Real Life

  • Christmas Message 2021

    christmas messageMerry Christmas!

    It’s the day before we celebrate our Saviour’s Birth and I’m feeling more thankful for Jesus coming as a babe in the manger more than ever after doing a deep dive into Advent for the past month.

    I hope you’ve been journeying along with me, but if not, I’ve provided links to everything below. Whether you like to read, watch or listen to your content… I’ve got you covered with blogs, devotions, recipes, radio & podcast episodes, Instagram Advent Talks, and a special Bible Study teaching, Christmas Crackers – Expecting Good Gifts From God! On Christmas Day, I have the final Advent Series episode Christ is Saviour of The World, with 3-time GMA Female Vocalist, Brooke Nicholls, talking about pursuing God and singing her newly released Christmas song.

    There’s enough here to fill in your Christmas downtime for sure!

    My prayer for you this Christmas comes from

    Romans 15:13

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may OVERflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I’m wishing you and yours, a VERY Merry Christmas. Now, go grab some hot cocoa, your device of choice (maybe some headphones), and be inspired!

    Watch The Christmas Bible Study

    Christmas Crackers

    Expecting Good Gifts From God

    More Soul H2O Resources

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    Radio Show Advent Series
    Episodes

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast

    5 Advent Series Episodes from this year are at the top or search “Christmas” for past Christmas episodes.

    Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season
    On The Blog

    Quality holiday time

    Links to all the Christmas Soul H2O Devotions, posts, Radio & Podcast Episodes, Recipes, and more! 

    Spotify

    Christmas Playlist

    Fill your house or car with hours of holiday cheer!

    Advent Talks
    Social Media

    Advent Talks on Instagram

    Each recording is under 10 minutes of Advent info and inspiration.

    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.


    DOWNLOAD THESE REFRESHING RESOURCES TO HELP QUENCH YOUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

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  • The Fight For Peace Of Mind

    This week Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held all over Canada as our American friends honor Veteran’s Day. We live in some of the most peaceful places on the planet, but it didn’t just happen. Soldiers had to fight for us to experience the freedom that brings peace, much like you have to fight for peace of mind.

    Soul H2O Devotion

    The Fight The Fight For Peace Of MindFor Peace Of Mind

    A peaceful mind doesn’t just mysteriously happen, it will only be attained if you fight for it. Thankfully this conflict isn’t fought on the battlefield of combat but combatted in the battlefield of your mind. 

    I really think Philippians 4:6-8 is a great template for learning how to conquer in the battle for a peaceful mind, so let me remind you of what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-8.

    Philippians 4:7Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    If you want peace in your life, you have to fight for peace in your mind first, before you deal with your problems.

    The first way to peace in your mind is to not worry about anything

    I bet you’re thinking, Seriously??? How can I do that? It’s unrealistic…If Paul was in my shoes, he’d worry…

    I just wonder, if it make any difference when I tell you that Paul was in prison when he wrote these verses? If you compare all of Paul’s writings, I think you’ll see how the book of Philippians, over the others, exudes joy, and he wrote it from a place of wrongful imprisonment. 

    So, how do you not worry about anything???  

    Follow the second way to peace in your mind – pray about everything!

    Turn fear into faith by disciplining your mind to pray, every time you worry.

    When you start to feel afraid your kids are going to get hurt riding their bikes, driving the car or dating that guy…Pray… Lord, I thank you for protecting my children.

    When you’re afraid of losing your job… Pray… Lord I thank you that this company is not my provider, You are. I look forward to seeing how you’ll provide for my needs.

    If you’re afraid of your marriage falling apart… Pray… Lord I bring my marriage to You right now. Fill us with a deep love for each other that will stand the tests of time.

    Turn fear and anxiety into catalysts for prayer.

    My theory is that the devil will clue in and realize he’s bringing on good things by causing you to fear and eventually he’ll give up… maybe??? Ya, as if!

    The third and last way to peace in your mind is to think on good things 

    And what is gooder than God? Nothing. 

    Put some worship music on, throw your hands up in the air and begin praising God. It won’t be long until your burdens are lifted, anxiety alleviated, and your heart healed. Then you’ll be in your right mind to deal with your problems.

    Does God’s peace make sense?   

    Not at all, it transcends Understanding and goes beyond human understanding

    • • Don’t worry about anything
    • • Pray about everything 
    • • Focus Your Thoughts on God.

    Then, tackle your problems.

    Rinse and Repeat.

    The fight for peace of mind is just that simple.

    Prayer

    Father… Thank you for giving me the mind of Christ with the ability to control my thoughts. I’m so grateful you provided a plan for peace of mind in your word. Please help me to not be anxious, pray more and think on Your goodness to keep the peace. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Drawing from the well

    Verses to help fill up your well.

