Soul H2O Devotions

  • You’ve Got to Get Moving – God Knows How To Get You Where You Need To Be Series {Part 2}

    Well, I’m still bubbling over from my summer fill-up at Braeside Camp and so excited to share You’ve Got To Get Moving; the second part of God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be Series. I pray it’s everything you need to put some pep in your step.  If not, the #musicpic at the end sure will.  In case you missed it, you can find Part 1of God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be {Part 1} and read Why God Doesn’t Give You a 5-Year Plan {Part 3} later.

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show Joy Radio Original Sherry StahlOh, and today’s a celebration!!!

    It’s the 270th Soul H2O Devotion!!!

    I can hardly believe it, and in one month, Soul H2O Radio will debut through the airwaves!  Yah, you heard that right… Soul H2O Radio 📻 on JOY Radio.CA and it’s going to be a podcast too. It’s the overflow!  So much going on right now.  Life is full and exciting, full of adventure!  I’ll tell you more about the Radio Show next week. Joy Radio - Black Logo


    God Knows How To Get You Where You Need To Be {Part 2} BUT…

    YOU’VE GOT TO GET MOVING

    David and his men marched behind them… 
    ~1 Samuel 29:2 BSB

    Motorcycle Friends

    Monday was the Civic holiday here in Canada but in Leamington, it’s now known as the annual Hogs For Hospice motorcycle ride weekend.  If you follow my social media, you already knew this… with all my pictures it was pretty obvious. 😊 We had so much fun! Todd and I love to get out with friends and ride the motorcycle; well technically Todd’s riding, I’m relaxing behind him. I was relaxing so much it’s hard to get moving this morning!

    In last week’s devotion, I talked about how God was able to perfectly position David and the other soldiers in the right place, at just the right time; enabling them to route their enemies and get back all that had been stolen from them.

    I believe God was able to get David where he needed to be so easily because he was already moving. Scripture records how David and his men were marching when they were told to go back to Ziklag.

    They weren’t stationary.  They weren’t sitting at home, by the phone, waiting for God to call them into action. No, they were moving ahead; albeit in the wrong direction, but they were moving.

    It’s comforting to know God holds true to His promise in Isaiah 30:21 to re-direct if you get moving in the wrong direction.

    You will hear a voice behind you saying,
    “This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left.
    ~Isaiah 30:21 NIV

    He did it for David through a foreign king sending him ‘home’ and for Jonah, God stirred up a storm and sent a big fish to get Jonah where he needed to be. The key is to get moving because,

    It’s easier to steer a moving ship than one sitting in the harbor.
    ~Unknown

    Quote-It's easier to steer a moving ship Devo 270

    So, shake off the slumber. Wipe the crusties out of the corner of your eyes and get moving.  Fight against the fear of making the wrong move and trust, God knows how to get you where you need to be! Don’t allow anything to keep the ship of your life docked in the harbor.  The adventure is out on the sea!

    Prayer

    Father… I’m so thankful that You are always guiding and directing me. I refuse to let the fear of making wrong moves and falling out of your perfect will freeze my feet.  I commit to get moving and living the adventurous life You’ve destined for me. I’m leaving doubt dock to set sail for the wavy wonderland of Your calling.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    Don’t allow anything to keep the ship of your life docked in the harbor. The adventure is out on the sea! 😊 Click To Tweet

    Facebook Live July 2019In case you haven’t watched this impromptu Facebook Live yet, I’ve linked it below. I recorded this while on a walk in the middle of writing last week’s devotion and getting inspired for writing this week’s. Talking about how God knows how to get you where you need to be… and I was moving for sure!!!

    Drawing From The Well

    Scripture to fill up your well!

    Print Out a Soul H2O Journal Page to get the most of this devotion by writing out the Scriptures or what God reveals to you as you read them. Download HERE.

    1. 1 Samuel 29:2
    2. Isaiah 30:21
    3. Jonah 1:4
    4. James 3:4

    Toby Mac Keep walking#musicpic SONG: MOVE (Keep Walking)
    Makes Me Feel: Like dancing.  Gets me Moving!!!
    Sung By: TobyMac
    Album: This Is Not A Test © 2015
    Written By: Jeff Pardo, Christ Mcclarney, Lindsey Sweat
    Official Youtube Video With Lyrics: https://youtu.be/MX1G71WK-FA
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tobymac/movekeepwalkin.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on


    ENDNOTES

    1. James 3:4

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  • God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be {Part 1}

    Well, I took a break and that filled me with a new passion for all God has in store for this year! I wasn’t releasing Soul H2O Devos until I filled up my well. So, let’s get to today’s devotion, it’s going to put peace in your heart as you begin to believe that God Knows How to Get You Where You Need To Be {Part 1} Get Moving {Part 2} and Why God Doesn’t Give You a 5-Year Plan {Part 3} There’s so much to tell you <3

    Print Out a Soul H2O Journal Page to get the most of this devotion. Download HERE.

    Much Love,

    Sherry with heart

    269 GOD KNOWS HOW TO GET YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO BE

    KNOWS HOW TO GET YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO BE {Part 1}

    So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the LORD lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers don’t approve of you. Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”
    ~1 Samuel 29:6-7 NIV

    It wasn’t fair.

    David and his men didn’t do anything wrong.  Clearly, they were doing everything right according to the leader’s words, but they still lost their jobs and were forced to return ‘home’.

