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  • God Loves a Cheerful Giver

    Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
     not out of regret or compulsion.
     For God loves a cheerful giver.”
    
    2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

    When I went to Guatemala in 2010 I fell in love with the people.  They’re some of the most giving people you can meet.  Our group worked with “the church under the bridge.” Leaving at the end of our week was so difficult.  We’d all become so close to the people in the community and especially the pastor, his wife and their adorable daughter.

    Guatemala 2010

    Just before we got on the bus the pastor made a presentation interpreted through Hector, our missionary.  The pastor’s wife had bought gifts for each of us girls on the trip in gratitude for our help and to let us know how she loved our time together.  The huge smile on her face revealed a very cheerful giver.

    It was difficult to accept gifts from someone who had so little, but we could tell she was thrilled to bless us.  A truly humbling moment for me.  You see, I love gift-giving but I’m not always the best at receiving. She presented us all with key chains made in Guatemala.

    Guatemala Gift

    I still have mine today because a present from a cheerful giver is a treasure, no matter what the dollar value. You see, there’s a BIG difference in receiving a gift from someone who wants to bless you rather than being the recipient of a present from someone you can tell, felt ‘obligated’ to gift you. Even if it’s something you want; it feels empty, almost awkward.

    I can understand why God had Paul write this verse.  God doesn’t want anything from us that is coerced. The NLT words it like this, “And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.”

    When you truly understand how much God loves you and how much He’s given on your behalf, having the heart of a cheerful giver will come naturally and you’ll end up with the heart of this amazing Guatemalan woman!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for the gift of Your love.  It overwhelms me to imagine how difficult it must have been to follow through on Your plan to save the world when You knew it would cost You Your son.  Help me to have your heart so I give, not out of duty, but purely out of love.  May I have the heart of a cheerful giver and find joy in blessing others.   In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]God loves a cheerful giver :)[/tweetthis]

    Dreams Taking Flight in GuatemalaI’d love if you would join me and some other amazing women on the mission’s trip to Guatemala, focussed on helping the women of Guatemala.

    Saturday, February 24 – Sunday, March 4, 2018

    [imic_button colour=”btn-success” type=”enabled” link=”https://www.iam1ru.com/thewomansproject.aspx” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]SIGN UP HERE TO GO TO GUATEMALA[/imic_button]

    [imic_button colour=”btn-warning” type=”enabled” link=”https://sherrystahl.com/dreams-taking-flight-in-guatemala/ ” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]MORE INFO ON THE GUATEMALA MISSIONS TRIP[/imic_button]

     

    Drawing From The Well-Blue 

    1. 2 Corinthians 9:7
    2. Deuteronomy 15:10
    3. Proverbs 11:25
    4. 1 Chronicles 29:9
    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Living a fierceHEARTED life!

    fierceHEARTED
    LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY

    (c) Holley Gerth

    Ellen Graf-Martin introduced me to Holley Gerth’s writing.  It was for my first #EllensPicks book review and Holley’s previously released, You’re Already Amazing; Life Growth Guide.  I really enjoyed that book and have loved fierceHEARTED so much that I ended up doing two facebook live videos that mentioned it…and now this post.

    [tweetthis]fierceHEARTED gets two thumbs up from me! @sherry_stahl #paperbackpic @EllensPicks[/tweetthis]

    LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY

    Holley gave this book the sub-title of LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY.  Holley shares so much about her life with us in the book.  There are stories from all stages of her life and a few written from events as she wrote the book.  By her writing, Holley lets us into the journey of her learning to live fully and love bravely, that lead to becoming a fierceHEARTED woman of God.

    When you get to the end of the book you realize that this journey of becoming is really never over, but don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing!  We’re all just in the middle of what God is preparing us to do next, preparing for who He wants us to become.    The second Facebook Live video I did mentioning fierceHEARTED was based on my devotion called ARE YOU IN THE MIDDLE?.  It resonates with this quote from page 184.

    “LET’S REMEMBER
    we are all still in
    the middle of the
    MESSY, BEAUTIFUL WORK
    of becoming.”

