Soul H2O Devotions

  • My Christmas Message For You

    Well, Merry Christmas my friend. I hope you’re having an amazing time with family and friends! I’ve been kind of quiet these days as I’m getting The 2019 Word Awards program up and running and really wanted to connect with you so I thought a video would be a great way!

    My Video Christmas Message For You

    christmas video images

    Talk to you in the New Year!

    Much love
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

     

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  • What Are You Asking For This Christmas?

    Jesus replied,
    “If you only knew the gift God has for you
    and who you are speaking to,
    you would ask me,
    and I would give you living water.”
    ~John 4:10  NLT

    WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS CHRISTMAS?

    After coming home from a missions’ trip just four weeks ago, getting into the Christmas gift mindset is a difficult shift.

    People questioning; What are you asking for this Christmas? In a normal year I find it difficult to give people my Christmas wish, but this year is extra-tough. The reality is, I have soooooo much stuff. We all have so much, dare I say… too much stuff. I feel conflicted like Solomon, struggling to make sense of the justice and injustice in our world.  Trying to enjoy what God’s blessed me with and holding ‘things’ loosely. As a family, we’ve decided to cut down the spending this year and I feel good about that. It just seems at this time of year that everyone around is asking for something, but are we asking for the right things from the right person?

    JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

    Today’s verse is taken from a pretty well-known portion of Scripture where Jesus stops in Samaria at the local watering hole; literally a well, not the neighborhood bar.  🙂  Jesus sits down and strikes up a conversation with a woman who has a history of broken relationships.  Jesus asks for a drink of water.  It’s a weird request from a Jewish man to a Samaritan woman since Jews at that time wouldn’t even use the same cups or bowls a Samaritan had used and that men didn’t just go up to unknown women.

    ASKING

    Jesus moves from asking the Samaritan woman for something to reminding this daughter of her value and how God had a gift with her name on the tag; something many people would have assumed the Samaritan woman forfeited with her lifestyle choices. I’m guessing somewhere along the line; this girl believed the lie that she didn’t deserve to ask God for anything. Maybe our Samaritan sister felt unworthy to think God would have something for her? Maybe she felt God let her down, hadn’t answered past prayers and the girl stopped asking?

    Sometimes a lack of asking can be a lack of trust.

    Jesus told this broken girl how she needed to start expecting… to start asking Him for living water. He wanted her to ask for the right thing, from the right source.

    SO, WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?

    Too often we can get sidetracked in North America and ask for things that don’t satisfy our true thirst, and it’s especially true at Christmas time. The holiday to celebrate Jesus is often the busiest time of the year when we spend the least amount of time with Him.

    This year, make your Christmas list, enjoy all God blesses your life with but don’t forget to ask God for the gifts He’s prepared for you.  God has more set aside for your life than you can imagine. He wants you to ask. Don’t let the presents from Him go unopened and unused. Make sure to ask for the right thing, from the right source… God, the giver of all things good has something special for YOU!

    Prayer

    Father…You are so good! Even when I don’t deserve anything you have gifts for me.  I’m so thankful that You want to refresh me, You want to restore me, You want to fill me to overflowing so the effects of my life spill out to others. Help me to see my value, so I can come before You and expect good things. I want to receive all You have for me!  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll 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!


     Drawing From The Well

    1. John 4:10; 7:38
    2. Mathew 7:7-8
    3. James 1:17
    4. Revelations 21:6

    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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  • Stand Up and Do Something!

    But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
    and the plague was stopped.
    It was credited to him as righteousness
    throughout all generations to come.”
      Psalm 106:30-31  HCSB

    When my Brandon was in elementary school he was seriously beaten up by a group of boys. I remember one of his friends was expelled as a result of the incident. I went to the principal and discussed how that boy hadn’t done anything, but the principal said he was punished because of that; he just stood there and didn’t do anything.

    In contrast to that incident, I got to see a friend in action to help another friend when life had kicked her down.  A few weeks ago, my friend decided to intervene in a horrible situation.  She just couldn’t stand there and do nothing.  She stood up and did something.  Now our friend is getting the help she so desperately needs.

    Psalm 106 recounts the history of Israel.

