christmas

  • Peace… Lost in Translation

    I didn’t grow up in a church that celebrated Advent. I’ve searched out What’s The Right Way To Celebrate Advent? and then did a post each week following the themes of Advent: HOPE, LOVE, JOY, PEACE, and then a special CHRISTMAS message from me.

    Listen to the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Advent Series or the watch my Instagram Live Advent Series videos.

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast ShowHOPELOVE, JOY, PEACE

    Soul H2O Devotions/Posts: What’s The Right Way To Celebrate Advent?
    Advent Themes Posts: HOPE, LOVE, JOY, PEACE, and a special CHRISTMAS message from me.

    Instagram Lives: Wednesdays at 12-12:10pm EST in December

    Soul H2O Devotion

    Peace… Lost in Translation image

    Peace… Lost in Translation

    My friend Claudia Raymundo only moved to Canada when she was about eight. Claudia is a certified translator and has worked on government projects to put English documents into Spanish or vice-versa. Even with all her training, when we’re talking, it seems there will always come a time when she’ll say, “Oh, how do you say this in English?” and sometimes she says there’s really no way to translate this word or phrase in English, so she paints me a picture with her words as to what it means. 

    Sometimes it’s just difficult to translate words from one language to another. And the word for peace in Isaiah 9:6 is one of those words.

    peace

    Translating Peace

    The English word translated peace here is Shalom in the original Hebrew. It truly is one of those “lost in translation” words. All of our Bibles translate this word to say peace but there really isn’t just one word that aptly defines it. The original word includes all of these definitions: well, happy, friendly; welfare, health, prosperity, peace, (good) health, peace(peaceable, peaceably), prosper(prosperity, prosperous), quiet, tranquillity, contentment, rest, safe(safety), salute, welfare, well, wholly. ¹

    Do you see how translating shalom as “just” peace falls short of the original intent of what Isaiah was trying to convey? Jesus is the Prince of Peace but He came to bring much more than peace… much, much more. In our modern language I think holistically healthy and peaceful would be a better way to describe this little word Shalom

    Real Peace

    In Luke 2:8-14 the angels proclaim to the shepherds how the Messiah would bring Peace on earth for all men, when they said: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” it wasn’t just some airy-fairy beauty pageant wish for “World Peace”, but a boots-to-the-ground, reality-ready, peace. That doesn’t mean you won’t have difficult circumstances, but that God’s presence, Emmanuel, God with us would bring peace in the midst of chaos, loneliness, and hurt. 

    Jesus knew what it was like to go through times where he faced complete distress. In the garden of Eden, before His crucifixion, Jesus was under so much anguish that he sweated drops of blood, which we know now is medically possible when someone is that stressed out. The issue isn’t that Jesus stressed this much but that He didn’t stay there. 

    Through prayer, Jesus released this toxic stress and put His faith in the Father, amidst the most difficult of circumstances. As you read the account of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, you don’t see a man in worry, fear, or distress… He seems unrealistically calm and peaceful, not allowing the difficulties of life to steal the peace in His heart and mind.

    Jesus got to the place of peace through struggle, so he could fully become your Prince of Peace. Now, it’s time for you to apply that peace to your life.

    Prayer

    Father… Thank You for understanding my need for peace and sending your son .Jesus, I thank You for being willing to come down to this earth and suffer, to be my peace. I ask for your holistically healthy and peaceful presence to invade my mind, emotions, and physical body. Let your true shalom bring peace to every area of my life. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Join Me Weekly For Advent Talks

    Through The Themes of Advent
    Every Wednesday at 12-12:10pm EST
    on Instagram Live

    December 1(Hope), 8(Love), 15 (Joy), 22(Peace)

    Drawing from the well

    Verses to help fill up your well.

    1. 1. Isaiah 9:6
    2. 2. Luke 2:8-14
    3. 3. Ephesians 2:14
    4. 4. Colossians 1:20

    Soul H2O Resources

    *Are you a Christian woman struggling through a difficult situation, feeling alone, questioning God and yourself? Let me travel through the desert of your difficulty with you!

