Soul H2O Devotions

  • Ever Found Yourself Arguing With God?

    "Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
    You are God's critic,
    but do you have the answers?"
    Job 40:2

     

    Have you ever had a teenager living in your house?  It’s a strange phase in the cycle of life. Throughout childhood my kids adored me.  They asked question after question and listened to my words as if I had the answers to every question under the sky.  My kids were never satisfied to just know ‘HOW’ or ‘WHAT’.  They’re like their momma and had to know ‘WHY’; especially my Brandon!

    Overnight my kids became teenagers, and suddenly they had answers for everything.  They no longer wanted to ask me for anything but money and discussions too often turned into arguments.

    Now as young adults, my ‘kids’ call or text me with lots of questions. They’re back asking for advice in the areas of life, love, finances and more. I’ve even had some, “I’m sorry I didn’t listen mom” conversations. My kids have changed from my doting darlings, to my biggest critics and now are some of my loudest cheerleaders.  Encouraging me to write, speak and make a difference in this world!

    I think we follow this same life cycle with God.

    In Luke 18:16, Jesus said,

    "Let the children come to me.
    Don't stop them!
    For the Kingdom of God belongs to those
    who are like these children.”

    Why does Jesus say this? I think it’s because children come in trust believing their parents can do anything.  When Job was going through his time of testing he starts out with child-like faith in God but then digresses to a position of “God’s critic”. Job questions God at every level.  Our loving heavenly Father allows Job to fire out these questions.  His quandaries on why he’s suffering.  Once God feels Job’s gotten it all off his chest, God has a few questions of His own. God essentially asked Job these three questions:

    1. Who created the earth and everything in it?
    2. Who controls the functions of the earth, the: tides, weather, light and darkness?
    3. Who created and cares for the animals and birds; creating within them life patterns and placing a destiny inside of them?

    The answer to every question is God.

    After Job quieted his questions and listened to God’s answers he changed from “God’s critic” to singing God’s praises!  In chapter 42, Job begins to brag on how good God is when he says, “I know that you can do anything”.

    Have You Ever Found Yourself Arguing With God?

    In the same way your teenager can go from your biggest critic to your fondest fan, so we need to change. Learn to lay down your criticism and fear to see that the God who created everything is the ONE who keeps it all together and holds you in His hands.

    Prayer

    Father…I’m sorry for the times I’ve come at you with an argument prepared, telling you what I think and how You should do things.  Help me to come with child-like faith, trusting in you as I pray.  May my heart and words express Your goodness for all the world to know; including me.  God You are good.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Have You Ever Found Yourself Arguing With God? [/tweetthis]

    Writing this devotion made me think of a quote I read years ago and my Facebook friends Andrea and Lisa helped me find it again.  Thanks Girls <3   I think you’ll all enjoy it!When I was Ten Mark Twain

    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. Job 40:2
    2. Luke 18:16
    3. Isaiah 45:9
    4. Job 42:1

    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 

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  • Getting In Shape

    I discipline my body like an athlete
    training to do what it should otherwise, 
    I fear that after preaching to others 
    I myself might be disqualified.
    1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT

    GETTING IN SHAPE

    I went to the Sherk Complex and made it through Rosie’s Triple Threat fitness class {insert loud cheers of encouragement}!!!  Ok, maybe “made it through” is kind of stretching it, but I didn’t die in the class…even though I wanted to cry every time I had to bend down to put on my shoes for the next two days. Three years ago was the last time this body had any kind of real work out so, it probably wasn’t the wisest choice to pick what I’ve now learned is the toughest fitness class they host…but I did it! An Olympic athlete I may not be, but I’m on my way towards getting into shape! For years now I’ve been talking about getting in shape and now I’ve actually begun.

    GETTING COMMITTED

    Getting in ShapeI posted a Facebook Live from my car right after the workout so people heard me state my goal and encouraged everyone listening to hold me accountable and now I’m asking you…yes you…as one of my readers to do the same!

