#PaperbackPic

  • Mover of Mountains—Breaker of Chains

    Get ready to find out how you’re called to be a mover of mountains–breaker of chains…

    Now I say to you that
    you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),
    and upon this rock
    I will build my church,
    and all the powers of hell
    will not conquer it.

    ~Matthew 16:18 NLT

    Last night I woke up to yet another allergic reaction to a medication I was put on last week to combat a reaction to a dental procedure. My tongue felt swollen and I feared the constricting sensation in my throat.  I know what it’s like to have severe allergic reactions that have landed me in the hospital, twice.

    Staying up to see if it would pass, I took a shower, googled and prayed. At one point I felt the sensations decreasing and ok to lay down.  I fell back asleep. 

    So, let’s just say… I didn’t go to bed thinking of gum drops and lullabies 🙂  BUT… God woke me up in the morning with the words of a song playing in my head that gave me hope to all the situations in my life that had probably helped to trigger allergic reactions in my body (stress has a way of doing that). 

    “Mover of Mountains, Breaker of Chains”
    was sounding off like a record player skipping on repeat.

    Mover of Mountains

    I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have a few mountains that need moving. Mountains in the realm of the Rockies… looming large over the valley below. Struggles that can overwhelm, steal my sleep and rob my joy… without God’s voice in my life. 

    With God’s voice in my life, problems are dwarfed in the magnitude of His greatness, His goodness, His presence. Through reading Laura Harris Smith’s book, Seeing The Voice of God, I know that waking dreams, songs or thoughts in your mind are very important and you shouldn’t discount them.

    Breaker of Chains

    Thankfully, Google helped me find the right song that I was hearing. The lyrics of You Cannot be Stopped were like a healing balm to my heart and emotions. As the song kept repeating “There’s nothing that can stop our God”. I was reminded of today’s verse. NOTHING can stop God, not His plans, purposes or His church.

    Nothing Can Stop Our God

    I’m comforted to know that the church isn’t a building as our brains like to think.  The church in the original Greek used in this verse is “ekklesia” or in literal terms, “to call out from or to.”1 “The church” refers to the people God has called out, to live for Him… that’s YOU!  God is building His church on the rock of your life… well, He wants to!

    Mover of Mountains—Breaker of Chains

    It should comfort you to know that God doesn’t just tell you that you can do something, He promises to show you the way. In the next verse, right after today’s verse, Jesus assures you of the authority you hold over your life; when He says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) In Mark 11:23, Jesus also emphasized a believer’s authority when He said,I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”

    Because God’s given you the keys to unlock the doors that keep you bound and the authority to move mountains, you can be like Zerubbabel who helped lead the re-building of the temple after the Israelites came out of captivity. If you press on, your legacy will be talked about like his.

    “Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’” (Zechariah 4:7)

    You have what it takes.  Now, use your key and open the door that is holding you bound because God wants to show Himself as the, “Mover of Mountains—Breaker of Chains” in and through you!

    Prayer

    Father… Help me to believe in the truth of Your Word and the authority you’ve given me to govern my life. Help me not to fall into self-pity and low-level-living when you’ve promised a mountain-moving, chain-breaking ability for me to access. May I discern… and use the keys You’ve placed in Your Word for me to live an overcoming life. In Jesus Name…Amen


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Matthew 16:18
    2. Matthew 16:19 connected to: Isaiah 22:22 and Revelations 3:7
    3. Mark 11:23 (similar in Matthew 21:21)
    4. Zechariah 4:7

    #musicpic SONG: You Cannot Be Stopped by Phil Wickham, Chris Quilala
    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/T2a0QW4V0aM
    Soul H2O 2020 Spotify Playlist: Online | On App


    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.


    ENDNOTES

    1. https://biblehub.com/greek/1577.htm     Biblehub Website Accessed:  2020-09-22

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

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  • Why God Doesn’t Give You A 5 Year Plan

    This week’s #soulh2o devo answers a question I think you’ve asked God already, or something similar. The answer to: Why God Doesn’t Give You A 5 Year Plan is Part 3 in the God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be Series, {PART 1} ,  {PART 2} You’ve Got To Get Moving. 

    270 summer giveawayOh, and don’t forget, you have one more day to enter the Summer Giveaway Contest celebrating last week being the release of the 270th Soul H2O Devotion!!! I can hardly believe it, and in 3 ½ weeks, Soul H2O Radio will debut through the airwaves! I’ll tell you more about the Radio Show on tomorrow’s Facebook Live at 12:30pm EST on my Author Facebook Page. Contest Registration & Details at the bottom of this post.

