#MusicPic

  • Do You Notice The Season Beginning To Change?

    Praying this devotion helps you see the season beginning to change in your life!

    Isaiah 43:19 season change

    Early this August, we followed our normal family tradition and celebrated Shelby’s birthday at the trailer. While my immediate family was there, my cousin was driving by, stopped and honked. So, we all went out by the fence to say hello.

    As we were talking, I noticed leaves under our feet, then I looked at the two trees on either side of us. I was shocked to see yellowing leaves and mentioned it to my niece. I told Todd and thought it strange for trees to be turning when it was a blistering hot summer day. I’d never seen trees begin to turn during the beginning half of August. 

    NEVER.

    It felt like a holy noticing. Everyone else was focussed on my cousin but God turned my eyes to the trees.

    Was God trying to speak to me through the colour of the leaves?

    Was the season beginning to change for me?

    Back At Home

    sunny august
    My Instagram Story that day

    I love to walk in the morning and spend some time with God as I’m getting some exercise. About ten days after Shelby’s birthday party, on another one of those blistery hot August walks, I stopped to take a picture of the deep blue sky contrasting the dark green trees, when I noticed leaves on the top of three trees slightly turning yellow.

    I thought maybe I was going crazy, but by the time I was done my walk, I had seen three trees with a little bit of yellowing leaves… on August 20th… in Leamington, Ontario; the southernmost point of Canada. We live in the “southernmost point of mainland Canada”, marketed under the motto, “Sun Parlour of Canada”. We’re actually on the same latitude line as northern California and Rome.1

    Needless to say, fall leaves in summer are NOT NORMAL here.

    Pictures from my walks Aug.20-26, 2020

    By the week following, on August 26th, I saw my first tree with red leaves (the last picture here). Season’s Changing.

    CRAZY.

    Normal Season Changes

    I’ve never seen leaves turn this early. The website ToDoOntario.com site and others confirm how, “Ontario fall colour reports begin mid-September and continue through October.”2

    Leaves don’t change in August… but they did, and I took notice. 

    Each walk I felt the Lord directing my attention to these pre-mature colour-changing trees amidst the green ones. I felt the Lord directing my eyes and whispering to my soul, the season is changing… and change it is. 

    Today is September 15th and more trees have changed colour and lost leaves. We could have raked leaves around our fence at our trailer on Labour Day Weekend even though most trees in the park were dark green.

    As I read Esther 4:14, it had new meaning, given all God’s been speaking to me lately. Mordecai’s words to Esther when she almost missed noticing the changing season, struck me this morning, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

    While I read this verse, the Lord kept reminding me about Isaiah 43:19, “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”

    Nudging You…

    I feel the Lord pressing me to not stay silent but write and nudge your level of holy noticing. Pay attention to His “Godwinks” to you, like the turning trees to me, and ready your heart for the sudden opportunities this new season change will provide.

    Rub Your Eyes

    Plainly, keep your eyes peeled because God has something up His sleeve for you to do and I don’t want you missing the destiny He has for your life. Esther almost missed hers, don’t miss yours.

    And… don’t get distracted looking for something BIG. Most of God’s opportunities don’t start with something ground-breaking or earth-shatteringly obvious… but small, unimportant to us but life-changing, nonetheless.  So, rub the sleepy out of your eyes and see what God is about to do… through you!

    PRAYER

    Father… I ask you to open my eyes and help me see what you’re doing.  Remove the distractions that seek to steal my attention from what you’re about to do. May I live out every detail of the destiny your have for my life.
    In Jesus Name…Amen

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL
    1. Isaiah 43:19
    2. Esther 4:14
    3. Isaiah 42:9
    4. Isaiah 48:3,6

    #musicpic Song

    Seasons Change by United Pursuit
    (ft. Michael Ketterer)
    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/F7k5pqBVinA
    Soul H2O 2020 Spotify Playlist:
    Online | On App

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://todoontario.com/ontario-fall-colours-progression-report/#:~:text=Ontario%20fall%20colour%20reports%20begin,next%20few%20weeks%20for%20sure. ToDoOntario Website Accessed:  2020-09-15
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leamington,_Ontario  Wikipedia Website Accessed:  2020-09-15

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  • Dealing With The Disappointment of Delays

    Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves
    rests between his shoulders.

    ~Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

    Today I was supposed to be flying to Kenya. 

