Getting Started Right

Good advice! If I must say so myself! 🙂

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Did you ever start anything and then in retrospect say, “Boy I really messed that up!”? Oh yeah, we’ve all done that! Well, there’s one huge thing in which you DON’T want to start out wrong, and that’s the Christian life! You say, “what do you mean Christian life?”. It’s the life which starts when your realize you have sinned against your Holy God, and then turn in repentance from that sin and trust Jesus Christ, His Son, to forgive you and make you His child. That is the first step which opens up your life to a whole new world of blessings. I started my life with Jesus on May 2, 1975 and since then have learned some important steps to take for a person starting out the Christian life. Here’s a few of them:

Write the date you trusted Christ in the front…

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My Substitute

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What is good about Good Friday? On this day in the Biblical record Jesus was arrested, declared guilty in a mock trial, spit upon, beaten, mocked, a crown of thorns jammed onto His head, His back turned into ribbons of flesh by scourging and then He was forced to carry His cross to the place where He would be nailed onto it and die.

What is good about Good Friday? It is good because Jesus did it all for me! Yes, it is most powerful when we personalize it, because I would have had nothing to bring to a Holy God but my sins and my worthless works. But thankfully, His Son Jesus made a way for my sins to be forgiven on Good Friday. Is there any other way? No there isn’t. It took a sinless sacrifice to please a Holy Heavenly Father and there was no other person…

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Right With God?

Artist’s conception of Israel’s Worship Center in the wilderness

Are you right with God? Are you on speaking terms with Him? Do you sense His presence and leading in your life? Will you be with Him someday? The answer to these and many more questions can and should be a resounding YES! Why you ask? Because God has gone to the farthest degree to make it possible! He wants your answers to be yes because He created you, He loves you and wants the best for you!

All we need do is look back in Bible history to see the extreme ends to which God went through to help His people be “Right With Him”. To accomplish this for the Isreal nation He gave detailed and strict instructions to Moses to pass on to the Priests of Israel to follow in their wilderness journey.

Their worship was performed at the Tabernacle where they gathered around it in the wilderness. The Lord appeared to them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. All twelve tribes camped around the worship center. It was the center of their lives.

The Priests followed God’s commandments and an elaborate system of rituals and animal sacrifices on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis. Blood was shed and poured out at their altars and in front of the Lord in the Holy of Holys once a year inside the Tabernacle. Why you might ask? The main goal was to keep the people “Right with Him”.

We read fifteen times in the book of Numbers & Leviticus Moses where God uses the phrase “Right with the Lord”.

This phrase “Right with the Lord” appears 10 times in Leviticus chapter four alone, and showed He was very intense and intent on the people being one with Him. At the end of one of the instructions for sacrifice it summarizes:

“Thru this process the priest will purify the people making them right with the Lord and they will be forgiven.” (Leviticus 4:20)

From this verse we can glean the purpose of their worship.

  1. Purify the People

2. Re-establish a Right Relationship with God

3. Grant Forgiveness for their sins

Centuries later these same purposes were fulfilled “Once For All” for “All People” by Jesus ministry on earth which culminated by His death on a cruel Cross.

By Jesus coming to Earth and living a sinless life and then willingly offering himself as a pure sinless sacrifice He did away with the entire previous system! No more rules and regulations, no more endless sacrifices of animals. Just a personal step of Faith to trust in Jesus. You know the verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) This is the Gospel or “Good News” in a nutshell.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Have you trusted in Him? If not, do it today! For then, and only then will you be “Right with God”!

Read more Faith building stories here:

He Called Me Brainiac!

Laramie and I at Uncle Snack’s house. There’s another cool nickname (Snack)!

The 3 year anniversary of my brother Larry going to be with the Lord is this week. He was better known as “Laramie” in our family and he loved nicknames! My oldest brother Warren was called Butch & Pooch but Laramie called him Poochbone! My great grandmother addressed my birthday card to “Brain Wolfe” hence, my older brothers Laramie & Pooch nicknamed me “Brain” from that time forward. Then they came home from school one day and started calling my twin brother Bruce “Smith”, just because they had a classmate named Bruce Smith! Yes, we still call him Smith today! Our little brother Frederick’s name was of course shortened to Fred, but they also called him “Freeedrick” which later transformed to “Fled” for some unknown reason! Yep, you guessed it, he’s Fled today! Our youngest brother Steven’s nickname was more conventional as “Stevie” which I don’t think has any story attached to it. Though as an adult “Stevie” has mostly been dropped for Steven instead.