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/n1y9u3″ target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]REGISTER FOR CONTEST[/imic_button]


    Why God Doesn’t Give You A 5 Year Plan
    God Knows How To Get You Where You Need To Be {Part 3}

    But hope that is seen 
    is no hope at all.
    Who hopes for
    what they already have?
    But if we hope for what we
    do not yet have,
    we wait for it patiently.
    ~Romans 8:24-25

    With two interviews under my belt, Saturday morning was time to record my first ever Soul H2O devotional teaching for the upcoming Soul H2O Radio show and I didn’t have the script fully completed because I took too long composing the show Intro Segment and as a result didn’t get the most important part finished.

    Although I’d been asked to host a radio show, I wasn’t given much instruction, no set plan on what to include or not include and found myself floundering because I’ve never hosted a radio show before!  It was now 9 am and I had to leave for the station. I wasn’t ready and didn’t know what I was going to do. My stomach started performing somersaults, then thoughts of failure began flooding my brain and I considered canceling, but that wasn’t really an option.

    I knew better than to let my negative train of thought stay on the tracks or I would soon derail my calling, so I turned on a podcast by Joel Osteen and felt like I was hearing straight from God!

    DERAIL THE NEGATIVE TRAIN

    JOEL OSTEEN PODCAST IMAGE BE COMFORTABLE NOT KNOWINGJoel’s podcast was titled, Be Comfortable Not Knowing.  Right away my attention was piqued since I didn’t know what I was fully going to do for the recording and I’ve been blogging the series God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be.  I needed to be listening to these words right before recording, so I didn’t give in to fear of failure but pressed on into my purpose.

    NO 5 YEAR PLAN

    5 Year PlanThere wasn’t a 5 Year Plan that appeared before my eyes, but I began to sense peace as Joel’s message reminded me of this week’s verses in Romans. Joel said things that resonated with me and I believe will encourage you too. Here are some of the goodies:

    You have to live comfortable in the not knowing… God had the solution before you had the problem… Just because you don’t know, doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a plan… Obey without the details… Get off the throne of your life and put God back on… When they didn’t have the answers, they still believed God was in control… You have to live comfortable in the not knowing…”
    ~Joel Osteen

    just enough light for the step im on Stormie omartianHis message made me think of Stormie Omartian’s book I’d read years ago called Just Enough Light For The Step I’m On. The book is inspired by Psalm 119:105 which in The Living Bible translation reads,

    “Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling.” 

    A flashlight? Really that’s it?

    Don’t you want a police searchlight from a helicopter shining bright the whole pathway, or am I the only one?

    HOPING FOR WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE

    The short answer to Why God Doesn’t Give You A 5 Year Plan is because God wants you to trust Him… with everything, but I promise, He is trustworthy.  You can put your hope in Him and not have to have a detailed plan on how to get there, because God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be and He is making all things work together for your good.

    What can you do today that will put your thinking on the faith track and align you with God’s thoughts for your life while showing God you’re trusting in Him? Finish the sentence and then follow through…

    I knew better than to let this negative train of thought stay on the tracks or I would soon derail my calling, so I…

    ___________________________________________________  (you fill in the blanks)” 

    Prayer

    Father…I want to thank You for giving me a free will but I also feel the need to apologize for the disobedience that fear of making the wrong move has caused me to commit. At times I’ve been stubborn to move forward and lagged behind when other times I just got bored of waiting and ran ahead of You, messing everything up.  Please forgive me and help me to get comfortable in the not knowing.  I promise to follow where you lead, one step at a time. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]I knew better than to let my negative train of thought stay on the tracks or I would soon derail my calling, so I…[/tweetthis]

    270 summer giveaway

    SUMMER GIVEAWAY CONTEST

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/n1y9u3″ target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]REGISTER FOR CONTEST[/imic_button]

    Enter To Win Your Signed Copy of Soul H2O
    Everyone will receive weekly refreshing Soul H2O devotions

    WINNER ANNOUNCED
    12:30pm EST Wednesday, August 14, 2019 
    ON FACEBOOK LIVE:
     Sherry Stahl Author Page

    Within Canada & Continental USA


    Drawing From The Well

    1. Romans 8:24-26
    2. Romans 8:28
    3. Psalm 119:105
    4. Proverbs 3:5-6

    #paperbackpic JUST ENOUGH LIGHT FOR THE STEP I’M ON

    just enough light for the step im on Stormie omartianAuthor: Stormie Omartian
    Original © 1999 / New Cover ©2019
    https://www.stormieomartian.com/product/just-enough-light-for-the-step-im-on-paperback/
    https://www.stormieomartian.com/

     

     


    ENDNOTES


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

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  • Finding God’s Story In The Stars by My Friend Joe

    FINDING GOD’S STORY IN THE STARS

    STORY IN THE STARSLast November I did a Facebook Live Author Interview with my friend Joe Amaral when he released his newest book, Story In The Stars. Joe became a person of interest for me when I found out he was the band ‘pastor’ for Stryper. Yes, I love Christian Heavy Metal music, Screamo bands, and Hillsong United.