    1. 1. Philippians 4:6-8
    2. 2. Isaiah 26:3
    3. 3. John 16:33
    4. 4. John 14:27

    Soul H2O Resources

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    #musicpic

    #musicpic SONG: 
    Peace Be Still by Hope Darst
    Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsIpGiz3SfQ

    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist:
    Online | On App

    MUSICPIC SONGS SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS

    In Fight For Peace, Kay Wyma is back again, talking about her latest book, The Peace Project and how you can experience true peace on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast show. 

    You can find today’s Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/86

    Splash Online Event

    Snakes & Ladders  – Sometimes You’re Up, Sometimes You’re Down from the ‘Child-Like Faith’ Series is our November Online Splash event hosted by Sherry Stahl and the #SoulH2O Team. 

    Join us in the Soul H2 Splash Facebook Group or sign up for Splash emails in the group and see us on Zoom.

    SOUL H2O SPLASH

    Devotions Related to Peace of Mind

    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.


    DOWNLOAD THESE REFRESHING RESOURCES TO HELP QUENCH YOUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

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  • Ever Feel Like The Devil’s Trying To Take You Out?

    kill imageI’ve been sitting on this miraculous story for a few years because I”ve been too embarrassed to share but today, I feel it’s time to push aside my pride because maybe you’ve been through a time like this? Do you ever feel like the devil’s trying to take you out?

    This is more than a devotion; it’s a testimony of God’s miraculous work and I believe it will encourage you.

    Ever Feel Like The Devil’s Trying To Take You Out?

    It was April 2016, I was flying here and there, in the middle of a very busy speaking season. I was getting ready to head out to Dallas to speak at the annual Christian Women in Media Conference in a seminar on publishing with some great friends. I can’t tell you how excited I was to get back there and spend time with my tribe of people. God had miraculously provided funding, so I was excited for all he had in store.

    GETTING RUN DOWN

    In the busyness of that season, I was run down and started experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection. Two days before I was supposed to leave, I had a massive allergic reaction to the medication that was helping get rid of the infection. Hot, itchy hives started on my neck but traveled all over my body. In the middle of the night, I had to get Todd to take me to the hospital as I could feel my throat swelling inside. 

    Hives In The Hospital

    There was no waiting this time as they rushed me into a room, looked at my throat and started giving me shots of Benadryl and Prednisone straight into my bloodstream through veins in my arm.  We were there for hours until my throat swelling went down, and they felt I was stable. I asked the doctor for a note to give the airlines so I could get a refund on my ticket, but he said I would be absolutely fine by 6pm that day and ready for my 6am flight, if they weren’t gone by 6pm to come back.

    The hives completely disappeared as I kept taking the prescribed doses of Benadryl and Prednisone, so on the advice of the ER doctor, I boarded the plane. 

    THEY’RE BACK!

    IN CHICAGOAt the stop in Chicago, I felt my neck starting to itch and slight hives begin to resurface.

    By the time I got to Dallas, I had hives growing at a fast pace.

     

    Hives In The Hotel

    By 2am the hives were everywhere from head to toe, even in my ears. The skin on my face looked like it was drooping off. The symptoms were even worse than what I experienced in Canada, so I woke my friend Kandi up and let her know I was going to the hospital. 

    I thought it would be wise to call my insurance company first and when I did, they told me it wouldn’t be covered because I had gone to the hospital in Canada just days before. I feared the medical bills more than the advice of my friends at the time and decided to stay at the hotel and rest. I had determined I wouldn’t go to the hospital unless my throat felt worse than it did.

    See the hives from head to itchy toe! No need for a collagen plumping in these lips!

    The Embarrassing Photos

    HIVES
    Not trying to do duck lips!
    HIVES
    So much larger than they look.
    HIVES
    My face and neck were drooping.
    HIVES
    In my ears & scalp
    HIVES
    Top to Bottom Hives
    Hives all over the body
    On fire & itchy!

    I Felt Like The Devil Was Trying To Take Me Out

    Have you Ever Felt Like The Devil Was Trying To Take You Out? John 10:10 tells us how the enemy of our souls has a nefarious plan for your life and mine when it says,

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
    John 10:10

    In that moment, I felt sure the enemy was trying to steal away my chance to attend and speak at the conference, that he wanted to destroy the opportunities God had set up for me and literally wanted to kill me. 

    I didn’t have the strength to fight, but my hotel roomie, Kandi Rose began to pray for me. As she prayed, I fell back asleep. She told me that she prayed a lot of the night for me but I woke up with no changes and very groggy from taking a little extra of the meds.

    I went back to bed for hours and saw an ever-so-slight change. Kandi brought me food and left me to sleep again, but the next time I woke up hours later, a miracle had taken place and the hives were almost completely gone! 

    The Miracle Came

    healed from hivesThis is a picture of me getting ready to leave for the evening service and event called Jeans and Bling. God did the miraculous! I was able to attend the conference the rest of the conference, speak in the seminar, and meet the people God organized for me to meet. 

