Soul H2O Devotions

  • 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.


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    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

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  • 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

  • How Powerful Is Your Blow Dryer?

    Seek the Lord and his strength,
    seek his presence continually!
    ~1 Chronicles 16:11   ESV

    Ok, I know this story is a little silly, but it really was one of those wake-up call moments in my life.  God often speaks to me through the mundane of life.  I don’t see writing in the sky, but God is always talking.  If I pay attention and listen, I can hear Him; or in this case, feel Him. So, here’s what happened…

    About a year ago, my blow dryer died. Yes, it was a sad, sad day. I found an old one around the house, but it was so old it didn’t work well.  Honestly, the machine was so weak it should have been stripped of its name ‘blow’ dryer and titled, “The Puffer”.  At the time, I didn’t have money to get a new one, so I thought I’d just wait a little while until I found a sale.  Weeks went by, months went by and I just got used to this underpowered blow dryer.

    blow dryerWhen I opened our trailer in the spring and used my “camp blow dryer” I was shocked, literally blown away!  {Pun intended J } There was so much power in this little machine.  It took half the time to dry my hair. There were other benefits too, my hair looked smoother, shinier than when I used the weak blow dryer and I’m guessing our hydro bills have gone down!  Then it hit me… I had allowed myself to just settle, accepting that weakened state.  I got comfortable with weakness and somehow decided to live with less power than was available.

    When I thought about how I had accepted living with and underpowered blow dryer for soooooo long, I felt the Lord asking me,

    Are You Living An Underpowered Christian Life?

    Sadly, my answer was yes.

    I began to think about how often we live life without accessing the power of God? Jeremiah 10:12-13 explains how,

    “God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding, he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.”

    And, then Psalm 147:4-5 tells how God,

    “determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”  

    Our God is so powerful!   Since his spirit lives in us, we too should be powerful, as long as we’re plugged into the source.  You see, the key to accessing God’s power is explained in today’s verse, “seek his presence daily”. All you have to do is spend time with Him. What an invitation!

    Let something rise up within you.  Get unsatisfied with your weakened state.  Don’t Settle.  Seek the Lord and His power, “seek his presence continually” and you’ll be able to live a super-charged Christian Life, with power to equal your days!

    Prayer

    Father… Thank You for Your wonder-working power! I live in awe of your great power and accept your offer to give me strength when I’m weary and to increase my power when I’m weak. Help me to place myself in your presence, so I can experience that Spirit empowered recharge station.  Strengthen me, according to your word.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    Stay Plugged Into The Source!


    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.

     

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


    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. 1 Chronicles 16:11
    2. Luke 9:1
    3. Psalm 147:4-5
    4. Ephesians 3:16

    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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  • Follow Your Dream {Wherever} It Leads

    “Now give me this hill country
    that the LORD promised me
    that day.”
    ~Joshua 14:12 NIV

    Two night’s ago, I went to the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) for the first time in my life.  I was beyond excited to go because my cousin Dave Walpole, a well-known Youtuber was one of the main actors in a movie that premiered at the festival.  The theatre was packed with about 30 of our friends and family there to cheer David on!  The night was kind of surreal.  I mean, how often are you related to an up and coming movie-star?

    Watching him act on the big screen was inspiring.  He had chased after his dream and it motivated me to want to follow after mine.  When I thought about how Dave had followed his dreams, for a long time, and at great cost, I was reminded of a poem by Larry S. Chengges, my Aunt Wendy (also Dave’s Aunt J ) gave me along with my 16th birthday ring—yes, she spoiled me! To this day, I have the poem hung up in my office, so I’m reminded to…

    Follow Your Dream Wherever It Leads

    I would have been proud of any of my cousins if they were in a movie premiere, but I felt extra proud of Dave.  You see, I was babysitting Dave’s sister Katie when he was born.  I’ll never forget going to the hospital to meet my new cousin when my Uncle walked out of the hospital in a daze.  Uncle Bryon told us how Dave had serious heart problems and they didn’t know if he was going to make it. As a family, we were devastated.  I remember babysitting Dave and worrying as his lips and skin would go blue.

    Dave’s love for movies began as a young boy.  Since he couldn’t play outside as much as the other kids, Dave watched his fair share of movies!  In his teens, the doctors were able to perform a surgery that changed David’s life.  The next year he was doing backflips off of the diving board in our pool! I remember being so overwhelmed that I thought I would cry.

