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O T E D I U G G N ! I S R C D A U N R O Y EMB BOU N I E F I L

A

MOVING FROM HURT TO HOPE

MICHAELAH FAITH GROUNDED IN WORSHIP

SPRING CLEANING

PRAYERS OF A PACKRAT

WHAT ARE YOU HANGING ON TO?


Single mothering isn’t easy. But with these regular heart hugs, you’ll find that you can do it—and do it well.

j

Being a mom is tough. Being a single mom is tougher still. A single mother of two, Sandra Aldrich knows firsthand the challenges and anxieties you face each day. With her wisdom and encouragement, you will experience healing from yesterday, help for today, and hope for a bright tomorrow

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“Oh, how I wish I’d had this book fourteen years ago! Sandra Aldrich sees straight into my heart and shares an honest, transparent look into her own life. She tackles the emotional, spiritual, financial, and parental challenges of single motherhood with reality, humor, and grace and provides a perfect blend of practical tips and warm encouragement.” —MARY JO TATE,

n

author of Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms

Available wherever books and ebooks are sold.


“I USED TO AVOID INVITING

GOD INTO MY DAY. IT WASN’T THAT I’D FORGOTTEN ABOUT HIM. IT WAS JUST THAT I WAS SO FOCUSED ON MY LATEST FAILURE I NEVER THOUGHT HE’D WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH ME. I was sure he’d heard my grum-

bles or seen me deliver a sharp word to a family member. That’s why I tried to keep a low profile; ducking whenever I thought he was looking in my direction. In those days, my communication with the Almighty was filled with apologies. “I’ll try to do better,” I often told him. “Then we can spend some quality time together.”

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Perhaps you’ve been where I was; knowing that even though God loved you, he probably didn’t like you very much.

The light came on! Jesus loved me, not just as a daughter, but as his friend. This meant that He not only loved me, he liked me -- despite my flaws, temper and imperfections.

One day, after my morning apology, I thought to ask God, “Is there anything you want to say to me?”

If God likes the likes of me, I can promise he likes you too. In fact, I am positive he wants to be invited into your day, not only as a loving father but as a friend.

I waited, quietly listening. That’s when I heard his still, small voice, “I love you my daughter.” I was stunned. The God of the universe would tell me he loved me? Wasn’t I a bother to him? But to hear him say he loved me, well, this gave me the courage to ask, “Would you come into my day and guide my steps?” It was amazing to see the difference this tiny prayer made in my life. Then one day, when I finally got enough confidence I asked God, “Would you walk with me in grace -- like a loving father?” I felt his smile. It was like I’d somehow graduated to a place where God could tolerate me; his not-so-perfect child. This was a relief. One morning I read what Jesus told his disciples in John 15:15, “I do not call you servants that I own anymore. A servant does not know what his owner is doing. I call you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father.” (NLV)

How can this be? It’s because God no longer sees that you are dressed in dirty rags. As far as He’s concerned, you’re dressed in the righteous robe of Jesus. That’s why you have his invitation to not only be your Lord but to be your friend. So today, stop to carve out sacred space with this prayer: Lord, thank you for not only loving me but for liking me despite my imperfections. I love and like you too. Come into my day and walk with me – in grace - like a loving father and a friend. In Jesus’s name. Amen. I hope you enjoy this issue filled with spring cleaning tips,—how to refocus your call, simplify your life and create sacred space. If you want to know how to be IN Jesus, make sure to visit www.GodTest.com. S Blessings,

LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD PUBLISHER, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

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EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP

LEADING HEARTS MARCH/APRIL 2015 VOL. 2, ISSUE 1

EDITORIAL STAFF PUBLISHER.. ..................Linda Evans Shepherd EDITOR...... ..................A mber Weigand-Buckley ART DIRECTOR..............Amber Weigand-Buckley LAYOUT EDITOR..............Katie Mattizuo ADVERTISING................ Linda Evans Shepherd & Angelina Locricchio COPY EDITOR. ..............Amber Weigand-Buckley EDITORIAL SECRETARY. ....A ngelina Locricchio CONTRIBUTING WRITERS. .................................................. Angela Breidenbach, Rebekah Binkley Montgomery, Kim Boyce Koreiba, Lisa Bull, Penelope Carlevato, Kathy Collard Miller, Michelle S. Cox, Saundra Dalton-Smith, Dr. Edna Ellison, Sharon Norris Elliot, Pam Farrel, Rhonda Rhea, Heather Riggleman, 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: linda@leadinghearts.com MEMBER | Evangelical Press Association All rights reserved. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission Photos courtesy of: American Idol, Dollar Photo Club, Gotee Records, Kerry Kara Photography /KLS Photos & Imaging, KimBoyceMusic.com, Deanna Sammons Photography (Inlight Studios), Thomas Nelson, Revell, Leah Williams Wesley, Wind-Up Records, Word Entertainment and Zondervan.


TABLE OF

CONTENTS 08

MOVING FROM HURT TO HOPE

16 BAREFACED IN THE BALCONY 18 A SUPERMOM’S LESSONS IN BALANCE every issue 20 BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MICHAELAH 12 FAITHPRINTS

16 CHECKMATE 24 IN THE LEAD

FAITH

27 JUST 18 SUMMERS

28 YOU CAN SAY “NO” 32 PRETENSE PANTRY

this issue

28 HEALTH TRACKS 30 IN THE SPOT 31 LIFEBYTES

37 PRAYER CIRCLE 38 BELLY LAUGHS 40 REVIEWS 44 TRUTH


“I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT WAS A WEDNESDAY MORNING DURING ONE OF MY FAMILY’S EVER-CHAOTIC ATTEMPTS TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. I was in multi-task mode; trying to pull

brushes through the girls’ hair and push them in the direction of the car when I maneuvered my foot into my clog , which was located in the cubby by the exit. As I slipped my sock into my shoe, I found something I wasn’t expecting — a gelatinous pile of cold brown goo. And the way my stomach was feeling, I wasn’t about to do the sniff test. “Phil,” I squealed to my hubby who was loaded down with all the bags for the day, “I think that Kozmo (our very affectionate, yet extremely overweight, bulimic cat) puked in my clog.” As we tried to decipher the sheer logistics it would have taken for Koz to be in the location of the clog and spew at the intended trajectory to get all the goo inside the shoe and not on the surrounding cubby or carpet, we made a discovery. My youngest daughter at the time had dumped a sippy cup filled with chocolate milk (now a stinking cheese like substance) at the back of the shoe storage unit. Luckily most of the contents had fallen into the clog. In retrospect of the rush, I could have easily said “Oh, well, it’s a part of life, squishy brown goo happens” or “I don’t have time to try to clean it up till tomorrow” or better, yet “If I go with another pair of shoes people might think something is out of whack because nothing else coordinates with this outfit!” It was a no-brainer what the steps were to make it right: Step one: Remove foot from clog. Step two: Leave sock for Phil’s next round of laundry. Step three: Wash foot. Step four: Find new sock and shoe options … all in three minutes or less. Yet so many times in the hurry of life we walked out the door, trying to pretend that the squishy brown goo that clogs up our lives doesn’t exist. All the while it’s seeping from our shoes. And in time we get content with the feeling…it’s not squishy brown goo…it’s warm sand between my toes as the people around us are secretly whispering, “Did something just die?!!”

FROM THE EDITOR When I think about the sacrifice that Christ made, I was drawn back to the clog moment. To live a transformed life, is to die to oneself. To live in Him means not being content with the squishy brown goo, whether it be a result of fostering unhealthy relationships, destructive behaviors, negative thoughts and the list goes on. The squishy brown goo should make us feel uncomfortable. And the steps to make it right are all written out: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV). “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” (Acts 3:19 NIV). This issue of Leading Hearts is dedicated to the season of Spring Cleaning—our thoughts, our calendars, our relationships and our spiritual lives so we can get in sync with all God that has called us to be. And I don’t know about you, but I’m glad God has a lot of new shoes and dryer fresh socks in stock! S

Peace! AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY EDITOR, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

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REFLECTIONS ON

MOVING FROM HURT TO HOPE

“HAVE YOU EVER BEEN

BY KIM BOYCE KOREIBA @KIMBOYCEMUSIC MUSIC ARTIST/SPEAKER/WRITER --------www.KimBoyceMusic.com

HURT SO BADLY THAT YOU COULDN’T BREATHE. HURT SO MUCH THAT YOU WEREN’T SURE YOU COULD GET OUT OF BED. HURT TO THE POINT THAT IT WAS TOO HARD TO SPEAK.

“ -


Time seems to be passing by, but you have no idea what time it is. You go through the motions of another day, but when the day is over, you don’t remember what you did for the past sixteen hours. You can’t sleep. You don’t eat. You attempt to present yourself as being okay for the sake of your kids or your spouse or your friends, but you’re really not okay. You question everything. God, why is this happening? What did I do to deserve this? How will I recover from this? Am I ever going to feel normal again? Will I ever be happy again? Does God care about what I’m going through? Why did He allow this? I don’t know what particular hurt you have gone through, but if you’re like most people, you’ve been through many times of hurt in your life. We all have, but there are certain times and certain hurts and certain wounds that seem to cut deeper than others. Research has shown that there are certain circumstances in life that cause a great deal of stress. Top stressors include the death of a spouse, divorce, the death of a close family member, a personal injury or illness and loss of employment. Perhaps one of these events has caused you great pain. Maybe you’ve had several of these situations in your life, and you don’t know how to deal with the hurt. Or you may have an entirely different list of hurts and disappointments that have caused you physical and/or emotional pain. My husband, Gary, and I went through a very difficult time of hurt, disappointment, and discouragement that put a dark cloud over our normally sunny lives and dispositions. We have been through hard times in our twenty-plus years of marriage, but this circumstance was completely unexpected.

