Grandma’s Sanctuary

Maggie

Growing up in unsettled family circumstances, at times my young heart yearned for a sanctuary, a place of refuge. A sanctuary is normally a high ceilinged quiet place where souls find rest among pews and hymnals. I found rest in Grandma’s sanctuary which was her quaint modest cottage like home sitting along a dirt road surrounded by fields of wild flowers shaded by a huge canopy of maple trees.

G-Ma HouseG-ma Maple

Grandma on her back porch with her children and pump covered in Maple leaves.

Come with me to Grandma’s sanctuary. A screen door opened to a brightly curtained inner door and once inside the veil it took only seconds to recognize the familiar aroma of fresh baked goods, feel the love, and see the warmth of the bright yellow painted walls and white ceiling.

A small TV room was on the right adjacent to the front door and a phone desk complete with a rotary dial phone had a prominent spot by the window. We called the phone “the hotline over the mountain” as she would often converse with our other grandma who lived over there. Everyone was quiet as a church mouse when grandma was in “her” chair and the Lawrence Welk show was broadcast (I still love that show). Family photos adorned the wall papered walls and a long horizontal mirror hung above an old fashioned studio couch.

Back at the door… just ahead of you on the right was her “Morning Comfort cook stove” with stove pipe disappearing through the ceiling which provided heat to the upstairs rooms. When grandkids stayed overnight in the winter grandma would place a brick, heated by the stove, between the cold sheets wrapped in a towel at the foot of our bed, and it felt SO good!  There was also a warm can of pretzel sticks sitting on the stove’s upper shelf and many a grandchild enjoyed those salty treats.

A huge rocking chair was on the left by the summer house door and further in on the left sat the family dinner table in the corner with grandkid sized benches tucked in along two walls. Pop’s chair (treated like a throne) was at the head of the table. The rest of her kitchen jutted to the right beyond the cook stove forming an “L” shape to the room where her quaint and well used appliances were located. Pop’s day bed was along the right wall across from the refrigerator. When Pop was napping it was “all quiet” on the premises!

About the summer house… a heavy thick door opened up to a dimly lit room and the aroma of spices was evident from when they used to smoke meat in the room. Another cook stove was along the far wall used for large cooking projects when it was time to make homemade ketchup, can redbeets or other delicasies. The walls of the summer house were adorned with all kinds of things. Shelves of canned goods, empty canning jars, muskrat traps, hide stretchers and tons of pictures from old calendars. The floor was covered with worn and cracked lineoleum and creaked like the deck on Moby Dick’s ship!

We grandkids loved the summer house because grandma turned it into our own special dining room at Thanksgiving time. She would set up a few card tables set with second hand china and bone handled utensils that were dangerously sharp! We sat stoically around the tables and didn’t say a peep so we could hear Uncle Snack say the Thanksgiving prayer in the adjacent room before gorging on bowls full of our own share of home made stuffing and turkey with all the trimmings.

G-kids Thks2G-Kids Thksgiving

Daughter Betty & some of us G-Kids around 1959

There was unconditional love distributed liberally in Grandma’s sanctuary much like that of her Savior Jesus Christ. You were accepted, warts and all. It was a place of contentment and we wiled away the time playing Scrabble, listening to stories or working on a crossword puzzle. It was a simple time, lives were shared, whether joys or sorrows, over a cup of tea with lemon and plenty of sugar! Even on a meager income Grandma’s kitchen produced many a meal for family or stranger and no one was ever turned away.

We observed her life, a life that changed the course of our family history in Grandma’s sanctuary. It was Grandma’s life because of her Faith! There was music, singing, serving and laughing. Oh the laughing! My my, what a place was my Grandma’s sanctuary!

Next Story: “Grandma’s Diary” below:

https://lobochronicles.com/2015/10/28/grandmas-diary/

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Grandma’s Diary

Maggie

October 28th, 54 degrees in Jonestown, looking out my window as the rain is dripping off my Knock Out roses, the yellow Sugar Maple leaves are floating in the air weighed down by the falling rain, the gold-fish in my pond are enjoying the shower. As I sit in my easy chair after reading my daily Psalms, I ponder on one that seemed to jump off the page. Psalm 148 is where all of creation is encouraged to praise the Lord, the heavens, angels, sun & moon, stars of light, sea creatures, fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy wind, mountains and hills, fruitful trees, beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying fowl. It closes by encouraging His highest creation to praise Him, kings and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth, both young men and maidens, old men and children. It’s interesting that it doesn’t refer to old women. I guess even back then women didn’t like to be referred to as old. Ha ha!

