“The Blame Game”

by DanWolgemuth on May 15, 2020

Don’t be fooled, blame is not a game. But whatever it is, we’re seeing it perfected in our current culture.

The flaming arrows of accusation fly. The shield of denial is thick.

Headlines tilt. Interviews slant.

And we peddle blame like an ice cream truck pushes Slushies in the middle of July.

Our appetite for gossip is insatiable. We pick the buffet that best suits our hunger, and we pull up a seat with a fork in hand.

Opportunity and vulnerability breed exploitation, not compassion. We pile on, because it’s easier than extending grace.

Whatever shared energy surfaced at the beginning of this global crisis, has long since been exhausted. An open hand is now a clinched fist. Even within the body of Christ.

Self-preservation fuels the engine of one camp, economic recovery ignites combustion on the other. Both carry gasoline cans around the open flame.

Honest dialog. Thoughtful rhetoric. Humble understanding. Honest confession… never. Not only endangered, but extinct.

An admission of error, or miscalculation, or exaggeration, or malice, or abuse of power… political suicide. Weakness. Unacceptable. You either stay and fight, or you leave in shame. There is no middle ground… or rather, no higher ground to be found.

Then I read this…

In 1 Samuel 25. The story of an arrogant buffoon by the name of Nabal. This man shows overt disdain and hatred and disregard for David, God’s anointed. In essence, Nabal picks a fight with God. “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men.

Enter Abigail. Nabal’s wife. A woman of grace and wisdom and honor. She intercepts David and his troops on their way to righteously annihilate this man and his people. And her language, from her knees, in her meeting with David… “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord.” And later… “Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way.”

Abigail. My new hero. My new model.

As I read this account, I felt the weight of my own condemnation, my own rush to judgment, my own propensity to dismiss or disregard.

I confess. I judge without knowledge. I condemn without wisdom. I ignore without justice. I walk up to the buffet, to my buffet, with fork in hand.

How lazy. How arrogant. How damaging.

Abigail. Shouldering the blame, to facilitate restoration. Not peace at any cost, but unity at the expense of personal pride.

Jesus. His naked skin against a splintering cross… “forgive them…” Hatred opened the wound, and courageous grace sutured it together.

Blame is not a game. It’s toxic. It’s the well-worn tool in Satan’s toolbox.

Grace is not silent acquiesce. It’s not overmatched weakness. Grace is the power of God, unleashed on the comprehensive sin of all people. Grace empowers the advocate for justice, even as it extends an olive branch toward repentance. Grace is not a doormat, it’s a bridge.

And it’s in short supply.

I want to learn from Abigail. I want to be like Jesus.

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Time to Unmute

by DanWolgemuth on May 8, 2020

Zoom.

A word that used to mean momentum. A word often associated with little boys and Matchbox cars.

Today, Zoom is a video lifeline to faces and images and shared documents, and communication. It is a pathway.

On many of the Zoom calls I participate in, I am either the Host or Co-Host. This hierarchy is important as I establish a list of participants, but it’s also important in the facilitation and coordination of the meeting.

As host, I have control. This includes the ability to “Mute” and “Unmute” the microphones of the attendees. This is really useful when an individual is unaware of background noise that disrupts or overpowers the call. It is also important when I see the lips of individuals moving and realize that they are muted and don’t know it. A quick click and a voice now audible.

The power to mute and unmute. Participants empowered or constrained.

Messages heard or dismissed.

Truth amplified or ignored.

Those in positions of power with the ability to enable, or to restrict… a voice. A message. The truth.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice. (Proverbs 31:8-9, NLT)


Solomon. The wisest man who ever lived. His words, saturated with the power and insight of the Holy Spirit… Speak up, he says. Speak up, God says.

For those who are vulnerable, at risk, muted.

To those with the power of “the Host,” it’s time to unmute. To amplify. To defend.

On behalf of the crushed, the poor, the helpless…

Not on behalf of a political ideology, or a social concern, but on behalf of our King. In obedience to His instruction.

Speak up.

Today for Ahmaud Arbery.

His cause, our voice. For justice. In shared grief. Together. As members of Christ’s body. Aching when some have a microphone and others have no voice.

Unmuting the voiceless. Speaking up.

Our muted Savior went to the cross… so that we could proclaim Good News… as His anointed… for the poor. Liberty for the captives. Recovery of sight for the blind. Liberty for the oppressed… (Luke 4:18, ESV)

His words. Our call.

Unmuted. Heartbroken.

For the crushed. The poor. The helpless.

 For Christ. The King.

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“The Boss of Me…”

May 1, 2020

Nick Parker was a friend of our boys during a season in our lives when we lived in Franklin, Tennessee. He lived about a block from our house, and would often wander our way to play in our cul-de-sac, or down by a small pond behind our home. Nick was athletic, even as a first […]

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From Wuhan to Bethlehem

April 24, 2020

6900 miles. That’s how far it is from Wuhan, China to Denver. 6900 miles from the genesis of a global disease. A genesis that will be the topic of discussion and speculation and accusation and fury for years to come. The stuff of theories and books and movies. A virus. Small. Contagious. And swift. 6900 […]

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Re…

April 17, 2020

Re… cession. We’re all hearing it. Perhaps the worst in my lifetime, and likely yours. Global economic loss. Unemployment soaring. Uncertainty with tsunami force. Governments pressing into when to re… start economic activity. Daily lives, now re… coiling. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us… (Ephesians […]

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The tale of two naps…

April 10, 2020

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.” (Mark 4:37–38a, ESV) A nap. Jesus, in the back of the boat. Storm raging. Disciples desperate. Uninterrupted rest. And going a little farther he fell […]

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Where are the nine?

April 3, 2020

The 17th chapter of the book of Luke records this amazing story of compassion, as Jesus not only ventures into close proximity with a collection of unclean lepers, but then He extends His miraculous healing power to them. Ten lepers who stood at a distance… a social distance with a stamp of shame. In that […]

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Stimulus

March 27, 2020

Two trillion dollars to propel us as rapidly through this crisis as possible. Rocket fuel to get us to the other side. Questions loom… is it enough? Will it impact the places where it is needed most? Questions without answers. But the rationale is clear. Get us through this. Fast. Numb the pain. Flatten the […]

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“Follow me.”

March 20, 2020

Two words. It’s what Jesus said at the beginning of his three-year ministry, and it was a part of the closing communication he left with the Apostle Peter. “Follow me.” His closest companions spent three years trying to figure him out, but his invitation and instructions were clear… “Follow me.” Following into the storm. Following […]

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To the Rock I Cry

March 13, 2020

In the years before Mary and I moved to Denver to join the Youth For Christ USA national team, I worked for a very large engineering and architectural firm. HNTB has locations all over the country with specific expertise in bridge design. It was my job to oversee technology throughout the firm. As a result, […]

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