Dear Mr. Putin, it’s me again…

by DanWolgemuth on March 17, 2023

I doubt that you remember, but I wrote to you almost exactly a year ago. It was a heartfelt letter, admonishing you, as Moses had done with Pharoah, to stop the unwarranted attack and abuse on the image bearers of God. But alas, my words either didn’t reach you, or you have chosen to ignore them.

 Read 2022’s Dear Mr. Putin 

With that said, I wanted to update you on some information that I received yesterday from a friend who is currently on the ground in Ukraine. Let me tell you a little about this man. His name is Jim, and he’s a medical doctor who graduated from the same university that I did. He did so, roughly ten years before I graduated. Jim and I served together as Trustees of this university, which gave me the opportunity to know and admire him.

Jim had served as a medical doctor during the United States conflict in Vietnam and had seen firsthand, the atrocities of war. This service to our country had additionally exposed Jim to agent orange, which had lasting and devastating impact on his body.

With faith and courage, Jim fought the battle with cancer, and although his medical health is fragile, he has just recently volunteered to provide medical support in Ukraine. Yes, in his late 70’s, and while in a compromised physical condition, Jim has opted to serve. To extend the love of Jesus.

It was yesterday that I received an update from a friend on what Jim was experiencing in Ukraine. Since he references you, and because of the protracted war that you have opted to continue, I thought you might find this informative and potentially useful.

This is what Jim wrote…

  • “5 soldiers packed in a room for two. 53-20 year olds with horrific war wounds- legs blown off. Easy to read their face- resolve, determination, compassion… Hardly a week and I’m indelibly imprinted with Ukrainians and their incredible resolve. Putin could drop a nuclear bomb tomorrow- and their resolve would not change. We may move here.”

Mr. Putin, this does not bode well for you. While the poison of your toxic ego continues to consume your own military, this is only serving to deepen the resolve, determination and grit of your enemies. While you damage Ukrainian infrastructure, you are only strengthening the country.

While you seek political power, those you are attacking are seeking personal sovereignty and freedom. They are showing the world what courage looks like. And so is my friend, Jim. My hero.

“We may move here…”

That’s what my friend wrote. Because brave people attract brave people. Because courage is contagious. Because injustice never has the final word.

Mr. Putin, while you hide behind a massive military and outrageous personal wealth, my friend volunteered. My friend stepped into the middle of the mess you made.

That’s what righteous and godly and good people do. That’s what Jim did. He did so… not for his country, but for his King. And that King, Mr. Putin, is who all of us will give an account to. Someday soon.

My friend Jim is getting ready. I suggest you do the same.



by DanWolgemuth on March 10, 2023

Small and big hands rested on the shoulders of Graham and Davey as prayers were said over them. A season of blessing and commissioning and interceding enveloped them.

Graham and Davey are our second and third oldest grandchildren. Both of them crossed into their teenage years before the close of 2022… and so we planned a weekend. A retreat. A gathering of the males in our family, and the next day, the females.

On Friday night and Saturday morning, the men wrapped their arms around Graham. On Saturday and Sunday, the ladies did the same around Davey.

13.  Remember it? For some of us, that’s a longer putt than others. But yes, I remember.

Only a few days before our getaway, Jake Bland, the President of Youth For Christ USA, had asked a group of YFC leaders… “How many of you would rather be a teenager today, than when they were teenagers?”

The room fell silent. Then somber.

And yet, that’s the focus of our YFC mission. Young people. 11 to 19 years old. The center of our missional target, and thankfully, on the heart of God.

Graham and Davey… and tens of millions of other young people in the United States.

In 1968 when I broached the teenage shores, the world was broken and sinful and dangerous. Racial hatred surged. Drug availability and addiction spiked. Rock and roll became the anthem, and political polarization boiled over into assassination.

And yet… I didn’t raise my hand. I wouldn’t trade my teenage years with Graham and Davey. Would you?

