devotional

  • Leadership Leads… Good or Bad

    “...from the prophets of Jerusalem 
    ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” 
    Jeremiah 23:15  NIV

    John MaxwellAll my John Maxwell training is going to be put to the test in three and a half weeks when I’ll be moderating a panel on Leadership at the Women’s Connection District Retreat in Grimsby, Ontario. {If you’re going, make sure to stop by my table and say hello!}

    wod retreat 2019I have some amazing ladies on the panel who hold various organizational leadership roles in business, government positions, church leadership, and home management. The goal is to elevate the confidence of women in leadership positions and practically help improve their skills, enabling them to walk further and faster into the destiny God has for their lives.

    As we’ve been preparing for the panel, I can’t help but look back and rate my skillfulness as a leader. Lots of passes, and plenty of fails.  My thoughts went back to my first leadership position as a big sister. 🙂

    Sisters LoriSometimes, my little sister, Lori would follow me around playing ‘Copycat’.  Remember that annoying childhood game where people followed you around; often one-step behind you, repeating every word you said, copying move you made? Lori used to drive me crazy doing this!  Thankfully, we’ve grown up and now have a great relationship! {Don’t we look cute together now 🙂 }  As a “big sister” I hope I’ve given Lori more good examples to follow than bad ones!  No matter how small your leadership role may seem, it will have a huge impact because

    Leadership Leads…Good or Bad!

    RECOGNIZING YOUR REACH

    Sometimes we minimize the effect our leadership has in the home, school, court, field, rink, church or place of employment.  Whenever God has elevated you to a place of leadership, people are going to follow in your footsteps—It’s a scary thing!

    A friend once said to me,

    “I was forced to go to church and I won’t put my kids through that.
    I don’t want them to be forced to live what I believe but to be able to choose for themselves.

    Since she never took her kids to church, they simply followed her lead and have seldom gone to church because they were never given another option to choose from.  Failure to give guidance is, in fact, leading, since it causes people to blindly follow your example and not know why.

    [tweetthis]You’re leading, even when you try not to lead. #leadership [/tweetthis]

    leadership leads pinterest

    Our leadership in life is followed,
    much more than we recognize.

    Today’s verse comes from the book of Jeremiah.  In his time, many of the prophets weren’t leading well. They weren’t proclaiming God’s word to the people, but instead speaking what they knew the people wanted to hear, so they would keep following them… following them down the wrong path.

    These false prophets were sharing a watered-down message with false hopes that led the people to be disappointed in God; causing them to turn away from Him. Jeremiah had to swim against the tide of his time as their poisonous message,

    “spread throughout the land”.

    Leadership was difficult for Jeremiah, but he knew his responsibility was to clear the path for others, so they could follow the right way; because

    [tweetthis]Leadership Leads… Good or Bad #leadership[/tweetthis]

    So, what’s going to spread in the future as people follow you?

    Prayer

    Father… I’m overwhelmed when I recognize that you have given me such influence in my world.  Help me to be wise with my words and actions so that my life impacts others to know and love you more! May others follow your plans for their lives as they see me chasing after the destiny you’ve set before me. In Jesus name…Amen


    wod retreat 2019I WILL RISE
    Women’s Connection Conference

    https://womensconnection.ca/events/conference

    If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll join us
    Don’t forget to sign up for the Leadership Panel}.


    Drawing From The Well

    1. Ephesians 1:5
    2. Hebrews 13:7
    3. James 3:1
    4. 1 Timothy 4:12

    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!


    Other posts about my journey with John C. Maxwell, the JMTeam, or John’s Books:
    John C. Maxwell And God Want You To Be A Talent-Plus Person
    Mentored to Lead by John C. Maxwell

     


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

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  • Soul H2O Book Launch

    Publishing my second book, Soul H2O is such a different experience than with my first.  With the release of Water In The Desert I didn’t know what I was doing AT ALL!  Now I know A BIT more and realize how difficult it is to get a book out to market successfully.   It’s not that it can’t be done, it’s just harder than I imagined.  Luckily I’m not one to shy away from the hard stuff.  Thankfully, God has been doing some crazy amazing things in my life that are perfectly positioning me for the Soul H2O Book Launch.