    In a few weeks I have a monumental birthday that is kind of freaking me out, actually rocking me to my core!  Six months ago I started saying I wanted to be Fit at Fifty but I didn’t do anything to make that ‘dream’ a reality.  Sure I talked about it but I never put any effort into achieving the goal…until today.

    By getting to the gym, I took a step towards getting in shape…a move forward in reaching my goal of Fit at Fifty! Unless the work-out genie puts her arms up and blinks me into shape during the next couple weeks, I’m not going to reach my first deadline of my birthday.  Missing this target date is ok, ‘cause sometimes you have to let go of your timeline! I am going to reach my goal.  I am going to get healthy.  I have the passion of Paul in this verse to meet the challenge head on.

    1 Cor 9:27

    GETTING GOING

    olympic ringsHealth, wholeness and happiness don’t ‘just happen’.  You have to be a serious contender to experience real change.  When I read Paul’s words to the Corinthian believers I can’t help but think how diligently the Olympic athletes we’re watching on TV these days train to attain their goal. We need to be disciplined in all areas of our lives: physically, emotionally, financially, relationally and spiritually to live the adventure God dreamed for us.

    What area of life to you need to start getting in shape?  Choose today to discipline yourself.

    Train to attain your goal!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank you for giving me the power to make choices.  Help me not to just see the areas that need change in my life, but to actively work towards making lasting change. May I have the heart of Paul to live a determined, disciplined life.  I commit to taking the next step towards health, wholeness and happiness. I will stick with the journey until I reap the benefits of the goal.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Train to Attain…It’s not just good advice for #Olympians but all of us![/tweetthis]

    Drawing From The Well - Wide

    1. 1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT
    2. 2 Corinthians 13:5
    3. Romans 8:13
    4. Luke 9:25

    Watch my Facebook Life for a little added encouragement  🙂

    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

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  • Just a Spoonful of Honey

    “Set up road markers for yourself;
    make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, 
    the road by which you went.~Jeremiah 31:21 ESV

    Have you ever had a nagging cold that just didn’t want to lift?  I’ve been suffering with a wretched cough that’s kept me up at night for over a week and I’m worn out.  Medications were taken and nothing helped.  Exhaustion set in and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take it. At one point during the night, a coughing fit started to get unbearable and then I had a thought pop into my head…honey!  Promptly I got out of bed, went to the cupboard, swallowed down just a spoonful of honey and Wham-O, the coughing stopped!  Finally, I had half of a good night’s sleep!

    Taking honey to help soothe a throat from coughing is something I used to do.

    I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it before?

    How is it that we can forget the simple things, those proven paths in the face of distress?  It’s as if the difficulty gobbles up our brain cells and leaves us without weapon to defeat the foe.  As I laid in bed marveling that the coughing stopped and questioning why I hadn’t thought of downing honey before, I remembered this verse.

    Jeremiah 31-21

    “Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went.

    God sent Jeremiah to help the people remember where they had been and of the roads they used to take to get there, so they could come back home.  Jeremiah had said to them earlier: “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”

    In stubbornness, you can refuse to follow the old way because you want something new, something improved.  You can assume a new way is a better way when maybe God is trying to remind you of an old way that works; one that will bring rest for your soul, just like the spoonful of honey did for me!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m so thankful that you guide me into rest.  Help me to open my spiritual ears and not let stubbornness hinder my hearing.  May I be willing to follow you in old and new ways; wherever you direct.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Remember the simple things, those proven paths in the face of distress. Jr 31:21 [/tweetthis]

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL-PINKY

    1. Jeremiah 31:21
    2. Jeremiah 6:16
    3. Jeremiah 18:15
    4. Isaiah 30:21
    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!

