friendship

  • Ever Feel Like The Devil’s Trying To Take You Out?

    kill imageI’ve been sitting on this miraculous story for a few years because I’ve been too embarrassed to share, but today, I feel it’s time to push aside my pride because maybe you’ve been through a time like this? 

    Do you ever feel like the devil’s trying to take you out?

    This is more than a devotion; it’s a testimony of God’s miraculous work and I believe it will encourage you!

    Ever Feel Like The Devil’s Trying To Take You Out?

    It was April 2016, I was flying here and there, in the middle of a very busy speaking season. I was getting ready to head out to Dallas to speak at the annual Christian Women in Media Conference in a seminar on publishing with some great friends. I can’t tell you how excited I was to get back there and spend time with my tribe of people. God had miraculously provided funding, so I was excited for all he had in store.

    GETTING RUN DOWN

    In the busyness of that season, I was run down and started experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection. Two days before I was supposed to leave, I had a massive allergic reaction to the medication that was helping get rid of the infection. Hot, itchy hives started on my neck but traveled all over my body. In the middle of the night, I had to get Todd to take me to the hospital as I could feel my throat swelling inside. 

    Hives In The Hospital

    There was no waiting at the ER this time as they rushed me into a room, looked at my throat and started giving me shots of Benadryl and Prednisone straight into my bloodstream through veins in my arm.  We were there for hours until my throat swelling went down, and they felt I was stable. I asked the doctor for a note to give the airlines, so I could get a refund on my ticket, but he said I would be absolutely fine by 6pm that day and ready for my 6am flight, cautioning, if they weren’t gone by 6pm to come back.

    The hives completely disappeared as I kept taking the prescribed doses of Benadryl and Prednisone, so on the advice of the ER doctor, I boarded the plane. 

    THEY’RE BACK!

    IN CHICAGOAt the stop in Chicago, I felt my neck starting to itch and slight hives begin to resurface.

    By the time I got to Dallas, I had hives growing at a fast pace.

     

    Hives In The Hotel

    By 2am the hives were everywhere from head to toe, even in my ears. The skin on my face looked like it was drooping off. The symptoms were even worse than what I experienced in Canada, so I woke my friend Kandi up and let her know I was going to the hospital. 

    Before I left, I thought it would be wise to call my insurance company first and when I did, they told me a hospital visit wouldn’t be covered because I had gone to the hospital in Canada, just days before. I feared the medical bills more than the advice of my friends at the time and decided to stay at the hotel and rest. I had determined I wouldn’t go to the hospital unless my throat felt worse than it did or if I felt God urging me to go.

    You can see the hives from head to itchy toe! No need for a collagen plumping in these lips!

    The Embarrassing Photos

    HIVES
    Not trying to do duck lips!
    HIVES
    So much larger than they look.
    HIVES
    My face and neck were drooping.
    HIVES
    In my ears & scalp
    HIVES
    Top to Bottom Hives
    Hives all over the body
    On fire & itchy!

    I Felt Like The Devil Was Trying To Take Me Out

    Have you Ever Felt Like The Devil Was Trying To Take You Out?

    John 10:10 tells us how the enemy of our souls has a nefarious plan for your life and mine when it says,

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
    John 10:10

    In that moment, I felt sure the enemy was trying to steal away my chance to attend and speak at the conference, that he wanted to destroy the opportunities God had set up for me and literally wanted to kill me. 

    I didn’t have the strength to fight, but my hotel roomie, Kandi Rose began to pray for me. As she prayed, I fell back asleep. She told me that she prayed a lot of the night for me but I woke up with no changes and very groggy from taking a little extra of the meds.

    She prayed again and then I went back to bed for hours and saw an ever-so-slight change. Kandi brought me food and left me to sleep again, but the next time I woke up hours later, a miracle had taken place and the hives were almost completely gone! 

    The Miracle Came

    healed from hivesThis is a picture of me getting ready to leave for the evening service and event called Jeans and Bling. God did the miraculous! I was able to attend the conference the rest of the conference, speak in the seminar, and meet the people God organized for me to meet. 

