What A Life!

Brian & JoJo 2019 Xmas

Christmas 2019 is in the history books and during the celebration the Lord spoke to my heart about what could have been and what really came to be. How could a boy from a broken home, with no father figure to speak of, with all kinds of opportunity to go off to the wrong side of the tracks, with the odds literally stacked him, find himself blessed beyond measure with a marriage and family as seen in the above picture? That boy is me! Pinch me!

How do you explain it? It’s all because of the prayers of God’s people and the mighty Grace of God working in my life. The deadly winds of the world we’re stacked against my single-mom family as she was raising SIX sons all alone! Christian relatives prayed, interceded with love and care in times of crisis and took us in when needed.

God protected me as I sang in my rock-n-roll band in night clubs and fraternity parties where booze and drugs abounded.  My prospects for a family supporting career were minimal, as there were absolutely no funds available for higher education.

But with good training in drafting at my high school, and a big brother Larry looking out for his younger twin brothers (Bruce and Brian) he was instrumental in getting us drafting jobs with a major corporation. Each of us would make a good living there for the next 45 plus years! Isn’t God good?

Then in 1975 my wife JoJo and I both gave our hearts to Christ and the transformation which made all the difference began. What would our futures have been like without Jesus? We’ll never know but because of His Grace, Love, and unending Mercy we look forward to 50 years of marriage next year! God is SO good! Amen?

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The Heavenly Message! Pt 2

Blog Pic3

Dec 24, 2016
by Evangelist Larry Wolfe

Christmas: The Heavenly Message II (Luke 2:8-14)
‘And there were in the same country, shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night’ (v.8). The time indicated here was ‘during the night watches’ showing that they were diligently guarding and caring for their animals.

‘And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid’ (v.9). This miraculous phenomenon from heaven literally frightened the shepherds, as the angel, in an instant ‘was present’ in their midst. Not only was he standing before them in one split second of time, he was accompanied by the very Shekinah Glory of God! This brilliant illuminating presence of the angel was similar to the scene recorded in Acts 9:3 when the Apostle Paul was confronted on the road to Damascus by the Lord and His Shekinah Glory. The phrase recorded there ‘shined round about’ is the translation of the same word used here. The Lord confronted Paul at midday, and the glory of His presence was brighter than the noonday sun, but here, in the middle of the night, this miraculous and glorious light from heaven must have been even more brighter as the contrast between the darkness of night was far greater!

This same glorious light will accompany the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes the second time to rapture His own. Yes, in Matthew 24 when the disciples asked Jesus ‘What shall be the sign of Thy Coming’ He explicitly told them it would be this same Shekinah Glory! ‘And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory'(Matthew 24:30). Yes, ‘Every eye shall see Him'(Revelation 1:7) when He comes to take us home to be with Him just before that great and terrible Day of the Lord/Wrath of God judgment!

Although the name of the angel of the Lord is not given here, most scholars believe that Gabriel, whom God used to bring the news of a miraculous son to Zacharias the father of John the Baptist, and the news of another much greater Miraculous Son to the virgin Mary, is the angel God used to announce to the shepherds what had already taken place in Bethlehem, the birth of the Son of God! ‘And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.’ (v.10,11) The angel’s response to the shepherds was identical to Gabriel’s responses to Zacharias and Mary: ‘Fear not’, a powerful command delivered to the shepherds in an attempt to bolster their faith and dispel the fear which had suddenly gripped their hearts.

The angel turns the focus to his message when he proclaims ‘For behold’ a word which is used to draw attention to what follows:’ Good tidings of great joy’. This description of the message turned their minds from fear to anticipation as the angel explained the good news which he was about to give would also provide great joy, and this good news and great joy was for all people! The universal message of the Gospel was now about to be given to these humble shepherds! ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’ All their questions were answered in this simple nineteen word sentence. To whom is this universal message of Good News given? ‘For unto you.’ What has happened? ‘A Savior, which is Christ the Lord is born.’ When did it happen? ‘This day’. Where did it happen? ‘In the city of David.’ Who is this One that has been born? ‘A Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’

This grand and glorious announcement of the birth of Jesus the Savior, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Lord Jehovah come to earth, brings to mind Isaiah 9:6 which has a similar sound and message: ‘For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace..’ Truly, the fulfillment of this and many other Old Testament prophecies had been fulfilled! The message of good news and great joy was first of all ‘A Savior’ had been born.

The nation of Israel was indeed looking for a Savior who would deliver them from the physical grip of the Roman rule. But Jesus did not come to release them from the physical bondage of a dictator, but instead He came to deliver all mankind from the spiritual bondage of sin. Regardless of who is ruling physically in your life, this good news of the Gospel will bring you great joy which only can be found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will bring peace to your soul, He will give eternal life in heaven to anyone who recognizes that they are a sinner and will by faith call upon Him to save them from the wages of sin which is death, and the eternal tortuous suffering of the fires of hell!

