Month: August 2014

  • Perfume and The Ice Bucket Challenge

    “While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.”
                                                                              Matthew 26:6-7NIV
    ice bucket challenge You can’t go on your computer or TV these days without seeing something about the Ice Bucket Challenge! It’s a far-reaching phenomenon that is beginning to go around the globe. According to the ALS Association website, it says that: “The ALS Association has received $70.2 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 24). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.3 million new donors to The Association.” 1
    Most people are speaking so positively about the campaign, but sadly there are always those negative voices. Shockingly, Maclean’s Magazine had an article condemning the Ice Bucket Challenge as merely a “marketing gimmick”, “slaktivism” and went so far as to say it is “bad for you” to donate to a cause in this manner! The writer seems to propose that ALS has enough funds and doesn’t deserve this much investment compared to other diseases. 2 I can’t imagine that he ever has watched someone live and die with ALS. My roommate from College’s dad passed away with this horrible disease years ago. He went from being a strong carpenter and through all the debilitating stages inflicted on those suffering with Lou Gherig’s disease, until it took his life.
    When I hear a story it often makes me think of a similar Bible Story or verse. Reading this article brought to my mind about the time when a woman poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head.  The disciples scoffed and tried to sound all spiritual saying she was wasting her money and should have given the value of the perfume to the poor. Too quickly we can negatively judge a person’s actions. Jesus reprimands the disciples and says how she has done a “beautiful thing”. Whenever we give of ourselves in time or money to help others we can rest assured that our heavenly father is pleased. From oil to ice buckets of water poured on the head, He sees it all as a “beautiful thing”!
    PRAYER
    Father…Help me to look for ways that I can give to ease someone else’s burden and bring You glory! May I take up the challenge to bless the life of others. In Jesus Name…Amen!
    1 https://www.alsa.org/news/media/press-releases/ice-bucket-donations-082414.html
    2 https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/why-the-ice-bucket-challenge-is-bad-for-you/
    What is ALS” from the ALS Association Website.

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  • To The Least Of These

    DSC_1186
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
                                                                                               Matthew 25:40 NIV
    My daughter Shelby is going away to College. Since the school she chose doesn’t have dorms we had to rent a condo for her and a friend. There are just so many things to get that we’ve had to find a few pieces used so we don’t break the budget! Shelby was given a shelf from Todd’s cousin. She wanted to get it, paint and distress it, but didn’t know how to. Todd surprised her for her birthday this week by refinishing and distressing the old shelf into a beautiful, new looking shelf that matched her bed. When I saw it I knew she would be so happy and, as you can see in the picture, she was! I told Todd that when he did things nice for my daughter he was doing something nice for me! As soon as it came out of my mouth I thought of Matthew 25:40 “whatever you do for the least of these…you do for me”

    WE SHARE–WE CARE

    I heard this scripture often growing up as my grandparents ran a ministry at my home church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton called “WE SHARE, WE CARE”.   It started out with just a box at the back of our church to donate food for Christmas hampers and grew into a large FREE store-like portable at the back of our church property. It was open year round to provide for refugees, new immigrants, single parents, families or anyone in need. The building was filled with groceries; clothes and furniture to meet whatever need arose. She did for so many of “the least of these”. At 86 Gram passed away and the funeral home said they had never seen such an immense attendance for someone of her age. There were about 800 people at her actual funeral. People from many nations came and told how Gram blessed their lives and led them to Christ. Gram reminded us often how we needed to help others with her words, but more loudly, by her actions. I remember as a teenager meeting a stranger at church. She had come to meet with my grandma and thank her for the impact Gram had made as her foster mother and let her know that she had given her life to Christ. She didn’t know where my grandma lived these 40 odd years later, but assumed correctly that she could find gram at church! I will never forget the stories Gram told of bringing groceries to people’s houses and watching them break down crying, thanking God as they checked off a list they could not afford, but God had provided for. This verse was the mandate of my grandmother’s life and she lived it out well!
    So, may I ask, what have you done for The King lately?
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for all that you have blessed me with. Help me to look beyond myself and search out those that I could bless for you. May I be your hands extended. In Jesus Name…Amen!
    Bethel Gospel Tabernacle-Caring Ministry Webpage

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  • God Doesn't Make Junk-Video

    This week I was struggling to come up with an idea of what to write for my Monday devotional.  I usually have a bunch of ideas and this week I had nothing that was going WOW in my head.  Everything seemed lackluster.  Todd knew I was having “writer’s block”.  One night he was busy working on a project in the garage when all of a sudden he came in and gave me the topic idea of “God Doesn’t Make Junk“.
    https://soul-h2o.com/god-doesnt-make-junk/
    In the middle of writing the devotional for this week I came across an incredible video.  It absolutely went along with my devotional.  It’s a great video clip from this guy Matthew Carter’s Youtube Channel.  He has some really great video clips on his channel of peopl’e testimonies.  Kind of like the I AM SECOND videos.  I love hearing peoples life stories and especially thier “God Stories”.  I find them truly inspiring!
    The video I stumbled upon is such a wonderful true-life story of a girl named Kayla Curfman.  She called it “God Doesn’t Make Junk“!  She opens up her life to anyone who will watch and shares with you how God stepped in and changed her world.  Matthew Carter did a great job producing the story to make an impact.

