Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Day After Christmas

Pastor Ronnie Wolfe

Sunday was a wonderful day at First Baptist Church in Harrison, Ohio. We had a good attendance (even with several of our own members away), and some visitors came to make for a good fellowship together. The message on "Saved By Grace" sounded out to everyone there, and prayer is that someone was touched or challenged by it.

Sunday afternoon at 1:30 First Baptist Church had a second service. Many members were with family and did not come, but those of us who attended were blessed. The message on "The Ark Of The Covenant" was meant to challenge each one of us to realize that without the law of God there would be no grace of God. The law of God rested within this ark (box) of the covenant, and it reminded Israel that the law is always nearby God himself. That law must be kept, and we as sinners are not able or worthy through the law, but Christ kept the law for us and suffered and died on the cross to both reconcile us and be our propitiation (satisfaction) to God, doing that which was right, honorable, and worthy to God.

Through God's grace Christ's righteousness is imputed to us through faith in Jesus as our Savior. Now we are brought into a good position and fellowship with God. With a new birth, we honor God through our good works, which are wrought of God (Philippians 2:12-13).

Christmas day was a day at home with little to do, but I am always busy doing something. I invited my grandson, Eric Wolfe, to come to the house to help me in taking some pictures of myself. He is a good photographer. After he took a few pictures of me, then I took a few of him. We both selected one to be our "official" picture for 2018. Eric stayed nearly the rest of the day. I think he left around 9:00 PM.

Today is the day after Christmas, and I am here in the office deciding (after I write this blog) which article of work has first priority. I suppose I will work on my message for Wednesday evening. I have already read several chapters in the Bible this morning, so that is done; but I will, I am sure, be gazing into them again and again throughout today.

I am thinking about New Years resolutions, but I cannot think of anything that I have not already resolved and then broken; so maybe I will not make any resolutions except perhaps to try to do better in everything that I do and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18.

Have a good, wonderful, prosperous day that glorifies the name of God and his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Uncle Bernie Wolfe

Burnie (Bernie) Wolfe was born July 26, 1890. He died August 15, 1951. His wife's name was Myrtle (Sorrell) Wolfe. This is their wedding picture. I do not have a date for their wedding or of Myrtle's birth and death. 
 They were married at Bethel Church in Pendleton County, Kentucky. This building is no longer standing due to a storm that came through and demolished it. I am happy to have this picture. There is an interesting story behind that church.

Burnie Wolfe was not only married at this church, but he also preached at this church at times. My cousin told me that her parents and some others of the family went there to hear Burnie preach when she was just a small girl. Someone told me that Burnie was known as "the crying preacher." He was a Baptist preacher.

 Burnie Wolfe pastored several churches, including Turner Ridge Baptist Church in Pendleton County, Kentucky. He was pastoring Wood Mission in Latonia, Kentucky, when, at the age of 65, he suffered a heart attack and died. Burnie Wolfe was my father's oldest brother, son of Ben A. Wolfe and Pheba (Larkin) Wolfe.

This is Burnie Wolfe's obituary, which was printed in the newspaper.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My Mother's Family (Blackburn)

These ladies are five sisters. They are my mother and four of her siblings. My mother is the small lady on the right side of the picture near the wall.

The ladies are (from left to right):  Ann, Emma, Frances, Dorothy, and Lola (my mother). Their maiden name is Blackburn, children of Frank Blackburn and Ona (Wells) Blackburn. All of these sisters are now gone from us.

There is another sister, Lucille, who now lives in North Carolina. We do not see her much. I have a young picture of her.

There was also a sister named Virginia, who is also gone from us. There was also a sister who died in infancy named Elsie Jewel, who passed away in the early 1930's. There was also another infant named Jesse Mae, who passed away as an infant.

 The picture to the left is one of Frances and Lucille, which was taken when Lucille came to visit her family. The picture below this one is a picture of Lucille in her younger years.

Lucille (Blackburn) Kennedy,1928

To the right you can see a picture of Jesse Mae in her mother's arms and some of the other children. Besides Jesse Mae, there is Emma, Virginia, Lola, Ann, and James (in front).

Later were born Allen, Dorothy, Lucille, Frances, Elsie Jewel, and Donald -- 12 in all.

