Eavesdropping on a Conversation with God

by DanWolgemuth on 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 with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27, NIV)

In the late 1990’s as an employee of General Electric, an organizational season in which Jack Welch was the CEO, an era of intense employee competition; an era marked by racking and stacking every employee in the organization, I have some intense and prevailing memories. These memories include walking into a room where two individuals were already engaged in conversation. In a moment of awkward transition, I perceived that the conversation was about me, or something that pertained to me, because the individuals hushed their tones and shifted topical gears without pushing in the clutch.

Have you walked into a room like this? Can you feel that same uncomfortable and awkward feeling?

But what if you walked into that same room, and the conversation was indeed about you, but it was life-giving, edifying and supportive? What if your unexpected presence invoked joy and hope and love? What if the expressions and passion and dreams expressed in the conversation were soaked in the essence of hope and grace and purpose? What if these words exceeded your wildest expectations or dreams?

Followers of Jesus the Christ can be assured that there are no hushed, gossip-filled conversations happening at your expense in the Heavenly realm. Indeed, there is a conversation that involves you and it’s happening in the throne room of God, even now.

The Holy Spirit, in beautiful, reverent, holy and eloquent terms putting language to the deepest desires and needs of our soul. The Holy Spirit advocating and interceding… for us. And not in some dismissive, obligatory, unengaged manner, but with deep, passionate and tender words.  The Holy Spirit, aching for us before God… always in alignment with God’s will, but always for us.

Even now, imagine yourself walking into that room… not a room of toxic condemnation, but a room of grace and mercy and love and hope. You stand in the shadows and listen as your name flows from the lips of God to the ears of God. Your name. With details about your life, your pain, your crushing burdens… but judgment and condemnation do not follow, because Jesus has already spoken your name to His Father. He’s informed Him that you are forgiven. That you are adopted. That you are family. And so, the words of the Holy Spirit ring true and right. The Holy Spirit brings the needs of a child to the Father. A loving father, who knows what’s best and what’s good and what’s true.

The Holy Spirit is interceding for you. You. With emotion and urgency and fervor. For you. Words you don’t have the energy or capacity to form, now flowing flawlessly from the Holy Spirit.

There is no awkwardness as you enter this room. Only grace-soaked hope. The reality of a sin- stained world is not ignored. But God knows. And God loves. And God responds… in alignment with His will. For you. His beloved. His child.

When words escape us, the Holy Spirit puts language to our lives… with The Father. On our behalf. Amazing. Unthinkable. Life changing. Words.

Imagine. Just imagine.

In our weakness. On our behalf. For the saints.

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“The Author and Perfecter of Our Faith”

by DanWolgemuth on 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 pen of the Holy Spirit, he started seven letters to seven different churches by making the resume of the author the opening sentence.

“The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.”

“The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.”

“The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.”

“The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.”

“The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.”

“The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.”

“The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.” (ESV)

The words… awe inspiring and humbling.

Several things are clear as I read the preamble to each of the seven letters; Jesus is not to be trifled with. He holds seven stars in His hand. His words are a two-edge sword. His eyes are like fire and His feet shine. He is awe producing. He occupies holy ground. Treating Him like “one of the boys” is a gross miscalculation. We do our best to walk worthy of our King, not to earn His favor, but to show that we have some comprehension of just how costly His grace is.

But He’s also approachable. He opens the door that He alone has the key to. He is our Savior who came and died and rose again. He is the creator, a witness… faithful and true. Our Amen.

His words matter. They convict and reassure. They penetrate and they soothe. They propel and they interrupt. They comfort and they condemn.

Shame argues against His love and mercy; just as sin offends His justice and holiness.

The words of Jesus… worship inducing and hope inciting. He will not be mocked by our arrogant defiance, and He will not recoil at our confession.

Grace and truth in words…

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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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“Unless you turn and become like children…”

June 8, 2018

There weren’t many on the route from Colorado to Nebraska. The migration pattern typically leads in the other direction. But we had Lake McConaughy on our mind. And so, we rendezvoused at a camp site… three camp sites to be precise. It was our first family camping weekend, with eight adults, ten children (our grands), […]

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Scotland 1996

June 1, 2018

I had just finished an intense six month project in Folkestone, England with General Electric. As a family, we chose to end our assignment with a trip north into the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Rustic, rough, underdeveloped and breathtaking. On a blustery July day we stumbled upon a “Sheepdog Contest”. Authentic and poignant, we […]

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From Bernice to Juni… with love

May 25, 2018
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Knitting needles in the hands of Bernice Cargo. Mary’s Grandmother was a master. And last night, in our kitchen, Bernice’s legacy was on display. Juni, our 18-month-old granddaughter was a willing dress-up doll for Mary as she pulled an aged wardrobe back into public view.  When Juni was clad in a meticulously constructed blue sweater […]

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