Month: May 2016

  • You’re Already Amazing – By Holley Gerth

    This month marks my entry into the “#EllensPicks group of women. I was so excited to get home from a speaking trip to Dallas and open my first package. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy mail without a bill! It was all packaged up with raffia, cute cards with quotes from Holley Gerth, The great You’re Already Amazing Life Growth Guide book, 2 packets of hot chocolate that I might or might not have shared with my hubby Todd and a sweet handwritten card from Ellen Graf-Martin.

    starting to read the bookAs soon as I got Holley’s book I began devouring it. I love self-help stuff since I’m always needing it and especially when it’s backed up with scripture. I’m passionate about helping people see their God-given Purpose and encouraging them to fulfil it. I can see Holley is too. I immediately clicked with her book.

    Then I went on my computer to check her out and watch the video mentioned in the book. I felt an affinity with Holley even though I don’t know her, yet. I can say yet, because even if we don’t meet here on earth I’m convinced there’s going to be a big blogger’s linkup area in heaven one day!  When I saw the title of Holley’s blog I thought “I could hang out with this girl”. Since you’re on my page you probably know that my blog is called Soul H2O, and Holley’s blog is called Coffee For Your Heart, so we’re both trying to help quench your spiritual thirst, just with different drinks. I wish I liked coffee so my blog could have used a really cool blog name like Soul Coffee. Since I don’t like coffee and suffer from a Coke addiction (breathe…I’m meaning Coca-Cola, the kind I maybe get daily at a local McDonald’s drive-thru, maybe)…anyways, I didn’t think Soul Coke was a viable option in the Christian Blog market, so I went with the Soul H2O idea.

    Ok, back to the purpose of this post—the review. Holley’s book You’re Already Amazing has the best tagline. If she gave a money-back guarantee based on the sub-title she’d never have to return a penny. It says:

    Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be

    If you struggle with understanding what you’re good at or knowing what God wants for your life, if you’ve ever wanted to get a Life Coach, then this book is a must ‘get’. I don’t say must ‘read’ because you need to get it, read it, mark it up and write in it. You can’t ‘just’ read it or you won’t get your money’s worth. The best part of this book is the self-discovery that results from the exercises Holley gets you to do. She really puts her Life Coaching skillset into the pages of this book. She knows like my Life Coach friend Wendy Pauls, how to draw out what’s inside of you.

    The most powerful sentence in the book for me was on pages 25-26 when Holley said:

    “My friend’s two phrases “This is nothing” and “It was simple” are twin clues that skills are hiding somewhere in plain sight…What are you doing when people compliment you and you can’t quite understand why they think it’s a big deal?”

    This statement has helped me to explain to others how to find their God-given talents. It’s as simple as that.

    Once Holley helps you to Embrace Who You Are, she guides you to Becoming All God Created You to Be.

    This book is a beautiful, fun journey that you’ll love to travel with Holley. If you take the time to use the book, watch her videos and implement what you learn, you’ll Become All God Created You to Be when you understand that You’re Already Amazing!

    I hope you enjoyed my first #paperbackpic review. By writing this linkup post for #EllensPics I’ve reached a life-goal I’ve been putting off for a year. How fitting that it would happen while reviewing a book that helps you move forward in what God has for your life! I’ve wanted to start writing reviews on books for a long time and even searched out my own hashtag to use. I was shocked when my idea hadn’t been taken yet and #paperpackpic was unused. I’m even more shocked that it still hasn’t been used after a year. Well not anymore girls! I will be sharing books that have helped me grow and will help you too. I’ve always been one to suggest books and often give them out to friends, I just did yesterday. Once a girlfriend started calling me the ‘spiritual librarian’ of our church, which was quite funny since I’m the type that usually gets kicked out of libraries, for talking of course! So here’s my way of talking in the library and helping my girlfriends find some good books.

