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LEADINGHEARTS.COM

LEADING HEARTS FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 VOL. 1, ISSUE 6

: S U N O O B S T NE P U 5 I T 1 T E 20 N I R F OU Y STOLEN: ONE

SURVIVOR’S STORY

LEADING BRAVELY TOGETHER

C

KRISTEN FEOLA’S

SPIRITUALLY STRONG

IDENTITY—LEAD WITH CONFIDENCE


Experiencing God’s Love RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE

THIS UPLIFTING COLLECTION INCLUDES MOVING STORIES of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, and more from popular writers such as Jessica Turner, Lisa-Jo Baker, Holley Gerth, Ann Voskamp, Bonnie Gray, Tsh Oxenreider, Leeana Tankersley, Emily Freeman, Margaret Feinberg, and many others.

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• myhomesweethomeonline.net •


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“A KID IN HIS DAD’S NEW

CADILLAC ESCALADE TURNED THE CORNER THEN SPED HIS EIGHT TON VEHICLE TOWARD THE RAMP OF A NEARBY PARKING GARAGE. With 420 horse power beneath his

hood, he aimed his SUV directly at the three people walking in the crosswalk. Never mind that yellow lights blinked a warning. The young man stared ahead as he continued to accelerate. I almost didn’t witness the scene, for as I walked through the crosswalk my eyes were fixed on the beauty of the Denver sunset. The pink clouds glowed while the sun winked as it dipped behind the inky-blue mountains. “How beautiful,” I told the two walking through the crosswalk with me.

FROM THE PUBLISHER lationship with a God who loves them. No, we are not condemning anyone. We, in love, are simply saying, “We love you! Watch out!”

Something caught my eye and I turned my head toward the Sharing the truth in love may be the only way our comaccelerating SUV, now only a few feet from where I stood. munities of friends, co-workers and family members will know they need to make a leap of faith. “Look out!” I shouted as I leapt forward. The white monster roared past me, so close it was only a breath If you need an idea on how to share your faith, consider away. The others leapt too, and there we stood in the sharing a link to www.GodTest.com with someone you fading light shocked, shaken, but glad to be alive. care about. S Though I have no idea what could have possessed the young man to rush his SUV at us, I do know what possessed me to shout a warning. I was the one who saw the danger and therefore I was the one who could alert the others.

Blessings,

LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD PUBLISHER, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

But isn’t my story, which happened only days ago, a reflection of the times? We women leaders, who have been imparted with God’s truth, can see danger as it recklessly accelerates toward our unsuspecting loved ones.

“THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE SHY OR ASHAMED OF THE TRUTH WE KNOW. IT’S THE TIME TO SHOUT A WARNING. “ Not everyone will hear or even understand what we are saying. However, some will leap; leap into a saving re-

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EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP

LEADING HEARTS JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 VOL. 1, ISSUE 6

EDITORIAL STAFF PUBLISHER.. ..................Linda Evans Shepherd EDITOR...... ..................Amber Weigand-Buckley ART DIRECTOR. ..............Katie Mattiuzzo & Amber Weigand-Buckley ADVERTISING. ............... Linda Evans Shepherd & Angelina Locricchio COPY EDITOR...............Amber Weigand-Buckley EDITORIAL SECRETARY. ....Angelina Locricchio CONTRIBUTING WRITERS. .................................................. Angela Breidenbach, Rebekah Binkley Montgomery, Lisa Bull, Penelope Carlevato, Kathy Collard Miller, Michelle S. Cox, Saundra Dalton-Smith, Dr. Edna Ellison, Pam Farrel, Kristin Feola, Aubrey Marie Peterson,, Rhonda Rhea, Heather Riggleman, Katariina Rosenblatt, Billy Sparks, Jennifer Taylor, Lisa Troyer and Karen H. Whiting.

RIGHT TO THE HEART BOARD MEMBERS Linda Evans Shepherd (President), Dianne Butts, Sharon Norris Elliot, Dr. Edna Ellison, Karen Porter, Kathy Collard Miller, Rhonda Rhea and Carole Whang Schutter and Joy A. Schneider

INFORMATION Leading Hearts magazine is published bimonthly by Right to the Heart Ministries 2015. ADVERTISING | Display rates are available at leadinghearts.com. By accepting an advertisement, Leading Hearts does not endorse any advertiser or product. We reserve the right to reject advertisements not consistent with the magazines objectives. MANUSCRIPTS | Writers guidelines are available at leadinghearts.com. Leading Hearts | PO Box 6421, Longmont, CO 80501 phone: (303) 835-8473 | fax: (303)678-0260 email: amber@leadinghearts.com MEMBER | Evangelical Press Association All rights reserved. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission Photos courtesy of: Dollar Photo Club, Gotee Records, Jesus Culture, Kerry Kara Photography /KLS Photos & Imaging, Aubrey Peterson, Thomas Nelson, Revell, Wind-Up Records, Word Entertainment and Zondervan.


TABLE OF CONTENTS 08 STOLEN 14 GOALS FOR A GOOD YEAR

16 LEADING BRAVELY TOGETHER 18 BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MISTY EDWARDS 24 THE MOMENTS IN BETWEEN 30 SPIRITUALLY STRONG

12 FAITHPRINTS

21 JUST 18 SUMMERS 22 IN THE LEAD

26 HEALTH TRACKS 28 IN THE SPOT

29 LIFEBYTES

35 PRAYER CIRCLE 36 BELLY LAUGHS 38 REVIEWS

42 TRUTH


“A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY YOU

KNOW YOUR GETTING OLD WHEN EVERYONE IN COLLEGE LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE IN JUNIOR HIGH. But the true reality check is when the

things that you wore in high school start to be retro-trendy and the bands that you listened to back in the day start doing “reunion” tours. Back in the big hair days of the late 80s and early 90s, I was known for my big hair. Everyone at school all-so-warmingly referred to me as da’ boof. You see back in the day, even though I am a close to 6 feet tall, I felt it necessary to add another foot and a half of hair height. Each morning, I spent countless hours carefully crafting my hair helmet. I would tease it, spray it, singe it with a hot iron and caringly use the prongs of a table fork to make sure it was in perfect spherical harmony with the universe. As a bonus, after I was finished the crispy bang-age provided complete frontal lobe impact protection. Besides “da’boof ” and a few other high school “sound bytes” my mind tends to draw a blank, especially when it comes to Algebra. All I can say is that Aqua-Net use in high concentrations must seriously destroy brain cells.

NO THROWBACK NEEDED— Proof that my hair still has Boof-abiliity.

FROM THE EDITOR Confidence is found in our identity in Christ and the assurance that He will be with us always—if we put our trust in Him, and move confidently forward in that knowledge. Ephesians 1:3 assures us that we have what it takes, “Praise be to the God...who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (NIV).

Even though styles have change, my do has completely deflated. Especially since motherhood has warranted reduction in getting ready time to 15 minutes or less. However, once in a while when I’m out and about I’ll hear a familiar voice calling out to me, “Hey da’boof, what happened to your hair?”

On the days I find myself popping a piece of mint gum as a toothbrush substitute or eating ice cream as a meal replacement, it’s hard to remember I’m in my 40-somethings. I should know better...but inside I still have that inner-teen, that longs for acceptance, affirmation and the impulsive desire to do it my way just dying to get out.

When I look back on my growing up experience, it’s amazing to see how certain things from your teen years just stick with you for the rest of your life.

But the end of the day what are we sacrificing for the sake of a bit of fluff? Let’s make the difference in eternity. S

When does the grown up feeling come along, where you are not second guessing your outfit or feeling like you have to call in sick because of a bad hair day?

Peace! AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY EDITOR, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

As women following God’s call to leadership, it’s so easy to get caught up in constructing our boofs— the things that make us stand out in the crowd. But true confidence doesn’t come from knowing the right people, getting on a best-seller list or having the ability to dazzle a crowd.

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BY KATARIINA ROSENBLATT

KATARIINA “KAT” ROSENBLATT WAS A YOUNG TEEN WHEN HER PEERS BEFRIENDED HER AND SOLD HER INTO A BROTHEL. EVEN DURING THESE DARK YEARS OF ABUSE, KAT KNEW SHE HAD A HEAVENLY FATHER WHO LOVED HER. YEARS LATER SHE CONTINUES TO FIGHT AGAINST THIS WORLD OF SEX SLAVERY. AS AN ACTIVIST AND AN AUTHOR, KAT SHARES HOW HER STORY’S BEGINNING WITH LEADING HEARTS AND HOW HER ORGANIZATION “THERE IS HOPE FOR ME” IS MAKING STRIDES TO HELP VICTIMS, SHAPE LEGISLATION AND PROMOTE EDUCATION AND PREVENTION ACROSS THE U.S. {8.}-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


“I EXPERIENCED RECRUITMENT

FOR THE FIRST TIME WHEN I WAS 13-YEARS-OLD. I was in a Miami Beach

hotel with my mom when I was targeted by a trafficking ring. They sent an older girl to recruit me. She gained my trust over the course of a month.

