Fisher of Men

Connecting to Your Final Destination

A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain surprises! Resist your tendency to search for the easiest route throughout the day. Be willing to follow wherever I lead. – Jesus Calling, January 13 As I slid my bag onto seat 28E, I uttered, “Lord, just get me there!” I made small talk with the stranger beside me and felt the familiar nervous flutters in my stomach that come whenever I travel. Several hours later and 30,000 feet above the Midwestern plains, I let out a relieved chuckle as I crunched stale airline pretzels and sipped bubbly ginger ale. An hour later we landed in Denver. As we taxied to the gate, I turned my phone back on and received the text no traveler wants to get: my connecting flight was canceled. I was to collect my checked b...

Wrestling with Faith and Expectations

With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent. Jesus Calling, January 9 Our Expectations Has Jesus ever behaved differently than you expected? Or maybe differently than you wanted? If God has ever moved—or not moved—in a way you desired, then you know the sting. You know the hurt. You know the confusion that surrounds you, threatening to suffocate your faith. If you have ever felt this way, please know you are not alone. John the Baptist is just one example of a person’s faith tested in the furnace of trials. He, too, felt the sting of wondering what Jesus was doing—or not doing. He had been a voice in the wilderness, a wanderer waiting anxiously for Israel’s Messi...

Walk By Faith – Jesus Calling Video Devotional by Sarah Young

[embedded content] “Be willing to follow wherever I lead.” “Though you don’t know what lies ahead, I know, and that is enough!” “Some of my richest blessings are just around the bend: out of sight, but nonteheless, very real.” “To receive these gifts, you must walk by faith—not by sight.” “Sometimes I lead you up a high mountain with only My hand to support you.” “The higher you climb the more spectacular the view becomes;also the more keenly you sense your separation from the world and all its problems.” “This frees you to experience exuberantly the joyous reality of My Presence.” “Give yourself fully to these Glory-moments, awash in dazzling light.” “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.”—Psalm 96:6

A Grateful Heart – Jesus Calling Video Devotional by Sarah Young

[embedded content] “A thankful attitude opens windows of heaven.” “Moreover, as you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows.” “Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope.” “Thus, your path becomes an upward spiral: ever increasing in gladness.” “Thankfulness is the language of Love.” “A thankful mind-set rejoices in Me, your Savior in the midst of trials and tribulations.” “I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.” “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” — Habakkuk 3:18 (NIV)

The Way of Peace – Jesus Calling Video Devotional by Sarah Young

[embedded content] The Way of Peace “Come to Me, and rest in My presence…” “As you ponder the majestic mystery of the Incarnation, relax in My everlasting arms.” “Praise and worship are the best responses to the wonder of My Being.” “Sing praises to My holy Name.” “Look for a star of guidance in your own life, and be wiling to follow wherever I lead.” “I am the Light from on high that dawns upon you, to guide your feet into the way of Peace.” “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  — John 1:14

Step Into a New Year – Jesus Calling Video Devotional by Sarah Young

[embedded content] “Come to me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed.” “A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness.“ “Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.“ “As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you.” “I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite.“ “I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting Love.” “Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness of My Presence.” “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:1...

One Church’s “Jesus Calling” Story

Pastor Cindy Ryan Sometimes the best view comes when looking backward. I am a pastor in a 2,800-member Methodist church in Texas. Like most pastors, my days are filled with typical church happenings: programs, studies, ministries, church members’ needs, planning, and leading weekly worship. Five years ago, I became aware that some women in our church were reading the devotional book Jesus Calling. They had been buzzing about the impact the book was having in their lives. But honestly, church members buzz often. They regularly tell their pastors about books or devotional materials we should read. With a full ministry plate and a busy family life, I’d had no time to read Jesus Calling, even to evaluate it. Their words and recommendations barely registered. Little did I know, God had a differ...

God is Our Companion – Jesus Calling Video Devotional by Sarah Young

[embedded content] “Walk boldy along the path of Life, relying on your ever-present Companion.” “You have every reason to be confident, because My Presence accompanies you all the days of your life—and onward into eternity.” “Fix your eyes on Me, the Author and Perfecter of your faith.” “Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am holding you by your right hand.” “Nothing can separate you from My Presence!” “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” —Isaiah 41:13

A Family’s Journey Through Addiction

Finding Hope One Day at a Time After both going through divorces, Steve and I, former high school classmates, reconnected. We’ve been married for twenty-seven years now. I had two sons, Brandon and Sean (now thirty-four and thirty-one), from my previous marriage. The boys always called Steve Dad, and he never felt any differently. Two years after we were married, our daughter Shannon was born (now twenty-five). We attended church regularly, participated in the kids’ sports, had family and friend get-togethers. Life was good. But fifteen years ago, our world began to crumble right before our eyes. We never could have imagined what was coming. Sean had always been the center of attention, outgoing and well-liked. He was a hard worker with many ambitions and dreams. Sean’s first job, at fifte...

The Wickes Honor Their Mother After Her Cancer Battle

‘Active and engaging’ would be two words to describe our mom, Amy Wicke. Outgoing and personable, she made friends quickly, and most of those friendships lasted her entire life. Her real passion was exercise. She loved running, bicycling, swimming, weight training, and aerobics classes—anything to keep moving and be outdoors. Mom’s age didn’t slow her down either. We remember her lobbying our dad to get us a trampoline, but she probably wanted it more than we did. Amy Wicke and Kids Our mom was also very competitive. When she was younger, she competed in gymnastics and swimming at a very high level. No matter what type of activity she was engaged in, Mom always wanted to improve. It turns out that her drive and competitive spirit would serve as an inspiration to many . . . In October 2002,...

A Lifestyle of Service To A New Generation

Utther Finau: My Mother’s Example I could tell you so much about my mom. I can still feel her amazing hugs that seemed to dissolve all my problems and can picture the smile that remained on her face even through the excruciating pain she endured. I could talk at length about how much I love and miss her. But what I remember the most is my mother’s love of giving. My mother, Atelina (Lina) Finau, truly had a servant’s heart. She always put others’ needs before her own, whether it was for her family, friends, or even complete strangers. Her desire to give came from her strong faith in God, and the greatest lesson she ever taught me was that we were put on this earth to help one another and that these selfless acts bring praise to the Lord. My mother followed her own teaching. She seized ever...

A Pastor Finds Strength and Grace to Lead Through Community Crises

By Dr. Cindy Ryan, associate pastor, First United Methodist Church Our senior pastor, my friend and colleague Ken Diehm, died suddenly in February 2011. Our congregation was rocked by waves of shock, grief, and change. I did the best I could to cope with my grief while pastoring a hurting church. I leaned daily on the words of Jesus Calling where I perceived God was telling me to look up and trust Him, no matter what. Six months to the day after Ken’s death, I found a lump in my breast. I was forty-nine years old and was not overly concerned but decided to have it checked. My doctor sent me for a mammogram. Those doctors recommended a biopsy. A few days after that, while at a staff planning retreat, I excused myself from my coworkers to answer a call from a number I didn’t recognize. A wom...