Monday: Changing Times

Photo credit Dan Eichenberger

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Back in the late 70’s I learned how to downhill ski. It was exhilarating. I think what I enjoyed the most was the fresh air and views. Devils Head ski hill, in Wisconsin, has the most gorgeous overview. Yet, Vail ski resort in Colorado displayed several breathtaking runs. I was no Olympian at the sport, but I was strong and enthusiastic.

It was shortly after those years I was introduced to Jesus, my Savior. I had never read the Bible. I new of the basic biblical stories, but thought they were something which happened years ago. In ways, I was still trying to earn my way to heaven.

In the 90’s, as I was raising a family, my husband and I took up cross-country skiing. It was affordable, plenty of local areas to ski and a lot less equipment to carry. Maybe motherhood overwhelmed my thoughts for downhill skiing. Or a back injury took the stream out of the excitement of surfing the slopes. They were wonderful years of shushing through local woodlands. Plus, an occasional hill to glide down.

During those years, I taught children the Word of God. Along the way I was learning so many things myself. There’s no better way to get familiar with the Bible than to teach someone else.

Somewhere after the turn of the century, I’m starting to sound old now, I hung up the cross-country skies for snow snows. The slower pace suited me. Crunching through a quiet wood and inhaling the serenity before me brought peace.

Around this same time something else happened, I fell in love with the Word of God. It was more than just knowing of Him, but truly seeing Him. If that sounds familiar, they are the words of Job. I spent over a year in study of the book of Job. It was a wonderful experience.

The purpose of this post is to show how the physical body has its limits. As decades unfold the physical body declines. Yet, the spiritual part of us can grow with strength. Do I miss those downhill skiing days? Yes, especially this last week as my son, Dan, has sent me photos of his time in Vail. Yet, I have the quiet of a snow covered woods and a cozy corner in my house where I can get lost in the Word of God.

The body grows weak, while the spirit thirsts for more. May you see God more and more.

P.Wolf; skier & snowshoer

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

He is worthy of your trust, and your trust is all he asks of you. He is able and willing, because he died for you. He only ask you to believe that he is able to save you and wants you to trust yourself to him.

C. H. Spurgeon (Life in Christ)

Kettles Calling

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made

John1:1-3

Dug deep down in time,
against a perfect wintry sky; 
layers of life are forever laced
among my cattail reeds.

It’s there that strong beams
of sun pool despite stagnant
times, truths and tales;
as stretched years unfold.

Chick-a-dees crowd in winter,
spring peepers chime with thaw,
Sandhill crane saunters in summer,
brittle leaves gather in autumn.

Above in towering pines I
catch a glimpse of tail feather;
a sudden movement swoops,
opens wings and dives for dinner.

But as winter settles snowy tuffs,
the muskrat beckons from his
kettled home; among the broken reeds
rooted deep in folds of time.

P. Wolf

Monday: Sunset

They who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy.

Psalm 65:8

There are few things to appreciate during the month of chilly January in Wisconsin. When wind chills are below zero and with snow piling up it’s hard to remain positive. Yet, I have found pleasure in January’s gorgeous sunsets. A snow white canvas compliments the early evening splash of color. Despite dreary January’s frosty days, the warm sky brings pleasure if only for a few minutes.

Trials in life resemble fidget January; bleak and harsh as time trickles by. It’s easy for feelings of hopelessness to over-take joy. Loneliness can creep in one’s life leaving a feeling of great defeat. Is there nothing promising during the trials of life?

Psalm 65 was written by David. It may have been a song of praise written during a drought. Also, there is information that claims it was sung later by the people coming out of captivity. I’m sure it has a rich history of praise to God through time

Near the beginning of the Psalm it says, “You who listen to prayer, all people will come to You.” Nothing has changed through the years. If heartache has found a corner of your life, remember God is available. He listens to the cry of those who love Him and have a desire to obey His laws. 

It is said after the storm comes a rainbow. Consider before the darkness a sunset strikes the sky and night breaks way to morning’s sunrise.

P. Wolf

A mouth open in unceasing prayer will result in open eyes that see faith clearly, so pray in the darkness, even if there seems to be no hope of light. When God, who is light, moves a poor sinner to plead and cry out with the commitment to continue until the blessing comes, he doesn’t even consider disregarding that poor crying heart. Perseverance in prayer is a sure sign that the day of opening the eyes of the blind is near.

Spurgeon quote from “Life in Christ”

The Sky

He is not here: for He is risen…

Matthew 28:6a

LOOK there in the sky;
soaring so very high…
hawk is slowly circling
watch him soar open sky.

SEE below… the cross!
People gathered like moss;
hawk is slowly circling
around the wooden cross.

WHY did He need to die?
It make so many cry…
hawk is slowly circling;
a part of us too will die.