January 7, 2013. Gary and I arrived at a production meeting for the very popular show in Branson, Missouri, that we had both sung in for thirteen and ten years respectively. When we arrived, we found we were meeting with our boss (the producer and one of the show’s owners) and, unexpectedly, two of the other owners.

During a three-minute meeting, we were told by our boss: “Well, good news and bad news. The bad news is tough. We’re going to change directions in the show and not have you guys back next year . . . The good news is we’re going to continue your paychecks, not indefinitely, but until you find work . . . You haven’t done anything wrong . . . You surely have questions.” Our minds were blank. No. We couldn’t think of any questions. We couldn’t think period. I looked at Gary. The look of utter shock and disbelief on his face was heartbreaking. When we moved to Branson, it was because we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had called us there. We didn’t particularly want to move. We didn’t especially want, in effect, to retire from successful careers in contemporary Christian music. We made the move, however, because we had young sons whom we didn’t want to raise on a tour bus. We moved because we didn’t want to leave them at home while we toured. We moved because we wanted to be together as a family. And we moved because we prayed for God’s will and direction. We asked all of our spiritually mature family members and friends to pray with us, and they all agreed this was a move we were supposed to make.

We were blindsided. The sense of betrayal that we experienced during this time was something that we hope no one else ever has to go through. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Counseling and a master’s degree in Christian Counseling. You would think my counseling degrees would have helped me know what to do during a time of great hurt, but my mind was blank. I knew only two things for certain. First, we had no idea what to do, and second, God did. He was not surprised, caught off guard, or scrambling to make sense of our situation. He was not in heaven recalculating the ramifications of this incident, nor was He instructing angels to implement Plan B. We were surprised, caught off guard, and scrambling, but God was not. - continued on p. 11-

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AUTHOR/SPEAKER --------www.rebekahmontgomery.com

FAITHPRINTS

BY REBEKAH BINKLEY MONTGOMERY

PRAYERS OF A PACKRAT

“THERE ARE DISTINCT ADVAN-

TAGES TO BEING A PACKRAT. IN ADDITION TO KEEPING ALIVE THE HOPE THAT THE LEFT-HANDED THINGAMABOB INHERITED FROM GRANDMA WILL SOMEDAY FINANCE OUR RETIREMENT, THERE ARE OTHER UNSUNG PLUSES TO SQUIRRELING AWAY STUFF.

“THERE ARE DISTINCT

ADVANTAGES TO BEING A PACKRAT. IN ADDITION TO KEEPING ALIVE THE HOPE THAT THE LEFT-HANDED THINGAMABOB INHERITED FROM GRANDMA WILL SOMEDAY FINANCE OUR RETIREMENT, THERE ARE OTHER UNSUNG PLUSES TO SQUIRRELING AWAY.

Here’s one: While spring-cleaning, I found a forgotten notebook. It was a cheap thing; used on a long ago trip. After the journey, I tore out the pertinent notes, leaving little more than paper tatters with a spine. Prompted by the same inner urge that causes me to save expired seed packets, I stored the notebook in a desk drawer — showing due allegiance to the packrat credo, “When in doubt, hoard.” Because I was in one of those rare take-no-prisoners cleaning frenzies brought on by frustration over the mess in that desk drawer, I decided to throw away the notebook remnants. Then a little Voice stopped me. And this time it was not the one that says, “When in doubt, hoard.” Curious, I thumbed through the notebook and found a

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prayer list with the notations: Then I remembered. Paul was a sweet kid I taught years ago in children’s church. In those days, he listened to Bible teaching with great intensity. His ears, rather prominent and too large for his little noggin, reminded me of satellite dishes, scanning for any communication from God. However, as he grew up (and into his ears), he got away from the Lord, lived a wild and wasted life, finally fathering an out-of-wedlock baby. While I was on a trip — the trip where I carried this forgotten notebook — his distraught mother called me and asked me to pray for him. Because I try to pray specifically for people, we compiled this list, agreed together over the phone, and prayed. What did we pray? Our requests, like a spiritual grocery list cherry picked from the Pauline epistles, were here: • Father of glory, please give Paul the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You! • Open the eyes of Paul’s heart so he will know the hope of Your calling; (paraphrased from selected passages in Ephesians 1) • Since You began a good work in Paul as a child, continue it until the day You return; (paraphrased from selected passages in Philippians 1) • Fill Paul with the knowledge of Your will and all wisdom and spiritual understanding • May Paul walk worthy of You, fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of You • Strengthen Paul with all might, according to Your glorious power! (paraphrased from selected passages in Colossians 1)

for Paul, but God did not forget. He was answering our prayers in full! I am not so arrogant to think it was my prayers that turned the corner on Paul’s spiritual growth. Neither do I think that God adds up prayers like a scorecard, and when people have prayed enough for a certain person or event, He grants that request. And I don’t think that prayers worded a certain way are magic. But God not only remembers our prayers, but He delight in answering those in harmony with His will. Unsure of God’s will? By praying scripture, we ensure we are asking for His will to be done. Even though the memory of what we have prayed gets lost in the clutter of our lives, we may be sure God won’t forget but will answer at the right time. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands,” Isaiah 49:15-16, (NIV). S

We prayed these things, then I lost the list. Forgot it. Buried it in a drawer full of ephemera. But God is a packrat, too, but of a different nature. He doesn’t throw away people. He is infinitely better at keeping track of prayer lists than I am. A short time after his mother and I agreed in prayer, Paul had a dynamic renewal of commitment to Christ. He is now a shining light in his community, given to fasting and prayer, and is all that a Godly father can be to his child. As I stood holding the little notebook and saw what we prayed for Paul, I had to smile and thank God for His faithfulness. I might have forgotten to continue praying

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barefaced in the balcony “I like to sit in the silence of the church balcony. Just God and me.

BY AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY @BAREFACEDGIRL EDITOR, LEADING HEARTS

---------


AUTHOR/SPEAKER --------www.Love-Wise.com

CHECKMATE

BY PAM FARREL @PAMFARREL

SAY “YES” TO HEART HEALTHY

“PEOPLE GO TO GREAT

Heart Check

LENGTHS TO CHECK THEIR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT IF THE HEART IS DISEASED, THE BODY DIES.

I sometimes wish there was a simple test people could take to see if their emotional heart for their spouse was diseased. It would be a healthy sign in society if there were lines of people waiting to see the results of a heart check for their love lives.

How can you tell if your heart is drifting? Each of us has some bells and whistles that should alert us that our marriage relationship is headed for trouble. In 10 Best Decisions a Woman Can Make, I share a test to see how your romantic heart is doing.

1. Are you excited when his car pulls in—or out of—the driveway? (A healthy heart says, “He’s in the driveway!”) 2. Do you think of ways to spend time romantically to gain more sex, or do you spend more time thinking of ways to get out of intimate encounters? (Your sex life can be a barometer of an overall healthy or unhealthy relationship.) 3. Do you enjoy talking with your husband more than your girlfriends? (You need both relationships, but you should still prefer talking with your spouse.) 4. Are you still dreaming of ways to remodel the house, vacations you can take together, and places you’d like to go—someday? Or are your dreams mostly filled with scenes where you are alone or with people other than your mate?

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If you answered in the negative on just one of these questions, you probably need a good vacation together. If two—it is time for a marriage conference. Three or four means counseling is in order.

Are You Drifting?

For our fifteenth anniversary, Bill and I went on a dinner cruise around the San Diego Bay. It was so romantic: candles, soft music, lights on the water. Then the couple sitting at the table right next to ours began to talk about the bills, the kids, and the IRS! Soon their conversation turned into a major argument. It was loud and caused others on the ship to become uncomfortable. Finally, the woman, in tears, said, “We can’t talk like this. This is our anniversary.” So they quit talking for the rest of the night! They had allowed the hectic pace of life to pull them apart. From that moment on, in all of our books, we give dinner and dialogue questions so you don’t have to talk about bills or taxes on a date!

State of Your Union

Every year in January, the president of the United States gives a State of the Union address, where he reviews goals and plans and prepares the country for the future. This past January, in one day 4 ministry couples from around the United State called or emailed us because their marriage was in serious trouble due to infidelity. Within the week two more leaders in our world lost their marriages and their ministries. If we look at the order of creation, God created man, then woman, then marriage, then family, all before He created “the church” (or the temple). My husband wisely notes when couples call on our precious days off, “We can schedule them in. Their neglect of their marriage should not cause us to neglect ours.” We always try to maintain a heart of compassion, but with boundaries. Years of sin and neglect will not be solved in one phone call. It will take steady solid work over time to help those couples rebuild, so model healthy love by proactively nurturing your marriage. Bill and I have found it helpful to have our own “State of Our Union” meeting yearly where we talk over hopes, dreams, goals, and priorities. On these weekends we discuss long-range goals (5–10 years), shortrange goals (3–5 years), and immediate yearly goals. (Free Your Best Year Yet Couple’s Goals Sheets are available at Love-Wise)

Is Your Love Afloat?

