Soul H2O Devotions

  • To The Least Of These

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    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
                                                                                               Matthew 25:40 NIV
    My daughter Shelby is going away to College. Since the school she chose doesn’t have dorms we had to rent a condo for her and a friend. There are just so many things to get that we’ve had to find a few pieces used so we don’t break the budget! Shelby was given a shelf from Todd’s cousin. She wanted to get it, paint and distress it, but didn’t know how to. Todd surprised her for her birthday this week by refinishing and distressing the old shelf into a beautiful, new looking shelf that matched her bed. When I saw it I knew she would be so happy and, as you can see in the picture, she was! I told Todd that when he did things nice for my daughter he was doing something nice for me! As soon as it came out of my mouth I thought of Matthew 25:40 “whatever you do for the least of these…you do for me”

    WE SHARE–WE CARE

    I heard this scripture often growing up as my grandparents ran a ministry at my home church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton called “WE SHARE, WE CARE”.   It started out with just a box at the back of our church to donate food for Christmas hampers and grew into a large FREE store-like portable at the back of our church property. It was open year round to provide for refugees, new immigrants, single parents, families or anyone in need. The building was filled with groceries; clothes and furniture to meet whatever need arose. She did for so many of “the least of these”. At 86 Gram passed away and the funeral home said they had never seen such an immense attendance for someone of her age. There were about 800 people at her actual funeral. People from many nations came and told how Gram blessed their lives and led them to Christ. Gram reminded us often how we needed to help others with her words, but more loudly, by her actions. I remember as a teenager meeting a stranger at church. She had come to meet with my grandma and thank her for the impact Gram had made as her foster mother and let her know that she had given her life to Christ. She didn’t know where my grandma lived these 40 odd years later, but assumed correctly that she could find gram at church! I will never forget the stories Gram told of bringing groceries to people’s houses and watching them break down crying, thanking God as they checked off a list they could not afford, but God had provided for. This verse was the mandate of my grandmother’s life and she lived it out well!
    So, may I ask, what have you done for The King lately?
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for all that you have blessed me with. Help me to look beyond myself and search out those that I could bless for you. May I be your hands extended. In Jesus Name…Amen!
    Bethel Gospel Tabernacle-Caring Ministry Webpage

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  • God Doesn't Make Junk

    God Doesn't Make Junk-www.Soul-H2O.com“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
                           Ephesians 2:10 NIV
    Tonight Shelby was watching a show on Plastic Surgeries gone wrong. So many people who struggle with their self-esteem choosing to go “under the knife” to make them feel better about themselves. I know that there is nothing wrong with people choosing to have plastic surgery, but too often it starts and ends with an unhealthy mindset that you aren’t made well, leaving the person with an even more diminished self-worth. I guess no one has ever read them this verse and explained to them that God doesn’t make junk!
    You are God’s handiwork. You are created by God and fashioned by His hand. Think about that. God, who is perfect, made YOU! God doesn’t make junk. We know from the creation story that everything God creates He thinks is good but, when He creates people, He says they are VERY good! You are made VERY good, no matter what anyone says, or how you feel.
    When we have an unhealthy view of ourselves it affects every area of our lives. If the enemy can get us believing that we weren’t made that well, then he can get us sidetracked from our purpose in life. We’ll be focused on fixing ourselves instead of fulfilling the good works that God has prepared for us to do. Believe who God says you are and you will fulfill the destiny He has prepared for you!
    PRAYER
    Father…Help me to see myself the way that you see me. I thank-you for creating me the way you did. Help me to see the greatness you have placed inside of me so that I may live to do all you have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Rainbows and Lightning

    rainbows and lightning
     
    Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”
                                                                               Matthew 8:24 NIV
    Yesterday Shelby showed me this picture of double rainbows beside a lightning bolt. The imagery spoke to me about life with God. We can be in the middle of a storm, but God has a rainbow for us! In Genesis 9:13 God said, “I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth.” (GOD’S WORD ® Translation). In life we can have at the same time; Promises and Storms, Rainbows and Lightning.
    I’ve always loved the story of Jesus in the boat with his disciples. These guys were following God’s direction for the lives when “SUDDENLY” a storm came out of nowhere.   It was such a crazy storm that the waves were crashing over the boat. The Bible says “BUT Jesus was sleeping”. What? Sleeping in a storm like that? Jesus was experiencing rainbows and lightning. In a panic, the disciples wake up Jesus and beg him to save them. Did they really think Jesus was going to let them drown? When Jesus got up, He rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. He rebuked the wind and the waves to bring everyone onboard the peace He had. The Bible records how the disciples were amazed and seemed shocked that Jesus had the power to calm the storm. Too often we’re like them and forget to stand on the promises He’s given.
    Today, ask God to show you His rainbow in the midst of your lightning.  Speak the truth of His promises to your storm and watch the clouds part.
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for peace. Help me to understand your promises and speak them out when storms arise. May I walk in faith, no matter the weather! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Fearful Timidity vs. Godly Confidence

