Page 1

3

, S E Y N

A C U O Y OVERCOME

FEELING STUCK? WAYS TO

RETHINK YOUR CALL

^

!

DETOURS & DISAPPOINTMENTS

KAY WILLS WYMA

COPING WITH COMPARISON

TAMMY TRENT

FINDING SPACE TO HEAL


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EVEN THE WIND OBEYS “THE SUMMER EVENING TURNED BLACK AS TORNADO SIRENS BLARED.“ I stood over the bed of my medically fragile daughter. Together we were about to face a day I’d hoped would never come. It wasn’t suppose to. The word on the street was, “We’re safe from tornados because the Colorado foothills protect us.” But the trouble was that the fast moving storm was blowing the wrong way; towards the mountains instead of east towards Kansas. While quarter-size hail threatened to rain shards of glass from the skylight overhead, the air crackled with electricity. How I longed to take my daughter into the basement, but her wheelchair wouldn’t make the trip. She was too heavy to carry and too fragile to drag. So there we were, stuck in harms way, with only a mattress and the name of Jesus to protect us. With only the name of Jesus? I faced the blackness outside our window as I stood my ground, commanding the tornado to “go up,” in the name of Jesus. The sky turned orange and the heavens roared like a freight train while I tucked Laura beneath her bed and continued to pelt heaven with my prayers. That storm stuck against the mountain and stayed there, rebuilding on itself for almost six hours. Just when I thought the terror would never stop, the storm ended with a boom of a lightening strike. The News-at-10 revealed that an E-3 tornado had passed only a mile away, destroying homes as it thundered toward the foothills. The next day, not sure which neighborhood the mon-

FROM THE PUBLISHER ster had entered, I felt the urge to call a friend, a friend who wasn’t quite ready to believe in God. “Did you see the tornado?” I asked when she picked up the phone. “Did I? I heard a noise outside and stepped onto my porch and looked up, directly into the wall of the tornado just over my house. That’s when I saw my neighbor’s roof sail by.” “Did you get hit?” “No and the odd thing was the tornado jumped over my house before it exploded the rest of the neighborhood.” “Do you know what I was praying while that tornado was on the ground?” I asked. “What?” “Go up, tornado, go up in the name of Jesus!” My friend sucked in her breath. “Well, I have to admit, that was a really good prayer.” Whatever you are facing today, I want this issue of Leading Hearts to remind you first and foremost that the name of Jesus is the most is the most precious and powerful weapon that can ever rely on even if it is the only weapon we have. S Blessings,

LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD PUBLISHER, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

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EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP

LEADING HEARTS JULY/AUGUST 2015 VOL. 2, ISSUE 3

EDITORIAL STAFF PUBLISHER.. ..................Linda Evans Shepherd EDITOR/ART DIRECTOR.....Amber Weigand-Buckley ADVERTISING. ............... Linda Evans Shepherd & Angelina Locricchio COPY EDITOR...............Julie Gillies EDITORIAL SECRETARY. ....Angelina Locricchio CONTRIBUTING WRITERS. .................................................. Angela Breidenbach, Rebekah Binkley Montgomery, 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: lindareply@gmail.com MEMBER | 2015 Evangelical Press Association Award of Merit Winner All rights reserved. Copyrighted material reprinted with permission Photos courtesy of: bjarnett.com, Barbour Books, David Dobson Photography, Dollar Photo Club, Eurasia Cafe, Gotee Records, Kerry Kara Photography /KLS Photos & Imaging, Deanna Sammons Photography (Inlight Studios), gretchencarlson.com, Leafwood Press, +180 RECORDS, Provident/Sony Entertainment, tammytrent.com, Thomas Nelson, Revell, 7-N Music, Waterbrook Press, Word Entertainment and Zondervan.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

8

I’M HAPPY FOR YOU (SORT OF)

11 THE TIGHTROPE WALK 14 3 WAYS TO RETHINK YOUR CALL

18 SUCCESS REDEFINED 20 TAMMY TRENT FINDING SPACE TO HEAL

24 LORD, YOU’RE

INTERUPTING (AGAIN)

26 AND SHE FOLLOWED 45 YOUR KEY TO MOBILE MARKETING

this issue

every issue 27 INSPIRED

31 LIFEBYTES

34 HEALTH TRACKS 37 PRAYER CIRCLE 38 BELLY LAUGHS 40 REVIEWS 47 TRUTH


IT’S HEADED RIGHT TOWARD US

“IT WAS NOVEMBER 2012 AND

A CNN HEADLINE REPORTED METEORS IN RUSSIA. The blast injured

1,000 people and news reported another even bigger rock “headed right toward us.” It was the making of movies and Mayan predictions that seem so unreal, but when reality strikes there is still a glaze of disbelief, fear in uncertainty and that big “this might be it” feeling. This meteor phenomenon has never been more evident in the world of Christian publishing than in the past seven years. Having spent almost 19 years as professional in the Evangelical Press, I can honestly say it’s a time like no other. A time of opportunity, with the advances of technology, for the capacity of the message of Christ’s love to reach boldly where it has never gone before. It’s also a time of testing as publishing houses shut their production and the print world as we know it is turned on its head. I have seen my share of big fiery doomsday rocks heading right for the heart of the call God created in me. I saw magazine upon magazine cut the fat and close it’s doors, which eventually hit me after 16 years of producing an award-winning youth magazine. One of the most profound miracles during this time was in 2006, when I was brought into my boss’ office and told the print magazine was shutting down. In less than 24 hours, God turned that decision around and gave me seven more years invest in that ministry. Even though I was thankful for those years, that season of my life closed in June 2012. In that time, God helped me realize that instead of being obediant— giving ownership to God’s hand in my life to shape my path where He needed to take me—I was holding on for dear life to my agenda. I was so scared that God didn’t have my next chapter mind.

FROM THE EDITOR In fact, in just a few months after I let go, out of the blue Linda Shepherd invited me to work with her on developing Leading Hearts magazine. Shortly after I started working on the second issue I happened to pull out my high school memories book. I realized I had nothing penned about teen magazines. In fact I said in 10 years I saw myself as editor for a Christian Woman’s magazine.... and here it is. God is faithful, and He is still multiplying this mustard seed for His glory. As women in leadership we must anticipate the whatever-may-comes—all the distractions and discouragements and pitfalls being thrown in our path— keeping us off task. But the reality is, that is what we signed up for, to be on the front lines—and those rocks are zeroed in and headed right towards us. That’s why we need to keep Galatians 6:9 in front of our faces: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV). We have also made a new way for you to be encouraged with Leading Hearts Mobile Sisterhood Support weekly leadership resources, devotions and giveaways sent directly to your cell phone. Just text LEADINGHEARTS (no space) to 95577. If you are experiencing struggle, disappointment or stuckness in ministry, this issue of Leading Hearts is for you! S

Peace! AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY EDITOR, LEADING HEARTS MAGAZINE

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“MEMORIES OF MY OWN

SWIM MEETS FLOODED MY MIND AS I WATCHED MY SON BREASTSTROKE HIS WAY DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE POOL. Watching Fury swim his heart out in lane four, I somehow started to channel the traits of my swim-team coach.

Every time Fury’s head came out of the water, I yelled, “Hup! Hup! Hup! Go, go, go!” getting louder and louder the farther he progressed. Then I frantically, at the top of my lungs, added to my “Hups” and Gos,” “Quit looking! . . . Don’t look! . . . Go! Hup, hup, hup . . . Stop looking!” Because every time the kid’s head came up for air, he was checking out the lanes next to him. It was ridiculous. Fury, accustomed to my weirdness, did nothing but shoot me a little smile-shrug when he got out of the pool. Then he walked over, and I gave him a big hug, proud that he’d tried so hard. In fact he won his heat. We started to walk back to his team’s staging area. His looking around still on my mind, I said, “You know, you might have won your heat, but I’m not sure about the event. It’s not a big deal one way or the other, as

long as you did your best. But you might have been a bit waylaid by looking around to see what everyone else was doing.” “Your race really isn’t against those kids swimming next to you,” I continued. “It’s against the wall. Your heat could be fast or slow. There’s no way of knowing. You’re not racing against the kids who happen to be in the pool at the same time you are. You’re racing for the wall.” Whatever my son took away from our conversation, I certainly learned a lesson. Looking from side to side, comparing myself to others, tracking my performance in reference to fellow sojourners has significantly more power than I realize. In a best-case scenario, comparison distracts. The looking from side to side, the obsession with others, slows me down. But continually measuring my progress against others often has an even more detrimental impact. It takes my eyes off my own goal and my unique purpose, and it leads me to believe I need to keep up or get ahead or change to fit in. Worse, comparison can take me completely off course. It lures me into someone else’s lane, fools me into thinking their path is better than mine. Caught up with moving into lane after lane in hopes of finding the right/fast/best one, I may never actually reach the wall.

