The Invitation

September 6, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

I learned so many new things in first grade. Good things like reading and writing. And some not so good things – like what it meant to live on the wrong side of the tracks.

One morning my classmate, Elizabeth*, asked our teacher if she could give out her birthday party invitations. One by one, each girl smiled as Elizabeth placed the invitation in her hand. I waited for mine, and when Elizabeth started to sit back down, I naively asked, “May I have one too?”

I carried the invitation home. And that was part of the problem. Home for me was a mobile home on the outskirts of town. Home for Elizabeth was a fancy brick house downtown.

I was the oldest of four children and money was more than tight. Yet knowing how important this party was to me, my mother bought Elizabeth a Barbie doll. I didn’t even own a Barbie doll.

The next morning, my feet practically floated up the steps and onto the school bus. Elizabeth’s gift was in my book satchel, and I couldn’t wait to get to school. But when I stepped off the school bus, Elizabeth ran over to me, lowered her head, and said, “My mother said you can’t come to my party.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I reached into my book satchel, pulled out the gift, and placed it in Elizabeth’s hand. Throughout the school day, I watched in silence as the other girls jumped up and down, and talked about going home with Elizabeth.

My heart ached as the girls climbed into Elizabeth’s car that afternoon. Hanging my head to hide the tears, I walked to the school bus.

But I soon received another invitation from Someone who didn’t care where I lived. The Holy Spirit spoke to my young heart during a worship service, and issued an invitation from Jesus. When I accepted His invitation, my heart filled with God’s love. Even though I didn’t always understand why God allowed bad things to happen in life, I knew, I could trust Jesus to never, ever take away His love, nor His invitation to be my Savior.

Trust Jesus with your heart, He will never take back His invitation.

Bible Verse: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NIV).

Prayer: Father, thank You that we can trust You with our hearts, and that we never have to worry about You taking back Your invitation. Amen.

*Name changed

What’s in a Name?

August 12, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –  

Words sung by our hearts at times are like the lyrics from a 1980’s song that says we sometimes want to go where everybody knows our name. Those words are especially true when that place is Mount Airy, better known as Mayberry. Mount Airy is Andy Griffith’s hometown, and the setting for The Andy Griffith Show. A few years back another Mount Airy native, Ken Lowe, who is the founder of HGTV, returned home to Mount Airy for a visit. When interviewed, Ken told reporters he was glad to be back where he was called Kenny.

I totally related to Kenny’s feelings. When I moved back home to Mount Airy, after being away for sixteen years, it felt good to be back where everybody knew my name, and my heart warmed to be around people who know me as Susie.

Even though Susan is the name on my birth certificate, social security card, and driver’s license, I soon realized, at the heart of my being – I am Susie. I found that “Susie” cuts through the years, and reminds me of who’s important in my life. I share a special relationship with those who know me as Susie.

Even though the Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, and everything that has life, including man, at the heart of His being – God is Father. I’ve found that “Father” cuts through all that life has brought my way, trying to separate me from Him. Even when I’ve forgotten about Him, or turned my back on Him, my Father has always welcomed me back with open arms. At a time in my life when I lost everything except my Father, I found He is truly all I need. He comforted me through many long, sleepless nights, provided for my every need, and healed my heart when I felt it was shattered and beyond repair. I share a special relationship with my Father.

Do you know God as your Father? He longs to have a special relationship with you. Our Father wants this world to be a place where everybody knows His name.

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father…’” (Matthew 6:9 NIV).

Prayer: Our Father, thank You for being not only our Creator, Sustainer, and Deliverer, but also our Father who loves us, and knows us by our name. In Jesus name, Amen.

Unfathomable Love

August 5, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

The call came from the emergency room after the crisis had passed with my three-year-old granddaughter. “Mom, Katelyn’s okay, but I just spent four hours in the ER with her,” my daughter said.

Even though Emily said Katelyn was okay, a wave of fear washed over me.

“It was awful, Mom. We were grocery shopping, and Katelyn was sitting in the cart with her baby dolls. I turned away from her for just a second.” Emily’s composure broke, and she sobbed, “She was trying to climb out of the cart and Mom, she fell… face first, onto the concrete floor.”

I closed my eyes, and the image of Katelyn’s fall flashed on the screen of my mind. I dropped my head into my hand, the horror of my own imagining too much to bear.

“The people who witnessed the accident were frightened; someone ran and got an ice pack, while others directed us to the nearest medical facility.” Emily’s family was vacationing at Carolina Beach.

“I was so scared, Mom,” Emily continued. “Katelyn’s head was bruised and bleeding. We took her to a walk-in facility, and they sent us straight to the hospital. I cried all the way there. I wanted to trade places with her, Mom. I wanted to take her place.”

