kollaō

by DanWolgemuth on 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 head. Good?

No one is good except God alone. Jesus performed soul surgery with amazing precision. By addressing Jesus as “good”, this man was in fact proclaiming Him to be God… because He’s good. Jesus wanted to make sure He understood this before He asked him to abandon his confidence in the fact that a large Balance Sheet was what he thought defined good. If the young ruler had followed Jesus instruction to sell everything and give it to the poor, he would still be clinging to good. To Jesus. The test was not to step away from good, but to step toward it. Lasting good. Eternal good.

Against this backdrop the Apostle Paul informs us that we should cling to “good”. Not “good” as I’m often prone to think of it. But Good with a capital G. Good, as in God. Good, as in Jesus.

Good, not as an adjective, but as a noun. The noun of all nouns.

Hating evil without clinging to good leads to revenge, and hatred, and bitterness. Clinging to good without hating evil makes a mockery of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

When we cling to Jesus, the Christ, we are permanently connected to hope. Glued to it.

This week, we feel the pain of the evil in Parkland, Florida. Our hearts ache. But instead of despair, we cling. Desperation does this. Love compels it.

I cling to the source of hope. Not because Jesus navigated around trouble, or pain, or suffering, or evil, but because He broke through it. Without dismissing it, or sugar coating it.

Evil has an adversary. A conqueror. A Champion.

This is why we cling to Him, even as He holds us fast.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29, NLT)

Good. Secure in His grip.

Against the backdrop of chaos and evil.

I cling. We cling.

Out of desperation. In the mainstream of His love.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
                             and why are you in turmoil within me?
              Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
                             my salvation (Psalm 42:5, ESV)

Hope in God.

No artificial positive thinking, but a deeply rooted attachment to God. To Jesus.

Tonight, I’m clinging. It is the only place of hope.

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Setting the songbird free…

by DanWolgemuth on 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 are determined and fearless. We’ve opened our sliding glass door many, many times to frighten them away, only to have them return moments later. When the squirrels are present, the songbirds are not.

And so, I took on the task of “relocating” the squirrels… and not to heaven, but to another address in Aurora, Colorado. I placed a live animal trap on the railing of my deck, right next to the feeder. An ample supply of peanut butter (crunchy, of course), and we waited to see what would happen.

Success. A squirrel. Incensed at my audacity to outwit him, and then a five mile drive to a new home. I was delighted, until upon my return home, another squirrel was ravaging the feeder… and consequently, displacing the songbirds.

So.. repeat the relocation, again and again and again and again and again. That’s right, six squirrels later and now the songbirds sing.

Songbirds. A worthwhile effort.

The beauty. The melody. The simplicity…

And a very happy wife to boot.

In order for the songbirds to sing I had to be willing to relocate the squirrels. Not just chase them away, but get rid of them.

The cares. The worries. The persistent distractions. The pressure to perform… squirrels.

It’s time to relocate the squirrels. It’s time to do more than just wish them away or scowl at them. More is necessary than just stomping on the deck… it’s time to vanquish them.

For the sake of the songbirds. For the joy of His salvation. For the celebration of beauty. Relocate the squirrels.

Unleash the songbirds.

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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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In a tear…

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 […]

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A $450.3 Million Jesus

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. […]

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Power

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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