    I know… my music likes are eclectic but back to the interview, it’s my most watched video to date with over 3.8 thousand views! And there’s a reason why… It’s an awesome book and if you don’t believe me, you can take Amazon’s word for it. Yesterday, Joe’s book was the #1 book on Amazon in four categories!!!! Say what? I didn’t even know that was possible!

    YOU’LL NEVER LOOK AT THE CONSTELLATIONS THE SAME AGAIN!

    Story in the stars Amazon ranking #1AMAZON BEST SELLER RANKINGS

    I’m so proud to have friends who truly do reach for the stars and grab hold of them. Ranking #1 Best Seller in one category is impressive but in four categories… that’s stupendous!

    #1 BEST SELLER IN:
    Astronomy, Theology, Science & Religion, Christian Prophecy

    WATCH THE FACEBOOK LIVE AND SEE WHAT ALL THE HYPE IS ABOUT
    Watch by clicking the image below and don’t forget to grab your copy!  It’s one of my favorite reads of all-time! See below the Facebook Live image for details on the book.

    Joe Amaral Story in The Stars Facebook Live

    Story In The Stars:
    Discovering God’s Design and Plan for Our Universe

    An in-depth look at the powerful story and symbolism behind God’s unique design of our universe.

    Thousands of words have been written about the first 10 words in the Bible: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” a simple and profound statement that has ignited a firestorm of debate and controversy. People often only focus on the “how” and “when” of creation, but Story in the Stars explores the “why”.

    Why did God…
    Create such a vast universe?
    Choose the sun and moon to light our paths?
    Design images with stars in the night sky?

    The Bible is very clear when it states that God created, named, and positioned all of the stars of the universe in their place in a very specific way – a way that tells us the greatest story ever to be told.

    In Luke 21:25 Jesus says, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.” Signs are meant to point us toward something: Jesus. Story in the Stars takes an in-depth look at the Bible and all the signs God mapped out through constellations, planets, and even the way the Earth is tilted. We are uniquely designed by God, and he loves us so much that he ensured a way for all inhabitants of the Earth, through all of time, to see the messages of salvation and redemption that he painted in the stars.

    If you want to learn more about my friend Joe, you can check him out here: CHRISTIAN RESEARCH GROUP

    [tweetthis]Finding God’s Story In The Stars ✨🌟💫 by my friend @joeamaraltweet [/tweetthis]

    Happy Reading!

    In His Grip, Sherry

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  • Hey Google… I Need An Answer

    This week’s #soulh2o devotion, Hey Google… I Need An Answer lets you in on where I’m at with God and what I’ve been going through lately. After the devotion, I share the #paperbackpic I mention and some #musicpics you’re gonna love! There are affiliate links on the book but you won’t pay extra. This just helps the ministry keep going! For my full affiliate information, click here.

    I’m also inviting you to join me for a Zoom Call tomorrow night (Thursday, June 20th at 8:30pm EST) I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but the technology of it all has scared me but I’m just bursting to tell y’all something, so I hope you’ll join me! See the deets below.

    In His Grip, Sherry


    Hey Google… I Need An Answer

    Isaac prayed to the LORD
    on behalf of his wife,
    because she was childless. 
    The LORD answered his prayer,
    and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
    The babies jostled each other within her,
    and she said, "Why is this happening to me?"
    So she went to inquire of the LORD.
    The LORD said to her…”
    ~Genesis 25:21-23 NIV

    Hey Google

    This Christmas was so great. We had all the kids home and even though they didn’t all grow up together, they sure do think alike! Brandon and Morgan both gave us Google Home Minis and after six months of using them, we’re pretty addicted. There’s no need to argue over anymore ‘cause when you disagree you can just say, “Hey Google: who is… what’s the… where is… when do… why do… how far is… Answers are just an ask away. But sometimes, questions are too important to ask Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Jeeves.