    I’m most excited that God is perfectly positioning the right people in my life to help me learn how to do this ‘writing career’ thing.

    BOOK LAUNCH TEAM

    screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-1-14-05-pm I’m completely blessed to have blogger Christine Duncan of Precepts and Life Preservers taking the lead on the Soul H2O Social Media Book Launch Campaign and I hope you join us. It’s gonna be fun!  Christine has planned out posts that all you have to do is share and I’ll be doing my best to make it worth your while with some special perks J  You’ll get a prerelease PDF of my book.  I’m doing a Facebook Live today, Wednesday, September 21st that will tell you more.  Hope you can watch live.  If not check the video out later.  I’ll post it on my author Facebook Page.

    screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-1-13-50-pm[imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=” https://sherrystahl.com/book-launch/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]Soul H2O Book Launch Info Page & Launch Team Sign-Up Link[/imic_button]

    Here’s the link if you want more info.  You can even see a sample of the book’s interior here too.

    For this book launch I’ve learned, and am still learning SO many new things!

    I just learned how to make videos with iMovie!  Are you in a time where everything is new for you?  Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you ever moved, started a new job, school, gym or church?  Ok, enough with the interrogation questions. You get what I mean!

    It’s an unsettling feeling when you’re in totally new territory.  I’m so thankful that the Bible is full of relatable people.  They’re not perfect, they’re flawed.  They’re not always brave, they struggle with fear and some get this ‘I don’t know exactly what I’m doing or where I’m going” feeling.  God keeps bringing me back to the story of the Israelites crossing over the rushing Jordan river on dry ground into the promised land story in Joshua 3-4.

    My life is mimicking their experience on both a professional and personal level.  In both areas I am facing a sea of raging uncertain circumstances that will either be the blockage to God’s promises or the pathway to His blessings.  In both situations it’s the second time I’m facing a similar circumstance that didn’t exactly get me into the ‘Promised Land.  Both got me on the journey, but not quite there yet.  I believe the Lord is speaking to me that these ‘second battles’ are the breakthrough battles that lead to overriding victory!

    Here’s a verse that was shining off the page as I read through the story in Joshua:

    “However, stay about half a mile behind them. Don’t come any closer to them so that you will know which way to go because you have not gone this way before.”
    Joshua 3:4

    God directed the Israelites to follow the ark.  They were to stay far enough behind it so they could get a clear vision of where it was going to follow on an easy path.

    God has perfectly positioned me to stand behind some great women of the faith and watch what they’re doing. Authors like Karol Ladd, Mary DeMuth, Jennifer Strickland, Sheila Wray-Gregoire, Sue Detweiler.  Speakers like Peggy Kennedy and Tracey Mitchell.  Bloggers like Kelly Balarie, Crystal Storms, Sarah E Ball and most recently Lindsey Hartz.  TV Hosts like Cheryl Weber and Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.  Publicists like Ellen Graf-Martin, Jeane Wynn and Katie Nguyen.  I don’t take these new relationships for granted.  I thank God for bringing women into my life that encourage, challenge and inspire me to pull out all the stops and move forward with all that God has for my life.  I hope you do the same!

    I’ve been given some opportunities that not a lot of Canadian authors receive. I’ve been offered the opportunity to promote Soul H2O across North America in three phases.  First with the Social Media book launch team.  Second in Bookstores across Canada during December.  My publisher, Warren Benson of Word Alive Press has coordinated US distribution of my book through Anchor Distributors.  Soul H2O is going to be available for purchase in all the Christian bookstores across the US and Water In The Desert is already available!  Now to get the US stores like Family Christian and LifeWay to stock the book like Canadian bookstores are doing.  This is how I feel that God has perfectly positioned me for the next level in publishing with these distribution channels.

    Since we live in the real world, all this great opportunity costs, and boy does it cost!  Because of this…

    I’m doing an Indiegogo Campaign!