Secondly, the message the angel proclaimed included the fact that this One was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One of God who was sent to deliver His people from their sin. The word ‘Christ’ is translated from the Greek, and ‘Messiah’ is translated from the Hebrew with both words meaning ‘The Anointed One’. Daniel 9:25,26 mentions the ‘Messiah the Prince’ and ‘Messiah’ in the cornerstone passage of end times prophecy when Daniel gives the outline for Israel’s history. These shepherds would well understand Who it was that was just born by the specific word ‘Christ’ referring to their long awaited Messiah.

The word ‘Lord’ verifies the fact that this One was not only the Savior and the Christ, but was indeed the very God of heaven come in the flesh, yes, the Lord Jehovah, ‘The Lord over all'(Acts 10:36, Romans 10:12), the very ‘Lord of glory'(I Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1) was born! The angel continues his message saying: ‘And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger'(v.12). The extraordinary fact of The Lord of glory, The King of heaven, The Savior of all mankind would be found lying in a ‘feeding trough’. No pomp and circumstance, no purple robe or crown, no trumpets blaring a fanfare for this The Sovereign King of the Universe. No, instead He would be found in a lowly, humble manger, in a stable, a shelter for animals! This was indeed the sign the shepherds would look for and find as they made their way to Bethlehem. But, before that could happen, God sent forth this grand finale to the angelic scene taking place in the shepherd’s field: ‘And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will toward men.’

The word ‘suddenly’ emphasizes the instantaneous impact of this glorious event. All at once, in the ‘twinkling of an eye’ this great multitude of angels appeared and began praising God for what He had just accomplished in sending His only begotten Son. The ‘heavenly host’ refers to the ‘armies of heaven’ (Daniel 4:35) God’s ever present spiritual ministers that can manifest themselves physically at His command! Here they are called upon to praise and give glory to God for what He had done there in Bethlehem, and what He would do throughout the ages as He unfolds His plan for the redemption of those who would put their faith in Jesus.

Have you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? He and He alone can save you from the penalty of your sin if you will but call on Him as the Scripture teaches: ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and can’t save myself. I do believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and rose from the dead on Easter to give me eternal life. I ask you right now to come into my life, forgive my sins, take over my life and give me a guaranteed reservation in heaven. Thank you for saving me; help me now to live the rest of my life for you. Amen.

Please let me know if, as a result of reading this message, you have prayed this prayer and have trusted Jesus as your own personal Savior. Leave a comment so that I can encourage you in your new found faith.

The Heavenly Message!

Jesus Baby2

Dec 22, 2016
by Evangelist Larry Wolfe

Christmas: The Heavenly Message I (Luke 2:1-8)
Luke chapter two contains the most complete description of the miraculous virgin birth of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. It begins in (v.1) with the historical record telling us that Caesar Augustus, the emperor of Rome, decreed that ‘all the world should be taxed.’ This decree demanded that all the known inhabited world, citizen by citizen of the Roman empire had to return to the city of their house and lineage to be registered for a taxation census. This called for both Joseph and Mary to return to Bethlehem, the city of David as they both were descendants of David, the most famous and revered king of Israel.

Although the story sounds serene and peaceful, the phrase ‘in those days’ (v.1) refers to the darkest days in Israel’s history as they were at this point crushed under the heel of this tyrannical dictator Caesar Augustus. Even though there was ‘peace’ it was only due to the fact that there was no effort to liberate the people for they were bludgeoned into submission by the presence of an overbearing Roman army. No man, woman or child could resist their mighty authority and so ‘in those days’ meant the days of the darkest hour the world had ever seen.

In this time of extreme darkness and despair, when ‘Cyrenius was governor (head of the military) of Syria all went to be taxed , every one into his own city’ (v.2,3). Although many people lived in the city of their lineage, there were thousands of others who had to travel a great distance to conform to this decree, but it was the hand of God moving in the life of Joseph and Mary, bringing them to Bethlehem, so that the prophecy of Micah 5:2,4 might be fulfilled: ‘But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, tho’ thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler of Israel whose goings forth have been of old from everlasting for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth.’

In reality the insignificant ones in the narrative of Luke 2 and in the ultimate history of the world are Caesar Augustus and Cyrenius, for the most miraculous and important birth ever was about to take place in Bethlehem, the birth of the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ! And this Roman taxation census decree would bring about the will of God as prophesied by Micah hundreds of years earlier yes, the Savior of the world would be born in Bethlehem!

From Nazareth to Bethlehem, a little over 75 miles, was a considerable journey of three to four days depending on the mode of transportation, but because Joseph and Mary were of the family of David, their trip was required for obedience to the Roman decree. However, their understanding of Who the Child was that Mary would bring forth could well have motivated them to make sure He was born in Bethlehem, Their likely knowledge of the Word of God and the prophecy of Micah might have been the major reason they traveled to Bethlehem with Mary’s delivery so close to occurring.