I wanted to take my children’s place when they suffered injury, illness, or heartache. I would have gladly endured their pain in my body rather than helplessly watch them suffer.

I can’t imagine the agony God must have experienced as He watched His Son, Jesus, suffer on the cross. I don’t know how He endured the pain when Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Yet we’re told in The Message version of John 3:16, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

God the Father in His boundless, immeasurable, unfathomable love for us, endured His Son’s suffering so that every one of us, even sinners like me, can be spend eternity in Heaven. Unfathomable.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV).

Prayer: Father, thank You for loving us so much that You gave Your one and only Son so that anyone who believes in Him can have eternal life. Thank You for Your unfathomable love. Amen

Can Spirits be Restored?

July 9, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

“Do you remember your words in Spirits Can be Restored?” my friend asked.

Of course I remembered that devotional. I compared an empty, neglected, vandalized, old Georgian-style house to human spirits that have been hurt emotionally, physically, or both, and sometimes even broken.

“Go back and read it again,” my friend said.

I hung up the phone and pulled out the July/August 2010 issue of The Upper Room and read:

“…As I pass by, I think how beautiful it (the old house) must have been in times past…How I wish someone would move in and fix up the place! I know it has the potential to be beautiful again.”

“…But when we allow Christ Jesus into our hearts, he can heal the scars caused by life and repair our wounded spirit. And unlike that old house on my street that could be too costly to restore, the high price of our restoration has been paid by Christ, the Master Carpenter, whose work is always of highest quality. We are never so broken that God cannot restore us.”

I laid the magazine on the table, and dropped my head into my hands.

Lord, I thought I knew what brokenness was when I wrote those words. I just never dreamed of our business failing, going through bankruptcy, problems in my marriage, divorce – all happening at the same time. Lord, if…

And then God reminded me of the story in Mark 9:22-24 where the father brought his son to Jesus for healing. The father said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (NIV).

Lord, I know you can do all things, please help me overcome my disbelief.

And He did. The Lord brought me through that time, and He mended my broken spirit. He reminded me through words He had given me years earlier that it’s true; we’re never so broken that God cannot restore us.

Bible Verse: “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV).

Prayer: Father, thank You for the way You speak to us through others, and through Your Word. Thank you for your assurance that faith in Jesus Christ can bring us complete healing. Amen.

The Ultimate Transformer

May 30, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Susan Dollyhigh –

“Close your eyes and hold out your hands, Drew. I brought you a surprise.”

Three-year-old Drew did a little happy dance, squinched his face so tightly his eyes closed, and then stuck out his small arms.

I placed Super Grover in Drew’s hands, and stepped back. Drew opened his eyes and mouth at the same time, and just as quickly his mouth closed and his expression turned into a frown.

“What does it do, Nana?”

Before I could answer, Drew said, “It doesn’t do anyfing!”

Stuffed Super Grover was clearly a dud as far as Drew was concerned. He didn’t do one thing.

I soon understood Drew’s disappointment. He showed me his favorite new toys, Transformer Rescue Bots. Drew could transform them from robots into rescue vehicles. He had Chase, the police car, Heatwave, the fire engine, Blades, the rescue helicopter, Boulder, the bulldozer, and Optimus Prime, the leader who assigned underground missions designed to protect all mankind.

Super Grover…Rescue Bots… now even I could see that Super Grover was a dud.

Jesus stood in the synagogue and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” He then declared, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”

The people in Jesus’ hometown had just been presented with the Ultimate Transformer, they just didn’t know it. They looked at Jesus, and thought he was a dud. They didn’t think He could do one thing, so they rejected Him, and drove Him out of town.

Throughout Jesus’ three years of ministry, He drove out evil spirits, healed the sick, fed thousands with only two fish and five loaves of bread, raised the dead, and transformed the lives of everyone who heard and believed. He even died on a cross to save us from our sins.

Two thousand years later, Jesus’ ministry continues. Jesus Christ took me, a broken, insecure little girl, and healed my heart so I could become the person He had created me to be. He freed me from bondage, and I was finally able to laugh, and play, and sing with pure joy and abandon. Jesus Christ transformed my life, and I’m so thankful that He did.

The Ultimate Transformer will heal your heart, and transform your life as well. Won’t you give Him your heart today?

“He went to His hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘How did this wisdom and these miracles come to Him? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things?’ And
they were offended by Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household’ ” (Matthew 13:54-57 HCSB).

Quote: “All I know is this works. It’s not only worked for me, but I’ve seen it work for literally thousands and thousands of people. I have seen the transformation on people’s faces when they receive Christ. I’ve seen the glory come on them, the light.” Joyce Meyer.

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