    [tweetthis]Answers are just an ask away. [/tweetthis]

    I Need An Answer

     

    In the last few months, I’ve shared a little bit on social media about how I’ve been in the decision-making process for some BIG things and lots of posts like, God Isn’t Mad With Our Big Faith and Oversized Dreams and a Facebook Live have come out of my search for answers.  I just want to make sure I’m following God’s lead. During this time, my good friend with divine timing—Ellen gave me a book to review for her #ellenspicks reads called the Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. God is using Emily’s wise words to help me discern and bring clarity to my next right thing, through her soul minimalist ways to create space for God to bring an answer.

    “What I’m finding to be most helpful more than any list, question, or sage advice is simply to get quiet in a room with Jesus on the regular, not for the sake of an answer but for the sake of love.”1

    Who Do You Ask For Answers?

    The other day when I was reading through the story of Isaac’s life while doing my devotions on the regular, I noticed how Isaac and Rebekah followed the same principle Emily was teaching.

    When you read the words of Genesis 25:21-23 it seems like going to God for answers to life’s questions was a reflex action, not just something they did sometimes. Isaac’s wife couldn’t have a baby… ask God to fix it. Rebekah’s babies were battling in utero and I’m sure really hurting her so what does she do? Does she call a friend, run to the doctor or complain to her hubby for praying to have kids? All of those may seem like logical reactions but the answer is no.

    The Bible tells us Rebekah inquired of God. On the regular, Isaac and Rebekah went to God for answers.

    So, this week when you first thought is to run to the phone… stop, run to the throne and ask Jesus!
    Prayer

    Father… I thank you for Your voice. I thank You that You still use Your voice to speak today. Help me put into practice the In Jesus Name…Amen

    Join Me TOMORROW for a LIVE Zoom Video Call…
    for my big reveal of The Next Right Thing in my life!

    I’ve been dying to tell you, but I just had to get things a little more set in place before I could. My close friends and family know but I want to share it with you, my tribe who on the regular track with me in life. You’ll be able to ask me questions at the end and I’m hoping, join with me in prayer for the exciting days ahead!


    Drawing From The Well

    1. Genesis 25:21-23
    2. Matthew 7:7-8
    3. Psalm 34:4
    4. James 1:5

    #musicpics

    Normally I list one song for the #musicpic but this week I asked a few friends and the hubbs for song suggestions because I was stumped and got sooooo many good ones so I’m going to share a bunch but my fave is definitely Dan Macaulay’s “Listening”. Whenever I get to be at a concert, camp or event where Dan is leading worship, I find it so easy to get my spirit in tune with God and hear from Him when I need an answer. After you listen to this song, you’ll get why! As you’re listening and allow the Holy Spirit to wash over you and speak to you. Next is Remedy Drive’s song “Speak To Me”. Todd introduced me to this song when we were dating and God used it powerfully, confirming I should marry Todd… so, it kind of has a special spot in my heart <3

    Your Words inspire my heart
    You illuminate my dark
    You spoke and shaped the heavens
    And You choose to speak to me

    Speak to me
    I’m listening

    Speak to me, please, speak to me
    I’m in-between and I can’t hear you
    Whisper, shout it, give me somethin’
    I need it now, need your voice, need the sound

    I know the answer, to every question
    The one solution, to every fear
    I know my helper, where it comes from
    Jesus, He is the answer


    #paperbackpic

    Title: the Next Right Thing
    Author: Emily P. Freeman
    Published By: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group: Grand Rapids, MI
    © 2019 by Emily P. Freeman

     

    ENDNOTES
    1 Freeman, Emily P. The Next Right Thing–A Simple, Soulful Practice For Making Life Decisions. Revell: Grand Rapids, MI. pg. 24

     


    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.


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

    #Dare2
    SharePost in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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  • Training Your Mind to Conquer {Battle Ready Book}

    Are you missing me, like I’m missing you?

    I’ve heard from a bunch of you that you are missing me and the weekly #Soul H2O devotions, but you’re praying I have a great July blogging vaca and get rested to refuel. God has answered your prayers… and mine 🙂  For the past three weeks, I’ve been getting filled up during my summer holidays at where else, but Braeside Camp in Paris, ON… below you can watch a video of me in my element at camp; kind of like seeing a bear in the woods :). After a busy season of speaking, this fill-up time is invaluable to ensure I have lots of fresh, living-water to flow out! I’m breaking from the rest to fulfill a few writing commitments, and this one has the potential to change your life… and mine!