During that time, I felt that she probably wasn’t a good girl. She was involved in bad things but I discounted my feelings because she kept promising me the world. She would make my life better after hearing I came from an abusive home. She always used those triggers… that I longed to have a father-figure and a family. So she promised me that we would be a family and introduce me to someone who would be a father to me. One day she introduced me to a 65-year-old man. She said that we would play a game and I would be the bride. She told me to put on a white dress and my mom’s makeup and we went to his room. She said, “Here’s your girl. She’s ready for you.” I had no idea that this man didn’t want to be a father to me. He wanted to purchase me for sex. He was very happy to see me and started to come close. He had no shirt on. It wasn’t until Mary, my recruiter, started to negotiate I realized they were talking about me, that I was for sale. Mary, my recruiter, started to negotiate my price, “How much will you pay for her? She’s ready for you.” He said $500. She said, “No, she’s a virgin. I want $550.” The deal was done and he was ready to partake in his transaction. I was terrified, but at the same time, I don’t know why but I remembered a message at a Billy Graham crusade when I was a little girl. I remembered the words...

“GOD LOVED ME AND HE WOULD

NEVER LEAVE ME OR FORSAKE ME.“

“no” to drugs. Then the man started asking me questions like, “Would anyone miss you if you were gone?” I said my mom would—that I would scream and she would come find me. I stood up with my hands on my hips. That was the beginning of my fight against trafficking at the young age of 13. He got upset with me and he kicked us out of his room frustrated. Mary turned on me. Instead of being my best friend, she said I would have to make this up to her. I went back to my room crying, understanding that I was never to tell my mom or something bad would happen. My mom saw me crying. She said, “I don’t have a good feeling about that girl. You shouldn’t hang around her anymore.” She was right. But I still didn’t want anything bad to happen. So, the next day, when Mary sent another girl to tell me I needed to go with her to make it right with Mary, I went. She and a boy got me into a car and drove me far away from the hotel. They meant to disorient me so I wouldn’t find my way home. Eventually, they forced me into a parking lot and had me take a pill. They said I would never go home unless I took it so I did. They drugged me and left me for dead. That could have been the end of my story.

BUT GOD RESCUED ME. AS I BEGAN TO FALL ASLEEP, I REMEMBER HEARING GOD TELLING ME TO GET UP AND WALK.” I staggered to a payphone that was attached to an abandoned building. I was very fortunate that the line had not been cut. That day I was able to dial the operator of the hotel where we lived. She put me through to my mom.

In that hotel room, I knew God had a plan for my life and this wasn’t it. No matter what was happening, I knew God loved me, and He gave me strength.

My mom was upset. She knew from the beginning that Mary was no good. When my mom eventually found me and took me to the hospital, the doctor told me that the pill was lethal enough to kill me.

Mary cut up marijuana on a plate to try to drug me. But I said, “no.” My mom had always told me to say

I was so afraid when we got back to our room, I stayed - continued on p. 11-

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January is Human Trafficking NEW SHORT FILM SERIES TO EQUIP CHURCHES

Actress Anita Cordell is producing 4 new installments of her ‘I Will Rise’ short film series. Anita produced and starred in the first film in the series, which tackles the tragic subject matter of sex trafficking in the United States. In the series, Anita portrays a “house mother” in charge of preparing trafficked girls for clients. “My goal is to put a small group study curriculum to go along with this short film series so churches can be better equipped to address the issue of human trafficking in their congregations and communities,” says Anita. Anita founded River Productions in 2011, and has since gone on to produce several projects including the film ‘Charismata’, which Anita also starred in. Additional River Productions produced films are ‘Pinky Promise’, ‘The Reverse Angle Jonah’, and ‘Living Waters’. Anita has been acting on stage since childhood, but did not begin her film career until 2007. She has appeared in over 50 local and regional television commercials, and has appeared in over 30 films. and multiple television shows including a recurring role on the three-time Emmy Award winning ‘The Steve and Kathy Show’. From 2008-2011, Cordell sat on a panel of judges for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to judge the regional Emmy Nominations for various markets. A Kansas City area resident for the majority of her life, Cordell now sits on the board of the Kansas City Women in Film organization. S

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- continued from p. 9-

up all night walking hotel with my mom. She tried to tell me that these people were not my friends.

Stop the Traffick

But I still didn’t totally believe the worst—that these people were my enemies—until I saw Mary from my window recruiting a 10-year-old boy on the sidewalk. In that moment I looked at Mary, she looked like she saw a ghost and I knew we were no longer friends. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only trafficking experience that I would have. It didn’t end with being violated sexually, kidnapped and left for dead. But my story didn’t end in death. Jesus Christ was with me in those dark hours and now He uses my story to reach others. I wrote the book Stolen, (read a review on p. 39) which is my memoir. I go around and share my story with kids in jails, schools and strip clubs. In this short time, my organization, There is Hope for Me, has been able to rescue over a hundred kids. We all are survivors who volunteer —giving hope the victims who feel caught in this dark world.by sharing our stories. This world needs HOPE. S ---------

Awareness Month

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On the thereishopeforme.org website, Kat has developed a human trafficking wheel, free resources and an assessment for parents and educators to use in order to fight against trafficking. Signs someone might be abused or in a ring: • Abuse marks such as bruises, cuts and broken bones • Low self-esteem • Dressed inappropriately for the weather • Dressed promiscuously • Unexplained absences (they may be gone for a period or two, then return to school) • Hanging around an older man or woman that’s not a parent. Call the National Human Trafficking hotline at 888373-7888 to report trafficking. It’s better to report it and be wrong than not report it and be sorry. Kat also gives some practical tools in her book. She encourages educators to ask questions like: Do you have someone to lookout for you? Do you have a safe place to stay? Are you doing okay? If you think something may be happening, say something, report it. Public schools are the second largest pool of recruitment for trafficking. For more info and resources on human trafficking visit thereishopeforme.org and projectrescue.com.

--------—KATARIINA ROSENBLATT WITH JENNIFER TAYLOR


FAITHPRINTS

3 STEPS TO FIND YOUR GOD-GIVEN MISSION BY REBEKAH MONTGOMERY

“EVER WATCH A WATER BUG?“

It will dither all over the surface of the pond but never go anywhere or accomplish anything except to feed itself.“ And that is about what many Christian ministries accomplish. They feed themselves and consider that success. But that’s not success—unless God has called you to lead water bugs. Your function as a leader is to: - paint a picture of a goal which inspires people to follow you - build teams to accomplish the goal - inspire and motivate the teams - lead change - establish core values - allocate resources

- find out what’s not going well and fix it - develop emerging leaders You must have a God-given mission because your vision is the most potent weapon in your arsenal as a leader. So how do you determine what God is calling you to accomplish?

Step One Remember the water bug? Many things distract it. And leaders can be distracted, too. But this is key: You need ONE CAUSE that drives you, ONE CAUSE that grabs you by the throat and won’t let you go. Let me give you some examples: Paul was driven to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. Dorcas was driven to clothe the needy. King Josiah was driven to purge out idolatry. David was driven to united Israel.

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To lead, you must be driven. Find that one thing that you must do. Pray about it. Ask God to light a fire in your soul.

Step Two Don’t give up if your mission is not immediately obvious. Keep exposing your heart to needs and solutions. Visit ministries. Volunteer at a suicide prevention hot line or an AIDS clinic. Get to know some single mothers. Keep on looking and be open. Paul found his mission in a dream when the man from Macedonia pleaded with him. Peter had a vision on a rooftop. Dorcas looked at her own neighborhood while Josiah discovered his while housecleaning. You just never know how God will open your eyes to the harvest.

Step Three When you find it, don’t run from your mission but stay close to it. You will find that you have a tendency to run from your mission in frustration because you will see all that needs to be done and all you want to do and how little you can accomplish on your own. And that is just what God wants you to see. You cannot accomplish it on your own. Feed your sense of inadequacy. Stay close to your weaknesses. It will help you recognize the One who empowers you to complete the mission to which He has called you.S --------REBEKAH BINKLEY MONTGOMERY is author of Faithprints. Find her online at www.rebekahmontgomery.com

S

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E N U 5 T 1 0 E 2 N I R F OU Y

GOALS FOR A C GROWTH YEAR BY PAM FARREL

“RESOLUTIONS ARE RARELY

KEPT PAST 30 DAYS BUT GOALS CAN BE LIFE CHANGING. More

than good intentions, goals help you put in place concrete steps to create a different life, and a different kind of love. Goals are simply dreams with deadlines. So take some time to dream together!

