Real Life

  • Celebrating Christmas with Kevin Pauls and Seeing Dreams Fulfilled

    christmas kevin paulsAs far back as I want to remember I’ve been having WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIMES WITH KEVIN PAULS! Kevin and I grew up together.  We belonged to Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton, ON.  A large church that has always been very involved in reaching out to the community so, every Christmas we had some event to be a part of.

    WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIMES WITH KEVIN PAULS

    When we were kids there were Sunday School Christmas Concerts.  As teens we were always a part of the Live Nativity plays and youth choir engagements.  How they let me be a part of the choirs is still a mystery to me 🙂  Our youth choir would sing in Nursing homes, other churches or anywhere our Music Minister could get us booked!  Even as teens we became involved in our church’s Christmas Cantata’s.  They were literally the talk of the town.  Every year there would be 3-4 days worth of shows for two weeks before Christmas; each one jam-packed, often with overflow seating in the lobby.

    We were blessed to belong to such a wonderful church that applauded people’s gifts no matter their ages.  We didn’t think it strange back then, but now it wouldn’t be so common in big churches for 15-18 year olds to get lead singing parts like Kevin did.  At some point, people in my church recognized that I really should not be singing and they began giving me speaking roles and then at 17 asked me to narrate the Christmas Cantata with a local radio host.

    Friends to Family

    spirit of christmas kevin wendy brandon and me
    Kevin & Wendy, Brandon and me!
    spirit of christmas lauren and brandon
    Kevin’s daughter Lauren, Brandon and me!

    Ok, enough about me, back to Wonderful Christmas Times with Kevin Pauls!  Throughout most of my life we’ve gotten together for Christmas.  There really has only been a few Christmases that we didn’t see each other.  Our kids have grown up together and we all consider each other family.  Kevin and his wife Wendy are the closest friends I have.  They were there like “Jesus with skin on” as Jeanne Mayo says, when I was at my lowest point in life. We have become family by been there for each other through the good and the bad.   The triumphs and the tragedies.

    Kevin Following God’s Calling

    Years ago Kevin and Wendy took a risky move and decided to give up on the “American Dream” way of living and begin to follow after God’s dream, no matter the cost.  There was a great cost to pay in giving up jobs and the fickle respect of some people who can’t understand the noble act of following God’s call.

    I remember at one of Kevin’s birthday parties and one of his cousin’s roasting him telling him it was time to give up the dream and get a “real job”!  I was so ticked.  Kevin was never visibly bothered by anything anyone said.  He just kept on singing.

    spirit of christmas cd coverFast-forward 5 years and Kevin released his Christmas CD with his now Trade-Mark song “The Spirit of Christmas”, which you should all have in your selection of Christmas music!

    Kevin Pauls First “Spirit of Christmas” Event

    Fast Forward another couple years.
    Last year Kevin held his first ever “Spirit of Christmas” event at the Centre in the Square, Kitchener.  It was a magical night of Christmas Carols sung by incredible artists with a large 100 voice choir, all brought together by Kevin.  It’s like a Bing Crosby Christmas special, only updated and cooler!  The event went so well that this year it was the Spirit of Christmas Tour with Kevin Pauls and Friends.  Growing from one event to a tour of over 13 events across Canada!

    Throughout the tour Kevin had many big name entertainers on the stage with him.  Here’s some to list a few: The Martins Trio, NewWorldson band, Steve Archer of The Archers, comedienne/international speaker Joanne Goodwin, guitarist  Kevin Ramesssar, singer Jacob Moon, and many others.

    The show is going to be televised December 22 & 25 on yesTV, so everyone can watch.  Next year there will be even more event dates added to the Christmas tour.  Kevin will host his first ever Easter Celebration April 6, 2015 with another stellar cast of singers, and musicians all performing with the KW Symphony.  It will be an incredible night I’m sure!