Now, sitting in front of me, in front of us, our very own teenagers. Hand crafted by God. Image bearers. Travelers in time for this time. For now. Young and pliable. Anointed and commissioned. Without a vote on when they would arrive, yet expected. Designed. Created. By God.

God was not on vacation when these two were born in 2009. And He is not on vacation now as they enter this significant chapter of life.

We need these two. We need this generation, and not just to fund Social Security for our children… but for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus. We need them. And millions like them who are less prone than my generation to sacrifice the message of the Gospel on the altar of comfort and convenience and accumulation. We need them… to press through the messed-up messages of identity that persist in our culture, and stand boldly for The Nazarene. For Jesus. For the King of kings.

We need them.

And that’s why we prayed… for power and protection. For perseverance and presence. For a voice to proclaim and the courage to persist.

We need them.

To stand tall. To stand firm. To stand up.

To be a beacon in the fog. A light in the darkness. A laser on the truth.

Graham. Davey. And millions more.

Showing us the way… not to faster Internet speeds, but the foot of the cross.

And so we prayed…

And yes, God moved, and moves. Right now. Right here. For the King. For His Kingdom. Through two 13-year-olds in Colorado. Through a new generation that will show us the Way. The Truth. The Life.


An Unforgettable Sunday at Mission Hills

March 3, 2023

A crisp Colorado morning welcomed Steve as he stepped out of his Littleton home on Sunday. His agenda was simple, at least at the start. A short walk with his dog in tow before heading to the 9:15am service at Mission Hills Church. But it didn’t take long for real life to interrupt a neatly-scripted […]

Read the full article →

Just off the mat…

February 24, 2023

It was an early Saturday morning in the winter of 1972. A school bus sparsely filled with 12 wrestlers and a couple of coaches left the parking lot of Wheaton Central High School bound for New Trier West High School. An eight-team tournament was ahead… Within the first hour of the tournament, it was clear […]

Read the full article →

On the day that Billy Graham died, I heard him preach

February 10, 2023

It’s been five years since Billy Graham stepped into glory… and today, I want to revisit a post I did in reflection of that day. Indeed, the timeless message of Jesus. Unleashed. Unconstrained. Unshackled. At 7:33AM Eastern Time, on February 21st, Billy Graham, the first, full-time Evangelist in our Youth For Christ mission tugged oxygen […]

Read the full article →

A Silver Anniversary Shift

February 3, 2023

Picture it… the Chicago Sheraton Hotel, late January 1969. A milestone gathering in the life of Youth For Christ. Yes, a Silver Anniversary. Twenty-five years, and pressing on. Photo Courtesy of Joan Young I was a squirrely 8th grader, with an invitation to attend the festivities. That had nothing to do with me, and everything […]

Read the full article →

No Bow On This One

January 27, 2023

Most often in my writing I work to wrap up a piece with a perfectly tied bow. You know, a wonderful and tidy conclusion to a compelling story or a Biblical insight. But not today. Not that the reflections that follow are untidy, or angry, or bitter… they’re just unfinished. And for whatever reason, 50 […]

Read the full article →

Cat and the Box Spring

January 20, 2023

It was time for the crib to come down. Mack, the youngest of our 11 grandchildren, is four… and well beyond the necessity or the desire to sleep within the confines of a crib. Nostalgia had pushed us to procrastinate, but alas… That meant a reconfiguration of our “crib room”, which included the dismantling of […]

Read the full article →

Half a Billion and Counting

January 13, 2023

His name is Cristiano Ronaldo… officially, he is a Portuguese footballer (soccer player). And, mind you, one of the finest footballers in the world, with more international goals than any other player, ever. But what you may not know is that in November of last year, Cristiano Ronaldo passed the mark of 500 million followers […]

Read the full article →

2023 in a Word

January 6, 2023

Do you do it? Do you select a “word for the year”? I went through a season a few years ago, where I would select a word that I anticipated would be an area of focus during the coming year. Perhaps you’ve done the same. The origin of the official practice of naming a word […]

Read the full article →