    Have you ever faced a situation like this?  You’re just going along, doing your job, doing what’s right when all of a sudden something is taken away from you? It doesn’t make sense and it really isn’t fair. It may even seem counter-productive to God’s call on your life or contrary to His purposes at large but more times than not, these events are the vehicle God uses to get you where you need to be.

    At this time, David and his Mighty Men were Hired Henchmen or more in today’s terms, Monetized Mercenaries. They were professional warriors, hired by foreign nations to battle on their behalf. Their income was based on finding work as soldiers since they had to flee their homeland Israel because of Saul’s death threats. David asks what most of us ask when the carpet’s pulled out from under us… again,

    “But what have I done?”

    None of David’s begging worked and so he and his men had to go back to Ziklag, a place where they had set up camp as a makeshift ‘home’ where all the women and children were holding the fort down until they returned.  When the men got to Ziklag, they were heartbroken.  Clouds of smoldering smoke blocked their view of the devastation. The place was silent, except for the crackling of burning embers on the ground. Nothing was left. The men began to weep until they could cry no more as they feared what had happened to their families.

    Miraculously, they come across a slave who told them how the Amalekites raided their camp and took their families captive. The Amalekites had literally just left. This slave took David and his army to the Amalekite hide-out where they were partying in celebration of their conquest; getting ready to take advantage of the women and children.

    But God…

    But God had them arrive, just in the nick of time. David and his army of men took back what had been stolen from them. Scripture makes it clear that they got everything back, nothing was lost, they actually ended up with more. Enough excess to bless over 13 nearby towns.  If they wouldn’t have been sent home, David and his men would have missed their opportunity to take back what the enemy stole from them.

    No Fear!

    Don’t live in fear of what could happen if you move forward in what God’s called you to do. Take that step of faith and trust that God will watch over whatever is yours and protect what you’ve entrusted to Him. Sometimes the enemy will attack your family, friends, health, property, or possessions as he sees you moving forward or when he thinks you’re not around to stop him; but don’t be afraid, God knows how to get you where you need to be!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for the strength of Your GPS.  It never gets me lost. Help me to have faith with joy and peace as I trust You, Your timing and Your ways.  You are God All-Knowing, All-Powerful.  I will not fear because… I just don’t need to! In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]God knows how to get you where you need to be![/tweetthis]

    Facebook Live July 2019

    Watch this impromptu Facebook Live I recorded last week on my walk while I was in the middle of writing today’s devotion and next week’s as an example of how God knows how to get you where you need to be!

    Drawing From The Well

    Scripture to fill up your well!

    Print Out a Soul H2O Journal Page to get the most of this devotion by writing out the Scriptures or what God reveals to you as you read them. Download HERE.

    1. 1 Samuel 29:6-7
    2. Isaiah 58:11
    3. John 14:26
    4. Proverbs 16:9

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  • An Unexpected Way To Get A Message To Stick

    The goal for this week’s #soulh2o devo is to help you find creative ways to get a message to stick in your brain… especially ones from God and my ideas come from all the way back in elementary school. I wrote today’s devotion from the sunshine state of Florida.  When you receive it on Wednesday morning, I’ll be moving Shelby back home to Canada… that is before she plans to go to Australia!  My world traveler.  I’ve had 10 trips to Florida in four years. Lots of km’s tracked with my girl 🙂

    An Unexpected Way To Get A Message To Stick

    Write down the revelation
    and
    make it plain on tablets
    ~Habakkuk 2:2 NIV

    Did you ever have to write lines as punishment in school?

    Do you remember the resulting hand cramps and chalk dust all over your clothes? Well, I might have gotten in trouble a time or two for talking in class and maybe once or twice had to face the consequences. The penalty was anything from sit-ups, stand in the corner, out in the hall to the dreaded writing out lines (My love for rule-keeping kept me from the strap).

    Writing Out Lines

    Fast Forward to parenthood and when I was desperate to find creative ways to discipline, I heard about a mom who got her to write out lines.  At first, I thought it was a horrible idea, and my kids might still think it was, but I felt it had a purpose beyond just making them aware of their wrongdoing. I felt writing out statements that gave positive direction would help them learn from their mistakes.

    Write Down The Revelation

    Today’s Bible App Verse of The Day had an accompanying image of the verse that reminded me of writing out lines to bring about a positive impact.  It’s the modern-day equivalent to “write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets”, like sharing it on your iPad or surface tablet. 🙂

    John 14:6When I saw these lines written out it was the encouragement I needed for my day. Certain situations have been stirring up fear in my life and I’ve been trying to stuff fear down and keep it from causing full-blown paranoia.

    I woke up with thoughts swirling in my mind that weren’t full of faith, so I knew I needed to dispel those negative messages with the truth of God’s Word, it’s the only thing that truly works for me.

    When I pulled up the verse of the day and saw this image it was the faith-lift my heart needed to face the day and trust God with my concerns. This reminder to not ‘let’ my heart be troubled was just what I needed.  It was a kick in the pants to pull-up my emotional bootstraps and then it reminded me of a song that helped change my mood, so that today, I choose joy!