    This is something I’ve dreamed of for decades.  I’ve felt this holy call to help the people of Africa since my thirties and God has opened up opportunities through giving in Kenya and Uganda.

    A portion of the profits from my book Water In The Desert went to a project in Turkana, Kenya with Crossroads Relief and Development. You can watch a short video that Cheryl Weber and I created to share about this project that blessed hundreds of families living in the desert with a Quarter Acre plot of irrigated land that is growing gardens in the desert! View on my website here.

    So, when I was invited to go on a Missionary Ventures Canada trip to Kenya with some friends I was excited to say yes, but that was long before the Corona Virus.

    Before Corona

    delays

    Even before the Corona Virus hit Kenya, there were locust swarms.  We had been gauging the locust situation for a while and decided we’d go regardless because locusts wouldn’t kill us, but by the time the virus hit Kenya it had been renamed COVID-19 and our missions trip had to be indefinitely postponed.  Darlene, Doreen, Judy, Carla and I were heart-broken by this delay. 

    I thought I had grieved the trip when we had to cancel two weeks ago but I found myself mourning it again yesterday and very much today; so much so, that I bumped the devotion I wrote for this week and will send out next week.  I thought maybe there are lots of you who are feeling what I’m feeling right now? Maybe you’ve had big life goals or dreams delayed. 

    Delays

    My daughter has friends who had to delay their weddings… an author friend of ours, Mark Buchanan had to come home after just arriving in Europe for his two-year-in-the-making writing trip to complete research for his next book… I had to delay the launch of my two-year-in-the-making REFRESH group… many of us are dealing with the delay of work and getting paid. 

    There are delays all around us and they can really get you down. 

    Sometimes you just have to lean into the pain and let it out.  The safest place I know where to do that is mentioned in this week’s verse… square in between the shoulders of our God; finding refuge from disappointment, laying in the hollow of His chest.

    Deuteronomy 33:12

    If you’re struggling with the disappointment of delays like me, don’t keep trying to act like it doesn’t bother you. Let it out with God and stay there long enough, so the peace of His presence washes over you and dissolves the discouragement.

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for the invitation to place head on your chest, to nestle in and bring You my hopes, fears, triumphs, tragedies and disappointments. I’m so glad you’re not a fair-weather God who’s only wanting relationship with me for what I do for You.  Your Word makes it clear that You just want to be my friend.  So, I’m asking You to be my refuge, to be my hope today.  Help me take all that’s disappointing and discouraging me and leave it with You because I trust You’re working all things out for my good! In Jesus Name…Amen


    1. Deuteronomy 33:12, 28
    2. Psalm 60:5
    3. James 2:23
    4. John 15:15

    #musicpic SONG: Cody Carnes – Run To The Father (Live at Motion Conference)
    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/HTHS4W1bPj8

    Soul H2O

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


    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

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  • I Need a Sign!


    DOWNLOAD THESE REFRESHING RESOURCES TO HELP QUENCH YOUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

    Soul H2O Devotion

    I Need A Sign

    “What sign, then, are you going to do
    so we may see and believe you?”
    they asked.
    “What are you going to perform?”

    John 6:30 CSB

    Long before Covid-19 entered this earth, God put in my heart to share some miraculous stories on Soul H2O Radio to build up your faith in a series of what I called “Miraculous March”.  Three powerful teachings coupled with three miraculous interviews featuring Kimberlee Moran, Lena Cebula, and on Saturday the most mind-blowing of supernatural miracles shared by Alley Dunn.

    I had no clue how timely these interviews would be… no way to know that the world would be experiencing a crisis of epic proportions in health, finances and faith.  It’s no mistake the episode releasing on Saturday is about God’s supernatural intervention to bring about His divine purposes, healing and goodness into your life… no coincidence at all. 

    The Book of John

    As I researched for these shows my church started a timely series on the book of John which is sometimes called, The Book of Signs1 because it includes so many of Jesus miraculous works. John made it abundantly clear in his gospel that Jesus performed all these supernatural acts as signs “so that you would believe” (John 20:31). 

    I hope the miraculous sharing in these radio/podcast episodes and this devotion help you to believe in Christ.  I pray you have the gift of faith to believe God for miracles.  I also pray you don’t become like some of the people in John’s day who witnessed these signs and miracles. John and the other gospels record how Jesus pulled back from the crowds when he recognized they didn’t just want Him… they wanted what they could get from Him (John 6:14-15). Seeing signs became more about experiencing the ‘goose-bump effect” and getting their needs met more than signs to draw people to God. 

