Soul H2O Devotions

  • Gal Pals

    This devotion was inspired by the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast EP 56 with my gal pal Kathleen Hardaway.  Hope you get refreshed from both Soul H2O media offerings. ☺

    Galentine’s Day

    Gal Pals

    Well, I want to wish all you girls a Happy Galentine’s Day! I love hearing from you and hope more of you join us in the Soul H2O Splash Group on Facebook.

    Galentine’s Day is a newer holiday that was started back in 2010 through the power of tv.  In the second season of Parks & Rec, they named an episode “Galentine’s Day” where the quirky character of Leslie Knope played by Amy Poeler gathers some of her closest gal pals on February 13th for their annual brunch of waffles and love.

    I think it’s crazy how a tv show has created this really beautiful holiday that can take your mind off of Valentine’s and any heartache that might bring, to focus on something we can all celebrate because as Leslie’s says in the Galentine’s Day inaugurating episode, the day is all about,

    “Ladies celebrating ladies.”

    I love that! 

    So, this year I decided it was time to start celebrating Galentines Day and planned an online brunch with girls in the Soul H2O Splash, some Zoom meetings with girlfriends, and next week I tape with my Fab Four friend group on the topic of Friendship for The Goodness Speaks Show, watch my social media to find out when that show airs.

    To say that I believe having Gal Pals is crucial to you living your happiest, most fulfilled and purposeful life, is an understatement. I don’t believe you can get to the destiny God had for your life without a posse of women to cheer you on and open doors for you. 

    We need each other. 

    Women have been helping each other to live out their purpose in Gal Pal Packs since Bible Days.  I love how the New Testament writers record the stories of Jesus’ female disciples. They didn’t often get pulpit mentions in the last century, but often when you read about Jesus with his 12 main guys, it says this group of women were there with them… and they weren’t just creepy groupies. 

    Women were key in Jesus birth, childhood, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension and the spread of the gospel in our world. It’s probably why the orthodox and Catholic churches have venerated about 41 women as saints. Females are integral to the health and growth of the church.

    You can read about the impact the first Gal Pal Pack made in Luke 8:1-3. It tells about how Jesus went out on a ministry tour and how, “His twelve disciples traveled with him as did a number of women.”

    Jesus broke all cultural norms and acceptable practices of a Rabbi to include women in His ministry and social circles. Jesus, was one of the first Feminists, placing value and worth on the women around him.

    Throughout the gospels this group of women had some key leaders who were mentioned numerous times.  There was Susanna, Joanna, Salome, Mary the Mother of James, Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary from Magdala or Mary Magdalene as many call her. Luke 8:3 says these women and “Many other women supported Jesus ministry from their own personal finances and also traveled with him.”

    Together

    Together, these girls were Jesus financial and ministry partners.  Together they powerful. Together they made a difference.

    You too can make a difference in this world with the right pack of Gal Pals.  So, don’t let this Galentine’s Day pass by without making sure to build on the friendships that will help you fulfill your God-Given destiny!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank you for including women in your call and that I’m one of them!  You have good plans and purposes for my life and I’m thankful for the women in my life you’ve placed there to help inspire me to live my best life. Help me to reciprocate the same. In Jesus Name…Amen

    GET WEEKLY REFRESHING

    Become a Ministry Partner & help Sherry continue to share Refreshing from God’s Word to thirsty souls!


    Drawing from the well
    1. Luke 8:1-3
    2. Matthew 28:1
    3. Mark 16:1 / Luke 24:1
    4. Acts 1:12-14

    ep 56 gal pals kathleen hardaway
    EP 56 Gal Pals With Kathleen Hardaway

    Gal Pals features an interview with author and speaker, Kathleen Hardaway as she shares her story of overcoming the loneliness of being single by chasing after her God-Given destiny with Gal Pals by her side, on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show, Episode #56.

    muicpic playlist

    #musicpic SONG: Still Rolling Stones by Lauren Daigle
    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/PQZNcZcfo8E
    Soul H2O 2020 Spotify Playlist: Online | On App


    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.

