Village Victorian Bed & Breakfast

107 Union Street, Morrisville, Vermont 05661
Innkeeper(s): Ellen and Philip Wolff

the I – Me – My -Mine – syndrome 9 Dec 2016, 4:21 pm

What is behind what I have been saying?    How I am the center  of my universe…?   I call it the – I-Me-My-Mine-Syndrome… it is built in… part of my original  equipment…  Philip the Great  is so much better than the rest of  the human race….

I really really knew it was true  when I became a professional  full-time minister … I mean I had now achieved  the greatest goal… the highest good  in Christendom… I was one of those very special  people… ordained to live from  the gospel… I was a paid preacher…I could now leave  all that serving  stuff to the others… to the lesser ones…. and give myself completely to the work  of the ministry…. I could now “devote myself to prayer, and to the ministry of the word”

I missed everything  Jesus had said… “don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think”…. “the first shall be last” …. “become the servant of all”…. “unless a seed goes into the ground and dies”…. “save your life and you’ll lose it”….

Somebody actually got it straight  when they said:     “we conquer by yielding, we receive by giving, we overcome by being defeated, and we live by dying. There is no other way except the way of the Cross.  It is the one and only principle of Christian conduct.”

Jesus said it this way:  “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

Obviously something needed to happen to change all this in philip…  thankfully it did and it continues to happen… it is called dying daily

🙂


my problem… 8 Dec 2016, 6:35 pm

t took me a very long time… to finally  discover… that Philip’s biggest  problem… is Philip…. my biggest problem is… me! … it just kinda goes with the territory… being  human…  born thinking the world should  revolve around me….I needed to discover that my life was supposed to  revolve around others…

Jesus picked up a towel and washed his disciple’s feet…. I missed it  just as badly as His disciples did… I was more concerned  about who was going to be the biggest of the big-shots… who was going to sit at His right hand and who would sit at His left…. it is always my importance  that I am concerned with… not the importance of others... it is my being served by others… rather than philip serving others…

I did not think it   “desirable that I should leave the word of God and serve tables”. … I am very important… let’s just delegate this serving thing to other folks while I do my  important  things….  “I will give myself continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.”  hmmmmm…

I have used that scripture to exalt  my self-importance… the religious systems have also used that scripture to create  a special class … a clergy/laity system… educated and uneducated… a group of people that is better than  the rest of God’s people… much more important… a group that loves my self-importance …  I was chief  among those  religious folks….

God has a way of getting at  all that stuff in me…. it works every time… He just brings my  little world  of self-importance to an end…. it crashes and burns  as life happens to me… then… life as philip knows it totally changes once again…

🙂


Father… 7 Dec 2016, 2:49 pm

I will always cherish the day when my Father revealed to me that He was my Father… it got up close and personal… and relational… no longer Theological and Doctrinal… I had been taught that I was “bought with a price”…  taught that I had cost Father the very life of His Son when Jesus went to the cross for my sin… therefore… since He now  owned  me, He was my Master… and I was now to  serve  my Master for the rest of my life… I worked very hard at that… for a long, long time… until that special day…

Everything changed when He showed me I was His son… no longer His slave. That came back very strong today when I read this scripture.

“A son honors his father,   and a servant his master.”

I read that verse and saw how far beyond  “honoring”  He had taken me… I saw that He loved me so much more than I could ever love Him… He loved me as a son… that is why He  has  always  been so  faithful  to me… beyond faithful actually… so much more than I could ever have imagined.  Getting all mushy again.

Just think… He loves you  that much too… you might even want to talk to Him about that…

🙂


always… 6 Dec 2016, 11:02 am

always… not sometimes… not occasionally… not most of the time… not usually… the word used is semper  (always) fidelis … always faithful… that is what God is… that has been my experience these past almost 50 years of walking with Him… He is always faithful.  Experiencing His faithfulness comes out of a relationship… and… out of that relationship He begins to change me… so that I become more faithful than I was yesterday.

When philip is more faithful in his other relationships, those other relationships prosper and grow… he becomes a better husband, father, brother, friend, innkeeper and on and on.  Still working on the  always faithful  part… but… it gets a little better all the time.  

Look at this definition of always:    every time, each time, at all times, all the time, without fail, consistently, habitually, unfailingly     I am sure not there yet… but gaining ground.

The good news is that my Father is always, always…..  always faithful.

That is a good thing.

🙂


good and evil… 3 Dec 2016, 5:40 pm

It is the One who is always faithful (the semper fidelis One), the Lord,  who determines good and evil… not Philip… not Santa Claus determining who is “naughty and nice”….. not any of us… but oh my… how I want to be the One who calls those shots…

I say… “this is good and this is bad”“this is right and this is wrong” …  Just do what I say is good.. and don’t do what I say is bad…  sounds like every religious system I have ever known… and none of that has anything to do with eating from the Tree of Life… when I eat from that Tree I have that Life in me and all I want to do is what He wants me to do.

That is what brings me into this simple life of just following Him, ceasing from all my works and letting Him do all the work.  Good is no better than evil when Philip is calling the shots.

A little Shakespeare maybe?  “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings”… or scripture…“there is none good, no not one”  I am the problem.. not what I do.    I am concerned that evil triumphs over good and want to change all that… a little more Shakespeare?  “the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred in their bones”….

Philip needs to become a lover… not a do-gooder eliminating evil…  “owe no man anything but to love them”


Adeste-fi… 2 Dec 2016, 4:56 pm

Adeste fidelis…  come on…. you know this one…

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.”