God liked giving people nicknames, or name changes as it were. He changed Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Jeshua to Joshua and in the New Testament Jesus changed Simon Barjona to Peter. Their name changes were’nt for fun though, they were very serious and were tied to His plans for BIG things to take place in their lives and the life of His Church. After Jesus launched His Church in the Book of Acts another categorical name change took place. Those who put their faith and trust in Him began to be called “Christians” first as a derrogatory name by the faithless leaders of their time, but eventually as a powerful name of the true Christ Followers who would turn the world upside down as they took the Gospel message to the ends of the earth!

My brother Laramie calling me Brainiac was an endearing term to me. Not that I’m a real brainiac, but it felt like a demonstration of appreciation and brotherly love which I will treasure for the rest of my life. As an Evangelist who had a strong passion for souls he would often leave an encouraging, or sometimes lighthearted comment on my blogs, especially those in which I gave the Gospel message. Twenty eight days before his departure to heaven he left his last comment on my blog “Trees and Me” (see link below). I truly miss his fellowship, big brother advice, encouragement and of course being called “Brainiac”! I wonder what new nicknames he’s coming up with now!

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp.1 (Israel Brandt)

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FROM THE BOOK BLUE EYED SIX: Drews and Stichler’s legs and arms were pinioned by stout straps. Stichler, who was the last one bound, being engaged in silent prayer all the while. The rope was first adjusted around Drews’ neck and the white cap drawn over his head, and as they were performing the same operation on Stichler, Drews cried out, “Frank, now we go to heaven, now let go, oh, Father, help.” Both men trembled all over like Aspen leaves for a moment before the fatal blow was struck and they shot through the trap launching them into eternity. Their bodies were placed in very plain coffins, furnished by the Directors of the Poor. Drews was buried in Mt. Lebanon Cemetery and Stichler in the garden at his father’s house in Indiantown Gap.


LOBO COMMENT: So ended the lives of the two men convicted of the murder of poor…

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The Trail of the Wolf/Wolfes

In these cold months of retirement I’ve been digging into my Wolf/Wolfe ancestors. The above family picture is of my Great Great Grandfather Samuel Wolfe, his wife Ellomanda and 8 of their 9 children (they lost a child Victoria May at 5 years old). Samuel was a stone mason and also founded the Pleasant Hill Chapel in Green Point PA in 1907, probably the first Independent Bible Church in Lebanon County! Some of my ancestors don’t have the “e” on Wolfe. So I have Wolf/Wolfe relatives all over eastern PA! My brother often says “Without the “e” I’m just an animal!”

The Pleasant Hill Chapel

My Great Grandfather Alfred Jacob, who was their firstborn, seated on right (from whom I get my middle name) was better known as Allen Wolfe or “AJ” as most people called him. He married a wonderful woman Katherine (Kate) Klinger who he met when as a young man he travelled on horseback giving music lessons to the village of Suedburg. He later started Wolfe’s General Merchandise store in Green Point which was about a mile west of his parent’s home which still sits next to the Greenpoint Cemetery. He was a kind and loving business man who helped many people make it through the Depression by bartering store goods for home grown vegetables. He and Kate had two children, my grandfather Clarence 1899-1945 and a daughter Grace who died at only 5 months old.

AJ & Kate in the front yard of their home beside the store.

Edwin Martin Luther Wolf moved to Derry Church, later renamed Hershey, and actually made icecream for Milton Hershey! After moving to York Springs he began a car dealership selling Pontiacs. Later he began transporting people to Phillies games and community events which eventually led him to start WOLF BUS LINES the friendly Wolf 🙂. My brother Larry Wolfe interviewd his grandsons Bradley and Edwin and they gave him a copy of the treasured family photo.

David Wolfe maried Sadie Snyder and stayed in the area and, like his father, had 7 sons of his own, Albert, Harry, Francis, Charles, Paul, David Jr & Lester. He also had 5 daughters. His nickname was “Wooly Wolfe”. His decendants still live in his father Samuel’s home in Greenpoint.

Irvin wasn’t long on the earth, never marrying and dying at the young age of 19. His grave is beside his parents in the Pleasant Hill Chapel cemetery.

Henry married a girl named Mable who was 13 years younger than him and they moved to Pine Grove. Mabel died at age 31 and left Henry (44) with two small children, Sallie,8 & William,7. He remained unmarried and passed away 17 years later. He & Mable are buried at Jacob’s Lutheran Church in Pine Grove.

Charles married Emma Shakespeare and followed in his older brother Alfred’s footsteps when he started a general store in the west end of Hummlestown.

Samuel remained a bachelor all of his life and lived at home in his parents house until his death in 1961. He worked at his brother’s store until it closed in 1956 at AJ’s death.

