faith

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

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


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

    Do you have BIG dreams?

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

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

    fab friends wendy rachelle lise
    Fab Freinds for decades! Wendy, Rachelle & Lise
    Ruth's Table
    Ruth’s Table

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

     

    I’ve come to the conclusion that,

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

    In fact, it’s the opposite and I saw that clearly during my devotions this week.

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

    ELISHA’S BIG FAITH AND OVERSIZED DREAM

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

    Talk about a BIG OVERsized dream!

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

    THE DANGER OF SMALL FAITH

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

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

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

    I’ve come to the conclusion that,

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

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

    Prayer

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

    CHANGING YOUR WORDING—SOME PRACTICAL PRAYERS YOU CAN USE:

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

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

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


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

     

     

    Drawing From The Well

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

    ENDNOTES

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

    danny gokey havent seen it yet

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

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

    AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE

    dream for you_casting crowns

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

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



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

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

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  • 500 Years of Freedom {Through Grace}

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

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

    Raggedy Ann

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

    500 Years of Freedom {Through Grace}

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

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

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

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

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

    Romans 1:17

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

    God offered salvation by grace…not by works!

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

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

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

    My faith in 2017 Quote

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

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

    I hope you ask yourself that too!

    Prayer

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

    [tweetthis]Father…help me break free from the bondage of rules.[/tweetthis]

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

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

    Drawing From The Well - Brown and Blue

    1. Romans 1:17
    2. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
    3. Habakkuk 2:4
    4. Galatians 3:11

    BLOGGER PRAYERS-GREYYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis, Soul Survival – Donna Reidland,
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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

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  • Are You In The Middle?

    200th Soul H2OI’ll get to my Are You In The Middle? Devotion below, but I have to settle something first 🙂

    Here’s a link to the Facebook live I taped on Monday, August 28th 2017 where I drew the ballots for the 200th #SoulH2O Contest and read this devotion, with a bunch of extras!  I wish I could have you all in a room and study right alongside you.
    Hope this video leaves you strengthened to hold on in the middle and stay true to the end.

    Congratulations To:
    Nicole Kauffman–Blogger at http://www.couragehopelove.com
    Katie Reid–Blogger at http://www.katiemreid.com
    Soul H2O Readers–Stephanie Hewer and Ana Calderon

    Are You In The Middle

    Romans 8:37

    At the end of 2016 I began praying for 2017.  I was asking the Lord to give me a word to declare over the year and I felt Him whispering VICTORY in my ear.

    My first reaction was elation, but it was quickly replaced with a holy fear.  As soon as I thought about it my naivety was displaced with reality.  Victory is not achieved by sitting in your lazy boy with the remote in your hand.  Victory is won on the battlefield.  I knew that God was promising me Triumph, but gaining ground would involve a fight…not a physical one of course 🙂

    Psalm 44:3 

    It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.  NIV

    For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.  KJV

    I didn’t want to accept this word, but God confirmed it through a set of circumstances and used this verse, Romans 8:37 to seal the promise.

    [tweetthis]Victory is won on the battlefield[/tweetthis]

    So here it is, August 28th and I’m in the middle.  It’s just past the middle of the calendar year and victory isn’t in sight, not even if I squint my eyes.  I was reading Holley Gerth’s upcoming release, Fiercehearted for my next Ellen’s Pick book review and this paragraph encouraged my heart.  I’m guessing it will do the same for you!

    “But that middle place is the hardest—it’s the furnace and the refinery and what remakes us.  It’s the labor and the sweat and the groaning.  It can’t be skipped or minimized, diminished or forgotten.  It matters and is to be honored.
    But it is also not the end.1
    ~Holley Gerth

    So, if you’re in the middle and can’t see the victory God’s promised, does it make the promise any less true…any less reliable?

    No, Despite ALL these things
    It’s not the end!
    OVERWHELMING VICTORY
    is ours through Christ!

    Last week I talked about how long it took for God’s promises to Abraham, David and Joseph to come true.  Paul wrote about Abraham’s faith in God’s promises and this is what he said:

    Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,
    but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
    being fully persuaded
    that God had power to do what he had promised.
    Romans 4:21-22 NIV

    Romans 4:21

     

    If you’re in the middle like me, don’t give up….don’t give in.  Strengthen your faith, build your courage and be fully persuaded that God will do what He said!  Victory is on the way!