The word ‘espoused’ in (v.5) literally means betrothed, promised in marriage, or engaged. She was ‘great with child’ used only here in the New Testament and simply means pregnant. ‘And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered’ (v.6). Here the word ‘delivered’ means to bring forth or to bear fruit and it is used again in (v.7) translated ‘brought forth’ and in (v.11) the word translated ‘born’ is derived from the same Greek word.

‘When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law.’ (Galatians 4:4) Yes, God’s time was now ready for His Son to be brought into the realm of man, to deliver all mankind from the penalty, power, and ultimately, the presence of sin if only man would receive Him as Savior. ‘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. Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:12-14).

The Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Living Word, was made flesh. The incarnation of God Himself, the birth and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, are here being referred to by John in the opening chapter of his Gospel. ‘And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn’ (Luke 2:7). The most important event in the history of mankind has just been recorded in this simple yet most profound verse of Scripture. The first Coming of the Son of God is now set down in the annals of history. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior, the Christ, the Messiah, the Lord of heaven and earth has just been accomplished and the whole world now recognizes this fact and marks the date of December 25th as Christmas!

But, the date is really not the important issue. The fact that He was born of a virgin as prophesied by Isaiah, and lived a sinless life, and gave Himself a ransom for many, by shedding His blood and dying for the sins of the whole world, and then was resurrected from the dead, ascended to the Right Hand of the Father and now lives forevermore to make intercession for His own, yes, these are the important facts that can never be changed, for they are rooted and grounded in the eternal Word of God!

Have your received this Great Gift of God? Are you sure that if you died today you would go to heaven? You can be sure by praying and asking God to save you from the penalty of your sin by receiving the Lord Jesus as your Savior by faith and God will do what He has promised for He has said: ‘Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and can’t save myself. I do believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and rose from the dead on Easter to give me eternal life. I ask you right now to come into my life, forgive my sins, take over my life and give me a guaranteed reservation in heaven. Thank you for saving me; help me now to live the rest of my life for you. Amen.

Please let me know if, as a result of reading this message, you have prayed this prayer and have trusted Jesus as your own personal Savior. Leave a comment so that I can encourage you in your new found faith.

Preparing for the Birth

Jesus Sky

by Evangelist Larry Wolfe, Dec 20, 2016

The prophet Isaiah throughout his writings entitles the coming Messiah–our Lord Jesus Christ–the “Holy One” although he uses this significant name interchangably for God the Father. This title, Isaiah’s favorite, is used a total of twenty-nine times beginning in the very first chapter of his most significant prophecy, most significant because of it’s intense focus on our Lord Jesus. This attribute of the character of God is in fact more than just an attribute, for holiness is the primary word used to describe the very essence of our God.

It is not surprising therefore that the preparation for the Holy One’s birth would be saturated in holiness as described in Luke chapter one. From the very outset, when Zacharias was visited by the holy angel as he was ministering in the holy place at the altar of incense, God’s holy angel underlined the fact that Zacharias’ son would ‘be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.’

Another of God’s holy angels, Gabriel, would then visit the virgin Mary bringing the good tidings of great joy, telling her that she would ‘conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS’. He explained to her that ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’.
Mary then visits Elizabeth, her cousin, the wife of Zacharias who was miraculously with child as the holy angel had told her husband. When Mary greeted Elizabeth ‘the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost’ and immediately ‘spake out with a loud voice’ and blessed Mary, recognizing that Mary would be the mother of her Lord!

Mary, following Elizabeth’s words, magnified the Lord, rejoicing in spirit for what God her Savior was doing in her life. She rightfully ascribed to Him the name ‘Holy’ in verse 49! She continues her magnification of the Lord by listing His mighty actions toward men and His people Israel. Later in the chapter, the birth of John the Baptist is recorded. And at that time his father Zacharias was ‘filled with the Holy Ghost’ prophesying of God’s great working in visiting and redeeming His people, bringing salvation through the house of David by the Lord Jesus Christ just as He had spoken through his ‘holy prophets’! Zacharias continues by underlining the fact that God remembers His ‘holy covenant’ performing the mercy He promised to the fathers.

The last reference to holiness comes in (v.75) where Zacharias encourages and exhorts those who would read his prophesy in the ages to come. He reminds us all that we must serve the Lord without fear, in ‘holiness’ and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. This holiness which we need in order to ‘see the Lord’ is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him as our personal Savior. This provision of personal holiness is just one of the many benefits we receive when we are ‘born again’ by putting our faith in His death, burial and resurrection.

This first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, which gives us the surrounding circumstances of our Savior’s birth, is saturated in holiness, a fitting preparation for the miraculous incarnation of the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel! Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If you have, are you serving Him in ‘holiness’ and righteousness? The greatest gift you can give the ‘Holy One’ this Christmas is yourself, dedicated to serving Him in ‘holiness’ and righteousness…all the days of your life. Merry Christmas!!

