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).

How’s Your Memory?

February 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Rosemary Flaaten –

My personality is such that I tend to live in the moment and dream of the future. I enjoy the friendships of today and am always on the lookout for my next best friend. I revel in that which I’m presently engrossed as well as the opportunities before me.

Unfortunately, my memory of the past is less robust. I have a general recollection of events or people, but details of the past all too often don’t stick to my memory board.

A weak memory muscle can be beneficial. I’m also likely to forget the details of stressful situations or strained relationships and the times I felt embarrassed or ashamed quickly fade. I probably won’t remember people I met who I didn’t like or who brushed me off. The past, rather than remaining detail specific, tends to get put into the blender of my mind and gets chopped up and mixed together.

Thankfully though, I’m also aware that this is a weakness and the negative effect it has on me. I have come to realize that the most acute danger is forgetting the blessings bestowed by God into my life. The Psalmist David directs us to “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Psalm 103:2 NIV). We are directed to remember every single blessing that God has given us.

For a memory–challenged person like me, this presents a real test that requires discipline. Choosing to start each prayer with thanksgiving helps me focus, even just for a brief second, on the faithfulness of God. Every day I choose to reflect on the multitude of ways God has evidenced His goodness to me. God’s unending grace and love is a blessing that must remain in the forefront of my gratitude. I keep a journal that chronicles the details of what I have learned from the Holy Spirit and Scripture. I daily exercise my ability to recall.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to remember Your faithfulness and out of these memories, may gratitude and praise flow freely.

“Yet this I call to mind and there I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21 NIV).

Two Better Than One

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Carin LeRoy –

Living in the tropics can have its challenges. When my husband and I lived there, we endured heat that hovered each day in the high 90s in the shade, with an equally high humidity. After awhile, we adjusted to the extreme temperature. If the thermometer dropped into the 70s, I’d run to put on a sweater.

On one of our vacations, we went to the highlands area to enjoy different scenery and a cooler climate. Once we settled in, the mountain town had a cold snap. (By “cold,” I mean temperatures in the 40s-50s!). The change in temperature shocked our system. Since we weren’t equipped with clothes to keep us warm, we put on several layers and crawled in the twin beds of our rented room. Neither of us could stay warm that night, so we ended up keeping each other warm by squeezing into the same bed. My husband’s feet were so cold, he even slept with his shoes on!That is a night neither of us will forget as we shivered through the night.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 says, “if two lie down together, they will keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?” That night we experienced the literal interpretation of that verse. This passage in Ecclesiastes starts out by saying that “two are better than one.” This simple principle applies to all areas of life. The church, the body of Christ, is a perfect example of God’s expectations for His people. We are not meant to exist alone, but together. God creates us to live in community.

The first thing God did for Adam was to create Eve – a help mate and companion. When Christ used the disciples to build the early church, they often traveled in pairs on their missionary journeys. We may feel we can tackle something on our own, but there are times we might accomplish much more for the Lord by working together with others. Even the apostle Paul requested Mark’s help to come out and assist him in the work (II Timothy 4:11).

Remember that God created the body of Christ for our benefit and for His glory. Let’s learn to utilize each other’s strengths and rely on one another.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You that you have created us to live in community. Help me to be sensitive to know when others need my help. Give me a willingness to rely on others and utilize their strength when I need it.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up! But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? Though one be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easy broken,” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV).

Wondering What Happened

January 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Jarrod Spencer –

Have you ever returned to a town you used to live and noticed, in your time of absence, things changed? Changes such as businesses closing, buildings torn down, and town expansion, etc. We reflect back to the days when we lived there and the way the environment used to appear.

I remember taking my wife to a town where I used to live. It was very small and it only took about 15 minutes to “tour.” I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, returning to the “Prairie Chicken Capital of the World”, with a population of 130 (in 2000), according to the Wikipedia website.

Change is happening in our world all the time. In order for change to take place, someone must be willing to work and carry out the work that creates change. For those that do not put in the work, they may wonder what happened while they were away. This brings us to a quote from a friend of mine, DudLee Brennfoerder, that challenges me as I think about change and the effort it takes to implement. “There are those that work, those who talk about those working, and those that wonder what happened.”

Which category do you generally fit into?

Usually those in the latter two categories have a difficult time seeing the purpose in a project. The more we’re a part of a project, the more we see the purpose and develop a passion in the project.

As you look around your community, workplace, or church, think about how you will be involved with a project/program. If there isn’t a work going on to be involved in, think about an area that you are passionate about and see how you can make it happen. Your passion may end up being magnetic to others, creating a desire in them to also be involved.

I am continually energized by being involved. It is very enjoyable to be involved in areas we are passionate about. It motivates us to the point that we may find it hard to quit. Get involved. Who knows what fun adventures are right around the corner that we never would have known without choosing to pursue our passions.

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for giving me passions and open doors of which to practice those passions. I can’t wait to see what You have planned next for me to be involved in.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:10-11 NIV).

Becoming Rembrandt

January 19, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Peter Lundell –

With my brother and sister-in-law, I visited the famed Getty Museum. I was struck by two paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn. One was a scene of people beside a river, dated 1632. It was good, but not remarkable, no different from other artists of that period. If Rembrandt’s name weren’t beside it, I never would have known it was his.

The one next to it was a portrait, classic Rembrandt, and exuded his signature style of brush strokes, color choices, expression of light, and overall composition. His emotion and unique mastery of style came through. It was dated 1661.

Aha.

I saw how one of the greatest artists in history was not always distinctive. Surely he had greatness within him, born of natural talent. But his abilities had to be developed through years of practice. Rembrandt didn’t become an extraordinary painter overnight. And he surely didn’t do it without endless days of effort. Twenty-nine years separated those two paintings.

As with Rembrandt, we are all pushed to be like other people. Yet we all have the opportunity to live and work beyond average, to grow over time and become extraordinary, positively influencing others in our own way.

What is your potential? Your gift? Your passion?

What could God do in your life?

If you focus and pursue that to the best of your ability for two or three decades (or however much time you have left), who would you become? What could you accomplish?

I am realizing, somewhat late in life, the power of focus. Could it be that if you focus your efforts as Rembrandt did, you might become more than you dream of? I hope you do. I hope I do too.

Could this not be God’s intent for each of us?

PRAYER: Lord, You have made me for more than being just like everyone else. I commit my life to being and doing what You’ve called me to be and do. No more and no less. Show me how and inspire me to be a unique blessing to many.”

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV).

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