Ezra & the Angels

Ezra 2

Sometimes there are happenings in our lives that bring together intersections of Divine purpose. I call them Divine Appointments when it involves providentially bringing two people together, but when it’s more than two, maybe three or four, then something huge is going on in my book. This is exactly what happened when the Lord led me to minister to my new friend, a member of the Greatest Generation, Ezra Hower late last summer.

Ezra, a survivor of the D-Day invasion during WWII had only attended our church about three months, but we hit it off from the first day I met him. I can still recall meeting him at the back of our church in his ever present suspenders. He had an eternal mischievous smile and when you shook his hand it was like grabbing the limb of a knarly oak tree. Those hands had seen a lot of miles and a lot of life. I also visited his home to see his marvelous craftsmanship of scrollwork which was just amazing to see the intricacy and beauty of that work.

Unfortunately, he was stricken with bone cancer and was in the hospice unit of the Veteran’s Hospital, and I decided to take my guitar and go sing to him one evening. I arrived and he was sleeping peacefully so I just opened my song book at the bottom of his bed and began singing some of the great old hymns of the faith like Amazing Grace, Glory to His Name, Softly & Tenderly, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Sweet Hour of Prayer, The Old Rugged Cross and many more.

When I first began singing Ezra woke up and smiled and started to sing along with me and then gradually fell back to sleep. When I started another song he would wake up, sing along and then fall back to sleep. This was repeated with every song until I came to the song “Life’s Railway to Heaven” in which he seemed to gain an extra shot of energy and sang all three verses and choruses with me. The chorus goes like this, “Blessed Savior Thou wilt guide us, till we reach that golden shore, where the angels wait to join us, in Thy praise forevermore.”

About that time there was a knock on his room door and a nurse peeked in and asked, “Could you sing a little louder?” Wow, that was the first time, in a hospital, that someone asked me to sing louder! She went on to explain, “There’s a man across the hall who’s “passing” and he’s enjoying the music”. Well that just stopped me in my tracks! Here I was, in a place where a man was on the precipice of eternity and I was singing the songs of heaven! Not to mention, Ezra was not too many days distant from eternity as well. I could feel a heavenly atmosphere and a Presence in the room. It was as if I was called to be at the right place at the right time as part of a heavenly choir, and I was struck with the profound impact of that moment in time.

So I turned my book back to the beginning and began again to sing the songs of heaven. We sang and sang and sang. Then Ezra nodded off and I knew it was time to go. I packed up my guitar and stepped quietly out the door and was greeted by the nurse who gave me a nice hug as she expressed her gratitude. I didn’t ask about the man across the hall but I was content to believe I had played my part in a very special and Providential event.

“Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us, Till we reach that golden shore, Where the Angels wait to join us, In Thy praise forevermore!”

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Losing the Wonder?

Snoopy

It just happens. Before we know it, not purposely, we slip, we step away from our Lord. We forget the wonder of that first relationship. The wonder of seeing a Loving Savior. The wonder of realizing He paid the price of our deep, dark, and dirty sins. We forget the message which pierced our hearts. We forget the Words of God which seemed to jump off the page right into our heart and soul the day, the night, the morning we first believed. Remember the wonder when you realized that Jesus did it ALL just for you? There was rejoicing and a celebration! The light came in and the darkness fled away!

Are you in that place today where the wonder is gone? Where the weight that once was lifted now seems to rest once again on your soul. Are you in that place, like the Prodigal Son, where you are about to “come to your senses” and remember… the wonder. O beloved of the Father, he stands looking down that road, longing for His beloved one to appear on the horizon, longing to receive you back, to embrace you once again with His loving arms. He will run to meet you! Can you see Him? Will you come home?

If that is you, then consider praying this prayer: Lord Jesus, I’ve walked away. I have sinned and come to you now confessing and repenting of my sins with all my heart. Forgive my sins of failure and rebellion. Restore me. I come again to worship You in the wonder of who you are. Wash me clean in Your precious blood from all that offends You. Thank You for having made me a new creation in Your righteousness and holiness, so I can once again love You and serve You with all my heart. In Your precious Name I pray, Amen.

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

See the wonder once again today!

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Presidential Prayer

George Washington

Will you pray this prayer with me?

