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The Sun Has Now Come to Stay poems by Jennie Schuneman


Sonpowered Books Oklahoma Copyright Š Randy Schuneman 2012


Introduction From the time Jennie could write, she was writing poetry. As a young child, she entered the weekly poetry contests for the Flint Journal. She won some kind of award each time she entered. Most of those early entries were cute and impressive for a child her age. As Jennie got older, poetry provided an opportunity for her to talk about life from a deeper level. She could capture the impact of the Christ Event with a poem about the Babe of Bethlehem, the Crucified Christ or the Resurrected Christ. It was a highlight of many a Christmas and Easter service for Jennie to share what God had placed on her heart. One of Jennie’s favorite topics was family. Whether it was about Bonnie, Bubba or me, she knew how to let us know how much she loved us. Jennie could also be funny. One of her favorite poems from her college days was about the joy of going to the bathroom! She could make you smile and make you laugh while dealing with every dimension of life. Some of her work is self-reflective. Behind that beautiful smile was hidden lonely hours of not being married or moments of doubt that she was unworthy to be loved by God. There were poems written for a “cancer kid’s” funeral that would both capture the journey the child and Jennie had shared and bring hope and comfort to the family. I hope you enjoy these poetic insights about life through Jennie’s eyes. Randy Schuneman, Jennie’s Dad


Table of Contents My Teacher, My Mother

6

Laughter 7 Joy 8 Jesus Loves You

9

Our Ride

10

The Cow Doesn’t Always Jump Over the Moon

12

The Bond

14

Passengers on an Eternal Bus

16

My Testimony

18

New Beginnings

20

The Best of Friends

23

A Perfect Creation

26

Emmanuel 28 A Beacon in the Night

30

The Sanctuary

32

“Amen.” 34 The Traveler

36

Be Patient

40

Waking up is Hard to Do

42

The Prodigal Son

44

My Heart Cries

46

The Faithful Farmer

48


Morning Glory

51

Down on Baba’s Farm

53

Writer’s Block

55

Our Hope

56

Today is Especially Beautiful

58

A Special Woman

59

Loving Arms

61

A Gracious Gift

62


The Sun Has Now Come to Stay poems by Jennie Schuneman


My Teacher, My Mother 1991

Most people wrote about teachers at school, But the one that I wrote about, she is no fool. She gave me help when I needed it most, She helped me with cooking, beginning with toast. She’s loving and caring, she knows how I tick, She cares for me when I’m disgustingly sick. Like when I had cancer, which felt like the flu, She stayed up with me late watching Winnie the Pooh. We have shared so much, through thick and through thin, I’ve found she’s become my very best friend. As you may have guessed, I’m describing no other Than the best teacher possible... My teacher, my mother.


Laughter 1993

Laughter is the golden music of a harp floating through the air as it rings out its joyful song. The strings are plucked, its melody echoes, and then fades away.


Joy 1993

Bubbling up inside me like a babbling, giggling brook. Running down the hill, carefree. Skipping right over the rocks, letting nothing stand in the way of joy.


Jesus Loves You 1993

He doesn’t judge you by your face, or your race, or the type of clothes you wear. By your height, by your weight, or the color of your hair. If you’re rich or you’re poor, still He’s knocking at your door. If you’re old or you’re new, Jesus loves you ‘cuz you’re you.


Our Ride 1993

The ringing of bells, the stomping of feet, two heads held up high as we ride down the street. The horse-drawn wagon rolls merrily by. The birds sing their song, the sun’s high in the sky. Our family rides happily on down the street, waving hello to the people we meet. The neighbors come out and join in the fuss, because they know that this ride is special to us. On home we go in the beautiful weather. The bells ring out loud, “Our family’s together!”


The Cow Doesn’t Always Jump Over the Moon 1993

At the age of two, I was a small girl, full of curiosity. One day, on my grandfather’s farm, I wandered away from my family. I’d been told to stay away from the cattle pen, which in my mind gave me all the more reason to inspect it. I toddled over, approaching the fence. I began climbing. As my hand reached for the last bar, I toppled over. I found myself in the midst of many startled steers. As I laid there on my back, one steer jumped right over me, joining the retreating stampede. Fear and panic seized my heart. I laid on the ground, crying loudly. A flock of relatives rushed out of the house. My mother was seven months pregnant, but she climbed over the fence to my rescue.


