Soul H2O Devotions

  • 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

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  • You Don’t Have To Die, To Lay Down Your Life

    This post is Part 3/3 in the: We Stand On Guard For Thee! Series.
    You can click here to find Part 1 or Part 2.

    John 15:13

    It hit me like a two-by-four across the head at church on the Sunday before Remembrance Day:

    You Don’t Have To Die, To Lay Down Your Life

    I was listening when Pastor Nathan movingly shared about how we need to be thankful for those who gave up their lives in war for the wonderful freedoms we benefit from.  In North America we’re blessed to be able to speak freely…to worship freely…to live FREE!

    Next, he read John 15:13 and when I heard this familiar verse I felt the proverbial whack on the head and the thought went through my mind, You Don’t Have To Die, To Lay Down Your Life.  Not many of us are asked to die for our freedoms anymore but we still need people who are willing to lay down their lives if we want to keep our current freedoms.  You see, when people keep silent, their liberties are lost and that’s why I’m thankful Canada has people like Faytene Grasseschi!

    Just over a month ago I attended a conference she hosted called Women On The Frontlines. I learned about her My Canada Organization and was I ever impressed! Faytene is a young woman, dynamically inspiring Canadians from sea to shining sea.  She’s a mom with two young children.  She could easily sit back during this busy time of her life, but instead she is laying down her life for her country.

    The Principle that You Don’t Have To Die, To Lay Down Your Life comes straight from Scripture.  Paul taught the Roman believers this when he said,

    “I urge you, brothers and sisters, 
    in view of God's mercy, 
    to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
    holy and pleasing to God
    --this is your true and proper worship.”  
    (Romans 12:1)  

    God is asking you, through Paul to be a living sacrifice. Since you can’t die and keep living you can be sure He isn’t asking for martyrs, but God is asking you to lay down your life on a daily basis.  He’s asking you to lay down your plans, your desires…your will…to fulfill…His plans, His desires…His will!

    It’s not an easy thing to do or Jesus wouldn’t have struggled so much in the Garden of Gethsemane. Battling it out in prayer, Jesus was eventually able to live by His statement, “not my will but yours be done”. The strangest thing happens when you begin to pray and trust God with your life, your will truly does become His will.

    So, who or what has God asked you to lay down your life for?

    Prayer

    Father…I thank you for the great examples I see in people who are laying down their lives for others. Help me to be not to be inspired just in thought, but moved to action.  I choose Your will over my convenience or comfort and want You to live through me today!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]When people keep silent, their liberties are lost.[/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis] Do you know anyone who is “laying their life down” for a cause?[/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-Blue

    1. John 15:13
    2. Romans 12:1
    3. John 10:11
    4. Romans 5:8

    FayteneOver the last years Faytene has devoted herself to serving as the pioneering director of  TheCRY Movement (V-Kol Media Ministries) which has hosted 12 mass prayer gatherings in Canada and 2 internationally (in Hollywood & Israel), founding & directing the activist organization MYCanada which has equipped thousands of Canadians to be a voice for socially conservative values to the Parliament of Canada, pioneered & led the Women on the Frontlines gatherings in Canada, pioneered & led the Back to Life Movement in Canada and hosted many training events and outreaches.  Faytene has emerged as a respected national leader, conference speaker and talk show guest.

    Faytene is married to Robert Grasseschi.  They travel extensively as a speakers and servants to various national and international initiatives.  They have a passion for revival and to empower the Body of Christ to be salt and light in the earth, rise into all the Word of God has for them, to carry the fragrance of Christ and live lives of impact.

    http://www.faytene.ca
    http://www.4mycanada.ca
    http://www.womenonthefrontlinescanada.com

    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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  • From Sea To Sea We Stand On Guard For Thee!

    This post From Sea To Sea We Stand On Guard For Thee! is Part 2/3 in the: We Stand On Guard For Thee! Series.  You can click here to find Part 1 and Part 3. You don’t have to be Canadian to enjoy them, but it might help 😀

     From Sea To Sea We Stand On Guard For Thee!

    “Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
    Habakkuk 2:2-3 NIV

    Apparently, I’m not a very detail oriented person.

