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  • Absolute Dependence

    “There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”                                                                    Hebrews 4:10-11 NIV
    Why is striking a balance between work and rest hard to do?  It seems there are so few people who can master this balance well.   One person who nailed it, and has helped countless others do the same was Mary Kay Ash.

    mary kay success story title

    Our society calls people like her “self-made”, but I don’t think that’s how she would describe herself.  Mary Kay’s life motto was ‘God First, Family Second and Career Third’.  It remains the motto of her abundantly successful cosmetic company to this day.

    mary kay motto

    When discussing the verse above, The Voice Bible Translation notes that, “By letting go of daily work, they declared their absolute dependence on God to meet their needs.”1  May Kay Ash was a single mom by divorce and widowhood when she started her company.  Instead of trying to do it all on her own, she emphatically stated her absolute dependence on God.
    Last week we talked about living a life that’s worth following and Mary Kay fits the bill!   Let’s follow her lead and let the verses below strengthen our resolve for complete dependence on God to meet ALL of our needs.
    Philippians 4:19  “And this same God who takes care of me will supply ALL your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus”  NLT
    2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God is ABLE to bless you abundantly, so that in ALL things at all times, having ALL that you need, you will abound in EVERY good work.”  NIV 
    Prayer:
     Father…I thank-you that I can rest because You will take care of me!  Help me to live in absolute dependence on Your provision.  In Jesus name, Amen
    1 The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
    http://www.marykay.com

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  • A Great Weekend!

    Last weekend was awesome!  It started off with a great drive to see my Gram and Son!  My Gram is just the cutest–next to Todd’s Gram!  So blessed to have such wonderful women in my life!  I could never spend enough time with my son!

    I drove to Maple and slept over at my amazing friends, Mark and Andrea Giancola’s house.  It was so good to spend time with them.  I could never get enough time with them either 🙂  In the morning Andrea and I went to the Ladies’ Day Away that she organized for the church they pastor, Maple Community Church.  Such amazing women.  We had 27 great girls come out to the event. I had done a retreat for them about 8 years ago so some I knew from before.  I have been getting emails from some of these great girls all week long!  I’ve made some lifelong friends!  Their worship leader, Lindsay Fitch did an outstanding job.  She taught the girls the new song “Water In My Desert” and it became like our anthem 🙂

    It was so great to have my sister Lori come to the event and then to go back and stay at her house.  I loved spending time with my nieces and nephew.  My one niece did my nails for church.  I even got to go to church with them and see my youngest niece wearing her first pair of heels!  She’s just like her Auntie Sherry!  A Tom-boy who loves to dress up.  She had her heels on with her hockey team coat!  What a cutie!    My sister spoiled me too!  The Ladies’ Day Away was held at Pine Farms Orchard in King City.  They have the cutest lunch restaurant and store with home decor and delicious, healthy food you can buy prepared.  Lori bought me glasses that say “H2O” all over them!  How cool is that!  Such an awesome sister!

    I picked up Shelby and we were on the road again, heading for home…Gabbing all the way!  Now that was a Great Weekend!
    Heading to Waterdown tomorrow–I’m sure the journey will be just as Great!

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  • Follow Me

    follow me scripture
    “There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
    Hebrews 4:10-11 NIV
    Does the idiom, “Do as I say, not as I do” annoy anyone else?  It bothers me when I hear parents repeating it to their kids.  They say it as if it’s a joke, when really it’s backed up by their actions.  The Free Dictionary describes this phrase as: “Take my advice, even though I am acting contrary to it”.1   I’m so thankful that we serve a heavenly father who parents nothing like this!  God never requires something of us that He has not modeled for us.   He tells us to take a Sabbath rest, following His example.
    Good Leaders lead by example, not by rule.
    “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  In Matthew 4:19 NIV.  Jesus had every right to say, “follow me” because that is exactly what He was doing, fishing for people.  Paul encouraged believers many times to follow his example, even saying twice that people should “imitate” him.  In Philippians 3:17, Paul said “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” NIV   We need to be Christians who lead by example, so that we can say, “Do as I say, and as I do!”
     Prayer:
    Father…I thank-you for modeling good things before me.  Help me to follow your example to rest and to model what I say, in what I do.  May I live a life that others will be better to follow after.  In Jesus name, Amen
    1 https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Do+as+I+say,+not+as+I+do