    This course will help you grow to trust God with your heart and future, increase your freedom as you break unhealthy patterns, letting go of past or present hurts to trust your decision-making and believe in your value.

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    Get a FREE Soul H2O Book Sampler {and a coupon} when you Sign Up to Get the Soul H2O Devotions, Show Notifications, and updates from me!

    Share With a Friend

    #musicpic

    #musicpic SONG: Light of the World by Lauren Daigle
    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/_cLhaZIBSpo

    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist: Online
    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist: Online | On App

    Peace For The Holidays is a part of the Advent Series on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show Episode #91.

    You can find the  Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/91

    Splash Online Event

    Childlike Faith Series – Christmas Crackers
    Expecting Good Gifts From God

    Watch the recorded Facebook LIVE!

    Join us in the Soul H2O Splash Facebook Group to watch the recorded live and be updated for the next live event.

    Advent Inspiration for your Christmas Season

     

    Devotions, Podcast Episodes, Recipes, Christmas Messages and more!
    https://www.sherrystahl.com/advent-inspiration-for-your-christmas-season/

    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.


    DOWNLOAD THESE REFRESHING RESOURCES TO HELP QUENCH YOUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

    Read More

  • What’s Love Got To Do With It?

    In the month of December, I’m running Advent Series all over on, the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show, through the devotions, and on Instagram Lives. This week, the focus is on Christmas Love. 

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Jesus

    Soul H2O Devotions/Posts: What’s The Right Way To Celebrate Advent, Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season

    Instagram Lives: Wednesdays at 12-12:10pm EST in December

    Soul H2O Devotion

    what's love got to do with it

    What’s Love Got To Do With It?

    Well, I think Christmas and love are pretty much synonymous. Christmas is celebrating the moment in history when Christ, because of His love, left heaven and came down to earth. Jesus fully God, took on humanity; what theologians call, the incarnation. That Jesus forfeited the comforts of heaven to reach the hearts of people in this world still baffles me. That God the Father allowed His son to come overwhelms me. John 3:16 expresses the motive of love best when John says:

    God’s love compelled Him to send Jesus, and in case you’re worried that God was a cruel Father to send His son, I hope you’ll see that love was also Jesus’ motivation for coming as you listen to what he said in John 10:17-18.

    The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.
    John 10:17-18 NIV

    Jesus also says,

    I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
    John 10:11

    And then in John 15:12-14 He says:

    My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
    John 15:12-13 NIV

     

    The nativity is a beautiful picture of how Jesus’ love compelled Him to come.

    nativity image

    Jesus wasn’t forced to leave heaven and give up His life for you as a baby in the manger, or as a man on the cross. He had the authority to do whatever He wanted and, because of His love for you, He came as a baby, grew up and lived as a man, died, rose from the dead, so you could have eternal life and is coming back to live with you for all eternity!

    This hope of Christ’s second return is the root focus of Advent. It’s great for you to celebrate His birth and the love that compelled Him to come, but never lose focus that because of His love, He’s not going to leave you in this mess we call the world. Jesus will come back and right now, He’s preparing a place, just for you!

    So, what’s love ❤️ got to do with Christmas? Everything.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for being willing to let Jesus come. Jesus, I thank You for your love and being willing to leave heaven, so You could become my Emmanuel. Knowing that You are willingly with me and are coming again, gives me the strength to face each new day, each new challenge with hope. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Join Me Weekly For Advent Talks

    Through The Themes of Advent
    Every Wednesday at 12-12:10pm EST
    on Instagram Live

    December 1(Hope), 8(Love), 15 (Joy), 22(Peace)

    Drawing from the well

    Verses to help fill up your well.

    1. 1. John 3:16
    2. 2. John 10:17-18
    3. 3. John 10:11
    4. 4. John 15:12-13

    Soul H2O Resources

    Want a Refreshing Inbox?

    Get a FREE Soul H2O Book Sampler {and a coupon} when you Sign Up to Get the Soul H2O Devotions, Show Notifications, and updates from me!