“GOALS ARE SIMPLY DREAMS WITH

DEADLINES. SO TAKE SOME TIME TO DREAM TOGETHER!“ If life feels too hectic to sit and write goals for your future, as a couple or family— take goal setting on the road! While you are both in your car, have the non-driver interview the other and write down some goals for the coming year that will make your love stronger and last longer. (We offer a “Your Best Year Ever” goal planning sheet that can walk your through goal setting set by step at www.Love-wise.com ) This

may lead to some deeper, richer, or more lively discussions, so it might take a few sessions to work your way through the questions. Enjoy the forward movement! Here is a sampling of a few questions to fine-tune your life, your marriage or family life: • As you look at the year ahead, what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for yourself? • As you look at the year ahead what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our marriage? • As you look at the year ahead what is the most important issue or goal you have on your heart for the coming year for our family? • What adjustments on the home front would make reaching these desires easier? • How are you planning to grow yourself: Spiritually? Physically? Emotionally? Socially? - continued on p. 15-

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Academically or in your career? What can I do to help you? (Each answer this for the other.) • Can we write these desires into tangible measurable goals? (Write below.) • Can we create a personal motto, family or marriage motto for the year? (We detail this out in our book 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make) We like to create a theme for the year too. One couple we know selected “Think Young” for a year in their mid 40’s. One of our friends who were drifting apart made theirs’ “Love again in 2010”—and guess what? They went from the brink of divorce to a vibrant and strong loving marriage before the Thanksgiving holiday. Do you have a verse for the year that captures what you think God is saying to your heart? (To find a verse select a few key words and place them into the word search on www.Biblegateway.com or Logos Bible software and you’ll get a list of verses to select from.)

“DO YOU HAVE A VERSE FOR THE

YEAR THAT CAPTURES WHAT YOU THINK GOD IS SAYING TO YOUR HEART? “ Samples of “The Verse for the Year”, we have used in the past to motivate forward movement: 2013: With a goal of becoming stronger in all areas:

My one question that provided focus was, “Is this pleasing God?” See if each of you can come up with a verse that will motivate you personally in a way that will case positive impact on your love and life together. We then memorize the verse and meditate on it daily. Try to create a singular question that can serve as a focusing lens for life. The key to success is not just voicing your goals, but go back to your Outlook or personal planner system and place time to actually DO your goals into your scheduling. We also place a date to review our progress every three to four months. The final secret to success is to reward yourselves and celebrate every possible victory all along the path. If your goal is to argue less, then the first day you go all day without a fight- celebrate it! If your goal is to save money, plan ways to do things that don’t cost: share a sunset moment, walk along the beach or in the park holding hands. Make it a goal to list off five ways you can celebrate each other as you make progress in your goal to stay in love. A long lasting love is just a couple who have made it their goal to go one more day in love and invested the time and effort to pull it off—one day at a time.S --------PAM AND BILL FARREL are the authors of 40 books including their newest: 7 Simple Skills for Success for Men. For more information on goal setting, we have a few books available with goal information in them: Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti or 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make or download a goal setting sheet at www.Love-Wise.com

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) This year both Bill and I selected the same word (STRONGER); the same verse Joshua 1:9; and the same motto for the year( “Stay Strong”). All year, all our choices were made with one question in mind, “Will this make (me/us) stronger? The outcome was we got stronger as a couple physically, financially, and our ministry and family were strengthened as we checked off goals. 2008: With a goal of becoming a better leader publicly and privately: Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. (2 Corinthians 5:9 NASB) -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{15.} -


LEADING BRAVELY TOGETHER BY HEATHER RIGGLEMAN

“WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP, YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS YOU ARE THE REAL YOU. YOU DON’T PRETEND TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS OR THAT YOU’RE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. YOU HAVE THIS AMAZING ABILITY TO SEE THE GREATNESS IN OTHERS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO RUN WITH IT.

Catrina commented as I stared into her lens while pretending not to be freezing my skin off during a photo shoot. Stunned, I didn’t know what to say. Her words sunk deep as I angled my right arm toward the camera. Who knew brave steps I took to be myself would affect a friend to become herself? It’s funny how the things that scarred us the most as children somehow become our greatest strengths in leadership.

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As a little girl, I was the one with the thick glasses, wearing hand-me-down dresses from my grandma’s closet. Always picked last and never one time for anything. Compared to the other girls, I wasn’t shiny, pretty, or smart, who wanted to be me or around me? The scars of wanting to be “her” as I compared myself to every other girl throughout life taught me one of life’s greatest lessons: all of us want to fit in, to perform well and to fill our purpose; but criticism and comparison becomes a groove we can’t seem to get out of until someone gives us a nudge. Leadership is no different, whether we are leading a Bible study group, preschool class, or boardroom—each woman wants to be recognized for her talents and perform well. It’s up to us as leaders to cultivate an environment of authenticity with our sites set on courage, the arrow of acceptance. Bob Goff makes this profound statement, he says, “People need to be spoken into who they are.” It’s powerful to be authentic in our weaknesses as well as our strengths and when we realize someone is gifted in the areas where we lack—it takes courage to bypass intimidated in order to compliment that women’s strength. Yet, when we do cheer her on, we draw out her best which mixes with the talents of our best, allowing us to lead, bravely together. So how do we speak women—our co-workers and employees into who they are? Maybe it’s as simple as looking within ourselves and remembering what it takes to be an effective leader, here are four tips to motivate your team more than cash flow or smiley faces on an assignment well done.

Celebrate uniqueness.

Do you compare your insides with someone else’s outsides only to find yourself coming up short? This is the greatest hindrance in embracing your unique mix of personality, strength, assets, abilities, and spirit. Strive to celebrate differences by dishing out praise. Praise every goal, deadline met, and improvement each individual makes.

Strive for authenticity.

When our church transitioned to a new lead pastor, I was nervous about his abilities, but Pastor Jeff was authentic in the way he led our mission’s team in the Philippines. He modeled realness which left me questioning how to be real with all of my relationships. Business isn’t about the bottom line, it’s about people and so is leadership. Who you are speaks more loudly than you could ever say. It takes courage to reveal your weaknesses, yet it creates an environment of strength. Au-

thentic leadership is about taking the road less traveled and doing you’re job to the best of your abilities while asking for help, suggestions, or advice.

Know what your strengths are.

The first MOPS Steering team meeting came to a close. After we prayed, I asked every woman at the table if they were okay with new duties I had assigned to them through the explanation, “I realize you have a specific duties to fill according to the position you were assigned; however because of your abilities, I’m assigning additional duties because I believe you perform them better than anyone else can at this table.” Some smiled, others nodded while one leader was mistyeyed when she replied, “I didn’t think anyone would ever see me for my strengths other than crunching numbers.” Krista’s comment resonated deeply, reminding me of my frumpy “wearing-grandmas-hand-me down-days.” Leading bravely means an awareness and acknowledgement of our weaknesses. Instead of hiding them, reveal what they are and delegate someone else to perform those tasks while encouraging her to fulfill it to the best of her abilities.

Real success takes real relationships

“Dear Heather, Thank you for your obedience to Him and your capability to stay humble and to push past criticism. Your doing so has allowed God to continue to use you to bless and inspire women. I am among that crowd. Please know I am behind the curtain praying for you and champion in you on. I pray God is bringing the same kind of restorative hope to your soul that He brings to others through you.” As I read Anna’s letter, I was stunned as tears rolled down my cheeks. I never would have thought for a moment being real in my relationships with other women would be inspiring. Real success takes real relationships in a real world. Being real means responding to your job and the women around by effectively with sincerity, integrity and honesty. Being real is a true reflection of who we are in all we say, how we perform and how we respond to others whether it’s about a deadline or a fight at home. Courage for change begins with you. No human being is perfect and it’s time we stop lying to ourselves thinking someone else has it all together. Each of us was made with purpose to run our own race and sometimes we need a nudge from a fellow runner. That nudge translates into being brave together and nudging others as we work, live, and lead—it pushes us to become ourselves and that we are in this together. S --------HEATHER RIGGLEMAN is an author, speaker and full-time wife and mom. You can download a FREE copy of her latest ebook, Let’s Talk About Prayer on her blog, HeatherRiggleman.com.

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MISTY EDWARDS BEHIND THE SCENES BY BILLY SPARKS

FIND MISTY’S MUSIC @ WWW.IHOPKC.ORG/MUSIC/ALBUMS/LITTLE-BIRD ---------

TO THOSE WHO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER IN KANSAS CITY (IHOPKC) AND ITS ANNUAL ONETHING CONFERENCE THAT ATTRACTS CHURCH LEADERS AND YOUNG PEOPLE FROM CONGREGATIONS ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE, THE NAME MISTY EDWARDS IS SYNONYMOUS WITH ARTISTICALLY-MINDED WORSHIP LEADERSHIP. IN FACT, TO THE WORLD AT LARGE, MUCH OF HER ETHEREAL OUTPOURING THUS FAR AS AN ESTEEMED RECORDING ARTIST ON FORERUNNER RECORDS HAS SLANTED SPECIFICALLY TOWARDS CONGREGATIONAL PRAISE, OFTEN APPEALING TO THOSE WITH AN AFFINITY FOR MORE RESOURCEFULLY-MINDED MUSICALITY.

