Lessons on Learning to Fly with Faith

by Sheri Schofield

It had been a difficult spring. My husband, Tim, had suffered a breakdown from enormous pressures of life-threatening retaliation after he stood against fraud at work. He was too broken to support the family now, and too fragile for me to leave him home alone for more than a couple hours at a time. We had two school-age children. There were no savings after a year-long legal battle, and now there was no income. I had enough money left to buy food and gas for about a week.

A foot of snow covered the ground outside our log home on the mountain that morning in early March. I shoveled a path out to my car and headed down the mile-long dirt road to the highway into town to buy food.

I told the Lord, “Tim is suffering because he took that stand against evil for Your sake. That makes this money situation YOUR problem. So, Lord, please provide!”

As I drove down the mountain through the snow, an eagle flew across my path. The Lord reminded me of how eagles teach their young to fly. My imagination took me to the eagle’s nest. Day after day, the eaglet watches his parents soar through the sky. “Oh!” he thinks, “I want to be just like Dad!”

One day his father asks, “Are you ready to fly?”

“Yes!” cries the eaglet.

“Then get up here on the edge of the nest and start flapping your wings,” Dad orders.

The eaglet hops over to the edge and experimentally flaps his little wings. Just as he starts to get the hang of it, Dad pushes him out of the nest! What treachery! The eaglet squawks and tumbles through the air. He’s sure he’s going to die! But then Dad sweeps beneath the fledgling, catches him on his back, flies gracefully back up to the nest and dumps him.

“There’s no place like home!” the eaglet breathes, clutching the nest.

“Ok, let’s try this again. But next time, try flapping those wings!” Dad says.

“What do you mean by ‘next time’?” the eaglet croaks. “I’m NEVER leaving home again!”

As Dad pushes the eaglet back over to the edge, the eaglet tries vainly to grip the twigs in the nest. But it’s no use. As he tumbles toward the ground again, he croaks, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!”

Dad repeatedly catches the eaglet and carries him back to the nest to try again. Eventually, the eaglet overcomes his fear and learns to flap his wings. Soon he is soaring gracefully in the sky with his dad.

“You are like the eaglet,” God whispered to me. “I am pushing you out of your security so you will learn to trust Me more. I always catch you before you are in danger. So flap those wings of faith and come fly with Me!”

I laughed out loud. At the end of the driveway, I stopped at the mailbox. Inside was a letter for our family. . . and a check for three-thousand dollars.

Whenever a bill or a need arose that year, a check for the corresponding amount would show up in the mail. “The Lord told me to send this to you,” the writer would say. That year, we received thousands of dollars from friends through the mail. We always had food on the table and every bill was paid on time.

That was the year I learned to soar on high with my Father.

“…Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV

The Eaglet & Lessons on Learning to Fly with #Faith – Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!

Join the conversation: When has God demonstrated His faithfulness to provide in your life?

Again, Again!

by Kristine Brown

“The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah,” (1 Samuel 1:19a NLT).

I watched from the park bench as the toddler lifted his feet once more – mom in one hand, dad in the other. He knew if he held on tight, they would swing him forward to his delight.

“Again, again!” he shouted. The boy’s squeals sent me back to the early years with my own son, a time when a simple swing brought such joy. He used to say those same words when he wanted more. More playtime. More laughter. More mom and dad.

Now at 16-years-old, those moments of unbridled freedom have been replaced with the seriousness and responsibilities of pre-adulthood. Driving tests, job searches, and college planning fill the daily schedule. And in the midst of the madness, I find myself longing for those days when his mom and dad were the center of his universe.

I wonder if God feels this way about me, too. I’m working so hard to be a good grown-up, a responsible parent, and a trustworthy employee. Time with God can be one more thing to check off my never-ending list. Yet God’s desire is for me to view time with Him as far more important than another task to complete.

In today’s verse, a woman named Hannah and her family made their annual journey to the temple to worship God. They’d walked the same path year after year, but this time God had a special message for Hannah. While praying, Hannah received a miraculous promise from the Lord through Eli the priest. God assured Hannah she would soon have the child she’d yearned to have for so long.

Hannah had every reason to pack up their supplies and race back to Ramah. After all, she needed to prepare for the arrival of her promise! Yet she and her family decided the next morning to go back to the temple and worship God again. Instead of rushing off, Hannah returned to God’s presence once more.

