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  • Turning Your Knowing Into Doing

    Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”
    John 13:17 NIV

    Last week’s devotion talked about how Jesus was strengthened during the Passion Week by knowing His position with the Father and the power His Father held.  Jesus was fully aware that God the Father gave Him all power and authority, yet understood and faced the reality of His current situation.  Jesus discerned that soon it was time for Him to go back to Heaven by way of the cross.  During the Last Supper, Jesus turned His knowing into doing by washing His disciples’ feet.

    It’s when we start turning our knowing into doing that we begin to see the blessings of God in our lives!

     

    jesus washing disciples feetJesus chose to have his actions follow what he knew about Himself and about His Father; not letting His actions follow what His life circumstances where revealing.  Jesus didn’t wait till every situation was worked out in His life before He started to do what was right.

    While knowing that He was going to be betrayed and die on a cross, Jesus chose to do kind things.  Jesus washed his disciples’ feet; even the feet of Judas who Jesus knew was going to betray Him.   It’s not that Jesus was emotionless and didn’t care.  John 13:21 tells us that “After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. “One of you is going to betray me.”

    [tweetthis remove_url=”true”]Jesus didn’t wait till every situation was worked out in His life before He started to do what was right. [/tweetthis]

    Jesus chose to have his actions follow what he knew about Himself and about His Father.

    Guatemala-girls playing with my hairTo live in freedom you need to go beyond what you know about your circumstance…understand who God is…take hold of your position as His child, and begin to do something for others.

    What can you do today that would start turning your knowing into doing?  Act on whatever idea God gives you and complete the task.


    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for leading the way to freedom in practical acts of kindness.  Help me to see the ‘footwashing’ opportunities you place before me and let me start turning my knowing into doing by actions, not words.  Your Word says that faith without works is dead.1  May I learn to put into practice those things I say I believe so I can truly live!  In Jesus Name…Amen

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

    1. James 2:17

    blogger prayer YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • (PASSION WEEK) How To Live Ruled By What You Know

    Jesus knew the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal…and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet…”You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”……For he knew who was going to betray him.”
                                                                     John 13:3,11 NIV

    LIVE RULED BY WHAT YOU KNOW

    I love how unshakeable Jesus was throughout the Passion Week.  It started off on what we call Palm Sunday with people waving branches of Palm trees, singing His praises and declaring Him the Messiah; but the tide of popularity quickly changed, as it so often does.  Jesus knew that He was headed into the storm of His life.  I admire how Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either.

    [tweetthis]Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either[/tweetthis]

    Then, at the Last Supper Jesus doesn’t let the reality of his troubles overrule what He knew. I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living!

    [tweetthis]I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living![/tweetthis]

    jesus washing disciples feetWASHING FEET

    These verses make it clear that Jesus knew His position with the Father.  Jesus knew He had all power yet displayed humble submission through servant leadership and washed the disciples’ feet.

    Jesus wasn’t in denial to His circumstances; he was fully aware of the situations surrounding Him; but instead of letting the situations rule His actions, Jesus chose to act on what He knew from the Father.  Oh to be like Jesus!

    You need to make conscious decisions to not live a life based on your circumstances but based on what God the Father has said about OU in His word and the promises He’s given you.  You need to KNOW, with steadfast assurance what God has revealed to you and let that be your guiding force.

    So, what do you KNOW?
    Prayer

    Father… The enemy wants me to base my knowledge on the facts of my current circumstances.  Help me to know Your truth.  Guide me in Your Word to passages that will strengthen my knowledge of what You say, so I can silence the information of the enemy in my mind and live in Your truth!   In Jesus Name…Amen

    #DareToShare Make a Comment in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

    blogger prayer

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Old Faded Photographs

    “You’ll forget your troubles; they’ll be like old, faded photographs.”

    Job 11:16 The Message

    ‘Victorious’ was the theme for the women’s conference in Trail, BC where I spoke this weekend.  As I gave messages on breaking free I shared parts of my testimony and how God moved me through the process to freedom from complete brokenness after divorce to healing, resulting in a renewed purpose.

    OLD FADED PHOTOGRAPHS

    old faded photographsIt almost seemed strange sharing stories from my past.  God has done so much to heal my heart that my memories are like old, faded photographs.  The pictures are there in my mind, but the emotions are so far removed.  I’m truly FREE!