    To help execute these opportunities and make them the best they can be, I’ve set up this campaign to presell and sell my new books.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-12-37-24-pm

    [imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/soul-h2o-book-launch-books-jewelry#/” target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]Soul H2O Book Launch Indiegogo Campaign[/imic_button]

    screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-1-14-23-pmI’ve partnered together with Word Alive Press, Helena Cho of Goodworks Jewelry  and 100 Huntley Street’s Missions arm, Crossroads Relief and Development Water Projects to offer you some pretty fabulous deals to help bless you as you as you partner with me in bringing His refreshing word to people, at the same time providing clean water to people in need!  Check out the deals on my Indiegogo Campaign where you order the books.  You’ll be personally and beautifully refreshed, some even drenched!  (You’ll have to check out the Perks to know what I’m talking about here!).

    Thanks for your love and support!
    ~Sherry
    xoxo

    soul-h2o-book-mockupThis mock-up of the book represents what the book looks like.  It is the perfect purse sized devotional to carry with you anywhere, so you can read, anytime.  Stuck at a doctor’s office, no problem.  Waiting at the DMV, no problem anymore.  Spend your time waiting while being refreshed to OVERflowing!

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  • Encircle

    “Mountains encircle Jerusalem, and God encircles his people—always has and always will.”
                                                    Psalm 125:2 MSG

    One of the best perks of being a mom is getting and giving hugs! When my kids were little and would get hurt they would always come running to me for a squeeze. A cuddle seemed to help everything from cuts to bullies on the playground. Like a big hug, God desires to ENCIRCLE us in His care.

    So often the enemy wants us to feel like we’re outnumbered…on the losing side…all alone, but feelings aren’t always in line with reality. This verse brings us back to the truth of where we are and where God is. The writer of this Psalm is speaking to a people who have known what it was like to be encircled by their enemies, and attacked from all sides. God wanted his people to be confident that He was encircling them. Just as God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the host of angels protecting him from his enemies, God desires for your spiritual eyes to be opened so you know that He has you surrounded!

    Let God ENCIRCLE you today. Close your eyes and feel His warm embrace. Know He’s watching over, protecting and loving you—always has and always will!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m overwhelmed to think that the God of the Universe wants to hold little ‘ole me! May I allow you to encircle me, and shield me from all the enemy would try and do to take me down. Let me walk in the confidence of your protection and love as I feel your embrace. In Jesus Name…Amen!

    Book Signing–Tuesday!

    ICRS (International Christian Retail Show)
    take the 40 day challenge  Tuesday, June 30th   4-5pm
    Anchor Distributing Booth #211

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  • Daddy

    The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy.
                                         Romans 8:15 (The Voice Translation)

    Years ago I read the book The Shack. It told a fictitious story of one man’s journey to be able see God as He truly is: a loving, good father. This man’s view of God the father was marred by the experience he had with his earthly father.   I loved how the main character’s wife called God “Poppa”. Whenever I write out my prayers I call God “Daddy”. It was after reading the verse above one time that I began addressing him this way. There really is no better way to describe the relationship I have with our Heavenly Father. To me He truly is “Daddy”!

    At church our pastor talked about the issue of fatherlessness and how, statistically speaking, not having a father in your life is detrimental to your well-being. It’s a longing deep within each of us to have a good relationship with our fathers. We want them to love us, care about us and be proud of us. We desire to have our dads around. When this need is not met we are at a disadvantage and the enemy knows it. He uses this God-given need for fatherly love to his benefit. If the devil can get a man to not be the father God desires for him to be, it’s like he rolls a strike, taking down all the pins. The husband, wife and children all are left with a deficit.

    The only person who can completely fill this gaping need is God himself! He will often use others to help, but wants more than anything for us to let Him be the one we call Daddy!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-you for adopting me into your family! It’s a concept I find so hard to fully grasp. Help me to know the depths of Your love so that I can put my complete trust in You. Help me to open up my heart and let you be the Daddy that I desire and need so my heart can be full! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Come Close

    “The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.)
                                                                       Deuteronomy 5:4-5 NIV

    Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’? The Israelites were like a horse led to water that refused to drink. God had called them to come close so He could speak to them, but they refused his invitation.