    I felt the same way last night as I watched Dave follow his dream on the silver screen while he rode a horse across the South-African plain and charged up a hill.  It reminded me of the story in the Bible about Caleb and how he “took the hill country”.  Joshua 14:6-15 tells how after forty-five years, Caleb chased after his dream. Something stirred in him to not let go of the promise that was given to him through Moses. Scripture recounts the story of how an 85-year-old Caleb took hold of his hill country.  First, he defined it, then he declared it… next, he fought for it… after, he and all his family to follow rested in the blessing of the dream.

    So, what is the dream God’s placed in your heart?  Define it, declare it, and fight for it, so you and your family can one day enjoy it!

    Prayer

    Father… Thank you for your dreams.  Help me not to settle for mediocrity, but chase after the dreams, the plans and purposes you have for my life.  Let me honor You by living life to the full! Give me the courage to take my hill country. In Jesus Name…Amen

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Dave’s IMDb page:  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5278955/
    You can see the movie today at Tiff Friday at 6:15pm  Click Here For Tickets
    Dave’s YouTube Channel FTD Facts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2vcjazcVurVmpn5svBRA-Q

    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    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-Blue

    1. Joshua 14:6-15
    2. John 10:10
    3. Acts 2:17
    4. Jeremiah 29:11

    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

  • Yes, Jesus Loves Me!

    SORRY!  I’m still working on my site to get things updated and my images aren’t working properly 🙁
    I’m praying I can respond to your emails today.  

    I am praying
    not only for
    these disciples
    but also for 
    all who will ever believe in me.
    May  they  experience  such 
    perfect  unity
    that  the  world  will  know  that  you sent me
    and  that
    you love them
    as much as
    you love me
    .

    ~John 17:20,23 NLT
    http://www.sherrystahl.com

    Bedtimes for my kids were very routine.  By 8pm they were in PJ’s, brushing their teeth. After toys were put away, they would be snuggling down for a story. The kids shared my love for books and knew it was a great way to extend their day, so they would always ask for “Just one more Mom”.  The whole nighttime program culminated in face-tickling while I sang, Yes, Jesus Loves me.

    Bedtime was a great time to assure the kids of my love and remind them that Jesus loved them too!  Nothing brought them more comfort, than to know Jesus loved them. On night’s when they were particularly afraid of the dark, or when they woke up in the middle of the night scared; they would want me to sing, Yes, Jesus Loves me, over and over. Now, they would pay me not to sing! Let’s just say, I have other gifts J

    If you’ve ever wondered if Jesus loves you?

    His words recorded by John in today’s devotion should make the answer clear…

    Yes, Jesus Loves YOU!

    In Jesus’ last prayer time before His crucifixion, He was praying for YOU!  Seriously, I’m not joking. If you’ve put your faith in Jesus, you’re part of the “all who will ever believe”, He was talking about you! And, according to Hebrews 7:24-25…

    He still is!

    How does that make you feel, knowing that when Jesus was getting ready to die on the cross, His thoughts were of you? While you’re letting that soak that in, the rest of today’s verse should ‘about knock you over! In Jesus prayer for believers (of all times), He explains how the world will know God sent Him because of the unity amongst believers and then He explains the mind-boggling truth that God loves you “as much as” He loves Jesus.  Whaaaaat??? This truth is too much for my brain to comprehend. How can it be true?  With all my faults and failings, how can God the Father, love me as much as He loves His perfect son, Jesus? I really don’t get it, but I’m working to help my brain believe, and it’s my prayer that you will too.

    You might just want to sing that little song today, Yes, Jesus Loves me!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-you for Your love! I’m asking for You to help me understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep is your love for me.  May I experience Christ’s love, even though it’s too great to understand fully.  Expand my mind to embrace Your truth. I want to know your love that surpasses knowledge, so I can be made complete in You.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Soul H2OIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     


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


    DRAWING FROM THE WELL-PINKY

    1. John 17:21,23
    2. Hebrews 7:24-25
    3. Ephesians 3:18-19 (I used the NLT for the prayer)
    4. Lamentations 3:21-23

    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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  • Feel Like You Don’t Have What It Takes–You Don’t Need To!

    Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
    Each time he said,
    “My grace is all you need.
    My power works best in weakness.”
    So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
    so that the power of Christ can work through me.
    That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses,
    and in the insults, hardships, persecutions
    and troubles that I suffer for Christ.
    For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    ~2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV

    The Last decade has been a frenzied, whirlwind of activity. My life has so drastically changed from working in finance to writing, speaking, and blogging. In this past year, I took on co-coordinating The Word Awards. Last year, many of you cheered me on as I received the beautiful glass trophy for the Article-Inspirational/Devotional category. Fast forward one year and I was the one handing out the awards. What a change of events! There was more work involved in running the awards than I had ever imagined. All these responsibilities on top of a busy speaking schedule from April to mid-June left me exhausted. Seriously depleted mentally, physically and spiritually. I wrote to you how I knew I Needed To Fill Up My Well because The INfilling must be greater than the OUTpouring, and I didn’t have any What I didn’t realize is that little breather of a break was not enough when you were completely burnt out. I recognized more than ever that; I Don’t Have What It Takes.

    Thankfully, I know someone who DOES have what it takes!

    I don’t have enough—but HE is more than enough!

    Jesus power works best when we’re weak. When I’m weak, He is Strong. It’s a huge comfort to me, to know that I don’t always have to be strong. I don’t always have to have it under control. When I don’t, God does.

    2 Corinthians 12:8-10

    In today’s passage, Paul is telling the Corinthian believers about his struggles. To the people, Paul had it all together. To them, he was the voice of God. Since the printing press hadn’t been created yet, Paul’s listeners wouldn’t have their own copies of the Bible. The had to rely on the Rabbis of their day to read and explain Scripture to them. Since ancient times, people have been putting ministers up on pedestals, but they’re just like everyone else. That’s what Paul was trying to explain to them in verses 5-6 of this chapter. He essentially told them, ‘I Don’t Have What It Takes, but Jesus does.’ Paul had his own set of weaknesses, but he didn’t let those weaknesses keep him down. Paul’s life became power-infused when he stopped trying to get out of the difficult situations and realized that God was working through his weakness, to impact the world.

    God’s grace was all Paul needed. God’s grace is all you need. Take it, so you can be strong!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for Your power! Your strength brings me hope. So often I feel weak, weary and incapable—like I Don’t Have What It Takes. Help me to take my focus off of my inadequacies, my weaknesses, and my insecurities. Help me to focus on Your strength, Your grace and Your ability to make me strong when I am weak. You are all I need! 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-PINKY

    1. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
    2. Ephesians 3:16
    3. Daniel 10:19
    4. Philippians 4:13

    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

  • Living In The Tension

    “The thief's purpose Is
    to steal and kill and destroy.
    
    My purpose is
    to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
    ~Jesus

    John 10:10 NLT

    Crossroads Chapel Melinda Cheryl Weber
    Cheryl Campbell, Melinda Estabrooks, Cheryl Weber and I at the Crossroads Chapel

    Months ago, I was asked to speak at the Crossroads Staff Chapel where 100 Huntley Street, Context with Lorna Dueck, See, Hear, Love, A Better Us, Outside the Box and many other Christian shows are taped.

    When the news reported the horrifying death of the toddler outside the studio I was saddened, and felt a sense of great responsibility, realizing my turn on the chapel schedule was now falling the week after this tragedy.  Knowing I was going to speak to an emotionally bereft group changed the dynamics drastically.

    Leadership called and discussed how it was no longer appropriate for me to share some of my John Maxwell training with a motivational message, as originally requested.  They asked if I could instead share a word of comfort. I was honored to be the one God had positioned for the task, at the same time feeling scared skinny.  I would be speaking with people whose hearts were heavy with the deeper questions of life.  Living in the tension of what God wants the world to be like, and how our realities can contradict His promises.

    Living In The Tension

    My heart was aching, desperately wondering what words of encouragement I might be able to share with this grieving group. Do I just dance around the recent tragedy or discuss it head on?  I felt the Lord directing me to address the toddler’s passing right at the beginning.  If not, it would be the elephant in the room.  Everyone was thinking about it and so many had questions… hard questions. Especially from those who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ but work at the Crossroads Centre in rented office space.