    Have you ever heard the saying, ‘With friends like that who needs enemies’? Well, Job could relate to this expression because he had a few of those ‘frenemies’.  Job’s buddy Zophar told him how all his problems would go away if he turned to God and if got rid of the sin in his life.  Zophar said to Job that if he could attain a guiltless state then God would work on his behalf causing him to forget his troubles; assuring they’d be like, “old, faded photographs.” 

    Sadly, this false teaching is still seeking to deceive God’s people today.

    [tweetthis] If our freedom relied on our goodness, none of us would be free.[/tweetthis]

    Thankfully Job didn’t accept what his friend said but he did get to the point where he could forget his troubles because God restored everything he lost.

    HEALING THE PAST

    faded photographs of girlGod wants to restore you.  His desire is to heal your heart so the sting attached to your memories is removed and His purposes can be realized in your life.  Choose today to let God bring you into a greater freedom as you release to Him the hurts of your past.

    Prayer

    Father…I’m so thankful that You’re in the restoration business because my heart needs some restoring.  Help me to trust you with my hurts so I can experience the same kind of transformation Job did when you took his memories and made them like old, faded photographs.  Remove the pain from my past and let your purpose rise up in me!  In Jesus Name…Amen

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

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

     

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  • What’s Your Signature Scent?

    Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.  But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.
                                              2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

    So, what’s your signature scent?

    I love perfume with fresh scents that awaken your senses like a spring morning.  Fragrant and fresh, that’s what I look for in a perfume bottle.

    It always amazes me how the same perfume that smells wonderful on one person just doesn’t work on another.  I remember years ago my mom wore a perfume called “Poison” and it smelled amazing on her.  When I tried it on I smelled like poison!

    Scents of The Spirit

    Fragrant Christians

    In 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 Paul compares Christians to perfume.   God calls believers to live life with a Christ-like fragrance for others to smell.

    The reality is that this fragrance will either be a welcomed scent or a stench in someone’s nostrils.  This explains why some people just don’t like you.  You can be nice and do what they want, but for some reason there seems no way to win their favor.  You wonder, “Do I smell?”

    Then there are others who just seem drawn to you.  There’s an instant connection.  Have you ever been somewhere and just click with someone you’ve only just met and they suddenly ask, “Are you a Christian?”  Your scent will either repel or refresh.  When you understand what Paul is teaching here you’ll begin to recognize that some people’s reaction to you may have very little to do with your actions, but with the fragrance of Christ in you.

    Wear Your Signature Scent

    Live your life like the perfume bottle that Mary poured out on Jesus feet.1  Don’t keep it to yourself.  Let the fragrance of Christ be expressed through your signature scent so others will be drawn to Him because of you!

    Prayer

    Father…I want the aroma of my life to rise up to You and be a pleasing fragrance to you.  Help me to live my life in a way that makes my scent sweet and Christ-like, not pungent because of my sin.  Let the fragrance of my life be one that draws others to You and not push them away.  Help me to recognize when others repel me because of their issues with You and not take offence, but surround them in prayer.  Make my life a fragrant offering to You! In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Let the fragrance of Christ be expressed through your signature scent! [/tweetthis]

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

    1                John 12:13

    The perfumes and candles pictured here are some of my ‘signature scents.  They are from my friend Laci Corzo’s Scents of The Spirit line.
    http://www.scentsofthespirit.com

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Do You Feel a Change In The Weather?

    This morning God keeps this verse swirling inside my head.

    Hebrews 10:35-36

    It’s one of my life-verses and it’s ringing loud in my ears.

    A Change In The Weather

    Then I felt the Lord reminding me about the change in weather today.  It’s going to be 17°F/62°F! That’s crazy weather for March in Canada! Yesterday was -4°C/24°F. That’s a change of 21°C or 38°F!!!!

    I believe God is declaring through the weather that a shift is coming in circumstances. Those things long waited for are going to come to pass. Habakkuk said “though it linger, WAIT for it”!1

    LINGERING

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve been ‘lingering’ for a long time and waiting for God to break through.  I am going to be intentional and live proleptically2.  I’m going to thank God for the victory3 before it even comes, in faith believing HE IS TRUE TO HIS WORD, because I know He is!

    facebook live

    I recorded a Facebook Live video related to this message on the afternoon I posted it.  Watch here to be encouraged…There is a CHANGE in the weather for you!

