Interesting Stuff

  • Missionaries

    Hello friends!  It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to write a post outside of my weekly devotions.   Since Todd’s surgery, things have been crazy busy with us.  After the months of recovery I was really worn out and just needed some time.  In the past few months so much has changed for us and we have some VERY exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you in the next while!  Until then, I will write whenever I can. Tonight I can’t sleep because I feel so strongly to post this blog about MISSIONARIES!

    On Monday I wrote a devotion blog called ALL OVER THE WORLD.  I shared about how God desired to do great things ALL OVER THE WORLD through every one of us!  I told you about some of my amazing friends who were doing just that.  Today, I want to introduce you to some of them and connect you to see the wonderful things they’re doing ALL OVER THE WORLD!  My hope is that you’ll take some time and check them out to possibly partner with their great organizations!  Maybe God will inspire you through them like He has in my life!

    First I mentioned one of my closest friends, Wendy Pauls.  Wendy is one of those people who unassumingly makes this world a better place just by being in it!  Wherever she goes, she inspires others to become the best they can be through her coaching and friendships.

    Theses are some pictures of Wendy during her most recent trip to Guatemala.  I think she feels at home in Guatemala as she has spent so much time there over the past years.  Her partner in crime (those are good crimes of course), for many years was another friend Sam Welten.

    Until recently, Wendy worked with Sam at his Missions Organization Possibilities International.  Sam desires to inspire a world full of “Everyday Philanthropists” who make a difference ALL OVER THE WORLD!  Their mission tagline and website is: IAM1RU???  So, if you’re wanting to be an “Everyday Philanthropists” and go oversees to help others, you should check out the humanitarian trips Sam leads through Possibilities International.

    Reynold and Kathy Mainse have been friends for years.

    They often travelled to Africa in their leadership at Crossroads Relief and Development years ago, but now have taken a HUGE step of faith into what God has called them to as they left the creature comforts of Canada and moved to Gulu, Uganda to open an office for their organization, World Embrace Ministries.  The way they live out their calling to build unity in the church of Uganda and to facilitate another Heaven’s Rehearsal is so inspiring!

    One of my new friends Cheryl Weber is the current reporter and spokesperson for  Crossroads Relief and Development.  Many of you will have seen riveting footage of Cheryl’s missionary journeys on the 100 Huntley Street show.  I am so blessed to be partnering with Cheryl and the team at Crossroads Relief and Development on their water project in Turkana, Kenya!

    Crossroads Relief and Development  is digging wells in the deserts of Kenya and cultivating the land for the people. Families receive a 1/4 acre plot of land once the soil is ready.   When completed, there will be 12 farms, each providing land for 130 families!  That’s over 1500 families!!!  The first set of farms have just started growing crops!  They are literally growing gardens in the desert!!!  That’s something only God could bring about!!!  This is a link to their webpage that contains a video that shows gardens growing in the desert and a little of what Cheryl does!

    Crossroads Turkana Update Webpage with Video and don’t forget to donate

    Peggy Kennedy is one of the most encouraging Missionaries you can ever meet!  She effortlessly (well it looks that way!) travels the globe and spreads God’s Word to the nations, yet finds time to not only read my weekly devotions via email, but never fails to write me and tell me how God uses them to encourage her or how it ties in with something God is doing somewhere else!  I know that was a long sentence, but it’s almost 4 am and I’m usually sleeping at this time 🙂  Peggy heads up Two Silver Trumpets ministry with her partner in life love and ministry, Jack.  Together they make an impact ALL OVER THE WORLD and right here in Canada!

    In December I wrote a blog called Christmas Giving.  In it I told about my friends Jamie and Michelle Stewart who lost their beautiful daughter Emma to cancer.  I was also able to share about how they have turned this tragedy into something beautiful!  Blooming in the desert!  They have started a fund called Emma’s House and have begun building homes for  orphans in Africa as that was a passionate desire for Emma!  Please read the Christmas Giving blog and hear more of the amazing story!