    Do you want a life-changing, inspiring book with lots of freebies to read this summer holiday?
    Have I got the book for you!

    I’m reading Kelly Balarie’s book, BATTLE READY; Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously for this #PaperbackPic post.

    I have to let you know that the book was provided to me by Baker Books when I joined Kelly’s book launch team, but I can assure you the comments are what I really think…and you’re gonna love this one! 🙂

    I love it so much…
    I bought an extra copy to give away!

    Your name goes in a draw to WIN when you: Comment on this blog post, Share the Facebook Live, Comment under the Facebook Live Post or Pin the Quote Image on Pinterest.
    ***Read at the end of the post for the DRAW DETAILS AND WINNER REVEAL.


    LIVE – FROM BRAESIDE CAMP

    KELLY BALARIE

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH the FACEBOOK LIVE recording and get to know speaker and author, Kelly Balarie.

    BATTLE READY

    Too often we fail to prepare for our battles. So when challenges, troubles, or opportunities arise, we rapidly become burdened with limiting thoughts of self-doubt, fear, impossibility, and lack. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can train our minds to conquer uncertainty, beat insecurity, and step past the tragedies of yesterday.battle ready quote

    Are you sick of living crippled by doubt, discouragement or defeat?  Then you need Battle Ready because it’s a hands-on Scriptural plan that teaches you 12 easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets, designed to transform your thoughts… and therefore, your life!  My copy of the book is already getting marked up to the point of unrecognition inside.

    As a Bible Study teacher, I would love to take a group through Battle Ready to help prepare women for anything the enemy tries to throw their way.

    TRAINING YOUR MIND TO CONQUER

    Kelly Balarie is an amazing girl who wants to help others in areas where she’s seen God help her. In Battle Ready she shares practical wisdom… like how to:

    • Make new habits stick in just five steps
    • Disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women
    • Exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts
    • Implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace
    • Create boundaries so you live life full of what matters

    [tweetthis]YOU CAN LIVE VICTORIOUSLY, and Kelly’s book #BattleReady helps you get there! @kellybalarie [/tweetthis]

    HOW I GOT CONNECTED WITH KELLY

    When I began blogging I didn’t know anything, and I mean anything about blogging. To be honest, I’d never even read a blog until I decided to set one up… how crazy is that!  After two years of simply posting my blogs, Kelly messaged me on twitter and invited me to join her #RaRaLinkup for bloggers. To this day I don’t know how she heard about me?  I was so green I didn’t even know what a linkup was, Kelly had to explain it to me. This was a game changer for me. I’ve ever-thankful for her reaching out to a newbie (even though I had been blogging for almost two years) like me!

    Kelly has this giving heart.

    It’s evident in her book. There’s tons of FREE STUFF you can get. The thought-provoking Downloads at the end of each section in the book to help you be fully Battle Ready!  You can also take the “Find your Battle-Style Quiz” and create a personalized daily battle plan at http://www.iambattleready.comKelly Balarie downloads

    Kelly’s also running a CONTEST FOR BLOGGERS to win a meeting where they get to pitch their book idea to Baker Books or meet an agent.  I would LOVE to have this opportunity because I’m full of MORE book ideas that are pent up inside of me 🙂   If you’d like to help my chances...

    COULD YOU VOTE FOR ME?

    Simply Comment…  I VOTE  #9    in the comments (not my name) at THIS LINK, at the bottom of the page. THANKS FOR ALL WHO DO 🙂


    SEE HEAR LOVE

    I’m praying you enjoy your summer… reading Kelly’s book! Hope you watch me on See, Hear, Love this coming Monday, July 23rd on YES TV talking about What To Do When You’re Spiritually Dry. If you miss watching on TV, the episode, and my blog post about it will be released on their website http://www.seehearlove.com.

    I’ll be back for reals in August, when I return from my blogging vaca and send out my weekly #SoulH2O Devotions again.

    Much love,
    ~Sherry
    xoxo


    Draw for Kelly’s Battle Ready Book to take place on my Author Facebook Page:
    Friday, July 27, 2018 at 12:15pm 

    Comment on this blog post, Share the Facebook Live Post, Comment under the Facebook Live Post or Pin the Quote Image on Pinterest. for your chance to win!