    [imic_button colour=”btn-danger” type=”enabled” link=”https://www.facebook.com/sherry.lynn.stahl/videos/vb.548371084/10155137789836085/?type=2&theater” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]FACEBOOK LIVE – March 24, 2017 [/imic_button]

    Make sure to LIKE my Author Page so you’re alerted whenever I do #SoulH2O Facebook Live Videos

    May you Be Blessed & Refreshed by the pouring out of His Word!

    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    1           Habakkuk 2:3
    For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
    2                 https://www.creativeinspirationsatmymessydesk.com/word-nerd-wednesday-proleptic/
    3                 https://sherrystahl.com/victory/

    Look Inside Soul H2O

     

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  • Why Experiencing Weakness After a Mountaintop Moment is Normal

    Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.  All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water.  He ate and drank and then lay down again.”                                                                                                                                                                            1 Kings 19;5-6

    “Sherry, is something wrong with me?” Pinged the inbox message on my phone as we travelled home on the last leg of our Guatemala mission trip.

    Possibilities International Guatemala March Break Trip 2017 http://www.iam1ru.com

    It was a heartfelt message from one of the young women on the team.  She expressed how her emotions were up and down ever since the moment we left that beautiful country.  She was asking if what she was feeling was ‘normal’.

    I let her know that I was feeling the same as her.  Todd and I had just visited with my son and his girlfriend on the way home from the airport and the first thing out of Brandon’s mouth was, “Mom you look so tired!” and boy, was he right!  There truly are legitimate reasons why experiencing weakness after a mountaintop moment is normal.

    ELIJAH COMING DOWN FORM THE MOUNTAINTOP MOMENT

    This portion of scripture comes from the recounting of Elijah after his triumph over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel where God used Elijah in a most profound way.  Elijah showed the people God’s power when he called down fire on the altar built for God. As the fire burnt up the offering the prophets of Baal were defeated, but right after that Elijah crashes in fear and succumbs to depression.  He was taken out by the after-effects of a mountaintop moment.

    Everest Beyond The LimitYears ago I was intrigued by the Discovery TV series Everest:  Beyond The Limit.1  I learned that more people die coming down from Mount Everest than do reaching the peak.

    [tweetthis]More people die coming down from Mount Everest than do reaching the peak.[/tweetthis]

    There are physical, emotional and spiritual reasons why our bodies respond this way because, God made us body, soul and spirit.

    Physically, your body has been releasing adrenaline.  When ‘climbing the mountain’ you need it to keep you going, especially when you’re not getting enough sleep.  By the time you stop, your body is physically drained from the adrenaline rush.  It takes time to recover.  Emotionally, mountaintop experiences cause such rise and falls in serotonin, dopamine and endorphins that your body can be depleted of these resources too.  Add to that when we step out to do something great for God the enemy doesn’t like it and wants to add to the natural effects.

    REST, EAT AND DRINK

    Elijah needed to refresh his body before his soul and spirit could be restored.  So do you!  Don’t neglect the practical.  Understand why experiencing weakness after a mountaintop moment is normal and follow God’s directions for recuperation: Rest, eat healthy food and drink water to refresh both your body and soul.

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank You for calling me to do great and exciting things!  Help me to grow in understanding of how You created me to function as body, soul and spirit.  You don’t want me to feed one and neglect another.  Give me wisdom to know when to rest and refresh so I will stay strong in You!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    If you think you may be struggling with clinical depression or anxiety, check out my MENTAL HEALTH page for some guidance and links to great resources.

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

    1                Accessed 2017-03-19
    https://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/everest/videos/everest-beyond-the-limit-summit-gridlock/

    2                Accessed 2017-03-19
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/death-on-mount-everest-the-perils-o-2008-12-10/
    https://www.livestrong.com/article/203790-what-happens-during-an-adrenaline-rush/
    https://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_crash_and_recovery_cycle.asp

    blogger prayer

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Are You Living Life on the Fly?

     Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
    Psalm 119:105

    Listening to a Podcast with two of my blogger linkup friends the other day was completely inspiring!  Holly Barrett was interviewing Michele Morin on her Living a Redeemed Life Podcast.  Michele’s words hit my heart as they so often do.  She said:

    “We second guess ourselves…Did I do that right?…We live so much of our life on the fly.  If I could study for everything that I had to do…If I could study beforehand, I’d be all set because I’d get on Google and look it up…So much of what we’re called on to do in life is just, on the fly1

    Can you relate to Michele’s struggle?

    I wish I woke up each morning with a brief from God alerting me to each of the issues my day will hold, but sadly He doesn’t do that.

    psalm 119-105God does promise in Psalm 119:105 to keep enough light on our path so we can see the next step.  I really wish that verse said God was a ‘flood light’, or ‘high beams’ so we could see into the future; unfortunately, it doesn’t.

    The way to “study beforehand” while living life on the fly is to fill up our minds with Scripture so when life’s tests squeeze the stuffing out of us, what comes out is in line with His will and His ways.  This will make the journey easier for us to see where He’s shining the light on our path.

    PREPARING FOR LIFE ON THE FLY

    Choose to start your day studying God’s Word so when you’re living life on the fly and an issue pops up; God can shine His light on a scripture that will guide you in the path you should go.

    Prayer

    Father…Help me to fill up my well with wisdom from Your Word so I pass the tests I’ll take today.  Let your Word be the brightest lamp shining on my path so I find it easy to follow you wherever you will lead.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105[/tweetthis]

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

    1. https://hollybarrett.org/2017/02/lrl-2-75-michele-morin.html

     Drawing From The Well

    1. Psalm 119:105
    2. Psalm 25:4-5
    3. James 1:5
    4. Psalm 16:7-8

    www.michelemorin.wordpress.com
    https://hollybarrett.org/podcast/

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • Want a Great Idea on How To Observe Lent?

    When I was growing up I didn’t know what Lent was.  Embarrassingly, I didn’t know about Lent until St. James United Church in Waterdown used my book, WATER IN THE DESERT for their Lent Celebrations. I had heard about it, but since the churches I had attended in the past didn’t observe Lent I had no clue what it was about.

    My involvement with St. James during their Lent events helped me to see the value in being a part.  Taking 40 days out of every year to focus on your relationship with Christ and what He did for us on the cross could never be a bad thing.  I really don’t know why my church doesn’t honor this tradition to prepare your heart for Easter?  I know it’s not mandated in the Bible or anything, but it’s such a good thing.  If you want to read up on some of the times the Bible talks about people who set apart 40 Days to meet with God check out Todd’s

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://takethe40daychallenge.com/the-challenge/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH NUMBER 40? WHY 40 DAYS?[/imic_button]

    My friends who celebrate Lent are always looking for something to do, some GREAT IDEA that will make this year better than any other in their Lent times.  Well, I’ve got a great idea for you!

    takethe40daychallengeWhy not take a 40 Day Challenge?

    And have Todd and I on the journey with you?  They’re always FREE and for now until April 13th when LENT is over we are giving away the WATER IN THE DESERT Children’s program for FREE!

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://takethe40daychallenge.com/challenge_sign-up/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]CHALLENGE-Sign Up[/imic_button]

    [imic_button colour=”btn-warning” type=”enabled” link=”https://takethe40daychallenge.com/the-challenge/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]MORE INFO ON THE CHALLENGE[/imic_button]

    The only thing you need is one of our books and an email address.  If you don’t have one, run to your local Christian Bookstore and get one or a Chapters/Indigo nearest you.  If you live far out Amazon or Chapters/Indigo online is your best bet for quick delivery.

    Already taken a Challenge and want to do it again…NO PROBLEM.  If you have a different email address than the one you used just enter that one and it will work like a charm 🙂  If not, we just need you to email us so we delete your first entry and re-input your email address again.

    FOR LATE TEENS AND ADULTS—GUYS AND GIRLS

    KICKSTART the next 40 days of your life!  Sign Up for FREE on http://www.takethe40daychallenge.com to take your 40 Day Challenge!  You’ll receive 40 days worth of emails that coincide with our devotional books; WATER IN THE DESERT, SOUL H2O or 40 DAYS IN THE MAN CAVE.  The emails are short and inspiring.  Some are video clips, others are prayers, quotes, images you can download or just a quick message of encouragement; all related to that day’s devotion.

