In a tear…

by DanWolgemuth on December 1, 2017

It would have been his 91st birthday in late November. Don Cargo was my father-in- law, and to this day, he remains a powerful inspiration. Even in how he passed into eternity over seven years ago.

“Jesus wept.” ~ John 11:35

In a tear. Through a tear. With a tear… Jesus shows the way.

In the waning moments of the morning on May 5, Donald William Cargo showed us the way.

His four children, his precious wife… and a few others were gathered at his bedside. His body, unable to keep up with the ongoing physical battle was shutting down. And we were there to march with him to the entrance gate. To the narrow hallway where only those with tickets can go further. We were there to listen and learn and wonder and pray and sing and cry and read and assure…

We wondered, sometimes out loud, just how much Dad heard or understood what was going on. But several times during the hours together; most often after a wonderful story, or a season of laughter, or a pause to cry… a tear would swell in the corner of his eye. Just a tear.

In that tear… love. In that tear… pain. In that tear… commitment. In that tear… a blessing. In that tear… courage. In that tear… power.

In that tear… a secret word to Eunice.
In that tear… a powerful legacy dispatched to Bruce, Liz, Mary and Bill.
In that tear… embrace to those who were family without genetics.
In that tear… a call to arms to his grands and greats.
In that tear… a fist in the face of the evil one.
In that tear… a thank you.
In that tear… goodbye.
If Jesus, then why not Don. He said so much with a tear.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:1-4

And so… at 12:50 P.M. on May 5… Don’s tears stopped, even as ours continue.

In a tear… we find our courage, our promise, our companionship… and our commissioning.

Until He wipes them away, until death is no more, until the mourning stops, until the pain subsides…

In a tear.


A $450.3 Million Jesus

by DanWolgemuth on November 17, 2017

Perhaps you saw the story. An original Leonardo da Vinci painting sold this week for $450.3 million.

The painting is titled, “ Salvator Mundi,” which means, Savior of the World. The painting shows Christ, in Renaissance dress, giving a benediction with His raised right hand and crossed fingers while holding a crystal sphere in His left hand.

The painting was produced by da Vinci in 1500. Since then it’s been sold, traded, lost, stolen, painted over, and restored. And now, this 25.8 inch × 19.2 inch work of art belongs to someone who paid a record price for the image.

Da Vinci’s Jesus, for $450.3 million. The Savior of the World. An image, frozen in time. Inanimate. An image in oil on walnut. But static.

This is not the most significant price ever paid for Jesus. No, God Himself sent His precious beloved son to us. Jesus left the throne room for a stable. $450.3 million pales in comparison.

Our Jesus, God in the flesh. Jesus, God who lived among us. Immanuel. Alive. Available.

Yes, available. Not just to the highest bidder. Not just to a single individual. But to us. Each of us.

The price has been paid. Not at an auction hosted by Christie’s. Not by an anonymous buyer. But by God.

And in that price Jesus becomes available to everyone.

The Savior of the World, not on display, but our redeemer. Living. Active. Our King to be worshipped. Our Shepherd to be followed. Our brother to be loved.

Every available resource in the world could not have purchased Jesus.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–7, ESV)

The immeasurable riches of His grace…

$450.3 million doesn’t begin to count the cost. Only God. Always God. Jesus.

For us. What amazing grace. What extraordinary sacrifice.

The gavel has been pounded. We are His and He is ours. No auction required.



November 13, 2017

Power “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12, ESV) “Well, at four years old I lost my dad… and my story really unfolds from there.” Jeff Ross […]

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His Wounds, Our Balm

November 3, 2017

Going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”  (Matthew 26:39) I remember vividly the days when our three children would struggle with a variety of illnesses.  Often it was my […]

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Unlikely – The Sequel

October 27, 2017

It was a week ago that I confessed openly the unlikeliness of my being on the platform at Bethel Gospel Assembly in Harlem, New York for a panel discussion on the mass incarceration of youth. So here’s what happened. An amazing spontaneous unanimous standing ovation happened. In fact, over the 24-hour conference, this standing […]

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October 20, 2017

On Saturday morning I will step onto the platform of Bethel Gospel Assembly Church in Harlem. I will be speaking along with several others to a group of roughly 1,000 Movement Day NYC participants. The topic for the morning, Mass Incarceration & the Plight of our Urban Youth. Even as I type these words I’m […]

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October 13, 2017

“He’s the joy of my life.” The words exploded from the lips of Nick Wallace. Nick is a friend and a member of the Taylor University Board of Trustees. His reflective words were about his 26-year-old son, Ben. Joy. A son. A beautiful script. A father’s love. Expressed openly and emphatically. But there’s more. So […]

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Journey Towards Vulnerability

October 6, 2017

Periodically I write for a dad serving website called Today, one of my posts landed on the site. I wanted to share it with my Fragments list as well. Read it as a confession and a vision. Whether I was aware of it or not, I often found myself as a dad navigating my […]

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Six Days and Counting

September 29, 2017

Don’t tell the Chamber of Commerce, but Denver is in the middle of a weather funk that I’ve not seen before. Six days and counting. September should bring seventy degrees and sunshine. Frankly, nearly every day in Denver delivers sunshine… but not the past six days. The skies have pulled a grey blanket of clouds […]

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Drawing My Own Mushroom

September 15, 2017

Kellen is a seven-year-old. He’s the bright and inquisitive grandson of my twin sister. Last week Kellen, his parents and his two siblings stayed at our home for several days. During the course of his visit, Mary tapped her “grandma resources” and introduced Kellen to our Hidden Picture book collection. These are essentially workbooks that […]

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