    CWIMA seminar with Jen Strickland

    I’m thankful for my roommate Kandi who has continued to be a blessing in my life and also that John 10:10 doesn’t end with the words telling us how the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus went on to say:

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
    I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    John 10:10

    No matter how hard the devil tries attacking you, God is greater and He wants you to live an abundant life. Even if your life is taken, the enemy still loses… if you keep your faith. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Your eternal reward is much greater than life on this earth, but it sure is wonderful to have a miraculous experience, this side of heaven.

    Audio Inspiration

    I’m praying this testimony of mine helps build your faith in times when the enemy is trying to take you out. If you need a little more inspiration, check out these episodes from my Soul H2O Radio & Podcast Show filled with miraculous stories of healing, salvation and rescue, one even from my praying roomie and tv host, Kandi Rose.

    Soul H2O Resources

    RADIO SHOW EPISODES WITH MIRACULOUS STORIES

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    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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  • 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!!!

    FAB FRIENDSMy 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.



    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.RUTHS TABLE

    I’ve come to the conclusion that,

     

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

    GOD ISNT MAD blogIn 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 Hallelujah 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

     

    #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

    #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

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  • Amazing People

    I thank my God every time I remember you.”
     Philippians 1:3 NIV

    amazing peopleOn this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was blessed to spend time with so many people I love.  I know that Thanksgiving was started by the early settlers to thank God for the abundant harvest of food He provided for them. Although, I LOVE food, this year my heart is overwhelmed in thankfulness for all of the amazing people in my life.  Friends and family are what makes my heart full this year.

    Amazing Bestfriends

    I realized just how blessed I am when I was able to spend time with two of my closest friends Lise and Wendy.  There’s four of us #fabfour in this friendship group and we missed having Rachelle there, but it’s hard for us to coordinate everyone getting together since we don’t all live in the same country anymore.

    These girls have been my prayer partners for the past few decades (Oh how I wish I could say we met in preschool right now).  We’ve been there for each other through thick and thin. We are praying, fasting, eating, laughing…lots of laughing, parenting, challenging, encouraging and cheering each other on to follow hard after God.

    I never would have made it through my desert times without these girls... Click To Tweet

    If it wasn’t for these beautiful women, I wouldn’t strive so much to reach for my dreams .

    philippians 1:3I feel a real affinity with Paul’s words in this verse. I thank my god every time I remember these girls. Paul wrote the verse while in prison.  When Paul was at the lowest point in his life he recognized and thanked so many people from the church in Philippi.  Just like Paul experienced, it’s the amazing people in our lives that are God’s greatest blessings.

    Let thankfulness fill your heart as you take the time to think about how friends and family have blessed your life.  Be like Paul and write something to let the amazing people you love know how thankful you are for them.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for putting amazing people in my life.  I’m a better person because of their influence.  Help me not to take them for granted.  Please give me the words and courage to express to them in writing how grateful I am, thanking God for them today.  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.

    #Dare2Share

    Write something down to tell how your friends and family have helped you get through the hard times in the  Comment box below.

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  • My New Friend

    Let me introduce you to my new friend new Heather Paton.  When I met her she was all dressed up looking beautiful for the Afternoon Splash Women’s Conference in London, ON.  (In today’s picture she’s looking all tough! Ha! ) Her churches worship team was leading that day and her gorgeous daughter (that she looked too young to have) was on the keyboards.   We seemed to really connect, realized we knew a bunch of the same people and talked about how we hoped to see each other again!  After reading her latest blog I know she’s even cooler than I thought and someone I want to get to know! As I read her blog I could hear her heart more and see that we are women of like passion.  I encourage you to read her blog with the link below.  She tells all about her crazy Spartan Race and the benefit of being part of a team.  It’s amazing to me how God starts friendships and connects you with others.  I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better as I do too 🙂

    Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 1.12.09 AM   http://www.chosenforsuchatimeasthis.blogspot.ca

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