Though there is an old woman in my life who despite very difficult living circumstances and heartbreaking situations at times, still praised the Lord in the midst of everything. In the 1950’s my grandma always got up first and started a wood fire in her cook stove and one time baked 4 pumpkin pies before anyone else got up! She chopped wood, carried water in from the pump, cleaned the out-house and even cleaned chickens! That doesn’t mean remove the wrapping and rinse with water. It means chop off their heads, scald and pluck and all the rest!

An entry in her diary 54 years ago this month shows her thankfulness and gratitude: Thur Oct 12 1961, 72 degrees, “As I sat at my table at lunch I had some lovely memories of 20 years ago when the kids came home at dinner from the little yellow school-house. How I would love to see them all around the table. Lovely Irene, Saucy Minnie, my John the Blonde, Snack the always neat boy, Tottie my little brown-eyed doll, Betty my last Chick! Ah memories!”

Most of the time in our lives we tend to complain more than we give thanks. We see what is missing rather than what we have. Today let us join the Psalmist and “Praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone shall be exalted. His glory is above the earth and heaven.”

Next story “Grandma Said Give Thanks” below:

https://lobochronicles.com/2015/11/25/grandma-said-give-thanks/

The 5th Commandment

Mom n Dad

As a blogger writing about things that happen to me or around me on life’s pathways it ends up my life is an open book. I’m ok with that, because the things that happen daily and even those from my past produce life lessons which, when shared, can be an encouragement to my readers. So today I write about my father. If you have read my life story in my series of blogs started back on August 4th about “Bud” then you might remember what I shared about my father which was not very flattering to say the least, though it was true. It’s just that there was much more to his story as with everyone. So I’d like to share a portion of his story and draw from it a lesson or two.

See Bud’s Beginning at: https://lobochronicles.com/2015/08/04/buds-beginning/

A heartwarming part of the story is that my mom and dad’s journey began kind of like the fairy tale Cinderella. Irene was from a very very poor family practically destitute during the Great Depression. Over the Blue Mountain in the valley north of their home was a kind and generous country store keeper by the name of A. J. Wolfe who allowed people, during these hard times, to buy things they needed to survive on the “tick” or credit. AJ had a grandson Warren, who they nicknamed Barney. Irene & Barney’s fathers were both named Clarence and the two Clarence’s liked to tip the bottle together. Irene’s father thought it would be a great thing if his firstborn daughter Irene would hitch up with Barney since the Wolfe’s were considered rich in that day, and in fact it wasn’t too long afterward that Irene and Barney did fall in love.

They were both nineteen when they came out of a movie theater on Cumberland Street in Lebanon, the word was on the street that we had been surprise attacked by the Japanese, Sunday, December 7th 1941 at Pearl Harbor. They were married just a few short months later on February 28th 1942. But, even though Barney had gotten married, he was still drafted into the Army in November 1942.  Their first son Warren was born April 13th 1943 and then Larry came along on December 31, 1944. Sixteen days later Barney left for Germany to take part in the aftermath of ‘The Battle of the Bulge’. The Bulge represented the great mass of German forces that were assembled in the snowy forests of the Rhineland. He was in the infantry and was a mail clerk/carrier which was his primary job while he was a foot soldier in the infantry.

Like the rest of his buddies he was  involved in the liberation of Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp and was part of the Allied army that pushed the Germans back toward Berlin at the end of the European campaign against Hitler and his forces. History records that the worst snowfall/winter occurred that year making combat/living very difficult!

But, Barney survived and received an honorable discharge October 9th, 1945 along with a Good Conduct Medal and a European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and was discharged in Camp Cooke California. He rode a train cross-country to Pennsylvania in order to get home to see his father before he died. His father passed away later the same month from sclerosis of the liver at only 45 years of age! Unfortunately, this is where our history turns downward, for in the years following, Barney too became addicted to alcohol which ruined his life, and greatly affected our Mom and the rest of our family.

There were many low points but I choose to remember the highs, like when we would travel in the family car and sing “Side by Side” with mom and dad doing the harmony and us kids just singing along side by side. Or the time when they would be making up from one of their fights by taking us on a picnic to St. Joseph Springs. While us kids tried to catch trout with just a piece of line, a hook and dough balls, they’d make out on a blanket. It was embarrassing! Ha! Ha!