    I also have friends doing work in Remote Access Nations.  These are countries whose governments are closed to the gospel and their lives are at risk if it is publicly announced that they are doing any form of aid work.  It’s so hard for them to fund their work as they can’t share pictures or talk openly about what they do like other ministries.  These are the Rambo missionaries (without the guns!) who have the most intense calls of God on their lives, in my opinion!

     We need to pray for them and bless them financially whenever we can!  

    If you feel a tug and want to help, please click on the website link below and help out my friends in a Remote Access Nation.  http://www.agreatdoor.com  Please logon and register to make a donation that will make an impact ALL OVER THE WORLD!  Due to the nature of their work and for their safety, they will have to confirm your identity in order to partner with them.  It’s not a hard process like they live out, but a little more difficult than just logging on and donating like with other ministries, but oh the impact!!!

    Thanks for letting me brag about some of my amazing friends!  I really have a ton more, but this blog is getting long and I need some sleep 🙂

    Love you all,
    ~Sherry xoxo

    “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world”                                   Romans 1:8 NIV

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  • Christmas Giving

    Now is the time for CHRISTMAS GIVING! Malls are closing. The presents have all been purchased and most are wrapped under the tree.   Families everywhere have begun to meet and will for the next few days, giving gifts to one another.   I know God loves when we give gifts to each other because we’re following in his example.

    “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son…”                                        John 3:16 NIV.

    How much more does He love it when we give to those less fortunate than ourselves! We are all so blessed in North America. It’s good to take the time out and bless others who need our help.
    Earlier in December I wrote a devotional called CHRISTMAS—WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL! In the post I shared about a few of my friends; some who are experiencing wonderful times and others who are struggling with woeful feelings of hurt. I wrote about my friend KEVIN PAULS and how God has opened up doors for him to fulfill a dream to host a nationwide Christmas tour. The 2014 Spirit of Christmas Tour with Kevin Pauls and Friends was a huge success! In the devotional CHRISTMAS—WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL I also shared about friends, Jamie and Michelle Stewart whose daughter Emma lost her battle with cancer at the tender age of 15.
    Every Christmas we give donations to charities as a family. It’s one thing I just LOVE doing! This year we decided to partner with our friends Jamie and Michelle Stewart and give to Emma’s House.Emmas House
     
    Jamie and Michelle, along with their other four children started a charity in memory of their daughter and sister. Emma was a beautiful girl who loved to sing. From the website of Emma’s House here is the motive behind the mission:

    ‘”She (Emma) loved babies and always dreamed of going on missions trips…out of this and our desire, as her family, for her life to continue to have a positive impact, Emma’s House was birthed. It is our desire to continue Emma’s legacy of light and love by building homes for orphans all over the world. The first home will be built in Kampala, Uganda as we partner with Watoto, for 8 children and a house mother who will care for them.
    All proceeds from purchases will go towards making dreams realized…Emma’s dreams, our dreams, the dreams of orphans.”

    Earlier in 2014, Jamie and Michelle went to Kampala Uganda with family and friends. They began construction of the first ever Emma’s House! This home is now completed and being lived in by 8 orphaned children and their house mother through Watoto ministries.
    emmas house no. 1 Uganda
    This year, why not increase your CHRISTMAS GIVING and help the Stewarts raise money for another Emma’s house to be build in Rawanda! The rewards will be eternal!
    Follow the links below for more information or to donate.  You can donate through purchases of beautiful jewelry on their site:  http://www.store.emmashouse.ca

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    In His Grip,
    Sherry
    xoxo
    Check Out the Emma’s House Blog for more details: https://store.emmashouse.ca/blogs/news
    Donations to Emma’s House are processed on the Canada Helps site: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/emmas-house/
     

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  • Mentored to Lead by John C. Maxwell

    John MaxwellWOW!  I’m just re-reading this post and blown away at how many dreams I’ve chased down in the past 7 years!!!
    Since writing this post in 2014, I joined the John Maxwell Team of Speakers, Trainers and Coaches in 2016.  I even got to meet John Maxwell and talk to him for a few brief moments {pinch me… is this real}.  I hope reading this inspires you to chase after your dreams.  If you’re interested in finding out more about the John Maxwell Team or the Online Leadership University I’m a part of, just email me from my Contact Page, I’d love to tell you how much it’s benefitted me.


