The Ultimate Sacrifice

Tomb Unknown Soldier
Enscription on the tomb reads: “Here rests in honored Glory an American soldier known  but to God”

What can a people do on behalf of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to provide the priceless freedoms which we enjoy? What can we do to honor those who stormed the beaches, climbed the cliffs in a rain of gunfire, fought in the jungles, the deserts, the treeless and seemingly God forsaken mountains and across the deep blue seas? How could we EVER re-pay the blood spilt for our freedoms on every continent around the globe? How could we do it? This is how, we can remember and we can thank God for their sacrifice and we can stand up in their stead to protect the freedoms we still enjoy and fight back against the forces which endeavor to infringe on our freedoms today.

What a wonderful idea it was after WWI that an unidentified soldier would be brought home and buried in our most famous cemetery Arlington National Cemetery. With so many families not able to claim the body of their loved who perished in battle, the very thought that just maybe the one who lay in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was their loved one, provided a place in our homeland to focus their hearts and also a place to visit and pay their respects. Since WWI there have been other soldiers from WWII, Korea and Vietnam laid to rest there for the very same reason.

One of the most striking memorials to the fallen soldier is the faithful service of those who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here are some interesting facts:

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns
and why?

21 steps:
It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which
is the highest honor given any military or foreign
dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face
to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and, if
not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

Tomb Unknown Soldier2

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5′ 10′ and 6′ 2′ tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30. They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb. They cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington , DC , our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, “No way, Sir!” Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them. We can be very proud of our men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who served and those currently in the service no matter where they serve. Find and attend a Memorial Day service in your area this year and pay your respects. Start a family tradition. It will pay dividends as your offspring will develop a love for their country and respect for those who serve.

The Pointy Rocks

lobochronicles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA My MS150 Get-up from 2014 (check out those shifters!)

I’m re-blogging this post since I just started my 2016 Road Bike riding schedule. I need to drop at least 15 pounds to help alleviate some physical maladies which have cropped up over the last year. It’s amazing how carrying an extra three 5 pound bags of sugar around can affect your “frame” and your circulation system in a negative way!

I’m a biker, you know, the peddling type. I began riding about 15 years ago and started with an old traditional 10 speed but soon graduated up to a 21 speed bike with index shifting under the brake hoods. No reaching for shifters because they are right there at your finger tips. It’s like riding a bike with an automatic transmission! Smooth shifting and a gear for every hill. I rode the MS150 ride seven years in a row. That’s…

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Me Confess?

QuestioningFace

This blog is not for the faint hearted or skimming reader. It will take some time to soak it in. So turn off the TV and/or radio. Find a quiet place, grab a coffee and settle down and ask the Lord to help you to apply these truths. This is a bit longer than my usual blog but here we go.

If you think you’re perfect then this blog’s not for you! If you think you can do no wrong then this blog’s not for you! If you think you’re not so bad, since there are SO many other people who do worse things than you… then this blog’s NOT for you! BUT, if you don’t think these things, and you realize that your imperfections, your wrongs and let’s just say it, YOUR SINS are a problem, then this blog is for YOU!

Let’s face it, God is HOLY and we are not! Our sin is a BIG problem. Sure we can try to turn over a new leaf, make a new start, make resolutions or whatever, but sin has a way of creeping back and you know why? Because it is the most powerful and invasive, personal negative force that we will face in our lifetime! King David found that out and he found out some very powerful truths about sin and wrote about it in Psalm chapter fifty one. Let’s see what he learned. The whole chapter is about him confessing his sin to God and in the opening verses he uses some terms which are good to consider.

Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressionsWash me thoroughly from my iniquityAnd cleanse me from my sin.”

To describe his sin David used the words transgressions, iniquity & sin. Here is what those words mean in the Bible’s original language:

Transgressions: This word actually means rebellion against God’s Word or God’s law. So when we sin we become a rebel against God. Not a good thing to be fighting against God!

Iniquity: This word means to become crooked and devious. The more we sin the more crooked and devious we become. We try to cover our tracks and we often lie about our actions. Not a very good thing to lie and scheme to keep our sins secret!

Sin: This word means to miss the mark. God has a wonderful plan for each of us but when we sin we stray from that path and miss out on His will for our lives. Again, not a very good place to be going in the wrong direction away from God’s will!

So to summarize, when we sin we become crooked rebels that miss the mark or plan which God has for us. Do you see the entirety and immensity of these negative consequences?

These words demonstrate the importance of us avoiding sin at all costs and when we do sin we must recognize it, and then go to God for forgiveness.

David also used three other words or phrases to describe what God does when we confess our sins to Him. Let’s take a look at “Blot out”, “Wash me” & “Cleanse me”.