We also check our “plimsoll line”. The plimsoll line

is a mark located on a ship’s hull that indicates the maximum depth to which the vessel may be safely immersed when loaded with cargo. This depth varies with a ship’s dimensions, type of cargo, time of year, and the nature of the water it will be sailing through. Once these factors have been calculated a ship’s captain determines the appropriate plimsoll line needed for a safe voyage. You and your husband have a plimsoll line. Load life up too much—your relationship, health, family or ministry will sink. Be the dock guard and check his and your “waterline” to avoid overwork, over commitment, and over the top stress. Rate your romantic life 1- 10, decide what “cargo” to unload to make room for a little loving!

Say Yes!

It will be easier to say “No!” to demands and distractions if you are good at saying , “Yes!” to your mate. In Red Hot Romance Tips for Women, I encourage a wife to practice saying “Yes!” to her husband and intimacy with her mate. Saying “Yes!” is a wonderful emotional investment that accumulates interest over time. Choose one of these fun ideas from Red Hot Romance Tips for Women as a way to say “Yes!” and invest in your love: Write Yes! On the sidewalk squares as it leads to the front door. Write Yes! On a poster board on the inside garage door. Write Yes! on the steam on the mirror so when he showers and exits he will see it. Write Yes! in lipstick, and seal with a kiss on the mirror (or rearview mirror of his car) Write Yes! In full color and create a G rated photo invitation using a website like picmonkey.com or your computer graphic program.—then send it PRIVTELY in a text to him. Call his cell when you know he can’t answer and say, “If you ask me tonight, the answer is “Yes!” Make a series of “Yes!” sticky notes (you can get them in bright pink or shaped like hearts) and place them in random places along his daily path. Protect the “state of your union” and say, “Yes!” to your husband, and no to distractions and demands— at least for tonight! S

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A

SUPERMOM’S

LESSONS IN LIFE BALANCE &

“WE COMPLICATE MOTHERING. WE CONSUME BOOKS AND ARTI-

CLES ON THE HOW TO’S OF PARENTING, POTTY TRAINING, AND CREATING NUTRITIOUS MEALS. YET, SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDST OF IT, WE FIND OURSELVES FALLING INTO BED LATE AND NIGHT FEELING OVERWHELMED AND OUT OF BALANCE. IF YOU’RE ONE OF THE MILLIONS OF MOM’S SEARCHING FOR WAYS TO CREATE BALANCE IN YOUR HOME, I HAVE A TWENTY-FOUR CHALLENGE WHICH WILL PULL YOU OUT OF THE SPIN CYCLE.

Your 24 Hour Challenge

These EIGHT steps below may make you stomp your feet in frustration because you may already know these things, but how often do you actually do them? How often do you actually listen to your body? I challenge you to just try it for 24 hours, what do you have to lose? If anything, it will make you more aware of your needs, as well as your kids. 1. Sleep 7 to 8 Hours. I know so very well what happens when I try to mother three spirited kids on less than eight hours of sleep. It’s similar to when your overtired, cranky toddle who has a meltdown in the middle of the grocery isle; just multiply it times four and that’s me laying on the floor. When God formed the world, he created balance. We sense it in the rhythms of our daily rest. We were created for rest. The night skies were meant to give us rest, to lull us to sleep with the darkness as our blanket. Our bodies crave it, it gives our minds and bodies a chance to rest and recharge for the next day. Instead of trying to check off one more thing, go to bed. 2. Begin Your Day with God. Surrender. We have no idea what today holds. Only God does. It could be a day of being late to every appointment with a tantrumous toddler

or it could very well be one of those days where blessings overflow. Begin each day in His presence. Surrender your day to Him, surrender your check list, your children, your words. Ask him to guide your thoughts, your actions, and to give you the strength needed to complete the mothering race he set before you. Out of all the tips anyone can give you, this is the most important. I cannot stress it enough. Surrendering the day helps us hear His still small voice, it gives us the opportunity to parent with grace. 3. Drink 6 to 8 Glasses of H-2-0. Even the tiniest cells in our bodies crave water, they crave it because it’s how they function. When we don’t drink the full 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, the insides of our body essentially, start throwing a tantrum. We become sluggish and tired. Staying hydrated keeps us alert, most of us grab two to three cups of coffee, tea, or soda; thinking that caffeine is needed to kick that sluggish feeling. I’m all for caffeinated beverages, but keep in mind those beverages dehydrate your body. So reach for a bottled water or two after your beloved caffeinated beverage! 4. Undivided Heart Please. By now, we’ve all learned what happens when we our attention is divided. Little hearts don’t

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feel loved and often times we find a disastrous mess simply because we opted to check out of being mom for the moment. When we put aside our favorite book, our blog, or running; hearts will bloom. Not only do their hearts bloom, they begin to learn they can trust us to listen in the small things which creates trust in the bigger things as they grow. Be fully present, make a commitment to say, “Right now, I am just mom.” 5. Memorize H.A.L.T. Part of creating balance is knowing how your child ticks. Over the years I’ve used the acronym HALT to help me decipher my kids’ needs. This step alone keeps me out of the spin cycle of crazy. When your child is acting grouchy, ask yourself, Is he hungry, agitated, lonely, or tired? These are the basic needs our kids have and once we are able to address it, the better we are able to move on with our day in peace.

“AND EACH NIGHT BEFORE YOU

GO TO BED, PRAY OVER THEIR ITEMS, INVITING GOD INTO THEIR DAY AND INTO THOSE MOMENTS THE NEXT MORNING. SS

6. Be Early. Most meltdowns happen when I am trying to get out the door. Either I can’t find the keys or I’ve just discovered my child isn’t wearing underwear. Over time, I’ve learned to set my clocks forward ten to fifteen minutes. This enables me to be more patient and calm while the kids are getting their socks on, turning off lights, and looking for their beloved toy that must travel with them. By the time they are buckled into their seats, we have actually arrived on time and no one is upset over being rushed, nor is Mama frustrated with getting all those little toes covered in socks and shoes! 7. Breathe & Pray. No, I’m not talking about yoga exercises of breathing, I’m talking about learning to breathe during the most chaotic moments of your day. Your child is throwing a tantrum, the other one spilled paint on the table, and your oldest wants an instant decision about going to a friend’s house. Stop for a moment, breathe in your frustration and urge to freak out….then breathe it out. As you breathe out, ask God to soften your heart and remind you of why you love being their mom, then pray. I often pray like this, “Father God, I know my calling right now is to be a mom and I am stressed to the max. In the next few moments, I am going to open my mouth, please help me respond as if I am the very hands and feet of Jesus to my kids.” 8. Get Organized. The mornings when I can’t find my car keys, Tori’s glasses and then I have to run back to the house to grab Elijah’s lunch are the W.O.R.S.T. mornings ever. It’s worth your sanity and blood pressure to do what I do. Get organized the night before. Set a schedule, have your kids bring you their planners and backpacks, get them lined up by the door and everything else laid out the night before. It makes a world of difference.

BY HEATHER RIGGLEMAN @HEATHERRIGG AUTHOR/SPEAKER ---------

heatherriggleman.com


MICHAELAH FAITH BEHIND THE SCENES LIKE ‘MICHAELAH FAITH’ ON FACEBOOK.

SHE’S GOT THE LOOK – NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT HER MASCARA. SHE’S GOT THE TALENT AND EXPERIENCE – PARTICIPATED IN CHOIRS AND COMPETITIONS GALORE. THE GIRL HAS PIPES! HOWEVER, WHEN YOU MEET SINGER/SONGWRITER AND WORSHIP LEADER MICHAELAH FAITH, THE SWEET SPIRIT SHE SHARES SHOWS THAT SHE IS FAR FROM A DIVA.

Growing up in what she describes as a family that loves God, loves music and is very loud,

Michaelah thanks God every day that she didn’t have a choice but to love it all. “I grew up in Blue Springs, Missouri, and every week we drove to the inner city for our church services. As a pastor’s kid, I sat in every single service. As I grew closer to God through the years, I developed an enormous love for His people First-hand experiences of watching her parents, Randy and Lisa, follow their ministry call definitely shaped her and her four siblings—Hannah, Lydia, Zoe and Elijah—into the people they are today. “We always had people living with us, eating with us and coming to church with us. It was never a question of what their hearts were called to; they were called to love people. It overflows out of them,” Michaelah says, “and they have definitely passed the bug onto us.”

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For two years, Michaelah has served on church music staffs. “I’ve been able to love on and pray over the most amazing groups of people you could imagine. And, that’s how I do my ministry, through my music.”

It’s not cliché to say music is in her blood.