    Fulfilled Promise of God

    kevin pauls living his dreamsAs I sat with my son on one side and one of Kevin’s daughters on the other, I was overcome with emotion.  I felt such pride for my “brother’s” accomplishments.  He could have given up so long ago when the phone wasn’t ringing so frequently, and the bookings were further apart.

    For the past few years Kevin has been singing with most of the industries key people.  He says “it all feels surreal, and then I hear the voice that I heard nearly 15 years ago, “I did not give you this dream to torment you.  I gave it to you so you could fulfill it”!  Kevin feels truly blessed that God gave him “staying power”.  He takes no credit and sees it all as a gift from God.

    Kevin has exhibited the faith described in Hebrews 10:35 which says “do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

    God’s Perfect Timing

    Talking about the increased opportunity for ministry Kevin told me “the best thing I can say is…it’s timing.  God has been at work on me and the people He would bring into my life.  God birthed this in me a long time ago.  I feel very blessed to have had the belief that if HE truly birthed it…HE would see it come to life!”

    I hope this blog on my bro leaves you encouraged to believe not in Santa this Christmas, but in the promises that God has for your life!

    Check out these remaining dates to see if you can catch the Spirit of Christmas Tour near you.  You’ll be glad you did! http://www.kevinpauls.com Music From His CD The Spirit of Christmas can be heard on his website.


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

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  • How Kay Arthur Influenced me as a Woman, Author & Bible Study Teacher

    Kay Arthur influenced me as a woman, author & Bible Study teacher in profound ways.  This post will tell you of my crazy journey and how God allowed me to personally thank her for the impact she continues to make on my life.

    How Kay Arthur Influenced me as a Bible Study Teacher

    I started teaching Ladies’ Bible Studies at my home church when I had Brandon.  At the ripe old age of 24 I wasn’t sure if I was getting too old for youth ministries!!!
    I belonged to a large church so about 100 women a week came out to the Ladies’ Bible Study meetings on Tuesday mornings. I was honored when they asked me to be on the teaching team after my first week there! These women were serious about getting into the Word!
    We often used Kay Arthur’s Inductive Bible Studies.  My favorite was the one on the book of Isaiah.  I learned so much studying that book, Precept-upon-Precept as Kay always says!

    How Kay Arthur Influenced me as a Woman

    Years passed of fruitful ministry teaching Ladies’ Bible Studies and then I had to stop.  It was a hard place for me, but it had become too difficult within my former marriage situation to be involved at church in much of any capacity.  A few more years passed and I was divorced, believing I’d never teach another Bible Study.
    During the divorce deliberations my counselor encouraged me to join a group called Divorce Care, to help me grieve the loss of my marriage. It was nothing short of life-changing.  I started attending the Baptist church nearby who ran the program and it was there I saw a video with Kay Arthur on it.  I had no clue that she had even been divorced.  Seeing her gave me the boost of faith that I needed to believe God could still use me–a divorcee!

    How Kay Arthur Influenced me as an Author

    Water In The DesertAfter I wrote my first book, WATER IN THE DESERT I was so excited and thankful for the influence others had on my life and ministry.  I wrote a short Thank-you to Kay on her Facebook page.  To my shock people from her organization wrote me back and asked if they could interview me for the Precepts website.
    Through all of the discussions back-and-forth I have made a wonderful friend in one of Kay’s “Leading Ladies”!  Kathleen Hardaway works for Kay in her Social Media department and directed Kay Arthur’s television show How Can I Live?  Kathleen looks 22, but she’s been working at Precept Ministries for almost two decades now!  Kathleen is accomplished in her own right as a speaker and author.  Most notably for I Kissed a Lot of Frogs: But the Prince Hasn’t Come (Moody, 2002).  
    Through my cousin’s wife Rachelle and Kathleen’s encouragement I ended up buying a ticket for a flight to Dallas and boarding the plane just two hours later!  Craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I have quite a few to choose from!  