My family got me out of the pen and into the house. Once again, they warned me about the cattle pen. This time, I listened.


The Bond 1993

A bond is formed, without a doubt, in the early months, from the inside out. Then the moment arrives when you first lay eyes on your beautiful daughter, and hear her small cries. Pride wells up inside you as you gladly inform anyone who will listen of your little newborn. As the days go by, the bond quickly grows. Your daughter does too, and it begins to show. You make sure her training wheels come off just right, then listen with joy to her squeals of delight. With lacy pink dresses, her hair in a bow, off to Sunday School and church you go. The trials and triumphs of school come next. Your patience wears thin when she gets perplexed. Homework and studying, the work never ends, you feel as if you’re in school once again. She keeps on working, determined to pass, you ‘re so proud when she graduates head of her class. Soon she leaves for college, and you don’t want to let her go, but she often writes you letters, just to say “hello.” Gradually a man comes into her life, you can hardly believe that she’ll soon be a wife. You know she’ll always love you, no matter what changes time


may make, because the bond is strong, and it will never, never break. The love that exists between mother and child is like a beautiful song, and it’s played over and over again, as the bond of motherhood goes on.


Passengers on an Eternal Bus 1995

One bright Monday morning, around eight o’clock, a house was busily stirring. A younger sister was sitting calmly by while her older sister was hurrying. “I can’t find my shoes! I can’t find my socks!” she yelled as she ran through the house. The younger sister made no move to help but sat quietly as a mouse. Suddenly, the elder’s bus appeared from around the corner. The younger sister saw it then, but did not try to warn her. The bus pulled to a stop and waited awhile, filling the air with its fumes, and then it took off and went down the street just as the older sister walked into the room. The older sister looked at the younger, her confusion was easy to see. She said, “Sister, you saw my bus and said nothing. How could you do this to me?” Well, she missed the bus just as many today are missing the love of the Father. If we believe that others will tell them, many times we don’t even bother.


But the truth of the matter is that God wants us to be the lights to the world. And we need to obey His will so that His truth may be unfurled. And so now we realize that sharing God’s love is a job that is left up to us. And we must do all that we possibly can, or many will “miss the bus.”


My Testimony 1995

An April night, two loving parents, a husband and his wife, grateful for the God-given gift of a child, a brand-new life. Their daughter was a happy child, a child of laughter and joy, she was constantly at play with friends or with a favorite toy. Then when it came to Jesus, she quickly learned her part. In Heaven, the Father must have smiled as she asked Him into her heart. He was always there, right beside me. When nothing else seemed to go right, He was there. He was my friend, faithful and true, and when I didn’t know what to do, He was there. Lord, I love you. The child continued to grow each day, and her bond with her family grew strong. They shared a love for each other and for God that would last all their lives long. Their happy pace of life was interrupted, and everything flew in a whirl. The parents were shocked when a doctor informed them that cancer had invaded their four-year-old girl. And when it seemed that all hope was lost, as they held their daughter’s hand, God was with them in that hospital room. He gave them the strength to stand. He was always there, right beside me.


When nothing else seemed to go right, He was there. He was my friend, faithful and true, and when I didn’t know what to do, He was there. Lord, I love you. Through His power, He miraculously spared me from death, one of the greatest gifts He could give. And He gave me the chance to have a full life, when the doctors said I had two weeks to live. I’m growing older, gradually, and as each new day I face, I am reminded more and more of God’s amazing grace. When times of trial come to pass, I never need to fear. For I know that I can trust the Father, I know He’s always near. He is always there, right beside me. When nothing else seems to go right, He is there. He is my friend, faithful and true, and when I don’t know what to do, He is there. Lord, I love you.


New Beginnings 1995 A seed was planted, a new life began. A tree grew with life and a purposeful plan. It was never expected that this tree would become anything special, and it was scorned by some. Another came into this world, and through Him, life would be given, and a cleansing from sin. Without much warning, the tree was cut down and then was dragged brutally over the ground. It had done no wrong, yet it suffered this loss. It was chopped down and cut into the form of a cross. Both were broken for the purpose at hand, working together to cleanse sin from the land. Jesus died for everyone, giving all that He could give, and willingly He surrendered His life. He suffered, that we might live. Three days passed, and on the third, all of Earth trembled and shook. The stone was rolled away from the tomb, and the soldiers were too scared to look.