    JUST 10 MINUTES A DAY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

    Todd and I are committed to helping people build or enhance their habit of PERSONAL daily devotions.  Just 10 Minutes a Day will change your life!   We know that getting into God’s Word on a daily basis is what will sustain you through everything you face in life; the good and the bad. You wouldn’t eat one day a week and then wonder why you’re cranky on day 3 or 4 without food would you?  Your spiritual appetite is the same.  You can’t just fill up at the church buffet on Sunday and expect that to get you through the week.  You need daily bread!

    droplets toolboxFOR THE KIDS

    If you’d like something fun and engaging that your kids could follow along with you on, then our WATER DROPLET program is the perfect thing!  Throughout Lent we’re giving our Kid’s pages out FREE!  We hope that you’ll go through the scriptures at the bottom of the pages as a family.  Model to your children the value of getting into God’s Word.  That was the idea given to us from St. James and each church that has done the pages in their Sunday School has told us how much their kids loved them!  Families have been changed forever by starting this habit of spending time talking about God’s Word together in a casual fun way.

    1 page per week for each of the 3 different age categories.  You get them all so, no matter what age your children are there’s something for them to do.

    Hope this helps you prepare your heart for Easter and all that God has for you this year!

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://takethe40daychallenge.com/challenge_sign-up/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]CHALLENGE-Sign Up[/imic_button]

     

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  • Choosing To See God In The Midst of Your Everyday Life

    For this #PaperbackPic and #EllensPIcks I’m reviewing Mary Beth Chapman’s book, CHOOSING TO SEE; a Journey of Struggle and Hope 

    #PaperbackPic
    CHOOSING TO SEE
    A Journey of Struggle and Hope

    AUTHOR: Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn
    © 2010 by Mary Beth Chapman
    PUBLISHER: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, MI USA

    I’ve been inspired by Steven Curtis Chapman’s music for decades and my heart broke for his family in 2008 when they lost their daughter Maria in a horrific accident.  I think the world watched in disbelief as we watched the news.  Mary Beth wrote this book in the aftermath of that woeful day, but this book isn’t just gloom and doom of the heartache they’ve gone through.  Mary Beth opens her life letting you in on the struggles and the success they’ve had.  She tells about the fun they have and the issues that stretch their faith. Sherry reading choosing to see

    The book’s kind of an emotional roller coaster 🙂 Thanks for the Kleenex Ellen!  You’re laughing with Mary Beth on one page and then crying with her in the next!  Doesn’t that sound like real life?

    I think Mary Beth wrote this book that way because his book is all about choosing to see God in the midst of your everyday life; even your pain.  If you’re like me, that’s not the easiest thing to do.  When we’re hurt we want to cocoon and throw a pity party.  Mary Beth shares about the dangers of reacting like that and wrote this book to help people see the funny way God brought them together, how He was with them throughout their horrible loss and how He is continuing to show up.  I love how she says:

    “I have found that even during those times when the path is the darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way—bread crumbs of grace—that can give me what I need to take the next step.  But I can only find them if I choose to See.”1

    Knowing that God was with the Chapman’s in such profound ways helps you to have hope that God will be with you in triumph and tragedy.

    The book brings you along on the journey of life with Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman.  You feel like a fly on the wall as Mary Beth shares about her childhood, their dating days, Steven’s career accomplishments, raising children and living life.

    Mary Beth’s honesty and openness is so refreshing.

    Mary Beth talks about how opposites attract and shares openly about marriage struggles related to their contrasting personalities.  She calls Stephen “Tigger” and herself “Eeyore”. 2

    It reminded me of when Todd and I went to hear the Christian Comedian Steve Geyer for a Valentine’s Date Night Out a couple years ago.  Steve helped couples see the different personality types through the characters in Winnie-The-Pooh.  I’d never thought of those books like that before, but you can see the diverse personalities in all the characters.  Steve of course did it with great humor.

    FUN

    Mary Beth makes you laugh too. She seems to be a really fun person who loves to play practical jokes, I think we’d be great friends if she lived on my street!  One of the funniest stories in the book told about how they became parents because the dog ate her birth control pills!  There’s a cute picture in the book with a caption reading, “Pill-eating puppy named Peso, with the result named Emily.”3  I love how she shared so many of their personal family photos in the book.  It helps you to feel like you know them all.

