Summer Impact from Winter Watering

by DanWolgemuth on July 24, 2015

Most of the Fragment below is an encore post from one that I did in the winter of 2012. It might be an odd time to be running this piece, but I’ve come to realize that what I experience now with my trees is the result of what I did with them in February.

If your soul is dry and parched. If the days feel bleak, lifeless and cold… I pray that these words encourage you.

This morning I read an article by J. E. Klett and C. Wilson from the faculty of Colorado State University.  The topic was: “Winter Watering.”  The opening paragraph of the article reads this way:

Quick Facts…
                   Water trees, shrubs, lawns, and perennials during prolonged dry fall and winter periods to prevent root damage that affects the health of the entire plant.

This was news to me… and at the same time, news to my soul.

In the darkest, coldest, brownest, ugliest, bleakest, and yes, driest times – water.

If I wait… for spring, for life to visibly reappear, for buds and blossoms and smells… I have waited too long.

Water when the pain is deep.

Water when the days are short.

Water when the wind bites.

Water when the soil is cracked.

Water when others don’t.

Water when there is still a chill in the air.

Water in winter.

For the roots.

For what is unseen.

In hope.

In faithfulness.

In commitment.

With trust.

The quality of the shade in summer is a function of the watering done in winter.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
                   my soul thirsts for you;
          my flesh faints for you,
                   as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
(Psalm 63:1 ESV)

When the ground is the hardest.  When the winter is the harshest.

Water.

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Under Non-Glare Glass?

by DanWolgemuth on July 17, 2015

(The following is an encore Fragment.  Although written and published in June 2012, I hope that it refreshes your soul today.)

I stepped into my closet and scanned the pants that I had hanging on a rod.  It was as though my REI hiking pants were waving at me like a second grader who knew the answer to a difficult math question.

It had been a winter drought of activity and a mountain hike was drawing me.  Hanging neatly in my basement was a Camelback hydration pack, and a pair of nicked and dented hiking poles.  Then it was to the lower shelf in our garage to collect my hiking boots, then a couple of granola bars and out the door for my first “solo day” in the mountains.

In the course of the next several hours I completed a wonderful late spring mountain hike.   Dust and mud had once again initiated my equipment, even as rocks marred it.

As I marched up Chief Mountain outside of Idaho Springs, Colorado, I thought a great deal about what God had, and is calling me to. I thought about the mission of Youth for Christ, and the propelling power of ministry to young people in crisis.

Much like my hiking equipment, a mission is intended to get used – to get a bit dirty and nicked up.  A mission is embraced by flawed people who aspire to do noble things in imperfect ways.

I’d rather see my mission through nicks and blisters and mud than through non-glare glass.  My goal is not to admire my mission, but to execute it.  I’d rather get gashes in my hiking pants than maintain them in pristine condition in my closet.

A good mission begs to be tested and criticized more than being protected and admired.  A mission, the mission that I am called to, invites me into the adventure that risks failure and evaluation and scrutiny.  Like a good pair of boots, a mission gets more comfortable every time it gets used.

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”      (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

Certainly Jesus knew that His instruction in the Gospels would find traction and momentum and failure and conflict in the book of Acts.  Jesus expected that His mission would get nicked and dented and bruised.  But He commissioned His followers for action… and He does the same for us.

A mission is worth the risk – worth the open invitation for criticism – worth the public scrutiny.

Youth for Christ reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other likeminded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who are characterized by godliness in lifestyle, devotion to the Word of God and prayer, boldness in evangelism and commitment to social involvement.

What’s your mission?  Are you keeping it under non-glare glass?

Use it.  Nick it up.  Break it in.  Fail at it.

For the cause, for the calling, for our King.

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“… and Matthew the tax collector”

July 10, 2015

(The following is an encore Fragment.  Although written and published some time ago, I hope that it refreshes your soul today.) In the opening book of the New Testament, Matthew vividly records the ministry life of Jesus.  He was an eyewitness. By the time that we arrive at the 10th chapter of the book, Matthew […]

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Easier?

July 6, 2015

(The following is an encore Fragment.  Although written and published some time ago, I hope that it refreshes your soul today.) In 1986 Greg LeMond became the first non-European cyclist to win the prestigious Tour de France cycling race.  His accomplishment not only impacted cycling professionals, it also inspired many amateur cyclists. During LeMond’s career […]

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From Zephaniah to South Carolina

June 26, 2015

But I will leave in your midst a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the LORD, (Zephaniah 3:12) A prophetic voice echoed in the souls of God’s chosen people. Through the valley of corruption, of injustice, of oppression, of religious heresy, of violence, during an historic time of fragmentation […]

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The Snake Came Out of the High Grass… Once Again

June 19, 2015

The temperatures were mild, the wind was light, and the sidewalk was smooth and wide. Nearly perfect. Mary and I have pedaled many miles on the local reservoir path; an eight-mile loop. We rolled, talked, and then rolled along in silence. At mile six we both glanced up to see a sizable snake stretched across […]

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Your Reservation is Ready… Now

June 12, 2015

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9) Inexpressible joy. Unbounded. Unconstrained. Unleashed. Words can be beautiful, particularly […]

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God Without Matches and Lighter Fluid

June 8, 2015

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) She was […]

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An Invitation to a Spending Spree

May 29, 2015

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (1 John 3:1a) Managing finite resources is a daily challenge for each of us. We work to match income and expenses in a way that reflects the reality of our personal situation, as […]

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The Check Cleared the Bank

May 22, 2015

Into the abyss of fear, confusion, and uncertainty, Jesus makes good on a promise that has reverberated throughout time. The blood of Jesus had been splashed against the canvas of history and now His followers clung to the cosmic image of a wounded king ascended. Emmanuel was gone. God was gone. And so they waited […]

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