They are all gone now, I think, except Lucille.

I knew most of them well, and we had some good times together. Several of them would come to our house during holidays and eat with us, and James would usually stay a few days with us, since he was not married. We always enjoyed their visits and especially James' wittiness and willingness to do almost anything.

Children In Chronological Order

Emma Blackburn | 1913-2001
Virginia Blackburn | 1914-1973
Lola Blackburn | 1917-1997
Ann Blackburn | 1918-2002
James Blackburn | 1920-2000
Jesse Mae Blackburn | 1921-
Allen Blackburn | 1923-2013
Dorothy Blackburn | 1925-2004
Lucille Blackburn | 1928-
Frances Blackburn | 1930-2008
Elsie Jewel Blackburn | 1931-
Donald Blackburn | 1935-2000

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Earl Wallace Property

Cousins In Fun

The year was (about) 1952. It was the year my grandfather, Frank Blackburn, died. I think he was 79 years old. He lived with us and was not well. He mostly stayed in a back room in our house. He felt bad most of the time, so we children did not get to know him well. He was my mother's father. I did not know his wife, my grandmother, who was Ona (Wells) Blackburn. She died before I was born.

We lived on the Earl Wallace property. My parents rented the farm and did work for Mr. Wallace to help pay the rent. There are many stories in my head in regard to this place. Today I noticed the picture above and tried to remember on what occasion my cousins were at our house, but I cannot remember. I do, however, remember my mother's taking this picture.

I notice that I did not have my braces on this day. In those days I could take the braces off from my shoes and wear my shoes without the braces, but I could not walk. I crawled around on the ground when I did not have braces on my legs--two long-leg braces.

I am sitting on the ground in front in this picture, and the boys behind me are (left to right):  my brother, Eddie Wolfe, my cousin, Dawson Jones, and my other cousin, Rodney Reel. I wish I could remember more about the activities of this day, but I cannot. I am persuaded, though, that we had a good time together, because we always did.

The property is on the Morgan-Marcus road. Many who live in Pendleton County, Kentucky, know the property well.

Below you can see a couple more pictures from that property. My father worked in that tobacco patch, and it grew to be much higher than his head.

The bottom picture is what is left of the house. A 50-cent piece lies under the front room floor, the one that I dropped through a knothole when we lived there. I hope sometime someone will find it and give it to me. That would be wonderful, though not of much real value. I am indebted to my friend, Benny Brown, for this picture of the house.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Table of Shewbread

By Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

Tonight, 12/6/2017, Lord willing, I will be preaching on The Table of Shewbread from the books of Exodus and Leviticus. The Table is a showpiece, which reveals both Christ and ourselves to God. It is a manifestation of Christ's work for his people and also a manifestation of our work of Christ.

We are fed by the bread from Heaven, which is Christ, the antitype of the bread on the Table of Shewbread. Read John 10.

The acacia wood, from which the table is made, is a reminder to us of the endurance and even the eternality of Jesus Christ. He cannot be corrupted, neither was any sin in him. This wood, I understand, grew where other woods would not grow, and the wood also had thorns, which typifies the sufferings of Christ and even our own persecutions in this life as we live for him.

The bread, being 12 loaves, represents all the tribes of Israel, as they represent the apple of God's eye as he watches over them, sees their works, chastens them, and forgives them. He loves his children with an everlasting love.

The wine on the table was not drunk by the priests, for it was forbidden them to drink wine there. It is understood by some that the wine was poured at the foot of the Table of Shewbread.

New bread was placed on the table each day, which typifies our being given fresh mercies and supplies of grace every day as we live for the Lord.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Church Shooting in Texas 11-5-2017

Why did God allow this thing?
‘Twas in his sovereign will,
And the voices there of those who died
Can sing His praises still.

Those behind are left with tears
And hearts are broken, true;
But God in mercy gives His grace
To lead His children through.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Coming Of Fall

By Ronnie Wolfe – September 23, 2017

Those verdurous fields of growing maze
Stand tall in summer’s breeze
And wait for coming color change
That time proclaims with ease.

Casually falling into the hands
Of impending autumn chill,
The corn surrenders all its growth
To fall’s advancing will

And sheds its beauty, green and firm
To an article of time.
The shades of green will turn to gold
And yield to autumn’s rhyme.

