God’s love

  • You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide

    The angel said to her,
    “Hagar, Sarai’s servant,
    where have you come from,
    and where are you going?”
    “I’m running away
    from my mistress, Sarai,”
    she replied. 
    ~Genesis 16:8 NIV

    DAY DATE IN DETROIT

    You Can Run ButLast week Todd and I had a day-date before I had to go away for a week of speaking and other meetings. We went to downtown Detroit and enjoyed dinner at the well-known Pegasus restaurant in Greektown. Then, we walked around and saw The Apparatus Room.  It’s the coolest restaurant and boutique hotel that includes a podcasting room with viewing from the sidewalk I’m going to use in the fall {you’ll have to stay tuned for that news}. The building was a former Firehall renovated with incredible architecture, so my firefighter hubby was in heaven!

    RUNNING AROUND DETROIT

    Then we walked by the Joe Louis Fist monument.  With my family boxing background {You can read about that HERE}1, I’ve always been intrigued by this uncommonly shaped memorial.  I found out that Joe Louis’ family fled Alabama after a fearful incident with the Klu Klux Klan. As did many African Americans, they settled into the Detroit area where a young Joe learned to box.2  In 1986, the Sports Illustrated sculpture was unveiled with the imagery purposed to remind people of Joe’s powerful punch in and out of the ring to help knock-out racism towards the black community he belonged to.3

    RELATABLE RUNNING

    On Friday I spoke to the Kingsville Divas group about the life of Hagar. Even though it wasn’t the focus of my message, as I was preparing, I felt so strongly to do a Facebook live to compel someone who was running from God to consider his love and a few wrote to let me know they needed that reminder.

    I think Joe and his family would’ve been able to relate to Hagar. She too was mistreated and forced to run away from her home for fear of her life. It’s sad that too many people today can relate to an unsafe living or work environment and the desire to run. It was in researching the origins of today’s devotion title that I found the connection with Joe Louis and Hagar.  It was Joe who made this “run-away’ phrase popular.

    When the Brown Bomber was interviewed before a fight with an opponent who was suspected to hide from his powerful punch, Louis was quoted as saying, “He can run, but he can’t hide”.  Billy Conn experienced this knock-out power as he hit the matt in the 13th round of their match.4  I don’t know if Joe Louis ever understood that you can run from God but you can’t hide from Him?  I know Hagar did.  When life was hard for Hagar she ran away, right into the arms of God.  It was in this desert time when she encountered God in a powerful way and He gave her the strength to face that heartbreaking home life.

    YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE

    This week’s #musicpic song Reckless Love packs a powerful punch to your heart. Helping you understand how God in his love chases after you. He’ll find you wherever you are.  Know that Whatever you’re facing today that you can run away from God, but you can’t hide from Him.  He is omnipresent and that means always-present and you cannot get away from His love for you.  Romans 8:39 reminds us that, “nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God”, and nothing means… nothing!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-You for the way you love me.  It’s not in a passive, pat on the head, weakly expressed love.  Your love is reckless for me.  I can often run, but I’m so thankful that I can’t hide from You. Your love seeks me out and draws me in.  Help me to rest in Your love today. In Jesus Name…Amen

    The Facebook Live that inspired this post. That day I kept saying you can’t run from God, but I really should have said, You can run from God, you just a can’t hide from Him! As I say in the video; He sees you and He loves you! https://www.facebook.com/sherry.lynn.stahl/videos/10157301254536085/


    #musicpic

    Song:  Reckless Love
    Written by Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, and Ran Jackson
    Youtube Video of Song and Story behind the song: https://youtu.be/6xx0d3R2LoU
    Bethel Music Lyrics & Chord Charts: https://bethelmusic.com/chords-and-lyrics/reckless-love/
    My Favorite Lines:

    Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
    Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found


    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

    This week I’m hoping you’ll read beyond just one verse in each of these sections of The Bible.  They’re power-packed portions!