    You don’t want to be like the people in Jesus day who needed a sign to believe.

    The Bible records how Pharaoh, the Pharisees, Thomas and others all needed a sign, and sadly only a few stayed believing after God performed the sign.

    Let’s be like the people Jesus talked about in John 20:29 when he said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Look for, ask for and seek out God’s miracle working power but don’t let it be a requirement for your faith.

    Prayer

    Father…

    In this time of uncertainty, I ask for a spirit of faith to rise up in me.  May I have the child-like faith needed to ask for and believe for… global healing… global believing.  Father I need Your gift of faith to trust that in the midst of global crisis… that if we, humble ourselves, seek your face, turn from evil ways, and call on you… you will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and restore our land. 

    God, I ask that you stop the spread of the Corona Virus and heal those suffering from its effects.  May nations turn to faith in Jesus and see your hand turn the tide of sickness, disease, financial ruin and emotional trauma.  May this miraculous turn-around be seen in our world like the drying up of the Jordan for Your people to cross-through into the Promised Land. May the world see your miraculous hand at work, and may we all believe.

    In Jesus Name, Amen!

    Drawing From The Well

    1. John 6:30
    2. John 20:31
    3. John 20:29
    4. Matthew 17:20

    #musicpic SONG:
    Official Youtube Video With Lyrics:
    Miracles In This House by Michael Delgado of Grace City Florida

    Soul H2OIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Episode # 24 Releasing Saturday is the last in the “Miraculous March” Series talking about God’s miraculous at work in our world today and features an interview with Alley Dunn. You can find the  Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/24

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  • Who Are You Wearing?

    Last week’s #soulh2o devotion was called My Flawless Razor and today’s message builds on that thought.

    The King’s daughter is all glorious within;
    Her clothing is interwoven with gold.
    ~Psalm 45:13 NASB

    From January to March, our tv sets are filled with film, tv, video, and music awards programs. There are so many like the: Oscars, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA, iHeartRadio Music Awards, Grammys, American Country Music (AMC) and tomorrow, Friday, March 15th, the Canadian Juno Music Awards will be all over our screens.

    I like watching these awards programs to see how people respond to winning, but let’s be honest girls… I really watch to see the red-carpet parade of beautiful people dressed in fairy tale-esque or sometimes science-fiction inspired clothing when you’ll inevitably hear the tv reporters ask, “So, Who Are You Wearing?”

    In Psalm 45:131, the king’s daughter is wearing her royal robes; interwoven with gold… not too shabby! In my study of the original wording, the impression I was left with was that this dress is almost a delicate lace made out of gold or embroidered with braided gold threads. If someone wore this to an awards ceremony they would hands-down, make the Most Iconic Dresses Of All Times list.

    What’s In A Word?

    I chose to use the New American Standard Bible translation for today’s verse because I felt it best matched the intent of the original writer. I love how this version captures the message that the daughter of The King was beautiful from the inside out. The word used for ‘within’ or ‘in’, as some versions translate comes from the root word ‘kalel’2 meaning ‘perfect or complete’. This is absolutely how God sees you… beautiful, perfect, glowing, adorned in gold.

    Some of you read this and a warm feeling of confidence is beginning to rise, while others might be thinking “Cut the crap Sherry, I’m no princess. I’m sitting here wearing yoga pants and I haven’t even fit into my jeans for years.”

    The reality is, not many of us will ever wear such beautiful clothing but we all are seen by God as if we’re Cinderella at the Ball—I’m serious! This reality has little to do with you and everything to do with what Christ has done. You just need to get dressed the right way. Let the Apostle Paul be your personal stylist and follow his advice in Romans 13:14 when he says, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”, or “clothe yourself with”, Him as the NIV translation says. Scripture confirms that God provides this clothing for us. It’s gleaming white and pure, all we have to do is put it on.

    So, Who Are You Wearing?

    When you get dressed, remind yourself that you’re ‘putting on Christ’ so when people look at you they see His beauty shining through and are compelled to ask; “So, who are you wearing?”