Little Bird

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But when it comes to the brand new Little Bird (which comes on the heels of last year’s critically lauded long player Only a Shadow), there’s a decidedly different slant towards the singer/songwriter side of this immensely talented artist, who continues to cling tightly to her faith, and for the first time thus far in her extensive ministry, exposes several layers of deeper reflection. “I didn’t intend to be an artist, but I originally started writing in our church’s prayer room where I led two or three sessions a day,” she recounts of a multi-faceted role that dates back to her days as an IHOPKC intern. “The songs that came out of those seasons had a very repetitive chorus type of feel to them and a lot of corporate singing off very Scripturally-based themes. Not only have a lot of my past albums been centered around corporate worship songs, but the last record was recorded in the corporate live setting. I never want to walk away from that, but worship and creativity under God is bigger than just corporate expression exclusively, and in my heart, I’ve always had a singer/ songwriter side. This project focuses more on lyrics than choruses and is not as repetitive as I may have been in the past, which has been a really fun process for me as a writer. The fact is I became an artist very accidentally and it all just evolved naturally, but because the Lord gave me a chance, I’m going to strive to do it with excellence. “Another reason I went in this direction on Little Bird is to encourage others in the worship movement to think outside the box and not be limited to corporate expression,” she adds. “A lot of worship leaders feel limited and frustrated creatively, but we’re called to so much more as Christians, even when it comes to our typical definition of worship. I also wanted to channel the kind of music I personally listen to, so it’s also a case of being authentic to what I like. I strongly believe there’s a whole group of listeners who won’t gravitate towards worship music because they have a taste for a different kind of creativity, and it was in my heart to reach those people.” Independently-minded, Little Bird has the ability to take flight towards the spiritually thirsty of varying backgrounds that converge at the crossroads of musical and lyrical authenticity. Add in all-star production from the legendary, 14 Grammy Award-winning / 25 Dove Award-winning Brown Bannister, plus co-production from the Grammy-nominated Paul Moak (The Blind Boys of Alabama, Mat Kearney), and the blend of earthy innovation with analogue experimentation, alongside a vast myriad of subject matter, is nothing short of masterful. “Personally, I don’t think there is a line between the sacred and the secular,” she suggests. “If a person is living before

God’s eyes, everything is sacred. All of life is sacred, as opposed to trying to make church songs in one box and love songs in another box. I think we need to get rid of the separation. I hope these songs will land somewhere between encouraging people and leading them to ask questions about what they really believe. I hope to stir up conversations in their soul. I love the mysterious elements of God, and again, not to separate the sacred from the secular, but see the story of God in our lives and in the dirt of humanity.” Little Bird is eons beyond simply the latest companion to any music aficionado’s collection, but more accurately a record of lifelong investment overflowing with multiple layers for ongoing dissection, analysis and the tipping point for provocative spiritual probing. Even the seemingly innocuous title builds off immersive concepts like the fragility of life, the pursuit of living it to the fullest and pondering eschatological themes, all culminating in spending eternity with the Lord. “I’m tying together the transcendent and the earthy—the mystery and holiness of who God is, but also the brokenness of our lives and how those two worlds come together,” muses Misty. “Mercy is a huge theme expressed through some of these songs and mercy shows God is part of His glory and His majesty—the fact that He’s so merciful, kind and generous to those who are sincere. The majority of these songs are experiential rather than observations, and I’m mostly writing from where I am, which makes it a very personal album.” Though the tunes more than speak for themselves, some definite highlights include the xylophone and marimba-flanked title track, which comes from the clever, wisdom-bearing perspective of Misty as a young adult writing a letter to herself as a little girl. The multiple layers of guitars throughout “Sound of a Heart” dig even further into themes of forgiveness as it applies King David’s disastrous decisions and eventual redemption to our less publicly magnified struggles, while the pleading “Center of the Universe” traces Scripture’s prophetic promise of the Lord’s eventual return and examples of how we should strive to perpetually serve Him on the journey. Yet the organic “Audience of One” perhaps best summarizes Misty’s most pertinent thoughts that regularly replay throughout her pensive mind. “I’m definitely an introvert with a philosophical heart,” she concedes. “The frailty and purpose of life are what drives me the most, and I’ve always been so aware of both. I’m captivated by thoughts of eternity, who God is and I’m very consumed with serving an audience of one. What does He want from me? Living that question leads to so many more, and I’m driven to fulfill His purpose.” S

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“Packed with prayer and promises, this book will free you to experience the POWER of GOD’S PEACE.” —LYSA LYSA TERKEURST TERKEURST, New York Times bestselling author of Unglued and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries

T

he true remedy to stress, Linda Evans Shepherd says, is prayer. In this inspiring book, she shows you how to recognize God’s continual presence in your life and yield your troubles to the Prince of Peace. Through captivating stories, explorations of fascinating biblical characters, and examples of deeperthan-ever prayers, she brings within your grasp the peace that passes understanding. If you are overwhelmed by all of the urgent demands on your time, this book is your lifeline to true peace.

Also Available from LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD

www.StressPrayers.com

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AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD {20.} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ALSO - - -AVAILABLE - - - - - IN- -e -BOOK - - -FORMAT - - -- -- -- -- -- -- --


JUST 18 SUMMERS

FINDING MY IDENTITY BY MICHELLE S. COX

“I FEEL LIKE I’M LOSING MY IDENTITY.“

I heard those words when I chatted with a young mom recently. A couple of her children have moved into their teen years and she’s no longer doing some of the things that made her feel like a mom—and that makes her feel like she is losing her identity. I understood where she was coming from. In the years before my sons grew up and left home, I often wondered who I’d be when they were gone. For so many years, my identity had been as Jeremy, Tim, and Jason’s mom. Can any of you relate? And then I discovered something. Once I’d accomplished God’s oh-so-important task of raising my children, He had other plans for me, and the years I’d spent with my children were the training ground for where He has me today.

I hope I am also known for one other thing. I hope I’m always known as God’s girl. Here’s what God has to say about the topic: Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…” John 1:22 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” How cool is it that God says, “Hey, that’s MY child, that’s MY girl!” when He describes us! Yes, I’ve discovered my true identity is in Jesus—and I’m so grateful that’s one identity that will never change. S

--------MICHELLE COX is an author and speaker and the creator of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting resources and products.

The Just 18 Summers novel is available now! To visit her parAnd you know what? Even though my boys are marenting blog, to learn more about Michelle and the book, or to ried and have children of their own now, and even invite her to speak, go to www.just18summers.com and www.Facebook.com/just18summers. though I have other identities as an author and speaker, I’m still known as Jeremy, Tim, and Jason’s mom. I love that and hope it continues for the rest of my life. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{21.} -


IN THE LEAD

WHO AM I? BY EDNA ELLISON

“CHOLERIC. . . WHAT A STRANGE WORD!”

“Janie, where did you find a word like that?” Sydney plopped into the wingback chair near Janie in the adult lobby at church. “Shakespeare. I’m taking a new night course at the library. Shakespeare wrote about earth, air, fire, and water. He thought people fell into four categories. People with too much earth are down to earth, and they just plod along peacefully, slowly focusing on their work. They are too muddy to soar to the stars, but go by the rules every day. Shakespeare thought they were constipated! Today we call them phlegmatic. People with too much air are airheads who dance and sing a lot. Today we call them sanguine. Shakespeare thought they were slightly off their rockers! People with too much fire are called choleric. They always want to be right. They like to win every game and lead the rest of us at work or at church. People with too much water cry a lot when it spills out. They are sensitive and serious and get upset when they’re not perfect. Today we call them melancholy.* “Stop,” Sydney said. “My head is spinning. Girl, you’re learning too much. Here comes Heather.”