    [tweetthis]Victory implies your battle’s already been won.[/tweetthis]

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for Your promises.  Please help me not give up in the middle but to see how You’re at work refining me…preparing me for the future and let me trust you to the end so I can see the victory you have in store.   In Jesus Name…Amen

    HOPE TO SEE YOU TODAY
    Facebook Live at 12:15pm EST 
    on my Personal Facebook page 
    TODAY: Monday, August 28, 2017
    1. Gerth, Holley. Fiercehearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely (Advanced Reading Copy).  © 2017 Holley Gerth.  Revell Books: Grand Rapids, MI. pg.56

    Drawing From The Well-Blue

    1. Romans 8:37
    2. Psalm 44:3
    3. Romans 4:20-21
    4. Luke 1:37

    #DARE2SHARE
    POST IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW AND BOLSTER THE FAITH OF SOMEONE ELSE!

    IF YOU LIKED THE REFRESHING IN THIS #SOULH2O DEVOTION, YOU LOVE MY LATEST SOUL H2O DEVOTIONAL BOOK: 40 THIRST QUENCHING DEVOTIONS FOR WOMEN.

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis#SoulSurvival – Donna Riedland
    TUESDAY Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Do You Need to Take Down a Goliath?

    I’m writing this post because this girl is goin’ through a tough time.  So, I need to remind myself of God’s truths and usually when I write about my struggles, it helps others too.  Situations have escalated and I need to take down a Goliath in my life I’ve allowed to rule for way too long.

    Do You Need to Take Down a Goliath in your life?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT asking “Do you need to take down a person?”  My good friend Wendy once said, “if they have skin on, they’re not the enemy.”

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
    but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
                                   Ephesians 6:12

    My ‘Goliath’ has been screaming threats in my ear; attacking who I am, lying, mocking my relationship with God and criticizing the call on my life.  The intimidation has often left me cowering in shame.

    The longevity of this battle has taken its toll and affected me so profoundly in the past year that I was ready to give up on everything. It affected me physically, spiritually and emotionally.  I felt so defeated and discouraged that I didn’t even send out my weekly Soul H2O devotions for three weeks in July because, it’s impossible to refresh others when your well is dry.  Since I started sending out Soul H2O four years ago I had only missed posting once, when I was on a missions’ trip in Guatemala.  I can’t express to you how defeated the enemy made me feel, even after a season of powerful ministry this spring.  I can relate to Elijah’s breakdown in a new way after this experience.

    Can you relate to what I’m going through?
    Have you ever asked God, why is this happening to me?

    Lakemount Worship CentreEven up to this morning I was feeling this way until I listened to a sermon by Matt Tapley from Lakemount Worship Centre in Grimsby, Ontario.  It wasn’t a warm and fuzzy sermon to ease my pain.  This was a ‘toughen up, you can do it’ kind of message, and that’s exactly what I needed.

    In his podcast, Spiritual Best Practices, Matt talks about a faulty theology Christians often have that leads you to believe

    “if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, I can avoid trouble.”
    But, as Matt points out,
    “This isn’t true.”

    Falling prey to this mindset easily opens the door to believe the enemies lies.  He intimidates by whispering in your ear that you MUST be doing something wrong, or worse, that God must not love you.

    I wish my faith was stronger than this.  You’d think I wouldn’t struggle with this faulty theology since I wrote a post about it titled, We Need To Change Our Christian Expectations.   This was back in 2013 when God first started confronting my mixed-up belief.  It’s sad how thick-headed we can be.  God often needs to apply a few knocks on our noggin to help us ‘get it’!

    “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyedwhen his glory is revealed.”
    1 Peter 4:12-13

    GETTING INSPIRED

    FierceheartedMatt’s message, rereading my old blog post and beginning to read Holley Gerth’s book, Fiercehearted were the kick in the pants I needed to get out of my funk and back to a firm foundation of faith.  When I heard Matt say, “ If God’s helped you with a ‘level 2 bully’ then He can help you defeat a ‘level 12 Goliath’” I wanted to shout; but the people walking on the trail near me might have called the authorities.  The very title of Holley’s book is inspiring me.  I want to live #fiercehearted in the face of my Goliath, and I know you do too!  I can’t wait to be OVERjoyed when His glory is revealed and the battle is gone.

    Click here to watch the Facebook Live I recorded after I got all fired up.  I’m sure it will be a shot in the arm of courage for you!

