God's timing in prayers

"And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers,the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy" (Nehemiah 7:5).

People matter to God! He lists them in the Bible. The purpose of the genealogical lists is not intended to divulge the date the earth and mankind was created as a direct act of God, but to set forth, in outstanding representative names, the line of the promised Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

As the Scribes wrote the dateless documents, all demands were satisfied when known occurrences were referred to definite periods, as within a certain generation or under a specific dynasty, or within the reign of a given ruler already familiar to the people of that time.

For the lineage of Jesus Christ, genealogies are recorded of ADAM (Genesis 5); of NOAH (Genesis 10); of SHEM (Genesis 11:10-32); of HAM (I Chronicles 1:8-16); of Terah (Genesis 11:27); of ABRAHAM (Genesis 25); of ISHMAEL (Genesis 25:12-16); of ESAU (Genesis 36); of JACOB (Genesis 46); of the tribes in chapters 2, 4,5,6 & 7 of I Chronicles; of DAVID (I Chronicles 3); and of JESUS CHRIST in Matthew

  1. The birth of Christ relies on three capital facts: l. The star of the ancient wise men, a scientific conclusion.
  2. The death of Herod the Great, with special reference to an eclipse of the moon.
  3. The enrollment of the Jewish population at the birth of Christ, by the Roman Quirinius.

Today, our family genealogy or "tree" begins with the date our forefathers came to America. A family is truly blessed if they can trace back to their ancestors' arrival with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620. Fortunately, my mother's ancestors kept records from the time John Foulsham (Folsom) and his young wife Mary boarded the ship "Diligent of Ipswich" at the mouth of the Thames River in England on the 26th of April, 1638. They landed at Boston, Massachusetts, August 10, 1638. I obtained all the records and documents to 1872, the year my maternal grandmother (Oriana Thompson Folsom) was born. I updated our family records to 1988 and sent them all to the Folsom archives, together with a photo of my grandmother and a group photo of the Walter A. and Esther Smith family. Four volumes I have written of my family story are in the Clayton Genealogical Library.

I love the stories of long, long ago that families have handed down through generations. I treasure the few that I have. My friend, Annie, asked me to type up some memories she wants to pass on in her Family Tree. She graciously gave me permission to share them with you. She has limited access to her family genealogy:

Annie Russum Klepper was born in 1922. She married Fred B. Klepper, whose life span of fifty years was from 1911 to 1961.

Annie's parents were Henry P. Russum, 1886-1948 (62 years) and Grace Matilda (Tillie) Hacker Russum, 1893-1989 (96 years).

Her Maternal Grandparents:

Ephraim Bradley Hacker was born in 1858 in Benton, Arkansas. He died in 1921 at the age of 63. Annie is regretful that she did not seek information about her ancestors. Who were her grandfather's siblings? She remembers Dora who married Tiz Spencer. Two more sisters were Celie and Betty because of a story her grandmother told of Celie sitting on the floor, looking up at her mother and saying, "Mama, Betty made me cry."

Ephraim married Mary Elizabeth (Bettie) Clark. She was born April 24, 1864 and died on December 13, 1962 at the age of 98 years, 7 months and 20 days. We do not know how many children they had. There was a daughter named Hazel. Anne's mother was Grace Matilda (Tillie) Hacker Russum, the seventh child in the family. Their ninth child was named Velma Annie says she cannot remember a time in her life without Aunt Velma, who married W.Emmett Cole. They had two children: a daughter named Eschol and a son, Emmett, Jr. called "Little Emmett" who was the very image of his father. He was born in 1926.

In September, 1932, Annie's mother received a letter telling her that Little Emmett was killed in an auto accident. He was six years old, and the first of Annie's cousins to die. Aunt Velma's heart was broken. She was inconsolable. Eschol was twelve years of age at that time. She felt utterly helpless as her mother cried continuously. Every night she would pray, "Lord, please let me do something so Mother doesn't cry." Annie, age ten, was saddened by her aunt's grief. Years later as a young adult, Annie visited Aunt Velma, who still cried for her child. She lamented over the years that she didn't get to share his life to adulthood.

Eschol married John Victor Shroyer, Jr. They had two daughters. When Eschol was pregnant with their second daughter (Betsy Cole), she contracted Polio. She was devoted to her home, husband and children; a wonderful wife and mother; an outstanding Christian. Only time will tell how many people she touched in her life.

Six years later, God blessed Eschol with the miraculous birth of a son, John Victor Shroyer, III. The grandparents, Velma and Emmett, were overjoyed. Aunt Velma didn't cry anymore. She had a "son" in her life again. Twenty years had passed since Eschol began her prayers to ":let me do something so Mother doesn't cry!" God answers prayer in His time and in His way. Aunt Velma told Annie, "God has healed our broken hearts."

John was young when his grandfather Emmett died of cancer (the same type that took Eschol's life). After graduation, John attended Dental School in Dallas and stayed with his grandmother (Annie's Aunt Velma). Her joy was overflowing, for at last she could experience the thrill of having a "son" grow up.

Annie's life was influenced by the family women of faith who lived before her. They were not famous; their stories were not published in a "best seller." Yet for perhaps the past l25 years, stories of their faith gave great encouragement to their heirs and will be continued in future generations. Annie told me, "Bettie Clark Hacker will be remembered as a woman of faith. Velma Hacker Cole saw the faith of her mother. Eschol Cole Shroyer lived to see the power of God through her faith; but she saw the model of faith in those who had gone before her. What will we write about our life?"

Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth. I think we all wish to be remembered when we're gone. However, our ultimate goal here on earth is to prepare for eternity. The Apostle Peter wrote: "Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance" (II Peter 1:15). He is concerned that he might have a voice for God on this earth after his decease.

My husband and I helped organize the Hidden Valley Baptist Church. Mom Melder was wife of one of the deacons. She died in August, 1964. Just prior to her death, she was asking the same question: "What will they remember of me?" This was the name of a poem she wrote and gave to me. I put it in the church bulletin the Sunday after her funeral. It follows:

"The sun is fast sinking into the west; Soon will I be in the Home of the Blest. And when I've crossed over life's surging sea, What will the world remember of me? I remember my mother, the life she led. I remember her prayer and the tears she shed, That I might know Jesus of Calvary. What will my love ones remember of me? Will they remember God's Word I have read? Or will it be the idle words I'd said? Can they say, "Lord, I was faithful to Thee?" What will my love ones remember of me? When life's work is over and my race is run, Can Jesus greet me and say, "Well done?" My past I am leaving just a memory. What will my Christ remember of me?"

Wield as much Godly influence for Christ as possible among family, friends and strangers you meet. Trust that influence to become a part of their lives after you are gone.

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