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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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  • Does Your Presence Bring Peace

    Does Your Presence Bring Peace

    Have you ever had friends or family over and their very presence causes your muscles to tense, heart to beat faster and teeth to clench? Maybe it’s not someone in your personal inner circle but a co-worker, boss, customer or client?  Everyone knows people who by their very presence shift the atmosphere from peace to panic.

    The Scripture Connection

    During my morning devotions, I read Matthew 10 where Jesus is sending out his 12 main disciples on a ministry tour, giving them direction as to where they should go for this trip, and instruction on how to manage the financial expense of doing ministry. Remember, these guys left their jobs to follow Christ, some had family to feed and bills to pay. Jesus directed them to look for someone honourable to stay with when they got to where they were going; so much for planning! 🙂  It’s in verse 13 where God got my full attention as I read.

    “let your peace come upon the house”
     ~Matthew 10:13 TPT

    I had to reread the verse. Wasn’t it Jesus’ peace they should have been bringing to the people? I even checked few other translations, and this verse is saying that it wasn’t Jesus’ peace the disciples were supposed to bless the people with, it was THEIR presence that was to bring THEIR peace into the host’s home. Immediately, I sensed the Holy Spirit asking me…

    Does Your Presence Bring Peace?

    In the assessment of this question, I come up lacking.  I really don’t want my presence to change the atmosphere in a negative way like the people I mention at the beginning of this devotion.  In the past few years, I’ve been doing the hard work of soul healing and now, this year, getting healthy in my body.  I believe these efforts are resulting in a more peace-producing Sherry. 

    I challenge you to ask yourself the same question… Does Your Presence Bring Peace? Allow the Holy Spirit to do a great work in you by letting the peace of Christ becomes so much a part of who you are, that your presence brings peace to the world.

    Prayer

    Father…I’m thankful that you don’t condemn me, even when I come up short and miss the mark.  Jesus, I need your peace to permeate my life and heal my hurts, so I can respond in right ways to people and pass on a presence of peace to the world. In Jesus Name…Amen

    GET WEEKLY REFRESHING

    .

    Become a Ministry Partner & help Sherry continue to share Refreshing from God’s Word to thirsty souls!


    Drawing from the well

    #musicpic song
    Peace Be Still
    By: Lauren Daigle at The Belonging Church

    Youtube Link
    https://youtu.be/dUpKZz0Nm7c

    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist
     Online | On App

    1. Matthew 10:13 (similar in Luke 10:6)
    2. John 14:27
    3. John 20:21
    4. 1 Samuel 25:6

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  • Trust That It’s Not The End!

    TRUST THAT ITS NOT THE END

    If you’ve been one of my amazing readers since the beginning, you know how I was plagued with computer issues … and that’s a real problem when you write for a living.

    Then, when I got a new computer and things were going great with speaking engagements lining up, my computer crashed and it had to be sent away for a month.  I had just finished preaching at a women’s event, closed my computer, put it safely in my protective case but when I went to plug it back in… the screen was black.

    At times, it can feel like trouble is all around and it just doesn’t want to let up.  Amazing things can be going on in your life but when nagging, unrelenting, ongoing issues are happening at the same time, you have to watch, or the negative will override your thoughts and blind you to all the positives in your life… making you feel like it’s all over.

    To keep out the negative thinking, you’ve got to…

    Trust That It’s Not The End!

    Learn From Job

    We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.
    James 5:11

    Job knew what it was like to live with nagging, unrelenting, ongoing issues.  He went through a series of losses thankfully the depths of which few have to experience.

    Job was heartbroken as he lost all his finances, children, health, and his wife. He suffered great injustices and was then insulted with a barrage of hurtful accusations by his “friends”, who said they came to ‘comfort’ him… I mean, who needs enemies with ‘friends’ like that???

    It’s not known how long Job’s sickness lasted but from what I read, He got to the place of complete hopelessness about his life… to the point that he wished he had never been born.

    But it wasn’t the end!

    As Job expressed his feelings of anger, hurt, depression and hopelessness to God he released forgiveness to those cruel friends and with this act of obedience, God turned Job’s life around.  Job 42:10 says,

    “When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!”

    When Job’s situation looked unredeemable, God said, it’s not the end yet.  From the moment Job forgave those who offended him God began the Job-rebuilding program.  People began to bless Job and give him gifts that he was able to turn into wealth.  Then, God poured out a double-blessing into Job’s life…and only then, was it the end.