You’ve heard the saying “walk a mile in my shoes”? Well that’s one of the lessons. My dad lost his dad when he was only twenty-three years old. He saw him shrivel away from alcoholism and when he was in the Army it was the cool thing to party and drink with his buddies. Unfortunately that habit came along home with him in addition to the awful memories of war. His brother Clarence said he was a totally changed man unfortunately for the worse when he came home.

The Bible says in the 5th Commandment to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12. After I trusted Christ as my Savior the Lord put it upon my heart to reconcile with my dad. Even though there were scars of bad memories I knew I had been forgiven of all my sins and the Lord expected me to forgive everyone else as He had forgiven me. In addition, we had three young sons who to this point did not know their only grandfather, since my wife JoJo’s dad had died in a plane crash when she was only two years old.

Dad & Twins2

Me and my twin brother Bruce with our Dad around 1954

So we began visiting him and I told my dad that I forgave him and he accepted my forgiveness with tears in his eyes. Our sons loved their grandpa and his little “sausage dog” which seemed to always be sitting on his lap. He visited my home only once and I can still see him sitting at our kitchen table when I asked him about his faith in Jesus. He told me of the time when had gone forward to the altar during revival meetings in the little Church of God that sat adjacent to his childhood home. He knew he had strayed from the faith many a time but he had come home. He told me his favorite hymn was “Softly and Tenderly” which the chorus appropriately says, “Come home, come home. You who are weary come home. Earnestly tenderly Jesus is calling, calling O sinners come home.”

We had all too few years together, maybe five at the most, when at the young age of 63 Barney did go home. His Cinderella, Irene joined him six years later in 1991. I’m pretty sure they’ve made up by now.

How about you? Have you honored your parents? God didn’t put any conditions on His commandment. He didn’t say honor your parents IF they do this or that. No, in fact, He attached a blessing if we DO honor our parents! I’d go as far as to say if your parents are gone and there is still an offense which remains, forgive them and you will be the one set free.

Your Destiny

Laramie Tract

This blog is taken from my brother Evangelist Larry Wolfe’s daily devotional, which he sends out to the truckers he ministers to from the Pilot Truck Stop on I-85 in South Carolina. The Lord saved Larry while he was reading the Gospel of John, through the advice of our oldest brother Pooch (Warren) and by the prayers of his faithful wife Betsy. He was a professional engineer by day and a Harley (Hog) riding alcoholic drug user by night. The above photo is the cover of his testimony tract and shows him sitting on the Harley he built with his own hands. His testimony can be found on his ministry website listed below.

FROM LARAMIE: (Us Wolfe’s like nick-names) Each of us is given at least one gift (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:11, 12) which the Lord uses to fulfill our destiny as members of His Body the Church. And brethren, this gift must be exercised in and through a local Bible-preaching church, as God matures us making us what He desires, in order to fulfill our destiny. As we minister to others using our Spiritual gift in the church, He gets His work done in our lives as we journey on our way to our destiny.

Moses did not know his destiny until two-thirds of his life had already gone by. God worked on him for eighty years, forty in Egypt, and forty in Midian, the backside of the desert, before He revealed Moses’ destiny from “The Burning Bush” in Exodus 3. Joshua, in like manner was well on in years before God told him the full extent of his destiny (Joshua 1) after Moses died and God buried him on Mt. Nebo.

David was anointed by Samuel in his teens, but did not become King of Israel until he was thirty. Joseph, Jacob’s first son by his second wife Rachel, also was thirty years old before he began his role of leadership in the land of Egypt. Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord of glory, also was thirty years old when He was baptized by John the Baptist and began His earthly ministry. All of these men were thoroughly prepared before God sent them forth to fulfill their destinies.

So, brethren, if God is in the business of predestinating all of these Bible characters including His only begotten Son, and He is, how much more is He about the same work in each of His children? Just as He promised: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29).

So, even as we are out on the road, we must remain connected to our local church, praying for the Pastor, exercising our ministry gift of intercessory prayer, as the members of the local body pray for you, and your ministry of witnessing for the Lord Jesus. Then, let us simply wait on Him to reveal His destiny as we pray and soak our souls with the Word!