    For the first time in my life…and let’s just say that’s been more than 20 years 🙂  I noticed that the Canadian Coat of Arms has a unicorn in it!

    Canadian Coat of ArmsI started to worry about what the founding fathers of Confederation might have been doing when it was created in 19211 until I learned how the unicorn was a symbol for Scotland and also a part of the UK coat of arms.  So, I’ll let Scotland wonder about their unicorn…but even more astounding than a unicorn on our coat of arms is the banner holding the inscription of our Canadian Motto:  ‘A Mari usque ad Mare’ which translated from the Latin meansFrom Sea to Sea”. Every Canadian is familiar with this phrase; we’ve heard it countless times, but I doubt everyone knows where Canadians got the inspiration for the slogan?

    Samuel tilley

    On a morning in the late 1800’s a man named Samuel Tilley had an encounter with God during his daily devotions. When Tilley read Psalm 72:8 which says,

    “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” KJV

    Tilley felt like the words leapt off the page as he read.  He understood that God was speaking to him about this new country of Canada he was helping to form. Tilley shared this revelation with the other Founding Fathers of Confederation and they all could see how the words of Psalm 72:8 described the Canada they had begun to dream about.

    It was as if God was listening to their conversations {insert a sarcastic look here}. Their dream was for a country to go from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean; from the Saint Lawrence River to the North Pole.

    By July 1,1867,  when Confederation papers were signed, our nation was a far cry from the dream of From Sea To Sea with only four provinces; out of the future ten provinces and three territories, initially united to create Canada. A Royal Proclamation in 1921 with the release of the Coat of Arms embedded Psalm 72:8 into the DNA of our nation, but it took 82 years for Canada to fulfill its God inspired geographical goals when the last province of Newfoundland joined in 1949.

    I really see the Founding Fathers of Canadian Confederation to be just like Habakkuk and the people of Israel from the verse above.

    • They took a revelation from God and adopted it as their motto when is was merely a statement of great aspiration, but with nothing to back it up.
    • They wrote down this revelation so it was plain for others to see by etching ‘A Mari usque ad Mare’, From Sea to Sea on our Coat of Arms.
    • They ran with it.  If they didn’t I wouldn’t have Psalm 72:8 memorized today!

    Generations followed and kept speaking the destiny of From Sea to Sea, until it came to be.

    Has God revealed something to you about your future?

    Does it seem hard to believe it could ever become a reality?  Let Canada’s history be an encouragement for you today.  Begin to declare over your circumstances the truth of God’s revelation and run with it…until you see it come to be!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for speaking to me.  You reveal your dreams through mine.  As I ask for your guidance help me to hear your revelation clearly and not be afraid to run with it.  Let me speak out promises You’ve given until they are the reality You desire and help me not forget You when the dream becomes the norm.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]They kept speaking the destiny of “From Sea to Sea”, until it came to be.[/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. Habakkuk 2:2-3
    2. Psalm 72:8
    3. Zechariah 9:10
    4. Ezekiel 12:25
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_of_Canada Website Accessed: 2017-11-13
    6. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/a-mari-usque-ad-mare/ Website Accessed: 2017-11-08
    7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Leonard_Tilley Website Accessed: 2017-11-08
    8. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/sir-samuel-leonard-tilley/ Website Accessed: 2017-11-08
    9. https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/province/dominiondates.htm Website Accessed: 2017-11-08

    blogger prayer

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  • O Canada, We Stand On Guard For Thee!

    I felt like I got hit on the head at church this week!  As Pastor Nathan talked about honouring the men and women who fought for the liberties we often take for granted, I had so many AHA moments and began feverishly writing.  Sorry pastor, but I really didn’t hear what you spoke on after that point, but I hope you feel happy knowing you inspired this series 🙂  For today and the following two or three Mondays, my Soul H2O Devotions are a product of the revelations at church in a Series I’m calling: We Stand On Guard For Thee! You don’t even have to be Canadian to enjoy them, but it might help 🙂

    O Canada, We Stand On Guard For Thee!

