Daily Devotions

Transformational Moments

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The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)



This will be my last devotion for a few weeks. I am taking some time off, so my wife and I can be available for our daughter and her husband as they bring home their new baby. I look forward to meeting my new grandchild. Hannah and Justin decided not to know the sex of their child and have enjoyed looking forward to the surprise. It will be one of the few transformational moments in my life, getting to meet this new little one. There are relatively few moments in life you know will change you forever.


For me, marriage, parenthood, and ordination were three defining moments for me. Being a grandparent will be another one of those special changes in my life. When Hannah was born, I was somewhat apprehensive. I was haunted by fears. Would I be a good enough father? Would I be able to provide financially for our daughter? Would she remain healthy and happy?


Over the years, God forgave me for my lack of faith. I learned how little control I actually had over my life, or my daughter’s. It was God’s blessing that gave her opportunities to learn, grow, mature, and become the person God intended. This time around, as a grandparent, I am much more relaxed.


Years of mistakes and learning about the fallacy of control has allowed me to hand a great deal of responsibility over to God. Plus, there is the joy of saying, “Here Hannah and Justin, he/she is your responsibility. My responsibility is to spoil her/him.” As a grandparent, I am sure I will make new mistakes and seek God’s forgiveness, but I believe I will be less anxious this time around.


Today, think about your own transformational moments. Take a little time to cherish them in your heart. Offer God a prayer of thanksgiving for providing you these gifts. Appreciating these moments over-and-over again provides true joy. Reviewing these memories also provides opportunities for personal growth and divine appreciation. Don’t let too much time go by without celebrating again, life’s special memories. They are a divine gift from God. I won’t make that mistake when I look into those little eyes in a few days. I will thank God, and soak in the experience.

Colbert's Wisdom

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May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.” (Psalm 20:4)


Comedian, Stephen Colbert, gave the following statement at Northwestern University’s 2011 commencement address: "And I love it, because thankfully dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed, and you’re not some loser. But just as importantly — and this is the part I may not get right and you may not listen to — if you do get your dream, you are not a winner." I struggled for a time in my early- and mid-thirties. By the age of thirty, I had fulfilled all my goals.

This boy who left the Iron Range after High School, went on to graduate from college, graduate from Seminary, became an ordained Presbyterian minister, received a doctorate, fell in love with the woman I would spend my life with, and became a father. Uff da! I had sacrificed a lot of my young adult years to make that happen, but it was all worth it. But now what?

I spent a couple of years challenged by a new church, then I struggled to find my next challenge. It took some time to find the next stage of my life. I hated those moments in my life when I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I’ve been at my best when I was on a mission in my personal and professional life. Through the years since, I’ve had some disappointments, as well as some successes. I agree with Stephen Colbert. It isn’t about the successes or failures, it is about doing meaningful things along life’s way. 

Today, think about your dreams. What dreams came true, and what dreams didn’t come to fruition? Are you presently in a rut, spinning your wheels, or are you moving forward with a clear direction? Pray that God will help you set new goals and dreams for your life. Then, go down that road with passion and excitement. When God blesses your dreams, exciting things will happen.

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