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My Thanksgiving Prayer

sunset tree

It’s 2am and I’m fighting a sinus infection and the Amoxicillin and Prednisone flowing through my veins has me wide awake! As I lay in my bed my mind wanders to Thanksgiving, and I think of the past and more recent events in the Year of Our Lord 2019. With just 10 days until Thanksgiving and 43 days to go until the dawn of 2020….for what am I thankful? I wander and I wonder as sleep evades me…. then the nugget of a prayer floats into my mind as from the Spirit…. and so I write….

O Lord God of Heaven and Earth, You are the God of the Past, Present and the Future. You hold me and the Universe in Your Mighty hands. You created me in my mother’s womb and gave me life. Thank You for sending my brother Pooch to introduce me to Jesus and my new Eternal Life in Christ began because of Your Great love!

Thank you for placing me in the most blessed Nation on earth, a place where Your Word was honored and Your Servants spread Your message of Salvation through your Son the Christ from Sea to Shining Sea and around the world.

Thank you for placing me in a family where, for both my wife and I, we had mothers who stayed with us and kept their families together in spite of the fact they were single moms. Thank you for Irene and Grace and their faith in Jesus which sustained them through many dark and trying times.

Thank you that You are Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipotent (all powerful) and Omni-present (present everywhere at all times). And so Lord, that being the case, would you be so kind as to say hi to my brother Larry who lives in Your presence since February 10th of this year? I thank You for his life as he served you faithfully for almost 40 years. He loved You and studied and preached your Word, in fact he consumed it like it was his daily food. He shared your love with lost men and women on a daily basis, as Your Word commands us to do. His body was run hard for 74 years and those years took their toll and one early morning he slipped the bonds of earth into glory.

Here’s my full story on Larry’s life:

My Brother Laramie

Larry Truck Stop
Larry in his booth in McD’s as Chaplain
Larry Office
His Study and well worn Bible

Lord, please also say hi to my Uncle Snack whose life I thank You for as well. He stepped into eternity on May 26th of this year. He was a man of faith who met you at an old fashioned altar at the age of 16. His life transformed, he had a soft exterior, an inviting smile but was made of steel. He stood strong for righteousness. He loved people and was an encourager! In his 89 years on earth he sent more letters and cards than the IRS, but his messages always lifted up and warmed the hearts of those on the receiving end. He worked with wood and with his hands he created treasures that would be keepsakes for generations to come. On his daily travels, whether filling Lion’s Mint Dispensers, visiting the sick or doing some errand he would always say a “Word for the Lord” and that was his way of witnessing and showing Jesus’ love. He is now witnessing the halls of heaven, a good and faithful servant.

Here’s my full story on Snack’s life:

Uncle Snack – Forever Friend

Thanksgiving 2017 Brian n Snack
Me with Snack wearing his notorious “Hair Hat”

Finally, I’d ask you to give a big hug to my niece Heather. As You know, she just arrived and met you face to face last Monday November 11th, and Oh what an entrance it must have been! You gave her a new body as You promised and I’m sure she danced with the Angels! Thank You for Her her brief 37 year sojourn on earth which was all too short but what an impact she made! I knew of no kinder soul, no more sincere heart who loved all people unconditionally and held no bitterness in her heart. She was amazing! She almost wasn’t human, as it could only be the Lord Jesus living through her. She didn’t have a pulpit but her life was her platform and the lives she touched with Jesus’ love will only be known when the roll is called up yonder.

Here’s my story on Heather’s life:

A Beautiful Soul!

Heather Beautiful
Our Beautiful Heather

I thank You again for these five lives, each impacting me and our families and thousands of others who knew and loved them in millions of ways. I know You are now surrounding them with Your love and you’ve prepared a place for them, a place where there is no more sickness, no more sorrow, no more prescriptions :), no more crying.

When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory!

I humbly bow before Your throne and thank You for hearing my prayer which I pray in the Name of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen!

P.S. Please also say hi to Irene and Grace! No words could describe them or express their sacrifices for us their beloved children. Their reward must be indescribable! Hi Mom!

Mom & Grace
Irene & Grace (sorry Grace!) I think from one of their hospital rooms!
Grandma Grace
My loving Mother-In-Law Grace!

For more encouraging stories and devotionals see the recent list and monthly archives on the upper righthand side of this page or click the link below to review my entire topical index.

My story on my Mom’s life:

My Mom, Irene Violet Wolfe

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A Beautiful Soul!

Heather Beautiful

Our beautiful niece Heather Faith Wagner just 37 years young, has left the bonds and pains of earth to be with her Savior the Lord Jesus Christ! Growing up the only girl surrounded by 5 strong and virulent brothers, she held her own and at times was a second mom to her younger siblings. She was strong in faith, character, perseverance and love. Yes, she was given extra portions of Faith, Perseverance & Love!