Michaelah’s music experiences compose an exhaustive list. From church worship team to school choir, show choir to musicals, piano to winning singing competitions like Sing! Blue Springs, KC Superstar and the Assemblies of God National Fine Arts Festival – it’s in everything the 20-year-old does. She says she came out of the womb singing, and when your mama is a singer, it’s certainly not far from the truth. “Because it was something that was woven into the fabric of our family, I can’t remember a moment without it. I started singing at the church probably halfway through learning to talk...that may be a bit of an exaggeration,” she says and laughs. “I loved the stage, and seeing all the people… my voice was my craft that I trained every day. I got into piano, guitar, and songwriting, and really began to grow myself as an artist rather than just a singer.”

BY JENNIFER TAYLOR @JENNTAYLOR417 PROFILE CONTRIBUTOR ---------

Messages have poured in from people with the most amazing stories of how they heard that song at just the right time. I was able to share it on live television and sing it for a candle light service that was held for those who had taken their life in the past year. I’m just completely overwhelmed by what God can do and what He chooses to do it.” To date, the “This is Not Your End” YouTube video has had more than 3,000 views in four months.

“Her voice is a mixture of the music she loves

— a little bit of everything. From Gospel roots to country with pop and indie flare—you’ll find her right in the middle. “As an artist, I write a lot of worship music. I just can’t help it, God’s just so good,” she says. “However, over the last few years He has given me a lot of songs that deal with struggles of inner beauty, suicide, and social acceptance. Songs that may not be considered “Christian” but they share God’s heart and love for His children. It’s a way for Him to touch their hearts without them even knowing.”

The recent death of Robin Williams inspired her to write an original song that has gained

much attention as it ministers to people in their darkest times. “I grabbed my guitar went to a room and in 16 minutes I wrote ‘This is Not Your End.’ There was no way to say the way I felt with words. I didn’t know how to make a difference but I knew I had to do something. It came to the simple fact that someone on this earth thought it would be a better place without him, and I knew that wasn’t God’s heart,” she says. “In my mind, if one person held on another day because of this song, then it served its purpose. But that was me seeing it through my narrow human mindset. I had no idea what God had in mind.

Recently, the songstress auditioned for “American Idol.” She sang her original song, “This

is Goodbye” and received the golden ticket to Hollywood from judges Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. To Michaelah, the experience was definitely an eye-opener but not in the usual way. “The most challenging part of ‘American Idol’ was seeing how differently the opportunity was - continued on p. 20-

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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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- continued from p. 19 -

approached by so many different people,” Michaelah says. “I realized that for some of them, this was their whole life. All their eggs where in this basket, and they had a hole that only God could fill. But instead, they filled the hole with fame, their own talent and just wanting to make it. The hardest part for me was seeing this. Through this experience, God broke my heart even more for His people. It goes beyond being a light in the darkness.”

secular realms, Michaelah admits she’s too struggled with what she wanted to be. “I wanted to be a recording artist; I wanted to lead worship, and I wanted to sing positive songs in the secular music industry. When I was talking to my mentor about this, he said, ‘you’re not an either or; you’re a both.’ Michaelah says that we often limit ourselves. “I thought I have to be a worship leader OR a recording artist. I have to sing Christian songs OR secular. I know that I don’t have the capability to achieve any of these goals. But I refuse to box in God. If He wants to use me for all three, He can and He will. That’s not my job to limit him. It’s my job to be willing.” Today you will find Michaelah serving her passion for music and people at Chapel Springs Church in Bristow, Virginia. As vocal leader, she leads the congregation during the worship services and teaches vocal lessons throughout the week. She credits the hands-on training she’s received from Pastors Josh and Leah Wesley.

She’s learned the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit in everything. “I very quick-

Although Idol did not air her unanimous Hollywood-ticket winning audition and she experienced disappointment when hiccups in the group round cut her AI experience short, the show has used her image in promotions across the country. And, thanks to the help of friends, Michaelah hosted interactive watch parties during the first few weeks of the show. Fans were able to logon to younow.com/michaelah_faith to watch the show with the star, submit questions to her and hear live performances during commercial breaks. Michaelah says the most valuable part of the “American Idol “ experience was being completely open to God. “I may have just been sent to Hollywood to share Jesus. I’m completely okay with that.

I’m not called to be anyone’s idol, I’m only

supposed to lead hearts to God,” she says. “The praise that’s given isn’t mine to take and it never will be. All glory goes to God because He’s the one that knows the master plan. I’m humbled to know that I’m nothing but a puzzle piece.” With phenomenal experiences in the Christian and

ly learned that to lead without the voice of God is no way to lead others into His presence. I learned to lean into God when writing a set, ask Him what He wants to hear from his people, what message He wants us to get. It’s so incredibly important to be constantly tuned into God. In looking back, I can tell when I wasn’t in sync with Him, and that affected the way I was able to lead.” Michaelah surrounds herself with strong believers and spends time in the Word to stay grounded in her faith. She encourages her worship-leading sisters to be limitless. “Continue to ask Him for new and fresh ways to carry out His plan, and don’t be held down by others. If He has called you, then He will empower you and equip you. Remember the reason we are all here — that is to bring others to Christ,” she says.

“SOMETIMES AS WOMEN WE GET LOST IN THE FLASHINESS OF IT ALL. MINISTRY WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE S FLASHY, BUT PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO THINGS THAT SHINE. WE JUST HAVE TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET ANYTHING GET IN THE WAY OF THE S MISSION.”


IN THE LEAD

BY EDNA ELLISON @DREDNAELLISON COLUMNIST www.EdnaEllison.com

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WAKE UP THEIR HEARTS

“OUTSIDE MY WINDOW, A

reddish tips peek out from each branch, but none of the buds have broken through yet. I thank God for what is to come: March winds will sprinkle the frilly, see-through petals all over the tender green grass. But as I look out now, the winter seems slow as it lingers. The trees look tired of waiting.

tired or overcommitted. Those that work fulltime taxi their children in the mornings to various schools, work at a professional job for eight hours or more, and later take care of tired children as they play, change clothes, bathe, or do their homework. Remembering to add a daily devotion or praying together seems impossible. Arriving at a leadership planning session on time may be iffy. Even staying awake for the same ol’/same ol’ methods may be difficult for a few leaders. Besides the women in the pew, are your own leaders overchallenged with rushed, complicated procedures? Spring is a good time to look at your leaders’ ministering hearts, buried under a thousand other issues in their lives.

If your church year began last fall, some leaders may be

“Hey Edna!” Kneeling in the yard over a bed of bent

BARE CREPE MYRTLE WITH BEAUTIFUL SILVER LIMBS IS COVERED WITH ICE. Tiny buds with

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peonies, my neighbor Jan peeked out from behind a bush. “You tired o’ the same stuff? Wouldn’t you love it if all the leaders came alive like these plants? I mean, after the dead days of winter, yearning for new life and reclaiming their joy?” “And just how do I do that?” I asked.

S

“One-word: Simplify,” she replied. Jan had good ideas. God had spoken to her spirit as she was renewing the flower bed, and she explained how to simplify in two areas: your head and your heart.

Tips for Your Head: Time Management: Set a monthly Un-hoarding Day. If you work on women’s leadership at home, put in a wash of clothes (or another household chore) early, then work on your un-hoarding: Toss teaching or training items you don’t use. Organize files with pre-prepared labels. Work on one urgent task at a time. Change clothes to the dryer. Finish un-hoarding. Don’t waste time drinking coffee (tea, etc.) with others (church staff or hanging out with friends—unless your goal for part of the day is PR improvement or Networking with others). Finish time-sensitive jobs. Then work on the routine ones. If you need approval, give yourself a big check mark when each task is done. At the end of the day, detail your challenges. Set a quick plan for conquering them. All other days: Simplify your wardrobe, makeup routine, and hairdo. Lay out items the night before. Simplify your budget. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once. (Don’t leave stacks of unhandled papers sitting everywhere!) Take two short breaks per day, but set a time limit on reading the paper/memos/newsletters, opening FaceBook, or playing a computer game.

Tips for Your Heart: Set a goal: Reach for the Joy. Post a door sign: NO FRETTING! Don’t be distracted by petty issues/personalities. Give your critics to God. Release all worries about your ministry. Focus on basic tools: Bible study and prayer. Lift your team’s hearts with God’s leadership tips. When planning for summer and fall, don’t pile new ideas on the old traditions. Ask for a fresh word from Him. When you feel your women’s ministry is overchallenging local leaders, you can make a difference. Gouge out the tangled weeds with tips on time management, reclaiming their joy in leadership, and accessing the Holy Spirit’s power. Remember, above all, lead them to trust God as the ultimate leader. S

After using the Discussion Starters with your small group, close with Scriptures in “Focus Before and After“ section.

Discussion Starters 1. Do you agree or disagree with the last sentence of the article’s first paragraph? How can a tree look tired of waiting? How is it like you? 2. Name four (4) things that make you tired. Discuss with another leader. Decide on one distraction you’ll give to God without fretting. 3. Name four (4) things that energize you. Share briefly if you have received a significant-but-simple word from God this month. 4. How can you identify with the complicated lifestyle described in paragraph two (2)? 5. Giving specific ideas on meeting needs of Christian women, how can you simplify leadership in your head? (intellect, time management, handling computer time, Unhoarding Day, etc.) 6. How can you simplify in your heart? (God’s basics, reaching for joy, Scripture meditation throughout the day, other ideas) 7. Silently ask God in which areas you can simplify. Accept the Holy Spirit’s joy. Focus on the Before and After Scriptures.