    Share With a Friend

    #musicpic

    #musicpic SONG:

    Bring on the Holidays by Toby Mac  

    Youtube Video: https://youtu.be/HIhZ5O3eRJI
    Christmas Spotify Playlist: Online 

    Advent Series: Hope For The Holidays | EP #88

    Hope For The Holidays is a part of the Advent Series on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show Episode #88.

    You can find the  Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/88

    Advent Series: Love For The Holidays | EP #89

     Love For The Holidays is a part of the Advent Series on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show Episode #89.

    You can find the  Show Notes at http://www.soulh2o.com/89

    Splash Online Event​

    Childlike Faith Series – Christmas Crackers
    Expecting Good Gifts From God

    Join us in the Soul H2O Splash Facebook Group December 16, 2021

    Advent Inspiration for your Christmas Season

     

    Devotions, Podcast Episodes, Recipes, Christmas Messages and more!
    https://www.sherrystahl.com/advent-inspiration-for-your-christmas-season/

    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.


    DOWNLOAD THESE REFRESHING RESOURCES TO HELP QUENCH YOUR SPIRITUAL THIRST!

    Read More

  • Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season

    In the month of December, I’m running Advent Series all over on, the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show, through the devotions, and on Instagram Lives. This week, the focus is on Christmas Love. 

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Jesus
    Soul H2O Devotions/Posts: What’s The Right Way To Celebrate Advent, Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season
    Instagram Lives: Wednesdays at 12-12:10pm EST in December

    Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season

    To me, Christmas is the second most important holiday season on the calendar, next only to Easter… and Easter couldn’t have happened without Christmas. This post was created to be some Advent inspiration for your Christmas season.

    Birthdays during the Christmas Season

    In my family, we have three birthdays that take place during the month of December. Over the years, we’ve not always been able to get together to celebrate them on the exact day of their births but we honour their lives just the same. 

    The reality of this makes me totally fine with using December 25th, or January 7th if you’re an Orthodox Christian, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, even though He really was a Fall baby 🍁 👶🏼.

    Taking a whole season to reflect on why Jesus left heaven to come to earth and become our Emmanuel, “God with us” should make you feel so loved. Pondering on the fact that Jesus gave up the comforts of heaven for you should be the inspiration you need to celebrate.

    You’re that important to God! 

    Celebrating Jesus Birthday

    To provide you with some Advent inspiration for your Christmas season, I’ve compiled a post full of Christmas-themed, 🎄Advent-inspired 🕯resources to help you celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Each year, this post will be updated with more festive finds. There are:

    • ~Blog Posts with 🎄Soul H2O Devotions, Messages, Recipes
    • ~Soul H2O Podcast 🎄Episodes
    • ~Downloadable 🎄Scripture Graphics
    • ~#musicpic Song 🎄 Spotify Playlist
    • ~Link to Holiday Sales (little gifts 🎁from me to you)

    Radio Show Advent SeriesThis Christmas we’ve planned a whole Advent 🕯Series you can follow on the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast show starting this Saturday with some amazing guests and Christmas🎄teachings.

    Follow along on the blog or through your emails, starting next Tuesday for devotions that also follow the Advent Candle themes of Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, and Christ to put your heart in the right Christmas spirit!

    Until then, I hope the resources listed refresh your soul and fill your heart to OVERflowing!

    Sherry
    xoxo

    PS: Really hope you’ll join me weekly for inspiration to live with more hope, love, joy, peace, and a lot more of the spirit of Christ flowing through you.

    Advent Series – Episodes 88-92
    Saturdays: Nov. 27th – Dec. 25th, 2021

    Find out the 5 Ways You Can Listen.

    Join Me Weekly For Advent Talks

    Through The Themes of Advent
    Every Wednesday at 12-12:10pm EST
    on Instagram Live

    December 1(Hope), 8(Love), 15 (Joy), 22(Peace)

    *THIS POST WILL BE UPDATED EACH YEAR WITH NEW INSPIRATION*

    ADVENT INSPIRATION FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS SEASON

    Christmas Themed Posts

    Soul H2O Devotions and blog posts will be added each year as I write more Christmas Themed posts.