One more chance to thank Him for answered prayer.

One more moment in the comfort of His presence.

One more time to praise Him, just because.

Hannah knew the importance of worshiping God again and again. When I read her story, I couldn’t help but question: have I let the weight of life’s demands distract me from spending time with God? Maybe in all my striving I’m forgetting about what that unbridled freedom feels like. Maybe in all my striving I’m forgetting about what unbridled freedom feels like: putting my hands into His strong ones, trusting Him to lift me up. If you’ve been in that place too – a place where your worship has faded with the growing responsibilities of life – let’s learn from Hannah’s example today.

Let’s lift our feet with adventurous abandon, knowing God’s grip won’t let go. Let’s swing forward, laughing along the way. And when our tip-toes touch the ground, let’s call out to our heavenly Father, “Again, again!” God is ready to raise us up, and his muscles never grow tired of holding us.

Yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.                                                                                                                                                    Isaiah 40:31 NASB

kristine brownAbout the author: Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing biblical insight with her readers and audiences in relatable ways. Her hodgepodge of life experiences blend together to create a backdrop for her lessons that highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. She is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. You’ll find Kristine’s weekly devotions and Bible study resources at kristinebrown.net.

Join the conversation: What specifically do you do when you spend time with the Lord?


Leave Your Parachute at Home

by Edie Melson

 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes, actually more often than not, I get caught up in the process of life. The details grow large and overwhelming and I lose sight of the bigger picture. It happens because I’m an analytical sort of person, and definitely a planner. With every project I tackle, I map out what’s ahead, trying to anticipate any possible potholes and pitfalls. I build timelines and set expectations.

I should probably mention that I’m also a recovering perfectionist.

For years I didn’t acknowledge that fact. Partly out of ignorance and partly out of denial. My perfectionism shows itself in strange ways. In the past it has kept me from trying anything I thought I couldn’t succeed at. Because I set such high expectations for my own performance, fear of failure kept me in a box of what I knew I could achieve. That kept me from pursuing my dreams.

In the past I’ve gone to great lengths to build in safeguards that keep failure at bay when I tackle a difficult project. I always thought of these things as packing a parachute. They’d be a built-in safety net that would keep me from crashing and burning if I hadn’t covered all the possibilities.

But the biggest turning point came one day as I had my devotion time. I came up with the idea that following God was like getting ready to skydive. I began to record comparisons between packing a parachute and all that skydiving entailed in my journal—certain I’d hit on a wonderful metaphor for life.

Until I felt a metaphoric tap on my shoulder from the Holy Spirit. He whispered a question I’ve never forgotten.

Are you skydiving or flying?

God reminded me that He is in the business of helping us to fly. He’s not interested in skydiving, and He has no need of parachutes. Parachutes are the baggage of those who are trying to do things apart from him.

I won’t argue that there are things we need to do to get ready to fly, but packing a parachute isn’t one of them. God wants us to fly free, chasing the dreams He’s placed in our hearts. His plan doesn’t include the encumbrances of safety nets and parachute. When He’s in control, they’re just extra baggage that can keep us from soaring high. So whatever dream God has planted, go for it. And leave the parachute at home.

Edie-MelsonAbout the author: Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, whether she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker, she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her latest book, While My Child is Away; Prayers for While Were Apart is available at local retailers and online. Connect with her further at www.EdieMelson.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Edie’s book, While My Child is Away,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What fears are you carrying around that might keep you from flying?

We Can’t Live Without Hope

by Karen Porter

The human body can survive about 3 weeks without food but not more than a couple of days without water. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we can’t live without hope. Hope that tomorrow the sun will shine and take away the dreary gray clouds. Hope that the doctor will discover the right medicine. Hope that a prodigal child will call. Hope that a strained relationship will be changed to forgiveness and love again.

An ancient Roman saying states, “Where there is life there is hope.” Sounds good, but shouldn’t the statement be as Warren Wiersbe said? “Where there is faith, there is hope.” As believers, our hope is not in sunny days tomorrow or medical technology or the sudden change of heart of a person. Our hope is in Jesus. Peter said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (I Peter 1:3 ESV, emphasis mine).