    I’m thankful for my roommate Kandi who has continued to be a blessing in my life and also that John 10:10 doesn’t end with the words telling us how the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus went on to say:

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
    I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    John 10:10

    No matter how hard the devil tries attacking you, God is greater and He wants you to live an abundant life. Even if your life is taken, the enemy still loses, if you keep our faith. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Your eternal reward is much greater than life on this earth, but it sure is wonderful to have a miraculous experience, this side of heaven.

    Audio Inspiration

    I’m praying this testimony of mine helps build your faith in times when the enemy is trying to take you out. If you need a little more inspiration, check out these episode from my Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show filled with miraculous stories, one even from my roomie and tv host, Kandi Rose.

    Soul H2O Resources

    RADIO SHOW EPISODES WITH MIRACULOUS STORIES

    Want a Refreshing Inbox?

    Get a FREE Soul H2O Book Sampler {and a coupon} when you Sign Up to Get the Soul H2O Devotions, Show Notifications, and updates from me!

    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.

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  • Tough Tattoo

    TOUGH TATTOO

    When my daughter Shelby graduated from High School, I took her to a tattoo parlor for her Grad gift!  Call me a bad parent and say what you like, but this is a tattoo that just had to be inked! 

    During her last year of High School, Shelby’s desire to get a tattoo of the Hebrew word for “endure” kept increasing.  She researched Hebrew words, sketched it, had Todd sketch, researched tattoo artists and kept talking about how ‘one day’ she was going to get this tattoo. It wasn’t an if, in her mind, it was a when.

    Not Just a Rebellious Teen

    This was more than a rebellious teenager’s want for a tattoo to look cool.

     You see, graduating high school and getting this far in life, just being alive hadn’t been a cakewalk for Shelby, and at the time of writing the devotion it didn’t seem like it was going to get much easier as an oral surgeon had put Shelby on a soft-food diet for two months to ward off the need for jaw surgery.

    Eating mushy foods alleviated her from having to go under the knife but unfortunately didn’t take her pain away, and this is just one of the many health issues she’s had to endure.

    Powerful Reminder

    Every time Shelby feels like life is too hard like she can’t make it through, she looks down at her wrist and the word Endure.  It reminds her of how God’s helped her in the past and gives her the faith to believe she can rise above the current circumstance.

    HEBREWS 12:7 encourages us to  Endure hardship

    Jesus’ knew life wouldn’t be a cake-walk so he put encouragement in His Word to help you face trouble head-on, with strength and resiliency. You too can endure.  You can make it through the tough stuff.

    Joshua Had to Endure

    In Joshua chapter 1, God was empowering Joshua with His words by telling him to be strong and courageous, and then he’d emphasize it by saying… Always be strong and courageous.”

    “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:6)

    No Cake Walk

    God commissioned Joshua to lead the nation of Israel stuck in the desert for four decades to inherit the land, but it wasn’t going to be a “cake-walk” for them either! 

    The Israelites had to “endure” a lot of battles to fulfill all of God’s plans for their lives and make it to the Promised Land, so He kept reminding them to “Be strong and courageous”. 

    I’m so proud of Shelby!  Like Joshua and all the Israelites, she’s learned to be an overcomer by living out this verse.  She’s strong and courageous, and you can be too!  God will give you what it takes to endure, so you, get to your Promised Land!

    ***Check below to find the link to Shelby’s interview on Soul H2O Radio

    PRAYER

    Father… I thank-you that you give me what it takes to endure! May I be strong and courageous in all that life throws at me, trusting you will be with me all the way to the Promised Land! In Jesus Name…Amen!

    Drawing from the well

    1. Hebrews 12:7
    2. Joshua 1:6-7
    3. Matthew 24:13/Mark 13:13/Luke 21:19
    4. Romans 15:4

    Shelby’s Interview on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show

    Season # 3 // Episode # 54
    TOUGH TATTOO
    Release Date: 2021-02-06 @ 12pm EST / Podcast releases at 3pmEST. 
    Replaying Friday 2021-02-12 @ 2pm
    Streaming on: joyradio.ca & MyJoyRadio App.
    Uploaded as Soul H2O Podcast on iTunes & Spotify Wherever you listen to podcasts.

    Shelby’s Blog:  http://www.faithandlace.weebly.com 
    Shelby’s Blog that tells a bit of what she’s had to “endure”                    https://faithandlace.weebly.com/blog/what-is-your-cross

    ORIGINALLY POSTED: June 23, 2014

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  • CALLED TO SPEAK UP

    Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. Psalm 31:8-9 NLT

    I’m grieved.

    Literally sick to my stomach with all that has taken place and what is taking place in our world.

    Covid-19 deaths and lockdown, racism, killing by those who are called on to protect, false, part-truth news reporting to cause division for profit or popularity, corrupt political and business leaders abusing their power, depression, anxiety, suicide, financial struggles, hunger, starvation, broken, hurting people acting out of their woundedness and division being spread in countries, cities and homes around the globe with much worse affects than the current plague.

