new year

  • How They Missed The Christ in CHRISTmas!

    We despised him and rejected him;
    he endured suffering and pain.
    No one would even look at him--
    we ignored him
    as if he were nothing.
    ~Isaiah 53:3 GNT

    Did you see the Hipster Nativity Set this Christmas?

    hipster nativityEarlier this week, the news reported how it’s the talk of Christmas 2018.

    The camera zoomed in showing the 3 wise men as Amazon Prime Deliverymen on Segways with presents in hand, the shepherd as a young guy missing what’s going on as he’s busy posting on social media with his 100% organic, gluten-free feed-eating cow and sheep in a Christmas sweater sitting by his side.  Next, they showed a man-bun boasting Joseph taking a selfie of himself with Mary posed in a little risqué outfit with her t-shirt off the shoulder, bra-strap and a little more showing.

    Oh ya, baby Jesus was in the solar-paneled manger too, but the newscasters weren’t really talking about Him.

    The discussion surrounded whether or not it was appropriate to have a nativity set with updated “characters”.  One man on the street was interviewed commenting how he felt each generation depicts the nativity with their own cultural relevance or some other hogwash like that. It’s questionable what nativity set that guy’s been putting out each Christmas but ours have always portrayed people in clothing suiting the era when Christ was born with baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths.

    This modern-day version of the nativity wasn’t an issue for me, although I wish they had made Mary a little more modestly dressed, I actually thought it was clever and could be a good conversation starter but what bothered me was how a whole segment of the news could actually be discussing the scene of Jesus’ birth and yet He wasn’t the focus.  In fact, Jesus was barely mentioned.

    They completely missed the Christ in CHRISTmas!

    Other’s Who Can’t See The Forest For The Trees

    For centuries people have been missing the Christ in CHRISTmas.

    Scripture is full of verses talking about the hope of Israel; a coming Messiah, the savior who would bring peace to those who followed Him.  Jewish Rabbis and faithful Hebrew people have studied the Tanakh (Old Testament) and made lists of what they thought the Messiah; the Christ would be like and how they would recognize Him from any other good person. As Christians, we have accepted Jesus (that’s the English version of His name), to be the fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies.

    I’ve also come to understand through reading Joe Amaral’s book, The Story In The Stars how Jesus also fulfilled God’s prophetic power point in the sky: displayed through the constellations God designed at creation; from the virgin woman Virgo to the Aries ram.

    How My Brain Works

    But if your brain works at all like mine, you’ve probably wondered, Why, if Jesus was the Messiah God gave, then why are there Jewish people today still searching for the Christ?  So, were we wrong or did they miss their Messiah when He came… and why did they?  As you can see, I was probably one of those toddlers who drove their parents’ crazy asking, “But Why?” The Bible does teach that when Jesus was born; as those original style nativity sets depict, lived on the earth as a carpenter and then became a miracle-working minister many Jewish people and Priests did follow Him1, but not all.

    I could never understand how Hebrew people today weren’t able to connect-the-dots left in the Old Testament to ascertain the truth of Jesus’ identity, that was until my friend shared this YouTube video called The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh where a young Jewish guy in Israel explains how after Jesus lived, the Rabbi’s took Isaiah 53 out of the Scripture listing, read by Jewish people.  This portion of Scripture is the prophet Isaiah’s most detailed record about the coming Saviour.

    For the first time in my life,

    I understood how Jewish people could miss Jesus being the Christ of CHRISTmas.

    As I watched the video (shown below), my faith of Jesus as Lord and savior of my life was strengthened.

    At the same time, this news brought on such a deep sense of sadness to recognize how millions of Jewish people for over two centuries have missed out on knowing Jesus as I do because their eyes have been blinded from the truth.

    It brings my mind back to the news report on The Hipster Nativity and how people are still blinded from the truth of who Jesus is today.  We can be so distracted by all our stuff the wise men/delivery guys bring, missing Jesus right in front of our eyes like the shepherd or focused on ourselves in this selfie generation. Don’t let that be your reality this year.

    Make 2019 different!

    Don’t let the “trappings of this world” trip you up.  Open your eyes and heart to make room for Jesus, so you don’t miss Him this year!

    Prayer

    Father… My heart aches for a world that seems to be blinded to Your Son even when there are signs of Him all around us. Holy Spirit I ask you to remove the blinders from my eyes and help me see Jesus, Emmanuel… God is with me. Jesus You are here, You’re wanting to be involved in my daily life. I open wide my heart to let you in.  You are my Christ, my savior, my Lord: at Christmas, in this new year and always.  In Jesus Name…Amen


    Isaiah 53 Missing

     

    VIDEO OF JEWISH GUY SHOWING JEWISH PEOPLE ISAIAH 53

    “THE FORBIDDEN CHAPTER”

    In the Tanakh (Old Testament for us).


    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

    1. Isaiah 53:3
    2. Acts 6:7
    3. 2 Corinthians 4:4
    4. Jude 1:3

    ENDNOTES

    1.   Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7 (Key verse is Acts 6:7)

    YOU 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
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. MeadGrace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy

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  • Can God Repurpose Me and Make All Things New?