    You may feel like it’s THE END, but it’s not.  Don’t give up. Trust that God is working behind the scenes to turn your life around.  He did it for Job, and I know He’ll do it for you!

    PRAYER

    Father…I’m so thankful that when I feel things are done and all hope is gone that You restore. Help me to not give up hope and believe the lie of the enemy that it’s the end when you have a resurrection plan in place.  God, You are all-powerful and nothing is too hard for You!  May I live in the confidence that You are true to Your word, having the endurance of Job…trusting You…TO THE END!  In Jesus Name…Amen.


    Be encouraged by these quotes today!

    Feel free to share them on social media or save them to your computer.
    Simply Right Click on the Graphic and Save it to Your Device. Then Share!
    You have my permission 🙂

    Oscar Wilde Quote-Not the end pink

    Being a car-girl, I really love what Henry Ford said,

    Henry Ford Quote - in the end

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. James 5:11
    2. James 1:12
    3. Job 42:10
    4. Romans 8:28
    Soul H2O book

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

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

    Endnotes

    1. Goodreads Website Accessed: 2018-01-15 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/838626-everything-is-going-to-be-fine-in-the-end-if
    2. Quora Website Accessed: 2018-01-15  https://www.quora.com/Who-is-the-original-source-of-the-quote-Everything-will-be-okay-in-the-end-If-its-not-okay-its-not-the-end
    3. AZ Quotes Website Accessed: 2018-01-15  https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/everything-will-work-out.html

    This post was first published on January 15, 2018
    Revised & Reposted on January 28, 2021

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  • Mental Health Related Posts

    Here’s a list of mental health related posts from the Soul H2O Blog that help when your mental health is waning.

    11 Practical Steps to Help You Control Your Thoughts
    Discusses Depression, Anxiety, Negative thinking

    Defeating Anxiety By Counting Your Blessings
    Discusses ways we can combat depression.

    Why Experiencing Weakness After a Mountaintop Moment is Normal
    Discusses feeling depressed after a spiritual high.

    When Valentine’s Day Hurts
    Discusses loneliness and heartbreak that can leave you depressed.

    Trust That It’s Not The End!
    Discusses dealing with negative thinking and struggling when life keeps throwing difficulties your way.

    Happy Holiday!
    Discusses Burn-Out

    Read More

  • Your Royal Announcement

    The one who is victorious will, like them,
    be dressed in white…
    I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but
    I will announce before my Father and his angels
    that they are mine.
    Revelation 3:5 NIV…NLT

    YOUR ROYAL ANNOUNCEMENT

    royal wedding harry and megan

    On May 19, 2018, the world joined in on a truly royal celebration with the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, still Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  I thought it was very appropriate that at the same time in Canada it was our annual Victoria Day holiday weekend, commemorating the late Queen Victoria’s birthday.  

    The monarchy was forefront in the conversations of most everyone as millions watched the marriage nuptials. Across in North America, early morning parties were planned with girls of all ages dressing up in white wedding gowns, attempting to live vicariously through Meghan Markle; a regular girl turned princess.

    Sherry drinking royal tea blendHere’s a picture of me celebrating the wedding drinking the official royal wedding tea blend 🙂  {Notice the properly positioned pinky}

    Even though Harry and Meghan’s wedding did veer from some of the monarchist traditions, the formality of royal announcements was a part of the day.  Just hearing, “Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah! All rise. Now entering, the Duke and Duchess of…” makes you curious to see who’s entering.  As for me, a girl brought up at the dragstrip, this all seems like a foreign language, but it sure helps me to grasp the weight of these words in Revelations.

    John records in Revelations 3:5 that if you are a part of those who are victorious by overcoming to the end, three things will take place.

    1. Jesus will dress you in white; symbolizing our right-standing with God through Christ. Since your position now is a daughter of the King, you’ll be dressed like one.
    2. Jesus will write your name in permanent marker, never to be blotted out of the Book of Life.
    3. Jesus will make, YOUR ROYAL ANNOUNCEMENT!