She was born just Heather Wagner, since her parents left out the middle names of their children to give them the opportunity to pick their own middle name later in life. Then Heather chose “Faith” which was a most appropriate addition. Because that is what it would take to face the huge hurdles she would eventually face.

Heather was homeschooled by her hard working and talented mother Barbara and she was laden down early in life with the physical malady of Asthma, but she still maintained a normal life and excelled in school, in business and industry, travelling all across the USA giving seminars on healthcare programs to various companies and organizations.

That is until a severe Asthma attack in 2011 brought on by second hand smoke in her workplace left her unconscious. A coworker, Heather had trained on the use of an EpiPen, gave her the injection she needed and she returned to consciousness but only to be transported to the hospital where a long and deep decline of her health would occur. She would never return to the state of her previous life, never go back home the same person, never go back to the office, never be “normal” again.

Through an almost eight year nightmare her health status would traverse up baby steps and then decline like a roller coaster. But Heather never gave up. Her faith was in the God of the Bible and she understood that her Savior was with her every step of the way. So she fought and fought and fought. She even reached the place where she could go back to work, but only from her home office, still writing courses and doing training online and continuing to touch people’s lives.

In spite of her failing health she encouraged SO many people with her never quit attitude and never ending words of appreciation and encouragement for even the smallest things her Mom, Dad, family and friends would do for her. Here’s one example from her facebook page of her gracious and loving appreciation:

September 25, 2019 (after pulling out of one of her low health crisis times)

“I’m out of the woods so to speak, just a lot of rest and recovery to “do”.

There has been a core group of people who have REALLY been there for me, offering to come (or just coming to help me). I’m so afraid I’d miss someone’s name so I’m just going to say you know who you are.

I do want to especially thank my parents John & Barbara and my brother, Ryan and Sister (in Love) Belle who have been constants (daily) through this and I’ve learned so much about the great compassion of my work team-mates, despite SO much going on in their own lives (death, sickness), they rallied together to help me this week so I could focus on getting better. I’m so thankful and humbled to be honest.

There are definitely a few others who deserve my thanks and have just been amazing whether it be rides to drs, tests, meals brought, laundry done…I even had some friends hang some pictures do some organizing (okay, a lot of organizing!). Oh! and they even did a little Fall decorating to cheer me up while I’m laid up…I love Fall. 🍃🍁🍂

Y’all know who you are and you know me, thank you cards will be on their way eventually 😉

This post was far longer than I anticipated, though after being reminded in several ways this past week of how short life really is and can be, I just wanted to update everyone that I’m ok, I’m hanging in there and wanted to express my thankfulness for the love; prayers; encouraging words and practical, daily help. 💜”

That was Heather every day, thankful and appreciative through every crisis and all day long for almost 8 long years! What was her secret? Her “FAITH” which never wavered:

From September 2019

“You’ll never stop me.
I’m a warrior.
When I fall down, I get stronger.
Faith is my shield, His love is the armor.
I’m a warrior…”


From October 2019

I don’t have much
But what I have is Yours to use
So make my whole life Your upper room…


From November 2019 Heather’s last FB post:

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed.” Isaiah 54:10


Heather Faith Wagner is with the Lord, no more sorrow, no more sickness, no more crying, for the former things are passed away and her crown awaits her. What a beautiful Soul!


Never Give Up!

(disclaimer: there will be gory hunting descriptions in this story:)

Brian Deer 2019d

It was a beautiful day in Lebanon County Pennsylvania! My son Dan had bagged a huge 8 point Whitetail deer the night before. I helped him in the field dressing and trip back to his truck dragging “Tiny” (as he called the deer which he had been viewing on his trailcam for weeks, see below picture). He bagged the buck at 6:15 pm which was just 21 minutes before shooting hours closed for the day! The deer only ran about 50 yards before it collapsed as his crossbow arrow had pierced the deers lungs and exited out the other side.

Dan & Kristine Buck
Dan & Christine and his 8 point “Tiny” monster

He encouraged me to hunt the next day out of his ladder stand. My enthusiasm wasn’t very high as my bow hunting record was a pretty failed one so far, as I had missed a buck my first year, wounded another one my second year and even missed one earlier this year! Mostly chalking it up to hurried shots and buck fever!

But my wife JoJo insisted that I go out since it was a beautiful day and having me out from under her feet was a sure motivation! So 2pm came around finding me perched in Dan’s bench seat two-man “cadillac” ladder stand. I took my range finder and mentally noted the distances to a number of potential shots within my shooting range and settled back for a comfy and relaxing afternoon!

God must have sprinkled chipmunk and squirrel dust all over this particular section of woods because they were in abundance and making a huge racket which distracted me time and time again thinking a deer was approaching only to find the little rascals running races all over the woods!

