Untie the Donkey

by DanWolgemuth on March 27, 2015

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. ~ Mark 11:1, 2

Untie the donkey and bring it here.

One of the final instructions Jesus gave to His closest friends was as simple as that. Untie the donkey.

I have no doubt that it was embarrassing, awkward, and maybe even a bit humiliating. “Umm… our Lord, the one we think is the Messiah, needs to borrow the foal of your donkey. Oh, don’t worry, we’ll bring it back soon.”

Just imagine the dialog between the two disciples that had been selected for the scavenger hunt on their way back to Jesus. They had no clue what the errand was for; they didn’t know that they had just provided the most significant prop for the opening ceremonies of Holy Week. They didn’t know that history would notate this event as the Triumphal Entry… they only knew that they were told to untie the donkey.

I’m convinced that Jesus often keeps me in the dark in relation to His master plan because I’m quite certain I could come up with another, more appropriate option.

I’m thinking white stallion. I’m thinking a handcrafted saddle. Maybe a monogrammed cloak. After all, He’s the King.

Ah yes. A king. The King. King of kings. And Jesus opts for humility. He opts for austerity. He opts for borrowed transportation, and borrowed lodging, and borrowed dining quarters, and a borrowed tomb. All this to make it clear that His Kingdom is not “of this world.”

A donkey will do. Cloaks for a saddle will do.

Kings need stuff, don’t they? Kings have a license to spend, and waste, and live in excess. It was King Solomon that had set the bar high. 1,400 chariots, 12,000 horsemen…

Not Jesus. The bar goes up not down.

A beast of burden as a limousine. And an untested ride at that.

The uncluttered life of Jesus and the invitation to participate. To live simply. To worship authentically.

Untie it. Bring it to Jesus. Now, as then… our minds can’t comprehend our Creator King. Our humble hero.

Untie the donkey.


Over and Over Again

by DanWolgemuth on March 23, 2015

“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,” Jeremiah 1:4

With this, the book of Jeremiah begins. God, speaking to, and speaking through a reluctant but available mouthpiece.

Over and over again these words are repeated in the prophetic narrative of Jeremiah. “The word of the Lord came to me…”

Jeremiah was tuned in. Jeremiah was attentive. Jeremiah was available… and God spoke.

The word of God. Delivered with clarity, urgency, purity, justice and mercy. Over and over again.

As I highlight this reoccurring phrase, I’m prone to explore a comparative analysis in my own journey. Does the word of the Lord come to me? Am I attentive enough to hear His voice? Am I courageous enough to respond? Am I faithful enough to persevere? Have I tuned out the frequency of my King?

God forbid.

I’ve begun to believe that I should conclude each day by sitting with pen in hand and unmarked journal and complete the sentence: ”Today, the word of the Lord came to me. This is what I heard…”

It’s reminiscent of a parenting exercise where you ask your child to repeat back to you what they just heard you say. And yet, the discipline would galvanize the power of the message and the impact of the instructions.

Yes, just today, the word of the Lord came to me. I heard Him say…

Love much.

Forgive generously.

Slow down.


Don’t cut her off.


Smile at strangers.

Give more.

Smile at grumpy people.

Text him.

Bring joy.

Wipe away a tear… or two.

Thank them.

Defer to others.


Stop talking.

Trust me.

Listen some more.

Linger in thoughts of Jesus.

Love some more.

Why worry?

Pray more.

Bask in the wonder of Christ.

Love me.

Love others.

And yes… when you get to the curb at Denver International Airport… and Mary rolls up in your 2003 Subaru Outback, look in her eyes and tell her just how much you love her. Then repeat. Hug her longer than she expects.

God has not gone silent. I know. I just heard Him.

Yes indeed. The word of the Lord came to me.


A Calendar Date with Destiny

March 13, 2015

Every few weeks Mary and I sit down with our calendars and have a time together that we affectionately call our “Calendar Date.” Mary’s technology of choice is a classic paper calendar that shows the entire month on two side by side pages. I’m far more high tech and prefer to fumble around on my […]

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A Putin Pay Cut

March 6, 2015

This just in… the Russian economy is slowly imploding, burdened with the weight of mounting expenses and declining oil revenues. With the realities of this economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin has enacted a sweeping cut in government pay of 10%. The story also highlights the fact that Putin will include his own compensation in […]

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Only Rowan

February 27, 2015

We moved in, as they moved out. Our intersection was a small breezeway between two double doors. Mary and I were with Rowan, our 18-month-old grandson. The two individuals coming toward us were not with their grandson, but rather an enormous dog. We met in the middle. Spontaneous in its origin, the encounter was laced […]

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A Gut Feel

February 20, 2015

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them… Matthew 9:36 It was in his gut. Jesus felt it. A deep ache that he embraced as his own when he entered into the spiritual aimlessness of the people. I’ve often celebrated the historic power of Jesus becoming flesh and living among us… but that doesn’t […]

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I’ve Proved Him Over and Over

February 13, 2015

Trust is the gateway to intimacy. It is the currency in the marketplace of authentic relationship. Trust invites courage and assaults fear. Trust trades on the equity of integrity. I am desperate to trust… but unreliable in delivery. In 1882 Louisa Stead poured the spotlight of trust on the only dependable source: Tis so sweet […]

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January 30, 2015

“When I was seven I took care of my younger brothers while my parents fought the power of addiction.” These words cut like a razor sharp knife through my soul as I watched a ministry update from one of our chapters. Innocence obliterated. Children, not only caring for children, but parenting parents. Seven. “God found […]

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January 23, 2015

The Urban Dictionary defines this new social media propelled phrase as: ThrowBack Thursday. The letters are a preamble to post a picture or narrative that reflects on some experience from the past. It makes Thursday the perfect day to glance in the rear view mirror, and to include others in that look backward. Today, a […]

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The Tale of the Thermostat

January 16, 2015

The house that Mary and I bought in June of 2005 had a thermostat that could be managed with a scheduling setting. This included both furnace and air-conditioner settings. Certainly there have been times when we’ve found this useful, but there have also been times when we have chosen to manually manage the temperature. Christmas […]

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