    It was one of those Divine appointments for me to be there.  Attending the Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) National Conference aligned me with people I never would have met any other way.  People I needed to meet!  I’m now helping to start the Canadian Network for Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) this January…now called Women In Media & Music ( WIMM Canada )…but that’s a whole other blog 🙂  
    Meeting Kay ArthurBack to Kay Arthur’s Website!  I am completely honored that Precept Ministries has chosen to write about my life and include it on their website.  I hope you’ll take the time to read the short-story and how Kay Arthur‘s life and ministry impacted mine!  Link Below.
    Since the first release of this post I have been blessed to meet Kay Arthur!  Where might you ask?  At the 2015 Christian Women in Media (CWIMA) National Conference of course.  Isn’t God funny! 
    In His Grip,
    Sherry
    xoxo
    Kay Arthurs WebsiteLink to the short article about my life on Kay’s Website  Click Here!
    To Learn more about Kay’s Inductive Bible Study Methods Click Here!
    http://www.precept.org 
    To learn more about Kathleen Hardaway, check out her website:
    http://www.kathleenhardaway.com

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  • A NEW HEART and The Power of Three

    Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.58.52 PMMany of you have asked how Todd is doing. We’ve been going to the hospital a lot for appointments and more tests to check out Todd’s heart. They have bumped him up the list because of the severity of his situation even though by looking at him you wouldn’t know! Surgery is only a couple weeks away unless they get a cancellation and they’ll fit him in sooner.

    NUMBER 1

    This morning as we were leaving for work Todd went to the read one of the verses on the heart in the “Scripture Rolodex” I made up for him with Cue Cards bound together by a metal ring. He chose to speak Ezekiel 36:28 over his life today. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (NIV).   He said it with such confidence and we both made faith declarations about how God was going to give him a NEW HEART. God keeps using this phrase of a NEW HEART to speak life into Todd’s defective one. We both left with confidence as we kept this verse fresh in our minds throughout the day.

    NUMBER 2

    I receive via email a daily devotional from the Osteen’s and I often forward them to Todd; adding highlights or notes as it relates to us. Often God has used their devotionals to spur us on in our faith through overwhelming circumstances. Today’s devotional from Joel and Victoria was called “He Makes All Things New”! They quoted Revelations 21:5 that says “See! I make all things new” (AMP). The Osteens go on to say, “When God puts a dream in your heart, when He puts a promise on the inside, He deposits within you everything you need to accomplish that dream.” I printed it off and read to Todd after work as we began to drive to our trailer. We were so encouraged that God had again spoken to us that He was going to make all things NEW!

    NUMBER 3

    After driving for hours and stopping to eat we got back in the car. We were getting bored and Todd asked “Do you have any more of those CD’s?”. We’ve been listening to the Oasis Audio of the Real Life Real Miracles book. I popped in CD 4 and the first story was about a little girl that had heart problems. SEVERE heart problems. In the recounting of her miracle journey, her mother tells how the three year old had a dream where her heart broke and the angels cried because no one could fix it. She next told of how God stepped in and gave her a NEW HEART!!!! Yup she said it, a NEW HEART! Some people will call this all coincidences, but I choose to call them Godwinks! I remember watching Touched By An Angel and the angel Tess said “Coincidences are when God chooses to work anonymously”, or something like that! Todd and I turned off the CD and stopped to thank God for his promise to us! We know God is working out all things for Todd’s good! (Romans 8:28 paraphrased)
    A NEW HEART confirmed by the power of three and a painting! Remember the HEART ART blog 🙂  The surgeon’s diagram this week confirmed that the bandaid is exactly where Todd’s mitral valve that needs repair is located!!!