    I love the way Holley so playfully recounts the stories of her life.  The chapter titles will let you in on the fun she must have had writing this book.  Here’s a few to pique your interest:

    Bone in the Chicken
    Shake the Jar
    Flops and Rafters
    Praying Wronger
    Room for Knobs
    Emotional Duct Tape

    Ok, I’m sure you get the picture.  The chapters are lighthearted stories that make a point and leave you thinking, “How’d she do that?”  Holley weaves the challenges, triumphs and middle ground of her life into this book and invites us to share our lives with others as she so openly has.  No more trying to act like we’ve got this thing called life all figured out, but instead being open and honest, sharing the journey to becoming fierceHEARTED together.

    “Let’s make this
    our declaration:
    instead of trying to
    have it ALL TOGETHER,
    we will dare to do
    real, messy, imperfect
    life all together.”
    Pg.126

    I hope you enjoyed my #EllensPicks #paperbackpic review.  I received a copy of this unpublished manuscript from Revell Books in hopes that I would post a review.  The opinions expressed are my own and true from my heart. 

    Be Blessed and Refreshed,
    ~Sherry
     xoxo

    In case you’re wondering, here’s a link to the first Facebook Live Post where I mention fierceHEARTED

    Holley GerthHolley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, certified life coach, and speaker.  She loves connecting with the hearts of women thorugh her popular blog and books.  If you’re a blogger, join me as I share my blog posts on Holley’s site every Wednesday morning for her #coffeeforyourheart linkup.   Holley’s also the cofounder of (in)courage and a partner with DaySpring.  Holley lives with her husband, Mark, in the South.

    Connect with Holley at:
    Website: www.holleygerth.com  https://holleygerth.com/
    Insta & Twitter:  @holleygerth
    Facebook:  Holley Gerth    https://www.facebook.com/HolleyGerth/?fref=ts

    Fiercehearted#PaperbackPic
    fierceHEARTED
    LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY
    AUTHOR: Holley Gerth
    © 2017 by Holley Gerth
    PUBLISHER: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, MI USA

    You can Pre-order the book Here:  https://www.amazon.com/Fiercehearted-Live-Fully-Love-Bravely/dp/B075RF1M16/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506477857&sr=8-1&keywords=holley+gerth

    1. Gerth, Holley.  fierceHEARTED: LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY.  (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2017), 184.
    2. Ibid, 126.

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis#SoulSurvival – Donna Riedland
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    Read More

  • Follow The Leader

    Yesterday I released a post called The World’s Biggest Game of Simon Says but I know some people call it, Follow The Leader.  If you didn’t read the devotion you can just click on the Title and it will take you there.  It might make this post just a little more powerful 🙂

    In the devotion, it talks about how the Israelites followed God’s cloud wherever and whenever He moved it.  This really caused me to question my level of trust in God’s leading and I asked you the same questions I was asking myself.  As I wrote the post the song Oceans by Hillsong United was playing in my mind, but so was a quote from Tozer, I’m kinda ADD like that.

    Tozer - Chrisitans don't lie

    [tweetthis]“Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.” – A. W. Tozer[/tweetthis]

    Ouch! I sometimes feel this way when we’re singing Oceans at church.  My heart wants to mean every word, but I fear that sometimes I’m not willing to follow through on the statements I sing.

    OceansOceans by Hillsong United

    The line in Oceans that gets me is:

    “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”

    I want to live with that kind of faith.  I want to be bold, courageous and brave.  I want to follow God without borders.  I want to answer the call like the song says:

    “Wherever You would call me”

    This makes me think of the movie We Bought A Zoo…again…it’s the ADD thing!  I love inspiring true stories made into film and this is one of my faves.  One statement by the father in the movie; played by Matt Damon is a quote I can’t forget:

    Benjamin Mee 20 seconds of bravery


    [imic_button colour=”btn-info” type=”enabled” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmMFIganRQY” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]VIDEO CLIP OF THE QUOTE AS MATT DAMON TELLS IT TO HIS SON IN THE MOVIE[/imic_button]

    [imic_button colour=”btn-info” type=”enabled” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqE-yAfYAhw” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]VIDEO CLIP OF MATT DAMON’S CHARACTER LIVING OUT HIS 20 SECONDS OF BRAVERY IN THE MOVIE[/imic_button]

    So, in sharing today’s #musicpic
    with you,

    I’ve also shared a #paperbackpic
    and a #moviepic 

    I hope they all leave you inspired to follow the leader, giving God your 20 seconds of insane, embarrassingly brave courage …And, in the words of Benjamin Mee;

    I promise you, something great will come of it!