    Christmas Soul H2O Devotions

    your best christmas gift
    You Best Christmas Gift
    IMPERFECT CHANGE-CHARGED CHRISTMAS BLOG IMAGE
    How To Face An Imperfect, Change-Charged Christmas
    Immanuel-Astounding Christmas
    Immanuel--Astounding Christmas
    How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!
    How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!
    Christmas-Wonderful and Woeful
    Christmas-Wonderful and Woeful
    christmas kevin pauls
    Celebrating Christmas with Kevin Pauls and Seeing Dreams Fulfilled
    Go Tell It...In Your Living Room
    joy to the world
    Joy to The World
    christmas giving
    Christmas Giving
    god of the living
    God of The Living
    how will this be
    How Will This Be?
    looking for the wrong messiah
    Looking For The Wrong Messiah
    Christmas Women - Middle-Aged
    Celebrating The Christmas Women | A Middle-Aged Woman
    Christmas Women - The Teenager
    Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story - The Teenager
    The Senior Citizen
    Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story - The Senior Citizen
    What Are You Asking For This Christmas?
    What Are You Asking For This Christmas?
    309 Right Way To Celebrate Advent
    What's The Right Way To Celebrate Advent?
    what's love got to do with it
    What's love got to do with it?
    Why The Gospel Is Good News That Brings Joy
    Why The Gospel Is Good News That Brings Joy
    Peace… Lost in Translation image
    Peace… Lost in Translation

    Christmas Messages

    Hungry in Turkana
    Hungry in Turkana
    Twas The Night Before Christmas
    Twas The Night Before Christmas… {Sherry’s Sermon Notes Series}
    Merry Christmas 2015!
    christmas message 2016
    Christmas Message 2016
    My Christmas Message For You
    My Christmas Message For You

    Christmas Recipes

    Christmas Veggie Recipe
    Christmas Veggie Recipe
    Grandma's Christmas Cookies

    Christmas Themed Soul H2O Podcast Episodes

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Episodes will be added each year as I record more Christmas Themed Shows.

    14. Life Is a Journey to your destiny
    Episode #14. Life Is A Journey To Your Destiny
    15. The Spirit of Christmas
    Episode #15. The Spirit of Christmas
    16. People of the Plan
    Episode #16. People of the Plan
    48. Brave Christmas & Christian Women -Part 1 The Brave Middle-Aged Woman & Brave Cheryl
    Episode #48. Brave Christmas & Christian Women -Part 1 The Brave Middle-Aged Woman & Brave Cheryl
    49. The Brave Teen Mom & Brave Single Moms With Peggy Sue Wells
    Episode #49. The Brave Teen Mom & Brave Single Moms With Peggy Sue Wells
    Episode #50. The Brave Senior Citizen & Brave Cyndi Desjardins Wilkens
    Radio Show Advent Series
    Episodes #88-92. Radio Show Advent Series
    hope for the holidays
    Episode #88. Advent Series: Hope For The Holidays
    Advent Series: love for the holidays
    Episode #89. Advent Series: Love For The Holidays
    joy for the holidays
    Episode #90. Advent Series: Joy For The Holidays
    Episode #91. Advent Series: Peace For The Holidays

    Christmas Scripture Graphics

    You can download these graphics easily.
    To your phone: Touch the graphic with one finger and hold, save to photos.
    To your computer: Right-Click on graphic and select save as picture

    peace

    Christmas #musicpic Songs

    Songs Will Be Added Here. If you have any suggestions, put them in the comments.

    Soul H2O Spotify Playlist: Online

    Christmas #paperbackpic Books

    Book Suggestions Will Be Added Here. If you have any suggestions, put them in the comments.

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  • Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story – The Senior Citizen

    Christmas WomenStill wondering who the Senior Citizen is?

    See the INTRODUCTION FOR THIS SERIES in the #SoulH2O post two weeks ago Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH was the first Christmas Woman celebrated.  I talked about how she protected the promise of God.  Last week celebrated THE TEENAGER – MARY discussing how she was willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and very presence of God, Emmanuel: God with us. 