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And worst of all, comparison centers on the others who represent or remind me of all I should have, do, or be in order to live my best possible life. In laymen’s terms, it’s called envy. Most days, I’m not even aware that my thoughts are being held hostage to comparison. It’s become almost instinctive to measure goals, accomplishments, and events against what someone else has achieved or gained. Certainly healthy comparison can inspire us to reach higher and farther. There’s nothing wrong with a young athlete admiring an Olympic champion and aspiring to one day reach a similar status. And an entry-level employee should be humble enough to believe she can learn from those farther along on their career path. But when our preoccupation with what others around us are thinking or doing begins to dictate our own thoughts and actions, we’re entering dangerous territory. In our constant measuring, our assessing the size of the gap yawning between them and us, we unknowingly become obsessed with self. Our thoughts turn from healthy inspiration toward jealousy, insecurity, fear, justification, judgment. So here’s the surprising thing about the side-toside glance: it doesn’t have to steal our joy. What if, instead of looking at others as a measure of our own value, we looked at them simply to appreciate and even celebrate their successes? What if, instead

of racing against them, we viewed ourselves as racing alongside them, each of us reaching for our own personal best? Am I racing to the wall, embracing the challenge? Or am I frantically comparing myself along the way, viewing others as competitors whose position defines my worth? The thing I’m beginning to realize about obsessive comparison is that it has compelled us to adopt for ourselves goals that were never ours to begin with. Goal setting is important when they’re our goals. They help with direction and keep us going when we’re tired. Whatever the goal, the race is to the wall, spurred on but not defined by others’ performances. If I can keep in mind that the wall to which I am racing has been uniquely predestined and calibrated to my specifications, I can break free from envy and discontent. I can find satisfaction in doing my best. S Excerpted from I’m Happy for You (Sort Of…Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma Copyright © 2015 by Kay Wills Wyma. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

FINDING CONTENTMENT IN A CULTURE OF COMPARISON

BY KAY WILLS WYMA @THEMOATBLOG AUTHOR/SPEAKER --------www.themoatblog.com


“THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT DOING GOD’S WORK IN THIS WORLD...” —CAROL KENT

AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR & SPEAKER

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM LISA TROYER—

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“WOMEN WITH A HEART FOR BY PAM FARREL @PAMFARREL AUTHOR/SPEAKER --------www.Love-Wise.com

MINISTRY CAN OFTEN FEEL THE DOUBLE BIND OF WANTING TO PLEASE GOD AND USE HER GIFTS AND WANTING TO PLEASE HER HUSBAND. Some

days it feels easy to please both; while other days, some feel like these are mutually exclusive goals. A woman’s heart can feel fractured as she tries to walk to tightrope that seems strung between these two vital goals. At one point of our marriage, I too felt like I was walking the tightrope. And, just as an acrobat skillfully steps one careful step after another, God will lead you, as He led me across the high wire where everyone can succeed at life and love.

The Tension

As a college student, I felt called into fulltime ministry even before I met and married my husband. I saw God’s hand of favor over me as I exercised my spiritual gifts of leadership, writing, speaking, teaching and encouragement. While newlyweds in youth ministry, it seemed easy to accomplish the goal of being a “helpmeet” to Bill and heartily and easily use my God –given strengths in ministry. But mix in a few children and raise the responsibility level in life and the tension between the two sides of the tightrope grew. When Bill and I moved to the San Diego area so he could begin his career as a senior pastor, I was very excited—initially. I was convinced God had called US, as a TEAM, to encourage families. We packed up our beautiful three bedroom home, with a beautiful big backyard and moved into a tiny apartment. -continued on p. 12-

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-continued from p. 11Bill hit the pavement running and leading this church required a pretty intense focus on Bill’s part. I was just as committed to the success of our new pursuit, but I had my own pressures. I was the primary caretaker of our two preschool boys and I was working on completing my undergraduate degree a few classes at a time. We were living in a two-bedroom apartment and money was tight so we only had one car that Bill and I shared. As I whittled away on my degree, I was working on growing women’s ministry (what I felt like was the best way to be a “helpmeet”). I threw myself whole heartedly into ministry. Bill didn’t always see my enthusiasm toward ministry as a positive thing. He had made two promises to me when he married me. (1) He would always see time with our children as a “fathering privilege” not babysitting and (2) he wanted me to be faithful in using the gifts God had given me. But now both of these promises mixed with the heavy load of a solo pastor at a small but growing church was making him feel overwhelmed. While Bill is always a kind man, by his actions, complaints and coolness toward me, I could sense the stress my desire to exercise my gifts was causing in him—and in our relationship.

I am usually a very positive individual, but a depression blindsided me.

Instead of being proud of him, a man who was a senior pastor at the young age of 28, I added in my own complaints of, “Why did you do this to me?” “How long do we have to live like this?” A wall of ice covered my heart, and as the resentment grew my desire to follow Bill’s leadership shrank. I was struggling with who I was, what my new role would be in this church and community, and how I would survive such a drastic change. Submitting to Bill’s version of the plan felt like I was supposed to move in ministry at the slow speed of a creeping glacier! If submission got me to this place, then I was not sure about why or how I was supposed to obey both God’s commands to submit and the command to “not neglect your gift”(1 Tim. 4:14). At the same time I was facing my struggle between

two commands, Bill also felt the tension between successfully using his shepherding and teaching gifts with the command of loving me “as Christ loved the church, and give Himself up for her . . .” and the added explanation of how to love by nourishing and cherishing me (Eph. 5:25, 29 )

The Transformation

Powerful, lasting love does not happen by accident. It is reserved for couples who are willing to venture onto the scarcely traveled path of Ephesians 5. In verse 21, Paul charged couples to: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The term used here for “submit” comes from the Greek word which means “to line one’s self up under”. The word is a military term that refers to an officer who voluntarily ranks himself under another officer to help fulfill the mission. It is a position of great strength (not weakness) to be able to subordinate oneself and it is a position of great influence to give of yourself so that someone you love can succeed. Paul repeated the command to wives to “submit to your husbands as to the Lord” (v. 22) When a wife chooses to give of herself to help her husband fulfill his dreams and responsibilities, she lives out the Genesis of our gender, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Gen. 2:18) What we women miss is that when we function from the strong choice to submit, we become extremely valuable to our husband and God can help his heart bond to us, and his desire to help us blossom, grow, and fulfill our passions and desires increase. In a word, a wife’s powerful choice to submit helps her man CHERISH her.

I knew this but still had no idea how to walk it out.

But one day, I went to the closet to get something off the top shelf. In reaching for the box, everything off the top shelf fell on me. “I hate it here!” I cried. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on top of a load of dirty laundry and I was sobbing! I don’t know how long I sat there but in toddled my two little boys. I gathered them onto my lap and rocked them as I prayed, “God, I know this is not the abundant life you planned! (John 10:10). Give me an answer to this pain! God, I know Bill can’t be very happy either. He’s been coming home to complaints and my whin-

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ing. (And that makes him want to come home to me! NOT!) I have been believing lies about him. I’ve said some awful things, like, ‘You don’t care about me!’ (and I know he does) and, ‘Your job is more important than me. ” (Which I knew wasn’t how Bill felt) Lord, Help me figure out what to do!” I pulled out my Bible and read a very familiar passage in Ephesians 5. One phrase seemed to be in neon lights! “…the wife must respect her husband.” Are you sure about this, God? Isn’t there a loophole for situations like mine? I got out all my Bible study tools and I went looking for the loophole! However, instead of finding a reason to opt out of submission, I discovered a great reason to opt In: God loved me! Even if I couldn’t see how to trust Bill’s leadership, I could begin by trusting God’s. I recalled all the times I had said “Yes” to Jesus and the result was that eventually, my life would improve, I’d feel closer to the God and I always gained an inner contentment. I decided to say “Yes” to God by faith, trusting that if I yielded to God somehow things would get better. But now I needed to know how to do it. I decided to dig in and looked up synonyms of honor and respect.

I needed to do 3 things...

• See Bill as God sees Bill—a man worthy of respect because God created him. Bill was a gift to me, my life and my future because God designed Bill for me as the perfect leader, nurturer and protector of my heart. • Speak to Bill the way God speaks to Bill—with loving, encouraging but honest words. The Bible says we should use words to “build one another up.” • Serve Bill the way God serves Bill— Jesus gave his life to provide the best for Bill (and me). It was the ultimate act of kindness, so surely I could follow that example and look for ways to help Bill succeed in this new environment. I called Bill up and asked to take him to lunch. I reached across the table, took his hand, and said, “I’m sorry for the way I have treated you. I just want you to know, if I never get the things I think will make me happy, the new home, the new car, all those things, that’s okay. From this day forward, I want you to know

”I am on YOUR team!”

I showed respect by adjusting the use of my gifts around Bill’s responsibilities.