    Prayer
    Father… I thank you for loving me unconditionally and seeing me as perfect… even when my thoughts tend to focus on my failings. I’m thankful for the clothing you provide. Help me to ‘put You on’ every morning, so when people look at me, they first see You. In Jesus Name…Amen

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL
    1. Psalm 45:13
    2. Romans 13:14
    3. Galatians 3:27
    4. Revelations 19:7-8

    #musicpic Songs

    Line I love in James Blunt’s song: “You’re beautiful, it’s true”.

    Soul H2O

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

    ENDNOTES
    1 https://biblehub.com/psalms/45-13.htm Biblehub Accessed: March 12, 2020
    2 https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3634.htm Biblehub for Kalel Accessed: March 12, 2020

    JUST FOR FUN!

    My Pick Favorite Academy Awards Dresses:

    1. Lupita Nyongo’o in Versace; 2018 Academy Awards
    2. Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace; 2014 Academy Awards
    3. Farrah Fawcett in Stephen Burrows; 1978 Academy Awards
    4. Jennifer Lopez in Atelier Versace;
      ~I just couldn’t pick only three!

    My Pick of Strange Awards Dresses:

    1. Björk in Marjan Pejoski Swan Dress; 2001 Academy Awards
    2. Jennifer Lopez in Atelier Versace Fish Gill Dress; 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
      Dress was weird, but her hair and make-up was the best ever!
    3. Lady Gaga in Armani Prive Jetson’s Inspired Dress; 2010 Academy Awards
    4. Z LaLa in Heather-Anne MacCarahan Octapus Dress; 2015 American Music Awards

    GREAT AWARDS DRESS PAGES

    https://www.heart.co.uk/lifestyle/iconic-oscar-dresses/charlize-theron-dior-oscars-2014/
    https://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/red-carpet-dresses/g8397/best-oscar-dresses-all-time/
    https://www.elle.com/fashion/celebrity-style/news/g25786/the-most-iconic-oscar-gowns-of-all-time/

    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

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  • My Flawless Razor

    My Flawless Razor

    You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.
    ~Song of Songs 4:7 NIV

    Flawless Razor

    A couple of years ago I was shopping at the “As seen on TV” store and saw this facial razor called “Flawless”.  I hadn’t seen the commercials, but the display and packaging enticed me enough to purchase. As I age, I’ve been collecting quite the 

    extensive collection of products and tools to help stay looking my best.  The razor does work really well and makes my face feel amazingly smooth, but it doesn’t make my face flawless as the name implies.  It’s still me, just without the peach fuzz. 🙂 

    You Are Flawless

    Flawless just seems like something that can only be achieved by a magazine graphic designer skilled with an airbrush and a picture of a model, so when I read today’s verse while doing my personal devotions, I was kind of shocked. 

    I’ve read through Songs of Songs before but never noticed what this verse said, and what that implies for you and me.  Since the book is partly an allegory of the relationship with Christ and the church this holds a lot of weight in your relationship with Him.  To think that God sees us as flawless is almost incomprehensible… but true.  Girl, you are fearfully and wonderfully made! When God looks at you, He sees ‘no flaw in you’! 

    Today, look in the mirror with new eyes.  Ask God to help you see what He sees… like the face, not the fuzz!

    Prayer

    Father…Your Word blows me away. There’s so much in it that I just can’t wrap my brain around. How You love me seems undeserved, but when I try to understand that you see me as your daughter, your ‘son’ I’m overwhelmed by the way You include me in Your family and how You see me as flawless. In Jesus Name…Amen

    IF YOU’RE STILL STRUGGLING TO BELIEVE THAT GOD SEES YOU AS FLAWLESS…

    Make sure to listen to the #musicpic below and check back on the blog next Monday to read the Devotion, Who Are You Wearing? I think it will help you believe it a little more. This is what God’s using to help me believe this truth. I am flawless in His eyes. YOU are flawless in His eyes!

    Much Love

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Song of Songs 4:7 (Loses meaning in the NLT Translation, just sayin’) If you only have an NLT Bible, check here for the verse in many translations: Bible Hub
    2. Song of Songs 1:15
    3. Psalm 139:14
    4. Genesis 1:26-27
    (This one I love in the NLT Translation!) If you don’t have an NLT Bible, check here: Bible Hub – just click the arrow forward for verse 27.

    #musicpic SONG: Flawless by MercyMe

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  • When Valentine’s Day Hurts

    Above all else,
    guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
    ~Proverbs 4:23 NIV

    When Valentine's Day HurtsValentine’s Day has the potential to be the most euphorically sweet or the most painfully hurtful day of the year. 