    KELLY BALARIEKelly Balarie is the author of Fear Fighting and is a featured blogger at Crosswalk.com and iBelieve.com A passionate national speaker, she has spent a decade leading groups of women in spiritual growth, marriage building, and Bible studies across the nation. Balarie lives with her husband and two small children near the sun-soaked shores of the East Coast.
    Website and Blog: https://purposefulfaith.com/
    Book Website with FREE Downloads: http://www.iambattleready.com
    YouVersion Bible App Devotion Series: https://www.bible.com/r…/12129-battle-ready-by-kelly-balarie

    #PaperbackPic BATTLE READY
    Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously
    AUTHOR: Kelly Balarie
    © 2018 by Kelly Balarie
    PUBLISHER: Baker Books; a division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, MI USA

    CLICK TO PURCHASE FROM AMAZON (will link to .CA or .COM based on where you live)
    Nothing will be added to your purchase price but I will receive an affiliate fee if you purchase.


    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
     Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,

    TUESDAY 
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
     Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
     Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

     

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  • Living a fierceHEARTED life!

    fierceHEARTED
    LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY

    (c) Holley Gerth

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

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

    LIVE FULLY, LOVE BRAVELY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Be Blessed and Refreshed,
    ~Sherry
     xoxo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read More

  • Follow The Leader

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

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

    Tozer - Chrisitans don't lie

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

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

    OceansOceans by Hillsong United

    The line in Oceans that gets me is:

    “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”

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

    “Wherever You would call me”

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

    Benjamin Mee 20 seconds of bravery


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

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

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

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

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

    I promise you, something great will come of it!

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

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

    Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

    FOOTNOTES

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

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

    Read More

  • Do You Need to Take Down a Goliath?

    I’m writing this post because this girl is goin’ through a tough time.  So, I need to remind myself of God’s truths and usually when I write about my struggles, it helps others too.  Situations have escalated and I need to take down a Goliath in my life I’ve allowed to rule for way too long.

    Do You Need to Take Down a Goliath in your life?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT asking “Do you need to take down a person?”  My good friend Wendy once said, “if they have skin on, they’re not the enemy.”

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
    but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
                                   Ephesians 6:12

    My ‘Goliath’ has been screaming threats in my ear; attacking who I am, lying, mocking my relationship with God and criticizing the call on my life.  The intimidation has often left me cowering in shame.

    The longevity of this battle has taken its toll and affected me so profoundly in the past year that I was ready to give up on everything. It affected me physically, spiritually and emotionally.  I felt so defeated and discouraged that I didn’t even send out my weekly Soul H2O devotions for three weeks in July because, it’s impossible to refresh others when your well is dry.  Since I started sending out Soul H2O four years ago I had only missed posting once, when I was on a missions’ trip in Guatemala.  I can’t express to you how defeated the enemy made me feel, even after a season of powerful ministry this spring.  I can relate to Elijah’s breakdown in a new way after this experience.

    Can you relate to what I’m going through?
    Have you ever asked God, why is this happening to me?

    Lakemount Worship CentreEven up to this morning I was feeling this way until I listened to a sermon by Matt Tapley from Lakemount Worship Centre in Grimsby, Ontario.  It wasn’t a warm and fuzzy sermon to ease my pain.  This was a ‘toughen up, you can do it’ kind of message, and that’s exactly what I needed.

    In his podcast, Spiritual Best Practices, Matt talks about a faulty theology Christians often have that leads you to believe

    “if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I can avoid trouble.”
    But, as Matt points out,
    “This isn’t true.”

    Falling prey to this mindset easily opens the door to believe the enemies lies.  He intimidates by whispering in your ear that you MUST be doing something wrong, or worse, that God must not love you.

    I wish my faith was stronger than this.  You’d think I wouldn’t struggle with this faulty theology since I wrote a post about it titled, We Need To Change Our Christian Expectations.   This was back in 2013 when God first started confronting my mixed-up belief.  It’s sad how thick-headed we can be.  God often needs to apply a few knocks on our noggin to help us ‘get it’!

    “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyedwhen his glory is revealed.”
    1 Peter 4:12-13

    GETTING INSPIRED

    FierceheartedMatt’s message, rereading my old blog post and beginning to read Holley Gerth’s book, Fiercehearted were the kick in the pants I needed to get out of my funk and back to a firm foundation of faith.  When I heard Matt say, “ If God’s helped you with a ‘level 2 bully’ then He can help you defeat a ‘level 12 Goliath’” I wanted to shout; but the people walking on the trail near me might have called the authorities.  The very title of Holley’s book is inspiring me.  I want to live #fiercehearted in the face of my Goliath, and I know you do too!  I can’t wait to be OVERjoyed when His glory is revealed and the battle is gone.