The forest also trembled, where the stump of the tree now lay broken and bleeding, and all alone on this triumphant and glorious day. Jesus had risen, He lived once again. The tomb could not hold Him, and neither could sin. The sun had risen high in the sky to bring light from near to far. But no light could be brighter than that which shone forth from the Son, the Bright Morning Star. A shimmer of this light shone through a small forest where no one else could see. And in that moment, a miracle occurred. Life returned to the broken-down tree. The sky became bright, the clouds gathered ‘round Jesus as His time on Earth came to an end. And the tree stretched its leaves up in glorious praise toward Heaven, where Jesus did ascend.


Who loves playing with kids, going to church, and spending time with her family. Who hates driving by semis, being late for anything, and trying to find her car in the parking lot. Who cares for her dog, Charlie, and all of her friends. Who is afraid of driving on the expressway and being late for an activity. Who is curious about life, Heaven, and duck-billed platypuses. Who values music, baby animals, and the snooze button on her alarm clock. Who thinks about her future, her loved ones, and how she can possibly intimidate her brother. Who is good at playing the piano, writing poetry, and getting herself into trouble. Who wonders why people can be so cruel to one another, why God loves her even when she doesn’t deserve it, and why life always changes before she can get used to it.


The Best of Friends Opening up my treasure chest, I tenderly peek inside and glance at the many memories that in this chest I hide. Playing house with mommy, or together singing a duet, dressing up in church clothes, but I haven’t reached the bottom yet. There are remembrances of picking flowers under a bright Oklahoma sky, and eating warm chocolate chip cookies as the afternoon passed by. I remember when we’d play with my toys, you did all their voices just right. And whenever thunder boomed a little too loud, you were there to hold me tight. You encouraged my progress in piano, as I practiced “every day,” and even when I didn’t hit every note right, you still loved to hear me play.

I remember nights of homework


when we stayed up quite a while, and the times when you left a note in my lunchbag, it always made me smile. And of course, when I was in the hospital, right beside me you stood. You managed to keep a smile just for me, and you did all that you could. In the kitchen, on the couch, when tucking me in, or as we went on walks, no matter where or what the topic, I loved our heart-to-heart talks. As each new day dawned, and I headed out, I never had reason to fear, for I knew that you would pray for me, in your thoughts I’d always be near Comforter, protector, listener, teacher, the list will never end, supporter, encourager, guide and advisor, and of course, you’re my very best friend. Just like the times when you pushed my swing so that I could ride to the sky, you’ve taken your “frightened baby bird” and taught her how to fly.

I want you to know that you’re special to me, not only for all that you do.


I love you for the love that you’ve given to me, and above all, just for being you. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Love, Jennifer Dawn Sunday, May 12, 1996


A Perfect Creation 1996 (For Father’s Day) Father--such a common word that too many times we tend to take for granted these wonderful people, our comforters, teachers, and friends. Long ago, God had a plan, ‘cause from the start He knew that though He was our heavenly Father, we needed earthly ones, too. He gave them two eyes to watch over us with protective love and care. Two ears to listen whenever we had a burden we needed to share. Voices to read us bedtime stories ‘til we finally ceased to squirm. And sometimes when we were naughty, those gentle voices became firm. Whiskers on a stubbly chin that always seemed to tickle. A mouth packed full of endless jokes that always made us giggle. Two legs to chase us through the yard


while getting some exercise. A lap for us to sit on that seemed to be just the right size. Two arms that were always ready to enfold us when we needed them so. Two hands that knew when to hold onto us and when to let us go. Then God mixed all the various parts which I have mentioned above, and tied them together with a generous heart overflowing with unconditional love.

At last, a human figure stood, when God’s work was finally done. He named the figure “Father” and gave this perfect creation to everyone. So remember yours this Father’s Day. Before the day is through, tell him just how special he is.