    Here’s my prayer from the devo with an addition to the end,
    inspired by the song Oceans.

    LOOK BELOW
    To see where to find: the song, the book & the movie

    Prayer

    Father…Thank You for revealing your directions so I can know how to follow You.  I read instructions in Your Word, I hear them when I’m quiet enough to listen to your voice, and sometimes I there’s a pounding in my chest when you want me to move. Please help me to be more sensitive to Your leading.  Give me courage and a gift of faith to follow wherever and whenever you lead. Let my trust be without borders.    In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Read #followtheleader and learn about a great #musicpic #paperbackpic & #moviepic [/tweetthis]

    Oceans#musicpic Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
    Makes Me Feel:  Empowered, like I want to do something GREAT for God!  Confident to Follow Wherever He Leads.
    Sung By: Hillsong United
    Website:  https://hillsong.com/united/
    CD:  Zion
    Written By: Matt Crocker; Joel Houston; Salomon Ligthelm
    © 2013
    Worship Together Info:  https://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/oceans-where-feet-may-fail/
    Official Youtube Video With Lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw
    Lyrics:  https://hillsong.com/lyrics/oceans-where-feet-may-fail/

    We bought a zoo book #paperbackpic We Bought a Zoo
    By Benjamin Mee  © 2011 Originally published in 2008 and 2009
    https://www.amazon.com/We-Bought-Zoo-Amazing-Animals/dp/B004ZXNLZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505836394&sr=8-1&keywords=we+bought+a+zoo+book

    we bought a zoo#moviepic We Bought a Zoo
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1389137/

    FOOTNOTES

    TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TRUE STORY OF BENJAMIN MEE READ HERE:  https://www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk/ourstory/ Website Accessed:  2017-09-19

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    Read More

  • The World’s Biggest Game of Simon Says

    “Whether THE CLOUD stayed
     above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year,
     the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But
     AS SOON AS it lifted,
     they broke camp and moved on.
     So they camped or traveled 
     at the LORD's command,
     and they did WHATEVER the LORD told them through Moses.”
    Numbers 9:22-23 NLT

    When I was a kid on the playground the game of Simon Says was the bomb.  Some people called it Follow The Leader, but whatever you called it, I’m sure you played it at school. Acting as ‘Simon’ was an amazing role; you felt like the King or a Queen with everyone moving to your command.

    This child’s game became so popular that they made video games out of it.  First came the Simon, next the Simon Air and then my favorite, the Bop It!  In all of these “Simon” type games you have to follow the action performed by the leader…or video programmer.  The longer you play, the faster the actions go and you eventually get tripped up and do something Simon didn’t direct you to do.

    SIMON’S GOAL
    is to trick you into doing something that will make you lose.

    When my Brandon was growing up I gave him a copy of the newest Guinness Book of World Records every Christmas Eve. The adjudicators for these world records hold that 12,225 people at the Utah Summer Games in June 20071 make the record for the most participants in a game of Simon Says, but I think they’ve got this one wrong!  When I read Numbers 9:15-23 It sounds to me like,

    The World’s Biggest Game of Simon Says.

    It’s so easy to see the failings of the Israelites in the desert, but this section of scripture reveals how they learned to follow God’s lead.  The Israelites were even better at following their leader than Joel Berger, and in case you don’t know; he’s the guy who holds the record for the longest completed sequence of moves on a Simon game.2

    Scripture tells us how God’s people would break camp ‘as soon as’ the cloud lifted or stay, when the pillar of fire remained, never knowing how long they would be there.  It says, “day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and moved on.  Whether…two days, a month, or a year”3.  Now that’s trust!  God’s leading will take you to all the right places, He’s not trying to trip you up and watch you lose. God is for you!

    When you read this, doesn’t it make you question how strong your faith is?  Maybe it’s time to ask,

    Do I trust God enough to follow Him without a game plan?