    I pray the image, today’s #musicpic and this devotion do the same for you.  Whatever the message God is trying to speak into your spirit, I pray you find a way to help make it plain, even if that causes you some hand cramps. 🙂

    Prayer

    Father… Thank You for speaking into my life when I open up to You. Your Word brings life. I’m thankful for your unexpected affirmations of faith.  Please help me to write them down and make it plain so the message becomes secure in my heart. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Drawing from the well

    1. Habakkuk 2:2
    2. Jeremiah 30:2
    3. Revelation 1:19
    4. Romans 15:4

    #musicpic SONG: JOY 🙂

    Makes Me Feel: Hopeful, Joyful, Ready to dance!
    Sung By: For King & Country
    Website: https://www.forkingandcountry.com/
    Album:  Burn The Ships
    © 2018  Written By: Ben Glover, Matthew Hales, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, Seth Mosley, Tedd Tjornhom, Stephen Blake Kanicka
    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/0vBjd0I8iefycEZ2ex1Zpi?si=R7UnJ2yFR7i4QcS8xuF-3A
    Official Youtube Video With Lyrics: https://youtu.be/E-r7ogDaaEQ
    For KING & COUNTRY – joy. (Official Music Video) – YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA7n7TwPDmw
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/forkingcountry/joy.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    Gotta get that fire, fire, back in my bones
    Before my heart, heart, turns into stone
    So somebody please pass the megaphone
    I'll shout it on the count of three
    One, two, three…
    
    I choose joy

    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.


    ENDNOTES

    1. https://www.bible.com/111/jhn.14.1.niv The Bible App Accessed:  2019-06-26

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  • Hey Google… I Need An Answer

    This week’s #soulh2o devotion, Hey Google… I Need An Answer lets you in on where I’m at with God and what I’ve been going through lately. After the devotion, I share the #paperbackpic I mention and some #musicpics you’re gonna love! There are affiliate links on the book but you won’t pay extra. This just helps the ministry keep going! For my full affiliate information, click here.

    I’m also inviting you to join me for a Zoom Call tomorrow night (Thursday, June 20th at 8:30pm EST) I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but the technology of it all has scared me but I’m just bursting to tell y’all something, so I hope you’ll join me! See the deets below.

    In His Grip, Sherry


    Hey Google… I Need An Answer

    Isaac prayed to the LORD
    on behalf of his wife,
    because she was childless. 
    The LORD answered his prayer,
    and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
    The babies jostled each other within her,
    and she said, "Why is this happening to me?"
    So she went to inquire of the LORD.
    The LORD said to her…”
    ~Genesis 25:21-23 NIV

    Hey Google

    This Christmas was so great. We had all the kids home and even though they didn’t all grow up together, they sure do think alike! Brandon and Morgan both gave us Google Home Minis and after six months of using them, we’re pretty addicted. There’s no need to argue over anymore ‘cause when you disagree you can just say, “Hey Google: who is… what’s the… where is… when do… why do… how far is… Answers are just an ask away. But sometimes, questions are too important to ask Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Jeeves.

    [tweetthis]Answers are just an ask away. [/tweetthis]

    I Need An Answer

     

    In the last few months, I’ve shared a little bit on social media about how I’ve been in the decision-making process for some BIG things and lots of posts like, God Isn’t Mad With Our Big Faith and Oversized Dreams and a Facebook Live have come out of my search for answers.  I just want to make sure I’m following God’s lead. During this time, my good friend with divine timing—Ellen gave me a book to review for her #ellenspicks reads called the Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. God is using Emily’s wise words to help me discern and bring clarity to my next right thing, through her soul minimalist ways to create space for God to bring an answer.

    “What I’m finding to be most helpful more than any list, question, or sage advice is simply to get quiet in a room with Jesus on the regular, not for the sake of an answer but for the sake of love.”1

    Who Do You Ask For Answers?

    The other day when I was reading through the story of Isaac’s life while doing my devotions on the regular, I noticed how Isaac and Rebekah followed the same principle Emily was teaching.

    When you read the words of Genesis 25:21-23 it seems like going to God for answers to life’s questions was a reflex action, not just something they did sometimes. Isaac’s wife couldn’t have a baby… ask God to fix it. Rebekah’s babies were battling in utero and I’m sure really hurting her so what does she do? Does she call a friend, run to the doctor or complain to her hubby for praying to have kids? All of those may seem like logical reactions but the answer is no.

    The Bible tells us Rebekah inquired of God. On the regular, Isaac and Rebekah went to God for answers.

    So, this week when you first thought is to run to the phone… stop, run to the throne and ask Jesus!
    Prayer

    Father… I thank you for Your voice. I thank You that You still use Your voice to speak today. Help me put into practice the In Jesus Name…Amen

    Join Me TOMORROW for a LIVE Zoom Video Call…
    for my big reveal of The Next Right Thing in my life!

    I’ve been dying to tell you, but I just had to get things a little more set in place before I could. My close friends and family know but I want to share it with you, my tribe who on the regular track with me in life. You’ll be able to ask me questions at the end and I’m hoping, join with me in prayer for the exciting days ahead!