    Blogger Prayers-Pinky BrownYOU 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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  • I’ve Been Binge Watching Netflix

    “bless those who curse you,
    pray for those who mistreat you.”
    ~Luke 6:28 NIV

    This week I’ve been really sick {insert coughing fit}.  I finally got some antibiotics, but it’s just not letting up so,

    I’ve Been Binge Watching Netflix!

    Isn’t that the new national sickness pastime?

    THE CROWN NETFLIXTodd and I have been fascinated with The Crown Series and I’m sad because there’s only two episodes left for us.  Learning about Queen Elizabeth and the royal family has been incredible.  You see their humanness and the personal struggles they faced.  The Queen is truly a remarkable woman who has lead through so much adversity.  One episode called, Vergangenheit; which translates as ‘past’ in German is stuck in my head.

    The Vergangenheit episode chronicles a time when Billy Graham brought his crusades to England.  As the head of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth’s family didn’t think it was appropriate for her to come under the American Evangelist’s teaching, but the simple Christian; as she calls herself, finds great hope in Graham’s messages.

    As God would have it, the evangelists visits takes place at the same time as an opportunity for forgiveness arises in her life. The Queen’s Uncle, who had abdicated the throne and left it to her father was begging for them to allow him back into the country and restore him to a position in the government.

    The Queen’s desire to forgive as Christ forgave was so pure.  In the heart of forgiveness, she almost allowed her uncle to bamboozle the family again.  God allowed hidden documents from the past to surface at just the right time so the Queen could base her decision to restore the relationship with her uncle on this new information. As the Bible says in Numbers 32:23, “be sure your sins will find you out”.  The ex-king’s past ties to the Nazi regime and betrayal of the family was confirmed, allowing Elizabeth to sever those unhealthy family ties.

    The most powerful part of this episode happened when Queen Elizabeth asked again to meet with Rev. Graham to discuss forgiveness on a deeper level.  Billy Graham is recorded as saying,

    “the solution for being unable to forgive…
    pray for those one cannot forgive.” 
    ~Billy Graham

    The cameras show her pondering these words and then switches to her kneeling at the altar, eyes toward heaven, praying.   The scene then moves to her praying before bed when her husband, affirms to her how the decision to banish this dastardly uncle from the Kingdom was a heroic, godly act of a sovereign protecting her people.  An example of the shepherd guarding the sheep.

    There were so many spiritual applications to this episode I could write for days, but the overarching theme was Forgiveness vs. Restored Relationship and I couldn’t help but think about the devotion I wrote back in 2014 with the title Does Forgiveness =Equal= Restored Relationship?

    May we all follow the examples of Jesus and Queen Elizabeth when it comes to forgiveness.  Pray for those you struggle to forgive and allow the Lord to release you from the stranglehold of offence.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for forgiving me.  Help my heart to never be bound up by unforgiveness because I’m not the judge, only You are.  Help me to forgive like You did.  When hurt emotions spring up in my heart reminding me of those who’ve offended me, help me to pray and release them into Your care, Your justice, Your hands. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Pray for those you struggle to forgive[/tweetthis]

    If forgiveness and the questions of moving towards relationship restoration is an issue your struggling with, I do encourage you to read my previous post, Does Forgiveness =Equal= Restored Relationship?

    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. Luke 6:28
    2. Matthew 5:44
    3. Romans 12:14
    4. 1 Peter 3:9

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREY

    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

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/80025678 Website Accessed:  2018-02-05

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  • Am I Worth Following?

    Many other people went up with them.~Exodus 12:38 NIV

    When you think about ‘following people’ these days doesn’t your mind go right to social media?

    Well, mine goes further back than that.  My brain goes right back to childhood memories when someone would follow me around…in that annoying, copy-cat kind of way, when a kid just wouldn’t give up and mimicked my every move. It used to drive me crazy! I mean…was I really worth following?

    My church is in the middle of a series on Moses.  Each week I’m hearing new perspectives on Moses’ life and the story about the Israelites leaving Egypt. When I was reading the story in my Bible, I re-read something I had made a note on years ago and I think it’s a part of the Exodus story details you might have missed?