Sweet gesture comes from fall’s great need
To turn the green to brown,
And yellow leaves in autumn breeze
Come tumbling to the ground.

Grander beauty never seen
As this year’s season comes
With blooming lilies in the fields
And yards adorned with mums.

But the beauty there is a cheating dream
From fall’s enticing gold,
For it brings its foliage to its end
In illusive winter’s cold.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

On The Way Through Life

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe — August 30, 2017
Funeral of Marshall Baker (9-1-2017)

Traveling through life as time goes by,
We think not much of the passing sky,
That it is not the same each day
But changes on life’s lingering way.

The child looks out to brighter days
To be brought out of youthful haze,
To reach for more enduring things,
To catch our dreams with soaring wings.

But time slows down as it presses on
To change our minds with sorrow’s song,
And reaching out to some good friend,
We find our grasp in rushing wind,

Then see at last the final day
When life and time are gone away
And our lives here mean little more
Than a memory on a forgotten shore.

They all remember life’s short span
When to death the moments ran
And never ceased to hurry forth
To measure there life’s little worth.

So short, and yet in memories stored
Our minds remember love’s strong cord
And weave together family ties
And know just where the secret lies.

Someone's Coming Home

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe — Funeral of Roy Stone
September 2, 2017

Anxious angels gather ‘round
In celestial meeting
Saints of ages make assembly
For the next abundant greeting.

Knowing surely God’s salvation
In divinest grace
Has prepared another human
For his coming to this place.

Voices praising, saints are singing
In single celebration,
Knowing that the Gospel story
Is for every nation.

Here comes one and then another
From earth’s tears alone.
Here comes Roy with ease a-flying
Someone’s coming home.

And once inside the welcomes come
From saints of every land.
Welcomed to eternal glory
There is no sinking sand.

So thank God for power of loosing
Gentle men to freedom giv’n.
Thank the Lord for Christ’s own life
To bring us then to Heaven.

In The Woods

 Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – August 30, 2017
 For funeral of Marshall Baker

In the woods a bird is singing
Like the whisper in the wind,
Drawing me with raptured feeling
To come into the woods again.

Smell the musty, falling foliage
As it blows through gentle breeze;
I must plan to go a-hunting,
Put my mind and heart at ease.

So my spirit ever soaring
Pulls me to my love outdoors;
Walking through the blue-green meadows
All these things my heart adores.

In These Times

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe — Funeral of Charles Havens
August 31, 2017

In these changing, troubled times
It seems no solid ground we find
In culture and in changing voices
Hard opinions, every kind.

In saddened hearts we often think
There is no rescue from our fear,
Then in these times we come to grasp
The Lord of lords is lingering near.

In these times of broken dreams
We often look with desperate care
To the call of human voices,
The sound of bad news everywhere.

But then our minds go simply searching
For a truth so solid standing,
Fear is settled, peace attained
Our eyes on Scripture firmly landing.

In these times the word of God
Is just as true as through the ages
Men have trusted its foundation
Thumbing through its sacred pages.

In these times when death is looming,
Come what may, we all must die;
But truth wins out with Christ our Savior,
And we shall meet Him in the sky.

Don’t let the times, you weary pilgrim,
Sadden minds and hearts so dear.
Trust His death and resurrection,
And your heart will know no fear.

For these times, though sadly ending
Meets with sadness in the heart,
We have joy in God’s real Heaven
Soul and body gone apart.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cedar Tree On The Hill

The Wolfe family lived in Chesapeake, Ohio, from July, 1979, until July, 1982. We lived in the church parsonage of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on Buffalo Creek Road. We had a good ministry there in preaching, visiting, and learning to sing together in some groups.

At the parsonage the back yard went flat straight back and then up a hill. At the top of this hill stood a tall cedar tree. My wife and I had three little boys at that time. They loved to play in the yard around which the church had placed a chain-link fence for protection from the busy highway that lay just a few yards in front of the house.

The boys played outside in good weather, and from time to time they would climb up the hill in the back of the house and then climb up to the very top of the tall cedar tree on the top of the hill. Many times I told them to get down out of the tree so they would not fall out of the tree and break "every bone in your body."

If I told them once, I told them a hundred times to stay out of that tree. I could just see them sometime falling out of the tree and breaking a leg or an arm or both.