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  • Lewisville, Texas

    Todd and I had the privilege of traveling to the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas in January.  There was manly stuff for Todd, and girly stuff for me!  What a perfect trip!  The first few days were spent at a Lighting show for Todd’s work with his cousin’s Matt & Michelle.  Two amazing people!  The trade show was so interesting!  Lighting is now Art!  We had the strangest shuttle bus.  It was a normal white hotel shuttle bus on the outside, but we knew it wasn’t normal as soon as we stepped in! Everyone began laughing as we took our seats.  The black and hot pink color scheme should have been a clue, but we didn’t even notice until I was looking at a picture a couple took for us that it was a “Playboy Bunny” themed bus!  The drivers decorate their buses to get better tips!  Who knew?!?
    We had so much fun at the Fort Worth Rodeo.  It was both Todd and my first rodeo.  I don’t know how people have the courage to sign up to do that?  It’s the most dangerous thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I grew up at a Dragstrip!  I loved shopping at Sam Moon’s Department Store sized Accessory Warehouse!  I could move in!  It’s fashion for less in the most incredible way!  I so wish they had stores outside of Texas!  I appreciate that Todd gladly spent time at a coffee shop and didn’t complain about my time, or money spent here J  You just can’t get this stuff back home!
    On the Sunday, we went to Victorious Life Church in Lewisville, Texas. https://www.victoriouslife.org  Pastor Mark Akers was preaching a sermon series on Going Through Storms In Life and had me share my testimony.   When I was done speaking, Christian Recording Artist and Worship Leader, Rachelle Fletcher sang the song she wrote after watching the video on my website of Todd and I giving our Testimony (Link to Interview). It was so inspiring and emotionally overwhelming for me at times!  This is only the second time Rachelle has sung it publicly.  The first was when she came with me last summer to speak in Detroit.  (Link to the Song on my Youtube Channel) God used the song so powerfully.  God orchestrated the whole morning!   My testimony and Pastor Mark’s message meshed together as if we had it planned!  I wish you all could have been there!  Hope you enjoy the pics!

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  • Happy Holiday!

    Happy Presidents Day to all my American friends!

     Happy Family Day to all my Canadian friends!

    “There remains, then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.”
                                                                     Hebrews 4:10-11 NIV
    Today is a holiday for Canadians and Americans alike.  A day to kick back, relax and for most, take a day off of work!  Could there be a better time in the calendar to have a holiday than in the dead of winter?  I know you southerners can’t understand, but this year has been one of the harshest winter’s North America has ever experienced!  It leaves you tired and worn out.  Like bears in winter, we need a little extra time to rest.

    Genesis 2:2 says “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (NIV)

    We live in such a fast-paced society that the work never seems to be done.  It’s hard to let ourselves take the time to rest.  The problem with not following God’s example and later His law to rest is that we go beyond the limitations God set in the human body.  Without adequate rest our bodies get run-down and burn out.

    Wikipedia gives a review of a report from the Journal of Health Psychology,8. It says that Burnout decreases your job performance, causes physical and mental health issues, along with cognitive impairments.  The study found that “burned out workers reported as many depressive symptoms as clinically depressed patients”2

    The writer of Hebrews encourages us that “anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work”.  Allow yourself the blessing to enter into His rest and Have a Happy Holiday!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-you that you have provided rest for my.  Please help me to enter into your rest and allow you to renew my spirit today!  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.

    1Bianchi, R., Boffy, C., Hingray, C., Truchot, D., & Laurent, E. (2013). Comparative symptomatology of burnout and depression. Journal of Health Psychology, 18 (6), 782–787.
    2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnout_(psychology)

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  • Backing Up Others

    darlene Zschech with back up singers

    “Abram named him Ishmael” (Genesis 16:15)
    Has God ever spoken to you?  Hagar must have told Abram the story of God meeting her in the desert and all that He told her about the child she was going to have.  You know what women can be like.  Women go into great depth of detail recounting meetings like that!  You can hear Hagar telling Abe how broken she was…how afraid for her life she was…how confused she was…how thirsty she was in the desert…How lost she was…how miraculously God spoke to her and told her that she was going to have a son…to name him Ishmael!  Abraham must have believed Hagar as the Bible says, “Abram named him Ishmael”.
    I’m sure Hagar would have known about the promise of God over Abram’s life to have a child and be the father of many nations.  I would assume that Abraham and Hagar thought this was how God was going to fulfill His promise and that is what infuriated Sara towards Hagar, causing her desert run away.   Abraham backed up what God told Hagar by naming their child Ishmael.  He validated the call of God on Hagar and on Ishmael by doing it.  Just as Darlene Zschech needs backup singers, we need people in our lives that by their words and actions, support and validate what God has spoken to us. 
    Joseph and Elizabeth did this for Mary…Paul did this for Timothy…Todd has done this for me!  I have been blessed in my life to have so many people speak and put action behind their words to “back up” what God has spoken to me.  The next time someone shares with you what God has spoken to them, take the time to listen.  Affirm them and “back up” what God has set in motion!  In so, you’ll become part of the miracle! 
    Prayer: 
    Father…I thank-you for the people you put in my life to “Back Me Up”!  Help me to listen to them and not those who try to tear down and distract from what you are doing in me.  Help me to In Jesus name, Amen

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  • The Turnaround Story of Emily Scott

    Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 11.55.49 PM
    Monday’s devotional was titled “God Of The Turnaround”.  The verse was from Jeremiah 29:14
    I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back…you can count on it” MSG
    Emily Scott’s life has got to be one of the most incredible turnaround stories ever!  She will be representing the US as a Short Track Skater.   She is a girl who was born with a desire to go to the Olympics.  As a young girl she made the Jr. Olympic gymnastics team but had to quit because her family did not have enough money to keep her in that expensive sport.  Emily’s dad worked from paycheck to paycheck and her mom, a drug addict, spent time in and out of jail.  Emily’s dad says that the first miracle to bring her to the Olympics happened when she was 6 years old.  A man gave her father a free pair of inline skates for Emily.  With much practice she excelled at inline skating.  As an Inline World Champion she hoped that it would become an Olympic sport. Sadly, it never did. Her Olympic dreams appeared to be crushed.
    Again, Emily’s dream could not be achieved in the sport she loved.   Not losing hope, she made the difficult and grueling transition to speed skating.  Emily began to excel in speed skating.  She was in training for the Olympics yet again when her world crashed around her again.  Emily lost more than half of her funding.  With her dad struggling to make ends meet, her mom and sister both in jail, Emily had to apply for food stamps to get by.  She was ready to quit and give up on her Olympic dream.  One article in USA Today caused an overflow of support for her both emotionally and financially.  Emily was able to quit her part time job and focus on training!   Emily qualified for the Olympics and will proudly represent the USA this year!   Her perseverance paid off!  What seemed like the end was the event that needed to happen in order to propel Emily into God’s plan for her life!  That desire within her that would never go away can only be from God!
    If you ever read this Emily, know that we’re praying for you!  Thanks for sharing your journey to the Olympics so candidly with the world!  You have brought this author great encouragement and hope to NEVER give up on her dreams!  May God bless you as you walk out (or should I say, skate out) the calling He has on your life!
    https://www.nbcolympics.com/news/six-fun-facts-about-short-track-skater-emily-scott
    https://www.nbcolympics.com/news/emily-scotts-olympic-dream-embodied-fathers-love-strangers-kindness?ctx=team-usa
    https://www.speedskatingresults.com/index.php?p=17&s=18726 

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  • God Of The Turnaround

    turnaround
     “I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back…you can count on it”
                                                    Jeremiah 29:14 MSG
    In a week Olympic Fever will hit our TV’s!  I think my favorite part is hearing people’s life journey to the Olympics.  There’s something about a great turnaround story that gives you hope, especially when you seem to have lost your own!
    So many times in life I could not see how my life could turnaround: how God could take my mess and turn it into a message.  All I saw was brokenness and heartache, yet there was an underlying trust in my heavenly father.  When Jeremiah spoke these words recorded in scripture, the people of Israel felt like I did.  They couldn’t see how God’s promises to bless their nation could ever happen when they were in bondage—again.  They had been caught in the cycle of sin, slavery, sorrow and salvation for centuries.  How could things ever change for them?  They seemed to keep getting themselves back in the same trouble over and over.  The key to breaking free is found in verse 13.  Through Jeremiah God tells His people “when you come looking for me, you’ll find me…when you get serious about finding me…you won’t be disappointed.”  (The MSG) When the Israelites turn to God and away from their sin, God breaks them out of this cycle and brings them back into the Promised Land!
    No matter what your situation…whether you brought this bondage on or if it’s a result of others choices, believe God’s Word and His promises over your feelings.  He is the God of the Turnaround…you can count on it!
    Prayer:
     Father…I thank-you that you are all powerful.  Nothing is too hard for you!  No problem to difficult for you to break me free from.  Help me to stand on Your Word today and trust You for the turnaround in my life!  In Jesus name, Amen

    On Thursday, my blog
    http://www.soul-h2o.com

    will feature a story about an Olympic athlete’s incredible life story.
    A “must read” kind of post!

     

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  • Parkwood Event


    I had such an amazing time on Monday Night with the women from Parkwood Gospel Temple in Windsor, ON for their

    women's connection logo

     Event!  This has to be the best job in the world–meeting amazing people wherever I go!  It was such a treat to have Brenda and Marg Rice there to cheer me on!  I so appreciated all of Brenda’s help at the book table.  I never could have done it without you!  Amy McKnight did an awesome job leading us into worship.  She tried telling me she had a sore throat, but I couldn’t hear it 🙂  What a great voice, but even better was her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit: knowing when to play, when to sing and when to wait on the Lord!  The sign of a truly great worship leader!   It was an honour to hear the life stories of so many girls that night as they shared with me after the meeting.  I spoke on  “Lessons To Learn In The Desert”, encouraging the women that God would bring them water in every desert they face.  This is one thing I am SURE of!  We really do learn more in the hard times than in the good times.  I used the illustrations from my book for the Power Point and it helped to solidify the message as many girls commented.   I want to thank Debbie Sylvester for planning such a powerful night!  Your team was great to work with!  Beth Waddell I appreciate all your ‘technical’ support 🙂  Rosie Wagner, so great to finally meet you!  Thanks for having me everyone!  Hope we can do it again sometime!
    If you’re looking for a church in the Windsor, ON area, Check out:Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 9.58.55 PM
     
     

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