    Drawing From The Well

    1. Genesis 25:21-23
    2. Matthew 7:7-8
    3. Psalm 34:4
    4. James 1:5

    #musicpics

    Normally I list one song for the #musicpic but this week I asked a few friends and the hubbs for song suggestions because I was stumped and got sooooo many good ones so I’m going to share a bunch but my fave is definitely Dan Macaulay’s “Listening”. Whenever I get to be at a concert, camp or event where Dan is leading worship, I find it so easy to get my spirit in tune with God and hear from Him when I need an answer. After you listen to this song, you’ll get why! As you’re listening and allow the Holy Spirit to wash over you and speak to you. Next is Remedy Drive’s song “Speak To Me”. Todd introduced me to this song when we were dating and God used it powerfully, confirming I should marry Todd… so, it kind of has a special spot in my heart <3

    Your Words inspire my heart
    You illuminate my dark
    You spoke and shaped the heavens
    And You choose to speak to me

    Speak to me
    I’m listening

    Speak to me, please, speak to me
    I’m in-between and I can’t hear you
    Whisper, shout it, give me somethin’
    I need it now, need your voice, need the sound

    I know the answer, to every question
    The one solution, to every fear
    I know my helper, where it comes from
    Jesus, He is the answer


    #paperbackpic

    Title: the Next Right Thing
    Author: Emily P. Freeman
    Published By: Revell; a division of Baker Publishing Group: Grand Rapids, MI
    © 2019 by Emily P. Freeman

     

    ENDNOTES
    1 Freeman, Emily P. The Next Right Thing–A Simple, Soulful Practice For Making Life Decisions. Revell: Grand Rapids, MI. pg. 24

     


    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.


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

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  • God Made You to Fly Like an Arrow

    Do you ever feel like you don’t have a purpose? That your life is never going to hit the mark?

    Today’s #soulh2o devotion will increase your confidence to believe God Made you To Fly Like an Arrow… And Hit The Bullseye!

    266 fly like an arrow

    He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
    in the shadow of his hand
    he hid me;
    he made me into a polished arrow 
    and concealed me in his quiver.
    He said to me, 
    "You are my servant… in whom 
    I will display my splendor."
    ~Isaiah 49:2-3 NIV
    #flylikeanarrow

    This verse.

    For the past year, it’s been swirling around my head, soaking deep into my soul. I know when this happens it’s God developing a sermon in me, that will one day flow through me. The intensity of this message has been building in my heart. I can feel it beating… louder and louder, reverberating in my chest.

    The Master Archer

    I sense the bow in God’s hand is drawing back. He’s pulling further and further back till His hand is behind his head, so this arrow can fly far. I can’t wait to share all God’s been showing me but today I feel impressed to release just a droplet from this ocean of learning.

    The arrow in God’s hand is me.

    The arrow in God’s hand is you.

    God Made You To Fly Like An Arrow

    In Isaiah 49, God is speaking to His people and using the imagery of archery to fire home a message, hitting the bullseye in my heart.

    266 Isaiah 49:2-3 fly like an arrow

    The message isn’t neat. I’d love for the points to all start with the same letter, but they don’t. There are 3 P’s, then an H, followed by another P. Picked, Perfected, Pulled Back, then Hidden… to be Propelled. It’s messier than I’d prefer… much like my life! While researching for this message, I came across a statement that helped me to better accept the windy path this arrow has been released to follow:

    “The saying “straight as an arrow” really isn’t true.
    When an arrow is released from a bow,
    it bends and twists its way to the target,
    rather than keep its perfectly-straight form.”1

    “Straight” As An Arrow

    The words this writer used to describe the path of the arrow explain how my life, and maybe yours has gone. He describes how the arrow bends, twists, and wobbles, with different parts moving at different speeds… yet it all works together to pierce the mark.

    Our lives seldom are on the ‘straight shot’ trajectory. There are twists and turns, bends in the road, times when you’re wobbly in the knees or periods when one part of your life is moving forward at breakneck speeds, and another is falling apart… but all are signs that God is propelling you towards the mark; the destiny for which He’s purposed you for.

    I pray the message in today’s Soul H2O devotion pierces into the deepest places of your heart, so you see that God Picked YouHe’s Perfecting You… there’s Purpose in being Pulled Back… and when God Hides You in His quiver… it’s so He can Propel You Forward!

    God Made You To Fly Like An Arrow

    Prayer

    Father… I’m going to rest in the truth that You’re at work. Whether I’m in the perfecting, hiding, pulling back or propelling phase, help me to relax and let you move me forward; in Your perfect timing. In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]You were made, to fly like an arrow! 🏹 #flyfar #archery #arrow[/tweetthis]


    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.


    Drawing From The Well
    1. Isaiah 49:2-3
    2. 2 Thessalonians 1:10
    3. Isaiah 43:21
    4. 1 Peter 2:9


    ENDNOTES
    1 https://worldarchery.org/news/146270/why-do-arrows-bend World Archer Website Accessed: 2019-06-04


    natalie grant burn bright #musicpic SONG: Burn Bright
    Makes Me Feel: loved, cherished, special, I have a purpose, my life counts for something—something good!
    Sung By: Natalie Grant
    Website: https://www.nataliegrant.com/
    Album: Hurricane © 2013
    Written By: Stephanie Rachel Lewis, Bernie Herms, Natalie Diane Grant, David E Moffitt
    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2aUnkQOVJfRLUzJgGApqEX?si=zF3TKpMDQQWCPrz7-JsD6g
    Official Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n0jbzBQZKc
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/nataliegrant/burnbright.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    You were made to shine
    You were made for life…
    You were made for more, so much more
    Child of everlasting light…
    So baby burn bright

    #Dare2
    Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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  • Make Sure You Don’t Stay Too Long

    Joseph made his brothers promise
    to bring his dead bones
    back to the promised land
    when they moved back there.
     Gn 50:24-25

    When you get this email, I’ll be on an airplane flying home from speaking at a women’s retreat where I met some really wonderful women.