    If we don’t see a change soon, I’m fearful of where this will take us given the current trajectory of events.

    Please read this post with the filter of love, a desire for unity and longing deep in my heart to break down dividing walls; not build them up.

    Answering The Call

    called to speak up

    This is just me, answering the call of Proverbs 31:8-9 to speak up for the crushed, poor, and helpless with hope they will receive justice. I pray you’ll answer the same call to speak righteousness, justice, and truth in love.

    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. Psalm 89:14 ESV

    GEORGE FLOYD—The Crushed

    On May 25, 2020 the world changed forever. George Floyd, an innocent man, lost his life because of a corrupt, racist group of police officers who abused their power and murdered him in front of a horrified audience. This one incident has brought to the surface a longstanding stronghold of racism towards black people that has been allowed to fester for centuries.

    I don’t believe there’s any going back and I hope we make a change for the better, quick before too many lives are lost. 

    THE COVID FLUSH

    I believe the isolation of Covid-19 Lockdown is bringing to the surface many old wounds that need to be healed, issues that were overdue to be dealt with and problems that have been ignored for much too long: globally, nationally, in our hearts and homes.

    God is allowing long-standing strongholds to surface, so they can be severed

    I pray we recognize this and begin to make the changes necessary because it seems all hell is breaking loose. Anarchy has ensued because there is a loss of confidence in the government to care, protect or have people’s best interest at heart but rather to dominate. I hope you do not see my words as condoning the looting or vandalism, I do not condone illegal behaviour, but I also don’t condone government officials or other evil-acting persons who abuse others, even taking a life. All life is precious.

    UNITY

    During Lockdown I’ve been trying to stay positive and see God at work in people’s lives, which I believe He is, I could see it while online attending another global prayer meeting with Unite714.  Praying for unity in this world. 

    UNITY: This is the heart of God.

    UNITY: This is the nature of God.

    God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; the triune God, three in one… complete unity, and that’s what He wants for His kids; the people of this world.  There’s not a one He doesn’t love.  Not a one He didn’t die to save. 

    SIGNS OF UNITY GROWING

    Favourite Photo & Video From The Protests

    Why? This picture gets me very emotional because the white police officer is holding this black woman like a son protecting his momma. She’s looking at him and has her arm around him, trusting him to protect. It’s the way it should be. It’s beautiful. I also love that this picture of a protest to show that American people believe black lives matter has only a few distinctively black protesters, most are white. #unityindiversity

    My Favourite Video. This police officer is one of many who are breaking down barriers of racism and bringing healing to his community. He and many other law enforcement officers are leading the way to reconciliation.

    I want to see the positive but I feel a shift in the atmosphere, the battle is raging and we need to pray. I can’t ignore how I see the enemy rearing his ugly head, having a heyday. 

    John 10:10 records Jesus saying:

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
     I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

    John 10:10

    THE THIEF

    The thief Jesus is talking about here is the devil and his tactics haven’t changed over time.  The devil visits every age to steal, kill and destroy. On the contrary, Jesus comes to give live to the full. I see God at work in hearts and I also recognized the work of the enemy as I watch the news in the murder of George Floyd, the abusive, overhanded government response to protests, how evil-acting people have brought damage to bring on police brutality, the wrongful vandalism, looting and violence taking place. 

    Don’t you see the thief at work in all of this? If we keep trying to fight an enemy with skin on; instead of the real enemy, society is headed for complete disaster.

    You can be sure the enemy, the devil is behind the hatred, racism, abuse, injustice, corruption and all manner of godless behaviour you’re watching play out on your screens. Embracing hatred and placing your rights above another’s brings division, just what the enemy wants. Divide and conquer are his plans for all relationships.  We have to stop letting him win. Stop falling into his traps. Stop partnering with his plans.

    Don’t displace your anger, place it where it needs land… with the chief-thief.

    If you want peace, if you want love to rule, you have to recognize… this is a spiritual battle we’re all engaged in and you have to fight a spiritual war with spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and declaring God’s purposes over the future. You cannot overcome hatred with hatred.

    Do not be conquered by evil,
    but conquer evil with good.
    Romans 12:1

    A PROPHETIC POST?

    In 2016, I wrote a post and shared about an article by Lecrae; the three-time Grammy Award winning Christian rapper, who shared how he just like George Floyd had a police officer put their knee to his neck… yes to the Christian rapper who was falsely being accused of having a gun… which he didn’t. There was one statement he made that rocked me to the core.1

    You can’t wipe away a 500-year trauma in 50 years.

    If you’ve ever had to deal with hurt in your past, I think you can understand this. The crazy part is that when I went searching through my blogs, I found this post was the one I wrote the night of the election where Donald Trump took the vote and became President. Penning it after being woken up by the Lord with a Phrase running through my head, “Looking for a David, not a Saul.”