    DEPRESSION

    May Beth openly talks about her battle with depression in such a balanced way.  I’m so glad to hear solid Christians share about a topic that has affected my family so much.  I know the more we talk about it the healthier we will all become.

    The Chapman’s are a very close knit family that has a lot of fun together.  They value their kids so much that they ended up adopting three girls from China because their daughter Emily wouldn’t stop hounding.

    The Chapman’s have very close friends and they all do life together.  They have babies, raise kids, adopt babies from China, grieve, mourn, laugh, pray with and vacation together.  They don’t have ‘fairweather friends’.  It’s clear through Mary Beth’s words that having solid Christian friendships have helped them have more fun and weather the storms of life.

    Through people, artwork, lady bugs, little girls with heavenly messages and so much more; God truly was throwing the Chapman’s breadcrumbs of grace to help get them through.  I’m so thankful that Mary Beth took the time to write this book and share her journey of struggle and hope.  I will forever be changed as I consciously choose to see God at work in the events of my life and I know you will too!  If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought in the comments below.

    Purchase the book by clicking on the Amazon Image.  amazon.com

    between heaven and the real worldGet ready for the next month or two when I share my #PaperbackPick on Steven Curtis Chapman’s book that is soon to be released called, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND THE REAL WORLD.  I’m not sure when our #EllensPicks Linkup date is for that one yet, you’ll have to just keep an eye out 🙂

     

    Mary Beth ChapmanMary Beth Chapman

    Is a New York Times bestselling author and the wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman.  Together they began Show Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to families wishing to adopt, increases awareness of the orphan crisis, and funnels resources to orphans around the world. Picture stolen from her twitter account 🙂 Yikes!  Sorry MB.

    Website and Blog: http://www.MaryBethChapman.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMaryBethChapman/?fref=ts
    Twitter:  MaryBethChapman
    Instagram:  mbchap232

    Ellen's Picks

    1. Mary Beth Chapman, Ellen Vaugh. Choosing To See; A Journey of Struggle and Hope. (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2010). 26.
    2. Chapman, Choosing To See, 41.
    3. Chapman, Choosing To See, between 96-97.

     

     

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  • The Next Generation

    “Who has done such mighty deeds, summoning each new generation from the beginning of time? It is I, the LORD, the First and the Last. I alone am he.”                                          Isaiah 41:4  NLT

    Do you ever listen to the news and worry for the next generation? I have.

    Headlines tell of the diminishing morals and the acceptance of the unthinkable.  A friend expressed concern over her daughter bringing a grandchild into this world and I understood what she was feeling.

    Thankfully these fears of mine are being quieted by a rising tide I’m beginning to see.

    HOPE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

    Our church youth group in little Leamington has grown to over 100 members.  Last Sunday we attended one of the five services my daughter’s church, Grace City in Lakeland, FL run and felt so old as the place was full of young adults worshipping with hands raised.  Shelby then went to her friend’s church in Orlando where they have 1500 teenagers coming to youth each week.  God is summoning the next generation and they’re answering His call!

    Isaiah brings encouragement as he reminds the people that God has planned, from the beginning of time, to reach each new generation.  Peter confirmed this truth when he preached on the day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit was being poured out on the people of his time.  Peter encouraged everyone there to receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit, telling the people how, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”1 Scripture after scripture encourages us that God desires to reach each new generation.

    Instead of grumbling and complaining about these kids, let’s band together and pray for them.  We’ll be praying in agreement with God’s will for the next generation and that will produce a great harvest of souls.

    PRAYER FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

    Father…Burden my heart for the next generation.  As I see the culture moving away from You, help me focus my eyes on the tide rising of young people who want to serve You.  Summon this next generation and let their hearts be turned to you.  Cause revival to break out in the high schools, Colleges and Universities; as a spirit of repentance draws Your children back to You, and may we as adults give them an example to follow.  In Jesus Name…Amen

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

    1. Acts 2:39 NIV

    Lakepoint Family Church; Leamington, ON  http://www.lakepoint.church
    Grace City; Lakeland, FL  http://www.gracecityfl.com
    ;Orlando, FL

    [tweetthis]Father…Burden my heart for the next generation[/tweetthis]

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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