit with Franziska for a spell. She'd like to add some nutritious and delicious mouth-watering goodness to your morning. She loves visitors. In fact, her motto is "the more the merrier". Go on now! What are you waiting for?

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Visit With Franziska for a Spell

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fixing Our Eyes and Ears Upon Jesus

"I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly." Psalm 85:8

A wide-margin Bible is such a great tool for encouragement. For as long as I can remember, I have had various wide-margin Bibles to use for study. As I read and meditate, I record spontaneous prayers and thoughts and the date in the margin of my Bible (I plan to pass these Bibles onto my children when I leave this world behind). At some later date, that prayer or thought might actually encourage me, like this morning's note on Psalm 85:8. On October 5, 2005, I wrote:
This verse (Psalm 85:8) is so appropriate! God has been convicting me of a certain bad habit I have - a sin - I should say. As I launched into it again yesterday, the Lord gently reminded me that I should turn from it but I kept right on going. Then within minutes, He made it clear to me that my sin was like the letting out of water. It spreads quickly and always seeks the lowest path of least resistance and it cannot be gathered back in once it has gone out. So from now on, I commit to "hear what the Lord will say, for He will speak peace" to me and I will not turn back to folly. Help me, Lord.
As I read that entry, I had no idea what that "bad habit" had been. I did not name it in my note (thankfully). But this I know, the Lord did speak peace to me concerning my sin. He did help me. Whatever it was, it is no more. He turned me from it.

However, since I continue to struggle with sin it is crucial that I listen to the Lord and keep my eyes on Him. He alone is my help in this conflict. Only Jesus can turn me from my folly to obedience and empower me to live a life that brings Him glory. Oh, how thankful I am that I am not left alone to do this work that is humanly impossible. But I can do it through Christ who strengthens me! I just need to keep looking at and listening to Him. Let us fix our eyes and ears upon Jesus!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Fixing Our Eyes and Ears Upon Jesus

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Franziska - Chapter Eight

Note: If you have not read Franciska's amazing story up to this point, you should do so now. Find chapters one through seven here. Start at the bottom of the page with chapter one.

It has been months since I last wrote about Franziska. The previous chapter dealt with Hermann's (her husband) death in 1933. This chapter will bring to a close Franziska's life.

During Hermann's two year struggle with cancer, he was cared for by a granddaughter, Martha. She lived with the couple while caring for Hermann and learned how to give the injections that Hermann needed at that time. She devoted herself to her grandparent's needs until Hermann passed away.

Franziska was 71 years old when she gave Hermann over to heaven. The couple had been married for a little over 50 years. How difficult it must have been for her to now be bereft of the one she had spent nearly all of her life with. She would really need to cling to her Heavenly Father now, in ways she had never imagined while her beloved husband was still with her.

I wonder about Franziska's health at this time since she obviously needed the granddaughter's help with Hermann. After Hermann's death, her grandson, Robert Max stayed for a while with his grandmother. Then she went to live with her son Frederick and his wife Lena for about three years.

At that time, a pastor who knew Franziska arranged for a second marriage to a man named C. A. Borchers, living in Bessie Oklahoma (this is the town my own mother was raised in). Unfortunately, he turned out to be a somewhat cruel man, mistreating and neglecting Franziska especially whenever she was ill.

But Franziska outlived her second husband. After his death, she went to live with my grandfather (her son) and grandmother, Herbert and Lena Meyer in Ingersoll, Oklahoma for some time. But eventually, because she developed symptoms for what we now know as Alzheimer's Disease, caring for her became too great a demand for my grandparents.

At this point her two daughters, Helen and Emma, traveled to Oklahoma to help care for their mother for several months in 1947. Shortly after that she was hospitalized at Western Oklahoma Hospital in Supply, Oklahoma. This is where she would spend the remainder of her days on earth.

Just four days before her 87th birthday she went home to be with her Savior. What a reunion must have followed with Hermann and all of her children that preceded her in death, one of which was her son, Rudolph, who had died exactly one year before her, on January 2, 1948.

Following is Franziska's obituary. This piece of information was the first writing I came upon concerning my great grandmother after my own father's death in 2003. This was after obtaining the family records that he'd had in his possession. Her obituary was such a grand discovery for me - realizing that just a few generations before me, a godly woman had lived a life that brought much glory to the God who first loved her.
Franziska’s Obituary

Franziska Agnes Meyer-Borchers, born on January 6, 1862 in Germany, was called to her eternal reward on January 2, 1949 at the Western Oklahoma Hospital at Supply, Oklahoma.

In her long and eventful life she experienced much joy and happiness, but also much grief and sorrow. At the tender age of 5, her mother passed away, overshadowing her life with a dark cloud. In her teen years she came under the influence of the gospel message, accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord. Upon her confession of faith she was baptized and joined the Konigstrasse Baptist Church in Berlin, Germany.

In 1882 she was married to Hermann Gustave Meyer, and in 1886 this young couple migrated to the United States, settling on a farm in South Dakota and later in La Salle, Colorado where her husband passed away in 1933. Three years after her first husband's death Franziska remarried. She was united to her second husband, the late C. A. Borchers from Bessie Oklahoma, in 1936.

Early in life she had made her choice to be a faithful, loyal and true follower of Christ, devoting much of her time and talents in sacrificial service to HIM who had done so much for her. She shed forth her Christian influence liberally as a good Sunday School teacher, young woman’s adviser and faithful president of the Ladies’ Aid for 25 years.

She was a devoted wife and a good mother, a fine Christian character and example. God blessed her with thirteen children, of whom six died at the ages of six and under. Two sons preceded Franziska in death a few years ago: Reinhold in 1942 and Rudolph in 1948. Five of her children survive her, along with 42 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grand child, as well as many Christian friends and neighbors.
I have hesitated in writing this final chapter because my great grandmother's last days were not so pleasant as you have seen. It pains me to think about this noble and gracious lady's difficult latter years without Hermann. But she dwells on high now and all is well.

I never met Franziska. I was born nine months after she died. She left a godly heritage - 13 children, 42 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. That adds up to 103 descendants at the time of her death. I include even the children that did not live but a few years for they are certainly worshiping the God who created them and ordained their days on the earth as well as the sons and daughters who grew to adulthood glorifying God, and who lived longer on this globe, also by the will of their Creator.

That makes me wonder how many more great, great-great, etc. grandchildren there are now. I am one more, not having been counted at the time of her death. But it comforts me to know that I had a great grandmother that prayed for the generations yet to be born as the Psalmist did (Psalm 78:5-7).

Her prayers for her unborn grandchildren included me and God honored her desires. For that I am eternally grateful to my Lord for He put me upon her heart ere she knew me. And as I write, I find myself lifting my grandchildren, those born and yet to be born to the same God, asking for the same thing that my precious grandmother asked for - that they might know and love the glorious and gracious God of creation and redemption.

How I would have loved to have known this regal daughter of the King, but our getting to know one another will have to happen in a different realm, beyond time and space. There, in that blissful city, we will have an eternity to "catch up".

But the greater wonder will be seeing Jesus, the Host of Heaven, the One who untied Franziska and myself in the family of God by His sacrificial death on the Cross. Yes, we are related by human blood, but we will be reunited by Christ's divine blood. It is because of our Savior that we will meet one day and enjoy one another's company in His very presence, never to part.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Franziska - Chapter Eight