    In the post, I wrote, “As this phrase kept waking me up, I thought of the difference between David and Saul as leaders of their nation. Both men were appointed by God in their position, both men started off well, but only one man finished well.” I believe how Donald Trump deals or doesn’t deal with this atrocity will decide if he has the heart of David or Saul.2

    I know we need to pray for him to govern as God wants. I’m praying Donald Trump will govern like a good father, firm but loving and accepting.

    THE DEVIL’S DESTRUCTIVE WAYS

    I’m heartsick when I hear about racism.

    I was appalled watching the murder of George Floyd and many other black people.  I’m horror-struck watching the news where I see police officers tasering teenagers until they’re incapacitated when they were just driving home in their car and didn’t know about the new curfew. Broken as I watch law enforcement beat people, throw tear gas, pepper-spray children and drive overtop of people. 

    If you don’t believe me check out Shaun King’s Podcast Episode Shown here and his Instagram account that is chronicling some of the police brutality. @shaunking Research for yourself in the links below, I’ve seriously been researching this for years.

    I was angered when I read an email from a girl who teaches online business as she shared her experience when driving home and facing a protest ahead had to hear her five-year-old daughter who had witnessed police brutality ask,

    Mommy, I am a little black. Will the police kill me when I grow up?

    No mother should ever have to be asked a question like that.  I’ve had countless black friends share over the years how they’ve experienced racism and the fear associated with police harassment, wrongful arrest and abuse.  “A 2015 study found that unarmed blacks were 3.49 times more likely to be shot by police than were unarmed whites.”3  This shouldn’t be.

    FURIOUS

    I’m furious and praying the other three police officers are charged for their part in the murder of George Floyd. We serve a God of justice and this injustice is not His ways.   

    My heart was broken as I read an article from the Harvard Public Health Review and other sites, detailing the disproportionate homicides to black people when police are involved.  I don’t want to post them but I will share links with you to do your own research and face the harsh reality that racism is rampant and it’s not just in the US. On Canadian soil there have been great injustices to minorities over the centuries so we can’t throw the proverbial first stone.  We need to clean up our backyard before we could ever look down with a condescending eye.

    SHAREABLE—BUT NO COMMENTS

    I have chosen to make this post shareable but not allow comments.

    In the past when I’ve shared anything remotely political or controversial, there have been comments written that twist my words to imply I’m saying something I did not mean. 

    REFRESHING & REAL

    I want to hear your thoughts, I just don’t want arguing, fighting, and hurtful words shared on a blog purposed to bring a refreshing word, backed with Scripture to help a hurting world walk through the difficult times. I know that’s what God’s Soul H2O Devotions to provide but I also know that sometimes there are bitter things in our water supply that must be cleared out in order for the fresh water to flow.

    That’s why I feel this post had to be written and shared.

    SEMANTICS

    I pray you hear my heart and if I have written anything with words that mean something different than I have intended them to mean and they offend you, please let me know.  I understand that I’m not a millennial. Sometimes words have changed meaning over the years and between different people groups.  Trigger words that conjure up hurtful feelings. If I have unknowingly used any of these, please share with me.  

    HOW TO RESPOND

    If you have questions or comments, PLEASE write, DM, or message me personally. I will respond to as many as I’m able but sometimes I just do not have the time to reply to all.  Know that I will do my best to read them all, pray and hopefully be able to respond. Depending on the response, I may have my team help me read through.  I care about your viewpoint and your heart.

    This is a call, for all Christians to pray.  Pray for unity, pray for healing of the black community for past atrocities, pray for racism of any kind to be removed from all our hearts, pray for corruption and abuse to end. Pray for the love of Christ to fill the earth!

    Much love,

    Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    ENDNOTES
    1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-declare-black-lives-matter_b_5808be36e4b0dd54ce385412?fb_action_ids=10154658276416085&fb_action_types=og.comments
    2. https://www.sherrystahl.com/looking-for-a-david-not-a-saul/
    3. Ross, Cody T.; Hills, Peter James (5 November 2015). “A Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings at the County-Level in the United States, 2011–2014”. PLOS ONE. 10 (11): e0141854. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1041854Rdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141854PMC 4634878PMID 26540108.

    FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF–More Links

     Ross, Cody T.; Hills, Peter James (5 November 2015). “A Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis of Racial Bias in Police Shootings at the County-Level in the United States, 2011–2014”. PLOS ONE. 10 (11): e0141854. Bibcode:2015PLoSO..1041854Rdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141854PMC 4634878PMID 26540108.

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  • My Advice For A Happy Family Day

    Here’s my advice for a Happy Family Day!

    family day advice

    LOOK INTO THE EYES OF SOMEONE YOU LOVE!

    Praying you have an awesome day with the ones you love!

    See you tomorrow for the weekly #soulh2o Devotion.

    In His Grip, Sherry

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  • Can I Believe in God And Be Depressed?