    Read on to learn about our last Christmas Woman everyone’s been wondering about…

    THE SENIOR CITIZEN…

    The Senior CitizenSince I’m totally breaking my format for #SoulH2O devotions with this series, I decided to share the whole of Anna’s story with you (a whopping 3 verses) because so many of you have commented or sent me messages saying you can’t wait to see who the Senior Citizen is.  This lets me know that many of you don’t know who she is, so you probably don’t know her story and she’s absolutely a woman worth celebrating!

    The Prophecy of Anna

    “Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.  Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.  She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.”                                                   Luke 2:36-38  NLT

    Anna is the last of our Christmas women.  She was the only woman who didn’t carry a physical baby in her body, but there is no doubt in my mind that she carried the promise and presence of God to the people in her day.

    Anna knew what it was like to face hard times.  She was widowed at a very young age and never had any children. During Jesus’ time, women who weren’t married didn’t hold much value in their society so this fact lets you in on how “unimportant” Anna could have seemed to many in her day, but Anna was a prophet.  She spent her days serving in the temple, worshipping God with fasting and prayer.

    It was out of this lifestyle that she heard from God and shared His messages to His people.

    There’s so much that sticks out in my mind about Anna, but the words waiting expectantly from Anna’s life-story just jump out at me and Christmas really is a time when people are found waiting expectantly.

    WAITING EXPECTANTLY

    For centuries children on Christmas Eve have hung stockings by the fireplace and struggled to fall asleep with nervous anticipation of what Santa will bring in the morning. My kids were no different than the masses.

    In order to help my kids be able to fall asleep on Christmas Eve I started a tradition where they were allowed to open one gift at bedtime.  That gift was always a pair of new pajamas and a book.  Not the most exciting gift, but it created the atmosphere I hoped for.  Brandon and Shelby would change into their PJ’s and were allowed to read their new books before lights out.  The PJ’s made for nice pictures on Christmas morning and the books helped them fall asleep.

    Waiting expectantly on Christmas Eve is pretty simple for kids since they know the next morning is Christmas day and they can see wrapped presents under the tree.

    The way Anna and others waited expectantly for the promise of God to be fulfilled wasn’t so easy.  Anna had been waiting for about 60 years.  She was doing all the right and good things while waiting but she had been waiting for oh so long!  She never gave up hope waiting for the promised Emmanuel, the Messiah…JESUS to come.

    Maybe you’ve been waiting a long time for your promise.  Maybe you feel like too much time has passed and you need to “move on” or “give up”.  I pray Anna’s story restores your hope and gives you faith to believe.  Know that at Christmas and always, God keeps His promises and fills you with His presence while you wait.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You that you’re not like Santa doling out gifts I don’t need.  You make promises to me and fulfill them in Your perfect timing.  You know exactly what I need and what’s best for me.  Help me to trust You and Your timing.  May I live with a special expectancy this Christmas carrying my Promise from You and Your Presence within so I can share it with the world when my promise is ‘born’.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    ANNA CARRIED THE PROMISE AND THE PRESENCE OF GOD…
    I WANT TO BE LIKE HER.

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series- The Brave Senior Citizen & Brave Cyndi

    Soul H2O Cindy Desjardins Wilkens

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 50 is Part2 of The Brave Senior Citizen & Brave CyndiIn This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts.

    Cyndi Desjardins Wilkens isn’t a Senior for a long time but an author and quadruple amputee who shines the light of Christ at Christmas and every day throughout the year!

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


    Soul H2O bookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you 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

    Read More

  • Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager

    The Word Guild WinnerThis post: Celebrating The Women Of The Christmas Story – The Teenager Post was Shortlisted for The2017 Word Awards in the Category of Article-Inspirational/Devotional and WON!!!!!

    WIN THE WORD AWARDS

    It was also featured on the #GraceandTruth #Linkup by Aimee Imbeau

    I hope that one day, this will be what inspired the book!