Emmanuel 1996 In this crazy, mixed-up world, we often times get lost and desperately search for a source of help as upon life’s stormy waters we’re tossed. We’re scared and confused in the world’s wilderness, and the wind begins to moan. Running in circles, yet going nowhere, we feel like we’re all alone. And we wonder where the Lord has gone as our woes and fears surround us, but what we must remember is that He is all around us. He’s in the sweet song of a bird, soaring through the sky. He’s in the gently falling rain, and in a newborn’s cry. The wind whispers His name as it slips through the leaves of His strong and sturdy trees. The flowers bloom under His tender care, blowing softly in the breeze. He’s in the white, cotton-like clouds which drift from near to far,


forming a bed for His beautiful planets, the sun, the moon, and the stars. The mountains show His majesty, pointing toward Heaven above. The earth is filled with His presence, it is permeated with His love. At times it is easy to forget that God, our father, is there. But we need only to look at His majestic creations to realize how much He cares. And we see once again that our Father is faithful, He’s always near in our times of need. Just remember His name--Emmanuel, for “God is with us,” indeed


A Beacon in the Night 1995 (Written to dedicate Gami’s lamp.) The sky is dark, the wind is cold, as winter unfurls its wrath. A stranger walks all alone down a very well-worn path. On he goes, observing the world in the midst of this dreadful night. And at the end of a long, dirt road, he sees a beckoning light. As he draws near to the beam and follows the dusty course, he finds a lamp outside a house, which appears to be the beam’s source. The lamp stands bravely in the night, so sturdy and so tall. And the warmth and brightness it gives off welcome one and all. But only one light shines brighter, and it is that which shines forth from inside. The stranger turns to find a home where love and happiness abide.


A family is there, it’s Christmas Time, and they’re gathered around the tree. A warming glow surrounds them all, produced by the “fireeee.” He sees the generations gathered together, from the young to the old, and the love that he observes there warms him in the cold. He smiles, and glances once more at the lamp as he turns again to roam. He now sees how fitting it is that the lamp shines in front of this home.


The Sanctuary A few come expecting entertainment, while others come to catch up on their sleep. They say it’s just a place you’re supposed to go on Sundays. Many are anxious to depart from this place and get home to lunch, the television, and their Sunday afternoon naps. But I am often reluctant to leave this place. I see past the pews, the lights, the outward appearance. Here I find peace and contentment for my soul. Alone, I come when frustration, loneliness, depression, and confusion have overwhelmed me. Breaking the soothing silence, my fingers move over the ivory keys of the magnificent piano. With only God to listen, I play better than I ever have before a human audience. Putting all my energy and heart into the songs of praise, I leave the world far behind me, for just a little while.


Then, I stop. As the wind blows outside, the building creaks, and then all is still. The room is completely dark, except for the radiant light that shines through the stained-glass windows. Closing my eyes, I drink in His presence, and my troubled soul finds rest at last.


“Amen.”

As Small as a Mustard Seed 1997 Stressed, depressed, and burdened by the fears I try not to show. Overwhelmed, I hopelessly allow the tears to flow. Ever so slowly, I keep marching on, one foot in front of the other. Finally, downtrodden and tired I fall, unable to go a step farther. Sinking, sinking, into the sea of my vast self-pity, I hear a gentle, soothing voice and feel my spirit lifting. He pulls me up and gently says, “Oh, ye of little faith, did you think I had forgotten you when you tried to do it all your way?” I apologetically look to His eyes and see only His fatherly love. In that moment, I know I’m forgiven,


and peace descends on me like a dove. Again I surrender my control as He places me upon the dry land. Smiling, He takes my hand in His, and we walk side by side once again. He puts the spring back in my step, the sparkle into my life, He puts the song back in my heart and a clearer focus in my eye. My Father, Teacher, King and Friend, beside me every day, and I am reminded that when I fail, He loves me anyway.


The Traveler 1997 I wearily travel down a road that I’m not even sure exists, and the never-ending midnight makes my dim flashlight useless. Yet I stumble onward, though unknowingly I lost sight of my destination long ago. My feet are in a continuous pattern, for it’s the only way I now know. The point of realization comes all too quickly, and glancing around in dismay, I reluctantly admit to myself that I’ve definitely lost my way. Then, at the exact moment when it seems all hope has fled, a beam of light appears on the horizon, beckoning me to follow where it has led. Relieved, I finally reach the source, a large lighthouse, with light so pure that I stand in awe of its tremendous power, feeling warm and secure. An elderly man appears at the door, weathered, wrinkled, and tanned.


Yet there’s no mistaking the strength he possesses, much more than any other man. I can’t help but notice the look in his eyes, it makes me glad I’ve found him...or has he found me? His eyes are full of love, so tender and kind, that I forget the world around me.

I tell him that I seem to have lost my way, but he doesn’t look surprised... as if many a confused traveler have come before his eyes.