    I also ran a WIMM Canada event where I was able to spend time with a few of my besties and see God create divine connections among these girls.

    MAKING SURE I DIDN’T STAY TOO LONG

    While in Alberta, I stayed with my friend Loretta {She’s the one on the right holding flowers} and her hubby Tim. Getting to stay with friends when I travel to speak is a huge bonus for me. Tim and Loretta are ‘salt-of-the-earth’ kind of people. Their home has been a resting place for so many. The Arkell’s open the doors of their home and hearts, enveloping you into their family.

    They make you feel so at home you don’t want to leave, but whenever you visit friends you need to make sure you don’t stay too long!

    Most of Genesis tells about Abraham and his descendants’ life journeys to get to the Promised Land of Canaan. If you mapped it out, you’d see how this dysfunctional family went back and forth from this sacred ground many times before the close of the first book in the Bible. Their group came to be called the Israelites after the name the angel of God gave Abraham’s grandson Jacob.

    The words from today’s verse come at the end of Genesis. It makes me sad to read them because I feel Joseph’s last wish for his brothers to take back his body and bury it in the Promised Land.

    In the next verse, he makes his brothers swear to leave Egypt. Joseph was telling his family, make sure you don’t stay too long in Egypt.  He was imploring them to, “Go home, Go back to Canaan; the Promised Land”.

    LIVING IN EGYPT

    You see, Egypt was never a place God wanted his children to live. I wonder if they would have ever lived there if the brothers hadn’t been so jealous of Joseph? It was a place God used to provide for his people during a time of famine but wasn’t supposed to be their place of residence forever.

    [tweetthis]Egypt should have only been a stop on the journey, it was never supposed to be their destination. A short chapter in the book of their nation’s history but not the end of the story… and it almost was. [/tweetthis]

    Staying too long costs you and your future family members too will pay the price. The nation of Israel went from experiencing favour in Egypt on account of Joseph’s leadership, to being despised, mistreated and forced into slavery. The horrors of their nation’s history didn’t have to take place if they would have followed God’s plans.

    FOLLOW PAUL’S ADVICE

    As you live your life, I encourage you to follow the advice of Paul and “let the Holy Spirit guide your lives, and follow the Spirit’s leading”.1 Strangely the words of that 1970’s song The Gambler by Kenny Rogers are rolling through my head as I write and it’s words really are fitting. You have to know when to hold, when to fold, when to walk away or when to run; just make sure you don’t stay too long when God’s leading you to Go!

    Prayer

    Father…  I ask you to forgive me for the times I haven’t moved when you’ve spoken or left when you’ve said to stay. Holy Spirit, help me to quieten my spirit, so I can hear Your leading, guiding, and directing in my life.

    I ask for boldness to keep in step with You, not lagging behind or jumping ahead!  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.

    Drawing from the well

    1. Genesis 50:24-26
    2. Exodus 13:19
    3. Joshua 24:32
    4. Galatians 5:16, 21

    ENDNOTES

    1. Galatians 5:16,21

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  • God Isn’t Mad With Big Faith & Oversized Dreams

     Today’s #soulh2o devotion will move you from living small to dreaming big… and I mean real BIG, God-sized, faith-filled, Oversized Dreams!


    And without faith
    it is impossible to please God
    ~Hebrews 11:6 NIV

    Do you have BIG dreams?

    Well, I’m a girl who dreams BIG… no really, I’m talking B-I-G BIG and I’m finally starting to see some of the BIG dreams unfold, just a mere 32 years after God told me about them!!!

    FAB FRIENDSMy heart gets pumping when you put me in a room or on a call with other BIG dreamers.  Nothing charges me up more and helps me to move toward the BIG dreams I believe God’s placed in my heart than being around positive, faith-filled friends.



    Sometimes I get concerned about my OVERsized dreams and wonder if I’m off my rocker. There are plenty of people who can quickly put a wet blanket over my faith, but I’ve chosen my tribe; friends to do life with that have this same passion for purpose and I live for the moments we get to share together.RUTHS TABLE

    I’ve come to the conclusion that,

     

    God Isn’t Mad With Our Big Faith and Oversized Dreams

    GOD ISNT MAD blogIn fact, it’s the opposite and I saw that clearly during my devotions this week.

    I have a certain fondness for stories about Elisha, but for some reason, I didn’t remember this one in 2 Kings 7. Historically, Israel was being oppressed by the Arameans, let by King Ben-hadad. Aram had shut off Israel’s food supplies which brought about a famine. Any food that was found sold for exorbitant prices; we’re talking inflation insanity worse than when interest rates were 21% in the early 1980s! People in Israel at this time couldn’t afford food and lived locked up in the city. No one was willing to stand up against the Aramean army so the siege just dragged on.

    ELISHA’S BIG FAITH AND OVERSIZED DREAM

    Then God gave Elisha a word that he shared with the King and all the King’s officials, telling them that by tomorrow, the cost of food would be drastically less, signaling the Aramean Oppression would be over… that they would be free the next day!

    Talk about a BIG OVERsized dream!

    Instead of faith-filled shouts of Hallelujah and high-fives, the leaders didn’t believe Elisha and the Kings highest officer replied with a wet-blanket comment and actually declared how he didn’t believe God could do what He said He was going to do.  Elisha assured everyone there that God was, in fact, going to do exactly what He said and foretold this officer’s demise when he finished his speech telling the officer how he would see it happen, but he wouldn’t get to eat any of it.