    1. Genesis 16:8
      Hagar’s story is found in Genesis 16.  If you have time, re-read this story and imagine how difficult this would have been for her. Understand why she ran away and what strength it took to go home.
    1. Romans 8:31-39
      If you can, read it in a few translations.  Let the words soak deep into your spirit.
    1. Parable of The Lost Sheep Matthew 18;12-14
    2. Parable of The Lost Sheep Luke 15:1-7

    ENDNOTES

    1. https://sherrystahl.com/fight-like-a-boxer/ Sherry Stahl Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis Wikipedia Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_Joe_Louis Wikipedia Website Accessed: 2019-05-13
    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_can_run,_but_you_can%27t_hide http://en.espn.co.uk/espn/sport/story/195910.html Wikipedia & ESPN Websites Accessed: 2019-05-13

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  • God is the First to love…and the Last to Reject

    “We love because he [God] first loved us”

    1 John 4:19 NIV

    “…because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you…”
     1 Samuel 15:23 NIV

    Have you ever been dumped? Being loved and then rejected is a painful thing! God totally understands what it feels like. 1 Samuel Chapter 15 talks about the end of God’s loving relationship with Saul. After about 20-25 years of Saul rejecting the voice of God, we’re told that God rejected Saul and if broke God’s heart because God is the FIRST to love…and the LAST to reject!

    You see, Saul had it all messed up. In verse 30 after God has told Saul he’s been rejected as King, Saul admittedly says, “I have sinned”. I believe that if his words after that statement would have been spoken from a repentant heart God would have gladly poured out His forgiveness on Saul, but his request was not for God to forgive him. Saul begged Samuel and said, “please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel…”. This makes it clear how Saul was more concerned about his reputation than about his relationship with God or Samuel. Verse 35 tells how God’s heart was grieved over Saul.

    God’s love and forgiveness is a powerful thing! It can wipe away a lifetime of sin. God is always willing to forgive. If you are the one who has rejected the voice of God or love someone who has, don’t give up hope! 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Know that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

    Prayer:

    Father…I thank-you for your incredible love for me. I don’t deserve it. Please forgive me for those times I have rejected Your voice. Help me to open my ears, and my heart to hear Your voice loud and clear so that I may live in the power of Your love all the days of my life. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • God Speaking through

    A CHILD’S HEART ART

    Keaton Heart Art
    My friend Danielle sent me this wonderful piece of heart art. To me, it’s a masterpiece! During a prayer time at Braeside Camp this summer, I told Danielle’s mom about my husband Todd’s heart problems. Well, Grandma told her grandson Keaton and Keaton’s art delivered the message to his momma, Danielle.
    You see, Keaton is a big prayer warrior and has his own prayer journal. One night, Danielle went to pray with him before bed and saw this ‘heart art’ in the front of his prayer journal. She asked Keaton who Todd was and what the picture meant.
    I hadn’t talked to Danielle about Todd’s heart problems yet, but she put two and two together and began to join in prayer with Keaton for Todd. When my Danielle told me about the heart art in Keaton’s prayer journal, she said to “expect miracles, because he’s a serious prayer warrior and God moves when he prays”!
    I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous!

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    Last Saturday morning I was up doing my devotions and praying for Todd. We met with the surgeon and it was all a little overwhelming. Hearing of the possible issues that can follow a heart valve surgery was disarming. Up to this point when we talked to people we have only heard positive reports about how better people felt after valve repair or replacement. We didn’t understand the possible complications, but the doctor made us fully aware of them!   Maybe a little too aware of them!

    THE ORIGINAL HEART ART

    Art Ache

    ART ACHE (c) Todd Stahl

    The night before last Saturday morning’s epiphany,  I had made a quick comment to Todd, my artist hubby, about how much more his Heart Art entitled, “Art Ache” means in light of his current health issues and the fact that he painted this masterpiece back in 2009 or 2010…five to six years before his heart problems!  Back then, God was speaking to Todd about the inner healing He was doing on his heart after divorce.  Now, this painting is holding a whole new meaning!
    As I prayed I couldn’t stop thinking about Todd’s Heart Art, so I went and got it off the wall.  As I looked at the painting, I felt a sense of peace coming over my soul.  Fear was washed away with faith.  I could have broken out in the song “It Is Well With My Soul”, but everyone was sleeping and they would have woken up thinking a cow was dying in our house…singing is not my gift 🙂
    God began to speak to me about all the messages He had intended to come out of the art; some Todd understood as he created, while others are still being revealed.

