Countdown to RiseFest Devos

The last few days leading up to RiseFest can be fun and exciting. We as RISE, along with some of our friends who will be sharing at the festival wanted to bless with you 7 Days of Devos to prepare your heart as we count down the days to RiseFest. We hope God blesses you, and we can't wait to see you at RiseFest!



00 Days to RiseFest | By Rob Roozeboom

We couldn’t be more excited that you’re coming out to RiseFest tonight!  Over the last 7 days we’ve shared different devotions with you – Words Matter, Be a Light, What’s in your Heart, Life Needs More Aidan, As He Passed By, Christ Will Nourish Us, Come As You Are.

Today as you get the car packed, round up your posse, double check for sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and of course, your tickets! We want to end and begin with a MercyMe song – Happy Dance!

It’s fun and a little goofy, but it has a great message to kick 
off the festival…

Hey, you
In the corner shaking in those boots
You got one, one for two
You got the 
shaking right, but the fear won't do
We always say that we have unspeakable joy
So let our feet do all the talking when our words fall short

We've got a 
to get up
Reason to get down
He done traded our sin for joy
And now, that joy wants out

Happy dance (oh!)
Happy dance (oh!)

That’s why we’re here this weekend! MercyMe said it best, “He done traded our sin for joy, and now, that joy wants out!”

Over the next 2 days let your joy out! Worship, sing, dance, pray and enjoy! Do the Happy Dance!

Psalm 9:2


1 Day to RiseFest | By Lee Stover

Life. Is. Hard.

No one ever promised it would be easy, but man...can’t we catch a break once in a while! I was out for a run this morning and was thinking about writing this devotional. I had so many thoughts running (pun intended) through my head and was just asking God for guidance and for Him to bring the right words to share with you. 

Along with that, I was also thinking about everything happening in my life leading up to this weekend. My wife and I recently welcomed our second baby boy at the end of April, so we’ve been adjusting to life as a family of 4. It sure is awesome. But there are a lot of times, even in just the 6 weeks, he’s been here, that it hasn’t been. Between the newborn crying (and you can’t figure out why!) to the 2 year-old who’s doing who knows what (probably scribbling in black pen on the tan leather recliner), to the exhausted parents trying to hold it all together (and trying to stay sane…), it’s an interesting time. That’s just family life! Not even to mention all the little details we’re trying to finish up before the gates open.

We all have our own things in life that are hard. Some are harder than others, no doubt. But everyone has their own struggles. And those struggles cause us to react. A lot of times we react in ways that aren’t beneficial, maybe even dangerous. There are a lot of outlets that people turn to for stress that cause more harm than good. Substance abuse, overeating, watching things we shouldn’t - just to name a few. 

All of these actions bring consequences and pretty soon we can find ourselves feeling very far from God. Our natural reaction to this situation, more often than not, is just to hide more from our creator rather than draw closer to him. 

We have this idea that we can get our own lives in order before we come back to God. Let me just clean myself up a little bit and then I’ll go to church. Let me just try to fix this habit on my own and then I’ll read my Bible. Let me work this out on my own and then I’ll pray. 


It’s impossible to do it in our own. That’s the whole reason Jesus came! He came to take the consequences of OUR actions. Because of that, we can draw close to God in the midst of our brokenness. He wants us. 

Come. As. You. Are. 

That is the title of a song from Crowder. The chorus goes like this: 

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You're not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

Whatever you’re struggling with. Whatever you’ve held on to. Whatever you’re running from. Use this weekend to come as you are, lay it all at the foot of the cross, and 
be loved by our Father. 


2 Days to RiseFest | By Jesse Walhof

Though there are four Gospels in the Bible, there is only one miracle performed by Jesus that is mentioned in all of them. This miracle is Jesus feeding the 5,000.

Now, I have often wondered why, out of all the miracles Christ performed, is this one specific miracle the only one that all the Gospels report?  Well, perhaps, it has something to do with the action Jesus is undertaking in this story.

What is Jesus doing? He is FEEDING people.

Now, while this may not seem very significant at first, I believe it is quite significant.

Jesus is feeding the people. He is taking care of their needs, by NOURISHING them. Jesus, in this story, nourishes the people. Not just a few people, but thousands of people!

Can you imagine a situation where Jesus, by His power, nourishes thousands of people? I hope you can. Because when I read this Gospel, I am reminded of another situation where Christ nourishes people, and it just so happens to take place this weekend, here, in Sheldon Iowa. We call it RiseFest.

as Christ nourished peoples' needs in the Gospels, we hope and pray that Christ will nourish our spiritual needs through RiseFest. A time of song, fellowship, and celebration before the Lord, where we are Spiritually fed through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And what a gift it is to have a God who not only nourished people in the Gospels, but that same God still today nourishes us! What a blessing that is.