Focus Before and After: When you wake in the morning, focus on Psalm 5:3. When you take a bath, focus on Hebrews 10: 22. When you feel covered with un-finished work, Hebrews 12:1-2a. When you just can’t think anymore, Hebrews 10:16. When you feel too guilty to work for God, Hebrews: 10:17. When you suffer or need renewed hope, Romans 5:1-5. At any time during your work for Him, Romans 8:28. When you lie down to sleep, Psalm 23:1-4. —EDNA ELLISON

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JUST 18 SUMMERS

BY MICHELLE S. COX @JUST18SUMMERS AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.Just18Summers.com

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RECLAIMING FAMILY TIME “SOMETIMES EVEN DOING

GOOD THINGS CAN BE A PROBLEM. MY HUSBAND AND I LEARNED THAT THE HARD WAY. As a young family, we became over-sched-

uled to the point where we had no family time. Yes, we were doing good things—volunteering in the church office, helping with building projects for a family in need, working with our church youth group, and numerous other things. Literally every night and every weekend was booked. Add in our other responsibilities, and it was taking a serious toll on our family. We’d lost our focus. We prayed and asked God to help us get out of some of the obligations—and promised Him that we’d pray and think things through before accepting future responsibilities.

Maybe your family can benefit from what we learned:

• Ask God to be the keeper of your schedule. • Keep God and family as your top priorities. For example, having our children involved in the church youth group and Awana outranked other things such as sports. • Make decisions about how many activities your children will do. We decided our sons could pick one sport at a time and one school activity such as band, FCA, etc. At the end of your parenting journey, you won’t look back and wish that you’d been involved in one more activity or group—but you will look back with regrets if you didn’t spend time with your family.   And there are huge benefits from spending family time together. Seemingly simple things like having meals together, family worship, making memories, and playing games together can have a big impact on your children’s lives. Decide now to put some margins in place to protect your time together as a family.   “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” (Psalm 90:12, ) S

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HEALTH TRACKS

YOU CAN SAY “NO”

“BUSY WOMEN ARE DOERS.

BY DR. SAUNDRA DALTON-SMITH @DRDALTONSMITH PHYSICIAN/AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.IChooseMyBestLife.com

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DOERS KNOW HOW TO SAY YES. UNFORTUNATELY MANY FIND OUT THE HARD WAY THE CONSEQUENCES OF TOO MANY YESES AND IGNORE THE HEALTHY BENEFITS OF A PURPOSEFUL ‘NO.’


In a society where success is often defined by our level of busyness, it is easy to become overcommitted and unsatisfied. Full schedules are not synonymous with a full life. If we are completely honest, the abundant life most crave is a simple life of joy, peace, and contentment. It’s easier to say yes but sometimes saying no can be a better option for your overall health. Is your day planner packed with deadlines and obligations? Are you struggling to fit a growing list of activities into a shrinking amount of available time? Have you become the go-to girl for every school committee, church activity, and family dilemma? If so, regaining your happiness and sanity can be as straightforward as learning to saying no.

Are your yeses sabotaging your health?

• Feeling alone, disconnected, unhappy, or overwhelmed by an activity is a good indication you’ve said yes to something which should have been a no. • Saying yes to please someone or to fit in will lead to performance stress which will only feed feelings of insecurity and unworthiness. • Consider the long term cost of any yes which requires health sacrifices like loss of sleep, extended time away from family, or rushed unhealthy meals (ie excessive fast food or candy bars for dinner). • Guilt should never guide your decision to say yes. Just because something is a good causes does not mean it is good for you. If in doubt evaluate the reason behind your desire to say yes. • Does your yes cause you to feel stressed? Stress is your body’s way of warning you when you move from thriving to striving. There is a healthy amount of creative, physical, spiritual, and emotional activity you need to be engaged in to feel whole and complete. Problems arise when you cram too much into any of these areas. Saying no restores balance and will improve your stress level. • Every problem is not your problem to fix. Chronic worriers often feel a burden to solve the problems of others. The oppression associated with being heavy-ladened with burdens you were never meant to bear will leave you feeling depressed and helpless.

• Are there times you say yes because you are afraid to say no? This is a common problem with many women and is the reason so many live with excessive daily life stress. A fear based yes will be surrounded by anxiety and apprehension. If you do not feel peace with your yes you owe it to yourself to say no.

How to Say No in 7 Simple Steps

1. Be Courageous. It takes courage to say no. You must first have the courage to know your own needs and priorities. Then you must have the courage to fight for them. If you have spent a lifetime saying yes, saying no may not be easy at first but will get better with practice. 2. Clearly say “No”. No is a powerful word all by itself. Resist the temptation to soften the blow with “Maybe” or “I don’t know”. If what you really mean is no then say it clearly. 3. Limit Explanations. No is a personal choice. No one has to understand your no but you. There is no need for a long drawn out explanation. Keep your reasoning brief and to the point. 4. Tell The Truth. Don’t make up an excuse. Lies often come out into the open. Be honest rather than create more stress by fabricating a reason for your no. 5. Be Sensitive. Realize the one hearing your no will probably not be happy with your decision. Grant them the grace to pout, without giving them permission to unload unnecessary guilt on you. Make it clear your no is to their request and not to your relationship with them. 6. Take a Stand. Once you decide to say no stand by it. Be ready to repeat yourself if asked again. Some people can be pushy when they want a yes. Once you taken your position on the matter resist the temptation to relinquish the power of your no. 7. Gratitude Attitude. If someone is asking for your help it is because they believe in your ability to get the job done. Voice your appreciation of being consider. Thank them for thinking of you. By keeping the exchange pleasant you keep the door open to opportunities you may want to say yes to in the future. S

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BY KATHY COLLARD MILLER @KATHYCMILLER

www.KathyCollardMiller.com

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IN THE SPOT

AUTHOR/SPEAKER

OVER COMMITTED?

“ BEING OVER-COMMITTED IS A

choices aren’t just a “mistake” but disobedience to God.

DEADLY WEAKNESS FOR WRITERS AND SPEAKERS. Nothing prevents us ful-

4. Believe that God’s calling cannot be fulfilled except by you—in the way that God wants it to be uniquely fulfilled.

filling God’s plan like saying too many “yes’s” to opportunities that God doesn’t want us to do.

5. Meditate on this truth: “An opportunity is not necessarily God’s open door.” It may be that He wants you to hear of it so that you can pass it along to another person.

Here are some reasons we might be over-committed and thus not follow God’s leading:

6. Don’t let others determine what’s important in your calling. Many people will say, “Oh, writing (or speaking) isn’t a job. You can leave it during the day any time you want.”

• “If I don’t say ‘yes’, they won’t like me.” • “If I don’t say ‘yes,’ they won’t invite me another time and I like doing this kind of thing.” • “If I don’t say ‘yes,’ the task won’t get done well like I can do it.” • “If I don’t say ‘yes,’ I won’t be regarded as a capable Christian woman who can do everything.” • “If I don’t say ‘yes,’”…put in your excuse.

7. When you receive an invitation, pray first before saying “yes” or “no.” Practice saying, “Thank you for thinking of me. I’ll be glad to pray about it and find out what God wants me to do.”

Which of those options do you relate to? Here are some ideas for battling those tendencies. 1. If you take on something that’s not God’s will for you, you’ll prevent the person whom God wants to do it from getting the invitation. Just because you hear of something doesn’t necessarily mean it was meant for you. 2. See your ministry as important and as God’s calling. 3. Consider seeing your unwise choices as sin. Such

8. Seek the counsel of others. Consult with your husband, pastor, or wise friend. 9. Ask yourself, “If I say ‘no,’ what will that feel like?” You may get in touch with the motives preventing you from following God. For instance, you might think you’ll be thought of poorly. 10. Put on your schedule the days or hours you will write or prepare for speaking. Those are now a commitment and you can say, “Oh, I’m sorry I can’t do that on that day. I already have a commitment.” Which of these ideas are easiest for you and which are hardest? Which one do you want to implement immediately? S

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— t h g u o h t r o f d foo LIFEBYTES

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR “THE AVERAGE AMERICAN

MOVES 12 TIMES IN THEIR LIFETIME AND OVER 43 MILLION AMERICANS RELOCATE EVERY YEAR. We were one of those 43 million that

“ moved often. Each time we packed up and said our

goodbyes, I felt a loss. I missed our old haunts, our church, our friends, the neighborhood and our old home. When our children were young, I didn’t think too much about the social implications of moving, but spent more time getting the house in order...making sure the children were settled in their schools, finding new doctors, new grocery stores, and a new vet. But the past couple of moves have been just the two of us, no kids and no pets. It was all different being empty nesters. How would we meet our neighbors? Where did we fit in? Would we find a church? Moving is hard work, physically and emotionally, but once in awhile, a kind neighbor makes an effort to welcome you to the neighborhood. What a difference that can make. So, why is neighboring becoming so rare? Is it because most of us are overcommitted and just don’t have time to add one more thing to our already overloaded schedules? Or don’t we care?