Dear Beloved God in Heaven, Please give us a president that loves this country and everything it stands for. Please give us a president who respects You as the One True God. Please give us a president who will, with Your help, restore this nation to it’s former glory the way you created her. Please help us to respect what You have given to us and not take anything for granted ever again. Please God, weaken the evil and strengthen the good both within and without. May our eyes be opened. In Jesus Name, Amen.

God Bless America!

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Muppim, Huppim & Ard

Charlie Brown2

What’s in a name? These guys were the Great, great, great grandsons of the Patriarch Abraham. Muppim, Huppim & Ard, what a trio! Sounds like a crew at Sesame Street or a Broadway play! Nope, they were just the younger sons of Benjamin, one of the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. There is only one mention of these men, as they are just listed as sons of Benjamin. Their names may be listed in the Bible but there’s no other record of their accomplishments.

It’s kind of like what I heard recently that Charles Shulz (the creator of the Peanuts comic strip) said:

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last 6 Academy Award winners Best Actor & Actress.
  6. Name the last decades worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies, awards tarnish, achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one.

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name 3 friends who helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of  a few people who made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The Lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards; they simply are the ones who care the most.

Pass this on to those people who have either made a difference in your life, or whom you keep close in your heart.

And most of all, don’t forget, the Bible says that “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) That friend is Jesus!

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God With Us!

Praying Man

I’m a proud American. I am proud of our heritage, of our Founding Fathers, of the Foundation of Faith which they laid on which we have built and stood now for over two centuries. Their work changed the world for the better for all time, but not for eternity.

There’s another nation with a Founding Father named Abraham and his chief general was a man named Moses. The work which Moses did laid a foundation which gave us a glimpse into eternity and the way he did it is unforgettable. Moses was a Hebrew who escaped the judgement of Pharaoh when his mother placed him in the Nile river in a waterproof basket, only to be found by Pharaoh’s daughter and then be raised as a prince in Egypt.

Circumstances took him to the desert where God appeared to him in a burning bush and he accepted the assignment to go back to Egypt and speak for God in order for God’s chosen people, the Israelites, to be freed from slavery. An epic battle began when the miracles of God, and the Satan inspired miracles of Pharaoh’s magicians went toe to toe.

Plague after plague ravaged Egypt until finally with practically no country left, the last judgement fell with horror all across the land. “Thus says the Lord: About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.” (Exodus chp 11)

The Israelites escaped the judgement because they followed God’s instructions to a “T”.

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘Every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Then the whole assembly shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (select verses from Exodus chapter 12)

God was with Moses and the Israelites in a powerful way! Here’s a quick review:

  1. He parted the Red Sea and engulfed the chasing Egyptians in the waves.
  2. He made Himself virtually known by a pillar of clouds in the day and fire by night.
  3. He brought water from a rock for their thirst.
  4. He provided a carpet of manna/bread every morning and quail for meat.
  5. He inhabited their Tabernacle where the pillars of cloud and fire stood.
  6. He thundered His presence and shined His glory on Mount Sinai when Moses received the 10 commandments.
  7. He miraculously defeated their enemies.

God was with them! When they were with Him! But they were not always with God and when they sinned God’s blessings and presence disappeared. Sure, he was still there because He’s Omnipresent, but the relationship suffered and tragedy was never far away. Wrapping it up to the end of their story, due to their insistent rebellion there was a period of 400 years of silence when God refused to speak to them. Talk about the silent treatment!

Then… in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son Jesus. A spotless Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, making it possible for God to be not just “with” us but to be “IN” us. It was similar to the Passover lamb, but with a much more powerful result. For this Lamb’s blood wouldn’t just cover the sin but would be shed to do away with it for each believing sinner once and for all!

America is in a period of “silent treatment” from the Lord. He is being re-buffed, pushed out, ignored and even hated. It’s time for the citizens of America to repent, to turn from their sins and trust in His Son Jesus. And as a result cleansing will be granted and may a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night be seen in America’s homes, eminating from the lives of true Believers throughout our land!

More Blogs Here: Blog Index

New Blog Index

Index

Here’s an Updated index to most of my 144 blogs published since July 4th 2015!

Faith Builders:

Gleason’s Bible (Wearing out your Bible!)