DID I put Him there?
My sins He did bare;
hawk is slowly circling.
Children gaze up there!

NOW, they take Him down;
tears falling to the ground.
Hawk is slowly circling,
as the rain tumbles down.

TODAY He is risen;
broke sin’s eternal prison.
Hawk is no longer circling;
to heaven Jesus has risen!

It’s hard not to be reminded of Jesus victory on Easter at this time of the year when we celebrate His birth. P. Wolf

Monday: A Hoot

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:58

It’s early morning and the local owls are hooting. I’ve sighted only a few this last year. Lovely creatures in their bold stance. Sturdy, feathered birds who seem to understand commitment.

I am amazed that in the dead of winter they begin their courtship. During February’s Valentines Day month, owls seek a mate. Their relationship will last a lifetime.

Eggs are laid in March. For a month, mother owl sits daily on the fragile eggs. Sleet, snow and stormy winds come; yet she endures. The male brings her food during this trying time. Dedicated and devoted they are in caring for their offspring.

Taking the theme of commitment a bit further, consider one’s relationship with Jesus. Is there a devotion to Him like the owls have towards each other? Dedication takes work. May God put a desire in your heart to grow in a committed relationship with Him.

P. Wolf

First Snow

Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

First snow chimes out the new year,
BIG, bouncy, brawny flakes swirl, swish 
past stoic landscape leaving their mark.

January draws forth all which was dear,
hopes, dreams and the heart’s wishes;
some laden, broken before they embarked.

Farewell December, fade without fear
take our sorrows and burdened anguish;
one can choose not to walk in the dark.

Follow the great I Am.

Happy New Year; P. Wolf

Monday: Let there be Worms

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Matthew 6:31-33

As another year comes to a close, some people may be thankful for God’s provisions. While others, with disappointment, may still be waiting for their prayers to be answered. “Is God really there? Has He forgotten me?”

There is assurance that God is there and loves those who love Him dearly.

Waiting is a hard thing. It’s those exaggerated moments where the battle is being played out. Can you place your trust in God or will the devil have the final victory?

I saw a dozen or more robins a few weeks ago. It was an early cold morning. Frost hugged frozen branches. The air was crisp and my fingers numb. Suddenly my dog stopped. He studied a small knoll just a few feet away. It was then I heard the rustling of dried leaves. There was a flutter and pecking everywhere in the woodsy spot.

“Squirrels,” I thought.

It took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the earthy camouflage. Then I saw them. There were dozens of robins tossing debris everywhere. These humble birds had gathered in a sheltered area collecting their morning grub. The ground was too frozen for worms, so they searched for other eatable delights.

God promised to provide for the needs of those who love Him. Do you love God? Really love Him? If so, prayerfully continue to wait on God. He has a special purpose for your life. You might not get the worms you desire, but He will make sure your needs are taken care of.

P. Wolf

Jemi’s Story Video

Meet the character behind the story of: Jemi’s Noble Quest

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Monday: Darker Days

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:12

As the darkest day of the year approaches, I think of the Light. Jesus’s words, in the book of John, are reassuring to those who have traveled a difficult year. Even to those who have battled with sin and have lost.

There is no doubt sin brings elements of darkness to life. It is so easy to point out the sins of other people. Let’s read the verse a little earlier in this chapter, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” That line alone puts things in perspective.

We aren’t much different than the religious leaders and godly men who walked the dusty, crowded street with Jesus. In ways, we challenge Jesus by ignoring His words and turning to our own righteous ways. Unfortunately, everyone cannot be correct.

As darker days of December veil each new day, remember God brought “Light” into the world on Christmas Day, Jesus. He was sent to consume the darkness of sin so we could live in His light.

Merry Christmas, P. Wolf

Empty Manger

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:12

What if mild Mary long ago refused
the holy messenger that came to her,
as weary, arid desert sands blew;
blew silently across lonesome land.

What if Joseph had turned her away
when angels visited his troubling dreams?
Beads of sweat warmed he’s worried brow;
brow burdened with disappointment.

What if the modest family had not gone;
when called to little town of Bethlehem
Tucked smartly within rocky, hilly earth;
earth set aside for the Promised One.

What if meager manger had been empty;
a sparse shelter that wonderful holy night?
No animals to sing His lovely lullaby;
lullaby hopefully for all of mankind.

What if burly shepherds doubted
the things they heard in night skies? 
Songs of the newborn Baby King;
King to reign in Heaven on high.

What if the wealthy magi turned back
tired of travel across new lands?
Weary of following the star bright; 
bright and brilliant across inky night.

What if Christmas was forever veiled
among gifts, garland and guides?
No baby King Jesus to come to save;
save sinful folk just like you and I.

May you have a blessed Christmas, P. Wolf