    I’m guessing you know God brought the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt through the Red Sea since Charleton Heston or Steven Spielberg’s, The Prince of Egypt taught you that much!  Reading your Bible explains how eventually, the people got it together and entered The Promised Land but…

    [tweetthis]Did you know it wasn’t just the Israelites that left Egypt under Moses’ leadership? [/tweetthis]

    The Bible tells us that

    many other people went up with them”.

    The original wording makes is clear that there were people of different nationalities who followed Moses and the Israelites, out of Egypt and into the desert.  Scripture doesn’t give us a reason why these people followed the Israelites out of town, but I don’t think it takes rocket-science to figure it out why they were worth following.

    The people would have seen God at work in the miraculous signs and wonders He performed through Moses, all to deliver the people He loved. They would have seen God provide for His people. Who wouldn’t want to join that group? Because of Moses’ and the other Israelites boldness, people were willing to take a stand and follow God’s leading for themselves.

    When I was young I didn’t like people following right behind me; but as I read Moses’ story with fresh eyes, I’m filled with the desire to live a life worth following and I hope you are too!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank you for loving me. I ask that my life would be marked with signs and wonders of Your hand at work so, others will be drawn in and find my life worth following.  Help me to lead a clear, straight path right to Your heart.  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 - Brown and Blue

    1. Exodus 12:38
    2. Exodus 12:19
    3. John 12:32
    4. 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Corinthians 4:16

     

    Blogger Prayers-Pinky BrownYOU 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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  • I Got a Thank You Card In The Mail!

    One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.”

    Luke 17:15-16 NIV

    There’s not a lot of mail we like to open.  Usually I get excited when I see an “It’s a GOOD mail day!” sticker on my #EllensPicks packages, but this week I was thrilled when I saw a small handwritten notecard addressed to little ole me.  I got a Thank You card in the mail!

    Opening a handwritten note from Patty Scott; a blogger at Hearts Homeward made my day!  This sweet girl from California that I met online through blogging helped me with some ideas I was working on for online Bible study courses so, I sent her a copy of my books.  The first time she got my package it was torn and empty {Insert a big sigh}.  Patty let me know what happened and thanked me for trying. Well…I wasn’t going to let the postal service block my gratitude, so I sent her another package covered in shipping tape!  Patty was writing this card to: thank me for the books, tell me how she was looking forward to ‘diving in’ and then wrote a prayer of blessing over my life…how encouraging is that!

    SHARING THE GRATITUDE

    You might think this is a common occurrence for me?  I’ve given away a ton of books, many have expressed their appreciation, but few have gone so far as to send me a thank you card in the mail.

    Although I didn’t do anything of similar magnitude, this reminded me of Jesus and the 10 lepers.  These guys went to Jesus and asked for a healing. Life was tough for them with such a severe skin disease.  They couldn’t work or even live in town.  When they received their healings it says that only one came back and thanked Jesus.

    Luke 17:15-16

    This lack of gratitude really didn’t sit well with Jesus and he responded saying, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”1 The writer of Hebrews reminds people that we need to show gratitude towards God by saying, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful.”

    So here’s my challenge to you this week…get busy writing so someone will be able to say,

    I Got a Thank You Card In The Mail!

    Prayer

    Father…my heart is full of gratitude for all You’ve done.  Forgive me for the times I didn’t let You or the others in my life know how much I appreciate them and all they do.  Fill my heart with gratitude and let it spill out in words of blessing and encouragement today.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]I’m sending out a thank you card in the mail this week…why not you? #shearethegratitude[/tweetthis]

    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. Luke 17:11-19 NIV

    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

     

     

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  • Trust That It’s Not The End!