    Since the video people have asked me for the verses I mentioned. Here’s a listing of Scriptures that will help you stand firm in your faith so you can take down any Goliath you face!

    Hebrews 10:39
    2 Corinthians 4:16-19
    Isaiah 10:27
    1 John 2:20-27
    Another couple verses that will help you are Isaiah 54:17, 52:2, Ephesians 6:12

    Praying this post leaves you Blessed & Refreshed!

    Much love,
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

    We Need To Change Our Christian Expectations My #SoulH2O Blog Post
    https://holleygerth.com/
    https://www.lakemount.ca/
    https://www.lakemount.ca/grow/messages/spiritual-best-practices

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

    blogger prayerYOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY 
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell ELLEN’S PICKS– Ellen Graf-Martin

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  • Is Your Believer Broken?

    “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.”
    James 1:6  NIV

    Believing is a big thing in the Christian faith.  In the NIV translation of the Bible there are 448 versions of the word believe, not including all the times it uses synonyms like the words trust or faith.  Have you ever asked, “Are they a believer?” to find out if someone was a Christian?  The term used to describe people who follow Christ holds a fundamental assumption that ‘we believe’.  But if that’s true, then why does James address doubt?

    The reality is that we all struggle with doubt in varying degrees.

    In this portion of Scripture, James is encouraging believers to ask God for something and then he tells us we need to believe and not doubt.  Verse seven warns us that anyone who doesn’t believe and doubts what they asked God for won’t receive it.  OUCH!  James calls doubters ‘double-minded’ people and says they are “unstable in all they do”.  OUCH again!

    Sounds a little harsh doesn’t it?  So, was James just being mean or was he showing the ultimate concern for his fellow believers when he penned this portion of Scripture?  This “come to Jesus” message is James’ loving wake-up call for us all.  He’s trying to jar us out of the numbness that doubt causes and challenging our hearts to trust God will fulfill what we’ve asked of Him.

    Let me ask you, “Is your believer broken?” 

    If the answer’s yes, then let’s work to build up your faith in the promises and faithfulness of God.  Read through the 10 VERSES TO HELP YOU KEEP BELIEVING listed below and join in this prayer with me.

    Prayer

    Father…Today I choose to believe in You!  In those areas where my believer is broken I ask you to put a spiritual cast on and heal up my doubt.  Help me not to be double-minded.  I ask for boldness to speak out faithful words of confidence trusting you will do all I ask that’s in line with Your will.  If You said it, You WILL do it, and I BELIEVE IT!   In Jesus Name…Amen

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

    10 VERSES TO KEEP YOU BELIEVING

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

    blogger prayer

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY 
    Monday Meditations – Laura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY 
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY 
    Coffee For Your Heart – Holley GerthWord Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY 
    Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY 
    Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah JoyCounting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

    Read More

  • Desperate Faith

    “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly…”Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”
                                  Matthew 15:22,28 NIV

    I know what it’s like to have a sick child who is suffering. There is something that riles up in your ‘momma-bear’ heart when you’re kid is struggling. It can make the meekest of women a roaring, clawing bear-like animal unwilling to give up in order to protect her cub. The desperate faith of a mother can set the unhealthiest of children free!

    The Canaanite woman was in good company. The Bible is peppered with examples of mothers bringing their children’s needs to God in desperate fashion with miraculous results. Often when we’re desperate we pray bold prayers of great faith. Our Father loves when we pray these BIG prayers. It’s just sad that we often wait, like the Israelites did, until our situation is desperate before we pray like that. Eugene Peterson paraphrases Psalm 107:4-7 in a way that makes this so clear, “Some of you wandered for years in the desert, looking but not finding a good place to live, Half-starved and parched with thirst, staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion. Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God. He got you out in the nick of time; He put your feet on a wonderful road that took you straight to a good place to live.”

    Let’s learn to pray prayers with desperate faith to our God, before our situations get to desperation!

    Prayer

    Father…You’re so good to me. Thank you for listening to me, even when I wait till I’m desperate and have expended all my efforts. Help me to learn to call out to You for help before my situation is desperate. May I pray with desperate faith at all times because I know You are able to answer! In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share

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

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  • Live By YOUR Faith!

    live by faith“…the righteous will live by his faith”   
    Habakkuk 2:4 NIV

    Habakkuk wrote this verse when his people were surrounded by unbelievers. They were prospering by unjust gain, and arrogantly rising to the top with greed so deep in their hearts yet never satisfied with what they had. In the midst of this selfishness, Habakkuk challenges the people to Live By YOUR Faith!