    Christmas WomenSee the Introduction for this series in the #SoulH2O post Celebrating the Women of The Christmas Story and the devotion on the first Christmas Woman, THE MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN – ELIZABETH discussing how she protected the promise of God.  The series is talking about how each of the #ChristmasWomen were:

    CARRIERS – OF THE PROMISE & PRESENCE OF GOD

    Read on to learn about today’s Christmas Woman…

    THE TEENAGER – MARY

    Christmas Women - The Teenager

    And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her..”
    Luke 1:38  ESV

    For most of my life, I’ve had a skinny, scrawny type of frame.  My ankles and wrists are not much bigger than a small child’s, but that all changed when I was pregnant.

    pregnant picThis picture was taken the night I went into labour with my son Brandon.  I’m not sure if my hair or pregnancy belly is larger???  I will say there was a shadow behind me from that cheap camera I owned.

    Being truthful, I don’t think there was anything left small on me at that point.  My feet had swelled, my lips felt blown up, my face was puffy…nothing was comfortable anymore.  Sleep seemed unattainable.

    Trying to find a comfortable position with a yoga ball attached to my tummy was impossible.  How I gained over 50 pounds for a baby who was just 9 pounds 9 ounces doesn’t make sense (if it weren’t for all those bacon-cheese hotdog cravings I fulfilled).

    I can attest to the fact that carrying a baby was inconvenient, uncomfortable, stretching, tiring, and yet…the most wonderful time of my life!

    MARY – The Pregnant Teenager

    I imagine it was similar, but a whole lot more inconvenient for Mary. Teen pregnancies aren’t often easy.  There’s a certain stigma High School aged girls face when they announce they’re pregnant.  I doubt Mary had it in her school planner to get pregnant, especially by someone other than her fiancé.

    How do you explain it to your family and friends that ‘you’re not pregnant because you’ve done something you shouldn’t’, it was because you allowed the God who created the universe to use your womb?

    Nothing about Mary’s pregnancy was convenient, comfortable or easy; yet this teenager accepted God’s plan for her life with the words,

    “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

    No, but God don’t you know how hard that is…don’t you know what that will cost me…don’t you know what people will say…don’t you know what Joseph will say…he may leave???

    Mary was carrying the promise and the very presence of God – Emmanuel, God with us inside her womb and it cost her. 

    Carrying the promise and presence of God isn’t convenient, easy, or comfortable, but it will be the most incredible adventure of your life; if you yield to God’s will, done God’s way.

    It’s impossible to carry a baby without getting stretch marks but oh, it’s so worth the scars.  Be like Mary; willing to be inconvenienced so you can carry within your heart the promise and the presence of God, so that through you the world will see Emmanuel, God is with us!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m overwhelmed at the thought that YOU want ME to carry Your promises and Your presence to the world.  I don’t feel worthy and I’m afraid of the cost.  I’m sorry for trying to take the easy-way-out. I open my heart and my life to You.  I’m willing like Mary to carry Your promises and Your presence, so the world may know YOU, no matter the cost.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    I’m willing to be inconvenienced to carry the promise and the presence of God to this world! 

    Drawing from the well

    You can find the full story of Mary’s involvement in Jesus’ birth Within these portions of Scripture:

    Luke 1:26-38               An Angel Meets Mary, Jesus Birth Foretold
    Luke 1:39-56               Mary Visits Elizabeth
    Matthew 1:18-25          Angel visits Joseph
    Matthew 1:27          Emmanuel:  God With Us  (Prophesied in Isaiah 7:14)
    Luke 2:2-6                   Mary gives birth to JESUS:  The Promise & Presence of God

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Christmas Series

    Christmas Women - Peggy Sue Wells Soul H2O Radio Podcast

    During the Christmas season, were running The Brave Christmas & Christian Women Series.  Episode 49 is Part2 of The Brave Teen Mom & Brave Single Moms. In This Series, were Celebrating The Women of The Christmas Story and a few of their contemporary counterparts. PeggySue Wells is an author and speaker who hosts an online ministry for Single Moms at SingleMomCircle.com


    GET READY FOR NEXT WEEK’S #SoulH2O Devotion in the Series THE SENIOR CITIZEN

    WANT WEEKLY REFRESHING?


    Soul H2O bookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you 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

    This devotion was originally posted on December 12, 2016.

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  • How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!