    What you’re experiencing today most likely felt in direct proportion to where you sit on the relationship spectrum.  If you’re single, the day of love can conjure up questions deep inside your heart that can lead to self-doubt and loneliness. Widowed, and the self-pity can well up leaving you feeling blue. If you’re in an unhealthy marriage, or just experiencing a rough patch, Valentine’s can be downright painful making you feel rejected, unloved, and unwanted. 

    This one, emotionally charged day has the potential to feel like the best or worst day of your life. VDay can prime your emotions to euphoric love or drop to the depths of despair and then Valentine’s Day hurts… if you let it.   

    Above All Else, Guard Your Heart

    Proverbs 4:23 is a crucial verse to memorize. There’s so much wisdom jam-packed into one little verse that can help guide, direct and protect you.  The importance of guarding your heart is monumental to staying emotionally healthy.  If you allow life’s circumstances and your relationships dictate the condition of your heart then Gurl, you’re in truuuuuubble! Whole lotta experience goes into that statement. 

    I’m joking to make this difficult issue palpable.  I know this isn’t easy, but it is necessary. You have to allow your heart to feel emotions, but you have to know when to tell them to heave-ho and go!  

    A gate guarded by military personnel knows who to let in and who to keep out.  Do you know who’s who?  Well, let me help you know whose voice you definitely should let into your heart by showing you The Passion Translation’s version of Proverbs 4:23, the three verses before it and their footnote from the word “heart”.  I hope the words I put in bold hit you like they wacked me upside the emotional head. 🙂

    Proverbs 4:20-23 The Passion Translation (TPT)

    Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything that I teach you, and pay attention to all that I have to say. Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit.a]”>[a] Then, as you unwrap my words,b]”>[b] they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart,c]”>[c] for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.

    (c) The Hebrew word levav is the most common word for “heart.” It includes our thoughts, our will, our discernment, and our affections.

    Above all else, guard your heart because your emotions (from your heart) conjure up thoughts inside your mind that are turned into belief systems, inspiring your behaviours.  Your heart is that important.

    PRAYER

    Father… I’m so thankful that your love is constant.  I don’t need to fear that it will end or be taken away from me.  Help me to live in the truth of Your Word and not the anxiety of my heart.  I choose to guard my heart and let Your Words sink deep into my spirit. I am loved, I am valued, I am wanted. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Facebook Live Image
    CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO


    Jumped on Facebook to share about this and hope it encourages you!

    If this devotion struck an emotional nerve and you have my book Water In The Desert, I encourage you to read Devotion #31 Who Are You Listening To For Your Worth?  When I got to the end of writing this Soul H2O Devo I went to my book because the Study Guide section for that devo is filled with 8 pages of Scripture that you can look up to affirm you in God’s love for you and how He sees you.  I’ve also created a few Tips on How To Help Your Lonely Heart Below.

    TIPS ON HOW TO HELP YOUR LONELY HEART

    • Don’t fill the void of a wounded heart with unhealthy things, less than God’s best for you!
    • Know what God’s Word says about you.
      • If you have my book Water In The Desert, I encourage you to read Devotion #31 Who Are You Listening To For Your Worth? And complete the study pages related with more verses.
      • God loves you: Romans 5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 3:1
      • God accepts you: Romans 15:7; Colossians 1:21-22
      • God chose you: Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29-30; 1 Peter 2:9; John 15:16
      • You are part of God’s family: Ephesians 1:5,11, 2:4-7; Romans 8:14; 1 John 3:1
      • God says you belong: Psalm 100:3; Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 6:19; John 10:27-28; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
      • God made you in His Image: Genesis 1:27; Romans 8:29
      • God thinks you’re wonderful: Psalms 139:13-14; Isaiah 43:1
      • God delights in you: Zephaniah 3:17
      • God created you for a purpose: Isaiah 43:7; 1 Peter 2:9; John 15:16; Jeremiah 29:11; 2 Corinthians 5:20
      • God will not reject you: John 6:37; Psalm 147:11
      • God won’t let anything take his love away from you: Romans 8:37-39
      • God doesn’t forget about you or neglect you: Isaiah 49:15
      • God wants you: Jeremiah 31:3; 1 Peter 1:18-19
      • God sees you as valuable, worth everything: 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 6:19
      • God cares about your feelings: Psalm 56:8
      • God understands you: Hebrews 4:15-16
    • Focus your thoughts on what God says about you.
    • Let the truth of God’s love toward you penetrate deep into your spirit.
    • Speak out over your life the truths mentioned above. It helps your brain to make those thoughts automatic over your negative neural pathways (thought patterns).
    • Listen to music that affirms God’s love and His thoughts towards you.
    • Don’t just listen to slow music, put on something that will make you Dance!
    • Do something special for yourself that doesn’t cost money, or much money. If you spend a bunch of money you may get an initial high followed by credit card bill dread!
    • Do something or just let yourself ‘have a day’, but only a day.