    The scripture surrounding this verse in Deuteronomy gives more detail to the recounting of a time in the life of Israel when God desired to meet with His people. Moses told the Israelites God’s plans and they responded saying, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” (Ex 19:7)   First, they were to prepare themselves to hear from God with a ceremonial cleansing—so, they bathed! Second, God would come down to Mount Sinai; smoke and fire would be all around. Limits were to be put around the mountain to ensure no one came close for three days so—they obeyed. During those three days they could actually hear God’s voice giving Moses the Ten Commandments!- Then, after the three days God had invited them all to go up the mountain. God wanted to meet with all of his people, but they were afraid and refused. The Israelites told God they were content to hear what He had to say through Moses, but they wouldn’t come up the mountain. How very sad for God to be rejected by the people He loved.

    This morning God woke me up very early. I sensed Him calling me to come close so I could hear from Him. I believe His encouragement is the same for you today. His desire is for you to come close and listen to His voice.

    Prayer

    Father…Life is so very busy and it’s easy to stay distracted. Help me to find a quiet place and allow you to speak into my life so that I am refreshed. May my time with you be sweet. Take away all fear and help me to open my ears and my heart to you! In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • All Over The World

    all over the world“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world”                                   Romans 1:8 NIV

    Facebook and email, through the power of the Internet have brought the world to my computer! I wonder what form of social media Paul and the apostles used to spread the word about amazing faith back then??? Today, I love reading the posts of my missionary friends and seeing all God is doing in and through them as they make a difference ALL OVER THE WORLD! 

    My friend Wendy has been working with a missions organization for years, travelling the world over to spread the love of Christ.   Then there’s Reynold and Kathy who have left the creature comforts of Canada to live in Uganda, being used by God to unite a nation for Christ. Right now my friend Peggy is in Sri Lanka preaching the powerful Word of God. My new friend Cheryl helps free women from human trafficking… I truly thank my God for these friends and the influence of their lives ALL OVER THE WORLD!

    Todd bought me a mug and it says, “Life is a Story…Make Yours A Best Seller“. So go on, do something in courageous faith! Give them something to report on, ALL OVER THE WORLD!

    Prayer:

    Father…Lord I thank-you for the technology that allows us to hear about the great things you are doing in our world to reach the lost. You do it through ordinary people who are willing vessels. Please help me to live out my faith in a way to cause Your name to be reported ALL OVER THE WORLD! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • No Turning Back

    no turning back-blog post
    “So Elisha left: he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man.”

                      1 Kings 19:21 The Message

    I love babies. This morning at church I garnered the attention of two adorable baby boys! I wanted to take them into my arms but they were holding on so tightly to their parents and there was no breaking that bond! When God used Elijah to call Elisha to ministry as a prophet his first reaction was to ask Elijah if he could go back and say goodbye to his parents. Elijah freed him to return home, but warned him not to forget what just happened. Elisha kept his calling in mind and by his actions said to God, “I’m following you, NO TURNING BACK!

    Elisha was in the fields working on the family farm when Elijah comes walking up, directed by God. Elijah takes his coat off and threw it around Elisha, symbolizing to the people in those days that ministry was being transferred to another. Elijah burns up his oxen and plow—his career and livelihood. Now that’s commitment!

    We don’t always have such dramatic calls to what God has for us, but we all know when He’s calling. Let’s be committed to have the heart of Elisha and by our actions confirm to God that we will follow Him with NO TURNING BACK!