“I think Heather is an airhead. You know, a sanguine person. She’s good with your youth, though, and she’s a good sidekick to Madison because she’s happy and spontaneous. Madison is full of fire, a choleric person. She’s a good administrator though. She always thinks she’s right, but that’s good, because in our women’s group, all of us think we’re right and we need someone to step up with confidence. You know, to settle our disagreements.” Sydney sighed. “You’re right, Janie. Each of us thinks we’re right most of the time. Which personality do you think I am?” “No doubt about it. You’re a melancholy. Remember that time when I hurt your feelings and I didn’t even know it, and you cried right there in front of everybody? We talked about it later and I apologized.” Yes, I remember, but don’t talk about any more tonight or I’ll start crying again. Shh!” “You do look a little weepy. . . .” Madison interrupted Janie as she began their plan- continued on p. 23-

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ning meeting. After directing Janie to pass out prayer requests, she requested the five young women already seated to take turns praying as others came in. Then she asked each one to support the newest women’s group by volunteering to help the childcare worker with members’ children one hour. She provided a signup sheet for the group to pass around. Look at the above scenario about Janie, Sydney, and Madison. What did Madison do to indicate she was a choleric (controlling leader)? How did she show good administrative skills? If you were Madison, how would you soften your requests for the group to make everyone feel at ease? Of the four types of people described, which ones would have more trouble being a leader? What would you suggest for each type? Have you ever been unsure of who you were? All of us need to get to know ourselves better. In Philippians 1:9 Paul says, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.” We can be confident when we know ourselves and know God with growing depth of insight. Whatever personality type you are, He alone gives us His plan and an amazing power to serve Him. He gives us assurance we’re “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (v. 9). S --------EDNA ELLISON wrote Friend to Friend, a Philippians Bible study for church leaders to use as a short devotional at the beginning of planning meetings—or for a mentor to use with her merea (Heb., “dear young friend”). She’s an always-joyous airhead sanguine!

DISCUSSION STARTER:

S

Use these discussions points and the corrsponding article to direct devotion time at your next small group meeting. How did Sydney show a lack of identity? Discuss as a group how each of you at some time in your life has lost your identity. Using the following Scriptures, discuss how knowing our identity in Christ helps each of us to have confidence to serve Him in our own unique way— no matter which type personality each has. Philippians 2:15-16 “You shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life. . . “ Philippians 3:3 “. . . Who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” 2 Thessalonians 3:4 “We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 1:4 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Ask God to help you identify who your are, Then start your new year with confidence! *For more about the four personalities, read Personality Perspectives: Clues to Building Better Relationships, by Linda Gilden (www.lindagilden.com) and Tama Westman. For more about your identity in Christ, read Friend to Friend: Enriching Friendships through a Shared Study of Philippians, by Edna Ellison (www.ednaellison.com).

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ROADMAPS

THE MOMENTS IN BETWEEN BY AUBREY PETERSON

”LATELY, THERE’S THIS SPACE I’VE BECOME FAMILIAR WITH. IT’S

NOT THE BEGINNING SPARKS OF SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT, OR IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE IT ANYWAY. AND IT’S NOT EVEN A PLACE OF ARRIVING AT SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE. ‘

- continued on p. 25-

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I feel as if I’m left without purpose—longing for the next big thing. I’ve found myself constantly at the dock, waiting for the adventure God has for me. For my story to play out just as captivating as I’ve always pictured, filled with beauty and love and excitement. But lately the words “be still” have been a whisper in my ear, a constant indication of the present, and a reminder that our moments in between hold such significance. Shauna Inquest says in Cold Tangerines, “Every season that I thought was stable and would be just how it was for a long time ended up being a preparation or a path to the next thing. When you decide to be on this journey with God, everything is interim.” These words rang so sweet to my heart, much like a familiar song that sparks a comforting memory.

present than ever before. As soon as I trusted this season to Him, a time I feel like I’m standing a tiny bit clueless before Him, then came the peace. A peace that fills my soul and surpasses any satisfaction of my life mirroring the expectations I’ve laid out for myself. But I think that’s the point. They were my expectations, rather than my Father’s. So now I’m left having to let go a little bit more, be still in his presence, and allow God’s hand to rest on this chosen path of mine.

I love how John Ruskin describes these “rests” in our lives, comparing them to music. He says, “Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the tune, not be dismayed at the “rests.” They are not to be slurred over We all have these seasons of waiting to “arrive”—ea- or omitted—this would destroy the melody and ger to feel like life is taking a stroll down a path that change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself just feels right. But how are you feeling about today? will beat the time for us. With the eye on Him, we shall strike the next note full and clear. If we sadWhat about the moments in between when God intervenes in order to teach you things and provide ly say to ourselves, “There is no music in a ‘rest,’ let you with secrets he never could have if you felt your us not forget “there is the making of music in it.” I love that he emphasizes a beautiful significance in life was all figured out? I love that thought, and it these “rests” of our lives. continues to gently push me forward.

“WE ALL HAVE THESE SEASONS OF WAITING TO ‘ARRIVE’—EAGER TO FEEL LIKE LIFE IS TAKING A STROLL DOWN A PATH THAT JUST FEELS RIGHT. “ Today, I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t feel confident that my walk with the Lord is the best it’s ever been and to be honest, life looks nothing like I would’ve pictured it to. But somehow, in the midst of all of my moments in between, God is more

I long to continually be a woman who allows God to make music in those times. Lately, there’s this space I’ve become familiar with. It’s finding contentment with the moments in between. S --------AUBREY PETERSON writes for Leading Hearts and Angelic Magazine from her home in sunny Arizona. She loves the opportunities she has been given to share Jesus whether she is leading worship, writing or ministering to the needs of her clients as an licensed esthethician at a local spa.

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HEALTH TRACKS

FIND THE CONFIDENCE

TO OVERCOME THROUGH FASTING BY DR. SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH

“AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH NEW YEAR, MANY OF US FEEL COMPELLED TO SET AT LEAST ONE GOAL OR RESOLUTION.

Your desires for 2015 may include losing weight, getting into better physical shape, or stressing less. These are all excellent goals. However, it’s just as important to get your self-talk into tip-top shape this year. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to begin the year with a spiritual fast. Spiritual fasting is not about losing physical weight, although that is a nice bonus, it’s also about losing the mental and spiritual baggage which prevent us from a deeper and more intimate walk with God. One of the best benefits of fasting is the resulting confidence and sense of identity in Christ. Too often our

overbooked schedules leave little room for times of reflection. In the beginning, for me it was more about obedience to a spiritual discipline than anything else. But as I sacrificed time I would normally spend doing my own thing in exchange for purposeful pursuit of His presence, I started learning about the hidden benefits of fasting. Denying the body foods it craves causes a deep hunger inside to be awakened. Not just the physical but also the spiritual hunger many of us possess. We begin to feel empty and yearn to be filled. Time spent reading the Bible is the gateway through which He pours in a life-changing understanding of the fullness of our identity in Christ. He reveals who we are through the Word. The more we allow God to reveal about our desires, cravings, longings, and passion; the more we learn about our individual gifts and talents. Going deeper with God is the best confidence booster a girl could ask for.

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What you fast is a matter of personal choice. It should be a sacrifice to some degree and require you to resist some type of food. Medical and health issues can limit the fasting options of some, but everyone is able to fast something. Breast-feeding moms have told me they were fasting packaged foods and eating an all-natural diet for a period of time. College students have told me they have fasted take-out and opted to only eat prepared meals for a specific period. Entire congregations have joined together to corporately avoid bread, meats, and sweets for 3 weeks (the Daniel Fast). All these are example of partial fasts which allow you to eat certain groups of food and restrict others. Another type of fast is a liquid fast comprised of drinking only water, fruit/vegetable juices, and/ or broth. The strictest type of fast is an absolute fast of no food or water which is generally not recommended.

Lord’s strength to overcome addictive eating patterns. The comfort foods we consume were never meant to replace the comfort of time in God’s presence. Fasting refocuses our craving back to the place of our primary longing.

Fasting for many has become synonymous with the ultra-spiritual, but in Matthew 6:16 Jesus teaches His disciples that fasting is an essential part of every believer’s life. He begins the passage with, “When you fast,” not “If you fast.” His words imply that fasting should not be seen as an option, but as an expected part of your journey. When you look at Jesus’ own 40 days spent in the wilderness fasting, it reveals how fasting can help us be victorious over the enemy’s attacks. Fasting may have weakened His body but it strengthened His confidence and resolve. His example shows us how fasting empowers and equips us to be overcomers.

Fasting to Overcome Illness

Fasting to Overcome Mental Attacks

Don’t waste another New Year making resolutions you will feel powerless to keep. This year set aside a specific amount of time to seek God, deny physical cravings, and allow Him to fill you to overflowing.

The mind is a battlefield and our adversary Satan loves to confront us in this area. Fasting is part of God’s plan to help us defeat the enemy’s attack. Every word of negative self-talk you have ever spoken to yourself was birth out of this war zone. 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We cannot fight with weapons we do not understand how to use. Fasting shows us how His strength is made perfect in weakness. It calls us to draw near to God so we can learn how perfect love can cast out fear. It welcomes us to leave anxiety behind as we bring our prayers and petitions to God.