    Be blessed and refreshed,
    ~Sherry

    holley book coverHere’s how to find Holley Gerth:
    Website: http://www.holleygerth.com
    Book Site: https://holleygerth.com/amazing
    Insta & Twitter: @holleygerth
    Facebook: Holley Gerth

    You’re Already Amazing – By Holly Gerth
    Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be
    (c) 2016 Holley, Inc. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, MI

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  • 4. WE Rule – In The Beginning Series

    “…and let them rule…”
    Genesis 1:26 NIV

    We come to the Bible with filters on our eyes, minds, hearts and spirits. It’s impossible not to. We read the Bible through the lens of our past experiences, teachings, understandings and misunderstandings. Somewhere my filter was cloudy on the authority God gave in the garden and that left me to have a bit of an inferiority complex. Recently I read Genesis 1 over without that faulty lens of the past and found out that WE Rule! Now, let me explain…

    I think my confusion came because people have focused their teaching about ruling creation from the verses in Genesis 2 over the verses in Genesis 1 that talk about the same thing.

    You see, Genesis 1:1-2:3 is kind of a ‘highlight reel’ of the first seven days of creation. Day seven is summed up by God when he said:

    “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV

    The Genesis 2 account gives us a “behind the scenes” look at the seventh day and how it all started before Eve was created.

    “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden…” Genesis 2:15

    Adam began ruling over the land, birds, sea and animals. God even allowed Adam to name everything. What a cool job that would have been! It started with just Adam ruling, but it didn’t end there. Genesis 1:26-28 confirms that by the end of day seven, God’s original plan was to let them rule; both male and female.

    The more I study how God designed things In The Beginning, the more I realize He wanted men and women to partner together in dominion over the earth. It’s not a feminist ideal. It’s just a realignment to how God designed things to work.

    Girls don’t need to have an inferiority complex and guys don’t control the market on management. No one needs to clamor for or grasp at something that is already theirs. Men and women are called to rule together. Our attitude should be the same as Jesus’ towards any position of authority. In Philippians 2:5-9 we read that Jesus modeled servant leadership. So understand correctly everyone, WE Rule to serve!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for an increased revelation in truth about your original intentions for men and women In The Beginning. Help me to see how good your plans were from the start. I pray that men and women would begin to rule together in the church, in business, in families and wherever leadership is needed. Let each one use their distinct giftings that display Your image and benefit Your kingdom. Let this truth inspire me to live out Your purposes for my life. In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • 3. Blessed – In The Beginning Series

    “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase…”
    Genesis 1:28 NIV

    I’m one of those people who have a fair amount of things go wrong for them. Just in the past month I’ve gotten sick and had to go on antibiotics which triggered an allergic reaction that caused all-over-the-body hives, which sent me to the emergency once and almost twice, getting intravenous medicine to stop an anaphylactic reaction, my computer crashed two times and I had flight delays which affected my business travel…How’s that for a run on sentence? Sometimes, when life gets really difficult you can start to believe that there’s a curse over your life. I know that’s wrong theology because Genesis 1:28 assures me that In The Beginning, God Blessed people.

    I understand there are ways that by our choices of words spoken, commitments made and actions taken we can bring curses on our lives. I also recognize the enemy of our souls wants us to feel we are cursed to the core, that something is so fundamentally wrong with us we can’t ever experience God’s blessings; they’re only for “special” people. Genesis 1:28 affirms how God blessed mankind to be fruitful. You are blessed to increase, not decrease. This ‘blessed to increase’ anointing on mankind isn’t just Old Testament stuff either. In John 14:12 Jesus said one of the most unimaginable things, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” Greater? How? There is such a blessing on your life that God desires to increase His reach in this world through you.

    You are not cursed because In The Beginning, you were fundamentally blessed! Live today in the confidence that God has blessed you to increase!

    [tweetthis]God has blessed you to increase! GN 1:28 #Blessed[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father….I’m thankful Your Word assures me in the truth that You God are able to bless me abundantly and You will help me to abound in every good work.1 You have destined me to increase.   Where there has been a decrease or lack I pray that Your blessings would replenish and supply, because I am blessed!   In Jesus Name…Amen

    1 2 Corinthians 9:8

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  • 2. Image Bearers – In The Beginning Series

    “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
                                                      Genesis 1:27 NIV

    I attended a luncheon put on by the leadership team of the Zoe Network. I was seated between two very important people in my life: Sharon Thomas and Peggy Kennedy. The food was delicious and the event was life changing for some girls there! When the leader, Leanne McAllister spoke, she made a point that many women don’t see themselves as made in the image of God. Looking at the women on either side of me emphasized the truth of how women too are God’s Image Bearers.

