Proclaim It

by DanWolgemuth on November 21, 2014

I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. (Psalm 26:6-7)

Proclaim it. Verbalize it. Out loud.

Unleash your heart to reflect.

Remove the constraints of business to explore boldly and humbly the landscape of His wondrous deeds.

Resist the urge to compare.

Remember that arrogance and gratitude cannot coexist. Never.

Thinking much of me suffocates thanksgiving.

Grief and pain are often the ushers to the front row seats of thanksgiving.

Happiness is not a prerequisite for gratitude.

Thanksgiving is birthed in the deepest part of my soul… but it isn’t a recluse there.

Gratitude expressed becomes fertilizer in the heart and soul of others.

Authentic thanksgiving produces generosity.

A heart of gratitude shines the light on a sovereign God.

A culture of self-sufficiency limits our capacity to live gratefully.

Humility always produces thanksgiving. Always.

Pride forces gratitude out of the picture.

It’s often tears that water the soil of hope and thanksgiving.

Laugh out loud.

Dance without rhythm. Just dance.

Don’t be afraid to sing. Even out of tune.

Proclaim it. Speak out loud about the goodness and grace of our King.

Make much of Jesus.

Hug somebody… particularly if they don’t expect it.

Extend grace, and do it liberally.

Guard your heart and not your rights.

When you struggle with yourself or your circumstances or your position or your pain, ask God for help. Say out loud, “I need you.”

A heart of gratitude exposes the God of power.

Look into the eyes of a family member and tell them that you esteem them.

Proclaim thanksgiving.

Get in the habit.

A heart of thanksgiving lives in the neighborhood of God.

Authentic praise begets contagious joy.

Selflessness invites transparency.

Thanksgiving…

Proclaim it.

All HIS wondrous deeds.

{ 0 comments }

Lake-Effect Snow

by DanWolgemuth on November 18, 2014

The western edge of Michigan is known for a weather phenomenon known as lake-effect snow. Cold winds blow over the vast expanse of Lake Michigan, drawing the warmer lake moisture into the atmosphere and depositing the newly crystalized water onto communities along the shore. Last night and this morning, I witnessed this event, but from the untouched vantage point of Grand Rapids, just a few miles beyond the reach of today’s activity.

Lake-effect defies typical weather patterns. It happens as a byproduct of other climate conditions.

Lake-effect. I couldn’t help but expand the definition of the term as I heard the story of a young man named Mike. He’s a high school junior who stepped to the microphone last evening in a room full of strangers. Thoughtfully and methodically Mike unwrapped the elements of his journey. A family disconnected from God. An ignorance of the love of Jesus. A heart hungry to know more.

Mike embraced Christ through trust-filled relationships with Youth for Christ staff members in his local community. But then, just then… lake-effect.

Mike’s hunger for more of Christ pulled him into God’s Word with an insatiable appetite. Some of the morsels of Mike’s biblical meal begged for further explanation or discussion… and so Mike began to spend time reading scripture to his dad.

His dad… Mike’s father had journeyed in God’s Word years before, but for reasons that Mike didn’t unpack, his dad had walked away from his faith. Yet somewhere in the recesses of Mike’s memory he believed that his dad would know. He hoped that his dad would be able to help walk him through the important elements of his fledgling faith; and so they read the Bible… together.

A new creation breathing passion, life, hope and purpose back into a stagnant soul. Lake-effect.

Well beyond the strategic plan for ministry expansion, God does what God does. Snow falls where the weather forecast didn’t predict. A seventeen-year-old becomes an unexpected megaphone to interrupt a spiritual slumber.

“I started reading the Bible to my dad.”

And the wind blew. And the snow fell.

Lake-effect. Because this is how God works. Because this is the power of His plan. Because…

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9

Lake-effect. Because…

{ 0 comments }

Yard Signs

November 7, 2014

Ballots have been counted and recounted. Polling locations have turned out the lights. Radio and television space has been vacated. The election is over. And yet, littered across the landscape, the yard signs remain. Candidates who just a week ago were in the thick of the race, don’t have the motivation or work force to […]

Read the full article →

Training for a Marathon; Competing in a Sprint

October 31, 2014

It was 1924 and Scottish athlete Eric Liddell was perfectly prepared for the race of his lifetime. The 100 meters was Eric’s specialty and the Olympics in Paris would serve as a perfect platform to showcase his talent. That was until Eric discovered that the preliminary heats for the 100 meter race would be held […]

Read the full article →

The City

October 24, 2014

Jesus never wasted His tears, but He didn’t spare them either. “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.” ~ Luke 19:41 In compassion and without regret. Not naively, but tenderly, emotionally. Realistically, but hopefully. Jesus understood that chaos had replaced peace. And His prayer for shalom was real and […]

Read the full article →

38 Stories of Amazing Grace

October 17, 2014

The last two weeks has afforded me the opportunity to host three separate small-group lunch events in three of our Youth for Christ regions.  At each lunch we had indigenous leaders from under-resourced communities that are now a part of the mission of Youth for Christ. I asked each of these leaders to say their […]

Read the full article →

An October Kind of Feeling

October 3, 2014

This morning on my way to the airport I expressed to Mary that early fall brings a unique feeling for me.  There’s something about October.  When asked what that meant, I stumbled through a lame explanation of mellowness and reflection.  What I failed to express was the uniquely American perspective associated with October; playoff baseball. […]

Read the full article →

By This…

October 2, 2014

The seminar itself was not all that different from other seminars that I’ve attended from the standpoint of content or structure, but there was something wildly different about what was taking place. Every three years the national directors of each of the Youth for Christ programs from around the world get together for a week-long […]

Read the full article →

The Answer to the Question

October 2, 2014

Years ago we invented a birthday party game that includes questions about the birthday celebratee, and written responses by the party attendees.  The goal is to match the answers of the individual celebrating their birthday. A fresh set of questions are required each year… until this year.  Two weeks ago as we celebrated two birthdays, […]

Read the full article →

Crunchy

August 29, 2014

On a recent trip to the mountains, Mary and I popped into a local grocery store to replenish our inventory of peanut butter. PB&J sandwiches are a mountain staple when hiking or biking. As we walked the aisle I noted that it looked like the small market only had crunchy peanut butter. I looked at […]

Read the full article →