    This devotion is all about how God Repurposes Lives. It’s the last post in a 4 Part “NEW Series”.

    The series is a group of devotions I felt the Lord putting on my heart for the NEW YEAR in 2017 but really apply to any new year, new season, new phase in life.  Read the INTRO/New Strength HERE, #2 New Beginnings HERE and #3 New Heart HERE


    Can God Repurpose Me and Make All Things New?

    “Look! I am making all things new.”
    Revelation 21:5   MEV

    My friend Joy is totally cool.  She’s one of the few women who know how to use power tools more than most carpenter men!  Joy makes the most beautiful furniture by repurposing old, broken or discarded pieces.

    new tableA while ago she posted a picture of this gorgeous coffee table on Facebook and I clicked “like” as I often do on her stuff.  When I did, Joy wrote me to tell me the story behind the table, she explained how the legs from the table were made “from old nasty, shiny brown bed posts left in the junk pile after the garage sale”1 at  Braeside Camp, the place where we met oh so many years ago! all things new

    As you can see, Joy made all things new with these bed posts.

    GOD’S JOB

    God repurposes lives like Joy repurposes wood. He’s is in the business of making all things new with our lives.

    Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers to remind them of this truth when he said,

    “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.  The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”2

    It’s the same message that God had John declare in Revelations,

    “the former things have passed away…Look!  I am making all things new…Write, for these words are faithful and true.”3

    Just like the furniture Joy builds out of things people classify as “junk” or stuff people don’t see as worth anything anymore, God repurposes our lives.  Like Steven Curtis Chapman’s song says,

    “the world was broken, fallen and battered and scarred.  You took the hopeless, the life wasted, ruined and marred and made it new.  You make all things new.”4

    YOUR JOB

    Let this be the year you ‘Let God’ move you forward in His process to make all things new in your life.  ‘Let’ the former things pass away…Let them go!  Give God your broken, fallen, battered and scarred pieces.  You’ll see what a beautiful, useful person He can build you into being because God Repurposes Lives and He can repurpose yours!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for the opportunity to start new each year.  I’m so glad you don’t give up on me but keep sanding and refining me.  Restore me to be the person you’ve called me to be, better than I used to be.  I commit myself to Your plans and purposes along with the process to get me there.  I ‘LET’ You create all things new in me.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]God Repurposes Lives. He’s in the business of making all things new with our lives.[/tweetthis]

    joy

     

    HERE’S MY FRIEND JOY HOGBEN

    If you’d like to check out more of her masterpieces CLICK below:

    VINTAGE HOUSE ON FACEBOOK

    VINTAGE HOUSE ON INSTAGRAM

     

     


    #musicpics Song – He Makes All Things New

    Song – He Makes All Things New
    Steven Curtis Chapman http://www.stevencurtischapman.com
    Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKx_hx5itIM
    Song Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/stevencurtischapman/allthingsnew.htm


    Drawing From The Well

    1. Revelations 21:4-5
    2. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    3. Ephesians 4:22-25
    4. Lamentations 3:22-24

    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.

     


    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 Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

     

     

    ENDNOTES

    1. Actual words from Joy
    2. 2 Corinthians 5:17
    3. Revelations 21:4-5
    4. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/stevencurtischapman/allthingsnew.html

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  • {New Series} New Heart

    This New Heart devotion is #3 of the 4 Part “NEW Series”. The series is a group of devotions I felt the Lord putting on my heart for the NEW YEAR.  Here’s what I have so far: INTRO/NEW STRENGTHNEW BEGINNINGS, I sensed Holy Spirit inspiring me to share hope and refreshing words with you.  The devos will follow along the same format as my normal #SoulH2O devotions except the last one will have a bonus post later in the week for the first week in February.         

    I hope these posts build up your expectation for the great things God desires to do in and through you in 2017!  Praying you take hold of all He has for you this year!

    Be Blessed & Refreshed,
    <3 Sherry Stahl

    NEW HEART 

    “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heat of flesh.”

    Ezekiel 36:21  NIV

    I don’t want the same-old, same-old from life anymore.  This year needs to be exciting!   I’m determined to live all-out and find adventure because Jesus said that He came to give us ‘life more abundantly’1, not life more predictable.

    So this year doesn’t end up in routine I’ve planned for some adventure. To start, I’m flying to Edmonton for a conference and challenging the great white north, then we’re taking a vacation and ticking a few things off our bucket list.  In March, Todd and I are headed to Guatemala for a mission’s trip…and that’s just the first three months of this year.

    NEW HEART

    God had Ezekiel speak hope into the lives of His people.  Zeke encouraged them that God desired to remove their hearts that were hard like stones and give each of them a new heart.  So, what does having a new heart have to do with living a life of adventure?  Lots.  You see, when I had a heart of stone I lived bound.  Bound to worry, fear, resentment, hopelessness and negativity.

    bound heartWhen I let God into my hurt and allowed Him to heal my heart He actually took out that heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh.