Nothing was happening so I pulled out my William Johnstone paperback story of how the frontier was won and read a few chapters, when a flash of gray and white caught my eye off to my right about 70 yards out which was WAY out of bow range but nevertheless it could be a buck, so I dropped the book and reached for my range finder. It would have to do, since I left my binoculars back in my truck!

I was able to make out a deer between patches of trees and brush but not able to see the head at any time and then the deer moseyed off to my right. So much for that, maybe it would return. Back to my frontier book. Thirty minutes later my eyes started to droop and while the warm temps encouraged me to nap, I looked at my pillowy backpack and my brain said, “You could just rest your head on that for a little while!” I shrugged it off when I saw another glimpse of brown, and sure enough that deer had returned! I got a better look at it and it was clearly a momma. O well, where momma deer are in mating season the poppa’s aren’t that far away!

Hours passed and the sun was low on my right just above the horizon and the time was approaching 6 pm. All the while that doe was messing around in front of me. I thought to myself, “Dan shot his buck at 6:15 and there’s still plenty of light”. So I kept watching that doe and she had moved in to around 50 yards away. Then it struck me, “Wait, there’s another deer hanging around her, and I can easily see horns!” It was definitely a legal buck with antlers up above the ears showing a row of points sticking up on each side.

So the race for time was on! The buck wasn’t too interested in the doe and she actually came slowly down the mountain and walked by right in front of my stand never seeing or smelling me. The buck, on the other hand, was just staying out at about the same spot. So I took out my grunt call and gave it a few blasts. That got his attention and he moved my way but he still wasn’t in a big hurry. The buck I missed earlier in the season had responded to my grunt call but I missjudged the distance when he came in range and my arrow just shaved a few hairs off his underbelly!

Brian Deer Hair

I looked at my watch and the time was 6:25 and I had just eleven minutes to closing! Then the buck finally started moving down the mountain but ever so slowly. He was coming closer and crossed through a couple of openings but was still pretty far out. As he came closer he was approaching 35 yards away, but earlier in the week, I had been putting my arrows right in the bullseye at that distance in my backyard, so I knew if he would only give me an opening I could take the shot! There was very little light but when I put the crossbow to my shoulder and looked through the scope I could clearly see my crosshairs. I shifted to my right and saw him in my scope coming steadily through narrow gaps in the trees, then I shifted back to my left just beyond a big tree where I figured he would emerge into a larger opening.

Sure enough he stepped into view and then paused! My crosshairs hovered nervously over his shoulder and I pulled the trigger! My arrow had a lighted nock so I saw the flash of red light pierce the dim light and find it’s destination right into the deer’s shoulder area! He took off running to my left and the red lighted arrow bounced along his side as he ran. He crashed through the brush and I could hear him running and then silence. I looked at my watch…. it was 6:34! Just TWO minutes to spare until closing time. Wow!

I knew it was crazy to push him right away so I sat in my stand and called my son Dan, my wife JoJo and my other son Eric who is also an avid bow hunter. My sons agreed enthusiastically to come and help me track the deer in the darkness that had now engulfed the woods. I stayed in my stand for 30 minutes and then descended to try and see any evidence of a blood trail. The woods looked a LOT different on the ground level in the dark and I was very fortunate to find the spot where I had hit the deer and there was a clear blood trail. I figured I’d just follow it for a short distance on the chance the buck may have collapsed nearby, like my son’s deer did the night before.

I came to a little rise following a lot of blood and saw my shining arrow nock in the distance. There he lays I thought! But no, it was just my arrow, but only half of it as the deer had evidently brushed up against a tree to dislodge it from it’s body. I only followed it a short distance and decided to stop until more help arrived, sticking my arrow in the ground, with the red beacon shining, where I left the trail.

My sons and my grandson Braden arrived and we easily picked up the trail finding big puddles of blood along the way. But then there was less, and less, and less blood until we were just finding drips and then after an hour nothing! I kept questioning my shot. If I had hit him in a vital area that deer would have been down by now! Did I pull the shot to the left or was it too high? All kinds of questions rolled through my mind and I literally gave up hope that we would ever find the deer. Just another incident to add to my failed bow hunting record I thought!

My son Dan on the other hand kept encouraging me, “That was a good shot Dad, he’s gotta be in here somewhere!” he said, again and again. But darkness had settled in and with no trail to follow we were resigned to the fact the next day would be a better time to continue the search.

The next morning came and Dan joined me in the search. I was that convinced we wouldn’t find the deer that I told him, how about I just go and sit in his stand while HE searches for my deer! But he would have none of it, and insisted that we join up in the search. Incredibly within 30 minutes Dan found a spot of blood in the hollow where we had left off the search the night before. I still wasn’t convinced and was headed in another direction when he cried out, “Deer, I see your deer!”