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (Childhood memories of praying)

Out Behind the Barn! (How to have Assurance of Salvation)

I Believe I Got a Miracle! (A story of answered prayer)

Recharge Your Batteries (Change Your Routine)

Evangelism – Share Your Faith! (The Lost Gospel)

Losing the Wonder? (Repentance Prayer)

What’s In A Name? (Making A Lasting Difference)

Just Don’t Do It! (Forgiveness)

A Godly Thing! (Forgiveness #2)

What Was I Thinking? (Meditation)

A Bride for Isaac (Finding God’s Will)

You Were At the Cross! (Victory over Sin!)

What Is Church? (Church Attendance)

There’s Something About Glory (Worship)

Out of This World! (Living Your Faith)

Silent Night (Peace with God)

Blessings Missed! (Prayer)

Feed the White Dog! (Bible Reading)

You Can Trust It! (Trust the Bible!)

My B-I-B-L-E (The Bible’s Impact)

But God! (Trials of Life)

Burning Hearts (Loving the Word)

Brother from Another Mother! (Divine Appointments)

Why Me Lord? (Trusting Through Trials)

The “Plus 30” Plan (How to Grow in the Lord)

O Most High (Church Attendance)

The Pointy Rocks (Adversity)

Your Wilderness (Alone with God)

Your Destiny (Seeking the Lord)

Be Bold! (Witness for Jesus)

Let it go! Let it go! (Drink Poison or Forgive!)


Celebrating Easter

Resurrected Lives (Preacher Boy)

My Substitute (Why Easter?)

Hand Me that Egg! (The Crucifixion)

You Were At the Cross! (Your Victory Awaits!)


My Blog Statistics

Welcome! (The Data Around the World)


Grandma Series:

Grandma’s Hospitality (Come and Dine!)

Grandma, A Pearl of Great Price! (Her Lasting Legacy)

Grandma Remembers! (Recalling God’s Blessings)

Grandma Pays It Forward (Giving Unconditional Love)

Grandma’s Country Christmas (How She Celebrated)

Grandma said, Give Thanks! (Thanksgiving Story)

Grandma’s Sanctuary (Her Wonderful Home)

Grandma’s Diary (Her Life for All to see)

Gus Anderson (How She Loved Her Neighbors)


The Blue Eyed Six Series:

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

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 2 (Henry Wise)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 3 (Jesiah Hummel)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 4 (George Zechman)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 5 (Charles Drews)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 6 (Franklin Stichler)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 7 (The Story)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 8 (The Trial Day One)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 9 (Trial Day Two)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 10 (Trial Days 3&4)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 11 (Day 5&6 The Defense)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 12 (Confessions)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 13 (Zechman Re-Trial)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 14 (Prison Angels)

Blue Eyed Six & The Faith – Chp 15 (The End)


Our Times:

Presidential Prayer (For our Nation)

In Times Like These (Peace in a Peaceless World)

Signs of the Times (There is Light in Darkness)

The Real Story – Take Two (School Shootings)

Wow! What a Country! (Celebrating the 4th)

The Hands of Jesus (Leaving Your Lasting Impression)


Eternal Life:

Larry’s Story (Brother Larry’s testimony)

Fixing the Life Itch! (Riches don’t satisfy)

White As Snow! (Erasing old sins)

The Quiet City (Hope In a Cemetery!)

Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven! (God’s Simple Plan of Salvation)

The Search (Guess who’s looking for you?)


Memorials:

My Cousin Susie  (Tribute to Susan King)

My Friend Luke (Tribute to Luke Wagner)

My Mom, Irene Violet Wolfe (My Mother’s Day Tribute)

Ezra & the Angels (My friend Ezra Hower)

The Rock (My Uncle “Junior” Clarence Wolfe)

Da-Heat! (My Dear Friend John Sebastain)

Thank You! (Tribute to Veterans)

The 5th Commandment (Honoring my Father Warren Wolfe)

My Second Mom (Honoring Laura Anspach)


My Life Story:

My Life A Miracle

Bud’s Beginning (My Family Roots)

Bud’s Haven (My Escape to Nature)

Bud and the Band (My Experience with “The Entertainers”)

Bud and His Sweetie (Me & the Love of My Life!)

Bud’s Decision and Destiny (How God Tracked Me Down)


Looking Back:

One Stop Shopping – Country Style (My Great Grampa’s Store)

When I’m Sixty Four! (Me & My Twin Brother)