    A heart of flesh is beating, not bound.

    God didn’t set us free to have us sit in the pew. The Bible is full of people living out exciting adventures, not boring people who played it safe. When God truly sets your heart free it’s not afraid to live.

    If you’re reading this devotion and you realize that you have a bound, heart of stone, let this be the year that your heart is healed.  Then, let that new heart beat inside of you to fulfill the exciting adventure God has planned for your life!

    Prayer

    Father…Thank You for caring about me.  I want to receive your great offer for an exchange; my hard heart for a soft beating one.  Please place a totally new heart in me.  Help me to get rid of the things that keep my heart bound so I can live the life you have for me.  In Jesus Name…Amen

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

    1           John 10:10

    [tweetthis]A heart of flesh is beating, not bound.[/tweetthis]

    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 Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

    Read More

  • {New Series} New Beginnings

    This New Beginnings devotion is #2 of the 4 Part  “NEW Series”. The series is a group of devotions I felt the Lord putting on my heart for the NEW YEAR.  Here’s last week’s INTRO/NEW STRENGTH, I sensed Holy Spirit inspiring me to share hope and refreshing words with you. 

    The devos will follow along the same format as my normal #SoulH2O devotions except the last one will have a bonus post later in the week for the first week in February.           

    I hope these posts build up your expectation for the great things God desires to do in and through you in 2017!  Praying you take hold of all He has for you this year!

    Be Blessed & Refreshed,
            <3 Sherry Stahl

     NEW BEGINNINGS 

    “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.”
    Zechariah 4:10  NLT
    “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.”
    Job 8:7   NLT

    New Beginnings can be a scary thing.  Have you ever lost a job and been forced into a new career, possibly with less pay?  Ever had a relationship breakdown that left you starting over?

    The culture of the business world and society we live in makes these scenarios a common occurrence.  In 2012 I was remarried and wrote my first book.  Talk about new beginnings with huge life changes both personally and professionally.

    It seemed like my life was finally turning around.  Marriage to Todd was an easy adjustment, I never knew love could be like this.  I had high hopes of WATER IN THE DESERT hitting the stores and flying off the bookshelves.  It didn’t happen.

    The mindset of our times teach that, “If you build it, they will come” and are filled with “Get Rich Quick” schemes.  So when you stick your neck out, follow God’s call and you’re not an “Overnight Success”, it makes you question if you did the right thing.

    Did God really call you to start that business, marry that guy or say yes to that ministry opportunity?

      Zechariah and the Israelites experienced a lot of new beginnings.  They understood these questions.  They felt your fear.  The Israelites had started rebuilding the temple after a previous group gave up about 16 years earlier.  The generation before gave up when they were harassed by the Samaritans.

    God spoke to His people through Zechariah and encouraged them to keep going.  They were afraid they didn’t have what it took to finish the task God called them to.  God let them know that it wouldn’t get done in their strength, but it would in His.1

    Today you may be facing a new beginning or have started into a new adventure and fear is screaming that you won’t make it.  Learn to silence the lying enemy and those negative thoughts by quoting these two scriptures to your fear.

    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for being with me in every stage of my life.  Help me not to fear when I’m given the opportunity for a new beginning.  May I focus my attention on Your words that make clear you’re happy when we start something new.  Help us to be diligent in what you’ve called us to and not give up until You prosper us in the dram you’ve given.  In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]Small Beginnings lead to BIG Things when God’s involved![/tweetthis]

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

    1        Zechariah 4:6

    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 Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY Heart Encouragement Thursday – Crystal Storms,
    FRIDAY Dance With Jesus Linkup – Susan B. Mead, Grace and Truth Linkup – Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market Friday – Crystal Twaddell

    Read More

  • Undeterred

    “The moment they saw him, they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge…”
                                              Matthew 28:17-18 MSG

    My friend Melanie would often come over and play Barbies with my daughter, so Shelby began to expect that whenever Mel came over she was her playmate. One day Mel didn’t feel like playing Barbies and declined Shelby’s invite. Shelby kept asking so I told her to go to her room. While I was preparing food she begged Mel to come down to her room for just a minute. As soon as Mel walked in the room, Shelby, undeterred by Melanie’s responses, shut the door and said, “Now we play Barbies!”

    I love how Jesus was undeterred by the response of His disciples. Jesus was a strong leader and He wasn’t governed by His emotions or the responses of people to His words. Their lack of unity or commitment to the plan didn’t faze Him. Jesus was committed to following His father’s lead and fulfilling the call on His life no matter how people reacted or what was the popular opinion about Him. In Luke 9:51 it says that Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem” when it was His time to return home to Heaven.

    In this coming new year, may you walk towards the call of God on your life; undeterred by emotions, circumstances, the responses or opinions of others!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for sending Your Son Jesus to be the perfect example of how I should live! Help me to not be swayed by the response or opinions of others. Let my heart be so set on Your purposes that nothing; not even my emotions, could deter me from following Your lead. In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share
    Dare To Share a time when you lived undeterred for Christ?
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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