    HERE ARE SOME OF THE MESSAGES FROM TODD’S HEART ART

    The Band-Aid is on the left side of the heart…the same side of the heart where Todd needs the valve repaired or replaced!
    How cool is that! In Todd’s painting where the healing is taking place under the Band-Aid, is beginning to glow yellow. God is at work where no one can see what He is doing. It’s hidden from others. Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts. Sometimes when we don’t see things happening we assume God isn’t doing anything about our problem. God is always at work!
    [tweetthis]Healing happens in the secret places of our hearts <3 [/tweetthis]
    The bottom of the heart is black. All those things that have happened in life to bring hurt to the heart and create unwholeness weigh us down.  The heart has strings around it. On the unhealed side the strings are woven tight and close together like they are holding the heart bound. The strings on the healing side are coming loose, setting the heart FREE!
    [tweetthis]God wants you to live FREE![/tweetthis]
    The side that is being healed turns red as God created his heart to be. A red heart symbolizes LOVE in our culture. The healed heart is full of God’s love! Healing doesn’t just affect one area of your life. Healing spreads!
    [tweetthis]The healed heart is full of God’s love![/tweetthis]
    As the healed heart begins to pump healthy blood properly, love is beginning to flow to the other side. The colors are beginning to lighten up as it turns to purple. Even under the black, you can see yellow: a visual showing how God is at work in the darkest places of our heart. The darker the heart, the deeper the wound, the longer the healing process. Allow God time to heal your heart.
    [tweetthis]Allow God time to heal your heart.[/tweetthis]
    Soon the whole heart will be filled with God’s love.
    You can see red starting to peek through around the edges showing that the heart is not destroyed. The heart is going to be healthy again as God originally created it to be!
    The verse that comes to my mind is:     Joel 2:25


    “I will repay you for the years the loctusts have eaten…
     you will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the LORD
    your God who has worked wonders for you.”
    Joel 2:25(NIV)

    We don’t understand all that Todd has had to go through or what he possibly is going to have to face, but we will walk forward each day in the confidence that God is at work in places we don’t see.
    We trust God is giving Todd a new heart to accomplish all of the great things He has for him to do—That book needs to hit the shelves and more artwork needs to be painted! We know that God is with us. Whatever way God chooses to bring about this miracle of a new heart, we know He’s going to do it! We in boldness proclaim the promise of God that when this is all over, God will have repaid Todd for all that has been taken away to the point that he is walking in abundance of life and health, prospering and praising God for His goodness!
    Waiting for a miracle,
    Sherry
    xoxo


    heart art surgery
    Todd going into surgery

    This post was originally written on July 24, 2014, before Todd had his surgery and made a miraculous recovery from complications after the surgery!  Then, I wrote a post called Heart Art Music from some of the songs you all sent me to encourage me.
    Man CaveSince then, Todd is back playing hockey, firefighting and creating art in many forms.  Within a year of surgery, his first book, 40 Days In The Mancave was published by Word Alive Press!  To hear Todd’s retelling of this miracle check out his site.
    To see more of Todd Stahl’s art, Check Out:
    Todd’s website: http://www.toddstahl.com
    His facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ToddStahlArtist
    The page dedicated to Todd’s testimony:  https://www.toddstahl.com/the-significance-of-art-ache/
    To read a sample from Todd’s Devotional, 40 Days In The Mancave: Click Here: https://toddstahl.com/devo_06_sample.pdf 
    To Buy his book on  AMAZON, Click the word Amazon

    [tweetthis]I am expecting nothing less than the miraculous for my life![/tweetthis]

    [tweetthis]God is at work in places we don’t see![/tweetthis]

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