    There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the role of women in God’s plan for the world. I believe they often start with a wrong understanding of who is made in God’s Image. When women are blinded to this foundational truth, their whole worth is negatively affected, and when men are blinded to this foundational truth, their whole value system towards women is negatively affected. Genesis 1:27 explains how In The Beginning we were both: male and female, made in God’s image. Digging into the original Hebrew of the text magnifies this point.

    My prayer is that this truth would sink deep into your spirit. When we understand that every person on the face of this earth was created in the image of God, we will assign to him or her, the value God placed within them. May this truth cause you to live with purpose, desiring to make a difference in this world when you understand your role as God’s sales reps, His divine Image Bearers.

    Prayer

    Father…Please bring full truth to light in my hearts and mind. Help me to understand how In The Beginning You created us all in Your image.  Help me to accept that You created me in Your Image, despite all my faults. As I live my life as one of Your Image Bearers, may your imprint be clear for all to see! In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share how being God’s Image Bearer affects your life?
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  • In The Beginning-Series Intro

    On Monday I published the first devotion for the In The Beginning Series, but it all started last week when Todd and I were blessed to attend the General Conference for the PAOC in Montreal, Quebec. We were there with our publisher, Warren Benson from Word Alive Press, promoting our books, but mostly our Church Challenges to pastors. http://www.takethe40daychallenge.com

    ‘La Belle Province’ lived up to it’s name as God did so many beautiful things there. One of the most rewarding is how he reconnected me to friends and teachers from Bible College. It was as if life hadn’t taken that crazy turn and my journey didn’t skip a beat. I was back joking, discussing and living life among friends, and I got to introduce them to my husband Todd. It was like God hit the reset button and I’m back in the beginning, ready to fulfill the call of God on my life.   Actually, I remember the day God hit that reset button.

    reset button

    In the Fall of 2011 I went to a reunion for the Bible College I attended, now called Master’s College and Seminary. I was nervous going to the reunion. Ending up divorced was not a part of my life goals when I left the halls of Bible College. I had dreams of raising my family in a healthy, Christ-centred home filled with peace and doing great things for God in ministry. Sadly, my plans were derailed for a couple decades, but God wasn’t finished with my story.

    At the reunion I was so inspired by the messages spoken through Craig Burton, a I guy I sat in class with, then Chairman of the Bible College Board and some younger guy named Rich Janes. I’m sure Rich will like that one! The most life-affecting message came through the words of another friend from Bible College, Kevin Johnson.   Kevin’s message was powerful. He talked about how God had hit the ‘reset’ button on the life of the Bible College since it moved back to the Peterborough campus, and how God was doing the same in people’s lives. I felt Holy Spirit speak to me and encourage me that God had hit the reset button on my life.

    Now, if only He had hit the reset button on my skin…

    Seriously, this was a Word from the Lord that changed my life and began to set in motion God’s plans for my future.   Over the past 5 years God has allowed me to remarry the kind of man I dreamed about as a teenager.   I’ve written a book, with my second releasing in October. God has opened up the doors for me to preach across Canada and in the United States. Through radio I’ve been able to encourage believers in England. God’s reconnected me in relationship with so many of my College friends. Now we’re doing life and ministry together; just as I had dreamed of back in the beginning.

    At Conference last week I was so thankful to be a part of the PAOC. Our Superintendent Dave Wells, did an amazing job. He strategically picked the speakers. I was so proud to hear my friend Patti Miller address the Conference.

    Dave gave a powerful closing message at the final communion service where he talked about how God intended for everyone to “sit at the table” in reaching Canada and the world for Christ: young and old, male and female, rich and poor, citizen and immigrant. He made this clear by having someone from each of these groups sit at a table on stage and take communion before us as we all did together.   Completely powerful!

    Last week I went home and read through Genesis 1-2. The truths of these passages hit me. It became abundantly clear that what had taken place at General Conference was honouring to God’s original plans for men and women to work together

    In the beginning

    Over the next weeks as you read the devotions in this series, I pray you’re encouraged and that your eyes are opened to the original plans God had for this world, in the beginning.