    I’m so excited to be back writing!
    I hope you’ve missed me like I’ve missed you 🙂

    Praying you’ve had a great holiday.  In November I had great hopes that my Christmas season would be filled with lots of downtime and fun with family.  Well…fun with family happened! All the kids home for Christmas was a highlight for Todd and I.  Since our kids are older now I understand why my parents get so excited when we all come home!

    Unfortunately, downtime didn’t happen.  December and the beginning of January have been marked with major computer issues…and that’s a real problem when you write for a living.

    If you’ve been one of my amazing readers for more than a couple years you know I’ve kind of been plagued with computer issues and if you don’t hear from me you can pretty much assume that’s what’s going on.

    In July of last year I got a new MAC and thought my technology woes were behind me. Getting work done became so much easier after that until December 2nd.  That day I finished preaching at a women’s Christmas event and closed my computer putting it safely in my bag.  When I opened it up later that day my screen was black and wouldn’t turn on.  Best Buy had the computer for three weeks and then it’s been a lot of online tech support calls trying to get it working properly again.

    Truthfully, the computer problems are the least of my difficulties, but ones I totally feel comfortable sharing with you right now 🙂  At times, it feels like trouble is all around and it just doesn’t want to let up.  Such great things can be going on in your life but when nagging, unrelenting, ongoing issues are happening at the same time you have to watch or the negative will override your thoughts and blind you to all the positives in your life.

    Trust That It’s Not The End!

     

    JAMES 5:11

    Job knew what it was like to live with nagging, unrelenting, ongoing issues.  He went through a series of losses thankfully the depths of which few have to experience.  Job was heartbroken as he lost all his finances, his children, his health and his wife. He suffered great injustices and was then insulted with a barrage of hurtful accusations by his “friends”, who said they came to ‘comfort’ him…who needs enemies with friends like that???

    It’s not known how long Job’s sickness lasted but from what I read He got to the place of complete hopeless about his life to the point that he wished he had never been born. But it wasn’t the end!

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

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

    When Job’s situation looked unredeemable, God said, it’s not the end yet.  From the moment Job forgave those who offended him God began the Job-rebuilding program.  People began to bless Job and give him gifts that he was able to turn into wealth.  For 140 years God poured out a double-blessing into Job’s life…and then it was the end.

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

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

    Be encouraged by these quotes today!

    “Everything is going to be fine in the end.
    If it’s not fine it’s not the end.”
    ~Oscar Wilde
    (Irish Poet, Novelist, Playwright from the 1800’s)1


    John Lennon is famous for saying it like this,

    “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” 2


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


    Drawing From The Well

     

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

    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

    Endnotes

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

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  • Twas The Night Before Christmas… {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}

    I can’t believe that there’s only six days until The Night Before Christmas!!!

    I hope that didn’t make you panic 🙂  Remember, it’s not about the presents!

    It’s been an amazing journey this year and I’m so thankful for all the connections I’ve had with you! Hearing how God is using the blog to speak into your life, encourage and refresh you has been incredible to hear. I hope you keep commenting on the blog, social media or emailing me!

    Next Monday is Christmas and I’m preparing a special video for you.  I know you might not have time to view it then, but I hope you do sometime during the next week. For now, here’s the last post in my Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series.  

    lakepoint logoThis week’s notes were from today’s sermon by Pastor Michael Bessette from my church, Lakepoint Family Church in little ole Leamington, Ontario.  Friends and I were talking after church about how crazy blessed we are to have such amazing pastors at our church.
    You would never know from our building, to our programs, from the music to the preaching that you were in a small town.  Lakepoint is really high-tech, top-notch, growing church and yet has the most welcoming of atmospheres.  Just last week Geoff Moore; Recording Artist said how he’s travelled to thousands of churches in his long career and appreciated how welcoming our church was.  This Sunday’s preaching by Pastor Michael was such an awesome message that I’m glad I get to share with you!  So, here it goes…

    TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS… {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}

    Christmas playThis Sunday’s service is always one of my favorite Sundays in the year; the Children’s Sunday School Concert.  I don’t even have kids in the program and I love it because they’re just too cute!  

