The Joy of Juni

by DanWolgemuth on March 16, 2018

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It was two and a half years ago that Eunice Cargo moved into Peakview Assisted Living. She’s been a beautiful part of this community. She knows the names of the residents and she smiles and greets them, often without reciprocation.

Enter, Juni.

Juni is our 15-month-old granddaughter, and Eunice’s great-granddaughter. On Monday morning, Juni and Alli (our daughter and Juni’s mom) arrived at Peakview for lunch. Juni’s shy smile and winsome joy were more infectious than the flu. Without an intelligible word, Juni commanded the attention of the room. All eyes shifted. Residents provided play by play descriptions of all that Juni ate and did.

This was the ultimate in geriatric show and tell. Juni had done it. She changed the climate in the dining room. She raised the level of cultural enthusiasm without a paintbrush or fresh carpeting. She had escalated the level of culinary satisfaction without altering anything on the menu. A child can do that. A child did that.

Anna, a prophetess, was in the Temple. She was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Enter Anna. An 84-year-old widow who never left the temple. But one day, a child came to her. Hope entered the temple. And Anna knew that something transformational was about to happen. And so she told everyone. She simply couldn’t help herself. Jesus had arrived.

An elderly widow and an infant from Bethlehem. Humble meeting humble. An endorsement for the ages. God often confirms His majesty through the lives of the overlooked. He amplifies the voice of those who can barely whisper.

In Eunice I caught a glimpse of Anna. Unfettered joy. Unconstrained love.

And in Juni I catch a fleeting glimpse at what a child can do…

Vulnerable, but ever so powerful.

Tiny but large.

Speechless but a master communicator.

A child. Life. Hope.

Juni at Peakview gives us a fractional view of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Anna. A heart that exploded with hope. A witness to the salvation of the world.

And indeed, He was and He is. To the delight of every expectant heart.


The Commemorative Issue

by DanWolgemuth on March 9, 2018

America’s Preacher (Time Magazine – Billy Graham Commemorative Issue)

Remembering America’s Man of God (Newsweek – Billy Graham Commemorative Issue)

The accolades flowed like Colorado streams after a spring thaw. From print to video. From spoken word to lyrics sung.

Pastor to the Presidents.

Evangelist to the world.

But the word that surfaced over and over again is in fact that magnet that drew generations to the messages proclaimed from the lips of Billy Graham… that word, humility.

Not simply humble, for often “humble” is simply an entrance ramp to fame and arrogance.

In fact, Billy Graham didn’t simply come from humble beginnings, he made sure we all knew that he ended in humble dependence. This was God’s work, not his.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30, ESV)

Humility is what kept Billy Graham on his knees, and his knees are what kept Billy Graham humble.

Under one more canvas covering, this unprecedented funeral commenced. A plywood casket provided a fitting metaphor for a man who wanted nothing more than to deflect praise to His King. A man who wanted his singular boast to be about a rugged wooden cross. In fact, “the cross” was the only entry on his storied resume.

The Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina was an intersection… not for dignitaries and celebrities, but for one more transcendent crusade for Christ. Hundreds of cameras clicked and rolled… while the eternal words of grace and hope and redemption filled the chilly March air.

Millions watched. Millions heard.

Billy Graham stories flowed… but, like Teflon, they didn’t stick to the North Carolina farm boy. They landed squarely and undeniably on the Savior that Billy worshiped and adored. Humility does that.

Humility submits the unprecedented successes of life to the reputation of a Jewish carpenter. Humility shifts the spotlight from unmatched global crowds to an unmarked empty tomb.

Humility squeezes the most out of every opportunity to make much of Jesus the Christ, even though the bold print says Billy Graham.

Inside a large tent in Charlotte, the wind howled. And as it did, it provided a fitting commissioning to all who attended, both in person and those who participated remotely. The Spirit of God is moving. The message of Christ is active. The Word of God is powerful. In fact… uncontainable.

Increase. Decrease.

A front row seat to the work of God does that.

A spotlight where it rightly belongs. On Jesus. The Christ.

Thank you, Billy.


From a Tent in Charlotte… Celebrating Billy

March 2, 2018

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (John 6:9, ESV) A boy. With a meal. It’s hard to imagine what thoughts raced through the head and heart of the boy who offered his barley bread and fish to Andrew. His meal, relinquished. […]

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

February 23, 2018

At 7:33AM Eastern Time, on February 21st, Billy Graham, the first, full-time Evangelist in our Youth For Christ mission tugged oxygen out of his last breath, and then marched humbly into glory. Graham, a profound amplifier of the name and fame of Jesus the Christ. Graham, by his own admission, a sinner, saved by grace. […]

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February 19, 2018

Cling. Cleave. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9, NKJV – my emphasis) Like glue. To good. And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. (Mark 10:18, ESV) Jesus turned a question from a wealthy young ruler on its […]

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Setting the songbird free…

February 2, 2018

“…but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things  enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19)  Songbirds! That’s what we’re attracting to our bird feeder these days. A wide assortment that collect each day to feast on the breakfast of seeds and nuts that Mary diligently assembles for them each day. That is until the squirrels showed up. These resourceful and agile and committed critters […]

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Not a make over or a do over…

January 29, 2018

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV) In a small Oregon community, a 13-year-old girl, Ella, recoils from the impact of years of unhealthy relationships in her life. Unable to process her feelings, she sinks deeper into […]

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A Little Man

January 5, 2018

Rob Wolgemuth is my nephew. He’s a fine, Godly man who, along with his wife, Rebecca, shepherd a family with five young kids. During Rob’s childhood, I had many opportunities to interact with him. He was the son of my oldest brother and as such, Rob was often more like a little brother to me […]

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The Senior Class at Bethlehem High

December 22, 2017

At roughly 5PM today, our front door will burst open and kids and grandkids will be welcomed with open arms and full hearts. It’s cousin Christmas exchange at the Wolgemuth household and my expectation is high! One of the ten grandchildren who will climb into my arms is Drew. He’s two years old and full […]

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More Light than Polish

December 15, 2017

The auditorium was packed and expectations were high. Keith and Kristyn Getty were about to begin their Irish Christmas concert, and those of us in the room were filled with anticipation. As the artists entered, applause rose. The welcome inspired and encouraged the artists, and the evening didn’t disappoint. From the opening song to the […]

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