Day 5 | There's a Test

I hate to end a devotional series on such a somber note, but I know it’s a common feeling for all of us - disappointment. You’re probably thinking, “you’re right, Rob.” “Way to kill the mood, be a Debbie downer, look at the glass as half empty instead of half full.” Trust me, that’s not my intention at all. 

I just know that life doesn’t always go the way we think it should, and disappointment happens. Remember we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people. 

So, I sure hope you haven’t been disappointed already, with school only being 6 days into the year, but I also know that’s probably not true for some of you. Our house has already experienced it on day 4, with tears, and frustration (there might have been a little more dramatics with it, but you the idea) as someone (who will remain nameless) left their assignment at school and realized there was a test that morning. If you know my family well enough it won’t take you long to figure out who.

The point is, it happens to all of us. The question is how do we respond to it? It’s not easy, dealing with disappointment never is, but believing there is a God who loves you and really does care for you whether you’re on cloud 9 or down in the dumps.  He’s there loving you, listening to you, aching with you, crying with you, holding you. He even tells you in Matthew, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Disappointment doesn’t discriminate, it hits us all whether it’s forgetting a test and going to school with blotchy eyes because you were crying or something more severe.  So, when it does don’t lose heart. There is hope. God loves you and He’s just waiting for you to give it to Him. Trust Him and believe there’s a better tomorrow waiting for you.

Written by Rob Roozeboom

A Little Advice for You

“Never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God.”
- Craig Groeschel



Day 4 | Things That Matter

There are things that matter in life, and then there are things we think matter.

This summer we got to spend time with some really awesome teenagers on our Rise on the Road trips. It opened my eyes to how significant social media is in the life of a high schooler, and how much drama it brings with it. Being young is hard. When you're in high school, there are things that matter so much to you that adults just don’t understand. 

Certain things like Snapchat streaks, dabbing, and the word “lit” are all things that make them tilt their heads and look pretty confused. To be honest, you can include me in that group. I’m not very good at keeping up with the latest dance moves or hip words young people are using these days.

I roll my eyes at people who are glued to their phones, but I find myself spending way to much time scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest - liking clothes I’ll never buy and workouts I’ll never do. I don't post much, but when I do I'm constantly checking to see how many more people liked my picture. I’ll be with people I care about, and instead of being completely present I whip out my phone and start scrolling mindlessly through these apps.

Social media can make us so tuned out to the world around us and so focused on ourselves. Each new notification is another pat on the back, telling us how awesome we are. Unless we don't get the attention we were seeking, and our confidence takes a nose dive. We end up finding our self-worth coming from an app on our phones and not from what God has to say about us. Honestly, it is so hard not too. 

In the mornings I’ve started to be conscious about leaving my phone in another room and spending time in devotions and praying for my husband, friends, work, and life. It’s crazy how spending less time on our phones, and a little more time working on our relationship with Christ will shape the things that matter to us. 

When you take your face out of your phone, it's easier to be present in the world around you. Be kind to people who need it. Live with integrity. Respect your teachers, your peers and yourself. Grow your relationship with Jesus, and you'll begin to see the world as He does - and THAT is what matters. 

Written by Ellie Dykstra

A Little Advice for You

"Go the extra mile. It's never crowded."



Day 3 | It's Just Practice

As much as I hate to see summer come to an end I know every year it does and that dreaded word enters the picture again - school!  And with school comes fall sports. This year it’s going to be cross country meets and volleyball games.

Speaking of cross country, my son comes home the other day after practice and I had heard that he didn’t do very well in time trials even though he should have.  So, being the concerned, competitive dad I asked, “What’s up bud?”

He answered in a typical sophomore way, “Nothing.”

“Really, you weren’t up there with the other runners like you usually are?”

His response, “Well I wasn’t feeling it today, it was only practice, and the coach said you don’t have to give it 100% every day.”

I’m pretty sure you could see the steam coming out of my ears, the sweat beads starting to develop on my forehead.