    We won’t be a bit surprised if Todd goes in for surgery and the doctor says he doesn’t need it! We will continue to pray and let God bring about the NEW HEART for Todd! We trust He knows which way will make the greatest impact for Him!
    Hope you are encouraged to believe and hold on to UNWAVERING FAITH in our faithful God! Remember, He makes ALL things NEW!
    In His Grip,
    ~Sherry
    xoxo
    Today’s Word Devotional Email, Joel & Victoria Osteen, September 11, 2014.
    Garlow, James L and Wall, Keith. Real Life Real Miracles, Oasis Audio, CD 4. © 2012 Book Published by Bethany House Publishers.

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  • God Speaking through

    A CHILD’S HEART ART

    Keaton Heart Art
    My friend Danielle sent me this wonderful piece of heart art. To me, it’s a masterpiece! During a prayer time at Braeside Camp this summer, I told Danielle’s mom about my husband Todd’s heart problems. Well, Grandma told her grandson Keaton and Keaton’s art delivered the message to his momma, Danielle.
    You see, Keaton is a big prayer warrior and has his own prayer journal. One night, Danielle went to pray with him before bed and saw this ‘heart art’ in the front of his prayer journal. She asked Keaton who Todd was and what the picture meant.
    I hadn’t talked to Danielle about Todd’s heart problems yet, but she put two and two together and began to join in prayer with Keaton for Todd. When my Danielle told me about the heart art in Keaton’s prayer journal, she said to “expect miracles, because he’s a serious prayer warrior and God moves when he prays”!
    I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous!

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    Last Saturday morning I was up doing my devotions and praying for Todd. We met with the surgeon and it was all a little overwhelming. Hearing of the possible issues that can follow a heart valve surgery was disarming. Up to this point when we talked to people we have only heard positive reports about how better people felt after valve repair or replacement. We didn’t understand the possible complications, but the doctor made us fully aware of them!   Maybe a little too aware of them!

    THE ORIGINAL HEART ART

    Art Ache

    ART ACHE (c) Todd Stahl

    The night before last Saturday morning’s epiphany,  I had made a quick comment to Todd, my artist hubby, about how much more his Heart Art entitled, “Art Ache” means in light of his current health issues and the fact that he painted this masterpiece back in 2009 or 2010…five to six years before his heart problems!  Back then, God was speaking to Todd about the inner healing He was doing on his heart after divorce.  Now, this painting is holding a whole new meaning!
    As I prayed I couldn’t stop thinking about Todd’s Heart Art, so I went and got it off the wall.  As I looked at the painting, I felt a sense of peace coming over my soul.  Fear was washed away with faith.  I could have broken out in the song “It Is Well With My Soul”, but everyone was sleeping and they would have woken up thinking a cow was dying in our house…singing is not my gift 🙂
    God began to speak to me about all the messages He had intended to come out of the art; some Todd understood as he created, while others are still being revealed.

    HERE ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES FROM TODD’S HEART ART

    The Band-Aid is on the left side of the heart…the same side of the heart where Todd needs the valve repaired or replaced!
    How cool is that! In Todd’s painting where the healing is taking place under the Band-Aid, is beginning to glow yellow. God is at work where no one can see what He is doing. It’s hidden from others. Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t see things happening we assume God isn’t doing anything about our problem. God is always at work!
    [tweetthis]Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts <3 [/tweetthis]
    The bottom of the heart is black. All those things that have happened in life to bring hurt to the heart and create unwholeness weigh us down.  The heart has strings around it. On the unhealed side the strings are woven tight and close together like they are holding the heart bound. The strings on the healing side are coming loose, setting the heart FREE!
    [tweetthis]God wants you to live FREE![/tweetthis]
    The side that is being healed turns red as God created his heart to be. A red heart symbolizes LOVE in our culture. The healed heart is full of God’s love! Healing doesn’t just affect one area of your life. Healing spreads!
    [tweetthis]The healed heart is full of God’s love![/tweetthis]
    As the healed heart begins to pump healthy blood properly, love is beginning to flow to the other side. The colors are beginning to lighten up as it turns to purple. Even under the black, you can see yellow: a visual showing how God is at work in the darkest places of our heart. The darker the heart, the deeper the wound, the longer the healing process. Allow God time to heal your heart.
    [tweetthis]Allow God time to heal your heart.[/tweetthis]
    Soon the whole heart will be filled with God’s love.
    You can see red starting to peek through around the edges showing that the heart is not destroyed. The heart is going to be healthy again as God originally created it to be!
    The verse that comes to my mind is:     Joel 2:25


