A New Dial Tone

by DanWolgemuth on October 18, 2019

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5–6, ESV)

Gracious speech. Seasoned with salt.

It was just yesterday, I was driving home and merging onto Arapahoe Road, just a mile from my office. The car in my rearview mirror raced around me, the young man driving the vehicle pulled up at my side… both our windows were closed, but he was screaming at me, his face red, veins popping in his neck, and a hand gesture that amplified the entire moment.

Anger. Hate. The new conversational dial-tone of our culture.

Social media simply accelerates the velocity of discord. It’s anger at the speed of light. It’s hatred in viral exposure.

But God. In Jesus. Through Jesus, shows us a new way.

Intensity with gentleness. Truth without rancor. Passion without polarization.

Jesus did it. Jesus taught it.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

If I follow Him, I follow this. Not just civil, but loving. To people who flip me off. To drivers who hate my driving. To those who hate my agenda. To others who belittle my beliefs. To people who vote against the candidates I support. And yes, to people who support the candidates, and policies, and practices that I find offensive or sinful. I love, because He loved… me.

Even typing the words convicts me… even typing the words gives me pause… really? I don’t simply pick my side, embrace my crew, and raise my fist to the opposition. No. Really.

Even the fiercest and most ardent opponents of Jesus couldn’t fight with Him. They could kill Him, but they couldn’t fight with Him. Not because He was weak, but because He took strong to a new level. A righteously grace filled level.

Speech, seasoned with salt. Righteous and respectful.

If followers of Jesus don’t lead the way, who will?

Let your speech always be gracious…

Always…

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15% Unleashed

by DanWolgemuth on October 11, 2019

Yesterday I received this update about Jackie Eads, a precious friend from Miami…

Jackie’s heart is only working at around 15%…

15%.

The number both discouraged me and inspired me. In reality, Jackie’s heart, functioning at 15% is more effective, compassionate, thoughtful, generous, wise, tender, focused, faithful, gentle, and loving than mine. At 15%.

This is a woman who has poured herself into the relationships that matter most. She is the personification of Jesus’ admonition to “Love God” AND “Love others”. Frankly, it’s not an overstatement to say that everybody and anybody that knows Jackie is both blessed and encouraged by the encounter.

Jackie Eads is extraordinary in the most ordinary ways.

Seven years ago when my wife, Mary had a very serious cycling accident, Jackie unleashed an avalanche of cards. The consistency and thoughtfulness were relentless. We were loved, by Jackie. We were prayed for, by Jackie. We were gifted words of care and tenderness, by Jackie.

One card, one stamp at a time.

Jackie uncomplicates love. A hug. A smile. A word. A glance.

Her love advocates. Her love celebrates. Her love propels. Her love trusts. Her love serves. Her love invests. Her love believes. Her love risks. Her love laughs. Her love weeps.

And now her love leans toward the arms of Jesus, her King, her Savior, her Friend.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13–16, ESV)

Salt. Unglamorous, but effective. Humble, but healing. Invisible, but powerful in bringing out the flavor in others. Salt.

Light. Unceremonious, but warm. Inconspicuous, but illuminating.

Jackie. Just Jackie.

These words are more than a tribute. They are a challenge. Not for you, but for me. To live Jackie. To buy a card, to write an address, to place a stamp… Jackie.

To declutter and love. Today.

To invest Jackie’s 15% and watch it grow. For every strong heart to beat as a stewardship to Jackie, to beat like Jackie. Today.

Her 15, my 100. Today. Her 15 and an army of others. Today. Love multiplied.

Not for Jackie, but for her King. Not because of Jackie, but because of Jesus.

Uncomplicated. Salt. Light. Jackie.

15% unleashed.

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Seven Miles

October 4, 2019

Another flight. Another push back from the gate. Another routine safety speech. We rolled unceremoniously to the end of the runway and as the 737 engines began to roar, a young child’s voice from several rows behind me pierced the moment… “Are we going into the sky?” Light laughter from those who could hear followed […]

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Unless…

September 27, 2019

Over the past 14 years, Mary and I have watched the beautiful pine forests of Colorado succumb to the onslaught of Mountain Pine Beetle and Spruce Beetle.  Hundreds of thousands of acres have been impacted. Vibrant, year round green, gives way to yellowing needles, then a season of lifeless grey… and finally dead branches lose […]

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His Plan For My Tears

September 23, 2019

              You have kept count of my tossings;               put my tears in your bottle.               Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8, ESV) These incredible words from King David are an invitation into authenticity. David’s pain is real. He’s lost in the agony of defeat. His hope […]

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Watch Your Language

September 6, 2019

Another routine optometrist appointment. My depleted supply of contact lens required it. After a short wait I was escorted back to my exam room by a young technician named Diego. He was thoughtful and engaging. He directed me into Exam room #2 and into the seat that would be my resting spot for the next […]

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Infinity Redefined

August 30, 2019

I watched with interest as construction crews transformed a quiet corner into a brick icon. Sitting on the edge of an expanding Aurora, Colorado neighborhood, tax dollars became classrooms. It wasn’t until the project was completed that I fully understand the vision for the project… a Cherry Creek School District Middle School. It was expansive, […]

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Incarcerated – Beyond the Coupon to Grace

August 23, 2019
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For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9, ESV) Coupons. The currency inside incarceration. For those in positions of power, they represent the pathway to behavior modification. Tucked […]

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Incarcerated – The Dad Gap

August 9, 2019

39 times. All within the first 15 verses of the first chapter of the New Testament. 39 times. The beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, the beginning of the narrative about the life of Jesus… and in the first fifteen verses the word father appears 39 times. Fathers connect generations, history, legacy, destiny and identify. […]

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A Delay When it Seemed to Matter Most

August 2, 2019

Patience. Waiting. And not with toe tapping and clock watching. But resting in God’s sovereign timing. This is NOT an area of strength for me. In fact, there may be no more confession inducing activity in my life. Perhaps that’s why I empathize with the urgency, disappointment and subsequent frustration that’s expressed in the story […]

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