I also looked for ways to help him succeed in his new role in ways that made him feel valued—not just in the way I wanted to use my gifts. And I p.r.a.y.e.d. and w.a.i.t.e.d. for God to work on Bill’s heart toward me and my ministry. And God was faithful, God began to lead Bill in ways to “nourish and cherish” me. While studying the various translations of this verse, it was apparent that Bill was called to “feed and care for” me with the same diligence he was looking after his own needs. One commentator described “nourish and cherish” as the same kind of love a mother bird has for her offspring. “Feed” means she is willing to fly where ever needed to find rich nutrients for her chickadee. And “cherish” is the delicate way she nurtures in order to help her youngster mature to launch from the nest and soar. My decision to submit to Bill’s leadership opened up many wonderful doors, including the opportunity to watch Bill build our dream home, hammering it up while I completed my English degree. Then Bill took our meager savings and sent me to a writer’s conference while he watched all three children, including a newborn. The year we moved into our new home, I graduated college and our first marriage book was published. Simply stepping out in faith and submitting to God made me a happier person; Bill submitting to God made him happier too and our marriage became healthier because we both looked for ways to help the other succeed! God blessed us both as this story is written up in our best-seller, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, which has been translated into 15 languages! What we learned is that often it is the TENSION in the tightrope that makes it easier for the acrobat to walk across the high wire. In a similar way, the TENSION we felt drove each of us to seek the heart of God and LEARN what God had called us to do to show love to each other AND love for ministry. God has a way to help each couple meet someplace in the middle, the place both ministry and marriage can thrive. S

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BY REBEKAH BINKLEY MONTGOMERY AUTHOR/SPEAKER ---------

www.rebekahmontgomery.com

FAITHPRINTS 3 CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHRISTIAN WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

RETHINKING YOUR CALL ”

“I AM NOT A BORN LEADER.

commander was unwilling to go without Deborah.

As the seventh of 8 children, I was born a follower, lost in a crowd. Like David, who was considered “least among his brethren,” God saw something in me not apparent to anyone — including me — and singled me out for leadership. But not without training.

3. Let God make a way for your gifts to be used within your church. There are two seemly conflicting underlying scriptural principles at work here: “Let everything be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses” and “If they do not accept your message, shake the dust off your feet.”

David and Moses led sheep: I led cats. Sincerely following the Great Commission to preach the gospel to every creature, I taught flannel graph Bible lessons to my congregation of barnyard cats. I sincerely pleaded with them to accept Jesus before they accidentally met their Maker beneath the wheels of farm equipment. I know the angels rejoiced when I led four tabbies and a calico in the Sinner’s Prayer! Which brings us to our first two considerations:

Throughout the history of both Judaism and Christianity, God opened doors for His messengers over the protests of the religious establishment. These instances are well documented in Scripture; so let me give you examples from my own experience:

1. Practice conscientious leadership with whatever group—sheep, cats, children—God gives you to lead. If you lead faithfully in a small arena, He’ll open bigger arenas for you. 2. Recognize and creatively compensate for limitations that might be placed on you because of your gender. Some think women should focus their energies on breaking down any gender imposed limitations imposed by a church. There is a time and place for that, however unless God specifically calls you to this, it is far more productive to exercise your calling within your church’s boundaries. The prophetess Deborah (See Judges 4:4.) is a sterling example of a woman who recognized societal and religious limitations placed on women but was still faithful to God’s call on her life. She knew what God wanted done buy she also recognized that the army wouldn’t follow a woman into battle. So she stirred Barak, the commander, to action. The soldiers were unwilling to follow a woman, but the

When my husband and I moved we began attending a church by direct leading of the Lord. I wondered what God was thinking because the pastor of was opposed to women in any ministry other than “manning” the nursery. Over a few months, a friendship developed and I showed him Scriptures describing godly female leadership. Eventually, I was added to the pastoral staff and the pastor went on to teach classes in female Christian leadership at a wellknown university. What a switcheroo! On the other hand, after another relocation, we joined a church where women regularly participated in the church—until a new pastor came. Theologically, he believed in female leadership; but personally, he was intimidated by gifted people. One by one, those with ability found different churches and the pastor was left wondering why he had to do everything. God needs a Dorcas—who built a church with a needle, a Lydia—that business woman who established the Philippian church, the woman at the well, and so many others, Don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps. S

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INSPIRED

B.J. ARNETT — TAKING THE BIBLE CENTER STAGE As a familiar face and personality to Atlanta television viewers, B.J. Arnett (www.bjarnett.com) has worked as a news anchor, entertainment/lifestyle reporter and host for GPTV, 11Alive News and TV69 (the now CW). With her husband Cameron, the Arnett’s host the nationally syndicated Christian talk show Atlanta Live and their own weekly show BYOBB (Bring Your Own Bible, Baby!). (www.byobb.com) What began as a street team in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia, with the heart of the Arnetts focused on saving souls through the gospel of Jesus Christ, quickly grew into a television ministry with a viewership in over 50 million homes nationally and in 125 countries worldwide. Through BYOBB™, not only were local club hoppers, strippers and souls under Atlanta’s bridges aware of the power of God through this ministry, but nations from the Netherlands down to the Caribbean began experiencing it as well! BYOBB™ features the latest Christian artists and performances, and highlights the hottest advocates for Christ in traditional and non–traditional spaces. S —LEADING HEARTS STAFF

coming soon...

n the podcast LIVE FROM AWSA 2015

CHATTING IN THE HALL WITH B.J. ARNETT GET CONNECTED @LEADINGHEARTS.COM

GETTING REAL WITH GRETCHEN Gretchen Carlson (www.gretchencarlson.com) is known for many things. First in her role as Miss America, and then as a journalist and host of “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” on Fox News. But it wasn’t until I read her new book, Getting Real, and had the opportunity to chat with her that I got to know the real Gretchen Carlson. Gretchen grew up in Anoka, Minnesota, with loving parents who taught their daughter she could be anything she wanted to be. Gretchen’s grandparents were also a huge influence in her life. Her grandpa called her “Sparkles,” a nickname she still loves. He was the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, a church that once had 850 members, but grew to 8,500 under his leadership. Gretchen says, “He told people he was selling insurance for eternal life.” Her grandpa’s sermons and his life had a big impact on her and Gretchen took those principles to heart. She says, “If faith was the centerpiece of our lives, music was a close second.” She first held a violin in her hands at the age of six—and a love affair was born, one that would take the child prodigy from smaller venues in the early years to the stage of the Miss America pageant. But it took years of hard work, discipline and sacrifice to achieve those dreams.

When asked why she wanted to write her book, Gretchen replies, “I was blessed with an amazing family. This was a way to share those values and S morals and how they shaped me.” —MICHELLE S. COX - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -{15.} ------ ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


SUCCESS Redefined “I’VE BEEN STUMBLING ALONG A NEW PATH AS A WORKING MOM AND COLLEGE STUDENT. I’M WORN OUT AND WEARY. OFTEN I FIND MYSELF STARING AT THE CEILING LATE AT NIGHT WONDERING WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING?

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

heatherriggleman.com


More often than not I think—I’m failing as a mom, which is then countered by, What about my dreams as a writer–a journalist? What about that manuscript collecting dust in the office? What about the deadlines and that promotion?

Instead of comparing myself to other women I view as “successful” and succumbing to the cultural and generational mindsets that call women to break ceilings, I’ve learned to pace myself in this journey, week-by-week.

Dreams, career, marriage, kids can weigh a woman down. So in this modern work place that still echoes 1950, I had to ask myself a question which could flip the table and this life. Perhaps you need to ask it too.

Each woman, no matter the age or title or responsibility, has her own moment of truth—a wake-up call in which she needs to step off the beaten path and redefine what success means. Do we really want to leave a legacy and pass on wisdom and memories to our kids or just a display of our best work over the years? An article by Anne Marie Slaughter taught me that– Here is a woman highly successful, rubbing elbows with the president and drinking champagne —what she really longed for was to embrace what God called her to as a mother.

Is it worth it? Can I have it all?

Professionally, I’ve always been intensely hungry, the pangs sometimes have been as intense as those 3 a.m. feedings and changing dirty diapers. No one told me it would be this hard. No one taught me how to embrace my calling as a mother while balancing my passion as I grow the next generation of the Riggleman Crew. No one said, you can have it all but choices will need to be made. And that thing called balance? It’s elusive and rare to find in any rhythm. And I think the rest of moms my age are waking up to it too. We are realizing breaking glass ceilings aren’t nearly as time spent nurturing our children. As devoted mothers and career women–we have two jobs, not one. On any given day we are pulled in a 1,000 different directions between work, kids, PTA, Room Mom, birthday treats, deadlines, projects, dry cleaning, hustling kids from one place to the next–when I find myself asking, “Is this worth it?”

I realize my leadership role tripled the day I took on the title of mom. The work of raising little people burdens my heart, so much. I want them to know they are fiercely loved, the labor of bringing them into this world didn’t stop at birth I’m still juggling kids’ schedules and late night work hours. I’m still forgetting important moments like birthday treats for pre-school. I’m still stacking deadlines and over-commitments, one plate on top of another, trying hard to keep it all from teetering to a crash because I’ve had a glimpse of the future on the horizon.

My dreams, my children halfway grown, all the loose threads of to-dos weaving together into a tapestry at the end of this journey. And I want it–I want it more than how America defines success and have come to embrace the idea, we can’t have it all.