    THE START OF MY LEADERSHIP JOURNEY

    Sisters Lori & I
    The first pictures mom had done of Lori & I. Sadly most of our childhood photos, taken in clothes made by mom, have water damage from a basement flood. Lori was seriously the cutest baby!

    The birth of my little sister Lori changed my life 🙂
    At the age of two, with the event of Lori’s birth,  I became a leader and I’ve taken my role seriously.
    You can read about that in my #soulh2o blog post on Leadership Leads…Good or Bad for more on that story but let’s just say that I didn’t just become a bossy big sister for nothing! Ha!
    By my teenage years, I was involved in leadership positions at church and in school.  During my years at College: I was was a TV Show Co-host, ran a field ministry team, led a missions trip, was a youth pastor n two towns, preached at a small-town church, was the third-year class president… Seriously, the list goes on and on.  I recognized from a young age that God made me a leader and saw repeatedly how He strategically placed me in leadership roles.  As this understanding and finally accepting of his calling grew, I desired to be the best leader I could be… wherever I served.

    MY MENTORSHIP BY JOHN C. MAXWELL

    I’ve read so many books, magazines, and articles on leadership.  The Bible is a huge resource for leadership training.  Following Jesus model for servant-leadership is the biggest lesson to learn from the Bible.  I’ve learned to lead with the mentorship of John Maxwell–even though we’ve never met!  I’ve read a bunch of his books, listened to more on CD and through Audible or Scribd.  I love watching his videos and have been blessed to attend events where he’s been the keynote speaker.

    John C. Maxwell book Laws of GrowthEvery time I read a book by John C. Maxwell it takes me forever to get through it!
    There’s so much helpful information
    that most pages are covered with highlights and notes in the margin!

    I’ve begun something that has kind of built into a tradition.  I tend to buy a John C. Maxwell book on leadership at Airport stores and read the book on my vacation or speaking event.   Todd and I both love reading and always bring books on holidays.  Todd feels like he’s reading two books each vacation because I’m not really good at keeping things to myself when I learn something new or if something inspires me…  I’m compelled to share the treasures I find!
    This became really clear to me as I began to write this post.   I went to my bookcase to find what books I have of John Maxwell’s and could only find two books and 2 Books on CD.  I can’t keep his stuff because as soon as I read it I want to share it and sometimes when you share a book, you never get it back 🙂  I just hope the recipients pass them along too!
    Right now my John C. Maxwell Stock Consists of:

    • Talent Is Never Enough
      Discover The Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent
    • 25 Ways To Win With People
      How To Make Others Feel Like A Million Bucks
    • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
      LIVE THEM and Reach Your Potential

    …and my most recent purchase at the Choice Books in the Detroit Metro Airport :

    • How Successful People Lead
                 Taking Your Influence To The Next Level

    Aren’t you inspired just by reading the Titles and Sub-Titles?  I am.  Reading anything on leadership energizes me! I recently put John C. Maxwell’s book apps on my phone for the last two books on the list.  The apps have a listing of quotes from the books on them that you can share on social media.  There’s a bunch of other features on each of the apps that are helpful in goal setting too.  Great Leadership tools!
    As you can see, I am Mentored to Lead by John Maxwell!  One day, Lord willing, I will get to attend his Equip Leaders Course, meet him and let him know!  Hey, you gotta let a girl dream 🙂
    http://www.johnmaxwell.com
    John Maxwell’s Online Bookstore Click Here!
     



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  • Toby's SPEAKING LIFE in song

    Whenever I write about something, songs just seem to come into my life that back up the message. This week I’ve heard some great ones that hit home the message from my WORD POWER Devotional on Monday.