    Prayer

    Father…Thank You for revealing your directions so I can know how to follow You.  I read instructions in Your Word, I hear them when I’m quiet enough to listen to your voice, and sometimes I there’s a pounding in my chest when you want me to move. Please help me to be more sensitive to Your leading.  Give me courage and a gift of faith to follow wherever and whenever you lead. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]God’s leading will take you to all the right places. #Godis4U[/tweetthis]

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women. 

    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Numbers 9:22-23
    2. John 10:4
    3. John 8:12
    4. Proverbs 3:5-6

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    1. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-game-of-simon-says/ Website Accessed: 2017-09-19
    2. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/longest-game-of-simon Website Accessed: 2017-09-19

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    Read More

  • Stay Connected To The Power Source

    “Remain in me, as I also remain in you.
    No branch can bear fruit by itself;
    it must remain in the vine.
    Neither can you bear fruit
    unless you remain in me.”
    John 15:4-5 NIV

    GETTING DISCONNECTED

    Last summer was one of the hottest summers on record in the past 75 years so, it was still hot when we got to Braeside on Labor Day weekend.  We arrived at 1am and opened the door to an overwhelming stench.  I thought something died in the trailer but it was just the fridge.

    electric plug

    The electrical plug to the trailer had somehow been disconnected from the pole.  Shelby had been gone from the trailer for two weeks and everything she left in the fridge had rotted.  Meat in the freezer was rancid.  A bag of spinach had liquefied into a stinking black fluid. Frozen bananas were a reeking goo.

    Stay Connected To The Power Source

    When I read this portion of scripture in John I can’t help but remember the results when our fridge didn’t stay connected to the power source.  I’ll remember forever the foul odors it emitted.  They’re a great example of what happens to Christians when we don’t remain in Christ.

    bad smellI know that when I don’t spend time with God daily my life starts to smell.  Things go foul and the days just get all messed up.  Often in the busyness of life we think that we don’t have time to read the Bible or meditate on it.  We can get too scheduled to spend time in prayer, but the reality is, life’s too hard to live disconnected from God.  Days go by much easier when we spend time in personal daily devotions.

    Start this week off right.  Take time to stay connected to the power source.  Decide to spend daily time remaining in relationship with Christ, so you can live a fruitful life.

    Prayer

    Father…I’m overwhelmed with the thought that God who created the universe wants to stay involved with me.  Help me never to take that for granted.  Let me not get casual with Your love.  May my life produce some juicy fruit as I stay connected to the power source; to you Lord and Your Word. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Life’s too hard to live disconnected from God.[/tweetthis]

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women. 

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    Read More

  • Get Ready for God to Amaze You!

     Consecrate yourselves
    for tomorrow

    the LORD will do AMAZING things among you.”
                                                                 Joshua 3:5 (NIV)

    Too many people don’t get to see the amazing things God has planned for them because they don’t
    get ready in advance.

    Sometimes we have a movie theatre attitude.
    We want to just sit back, relax, and watch the show when God asks us to perform vital roles.

    Life is not a spectator sport

    [tweetthis]Life is not a spectator sport.[/tweetthis]

    God desires to partner with you to see His plans and purposes released in your life.

    When the Israelites were crossing over the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God required that they consecrate themselves.

    They had to do it, not God.

    Their acts of consecration were a sign that they were dedicating their lives for a sacred purpose. God promised them that if they did this, He would follow up by doing amazing things among them—and He sure did stick to His Word! After they consecrated themselves, God parted the flood-stage waters of the Jordan River and let them walk across on dry ground. Then God caused the walls of Jericho to crumble as the Israelites marched and worshipped around them.

    How amazing is that?

    Why did all these miracles take place?

    Because God’s people PREPARED themselves

    in advance.

    During the hard times,

    while still IN the desert,

    they lived out the words of Isaiah 40:3, which says,

    In the wilderness,
    get it ready!
    Prepare the way;

    make it a straight shot. The Eternal would have it so.
    Straighten the way in the wandering desert to make
    the crooked road wide and straight for our God.
    (The Voice, emphasis added)

    Get ready in your desert times and you’ll be preparing the way for God to amaze you!

    Get Ready in desert

    PRAYER

    Father, thank You for Your power to do amazing things in my life! Help me to prepare the way in my heart so You’ll have a roadway into my life for the miraculous! In Jesus’ name, amen.