BY PENELOPE CARLEVATO @TEATIMEPEN AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.PenelopesTeaTime.com

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my “full plate.” I can’t keep adding without removing some activity. This re-evaluation of my priorities helps me to remember some simple but important things I need to do. Neighboring is important. Taking the time can have an eternal impact on the new family next door or down the street. Let’s be a good neighbor to one of those 43 million who just might be your new friend.

Lemon Berry Bread 1/3 cup melted butter 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 large eggs 1 ½ cup flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ tsp salt ½ cup milk 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel ½ cup chopped nuts 1 cup fresh or frozen berries, chopped

Beat together butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon peel, nuts, and berries. Pour into well greased 8”x 4”x 2” loaf pan. Bake at 350ºF for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Combine the glaze ingredients. Remove the bread from the pan and drizzle with the *glaze. *Glaze – 2 Tab lemon juice. ¼ cup sugar Cool on wire rack. Slice and enjoy! This was given to us by our neighbor with a card containing their name, phone number, and also this recipe! S

Our last move was physically very difficult, but our next-door neighbor, a busy mom with three young children, took the time to introduce herself and brought us this yummy Lemon Berry Bread. That simple gesture was such a blessing. Now when I see a moving truck driving slowly down our street, I try to get a card and this bread to their family quickly. I know how it can help them begin to feel “at home.” Sometimes I am not sure I can add one more thing to my busy life-style, but I want to be a neighbor who cares. In order to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:31) I have to rearrange -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{31.}


— p u g n i shap LIFEBYTES

BY ANGELA BREIDENBACH @ANGBREIDENBACH AUTHOR/COACH/SPEAKER www.AngelaBreidenbach.com

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RESET TO HEALTHY

“EXERCISE IS THE FIRST THING

WE DELETE FROM OUR CALENDARS, AND JUSTIFY, BECAUSE OF BEING TOO BUSY. If I can just finish this

project today…then I’ll go walking…” “If I can just get done before my appointment…it’s so important…” “If I deal with that issue myself…it’ll get done right and faster…” A few of many common excuses. A reasonable schedule change makes sense for emergencies. But when that reason becomes habit, then it’s an excuse of something poorly managed. Somehow we rarely get to the exercise part of the day because how we manage the day is based on the habits we build repetitively. And it sneaks up on us. One day we realize our days are regularly jammed with everything but exercise. (Yes, I’ve been guilty. I understand!) Rebuilding healthy habits takes focused intention. We have to intend to change. And, excuses are childish ways of avoiding adult responsibilities. (See 1 Corinthians 13:11.)

Sometimes we justify busyness as equated to something being important. But if we’re so important that we can’t take care of ourselves, how important are we really? We must learn to delegate responsibility and learn to keep this area of our lives in check. Reclaiming our health isn’t easy because we resist

change. But if don’t value the bodies meant to do the work, then why do we complain when those bodies can’t keep up with a busy schedule? Managing fatigue, stress and simple injuries become our habit. Even three simple 10-minute walking breaks each day, will give our minds a chance to release and download new ideas. You will enjoy the surprising productivity and brainstorm boost results! You might also try to: 1. Build a habit of walking 10 minutes after meals. The meals are already necessary habits and so can become reminders. But add it to cell phone alerts to create the new habit. Soon, the meal will stimulate the reminder. 2. Weight lift. It doesn’t have to be long or intense. Put a small hand weight set nearby. Remember two to three times a week is enough for positive benefits. Start light and build slowly. Most women will never use weights past fifteen pounds for toning. 3. Take a class before or after work with a friend. The buddy system is proven to work. Change the class type now and then to combat boredom. If budget is an issue (or time), YouTube has a ton of free exercise videos on any class or type of workout. 4. Ask around work. It’s possible other people are interested in a space to exercise. Your employer might get bonuses and discounts on fitness plans for employees. Your insurance policy may offer gym memberships either free or discounted or offer special benefits. 5. Enter walk-a-thons and other fundraising activities so the exercise you do also benefits others. These motivational fitness opportunities are an awesome way to jumpstart your physical fitness and challenge yourself. 6. Refurbish your office environment with health building tools like large balls for chairs to build core strength. (Start at 30-minutes and build slowly to avoid being saddle sore or too fatigued. S

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— e m i t f o r e t t a am LIFEBYTES

ROLLING OUT A GREAT WELCOME

BY KAREN WHITING @KARENHWHITING AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.KarenWhiting.com

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pleasant scent? Is it quiet or infused with soft music? Is there a dish of mints or a guestbook to sign? Do the colors reflect your personality? Demonstrate you care about visitors with a friendly and uncluttered entryway. Each person who enters is someone God loves. Little touches like a guestbook show you want people to visit.

“IT’S GREAT TO GET ORGA-

NIZED. KEEPING THINGS ORDERLY HELPS YOU FIND ITEMS IN LESS TIME, INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY, AND DECREASES STRESS. But, when organizing it’s better to have

a vision of how you can transform your home into a haven. A sterile organized spot looks more like a hospital room or office than a home. Make your home a place that welcomes people as they enter and makes them feel comfortable and safe. Creating something beautiful with order inspires you to maintain it. Use your imagination to get a vision of the changes you’d like. Stand outside and notice what you see before entering. A welcome mat, flowers in a garden bed, and a clean door with a wreath or other pretty decoration invite people to come inside. What message do you want to convey? Think of items to add that show you care about visitors and even welcoming family home.

Start at entryway to remove what doesn’t belong. Have some seating close by where people can sit in comfort and face one another to converse. You might have a few gift books or current magazines on a coffee table or in a small magazine rack to read in case they must be left alone for a few minutes. This spot can also be a place of retreat for you and other family members. Let your spouse and children know it’s a spot to sit, pray, chat, or reflect, and not an area to mess up or place for doing extended projects. Organizing that extends beyond the front door transforms your home into a family haven, a place where they enjoy being together. An organized kitchen welcomes members to join in cooking and share a pleasant meal together. Eliminate extra items that crowd the room. Set up a system to have family members help clean the table after eating and schedule time to unload and store dishes daily. A family room is a more relaxed area where members might play games, do homework, or conduct some business. Large containers to contain work items and supplies can contain supplies. A basket for toys or bookcase for magazines, remote controllers, and books can help keep order and yet send a message that it’s a place to do things.

Enlarge your vision by clipping pictures of rooms in home magazines that reflect your colors, designs, and styles. This helps develop your decorating eye. Follow the basics of organizing if things are out of hand. Start in one area and use three containers to hold what you want to toss out, what you Next, stand inside your front door and look around. plan to give away, and what needs to be returned to the place Is it cluttered or tidy? Is there a place in sight to sit? Is where they belong. As you organize think of how to add colthere warmth from decorations or pictures? Is there a or, art, and touches that will make the area look beautiful.S --- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------{33.} -


“JUST THE OTHER DAY, I WAS

LISTENING TO FELLOW MOODY RADIO BROADCASTER, MELINDA SCHMIDT FROM MIDDAY CONNECTION.

CLEANING OUT THE “PRETENSE” PANTRY

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She was interviewing a gentleman who was talking about how we have often overlooked what the Holy Spirit was doing in someone’s life because it did not fit our cultural paradigm. I wished I could have listened longer, but I was on my way to an appointment. He sited a story of how a neighbor of his was ‘weeping’ over the damaged creation. Initially, his heart response was ‘get over it, lady – Worship the Creator and not the creation’. And albeit I’ve agreed with his initial thoughts – I, like him, have noticed that these ‘burdens’ can sometimes actually be an introduction of ‘conviction’ by God. Psalm 24 clearly states, ‘the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof ’. Perhaps, could this Scripture be a ‘heart cry’ and open door to share with those who have those thoughts? To say, ‘I agree, the world is broken­—God said it would be that way because when He created the world, it was perfect. —It was, in fact, the human misuse of His designated natural resources that initiated this tragedy into the earth’. I have a friend, a long-term business associate; I’ll call her ‘Anya’. She a Ukrainian born Jew. She’s an incredibly intelligent businesswoman, loving wife, mother, and now, grandmother. She’s a vivacious woman in her mid-fifties. She knows I’m a Christ-follower. She trusts me because of the values that I live by, and the way I conduct business in the corporate world. Yes, we’ve had bumps along the way. What relationship doesn’t? Especially those relationships that have lasted long over a decade? However, ‘Anya’ knows that when I’m wrong, I acknowledge my error and repair what is within my power to do so. God continues to grant favor with this ‘seeker’. — My part is to be listening, looking for opportunity to show ‘Jesus’ to her in tangible, meaningful ways. Talking the talk isn’t enough – we need to be a ‘walking, fragrant example’ of Christ formed in us. That’s the hope of glory, as it were.