    SPEAK LIFE–TOBY MAC toby mac

    Toby Mac’s song “Speak Life” is one of my faves.  Generally, I like most things Toby has put on the market since about 1989 in the DC Talk days!  You can find one of his songs on my itunes playlist at any given time.  This song is no different.  It really shouts the message of Proverbs 18:21 that says,

    “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

    The music video is amazing how it shows the devastating or life-giving effect our words can have on others to bring life or death.  The most impactful line in this song for me is when Toby says:

    We can turn a heart with the words we say.”  1

    The music video brings this line to life.  I love how he ends the video with a quote from a book I now want to read!   

    “In Every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”
    ~Brennan Manning 2

    Watch the Video, Listen to the Song and Read through the words so Toby Mac can “Speak Life” into your heart today!
    Toby’s Online Music Video for “Speak Life” Link
    AZ Lyrics for “Speak Life”
    Toby Mac’s Website http://www.tobymac.com
    toby mac speak life
    1     Mac, Toby.  SPEAK LIFE.  Capitol Chrisitan Music Group ©  2014
    2     Manning, Brennan.  ABBA’S CHILD. The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging. © 2002

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  • God Doesn't Make Junk-Video

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

    HEAVEN
    HEAVEN

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

    Kayla’s Youtube Video


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

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  • Free Like An Eagle

    IMG_1612
    One of my favorite things to do is to go for a long ride on the back of Todd’s Harley.  In our first year of marriage Todd took off every Friday and most often we went on the bike.  Best times ever!  There’s something freeing about getting out on the open road. It’s exhilarating riding along with the sun shining and wind in your face.   The sights and smells are amazing. When you’re driving in your car (which I also love to do), you don’t realize how different places smell. Some good and some well, not so good! I love it when we pass someone cutting grass. The best smell ever was just a little while ago when lilacs were in bloom! I love the feeling when I put my arms out and the wind rushes over my skin. It’s such a freeing feeling. No wonder Harley Davidson uses the Eagle with wings spread wide-open in their logo. The Eagle symbolizes freedom.  Riding the motorcycle makes you feel free like an eagle! If either Todd or I am feeling stressed-out, worn-out or burnt-out we need to get-out on a Harley ride. It’s amazing how true the saying “Live To Ride, Ride To Live” is, and how much this iconic saying made into the buckle below reminds me of scripture!live to ride ride to live

    He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. 
They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.
    Isaiah 40:29-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

    water_bookThe second chapter in my book, WATER IN THE DESERT focuses on breaking free from bondages.  It’s proving to be a real help to anyone who is trying to break free in their life.

    BACK UP

    God desires for us to be free. He has said it in His Word and He means it. If He didn’t He wouldn’t have said it so much! Here’s just a few of the many times God encourages us to “live free like an eagle“!

    So if the Son has set you, free you are free indeed.
    John 8:36 (NIV)

     It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free.
    Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

    Live as free people.
    1 Peter 2:16 (NIV)

    So, what helps YOU  to live free?

    Comment below and tell me what it is for you, or what you feel you need to do to, live free like an eagle?
    ~Sherry Lynn

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  • Eagle Push

    Yesterday’s devotional had me researching all about Eagles.  For years I keep thinking about taking time to study Eagles.  I find them fascinating.  One of those ideas you think about, but don’t seem to get around to doing 🙁  In my research I found this amazing Youtube Video called,  “EVEN EAGLES NEED A PUSH, The Power of Encouragement” by David McNally and Mac Anderson.  It helps give you a visual of what Deuteronomy 32:11 was talking about and how “The Push” can be the greatest gift you give or receive.
    If you haven’t read my devotional yet, you might want to read it first, then watch the video.  I think you’ll get way more out of the video and the devotional.
    xoxo
    ~Sherry
    Click HERE to watch the “EVEN EAGLES NEED A PUSH, The Power of Encouragement” Video
    Click HERE to read David McNally’s Blog.