    After the play, Pastor Michael had us all laughing by telling a funny little story about trying not to catch a ‘man-cold’ from his son Levi.  When he switched from sharing this cute, but disgustingly gross story about his son’s cold to sharing how his father has battled MS for over a decade, Michael made the segway into his sermon with this statement:

    “Unfortunately sickness & suffering is a reality of this world.”

    TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS…

    Michael connected us to the people in the Christmas story by comparing what the people were feeling in three different cities on the night before that first Christmas to how closely we experience the same today.  He shared how so many people allowed these feelings or mindsets caused them to miss seeing that their saviour, the messiah had come so we wouldn’t miss His return.

    “Much like they were waiting for a Messiah 2000 years ago…
    Once again we are waiting for Jesus to come.
    We celebrate His birth this Christmas,
    but we’re also anticipating His return.”

    I’m going to give you the briefest review of his points that will help you see how alike you are to the people who were around when Jesus was born.

    Sermon Notes

    1. Twas the night before ChristmasIn Rome…The People Were:

    Self-Sufficient & Self-Consumed.  

    Rome had everything; a strong leadership with Caesar Augustus, strong economy so they could take care of their own needs.  People lived to fulfill their selfish desires in every area.  Rome ruled the world so they weren’t aware of the coming saviour.

    People in Rome missed Jesus because they weren’t looking for Him.

    Luke 2:1-7

    “The Romans missed when Jesus showed up
    on that first Christmas night… 
    it’d be a real shame
    if we settle for living our lives
    unaware of his return.”

    2.  Twas the night before Christmas In Jerusalem…The People Were:

    Hopeless

    The Jewish people had been waiting so long for God’s promised Messiah that they gave up hoping any more.

    People in Jerusalem missed Jesus because they gave up looking for Him.

    “We may lose faith, but He is always faithful. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be that you have to walk through what you’re walking through… I don’t know how much longer it’ll be until His final return… but I do know our rescuer is on the way. The date is circled on God’s calendar. We may not know when it will be, but He does. Jesus came, and Jesus will come again.”

    BUT…at least two people In Jerusalem didn’t give up hope! Because Simeon and Anna kept believing, they saw the fulfillment of the promise in the Messiah’s birth.  Simeon and Anna didn’t miss Jesus.

    You can read more about Anna’s Story: HERE

    Luke 2:25-38

    3.  Twas the night before Christmas…In Bethlehem…The People Were:

    Preoccupied

    People were scrambling around to clean their homes and prepare them for visiting relatives or travelling to their hometowns.

    People in Bethlehem missed Jesus because they were too busy.

    Only the Shepherds had enough margin in their schedule to hear from God and followed to find the Christ-child that first Christmas night.  These men who took the time to gaze up into the stars didn’t miss Jesus.

    Luke 2:8-18

    “I wonder how many of us have become so busy with unimportant things,
    that we’re in danger of missing the essential thing?”

    ~Pastor Michael Bessette

    “The harder it is for you to slow down and make time to encounter Jesus,
    the more desperately you need to do just that.”
    ~Pastor Kyle Idleman

    “The first time Jesus came, a bunch of people missed it because they had given up hope, were unaware or simply too busy to notice.

    Don’t let that be the case for you when he comes again.

    And when he does return, it will be different. Because the first time He came, He came in weakness; when He comes again, He will come in strength. The first time He came, He came as a servant; when He comes again, He will come as a ruler. The first time He came, He came as a baby in a manger; when He comes again, He will come as a mighty king. The first time He came, Jesus came to die; but when He comes again, the dead will rise back to life. The first time Jesus came, He came as a lamb; when He comes again He’ll come as a lion. The first time Jesus came, the world barely noticed; but when He comes again — every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.”