I ask him for a battery for my flashlight so I can see which way to go. But he simply smiles all-knowingly, then says one word, “No.” As I stare at him in bewilderment, he calmly holds out his hand, asking me for the flashlight, and I skeptically hand it to him. He disappears inside, and the suspense is more than I can handle. He soon returns, and in his hands he bears a single candle. He places it into my hands. It glows like nothing I’ve ever seen.


I tell him it’s too beautiful, I can’t take it, but he insists it’s a gift, it’s free. I cradle it gently, feeling its warmth, and ask, “But won’t it eventually grow dim?” He smiles and says it might, but all I have to do is just return to him. Thanking him, I turn to go, much happier than before. But then I hear his unforgettable voice calling me to him once more. He hands to me a satchel filled with candles, all alike, asking me to take them to those still in the midnight. I begin to doubt, and make up excuses out of fear and anxiety. “Who am I supposed to give them to? Please, send anyone but me!” Then I look into his eyes again, and see the love of a father, friend, and brother. I realize he’s just given me a precious gift, the least I can do is share it with others. I silently nod, and he smiles once again as I lift the load to my back. Taking a deep breath, I begin my journey into the never-ending black.


Only a few steps out, the night is dark, and I become unsure of my candle’s power. Frightened and panicked, I turn around, only to see the lighthouse’s tower. The warm and reassuring glow restores my hope, and I smile. For there, at the top of the lighthouse stands the man, watching over me all the while. Renewed, refreshed, and reassured, I turn back to the never-ending midnight. I leave to do what he’s asked me to do, guided by his candle’s light.


Be Patient 1999 Verse 1: If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that life has many twists and turns. Sometimes the road ahead just can’t be seen. Then I start to wonder why, and as my doubts begin to multiply, I hear Your loving voice call out to me. And You say… Chorus: Be patient, my child; I’ll never forsake you. Be patient, my child; oh, the places I’ll take you as you learn to trust in me, and become all I want you to be, be patient, my child. Verse 2: Too many times I worry what the future will bring, where I’ll go, what I’ll do, and who I’ll be. In the worldwide scheme of things, what is my part? I try to figure it all out on my own, which only leaves me feeling more alone, then tenderly You calm my aching heart. ‘Cause You say…(Chorus) Bridge: Oh, Lord, Your ways are higher than my ways.


Oh, Lord, You know so much more than I do. And so with every single one of my remaining days, may I learn to trust more fully, Lord, in You. Verse 3: So when my laughter dissolves into sighs, please lift my head and dry my eyes. Hold me close, and push away the fear. Return my feet to solid ground, although I was lost, let me be found. Remind me once again You’re always near. As you say‌ (Chorus) Oh, be patient, my child. Please be patient, my child.


Waking up is Hard to Do 1998 (To the tune of “Breaking up is Hard to Do”) CHORUS: Do do do down do bee do, lie down, Coma, coma, Down do bee do, lie down, Coma, coma, Down do bee do, lie down, Waking up is hard to do. Don’t wake me up, I love to sleep, Love to spend my hours counting sheep. If you do, then I’ll be blue, ‘Cause waking up is hard to do. Remember when I curled up tight, And slept through the day and through the night. Think of all sleep does for you, ‘Cause waking up is hard to do. They say that waking up is hard to do, Now I know, I know that it’s true. Don’t say my nap has to end, Instead of waking up I wish that I could go to sleep again.

I beg of you, let me hit snooze,


Dream those dreams again about Tom Cruise. Come on, please, let me sleep ‘til two, ‘Cause waking up is hard to do. (Chorus)


The Prodigal Son 1992 (To the tune of “The Beverly Hillbillies”) Now listen to the story of the Prodigal Son, He weren’t very smart, thought that he would have some fun. He took all his money, this is where our tale begins, He went far away and bought himself some friends. (Fair-weather, that is, didn’t last very long, when the mula was gone, so were they.) He squandered all his money, living free and wild, He thought he was cool, though he was acting like a child, And then when he had bought his last present, He suddenly discovered that he was a peasant. (No dinero, that is, in the poor house, not a penny to his name.) He finally decided he was acting like a slob, So he went around and tried his best to find himself a job, But unluckily the one he found wasn’t very great, He fed the pigs, and sometimes that was how he filled his plate. (Hogs, that is, working in the chop shop, this little piggy eats everything!) The son finally said, “Hey, this job is really bad, I think I’d better go home and apologize to Dad,” He said, “I’ll be your servant if you’ll only take me back, And if you so desire, I’ll live out in the shack.” (Cozy quarters, that is, with a natural draft and the fresh scent of nature.)


