daily devotional

  • Joy to The World

    joy to the world“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” –Luke 2:8-12 NLT

    Jesus- the Joy to The World

    Do you have a favorite Christmas carol? One of my ultimate favorite’s is Joy To The World, especially when Mariah Carey is singing it!
    It’s just my opinion, but I think there are too many sad, slow, and unrealistic Christmas Carols about Jesus. Carols about Santa are filled with Joy. There’s Santa Baby, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and Here Comes Santa Claus. Those songs just make you happy singing their jingles.

    Silent Night doesn’t even make any sense to me. I struggle to think that a baby’s birth in a stable with animals around was a “silent” night.

    Away In A Manger isn’t logical either. The song ends off well and is angelic when sung by a choir of children, but to think that cows mooing wouldn’t cause a newborn to cry can only be written by someone who’s never had a baby!

    O Come All Ye Faithful has us singing “Born this happy morning” in an almost sorrowful way. Hardly joyful, birthday celebrating songs appropriate for my Jesus’ birthday!

    Nothing brings more joy into the world than the birth of a child. Reading Luke’s account of that wonderful night when Jesus was born helps me to understand that He came to bring Joy To The World. His desire is to take our sorrow and replace it with the good news that our savior has come. This year share the joy of Jesus’ good news with someone. This will bring a great joy to their celebration of Christmas and yours!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank-you for bringing joy into our world because we need it! So often life is hard and doesn’t make sense. May the joy of knowing you Jesus and the freedom Your salvation brings bubble out of my life this Christmas and forevermore! In Jesus Name…Amen.


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

     

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

    Read More

  • Go Tell It…In Your Living Room

    “So they ran into town, and eventually they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the feeding trough. After they saw the baby, they spread the story of what they had experienced and what had been said to them about this child. Everyone who heard their story couldn’t stop thinking about its meaning..”
    Luke 2:16-18

    go tell itI loved Christmas morning when my kids were little. Getting on the couch and sharing the story of Baby Jesus was my favorite part. It was important to me to share the real meaning of why we were celebrating and still is. I believe telling the story of Jesus, not shopping, baking, wrapping, hanging lights, writing cards…is the most important thing we should be doing at Christmas!

    The carol “Go Tell it on The Mountain” has been a Christmas staple for over a century. When I hear these words the song goes off in my head and I see Shepherds in a Christmas play running out to tell other’s about Jesus! This Christmas I want to challenge you to: Go Tell It In Your Living room!

    Danger Of Not Sharing Jesus’ Story

    There’s a danger in not sharing the story of Jesus and how he came to save the world, how He saved us. The danger is that one-day the next generation may not even know Jesus and think Christmas is only about Santa and gifts. My fear is we’re almost there.

    If one generation neglects to tell the story to the next, human nature will cause them to drift away from God. Judges 2 tells us how the people who went through the desert and saw God miraculously save them, faithfully followed Him. Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. Scripture confirms that the next generation abandoned faith in God because they didn’t know the Lord or what He had done for them. When I read that my heart was sick. It made me question…Why didn’t they know the Lord? Why didn’t they know what He had done for their parents and grandparents? No one must have told them.

    People need to know the story of how Jesus came to save. They need to know your story of salvation! So this Christmas, Go Tell It In Your Living room!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for giving the first Christmas gift when You sent Your son Jesus down to earth. Jesus, I thank-you for willingly coming and bringing salvation to the world! I thank-you for saving me! Help me to tell your story so the next generation knows you and what you’ve done so, they in turn pass it along. In Jesus Name…Amen.


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

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

    Read More

  • Christmas-Wonderful and Woeful

    “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”
    Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV

    Christmas-Wonderful and WoefulThis week was jam packed with Christmas events.  I decorated the house with my step-daughter and went to my friend Kevin Pauls’ “Spirit of Christmas” Musical event with my son and his girlfriend.  It was so much fun!  The night was filled with great laughter.

    WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL Christmas

    In stark contrast I attended our church’s Comfort Service.  It was started to help those who have experienced great loss in their grieving. Today I heard my friends share the heart-wrenching story of how their 15 year old daughter is spending Christmas in heaven this year with her older sister.  They spoke in brokenness but with such confidence in a God who is there, especially when it hurts and life doesn’t make sense. This week was a reminder of how WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL Christmas can be.

    The writer of Ecclesiastes was so wise to understand that people are all going to be in different stages of life at different times.  When one is weeping another is laughing, when one is dancing another is mourning.  “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc 3:1 NIV).  We must allow people to embrace the season they are in and live out Romans 12:15 that says we are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

    As Christians we are to walk alongside our brothers and sisters.  This Christmas, be with friends in the WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL.   Rejoicing or mourning, whatever THEIR season, so you can help them “walk through” in the confidence that God loves them, He’s with them and He’s proud of them, because they’re getting that from you!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for being with me every season of life that I face.  Help me to recognize what season I’m in and the seasons of others.  Let us all be a comfort to each other and spur one another on to live life in the confidence of Your love.  In Jesus Name…Amen!


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

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

    Read More

  • Surrender

    “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
                                                                                Luke 22:42 NIV

    surrender
    Gram and I skating together in 2012.

    Three weeks ago my “just a couple years shy of 90” grandmother had to give up roller-skating!  She had a nasty fall that resulted in an Emergency room visit so she’s decided it’s time to hang up her skates.  This may seem trivial to some, but my gram has been skating for almost two decades with the same group of friends, 1-2 a week.  Harder yet was her decision to SURRENDER her drivers’ license about a year ago.  My heart aches for gram as she gracefully accepts her new limitations in order to keep herself safe.
    For the past five years there has been a real work of God in my life to keep my life in a “state of SURRENDER to all that God has for me.  A yielding of my will to His.  I’m doing my best to face each situation with grace, just like my gram.  Aiming to willingly SURRENDER whatever God requires of me without Him having to take it away.  It’s often a painful process that I wouldn’t go through if I didn’t know there was a benefit to the SURRENDER.  I know that my choice to relinquish my stuff, my dreams, my life, my heart to Him will bring a greater reward in the end.
    I’m so comforted when I read the verse above.  To know that SURRENDER was even hard for Jesus makes me feel better.  Hebrews 12:2 says, “who for the joy set before him endured the cross”.  Jesus’ SURRENDER was so much greater than mine could ever be, but knowing that he understands my struggle in the SURRENDER somehow makes it easier.  Like Gram, Jesus relinquished his rights without anyone having to take them from Him.  May we follow their lead!
    Prayer
    Father…Please give me the courage to release to You whatever may be holding me back from becoming who you want me to be and accomplishing all you desire for me to do.  May I have Your eyes to see the “joy set before me” and willingly surrender my all to You!  In Jesus Name…Amen!

    Read More

  • Identity Theft

    Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
    Genesis 32:28  NIV


    Identity TheftHave you ever watched the movie Identity Thief with Melissa McCarthy? She hilariously and yes irreverently, portrayed a girl who takes on the financial identity of Jason Bateman’s character. This conwoman uses his credit to buy stuff and destroy his financial rating. In the end your heart turns toward this crazy thief as you learn of her troubled childhood. She was attracted to this type of crime to get away from her birth identity. She could relate to Jacob in the Bible who needed an Identity Theft.

    Jacob the Deceiver

    Jacob was the son of Abraham. His very nature was described in the meaning of his name; ‘deceiver’. You know him, He was the one who conned his brother out of his birthright and then tricked his father into pronouncing the blessing for the firstborn on him. This put Jacob ‘on the run’ to get away from his brother Essau. The saying ‘you reap what you sow’ played out in Jacob’s life as he was then tricked by his father-in-law Laban into marrying Leah when he thought he was marrying Rachel.

    Years later, Jacob in turn tricks Laban and then flees that situation. On the run again, Jacob meets up with his brother Essau who surprisingly doesn’t kill him! I think at this point Jacob was finally ready to face his issues with deceit.

    Jacob to Israel

    After a long night of meeting with God and not giving up till he received God’s blessing, Jacob’s name was changed by God to ‘Israel’. He went from deceiver to overcomer when God pulled an ancient day Identity Theft!