Wash Me

Blot out: Means to erase or utterly wipe away. David wanted his rebellion wiped out of his life and God granted his request and erased it.

Wash me: Means to trample or wash by stamping with the feet. David wanted God to stamp out the croooked ways of his life. We may feel we’ve gone through the proverbial wringer in this process, but sin does have it’s consequences!

Cleanse me: Means to be made blameless, acquitted and set free to fulfill God’s purpose and will for our life. What a wonderful result when we are honest with God and admit our sins.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:1-5)

The New Testament also covers this topic:

 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

Me confess? Yes, it is an important discipline of the Christian life. As a Christian we are not sinless but we should definitely SIN-Less! But when we do sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ His righteous Son!

For those who want to study further about how to really defeat sin in your life see my blog You Were At the Cross! for the amazing truths and power that the Cross provides.

Also find more faith building blogs are here: New Blog Index

I Believe I Got a Miracle!

Pooch n Eric
Pooch & my son Eric and grandson Braden

Many of you know my brother Pooch (Warren) Wolfe has Melanoma Cancer. I asked you to pray for him back on April 5th  (Pray!) and your prayers are being answered! I was talking to Pooch on the phone the other day and he expressed to me, “I believe I got a miracle!” His condition had been deteriorating very badly and he was hospitalized for five days. Since then… well, I’ll let his wife Thelma explain: (she calls him “Butch”:)

Family & Friends:  After a few days of hospital admission for dehydration, Butch was discharged all pumped up with fluids and had energy, but it took about a week after we came home to resolve the GI problems which had built up for a while.  Now he is feeling good and his appetite is really great eating a normal diet.  He is doing chores around here & he even mowed the lawn! He feels like a miracle happened in comparison to what he was going through with the GI problems. This afternoon he has his second immunotherapy infusion.  We are grateful for your prayers that are keeping us in His perfect peace.  – Butch and Thelma
So thank you for your prayers! We serve a God who wants to show Himself strong on our behalf and has made a way through His Son Jesus for us to enter into the Holy of Holies with our prayers. Did you know that before Jesus died on the Cross the only way to God was through the High Priest? Yes, that’s true. God’s presence was only accessed at the Jewish tabernacle and there was a thick curtain in the tabernacle behind which God’s presence could be accessed but only by the High Priest once a year! On the day of Jesus crucifixion that curtain was miraculously torn from the top to the bottom (no human hands could have done it) and the Holy of Holies was now open to all who believed in and put their faith and trust in Jesus our new High Priest 24 hours a day 7 days a week!
The writer of the book of Hebrews explains it this way:
Hebrews 4: 14-16 “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
He explains further of Jesus’ work: Hebrews 6:18-20 “Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
So let us keep praying BIG prayers for God to work miracles in our lives and the lives of others and give HIM all the GLORY!
Check out The Search to make sure your prayers are reaching Jesus.
Other faith building messages here: New Blog Index

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Boy praying

The wind howled outside and slightly moved the curtain on the window sill. The linoleum covered floor creaked as I walked over to the coal fired Heatrola that sat in the corner of our living room to slack it off for the night, hoping the stove pipe that disappeared through the ceiling and passed through our bedroom upstairs would provide enough heat. I recalled a few mornings when there was a miniature snow drift on the window sill by our bunk beds. I picked up the heavy bucket of coal and reached to open the door. The fire gleamed through the small windows in the door like a jack-0-lantern on a porch at midnight. I poured in a good helping of coal which I had just lugged up from the ground cellar accessed by a wooden door on the floor of the back porch. There wasn’t much coal left in the dust of the coal bin, which was lit by one dim light bulb hanging over it, but mom always seemed to get another delivery just in the nick of time to keep us warm through the cold and sometimes snowy Pennsylvania winter nights. The sulfur smell rising from the fresh coal covering the bed of hot coals smelled sweet to my nostrils.

I was one of Irene’s boys and we all knew the routines. We were just in grade school but already self sufficient in some ways. We knew how to make a fire, take out the ashes and work the damper to regulate the temperature in the living room which was the main heated area of our 1/2 a house apartment. We also knew how to keep house, how to “read it up” when company was coming or when mom was in a feisty mood, which wasn’t very often. We knew how to make simple meals when mom couldn’t be home because of work. We were getting ready for life and unknowingly she prepared us in many ways.

Mom & Boys3
Bruce, Fred, Brian, Larry, Mom, Butch in front of Grandma Anspach’s house

I headed up the steps leading up to my bedroom. The stairs to the second floor were shared by the couple who ran the general store located on the other end of the house and they lived in the apartment adjacent to us so we always made it a quick trip up the steps so “Rose” wouldn’t catch us in our underwear. I knelt down by my bed, folded my hands and closed my eyes with my face toward the heavens. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Mom & Butch & Larry & Bruce & Fred & Stevie. God bless grandma Anspach, Grandma Trailer, Grandma Back Home and Lucy’s Mom & Pop. Amen.”