    The writer gets to the point where the nation of Israel was beginning to fall away from God. The men were being seduced by women of different nations into sexual immorality and Baal worship.  God didn’t take this lightly and sent a plague.  It’s not because God is mean, but because He’s loving that He sent this plague to wake his people up. In the 21st Century, we don’t understand it but history and Scripture both record how the worship in these nations included child sacrifice.

    God values life and especially that of children.

    In Luke 17 Jesus talks about how serious of an offense it is for someone to lead children astray, let alone to actually take a child’s life. So as the nation is falling into debauchery, one man with a weird name… Phinehas… doesn’t just sit around and let the problems keep going.  Phinny intervenes, the people turn back to God and the plague is stopped.

    Is there a situation where you need to intervene?
    Somewhere the destruction in a person’s life needs to be stopped?

    Intercepting the enemies attack will release the power of God
    to change the course of a person’s future for generations to come.

    And, as it was for old Phinny, this act of bravery will strengthen your faith too! If you’re feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit to get off the sidelines and enter the field, then stop being a bystander…

    Don’t Just Stand There, Stand Up and Do Something!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for stepping into my life and stopping the enemy from destroying me.  I thank You for intervening in the circumstances of my life and sending people in to help when I couldn’t stand up for myself.  Give me the courage to stand up and do something to help someone in need today! In Jesus Name…Amen

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

     Drawing From The Well

    1. Psalm 106:30-31 HCSB
    2. Luke 17:2
    3. Isaiah 59:16
    4. Isaiah 63:5 

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

     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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  • Watch God Amaze You

    “As Manoah and his wife watched,
    the LORD did an amazing thing
    .”
        Judges 13:19  NLT

    As an infant, my son Brandon had a serious case of FOMO. You know, the Fear Of Missing Out!  No matter where I was, no matter how overtired, he could be falling asleep on my shoulder but if someone laughed or talked loudly, he would almost shake himself awake and turn his head towards the action.  My friend Wendy actually started calling him turtle for the way he would stretch out his neck to see what was going on.

    They Watched God Do An Amazing Thing

    Today’s verse comes from one of those crazy stories in the Bible where the pre-incarnate Christ; oftentimes described as the angel of the Lord, visited some regular folk and turned their world upside down. In this Scripture passage, you read of how God takes two unlikely people; Manoah and his wife, visits them and then births something incredible through them. All because they were looking to God for some answers. Like my Brandon, Manoah and his wife kept their eyes open, so they didn’t miss out on the action.

    Because they were watching, they got to see the LORD do amazing things before their very eyes. Two people who couldn’t have a baby would soon get to watch a belly grow and become parents to Samson; one of the most physically powerful men in the Bible1.

    Watch God Amaze You

    Isaiah 43:19 records how God said, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Do you perceive what God is doing in your life? Do you see where He’s making a way where there is no way? You have to be alert, eyes-wide-open to see what He’s doing. Don’t let God pass you by unnoticed. Open your eyes, so you can watch God amaze you!

    Prayer

    Father… God, You are so powerful! When I read Your Word, my mind has a hard time comprehending all You’ve done.  Help me to open my spiritual eyes, so I can perceive where You’re at work in me, within those around me and throughout the world. Peel away the blinders from my eyes, so I’ll be able to watch and see You do amazing things in and through me! In Jesus Name…Amen

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


    Drawing From the Well

    1. Judges 13:19
    2. Isaiah 43:19 ESV
    3. Hebrews 12:2
    4. Isaiah 40:26 NLT

     ENDNOTES

    1      I think it’s a tie between Samson and Benaiah (2 Samuel 23:20-21) for the strongest man in the Bible.


    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:

    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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  • From Adversity To Adventure

    This resurrection life you received from God
    is not a timid, grave-tending life.
    It’s adventurously expectant, 
    greeting God with a childlike 
    “What’s next, Papa?” 
    God’s Spirit touches our spirits 
    and confirms who we really are. 
    We know who he is, and we know who we are:
    Father and children.
    And we know we are going to get
    what’s coming to us
    —an unbelievable inheritance! 
    We go through exactly what Christ goes through. 
    If we go through the hard times with him, 
    then we’re certainly going to go 
    through the good times with him!
    
    ~Romans 8:15-17 The Message

    For the past two weeks, Todd and I were in Guatemala!!! This is our third trip because the people have gotten into our hearts.  We’ve only been home a few days and we’re planning to go back.

