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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

Monday, March 16, 2009

Moving Movies

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Are you as disappointed in the movies that are promoted these days as I am? If so, here is a short list of some that will inspire you:

Northanger Abbey
Wives and Daughters (from Masterpiece Theater)
Jane Eyre
Cranford (from Masterpiece Theater)
Mansfield Park
Oliver Twist (for the link to Oliver Twist at Masterpiece Theater click here)
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 version with Jane Seymour)
Sense and Sensibility (with Emma Thompson)

Many of these suggestions came from my most faithful commenter and reader, Anne. (Thank you, Anne, for these titles.)

Most, if not all of these movies, can be had through Netflix. This is the easiest and most inexpensive way of viewing movies that I know of. I hope you enjoy these. Also, please leave a comment with your own suggestions and I will post them too.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Moving Movies

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Psalm 91:9 From Sprugeon

Think about this from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening for today:

"For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
even the Most High, your dwelling place."
— Psalm 91:9

The Israelites in the wilderness were continually exposed to change. Whenever the pillar stayed its motion, the tents were pitched; but tomorrow, ere the morning sun had risen, the trumpet sounded, the ark was in motion, and the fiery, cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow defiles of the mountain, up the hillside, or along the arid waste of the wilderness. They had scarcely time to rest a little before they heard the sound of "Away! this is not your rest; you must still be onward journeying towards Canaan!"

They were never long in one place. Even wells and palm trees could not detain them. Yet they had an abiding home in their God, His cloudy pillar was their roof-tree, and its flame by night their household fire. They must go onward from place to place, continually changing, never having time to settle, and to say, "Now we are secure; in this place, we shall dwell." "Yet," says Moses, "though we are always changing, Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place throughout all generations."

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich to-day and poor tomorrow; he may be sickly today and well to-morrow; he may be in happiness today, tomorrow he may be distressed—but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God. If He loved me yesterday, He loves me today. My unmoving mansion of rest is my blessed Lord. Let prospects be blighted; let hopes be blasted; let joy be withered; let mildews destroy everything; I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is "my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort." I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth, I wander, but in God, I dwell in a quiet habitation.

Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Psalm 91:9 From Sprugeon

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lessons from Sophie - Welcome Restrictions

As I observe how my sweet little dog, Sophie, relates to me, she continues to be a model of what my relationship to Christ should be, though in a limited sense, of course. But the Lord created these animals and puts them before us for many different reasons. Jesus as the Good Shepherd over His sheep, has provided another picture of what we are like (stubborn sheep) in relation to Him (our faithful, protective overseer).

Sophie has an adverse allergy to fleas. Though we do all that is possible to keep fleas off of her, once in a while she gets one from being outside in the backyard. Now the flea doesn't even have to bite her to cause her a great deal of grief. Hers is a contact allergy. As soon as the flea is present, she begins to itch and scratch furiously.

Because of this, once in a while we must put a protective cone around Sophie's neck and head. This restricts her from biting and chewing on herself. In the past she has injured herself in an effort to relieve the itching. The funny thing about this is that though she looks so pitiful with the cone on her head, she really likes the thing. Whenever I need to put it on her, she willingly submits to me and even likes to wear it.

In fact, the other day Sophie did something that Robert and I thought was quite remarkable. She was wearing the cone and had gone outside to the backyard (she comes and goes through a doggie port in our bedroom door). While she was out, the cone popped open and fell off in the bushes somewhere. Robert or I usually retrieve the thing when this happens, but since it was raining out and since the cone is plastic and would not be damaged by the weather, we opted to get it once the rain had stopped. Sophie was doing alright without it by this time anyway.

Several days later, before the rain cleared up, we found the cone on our bedroom floor. Obviously it had not been there long since it was wet with rain. I had been in and out of the room all afternoon and had not tripped over it as it was right in front of the door. Robert spotted it and said, "Where did you find the cone?" I told him that I hadn't found or even looked for it. He then showed it to me - right there on the floor.

How did it get there? Sophie brought it in. That was the only explanation. She does that with her toys also, which isn't so surprising. But the cone? We were amazed and very amused.

By now I'm guessing that you are seeing the implications. The Lord puts certain restrictions on us to protect us. He is very personal about this with each one of His children. Perhaps I cannot do something that you have the freedom to do because it might be a temptation for me to sin.

We have a friend who cannot play the game of darts. He becomes very competitive and gets angry if he loses. Rather than continuing to be put in temptation's way, he decided just to give up the game of darts. That's the kind of restriction I'm thinking of. Of course, you can probably think of some other kind of restriction.

The apostle Paul had what he called "a thorn in the flesh". This was some kind of physical irritant that caused him a great deal of discomfort so that he asked the Lord three times to remove it. But God put it on him to keep him from the sin of pride. He had seen such glorious revelations from the Lord. He said, "And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan to buffet me - to keep me from exalting myself!" (2 Corinthians 12:7). This is another type of restiction that the Lord uses to keep us from sin - an actual physical distress.

The point is, how do we respond to the restrictions that God puts upon us? Do we grumble and complain? Do we fight against that divine caveat? Or do we thank Him for protecting us against our own destructive sin nature? If God were to lift the restriction would we jump for joy, knowing that we are still actually in need of that limitation? Would we then take advantage of that freedom to do the very thing that God meant to prevent?

I have no doubt what I would do in such a case. My heart is wicked beyond my knowing and I dare not trust it by thinking that I have matured beyond that original sinful inclination. I must learn to do what Sophie has - to welcome the restriction and even ask that it not be removed, knowing what my heart is capable of.

That is what the apostle Paul did. The Lord denied his pleas that the restriction be removed and told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

And just look how Paul rejoiced over the Lord's denial of the removal of this restriction, "Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

Oh that I would say this when the Lord puts a divine limitation on me. I have a picture right in front of me in Sophie - my cute little cone-headed dog.


Posted by Sharon Kaufman

Lessons from Sophie - Welcome Restrictions