Chaplain Larry ‘The Wolfman’ Wolfe I-85 Exit 35 SC ‘McPilot’ Stop in, and please pray for revival! http://btmi.org/

Laramie Truck Stop

Be Bold!

Mountain Snow

The story is told of a man who, to put it bluntly, was ashamed of his faith. Even though a Christian he would very seldom give a word of praise to Jesus publicly in the office or workplace. When co-workers would use the name of Jesus Christ as a swear word he would cringe inside but keep his thoughts to himself. To actually speak to someone about Jesus or his faith was a very seldom occurrence, but he genuinely wanted to, he just never felt that he had the ability nor did he feel he could defend his faith if asked questions so he just kept silent. Like I said, he was a Christian so he carried a New Testament with him to work and often would read it when no one was watching.

One day, after a particular challenging morning at work he went outside at lunch and found a comfortable spot away from everyone under a shade tree that was turning into it’s fall colors to read his Bible since he didn’t want people to think he was a religious fanatic. The Word began to lift his spirits as it always did and then he noticed across the way at a patio a man sat down and he just opened up his Bible in front of everyone and started to read! A little while later a young woman did the same at another table and like the other person she made no effort to hide what she was doing. This boldness spoke to his heart and he decided it was time for him to be bold about his faith as well.

I borrowed a few lines for this blog from my “Upper Room” devotional this morning because sometimes I am that man! Can you identify with this story? I surely did. Do you agree it is time for believers to stand up and let others know about Jesus? Isn’t it time to show our faith for all to see? There are hurting people with whom we rub shoulders every day and we have the answers for their life struggles and more importantly the answer to eternal life! Take your Bible to work today and open it for all to see. Do some “trolling for the Lord” today, the Bible calls it fishing for men, because when people see you live out your faith there will be one or more who will ask about the faith by which you live and you can point them to your Savior.

My brother is a chaplain at a truck stop in South Carolina and he makes it his practice to sit in a booth at the McDonalds restaurant and open up his Bible to do his Psalms for the day. He often finds that people will see him reading his Bible and purposely sit close by in order to ask him a question which leads to many conversations with eternal value. Like I said, people are searching. The world has nothing to offer that lasts forever. We do. God paints the mountains with BOLD colors at this time of year to remind us of his presence and power in our world. Let us be BOLD for Jesus today for all to see!

When I’m Sixty Four!

Bruce & Brian

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes on “our” sixty fourth birthday! Pictured above is me and my twin brother Bruce. I used to say I’m 20 minutes older than Bruce but now that were older he gets to say he’s 20 minutes younger! If you get my drift…. Bruce and I are blessed beyond measure to have great health and wonderful wives and grandchildren. We were raised in a single mom home and the odds of us making it in life, having stable families, getting good jobs, etc. were pretty slim. But because God is the “Father to the fatherless” and through the prayers of many who knew our situation both of us went on to marry our high school sweethearts, get great jobs without a college education and have wonderful children and grandchildren that are a great blessing to us. We give God and our Savior Jesus all the credit and glory!

This morning Bruce sent me an email that contained the words to the Beatles song “When I’m Sixty-Four” so I copied them below and included the Youtube link to the song if you’d like to listen.

Thanks again!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCss0kZXeyE

“When I’m Sixty Four”

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

Toolbox for Life

Toolbox with tools. Skrewdriver, hammer, handsaw and wrench. 3d

Since we’ve established that the Bible is a miracle Book and can be trusted then we must use it! Remember, “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t!” The Word of God has been strengthening people and leading them to salvation for hundreds of years. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Ask for the old paths where the good way is, and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16) So let’s look at some of the most common problems which face us and see what the Bible says to help.

PROBLEMS: We all have them and they can overwhelm us and we tend to imagine the worst but God says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) With problems comes anxiety but God also says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

LONELINESS: Even in our busy world there are SO many lonely people and God is with the lonely and brokenhearted. You see, even He knew what loneliness was like being forsaken and hung on a cross for us. We can trust Him in our lonely times. “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) Jesus said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

FEAR: In our violent world and when so many forces of evil seem to dominate, Jesus assures us, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) The Psalmist also assure us, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.” (Psalm 118:6,7) And finally a well-known passage, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

These would be good verses to put on 3×5 cards and memorize them. Then when you are worried, anxious, lonely or afraid all you need to do is open up your toolbox, and pull out God’s tool to fix the problem. God’s Word is powerful and alive and available, all we need to do is use it!