Re-define It

If she can re-define “having it all,” why shouldn’t we? Having it all means mothering well and learning to balance dreams too . So we slow the pace and create a new rhythm. For me, it means breathing room for parenting and letting go of what I thought were “the essentials to a successful life.” It means surrendering every day to God who already knows what’s ahead on my journey anyway. It means bumping into my limitations and embracing them — this includes cluttered cupboards, messy drawers and letting go of a glossy magazine ready photos of our home. It means sitting at the age of 33 in a classroom of 19 year olds– one semester at a time.

I’m inching my way through my dreams.

I want to keep the big picture in focus while being realistic about what I can do now. To do this I must surrender my heart to the idea that professional success needs to be tucked in around the edges of motherhood.

I’m not doing it all, nor am I doing it well or completely.

I tell my to do list it is no longer the boss of me as I fumble along. I’m learning a new pace on this crazy, wild, pregnant journey of being a mom, college student, and career woman. From here, I can breathe deep and make connections. And this rhythm–it’s stirring something inside of me that I haven’t felt in a long time. Peace. Who knew that redefining success and embracing my family’s pace could yield to something every working mom needs. Peace S .

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LIKE ‘TAMMY TRENT’ ON FACEBOOK.

tammy trent FEELING THE SUN AGAIN

“I will never forget waking up in the home of two doctors that were watching out for me the night before. He said, “Tammy, come in here. I want to show you the television.”

I walked into that room on the morning of September 11, 2001 as the second plane plowed into the Twin Towers in New York City. I remember thinking, this must be the end of the world because none of this makes sense to me. Like where is God in all of this? I just felt so far away from everything. Watching my America falling apart.

My world fell apart.

I just felt lost but I will never forget just about two phone calls later, after seeing that devastation in America, getting that phone call that they had recovered my husband’s body in the Blue Lagoon. I remember just falling to the ground. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see through my tears. I just asked God, what happened? What part of the plan changed, God? What part of the plan had to change?


I’ve seen music be balm for the weary soul in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, and I’m so honored to be able to somehow contribute to that body of work.” On the same day that America faced on of its greatest tragedies, Christian recording artist and author Tammy Trent endured her greatest tragedy as she learned her husband of 11 years was gone. Tammy and Trent Lenderink met in youth group, dated for seven years before they married at the age of 22. Then, they began doing ministry together as soon as Tammy signed her first recording contract. They were on a Jamaican vacation, talking about starting a family and preparing for a mission trip when Trent did not return from free dive in the Blue Lagoon.

I didn’t know what to do.

The only thing that I could find to do was to just choose to get up every day. So I would set my alarm clock, it would go off and I would get up. I had no plan at that moment. I had no agenda at that moment in my life,” Tammy says. “I just said, “Here I am, God. I’m showing up and I’m trying to trust you. I have to rebuild everything. I don’t even know what that looks like right now. But God, if you put my life back together again, I promise that I will try to do something with this but I need time. I have nothing to give right now. I need a year away. I laid everything down and I just began to heal.”

My healing looked like...

family, friends, pool parties, slumber parties and church on Sunday. “It was life off of a platform for me. That’s where healing began,” Tammy says. “I didn’t have to give anything. God just began to pour into my life and I got stronger and stronger.” She took a year away off the stage to refuel and reroute before her phone began to ring again. Women of Faith called Tammy about a year later and asked her to share her story. She shared on the Women of Faith platform for four years and with the Revolve Tour for two years. “My plan changed in a moment’s time but when I got on those platforms with Women of Faith every weekend, I could honestly say that I was right where God wanted me to be. It didn’t mean that I loved it. It didn’t mean that I loved the new plan in my life. There were still times when I scream and kick and think I hate this part of my life.

BY JENN TAYLOR @JENNTAYLOR417 PROFILE CONTRIBUTOR --------I hate that everything’s changed but here I am and I still know God loves me and I still know God is in this and I still know that there’s purpose for my life, and I still chose to believe that. Even though there were many rainy days, I still chose to believe that there were many sunny days.”

I found purpose in pain.

Tammy began to find healing in front of the Women of Faith audiences who cheered and encouraged her to breathe again. “For me, I had to give myself permission to grieve. I had to give myself permission to process through all of it to ask the tough questions. To walk through scripture and find life through those words.” Tammy says. “I just felt numb. I think in those seasons, I was smart enough to surround myself with amazing, Godly people who loved me, listened to me and didn’t judge me. There were just there with me. They were present with me.” To help begin the healing process, Tammy chose to show up. “Problems are a part of life. But it’s also a part of life if we choose to find resolution and growth in the challenges that we face. Sometimes the choice in life is just as simple as showing up. Show up and let Jesus do something beautiful with your life,” she says. He doesn’t say he will fix it... make sure to show up with a smile on your face.

He says come as you are...

let me heal you. Let me rescue you. Let me save you. And when you become stronger, I promise you this, He will use your life to impact another, and that’s exactly what I have watched Him to do in my life. I have watched God use my life to impact another person and that has taught me how to give my own pain purpose.” -continued on p. 23-

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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

n

AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD ALSO AVAILABLE IN e BOOK FORMAT


3FIND ways to YOUR

HEALING SPACE

-continued from p. 21-

1. Give to other people

Tammy and Trent were together for 18 years and in a moment she had no one to care for or love in that way. “I decided to have some girls’ nights at my house and it gave me a chance to pour into people’s lives. I got to love on them. I got to give to them so that actually helped me to take my eyes off my own pain,” she says noting that getting comfortable with pain can be dangerous. “We can never interpret our numbness as God’s absence in our lives. There’s never a time when Jesus is not present in our lives.”

2. Inject Joy into Your Life

To inject joy in your life, Tammy encourages everyone to seek the Word of God and the presence of God. “The presence of God is all around us so find out what that is for you. If it’s your Sunday morning church service, don’t walk away from it because you need it more than anything. Even if you can’t lift your hands, get there. Let people pour into your life. It will bring you back to life. The Word of God sustains us. It will bring you back to life,” she says. “These moments were not meant to stop us but to form a greater harvest in the coming seasons in our lives.”

3. Get involved

Tammy says her latest album, Sunny Days, is a reflection of her journey to healing and a shout for joy that the storm is over. She hopes it will bring hope and encouragement to others to trust Him and dive in deep. www.tammytrent.com .

Tammy didn’t have anything to give during her tragedy; however, she chose to show up for the little functions at church and she found that she was serving people and serving God. “To become strong to in the broken places of our lives, we need to do two things that are complete opposites: hang in there and let go. To somehow dig up the courage to keep going is the very courage that allows us to pick up the broken pieces of our lives and lay them all down before The One who would do more than just get us through the storm,” she says. “It’s in our brokenness that brings us to the ends of ourselves. When we’re at the end of ourselves, it’s in those moments that we discover the beginning of Christ. The truth is we are all going to go through deep waters by trial, by fire. There’s no if, there’s only a when. But God never allows us to swim alone. It’s God who rescues us every single time. He says I will be with you whenever, wherever and forever. God is always with us even in the tough stuff.” S —Jennifer Taylor

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IN THE LEAD

BY EDNA ELLISON @DREDNAELLISON AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.ednaellison.com

---------

LORD, YOU’RE INTERRUPTING (AGAIN) “LOOKS LIKE WE’LL BE LATE!” MARY SAID. HEATHER AND SUZANNE JOINED HER IN THE YARD TO SURVEY THE SAGGING FRONT TIRE.

“It’s going to be okay,” Heather said. God will work this out.” “Humph! I’ll believe it when I see it. You’re always so cheerful it makes me want to pace even harder. I get nervous when we have to take a detour from our usual route.” Suzanne agreed. “There’s no doubt we’ll be late. And my cell won’t pull up a signal here.” “I’ll go inside and call the church,” said Heather, “and let them know we’ll arrive a bit late.” “A bit!” Ignoring her comment, Heather went inside to use the land line. Suzanne moved closer to Mary, pulling a notepad from her giant purse. “Let’s list the positives from this setback.” “Which planet did you come from? There are no positives in a derailment like this.” Suzanne began to write. “Number one. . .” She paused. “This detour give us extra practice time. Let’s ask Heather to rehearse that last chorus we thought was rough on our earlier practice this morning.” “Yeah, right.” We can rehearse something we’ll never sing anyway.”

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Suzanne continued: “Number two. We can get some fresh air and sunshine.” “Yeah, in this place that smells like an oily toilet and looks like the junk yard.” Mary let both hands fall into a giant slump. Ignoring her again, Suzanne looked at the notebook. “Number three. We could witness to the mechanic. He may need encouragement today.” “How about those people at the dessert table over in that church where we’re headed? Didn’t they invite us to come on time and give them encouragement? Why doesn’t God put them first?” “Hey! This is good!” Heather said, waving her hands as she returned. “The church is starting late anyway! By the time we get back on the road, they’ll be right on time to welcome us.”

S

After opening your planning meeting with prayer, scan the story above and identify the four characters. Using the last issue (or other issues) of Leading Hearts magazine, which personality types were each of the characters? (There may be more than one trait per person.) Have you ever been impatient during a detour? During a church or job transition? What did you learn in the wait? Most experts agree that a detour from the norm is an excellent opportunity to rejuvenate your ministry. During the wait, we may learn facts we didn’t notice when the traditional good leadership had led to daily success. We may see new leaders emerge or discover potential leaders who kept level heads during stress. We may realize our own strength, or realize God’s strength enables us. Above all, we may find that God was leading us in dynamic ways when we didn’t even see Him because of all the piles of chaos our panic had created!