Fasting to Overcome Food Addictions

Self-denial is uncomfortable. Our bodies, emotions, and taste buds, have a tendency to crave instant satisfaction. Commit to a fast goes 100% against the grain. You may even come to a point where you can almost hear every part of you demanding you give in to whatever you have decided to avoid for your fast. It’s in those moments you realize how completely dependent you are upon the

Fasting to Overcome Spiritual Apathy

Life can be lived focused on God or oblivious to His presence. Believers are not immune to the spiritual apathy that can creep in over time. Regular times of fasting will help keep you aware of God as you experience His creation. It allows you to experience a greater sense God’s presence in your day to day life. By replacing time you would normally spend in personal activity with meditate on the truth of God’s Word, you will be armed with all you need to apply His promises to your life. The body is designed with its own internal repair system. Unfortunately the processed and refined foods which make up the typical American diet slows down the body’s ability to heal properly. Fasting causes the internal systems of the body to slow down which allows for more through absorption of nutrients from the healthier foods consumed and a detoxification from the chemical and preservatives in those processed foods. When your liver, digestive system, and kidneys are all properly eliminating harmful products from your body the end result is a more youthful appearing, peaceful, and well rested you.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. ~ Matthew 5:6 S

--------DR. SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH is an internal medicine physician, author, and speaker. She shares with audiences nationwide on the topics of eliminating limiting emotions, breaking free from mental bondage, and helps others see God’s plan for them to live free in Christ. She is the founder of IChooseMyBestLife.Com which is dedicated to helping women overcome being overwhelmed by their full lives. Her books include Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty (Spring 2015).

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IN THE SPOT

WANT CONFIDENCE? BY KATHY COLLARD MILLER

“CONFIDENCE COMES FROM

KNOWING YOU’RE DOING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO, WHETHER YOU ARE WRITING, SPEAKING OR BOTH. If God has called

you to be a professional communicator, He has given you a special and treasured talent that He wants used for His glory. Here are six ways to empower that kind of motivation and give confidence. Seek a servant’s heart that desires God being uplifted, along with benefiting others. Strive to represent God’s message in a clear, concise, and honest way that communicates truth to the best of your ability.

honest encouragers in your work. Being a communicator can be a solitary ministry, so understand that you need others to support you. See yourself as God’s vessel, constantly evaluating your heart for dependence upon God’s Spirit to communicate His message. Remember that Satan would like to use an audience’s applause and acclaim from being published as temptations to create pride. Set your heart on focusing on the needs of others rather than drawing attention to yourself. Which of those would you like to improve in this next year? S

--------KATHY COLLARD MILLER’S newest book is Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today. Check out her blog at www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Stretch your abilities and skills continually. Have an attitude that is open to helpful evaluation from others, whether in a critique group or from other qualified writers and speakers. Select carefully those who will be valuable mentors and

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LIFE BYTES

food

CRANBERRY AND MEATBALL BAGUETTES BY PENELOPE CARLEVATO

2 pounds pre-cooked, frozen turkey or Italian beef meatballs 2 (14 oz ) cans cranberry sauce, with or without berries 1 12 oz jar Heinz Chili Sauce 1 tsp fresh, finely-grated ginger 1 tsp cinnamon 1 large Baguette Arugula Thinly sliced red or green peppers 1 very thinly sliced red onion Combine the cranberry sauce and the chili sauce in a crock pot and stir in the ginger and cinnamon. Add the frozen meatballs and stir until the meatballs are well coated with the sauce. Cook for 4 hours on low. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and spread thinly with butter. Place under broiler until lightly toasted. Cut the baguette into four inch pieces and place the meatballs and cranberry sauce onto the baguette. Top with arugula, and have peppers and onions available for each person to add to their sandwich as desired. Serves 6 to 8

tato chips, a hearty green salad, or a nice assortment of fresh veggies and a dip. I am not a person to make a New Year’s resolution, because I know before I begin that it would not last a week! However, I do have an idea for those of you who want to have a closer walk with the Lord this new year. Very simple, but it has been powerful in my life. Choose wisely before saying “Yes.” Pray about what you are to do with every opportunity presented. I have been astounded by what God has been doing in my life since I started being more selective about activities. Maybe it is because I don’t have as many years ahead of me as I once had, or because God has reminded me that life is a precious gift and I need to carefully prioritize how I allot the valuable minutes of each day. I have still said “yes” when I should have said “no,” but it is my desire is to give the Holy Spirit complete freedom in my life to nudge me in the right direction. “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul: my God, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 25:1, ESV). S ---------

This time of the year we are all turkey-ed out, but there PENELOPE CARLEVATO is an author of Tea on the Titanic and First are still lots of football games, family events and cold Class Etiquette. She speaks on hospitality, historical entertaining, days ahead that need a quick and tasty meal. Great on and etiquette and manners for all ages and all occasions. Penelope a cold snowy evening, or as a make-ahead recipe for lives in the Denver, CO. area and is the grandmother of eleven! Find her online at:www.PenelopesTeaTime.com football games or even the Super Bowl. Serve with po-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{29.}


fitness

LIFE BYTES

Jealousy, and the irrational sense of threat, is the symptom of poor image and wishy-washy leadership. Not coveting or feeling threatened by what someone else has worked so hard to achieve, but setting up a plan to become the best that we can become so those we lead can also. And then celebrating the moments along the way with team members rather than knocking someone to feel superior helps professional goals become tangible.

EQUIPPING FIT LEADERS

BY ANGELA BREIDENBACH

“DO YOU LOOK AT UP-AND-

COMING LEADERS AS A THREAT OR ARE YOU CONFIDENT IN YOUR OWN LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL IDENTITY, AND SELF-WORTH? As

those in positions below start to gain ability, experience, and confidence some leaders undermine those they’re supposed to build up and mentor.

When we’re secure in our own identity, we don’t look at someone else as a competition. Instead, we recognize and reward capability and mentor them toward success because that builds a healthy business. We lead with confidence so that should something unforeseen happen, the people we’ve poured energy and wisdom into will be able to carry on without a hitch. Failure is leading without preparation for the future. Success is creating a team of capable, confident, and team-centered individuals with a drive to build something bigger than themselves because we’ve modeled it for them.

How do we build confidence? First, be sure to work exercise into the day. The healthier our bodies are, the healthier and more confident we feel. Being overweight, fatigued, and unhappy with personal image is a big factor in poor image and jealous behavior. We become critical of ourselves and then that spills over into being critical of others. Second, remember to be relational not dictatorial. In fact, building a relationship with people we admire allows us to learn what they know or watch their habits to learn those habits too. Great leaders are observant and keep learning from everyone around them. If we’re dictating so that all communication is one-way, no input comes back to us. Think of the Dead Sea — a stagnant body of water where water flows in, but has no opportunity to flow out. Be open to communication from others. The way to be a confident leader is to allow those we lead to grow, expand, and shine. Incorporating good ideas helps others feel a sense of contribution and that they’re important to the business goals. Communication needs to flow multi-directional, not one-way. The more confident we are that our bodies will hold up against the strain and stress we put on them, the more comfortable we are with our abilities and self-image. ConS we model a leaderfidence builds on confidence. When ship style of health and balanced communication those characteristics will be reflected in those we lead and we, as leaders, can set aside irrational feelings of threat because of the healthy example we’ve set. --------ANGELA BREIDENBACH is a captivating speaker, coach, and the author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, New books in 2014 are Charm Chats for Teens and Snowflake Tiara. http://www.AngelaBreidenbach.com

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time

LIFE BYTES

CONFIDENCE ON THE CLOCK BY KAREN WHITING

“ON ROUTE TO SPEAK AT A CONFERENCE I RUSHED TO AN ATM TO DEPOSIT A CHECK AND WITHDRAW MONEY. The morning had some

unexpected time grabbers and I started off later than planned. In my rush I deposited the cash withdrawn with the check. I spent extra time asking what the bank would do and withdrawing money again while berating my foolishness. I arrived to find a friend who had also rushed. In her frenzy she locked her keys in her car with her notes inside. She had to speak first and felt her confidence draining. We paused to pray but we both knew we wished we hadn’t been caught in a time trap. Rushing and lack of time to relax zaps confidence. It’s easier to feel prepared when you can take your time and think things through. With good time management skills you’ll be more productive and assured. Whether you lead in a work setting or volunteer position, invest your minutes wisely. One of the biggest traps in time management is poor estimation of time needed for routine tasks. Keep a time diary to track how long you spend on routine chores and special projects. It might surprise you to see long you take to do your hair, freshen up, check email, or review notes before a talk or meeting. Review your time diary weekly at first and then monthly. Schedule the right amount of time for each activity. Build

in time cushions between activities to avoid burnout. Let these moments be down time to relax and distress and not time to fill or let other tasks overflow into them. Schedule those cushions between meetings and busy tasks. It helps keep you from getting stressed as you relax your mind, body, and spirit. Consider finding an accountability partner who can view your time choices objectively. Together you can also assess your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths and delegate tasks that are your weaknesses. You’ll be more enthused and confident leading from your talents. Check your expectations and see if they fit with the reality of time you can invest. Understand what dreams will have the biggest impact and what ones are desires but not needs. Write your dreams and post them so you’ll remember to pray for opportunities to fulfill them. For now, focus on dreams that will make a difference and dreams you can realize now. Let other dreams be part of your future hopes and plans. In your daily routine include time for positive reflections. This helps you focus on gratitude and blessings. At the end of each day, be thankful for accomplishments, progress, and the kindness of people around you. A grateful heart helps you move forward to the next day with hope and confidence. S

--------KAREN WHITING (www.karenwhiting.com) is an award-winning author of eighteen books for women, families, boys, and girls. She writes to grow tomorrow’s wholesome families today. Her newest release, The One Year Devotions for Active Boys, was a dream for eleven years before it started to become a reality.