    “I will repay you for the years the loctusts have eaten…
     you will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the LORD
    your God who has worked wonders for you.”
    Joel 2:25(NIV)

    We don’t understand all that Todd has had to go through or what he possibly is going to have to face, but we will walk forward each day in the confidence that God is at work in places we don’t see.
    We trust God is giving Todd a new heart to accomplish all of the great things He has for him to do—That book needs to hit the shelves and more artwork needs to be painted! We know that God is with us. Whatever way God chooses to bring about this miracle of a new heart, we know He’s going to do it! We in boldness proclaim the promise of God that when this is all over, God will have repaid Todd for all that has been taken away to the point that he is walking in abundance of life and health, prospering and praising God for His goodness!
    Waiting for a miracle,
    Sherry
    xoxo


    heart art surgery
    Todd going into surgery

    This post was originally written on July 24, 2014, before Todd had his surgery and made a miraculous recovery from complications after the surgery!  Then, I wrote a post called Heart Art Music from some of the songs you all sent me to encourage me.
    Man CaveSince then, Todd is back playing hockey, firefighting and creating art in many forms.  Within a year of surgery, his first book, 40 Days In The Mancave was published by Word Alive Press!  To hear Todd’s retelling of this miracle check out his site.
    To see more of Todd Stahl’s art, Check Out:
    Todd’s website: http://www.toddstahl.com
    His facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ToddStahlArtist
    The page dedicated to Todd’s testimony:  https://www.toddstahl.com/the-significance-of-art-ache/
    To read a sample from Todd’s Devotional, 40 Days In The Mancave: Click Here: https://toddstahl.com/devo_06_sample.pdf 
    To Buy his book on  AMAZON, Click the word Amazon

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis]God is at work in places we don’t see![/tweetthis]

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  • Free Like An Eagle

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

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

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

    BACK UP

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

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

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

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

    So, what helps YOU  to live free?

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

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  • Divorce and Remarriage

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

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  • My New Friend

    Let me introduce you to my new friend new Heather Paton.  When I met her she was all dressed up looking beautiful for the Afternoon Splash Women’s Conference in London, ON.  (In today’s picture she’s looking all tough! Ha! ) Her churches worship team was leading that day and her gorgeous daughter (that she looked too young to have) was on the keyboards.   We seemed to really connect, realized we knew a bunch of the same people and talked about how we hoped to see each other again!  After reading her latest blog I know she’s even cooler than I thought and someone I want to get to know! As I read her blog I could hear her heart more and see that we are women of like passion.  I encourage you to read her blog with the link below.  She tells all about her crazy Spartan Race and the benefit of being part of a team.  It’s amazing to me how God starts friendships and connects you with others.  I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better as I do too 🙂

    Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 1.12.09 AM   http://www.chosenforsuchatimeasthis.blogspot.ca