    “I will stand at my guard post
    and station myself on the lookout tower.
    I will watch to see what He will say to me
    and what I should reply about my complaint.~Habakkuk 2:1 HCSB

    MARTINA AT WIMMFor our Women In Music & Media (WIMM Canada)  June event I booked the most adorable member of #LeafNation…Martina Ortiz-Luis! For those of you who don’t know her, Martina is the full-time anthem singer for the NHL‘s Toronto Maple Leafs. She’s leaving arena’s awestruck with her stellar performances and astounding voice of both national anthems: O Canada and The Star-Spangled Banner…not bad for a sixteen year old! This amazing girl came and inspired all us women working in media with her voice and her heart.

     

    As we celebrated Remembrance Day (the Canadian version of Veteran’s Day) at church and sang our national anthem I was struck by the words in a very profound way. I thought about the state of our nation and felt like we had not kept up our end of the song to the Canadians who first sang the lyrics.

    Oh Canada- We Stand on Guard For Thee
    ***PINTEREST PINNABLE***

    The line in our anthem where the early settlers included a request for God to keep our land glorious and free is where I feel they were counting on us to partner with God to see that achieved. Sadly, we’re beginning to watch those freedoms crumble as we forget to fulfill our role to Stand on Guard For Thee. 

    Just like the Israelites in Habakkuk’s day, we’re all called to find our position and guard the spiritual condition of our country.

    HABAKKUK 2:1

    Looking into the history of our National Anthem I was filled with pride as I read the intentionality of our former leaders to pass along their faith to the next generation.  Actually, there was another ‘Canadian Song’ written for our Confederation in 1867 that #LeafNation wishes was still around since it was called The Maple Leaf Forever! The chorus’ words express a desire to see God bless our nation forever.

    Chorus:
     The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
     The Maple Leaf forever!
     God save our Queen and Heaven bless
     The Maple Leaf forever!

    O CANADA ORIGINAL

    The words to the original O Canada Anthem were written in 1880 by a French poet and judge. Although the English translation is much different it holds the same hope that faith will guard our nation and keep it free.

    May we as Canadians carry the cross for our generation and Stand on Guard For Thee!

    Prayer

    Father…
    I thank you for the nation of Canada.  I’m blessed to be a recipient of freedoms I didn’t fight for and liberties I don’t deserve.  I ask that you would help me to not forget the cost of these privileges.  May I uphold my part to see faith in Christ passed on to the next generation of Canadians.
    In Jesus Name…Amen

     

    [tweetthis]I will find my position and stand guard for the spiritual condition of my country.[/tweetthis]

    Click Here for PART 2 or Here for PART 3

     Drawing From The Well - Brown and Blue

    1. Habakkuk 2:1
    2. Micah 7:7
    3. Ezekiel 3:17
    4. Psalm 85:8
    If you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.
    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Canada Website Accessed:  2017-11-05
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Maple_Leaf_Forever Website Accessed:  2017-11-05

    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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  • 500 Years of Freedom {Through Grace}

    For it is by grace
    you have been saved, 
    through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
    it is the gift of God—not by works, 
    so that no one can boast.~Romans 1:17 NIV

    I love candy and I loved dressing up as a kid so, Halloween was one of my favorite days on the calendar. Some of my fondest memories were the costumes mom made for my sister Lori and me.  I’ll never forget my Raggedy Ann outfit. The wig had single stands of red yarn glued on to different lengths that must’ve taken mom hours to make.

    Raggedy Ann

    It’s hard to imagine this time of year was celebrated so differently in the past. Traditionally, Christians have celebrated martyrs and Saints on November 1st. Through the ages it’s been called All Hallows, or All Saints Day.  Some believers still take this time to honor the lives of Christians who have gone on to glory or in some denominations, they celebrate those deemed as Saints…with a capital ‘S’.1

    500 Years of Freedom {Through Grace}

    Martin Luther500 years ago, on October 31, 1517 what the people at the time called All Hallow’s Eve; a thirty-three year old German monk named Martin Luther made the boldest move of his life, inspired by the most fearful time of his life.

    While studying Law in University, Martin walked home during a thunderstorm.  It was one of those scare-the-life-right-out-of-you, make-a-deal-with-God times where Luther promised God if He got him out alive, he would become a monk. After this event Luther became obsessed with making sure he would go to heaven when he died.

