Monday Motivation: Run Shirley Run!

“Run, Forrest, Run.” Remember the movie Forrest Gump? He says, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I can run like the wind blows.

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My mom, Shirley Adkins, lives this way – she keeps on running. She decided to start running races at age 70 and hasn’t stopped. What does it take to keep on running? Not a runner, eh? Okay. For some of us, we need to consider how to start. We can ask what does it take to get going? How can we keep moving? Remember – you can’t move a car that is in park. Be willing to put your goals into motion. This works by applying two things:

  1. Resolve: My mom is determined not to give up. Webster defines resolve: “a firm course of action.” There are days she doesn’t feel like going to the gym or going on a jog, yet Mom keeps her schedule. I am impressed with how she implements her plan. Day in, day out, she follows through with her commitment to work out no matter how she feels.

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

  1. Renew: My mom resets her mind everyday through prayer time with God and studying His word. She asks God for help, even after dad passed away, mom continued and even increased her work outs.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Do not quit! You can do it. Yes, stay at it until you are done. The finish line is not that far off. Haven’t started yet? Okay. It is never too late. Begin today! Even if you are not a runner, just put your foot to the pavement and start moving. When you feel like giving up, instead choose to keep going. As you keep your eyes on the goal, your worry will change to worship, your fear to faith and your hang-ups to hope.

Let’s pray, Heavenly Father, thank you for helping us throw off the sin that is holding us back from the race. Thank you Jesus for reminding us to keep our eyes set on you, our Goal.  You are our inspiration to stay in the race. Thank you Lord Jesus for showing us how to finish well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Motivation Monday…A New Year Anointing

Motivation Monday – Yes, that’s right it is the third Monday of 2017.

Hi Friends, I am praying this over myself and my ministry today. So I thought I would share. Enjoy!

New Year Anointing Declaration by Pastor Craig Amos

I, ______________________________, am anointed of God. The Holy Spirit lives within me and has put His unction.

2 Corinthians 1:19-22 (NIV)

I have a holy calling, I choose to walk in a holy anointing this New Year.

I shall be anointed with fresh oil. I have been ordained to bear fruit for My Master and this I do with the abiding anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 30:22-33 (NIV)

2017 shall be a year of increased anointing on my life – this I speak in faith now.

I am one of God’s anointed because I am His property. Whatever belongs to the Lord He anoints. I have been chosen for such a time as this to represent Christ in this world.

Psalm 89:20-21 (NIV)

I declare greater favor to be on my life through the evident anointing of God on me. Furthermore, I receive a spirit of supplication to anoint my prayers.

Yokes and burdens of every kind shall melt off of me this New Year – because the Word of God declares: the yokes shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Isaiah 10:27

The past is under the blood of Christ, the future is yet to be written, but by faith, I choose to saturate my future – 2017 – with the sanctifying anointing oil of the Spirit of God!

Once again I humbly declare that I am anointed of God. I hereby submit my mind, my body, my soul, my money, my family, my possessions and my future into the High Priest of my faith (Jesus Christ) and to Him I yield, that His fresh oil would drain down into every area of my heart and life.

Psalm 92:10 (NIV)

I expect for 2017 to be a year of victory in each challenge and through every test.

I receive and anointing of joy, of power, of peace, of wisdom to flood me in 2017. For I am anointed of God and called to touch this world for Him. May the flood gates of heaven pour down on me everything I need for this New Year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

1 John 2:20 & 27 (NIV)“”]

Do you need more POWER in your life? Want to know more about the anointing? Check out this article from Joyce Meyer!

https://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=do_you_have_enough_power

I am praying for you! Sheryl

Merry Christmas from Sheryl Giesbrecht!

Merry Christmas!Dear Friends and Family,

My your Christmas be filled with hope and joy found in Jesus – God’s greatest gift. Many blessings to you and yours!

I thank God for each of you.

Love and prayers,

Sheryl

John 1:14

O Come All Ye Faithful

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“Come on in; we have a place for you.” Doesn’t it feel good to be welcomed to a friend’s home or family gathering? Especially at church, it’s great to feel like you fit in. I am thankful the church I attend is a godly, friendly church. It’s wonderful to congratulate and assimilate visitors, guests, and new people. I think of the Christmas hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful” as a song to welcome those who are regular attenders. This song is also a universal favorite. Its catchy tune plays as a regular feature on my Christmas rotation. First sung in Catholic churches, the song dates back to manuscripts written as early as 1744 by Englishman John Wade.

For years, “O Come All Ye Faithful” was known as an anonymous Latin hymn. The tune named “Adeste Fideles” is taken from the original Latin, which translated means “be present or hear, ye faithful.” The Latin has now been translated into more than 100 different languages. The four stanzas include a view of the infant Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem, the angelic choir singing praise to God and praise to the Word who was with the Father in the beginning. 

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord. 

“O Come All Ye Faithful” is a reminder for us, the faithful, who will may gather in His name and sing, “O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ, The Lord.” 

Lord, let us be found among the faithful, singing your praises as we adore you, Christ the Lord.