    #musicpic Wanted By Danny Gokey

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. 1. Proverbs 4:20-23
    2. 2. Isaiah 51:1-3
    3. 3. Ephesians 1:5
    4. 4. Colossians 3:16

    From My Heart to Yours, I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

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  • Do You Ever Go To Sleep Worried?

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
    Matthew 11:28-30

    A couple years ago, I went out for dinner at a Spanish restaurant in Tampa with my daughter Shelby, her roomie Boquet, and Bo’s mom, Mel. We had such a great night with lots of talking… ‘cause that’s what us girls do!

    Guatemalan Worry DollsAt the end of our meal, the waitress gave each of us Guatemalan worry dolls.  She told us how it was customary for parents to help children who worried at night by making the dolls. Worrisome Guatemalan children are encouraged to tell the doll all their fears.

    Legend teaches them that the doll will take the child’s worry upon themselves, so they can sleep.  When the child wakes up in the morning, the doll is supposed to have fixed their problems.  It’s a whimsical way to help quell the anxiety of children, but I can’t imagine it being sufficient to silence the stress of adults who go to sleep worried.

    DO YOU EVER GO TO SLEEP WORRIED?

    I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had times when we go to sleep worriedor maybe I’m the only one {Insert wink here}. Life can be stressful and full of situations that seek to make you worry. At times I’ve found myself so wound up that my mind can’t settle. 

    When I let them, worries of this life can keep my eyes wide open, while Todd’s already dreaming beside me in bed. But it doesn’t have to be like this, in fact, it shouldn’t be like this. It’s challenging to read how the NLT translates Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:32. When talking about worry, He said, “These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows your needs.”

    It makes sense that unbelievers should worry because they don’t have a God to help them. Christians minds shouldn’t be dominated by worry. 

    MATTHEW 11:28-30In today’s key verse, Jesus gives you an offer that should help you fall asleep, as soon as your head hits the pillow… even without a Guatemalan worry doll.

    It’s amazing to me how people can let a man-made doll, only 1-2 inches tall take their worry away; yet we struggle to trust our troubles with God… the same God who formed you in your mother’s womb, holds the universe in place, sets the timing of the tides, and feeds the birds of the air.

    Jesus actually invites you to give all your burdens to Him, and unlike the little dolls, He actually has the power to do something about your problems.

    Jesus promises that when you give your weary, burdened thoughts to Him, He’ll, in turn, give you rest for your soul… you know, that physical part of you that needs sleep. Your worry, for His rest… Now that’s a deal you shouldn’t turn down!     

    So, today, why not give your worry to Jesus, let Him take care of it, so you can get a great night’s sleep tonight!

    Prayer

    Father… Forgive me for holding onto my worry. Help me to release all my anxious thoughts to You and receive Your rest.  I place my stress, my worry, my doubt and my fear into Your all-powerful hands and I won’t pick it back up again.  I choose to release and trust, because You are trustworthy. In Jesus Name…Amen

    DOES YOUR STRUGGLE GO BEYOND WORRY, COULD IT BE ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION?  I’VE COMPILED RESOURCES TO HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH : 
    https://sherrystahl.com/mental-health-resources/

    Soul H2O
    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!

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Matthew 11:28-30
    2. Philippians 4:6
    3. Jeremiah 31:25
    4. Matthew 6:25-34

    Saturday’s Soul H2O Radio/Podcast Episode starts off discussing this devotion and leads into a deep discussion on Can You Believe In God & Be Depressed.  Sarah E. Ball is my interview Guest and I know you’ll be encouraged by her story. 

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  • Do You Love Your Job?

    So how do you feel about your job? 