    #BellLetsTalkToday’s post is for #BellLetsTalk day.  If you’re a reader from outside of Canada let me explain.  Bell Let’s Talk Day is an initiative that Bell Media took on to help de-stigmatize mental health issues.

    It is radically changing the climate within our country to help see people with mental health issues like people with any other physical sickness. Not to be pitied, insulted or looked-down on, but to be loved, cared-for and helped.  I pray this post helps to initiate conversation, provide resources but most of all set some people free in the body of believers!


    Why am I so depressed?
    Why this turmoil within me?
    Put your hope in God,
    for I will still praise Him,
    my Savior and my God.
    ~Psalm 42:5, 11 & 43:5 HCSB



    When I was a teenager, I was such a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, always seeing the glass half-full. I remember reading through the book of Psalms and thinking

    What’s wrong with David?  This guy really needs to get himself together. One minute he’s singing God’s praises and the next he wants to die. Doesn’t he believe in God?  I mean, his whining is recorded in the Bible? How did this part get in there?

    It wasn’t until I experienced a deeply wounding marriage, ending in a bitter divorce with many legal issues that I understood the depths of despair, depression, and anxiety that David faced. I’ve been decimated emotionally, relationally, financially and spiritually countless times.

    It sometimes feels like when I finally climb out of one pit there’s a crater waiting around the corner, trying to pull me back down.  Add menopause to the mix and you’re walking on thin-ice emotionally! If it weren’t for God’s presence and His Word I really don’t know what I’d do… and I don’t want to find out.  I know it wouldn’t be a pretty picture.

    Psalm 42 and 43 are taken from the pages of David’s journal but after the last decade or so of my life you could’ve sworn they were stolen from my diary. I feel comforted to know that David is someone God himself describes not once, but twice in His Word as “a man after his own heart”; even with all the whining! This portion of Scripture starts off with a song we often sing in church:

    As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul longs after You, O God.
    My soul thirsts for God, the living God.
    Psalm 42:1-2 NIV

    My heart has been crying out this song since it released in the late 1980’s1 but it wasn’t until the latter part of my life (not that I’m near the end yet J ) when I understood David’s back and forth struggle with staying positive. The balance of trusting God as my refuge, redeemer and rescuer when the rough times keep cycling through.

    Why are you downcast, O my soul?
    Why the unease within me?
    Put your hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
    for the salvation of His presence.
    ~Psalm 42:5 Berean Study Bible

    So, if you’re asking the question…

     Can I Believe in God And Be Depressed?

    Let me answer a resounding, YES!

    The phrase ‘depressed believer’ isn’t just a paradox but often a reality

    [tweetthis]The phrase ‘depressed believer’ isn’t just a paradox but often a reality. #depression #bellletstalk[/tweetthis]

    In case you think maybe just you, me and David were the only people who have ever believed in God and experienced times of being down, discouraged or depressed, let me help you see reality.  With just a quick study I found over a dozen people in the Bible alone who struggled with the same feelings we have. Who makes the list a baker’s dozen should really make you feel like you’re in good company.

    A Baker’s Dozen of Down, Discouraged or Depressed People In The Bible

    1. Leah Genesis 29:31-35
    2. Rachel Genesis 30:1-3, 22-24
    3. Jonah Jonah 4
    4. Job Job 1-3; 10:1, 30:15-17
    5. Naomi Ruth 1-4
    6. David Psalm 42-43
    7. Writer of Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes 1-3, 12
    8. Hannah 1 Samuel 1
    9. Jeremiah Jeremiah 20:14-18
    10. Elijah 1 Kings 19
    11. Moses Ex 18; Ex 32:32
    12. Paul 2 Corinthians 4:8-16
    13. Jesus Isaiah 53:3; Mark 14:34-36; Luke 22:44

    All of these people believed in God yet struggled with emotions of being down, discouraged or depressed.  Think, even Mother Teresa’s diary revealed times of deep despair.2 I’m NOT saying that God wants you to be depressed or that it’s a good thing.  My point is… the enemy wants you to feel like you’re the only one who struggles like this, like you’re weird, have no faith or that maybe you don’t really believe in God.  You have to let truth remind you that he’s a liar!

    YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

    [tweetthis]YOU’RE NOT ALONE! #BellLetsTalk #mentalhealth #depression [/tweetthis]

    Let me also tell you that the same God who allowed those people to experience hardship and heartbreak, is the same God who carried them into victory.  God has done the same for me and He wants to do the same for you! God doesn’t want to leave you where you are.  He has so much more for you! David wrote of his emotional struggles yes, but he also wrote about the joy of the Lord.

    weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.
    ~Psalm 30:5  NIV

    God desires to bring us all THROUGH our difficult times and replace them with seasons of happiness.  Until then, we have His Word, His presence, and His joy to be our strength!

    RESOURCES TO HELP YOU RISE ABOVE

    Verses of Encouragement ImageTo help you not get stuck in the desert but travel through the feelings of being down, discouraged or depressed I’ve created some resources for you.