    Sadly, the traditions of the church during Luther’s time taught a works based salvation. They talked about the need to put your faith in Christ but then there came along with that faith a whole catalogue of rules to follow.  The list was so long that it seemed impossible to ever be good enough for God. They were adding to the Bible, making more hoops for people to jump through for salvation.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, the church had become corrupt and was preying on the fears of Christians to make money. Believers who wanted to be assured that their family members made it out of purgatory and into heaven could pay money to the Priests for something they called ‘Indulgences’…essentially, you could pay for salvation.  Oh, how I wish history didn’t repeat itself but unfortunately I see these same patterns at work today.2

    Martin Luther wanted so desperately to be assured of his salvation that he was known to spend a great deal of time in the confessional booth…sadly, never feeling forgiven.  Luther even slept in the snow as a form of penance.3 One night while struggling with the fear of not being good enough for God Martin read Romans 1:17 and it changed his life…it changed mine…I hope it’s changed yours too!

    Romans 1:17

    Every light bulb over Luther’s head came on and he understood for the first time that,

    God offered salvation by grace…not by works!

    He began to see the Scriptures in a new light and realized his salvation was sure; not because he was good enough but because of the work of Jesus on the cross and the grace being given to him through faith in Christ…simple faith.

    95 thesesMartin Luther couldn’t keep this discovery to himself.  He had to let others know the freedom in Christ he’d found so, on that fateful All Hallow’s Eve, Martin walked up to the University Chapel in Wittenberg, Germany and nailed what’s famously called The 95 Theses to the front door.4,5 500 years ago, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses started what’s known as the Protestant Reformation. A document he’d written outlining the wrongful teachings of the church and how salvation is a work of grace.  A bold move that almost cost him his life!

    History reveals that human nature always reverts back to following a list of rules if people don’t continue to be led by the spirit of God.  I believe that the millennial generation is going through a reformation of their own.  They aren’t satisfied to stay in churches that enforce a ‘Christian Rulebook’.  They want authentic faith…and so do I.  Some may see them as living loose, but I’m starting to see how many are just ‘living free, loving Jesus’…like Luther did.

    My faith in 2017 Quote

    My faith in 2017 is a direct result of Luther’s courageous move 500 years ago.  I’m amazed when I think about that and I ask myself:

    What bold move can I make that will leave a legacy of faith for generations to follow?

    I hope you ask yourself that too!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m so thankful for my salvation through your grace. It’s something I don’t deserve, but a gift I gladly receive.  I’m also thankful for people of faith like Martin Luther who lived a bold life for You.  Help me to break free from the bondage of following rules instead of following You. Let the truth of your grace inspire me to live courageously, leading others to You.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Father…help me break free from the bondage of rules.[/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. Romans 1:17
    2. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
    3. Habakkuk 2:4
    4. Galatians 3:11

    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

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Day Website Accessed:  2017-10-29
    2. https://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-9389283 Website Accessed: 2017-10-22
    3. https://www.pbs.org/empires/martinluther/monk_penance.html Website Accessed: 2017-10-29
    4. https://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html Website Accessed: 2017-10-22
    5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-five_Theses Website Accessed:  2017-10-22 

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  • Bold…Strong…Free

    BOLD…STRONG…FREE

    
    “She equips herself with strength
    [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
    And makes her arms strong.”
    
    Proverbs 31:17  AMP

    I love a good chick flick; within boundaries.

    miss congenialityMy favorite is Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock.  I can’t tell you how many times Shelby and I have watched it, laughing till our sides hurt.  We’re a lot like Sandra’s character in the scene when she gets the makeover; walks out of the building all dressed up, wind blowing her hair…and trips on the way out!

    miss congeniality

    NO DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

    I love this movie because it’s not the story of a ‘damsel in distress’ waiting to be saved by her knight in shining armor.  Please don’t invite me over for popcorn when you’re showing those videos…they just seem a little pathetic to me.  I’m inspired by movies where the girls show themselves strong like in Miss Congeniality or better yet, in true stories like the movie Hidden Figures.  Now, those were strong women!hidden figures

    When I read verses like Proverbs 31:17 I’m empowered to be the strong woman God created me to be.  My heart’s desire is to be like heroines from the movies or history-makers who don’t wilt like a flower in the sun when problems surface, but rise to the occasion using their spiritual, mental and physical strength to accomplish their God-given tasks. I want to emulate the character of women who are strong, yet aren’t afraid of their femininity.  Full of grace, brilliance and poise.