“I hope I’ll find something left to eat. You know how grouchy I get when I’m hungry.”

Take turns leading each of the discussion questions on this page.

Heather and Suzanne bowed their heads instantly, thanking God for His goodness, while Mary continued to fidget and pace. In several minutes, the mechanic came out of the dark garage.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

“Wow, bright sunshine out here!” he said, “but it’s cool, for July. Hope you ladies are enjoying this weather. I put a small plug in your tire, and it’s good as new!” He paused. “Uh. Do you know how to get to that church you mentioned through Reed Road? It’s a shortcut.” “Thanks for the new directions,” Suzanne said, a few moments later. “We’ll arrive on time.” “Uh. . . will you pray for me? When you drove in, I was just asking God to take care of my sick wife in the hospital. I have to work here alone, but I am thinking of her. Sure would make me feel better if you’d pray for us. I wouldn’t feel alone with God watchin’ over her. . . and me, too.” Suzanne assured him they’d pray for both of them, and the trio made it to the event in time to sing—and eat dessert! eJesus said, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet S place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

1. What did you learn from the story in this article? Which of the women gave strong evidence of her faith? Which woman was slowest to realize her opportunity to share God’s love? Which woman was busy interacting with the mechanic? Which woman was a peacemaker? Given the personalities of each of the women, who probably learned the most from the experience? 2. What do you think are the positives of being interrupted by a detour? How about a church detour? Maybe your own ministry detour? 3. How does God show His Presence in the wait time? 4. When have you experienced the truth from Psalm 46:10? [“Be still and know that I am God.”] Share with members of your leadership team. 5. Early in his life, Jesus said, “I must be about my father’s business” (Luke 2:49). Tell about a time you used an unexpected detour to become busy with your heavenly Father’s business, witnessing or encouraging someone in Jesus’ name. 6. Read James 2:14-18. How does your leadership team follow James’s advice? —EDNA ELLISON


BETH GRANT, ALONGSIDE HUSBAND DAVID, DEDICATES HER LIFE TO REACHING AND RESTORING SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL SLAVERY THROUGH THE MINISTRIES OF PROJECT RESCUE. BETH NEVER KNEW HER DECISION TO FOLLOW JESUS WOULD LEAD HER FROM A SHELTERED CHRISTIAN UPBRINGING TO MINISTERING IN THE DARK WORLD OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE. ALL SHE KNEW IS WHEN SHE WAS 7 YEARS OLD, JESUS ASKED HER TO TAKE HIS HAND…

and

She Followed . . .

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I thought I knew what His plans looked like... My husband and I had been married four

years. We were youth pastors and music ministers. Our ministry was going well and we were happy. I thought I knew what Beth’s ministry was going to look like. Then in a moment, because of an accident, I was a widow. I was only 25 years old, and all of those dreams I had were gone. Suddenly, everything I thought I knew shattered. At that point, I couldn’t imagine a future. My question wasn’t why God did you? or why God is he gone? Because I knew God’s loved Brian and I knew he was in the presence of the Lord. So I could celebrate for him, but my feeling was he was the gifted person. I wondered… Why am I still here? Then a couple of years later God brought David Grant into my life. Life took a whole different turn and a week after we were married, we were in India So one wonderful season was finished, but God had another wonderful season in store.

go into a red-light district, an area the church had never been. That night, they vistited Kamatapura, which at that time was estimated to have roughly 100,000 women and children in sexual slavery in that single district. There they discovered a world of very real evil and darkness none of us could ever have imagined. With courageous compassion the team members stood on the street with multi-story buildings and thousands of women lining the streets. Young girls, as young as 12, stood there with no choice, trying to solicitate customers who would then rape them night after night after night. That night K. K. Devaraj preached about Jesus. That there was Someone who could bring freedom and over 100 women responded and said we want to follow your Jesus but we’re not free to leave here. We’re slaves but would you take our daughters to a place of safety? Because if they don’t get out of here, they will be forced into the same life and have no future. That night K.K. Devaraj called David and I weeping. He described the situation and said, “Can we take 37 little girls? Will you help me?”

“IN A MOMENT, WITH NO MIS-

SION, NO PLAN, NO STRATEGY, NOT UNDERSTANDING, WE INTUITIVELY KNEW THAT 37 LITTLE GIRLS BORN INTO BROTHELS WERE IN GOD’S HEART.

We knew that God had created them because He is the God who creates life. He had given those little girls life for good purposes—not for destruction and slavery.

.

In one night my life changed again.

David and I had already served 20 years in India when we got a call from our close colleague in Mumbai (Bombay at the time). He had been working with teenage young men there in the streets that were into drugs, homeless young men. Our colleague really felt God leading him and his team to

My husband said, of course, and in my mind I said, “Yes, God, we must but how?”

So that night’s decision started a journey that became the first Home of Hope, an aftercare home for those little girls ages 3 to 12, and that began the beginning of their spiritual journey. And we learned as we went. The journey that involved education, medical care, legal issues, all the things that it takes to see someone who is already in slavery -continued on p. 28-

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-continued from p. 27find a different life and a different future. So now it’s amazing because those girls have graduated and gone into many professions. Some felt called to minister and have got trained to go back in and become part of the solution for women and children who are also in sexual slavery. But that night began a journey of what became Project Rescue. This is now in six, soon to be eight countries. Thousands and thousands of women and children have come through the programs and have come from broken girls to powerful women of God.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Well these rescued and restored woman and children begin to discern that when they hear God’s truth spoken over them. They discern the lies of the enemy. Within weeks, you start to see light come into eyes that are dark, dead and hopeless and life is born. Hope is born. We take that for granted that there’s hope in Jesus. It’s real.

“WITHOUT THE ENGAGEMENT OF

OUR FAITH, GOD’S TRUTH AND THE PERSON OF JESUS, OUR JUSTICE EFFORTS ARE ONLY HALF-FULFILLED PROMISES.

We can physically take a woman from a brothel to a safe home and we can physically get her out of slavery but only Jesus can take the trauma and the brothel out of a girl’s heart, mind and spirit and really transform her life.

We have seasons in our lives that do not look like what we anticipate.

However just as we submitted our lives to Jesus at some point,we have to live in such a way where we continue to trust Him to direct our steps.

coming soon...

n the podcast

“THE HEART OF COURAGEOUS COMPASSION”

WITH BETH GRANT GET CONNECTED @LEADINGHEARTS.COM

God has giving me an incredible gift in my husband David. He is an amazingly gifted, compassionate visionary. I am the quiet, more reserved, reflective member of our marriage . He’s all out there, courageous, go after it. My courage is there but it’s quiet.

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David encourages and empowers me to be obediant to the will of God—when God was opening doors. He would say, “No, Beth, you need to do this. God’s hand is on you and you need to do this.”

The day I turned 60, I had a wonderful time alone on a beach. I needed quiet time and friends gave me that for my birthday. So God took me to a passage in Psalm 92. It says He will make you green and fruitful in your old age, and you will bear much fruit, and I was laughing out loud.

Am I going to allow a culture’s expectations, value on youth, and assumption that once you reach 60 or 65 you’re finished to define me and what God can do? No, no. The God who calls us and gave us life is still the giver of life. As long as He has us here, He has us here for a purpose. He can and will take me home when He’s finished with me. So if I’m still here, I am still responsible to God for what I do with my days.” In order to walk in God’s intended future for us as women and even as men of God, we have to be willing to let go of the past season in order to embrace the new one.

We can’t be looking backwards. We have

to decide, let me learn from the past. I can love the past but God’s calling me to look forward. And only when I’m willing to lay it down, and not live in the past, can I then be sensitive and walk with freedom into what God has for me today, tomorrow and the coming years.

not going to depend on Beth. I’m going to 110 percent, pour everything that God has blessed me—gifts, resources and abilities—to engage with what God has called me to do. I identify with Moses who said, “God, if you don’t go with me, if Your presence, is not with me, I don’t go.” I feel that. So I’m aware this isn’t about Beth. I believe what Paul said—we have these earthen vessels. The older I get, the more I am aware of how earthed this vessel is, it’s earthly. It’s frail ultimately. But the point of that truth is that we have this Treasure in earthen vessels. The point of that isn’t the earthen vessel, the point of that is we have this Treasure—the glory of God.

“I DON’T WALK THROUGH MY DAYS IN LEADERSHIP, FULFILLING GOD’S CALL WITH MY FOCUS ON MY EARTHEN VESSEL BECAUSE IF I DO, I AM PARALYZED.