I couldn’t believe it! I worked my way over to where he was and he had dragged the buck out of some thick weeds where it had collapsed and it seemed as hard as a rock. This deer was dead a long time and I began thinking it might not be my deer! It was hit behind the left shoulder and the arrow had angled back through the diaphram and into the deer’s belly and entrails were hanging out low on the opposite side. I dutifully filled out my game tag and tagged the deer all the while still thinking this might NOT be my deer.

But in the process of gutting the animal (which was still warm inside) low and behold…. I found the other half of my arrow lodged in the intestines! That’s MY deer I proclaimed! If it wasn’t for the steadfast support and conviction of my son Dan that deer would have been coyotee food! But now it will be bologna for the WolfePack in the coming long cold winter months! Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up!

Brian Deer 2019a

Brian Deer 2019c
Me holding the short piece of arrow from inside the deer

For more encouraging stories go here: New Blog Index


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 a new generation of Jews came home from captivity to live in Jerusalem and the surrounding villages.

So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.  Then all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the priest to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.

So Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. He faced the square from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

He stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.

Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

The Levites—then instructed the people in the Law while everyone remained in their places. They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

God had graciously, because of His great love, led His people back to the Holy Land and then exposed them to His Word through a wonderful revival service. The Word had it’s way with them as they wept in repentance because of their sins and God forgave and restored them and they experienced the greatest joy of their lives.

How about you? Is there a “Turn” in your future?

For other inspiring stories go here: New Blog Index



Awake My Glory!

Here’s one from 3 years ago… with a good reminder of where is the source of our “Glory”!



I came across the phrase “Awake my glory” while reading the book of Psalms this morning. Like many other times when I read and meditate on the Word of God, the Spirit of God made the words jump right off the page and I noticed them as never before! So I wondered, what would the Psalmist be referring to when he said “My Glory”? In my heart I  knew that our Triune Godhead deserves all the glory, so I was struck that the Psalmist would imply that he had glory as well!

Here are the passages to which I refer: Psalm 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad, and myglory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.” Then we read in Psalm 57:8 “Awake, myglory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.” Lastly in Psalm 108:1 “O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing…

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Uncle Snack – Forever Friend

Anspach Snack2

Born in poverty in 1930, the 4th child to Clarence and Margaret Anspach, my Uncle Wayne (Snack) Anspach learned very early, that life served him very well when he was a friend to all, and that included his father and mother. He was a loving and supportive child to his mother and a very compliant child to an abusive alcoholic father (who nicknamed him “Dumb Davey”) and he worshipped his big brother John who seemed to succeed in everything when Snack had to work so hard to keep up.

Anspach John Snack
Snack & Big Brother John

Snack would jump and ask “how high” on the way up, when his father “Pop” threw a command his way. To disobey, was very dangerous to your health and well being! He was also a life saver to his mother “Maggy”, as Pop called her, when she was pregnant with his little sister. Snack became the chief cook and bottle washer as Maggy, late in her pregnancy, could not keep up with her household duties.

Anspach Mom & Pop at Snacks
Grandma “Maggy” Anspach & “Pop” in Later Years

Snack even introduced a new dish to Pop which was a very risky move! They were out of potatoes, which Pop demanded to be fried or mashed for him on a daily basis. No matter that he didn’t provide sufficient money for groceries. So Snack cooked up some squash instead and prepared them just like mashed potatoes. Pop knew something was wrong right away, but then he ventured on and took one bite, and another, then a smile came to his face and he said, “Not bad, not bad at all!”

One day, late in his teens, Snack was standing outside with Pop, and a plane flew over. They lived next to a Military Reservation and this was a common occurrence. Snack said to Pop, “If you let me join the Army I’ll be able to learn to fly one of those!” Snack really wanted to stretch his wings in other ways, and get out from under Pop’s iron grip, knowing all the while he would likely never fly a plane. And even though his older siblings had left the nest, and Pop was using him for force labor, he miraculously gave Snack permission to join the Army.

Snack Army

That was his big break, and would lead to a career and open up wide avenues of exploration, education and experience that Snack could in no other way obtain. When he came home from basic training he was helping Pop on one of his projects in his shop, and explained to Pop how “Ohms Law” worked. Pop turned to him with an astonished look on his face and exclaimed, “Why you’re no Dumb Davey anymore, I think you’re the smartest kid I have!” What a great day!

My earliest childhood memory of my Uncle Snack is at Thanksgiving dinner. After many years of treating Thanksgiving as any other day, one year Grandma put her foot down, so to speak, and declared that she had saved up enough money to buy a turkey, and by God’s grace they were going to celebrate Thanksgiving! Pop, not being the religious type in the least, didn’t protest one bit, afterall he loved to eat!