In 2015, God has presented me with the Book of Jonah to study. Ouch! It’s not an easy book to process. It’s short, sweet and to the point. – Jonah 2:8 remind us, ‘those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.’ What idols are shoved back into the closets of your heart? What idols of brokenness, unforgiveness, legalism and pretense need to be identified, sorted and thrown away? What emotions have you hoarded? What ‘trash can’ needs to not only be emptied, but also scrubbed clean? You may think you’re on top of things—but there’s an ‘unpleasant aroma’ that has seeped into your soul, into your thinking, that can only be ‘cleansed’ with some really hot ‘water’ from the Word of God and strong, spiritually inspired, disinfectant. The Holy Spirit has a ‘wire brush’ that He’s waiting to use, but being the gentleman that He is, you must give Him the required access to clean the ‘sticky’ surfaces in your spirit. So perhaps you didn’t ‘clean the house’ when you put the Christmas decorations away until the next holiday season. Spring is around the corner – this is the time that God’s afforded to clean and reset your intentions toward Him and those whom you influence in your ‘circle of friends’. If you’ve been called to share the message of ‘come see a Man who told me everything I ever did…’ John 4:29, then your ‘house’ should be clean enough that those folks can enter through the front door, the back door or the garage of your ‘house’ and not catch a whiff of a ‘dirty garbage can’. God blesses us in spite of our shortcomings because He’s loving and gracious. However, once He’s taken the initiative to bring something to your attention, don’t forfeit His grace. Don’t cling to the worthless idols. Don’t run in the opposite direction like Jonah. S

I’m not able to have the discernment to touch lives like ‘Anya’s’ without taking stock of my spiritual life, my emotional processes and ‘taking thoughts captive’ in obedience to Christ. I need to continually be ‘cleaning out the drawers’ of my soul. At the end of each year, I seek God and ask specifically, ‘what is the Word focus You desire for me in the next calendar year?’ It’s a ‘cleaning’, ‘resetting’ exercise that has served me well in the last several years.

BY LISA TROYER @LISATROYER AUTHOR/RADIO HOST/SPEAKER www.CircleofFriends.com

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PRAYER CIRCLE

PEACEMAKER “A FEW WEEKS AGO,I STEPPED OUT OF MY BUSY LIFE.“

I flew across the country to visit my mom who was recovering in a nursing home from a recent fall. When I walked up to the nursing home’s double doors, a security guard buzzed me into a time zone not quite identifiable as ‘standard’ time. When I arrived in Mom’s room, her eyes lit up. “Linda!” I leaned in for a hug, noticing the simplicity surrounding us. Just outside our room a resident shouted at the top of her lungs, “Yi, yi, yi, yi, yi, yi!” While another resident, a former entertainer wailed unidentifiable show tunes as she beat time on the wall to music only she could hear. “How do you like it here?” I asked. “It’s okay.” That conversation marked the beginning of a five day visit as I sat with my mom from morning till night. But every morning when I returned, I felt the jar of the time warp. Even my watch protested; it dropped an hour-and-a-half from its 24-hour rotations. One morning, as I sat with my mom at breakfast, an elderly man rolled up to a nearby table where he beat his fists in time to his chant, “I want scrambled eggs, I want scrambled eggs!” He only stopped when this requested plate appeared before him. Then he mumbled a flurry of four-lettered words as he shoveled the eggs into his mouth. The little ladies at my table all shook their heads. One of the women leaned in to explain, “I don’t live here.

BY LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD @LINDASHEPHERD PUBLISHER www.GoToPray.com

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I’m waiting for the bus to Memphis.” She pushed her wheelchair closer to the table. “Don’t get in my way when it comes, I’ll run you down.” Oh my goodness. I had entered a heartbreaking wrinkle in time.That night, as I walked toward the double doors, cries seemed to drift from almost every room, “Help me! Please! Help me!” All the criers were safe, though desperate to find deliverance from their nightly confusions. Could God’s peace be in a place like this? I found it the next morning when my mother and I were seated at our breakfast table. That’s when I announced, “Time to say grace.” I bowed my head and prayed, “Dear Lord, please bless our food and bless all the dear residents here. Please also help those who are here to care for them. We honor you, Lord. Thank you for all your blessings.” When I lifted my eyes I saw something odd. All conversations had ceased. All heads had bowed. Even harried workers had stopped in their tracks to honor God. “Amen!” the little lady from Memphis said. Aides and nurses smiled. Gray heads nodded as peace walked into the room. And then I knew. I may have entered a time warp, but God was with us. It only took the power of a simple prayer to usher in His presence. If a simple prayer can bring peace to a wrinkle in time, think what prayer could do to bring peace to your complications. Dear Lord, we honor you. You are welcome into our lives and complications. Thank you for all your blessings. S

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BY RHONDA RHEA @RHONDARHEA HUMOR COLUMNIST

www.RhondaRhea.com

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KEEPING A TIGHT LID ON HUNGER “I KNOW I’VE COMPLAINED

ABOUT THE STATE OF MY REFRIGERATOR BEFORE, BUT I’VE FOUND A WAY TO HAVE A BETTER ATTITUDE ABOUT IT. When

“ I get ready to put something in there, I just psych

myself up for a challenging game of food Jenga. It’s amazing to me that as soon as the Tupperware tower is so impressive that I’m afraid to even nudge it, that’s when I need the container that’s two from the bottom. This is the stuff of an improved prayer life.

BELLY LAUGHS

If you’re playing food Jenga and you’ve been using the cheaper plastic containers, I’m going to tell you right now that the stakes are higher. Much higher. Balance is crucial. A bad tumble plus a couple of lid pop-offs and you can have a toxic spill on your hands. And floor. And don’t even try to save those shoes. Some people have suggested I try something radical. Like cleaning out the fridge a little more often. I tried that the other day. I found some chicken mushroom soup in there. Soup I hardly remembered making. Troubling. I thought to myself, yeah, if I can’t remember making it, that probably means it’s too old, right? But then I remembered making it. And I remembered I didn’t put mushrooms in it. So yeah. Definitely too old.

totally lost my appetite. The food Jenga game is the you-may-never-get-hungry-again of hunger games. I didn’t even want to think about food. So I got on Facebook and looked at pictures of other people’s dinners instead. To be honest, my appetite could use some balancing anyway. Spiritually, too. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” (ESV). The words translated “hunger and thirst” refer to a powerful, passionate desire. And the form of the words used in the Greek suggest continuous action. The word for “satisfied” means to eat until completely full. Now that’s going to take some balance. To stay hungry and to be satisfied at the same time. The hunger for Jesus to fill us drives us to Him—and He is the only one who can completely satisfy. He fills us with everything we need to walk in righteousness. Staying hungry. Staying full. It’s the most beautiful paradox—a reminder that seeking the Lord and His righteousness is more vital to life than any food. Never mind the chicken soup. Give me Him. And it’s a reminder as well that there’s never a time when we seek His presence that we are not oh so fully satisfied. “But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence,” (Psalm 17:15, HCSB). Crave His righteousness. Be filled with His presence. If we hunger for anything else, place our deepest passions anywhere or in anyone else, we’ll no doubt experience an entirely different kind of hunger. It’s an emptiness—a fruitlessness and a powerlessness. The stakes are just too high to play that game. So I’m shooting for keeping a tight lid on my hungers. Burped, sealed and balanced. Incidentally, also a tight lid on my Tupperware. Because I really like these shoes. S

After I got rid of that container and then another one other one that made me wonder if someone had started some kind of refrigerator compost, I -------- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --{39.} -


REVIEWS

MARILYN LUCE ROBERTSON @MLUCEROBERTSON

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LISA BULL @LISANNISWHOIAM LEADING HEARTS BOOK REVIEWERS

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BOOK REVIEWS MAMA NEEDS A TIME OUT by Heather Riggleman Light-hearted, relevant, and real, this inspirational devotional by women’s speaker, Heather Riggleman, is a power packed staycation for the weary soul of today’s mom. With a relatable style, Heather leads readers through some of the many names of God and how His presence and power will meet you where you are. This clever and insightful book nourishes your mother’s heart while artfully reminding you that you aren’t alone! This devotional packs a punch while not being an overly long read. This book is a must-read for any stressed out mama, parent or grandparent neeeding a time out.— Marilyn Luce Robertson RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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WHERE LOVE BEGINS SERIES

HERE TO STAY by Melissa Tagg

Melissa Tagg writes with a quick-witted and energetic dialog that keeps her readers turning page after page. Her characters are humorous, engaging and endearing. Clean romantic comedy is not easy to find. Melissa delivers a heartwarming and giggle inducing love story in Here to Stay, the second in the Where Love Begins series. Blake Hunziker appears after leaving Miranda “Randi” Woodruff (Made to Last, book one of the Where Love Begins series) back in his home town after chasing adventure and running from his past. Not only does he begin to find himself, but also begins to fall for the most unlikely girl. Here to Stay will not disappoint lovers of RomCom. In fact, be careful not to read it in a quiet room filled with people because you may laugh out loud! Melissa Tagg is a genuinely sweet and comical writer. The humor is soft and relatable, the characters genuine and loveable. —Lisa Bull RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS

TONGUE PIERCED by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson “Pure language isn’t a requirement of a close walk with God; it’s a result.” The latest from best-selling author Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson, Pierced: How the Words You Speak Transform the Life You Live, is a practical guide to understanding the role our tongue plays in everyday life, and the eternal significance of its power in our lives and the lives of others. Tongue Pierced touches on a much-overlooked part of everyday life that has staggering power for good or evil, and includes a 30-day challenge. Ideal for both personal and small group study, Tongue Pierced includes a series of reflection/discussion questions at the end of each chapter. These questions help readers carefully examine the language choices they make on a daily basis . — Marilyn Luce Robertson RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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REVIEWS

