Monday: Traditions

She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Psalm 31:26-28a

Biblical tradition is rather understood as the fullness of divine truth proclaimed in the scriptures…

Wikipedia

As everyone knows the day after Thanksgiving, here in the United States, is Black Friday. I have never been a fan of the event. It’s even easier purchasing sales by remotely shopping on-line. No more standing in line or shoving in large crowds of people. Just deal after deal is available as credit cards are filled to the max.

I guess it could be said Black Friday is a tradition to some people. During the Christmas season many traditions can arise. It’s a time of making memories.

A decade ago, my family started their own day after Thanksgiving event. We call it Gingerbread Day. It has evolved into a special time. Weeks earlier, homemade dough is rolled, cut and then left to harden as it dries out. Then, on the day after Thanksgiving, we decorate and design gingerbread houses with the children. Lunch is always the same: French Toast, smoked bacon and homemade apple sauce. We top cups of hot cocoa with fresh whipped cream and listen to Christmas music. There’s an excitement in the air.

What is the purpose of this unusual bonding time?. Why should we celebrate traditions? It is because it brings us together with a main purpose to complete.

A tradition can be a simple event to a child. A bedtime kiss on the head, Friday night family movie time, attending church every Sunday or a special weekend event can become a treasured memory to a little one.

Mom’s are dream makers who are blessed to lead their children to spiritual places of getting to know God better. As in all things, we should raise our families as onto the Lord. The best traditions are enhanced when adding time to them by reading the Bible together, sing hymns or praying.

May God inspire you to build memories which last a lifetime.

P. Wolf; author & poet

Newly Released Kid’s Book

“Seriously, A Splash“, the second book in the early children’s chapter book readers series “Alexis Ann’s Amazing Adventures”!

Just in time for Christmas! The second book of “Alexis Ann’s Amazing Adventures”, “Seriously, A Splash”, is now available. This story tells of fishy tale, brings more adventure and reveals lessons well learned. Seriously, your early reader will enjoy this new book of “Alexis Ann’s Amazing Adventures”!

I had such fun writing the second book in “Alexis Ann’s Amazing Adventures”. It’s a summer story of adventure, cousins and friends. Early readers will want to continue turning the pages as they are learning life lessons.

The story includes the great adventures of Jonah from the Bible and the struggles he faced as he ran away from God. Day to day life can be exciting when wisdom is gleaned from the Word of God!

I hope your child will be thrilled with this new addition of “Seriously, A Splash!” as they travel a journey of obedience and repentance. Alexis would say, “Tata!”

P. Wolf; children’s author

Faith

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Matthew 23:37

The fern has passed, song birds gone,
as winter settles between sheets of ice.
The false prophet’s empty words linger
as the soul is led towards damnation.

Tall evergreens are stately and striking,
across a barren landscape housing
skeleton trees undressed of their leaves,
rich emerald pines towering upwards.

Chick-a-dees nestle in prickly pines;
poking feathers of white, grey and black.
Little fellows with BIG voices cheering
those passing by in a dormant world.

A voice echoes from the past, crying out
to barren souls, a populace empty of truth
traveling a road leading towards eternal
death without the presence of their God.

Men who with imposing and impressive
voices fill busy streets. Flagrant, flashy in
their religious behaviors, white washed tombs, now filled with dead men’s weary bones.

Look to the skies, not men without hope!
See the tiny birds in the air; they sow nor reap. They gather to the place their Marker has prepared. It is there eternal hope is found.

The fern has passed, song birds gone,
as winter settles between sheets of ice.
The false prophet’s empty words linger.
as the soul is led towards damnation.

P. Wolf; author& poet
References: Matthew 23:27-28; 6:25-27

Monday: Alone

And Mary said, my souls magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Luke 1:46-47

During my early morning walk, just before Thanksgiving, I heard a single cricket frog singing a melancholy song. Above, in slate gray skies, a crane was on a journey towards warmer weather. Across a frosty field, a well feed deer lingered munched on debris. We all had something in common, we were alone.

It’s days just before Thanksgiving. The holidays are upon us. Six weeks of nonstop action. Family reunions, gift giving, delicious food and memories are all bundled up in one great package.

Yet, there are those who will be alone and might not even leave their homes. It may have been a tough year for many people. They may have lost a loved one, lost their job or just lost any hope for the future. The holidays to them will be a time of isolation and pain.

In these early weeks of the holiday season I find myself in the book of Luke. It is in this book of the Bible we find Mary alone and in a rather challenging situation.

Mary was visited by an angel and told she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. How lonely she must have felt. Mary went to visit Elizabeth and is greeted with great praise and encouragement. Some of Mary’s fears pale in light of knowing someone else knows her secret.

How does Mary react to Elizabeth’s praise?

Mary’s words, in her song of praise, are saturated with scripture from the Old Testament. She knew the word of God. Deuteronomy asks us to teach our children of God. To teach them at all times in preparation for what God has planned for them. However, we cannot teach what we don’t know. Being in the Word is life to the soul. It brings us through the lonely times.

Mary then gives God the credit for His salvation. She recognizes her own need for a Savior, even though she was the mother of the Savior. There is no greater gift which we could give to a loved one than to share Jesus Christ this Christmas. To explain Jesus’ great sacrifice at the cross. To spend time praying their hearts are open to hear the great news!