So, in this Rise Fest weekend, I invite you to be fed. I invite you to worship. I invite you to be nourished by the Lord. And as you are fed, thank God that he gave us such a miracle.


3 Days to RiseFest | By Pedro LaTorre

Recently I was on my way to hang out with a buddy of mine. We were going to grab some food at a coffee shop and just hang out and chill, and I got into a car accident on the way there.

I hit this lady's car from behind - end up in this little fender bender, and it just kind of threw off my whole day. Honestly, it threw off my whole week and became this big point of stress and frustration. My wife wasn’t happy with me. It was just a mess.

I kind of realized at this moment, that I’m not really good at seeing obstacles as opportunities. But, I quickly realized this lady's baby was in the car, and so I started asking, "Is the baby okay?"

Obviously, the father came out of me and I just began to say, "I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I messed up. It's my bad."

In the Bible, we see Jesus in these moments. These moments that look like detours, U-turns, go the other direction, hold on you're messing up my schedule. 

We see Jesus winning in these moments and absolutely loving people through them. John 9:1 starts off with four of the most powerful words I think I’ve ever read in the New Testament. It says, "As he passed by..."

Why in the world is "as he passed by" the most important thing to note from this?

It's because he wasn’t out selling a brand, or trying to build his movement, or gain more Instagram followers. Jesus was simply doing life.

He was going out on an average Monday just trying to love people. And still, while he’s on a mission - the greatest mission of all time - Jesus is still concerned with individuals, and people who were in front of him.

For Jesus, he always saw obstacles as opportunities. He always saw people as the greatest platform. 

Could it be that our awareness in these little tiny moments of life, could be the biggest billboard of God’s love for humanity?

Could it be that people are watching you in these little in-between moments - what you’re going to do, what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to respond?

I believe that God will empower you to respond well.

Read John 9:1-7

This was an excerpt from Pedro's devotional, The Middle Seat. Read more on the Bible app:


4 Days to RiseFest | By Lee Stover

4 Days to RiseFest

Looking around our world today, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in how ugly life can be. We read about this scandal or this disaster or that tragedy. There is so much hurt and sadness that it can be easy to think our outlook can’t be anything but bleak, especially when these things hit close to home. When it comes to the festival this frustration can take the form of a storm rolling through or the stresses of putting on a large event.

For King & Country released a new single in May and I think it is the perfect way to combat that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. The song, “joy.” is about this very idea of combating the negativity in life with joy. My favorite part of this song is the chorus, specifically the line “I CHOOSE joy.” Things will always happen to us and affect our lives. How we respond is up to us!

Jesus is still on the throne. He still defeated death. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. That is reason enough to find joy in any situation! Even in the difficult ones.

The music video for the song features actress Candace Cameron-Bure (Full House, ya’ll!) who plays a news anchor that does, in fact, end up choosing joy eventually. The video ends with her line, “On a brighter note. While our circumstances haven’t changed, I guess our perspective can.”

As we inch closer to the festival, what perspective in your life can you switch to see joy? Oh, and please join us this Friday to see for King & Country live in person at RiseFest! :)

Scripture: Psalm 30:1-5


5 Days to RiseFest | By Rob Roozeboom

The other day, I was sitting in church when I noticed my wife start to laugh under her breath.

And I thought, “What is she laughing at? Did I miss something funny in the sermon? Did one of our kids do something overly inappropriate that I missed?”

You know us dads sometimes - we’re behind on what’s happening right in front of us. So, rather than keep guessing, I asked my wife, “What’s so funny?”

She handed me a prayer request form that you can find in our bulletins each week.

Our 10-year-old daughter, Aidan, decided to write some prayer requests.  It read, "Prayer requests: life needs more bubbles and more movies and Pizza Ranch pizza!" Now I was the one laughing because that’s our Aidan. 

She comes up with crazy things all the time.

Then I started thinking about it, what does life need more of? From a 10-year-olds perspective, it’s bubbles, movies, 
and pizza… but what about from yours or my perspective? What does life need more of?  

I know what it needs less of: 

Less finger pointing 
Less hatred 
Less blame
Less excuses 
 “Us against them mentality”
Less “Me first” attitude

Life needs the opposite, life needs Jesus!

What does that mean?

We show forgiveness
We love our neighbor as ourselves
We serve rather than looking to be served
We pray
We share with others God’s amazing love
We teach
We disciple
We love

With RiseFest only a few days away our hope is that you will experience Jesus! Through the artists, speakers, volunteers, staff and maybe some bubbles and Pizza Ranch pizza! 