Here’s Jeremy Camp with “O Come All Ye Faithful!” Join in!

 

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Noel—Wish King Jesus Happy Birthday!

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The sound of Christmas is everywhere—on the radio in my car, the music in the mall; the familiar tunes even loop in my mind all night long. My Christmas season wouldn’t be complete without the singing of “The First Noel.” This is the one Christmas carol that narrates the whole story of the birth of the Lord Jesus.

There are six verses in this song, and all verses are needed to complete the entire account of the birth. It is thought the song was brought across the English Channel by wandering troubadours. The song became a great favorite for Christmas Eve when an entire village would celebrate and sing the ringing in of the yule log. These carols were thought of as popular songs sung and were sung outside of the church instead of within. 

The First Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay;

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

“Noel” is a French word originating from Latin, meaning birthday, believed to have had its rise in France during the first century. The repetition of the joyous noel in the refrain is equivalent to our singing out “Happy Birthday” to someone. When you sing “The First Noel,” this Christmas you’ll be wishing your king a great big happy birthday!

Listen to this amazing new version of “Noel” with Laruen Daigle.

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

How to Grieve Through the Holidays

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“Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” The verses of this familiar holiday carol float through the air Walmart, Target, or on the radio, yet for many, the holiday season is anything but joyful. Joy, like any other attitude can be here one day and gone tomorrow. “Happiness is based on happenings, but joy is based on the presence of God,” says Pastor Wendell Vinson. 

The message of Christmas is summed up in the pronouncement from the angel in Luke 2:10–11: “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Then why are so many discouraged, depressed and in despair? There may be an empty chair at their Christmas dinner table this year. Here are my thoughts on dealing with the loss of a loved one or how you might help someone else through a difficult holiday season.

Empty Chair, Broken Heart: Grieving Through the Holidays

By Sheryl Giesbrecht Turner

Is there an empty place at your table this Christmas? For many, this will be their first holiday season without their loved one. For others, it’s been several years since their loved one’s passing, yet the sting of missing their presence is still there. It’s okay to remember them. This year, my dad is celebrating his second Christmas in heaven. We recently visited dad’s grave at the beautifully decorated central valley veteran’s cemetery; a moving experience to see hundreds of natural pine wreaths with their bright red bows placed lovingly in front of each white marble headstone. Dad would have loved it.

My new husband Jim Turner and I began decorating for Christmas in our new home Thanksgiving weekend. As I’ve pulled out my favorite Christmas decorations, finding just the right place for them, we’ve been able to share a lot of good memories but I’ve also been ambushed by grief. This is my eighth Christmas since Pastor Paul’s fatal motorcycle accident tore him from my arms and caused his untimely home-going. I treasure remembering joyful Christmases past with my late husband and elementary aged children. I cherish revisiting the family memories (pajama-clad on Christmas morning, donning Santa hats with our pet cats, dogs and ourselves for the annual photo shoot). Accepting the harsh reality that my first husband will no longer be part of my future is an important part of my personal healing process.

“You and I will be different because of our grief,” says H. Norman Wright This is true. However, as grievers, we have a choice. Will you let grief take you to a place of compassion for others? Or will you be stuck in selfishly running awful-izing circles around your own losses? (Awful-lizing circles convince us that our situation is worse than anyone else’s and that God doesn’t care about us. This is a lie.) I chose to refuse to believe the lies grief tried to tell me by working through the “Five Tasks of Grief” by Dr. De Vries, shared in Nancy & David Guthrie’s GriefShare Recovery Group.

1. Accept the fact your loved one has died and is not able to return.

It takes about six to nine months for the heart to catch up to what the mind knows is true. Take time to grieve. If well-meaning friends say “It’s about time you are done grieving.” Gently and patiently remind them of the huge void your loved one’s death has created and your grief is not on a schedule.

2. Give appropriate release to all of your emotions.

Emotions need to be expressed, not pent up. Don’t store them; they always come out, one way or another. It helps to write out your emotions in long-hand. Typing on a computer is not a replacement. Something happens when you write things out long-hand, when information is downloaded from the brain through the fingertips it’s an emotional release. This practice of expressing feelings, unloading hurt, sharing memories, as it is transferred from pen onto the paper, does wonders for the heart, mind and soul. This emotional dumping helps clarify loss, future focus and is a reference point for healing.

grief

3. Separate and store the memories of your loved one.

When your loved one died, their history has stopped. When you treasure or recall memories, it makes room for you to move on. Remember funny stories, quirks and bad habits and even embarrassing moments, it helps to laugh at the things they laughed about with you. Express your memoirs even if they are difficult to remember, or you feel sabotaged by grief. It helps to share them with a mutual friend or family member. Instead of ignoring the memories, reliving them helps aid in healthy recovery.

4. Separate your own identity from what it was with your spouse or loved one.

My loved one died. Their history ended; everything now about my loved one is in the past tense. This is a very difficult concept, especially for widows and widowers. It can be a shocking reality check for the griever to understand their spouse is no longer part of the present or future. It is very painful to accept the fact that loved one is no longer contributing to their lives.