    Jesus will introduce you to the Father and His angels! To think that Jesus is going to announce your entrance into heaven is mind-blowing! Who are we that Jesus, The Son of God should give us such a royal announcement?  

    Through your faith in Christ: you are adopted into THE royal family, you’re an heir, holding the position of a son, as a daughter of the King of Kings! That’s why you’re worthy of such an honour!  In case you’re still finding it hard to believe, this truth is confirmed at least three times in Scripture.  Jesus himself says in Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8 ” Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven.”

    In case you’re still finding it hard to believe, this truth is confirmed at least three times in Scripture.  Jesus himself says in Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8

    “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in heaven.”

    As I studied this verse in the original Greek I became completely overwhelmed with wonder of God’s grace and His goodness.  When describing those who will be introduced by Jesus, the words are translated in our Bible versions as one who overcomes, conquers or is victorious.  The original says they are those who “subdue (literally or figuratively) conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory”1.

    Let the knowledge of WHO you are, your royal identity as a daughter of the King and the future hope of, YOUR ROYAL ANNOUNCEMENT help you to be a victorious overcomer, conquering whatever this world throws your way! 

    Prayer

    Father, I thank You for Your awesome gift of grace.  You give to me what I don’t deserve. Open my spiritual eyes to see myself as Your child, a worthy heir and daughter of the King. Help me to overcome so I make it to the day Your son introduces me to You!  In Jesus name…Amen.


    Drawing from the well

    1. Revelations 3:5
    2. Matthew 10:32
    3. Luke 12:8
    4. Luke 10:20

    Royal Video

    Here’s an interesting video to watch of Her Majesty the Queen of England and the royal family being announced just for a luncheon! Such pomp and circumstance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eBYUOKQOnE


    Soul H2O book

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


    Footnotes:

    1. https://www.godrules.net/library/strongs2b/gre3528.htm Website accessed 2014-10-06

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

    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAYCoffee For Your Heart – Holley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz GiertzTHURSDAYHeart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community– Barbara Bradford OttingerFRIDAYDance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

    *Revised post on 2021-01-08, originally from 2014-10-06 & 2018-05-22

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  • Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story – The Senior Citizen

    Christmas WomenStill wondering who the Senior Citizen is?

    See the INTRODUCTION FOR THIS SERIES in the #SoulH2O post two weeks ago Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH was the first Christmas Woman celebrated.  I talked about how she protected the promise of God.  Last week celebrated THE TEENAGER – MARY discussing how she was willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and very presence of God, Emmanuel: God with us. 

    Read on to learn about our last Christmas Woman everyone’s been wondering about…

    THE SENIOR CITIZEN…

    The Senior CitizenSince I’m totally breaking my format for #SoulH2O devotions with this series, I decided to share the whole of Anna’s story with you (a whopping 3 verses) because so many of you have commented or sent me messages saying you can’t wait to see who the Senior Citizen is.  This lets me know that many of you don’t know who she is, so you probably don’t know her story and she’s absolutely a woman worth celebrating!

    The Prophecy of Anna

    “Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.  Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.  She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.”                                                   Luke 2:36-38  NLT

    Anna is the last of our Christmas women.  She was the only woman who didn’t carry a physical baby in her body, but there is no doubt in my mind that she carried the promise and presence of God to the people in her day.

    Anna knew what it was like to face hard times.  She was widowed at a very young age and never had any children. During Jesus’ time, women who weren’t married didn’t hold much value in their society so this fact lets you in on how “unimportant” Anna could have seemed to many in her day, but Anna was a prophet.  She spent her days serving in the temple, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.

    It was out of this lifestyle that she heard from God and shared His messages to His people.

    There’s so much that sticks out in my mind about Anna, but the words waiting expectantly from Anna’s life-story just jump out at me and Christmas really is a time when people are found waiting expectantly.

    WAITING EXPECTANTLY

    For centuries children on Christmas Eve have hung stockings by the fireplace and struggled to fall asleep with nervous anticipation of what Santa will bring in the morning. My kids were no different than the masses.

    In order to help my kids be able to fall asleep on Christmas Eve I started a tradition where they were allowed to open one gift at bedtime.  That gift was always a pair of new pajamas and a book.  Not the most exciting gift, but it created the atmosphere I hoped for.  Brandon and Shelby would change into their PJ’s and were allowed to read their new books before lights out.  The PJ’s made for nice pictures on Christmas morning and the books helped them fall asleep.