    Subscribe to receive a printout of Scriptures to soak in your spirit and refresh your soul.  These are all verses that God has used to lift me above my circumstances and trust Him for greater days ahead…I mean we are promised heaven, aren’t we folks? 🙂

     

    mental health resourcesSince I am often asked for resources to help with depression or other mental health issues, I created a whole page on my site to help you and your loved ones.

    https://sherrystahl.com/mental-health-resources/

    Praying 2019 is a Golden Year of new joy and many blessings for you!

    In His Grip, Sherry

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


    #BellLetsTalk    https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/  


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


    #musicpics
    Here Again (Extended Version) | Live

    Makes Me Feel: PEACE, Comforted knowing God is with me
    Sung By: Elevation Worship
    Website: http://martynystrom.com/

    CD:  Live Recording at a Gathering
    Written By: Marty Nystrom
    © 2018
    Youtube Video – Live Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfLcdBuB7NY

    #musicpics #retrosong
    As The Deer

    Makes Me Feel: Worshipful, Wanting to get closer to God
    Sung By: Marty Nystrom
    Website: http://martynystrom.com/

    CD:  We Draw Near
    Written By: Marty Nystrom
    © 1984
    Youtube Video With Lyrics: https://youtu.be/a5pZkLWZv-E

    Youtube Video by Marty Nystrom:  https://youtu.be/tdY4Nx0EprI
    Songfacts: https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/martin-nystrom/as-the-deer



    ENDNOTES

    1. https://youtu.be/a5pZkLWZv-E Youtube Website Accessed: 2019-01-27
    2. http://www.mentalhealthjustice.net/blog/2016/3/14/53sdjv7bzb4g3cdwqw2b97mwi2ppls website accessed: 2019-01-30

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  • Christmas Message 2016

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

    We’re off celebrating Christmas with my family right now but I wanted to send you all a Christmas message.  I hope you know how much I value you.  I love hearing from readers and how God is using the #SoulH2O devotions to refresh your spirit.  I’ve heard such positive feedback on my CELEBRATING THE WOMEN IN THE CHRISTMAS SERIES that I’m thinking it should be a book???  Oh so many ideas 🙂 (Click on the title if you missed reading the series)

    Praying God’s Presence is rich in your ♥️ this Christmas so you have faith to believe in His Promises! Click To Tweet

    MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    See below for pictures from some of my Christmas events this year. from Toronto to Winnipeg!

    CALVARY TEMPLE WINNIPEG – REKINDLING FRIENDSHIPS AND MAKING MANY MORE!
    http://www.ctwinnipeg.com
    CHURCH ON THE QUEENSWAY: TORONTO, ON – 480 Crazy FUN Girls!
    http://www.thechurch.to

     

    WIMM Canada EVENT – BURLINGTON, ON
    http://www.wimmcanada.ca

    wimm event

    LISA BURKHART WORLEYON THE TIME TO DREAM AGAIN PODCAST

    Radio recording with my Christian Women in Media friend, Lisa Burkhardt-Worley for her show with another CWIMA friend, Donna Skell. 

    The show airs from Dallas but we recorded during a MASSIVE snowstorm when Lisa was down for a conference with her hubby. 

    Time To Dream Again Episode

    Spirit of Christmas Events

    If you’ve never gone to a SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS event, you haven’t experienced Christmas as you should!  Check out Kevin’s site and sign up for his mailing list so you can attend next year!  It’s like a Bing Crosby Christmas Special, but better!
    http://www.kevinpauls.com

    THE EVENT AND MY BESTEST FRIENDS!  
    These pictures were taken at my friend Kevin Pauls’ SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Special in Hamilton, ON.

     

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  • Looking for a David, Not a Saul

    I went to sleep last night not 100% sure, but assuming that I would wake up to the news that Donald Trump was the President Elect of the United States.  I was correct.  What I didn’t expect is that I’d be up at 4am-8am writing a post about it.  Somehow between midnight and 4am I woke up a few times with the phrase “Looking for a David, Not a Saul”.

    By 4am I couldn’t go back to sleep so, I decided to get up and check the election results.  If Hillary had won, then the phrase wouldn’t make sense since her campaign didn’t emphasize any religious beliefs whereas Donald Trump did choose to make his religious beliefs as a Christian a part of his politics.  When I saw that indeed my bedtime assumption was correct and Donald Trump did indeed win the electoral vote I began writing.

    To be honest I went to sleep with an uneasy feeling thinking that Donald Trump was going to be the President.  I don’t know where his heart is and that makes me nervous.  Many people are scared because they see him as not capable of managing the position of President since he doesn’t have political experience, but I think you shouldn’t underestimate a man who has been successful enough in life to fund his own presidential campaign and gain the vote.