But Dad heard nothing of it, this homecoming was a treat, He said, “Servants, bring a robe for him and sandals for his feet,” And when the son persisted, Dad responded with a laugh, “We’ll have a celebration! Someone kill the fattened calf.” (A fiesta, that is, fun for everyone, except the calf.) This story has a moral, yes, its meaning is quite clear, No matter what we do, the Lord our God is always near. And if you’ll just confess and say, “I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” He’ll wrap His arms around you like this father and his son.


My Heart Cries “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 Father God, I come to You, You know just what I’m going through, And since I don’t know what else to do, My heart cries I can’t pretend to understand, This isn’t how I had things planned, But I’ll trust the goodness of Your hand, My heart cries. This world, it makes no sense to me, This isn’t how it was supposed to be, But I know You see things I don’t see, My heart cries. The night is long, black and dark, Lord, bring Your light into my heart. Remind me that You’re never far, My heart cries. Take my hand, for I am lost, Upon the seas of life I’m tossed. Shelter me in the pow’r of Your cross, My heart cries. Life hasn’t gone as I’d hoped it would, I’m crawling now, where once I stood,


But God, I STILL believe You’re good! My heart cries. Somehow, in this valley floor, Help me find the strength to soar Close to You forevermore, My heart cries. So here I am, upon my knees, Please still the storms that rage in me With Your gentle words of peace, My heart cries, And my heart finds You.


The Faithful Farmer 2006 The year was 1920, The night was sweet indeed When God blessed Byars, Oklahoma By planting a special seed. It sprouted in a young boy’s heart And blossomed as he grew. God watched him with a loving smile; He had much for him to do. Through Burbank, Osage, Ponca City, He learned God’s will to seek. At last, he settled and took root Near the banks of Red Rock Creek. A farm began to flourish Beneath his loving hands. With strength and diligence he worked, Bringing life into the land. He became known as a leader, A man of selflessness. He’s also known for building The best “fireys” in the West! He helps out in the kitchen,


His poems are beautiful as songs, But don’t you dare get in his way When “office hours� come along! Generation after generation, Kids have had the time of their lives, Toted all around the farm On a crazy pickup ride! A provider to his family, He shepherds them along, Feeding them the spiritual truths That will help their hearts grow strong. His hands may be weathered by all his hard work, But his faith is stronger than ever For he shares a bond with his Creator That none could begin to sever. Love is his trademark, as evidenced by The years that he has toiled. And he carries on, for the seeds he plants Are falling on fertile soil. This farmer reaps an endless harvest That will stand the test of time. And we are just beginning to see the fruits Of his labor in your lives and mine.


So we celebrate this farmer, spouse, Father, grandfather and friend. We’re thankful for his legacy Of love that will never end.

Happy Birthday, Baba!!!


Morning Glory An Easter Poem March 22, 2005 A shroud of darkness encompassed the Earth, The night was dark and deep. Two days had passed since Jesus died, The Shepherd slain for His sheep. Demons chanted their victory, Reveling in the believers’ sorrow. Yet, into the midst of their evil ravings Came the first light of Tomorrow. The clouds of Night parted and Morning broke through As a prisoner freed from his chains. Creation cried, “Holy, holy, holy! Hallelujah! Our God reigns!” With a pen dipped in His Son’s holy blood, God began a new chapter in the lives of men. One that would leave the grave clothes behind And let all be born again! Brilliant as an unfolding flower, Morning’s glory filled the sky. A sunrise like none ever seen Gave praise to God on high.

The demons scattered like leaves in the wind,


Hope was rekindled anew, Igniting the fire inside of man, With strong determination it grew. Jesus willingly laid down His life, With ultimate selflessness He died, For there will be one sunrise greater to see, And He wants YOU at His side! He stands today, arms still outstretched, Waiting for you to come. Accept Him and live forevermore In the morning glory of the Son!