    Waiting expectantly on Christmas Eve is pretty simple for kids since they know the next morning is Christmas day and they can see wrapped presents under the tree.

    The way Anna and others waited expectantly for the promise of God to be fulfilled wasn’t so easy.  Anna had been waiting for about 60 years.  She was doing all the right and good things while waiting but she had been waiting for oh so long!  She never gave up hope waiting for the promised Emmanuel, the Messiah…JESUS to come.

    Maybe you’ve been waiting a long time for your promise.  Maybe you feel like too much time has passed and you need to “move on” or “give up”.  I pray Anna’s story restores your hope and gives you faith to believe.  Know that at Christmas and always, God keeps His promises and fills you with His presence while you wait.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You that you’re not like Santa doling out gifts I don’t need.  You make promises to me and fulfill them in Your perfect timing.  You know exactly what I need and what’s best for me.  Help me to trust You and Your timing.  May I live with a special expectancy this Christmas carrying my Promise from You and Your Presence within so I can share it with the world when my promise is ‘born’.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    ANNA CARRIED THE PROMISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD…
    I WANT TO BE LIKE HER.

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series- The Brave Senior Citizen & Brave Cyndi

    Soul H2O Cindy Desjardins Wilkens

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 50 is Part2 of The Brave Senior Citizen & Brave CyndiIn This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts.

    Cyndi Desjardins Wilkens isn’t a Senior for a long time but an author and quadruple amputee who shines the light of Christ at Christmas and every day throughout the year!

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

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

    Originally Published – December 18, 2016

    You 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 Gerth,
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

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  • Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager

    The Word Guild WinnerThis post:
    Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager
    Post was Shortlisted for The 2017 Word Awards in the Category of Article-Inspirational/Devotional and WON!!!!!

    WIN THE WORD AWARDS

      This post was also featured on the #GraceandTruth #Linkup by Aimee Imbeau

    I hope that one day, this will be what inspired the book!


    Christmas WomenSee the Introduction for this series in the #SoulH2O post Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story and the devotion on the first Christmas Woman, THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH discussing how she protected the promise of God.  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    Read on to learn about today’s Christmas Woman…

    THE TEENAGER – MARY

    Christmas Women - The Teenager

    And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her..”
                                             Luke 1:38  ESV

    For most of my life, I’ve had a skinny, scrawny type of frame.  My ankles and wrists are not much bigger than a small child’s, but that all changed when I was pregnant.

    pregnant picThis picture was taken the night I went into labour with my son Brandon.  I’m not sure if my hair or pregnancy belly is larger???  I will say there was a shadow behind me from that cheap camera I owned.

    Being truthful, I don’t think there was anything left small on me at that point.  My feet had swelled, my lips felt blown up, my face was puffy…nothing was comfortable anymore.  Sleep seemed unattainable.

    Trying to find a comfortable position with a yoga ball attached to my tummy was impossible.  How I gained over 50 pounds for a baby who was just 9 pounds 9 ounces doesn’t make sense (if it weren’t for all those bacon-cheese hotdog cravings I fulfilled).

    I can attest to the fact that carrying a baby was inconvenient, uncomfortable, stretching, tiring, and yet…the most wonderful time of my life!

    MARY – The Pregnant Teenager

    I imagine it was similar, but a whole lot more inconvenient for Mary. Teen pregnancies aren’t often easy.  There’s a certain stigma High School aged girls face when they announce they’re pregnant.  I doubt Mary had it in her school planner to get pregnant, especially by someone other than her fiancé.

    How do you explain it to your family and friends that ‘you’re not pregnant because you’ve done something you shouldn’t’, it was because you allowed the God who created the universe to use your womb?

    Nothing about Mary’s pregnancy was convenient, comfortable or easy; yet this teenager accepted God’s plan for her life with the words,

    “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

    No, but God don’t you know how hard that is…don’t you know what that will cost me…don’t you know what people will say…don’t you know what Joseph will say…he may leave???

    Mary was carrying the promise and the very presence of God – Emmanuel, God with us inside her womb and it cost her. 