HEATHER VAN ALLEN @HEATHERVANALLEN LEADING HEARTS MUSIC REVIEWER

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MUSIC REVIEWS DARLENE ZSCHECH

In Jesus’ Name: A Legacy of Worship Those familiar with early Hillsong, led by Darlene Zschech, and famous for a host of praise and worship songs, such as “Shout to the Lord,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” “The Potter’s Hand” and numerous others, may find Darlene’s new album, In Jesus’ Name: A Legacy of Worship and Faith, to be a nostalgic experience. While listening to the tracks, you can almost see the Church celebrating in song—people standing with hands raised, praising and worshiping God. The classic collection of live recordings, released February 10, delivers the high energy listeners of Darlene Zschech-led Hillsong albums know well. In addition to the classic track list is Darlene’s song “My Highest Hope,” written during her recent battle with cancer. The song—and the album—are “a declaration that despite what our circumstances are, we have hope and victory In Jesus’ Name.” RATING: 4 OUT OF 5

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WORSHIP MOB Carry the Fire With its debut album, Carry the Fire, releasing March 3, 2015, Worship Mob presents a somewhat out-of-the-box approach to worship music. Though some of the songs are familiar, such as “Oceans/Nothing But the Blood” and “You Make Me Brave,” the arrangements are innovative, several offering a deeply meditative, prayerful tone--or an opportunity to “soak in the presence of God,” as worship leader and Worship Mob co-founder (along with Garrett Chynoweth) Sean Mulholland puts it. As you take in certain tracks, you may feel your pulse and pace slowing a bit—perfect for those moments when stress begins to take over. When you need to pull away from the noise, and get into the calm and peaceful place of being along with God, you might want to grab a copy of Carry the Fire. RATING: 4 1/2 OUT OF 5

IWORSHIP Now/Next 2015 iWorship Now/Next 2015, a two-disc set available now, is a compilation of the most popular music that thousands of churches currently use in contemporary praise and worship sessions, as well as the most anticipated song selections for the near future. The album features a mix of artists, including All Sons & Daughters, Kari Jobe, Paul Baloche, Tim Hughes, Bluetree, Rend Collective, Darlene Zschech, Martin Smith, Lincoln Brewster, The City Harmonic, and more. With tracks ranging from soft and mellow to makes-you-want-todance loud and raucous, this album extends praise and worship beyond the church walls. Often, when daily life is busy and stressful, and we feel weak and weary, a time of personal praise and worship, along with an album like iWorship Now/Next 2015, is the perfect way to invoke the presence and power of our loving God and allow Him to work in our lives. RATING:4 3/4 OUT OF 5 STARS

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BY SHARON NORRIS ELLIOT @SANEWRITER AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.LifeThatMatters.net

TRUTH

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HOLD ON “IN GENESIS CHAPTER 32,

JACOB WRESTLES WITH GOD.

Before this passage, Jacob finds himself at a time in his life in which he is facing his biggest fear. He is about to meet up with his brother Esau. The last time he saw Esau was 20 years earlier right after he and their mother Rebecca had conspired together to steal Esau’s blessing from their father. At the time, Esau had vowed to kill Jacob, so Rebecca sent Jacob away. Jacob ended up bumping into his cousin Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban (his mother’s brother), and falling in love with her. The story of his life and developing family gets quite convoluted from there and you can read that on another occasion. Suffice it to say that here is Jacob now, 20 years later, and his sordid past has caught up with him. All his tricks have played out. Jacob has no other option but to hold on to God for dear life and insist upon a

blessing. What should we do when we reach places like this? The first thing to do is grab hold of God and refuse to let go; latch on. Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” Struggle with God in prayer, in waiting, in praise, in continuing to believe God’s word despite what culture or current reality looks like, and in witnessing to who you know God to be regardless of the fact that His silence may seem like He doesn’t care. Second, listen for your new name. The Man asked Jacob his name and then changed it from Jacob to Israel. The struggle had changed Jacob’s name from “Supplanter” to “Prince with God.” Pay attention to what your life experiences with God have taught you, and listen to those experiences to see how God has changed your name. Third, start walking with your limp. Verses 25 and 31 speak of the fact that the Man “touched the socket

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of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint.” Something Jacob had always depended upon before—his hip—was now “out of joint.” He could no longer depend upon it to walk straight. Jacob’s contact with the Man at this juncture of his life caused him to walk differently—more carefully and with more sensitivity. Others will see your limp; they will see how your contact with God has affected you and they will be effected by that. In verse 32, we read that the children of Israel did not eat meat from that area of an animal’s body as remembrance of what God taught Jacob. Your issues are not for you. Others will learn to meet with God in the areas where you’ve struggled with God. Finally, know that you will last. The Man told Jacob, “You have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” The Hebrew word for prevail, yachol, means to be able, have power. Also, verse 30 says, “So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” The Hebrew word for persevere, vattinnatzel, means delivered, snatched away from the brink. Your struggle with God will result in ability, power,

and deliverance. Latch on, listen, limp, and last. From time to time, expect to come to issues in your life with which you will have to struggle. There is nothing wrong with struggling with God. Know that in the end, you will last. Even though you will come out walking with a limp, take inventory and listen for your new name as you insist upon latching on until God blesses you. No matter what, hold on. S


MEET OUR CONTRIBUT reviews

LISA BULL is a book reviewer and 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. www.mommalisaof2@wordpress.com MARILYN LUCE ROBERTSON, book review contributor for Leading Hearts magazine, is a copywriter and freelancer who lives in Springfield, MO with her husband and young son. www.luceleaf.wordpress.com

meet linda

LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD @LINDASHEPHERD is publisher of Leading Hearts magazine. She is also a best-selling author, an in-demand speaker, and president of Right to the Heart ministries. She is founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). She lives in Colorado with husband Paul, daughter Laura and son Jimmy. www.Sheppro.com

meet amber

AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY @BAREFACEDGIRL is managing editor and art director for Leading Hearts magazine. She is a writer, speaker and multi-award winning editor, having spent over 18 years in the magazine publishing industry. When not working on Leading Hearts, she provides communications and social media support for non-profit organizations and missionaries. She and her Brit-native husband Philip live in Missouri with their three daughters: Saffron, Imogen and Penelope.

www.AWSA.com

HEATHER VAN ALLEN, music review columnist for Leading Hearts magazine, finds some tunes in her earbuds to be a great way to get into the writing zone. She writes from her home in Springfield, MO. www.HeatherVanAllen.wordpress.com


columns ANGELA BREIDENBACH is a captivating speaker, coach and 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. www.AngelaBreidenbach.com

TORS

PENELOPE CARLEVATO is an author of Tea on the Titanic and First Class Etiquette. She speaks on hospitality, historical entertaining, and etiquette and manners for all ages and all occasions. Penelope lives in the Denver, CO. area and is the grandmother of 11. www.PenelopesTeaTime.com MICHELLE S. COX is an author and speaker and the creator of the Just 18 Summers® parenting resources and products.To visit her parenting blog go to www.just18summers.com and www.Facebook.com/just18summers.

KIM BOYCE KOREIBA is a former Miss Florida and Top Ten Semi-Finalist in the Miss America Pageant who went on to a highly successful career in Christian music. Kim is an author and vibrant speaker who uses her talents to communicate her passions for walking with God, being a godly wife and mother and living a faith-filled life. www.kimboycemusic.com 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, www.HeatherRiggleman.com. JENNIFER TAYLOR is a music and profile contributor for Leading Hearts magazine. LISA TROYER is a wife, mom, singer/songwriter, radio host, speaker, author and encourager. For information on how to get a free download of her book, A Place to Belong, www.findaplacetobelong.com.

features

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. www.IChooseMyBestLife.Com SHARON NORRIS ELLIOT engaging yet challenging messages touch hearts and tickle the funny-bones of her audiences, making her a popular, sought-after speaker. She and husband James enjoy their empty nest in Southern California. www.lifethatmatters.net 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” (Hebrew for “dear young friend”). www.EdnaEllison.com PAM FARREL along with husband Bill are speakers and authors of 40 books including their newest: 7 Simple Skills for Success for Men. For more information visit www.LoveWise.com KATHY COLLARD MILLER is a speaker and author whose newest book Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today released in January. Find her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com REBEKAH BINKLEY MONTGOMERY is author of Faithprints. Find her online at www.rebekahmontgomery.com 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. www.rhondarhea.com

— s i h t n think o

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

psalm 143:8 (niv)

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in YOU. Show me the way I should go, for to YOU I entrust my life.”


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Leading Hearts March/April 2015 Issue  

This issue of Leading Hearts is dedicated to the season of Spring Cleaning—our thoughts, our calendars, our relationships and our spiritua...

Leading Hearts March/April 2015 Issue  

This issue of Leading Hearts is dedicated to the season of Spring Cleaning—our thoughts, our calendars, our relationships and our spiritua...

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