Then, one day while playing in the front yard, my youngest son, Chris, was climbing on the chain-link fence around the yard. It was about 4 1/2 feet high. I thought nothing of that, since they did that often. So, I never told them not to play on the fence. Yet, he fell off that fence and began to cry. He had fallen off that fence and had broken his arm.

I should have scolded the boys for climbing on the fence instead of climbing in the cedar tree. Watch out for those short fences. Pay no attention to the tree on the top of the hill. I think there is a conspiracy here somewhere.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Church And The Body

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe

It is important, I think, to be reminded often that the body of Christ and the church of Christ are the same thing.

Our Catholic friends want to make the body of Christ and the church of Christ to be the same, but theirs is a universal, visible body and church, a church of which a person must be a member in order to enter the kingdom of God.

Our Protestant friends make the body of Christ to be universal but invisible. The body of Christ, according to Protestants, includes every saved person on the earth. As to the church of Christ, Protestants admit to two churches, which is, quite frankly, confusing. On the one hand the church is a local assembly of believers, but there is another invisible church which includes all believers. It then would be synonymous to the kingdom of God and the family of God.

Even some Baptists have fallen victim to the idea that there are two churches and one universal body of Christ. This is a fallacy. The word translated church in the New Testament is a word which means "assembly." An assembly is always local, because only a local group can assemble; a universal one cannot assemble.

We must know that the body and church of Christ are the same in order to understand the truth of the matter. At least three verses in the New Testament verify the fact that the body of Christ and the church of Christ are the same.

Ephesians 1:22-23  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

 In regard, then, to the meaning of the body and the church, we must see that, if the body is universal, then the church is universal; and, if the church is universal, the body is universal. If, on the other hand, the church is local, the body is local; if the body if local, then the church is local.

So, both the body and the church are local, visible entities. First Baptist Church of Harrison, Ohio, is a body of Christ, and it is a church of Christ. It is visible, and it is local, as all churches of the Lord are.

Ephesians 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Negative Side Of Baptism

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – July 4, 2017


    Most people, especially those who are Baptist, know the positive side of baptism. Baptism is a beautiful picture, an illustration, and a memorial of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know that it has no saving power and that it does not bring anyone near to or into the covenant of grace.

    Baptism is the act of obedience to Jesus Christ to fulfill all righteousness in our lives. A full righteousness we cannot fulfill, as Jesus did, but we can press toward the mark of the high calling of God (Phil. 3:14).

    Baptism is also a prerequisite to our being a member of a local church. Three thousand were born again, baptized, and added to the local church at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. When baptism is done scripturally, it satisfies this requirement for church membership, and the candidate for scriptural baptism, upon his baptism, becomes a member of a local church with all rights and privileges of any other church member.

The Negative Side Of Baptism

    Besides being an act of obedience to Jesus Christ, baptism also has a negative aspect attached to it. The act of baptism not only symbolized our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it is also a symbol of our turning away from our own righteousness to the perfect and completely fulfilled righteousness of Jesus Christ.

        Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
        Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

    Our own righteousness is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, we must turn away from our own righteousness and trust the righteousness, the perfect obedience and purity of our Savior, Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

John’s Baptism

    John the Baptist said to many who came to him for baptism in Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.  A change of heart must exist in a candidate for scriptural baptism. John refused to baptize anyone who did not show evidence of that changed heart.

    The baptismal candidates in John’s day were also to turn from their Judaism to a freer way of life, a life that was ordered by the Spirit of God and the freedom of conscience to serve the Lord Jesus Christ through the word of God and through love and not through obligation.

    This is the negative side of baptism. Baptism is illustrative of a complete change of life, for we read in Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    In scriptural, water baptism, the candidate is raised symbolically from death unto life in reference to the death of Jesus Christ, in symbolism to Christ’s literal death, burial, and resurrection with no spiritual merit upon the soul from the water, only a real and apparent merit in the real and literal work of Christ in his perfect life and his substitutionary death and his resurrection.

The Case Of Circumcision

    After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the meaning and purpose of circumcision faded away, and there was no further need for circumcision. The New Testament is very clear that circumcision has no meaning to New Testament believers – 1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

    Circumcision was a strict order under the law of Moses as we read in Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Since we are not under the law (Romans 6:14), we are, then, no longer obliged to circumcision.