    Carrying the promise and presence of God isn’t convenient, easy, or comfortable, but it will be the most incredible adventure of your life; if you yield to God’s will, done God’s way.

    It’s impossible to carry a baby without getting stretch marks but oh, it’s so worth the scars.  Be like Mary; willing to be inconvenienced so you can carry within your heart the promise and the presence of God, so that through you the world will see Emmanuel, God is with us!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m overwhelmed at the thought that YOU want ME to carry Your promises and Your presence to the world.  I don’t feel worthy and I’m afraid of the cost.  I’m sorry for trying to take the easy-way-out. I open my heart and my life to You.  I’m willing like Mary to carry Your promises and Your presence, so the world may know YOU, no matter the cost.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    I’m willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and the presence of God to this world! 

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series

    Christmas Women - Peggy Sue Wells Soul H2O Radio Podcast

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 49 is Part2 of The Brave Teen Mom & Brave Single Moms. In This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts. PeggySue Wells is an author and speaker who hosts an online ministry for Single Moms at SingleMomCircle.com

    Drawing from the well

    You can find the full story of Mary’s involvement in Jesus’ birth Within these portions of Scripture:

    Luke 1:26-38               An Angel Meets Mary, Jesus Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56               Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Matthew 1:18-25          Angel visits Joseph
    Matthew 1:27          Emmanuel:  God With Us  (Prophesied in Isaiah 7:14)
    Luke 2:2-6                   Mary gives birth to JESUS:  The Promise & Presence of God

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


    GET READY FOR NEXT WEEK’S #SoulH2O Devotion in the Series THE SENIOR CITIZEN

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

    Sherry Stahl

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  • Celebrating The Christmas Women | A Middle-Aged Woman

    Christmas WomenFor the next 3 weeks before Christmas, I’m going to release 3 posts Celebrating The Christmas Women.  I really wanted to title this series: The Teenager, A Middle-Aged Woman, and The Senior Citizen I Want to Be Like, but I thought it was a little long 🙂

    Parts of these posts I shared in a message at Christmas events.  There’s just so much to the lives of these women that I can’t get away from their stories and how it relates to the birth of Christ.  I want to share these snippets of their stories with you so you can see the hope of Christmas, our hope in Christ as we learn from these women and begin to model the character they lived.

    Each of these women were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    All three of these women carried inside of them the promise of their savior, the Messiah.  The Christmas women all spent time in the presence of God so, when God’s promises were present in their lives they immediately recognized them.  Each woman’s life in the Christmas story affected people around them as they pointed the world to Christ.

    These three believed in the promises of God and trusted in God’s timing.  I want to be like the Christmas Women and carry inside of me the promise and the presence of God.  I want my life to affect others so they look to Christ, to live out a strong faith, believing in His promises with a confident trust in His timing to fulfill them.

    It’s my prayer, that by the end of this series you want to be like these women too.

    So let’s begin our Christmas Festivities,

    Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story! 

    The first woman in the Christmas story…Jesus’ Story…is actually: 

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN 

    Christmas Women - Middle-Aged 

     

    When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.  Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.  “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”
                                                                             Luke 1:23-25  NLT

    Luke starts his gospel account starting with the record of a couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth and he tells us this couple was old, that was his way of saying Elizabeth was passed the age of child-bearing. One day while working in the temple, an angel tells Z that Elizabeth his wife is going to have a child, and not just any child.

    Their child would be the one prophesied about in Malachi 4:6.  He wast to be the forerunner for the Messiah.

    “And he will go on before the Lord…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (NIV)

    It’s pretty clear from Z’s reaction that he had long since given up on the dream to have a child before the angel came to meet him at work.  Z didn’t believe and as a sign from God that God could do what He said, Z was unable to speak for 9 months, until the birth of his son.

    ELIZABETH

    On the other hand, Elizabeth immediately believed and because of her faith, Elizabeth carried John the Baptist; the one who would prepare the way for the Christ, in her womb.  Elizabeth protected the promise of God inside of her by staying secluded for 5 months, she took extra precautions to make sure the promise of God inside of her was able to grow and mature.  Elizabeth didn’t let anyone talk her out of her promise from God.  She didn’t allow anything to stop it from being birthed.