    I felt an awesome responsibility to tell how Jesus came to bind up the broken-hearted and explain how this world isn’t running the way God initially created it to function. What happened there, was not a part of God’s plan.

    It’s hard to grasp, but the explanation for this truth goes back to Jesus statements in John chapter 10 when He was trying to explain how He was the good shepherd, the Messiah.  Jesus taught how the devil’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.  It was true back when Jesus’ feet walked the earth, and it’s still true today.  Thankfully, Jesus didn’t end his statement in the negative.

    John 10:10

    Jesus completed his message by assuring everyone that, His purpose is to give us this rich, satisfying, abundant life. The enemy wants to take from you, Jesus came to give. Jesus came with a purpose to bring good into our lives, but then… why do we continue to suffer?  Jesus was trying to enlighten people to the reality of spiritual warfare. We can try to pretend it’s not a reality, but we’re ignoring the facts. This battle of good vs. evil isn’t just a fictitious theme for Sci-Fi movies. You see, this war of good vs. evil that started at the beginning of time continues to rage today. The fallout from this clashing of kingdoms leaves us wounded and experiencing heartache.

    As long as you exist on earth, you live in the tension of these two, simple truths:

    1. God Is Good, and His purpose is to give you a good life.
    2. The Devil is Bad, and his purposes toward you are evil.

    In times of uncertainty; when your tension wires seem like they’re about to snap and the reality of the devil’s purpose is being played out in your life… don’t lose hope in the truth that, God—IS—good. Whether it happens here on God’s green earth or when you get to Heaven, God will give you the abundant life He promised through Jesus. He’s true to His promises.

    Prayer

    Father… I’m so thankful that you’re here when tragedy strikes. You are as close as the mention of Your name.  Help my eyes to not fixate on the display of evil, so that it clouds the truth of your goodness.  Let visions of injustice and examples of pure evil draw me closer to you.  Increase in me a longing for heaven, where You wipe away every tear and all that remains is good.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Just because the devil is evil,  doesn’t change the fact that… GOD IS GOOD[/tweetthis]

    Soul H2OIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

     

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

     Drawing From The Well

    1. John 10:10
    2. Jeremiah 29:11
    3. John 3:16-17
    4. Hebrews 6:17 (Very clear in NIV, NASB, HCSB)

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU 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

  • I Needed To Fill Up My Well

    Once when he was eating with them, 
    he commanded them, 
    "Do not leave Jerusalem 
    until the Father sends you the gift he promised, 
    as I told you before. 
    John baptized with water, 
    but in just a few days 
    you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
    ~Acts 1:4-5 NLT

    The last two months have been an amazingly awesome blur.  I traveled speaking six out of the past nine weekends and went to NYC for another weekend with my mom and sister.  Our first ever trip together!

    Speaking at women’s events is what fires me up, but also drains me out.

    Word Awards winI’ve been experiencing this increase in ministry all while I’ve been co-coordinating The Word Awards for The Word Guild… you know, the one I won an award for my blog in last year (I mention it here and here)?  We’ve also had the WIMM Canada website rebuild and that took a lot of work for our team.  Anyways, we had the Awards Gala on Friday night, handing out 48 Awards.  By the end of the awards, I was completely exhausted.  Actually, whatever word is beyond exhausted, that’s what I was! So, I’m getting this devotion out late today because I needed to fill up my well! 

    On Saturday I tried to write my Soul H2O devotion, but it just wouldn’t come.  It was like trying to draw water from a well that was dry.  You can keep priming the pump, but the only thing that’s going to come up is crud from the bottom of the well.  That’s where I was at.

    So, I thought, I’m just not going to send out a devotion until I have time to refill my well.

    Saturday night I got a good night’s sleep. Then, on Sunday morning an old College friend Bob Smickiklas and his son Josiah were preaching at our church.  Josiah had just come back from a YWAM Missions trip all fired up.  As he told about God’s miraculous power at work healing people both physically and emotionally, I got fired up.  Josiah told of how one young girl who was born mute spoke for the first time!

    Physical rest, preaching, testimonies and being with other believers started filling up my well.  The prayer time after the service was a huge wave of refreshing.