    ~Pastor Michael Bessette

    It’s my prayer that you take time this Christmas season to be aware of God’s presence…place your hope confidently in God’s promises and Christ’s return…slowing down your pace enough, so your heart can hear His voice.

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank-you for this reminder to open my eyes so I can see Jesus.  I don’t want to live independent of you Jesus; thinking I can take care of myself.  I know I need you!  Let my heart be filled with hope and long for You, my soon coming King!  In Jesus Name…Amen.

    Drawing From The Well

     

    1. Luke 2:1-7
    2. Luke 2:8-18
    3. Luke 2:25-38

     

    pastor michael
    Watch: A Kids Christmas – Dec 17 2017
    – Michael Bessette
    {Sermon Starts at 35:26}

     

     

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  • Those Defining Relationship Moments {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}


    “Because you are his sons, 
    God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
    the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."
    Galatians 4:6  NIV

    Can you think back to one of your defining relationship moments?  You know what I’m talking about…those events that change your connection forever?  Well, I’ve had my fair share.  I remember, with my heart getting this fluttery feeling, the moment Todd said his vows to me before Pastor John.  I still get this excited feeling as I write!

    Wedding Vows
    Todd’s Actual Wedding Vow Card from 2012

    From that day forward our bond was set and my life has never been the same! Todd was no longer my boyfriend…not even my fiancé, he was my HUSBAND!  

    Today’s Soul H2O devotion in the Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series tells about another one of those defining relationship moments that truly changed e-ve-ry-thing!

    Our church held a worship and prayer night; we call them Encounter Nights and boy was I encountered by a truth I hadn’t fully grasped…to be honest, I’m not sure I have yet.  Before we broke into prayer groups Pastor Nathan felt to highlight and do a little teaching on Galatians 4:6.   

    “And because we are his children,
    God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
    prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father.""
    Galatians 4:6  NLT

    Before Jesus, the people of God were afraid to say the name of God; they considered it blasphemy to do so.  In order to get around this they came up with calling God YHWH.1

    Their relationship with the father was distant and fearful, but by receiving Christ a defining relationship moment occurs and they are to call Him Abba Father; the aramaic equivalent of “daddy” or “papa”.2  How intimate, how loving, how kind.

    This change is mind blowing!

    God’s people went from living under old testament law, to grace and freedom in Christ…from being slaves to sons who inherit all The Father has…rules were replaced with relationship and legalism superseded by love.  

    The relationship changes were epic and still hold true today!  Years ago when I started to understand this concept I began addressing God as “Daddy”.  It’s changed my prayer-life drastically and helped me to remember whose I am. 

    When you receive Christ and what He did for you on the cross, it brings about one of those defining relationship moments with the Father for YOU! He becomes your Daddy and replaces e-ve-ry-thing with His love.  I challenge you to live today grasping the wonder of your relationship with Him.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for sending Jesus into this world so my relationship with you could be changed for the better.  Help me to accept my position with You. I’m part of Your family, a joint heir with Your son because I hold the position of a son; the legal heir in Your heart. Let me fully grasp how you are my Daddy and not let that be tainted by any past human failings from the men in my life…because…You, are a loving, kind and faithful father.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Before Jesus, the people of God were afraid to say the name of God; now we call Him Daddy![/tweetthis]

    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 - Brown and Blue

    1. Galatians 4:6
    2. Mark 14:36
    3. Romans 8:15-16
    4. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

    lakepoint logoMy Church
    http://www.lakepoint.church

    Nathan AlbrechtTo Watch Pastor Nathan’s Sermons or see Inspiring Testimonies,
    Click on our  Lakepoint Vimeo Account

    This post is Used with permission from Rev. Nathan Albrecht.

    Nathan
    champions the overall vision & leadership of LakePoint. As the primary communicator, Nathan is dedicated to revealing the truths of scripture in practical & relevant ways to help people take the next step in their faith journey. When not in the office, you’ll probably find Nathan with his family or reading about the latest hockey news.


    Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series  Part 1  There is a Sunny Day Somewhere


    Blogger Prayers-Pinky BrownYOU 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

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://www.behindthename.com/name/yahweh   Website Accessed:  2017-12-01
    2. https://biblehub.com/greek/5.htm Website Accessed:  2017-12-10

     

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  • There Is A Sunny Day Somewhere

    "Come and see what our God has done,
    what awesome miracles he performs for people!”
    ~Psalm 66:5 NLT

    I love my iphone…kind of addicted to it.  I love how I can get information with just a touch.  Since weather is ever changing throughout the day in Canada I use the weather app a lot! It often makes me want to visit Shelby at school because even when it’s cold, rainy, snowing or just grey here, it almost always shows blue skies in Florida. Proof that:

    There Is a Sunny Day Somewhere…
    You just have to look for it!

    I was listening to a sermon this week that helped set my focus on the sun and not the clouds. When a verse touches my heart or a quote from a sermon hits me I sometimes write it on a cue card, a napkin, a bulletin insert or if I’m near a computer, I put it into a graphic and print it out.  While I was listening to Matt Tapley’s sermon this week I started to make up a graphic you’ll find below.  It inspired me to write this post and run another short series called Sherry’s Sermon Notes because I’ve been encouraged with some great teaching lately and want to share the insights with you!  I just can’t keep them to myself 🙂

    In the sermon; The Presence, The River and the Works of God, Matt was talking about how we all go through hard times. I pay attention when he talks about adversity since he and his wife Lisa have faced the most difficult of life’s circumstances with the passing of their daughter Sarah. Sometimes people can look at your social media and think your life is glamourous without knowing all you face behind the scenes.  Matt’s words helped me to shift my focus and to look for what God IS doing when he said:

    “Don’t get stuck in your moment.
    Every time I fly on a plane..I love that moment when you just lift beyond the clouds…
    cause every day…even if it’s the darkest, dreariest day here…
    It’s sunny somewhere
    If you can just get high enough, it’s sunny right where you are
    if you can have a perspective shift…if you can get above the clouds…there’s reason to have hope!
    When you have a promise and a reality that don’t meet
    Focus on what God IS doing”
    ~Matt Tapley

    Psalm 66:5 says to look at what God has done…not focus on what He hasn’t done.  I gave my brain a perspective shift as I began to thank God for the things He was doing and talked about them; the cloudy thoughts dissipated and hope grew.  Today I went for a walk and the sky was a bright blue.  The sun was shining bright.  I felt the Lord was showing me how much my perspective had changed and how I was able to see it was sunny here!  As I walked, I checked my weather app and noticed that not everywhere had a sunny day, but today I did!  The sun wasn’t just in Florida 🙂  Here’s the picture to prove it.

    sunny day somewhere

    Let your eyes rise today to look above the clouds and see the SON!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank you for creating me with the ability to change my perspective. Help me not to live in the bondage of feelings that tell me I can’t change and neither will my circumstances. You are the God of the impossible who makes all things possible…I hope in You!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]There Is a Sunny Day Somewhere…you just have to look for it! Ps 66:5[/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis]Let your eyes rise today to look above the clouds and see the SON![/tweetthis]

    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!

    Here’s the graphic I made up. I hope you print it out and put it somewhere to remind you:

    Ps 66_5 and Matt Tapley Quote

    Drawing From The Well - Brown and Blue

    1. Psalm 66:5
    2. Psalm 46:1-5
    3. Psalm 68:35
    4. Isaiah 64:3

    LakemountThis post is Used with permission from Matt Tapley’s Sermon recorded on The Lakemount Podcast. Check them out for A Time of Refreshing!
    http://www.lakemount.ca Click on Grow to see the list of sermons or find on iTunes.  They even have a church app for the podcasts.

    Lakemount Refreshing

    Blogger Prayers-Pinky BrownYOU 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