Thanksgiving 1958
My Earliest Photo (1958) of Thanksgiving, a Photo Uncle Snack took. From left: My dad Warren, Uncle Jack, My Brother Warren (Pooch), My brother Larry, Uncle Mickey, Uncle John. Notice Pop’s plate on the near end of the table is already filled with food. He was always served first!
Thanksgiving 2010 Kids
Uncle Snack with Grand & Great Grandkids

When everyone was seated, and it was time to partake of all the delicious Pennsylvania Dutch food, Grandma, still wearing her trademark apron, made everyone pause and then called on Snack to give the “Blessing”. She of course didn’t call on Pop, nor big brother John. It was her kind, caring and compassionate son Snack, who she called on, since she knew he had a connection with the Almighty.

Anspach Snack
Snack Getting Ready to Pray at Thanksgiving

I wasn’t there for that first Thanksgiving but in later years I experienced the spiritual effect of Uncle Snack’s prayers as he seemed to be taking directly to God as he thanked the Lord for everyone gathered and for all of our blessings. He became to me “My Praying Uncle” and I knew like Grandma did, that he had a special relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Snack & Marion
Snack & Wife Marion

So when Snack’s wife Aunt Marion passed away in 2007, I decided to visit my Uncle Snack the first Saturday night of each month, hoping to get to know him more than just on a surface level, and also to learn more about my family heritage. He welcomed me warmly and as time passed we both looked forward to those times together as we’d watch the Phillies (usually lose:), talk about current events, how my family was doing, more about our family history, and of course watch the Lawrence Welk Show!

A phrase I heard him say time and time again was, “I might have told you this story before but….” and then I’d just let him go ahead and tell it again, and again, and sometimes even again. He had an amazing memory! He just couldn’t remember if he was repeating a story he had told you before!

But the story he shared with me that helped me see and understand the secret of this kind, and loving, and compassionate man’s life, was this one. You see, in 1946 when he was just 16 years old, his family attended revival services at their church, Emmanuel United Methodist Church. Their pastor Arthur Miller preached the fiery Gospel, that Christ died on the Cross for Sinners, was buried and rose again the third day, and that anyone who repented of their sins and trusted Christ as their Savior would be born from above, and be given eternal life.

At the end of the message and as they stood to sing the closing song, his big sister Minnie encouraged him to respond to the invitation. Snack’s heart was already throbbing as he gripped the pew in front of him, and he felt as though an unseen force, like a magnet, was pulling him from his pew to go down front to the altar. He obeyed the Spirit’s voice and walked the aisle and knelt at the prayer rail, and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and he became a new creature in Christ. From that day on he wasn’t perfect, but he had Christ and his Bible as his guide, and he endeavored to live a God honoring Christian life.

Snack & Sisters
Snack & Sisters Totty (L) & Betty

He demonstrated God’s love by the way he lived his life as he cared for his family, his mother, his extended family, as he served in his church, taught Sunday School, led civic organizations, ministered to residents in retirement homes, on and on it went.

He would often tell me, “I gave a witness today” as he would retell how he had passed on a Word from the Lord to someone in need that came across his path. I’ll close with a Bible passage he shared with me one night when we were talking about Scripture memory. He had memorized these verses from Hebrews chapter one.

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to our fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:1-3

The Bible says about Believers, that when we are absent from the body, in that very moment, we are present with the Lord. During one of my last visits alone with Uncle Snack by his hospital bed, he squeezed my hand as he was in a deep deep sleep, as he seemed to be worshipping the Lord as he whispered, “Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, God have mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy. The Lord did have mercy on my Uncle Snack because he is now rejoicing with the redeemed, and reunited with loved ones gone on before. Praise God!

After publishing this story of my Uncle Snack Anspach I attended and participated in his “Celebration of Life” memorial service. His daughter Cindy shared that she followed his strict instructions for the service which he left for her in a container under his office desk. Every part of the service, the Sharing Time for family and friends, the hymns that were sung: “The Church’s One Foundation”, “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”, “It Is Well With My Soul” & “The Doxology”, the Scriptures read: Matthew 6:19-36 (where it says “Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God”), the Benediction given by his long time pastor and lastly, to have a soloist sing the Lord’s Prayer, was all laid out beforehand.

It was clear to me that Snack meant to accomplish two things, One: Give Worship and Praise to his Savior Jesus Christ, Two: Appeal to the family and friends in attendance to trust in his Savior like he had that day back in 1946.

Even the quote from Billy Graham on the back of his Memorial Folder which said “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith” pointed to his desire for others to follow in the Faith as he did.

So if you don’t know the Lord Jesus in a personal way will you consider receiving Christ today? That step will guarantee that one day you will be reunited with your loved one and friend which I’m sure you miss so much.

This message makes it very clear your need and the steps to take: Guaranteed Reservation in Heaven!

Thanksgiving 2017 Brian n Snack
Me & Snack at Thanksgiving, him in his traditional “Hair Hat”

Enjoy the below recordings of some of Snack’s stories:

I treasure these stories! I hope you enjoy them as well.

Find more encouraging messages here: New Blog Index

If you’d like to hear more of my Uncle Snack’s stories leave a comment below.