    Have you been ‘on the run’ from God for a long time or know someone who is? Trust that God is chasing you down to read this message. He wants you to know that He’s in the business of changing flawed identities and producing overcomers!

    Prayer

    Father…You know the flaws at the very core of my identity. I open my life to You and ask that You would change my heart. Write a new name over me and produce an overcoming spirit deep within so I don’t give up and can see your blessing touch my life!  In Jesus name…Amen


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

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

    Read More

  • Curse To Blessing

    curse to blessing“…the LORD your God would not listen…but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.”
                                                                    Deuteronomy 23:5

    This weekend I flew to NYC for a retreat in Connecticut.  I left the house excited for a new adventure, until I got pulled in and held up at the border for no reason.  Finally free, I rushed to the airport, running to the gate where my first flight was cancelled and my second flight delayed. What seemed like a curse was about to turn into a blessing!
    While waiting in line to see if I could get another flight I met a really nice girl.  We hit it off and talked through the whole “delay”.  It was sad when they called us to board the plane and we had to end our time together!
    Before the retreat my hubby and daughter sent me messages with scripture and encouragement, expressing their confidence in my ability to accomplish what God had called me there to do.  Oh how my life has changed!  Where I once encountered resistance and cursing for stepping out into God’s calling, I now receive blessings!  I see this verse being fulfilled as the enemy still tries to speak out curses, but God just doesn’t listen to the noise!  The key is in learning to do the same, training our ears to ‘tune out’ the negativity!  Then we can trust God to turn things from a curse to blessing because as the verse says, “God loves YOU”!
    Prayer:
    Father…I thank-you for your power!  Only you can take a curse spoken and turn it into a blessing!  Please break every curse spoken over me and let my life bring you praise for the blessing! In Jesus name…Amen.

    Read More

  • Change

    https://soul-h2o.com/change/ ‎I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sara your wife will have a son.
                                  Genesis 18:10 NIV

    Todd and I went to Florida for a relaxing vacation.   We stayed in the same resort we had stayed in with two of our kids about a year ago. The amount of new construction was shocking! The property next to our resort that had for a long time been “greenspace”, was now a small city of about 15 half-way completed high rise time-share villas. The Disney Boardwalk was in the midst of a major overhaul with crews working on new buildings, bridges, an overhead tram-system and a massive parking garage! Only Disney can make that kind of structural CHANGE in about a year. It’s amazing to see how quickly your life can CHANGE in about a year!
    Sometimes, you feel that life is never going to CHANGE. Your situation is permanent and without possibility of transformation. That just isn’t so! God is in the CHANGE business. He loves to take a difficult situation and turn it around.   As my pastor says, “God often takes a long time to act suddenly!” Sara laughed when God sent angels to her and Abraham proclaiming they would have a child in about a year. She couldn’t accept that at 89 God could fulfill His promise made so long ago that she would have a child. Post-menopausal women just don’t get pregnant or have babies! True to His Promises, Scripture confirms in Genesis 21:2 that Sara did have a baby “at the very time God had promised him” They even named the boy Isaac which means, “he laughs” because sometimes God finds humor in showing us what He can do!
    So what situation or person have you given up on? Don’t be like Sara and laugh at God’s promises. Trust God with your life and believe that He can bring about CHANGE!
    Prayer
    Father, I’m thankful that you never CHANGE, but that you never stop changing me!   You never CHANGE your mind on the promises you’ve given and fulfill them in your perfect timing. Help me to not doubt and work with you to see real CHANGE in my life this coming year. In Jesus name…Amen.