    god has not give us a spirit of fear “For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline.” NLT
    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV
    “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” HCSV
                             2 Timothy 1:7
    When my children were young they struggled with fears as all children do. When these episodes would occur I often quoted this verse to them and had them memorize it. Many a nightmare were stopped and ended in a good night’s sleep with the comfort of this scripture. As they grew older I saw the dangers of allowing them to stay fearful and timid. Timidity stopped them from enjoying all that God had for them. Living with the confidence that God has given them power, love, a sound mind and the ability to be self-disciplined is the message I wanted them to lay hold of.
    As I looked up the dictionary meaning of timidity I was fixated on studying the list of Synonyms and Antonyms of the word. The Synonyms (words that mean the same as timidity) are: fainthearted, fearful, fearsome, mousy, scary, skittish, shy, timorous, and tremulous. Who wants to be all that??? No wonder God said He did NOT give us the spirit of all those pathetic characteristics. No one grows up saying “I want to be the mousy, skittish kind of person that is afraid of everything.” No one wants that and God doesn’t want that for us either. So how do we break free of this timidity and gain Godly confidence? If I lived a life of Godly Confidence in His spirit, what would it look like?
    The Antonyms (words that mean the opposite of timidity) will help us better understand the spirit that God is offering to us. Here they are: adventuresome, adventurous, audacious, bold, daring, dashing, gutsy, hardy, venturesome, and venturous. Now these are words that I want to be used to describe me, my children, and my children’s children, should the Lord tarry! As believers you have the spirit of God living inside of you! Today, access the spirit of God and walk in the Godly Confidence you’ve been given!
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for the truth of your word! I thank-you that it is true no matter if I feel it or not. Help me to live free of fear and timidity. Help me to access your spirit for power and love so that I may use self-discipline to walk in sound-mind, using sound-judgment! May I walk in Godly Confidence! In Jesus Name…Amen!
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timid

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  • Catch Me

    “Like an eagle that stirs up it’s nest and hovers over it’s young, that spreads it’s wings to catch them and carries them on it’s pinions”
    Deuteronomy 32:11
    As you can tell, I’m on a bit of an “eagle” theme these past few weeks. Life has thrown us some pretty big challenges these days and I find so much comfort in the promise this verse holds. Last week I talked about the beginning of this verse and how our heavenly father is a “hovering” parent who knows when to push us forward. Today I want to talk to you about the last part of this verse. It reminds me that no matter how far or how fast I’m falling that God will catch me!catch me
    The visual of an eagle spreading its wings to fly under and catch a young eaglet is an incredible picture. All to often we’re like the little eagle. Minding our own business when suddenly, the floor drops out from under us and we’re in a free fall. Just when we think we’re going to hit the ground and be obliterated, God swoops down and catches us bringing us to safety! Psalm 37:24-25 confirms, “When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” “I have never seen the godly abandoned.” (NASB & NLT)
    Despite strong winds, free falls, and times where you question why you are getting pushed out of your nest, understand that God is in fact hovering over you and He will swoop down when He knows you need a lift!

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank-you for how you catch me when I’m falling! Help me to trust you when the carpet gets pulled out and I’ve lost my way. May I rest on your wings as you fly me to safely back to the nest. In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Free Like An Eagle

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    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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  • Hovering

    eagle in nest with eaglets“Like an eagle that stirs up it’s nest and hovers over it’s young, that spreads it’s wings to catch them and carries them on it’s pinions”
                                                                                                                         Deuteronomy 32:11
    I am a mom. I have given birth to two amazing people (not really kids anymore), but there are many who call me “mom”. A bunch affectionately call me their “other mom” and some their “camp mom”. Wherever I am, I tend to mother those around me. No matter their age, there’s something in me that wants to make sure everyone is OK and to help people reach their God-given potential. I love how this Bible verse explains that God is a “hovering” parent too!
    As the perfect parent God can make perfect decisions knowing when to hover, when to stir up and when to catch His kids. As my children have gotten older it’s been a real learning process in knowing when to back off that “hovering” gifting! Eagles are a perfect example of how to parent people of all ages. When Eagles have young they provide for every need the eaglet has. eagle feeding babyWhen the eaglets get a little older, but before they’re ready to leave the nest, before they can fly, the mother, in love pushes them out of the nest! eaglet flying by mom
    Now what kind of parenting is that? Actually, it’s great parenting! Great leadership!  The eagle then spreads its wings to catch the learner and carries them on their pinions. Pinions are the wings that an eagle uses to fly. They are teaching the eaglet how to fly by example. Pushing people out of the nest when they’re not ready accomplishes so many things. It causes them to place their trust in the one who pushed them out to catch them before they crash. After a few pushes, confidence begins to grow till one day the eaglet starts to soar!young eagle flying by mom
    So, is God pushing you out of the nest or encouraging you to let someone else in your care learn to fly? Take that leap of faith and trust that Your father is a hovering parent that never lets anyone hit the bottom when you trust in Him!
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for believing in me! Help me to not fear, but jump out of the nest and learn to soar. May I fly in your strength accomplishing all that you have for me to do. May I lead those you have paced in my care to even higher heights than I can go! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • God's Incubator