    Prayer:

    Father…Thank-you for your call. I’m grateful that you have a plan for my life and a purpose for me to fulfill. Help me to make a decision to follow you and live out that decision with NO TURNING BACK! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Relax

    Relax Painting
    (c) Todd Stahl Used with Permission

    “And you? Go about your business without fretting or worrying. Relax. When it’s all over, you will be on your feet to receive your reward.”
                                         Daniel 12:13 The Message

    Sometimes when I read through Daniel and study about the end times I end up confused and a little afraid. OK, sometimes I get a lot afraid. I remember having to write a paper for my Eschatology (study of end times) course at Bible College. I got so worried over details of the end times that I went to my professor’s office completely stressed out. My profs message was very much like the words Eugene Peterson used in the message paraphrase of Daniel to convey God’s words to the church about the future…RELAX!

    There are so many opportunities in life to let fear of the future envelop us in dread. It hinders our ability to move forward. Whenever we get into worrying or fretting God’s word has a steadying effect, if we read it and take it to heart.

    So, RELAX! God’s Word promises you’re going to land on your feet and then He’s going to reward you for your faithfulness!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for worrying. It comes so naturally. Please apply Your supernatural peace into my life so I can RELAX, no matter what happens in my world. Steady me so I live life confidently knowing You will keep me standing and bless me! In Jesus Name…Amen.

    Painting (c) Todd Stahl http://www.toddstahl.com

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  • Laughter

    101_0465

    A cheerful heart is good medicine”                                                                Proverbs 17:22

    For Valentine’s Todd and I went to a “Couples Night Out” event to see comedian Steve Geyer. I felt bad for this couple across from us. They didn’t laugh at anything and left during intermission. I think their funny bone was broken! For us, it was such a fun night out! We laughed ‘till we cried. It was great to hang out with some people from our church and relax after a very long week. LAUGHTER really is the best medicine!

    I tend to be driven, working hard towards a goal to the point of exhaustion. Lately I’ve felt worn out. Taking time to be with my hubby, some friends and to laugh with abandon is better than any pill I could take! God knows we need to kickback and relax. Stress brings on heart health problems, but LAUGHTER is proven to help heal the heart, physically and emotionally, which can only have a positive spiritual effect.

    Today as people in Ontario, Canada celebrate “Family Day” may we all join in and take time to fill our homes with LAUGHTER. It may just save us a few trips to the doctors!

    Prayer:

    Father…I thank-you for funny cards, books, movies, family and friends. May you fill our lives with LAUGHTER today so we can show a lost world your joy no matter what our circumstances. Let our hearts reveal the freedom you’ve brought into our lives! In Jesus Name…Amen.

     

    “Fun and Faith” is the host for “Couples Night Out” https://funandfaith.ca/live-events/events/information/couples-night-out/

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  • Discerning the Best from the Good

    worn outThe next morning, Jesus sneaks away. He finds a place away from the crowds, but soon they find Him. The crowd tries their best to keep Him from leaving. Jesus: No, I cannot stay. I need to preach the kingdom of God to other cities too. This is the purpose I was sent to fulfill..”
    Luke 4:42-43 The Voice

    In this day and age you could be going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week following the demands of people around you. I admire Jesus discernment of the best from the good. I desire to be this discerning but often lack the discipline He had and end up tired and burned out from doing too much.

    There are so many good things we can do. Helping a friend or family member…volunteering at church, in the schools, our community..working, cleaning, exercising…The trouble is we simply can’t do them all. When we do, we stop following Jesus’ example, ending up exhausted. When Mark records his account of this event we see what Jesus was doing when he hid away from the crowds. He was praying (Mk 1:37). Jesus made the discipline in His life to take time away from people and pray. It was out of this pulling back and allowing for rest that He was re-energized to fulfill the purpose that the Father had for His life. It was during these times of rest and prayer that brought about discernment for what the Father wanted Him to do next. Jesus refused to be controlled by guilt and sought after purpose.

    Check yourself. Are you feeling tired and weary? If so, you’ve been doing too much. Find some time away, lock the bathroom door if you have to! Rest from all those that would try and keep pulling you to help them. Pray and ask God so you can discern the best from the good that your life can make the greatest impact for Him!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for not taking the time I should to rest and spend time with you. Help me to prioritize my time with you over anything here on earth. I ask you to provide me with the discernment to know the best from the good and give me boldness to follow through. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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