A living hope is a great expectation. But Peter is quick to point out that the anticipation is based on the completed work of Jesus. Each of us is born with a sin nature that separates us from God. Jesus provided rescue and redemption from that separation by paying the price for our sins on the cross, and His resurrection offers new life to us. His resurrection means that we may live too. And not simply live, but live with hope.

Our culture does not understand hope in Jesus because we are conditioned that we must do something instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. Work hard enough and your future is bright. But the Lord said through Isaiah, “Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT). That’s the difference being a believer makes, because faith fuels hope. Faith is believing even when the evidence says otherwise. Faith is trust in God, not in circumstances, because of who He is.

We will face disappointments and tragedies, but we must never give up on hope in Jesus. Faith is for today…trusting no matter what the doctor or the news said.

One friend’s future changed instantly when her child made a wrong and deadly decision, but faith has sustained her and given her hope for the difficult years that she has faced since then.

One friend’s reputation was destroyed by lies and half-truths. His dreams and opportunities seem ruined forever. But faith gets him through the day and hope assures him that God knows what is in store in the days and weeks to come.

One friend’s daughter was killed in a terrible accident. Yet my friend’s faith was so strong that she shook her fist at the devil and said, “If that’s all you got, you’ve failed. I’ll trust God.”

“Job said, God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him” (Job 13:15 NLT).

Hope is trusting in the character of God even if the worst has happened. God is here today, and He is in tomorrow too. Whatever you face tomorrow, will your response be hope?

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

karen-porter-About the Author: Karen Porter is an author, speaker, coach and successful businesswoman. She coaches aspiring writers and speakers and is co-owner of Bold Vision Books. In her spare time, she pursues her life-long goal of finding the perfect purse.


Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Karen’s book,  Get Ready, Practical Ideas to Prepare You for Ministry,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.


Join the conversation: How has holding on to hope helped you in the past?

When Things Seem Impossible

by Sheri Schofield

“Father, how am I supposed to handle this?” I asked God. Our family had just gone through a year of incredible trauma. It was so bad that nobody in our new town believed us. They did not think this type of event could happen in the United States. Now our enemy had taken one final swipe at us, and my husband, Tim, couldn’t handle it. He broke down completely and quit his job as a physician.

Day after day, Tim lay on the couch staring at the ceiling. When night came, he tossed and turned and cried out or screamed in his sleep. We had two children, both attending Christian schools, which we felt was necessary for their emotional states at the time. With no income, unable to leave Tim alone in order to work, how was I supposed to get our family through this disaster? How could I put food on the table and ward off debt? I was struggling with post-traumatic stress myself!

I did the only thing I knew would work: I cast myself upon God. I cried buckets of tears as I poured my heart out to my heavenly Father, pleading for help. As the months wore on, I came to desire God’s presence even more than my own requests. He met with me, filled me with joy, and kept me close to His side. The results of those prayers were amazing!

The Christian high school principal paid my son’s tuition so we did not have to put him in public school. Whenever we had a household bill to pay, a check from a Christian friend would arrive in the mail with a note that said, “God told me to send this to you.” Every physical need was met.

Then God asked me to pray for other people suffering from diseases. Many terminally ill people were completely healed. Others received three or four extra years of life.

Gradually, my husband began to recover. A man from church coaxed Tim into helping at his lube and oil shop. Between jobs, the man talked with Tim and drew him out. It didn’t bring in very much money, but working with a fellow Christian man helped Tim gain confidence. He had fallen ill in February. By October, he was able to begin a desk job evaluating disability claims for the government.

My lacerated heart began to heal. During that year, God helped me to stay calm in front of our children and to provide the security they needed. By watching my example, they learned that God answers prayer.

Those stormy months taught me to rest in Jesus like never before. I would not trade that year of prayer for anything! It worked a revolution in my heart and taught me the power of waiting on God for all things.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31, KJV

sheri schofieldAbout the author: Children’s ministry veteran Sheri Schofield was unexpectedly called on to save her husband’s life, a battle that took her to the Pentagon, Congress, National Security and the President of the United States. At her website, www.SheriSchofield.com, she shares this journey in her book One Step Ahead of the Devil then continues her ministry with the children’s book The Prince And The Plan.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Sheri’s book, One Step Ahead of the Devil,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What needs has God met for you when you were in the middle of crisis?