    Click here to watch the Facebook Live I recorded after I got all fired up.  I’m sure it will be a shot in the arm of courage for you!

    Since the video people have asked me for the verses I mentioned. Here’s a listing of Scriptures that will help you stand firm in your faith so you can take down any Goliath you face!

    Hebrews 10:39
    2 Corinthians 4:16-19
    Isaiah 10:27
    1 John 2:20-27
    Another couple verses that will help you are Isaiah 54:17, 52:2, Ephesians 6:12

    Praying this post leaves you Blessed & Refreshed!

    Much love,
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    We Need To Change Our Christian Expectations My #SoulH2O Blog Post
    https://holleygerth.com/
    https://www.lakemount.ca/
    https://www.lakemount.ca/grow/messages/spiritual-best-practices

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

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

    Read More

  • How You Can Rival the Identity Issue and WIN!!!

    What’s a summer holiday without a great book to read?  I’ve been getting filled up during my summer holiday in the past two weeks with an amazing book by Lisa Bevere and I really want to share it with you so you can rival the identity issue and WIN!!!  I’ll also let you in on what Lisa Bevere’s really like as I tell you about how I know her.

    I’m reviewing Lisa Bevere’s book, WITHOUT RIVAL; Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison 1 along with the DVD Series, INSIGHTS TO A LIFE WITHOUT RIVAL: you are loved uniquely 2 for this #PaperbackPic post and #EllensPicks Linkup.  I have to let you know that the book and DVD were provided to me by Baker Books through my association with Ellen’s Picks, but I can assure you the comments are what I really think…and you’re gonna love this one! J

    Ellen's Picks

    Lisa Bevere

    Lisa is a feisty, fun passionate Sicilian with a heart much bigger than her little frame!  Her life has influenced mine in more ways than she will probably ever know because she also influenced my daughter’s life when she spoke at the SEU Conference this year and Shelby actually read this book before me!  Lisa’s inspiring mothers and daughters all over the globe and this book of hers contains so many truths I hope this younger generation of girls take hold of better than we have.

    HOW I MET LISA

    I was blessed to get to know Lisa a little bit back in about 2008 or 2009.  I had been asked to be Lisa’s Assistant for a Conference in Toronto and I was thrilled to serve the woman who wrote books that helped me mature like, Be Angry, But Don’t Blow It 3 and Out of Control and Loving It 4.

    It happened during a crazy weekend with an unseasonal blizzard in April, and I mean Blizzard!  We often get a token snowfall in April that melts before noon, but that year we had an all-out snowstorm.  I was supposed to pick Lisa up at the Toronto airport but her plane had to get rerouted into Buffalo because the storm was so bad.  Friends who lived closer to Buffalo had to pick her up and drive her to the Conference.  Lisa got there just in time to speak for the first night and I was anxious to help her, but I wish I’d been given a little more direction to better assist…If only I knew then, like I know now, what a speaker needs!

    car in snow

    When I went to take Lisa to the airport or her flight home she almost had to get an alternate ride again.  I left Lisa at the front doors of the hotel and left to get my car out of the parking lot.  It had snowed again overnight and my car was stuck in about a foot of snow!  After about 20 minutes I had shoveled out and pulled up to the front as she was just about to get into another car.  She jumped into mine and away we were off.  I was probably the worst assistant Lisa’s ever had to deal with!

    That weekend the weather matched the storm raging in my life and it was all I could do to be “normal”.  My first marriage was completely broken and I was struggling to stay afloat on a sinking ship.  At times it was so difficult to put aside my personal life and focus on the Conference.  When my car was stuck in the snow it almost pushed me over the edge, but I didn’t let it take me down.  Hearing how much Lisa had overcome in her life gave me inspiration to believe that my miracle could be just around the corner.

    Lisa was the real deal.  She spoke with the anointing of God…and she was fun!  I loved listening to her talk with her boys and try to break up disagreements from another country.  She was a real mom, with real kids…and if you know anything about Lisa, you know she loves her family.

    you are not what you weighLisa also had a real heart for women.  I remember praying around the altar with her when a girl came up broken and shared how she struggled with an eating disorder.  Lisa’s heart was truly broken for this girl and she sincerely shared from her life.  Lisa asked me to run to the table to get this girl her book, You Are Not What You Weigh. 5  Lisa signed it and gave her the book free of charge.

    I knew God was preparing me for the future in being Lisa’s speaking assistant, but I just couldn’t imagine how my life could ever turn around to be “ministry material” again.  I remember thinking, if she only knew how messed up my life was she wouldn’t want me around.