The more we walk in leadership, our identity in Christ, His adequacy, and presence become even more critical. I don’t want a leadership role —no matter how meaningful —to ultimately define me. When I lay down at night, it’s not Beth Grant, co-founder of Project Rescue or even Beth Grant, Executive presbyter for the Assemblies of God. It’s Beth Grant, follower of Jesus. S

I question my ability to lead everyday,

People say, “Oh Beth, you are so strong,” and I say, “No, I’m desperate.” I know I’m dependent on God because I know no matter what education or skills, professional skill or strengths that are there, I know ultimately in a day of great spiritual battle. When we’re facing a tsunami of evil, my power, my abilities, are not enough. I identify with the Apostle Paul’s words in Corinthians when he felt that he was not adequate. So he said, “I don’t come in my own adequacy but He is adequate.” God is adequate. The power of Jesus and His truth is adequate. So I walk knowing that I am

Beth says her latest book Courageous Compassion is a call across the generations to men and women of faith to confront social injustice with God’s Truth. “If the Church doesn’t engage these horrific errors of injustice, there’s no hope for victims of injustice, especially those who are sexually enslaved.” Download a free chapter at

www.bgrant.com .


— t o p s e h in t

LIFE BYTES

BY KATHY COLLARD MILLER @KATHYCMILLER AUTHOR/SPEAKER www.KathyCollardMiller.com

---------

TRUSTING GOD’S DON’TS AND DELAYS

“ WRITING AND SPEAKING MIN-

ISTRIES ARE RIPE FOR EXPERIENCING DISCOURAGEMENT. Editors may

not reply. Book contracts fall through. Speaking dates cancel. We may not reach as many people as we expected. We say we trust God’s plan to open every door but we can get frustrated that He’s closing some too! It just doesn’t seem like God is glorified if we aren’t being used in every area.

kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” God knows what He’s doing! 2. Don’t think you’re eligible for every possibility. I remember thinking, “Lord, I want the opportunities you’ve given to so-and-so.” The Lord seemed to reply, “Oh? And do you want what she’s gone through so that you’ll be prepared to to share in that way?” I knew I didn’t because she had suffered greatly. Be careful what you ask for. 3. Don’t expect a “yes” from every thing you look into. You may feel like you’re the perfect fit for some event or writing opportunity but God knows the big picture. Maybe He knows taking that opportunity will block you from what He really wants for you—which is far better. 4. Trust God’s timing. Waiting is hard and can bring great disappointment. After my first writers conference in 1980, I knew what I wanted my first book to cover. I was almost frantic to get it out there before someone else wrote about the topic. But years went by and God closed all doors. It took four years before I found a publisher. God’s purposes in the delay were never revealed but I learned patience and trust in His sovereignty.

But our trust in God’s plan will grow and help us deal with disappointment if we remember these things 1. God is indeed sovereign. He knows exactly what He’s doing. Daniel 2:20-21 assures us, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons, he removes

6. Disappointment means we first expected something. It may be that our expectations were unrealistic, based on a lie, or didn’t include God. Evaluating our expectations could prevent disappointment.that are given. God’s plan is always fulfilled. He is trustworthy— especially with your disappointments. S

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— t h g u o h t r o f d foo LIFE BYTES

WELCOME TO THE TABLE “CASUAL, FORMAL, IMPROMP-

TU, OR PLANNED — HOSPITALITY IS IMPORTANT. Hospitality in the biblical

“ sense is a way of life, not a “Martha Stewart” experi-

ence. It is a gift to every believer, not just the few who have beautiful homes and household help. While some people can whip up a meal with little effort, many of us need some encouragement. Romans 12:9-13, encourages everyone to “practice hospitality.” First Peter 4:9 “ Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” (NASB) doesn’t give us an “out” on opening our homes to others. All of us are to offer hospitality to one another without grumbling...with a happy heart. When hospitality is portrayed as a way of life, it extends far beyond the family dinner table. It brings blessings both to the host and the guest. It is the open door for God to visit not only with us, but also our guests. Both can experience physical and emotional renewal—just from enjoying a meal together. This is particularly true in our crazy and fast-paced society where so many families eat on-the-run. Offering a meal in your home gives many a remedy to the weariness and the often, unknowing loneliness of life. Don’t fret about what you will serve for the meal, plan on opening your home as God leads.

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

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1 package (18) corn tortillas, cut into quarters 3 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast 1 large can (28 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 large (32 oz) jar of salsa 1 cup water 1 ½ cups of sour cream 1 large green pepper, chopped and seeded 1 large can sliced black olives, drained 3 cups shredded cheese, Monterey, Cheddar or mixed Grease a 9 X 13” baking dish Preheat oven to 350º F Arrange six of the quartered tortillas into the bottom of the dish Layer 1 cup chicken, and 1/3 of rest of ingredients. Repeat the layers twice, and top with cheese. Layer with more cheese if desired. Cover dish with alumininum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

As my Mother said on many occasions, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” You will be blessed, I promise.

I always keep frozen, cooked chicken on hand, which makes this meal a snap.

Here is a quick, simple dish for those impromptu get togethers— Mexican Lasagne

This is a great one-dish meal and easy to prepare. A colorful fruit salad would be a welcome addition to this Mexican-inspired meal. Plus, kids love it. S

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— p u g n i shap LIFE BYTES

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

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WALKING THRU THE SIDELINES

“A NEW RADIO SHOW DEBUTING, A NEW BOOK RELEASING, BACK-TO-BACK SPEAKING, AND THE LIST GOES ON...” All at once my

expectations suddenly sidelined by not one major issue, but two. All the plans I had went up in smoke last summer when an unexplained illness struck and lasted six weeks. The doctor found the problem, solved it, and I raced to pick up the pieces scattered all over my life from six weeks of chaos. Then I came home from church to one of those phone calls that no one wants to receive—my dad collapsed from a stroke while traveling through a strange city. I dropped everything and caught a flight that afternoon, terrified for dad and terrified my health wasn’t yet solid. Two days later, dad passed. Not only did I feel sidelined in my career, I couldn’t even find the playing field for months. My family life and my career looked like beautiful fireworks where the whistling explosions spider in fiery lines, in every direction, tracing across the sky as they fade from view. Has your life and/or career been sidelined by the unexpected? All those plans, people counting on you, business dealings create pressure, especially when they fall apart. When was the last time you just took a walk?

1.Walking slow to warm up, then faster to pump blood with oxygen and nutrients into your brain. It’ll be easier to solve problems when your brain has the nourishment it needs to think. 2. Walking gives you a chance to think and pray. Too much input, your brain will “fritz out”. Let your brain process in the background and stimulate creativity while you try a new park or area of interest. 3. Walk to lunch and back. It’s good for digestion, processing those nutrients and getting them to your brain. 4. Ask a friend or your spouse to walk with you in the mornings and/or evenings so you can talk out the issues that seem overwhelming. 5. Look around you as you walk. Some of the simplest things will give your mind a rest. When your mind rests from troubles, it’s like rebooting your mental computer. 6. Breathe deeply. Get that oxygen into your lungs. 7. Smile when you see something beautiful and pleasing. The point is to acknowledge there’s still good in the world. There’s still beauty. 8. Turn your face up to the sun and soak it in. Let God infuse you with vitamin D. That’s how He designed it to feed your body. Without this crucial nutrient, fatigue and other ailments cause the loss of critical thinking skills. 9. Begin to train yourself to enjoy walking. When you mentally tell yourself this behavior is good, then you’ll want to repeat it.

10. Jot a note or a star on the calendar on the days you walk. At the end of the day, note your attitude and accomplishments. (Another positive reinforcement..write it down and you’ll be convinced!) S .


— e m i t f o r e t t a am LIFE BYTES

PUT A KABOSH ON PUTTING IT OFF

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

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new obligations eliminates over-commitment. This individual likes recognition for accomplishments so acknowledge the person’s hard work and results.

“DO YOU HAVE A TENDENCY

TO POSTPONE THE INEVITABLE?

Postponing activities may be tied to your personality. If you know yourself, you can use what motivates you to move forward and get around the roadblocks that steer you off course. Sanguines Procrastinate When Tasks are Isolated or Boring—A popular, friendly, talkative sanguine seeks fun. Procrastination is tied to the thought, “This isn’t fun.” To overcome this tendency a sanguine can ask a friend to help and turn a task into a social activity.