    In His Grip,
    ~Sherry
    xoxo
    [imic_button colour=”btn-default” type=”enabled” link=”https://sherrystahl.com/productive/” target=”_self” extraclass=”” size=””]Devotion #1 Productive–In The Begininging Series[/imic_button]

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  • 1. Productive- In The Beginning Series

    “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply…”
                                                                Genesis 1:28 MEV

    To many people this may be a shock, but years ago I had a small vegetable garden. I’m normally not very good with taking care of plants, ok; I generally kill them, but for a while I grew a healthy garden. It’s probably because I had a real purpose in growing these tomatoes and sweet peppers; I wanted to make good spaghetti sauce. Someone suggested I should also grow lettuce and was I ever thankful that I listened. Once the lettuce started to grow it didn’t stop till the fall. The more I cut for sandwiches and salads, the more it grew. This was the most productive plant I’d ever seen!

    When you read through the first two chapters of the Bible, you realize how productive God was. Genesis 1-2 tells how God: “called…made…created…planted…made to grow…completed”.1 What I find so astounding is how God imparts this same anointing to be creatively productive.

    Here’s some of the anointing’s God gave in relation to productivity:

    God anoints the land to be productive
      “Let the land produce living creatures” GN 1:24
    “Let the earth produce vegetation…the earth produced vegetation” GN 1:11-12

    God anoints the plants and trees to be productive
      “… plants yielding seed…fruit trees…yielding fruit…” GN 1:11
    “…the Lord God made to grow every tree that is planted…” GN 2:9

    God sustains the fertile bed for growth
      “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden…” GN 2:10

    God anoints the water creatures to be productive
      “God blesse them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas…” GN 1:22

    God anoints the birds in the air to be productive
      “…let the birds multiply.” GN 1:22, 8:17

    God anoints the land creatures to be productive
      “that they may breed abundantly on the earth and be fruitful and multiply” GN 8:17

    God anoints US to be productive
      “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply/increase…” GN 1:28 MEV/NIV

    So God anoints: the land, plants and trees; all water, air and land animals along with us, to be productive.  God’s plan for our lives is to produce good fruit and lots of it! 2 Jesus encouraged believers that God has extremely productive plans for his followers when He says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” in John 14:12.

    So, what are you going to do today?

    Prayer

    Father…Thank You for Your anointing to be productive like the “plants yielding seed”. Help me to recognize this anointing within me and see the areas where you want to bring fruitfulness out of my life. Let me be creatively productive for Your kingdom, bearing much fruit and bringing You glory! In Jesus Name…Amen

    1  Genesis 1:5,7,10,16,21,25,27,28, 2:8,9
    2 John 15:5-8

    #Dare2Share how you’re producing fruit?
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  • What Are You Searching For?

    If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!”

    Proverbs 11:27 NLT

    I needed a new purse. The one I had was old and missing a few rhinestones. Quite an issue for me! The white was quickly becoming dingy and passing beyond “winter white” status. So what did I do? I went to Home Depot and headed down the power drills aisle…of course not! I went straight to TJ Maxx and found a replacement. This one’s so cool it will match with gold and silver accessories! In life and shopping you need to know the answer to the question: What are you searching for?

    This verse in Proverbs seems so simple, but yet it packs a powerful wisdom punch. So often people live their life saying that they are seeking after one thing, but their actions reveal a different pursuit. A person might say they’re seeking a debt-free life, but their spending reveals a whole in their plans. Someone might say they are searching for the mate God has for their lives, but end up scoping out the bars to find a date. Often what we’re finding is truly what we’re searching for, but not necessarily what we really want. We often give up too quickly on our quest for the best.

    If you’re not finding what you want in life, I encourage you to honestly ask yourself the question: What are you searching for? Search after God’s good plans for your life like I hunted after a new purse. Keep going to the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude and you’ll be amazed how you will find God’s good favor.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for the simplicity of your advice. Help me not to bring things into my life that I don’t really want by what I seek after. I want to pursue You and Your favor in my life. I want to walk in the goodness Your favor brings. In Jesus Name…Amen 

    #Dare2Share what you’re searching after!

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