    Be like Elizabeth…
    Protect the promise of God in your life. Luke 1:24

    This Christmas, think about the promises God has given you as a believer in His Word and the one’s He’s given to you personally.  Protect those promises.  Give them room to grow in your heart, your mind, and in your life so you can see them birthed like the baby, John The Baptist.

    ELIZABETH CARRIED THE PROMISE & THE PRESENCE OF GOD…I WANT TO DO THE SAME #ChristmasWomen

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for all the promises in Your Word and for speaking directly to me.  Help me to put a shield around your promises so they will have room grow so I’m able to carry them to full-term; watching Your promises be fulfilled in Your timing.    In Jesus Name…Amen

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series

    Cheryl Nembhard

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 48 is Part1 of The Brave Middle-Aged Christmas Woman & Brave Cheryl. In This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts.   Now, I know we’re supposed to focus on Jesus and we will be but I think it’s good to take some time and recognize the impact some of these brave women had in the Christmas narrative and in our world today. I know you’re going to be inspired by my friend, Cheryl Nembhard. She’s a TV & Podcast Host, Speaker, Author, & Social Justice Advocate. 

    Drawing from the well

    You can find the full story of Zechariah and Elizabeth in these portions of scripture:

    Luke 1:5-25             John The Baptist Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56           Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Luke 1:57-66           Elizabeth gives birth to the Promise of God

    Soul H2O bookDid you like the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion? Then you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women and I hope you’ll Subscribe to receive weekly Soul H2O devotions.

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    This devotion was originally posted on December 5, 2016.

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  • Bringing Your Soul Into Focus

    This devotion was inspired by the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Episode with Melanie Stevenson, Bringing Your Soul Into Focus.  Hope you get refreshed from both Soul H2O media offerings. 🙂

    Bringing Your Soul Into Focus

    Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. ~ 3 John 1:2 NKJV

    Eye Examinations

    Bringing Your Soul Into Focus

    I was first prescribed to wear glasses in Grade 10. Since then, I’ve started going yearly, for an eye exam; you know, that enjoyable experience when an optician or ophthalmologist shines the brightest flashlight known to mankind in your eyes… ya, that one. Then, there’s a part when the doctor swings the phoropter in front of you, a big lens machine and through a series of examples, shows you two different lens prescriptions and you’re supposed to decipher which helps you better read the Snellen Eye Chart.  Everywhere, doctors ask their patients, “#1 or #2?”

    You Need To Focus

    Your answer is the process by which the eye doctor determines your prescription.  Doctors keep asking you this question until finally you can see clearly, when everything is brought into focus. It’s interesting with all their years of schooling and expensive instrumentation, the doctors cannot prescribe you the proper lenses if you don’t properly discern which lenses bring your eyesight into focus.

    You have to focus, to decipher what brings you focus.

    Soul Examinations

    You’d be wise to begin regular examinations on your soul, like you do with our eyes.  You need to start bringing your soul: your mind, will & emotions into focus, in order to live healthy. If you’re going to live out today’s verse and prosper as your soul prospers… then, you’re going to have to direct your focus on your soul in order to experience soul health that leads to health in all areas of your life.

    Bring your soul into focus, as clear as an eye-exam and make it healthy!

    Prayer

    Father… I ask that you would help guide me in the process of bringing my soul into focus. It doesn’t come naturally but I know Your Word is telling me I can and even prosper in it! I thank you for giving me the ability to prosper in health of my body, soul and spirit! In Jesus Name…Amen

    Do you struggle to bring your soul into health?

    Yesterday’s Soul H2O Splash Online Event with Melanie Stevenson and I took the message of BRINGING YOUR SOUL INTO FOCUS one step farther with 10 TIPS TO HELP BRING YOUR SOUL INTO FOCUS… You can watch if you are a member of the Soul H2O Splash Private Facebook Group.

    Become a Ministry Partner & help Sherry continue to share Refreshing from God’s Word to thirsty souls!

    Drawing from the well
    1. 3 John 1:2
    2. 1 Samuel 16:7
    3. Luke 16:15
    4. 2 Peter 1:3
    Soul H2O book

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

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

    Praying You’re Blessed & Refreshed!

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