Monday: Again

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:8

Some Mondays we find ourselves in the same endless routine. There is the same weary job, familiar responsibilities and even boring weather dangling around our necks bringing us down. If only something could be a bit different.

Our emotions are on a roller coaster of the mundane ins and outs of life. We plot along hoping this is the week we are able to walk with integrity. We know there should be a desire to display the Fruits of the Spirit and too often we fail to practice them.

Somethings in life may need to be finished; like my manuscript. Other thing started for the first time this year. I am hoping to begin sewing dresses for Operation Christmas Child. These garments go to girls who have little. Before I can move ahead with the old or start the new, I am reminded of the importance of listening to what God’s plans are for my efforts and time this week.

Fridays are exciting filled with change from routine; Monday is different. Let Monday be a fresh start of newness in seeing God’s plan for your job and responsibilities. As for the weather, it will change soon enough.

It’s too easy to just dive into another Monday and leave God behind.

Sanctuary

And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

Isaiah 4:6

Deep in a nook, near a knoll;
lies a bit of Heaven as winter
winds blow minus weather.

In that hollow, thick with snow,
chatters tweeters as they tuck
‘neath fluffy feathered togs.

Snowshoes crunch, bulky
shadow strains seeking sun;
pooled in the eastern bowl.

Far into future, after snow,
the spring peepers will chirp
here in this nestled grove.

P. Wolf, a little longing for spring

Monday: Love

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12

I can think of no greater way to express love than by spending time together. I do understand there are different love languages: giving gifts, serving projects, physical touch or words used to encourage, but all of them need available time.

Saturday I took two of my grandkids to our small town’s ice craving event. It was freezing, but the sun was out and their smiles were warming. We judged our favorite sculptures as we briskly walked downtown Hartford. Later, we grocery shopped, baked, had a snack and simply talked together. The biggest cost? It was my time.

I think one of the greatest gifts on Valentines Day is to show our loved ones how much we want to spend time with them. That doesn’t need to be in person. It could be a call, text or letter. Just taking time to acknowledge another person is priceless.

While you are at it, don’t forget to spend time with God! Your next breath comes from Him.

P. Wolf

Monday: Valentine

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

Psalm 36:7

My Great-grandfather’s name was Valentine. He was born in Germany in 1860. He married Appolonia, my mother’s middle name which she preferred not to use, but I found no record of the year they married.

I have a tattered black and white photo of him with my great grandmother. It was taken when they were older. I’m not sure what he did for a living or why he came to America. I am left wondering who he was.

They had five children and lived in Milwaukee. Their daily stories are long forgotten except for births, deaths and the children born to them. Two of the children had unusual names (Rosalia and Ignatius). Rosalia was my grandmother, my mom’s mother whose name was Beatrice.

Great Grandfather Valentine died in 1940, the year Winston Churchill became the British Prime Minister. It was that year Germany invaded Denmark, Norway, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands during World War II. 

I wonder how Great Grandfather took the news. Did it break his heart? Was it why he gave up on life? Or did he long for his wife who died nine years earlier? I will never know. No one ever left a story.

That’s it for the family tree of Valentine.

As February 14 draws near, I muse over the type of man he may have been. My sister, Diane, believes he was a dapper type from his photo. He was well dressed, wore a thick groomed mustache and appeared robust in the photo. His wife was petite and stood by his side after years of marriage. They lived during a difficult time in history, as yet another war heated up in the world. Their story is only told by a worn black and white photo and a few dates.

The Bible has stories of people lives. We have some information about those who have gone before us. Men and women who followed God. It is so important these stories are told. Or eventually, just like my Great Grandfather Valentine, the stories of God’s great love and desire for all to be saved will disappear.

Read the Bible and share the stories God left for you.

Worship

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Psalm 19:1

Silhouette of day,
Making way for brighter skies;
praising God most high!

P. Wolf

Below Zero

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

Psalm 32:7

The stillness in the woods, as the moonlight stretches long shadows across glistening snow, brings wintry calmness which slowly settles.

The peacefulness of the nighttime stars frozen in endless time across the heavens, declare the endless glory of the Holy One named God.

The boldness of mounting pines towering and swaying as winter winds grow; chases all to shelter as it slowly builds then fiercely blows.

The emptiness of a darken heart which longs for the Promised One; yet unable to be warmed by the love which awaits empty soul.

The timeliness of deepen chill, to the bone,knowing when to seek a warmer haven, even woodland creatures know it’s time to hide.

P. Wolf

Monday: Just Walk

One man there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized that he had spent a long time in this condition, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

John 5:6-6

It’s difficult to wake up on Monday morning to serve the family, go back to the job, go to school or to participate in some community event (church ministry, volunteer work, etc). This becomes more of a struggle in January if you live in the northern hemisphere. Cold, cold and more cold! And it’s almost impossible to rouse if one is struggling with health issues. Monday mornings can be a challenge.

I think of the lame man Jesus healed. How horrid and hopeless everyday must have been for him. Joints stiff and muscles in atrophy mixed with unbearable pain. No way of providing for himself. Most likely, he had worn out any relationship he had. Until finally, he became a burden to society.

I love the way Jesus simply gave the lame man directions which would change his life. “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.”

God doesn’t care how long or how bad a day can be because He has the answer. What is God telling you to do this day? Is is time to get up? What would He have you pick up? Change a job, mend a relationship, repent from an offense; there are many things God would desire us to learn. Are you walking in the faith which is available to you? The only way you will find your answer is by simply following Him. It’s a life-long journey.

P.Wolf

Wintry Lane

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

It is often I scamper
to a winter wood
to wash my thoughts
of the day. Beneath
the forest crown;
within watchful limbs.

I plunge sure footed
down wood in the lane.
Breathe in the melody
of birds among the trees.
I feel the ease of earth
about my snowy feet. 

Inhale the woodsy
scent of frigid air.
All is enhanced;
‘Tis a taste of
what lies beyond
each winding bend.

Passed the bitter,
beyond the cold heart
lies a lighter path.
One not walked alone,
but with Him who knows,
sees and loves us.

P. Wolf

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)