    Just like Trump, I’m not the right person to be writing about the US elections. To start off.  I’m Canadian.  I’m not a political analyst.  I’m an author, speaker and Soul H2O blogger of devotions.  Not quite the credentials of a political writer but, I’m not writing to analyze the elections. I am writing to awaken the conscience of the continent of North America and somehow the conscience of Donald Trump to understand how pivotal his role as leader of our Continent is in this time.

    I thought Trump’s campaign slogan “make America great again” was compelling.  Many have understood this to mean how America was during his childhood.  Although it was a more financially sound America, although a more church-going nation then, it was not the best America back then and is not the America needed today.  The thoughts of going back to an America of yesteryear brings fear in many people.

    I was saddened when I searched online to find the results of the election and watched a video clip of Van Jones titled “How Do I Explain This To My Children”.1   Jones describes the election as “a whitelash” and states his fear along with the fear of many Americans of Trump bringing America back to a time of racism.  I then read another piece about this same fear in a Huffington Post article.2

    Stories like these break my heart. As a Christian I know there is a better way.  You see,

    [tweetthis]Christ includes, not excludes. #USA #Election Results[/tweetthis]

    God is no respecter of persons4. EVERYONE is created in the image of God5.  God values us all the same.  Under His leadership, there is no racism.

    Recently, I made a comment under Lecrae’s Huffington Post article The Pains of Humanity Have Been Draining Me3 on the issue of racism and shared it on my personal Facebook page.  I began my comment with these words, “as a pasty white chick it breaks my heart to hear how unfair life is for people of other skin tones. It just shouldn’t be. I wish I could do more to change it”.  My role to help bring about change is formulated in my speaking and in my writing.  So this is why I write, even when I don’t have the credentials to do so.

    I recognized that I started getting sidetracked looking up articles on the election and then I stopped.  I didn’t get up at 4am to write an article on what people thought about Trump as President or the State of the Union.  I would be sleeping right now if I thought that is what the article should be about.  I am willing to lose sleep in order to write a post about the topic that woke me in the first place because:

    [tweetthis]In North America, we’re Looking for a David, Not a Saul. #USA #Election #Government [/tweetthis]

    As this phrase kept waking me up, I thought of the difference between David and Saul as leaders of their nation. Both men were appointed by God in their position.  Both men started off well.  Only one man finished well.  Only one man fulfilled the call of God on his life in leading the people as God intended.

    Acts 13:36 says that “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation”.

    In Old Testament times a nations leader was recognized by the Spirit of God on their life, oh how we need that today.

    1 Samuel 16:14 describes that “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul”

    when he was leader of the nation of Israel, and

    I Samuel 13:13-14 explains a little why, “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” NIV

    David led well because he was a man after God’s heart.  David wasn’t perfect, he didn’t do everything right by a longshot, but he did do what God had purposed for him to do in his generation because his heart was bent towards God’s heart.  It’s been a long time since a leader’s term would be written about as having completed what God wanted them to do.

    During the voting reports last night one of the panelists said that the Christian vote was the strongest it had been in a long time and commented how churches were showing videos encouraging voting.  Christians have made a loud statement to Washington.  They have given Donald Trump the mandate to lead their country and as a confessed Christian, to lead it under God’s direction.

    Acts 13:21-22 makes clear that God is in control of Governmental appointments.  God’s overall plan for mankind is at work, no matter who the leader is.  These verses also make it clear that it is the discretion of a leader to follow after God’s purpose for his life and leadership or to fall into the sin of Saul.

    “Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul… But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.” Acts 13:21-22 NLT

    I’m praying that Donald Trump desires to leave a legacy of Godly leadership and truly “make America great”.  If he chooses to have the heart of David and rely on the Lord for guidance, America will be a great nation now, not again.

    I was impressed by Donald Trump’s victory speech.  It was the humblest of acceptance speeches that I remember from a leader of a nation.  He honored Hillary Clinton for her role in the election and her service to their country.  I hope it has quelled the fear of many that he is only the president for a select few.  I pray he lives up to his statements and includes as Christ would.

    I was shocked to see such a calm, humble Donald thanking so many for their part in the victory.  There was no air of pride in his words.  No sense of “I did this on my own, I deserve this”.  No heart of Saul.

    Mr. Trump, I pray for you.  I implore you, to fulfill the purpose of God for your life in your own generation.  I ask you to allow the truth of these verses to guide your heart, your life and your leadership as the President of the United States.

    May these scriptures guide you as you lead.

    Proverbs 17:19 NLT
    Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster.

    Proverbs 16:18 NIV
    Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

    Proverbs 18:12 NIV
    Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor.

    In His Grip,

    Sherry Stahl

    Footnotes

    1. https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/11/09/van-jones-emotional-election-results-sot.cnn
    2. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ibram-x-kendi/would-a-president-trump-m_b_10135836.html
    3. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-declare-black-lives-matter_us_5808be36e4b0dd54ce385412?fb_action_ids=10154658276416085&fb_action_types=og.comments
    4. Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11
    5. Genesis 1:27

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