Mom & Boys2
Butch, Larry, Brian, Mom, Bruce, Fred, Steven on Fred’s wedding day

There was a lot in that simple prayer that mom taught us. She instinctively taught us there was a God who watched over us. His loving care was evident in how He seemed to always provide for us and keep us safe. She taught us that we had eternal souls “I pray the Lord my soul to keep” and that when we die we go home to be with Him “I pray the Lord my soul to take”. She taught us that it was a good thing to pray for a blessing on others which instilled in us a caring heart attitude for family and their welfare.

I believe Mom was used by God to begin preparing my heart for the future day when I would open my heart and invite the Lord Jesus in, in a personal way. (see Bud’s Decision and Destiny) I would marry and have 3 sons of my own. I can still remember the night sitting around our supper table having some fellowship with friends from church after our Sunday evening service. The hour was getting late and I coaxed my wife Joanne to take the boys upstairs for their bedtime prayers when my friend said, “You’re the father and that’s YOUR job!” I was propelled into action by that admonition from that day forward. My boys and I had some wonderful and blessed times of prayer in their growing up years. To hear their simple prayers calling out to their Heavenly Father in sincerity showered me with blessings.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Jason, Me, Dan, Eric

I hope the fathers and mothers reading this take the time to pray along with your children and grand children. What a great opportunity to lead them to the place where they open their hearts to the Savior. Teach them to pray. It will have eternal results. Now I lay me down to sleep…..

More faith building blogs here…. New Blog Index

Out Behind the Barn!

Barn

It started way back in the beginning with a question, “Did God really say?” The effort to undermine the Truth of God began in the Garden of Eden when Satan approached Eve and sowed the seeds of doubt in her mind. Satan deceived her, and continues today to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of believers leading them to question their salvation. So why is that such an important mission for him? Think about it, eternal salvation is a wonderful treasure but will a person share something with others in which they themselves have doubt that they possess? What kind of salesmen or witness for The Faith would a person be if they didn’t believe in the product? That is a major problem which undermines Jesus’ Great Commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.

So where do we go to solve this issue? You guessed it, the Word of God of course!

Two questions: Can a person be eternally saved and know it & what do you do when doubts arise? Let’s take a look at the answers:

#1 Yes, a person can be saved, be born again, become a Christian and know it without a doubt! My blog Second Birthday! gives a detailed account of the process and what happens when you trust Christ as Savior so I won’t repeat that here. The focus of THIS blog is really question number two.

#2 What do you do when doubts arise? We are frail human beings and have a fallen nature which cannot and will not believe or comprehend the things of God. That is why when we are saved we are given from God a New Nature or New Man as the Bible calls it. The New Man must be fed the Word of God regularly as 1 Peter 2:2 says “As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that ye may grow thereby.”

The Apostle John, one of the writers of the Bible, also gave us a few passages to assure us in our salvation when doubts arise. We must memorize these verses and use them like a sword against the enemy when he tries to deceive us. Take a look:

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

SO… first of all John tells us it is possible to become a child of God by receiving Christ. Then he tells us in plain language that we can KNOW we have eternal life. There’s no equivocating, no doubting, no second guessing! We can KNOW for SURE we are saved from the penalty of our sins and have eternal life.

I shared the following story with a young believer recently who was having doubts. Maybe it will be a help to you as well.

There’s a story told of a farmer who constantly had doubts about his salvation. Whether it was the world’s influence, the Devil or even his own fallen nature, he kept questioning in his mind whether he was really saved. So one day he went out behind his barn, got on his knees and trusted Christ as his Savior right then and there. Then he got up and wrote the date on the wall of the barn. From then on whenever he had doubts he just said, “Ok Satan we’re going behind the barn! See that date? Now stop bothering me because I know I’m saved!”

You see, for me the “barn” was the inside cover of my Bible. My brother gave me great advice the night I received Jesus as my Savior. He said write this date down inside the cover of your Bible. That way when you have doubts you can go right to that date and remind yourself. So I wrote down the date I received Jesus as my Savior and in those early years when doubts arose, and they did, I just went to that date by faith and chased all the doubts and my spiritual enemies away! Not to mention I memorized the above verses as well!

I pray you have the assurance of your salvation and if needed establish a date or time or year so you can document that eternal event just in case you need to take Satan out behind the barn!

More faith building blogs here: New Blog Index

Muppim, Huppim & Ard

lobochronicles

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…

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