All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

by DanWolgemuth on September 30, 2016

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

The earliest version of this well known nursery rhyme was published in Samuel Arnold’s Juvenile Amusements in 1797. The primary content has remained the same for over two hundred years.

It was last weekend that I heard Tony Evans (Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas) construct a unique paraphrase of this work. A 2 minute and 41 second rendition that I commend to you here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I2lsDeogNo

A great fall.

Futile attempts at restoration.

Hopelessness.

Really? This is the content we pour into the pliable souls of our children and grandchildren?

It begs for a closing chapter, an encore.

Jesus said it clearly, “…apart from me you can do nothing.” Nothing.

Not the king’s horses. Not the king’s men.

Crushed.

Shattered.

No Band-Aid will suffice. No epoxy can repair. No political candidate can restore.

Only the power of Jesus. To make new. To create again.

Epilog:
But the king had friends who knew what to do.
They carried Humpty Dumpty back to the Creator.
He loved Humpty so much that he took the broken pieces of his life.
The chards, the chaos, the confusion, and the hopelessness…
And he restored Humpty to the Masterpiece he was designed to be.

No cracks or glue or fractures… but new. A wiser Humpty. A redeemed Humpty. A humble Humpty.

All the king’s horses.
All the king’s men.

Nothing.

But God. Through faith in Jesus.

Together again.

We are living in this nursery rhyme.

Our default position is to lean on the king’s horses or the king’s men.

Jesus has the words of life. For Humpty. For me. For you.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 NLT

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The Door Slams

by DanWolgemuth on September 23, 2016

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17 ESV)

Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10-11 ESV)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 ESV)

Guilty. Condemned.

The doors slam and the locks engage for hundreds of thousands of juveniles across the country. Incarceration keeps them off the street, but it does little to change circumstances, opportunity, or outcomes.

Drugs. Gangs. Leaderless homes. Confusion. Despair. Violence.

In a society that isolates and separates… we have the conflicting message of Jesus. In fact, He places Himself in the cell. The sinless son of God puts on the stripes of an inmate.

“I was in prison and you came to me.” (Matthew 25:36b)

And He invites us to come. To visit. To engage. To invest. To sacrifice. To redeem. To rescue. In His name. For His sake.

Incarcerated but not discarded. Locked up, but not separated from hope.

Jesus hand delivered a message of transformation not condemnation. The perfect judge doesn’t ignore justice, He overlays it with grace.

His mission wasn’t condemnation, but rescue. Mercy. Forgiveness.

“Where are they?” Jesus asked. “Where are the men that brought you here in shame and guilt and exposure?” “Where are the self-righteous religious leaders who are blind to the darkness in their own souls but have twenty-twenty vision to the darkness in yours?” Where are they?

Guilty.

Not just 500,000 juvenile offenders across our country… all of us.

The gavel of condemnation should resound for each of us…

And yet the judge declares with clarity… “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Unleashed. Clean.

To abandon the addiction to sin. To exchange the darkness for light.

Not just fewer juvenile inmates, but sons and daughters of the living God. Not lower recidivism, but brand new lives. Created all over again.

“Neither do I condemn you.”

We meet him there, behind bars.

The Lord sets the prisoners free; (Psalm 146:8a ESV)

Liberty, even in a cell. Set free.

Not simply nameless and faceless statistics. Not a political football to be punted to the next generation.

Young people. With names. With pain. With legitimate convictions.

Embraced by the life giver. Roommates with the King of Kings.

I was in prison and you came to me.

No condemnation. Jesus.

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Joy.

September 16, 2016

Not a momentary lapse into a positive frame of mind. Not a good mood kind of day. Not an outcome due to perfect circumstances. Not a function of ideal situations. Joy. “Christian joy is both a privilege and a duty.” (Jerry Bridges – The Fruitful Life) Cultivated in the soil of real life… Birthed through […]

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Living Without A Limp… Surgery Required

September 9, 2016

It took four weeks to get the proper diagnosis, but that changed last Friday: An apparent subacute avulsion of the entire left hamstring tendon off the left ischial tuberosity. The torn and retracted hamstring tendon is identified 6 cm distal to the ischial attachment site. What had been originally diagnosed as a level 2 hamstring […]

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“Hello Andrew, this is Donna…”

September 2, 2016

April 7, 2015. A 36-second voicemail. “Hello Andrew, this is Donna…” Donna, a Social Worker in Denver was reaching out to Andrew and Chrissy, certified foster parents on Donna’s list. “I wanted to speak with one of you about a potential foster care placement…” A potential placement. A little boy. Breathtaking blue eyes. Enviable curls. […]

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Calendars Beware

August 26, 2016

It’s time for me to disclose a personal pet peeve. I don’t feel overly passionate about this pet peeve, just annoyed. It’s often a radio advertisement that triggers this… something like a local car dealership that is offering a special financing or rebate deal for only “two short weeks.” Two short weeks. Versus what? Two […]

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Dear Vivian –

August 19, 2016

My heart is heavy but hopeful as I press the keys. It’s nearly unthinkable that Joel is gone. Lost to us for a time, but ever so found by his King. 41 years just didn’t seem like enough. And I can’t imagine how that feels to you and Havannah. For the last year, you and […]

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Pure Gold… Who Needs Simone Biles Anyway

August 12, 2016

Our attention was riveted to the coverage of the Summer Olympics as Simone Biles raced across the mat to perform a masterful Floor Exercise routine. The speed, height and precision of her routine invoked the appropriate gasps in the room… until the words of Rowan interrupted the performance. Rowan is my grandson; a three-year-old this […]

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A Timely Reminder

August 8, 2016

(The following is an encore Fragment.  Although written and published some time ago, I hope that it refreshes your soul today.) I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  ~ (John 10:10) I’ve been to rental car counters a great deal over the last eleven years.  But recently, at Midway Airport in […]

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Vulnerability Unlocked and Unleashed

July 29, 2016

It’s a bit of a tradition for Mary and me. We travel the 70 miles from our house to Quaker Ridge Camp in Woodland Park, Colorado. It’s a refreshing, inspiring and humbling glimpse into the impact of our YFC Camp strategy and the relational investment made by so many leaders across to country into the […]

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