15% Unleashed

by DanWolgemuth on October 11, 2019

Yesterday I received this update about Jackie Eads, a precious friend from Miami…

Jackie’s heart is only working at around 15%…

15%.

The number both discouraged me and inspired me. In reality, Jackie’s heart, functioning at 15% is more effective, compassionate, thoughtful, generous, wise, tender, focused, faithful, gentle, and loving than mine. At 15%.

This is a woman who has poured herself into the relationships that matter most. She is the personification of Jesus’ admonition to “Love God” AND “Love others”. Frankly, it’s not an overstatement to say that everybody and anybody that knows Jackie is both blessed and encouraged by the encounter.

Jackie Eads is extraordinary in the most ordinary ways.

Seven years ago when my wife, Mary had a very serious cycling accident, Jackie unleashed an avalanche of cards. The consistency and thoughtfulness were relentless. We were loved, by Jackie. We were prayed for, by Jackie. We were gifted words of care and tenderness, by Jackie.

One card, one stamp at a time.

Jackie uncomplicates love. A hug. A smile. A word. A glance.

Her love advocates. Her love celebrates. Her love propels. Her love trusts. Her love serves. Her love invests. Her love believes. Her love risks. Her love laughs. Her love weeps.

And now her love leans toward the arms of Jesus, her King, her Savior, her Friend.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13–16, ESV)

Salt. Unglamorous, but effective. Humble, but healing. Invisible, but powerful in bringing out the flavor in others. Salt.

Light. Unceremonious, but warm. Inconspicuous, but illuminating.

Jackie. Just Jackie.

These words are more than a tribute. They are a challenge. Not for you, but for me. To live Jackie. To buy a card, to write an address, to place a stamp… Jackie.

To declutter and love. Today.

To invest Jackie’s 15% and watch it grow. For every strong heart to beat as a stewardship to Jackie, to beat like Jackie. Today.

Her 15, my 100. Today. Her 15 and an army of others. Today. Love multiplied.

Not for Jackie, but for her King. Not because of Jackie, but because of Jesus.

Uncomplicated. Salt. Light. Jackie.

15% unleashed.

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Seven Miles

by DanWolgemuth on October 4, 2019

Another flight. Another push back from the gate. Another routine safety speech. We rolled unceremoniously to the end of the runway and as the 737 engines began to roar, a young child’s voice from several rows behind me pierced the moment…

“Are we going into the sky?”

Light laughter from those who could hear followed the question, like a polite golf clap.

But like a lure hanging in front of a hungry rainbow trout, my soul latched onto the innocent and winsome question.

My boarding pass showed Southwest Flight #4674 from Seattle to Denver. That settled it. Denver was where we were going. Our destination was planned and predicable.

But in that moment, against the backdrop of the meticulously routed flight path to Denver International, a light came on. It illuminated the story told in Luke 24 of a trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Two travelers on a seven mile walk after the crucifixion of Jesus. Cleopas is named, his companion is not. Their boarding pass said it plainly.. Emmaus.

But, Emmaus wasn’t the real destination… transformation was. Yes, Jesus showed up, and it was on the road.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27, ESV)

And what happened on the road? their hearts burned within them…

They only thought they had their final destination charted. Instead Jesus used the questions and grief in their souls as kindling to set their heart’s ablaze.

And on flight #4674, the Holy Spirit used the vocal cords of a small child to whisper words of truth into my mind, heart and soul. My heart burned within me… for recalibration.

How often I check my boarding pass to discover where I’m going… when it’s really the sky that beckons.

On a tightly scripted schedule, the sky is a means to an end… but for a child, it was the end. And it brought joy and delight. It ignited a heart of wonder.

Seven miles to Emmaus. The road.

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Unless…

September 27, 2019

Over the past 14 years, Mary and I have watched the beautiful pine forests of Colorado succumb to the onslaught of Mountain Pine Beetle and Spruce Beetle.  Hundreds of thousands of acres have been impacted. Vibrant, year round green, gives way to yellowing needles, then a season of lifeless grey… and finally dead branches lose […]

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His Plan For My Tears

September 23, 2019

              You have kept count of my tossings;               put my tears in your bottle.               Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8, ESV) These incredible words from King David are an invitation into authenticity. David’s pain is real. He’s lost in the agony of defeat. His hope […]

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Watch Your Language

September 6, 2019

Another routine optometrist appointment. My depleted supply of contact lens required it. After a short wait I was escorted back to my exam room by a young technician named Diego. He was thoughtful and engaging. He directed me into Exam room #2 and into the seat that would be my resting spot for the next […]

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Infinity Redefined

August 30, 2019

I watched with interest as construction crews transformed a quiet corner into a brick icon. Sitting on the edge of an expanding Aurora, Colorado neighborhood, tax dollars became classrooms. It wasn’t until the project was completed that I fully understand the vision for the project… a Cherry Creek School District Middle School. It was expansive, […]

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Incarcerated – Beyond the Coupon to Grace

August 23, 2019
Thumbnail image for Incarcerated – Beyond the Coupon to Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9, ESV) Coupons. The currency inside incarceration. For those in positions of power, they represent the pathway to behavior modification. Tucked […]

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Incarcerated – The Dad Gap

August 9, 2019

39 times. All within the first 15 verses of the first chapter of the New Testament. 39 times. The beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, the beginning of the narrative about the life of Jesus… and in the first fifteen verses the word father appears 39 times. Fathers connect generations, history, legacy, destiny and identify. […]

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A Delay When it Seemed to Matter Most

August 2, 2019

Patience. Waiting. And not with toe tapping and clock watching. But resting in God’s sovereign timing. This is NOT an area of strength for me. In fact, there may be no more confession inducing activity in my life. Perhaps that’s why I empathize with the urgency, disappointment and subsequent frustration that’s expressed in the story […]

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When You Love a Prodigal

July 30, 2019

The title above represents a book project from Judy Douglass, my friend and trusted ally. Judy and Steve Douglass have been a part of Cru for many, many years (Judy partners with Steve in leading Cru). Judy has brilliantly and honestly walked a journey as the parent of a prodigal. In March, Judy asked me […]

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