Welcome to The Up Devo! “Devo” is short for devotional. It comes out at 5am five days a week (Monday to Friday). In a minute or less you’ll be able to read a short post to help you with daily, down-to-earth discipleship as a follower of Jesus. In 2018, “Up!” came to radio across Central Ontario as a part of the Life Radio Network. You can read more about that and listen to a sample here. In 2018, “Up!” was released in book format: Up! – 313 devotionals to help you start your day in a biblical, relevant way. Learn more and see order information here. And click here to read the full Introduction. And in June 2020 my second book was published: Turbulence: Devotionals To Steady You Through The Storms of Life. Assembled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this book brings together 150 daily devotionals meant to steady you through the storms of this short flight called life. You can learn more about it here. Okay, a few things about me, the author. music graphicd My name is Matthew Ruttan. And maybe it’s weird to admit this but these days I have a motto: A pulse doesn’t mean you’re alive. What gets me up in the morning is a desire to help people live out their faith in practical ways today. Plus, my three kids want breakfast! I’m a husband, dad, and the pastor at Westminster Church in Barrie, Canada. I love Jesus and how he is making all things new, my ever-insightful wife and children, the Bible, writing this devotional, songwriting (hear some songs here) and ketchup chips. I cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Before Covid-19 hit, 2020 was going to be the year! I’ve been learning more about the modern evil called human trafficking and have been getting more involved. It’s the nightmare that isn’t a dream. I was born and raised in Bracebridge, Muskoka. If you meet me at Tim Horton’s I’ll be the one with the coffee trying to resist a honey cruller. My pet peeves are TVs in restaurants, wet socks and mosquitoes. Oh, and one day I hope to own a rowboat. Just because it seems awesome. Over the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many different people — either through leading formal presentations/workshops or informal conversations — and what I love most is when people, especially young people, start to light up when they realize that what the Bible teaches about Jesus, truth and love are actually true. That changes everything. I like to write. And in addition to my blog and daily devotionals, in the past few years I’ve had a variety of articles published by Faith Today Magazine, These Days Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Gospel Coalition Canada, The Hamilton Spectator, The Presbyterian Record, The Stream, and The Christian Courier. I should also say that on my days off I like to wear track pants, play road hockey, and make pancakes. Sometimes they have chocolate chips. But only when I’m feeling crazy. I’m a sinner. Did I mention that? Seriously, I am. Without God I am nothing, literally. Left to my own devices my life is characterized by selfishness. It’s just so tempting and appealing to do the easy thing instead of the right thing. I’d list a bunch of the things I struggle with, and the various ways I’ve messed up, but I just don’t feel like this is the place to get into all that. Let’s just say I’m a work in progress. Fortunately, God’s amazing grace through Jesus has rescued me. Forever. music graphicd (3) When I was young it was all about hockey. By high school it became all about music… and girls. During that time I’m pretty sure I invented the “spaghetti sandwich,” but I never took the time to patent it. I’ve worked as a rock musician and released a CD in 2002 called “Angels and Gasoline” with the band Meraudio. I also worked as a political aide at Queen’s Park, Ontario’s provincial legislature. I hold a B.A. (York U, 1999, summa cum laude) and a Master of Divinity (U of TKnox College, 2008, Gold Medal).
Here’s a few random factoids that may be randomly interesting to a few random people:
  • I appeared as an extra in a Nicolas Cage movie when I was about ten (picture below)
  • Hold a hockey record for 5 goals in a single game while playing for the Jr ‘C’ Hunstville Huskies
  • Appeared as the guitar player in Deric Ruttan’s hit video “When You Come Around” (he’s my big bro!)
  • Performed at the Canadian Music Week festival and two Mariposa Folk Festivals
  • Did a 3-song publishing deal with Sony / ATV Tree Music Publishing
  • Was awarded “best blog” by the Canadian Church Press in 2015
  • And last year Blake Shelton replied to one of my tweets! (Yes, I realize that by saying this I’m a total nerd. Why do I think that is interesting to include in this bio?)
  • In the winter my skin gets really dry, and I try to work out three times a week — but you should know that I almost never want to.
music graphicd (2) And then there’s this:
  • I believe in prayer and that humans do have wings–they’re called knees;
  • that human trafficking is one of the biggest, most urgent problems in our world;
  • that the castle of your character is built one brick at a time;
  • and that if you have a life-changing faith your faith should be changing your life.
Why not follow along with The Up Devotional? I have fun writing it, and I think you’ll be encouraged reading it. My heroes are Jesus (from Nazareth), my wife (from my life), and all the people whose faith makes a difference in the world each and every day. There was a time when I would have included hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky and delta bluesman Son House on this list. My favourite Bible passage is Revelation 19:13.
If you want to contact me feel free to: Matthew Ruttan, VDM

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