Not giving it 100% whether it’s practice or a meet with me is unacceptable.  I was trying not to go ballistic and needless to say I was a little shocked and frustrated by his response. I think my son misinterpreted what the coach was saying, but we got past it.

The funny thing is a few days later I was asked to speak at an event. I had heard that numbers were low with other speakers the weeks before, but I didn’t think much of it. However, I’m pretty sure when I showed up this is the smallest crowd I’ve ever spoken to - 3! Yep, you read that right, 3!

If you count me, the sound guy, the person who traveled with me, the guy interviewing me, the guy hosting it, the guy who had to leave early and the one taking pictures we may have approached 10, but that’s pushing it. And here I am reliving the thoughts I had with my son about giving it 100% before I go on stage.

Although I was disappointed, I couldn’t chew my son out for not giving it 100% a couple of days earlier, and then not do it myself.  So I tried to give the same passion I would for 3,000. Talk about a lesson that week.

In the Bible, it says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” As you start school, I know there’s going to be plenty of things you don’t want to give 100% to, but remember who you’re ultimately doing it for!  And then, take a deep breath and give it your best!

Written by Rob Roozeboom

 A Little Advice for You

“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.”

- Denis Waitley


Day 2 | Be a Bully

Before you freak out about the title of today’s devotion, hear me out!

We all know bullying is an epidemic that has been around since the beginning of time. You could say the serpent bullied Adam and Eve. Cain definitely bullied Abel. Satan tried to bully Jesus but we know how that turned out. But it’s still a problem not only in society but in each and every human heart.

According to Google, the definition of a bully as a noun is: a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.

What if we made a few changes to this definition? Let’s flip the meaning of the word bully on its head with a couple different words.

Let’s say our new definition of a bully is something like this: a person who uses strength or power to encourage or uplift those who are weaker. That sounds good, doesn’t it?

There are a few opposites of the word “bully” as a verb. They include words like help, alleviate, sustain, and relieve to name a few. Sound like someone we know? I think those are words that describe Jesus.

In Luke 6:31 Jesus introduces us to the “Golden Rule.” Do to others as you would have them do to you. Would you like someone to harm or intimidate you? Or would you rather have someone encourage and uplift you? The answer is pretty simple, right? Great. So do THAT to others. Simple! He also mentions something about turning the other cheek in Matthew for when this is hard. But that’s for a different time!

As we go about our daily lives that are restarting with school, remember Luke 6:31 as you interact with your friends, classmates, families, and even people you don’t like. Use our revised definition of the word bully and make your school (and the world!) a better place.

Written by Lee Stover

A Little Advice for You...

"When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind."
- RJ Palacio, Wonder




Day 1 | Back to School, Back to School

Here we go again! The inevitability of summer ending has finally come. Kids and parents alike all over the country are getting back into routines. There are fun things like practices, games, performances, concerts, etc. Then there are the traditionally “not fun” things. You know, the things we’re supposed to be doing: homework, studying, going to bed on time, blah, blah, blah. The “Circle of Life” if you will, continues. (cue an African sunrise and a lion cub being held by a monkey). 

This changing of the season reminds of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Verse one says “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” My favorite section of this passage is verse 4. “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Well if that isn’t obviously written about summer (time to laugh and dance) and the school year (a time to weep and mourn), I don’t know what is! 

But seriously it’s a great piece of wisdom. Everything has its time and place including school, learning, and studying. The great part about life is these seasons can change quickly and/or even happen at the same time. Even in the midst of the school year, there is plenty of laughing, dancing, and enjoying life! 

As we all get back into the swing of the school year, let’s remember there is a time for everything. Maybe we should take a look around our own lives and see what time we’re in right now. We’ll probably be surprised how many positives we can find!

Written by Lee Stover

A Little Advice for You

“The past is behind, learn from it. 
The future is ahead, prepare for it. 
The present is here, live it.”
- Thomas S. Monson