    We despised him and rejected him;
    he endured suffering and pain.
    No one would even look at him--
    we ignored him
    as if he were nothing.
    ~Isaiah 53:3 GNT

    Did you see the Hipster Nativity Set this Christmas?

    hipster nativityEarlier this week, the news reported how it’s the talk of Christmas 2018.

    The camera zoomed in showing the 3 wise men as Amazon Prime Deliverymen on Segways with presents in hand, the shepherd as a young guy missing what’s going on as he’s busy posting on social media with his 100% organic, gluten-free feed-eating cow and sheep in a Christmas sweater sitting by his side.  Next, they showed a man-bun boasting Joseph taking a selfie of himself with Mary posed in a little risqué outfit with her t-shirt off the shoulder, bra-strap and a little more showing.

    Oh ya, baby Jesus was in the solar-paneled manger too, but the newscasters weren’t really talking about Him.

    The discussion surrounded whether or not it was appropriate to have a nativity set with updated “characters”.  One man on the street was interviewed commenting how he felt each generation depicts the nativity with their own cultural relevance or some other hogwash like that. It’s questionable what nativity set that guy’s been putting out each Christmas but ours have always portrayed people in clothing suiting the era when Christ was born with baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths.

    This modern-day version of the nativity wasn’t an issue for me, although I wish they had made Mary a little more modestly dressed, I actually thought it was clever and could be a good conversation starter but what bothered me was how a whole segment of the news could actually be discussing the scene of Jesus’ birth and yet He wasn’t the focus.  In fact, Jesus was barely mentioned.

    They completely missed the Christ in CHRISTmas!

    Other’s Who Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

    How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!For centuries people have been missing the Christ in CHRISTmas.

    Scripture is full of verses talking about the hope of Israel; a coming Messiah, the savior who would bring peace to those who followed Him.  Jewish Rabbis and faithful Hebrew people have studied the Tanakh (Old Testament) and made lists of what they thought the Messiah; the Christ would be like and how they would recognize Him from any other good person. As Christians, we have accepted Jesus (that’s the English version of His name), to be the fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies.

    I’ve also come to understand through reading Joe Amaral’s book, The Story In The Stars how Jesus also fulfilled God’s prophetic power point in the sky: displayed through the constellations God designed at creation; from the virgin woman Virgo to the Aries ram.

    How My Brain Works

    But if your brain works at all like mine, you’ve probably wondered, Why, if Jesus was the Messiah God gave, then why are there Jewish people today still searching for the Christ?  So, were we wrong or did they miss their Messiah when He came… and why did they?  As you can see, I was probably one of those toddlers who drove their parents’ crazy asking, “But Why?” The Bible does teach that when Jesus was born; as those original style nativity sets depict, lived on the earth as a carpenter and then became a miracle-working minister many Jewish people and Priests did follow Him1, but not all.

    I could never understand how Hebrew people today weren’t able to connect-the-dots left in the Old Testament to ascertain the truth of Jesus’ identity, that was until my friend shared this YouTube video called The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh where a young Jewish guy in Israel explains how after Jesus lived, the Rabbi’s took Isaiah 53 out of the Scripture listing, read by Jewish people.  This portion of Scripture is the prophet Isaiah’s most detailed record about the coming Saviour.

    For the first time in my life,

    I understood how Jewish people could miss Jesus being the Christ of CHRISTmas.

    As I watched the video (shown below), my faith of Jesus as Lord and savior of my life was strengthened.

    At the same time, this news brought on such a deep sense of sadness to recognize how millions of Jewish people for over two centuries have missed out on knowing Jesus as I do because their eyes have been blinded from the truth.

    It brings my mind back to the news report on The Hipster Nativity and how people are still blinded from the truth of who Jesus is today.  We can be so distracted by all our stuff the wise men/delivery guys bring, missing Jesus right in front of our eyes like the shepherd or focused on ourselves in this selfie generation. Don’t let that be your reality this year.

    Make 2019 different!

    Don’t let the “trappings of this world” trip you up.  Open your eyes and heart to make room for Jesus, so you don’t miss Him this year!