    The crazy part is we started journeying to Guatemala before we ever became romantically connected! We discovered at the beginning of our dating relationship that we both wanted to go back to Guatemala.  With the encouragement (or maybe a little hounding) from Sam Welten of Possibilities International, we went last March to help with a teen missions trip. While there, I was asked to run a women’s event. It went so well they asked us back this year with a team of women who would coordinate four women’s events across Guatemala and build houses for families in need.

    I was blessed to have this opportunity because a horrible thing went on in my life. For two decades I was in an unhealthy marriage that ended with a very difficult divorce. Todd and I would never be married if we both hadn’t had to go through the disappointment of divorce. My life has been a series of hard times followed by incredibly awesome experiences.  I can honestly say; every struggle has made the good times all the sweeter. With God, you can go from adversity to adventure!

    ADVENTURE THROUGH ADVERSITY… TO THE EXCITING STUFF!

    I chose to use Eugene Petersen’s Message paraphrase of the Bible for this week’s Scripture reference because I love how he words this passage. {Side-note; did you know he’s Canadian too? A Canuck just like me… OK, back to the devo}  What Petersen’s meaning when he compares the Christian life by saying:

     This resurrection life you received from God
    is not a timid, grave-tending life.

    Is that the Christian life isn’t for lifeless, dead, boring people. It’s a life resurrected. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly!  Yes, you’re going to have problems, but yes, you’re going to experience the good stuff.  Begin to live adventurously expectant of what God destined for you. A life lived for God is an exciting adventure!  You won’t be bored. You may be hanging on for dear life at times, but it will never be a lackluster existence. I’ve found, that with each step I take towards God’s purposes for my life, the more attention-grabbing my journey gets.  Seeing how God connects me with the right people at the right time, watching where He directs me to go and recognizing who He’s leading me to go with are all born out of exhilarating escapades!

    So, if you’re finding life a tad bit drab… ask God to show you what HIS plans for you are and take the first step on your exciting new adventure!

    Prayer

    Father… Help me not to live small.  Your plans for my life are big, exciting, adventurous plans.  Let my heart line-up with your will so I can experience all that you have purposed for me to do. I will live expectantly asking “What’s next, Papa?”. In Jesus Name…Amen


    Sherry Stahl Facebook Live

    Right before we went to Guatemala I did a Facebook Live to update and encourage people.  It’s what inspired this devotion.

    WATCH MY FACEBOOK LIVE ON ADVENTURE

    Some of you have followed our adventures through facebook live’s from my Sherry Stahl-Author, Speaker, Blogger page and the Possibilities International Page.  If you didn’t, the videos are still on our Facebook page Video sections.


    THANK YOU!

     We want to thank all the individuals who gave to help fund this missions trip and make it a reality. Below are links to a few of them.  We’d love for you to support them with donations or your business J

     Possibilities International
    Founder Sam Welten has been friends with Todd for decades and taking teams on humanitarian trips almost as long.  He’s a heavy-hitter for the Kingdom bringing his ‘lemony goodness’ around the globe. Affectionately telling people to ‘Get off the Sauce’ and do something with your life!
    https://iam1ru.com/ShoppingCartTrip.aspx Fall Medical/Build/Ladies Event

    Sew On Fire Ministries
    Wendy Hagar is one lady full of adventure! Following God’s call, she started this ministry in her home, now a 9000 square foot warehouse filled to the rafters!  Wendy vicariously travels around the globe as she sends out humanitarian aid with a loving touch. The women on her team sewed bags and gave us an abundance of stuff to put in them for the women of Guatemala, along with dressed for little girls, a wedding dress, and shoes)
    http://www.sewonfire.com/

    Tim & Stephany Mercer’s Century 21 Local Home Team in Leamington, Ontario
    These amazing friends of ours have the biggest of hearts! Adventurously stepping out into the business God purposed for them to start.  They offer their time, talents, and treasures to build God’s Kingdom. (Donated funding to build a home for a family in dire need and their 7 kids)
    https://www.localhometeam.ca/

    Goodness Project (Donated Clothes and Nailpolish)
    My cousin Bill & his wife {my BFF} Rachelle Fletcher are reaching out to those in need and providing emergency disaster relief across Canada and the US. They are two of the most giving people on the planet who have man an earthquake effect for God’s Kingdom opening wide God’s love into broken, needy places!
    https://www.teamgoodness.com/

     Keep It Real Ministries (Donated Encouraging Hats)
    Laura Bronson is a Youth Minister and Graffiti Artist who impacted our kids as teens and continues to influence youth for Christ as she has expanded Keep It Real ministry to include a team of Graffiti artists!
    http://ikeepitreal.ca/

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


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Romans 8:15-17 The Message
    2. Exodus 12:11
    3. Psalm 84:5
    4. Matthew 4:19

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

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

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  • What Are You Thinking About?