Down on Baba’s Farm 2005 There is a place I love to be, down on Baba’s farm. A place that is a part of me, down on Baba’s farm. The wind that tiptoes through the trees on nights when there’s a gentle breeze, Or sitting ‘round cozy “firees,” down on Baba’s farm. There’s a house that just smells like Gami’s house, down on Baba’s farm, Where shrieks are caused by the occasional mouse, down on Baba’s farm. Where family meals are cooked and eaten, though rooms can be hard to find a seat in, And players of Sabotage are beaten, down on Baba’s farm. Whenever this family of musicians gathers, down on Baba’s farm, We send our music to the rafters, down on Baba’s farm. Some are eager, others are not, but sooner or later, all will be caught, From the eldest child to the tiniest tot, down on Baba’s farm. You can cast your fishing line, hoping for luck, down on Baba’s farm, Or take a ride in the back of a pickup truck, down on Baba’s farm. There’s nothing quite like the country air, or the wind that whips right through your hair When you tell Babs to go faster, if you dare! Down on Baba’s farm. Harvest time takes many hands, down on Baba’s farm. But hobo dinners sure are grand! Down on Baba’s farm.


Then watching while the wheat truck goes, carrying its heavy load Down the bumpy old dirt road, down on Baba’s farm. You can smell the sweet scents of alfalfa and hay, down on Baba’s farm, And the hay barn makes a great place to play, down on Baba’s farm. But if you do, please be aware, you may find furry surprises there That will then be entrusted to your care! Down on Baba’s farm. There are a few animals roaming about down on Baba’s farm, Cats and dogs, and horses, no doubt, down on Baba’s farm. But the ones the farmer loves to view are the ones from which you’ll hear a “moo,” The ones he calls with a “shook” and a “woo!” Down on Baba’s farm. Wading in the creek is lots of fun, down on Baba’s farm, Basking under an Oklahoma sun, down on Baba’s farm. Or sitting under starry skies, watching darting fireflies, And hearing tales of days gone by, down on Baba’s farm. Tranquility flows through this place, down on Baba’s farm. An easy smile spreads ‘cross your face, down on Baba’s farm. Your busy life is held at bay, troubles put off ‘til another day, And you wish somehow you could always stay, Down on Baba’s farm.


Writer’s Block At times I find it difficult to think of You in a new way, for “writer’s block” has left me trapped in traditions and thoughts of today. But just when I’m sure all the words have been used, I begin to dwell upon You, and suddenly the deepest expressions of my heart blossom in a billion brilliant hues. You’re the inspiration of my imagination, You are the song that I long for. Lord, Your will is the goal of my soul, and in You is the prize that I strive for. May I never be content to merely be a passerby; Instead may I pursue more of You throughout every day of my life.


Our Hope (Dedicated to the Bill Case family) We don’t understand, but Lord, You do, Why these trials of life we pass through. But we know that You’re making Your mercies new Each and every day. Sometimes the mountain seems too high, Sometimes we’re too afraid to try, Sometimes all we can ask is, “Why?” ‘Cause we don’t know what else to say. And somewhere in the darkness, Your voice, so very clear, Comes to reassure us that we have no need to fear. Your very name, Emmanuel, reminds us You are near. You who can make the mountains shake, Will never leave; You’ll never forsake. All our burdens You will take And comfort us with Your love. You are our Strength, You are our Shield, To You our restless spirits we yield, And with Your glorious peace we’re filled As we lay our lives in Your hands. So we’ll lean on You, dear Father, When our loads are too heavy to bear. And we won’t worry about tomorrow,


‘Cause we know You’re already there.


Today is Especially Beautiful 1999 Today is especially beautiful, not because of the sun that shines; it isn’t the flowers blooming all around, and it isn’t the joy found in rhymes. It’s not because of the singing birds whose melodies are so sweet; it’s not because of the laughter that comes when a friend says that you have weird feet! It’s not because of a sky so blue it’s perfect to take pictures of; it’s not because of fluffy white clouds drifting lazily by up above. Today is especially beautiful, not because of these signs of life anew; it’s because twenty-one years ago today, God blessed me by creating you!! Written for Laura’s birthday—May 17, 1999