Sanguine people are impulsive and may volunteer for anything that sounds fun, but stall after discovering the drudgery of the task. A Sanguine should envision the work involved before making commitments. Other people can motivate the sanguine person with praise and outward expressions of gratitude. Powerful Cholerics Procrastinate Due to Lack of Control—Powerful cholerics are goal driven, doers, and natural leaders who want control. This person may over-commit or avoid tasks where someone else is in control. This person needs to view the task as a goal, and support leaders. Being reasonable about accepting

Melancholic People Delay Due to Perfectionist Tendencies—Perfect melancholy people are sensitive to needs of others and strive for perfection, but really fear failure. They procrastinate when it appears their efforts won’t be perfect enough. This person analyzes a situation, thinks before agreeing to perform a task, and usually fulfills obligations. To overcome fear and doubt, the individual should lower her standards and accept less than perfect results. Self-motivation can come from creating a logical plan to accomplish goals and breaking projects into small steps. To motivate the individual, remind the person of past successes and boost confidence with pep talks. Phlegmatics Avoid Work—An easy-going phlegmatic likes to relax, but tends to avoid whatever appears to be work or projects that seems too complex. It’s easier for this person to set rewards and break larger projects into smaller steps to do one part at a time. Understanding consequences, especially ones that cause discord. Laughter also makes a task more pleasant and easier to tackle. Motivate such a person with praise, respectfully acknowledging the contributions, and promises of rest or sharing a meal after the work is completed. Challenge Yourself—When a delay sets in, check your response to find the personality trait underlying the problem and then counter it with the appropriate motivation. Challenge yourself to go past the roadblocks and detours eternal safety. S

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7

HEALTH TRACKS

WAYS TODISARM

DISAPPOINTMENT “EVERYONE HAS THOSE MOMENTS WHEN THE DESIRED OUTCOME DOES NOT LINE UP WITH OUR CURRENT REALITY. During

those moments, discouragement can invade your happy place. The greater the disparity between what was hoped for and what occurred, the greater the disappointment. Disappointment can be painful. But in my line of work I’ve learn to appreciate this one truth: all pain has purpose. It points us to a deeper problem or illuminates a deeper need in our lives. In this sense, disappointment may not be all negative because it makes you aware of a problem or a deficiency of some kind. Never experiencing the pain of discouragement might initially seem like a blessing, but this would actually be dangerous to your health and wellbeing. There is growth in the process of weathering the discomfort of having your faith stretched. Growth makes you stronger, braver, and more courageous. When you find yourself overwhelmed by feeling of discouragement, choose to dissect those emotions to uncover the true issue. Get clear in the reasons behind your emotional responses and you will find yourself liberated to experience life’s highs and lows without going on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

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1. Get grounded in your innermost being—Hope never disappoints. It is eternal even in the face of your greatest pain. The only way for disappointment to overwhelm you is if it displaces your hope. When you experience disappointment, consider it a caution sign pointing you back to the only One who can truly fill every void and every need. Next time you feel the heaviness of a downcast spirit place these words on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and any place you see through the day “Hope Never Fails.” 2. Be transformed by the irritation—The mind is a curious thing. It will maintain a path of concentration until that thought process has been interrupted by a counter path of concentration. Pleasant thoughts are more easily displaced than those which produce pain. The irritations in your life can be received as a counter path you can dwell and wallow in. Rather than allowing your thoughts to run down a mental rabbit hole, resist the mind’s desire to follow that path of negativity and instead be transformed to think solution-based thoughts. Creativity is a pearl of great worth hidden in the belly of your disappointments. Journal your brainstorming efforts and be open to receive a renewed mind.

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

--------process. If there is a lesson to be learned wouldn’t it be nice to learn it on the first go around? Take a deep breath in and thank God for his faithfulness. Next exhale out while surrendering your way for His way. Repeat until you feel the calmness of his presence. 5. Clarify your vision of who you are—Every patient who enters my medical practice must show proof of identification. Identity is a part of health and wellness. Disastrous things can happen when there is confusion about who you are. You wouldn’t want to be given a prescription for something you don’t need. Get clarity about how you view yourself. Are you a confident original or does disappointment cause you to compare yourself with others?

3. Dip, drink and then go deeper still—Thirsty people need water. A quick drink might refresh you for a short while, but ultimately you will need to drink again. The same is true spiritually and emotionally. It is easy to forget that God alone satisfies. Avoid spending hours lamenting on the dryness of the soul. Dip your cistern in the well of Living water. Drink deeply then go deeper still. Start carrying a bottle of water with you to work or keep one available at home. Sip on water throughout the day and every time you do so say or think “I never have to be emotionally thirsty.”

6. Let the light in—The eyes are considered the window to the soul. It’s here the pupil works like the aperture of a camera to control the amount of light allowed to enter. Cracks in your life, work in a similar fashion. Brokenness is needed to allow the revelatory light of God’s Word into your personal situation. The deeper the fissure lines, the deeper the work God is doing. When you are feeling discouraged, fill your physical surroundings with natural light. Enjoy a cup of tea on the patio or go for a morning walk. Light causes a release of hormones which help uplift your spirit.

4. Inhale the process, exhale the pain—Breathing is an involuntary process, much like pain. You can’t control hurting or not hurting, it just is. Such is disappointment. You can’t control being or not being disappointed, but you can control how disappointment affects you. Just as you can purposely slow down or speed up your breathing, you can adjust how disappointment moves you. Don’t rush the

7. Let Go, Dance Now—So things didn’t turn out as you had hoped, but hope is not dead. Let go of your preconceived idea about how things would work out. Let go of the pain of disappointment and grab hold of Father’s hand. Let him take the lead and begin to dance now. In the middle of that situation turn the praise music up loudly and just dance. Don’t wait for the storm to pass. Learn how to dance in the rain. S

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PRAYER CIRCLE

NAVIGATING ROADBLOCKS “MOST OF US HAVE QUOTED

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

THE OLD SAYING, “WHEN GOD CLOSES A DOOR HE OPENS A WINDOW... I find this saying doesn’t always bring me comfort, especially when my window is facing the view from the 164th floor.

Yes, I love teaching Vacation Bible Schools, of course. But I was armed with the truth that God had called me to write. If this publisher wasn’t called to publish me, that wasn’t my problem. I would trust God even if he never called any publisher to champion my work. But the good news? That long-ago conversation with my publishing-friend took place over thirty books ago, books God called publishers to publish.

So sometimes the question becomes, “How do we know when it’s God who propped-up the roadblock to protect us or the enemy who barricades our path so to discourage us from pressing through?

A couple of years ago, Cornell University and the Pentagon published a study explaining how they created a blind spot by impeding only part of a beam of light.

I can think of times a roadblock kept me out of harms way, like the time our small plane was detoured around a dangerous storm. But then there were other times a roadblock served as a hurdle God called me to pray through so I could continue the path of my calling.

When you think about it, you can see this is exactly how the enemy, that great deceiver, creates blind spots over mankind. If he can impede even part of the truth, then we can no longer see the way to God, the way that will bring protection or the way to victory.

This dilemma of knowing what to do with a roadblock is the very reason why Paul encouraged us to put on the belt of truth. (Eph 6:14)

If you want to learn how to walk in the light of truth, first stay in the word, which renews your mind. Secondly, seek God’s direction through a prayer like:

For being able to see our circumstances through the eyes of truth will give us the discernment we need to stop crashing barriers meant to protect us or the power to hurdle a roadblock in a race God called us to win. This truth reminds me of the time a wellknown publisher took a meeting with me at a convention to implore me to leave the publishing industry. “Go home and teach Vacation Bible School,” he demanded. “But God called me to be here,” I explained. “So even if I never publish another book, I’m where God has called me to be.”

Dear Lord, Open my eyes so that I see what the roadblocks before me truly are; your call to change direction or your empowerment to soar over my obstacles. I choose to put on the belt of truth, which is the discernment of Jesus. In addition, I cancel all the lies and deception of the enemy and replace those lies with your truth. Lord, be my guide, show me how to either go around othrough my obstacles so I can live my life in victory. In Jesus’ name, Amen S To receive a free Prayer Toolbox filled with warfare prayers to pray over you and your loved ones, text LEADINGHEARTS to 95577.

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BY RHONDA RHEA @RHONDARHEA HUMOR COLUMNIST

www.RhondaRhea.com

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n the podcast

AWSA 2015 “DEALING WITH DETOURS” WITH RHONDA RHEA GET CONNECTED @LEADINGHEARTS.COM


REVIEWS

BOOK REVIEWS NOTES. by Jennifer Dierking Kind words written from a dear friend—whether it’s a text, instant message, note, or letter—can be one of the most powerful ways to satisfy a universal longing to be appreciated. In notes.: writing to encourage others by Jennifer Dierking you will find inspiration, motivation, and practical tips to help you write heartfelt notes to encourage others. Jennifer has written well over 200 letters and notes herself to encourage family, friends, and those who have inspired her in her Christian walk. Readers will also learn who to write to, when to write, and how to write messages that can be enjoyed over and over, for years to come As a bonus, this book is a quick flip, power-packed resource for the woman on the go. Get the Kindle Version today for free on amazon.com. RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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UNSHAKABLE! by Nancy Backues Where was Unshakable! when I was going through my valley? When a stage 4 cancer diagnosis rocked her faith to the core, Nancy Backues found herself fighting an even greater battle than her illness. She was also fighting for her faith. In Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm, Nancy shares openly about her struggle with fear and doubt and addresses the tough questions many of us ask in the midst of difficult circumstances. In twelve short but power-packed chapters, Nancy outlines twelve ways that God helps our faith to be unshakable: through Him, His power, love, purpose, truth, strength, confidence, community, faith, connection, and, finally, victory. After a 16-month battle, Nancy is now a cancer-free author and speaker in addition to being a full-time wife and mother. This book will encourage anyone who is going through a life-struggle—whether it be illness, relational or financial. Nancy shows how our world may be totally shaken, but with God, our faith can remain unshaken. RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES by Tim Chaddick Tim Chaddick, author and founding pastor of Reality LA church in Los Angeles, takes on one of Christianity’s daily challenges in The Truth About Lies: The Unlikely Role Of Temptation In Who You Will Become. Releasing Aug. 1 from David C Cook, this book is a radically transformative look at temptation, exposing its lies and revealing to readers how to view temptation as a slingshot to advance their faith. With a hard look at the broader and more pervasive aspects of temptation, Chaddick teaches readers how conviction and character can lead them toward a pursuit of good, rather than just an avoidance of evil. Marielle Wakim of Los Angeles Magazine says of the book: “Tim Chaddick has the ability to strip away the impenetrable exoskeleton of a thing and crack it wide open, exposing its beating and sometimes damaged heart. He writes with graceful accessibility but also careful urgency—a combination that is all at once refreshing and convincing.” RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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REVIEWS