    THE DANGER OF SMALL FAITH

    As fate would have it, when God miraculously set the Israelites free through the boldness of four lepers, the doubting officer was trampled by the crowd of people running for all the food. I will never understand the balance of grace and justice or love and jealousy1 in God’s character.  I know He is full of grace, and really lets us get away with so much, but I have to say He kind of loses it when people don’t think He can do something. When someone goes in-His-face and declares that “even God himself couldn’t…”

    I cringe and He seems to Get really mad. God is all-powerful and it seems to me that He gets jealous when we believe someone or something else can stop His plans, is stronger than Him, or that God doesn’t have what it takes to back up His promises. Thankfully, we do live in a time of greater grace, but it’s not devoid of God’s justice. We can even see this pattern in Jesus when the disciples were fearful on the boat, when Peter began to sink or when the disciples couldn’t drive out a demon and Jesus responded,

    “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”2

    I’ve come to the conclusion that,

    God Loves Big Faith and Oversized Dreams,
    but He Gets Mad
    When We Believe He Can’t Do Something

    I’m blessed to have circles of influence in my life that help inspire me to greater faith… and I need them like oxygen.  You see, life can get really tough and the enemy will often create circumstances that appear to be the opposite of God’s promises.  When this happens, it’s imperative to downgrade time with faith-draining people and plan a party with some dreamers! You’ve got to choose your tribe and your words wisely to believe God for BIG, OVERsized dreams!

    Prayer

    Today I haven’t written out a prayer for you.  You’re a part of my tribe, but since I can’t sit down for coffee with you today, I’ve written out some practical Faith-Lift Phrases for you to pray when your circumstances are contrary to the promises of God.  I hope you’ll use them regularly to defeat doubt and increase your faith.  I want you to believe God for BIG, OVERsized dreams, ‘cause He likes that kind of faith!

    CHANGING YOUR WORDING—SOME PRACTICAL PRAYERS YOU CAN USE:

    Lord, I don’t understand how you can fix this mess… can bring the finances in… getting better is in my future…  my kid will turn around… I”ll get off of _____… I can hear from you… you’re going to ___________, but I know you will.

    I look forward to seeing how you bring it about…get me through… bring the increase… break this bondage… bring home this lost one… heal them… heal me… set me free!

    [tweetthis]God Loves Big Faith and Oversized Dreams, but He Gets Mad When We Believe He Can’t Do Something #BIGOVERsizedDreams[/tweetthis]


    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.

    Drawing from the well

    1. Hebrews 11:6
    2. Matthew 17:19-20
    3. 2 Kings 7:1-2, 16-17
    4. Matthew 14:31

    ENDNOTES

    1. Deuteronomy 4:23-24 NIV
    2. Matthew 17:19-20 NIV

     

    #musicpic Song: Haven’t Seen It Yet
    Makes Me Feel: inspired, faith-filled, hopeful
    Sung By: Danny Gokey
    Website: https://www.dannygokey.com/
    Album: Haven’t Seen It Yet
    Written By: Colby Wedgeworth, Danny Gokey, Ethan Hulse © 2019
    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/0mWTQgwZL888MKCnwLz0hR?si=lFcXnMbqSu-YN9j4ChwFPw
    Official Youtube Video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1eMZiOJ0a0
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/dannygokey/haventseenityet.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    You’re closer than you think you are
    Only moments from the break of dawn
    All His promises are just up ahead
    Maybe you just haven’t seen it, just haven’t seen it yet

    AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE

    #musicpic SONG: Dream For You
    Makes Me Feel: God’s dreams are better than mine, trust my intuition, Like God has a plan, He can take my little and do something with it
    Sung By: Casting Crowns
    Website: https://castingcrowns.com
    Album:  Thrive
    Written By: Matthew West, John Hall  © 2014
    Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/29QonORHg3jk91TBY48PdL?si=q_whb4V_TlG2INgQoV6uPw
    Official Youtube Video With Lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8nsJZx8eWw
    AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/castingcrowns/dreamforyou.html
    My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

    So let go of your plan,
    be caught by My hand
    I’ll show you what I can do
    When I dream for you
    I have a dream for you

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  • You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

    The angel said to her,
    “Hagar, Sarai’s servant,
    where have you come from,
    and where are you going?”
    “I’m running away
    from my mistress, Sarai,”
    she replied. 
    ~Genesis 16:8 NIV

    DAY DATE IN DETROIT

    You Can Run ButLast week Todd and I had a day-date before I had to go away for a week of speaking and other meetings. We went to downtown Detroit and enjoyed dinner at the well-known Pegasus restaurant in Greektown. Then, we walked around and saw The Apparatus Room.  It’s the coolest restaurant and boutique hotel that includes a podcasting room with viewing from the sidewalk I’m going to use in the fall {you’ll have to stay tuned for that news}. The building was a former Firehall renovated with incredible architecture, so my firefighter hubby was in heaven!

    RUNNING AROUND DETROIT

    Then we walked by the Joe Louis Fist monument.  With my family boxing background {You can read about that HERE}1, I’ve always been intrigued by this uncommonly shaped memorial.  I found out that Joe Louis’ family fled Alabama after a fearful incident with the Klu Klux Klan. As did many African Americans, they settled into the Detroit area where a young Joe learned to box.2  In 1986, the Sports Illustrated sculpture was unveiled with the imagery purposed to remind people of Joe’s powerful punch in and out of the ring to help knock-out racism towards the black community he belonged to.3

    RELATABLE RUNNING

    On Friday I spoke to the Kingsville Divas group about the life of Hagar. Even though it wasn’t the focus of my message, as I was preparing, I felt so strongly to do a Facebook live to compel someone who was running from God to consider his love and a few wrote to let me know they needed that reminder.