A Special Woman 1999 It takes a special woman to wear many, many hats, to successfully accomplish an indefinite number of tasks. So let’s stop for just a moment now to remember and reminisce about the job description of this woman—it goes a bit like this… She’s a highly qualified educator with priceless words of advice. She’s a policewoman who patrols the halls, making sure everyone is nice. She’s the family chauffeur to more events than one could ever dream of. She’s a compassionate nurse, tending to illness with gentle hands of love. She replaced Julia Childs years ago as the world’s single best cook; She’s an experienced disciplinarian— who’s perfected those stern “straighten up!” looks. She’s a member of the Peace Corps within the walls of her home, She plays the role of janitor, cleaning wherever dust bunnies roam. She’s a coach and a cheerleader, always rooting for your team, and occasionally, when duty calls,


she becomes a referee. She’s someone you can talk to, in person or on the phone, she’s also a great source of money… she’s an ATM right in your home! She’s a guardian and a protector, always putting her children first, She’s a counselor and a comforter when life seems at its worst. She is wonderfully caring; her love never ends, Before you know it, she’s become one of your very best friends. So treasure each moment you’ve had with her, and those that may yet lie in store, she’s certainly done a lot for you… she really should be paid more! It takes a special woman to do all these jobs and others; It takes a special woman…that’s why God created mothers!


Loving Arms 1998 Years ago, God had a plan to show Himself to earth. With loving arms, He placed His Son in a virgin, who gave Him birth. And on that very first Christmas, Joseph and His wife carried their Son in loving arms, amazed at this miracle of life. This babe grew up to be a man who would teach and preach and lead, with loving arms, He tenderly reached out and touched every soul in need. One day, a road led to Calvary, where salvation demanded a price, and those loving arms stretched out toward heaven in the ultimate sacrifice. But on the third day thereafter, what a glorious sight to see! A stone rolled away, a curtain torn, and loving arms stretched upward in victory! Now, when life throws its twists and turns, and we’re in need or have gone astray, we can still feel those same two loving arms each and every day. And one day soon, the skies will part, and we’ll no longer have to roam, because two familiar loving arms will tenderly welcome us home. So no matter where the road of life finds you this Christmas season, let Him wrap you in His loving arms; let Him give your life its reason.


A Gracious Gift 2007 (written by the granddaughter of Jennie Bernice Mullins) Proverbs 22:11 – “She who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King for her friend.” And Gammy was certainly a friend of the King!!! From time to time, you meet someone God places in your path, And once your lives have meshed together, there is no turning back. One way or another, they come to find a place within your heart. And looking back, you see God used them, to make you who you are. My dear, sweet Gammy was such a woman, full of beauty, wisdom and grace. The precious memories we have of her time can never, ever erase. She was a gracious gift sent from up above. A life well lived, a pure example of God’s love. We’re so thankful for her legacy, and as the angels sing We’re reminded that our time with her was a present from the King. Her faith came first, there was no doubt. She loved to serve her Lord. But next in loine came family, and all the “bshes” she adored. Devoted to her husband, he was her lover, helmate and friend. Nearly sixty-six years they walked together, heart in heart, hand in hand.


From the time she ws a little girl, Gams had music in her heart. Through piano and organ, vocals and strings, she always played her part. She could work a miracle in the kitchen, and her mind was often on food, Wondering what meal she should fix next to feed her hungry brood. If you ever had a problem, she’d be sure to understand. But we all knew well the look she’d give whenever mischief got out of hand! An endless source of wisdom, she loved to give advice. Even when her activity became limited, she would discreetly “supervise.” Though she faced many a burden, and many a trial, Her faith never wavered, nor did her smile. She was a gracious gift sent from up above. A life well lived, a pure example of God’s love. We’re so thankful for her legacy, and as the angels sing We’re reminded that our time with her was a present from the King. The day we’d hoped would never come caught us all off guard. None could seem to bear the thought of such a hole inside our hearts. But Gami, she was not afraid, for she was going Home. And I believe she heard God clearly when He said, “My Child, come!” From Baba’s arms to the Father’s arms, her spirit flew that day. A fulfillment of her hopes and dreams, and every prayer she’d prayed. She took her last breath here on Earth, and then her first in Glory. Her lungs filled with the sweet air of Heaven as we celebrated her


story. She was an inspiration to everyone she met, And though she’s gone to Paradise, God’s not finished with her yet! She’s left her mark on every heart that’s gathered here today, And she’s changed us all forever, in her gentle, loving way. She was a gracious gift sent from up above. A life well lived, a pure example of God’s love. We’re so thankful for her legacy, and as the angels sing We’re reminded that our time with her was a present from the King.


For more information on Jennie, please visit www.JennieShoe. com, or read Conversations with an Angel, her father’s tribute to her.


For more information on Jennie, please visit www.JennieShoe.com, or read Conversations with an Angel, her father’s tribute to her.


The Sun Has Now Come to Stay