    Fast Forward 10 years and here I am; happily remarried, fulfilling that call on my life for ministry through speaking and authoring books.  ONLY GOD!!!!  Whenever I get to give my books away I remember how Lisa did this so freely.

     WITHOUT RIVAL

    Without Rival BookWhen I received my #EllensPicks package with a book from Lisa inside I was completely excited.  I listen when Lisa speaks because I know she hears from God.

    Without Rival is a dynamic book that will help you embrace your identity and purpose.  Watching the DVD series, Insights To a Life Without Rival will feel like you’re right in the room with Lisa, hanging out with your girlfriends.  You get to see her as she really is and hear her heart for women…for YOU!

     

    You Can Rival the Identity Issue, and WIN!

    God has been speaking to me at a whole new level since I read this book. It’s helped me see areas where I’ve been living below God’s view of my identity because of the rivals in my life.  This line in her book at the very beginning started the “light-bulb” moments for me as I read.

    “When rivalry comes into play,
    its goal is not so much to win the game as it is to remove you from the field.”6

    Lisa talks about people who rival us and how they actually are a blessing in our lives!  She shares how God’s love for us is unrivaled.  Her words built me up as I read:

    “You are uniquely loved because you were uniquely created.
    Unique means “the sole example of, prototype or only one,” and my favorite definition, “without equal or rival.””7

    There were so many truths in her book. One that powerfully impacted me was that,

    God Has No Rival

    When Lisa talked about this she had my full attention.  As I watched the DVD.  She told the story about how Jesus asked the disciples in Matthew 16:13-18, “Who do you say I am?”.  Simon, whose name is about to be changed to Peter replies, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”8  Lisa points out that,

    “When we have a revelation of who Jesus really is,
    then we are in a position to hear who we really are.”9

    When Simon declares who Jesus really is it unlocks the key for Jesus to declare who Simon really is!  Simon was really Peter.  He wasn’t a fickle-fisherman, he was rock-solid so, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter.  It’s only after we get a revelation of who God is that we can get a revelation about who we are and begin to walk in destiny!

    Let God reveal Himself to YOU!

    Don’t just settle for scraps leftover from someone else or rumours of what God did for them.  Let God reveal Himself to you personally.  If you do, by the end of this book, you will be inspired to live as a,

    Daughter Without Rival,
    in a Life Unrivaled!

    Hope you enjoy your summer.  This Monday I’ll be back from holidays, sending out my weekly #SoulH2O Devotions.

    Much love,
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    [tweetthis]Get a revelation of who God is then you can get a revelation about who you are![/tweetthis]

     

    Lisa and John BevereLisa Bevere is a New York Times bestselling author and the wife of John Bevere, another NYT Bestselling author.  Together they have founded Messenger International.  They have inspired generations of Christians through their books, speaking, blogs, podcasts and lives lived.

    Website and Blog: https://messengerinternational.org/lisabevere/

     

    #PaperbackPic WITHOUT RIVAL

    Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison
    AUTHOR: Lisa Bevere
    © 2016 by Lisa Bevere
    PUBLISHER: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group Grand Rapids, MI USA
    Purchase the book Here:  https://www.amazon.ca/Without-Rival-Identity-Confusion-Compariso/dp/080072724X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500510104&sr=8-2&keywords=lisa+bevere

    Video Series                INSIGHTS TO A LIFE WITHOUT RIVAL
    AUTHOR: Lisa Bevere
    © 2016 Messenger International, Inc.
    Purchase the DVD Series Here:  https://www.amazon.ca/Insights-Life-Without-Rival-DVD/dp/1937558029/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1500510389&sr=8-13&keywords=lisa+bevere

    FOOTNOTES

    1. Bevere, Lisa. Without Rival; Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison. (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2016
    2. Bevere, Lisa. Insights To A Life Without Rival; you are loved uniquely DVD Series. ©2016 Messengers International, Inc.
    3. Bevere, Lisa. Out of Control and Loving It: Giving God Complete Control of Your Life. Charisma House ©2006
    4. Bevere, Lisa. Be Angry, But Don’t Blow It.
    5. Bevere, Lisa. You Are Not What You Weigh : End Your War with Food and Discover Your True Value. Siloam ©2007
    6. Bevere, Without Rival, 13.
    7. Bevere, Without Rival, 20.
    8. Peterson, Eugene. THE MESSAGE. NavPress Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. © 1993, 1994, 1195, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.
    9. Bevere, Without Rival, 21.

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

    Read More

  • 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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