    “May the words of my mouth
    and
    the meditations of my heart
    be pleasing to you”
    ~Psalm 19:14 NLT

    Todd loves to watch Funny videos online.  He’s always coming up with the most hilarious ones and sends them to people, it’s kind of his ministry J lol.  A couple years ago, Todd sent me this YouTube link called, ‘German Coast Guard Trainee’.  It’s a German commercial for a program to help improve your English. You can watch the video below, or here’s the run-down of the clip. There is a senior Coast Guard officer showing a young trainee the equipment in German.  With little instruction, the trainer slaps him on the back and leaves the room.  Suddenly a harried call comes in from an English vessel and you hear, “Mayday, mayday… we are sinking”. The young trainee bewildered responds in broken German/English saying, “Allo, zis is ze German Coast Guard…”  Another frantic plea breaks through his speaking, “we’re sinking, we’re sinking”.  With a puzzled look, the trainee says, “Vat are you… Sinking About?”

    This play on words gets you thinking about your thinking.

    WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

    In today’s Bible verse, the psalmist challenges you to make sure the words of our mouth AND the meditations of your heart are pleasing to God.  Sounds simple enough, but this is where the hard work of faith kicks in.  It’s easier to keep what comes out of your mouth in check but keeping the meditations of your heart pleasing to God is ‘fish-swimming-upstream’ kind of tough.

    Proverbs 4:23 warns you to,

    “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

    What you think, fills your heart.  What’s in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth. So, you need to get intentional about what you allow to stay in between those ears of yours! Paul taught about the issue of controlling our thoughts in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 when he said,

    “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

    This verse isn’t just talking about arguments that other people are making or lofty opinions that others are sharing contrary to the truth of God.  You can’t take captive the thoughts in someone else’s head, you can only take captive your own… and if you’re directed to do something in Scripture, then you can do it!

    So… Vat are you sinking about?

    Prayer

    Father…I thank you that You’ve given me the power to control my thoughts. I’m not powerless in the battle to control my thought patterns. I have the mind of Christ, so I am able to take captive every thought and make them obedient to you Jesus! Help me to exercise the authority I’ve been given.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    To give you some ‘rubber hits the road’ help for when those negative thoughts are tough to manage, I’ve posted another article called,
    11 PRACTICAL STEPS TO HELP YOU CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS
    Check it out to go in a little deeper on this subject.


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

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Isaiah 28:5-6
    2. Romans 12:2 (NLT is worded in a clear way)
    3. 1 Corinthians 2:16
    4. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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

    Read More

  • Riding Out Roller Coaster Emotions

    “Don’t call me Naomi, she told them. 
    “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 
    I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. 
    Why call me Naomi?
    The LORD has afflicted me;
    the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
    Ruth 1:20-21  NIV

    Wait till you read this! I think your heart will be bursting like mine is. I got to spend this weekend speaking at Braeside Camp’s retreat for single moms and their kids. These girls have ended up parenting without a father in the home through divorce, death or other unfortunate circumstances. Many came with broken, defeated, heavy hearts as they faced their loss and the pain their children are experiencing.  Some wondered if God had forgotten about them or even more devastating, questioned if God was against them.

    In every service, the women received gifts from Braeside and the many donors who wanted to bless them. The Goodness Project donated a mock store, full of clothes from an upscale clothing chain providing lots of guilt-free shopping!  One mom told me how her son had lost his winter coat earlier in the week.  She found two coats that fit him! Another mom hadn’t had a winter coat in years and was able to get a gorgeous, fur-collared parka, along with other clothes—she was over-the-moon excited! Women and kids were proudly walking around in new clothes for the rest of the retreat! Cedarview Church in Paris gifted the families with bags of groceries and cleaning supplies.

    During the services God was setting women free, healing hurts, building courage, giving them prophetic words, dreams and visions… It was crazy! These girls get what it’s like to experience roller coaster emotions.