    I think Joe and his family would’ve been able to relate to Hagar. She too was mistreated and forced to run away from her home for fear of her life. It’s sad that too many people today can relate to an unsafe living or work environment and the desire to run. It was in researching the origins of today’s devotion title that I found the connection with Joe Louis and Hagar.  It was Joe who made this “run-away’ phrase popular.

    When the Brown Bomber was interviewed before a fight with an opponent who was suspected to hide from his powerful punch, Louis was quoted as saying, “He can run, but he can’t hide”.  Billy Conn experienced this knock-out power as he hit the matt in the 13th round of their match.4  I don’t know if Joe Louis ever understood that you can run from God but you can’t hide from Him?  I know Hagar did.  When life was hard for Hagar she ran away, right into the arms of God.  It was in this desert time when she encountered God in a powerful way and He gave her the strength to face that heartbreaking home life.

    YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE

    This week’s #musicpic song Reckless Love packs a powerful punch to your heart. Helping you understand how God in his love chases after you. He’ll find you wherever you are.  Know that Whatever you’re facing today that you can run away from God, but you can’t hide from Him.  He is omnipresent and that means always-present and you cannot get away from His love for you.  Romans 8:39 reminds us that, “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God”, and nothing means… nothing!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-You for the way you love me.  It’s not in a passive, pat on the head, weakly expressed love.  Your love is reckless for me.  I can often run, but I’m so thankful that I can’t hide from You. Your love seeks me out and draws me in.  Help me to rest in Your love today. In Jesus Name…Amen

    The Facebook Live that inspired this post. That day I kept saying you can’t run from God, but I really should have said, You can run from God, you just a can’t hide from Him! As I say in the video; He sees you and He loves you! https://www.facebook.com/sherry.lynn.stahl/videos/10157301254536085/


    #musicpic

    Song:  Reckless Love
    Written by Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, and Ran Jackson
    Youtube Video of Song and Story behind the song: https://youtu.be/6xx0d3R2LoU
    Bethel Music Lyrics & Chord Charts: https://bethelmusic.com/chords-and-lyrics/reckless-love/
    My Favorite Lines:

    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found


    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.

    Drawing from the well

    This week I’m hoping you’ll read beyond just one verse in each of these sections of The Bible.  They’re power-packed portions!

    1. Genesis 16:8
      Hagar’s story is found in Genesis 16.  If you have time, re-read this story and imagine how difficult this would have been for her. Understand why she ran away and what strength it took to go home.
    1. Romans 8:31-39
      If you can, read it in a few translations.  Let the words soak deep into your spirit.
    1. Parable of The Lost Sheep Matthew 18;12-14
    2. Parable of The Lost Sheep Luke 15:1-7

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://sherrystahl.com/fight-like-a-boxer/ Sherry Stahl Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis Wikipedia Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_Joe_Louis Wikipedia Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_can_run,_but_you_can%27t_hide http://en.espn.co.uk/espn/sport/story/195910.html Wikipedia & ESPN Websites Accessed: 2019-05-13

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  • How To Let Go and Live Free

    Then Simon Peter drew a sword and
    slashed off the right ear of Malchus,
    the high priest’s slave.
    ~John 18:10 NIV

    LIVING A LITTLE TOO FREE

    How To Let GoDuring Easter, it’s always great to read through the story of Jesus’ week of trial and crucifixion.  It’s a great way to keep the focus on Christ and not the Easter bunny!  This year, as I read, the one part that caused me to really pause and take stock of my life was the little detail given about Peter cutting off the ear of the high priest’s slave.

    It’s such a crazy story and I’m always amazed at how God isn’t afraid to include the most outlandish stories in His book. The Bible often reads like a TMZ show script. {Now back to the story} Peter was so impetuous, so bold, so brave… so stupid!  He allowed his passion to override his purpose and the purpose for which Jesus’ came.

    I think Peter got too confident in his position and seriously, who can blame him?

    He was just coming off a ministry high where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after four days… which confirmed Jesus as The Messiah! Then they rode into town and history calls it The Triumphal Entry where the people followed Jesus with shouts of

    “Hosanna in the highest!”

    Jesus’ then throws over the money-changer tables in the temple, It appeared that Jesus was this unstoppable leader, defeating every obstacle. So, when the church leaders come to try and arrest Jesus, Peter jacked up on the events of the previous weeks, goes all Rambo and cuts off the servant’s ear. Peter’s action says to Jesus,

    Let Me Take Care of That For You.

    Peter stepped in where he should have stood back.

     

    LEARN TO LET GO

    Sometimes we have to exercise self-control to not take over a situation for others.  We can’t always jump to their rescue because it might not help them.  Sometimes, easing someone’s pain or fighting their battles can impede the plan of God for their life. If they don’t go through the struggle they’re facing, they won’t learn the tools needed for future issues… tougher battles. Jesus had to go through the suffering of being mistreated, betrayed, falsely accused and ultimately crucified so you and I could have eternal life. Sometimes, there has to be suffering for salvation to come.