    If this isn’t a picture of our society today I don’t know what is! It often seems like the ungodly continue to prosper when God’s people live in lack. Are we letting this worldly mindset of our present circumstances rule how we live? Are we believing that God is going to set us free and bring restoration to our lives as He did for His people back then?

    In the natural, the people had no physical sign to believe God’s promises were going to be fulfilled, but they were! You may not have any ‘reason to believe’ that God will keep His promises to you, but He will! (Deuteronomy 7:9) Trust God and Live By YOUR Faith!

    Prayer:

    Father…I’m so thankful that you are true to your promises. Even when I can’t see You working them out, I know you are. Help me to live making right choices because my faith is in YOU, not my circumstances! 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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  • Unwavering Faith

    Unwavering Faith“But even if he does not”
                                         Daniel 3:18
    I’ve always loved the story of how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego survived being thrown into a fiery furnace. If you went to Sunday School in the 70’s the song “Three Hebrew Boys”, sung to the tune of “Three Blind Mice” is probably running through your head and will be for the rest of today! In the song are the words “but God delivered them out you know…Three Hebrew Boys”.   More incredible to me than their miraculous deliverance was their unwavering faith, despite the outcome.
    When Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon raged and told the three Hebrew boys how he was going to throw them into a blazing furnace their response to his threat is what real faith is made of! They confidently stated how God was able to deliver them and how they thought he would. They made the boldest of faith declarations by ending with “But even if he does not…we will not serve your God.” Their faith did not hinge on whether or not God delivered them. They walked in, and out of the furnace with unwavering faith.
    A couple weeks ago I found out that a friend has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The news has hit their relatives and our church family pretty hard. I was challenged at their declaration of unwavering faith on Facebook. They posted just days after the diagnosis, “we trust in God’s plans, even if the healing never comes and we are committed to using this season we have unexpectedly been thrown into to grow in our Faith further despite the outcome.” Unwavering faith in a faithful God.
    Prayer
    Father, I state my faith in your ability to deliver me out of each and every circumstance. You are all mighty, all knowing and always present. I’m not alone. Please help me to exercise unwavering faith, no matter the outcome, all the days of my life. In Jesus name…Amen.

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  • Faith & Lace

    Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 3.31.12 PM
    On Sunday Night my daughter, Shelby Sparkman created a blog for young women called “Faith & Lace“.   It’s all about faith, fashion, music or whatever she’s feeling at the time!   She’s one of those strange kids that watched Fashion Television from when she was about 4 years old, and has great fashion sense now.  I think she loved music since the day she was born!  Shelby would kind of sing herself to sleep in her little basssonette.  Somehow she’s been blessed with a beautiful singing voice and the ability to play multiple instruments.  She didn’t get that from her momma!   Shelby’s faith was strong from a young age, but was almost destroyed in her early teen years.  Thankfully, things have changed so much!   Shelby started her blog with a devotional called “What Is Your Cross“. cross from Shelby's Site I wonder where she ever got the idea to write a devotional 😉  (Twinkle in her momma’s eye!) In the post, Shelby talks about her inspiration for writing the blog.
    She quotes Luke 9:23 “Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up YOUR cross daily, and follow me. ”  Shelby goes on to say:
    I choose today to carry my cross of depression and anxiety high and follow God, no matter how painful and hard it may seem. So I ask you this, what is YOUR cross?
    Will you choose to let that cross bring you down and keep you in pain and discomfort, or are you going carry it with pride? Soon the cross will be dragged so long that it will slowly grind down to nothing, and you will truly feel free.
    Shelby has gone through so much in her short 18 years and has had to fight to get free.  It has come from accepting the cross she has to bear!  I couldn’t be more proud of her!  Interestingly, as she has accepted her cross and allowed God to use it, He has seen fit to lift the depression from her.  Steadily over the past year there has been a growing vibrancy and hope for the future in Shelby.   Her desire for God to use her and all she’s gone through make this momma’s heart sing!  Looks like we have another author in the house!  

    SHELBY IMG_1572    Check out Shelby’s Blog:    http://www.faithandlace.weebly.com
         Twitter:     @shelby_sparkman

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