    So many of the women came feeling poor, alone and sometimes forgotten but left spiritually fired up, knowing the church was there for them, they had new friends and most of all that God lavishly loved them!

    Riding Out Roller Coaster Emotions

    Today’s verse comes from the book of Ruth.  I love her story. It’s an emotional retelling of women who faced extreme loss, followed by great sacrifice that leads to love, redemption, and extreme blessing!  In the first chapter, you learn how Naomi has lost her husband and two sons.  She then loses one daughter-in-law but her other daughter-in-law Ruth insists on staying with her as Naomi travels back to her native country, Israel.  Ruth chooses to make Naomi’s people her people and Naomi’s God her God.  This sacrificial act is what leads to their redemption and the destiny of God for both of their lives.

    Naomi’s words in the verse above are those of a woman whose heart and will have been broken by loss. She’s taken a seat on the bitter bus and doesn’t want to get off.

    Naomi feels that God is against her, but those feelings take an about-face as God lays out His redemption plan for her life and Ruth’s. It’s easy for me to stay calm when I read through the book of Ruth because I know the ending.  I know Boaz is going to come into the story, fulfill the role of kinsman-redeemer, marry Ruth and provide for her and Naomi.  I know that beyond just fulfilling his family obligation, Boaz shows love, compassion, and care for Ruth. I know all this because I’ve read it before, but Naomi didn’t have this privileged information when she was going through the devastation of loss.  Just like you don’t know the end to your story and how God is working to make your ride end well; hands raised wishing you could go on again!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for your stabilizing peace in the midst of chaos, loss, and confusion. You are my hope, my joy, my peace, my life.  In You, I have all I need for life. You are my ever-present help in times of trouble. You have great plans for my life so help me learn to ride out the roller coaster emotions when they come.  Help me never to never forget these truths and live in the wonder of Your lavish love for me!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll 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! 

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL
    If you have time, Read the book of Ruth. It’s only 3-4 pages long.

    1. Ruth 1: 13(b), 20-21
    2. Ruth 2:1, 5-10
    3. Ruth 4:13-17
    4. 1 John 3:1

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  • Mistakes That Make You Think

    I’m sorry again for not getting my Soul H2O Devotion out again last week. It posted partially on my website blog and not at all through email. I would appreciate your prayers for all the technical problems I’ve been facing over the past months with my email, website and computer.  So, here’s the devotion that was supposed to go out last week.

    ~Sherry
    xoxo


    In due time
    she gave birth to a son.
    She named him Samuel,
    for she said, "I asked the LORD for him.” 
    ~1 Samuel 1:20 NLT

    We all make mistakes, but the key is learning from them.  Last week I made a few mistakes that made me think… like, really think.

    MISTAKES THAT MAKE YOU THINK

    Last week’s devotion was about a woman named Hannah who desperately wanted a baby. When I talked about how she asked God to give her a son I wrote:

    “When telling Eli this covenant she made with God,
    he prayed a prayer of blessing over Hannah’s life
    and the next year she gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel.”

    Last week’s devotion was about a woman named Hannah who desperately wanted a baby. When I talked about how she asked God to give her a son I wrote,

    “When telling Eli this covenant she made with God, he prayed a prayer of blessing over Hannah’s life and the next year she gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel.”

    That’s what I said last week but if you read today’s verse that is a part of Hannah’s story, you know the statement I made was wrong.  I’ve already corrected it on the post but wanted to make sure I let all of you know.  I was clearly getting the story about how Sarah and Abraham had a baby boy one year after the angel told them they would. But, as I said in last week’s devotion, Hannah’s story isn’t wrapped up neatly with a bow on top.  Like the story of Abe and Sarah, the promise didn’t come in a short time-frame.  When talking about Hannah, the Bible only says that “in due time she gave birth to a son”.  We don’t know how long she had to wait for the promise.  So often, we have to wait for the promise.

    IN DUE TIME

    Hannah, Sarah and Abraham all made mistakes while waiting for their promises so I think we’re in good company when we get it wrong.  The key is picking yourself up and moving forward… towards the promise, until you receive all God has for you!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but I’m not perfect.  I make mistakes. Please forgive me and help me to learn from my mistakes, so I don’t continue to make the same ones. With Your strength, I commit to taking the necessary steps to change my ways.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    pdf download image9 TIPS ON HOW TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES_2643

    As I thought about the mistakes I made last week, I came up with 9 Tips on how we can all make the most of our mistakes, learn how to Fail Forward and not go backwards. So for this week’s Drawing From The Well section, I’ve put these tips into a Downloadable Bible Study for you!