    Without Christ, Peter’s action would have caused irreparable damage to the man’s ear and quite possibly, God’s plan of salvation for the world. Our incessant trying to fix things can really break things, often making situations worse.

    [tweetthis]Our incessant trying to fix things can really break things, often making situations worse. [/tweetthis]

    As believers, we need to learn How To Let Go and Live Free because even when it doesn’t look like it, God knows what He’s doing, and He has a plan!

    [tweetthis]I can Let Go and Live Free because I trust, God has a plan… and His plans for me are good! Jr. 29:11[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father… I thank You for putting up with impetuous me.  Please fill my heart with trust in You, so I don’t try to take over the steering wheel and crash… or stop; messing up your plans for my life.  Help me to follow Your lead, watch for Your ways and be sensitive to Your cues leading me to wisely walk in Your ways.  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.

    Drawing from the well

    1. John 18:10
    2. Galatians 5:22-23
    3. James 1:4
    4. Jeremiah 29:11

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  • Your Family of Believers All Over The World

    Stand firm against him {the devil},
    and be strong in your faith.
    Remember that
    your family of believers all over the world
    is going through the same kind of suffering you are. 
    ~1 Peter 5:9 NLT {info added}

    News this Easter was heartbreaking for Christians.  An unimaginable horror took place on Easter Sunday morning at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka.  Forever the memories of Easter morning will be marred for those families and friends affected by the bombings.

    BOMBINGS IN SRI LANKA

    I was away celebrating Resurrection Sunday and Easter Monday with family and only heard of these atrocities a day late when I opened my inbox to read an email from my friend Peggy Kennedy who has been ministering in Sri Lanka for over twenty years.  From there I went online to learn more of these insidious attacks on the innocent; many of whom were children.

    FOLLOWING JESUS’ EXAMPLE

    At first, when you hear news like this, you want to get mad at the group responsible for this attack but that wouldn’t be in line with the heart of our Christ, nor the message of Easter. Jesus’ example is found in His words on the cross after being abused by the soldiers,

    Jesus said,
    “Father, forgive them,
    for they do not know what they are doing.”
    ~Luke 23:24

    Today’s verse is encouraging you to stand firm against the enemy—the devil, not get mad at your offenders.  Peter’s advice is to stand firm and be strong in the understanding that if other Christians can get through hardship, so can you. We minorly experience the same kind of suffering here in Canada with the political climate turning against Christians but our struggles pale in comparison to the devastation experienced in Sri Lanka.  When I read Peggy’s email, my heart ached,

    “So sadly, many of the casualties were children as (per my understanding) they were on the move from the main service to children’s church.  Some of the youth from this church also attended Pastor Woody and Melanie’s recent History Makers’ youth conference.  Other reports coming in yesterday from leaders on the ground remind us that these are real people, facing real tragedy and loss…”

    Do you recognize that
    these real people are members of
    YOUR family of believers all over the world
    YOUR family of believers in Sri Lanka?

    MY SRI LANKAN CONNECTIONS

    1 Peter 5.9I feel connected to the people of Sri Lanka because as a teen, my church brought over the Kulathungam family from Sri Lanka. Niran and his brother went to youth group with my sister Lori and I.  Niran and I went to the same Bible College where his dad taught us Apologetics.

    If you’ve been reading Soul H2O Devotions for a long time, you might remember that my grandmother ran the We Share/We Care ministry at our home church?  Through it, she was intimately involved with helping meet the needs of this refugee family. In appreciation, the Kulathungam’s gave my grandmother a stone from Sri Lanka and my grandfather had it placed in a ring setting.  When my Gram passed away, she left me that ring.

    Then, 22 years ago; when Jack and Peggy announced at my church in Orangeville that they were feeling called to go to Sri Lanka for the first time, I was more than happy to help support their trip.

    So, I do have ties to Sri Lanka, but even if I didn’t, even if you don’t… if we are truly adopted into God’s family as I talked about a few weeks ago HERE, then we are still family with this body of believers in Sri Lanka…  and family takes care of family.

    FAMILY TAKES CARE OF FAMILY

    I was brought up that as Christians we’re called to Go, Pray or Give.  Not many of us can get on a plane and go to Sri Lanka, but maybe you can? Maybe God will call you to go.  Not everyone can give, but maybe God is calling you to give?  You can pray… I can pray… we all can pray. If you do know someone who is Sri Lankan, you could even send them a word of encouragement.  Call and pray with or write and let them know you’re praying for them.

    Today, I encourage you to take time out and pray for Your Family of Believers All Over The World, especially those in Sri Lanka. Why not join me below?

    Prayer

    Father… Today I lift up my brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka.  They are hurting and broken.  Many have lost family members or loved ones, many more have suffered great harm and loss.  As a result, their lives will never be the same. Give them strength to stand firm in the difficult days ahead, placing their hope in you. I pray for supernatural peace in Sri Lanka. May the church in Sri Lanka not become bitter and seek to avenge but release forgiveness to those who have sought to destroy. Let those deceived by the enemy into being his henchmen find Your love, forgiveness, and salvation. As the enemy strikes to stop the people of God all over the world, may Your children unite and Your Kingdom advance! In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]FAMILY TAKES CARE OF FAMILY Can you take time out & join me to pray for Your Family of Believers All Over The World, especially those in #SriLanka? [/tweetthis]


    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.

    Drawing from the well

    1. 1 Peter 5:9
    2. Acts 14:22
    3. Luke 23:24
    4. Matthew 5:44

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