HiPots

by DanWolgemuth on September 14, 2018

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3–5, ESV)

High Potential, HiPots.

During the classic and intense General Electric era led by Jack Welch, lists were formed that identified the cream of the crop. The employees to watch, to nourish, to reward and promote. HiPots. There was nothing egalitarian about the culture. It was an environment rooted in competition, and not just with marketplace rivals, but often within the ranks of associates.

Employee evaluations were based on the four-E’s. Energy, energize, edge and execution. It was the four letter word; edge, that was often the differentiator. It was the HiPot definer.

Now, 16 years removed from the GE culture, I’ve come to define and appreciate HiPots and “edge” in a new and humbling way. Lately, I’ve learned it in the class that is being taught by Christy and Jason Currie. Jason is the Youth For Christ Executive Director in Omaha, Nebraska, and his wife, Christy, is an integral part of the leadership formula that has led to a surge in ministry growth and effectiveness. At 39 years old, the Currie’s are perfectly positioned to be the classic HiPots.

They are what every organizational CEO looks to recruit and retain… but they are not a part of YFC because of me, they are an integral part of our mission because of the constraining call of God. They love young people in their city. They love the beauty and power of the message of Christ. Our mission inspires them, and the Holy Spirit empowers them.

HiPots. But not cut out of the fabric of ladder climbing, stock-option holding, wealth accumulating employees, but out of something with far more lasting “edge”.

Together Jason and Christy stand in durable solidarity. In the face of Christy’s second cancer diagnosis and a body racked with pain, the Currie’s resume includes suffering. But the fierce and difficult diagnosis has not distracted them from being HiPots… no, for the Currie’s this cancer journey has defined their qualification. Their edge.

HiPots. Seasoned in suffering. Humble in hope. Confident in Christ. HiPots.

Christy and Jason are authentic in their journey, because Christ was authentic in His. They expose the Biblical definition of edge and HiPot. They teach from the posture of pain. They are the best of what we want to be, of what I want to be.

A resume of character born of pain. Endurance. Hope. Rising hope. Durable hope. Eternal hope.

HiPot. Pure gold.

Christy and Jason. Tears of grit. HiPot redefined.

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Remembering Grace…

by DanWolgemuth on August 31, 2018

Yesterday would have been Grace Wolgemuth’s 102 birthday. Perhaps they celebrate them in Heaven. Certainly, they have reason to celebrate Grace. Her life and love tugged me back to a Fragment that I wrote shortly after her death in 2010…

It was typically the east side door on the Wheaton Evangelical Church where we would wait. My dad, sitting in the driver’s seat, my sister Debbie beside me, and a vacant passenger seat… reserved for Grace.

My dad traveled extensively, and while he loved our church, he was never one to hang around the narthex. He was often on relational overload by the time Sunday rolled around, so mingling just wasn’t a part of the mix.

To be honest, I’m not sure that I would consider Grace to have been an extravert; she was just vibrant, authentic, approachable, warm, sensitive… in other words, a magnet. A magnet that tugged her away from the passenger seat of the meticulously clean car that Sam had waiting for her. People loved Grace, and there was a price to pay for that love.

My father was many wonderful things, but waiting patiently outside the east door of the Wheaton Evangelical Free Church was a test for him. At a certain point he would look to the back seat and instruct me to re-enter the church building and “rescue” my mother. He was quite certain that she was aware that we were waiting for her, but her present “captivity” was something that would require outside intervention.

And so I would find her… most often surrounded; sometimes by the teenaged girls that she taught in Sunday School (that might have been why I volunteered to go search her out), or by a young mom who was looking for advice… but she was always surrounded. Always.

Always smiling. Always deeply engaged. Always oozing warmth. Grace Wolgemuth wasn’t perfect, but she most certainly lived in that zip code. Godly. Good. Winsome. Even naïve at 60, 70 and 80 years old. Always expecting and assuming the best. Always.

I would nudge her, just like a good sheep dog, toward the exit door; always respecting the fact that the circle around her felt blessed, and to some extent sacred. My father notwithstanding, I wasn’t about to interrupt what were clearly Holy moments.

Eventually we would press through the door at the side of the church, sometimes with individuals following us out just so they could wrap up one last sentence.

Grace would slide, ever so gracefully, into the passenger seat… and Sam seemed content now. Not bugged, not frustrated, just whole again because Grace was beside him.

On February 5, 2002 my father passed into glory… and quite frankly he’s been waiting by the east door for Grace ever since. On March 17, 2010 the wait ended.

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A Kiss for a Prodigal

August 24, 2018

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, ESV) In 2009, the Academy Award for the Best Motion Picture of the Year went to Slumdog Millionaire. The story is […]

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Eavesdropping on a Conversation with God

August 17, 2018

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance […]

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“The Author and Perfecter of Our Faith”

August 10, 2018

The author… the craftsman who uses words as his/her paint brush. The author… communicates with authority and power and reliability. An author leverages credentials, life experience, training, pedigree, and origin for the good of those who are the object of the communication. That is why, when the Apostle John took dictation from Jesus using the […]

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An Epilogue

August 3, 2018

Dear July (an Epilogue) – Okay, I know, you’re now officially a part of the past. History. Archives. But lingering reflections have caused me to continue to ponder what it is that I should be learning, remembering, changing, abandoning, embracing, and trusting as a result of the 31 days I spent with you. A quick […]

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Dear July – continued…

July 6, 2018

This past week, while the World Cup Soccer tournament roared, and Major League Baseball edged past the midway point in the season… many in the world of sports focused on a 33-year-old from Akron, Ohio. LeBron James officially became LABron, with a four-year commitment to play basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. What’s clear is […]

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Dear July –

June 29, 2018

Welcome back, dear friend. I’m looking forward to being with you soon. There’s always been something very special about you, but this year, more than ever, I wait to embrace you with renewed urgency and need. Rest has been illusive this past eleven months. I’ve been consistently in the classroom of trust and faith, and […]

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Jesus in the kitchen

June 22, 2018

Grace Wolgemuth loved to bake bread. I remember vividly walking through the back door of our home on Park Street in Wheaton, Illinois into the smell of freshly baked bread. It was a culinary hug. A whole wheat welcome mat. My Mom had the recipe, technique, baking and timing down to a science. But before […]

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My True-Blue Line

June 15, 2018
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Acadia National Park is a national treasure. A tribute to the creativity and power of God. Mary and I just concluded a week in Bar Harbor, Maine that included an exploration of several of the robust Acadia hiking trails. While notably different than the trails we’re used to in Colorado, they were equally as awe […]

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