    Do you wake up in the mornings energetic and excited to face the day the day, thankful for the opportunity you have… Or… Do you get the Sunday Grumpies?  You know, that cloud of doom that looms over your head come late Sunday as your brain begins to shift out of weekend wistfulness to weekday wincing?  Not liking your job is a MAJOR problem in this world and it’s totally not how God wants you to live your life.

    GOD WANTS YOU TO
    ENJOY YOUR WORK

    Ecclesiastes 3:22
    “So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work” (NIV)

    ENJOY YOUR WORK ECCLESIASTES 3-21

    God doesn’t want you to be in a job you hate.  He wants you to enjoy your work and find fulfilment in what you do.  

    It’s what He modeled for us through creation.  When God created the universe, the sun, moon, stars, trees, all sorts of vegetation, creatures in the sea, animals, birds and people it says that He, “looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (GN 1:31). 

    GOD’S HANDIWORK

    I find this so amazing.  I mean, I can understand how God thought the sun, moon, stars and plants were all incredible, but after he creates all of what I would classify as stellar work, Scripture records Him saying it was good. 

    It seems God thinks more of us, we’re the prize of His handiwork.  If you’re asking how I know, well, it’s because when God finished creating people, Scripture records Him saying it’s ‘VERY GOOD’, and then He rested.  God was satisfied by His work. You can learn from God’s example and find wisdom in the words of a guy whose very name gives him credibility in this arena.

    LOVE YOUR JOB!

    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” –Steve Jobs

    Your job is important to God, make it important to you.  He wants you to be able to say in all honesty,

    I love my job!

    PRAYER

    Father, I’m so thankful for your example.  I find freedom in knowing that you want us to enjoy the work of our hands.  Help me not to just waste the hours working but fulfil the destiny you’ve placed on my life.  May I use the gifts and talents you’ve placed inside of me in honour of Your VERY GOOD handiwork. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL
    1. 1. Ecclesiastes 3:22
      2.Genesis 1:31
      3. Isaiah 64:8
      4. Psalm 90:17

    Check out These Episodes of the Soul H2O Podcast that discuss your job. Hollie’s is titled, I Love My Job… because she does.  Dan’s episode is titled, Pastor or Plaster? and is a discussion style show that talks about Defining The Call of God into ministry.

    In His Grip,

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  • Going All In

    Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”;
    so they filled them to the brim.
    ~John 2:7 NIV

    Too many times we try to get away with giving just a little, believing just a little, serving just a little, loving just a little.  We scrimp, assuming we might run out or when it comes to faith and love… we fear we might be disappointed, so we go part-way. 

    To The Brim

    I love how the servants working at the wedding in Cana were found going all in!  They heard Jesus command to “Fill the jars with water” and they filled them “to the brim”.  Six water pots I wonder what would have happened if they just filled the jars half full?  Would the miracle still have taken place? Sure, maybe it would have but it wouldn’t have affected as many people’s lives.  Matthew 7:2 says, with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” So, let’s talk measurements. According to research, the water jars would have held around 20 gallons of water1. Just to compare size in your mind, the average keg (half barrel) only holds 15.5 gallons of beer2. “The standard pour for a glass of wine is five ounces”.3 20 gallons is equal to 2560 ounces divided by 5ounces equals 512.4  So, Jesus made about 512 more glasses of wine for the guests at a wedding held in a small town where the nearest city was bout 400 people.  That’s a lot of wine for probably not a lot of people. These servants got to see a BIG miracle that day.  The guests were brought into that miracle to the level of the servant’s faith. 

    Let’s go all in this year and believe BIG miraculous thoughts about what God can do!

    Prayer

    Father… I’m thankful You promise that even if I only have faith the size of a mustard seed (which is really, really tiny), You can do GREAT things. God, I ask you for a gift of faith5 to believe that you can and will do the miraculous. In Jesus Name…Amen


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. John 2:7
    2. Matthew 7:2
    3. Matthew 17:20
    4. Matthew 13:31-32

    #musicpic SONG:
    All in by Matthew West
    Official Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/UUc86gfzToU


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

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/2-6.htm Biblehub Website Accessed:  2020-01-08
    2. https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/04/how-many-beers-are-in-a-keg.html Website Accessed:  2020-01-08
    3. https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+the+average+size+glass+of+wine&rlz=1C5CHFA_enCA775CA776&oq=what+is+the+average+size+glass+of+wine&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l4.9052j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 , https://www.healthline.com/health-news/drinking-more-blame-your-wine-glass#1 Websites Accessed:  2020-01-08
    4. https://www.google.com/search?q=gallons+into+ounces&rlz=1C5CHFA_enCA775CA776&oq=gallons+into+ounces&aqs=chrome..69i57j6j0.4120j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8  Website Accessed:  2020-01-08
    5. https://biblehub.com/bsb/1_corinthians/12.htm Website Accessed:  2020-01-08

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  • Have You Ever Blown It?