    Prayer

    Father… My heart aches for a world that seems to be blinded to Your Son even when there are signs of Him all around us. Holy Spirit I ask you to remove the blinders from my eyes and help me see Jesus, Emmanuel… God is with me. Jesus You are here, You’re wanting to be involved in my daily life. I open wide my heart to let you in.  You are my Christ, my savior, my Lord: at Christmas, in this new year and always.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    Drawing from the well

    DRAWING FROM THE WELL

    1. Isaiah 53:3
    2. Acts 6:7
    3. 2 Corinthians 4:4
    4. Jude 1:3

    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.

     

    VIDEO OF JEWISH GUY SHOWING JEWISH PEOPLE ISAIAH 53

    “THE FORBIDDEN CHAPTER”

    In the Tanakh (Old Testament for us).


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

    ENDNOTES

    1.   Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7 (Key verse is Acts 6:7)

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  • My Christmas Message For You

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

    My Video Christmas Message For You

    Talk to you in the New Year!

    Much love
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

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  • What Are You Asking For This Christmas?

    In the month of December, I’m running Advent Series all over on, the Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show, through the devotions, and on Instagram Lives. This week, the focus is on Christmas Love. 

    Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Jesus

    Soul H2O Devotions/Posts: What’s The Right Way To Celebrate Advent, Hope, Love, Joy, Peace, Advent Inspiration For Your Christmas Season

    Instagram Lives: Wednesdays at 12-12:10pm EST in December


    What Are You Asking For This Christmas?WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR THIS CHRISTMAS?

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

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

    JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

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

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

    ASKING

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

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

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

    SO, WHAT ARE YOU ASKING FOR?

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

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

    Prayer

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


    Advent Talks

    Join Me Weekly For Advent Talks

    Through The Themes of Advent

    Every Wednesday at 12-12:10pm EST on Instagram Live

    December 1(Hope), 8(Love), 15 (Joy), 22(Peace)

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    Drawing From The Well

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

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

     

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


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

    Twas The Night Before ChristmasI 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.  

    This 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}

    This 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.”

    Sermon Notes Pastor MichaelI’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.

    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

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


    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.

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  • Christmas Message 2016

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

    We’re off celebrating Christmas with my family right now but I wanted to send you all a Christmas message.  I hope you know how much I value you.  I love hearing from readers and how God is using the #SoulH2O devotions to refresh your spirit.  I’ve heard such positive feedback on my CELEBRATING THE WOMEN IN THE CHRISTMAS SERIES that I’m thinking it should be a book???  Oh so many ideas 🙂 (Click on the title if you missed reading the series)

    Praying God’s Presence is rich in your ♥️ this Christmas so you have faith to believe in His Promises! Click To Tweet

    MERRY CHRISTMAS & GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    See below for pictures from some of my Christmas events this year. from Toronto to Winnipeg!

    CALVARY TEMPLE WINNIPEG – REKINDLING FRIENDSHIPS AND MAKING MANY MORE!
    http://www.ctwinnipeg.com
    CHURCH ON THE QUEENSWAY: TORONTO, ON – 480 Crazy FUN Girls!
    http://www.thechurch.to

     

    WIMM Canada EVENT – BURLINGTON, ON
    http://www.wimmcanada.ca

    wimm event

    LISA BURKHART WORLEYON THE TIME TO DREAM AGAIN PODCAST

    Radio recording with my Christian Women in Media friend, Lisa Burkhardt-Worley for her show with another CWIMA friend, Donna Skell. 

    The show airs from Dallas but we recorded during a MASSIVE snowstorm when Lisa was down for a conference with her hubby. 

    Time To Dream Again Episode

    Spirit of Christmas Events

    If you’ve never gone to a SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS event, you haven’t experienced Christmas as you should!  Check out Kevin’s site and sign up for his mailing list so you can attend next year!  It’s like a Bing Crosby Christmas Special, but better!
    http://www.kevinpauls.com

    THE EVENT AND MY BESTEST FRIENDS!  
    These pictures were taken at my friend Kevin Pauls’ SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS Special in Hamilton, ON.

     

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