    Read More

  • Don't Take The Bait

    “…We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.
                                 2 Corinthians 10:5 The Voice

    The strangest thing happened to me at work last week. I was listening to a Christian radio station online when all of a sudden I heard a voice on the radio that I hadn’t heard for about 3 years. Immediately I was angry. I could feel the resentment starting to churn inside of me, so I quickly changed stations hoping to free myself of the negative thoughts. For the rest of the day, memories kept popping into my head about how this person had hurt me. Events I hadn’t given thought to for so many years. Emotions were rising up that had been laid to rest years before. This time I was wise to the enemy’s tactic and fought the urge to pick up the offense again and trying to make me feel like I hadn’t forgiven. God’s spirit inside of me was setting off warning alarms saying…Don’t Take The Bait!bait
    The battle continued raging inside of my head for a few days. Thoughts would come out of nowhere. There was a conflict in my spirit to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor 10:5 NIV) My flesh wanted to give in to the emotions and thoughts of self-pity. I was wronged and had every right to be hurt—didn’t I?
    Recognizing it was a struggle to overcome, I shared what had happened to Todd and confessed my difficulties in letting it go. By exposing my weakness it helped me to live out 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says, “We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.” (The Voice)
    Keep your spiritual antenna up and be wise to the enemy’s tactics. Take those thoughts prisoner. Whatever you do…Don’t Take The Bait!
    Prayer
    Father, I thank-you for your wisdom to know when the enemy is on the prowl. Help me to come out victorious as you strengthen me to gain control over my thought life. May I bring you joy! In Jesus name…Amen.

    Read More

  • Cause and Effect

    sing for joy“…you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD…The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”
                                                               Isaiah 51:1,3 NIV
    Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you couldn’t imagine ever having joy or feeling glad?   It’s horrible! I remember going to church and not even being able to sing because I feared that if I sang it would bring on a tidal wave of emotions that I couldn’t control. I read this verse and struggled to believe it was possible. How could joy, gladness and singing come back into my life? These verses gave me hope to know that there were things I could do to place myself in line with God’s promises. A kind of “CAUSE AND EFFECT” principle that was offered to the people in Isaiah’s time worked for me and is applicable for your life today!
    If you want to see a big turnaround in your life from deserts to gardens, Isaiah says you need to “pursue righteousness” and “seek the LORD”. You don’t have to fix yourself, anyone or anything else up. It’s simply out of pursuing and seeking after God, who is our righteousness that we gain joy, gladness and start to sing again. When you begin to set your focus on building your relationship with Him and start over looking your desert wastelands that you will start to feel the joy and gladness surging through your heart.
    My experience has been that when I have decidedly spent time enjoying my relationship with God that the negative hard stuff doesn’t affect me as much. The more I spend time pursuing a relationship with God, the more refreshed I am and able to experience the joy He has for me. It’s been a process that was set into motion by following this “CAUSE AND EFFECT” principle; I seek, HE restores! How good to know that our God doesn’t change. His promises were just as effective yesterday as they are today! Why not take advantage of them?
    Prayer
    Father, I thank-you that Your promises are true, even when I don’t feel like they are. I ask you to help me to pursue You alone. I set my focus on building relationship with you so that You can apply this promise to my life and fill me with Your gladness to the place where I will sing for joy!  In Jesus name…Amen.
     

    Read More

  • WORD POWER

    words have power“And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.”
                               2 Chronicles 32:8 NIV
    “Great Job! I’m so proud of you!”
    “You’re an idiot. Don’t you know anything!”
    Words are POWERFUL! No matter what you say, there is an effect attached to your words for good or bad. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” The truth of that verse is hard to believe. We can understand that God’s words are powerful since it only took Him speaking to create our universe and everything in it. To believe that human words are powerful you only need to speak to a counselor to understand the devastating or inspiring affect of words. Do you understand the effects of your WORD POWER?
    Hezekiah was king of Judah in a dangerous time. The nation was being taken captive by a super-power named Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Daily he spoke threats to the people; demeaning them, elevating his strength and leaving them in fear. Hezekiah knew that God was with them as a nation and wasn’t willing to let Sennacherib have the last say. King Hezekiah assembled the troops and gave them a most powerful rally speech. He “encouraged them with these words: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” (2 Chronicles 32:6-8 NIV) This confidence brought VICTORY!
    Recognize your WORD POWER today! Choose to bring; life, not death; faith not fear; confidence not discouragement. You are that powerful!
    Prayer
    Father, I thank-you for the power of Your Word. May my speech be seasoned with Your words and Your encouragement, so that power of my words would bring people to confidence in You and who you’ve made them! In Jesus name…Amen.

    Read More