Daddy, Daddy, I want to See

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

Don’t you just love to see the joy on a child’s face as he is lifted up on his daddy’s shoulders? As he rides safe and secure on his father’s back, he can see things he was unable to see before. “Daddy, Daddy, pick me up. I want to see,” the child pleads until her father lifts her high over his head and onto his strong shoulders. Often the dads will point out things of importance as they walk along together. There is beauty in watching their relationship grow. The child is completely dependent on his father for his security. What a wonderful picture of what we can have when we say to our Heavenly Father, “Daddy, Daddy, lift me up high so I can see.”

When we ask, He will give us what we desire.

Luke shares the story of the beggar, who was a societal outcast in Jesus’ day. When Jesus came near the blind beggar, he boldly cried out to Him. Jesus said it was the man’s faith that allowed him to see, that allowed Jesus to lift him up.

We, too, can cry out to Jesus to lift us up when we are down, to give us eyes to see the world as He does, and to see those who are in need of God’s touch. When Jesus lifts us up, our focus is lifted from the earthly things to the things that really matter: people easily overlooked, creation too magnificent to miss, relationships that need mending, needs we can meet, and so many things we can pray for.

God is waiting for each of us to say today, “Daddy, daddy, lift me up high so I can see.”

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for hearing the cries of Your children and for lifting me up high on Your strong shoulders so I can see the things You want me to see.

“And he cried out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me recover my sight.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Recover your sight; your faith has made you well’ (Luke 18:35-43 ESV).

Calling to Each Other

March 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Cynthia Ruchti –

A series of phone calls today revealed an important truth—my house is cleaner when I talk on the phone.

Is it true for you, too? With rare exceptions, most phone calls serve as multi-tasking opportunities. It can be argued that I actually think better about what the other person is saying if my hands are engaged in a relatively mindless activity like polishing the chrome on the kitchen faucet (waterless hand cleaner works great) or dusting furniture or cleaning the refrigerator.

But today, a phone call with a friend turned into a prayer session that demanded my full attention. As we said, “Amen,” I was reminded of a worship song that fit the situation. Within seconds, I heard that song coming through the phone receiver. Twelve hundred miles apart, we worshipped together in those moments, stopping everything to focus our attention on the only One who could make a difference in any of our prayer concerns. A palpable peace descended on us, the kind of peace that signals the nearness of God.

When rereading Isaiah recently, I was struck by a small detail I’d overlooked. In Isaiah 6:3, it says that the winged creatures the prophet saw in his vision of the throne room of God were calling out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces! All the earth is filled with God’s glory!” (Common English Bible). I’d assumed the angelic beings were saying those words to the Lord. Rather, they were telling each other!

That’s what my friend and I did on the phone. We called out to one another with reminders that the Lord is Holy, that the whole earth is filled with His glory, that He is our great Provider, our Protector, our Peace.

The resonance of that phone call remains with me like an endless echo, maintaining that sweet sense of peace that washed over us as we prayed and worshipped.

PRAYER: Lord God of All, I want to live daily in that wash of wonder at Your holiness and Your desire for intimacy with me. Sear a name into my heart—someone I can call tomorrow and share another moment like that.

“They shouted to each other, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces! All the earth is filled with God’s glory! The doorframe shook at the sound of their shouting…” (Isaiah 6:3-4a CEB).

Idleness Stagnates, Involvement Excites

February 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Have you ever noticed yourself being more tired on a day that you could lay around than on a day that you had to get up and go all day? I have. It seems odd that our bodies would be constructed in such a way that you get energy by expending energy.

I think that this principle holds true in the Body of Christ. If all who make up the Body are laying around, spiritually, then we are going to have less energy than we would if we were busy. As energy is given to the physical body, I think there is a parallel to the energy given to the spiritual body. I’ve been guilty of being lazy for God. I’ve felt that feeling of “church is just a few songs, some prayers, Lord’s Supper, a sermon, and an hour” feeling. Then, after you are done, you either chastise your experience or are grateful that you are finished and can move on to more fun things. I’ve lain around all week, spiritually. Looking back, I was more tired from not doing anything for God, than by accomplishing something.