    [tweetthis]Get ready in your desert times and you’ll be preparing the way for God to amaze you![/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis]Get Ready For God to AMAZE You![/tweetthis]

    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Joshua 3:5
    2. Exodus 19:10–11
    3. Isaiah 40:3
    4. Matthew 3:3
    #DARE2SHARE
    POST IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW AND BOLSTER THE FAITH OF SOMEONE ELSE!

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    Soul H2O BookThis devotion ‘Get Ready For God To Amaze You’ 
    was originally published on my blog (May 5, 2014)
    It was later published as "Prepare The Way", 
    Devo #27 in my book:
     Soul H2O: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions For Women
     (c) 2016 Word Alive Press Winnipeg, MB
    I republished on September 11, 2017 with new graphics because I just felt like I should :)
    Believing you will find refreshing as you read!

    Read More

  • Does Work Bring You Satisfaction?

    “That each of them may eat and drink,
    and find satisfaction in all their toil
    —this is the gift of God.”
    Ecclesiastes 3:13  NIV

    Ecc 3:13 Satisfaction

    Do you like taking personality assessments?  I hesitate to let you know I do because a neuro-psychologist friend of mine, raised a brow when I told her!  Maybe I’m crazy, but I find them fascinating.  Perhaps it’s because taking a Birkman Method Personality Assessment in 2008 changed my life.  At the time I took the test, I was a Director of Finance and Operations for a company I co-owned in the Automotive Industry.  I dreaded work and felt drained most of the time.  This girl had a fancy title, yet very little satisfaction for her toil!

    MY BIRKMAN BREAKTHROUGH

    When I got the results back from my Birkman Assessment the lights came on and I understood for the first time why I felt so dissatisfied.  The first section of the test rated the ten areas of work activities or interests to see what brings you the most fulfillment in life.  Any area scoring above 50 energizes your personality, while scores below 50 are draining.

    My top three Areas of Interest were:

    1. Persuasion (Selling, Communicating) at 96
    2. Social Service (Helping Others) at 94
    3. Literary (Writing, Formal Persuasion) at 92.

    Somehow Musical was next on my list at 75, which seems illogical given that I can’t hold a tune!  (Wondering if I answered something wrong there???)  Clerical was last on my list above 50.

    The Birkman rep explained how anything above 90 was considered necessary activities, in order for you to feel fulfilled.  They weren’t just things you liked to do, they’re things you needed to do!

    My job at the time barely included any activities that were in my top three Areas of Interest.  No wonder I felt frustrated!  I could see how I enjoyed the Operations side of my role and not the Finance side since Numerical scored below 50 on my list.  Sure, I can perform the role as a bookkeeper; I’ve done work like that since I was twelve, helping in my parent’s business.  It was clearly a learned activity, not an innate ability.

    MY BOOKSFast-forward four years from taking the Birkman and I published my first book, Water In The Desert, followed by Soul H2O…and hopefully many more books to come (Literary).

    SPEAKINGI now travel internationally and speak to women’s groups (Persuasion).  This position allows me to help people I’ve never even met (Social Service).  It’s so much beyond what I could’ve ever imagined for my life.   Working as an author, speaker and blogger is my dream job.  At this point, there is great satisfaction for my toil and I consider that an invaluable gift from God.

    Does Work Bring You Satisfaction?

    Jeremiah 29:11 tells how God’s plans for your life are good.  Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  When you’re fulfilling the activities God uniquely created you to do, you’ll feel satisfied.  The more you spend time in relationship with God, the more your desires for the future will line up with God’s good plans for your life.  It’ll become natural.

    EPHESIANS 2:10

    On this, day after Labor Day, take the time to ask yourself:  Am I fulfilling Ephesians 2:10 through my paid job or volunteer activities?  If not, it may be time you got crazy like me and completed one of those Personality Assessments!

    Prayer

    Father…I believe you’ve placed a divine destiny within me because, the Bible tells me so in Ephesians 2:10.  Let the desires of my heart help me discern Your purposes for my life so I can experience Your gift of satisfaction.  May I use my time and my abilities for Your Glory, and enjoy every minute of it!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Does Work Bring You Satisfaction?[/tweetthis]

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Drawing From The Well

    1. Ecclesiastes 3:13
    2. Jeremiah 29:11
    3. Psalm 37:4
    4. Ephesians 2:10

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else! 