    [imic_button colour=”btn-warning” type=”enabled” link=”https://sherrystahl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/9-TIPS-ON-HOW-TO-LEARN-FROM-YOUR-MISTAKES_2643.pdf” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=”btn-lg”]DOWNLOAD—9 TIPS ON HOW TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES—BIBLE STUDY[/imic_button]


    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,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin 

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  • Year After Year It Was The Same… Will It Ever Change?

    “Year after year it was the same
    Peninnah would taunt Hannah
    as they went to the Tabernacle.
    Each time,
    Hannah would be reduced to tears
    and would not even eat.”
    ~1 Samuel 1:7 NLT

    Have you ever been picked on?

    Well, I sure have. At school, it started in Kindergarten with a girl named… well you shouldn’t give names, so let’s just call her ‘Nasty Nancy’. Nasty Nancy was relentless. She would sometimes trick me into believing she wanted to be my friend when she was just working her schemes, usually ending with me looking like the fool.

    One of the most memorable was Grade 2 Picture Day. Nasty Nancy and a group of girls were all talking when she called me to join their circle. I was thrilled to be included and ran over. She made some comment like “Aren’t you all dressed up”. Wrongly mistaking her words as a compliment, I proudly told how my mom had made my dress and put curlers in my hair the night before {Yes, I know, I’m dating myself with the curlers comment, I know}. At which point, Nasty Nancy jumped in the puddle and splashed mud all over me. I ran away in tears as all the girls laughed. If a basement flood wouldn’t have destroyed much of my childhood photos you could still see the mud all over my socks in the class picture… mud and a really bad curling job.

    This week’s verse highlights a woman named Hannah. She knew all too well what it was like to be picked on. Hannah lived in a situation that seemed like it would never change. Scripture tells us how Hannah was married to a guy named Elkanah. Back then, Jewish tradition—not Scripture, taught that when a couple married; if the wife had not produced a child by their tenth anniversary, the husband was to take another wife, so his family line would live on.1

    YEAR AFTER YEAR IT WAS THE SAME

    It was probably at the ten-year mark when Elkanah married Peninnah and the two women became rivals. Peninnah was cruel and took every opportunity she could to “taunt Hannah and make fun of her”2 because she couldn’t have children. The most difficult of times took place as the family all went to sacrifice in the temple—our equivalent would be going to church. I worry this is how it feels for girls struggling with infertility or single women at church on Mother’s Day Sunday.

    WILL IT EVER CHANGE?

    All this devastated Hannah and she “would be reduced to tears”, not be able to eat. This one day, Hannah was crying so hysterically the priest Eli thought she was drunk. She broke because, “year after year it was the same”. She was left wondering, ‘Will it ever change?’ Then, one day in an act of sheer desperation, Hannah begged God to make her a deal. She asked God to give her a son and promised that in turn she would give the child back to God for service in the temple. When telling Eli this covenant she made with God, he prayed a prayer of blessing over Hannah’s life and she gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel, who became one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

    After fulfilling her vow to give her son back to God, the Lord blessed Hannah with five more kids!4

    If your testimony has been the same as Hannah’s, “Year after year it was the same”, and you find it hard to believe change will ever come your way, understand like Hannah did that only God can heal this deep of a hurt. I encourage you to bring your anguish to God and see what He will do. God’s Word promises that He “is able to do immeasurably more” than you could ever ask or imagine, so ask Him.

    Prayer

    Father… Thank you for allowing the Bible to include stories of people’s lives that don’t have a pretty bow tied on top, so I can relate and learn from them. Break any mindset in me that has given up hope because it’s been the same “year after year”. Please help me to keep an abundance mindset and live in faith, believing you will work on my behalf. Let my thoughts, dreams and imaginations line up with Yours. Thank you for reminding me of Hannah and how Your power is at work in the most broken. You’re at work in me, so breakthrough is on its way! In Jesus Name…Amen


    Home Chris Tomlin#MUSICPIC

    Song:  Home
    Makes Me Feel: Hopeful, Encouraged
    Sung By: Chris Tomlin
    Website: https://www.christomlin.com/
    CD: Never Lose Sight
    Written By: Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomline, Ed Cash
    © 2016
    Label: sixstepsrecords
    Official Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIb4NC5ikYo
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/christomlin/home.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2aMb1asq5acm7cDYlFsYhY?si=lyBFJ-gQRNW5sZWuqzuSkA


    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll 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!