Annie married John Reigle and named her firstborn daughter Victoria May, after her little sister who passed away at 5 years old when Annie was only eleven. They probably had a close relationship. It appears she raised her family in the Annville Cleona area.

30 Years later from left: Samuel, Charles, Annie, Edwin, AJ, Henry

I’m very thankful for the Christian heritage evident in the lives of my ancestors as they enjoyed the freedoms and opportunities in our great country. They all had roots in their local churches and their values of Faith in God and hard work led them to become valueable contributors to their communities. Maybe this post will get the attention of my many unknown Wolf/Wolfe relatives in our community!

Note: I gathered much of this information from an article my brother Larry wrote called “The Seven Sons of Samuel” after visiting Edwin’s grandsons of the Wolf Bus Lines. Larry is now in heaven and I’m sure is celebrating with his ancestors.

For more encouraging stories see below:

When Things Go Crazy

We live in a battle zone! Things are going crazy in the invisible Spirit World and our Physical World. A Righteousness vs. Evil battle rages and it plays out in the human realm through human actions, interactions and consequences of those actions, all influenced by spiritual forces. Satan wants to destroy anything good that will give Jesus glory and he does NOT want the Kingdom of Christ to grow. Here’s how it all started.

God created a beautiful planet Earth. There were no imperfections. Then He created a perfect man and named him Adam, with no imperfections. Then He took a part of Adam and with it created his mate and Adam named her Eve, again NO imperfections and they became one. But they wern’t robots, since they were created with emotions and a will and could be tempted and therefore could choose.

Enter Satan, the Chief Fallen Angel who hated God and hated the first family He created. Satan knew the rules of the Garden and that there was a forbidden tree of which the First Couple were to have NO part. So he tempted them and they fell for it. Hence, their perfection by the Hand of God was transformed into IMperfection by the sin of man.

They now had a Sin Nature which just loved to sin! Every subsequent death, heartache, disease, hate, war, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, broken vows, wickedness, murder, crime, was the Fallen Fruit of that one act of disobedience to a Holy God! This pandemonium of sin and death washed over succeeding generations of man leaving a holocaust of broken lives. But God was NOT finished.

To summarize quickly, (because this is a blog and not a book) God knew beforehand what would happen and already had a plan whose main character was His Son Jesus, who He would send to “fallen” Man and provide a way for Man to be reconciled with Him and to be made new, and not to mention, even have an Eternal Home one day in Heaven!

This “Way” would begin with man repenting (or turning away) from his sin, seeking God’s forgiveness, and trusting Him by faith to redeem him, making him a NEW Creature in Christ Jesus. This transaction alone (not any good works that man could do) would give Man a NEW Nature which would restore his broken relationship with his loving God. He would still have to fight the Old Nature within him, who still loved to sin, and also fight Satan and his fallen host of angels/demons.

Enter the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who would indwell or live in the new Believer and add to that the Holy Word of God, the Bible, which God inspired Holy men to write that would become the primary Weapon of Spiritual Warfare for the Believer to achieve victory!

So the scene for today is set…. Unredeemed Man is still fully under the influence of His Old Nature and at the mercy of Satan and his co-horts who roam the earth which is a very bad situation! But Redeemed Man, the Christian, still living in a sin-sick world has been given everything he needs to be victorious and successfull. His once broken relationship with God is restored. He can walk with God as Adam did prior to the fall, and when tempted use his Spiritual weapons, his New Nature, the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God to win every Spiritual battle.

The Bible says, “The weapons of our warfare are not physical but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Cor 10:4) So the Bible is VERY important going forward.

So what about “When Things Go Crazy”?

I sin all the time! Yes, you are still a sinner and you will not be sinless but should sin LESS. You are saved by Grace through Faith and as you grow in your faith you WILL sin less. But when you do, go right away to God with your sin. Not a priest. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

My loved one died! Realize we live in a disease ridden earth which is a result of the fall of man in the Garden, it’s not God’s fault nor the fault of our loved one. God’s Blessed Eternity and a new disease free body awaits those whose faith was in Christ. Bathe yourself in the Word of God, “Yea though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil for Thy Rod and Thy Staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23). “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)

I have these crazy thoughts! God wants to replace your thoughts with His thoughts and He can do it if you create a lifestyle of living in His Word. Read it daily, memorize key verses, meditate on them. “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11) “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5)

I just can’t forgive! Yes you can when you realize how much God has forgiven you, how much He loves you and how far He went to make a way for you. Get a good look in your mind at Jesus on the Cross when He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus was willing to forgive His enemies. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

My life is just a mess! As I mentioned above, our spiritual enemies will constantly try to destroy us. Satan and his demons are busy doing that, day in and day out 24-7 all around the globe. He especially focusses on those who know Jesus in order to prevent them from helping to build the Kingdom of God! If your life is not centered on Jesus and His Word you are opening yourself to defeat. Here is Joshua’s advice:

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee wherever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:8-9)

We Christians live in a lost and sin sick crazy world. There is a myriad of other crazy scenarios to add to those I listed above, but I hope you got the “jist” of my blog today…. no matter the problem, God has a solution, so live in the Word of God, Love it, Treasure it, and use it when life get’s crazy, as it surely will from time to time and HE will see you through!