HEATHER VAN ALLEN @HEATHERVANALLEN LEADING HEARTS MUSIC REVIEWER

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MUSIC REVIEWS PLANETSHAKERS Outback Worship Sessions Outback Worship Sessions from the worship team of Planetshakers Church (Australia), released May 12, offers 11 powerful tracks for both corporate and personal worship. With eight familiar Planetshakers songs along with three new ones, the album will appeal to hungry worshipers who desire to draw near and lift praises to Him. “There’s beauty in simplicity,” adds Planetshakers Lead Singer and Music Director Joth Hunt. “We’ve stripped back our normal style, leaving this raw, organic sound.” Echoing the raw, organic tone well is original track “My Soul Longs for Jesus,” an intimate expression—simple, mellow and sweet. Album co-songwriter and producer Ed Cash says, “I love the thought the God of the Heavens longs for me…There are so many voices out there in this world calling out for attention, and there is One that stands out above them all.” RATING: 4 .75 OUT OF 5 STARS

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IHOPKC OneThing Live: Shout Your Name International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOPKC), through its label Forerunner Music, released Onething Live: Shout Your Name on June 30. Recorded live at the annual IHOPKC Onething young adult conference, held December 2014, the album features 11 memorable songs.The conference, with about 20,000 attendees, featured Forerunner Music artists and IHOPKC worship leaders Misty Edwards, Jaye Thomas, Laura Hackett Park, Jonas Park, Jon Thurlow, Justin Rizzo and Ryan Kondo. The diverse range represented on Shout Your Name embraces both modern and traditional worship songs. As Forerunner Music President Nick Syrett describes it, Shout Your Name will allow listeners “to encounter Jesus so that we might go forth to do His works and change the world.” RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS

THE NEVERCLAIM The Joy The Joy, the first full-length studio album in two years from The Neverclaim, releases July 17. The clear message of the title track echoes throughout the album— “the joy of the Lord is our strength / nothing can take that away,” is the driving theme of the album. The most recent addition to The Joy is “Jesus Is.” Frontman Jeremiah Carlson says, “We face a culture that tries everything possible to make Jesus seem irrelevant, as if He is nothing more than a fairytale or a legend of the past. Those of us who know Christ, know He is … the living God who not only was, but is and is to come. He lives inside of us and has changed us completely with His love ….” Another powerful track, “Mighty Men of God,” calls men to stand against cultural messages of male dominance and other lies and stand up as the men Jesus wants them to be. “Welcome to The Joy!” RATING: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS

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Tips to take Your Ministry Mobile­6 WAYS TO GROW YOUR TEXT LIST n the podcast

“CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” YOUR KEY TO MOBILE MARKETING WITH TYLER HEADLEY GET CONNECTED @LEADINGHEARTS.COM

“THE MOBILE WAVE HAS

MADE LANDFALL, AND THE MOST INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS AND PUBLIC INFLUENCERS ARE MAKING A PERSONAL CONNECTION WITH THEIR FOLLOWERS via text message—text to connect

and text to give. It may surprise you to know that when you deliver a newsletter or information or updates via text, 99% of all texted messages are opened and read in the first three minutes.

This is the exciting technology I get to connect missionaries and ministries, as well as businesses to everyday through Reachmodo. Reachmodo allows you to collect your follower’s mobile phone numbers to send them text updates for


book releases, speaking engagements, voice recorded messages such as prayer and devotions, blog posts as well as pictures and videos. To get started, here are six effective ways to begin growing your text list. 1. Public Speaking Engagements — Make a strong call to action during a presentation in front of an audience. Extend an invite to the audience to receive your text updates. Offer a direct verbal invitation coupled with a PowerPoint graphic that gives the opt-in instructions. Don’t forget to give the audience enough time to retrieve their phones and complete the opt-in. 2. Email Blast — Send out an email to your email list with a singular call to action, inviting them to receive exclusive info via text. A series of three emails over three week period is recommended to reach the majority of contacts on your email list. 3. Social Media Blast — When getting started, we

suggest posting on any social media outlet that you use at the rate of once per week for a month, then once per month after that. 4. Website — If you operate a personalized website, use the Reachmodo source code to plug-in an online sign-up page right from your website. 5. Facebook Sign-Up Button — Reachmodo generates a button that you can set up to stay permanently on your Facebook page, which will allow followers to opt-in right from your Facebook Page. 6. Incentives — A fun way to grow you contact list is to give back. Offer incentives like gift cards, signed book copies or a full-fledged contest. An incentive would work well to increase participation in growing your opt-in list through all the other previous five channels. S Download a free guide to “Mobile Marketing for Your Ministry” provided by Reachmodo at leadinghearts.com.


LEADING HEARTS INSTANT WRITERS CONFERENCE PODCAST NOW STREAMING ON DEMAND—

coming soon...

CHATS IN THE HALL

-with-

RHONDA RHEA PAT LAYTON SUSAN MEAD KAREN WHITING AND MORE...

UNDIVIDED—THE ROAD TO RESOLVING CONFLICT WITH CO-AUTHORSHIP WITH PATRICIA RAYBON

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET ON THE RADIO WITH 99 HIT FM DJ ROD KITTLEMAN

GETTING OVER THE SPEEDBUMPS­— AVOIDING PUBLISHING PITFALLS & HONING YOUR PLATFORM WITH HEATHER RIGGLEMAN

“CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

TRUTH

YOUR KEY TO MOBILE MARKETING with your host Amber Weigand-Buckley

TUNE IN @ WWW.BLOGTALKRADIO.COM/INSTANTWRITERSCONFERENCE

WITH REACHMODO’S TYLER HEADLEY


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

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TRUTH

DARK ROOM DEVELOPMENT “DURING MY SENIOR YEAR OF

HIGH SCHOOL, I WORKED ON YEARBOOK STAFF. Our student photog-

ures, job losses, strenuous challenges, sicknesses, disappointments, loneliness, separations, and deaths; we need to look at things through the “red” of the blood of Jesus.

raphers on staff not only took the pictures, but developed them right there in our school’s darkroom. Using only the illumination of a special red light, the film would be transferred somehow to the paper and then the paper would be dipped in several different trays holding chemical solutions. As the photos were moved from tray to tray, the image began to emerge. The process took a considerable amount of time and care and seemed almost magical.

Like the photographers, wait patiently inside the dark room and watch as God takes time and care to develop the picture of your life that He’s taken. Don’t rush through any of the stages; endure every “chemical.” Only when the process is complete will you be fully developed. You’ll only be ready for use on just the right “pages” of life when His image emerges through you. Be encouraged by the following verses of Scripture as you face your dark rooms:

Understandably, our teacher and those photographers would get quite upset if someone opened the dark room door while they worked. Too much light flooding in at the wrong momet would ruin every piece of film on which they had been painstakingly laboring on. Deadlines for getting the yearbook pages designed were pushed back without those photos. And suppose those pictures had been of the miraculous catch that won the homecoming game, the photo-finish at the swim meet, or the principal’s surprise 50th birthday party thrown by the whole school? The photographic memories of those events could never again be recaptured. The darkness of that dark room made the proper development of those pictures possible so that everything else necessary to produce a memorable yearbook could happen.

• Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)

God allows dark rooms to develop us. When we are experiencing the darknesses of financial reversals, fail-

• 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV) • Hebrews 12:6 and 11 – For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (NKJ) S

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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 19 years in the magazine industry. When not working on Leading Hearts, she provides communications and social media support for non-profits and missionaries. She and her Brit-native husband Philip live in Missouri with their three daughters: Saffron, Imogen and Penelope.

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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

ANGELA BREIDENBACH is a captivating speaker, coach and award-winning author. Angela volunteers as the Christian Author Network’s president and executive assistant for the Montana-based Jadyn Fred Foundation.www.angelabreidenbach.com 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

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

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.

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

SHARON NORRIS ELLIOTT’S 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

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.

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

JENNIFER TAYLOR is a music and profile contributor for Leading Hearts magazine. 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 KAY WILLS WILMA, author of Cleaning House has five kids, ages four to fourteen. She holds a bachelor’s from Baylor University and an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). She and husband, Jon, live with their family in the Dallas area. www.themoatblog.com

REBEKAH BINKLEY MONTGOMERY is author of Faithprints. Find her online at www.rebekahmontgomery.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 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

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LEADING HEARTS

2015 Evangelical Press Association Award of Merit— Christian Ministry Digital Publication


Leading Hearts July/August 2015  

Yes, You Can Overcome Ministry Detours and Disappointments! In this issue of LH find features on Walking the Tightrope of Marriage as you fo...