February 1, 2019 @ 8:00 PM

He approached me as I walked toward the door; an old friend for many years. We embraced and exchanged pleasantries. Before parting he said, “Irv, you are one of the few men I know who are finishing well.” I was flattered by his words but a bit perplexed. What does it mean to “finish well” and why am I one of the few men to do it? I searched the scriptures to learn of others who finished well to gain insight on what the Bible would call “finishing well.”

Jesus was the first one to whom I went. If anyone finished well it was Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless, spotless life above reproach, completely keeping the Law. In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed to finish well. “My Father, if it is possible ...

Read More
February 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

As soon as the Christmas decorations come down, the Valentine decorations go up. I love that! I love that there are still red decorations after Christmas. How drab everything would be if there were no red hearts.

February is also known for the birthdays of two famous presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, and George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. Both men are pivotal pillars of American history. Both men were perfectly placed in the timeline of American history at just the right time. It is doubtful that any other men could have served our young nation as well. They were each born “For such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) I believe it is appropriate that they are associated with the month of red ...

Read More
February 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

One of our favorite movies is “What About Bob?” the 1991 release starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. It’s 29 years old but never ceases to make us laugh. We have watched it so many times that we know many of the lines by heart. The same fondness for the movie cannot be said of several of our psychologist friends. They despise it. They find nothing funny about it and, in fact, find it demeaning to their profession.  Elsie and I don’t. To have a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at yourself is a mark of mental health.

To give you a thumbnail synopsis of the movie, here’s the official write up:

Before going on vacation, self-involved psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has the ......

Read More
February 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

We began meeting as a group in October 2002. Twelve scared men gathered at a church to be led by a scared sergeant. We were the first purity platoon of the men’s purity ministry, Every Man’s Battle For Purity. As their sergeant I had led one previous group of men in the fall of 2001. I was long on zeal but short on experience. We lost one man the first week and were down to 11 men in November. We also had one man pray to receive Jesus Christ as Savior in week three! Over the 16 weeks of purity platoon something unusual happened. Men bonded! They were not about to stop meeting after purity platoon ended. They had shared the deepest, darkest secrets of their lives and had experienced community with one another. So the platoon ...

Read More
January 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

I don’t write anything on my new wall calendar before January 1st. I like to see all the blank pages and squares when we first put it on the wall. Soon the pages fill up and sometimes begin to look messy with corrections and lots of entries, but for a brief time I am able to enjoy the freshness of 365 days of an uncluttered schedule. There is something exciting and refreshing about embarking upon a new year with empty calendar pages waiting to be filled. It is exciting yet also concerning as we face the start of a new year that will bring both good and bad things into our lives. There will be happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain, good experiences and difficult ones. Sometimes we are sad to see the previous year end, and sometimes ...

Read More
January 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

January is a wonderful time to chart a new path for yourself. Some call that new path new year’s resolutions or new year’s goals. I call them desires. I group my desires in 7 buckets all beginning with the letter “F”: 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Finances, 4. Function, 5. Fitness, 6. Friends, 7. Fun. Into each bucket I identify desires I’d like to see happen in the new year. I often come up with as many as 45 desires. Here’s the key. If I accomplish even 1 of those 45 desires, I’ve had a successful year. Desires are not the same as goals.

Neil T. Anderson, in his book, Victory Over the Darkness, defines a godly goal as “any specific result reflecting God’s purposes for your life that does ...

Read More
January 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

Ever wrestled with God? Since that’s not physically possible, wrestling with God takes the form of wrestling in prayer or wrestling in your soul. Perhaps you’ve wrestled with God over taking a job or buying a house or marrying someone or a wayward child or friend. Wrestling with God is not fun or pretty. Sometimes wrestling with God happens when He asks us to do something we are afraid to do. Sometimes we fear the consequences to our reputation, finances, lifestyle, or family. Fear is a primary motivator for wrestling with God. We wrestle with Him because we’re afraid of something or someone.

That was the case with Jacob. He had fled from his brother, Esau, to live with his uncle Laban in the city of Haran. He left under ...

Read More
January 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

Sandstone Evangelical Free Church in Sandstone, MN will be hosting Friday Night Fight, an event with a focus on men’s sexual purity. Dr. Irv Woolf, Director of Hopewell Counseling, will be the guest speaker. The event will take place on Friday evening, January 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm. Irv’s message is titled The Battle For Purity. The evening will begin with a meal. There is a suggested donation of $7.00 to cover the cost of the meal; however, please attend even if you can’t afford the $7.00.

The deadline to confirm that you’d like to attend is Thursday, January 17, 2019. Please call the church office by noon so an accurate count can be obtained for ordering food. The phone number for the Sandstone Evangelical Free ...

Read More
December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

The Most Wonderful Time of the Yearis a popular Christmas song written by Edward Pola and George Wyle in 1963. It was sung by Andy Williams and appeared on the Andy Williams Christmas Album that year. The lyrics are happy and cheerful but do not mention the true meaning of Christmas. Is this song celebrating the time of year without knowing or caring why?

Christmas really is a happy time of year. Christmas time has a personality all its own—whether or not people acknowledge the birth of Jesus. There are so many things to look forward to at Christmas, e.g. family and friends, gifts, parties, traditional foods and yummy treats, just to name a few. But how empty it is without the reason for the season.

For some, Christmas time is not ...

Read More
December 1, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

It seems like we move straight from Halloween to Black Friday to Christmas. Little mention is made of Thanksgiving other than it is the precursor to Black Friday. Some call this holiday shopping frenzy “retail therapy” because shopping and buying things elevates the mood and makes us feel better. Merchants love retail therapy because for them it’s all about the money. Many merchants (as well as churches) depend on yearend sales (or giving) to finish the fiscal year in the black

Retail therapy and buying stuff (most of which we don’t need) cannot fill the hollow place in our hearts. Our hearts were made for God and nothing and no one else can fill the void. As Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote, “You have made us ...

Read More
Page 1 / 16
Newer Posts  |  Older Posts