    chicken brooding over eggs“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
                                                     Genesis 1:1-2
    Last week I was blessed to spend my recovery time at camp.  While there I was able to catch up with a friend I used to live near.  She told me that she was going through a confusing time and didn’t understand what God was up to in her life.  She explained this weird unsettling feeling, sensing that God was doing something, wanting to know what was ahead.  She was in God’s incubator!
    As Edna spoke the verse from Genesis came to mind.  The word used for God’s activity before creating the earth is translated “hovering” in most Bible versions, but the original Hebrew meaning comes from the root of the word “brood”.  I learned on my Uncle’s farm that birds brood by hovering over the eggs keeping them hot like a baby in an incubator.   The farmer has to wait until the brooding time is over and the chicks are hatched.
    So often before God is going to bring something new into the world, or into our lives, the Holy Spirit “hovers and broods” over our spirits.   It’s a time when we are unsettled.  Frequently, God moves us into “hot spots” and makes us wait for an undetermined amount of time.  The old ways are no longer comfortable, but lack fulfillment.  There is this sensing that things are about to change, but you don’t know how…or when!  Much like the feeling of a pregnant mother when the baby is getting close to the delivery date.
    If you are sensing this in your life, be encouraged.  God IS up to something good.  Relax and wait for His perfect timing.  Incredible things are birthed in God’s Incubator!
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for what you are doing in my life.  I may not understand it, but I trust that what you are doing will bring life!  Help me to patiently wait while you brood over me.   In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Desensitized

    Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
                                                                            Ephesians 4:17
    “Did you hear about Jen? Did you hear what John did? Can you believe them? And to think she used to sing in the choir and he used to teach Sunday School!”  It’s always shocking when strong Christians fall away from their faith and into sin so scandalous that even unbelievers are appalled. gossiping couple
    When you read Ephesians 4:17 on its own you think it must be about people who don’t know Christ, but it is a verse talking about Christians losing the spiritual sensitivity they used to have until they end up totally desensitized.
    It’s something you think could never happen to you, but I want to warn you that it can happen to anyone who leaves their spiritual thirst unquenched. I feel that God has allowed me to live out a life example of this. In the past week I’ve been to the hospital twice, for of all things—dehydration!
    A nasty virus left my body depleted, in need of rehydration through an IV. On the first trip to the hospital I knew I was dehydrated. The second time I was shocked to find out that not only was I dehydrated, but my potassium was also low. They had to run an EKG to check that it had not affected my heart. I was shocked! At one point I had almost left the hospital when it was taking so long, thinking I wasn’t as bad as the time before, when actually I was worse.
    When people are spiritually dehydrated they notice it at first. They can sense the Holy Spirit nudging them to go to church, read their Bible, pray, listen to Christian music, call a Christian friend or to stay away from something. But, after a while of being dehydrated you become desensitized to your spiritual thirst and that’s what leads to all sorts of ungodly living. The way to keep spiritually sensitive is to do what you’re doing! Stay spiritually hydrated!IV IN DESERT
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for the water of Your Word! May Your Word Hydrate me to overflowing that I would stay forever sensitive to Your leading and Your love! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Tough Tattoo

    TOUGH TATTOO
    “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)
    Last week my daughter graduated from High School.

    This week she received her main grad gift from me. I took her to the tattoo parlor to get a tattoo! Call me a bad parent and say what you like, but this is a tattoo that had to be inked!
    Image 1Shelby has wanted to get a tattoo of the Hebrew word for “endure” this past year. You see, graduating High School and getting through life this far hasn’t been a “cake-walk” for her and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be for a while. This week the oral surgeon put Shelby on a soft-food diet for 2 months! This is to hopefully ward off her having jaw surgery! I heard someone say, “God wants us to do hard”. I agree!
    In the verse above God was empowering Joshua with His words by telling him he was going to lead these people to inherit the land, but it wasn’t going to be a “cake-walk” for them either! They would have to “endure” many battles to fulfill all of God’s plans for their lives. God had to keep reminding them to “Be strong and courageous”.  I’m so proud of Shelby! Like Joshua and all the Israelites, she has learned to be an overcomer by living out this verse, and you can too!
    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!
    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
     

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