    HEAVEN
    HEAVEN

    You might think I’m a little crazy, but one thing I’m REALLY looking forward to in heaven is meeting people and hearing their stories!  I won’t have deadlines, housework, meetings, kids or a job to keep me running.  I’ll have all the time in eternity just get to know people.  I really can’t think of anything better.  I’m thankful for the technology we have today that allows us to hear the testimonies of people all over the world–or in our local church.  Our music and media pastor Drew Mercer works with his amazing wife Amy to bring us video testimonies from people in our church almost every week.  It’s my favourite part of church.   I don’t know what it is about human nature that always things that everyone else has it all together, but these testimonies help us to see the struggles that people have faced and how God helped them overcome.  They are SO inspiring!

    Kayla’s Youtube Video


    Take less than 5 minutes out of your day and watch Kayla’s Youtube Video “God Doesn’t Make Junk” Her story will help you to believe that when it comes to YOUGod Doesn’t Make Junk!
    In His Grip,
    Sherry
    xoxo

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  • God Doesn't Make Junk

    God Doesn't Make Junk-www.Soul-H2O.com“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
                           Ephesians 2:10 NIV
    Tonight Shelby was watching a show on Plastic Surgeries gone wrong. So many people who struggle with their self-esteem choosing to go “under the knife” to make them feel better about themselves. I know that there is nothing wrong with people choosing to have plastic surgery, but too often it starts and ends with an unhealthy mindset that you aren’t made well, leaving the person with an even more diminished self-worth. I guess no one has ever read them this verse and explained to them that God doesn’t make junk!
    You are God’s handiwork. You are created by God and fashioned by His hand. Think about that. God, who is perfect, made YOU! God doesn’t make junk. We know from the creation story that everything God creates He thinks is good but, when He creates people, He says they are VERY good! You are made VERY good, no matter what anyone says, or how you feel.
    When we have an unhealthy view of ourselves it affects every area of our lives. If the enemy can get us believing that we weren’t made that well, then he can get us sidetracked from our purpose in life. We’ll be focused on fixing ourselves instead of fulfilling the good works that God has prepared for us to do. Believe who God says you are and you will fulfill the destiny He has prepared for you!
    PRAYER
    Father…Help me to see myself the way that you see me. I thank-you for creating me the way you did. Help me to see the greatness you have placed inside of me so that I may live to do all you have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Rainbows and Lightning

    rainbows and lightning
     
    Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”
                                                                               Matthew 8:24 NIV
    Yesterday Shelby showed me this picture of double rainbows beside a lightning bolt. The imagery spoke to me about life with God. We can be in the middle of a storm, but God has a rainbow for us! In Genesis 9:13 God said, “I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth.” (GOD’S WORD ® Translation). In life we can have at the same time; Promises and Storms, Rainbows and Lightning.
    I’ve always loved the story of Jesus in the boat with his disciples. These guys were following God’s direction for the lives when “SUDDENLY” a storm came out of nowhere.   It was such a crazy storm that the waves were crashing over the boat. The Bible says “BUT Jesus was sleeping”. What? Sleeping in a storm like that? Jesus was experiencing rainbows and lightning. In a panic, the disciples wake up Jesus and beg him to save them. Did they really think Jesus was going to let them drown? When Jesus got up, He rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. He rebuked the wind and the waves to bring everyone onboard the peace He had. The Bible records how the disciples were amazed and seemed shocked that Jesus had the power to calm the storm. Too often we’re like them and forget to stand on the promises He’s given.
    Today, ask God to show you His rainbow in the midst of your lightning.  Speak the truth of His promises to your storm and watch the clouds part.
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for peace. Help me to understand your promises and speak them out when storms arise. May I walk in faith, no matter the weather! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Music From The HEART ART Blog Post

    Art Ache © Todd Stahl  http://www.toddstahl.com
    Last week I blogged about my husband Todd’s heart issues and some “Heart Art”. I was overwhelmed with the response. I want to thank so many of you for emailing, messaging, leaving comments on the blog or just letting us know that you would be praying for Todd. It truly meant so much.
    If you’re a regular reader you will know that I love music and how much it speaks to me. Music can make an impact in ways that words can fall short of.  Some of you sent MUSIC FROM THE HEART ART BLOG POST and we have been loving them all week long.
    I’ve listed the links to the songs you’ve shared with us, who they’re sung by and a few of the lyrics. I want you to be as encouraged as we have been by this great music!

    Steven Curtis Chapman’s Song, The Glorious Unfolding.

    The words to this song are amazing and spoke to Todd and I in profound ways!  Here are just a few of the lyrics to whet your appetite:

     Don’t try to figure it out
    Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart

    …this is going to be a glorious unfolding
    Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
    Check out this link for the song     LYRICS       YOUTUBE OFFICIAL VIDEO
                                                                            http://www.stevencurtischapman.com

    In Jesus Name by Darlene Zschech.

    I will live, I will not die
    I will declare and life You high,

    Christ revealed and I am healed
    In Jesus’ Name

     Check out this links for the song.     LYRICS       YOUTUBE VIDEO
                                                                     
          http://www.darlenezschech.com

    When You Walk Into The Room by Bryan and Katie Torwalt.

     My favorite lines in this song are:
    When you walk into the room
    Sickness starts to vanish
    Every hopeless situation ceases to exist

     Check out this links for the song.     LYRICS       VIDEO
                                                                            Facebook for The Torwalts

    Chris Tomlin , I Lift My Hands (Let Faith Arise)

    Be Still, There is a healer.
    His love is deeper than the sea
    His mercy, it is unfailing
    His arms are a fortress for the weak
    Let faith arise…I lift my hands to believe again

     Check out this links for the song.     LYRICS       YOUTUBE VIDEO     http://www.christomlin.com
    Thank-you to Chrysta, Peggy, and Julie for sharing these songs with us!  May God Bless You for sharing your MUSIC FROM THE HEART ART BLOG POST!
    In His Grip,
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

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