    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
    John 3:17 ESV

    Have you ever blown it? Ever seriously, made a really bad mistake? Said the wrong thing at the wrong time that brought hurt to someone you love? Dropped the ball and ruined things? Messed up on your morals and feel the sting of your mistake?

    There are so many ways you can blow it and I know it, because I’m completely talking from experience here. My tendency after blowing it by doing something stupid is to beat myself up, passing the gloves over for condemnation to land some destructive blows.

    I can be the worst trash talker to myself but one day God showed me how He was in the business of using people who blow it by showing me biblical examples of people who went from making mistakes to pursuing their purpose.

    THE GOOD NEWS IS—
    GOD GIVES SECOND CHANCES

    Moses
    God positioned him in the palace to fulfill his destiny as the deliverer, but he blew it.
    Moses killed a man and ran away into the desert for 40 years.
    God gave him a second chance, and then…
    Moses got to lead the same people out of slavery.
    Jonah
    God called Jonah to reach the people of Nineveh, but he blew it.
    Jonah ran away from God’s calling on his life and ended up in a BIG fish.
    God gave him a second chance, and then…
    Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh and they came to faith.
    Samson
    God appointed him to stand guard for the nation of Israel, but he blew it.
    Samson broke his Nazarite vow, living rebelliously, violently and immorally.
    God gave him a second chance, and then…
    Samson defeated more of God’s enemies after his mistakes.
    Peter
    God called Peter as a disciple to follow him, but he blew it.
    Peter denied Christ.
    God gave him a second chance, and then…
    Peter preached with boldness and thousands came to faith in Christ.
    You
    God has appointed you for good works to bring him glory, but you blow it.
    You don’t have faith to believe God can do it through you, fall into sin, let fear immobilize you…you do what you do.

    THE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU IS—
    GOD GIVES YOU SECOND CHANCES

    It still amazes me that God can take my mess and use it to share His message. I’m awed at how He doesn’t condemn when we ask for His forgiveness.

    The devil on the other hand loves to heap on condemnation. The enemy wants you to sit and wallow in your wandering, he strives to keep you in the shame of your past mistakes; that way, he can keep you feeling low and stop you from moving forward in the plans and purposes God has for your life.

    I love the words in Rend Collective’s song that echoes how, “A second chance is Heaven’s heart”.1  Jesus didn’t come to make you feel horrible about yourself… He came to set you free not bind you up. 

    So, the next time you blow it, why not show some grace; ask for forgiveness, let God work in you and speak His purposes over your life. Then, move forward and watch God doing something great through you!

    Father… I thank you for Your abundant grace and willingness to give me chance after chance to get things right. Help me to forgive myself in the same way You forgive me and please… let me learn from my mistakes, so I don’t keep repeating them. In Jesus Name…Amen

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. John 3:17
    2. Romans 8:1
    3. Lamentations 3:21-23
    4. Ephesians 2:10

    musicpic SONG: Second Chance

    Makes Me Feel: Hopeful, Thankful
    Sung By: Rend Collective
    Website: https://rendcollective.com/
    Album: Homemade Worship by Handmade People © 2012
    Youtube Video https://youtu.be/W6RNJ6HDTpU
    Spotify Link https://open.spotify.com/track/2OtppI9PZe4h77OZGmecvm?si=pSAd58mnQcShK1P09Mu_vw
    AZ Lyrics of Song
    https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rendcollective/secondchance.html
    Fave Lines
    A second chance is Heaven’s heart

    musicpic SONG: Second Chance

    Makes Me Feel: Hopeful, Thankful
    Sung By: Hillsong United
    YouTube Video https://youtu.be/yKIT4KPS-VQ
    AZ Lyrics of Song https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/hillsongunited/secondchance.html
    Album: In A Valley By The Sea © 2007

    ENDNOTES
    1 https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rendcollective/secondchance.html Website Accessed: 2019-12-30

    WHERE YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP MY BLOG WITH OR PLACES WHERE MY WRITING HAS BEEN FEATURED

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