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SPIRITUALLY STRONG —

LEADING BY SERVING BY KRISTEN FEOLA

“IT WAS A BITTERLY COLD DAY IN DECEMBER.“

The temperature was below freezing, and the wind chill was dangerously low. I had just picked up my youngest daughter from preschool when I spotted an elderly lady walking along the sidewalk. All bundled up in a parka, she was doing her best to shield herself from a fierce headwind. She was tiny and couldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds.

“It’s too cold for anyone to be out in this weather. Can I give you a ride?” I asked. “Yes, that would be nice,” she said quietly. Her nose was dripping, so I quickly handed her a tissue and helped her into the front seat. Once she got settled, I introduced myself and my daughter. When I asked her name, she said, “Georgia.”

Georgia was on her way to the bank, which was more than a mile away. As I drove in that direction, I learned As I drove past her, I sensed the Lord saying, “You should stop.” I kept driving. I’m too busy. It’s inconve- my new friend was from California. She said she’d nevnient. I just want to get home for lunch, I thought. Af- er married nor had children, but she worked for many ter about thirty seconds, though, my desire to obey the years as a kindergarten teacher. Judging by her kind prompting of the Holy Spirit was greater than the self- disposition and warm personality, I was sure she was an excellent one. ishness of my flesh. I turned the car around. I headed toward the woman and pulled the car up beside her.

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After we left the bank, I took Georgia home. I was surprised to learn she lived in our neighborhood. Georgia invited us to come inside her house. What I saw when she opened the front door caused a deep ache in my heart. In the middle of Georgia’s living room was at least fifty stuffed animals, all placed neatly in rows, facing a small television—much like a classroom setting. Georgia introduced me to her “babies” and took great pride in showing them off. Most of the animals were battery-powered, and they would sing or talk at the push of a button. It made me sad to think the voices of those animals were probably the only sounds that broke through the silence in Georgia’s world. Next, she took me into her kitchen. The first thing I noticed was a small baker’s rack, which displayed a gorgeous set of dark red dishes. Since I love to cook, I was fascinated by her collection. The second detail that caught my eye wasn’t something she had, but rather something she didn’t have—a refrigerator. Tears flooded my eyes, and a lump formed in my throat. “Georgia, what do you do for food? You do eat, don’t you?” I asked. “Yes, when I’m out walking,” she answered. Georgia told me she grabs something at a restaurant or grocery store when she’s out walking if she gets hungry. If, I thought. Georgia then led me to her sun room. Thick black plastic covered the windows. She pulled aside one “curtain” to reveal what was behind it. Two cans of fruit cocktail and one can of mandarin oranges sat on the windowsill. It was her pantry.

Drive down any street, and you’ll see a Georgia. In fact you’ll see hundreds and thousands of them in any given day. People who are cold—not physically, but spiritually. People wandering alone in the world and fighting with all their strength against the harsh realities of life. God wants to rescue them and invites you to get involved. He says, “Make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16, NIV). Therefore, prepare your heart for action by beginning each day in the Word. Keep your eyes and ears open, and pray for God’s wisdom. Also, don’t be upset when your schedule gets interrupted. Often what appears to be an inconvenience is actually a divine appointment. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to help someone, do it. Your simple act of kindness could yield eternal rewards.S

--------KRISTEN FEOLA is passionate about helping people become more spiritually and physically fit. She is the author of the bestselling book, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast. Taken from Spiritually Strong by Kristen Feola Copyright © 2015 by Zondervan. Use by permission of Zondervan. (www.zondervan.com). For more info about Spiritually Strong visit www.zondervan.com/spiritually-strong Read a book review on page 38. Her website, www.ultimatedanielfast.com, inspires thousands of people around the world, and her writing appears in a variety of Christian and health-related publications. Kristen has worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, and nutritional consultant. She lives in Springfield, Missouri, with her husband and two daughters.

As Georgia wrapped up the tour of her house, I told her I’d come to see her again. After giving Georgia a hug, I said good-bye and went home. I immediately called my husband at work to tell him what had happened. “Justin, we have to do something,” I said. God had put this precious lady in my path for a reason, and I knew it wasn’t just to give her a ride. The day Georgia climbed into my car, she also made her way into my heart. She’s a sweet lady with a great sense of humor. She likes stuffed animals, fancy clothes and hats, and VHS movies. Her favorite pastime is shopping at the Goodwill store. She adores my daughters and reminds me often that Justin is the greatest husband in the world (she’s right!). Georgia, once a stranger, is now a friend.

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PRAYER CIRCLE

THE MISFIT PRAYER FOR LEADERS BY LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD

“WHEN I WAS IN MY TWENTIES,

I OVERHEARD AN ELDERLY WOMAN SITTING IN THE PEW BEHIND ME SAY, ‘I JUST CAN’T STAND WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR CHURCH.’ “I know what you mean,” her gray-

haired friend responded.

“Everywhere I look I see nothing but strangers.”

Perhaps we should take our inspiration from Ephesians 2:10 which explains, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” If God can create us anew, then he can do the same for others. Not only that, we can do the good things he planned for us long ago including reaching out to those we hadn’t planned to find. The reason I bring this up is because you are most likely a leader your peers will look to for direction. So, it’s time to think and to pray your response through.

As her friend agreed, I ducked my eyes so they wouldn’t catch my sad smile. Poor dears! They were feeling misplaced by the wonderful growth our church was experiencing. But the sad part was, I was one of the strangers they were referring to. In some ways these ladies were not unlike the church of the late sixties and early seventies. “Lord, send us the lost and bring us revival,” these church folks would pray. When the revival arrived in the form of unwashed hippies, these same dear people cried, “But Lord, this is not who we meant!” Today, the church is once again praying for revival and I have to ask, what will happen when it comes? Though the hippies have grayed and grown respectable, just who do we think will arrive in our sanctuaries to take their place? What if it’s the lost, the hurting, the misfits and the outcasts? Not who you were expecting? Well, the good news is that these are the people Jesus died on the cross to save. And though some of these people may not be pretty, neat, or have voted your party line, God still wants you to love and disciple them. Sure, not every Christian nor every church will answer this call to serve their neighbors with love. And though I am not suggesting you leave your values or even truth at the door, I am suggesting that you start to seek God and ask that he show you how you can love those you’d never thought to see in your church.

Dear Lord, I sense you want to do a new thing; you want to reach the lost and the misfits in my community and that means you want to reach those people who often take me out of my comfort zone. Lord, fill me with your supernatural love as well as your wisdom. Teach me to not only love those I didn’t expect to see in my church, but give me the wisdom to disciple them as they become part of your body. Give me the ability to lead my peers to do the same.

S

In Jesus’s name, Amen Check out S Linda’s latest book, The Stress Cure: Praying Your Way to Personal Peace at www.GotToPray.com.

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BELLY LAUGHS

BY RHONDA RHEA

GREEN FLOWERED BAG IN A BLACK SUITCASE WORLD {36.} - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --


“I WAS WAITING FOR MY

the world, even our faith.”

LUGGAGE AT THE AIRPORT RECENTLY AND I MADE AN INTERESTING OBSERVATION: I THINK ABOUT 90% OF TRAVELERS HAVE BLACK LUGGAGE. If you have

There’s even more dark stuff in this world than there is dark luggage. But for those of us who’ve by faith given our lives to Christ, there’s a bright and shining hope that is our ultimate victory. It’s brighter than the brightest green luggage and more distinctive than any white bow. You can say, “I won! Victory is mine!” Hope is instant once we understand what it is to become that green-flowered bag in a black suitcase world.

out, grabbing it off the belt and rolling on your way. Just try it and you could very possibly get mugged by a dozen or so other black-luggage-lugging passengers. I had to take my husband’s black luggage on a trip one time, and I lost two nails in a bad black suitcase scene. I think I still have a couple of emotional scars from that one. Talk about emotional baggage.