    Baptism, then, especially to the Jew in New Testament days, was performed as an act against the need for circumcision, and yet it was not a replacement for circumcision, as some say. Circumcision was a mark of distinction for the Jews as against the Gentile world; so baptism is a mark of distinction against circumcision and against the world and is for Jew and Gentile alike, being made one by the Spirit of God, the middle wall’s having been broken down between us (Ephesians 2:14).

An Illustration Of Repentance

    Baptism is not only a looking forward to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:4), but it is also a turning away from that which is behind us, that which was bondage to us and was a hindrance to our coming to the Lord in faith; that is, our works, our human and evil mind, depraved by our sinfulness totally so that we could not attain to the righteousness of God.

    The negative side of baptism here is that we have turned our backs on our former life; and, whether we have had a life that is good in men’s eyes or a life that is evil in men’s eyes, the need for salvation by grace was then prevalent and necessary, for with men it is impossible, . . . but with God all things are possible (Matthew 10:27).

    The moment a candidate for baptism is immersed in the water, submerged beneath the water, and emerges from the water, he is to walk in newness of life and to forget those things were before – Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


    In this short and incomplete article on the negative side of baptism, we see the importance in knowing that baptism in symbol pulls us from the world, turns us symbolically in a new direction in public profess of our faith in Christ with the understanding and the attitude that we should be repenting from our sins on a consistent basis and serving the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:24).

    In the positive side of baptism, one joins himself to a local assembly of believers who are come together to serve Jesus Christ according to the pattern laid down in the New Testament, and the negative side of baptism encourages us to never turn again to the weak and beggarly elements of the world to serve the devil or the world (Galatians 4:9).

    May God prick our hearts to steadfastly stand for our faith, being baptized as a sign of our commitment to Christ and his commandments to be obeyed with love in our hearts. May we be true to our own church, through which God received the glory; and may God be honored and Jesus be glorified in our efforts to turn away from our former life to live in our new life in Christ. There is so much to be gained by obeying and so to lose by disobeying.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jesus Went To Heaven By His Works

Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
April 1, 2017

No one is saved by works, good or otherwise; but Jesus went to Heaven because of his good works, accomplishing the will and purpose of God in his sacrificial life and death. It is imperative that every believer have a righteous life by which we can receive imputation of righteousness from God. Jesus accomplished that life in his journey on earth within a short period of time.

Jesus knew no sin:  2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus did no sin:       1 Pete 2:22
Jesus had no sin:      1 John 3:5

This is our assurance of eternal life: all of Jesus' works were good and righteous works, for he went about "doing good" (Acts 10:38). Only God is good (Matt. 19:17).

Jesus was righteous, also, in his surrendering to be put to death in great humiliation that he might be made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

So, Jesus died in my place, taking my sins upon him, God's imputing our sins to Jesus to be borne under the eternal wrath of God so that God may in turn impute Christ's perfect righteousness to us by grace through faith.

Jesus told his Father in John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. In the very next verse Jesus asks his Father to glorify him with the Father.

In John 17:13 Jesus said, And now come I to thee . . . . He went to his Father after his resurrection, because he had finished the work that God gave him to do on the earth. He went to Heaven by works.

Now that his works are attributed to us by imputation and the wrath and condemnation of God have been satisfied by his suffering, we can go to heaven without the works of the law, without effort or merit.

It is only by the merit of Jesus (his works) that we go to Heaven. Fundamentally, then, we all go to Heaven by works, not by our works but Jesus' works.

We are born again by his grace, cleansed by his blood, and saved by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and that alone.

To God Be The Glory. Great Things He hath Done.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Eric In Emergency Room

I took my grandson, Eric Wolfe, to the emergency room last night a little after 7:00 PM. He had complained about a stomach ache for about five days, and the pain was not getting better. He was sick at his stomach and had pain moving across his lower stomach. I thought it might be appendicitis, so I took him to the emergency room.

There was a CT Scan done, and nothing abnormal showed up, so he will have to just be careful and get a lot of rest. He thinks it might be a little stress coming from his work, since he works all night. He has some choices to make.

Two of his friends came to visit him while he was there, and that cheered him up.