    IF YOU LIKED THE REFRESHING IN THIS #SOULH2O DEVOTION, YOU’LL LOVE MY LATEST SOUL H2O DEVOTIONAL BOOK: 40 THIRST QUENCHING DEVOTIONS FOR WOMEN.

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis#SoulSurvival – Donna Riedland
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Restful Labor Day

     

    Hope You’re Having a Restful Labor Day!

    I’m really excited about tomorrow’s devotion.
    I hope you’ll check back for tomorrow’s dose of #SoulH2O refreshing!

    ~Sherry
    xoxox

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  • Are You In The Middle?

    200th Soul H2OI’ll get to my Are You In The Middle? Devotion below, but I have to settle something first 🙂

    Here’s a link to the Facebook live I taped on Monday, August 28th 2017 where I drew the ballots for the 200th #SoulH2O Contest and read this devotion, with a bunch of extras!  I wish I could have you all in a room and study right alongside you.
    Hope this video leaves you strengthened to hold on in the middle and stay true to the end.

    Congratulations To:
    Nicole Kauffman–Blogger at http://www.couragehopelove.com
    Katie Reid–Blogger at http://www.katiemreid.com
    Soul H2O Readers–Stephanie Hewer and Ana Calderon

    Are You In The Middle

    Romans 8:37

    At the end of 2016 I began praying for 2017.  I was asking the Lord to give me a word to declare over the year and I felt Him whispering VICTORY in my ear.

    My first reaction was elation, but it was quickly replaced with a holy fear.  As soon as I thought about it my naivety was displaced with reality.  Victory is not achieved by sitting in your lazy boy with the remote in your hand.  Victory is won on the battlefield.  I knew that God was promising me Triumph, but gaining ground would involve a fight…not a physical one of course 🙂

    Psalm 44:3 

    It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.  NIV

    For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.  KJV

    I didn’t want to accept this word, but God confirmed it through a set of circumstances and used this verse, Romans 8:37 to seal the promise.

    [tweetthis]Victory is won on the battlefield[/tweetthis]

    So here it is, August 28th and I’m in the middle.  It’s just past the middle of the calendar year and victory isn’t in sight, not even if I squint my eyes.  I was reading Holley Gerth’s upcoming release, Fiercehearted for my next Ellen’s Pick book review and this paragraph encouraged my heart.  I’m guessing it will do the same for you!

    “But that middle place is the hardest—it’s the furnace and the refinery and what remakes us.  It’s the labor and the sweat and the groaning.  It can’t be skipped or minimized, diminished or forgotten.  It matters and is to be honored.
    But it is also not the end.1
    ~Holley Gerth

    So, if you’re in the middle and can’t see the victory God’s promised, does it make the promise any less true…any less reliable?

    No, Despite ALL these things
    It’s not the end!
    OVERWHELMING VICTORY
    is ours through Christ!

    Last week I talked about how long it took for God’s promises to Abraham, David and Joseph to come true.  Paul wrote about Abraham’s faith in God’s promises and this is what he said:

    Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,
    but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
    being fully persuaded
    that God had power to do what he had promised.
    Romans 4:21-22 NIV

    Romans 4:21

     

    If you’re in the middle like me, don’t give up….don’t give in.  Strengthen your faith, build your courage and be fully persuaded that God will do what He said!  Victory is on the way!

    [tweetthis]Victory implies your battle’s already been won.[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for Your promises.  Please help me not give up in the middle but to see how You’re at work refining me…preparing me for the future and let me trust you to the end so I can see the victory you have in store.   In Jesus Name…Amen

    HOPE TO SEE YOU TODAY
    Facebook Live at 12:15pm EST 
    on my Personal Facebook page 
    TODAY: Monday, August 28, 2017
    1. Gerth, Holley. Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely (Advanced Reading Copy).  © 2017 Holley Gerth.  Revell Books: Grand Rapids, MI. pg.56

    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Romans 8:37
    2. Psalm 44:3
    3. Romans 4:20-21
    4. Luke 1:37

    #DARE2SHARE
    POST IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW AND BOLSTER THE FAITH OF SOMEONE ELSE!