Written by Rob Roozeboom


6 Days to RiseFest | By Cade Thompson

Hello! My name is Cade Thompson and I am so excited to be with all of you at Risefest this year. Today I just wanted to share with you a little backstory on one of my songs and it is my hope that you can apply it to your everyday life.

In 2017 I wrote the song Lights. This song is based out of a time in my life when I wanted to help people to realize that they can make a difference and share the Gospel with those around them and see lives change. Matthew 5:16 (ESV) says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” So what does ‘being a light’ exactly mean for us? It can be as simple as smiling and telling someone to have a great day, or maybe stopping long enough in your day to ask the person in the grocery line if you can pray for them. I have found that we truly come alive when we take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on those people around us. That is how we can truly let our light shine. You may be 80 years old or 15 years old, but you have a light that the Lord has put inside of you. It’s time to let that Light shine and share the hope of Jesus Christ with the world. It can simply start with slowing down to notice others around you.

So right now take a few moments to be still and ask God to highlight one specific person that needs to be uplifted and hear hope from you today. I believe that through this you will see an amazing impact in your community, city, and your heart.

God, here I am today...I desire to be a vessel for you and I just ask that you would highlight those specific people in my life that are hurting, broken, and hopeless. I am asking for your boldness that you would give me the words to say to them and that your hope would rush over them. Thank you for placing a light in me so I can let it shine. I know that you are the one that was, the one that is, and the one that is to come. AMEN.

1 PETER 4:8

Written by Cade Thompson

7 Days to RiseFest | By Adam Weber

7 days

Words are powerful.

They have the power to hurt, the power to heal, the power to ruin your day or make it better.

Certain words can make you want to crawl in a hole (I’ll never forget being the first kid in my kindergarten class to have glasses and be called four-eyes). And other words can alter the course of your life in the best ways possible.

Words matter.

God tells us that our words can bring death or they can bring life. Basically, our words can kill someone from the inside out or they can make a person come alive. Intense, right?

But as humans, we’re so quick to carelessly throw our words around.

I never cease to be amazed by some of the words, some of the crazy insane things, people say. Whether it’s two friends talking smack about each other, or random strangers yelling in the fast food line. Kids whining disrespectfully to parents or parents on a power trip with their kids. Spouses bad mouthing each other or coworkers gossipping about the whole office.

And we haven’t even mentioned what people will say online, and through email, on Facebook, in text messages, and on Twitter. There are so many times where I just want to ask, “Would you ever say that in person? What were you hoping to gain?” So many times I want to type, “You don’t know everything.” Or “Just go talk to the person instead of trashing them all over Facebook.”

As a whole, it’s hard to wrap my head around the crazy things that some people will say. And yet when I’m honest, I’m just as amazed, and maybe even more so, by some of the crazy insane words that have come out of my own mouth.

Yes, the words of others can bring death or life, but the truth is our words are just as powerful.

In a day and age when we’re so quick to be high and mighty and offended because of someone else’s words, I just gotta ask: Are we just as offended by our own words?

Honestly, how are you and I using our words?
Not someone else.
How are we using our words when we talk to our coworkers, our neighbors, our family, and our friends?

Are our words bringing life? Or are they bringing death?

Here are two practical steps that will help us be better at using our words to give life instead of death.

Be Quiet.

First off, be quiet. It’s as simple as that.

Do you want your words to bring life instead of death? Just be quiet!

Easier said than done, right?

Because our opinion matters. And we usually think it’s the right opinion.
We need to speak our minds. And people need to hear what we think.

But honestly when we’re quiet our words become more important, and people want to listen when we actually do speak.

Also when we’re quiet, it helps to control our words. Being quiet gives us the ability to think through our words, and more often than not, decide not to speak at all.

And maybe the most important thing when it comes to being quiet: it gives us the ability to truly love another person. How? By simply listening to them. When we let others speak, we’re actively valuing what they have to say.

Speak Gently.

Another way to make sure our words bring life and not death? Speak gently.

I can’t imagine how many problems we would avoid in our marriages and at work and just in general if we were to speak gently.

There are times when we should be quiet, but there are other times when we should speak. How we speak though, matters so much.

If we learn to speak gently …
Instead of getting defensive and angry, people will listen.
Instead of creating more division, our words will bring healing.
Instead of automatically hating people we disagree with, we’ll be able to see and respect their side.

More than anything, when we speak gently we show other people Jesus, and they’re drawn to the Jesus in us. Seriously. If you want to turn people away from God, just be a loud and obnoxious Christian who is slow to listen and quick to speak.

But if you want people to truly see Jesus, be quick to listen, and when you speak, speak gently. People will want to know about the God you follow.

One more time: Be quiet and speak gently.

Why? Because our words are so powerful. They matter. They can bring death or life.

Written by Adam Weber