    Women who are bold…and strong…and free!

    I don’t think the Father wants you to sit around waiting for others to come to your rescue. Through the words in this verse God is inviting you to play an active role in saving others.  So come on girls, equip yourselves with strength and be bold today!

    Prayer

    Father…In the face of trials, let me be tough.  In the face of struggle, let me be strong.  In the face of pain, let me prevail.  May Your strength be evident in me to overcome with grace.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]I want to be a woman who is #bold…and #strong…and #free![/tweetthis]

    Miss Congeniality Makeover Clip FOR FUN 🙂  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miCpiVyJMPg

    Hidden Figures Movie Info:    https://www.foxmovies.com/movies/hidden-figures

    #Dare2Share

    Who’s Your favourite heroine from history
    and why?


    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

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  • Washing Machine Clean

    WASHING MACHINE CLEAN

    “Cleanse me with hyssop,
    and I will be clean;
    wash me,
    and I will be whiter than snow.”
    ~Psalm 51:7 NIV

     

    I love my washer and dryer!!!

    I know, I’m kinda weird getting excited over appliances, but if you’ve ever had not-so-good ones and then you’ve gotten knew ones that make everything washing machine clean; you totally get my exhilaration.  When we moved in May, we included the owner’s shiny new washer and dryer into the offer to purchase, and she accepted!

    This weekend we really got to test those appliances with all the kids home for Thanksgiving.  In preparing the house, I used the Steam mop to clean the floors.  The mop gets really dirty from the sand in our area so, it has to go on the ‘Sanitize’ Setting taking two hours and 17 minutes!  Freshening up sheets on the quick wash setting only takes 26 minutes.  Towels were washed in abundance, taking 44 minutes a cycle.

    Today at church I was talking with a dear friend.  She’s going through a really hard time, having to deal with past hurts that have cropped back up in her life causing a whole new set of issues. She expressed frustration over needing to get help again, so I shared with her how God’s been taking me through a time of deeper healing from some of the pains in my past.

    The amount of hurt or dirt in your life
    will determine how long you need to
    stay in the ‘wash’.

    Sometimes you need an extra cycle before you can come out
    washing machine clean!Psalm 51:7

    In this verse,
    David understands what it’s like to deal with the issues of his past. Once again, David is asking God to clean him up and he’s not talking about dirt on his face.

    HYSSOP

    It’s interesting to me how David asks the Father to cleanse him with hyssop. Since I’m not a gardener I had to look it up.  Hyssop is often called the ‘holy herb’, and in Bible-times it was used for “cleaning holy places.”1  Because of it’s wonderful aroma; hyssop cleans and refreshes, leaving you whiter than snow.

    Just like my fancy appliances that chime out a song when the cycle’s done, God knows the right setting to wash us clean.  Trust God with your timing.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for loving me just like I am, but caring enough to not leave me this way!  Help me to ‘stay in the cycle’ long enough to be washed clean; free from the dirt and hurt in my life.  I’m crying out like David did…please, make my heart, washing machine clean.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]The amount of hurt or dirt in UR life will determine how long U need 2 stay in the wash[/tweetthis]

    ***If you want an interesting Bible Study,look up all
    ‘Drawing From The Well’
    verses this week on times Hyssop
    is mentioned in Scripture.
    I think you’ll be amazed!
    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-PINKY

    1. Psalms 51:7
    2. Leviticus 14:1-6, 49-53
    3. Exodus 12:22
    4. John 19:28-30

    For an interesting read on Hyssop, Check out this Word Nerd Wednesday post on Hyssop!

    1. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/hyssop/profile Website Accessed: 2017-10-15
    2. https://www.gotquestions.org/hyssop-Bible.html Website Accessed:  2017-10-15

    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