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When I was young,
admonitions from my Mom included: Don’t forget to practice the piano
when you get home from school! You must clean up your room before
your grandparents come for a visit! Do ‘your’ dishes and sweep the
kitchen, that is ‘your’ chore. Do your math homework, I don’t care
how many problems your teacher assigned. Don’t tease your brothers!
What is it about these
Edicts from Mom and Dad‘ that made me want to rebel, or to
procrastinate? Is it that rebellious streak that colors our hearts
from the beginning of life? Yes, we desire to be our own person no
matter what the cost? Ask Eve, ask Adam what it cost. When my
brothers and I saw a mountain, we had to climb it, to be King of the
Mountain. Of course, in Oklahoma, we only climbed hills. Yet, we
had to be on top and survey our ‘kingdom’.
One day I realized that
life consists of obedience, first to my Dad and Mom, then the
colleges I went to, and then, later, to my husband. And above all,
obedience to God. I saw my life stretched out in a time-warp of
obedience until death. It wasn’t until much later that I saw the
blessing of peace that comes from the acceptance of obedience. I am
learning the celebration of self-discipline.
Until I was 6 years old,
our ‘little’ house had a white picket fence. This was our world we
enjoyed in safety. Some of the memories from that time include a pet
baby goat that we fed with a baby bottle, a roof-covered sand pile,
green grass in the yard, a home-made swing Dad made from a steering
wheel with seats attached that whirled around under Dad-Power. The
white picket fence stood for three things – protection, a paradise
of peace, and challenge. I watched as workers walked just beyond the
fence and wondered if they had a safe place like we did. I watched
as they dropped white smoldering ‘sticks’ on our sidewalk as they
walked wearily past. Curious, I watched the outside world between the
slats of the picket fence.
How many years did I
watch Mom hem shirts and dresses? And she taught me this
verse….”You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand
upon me.”
Psalm 139:5

And I feel again the
security of that white picket fence, the love of Mom and Dad and
family. Little did I know that the security and contentment I felt
came from a series of covenants – with God, family and marriage
hemmed in by God. The security comes from the hand of God on our
A covenant is an
agreement between two people in the eyes of God! God brings an
accountability to the covenant through Jesus Christ. Being in
covenant with Jesus is like being inside my childhood’s picket fence.
The Scripture is filled with the process of covenants. David and
Jonathan had a covenant that was sealed, even unto their
descendants. It was not a life time guaranteed covenant, but
generation after generation, even as God has promised us through
Jesus Christ.
What is the road to
contentment when everything about us seems to unravel? Not just us,
but when evil intrudes in lives through the ages. Where is that
utopia of security, comfort and hope then? Freedom from want, hunger
or poverty? Why isn’t life that touted dream of the easy life with no
concern? What is the secret?  
There is no secret, it is
simply acceptance. Acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior.

The fear of the Lord
leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:23.

 In the early 1990’s, Mom wrote her family story – The Lines are Fallen. (Part of the book is found here – http://apayne.com/emilyssnippets/family-suderman/prologue-the-legend-of-a-name/) In the Epilogue, this is what she wrote:
“Life is constant change. We must accept this fact and know that everything we see or hold disappears and decays. Doors open constantly to distinct areas and close firmly behind us as we finish each phase of life.
Birth pushes us painfully into a new world. We scream for comfort of food, warmth and dry diapers. We learn love and how to play with toys in the home. ABCs and school follow on the heels of babyhood. Suddenly we are teenagers and know all the answers – totally in control.

First-love introduces us to marriage and babies come. We begin our struggle with compromise. Quite painfully we learn the ‘give and take’ of life where all our pat answers are missing.

In this new area of living we battle mortgages, debts and teenagers with compromises that loom like impassable bars around each bend. But through lessons we remember from parents and teachers, we build sturdy characters in ourselves and our children.

Battered, but unbowed the home nest empties. Just when we begin to understand life, an avalanche of medicare and retirement folders flood our mailbox. Our bodies may creak with pain, but our minds are alert to new truths Surely, we are too young to be old. But time has settled us on the western slope of the hill. An understanding God allows each generation to glean this fact for themselves; even our grandparents had to learn this.

One hundred years ago, Jacob and Aganetha Suderman were young parents with a growing family. They moved to America. Since 1922, they rest side by side in the Ebenfeld Cemetery (KS). Their eleven grown children sleep-wait with them. Only Aunt Martha (their youngest daughter-in-law) remains alive of that generation. Many of our cousins walk that higher family circle. Does this mean the Suderman family saga is ending? And will the lives of God’s grace be strong enough to extend to future generations?

As long as earth stands and new babies are born to our children and grandchildren, the Suderman Saga rolls on. The pleasant places of our inheritance remain to ‘thousands of generations’ of those who love God and keep His commandments (Exodus 20:6) The promise of His Word will never fail and the inheritance of eternal life lies within each heart that seeks to do His will.

Truly, the lines are fallen in pleasant places for us. We have a rich heritage. Guard it well, for we are the relay runners handing this baton to our children.”

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

There are no covenants made without trust
And there is no trust without Truth.
Lies are made of shifting wind-blown sand,
Lies thrive in anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk
Truth is the foundation upon which Eternity is built.
Truth requires God-boundaries, Boundaries of compassionate hearts,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Comments? eacombs@att.net