    I got another good night’s sleep and woke up revived. Reenergized to read God’s Word. I read this week’s verse during my devotions and it popped off the page! I understand what Jesus was saying to the disciples in Acts 1:4-5, and why.  He knew what they were facing in life and ministry.  Jesus knew it wouldn’t be easy.  He knew the mission was great.  Jesus doesn’t suggest, the Bible says He commanded the believers to not go out and do any ministry until they received the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  An experience I understand as being secondary to salvation since Jesus was commanding believers to wait.  Jesus knew we couldn’t do I on our own and that we’d need the empowering of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all God desires for us to do.

    [tweetthis]The IN-filling must be greater than the OUT-pouring! [/tweetthis]

    Quote-Infilling greater than outpouring

    God knows what you’re going to face.  Only He knows what you need.  Only He can fill up your well.  Choose today to make choices that will deposit living water in that reservoir of yours!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m thankful that You can fill up my well.  I’m sorry for getting too busy that my reserves are depleted.  Help me to make wise choices physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually, to stay refreshed.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit.  Baptize me like you promise in Your Word.  I need your strength.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Best Post Comment Below:

    God has promised to make us a watered garden, but we can’t keep the hose on all the time!

    ~From Michele Morin michelemorin.wordpress.com


    Braeside camp logo

    Where I’ll be filling up my well this summer!
    Check the website for the speaker schedule:  http://www.braesidecamp.ca


    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 - Wide

    1. Acts 1:4-5
    2. Acts 1:8
    3. Zechariah 4:6
    4. Luke 12:12

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU 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

  • God Still Answers Our Prayers

    Hey Everyone!  Sorry I missed sending out my Soul H2O devotion last week, but my mom took my sister and me on an unplanned trip to NYC!!!  We’ve never done anything like that.  I had the time of my life!   I was glad to hear so many of you missed the devotion and hope this week is a double portion of refreshing to make up for last week’s miss 🙂

    ~Sherry


    "I also tell you this: 
    If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, 
     my Father in heaven will do it for you. 
     For where two or three gather together as my followers, 
     I am there among them." ~Matthew 18:19-20 NLT

    Every year, Braeside Camp runs a Labour Day Weekend camp. It’s such an amazing time of the year.  The air is fresh and crisp; not so hot like at family camp in July.  There’s just an ease around Braeside as the long holiday season winds down.  This one last summer fling is such a treat.  But, last year the joy was almost stolen at the Board Meeting on the Thursday before the weekend began.  During the meeting, we learned the insurance company wasn’t going to pay for the full price to re-shingle the tabernacle roof.  The quote to finish was about 100 thousand dollars… and that was $100,000.00 we didn’t have.  The next day as I led pre-service prayer, I had planned that we would pray and ask God to bring in the funds. What I didn’t plan for was how overwhelmed I felt as we started praying, but this was the beginning of my lesson in how God Still Answers Our Prayers!

    As the group assembled, I began looking around the platform.  I’d never noticed it before, but the leaks in the roof had left water stains running down the center column of the Tabernacle where the cross is displayed.

    It was as if I could hear God charging the Israelites in Ezra’s time when he said to the people, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?”1 You see, we were just like them.  There was no way any of us would have ever let our houses get as bad as we’d let our chapel get.  The carpet was frayed; worn threadbare in so many places with more gum stuck in it than a 2nd-grade desk.

    I began weeping over our negligence and when I shared with the group what I was feeling, they too began to get emotional.  We repented and asked God to forgive us for neglecting to care for His house, and then we asked Him to provide money to finish the roof, get new carpet and fix the water-stained center.  It all seemed like an unreachable goal, but we asked in faith believing that God could do it… well, weakly hoped for actually, but God did it all with our mustard seed of faith!

    God Still Answers Our Prayers

    A few weeks ago (9 months later) my friends, Mark and Andrea Giancola, who run the camp, told me how someone donated over $100,000.00 for the roof!  They were excited because God had shown them favor with the contractors so there was money left-over to fix up the sanctuary and put in new carpet and the center of the church is getting repainted in a week!  When I told them about pre-service prayer on Labour Day weekend we all thanked God for providing in miraculous ways.

    Can you tell I’m a little excited 🙂  We even got a new riser to preach from.  #futuregoal

    God’s Word that we’re focussing on this week in Matthew still holds true today.

    Matthew 18:19-20

    No matter how big or small our request may be.  When people get together and pray; God releases His power… His provision… and His presence.