Check out other helpful messages here:

Getting Started Right

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Did you ever start anything and then in retrospect say, “Boy I really messed that up!”? Oh yeah, we’ve all done that! Well, there’s one huge thing in which you DON’T want to start out wrong, and that’s the Christian life! You say, “what do you mean Christian life?”. It’s the life which starts when your realize you have sinned against your Holy God, and then turn in repentance from that sin and trust Jesus Christ, His Son, to forgive you and make you His child. That is the first step which opens up your life to a whole new world of blessings. I started my life with Jesus on May 2, 1975 and since then have learned some important steps to take for a person starting out the Christian life. Here’s a few of them:

Write the date you trusted Christ in the front of your Bible! Assuming you have already obtained one and make sure it’s an easily readable version like, the New International Version (NIV); New American Standard Version (NASV); New Living Translation (NLT) which is my favorite, or even the New King James Version (NKJV) which is more traditional but is also very readable. The reason for this step is that there will come a day when your Old Nature will encourage you to have doubts about your decision. When that happens you take it to your Bible, open up the front cover and point to that date and say, “See that date? That’s when I accepted Jesus so scram!” It sounds funny, but it’s exactly the thing to do!

On Day One start reading your Bible! Yep, it’s that simple! Slice out a piece of your morning, yes morning, to sit in a quiet place and simply read. Before you start pray, “O Lord open up my eyes to see You through Your Word this morning”. Now don’t start with the first book Genesis and think, “I’m reading through this whole thing!”, all in good time, but there’s a better starting place. Start with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Read a chapter a day or whatever amount suits your time. Then start reading the book of Psalms (not all 150 chapters) as a way to worship the Lord. You’ll find an easy 5 Psalm’s a day plan at https://lobochronicles.com/2015/08/13/the-plus-30-plan/

Pray! Start talking to God in the most simple childlike way. Pray for your own needs and the needs of others in your family and circle of friends. Pray everywhere! In a quiet place, in your car, on a walk, God is with you at all times so just talk to Him! Make a prayer diary and track to see how God faithfully answers your prayers.

Find a church that preaches the Bible that is as close to your home as possible! And make a committment in your heart to be there EVERY Sunday! You will be greeted with a smile and friendly handshake. There will be a witness of the Spirit between you and your new Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ. If that doesn’t happen then keep looking. Your new friends will provide needed fellowship and will be able to identify with where you are in your spiritual journey. There will also be opportunities to serve the Lord in small ways which eventually will lead to larger opportunities and spiritual stretching and growth.

Finally, Share your story or testimony with others about how Jesus tracked you down and transformed your life! No one can take away your powerful, life changing experience, and God will use your story to bless and even lead others to trust in Jesus as well.

I pray God’s blessing to you on this wonderful journey!

For more helpful articles and stories go to my blog index below.

O Most High

Tell the Lord you’re going to get back to church this Christmas season!

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Chapel

I guess going to church is in my genes and it’s a good thing! My great grandfather Samuel Wolfe founded a little chapel in the mountains of Lebanon County PA pictured above and his son took the reigns of leadership from him so future generations would benefit. In the same time period my grandmother Margaret Anspach on my mother’s side took the leadership in her family, in spite of grandpa’s resistance and made sure her family had a Bible in the house and her children were in church regularly.

In my devotions this morning I read these passages which talk of this very thing:  “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name O Most High. To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness…

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Turn!

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Larry the Wolfman

In my reading through the Bible this year I have been increasingly reminded of 3 amazing things, the Tremendous Love of God, the Mighty Power of His Word and the Amazing Forgiveness He bestows on his fallen creation of men and women.

My brother Larry pictured above in his days of living far from God was a perfect example of a man to whom God applied these 3 incredible principles. God loved him enough to draw him like a magnet out of the debauchery of his lifestyle, covered and showered him with the cleansing flow of the Living Word of God, and then when he TURNED in REPENTANCE granted him complete forgiveness and a NEW LIFE in CHRIST JESUS!

Larry’s Story (Go here for more on his story)

Consider now the below story from the book of Nehemiah of the same process that occurred to the Children of Israel when…

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