5. Reinvest in life—to God has called you to be and to do.

Realize you have your life yet to live, and God’s plans are part of a bigger picture,  which includes God’s purposes that far outlive your loved one. The griever might feel guilty to have fun or even not want keep on enjoying life without their loved one. As the griever accepts the fact that their loved one will not return, the person makes a choice to reinvest in life and step into the new role God has planned for their next steps. This can only happen when you can see the new opportunities ahead as a new beginning.

My new husband, Jim and I are intentionally blending our families, Christmas decorations and traditions while assimilating our lives. It has been fun but also a lot of work. We’ve had to pay attention to our feelings about things when we feel hurt, lost or overwhelmed. We are greatly encouraged that God is blending our future with His purposes. We continue to trust Him with the prospective opportunities, excited to see what God shows us next. Together, we want to remember God’s promises are enough to help us stand firm and look forward to our future.

We stand on God’s precious and magnificent promises. Grief can change us when we “lean into our personal grief.” This means to “grieve our own grief” and let our grief take us where it will. We can’t go around, over, under our grief, but we can put effort into moving through our grief. Won’t you stand with us? 

“God heals the brokenhearted, he binds up their wounds.” —Psalm 34:18

“The day you die is better than the day you are born.” —Ecclesiastes 7:1

“The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace.” —Isaiah 57:1–2

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” —John 14:2

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, I will bring you back from captivity.” —Jeremiah 29:11–14

“Now may the God of hope make you full of joy and peace through faith, so that all hope may be yours in the power of the Holy Spirit.” —Romans 15:13

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.” —Revelation 21:4

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for eternal life. Thank you for the memories of our loved one. Thank you for giving up memories to help us cope with our loss. Thank you for the hope we have that we will see them again in heaven. Thank you for the confidence that you are preparing a place for us. Heal our broken hearts; bind up our wounds. Thank you for providing peace, comfort, and hope. May we freely give to others what you have so generously given us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You are so very deeply loved. Are you missing your loved one this Christmas? I would love to pray for you. Send an email: sherylgiesbrecht@aol.com.

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Serving at Christmas

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December 25. Christmas comes on the same date every year. Then why do we feel so frazzled?

We might need to reconsider not just how and who we serve, but why we serve. Imagine how our relationships could be strengthened if we perform each task we put our hands to as an act of service. Jesus Christ showed us how to serve.

Here are a few of my thoughts about Jesus’ example from the Lead Like Jesus blog posted December 8. Enjoy!

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And have a blessed weekend of service.

Much love, Sheryl

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas

Greetings, friends. Yes, today is December 5—can you believe only 20 days until Christmas? Deep breath. Let’s invite Jesus to bring us peace. As we give attention to Advent, with our second Sunday yesterday, some of you lit the Bethlehem Candle or the Candle of Preparation, which reminds us to welcome Jesus.

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“As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” —Luke 3:4–6

sheryl-and-carol

One of the ways I celebrate the Christmas season is by encouraging others to keep focused on Jesus through my speaking ministry. I spoke to the women’s group at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Saturday morning on the topic of “Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas.” I used the five points from this article I wrote for Christian Parenting. You can check out the article here.

Here are pictures from Saturday’s special event:

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Also, here is the bookmark I prepared to help my friends remember to have a PEACE-filled Christmas!

I love you,

Sheryl

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

The Christmas Song

Hi, friends,

(Drum roll) Tomorrow is December 1.

Please fill in the blank: “My holiday season begins when I hear this song: __________________.”

Here’s mine: “The Christmas Song: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” (the original version by Nat King Cole).

 

Have a great day!

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Ambitious about Advent

Ambitious about Advent? Me too! Since yesterday marked the beginning of Advent, we have a bit of catching up to do. Here’s the scoop. This year Advent falls on the four Sundays before Christmas: 11/27, 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18.

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Advent is the beginning of the Christian liturgical year and is commemorated on each four Sundays before Christmas running through Christmas Eve, followed by the twelves days of Christmas (12/25–1/5, the journey of the Magi to the baby Jesus) and Epiphany (1/6, the celebration feast of the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ, the visit of the Magi, Jesus’ baptism, and the wedding at Cana).

Advent represents the coming of Christ in three ways:

  1. Commemorating His birth and walk as man and savior
  2. Celebrating His presence in us now through the Holy Spirit
  3. Preparation for His return as judge.

The Western term “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming,” which comes from the Greek word “parousia,” meaning “second coming of Christ.” Common practices during this season include Advent calendars, daily devotionals, fasting, wreaths, candles, and reading from the Old Testament. The four candles are lit one each Sunday of Advent and the fifth on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Advent is a time of prayer, commemoration, celebration, and preparation.

Ambitiously anticipating Advent? One of my friends shared this great resource for you and your family to begin TODAY!

I hope you will join me in preparing our hearts for Christmas. Abide in hope, peace, joy, and love as we welcome the Baby Jesus.

I am praying for you,
Sheryl

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.