This holiday season spend time in the Word of God. Whether you are celebrating alone or gathering with several people find time with God. We are never alone. God is always available for the person willing to come to Him. Remember to share this good news of Jesus Christ with a loved one.

Happy Thanksgiving, P. Wolf

Morning Study

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

Psalms 25:4-5

Snow settles in the pines
making moist every needle.
Morning skies are gray,
as wet pavement shines.

Late autumn brings chill:
seasons ever-changing,
moments of brilliant color,
then barren landscape.

Lessons seep into my mind;
making fertile my empty places.
Morning Bible study is bright;
my parched spirit left behind.

Late autumn brings warmth
between the pages of light,
truth and love from my Father.
No longer dry, but now alive.

P. Wolf; author & poet

Monday: Clinging

For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our Guide even to death.

Psalms 34:14


Sandhill crane’s have turned a snowy gray with feathers fluffed. It’s migration time. Skies are burden with dense, dark, dreary clouds. November is well on its way. Trees stand and sway in late autumn’s cold breeze. Crisp leaves tumble on hard ground. The air is brisk and chilled. Autumn is passing.

I trek down my empty country road hoping for the rising sun. Winter jacket, heavy boots and cozy hat are my accessories. Seasons are changing, once again, in my little area of the world. Things are different as winter sneaks in to begin the holidays.

It is here among the last oak leaves, that are still clinging to trees, I find solace. Sturdy trees which grasp long and tight to their leaves. Almost in slow motion while rapid changes occur. After a few months pass, they too will drop their leaves.

Am I like that? Like a mighty oak tree clinging to something. Am I grounded in rich earth? Or am I shaken by the struggles of life’s storms and changes?

I then remember, we only walk through this world for a little while. When frigid times come I want to be as those oak trees still holding on to what they believe is theirs. I want to remember, through all things, God is with me and I am His.

P. Wolf; author & poet

Clandestine Lilies

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Hebrews 11:1-3

Is my faith like hidden lilies?
Buried deep beneath
trials and sorrow’s
sweet.

Is my faith like hidden lilies?
Lofty stalks of blooms
bowing deeply to
greet.

Dense
twined foliage
laced with colors
of faith, hope, charity;
searching for undying love.

Hope
like petals;
are fragile things
in need of nurturing.
Abiding faith is from above.

P. Wolf; author and poet

Monday: Expectations

I believe we are at a time of the year in which great expectations are stirred within our lives. Weather it’s the homecoming of loved ones or the excitement of a little more time at home; we wait in anticipation for the holidays.

As a child, the bubbly feelings of holidays started with Thanksgiving. Family gathered around a roasted turkey, children playing hide and seek, and grownups chatter around the table. Then, finally, a piece of homemade blueberry pie was dished out to top off the day. It was a time of celebration for my family.

Why do we embrace the expectation of change and gathering together for the holidays? Perhaps, day to day life becomes common place. When a celebration comes along things are shaken up, like a snow globe. Our environment it transformed. What may have been mundane is refreshed.

How can one capture this transformation on a regular basis? Or should one even try?

I think the answer lies in the Scriptures. Think of the multitude of decades the chosen people awaited their promised Messiah. Waited, waited, and waited.

More often, we remember Christ’s arrival and the celebration which surrounded His birth. Mother waiting for her Child to be born. Shepherds anticipating to see the great thing which the angles announced regarding the Savior’s birth. And the kings following a sign in the sky which would fulfill the old prophecies. That was the big event. Decades earlier, it must have been difficult for the people to remain excited about God’s promise.

That inner, deep feeling of expectation should fill our hearts daily. It needs to be nurtured. We need to remind each other of another great event. Christ promised to return and bring His own to Himself for eternity. This won’t be a fleeting celebration, but one that will last for infinity to those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Let’s remember the greatest event of all is still waiting to happen.

… according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain,

Philippians 1:20-21

P. Wolf; author & poet

Wadi

know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:19

In cloak of twilight,
towering trusses move
as winged creatures
in dimness of timber;

waterless wadi
hidden beneath
mounded snow;
enveloped in

darkness of night.
Weary is my view
where jaded fern,
no longer grow

on woodland bed;
lay barren of critters
tucked snuggly
within bleak terrain.

My soul, like
empty wadi,
needs daily filling
to bring me peace.

Monday: New Growth

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

I Peter 2:1-3

On my drive home from Slinger, a small town about ten minutes from my home, I drove through Pike Lake State Park. It was a gloomy Friday with a late fall chill in the air. I noticed the brilliant color of the forest and decided to meander through the area.

What I saw, as I moved in closer to the woods, was more than just golden mature trees. I stopped to study the forest floor. A multitude of new growth blanked the ground. Trees only a few feet tall swayed in the cool breeze.

Many of these young trees would not make it through the frigid winter. Others would be choked off by thorny weeds come spring. Still some may die in drought-like conditions when the heat of summer comes again. Only a few may survive to become sturdy maple trees.

Malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander are the thorny weeds in our lives. We should long for spiritual milk to counter the temptation of evil. God created us with a spiritual well-being along with our physical body.

I hope many saplings will grow within the forest of my family and friends. Winters are cold in Wisconsin. May you keep warm with the Word of God.