    In a few weeks, the summer camp season will begin again. People will drive in and see how great the Tabernacle looks with a newly shingled roof.  They’ll walk through the doors when a whiff of that new carpet smell will awaken their senses as their eyes see a freshly painted tabernacle, that didn’t leak this winter!  Everyone will be amazed when they hear how God miraculously provided the funds we prayed for.

    I’m asking God to increase our faith so we all believe for even greater things than shingles, carpet, and paint.  This year I’m going to join with some friends to pray and ask God for miraculous times at camp where He releases His power… His provision… and His presence!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m so thankful that You Don’t Change.  I’m thankful that you still forgive me when I get my priorities mixed up and forget about You and Your house.  Help me to not become overwhelmed with the needs around me but to have confidence in Your goodness.  I ask for a release of Your power, Your provision and Your presence in my life!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]When people get together and pray; God releases His power… His provision… and His presence. #praymore[/tweetthis]

    6 POWER-PACKED PRAYER MEETINGS IN THE BIBLE

    I knew this Soul H2O Devotion was getting long,
    so I didn’t want to add too much,
    but if you have the time and want to learn about
    6 Power Packed Prayer Meetings In The Bible
    You Can Read Here.
    They’ll help you to believe for greater things when you pray!

    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.

     

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


    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Matthew 18:19-20
    2. Jeremiah 29:12
    3. 1 John 5:14
    4. Mark 11:24

    ENDNOTES

    • Haggai 1:4

    blogger prayerYOU 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

  • Plant For The Right Harvest

    Then God said, 
    "Let the land produce vegetation: 
    seed-bearing plants and trees on the land 
    that bear fruit with seed in it, 
    according to their various kinds." 
    And it was so. 
    The land produced vegetation: 
    plants bearing seed according to their kinds and
     trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. 
    And God saw that it was good.
    ~Genesis 1:11-12  NIV

    plant for the right harvest

     

    Today, the sun was warmer here in Ontario, Canada than it was in Florida, so the Harley was just calling us to ride.  Todd and I answered its beck and call; donning helmets and biker boots for the trip.

    Riding around, we saw farmers on tractors working their fields or planting crops.  Many fields lined with sprouts beginning to grow. Clearly, it’s the season to plant!

    I think it’s safe to say, there has never been a farmer who planted a seed of corn, expecting a harvest of potatoes.  Farmers carefully choose what seed to sow, in order to ensure the healthiest plants that will yield the most abundant harvest. Farmers always plant for the right harvest.

    Jesus often spoke in agricultural parables because the people of his day very much understood the principles of farming.  Even though society isn’t so agriculturally based anymore, you’ve all done the seed planting experiment in school and understand that when you planted your bean seed, a bean plant was going to grow.

    You cannot defy the set order of seeds producing fruit according to their kind.

    Genesis 1:12

    Not for plants, not for animals, not for humans.  Even the creation of the mule or finny from a horse paired with a donkey cannot reproduce.  No matter how hard people try, they cannot break these original laws of nature God instituted during creation.

    It’s illogical then for people to imagine they can plant seeds in their lives and expect the opposite result.  You can’t plant seeds of discord and expect to harvest peace, to plant seeds of harshness, and expect to receive kindness, or to plant seeds of injustice, expecting a return of grace.

    [tweetthis]If you want to see a harvest in your life, you need to sow seeds according to its kind. Plant for the right harvest![/tweetthis]

    If you desire to see a harvest of friends, you must sow seeds of kindness.  For a harvest of financial abundance, sow seeds of diligent labor.   Want the harvest of a healthy marriage?  Sow seeds of love, honor, faithfulness, passion and thoughtfulness. You can only harvest what you plant.

    So, what are you planting this season?  Make sure you plant for the right harvest!

    Prayer

    Father… I’m so thankful for how You designed this world to function.  Your ways make sense and I choose to follow them.  I will plant the right seeds in my life, so in due time, I can reap a good harvest.  Help me to discern what it will take to produce the fruit I want to enjoy and I will commit to sowing the right amount of that seed, to ensure an abundant crop. 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-Blue

    1. Isaiah 28:5-6
    2. Matthew 13:24
    3. Luke 6:44
    4. Galatians 6:7

    blogger prayerYOU 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