Adeste-fi  (come all you faithful ones )  is totally different from Semper-fi  (which means always faithful)… Adeste is a call to all the faithful ones… all those who believe… to come and behold the King of Kings and Lord of Lords… and adore Him… Jesus… the only One who is   always faithful

This is not just philip playing with words… this is something fixed deep in my heart… very very deep.  This gets more real in me every single day.  This is the real meaning behind the celebration of Christmas on December 25th… regardless what it has become over the last 2000 years.

Ellen and I  beheld Him  today and plan to  behold Him  once again tomorrow… and every day… until that “final separation day”… then we get to meet Him face to face…

🙂


simpli-fy…. 1 Dec 2016, 6:33 pm

It took a very long time before I came to that next  “Separation Day”… the one that changed my battle cry forever… no more “semper-fi”… no more “sancti-fy”… each day that goes by now I discover more and more… the meaning and importance of “simpli-fy”  instead…  the more I realized, the more I saw, the more I let go, the simpler life got…. each day…

My first 32 years I thought I was so important to the world… so I cried   “semper-fi”  to  make everything right in the world… then that changed… I was separated… and my cry became  sancti-fy  so I could  make everything right in the world.. (of course, I also thought about how smart God was to separate me to His service)… duh!  

Then came the next 32 years… 32 years of religious baloney… 32 years of trying to be God and save the world for Him!   And then… came the next  separation…It has been 18 years now since that next separation to  simpli-fy  at age 64… and it has taken all of those 18 years to finally actually begin to live in that simple life… that simple life of simpli-fy.

What is wrong with just letting God be God… and Philip just be Philip?  God created me to live that way… just being me… instead of living in that lie from way back in the Garden… you know that one where the serpent explains to me that God is just nervous that if I eat from that Tree of Knowledge… then I will be as God… then Philip will be the One who decides what is Good and Evil.

Good… and… Evil…. hmmmm…

🙂

 


semper-fi… 30 Nov 2016, 4:10 pm

Last night I used the title  “sanctify”  …  tonight it is  “semper-fi”…  I was a wannabe Marine ever since Pearl Harbor… we all have our fantasies and wannabes… mine was to be a hero… a Marine hero… fighting the enemy from my foxhole … setting people free from bad-guys…. oo-rah !!!  I did that for 32 years. Then… along came  “Separation Day”… my battle cry changed… my new battle cry was sancti-fy!

I was still in the midst of battle… just a different war… a different enemy… a different kind of foxhole… but still working hard to set captives free… to open other’s prison doors… and help to separate them from this dark kingdom and its ruler and move them into the Kingdom of God.  

I fought very hard… fought hard for the next 32 years. Then… another kind of  “separation day”  came along… and I’ve  been at that for over 16 years now…halfway thru that next 32 years…. no word yet on whether He is going to wait till I’m 96 … before He shows up for my “Final Separation Day” …  

The closer I get to that final day… as I move along the road here in my journey thru life… the more I realize that He has given me yet another battle cry…  simpli-fy.

Not fighting any more battles though… just leave all that stuff in His hands now… makes life so much simpler… just gonna do what He tells me to do… then sit back… and enjoy the rest of the journey.

“Simpli-fy” !!!

🙂

 


sanctify… 29 Nov 2016, 6:01 pm

What do these words mean to you…  sacred, holy, saint, sanctify and sanctification.  Amazing what the religious systems have done with these.  If I had stayed in the right system… who knows… maybe I coulda been somebody… like St Philip of Morrisville or something… 

It is so simple… the actual meaning of the word “sanctify”… very simple… it just means to separate or set apart. That is all it means. Throw out all that has been thrown at you from the system and start to read the bible with only that meaning in mind!

God simply separates us from the kingdom of darkness and sets us apart to accomplish His purposes in His Kingdom of light, that marvelous Kingdom of His Son where He is King and He rules  where He (Jesus the King) can now live His Kingdom Life in us!  When we get “separated”  then everything is totally different.

I was part of that other kingdom… the kingdom of darkness… this other kingdom is where the other guy rules… which is where I lived before I got separated… and finally discovered what the Phil Wolff who lived in that kingdom was really capable of.

Now I am Philip ( a saint)… because I have been separated… not St. Philip… not my  “title”  … not because I was canonized… for all my wonderfulness.

🙂

 


separation day… 28 Nov 2016, 4:37 pm

I saw it again today on Facebook… a response to the latest attacking to kill  madness… this time at Ohio State… the place seems to change… some place different every time… the weapon may change but the idea is the same… the wanton slaughter of others… for a variety of crazy reasons.  The comment I saw on Facebook was… “What is wrong with people?”  Good question.

We hear those same words regularly in conversations.  The message is clear.  People shouldn’t act like this.  People shouldn’t do these things. Right here in little old Vermont we have seen a major Ponzi scheme defrauding people of a ton-a-bunch of money… drug busts regularly… sex trafficking … child porn indictments… a baby beaten to death by a grumpy parent… one horror story after another… and… we ask the question again…. and again… “What is wrong with people?”

This comes from our understanding that human beings are basically good… so people should not do terrible evil things… it is certainly what I always thought… I mean, I always felt I was a pretty nice guy… even used to kid around saying  “I may not be the best… but I’m as good as the rest!”…  even though I knew I was better than most.  Ok… I may do something stupid once in a while, but basically I am a really good guy… I thought that way until the day I got  separated… then it all changed.

For all the years since my  “Separation Day” on June 24th, 1968, I have discovered over and over and over again, that my basic assumption that I was born “good”… was totally wrong.  It is not something I could even begin to see  before  that day… but I no longer ask that question… “What is wrong with people?”.… because I know what is wrong with people… I know what is wrong with me…I need to be  separated.