    Book The Push, Unleashing The Power Of Encouragement.

     the push book    Click On The Book To Purchase.

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  • Divorce and Remarriage

    wedding cake in halfThis past Sunday my pastor preached the best sermon I’ve ever heard on the subject of divorce and remarriage.  He’s preaching a series called “Cow Tipping”.  The analogy is tipping over things that are taboo to talk about in the church.  I like how my pastor, Nathan Albrecht isn’t afraid of having an opinion, but he’s always making sure that it lines up with the Bible.  He must study hard for his sermons as he gives so much historical detail that helps me and many others “get it” on a continual basis.  Pastor Nathan isn’t afraid to hold up God’s ideal for marriage that should be our goal as Christians and yet present what he feels is God’s word on how to manage when our lives fall short of God’s ideal.
    As a divorced and remarried person I have struggled hard with both these issues.  I never in a million years saw myself ending up in either category!  Neither did my wonderful husband.  Both of us have experienced the heartwrenching pain of divorce but, thankfully we’re experiencing the wonder of love in our second marriage together.
    I have never been one to try and make scripture fit my circumstance and really don’t like when people do.  I want to know what the Bible says, even if it makes me uncomfortable!  This sermon truly is the best Biblical message on the topic of divorce and remarriage that I’ve ever heard.  Any sermons that I’ve heard in the past have only centred on one scripture that leaves divorced people like me, feeling like the woman in this cartoon below.  We’re forced to drag around a ball and chain for all to see our past failure…especially when we go to church.  All too often this is why divorced people avoid the church or stop going entirely.
    divorced woman at altar
    When I was going through extreme marriage issues in my first marriage, we were seeing an amazing Christian counsellor who helped me not feel like the woman in the cartoon.  He was very much against divorce and tried for years to help us not have to walk that road.  As the years went on and divorce was inevitable, this counsellor brought to my attention other scriptures in the Bible that discuss divorce and remarriage.  Ones other than the lone verse I had heard in church.   Never before had I noticed these verses and I surely hadn’t understood them when I read them.  God used these scriptures to help me understand His complete word on divorce and remarriage, yet never diminishing my belief in God’s ideal for marital relationships.  marriage-divorce-remarriage-ring on Bible pagePastor Nathan used many of these scriptures in his message.  It was the first time that I’ve heard from the pulpit a sermon that truly brought healing to my heart in this area.  There was even one scripture at the end that I had never noticed before that Pastor Nathan quoted.  It helped me understand God more and to learn that He “gets me” way more than I ever imagined.  He really is a God who can sympathize with our sufferings.  To understand, you just have to watch the sermon (Link Below).  I hope you listen to the end because it will revolutionize the way you think about what the Bible has to say regarding divorce and remarriage.  If you feel like the woman in the cartoon…you can be set free!  Let your spirit drink in the truth of God’s Word as it drowns out the opinions of others!
    FGT Church Sermon Video of Pastor Nathan Albrecht on “Divorce & Remarriage
    Check out the FGT Church Website For Other Great Sermons

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  • Desensitized Song

    caution slow fadeThis week’s devotional was about losing your Spiritual Sensitivity.  I talked about how we can become “Desensitized” to spiritual things.  It’s never a one decision journey, but as Casting Crowns sings:slow fade words
    People don’t wake up one day and just change.  It’s always a progression of life choices that keep leading them farther and farther away from who God created them to be.  You become desensitized, it doesn’t just happen.  It’s the effects of spirtual dehydration that gets you delirious enought to make bad choices.
    Thought you might like to listen to this song about the effects of the desensitizing “Slow Fade”.  Next time I’ll post about how you can stay spiritually hydrated.

    Click on this link to get to the Casting Crowns Websitecasting crowns http://www.castingcrowns.com

    Click on the Link to listen to the Youtube Song “Slow Fade with Lyrics
    Click here to see the lyrics for “Slow Fade
    Write to you soon!
    ~Sherry
    xo

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