John warns the lukewarm in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 3:16) Paul warns the idle of Thessalonica. (I Thessalonians 5:14) Zephaniah warns the complacent (Zephaniah 1:12). So, we can see that the less busy for God we are, the more likely we are to be spiritually tired. Busy for busy sake is not the same as being busy for God. Being involved with the church family and its activities is one way to be busy for God.

Based off of my personal experiences, I’ve learned that being involved keeps me excited to be a part of the Kingdom. I hope you will too!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for creating opportunities that I can be a part of which allows me to be involved in Kingdom living. Keep the opportunities coming because I love to team up with You!

“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad’” (Zephaniah 1:12 NIV).

The Fatherhood Theme Park

February 23, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Janet Morris Grimes –

Father’s Day. It gets me every time.

As a child, it was as if I was standing outside the gates to a theme park. I see all the families entering, hand-in-hand. Their Daddy clutches the tickets, counting to make sure he has enough for everyone. No one goes in alone. The lines are long, but the wait just makes it better once they click through the turnstiles of triumph.

Costumed characters welcome them with waves and hugs, their plastic faces etched with permanent smiles. But the smiles of the kids are even wider. Cameras capture a thousand photo moments before they reach the first ride. Even walking, together, is an adventure inside the theme park.

The scent of something wonderful wafts over me. Maybe it’s cinnamon. Fudge? Or corn dogs? Definitely a mixture of all of them; as if happiness were a smell. Ten different versions of carousel music provides the soundtrack to the day. Their day.

Screams of delight ruffle through the tall trees that hide the fun things they get to do. Just enough of a roller coaster taunts me from above. A train of silver buggies crank their way to the top. They careen down the other side, twisting in ways I didn’t see coming. Terror turns to thrill on their faces. They line up to do it again. Just because they can.

The sun drops behind the trees, bringing a breeze that didn’t exist before. Maybe it will cool off the sunkissed cheeks of those who are now leaving. Strollers are filled with too many shopping bags to hold the children who once belonged there. Instead, their parents carry them, asleep, draped across their shoulders. The leftovers of something sticky and wonderful still dribbling down their smushed up faces. They wear hats, or ears, or both; something they didn’t have when they arrived.

There expressions reveal the most perfect of days. Content. Exhausted .Together. As if whatever they anticipated before entering was even better than expected….

Peering through the bars is no way to experience a theme park. It’s impossible. I would have given anything to get inside. Not for the rides, the characters, or the ice cream. What I longed for, more than anything, was to be that little girl sitting on top of her father’s shoulders.

But you have to have a ticket to get inside. And I never had a ticket.

This is what it feels like to be fatherless. No matter how many times you watch, from a distance, you can’t imagine yourself being allowed to go inside.

But you know you are missing out on something wonderful.

PRAYER: Father God, bless the fathers and the families that You created. Give them strength to shine for You. Mend any broken relationships, and thank You for being such a loving father to each of us. It is because of You that we know how to love unconditionally.

Living Squinty-Eyed

February 20, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

Sunglasses in Florida are just a part of life, but that part of life gets more complicated when you wear prescription glasses. This past Saturday, I knew we were going to be out in the sun all day and decided to wear my contacts, keeping my sunglasses on a string around my neck. This was a much easier method swapping between my regular glasses prescription sunglasses. The only real downside to this decision is I can’t really see with my contacts. Oh, I can see to walk, but don’t ask me to read anything. I end up squinting, a lot, when I need to read.

Jesus actually talked about living a squinty-eyed life versus a life lived with wide-eyed wonder.

This passage in Matthew approaches the idea of light and eyes from two different angles. One being the eye as the window through which light enters, and the other as the lens through which man visions the world. Jesus uses both interpretations to teach the lesson that seeing the way God sees is the only way to see truthfully. If you and I want to live a life full of light, we must do so without squinty-eyed greed and distrust.

PRAYER: God, I Praise You for helping me see things with more of a God’s eye view. Help me to live more wide-eyed and less squinty-eyed so I might be filled to overflowing with wide-eyed wonder.

“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” (Matthew 6:22-23 MSG).

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