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  • Ladies' Bible Study

    Ladies Bible StudyI’m part of a trio.  The only kind I’ll be a part of!  A “Teaching Trio” with my friends Julie and Michelle.  We lead a Women’s Connection, Monday Night Ladies Bible Study group at  FGT Family Church.  Two days ago was an epic night for us girls.  It was our finale for the Season.  One of those happy/sad things.  We were happy to get together, but sad it meant we wouldn’t be meeting for a couple months during the summer holidays.  We’ve become such a close group that Monday nights are going to seem weird not being together!  We’re so close one of our members Rosie shared how we’re not just friends, we’re family.  She and her daughter left Jamaica and have no relatives here.  We are her family.  I agreed with Rose and told her we’re just the pale side of her family 🙂
    The night started off with an incredible dinner prepared for us by the Lovely Leah!  We normally do pot-lucks, but this allowed us all to relax and enjoy every part of the evening.  Eight of our sisters shared testimonies of how God has brought them “through” the desert and provided them with water in their desert.  Many while going through my book, WATER IN THE DESERT in the study.  Dawn, Michelle and Susan all shared  how the study and the group helped them when they lost their moms this past year.  Others shared about broken marriages restored by the power of God’s grace.  Kerry shared about how God used her cancer journey to restore so much to her that she is glad she went through that desert!  Powerful stories of God’s greatness in the lives of amazing everyday girls!

    We listened to the faith infusing song “I WILL PRAISE YOU” by Rebecca St. James rebecca st jameshttp://www.rsjames.com  Here are some of the lyrics:

    JOY, comes in the morning.  The sun is rising, and I wait for you.
    STREAMS, flow in the desert.  There’s an oasis, and I wait for you.
    WHATEVER the storm, WHATEVER is lost, WHATEVER it takes, WHATEVER the cost…
    I WILL PRAISE YOU!

    Every lady that shared told about how God provided streams in their deserts and how He brought joy in the morning!  They are women who have lived out the WHATEVERS in lives and continued to praise God!  They were, and are so inspiring!
    Prayer time has become an integral part of our group.  We have seen so many miracles in answer to our prayers.  So often at special events we don’t have our normal prayer time and this event was no different.  Our prayer time was anything BUT normal!  For the girls that could stay, we ended up sitting in a circle sharing our deepest needs, praying together, encouraging each other with words and in The Word!  It really was indescribable how sweet the presence of God was in our midst.  The unity in our group is what opened the door for God to move in such a dramatic way.  Each of these girls touching my life in powerful ways.  If you’re spirit is in need of hydration, you NEED to join a Ladies Bible Study group! Getting into the Word with other Girls will change your life!
    Hope you like the pictures of me and my girlfriends!
    xoxo
    Sherry

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  • Press On

    keep calm and press on
    Lately the song you will find me bopping my head to driving my mustang around town is “Wrecking Ball (Press on)” by  Building 429, featuring the beautiful Blanca Reves Callahan.  Blanca is from another one of my favorite bands, GROUP 1 CREW.


    Wrecking Ball (Press On) was written by Building 429’s lead singer Jason Roy.  He wrote it after struggling with some issues in his faith, feeling worn out and wondering if he was where God wanted him to be.  Can you relate?  I know we all wonder about this at some point.  The music to this song is SOOO catchy!  The words are powerful.  It’s like an Anthem you can sing declaring your faith in God, even when you “still don’t get it”!  It helps me be more committed to “Press On” no matter what!  I love the name of their album too, “WE WON’T BE SHAKEN”!  Makes me think of life verses of mine.

    “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised…we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”  (Hebrews 11:35-36,39 NIV)  In other words…PRESS ON!
    I’ve included the words of the song for you ’cause the weather’s getting warmer and you might have the top down on your car.  This way, when you’re jamming out in your car, you’ll know what to sing 🙂
    Press ON
    ~Sherry
    xoxo
    Below are links to: the song (with and without lyrics), the story behind the song, Building 429’s website and Group 1 Crew’s website.