So go ahead. Check the name tag. If you’re His, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It’s settled. Never a doubt. The suitcase is yours. It’s a bag that comes packed full of all the hope you’ll ever need to carry you joyfully through this life journey.

“ a black suitcase on wheels, forget about just reaching

It was actually pretty funny when I watched it this week. Tons of luggage was sliding down to the carousel and every time the crowd spotted a black, wheeled bag coming down the pike, the entire mob leaned in as one. It was a little freaky. As the bag got closer, they would all circle around it like over-sized vultures.

And this is actually one of those times when it’s good to be left holding the bag. - - - -S- - - - RHONDA RHEA Is an author, humor columnist and radio personality. She lives in the St. Louis area with her pastor-hubs and has five grown children. Find her online at www.rhondarhea.com.

Three or four would reach for it to try to check the tags. Then there were several awkward smiles. And then for that one person (who had probably already reached for the wrong bag a good dozen times), it would be sort of like when you guess the right price from contestant’s row and get to go up on stage. Ding, ding, ding! “I won! It’s mine!” This time I got to simply stand back and observe. Why? Because my luggage is green. Not just green, but green with flowers. And if that’s not distinctive enough, I’ve tied a white scarf in a giant bow around the handle. I can identify my luggage before it’s even all the way down the chute. Never a doubt. I always know when mine is coming.

“JESUS KNOWS US THAT WAY. HE

CAN SEE US COMING. HOW IT FILLS OUR LIVES WITH HOPE WHEN WE’RE ASSURED THAT WE ARE IDENTIFIED AS HIS.“ The Bible tells us that everyone who is born of God wins. 1 John 5:4 says, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{37.} -


REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEWS SPIRITUALLY STRONG by Kristen Feola The best-selling author of The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, Kristen Feola, released her second book Spiritually Strong: The Ultimate 6-Week Guide to Building Your Body and Soul, a six-week program designed to help you get in better shape spiritually and physically. As Timothy says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (4:8). This book teaches you how to train yourself in godliness through the implementation of six disciplines—Bible study, prayer, fasting, healthy living, financial stewardship, and serving others. As you learn to submit to God in each of these areas of your life, you’ll discover the joy that accompanies self-discipline. Your daily steps of obedience will translate into giant strides in your walk with the Lord. — Karen Wiser RATING: 5 OUT OF 5

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REVIEWS

COURAGEOUS COMPASSION by Beth Grant In Courageous Compassion, author Beth Grant issues a call to Christians to combat the horrific evil of sexual trafficking. Grant is co-director of Project Rescue (projectrescue.com), a ministry to victims of sexual trafficking that began in a red-light district of Mumbai in 1997. The book lays out a strategy for “confronting social injustice God’s way,” as the book’s subtitle puts it. “There is no value-free social response to human need and injustice,” Grant writes. “All human response to human need and injustice is inevitably influenced by the values and worldview of the person responding.” Consequently, “any initiative focused on the injustice of sexual slavery and the restoration of victims developed by a Christian organization or mission should reflect the person and message of Jesus Christ.” For Grant, confronting the social injustice of sexual trafficking requires more than political efforts to legally abolish such slavery, as valuable as they are. Courageous Compassion outlines Project Rescue’s strategy for confronting this issue that focuses on prayer, evangelism, discipleship, medical care, job training, and cooperation with local churches to intervene in the lives of women who have been trafficked, restore them holistically (physically, psychologically, spiritually), and prevent their children from being exploited in turn. —George P. Wood RATING: 5 OUT OF 5

STOLEN by Katariina Rosenblatt with Cecil Murphy “Stolen” is the story of Katariina Rosenblatt, a survivor of sex trafficking here in America. Sex trafficking is currently a hot news topic, but it is not a new problem or just a problem in “other” countries. Every year, an estimated 300,000 American children are at risk of being lured into the sex trade, some as young as eight years old. It is thought that up to 90 percent of victims are never rescued. As Kat shares her harrowing experiences, readers will quickly realize the frightening truth that these terrible things could have happened to any child—a neighbor, a niece, a friend, a sister, a daughter. But beyond that, they will see that there is real hope for the victims of sex trafficking. Stolen is more than a warning. It is a celebration of survival that will inspire. —Jennifer Taylor RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS


REVIEWS

MUSIC REVIEWS BY LEADING HEARTS STAFF

BETHEL MUSIC We Will Not Be Shaken Bethel Music, the worship ministry of Redding, California-based Bethel Church, releases the highly anticipated We Will Not Be Shaken CD/DVD on Jan. 27th. Recorded during an evening of worship on a mountaintop overlooking Shasta Lake north of Redding, the live album and DVD led by the Bethel Music Artist Collective, including Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Hunter Thompson, Amanda Cook and Matt Stinton, as well as debut artists Kalley Heiligenthal, Hannah McClure, Paul McClure, Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser. Meant to be a catalyst for other worship communities to take hold of what it means to “not be shaken,,� the music hails a message of promise amidst adversity and the victory believers have in Jesus. RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 - continued -

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REVIEWS

AARON GILLESPIE Grace Through The Wandering Full-time musician Aaron Gillespie, never imagined he’d still be on the road as well while serving as worship pastor, but that is exactly what steers the theme of his second solo worship album, Grace Through The Wandering, which drops on February 3rd.

following God’s path, unsure of where it leads.

Aaron worked around his touring schedule with Platinum-selling band Paramore and recorded the new album on the road. With the help of producer Jon Howard, who tours with Paramore playing keys and providing background vocals, Aaron recorded the album in 10 cities—from Paris to Tulsa. The album, Grace Through the Wandering, is spiritually challenging and appropriately titled for someone who’s

RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

LAUREN DAIGLE How Can It Be Lauren Daigle was one of Christian music’s breakout artists this year with the title track of her debut album, How Can It Be, reaching the Top Ten at Christian radio and No. 1 on iTunes Christian Singles Chart. It was also recognized by iTunes as one of the top 20 Christian releases of 2014, while the single was picked as one of the Top Christian songs of the year. At the same time, the lyric and acoustic videos for the song have surpassed 2.4 million views. With powerful vocals that are drawing comparisons of Adele and Amy Winehouse, Daigle has been receiving incredible album reviews with Worship Leader Magazine saying, “beautiful album,” NewRelease Tuesday.com exclaiming, “fantastic debut,” and Breathecast adding, “breath of fresh air.” RATING: 5 OUT OF 5

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TRUTH

THAT WARNING WASN’T FOR ME BY LISA BULL

“ON MY WAY TO WORK EVERY

DAY I HAVE TO DRIVE UNDER AN OLD, OLD, OLD TRAIN CROSSING. From the looks of it, it was likely built

derpass with its top peeled back, stuck. Really stuck This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this over the years. As I drove by, I thought to myself, Wow. It takes a really brilliant person to ignore all those warnings and still drive under that tiny old bridge. I bet the impact has weakened that old bridge even more and now it’s less secure than before!

In other words, you really need to think before entering that underpass. There is also a traffic light just after the bridge. I always hope that if that light turns red, I won’t get stuck sitting under that antique bridge while a very large, heavy beast of a train is rolling over top.

Suddenly it struck me that I had been just like that truck driver. Growing up I had been raised with the Word of God as my guide. My parents instructed me in right and wrong. The Bible gave me direction on the way to live to avoid pain and destruction. I had been warned. And, yet, many of my decisions and choices ignored all of those warnings. I chose to do things my way, even though I had been told what the outcome of those choices would be.

during the Depression era. It’s extremely narrow, so you have to slow down to go through it, and they have warnings posted because of the low clearance.

Two days ago, I was driving to work, headed toward the underpass. There were lights flashing everywhere. As I approached, it was very evident what had taken place. A diesel truck driver did not heed the warnings. He had driven under the bridge. While his cab made it, the trailer did not. It was about three feet into the un-

Can you relate? Why do we do that? Do we think we’re the exception to the rule? Do we think that somehow we know better than what has been proven over and over to be true?

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Psalm 25:4-10 says: “ Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant” (NIV). It’s easier to heed the warnings from the beginning and avoid the heartache that results from disobedience. However, the good news is, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always

there, waiting with open arms, to forgive and forget. We just have to ask Him good, ever-loving, and faithful God He’s always been. S LISA BULL is co-author of Pink Umbrellas: 12 Days of Devotion, an inspirational book written for those going through breast cancer. She enjoys being a wife and mother of two young men. Follow Lisa’s blog Captured by My Thoughts at mommalisaof2@wordpress.com. Reprinted with permission.


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Leading Hearts January/February 2015 Issue  

We are kicking off the new year focused on Identity—Leading with Confidence. Articles include the true story of human trafficking survivor,...