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL
    1 1 Samuel 1:6-7, 2:21 NLT
    2 Psalm 102:4
    3 Isaiah 42:9, 43:19
    4 Isaiah 51:3
    5 Ephesians 3:20
    6 2 Corinthians 9:8


    ENDNOTES
    1 https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/peninnah-midrash-and-aggadah Website Accessed: 2018-07-16
    2 1 Samuel 1:6 NLT
    3 1 Samuel 1:7 NLT
    4 1 Samuel 2:21



    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,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community – Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance 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

    Read More

  • Sometimes You Have to Make A Choice And Live By It

    The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy.
    I have come in order that you
    might have life—
    life in all its fullness. “
    ~John 10:10 Good News Translation

    This weekend I spoke at a women’s event in Toronto.  My cousin Kelly came to help me sell books and jewelry.  After that, Kelly and I met up with my sister Lori at a mall.  Three female cousins in a mall should equate to a lot of sales for any shopping center if it weren’t for our indecisive trio.  It’s clearly a faulty family gene. If I don’t decide quickly without a lot of thought, I can overthink things. To help me make decisions I’ve resorted to creating excel spreadsheets. Todd understands this weird way about me so when we start talking about purchasing something new he’ll say, “Well, here comes a new spreadsheet!”  Yes, I’m ‘that’ person! The inner excel Geek is pretty strong in this girl J  I used to just write a pros and cons list on a sheet of paper to help me make decisions, but once I learned Excel the decision-making process got a little longer and a lot more detailed.  This pattern in my life has helped and hindered me. If I’m not careful I can waste too much time deciding but eventually, you have to make a choice!

    SO MUCH OF LIFE IS A CHOICE

    John 10:10

     

    The little word might in today’s verse comes with an invitation to make a choice. I don’t know how I missed this before.  This is a Scripture I memorized in my youth, so it can roll off my tongue with the speed of a commuter train.  Yet, in all the decades I’ve been quoting John 10:10, I’ve never thought much about the word ‘might’, when Jesus says He has “come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness”. Sometimes it’s the smallest words that make the biggest statement.  Jesus’ promise of an abundant, rich, satisfying, full life is conditional, it’s not a given.  Often in Scripture God’s promises start with an emphatic ‘I will’, but Christ’s offer here is not a guarantee.

    In my understanding from researching the original Hebrew wording of this verse; it might be better translated into English to say, “the thief comes so that he ‘might steal’, ‘might kill’, and ‘might destroy’.1 In this verse, Jesus is offering to give you something while the thief Satan is attempting to take some things from you.  Neither action is guaranteed to happen.  The choice is yours to make.  You can choose to receive and live the full life Christ intended for you, or you can allow the enemy opportunity to take from you.  I firmly believe that even in times when the enemy does accomplish his purpose in your life by taking from you, that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your life abundant, well… it doesn’t have to mean that, because it’s a choice.  Living in an abundance mindset; one that believes God is not limited and He always has more; helps you rise above any circumstance where the enemy effectively steals, kills or destroys in your life.  Living in the abundance mindset will give you the strength to endure any loss as you trust, God has more good things in store for you.

    So much of life is a choice, but the choice of whether or not to accept Christ’s offer of the abundant life should be a no-brainer, no-spreadsheet kind of decision J  Honor Christ today by living your life to the full, expecting more and making your life all God hoped it would be!

    Prayer

    Father… Thank you for giving me the ability to choose.  Help me to break patterns of indecisiveness, and my tendencies to waffle back and forth when trying to live out a commitment I’ve made. Break the shackles of lack off my mind and increase my faith to believe in Your abundant supply.  Since I have Your divine power dwelling inside of me, I have the ability to make wise choices, so I choose to receive and live in the abundant life you’ve offered.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    TWEET THIS

    Something good J


    Soul H2O BookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll 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! 


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. John 10:10
    2. 2 Peter 1:3
    3. Joshua 24:15
    4. Deuteronomy 30:19

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

    Read More