    “Wrecking Ball (Press On)”
    (Building 429: feat. Blanca Callahan of Group 1 Crew)

    Sometimes this world starts breaking me down
    I get so lost I think I’ll never be found
    And there are moments of fear and doubt
    Even the best fall to the groundI am a mess, I am a wrecking ball
    I must confess that I still don’t get it all
    Lord I believe that all Your words are true
    Doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You
    I press on, I press on, I press on
    When I still don’t get itI see the world through my jaded eyes
    I get frustrated when there is no Why
    I put my focus on worthless things
    Even the strong fall to their knees
    God only knows what we all needI am a mess, I am a wrecking ballI must confess that I still don’t get it all
    Lord I believe that all your words are true
    Doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You
    I press on, I press on, I press on
    When I still don’t get itLife goes on, life goes on
    But Your love will prove
    All I need, all I need
    I will find in You
    Life goes on, life goes on
    But Your love will prove
    All I need, all I need
    I will find in You
    I press on

    I am a mess, I am a wrecking ball
    I must confess that I still don’t get it all
    Lord I believe that all Your words are true
    Doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You
    I press on, I press on
    I press on, I press on
    When I still don’t get it
    Life goes on, life goes on
    But Your love will prove
    All I need, all I need
    I will find in You
    Life goes on, life goes on
    But Your love will prove
    All I need, all I need
    I press on (1)
     
    Song  Wrecking Ball (Press On) .  Click HERE!

    Make sure you buy the album WE WON’T BE SHAKEN!building 429 press on CD

    Song  Wrecking Ball (Press On)  With Lyrics.  Click HERE!
    Story behind the song.  Click HERE!  LOVE learning why people wrote the song they did!!!

    building 429  http://www.building429.com

    http://www.group1crew.com              group 1 Crew

    (1) https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/building429/wreckingballpresson.html

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  • Friends & Family

    IMG_3706
    Girlfriends

    This past week was incredible for me!  It’s been crazy busy, but crazy fun!  I’ve seen more friends and family than I have in a very long time…visited with old friends and made some wonderful new ones!  It started off with Monika (friend since youth camp) and I driving to Toronto and only missing one exit off of the highway!  We met up with Annemarie (friend since College) and her lovely daughter Molina (new friend) for one of the LONGEST lunches I’ve ever had the privilege of eating!  Not that I knew what I was eating, but I liked all of it–save the curried chicken 🙂  Annemarie is living such an exotic life now that we at a Vietnamese restaurant!  Soooo good!
    Next, Monika and I were off to the Grad ceremonies with Annemarie for our former Bible College.  It was awesome seeing so many friends that I hadn’t seen in years, Profs, Deans and our former School President.  I think the highlight was that the Dean of Women Sue Rodney James remembered me and was so happy to see me!  She yelled out “Sherry Fletcher” and opened her arms wide 🙂  How awesome is that!  I made so many incredible friends in College.  Bonnie I wish you could have been there!  Two of our classmates were honoured!  Craig Burton received a lifetime award for his years of service as the Chairman of the Board and Dale Sanger was the valedectorian for Seminary students as he completed his Masters Degree.  Many friends I’ve stayed in touch with and we’ve been through so much together…love found, love lost, ministry achievements, ministry heartaches, children born, children lost, children married…  Our friendships have sometimes been the hope that kept us going when everything within us wanted to give up!

    Monika and I headed to the hotel in Ajax where I was the retreat speaker for two friends churches from Peterborough.  Such an awesome time seeing old friends and making new ones.  I even saw more College friends that attend their churches!  I met the cutest little Worship Leader on the planet and I LOVE her music!  I can’t stop listening to her CD.  You need to check out her website http://www.melina-d.ca and get a copy!  Melina Dulluku I love you 🙂  There were too Amazing worship leaders for the weekend, fun games and a really great time connecting with God!  I couldn’t have managed this weekend without my incredible friend Monika!  Mon, thanks for ALL you did 🙂

    The last event was filled with family and friends!  I drove down to speak at the Simcoe, ON Spring Fling Event with my mother-in-law and got to visit with my mom!  At the event I saw Braeside friends, unexpected college friends, some of my old youth group and met some new friends too!  Busy Week yes!  Amazing Week YES!!!  It just makes me realize how important it is to build friendships and keep them growing.  You never know where you’ll be when you might just need one!  Love you all!  ~Sherry

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