    IF YOU LIKED THE REFRESHING IN THIS #SOULH2O DEVOTION, YOU LOVE MY LATEST SOUL H2O DEVOTIONAL BOOK: 40 THIRST QUENCHING DEVOTIONS FOR WOMEN.

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis#SoulSurvival – Donna Riedland
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Hold On Third

    Soul H2O Book
    Today is my 200th Soul H2O Devotion!!! 
    In order to Celebrate
    I want to give away 3 copies of my book. 
    See details below on how easy it is to win!

    “Since we are living by the Spirit,
    let us follow the Spirit’s leading
    in every part of our lives.”
    ~Galatians 5:25  NLT

    In the last month I’ve had it good…I was taken to not just one, but two major league baseball games!

    The first was a Toronto Blue Jays game {my favorite team} with all my family. Now that was an extra special time, bordering on a miracle, I mean how often is everyone in your family available?  Last week we got to see a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park because my athletic hubby won two tickets for the longest drive at a golf tournament.  This baseball lovin’ girls was so happy…as you can see!

    HOLD ON THIRD

    In the spring I had a dream where I was playing baseball.  I saw myself running from second base towards third, looking to the baseline coach for direction; do I keep running to home plate, or do I stop?  Since I kept waking up seeing myself on third base, I knew it was more than a late-night-pizza-dream and felt it was God wanting to speak to me.

    baseball running around bases
    Run Home!

    As I prayed, the Holy Spirit whispered Hold on Third.

    From my years of playing baseball, I knew what this meant and I didn’t like it.

    My personality doesn’t like this sort of message. I want to hear “Run home baby, run home!” I believe there will be a time where I look and I see the coach motioning me to keep running, but today’s not that day. It’s not that time.

    So often in life, we want to keep running the bases, not paying attention to or even listening for the direction of our coach.  We can see what’s ahead and want to go for it but there’s no way we can see that a right-fielder is throwing the ball into the catcher and will take us out if we don’t hold up. This play would be happening behind our back, but the third base coach would have a clear view of the whole field from his vantage point.

    We have to be in tune with the Holy Spirit so we know when to hold and when to run. Just like a baseline coach who has a better visual of the field, God knows the times and seasons of our lives better than we do; so we need to trust him.

    TRUST HIS TIMING

    When I had the dream, the enemy wanted me to feel defeated, but I had to remind myself that God didn’t say “Go back to second or quit the game”; He simply said Hold on Third.

    Sometimes you have to strategically hold on third, to get the run.

    Gods pause is to prepare you for His purpose!

    PAUSE BUTTONAbraham was 75 when God gave him the promise of having a child…
    He was 99 when Isaac was born. That’s a 24 year pause.
    David was anointed as king… 20 years before he wore the crown.
    Joseph had a dream of ruling…
    He had more than a 20 year pause before he was made Prime Minister of Egypt.

    BASEBALL STANDING ON BASEThe Bible is filled with stories where God started doing something in someone’s life and then there was the pause. God seemed to tell them to, Hold on Third for quite a long time; often to the point where it seemed like their promise would never be fulfilled… but God is faithful to His word. His “delay” is not His denial.

    [tweetthis]God’s pause is to prepare you for His purpose! Trust His Timing.[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for the way You direct us.  You speak to each of us in a language we understand if we open our ears to hear.  You spoke to me in baseball terms; I ask you to speak to my friends in whatever ways are close to their heart.  Speak to them through dreams and visions, whispers and words, in unexplained ways that are confirmed by Your Word.  Help them stay in step with You Holy Spirit, so a greater work can be accomplished through them. I ask this, In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]God’s “delay” is not His denial. Trust His Timing.[/tweetthis]

    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Galatians 5:25
    2. Philippians 1:6, 10
    3. John 6:63
    4. Philippians 2:12

    200th Soul H2O

    I value you and all my readers.  Many of you are becoming friends, so I want to bless you as your words have often blessed me.

    To WIN one of the three free copies of my book in Celebration of my 200th Soul H2O Devotion, Simply Comment below this post. You could share how this post impacted you or what was your most inspiring Soul H2O read to date.

    Hope you win 🙂
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

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