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Finish Strong! QUICK TIPS

What are you most Thankful for?

LAURETTA PIERCE A Covenant Miracle Behold, I will do a new thing


How To Add Pop and Shimmer to Your Holiday Looks

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

How to Stay Fit Over the Holidays


What is Your Mission? DARE to HOPE Again!


november / december 2014 Contributing Writers Jessie Christensen Mia Green Lanette Kissel

in this issue

Karin Syren

3 | Publisher’s Note

Laurette Willis

4 | Finish Strong - Proper Goodbyes

Jennifer Workman

8 | Make an I am Grateful List 10 | Soft Glitz & Hard Glam

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

12 | QuickTips to Stay Fit Over the Holidays


16 | Lauretta Pierce: A Covenant Miracle Dania Hernandez Ad Sales 305-720-5841

20 | Adriana’s Christmas List 21 | Ordinary? 22 | “Leave Those Turtles Alone” 23 | The Everyday Gift of Peace and Joy 27 | Dare to Hope... Dare to Dream

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Hello Inspired Women! It’s countdown! In the next few weeks as we close out this year, I pray that we may finish strong! This year seems to have flown by in a blink of an eye. It appears that days are just becoming shorter which is why it’s becoming increasingly important that we evaluate our station in life. How are we spending our time? Are we seizing opportunities? Have we become stagnant in our pursuit of our dreams, desires, and purpose? How is our relationship with God? Are we doing what He has called us to do? Are we still hungry for His presence? This is the perfect time for us to ask all these questions. I don’t know about you but this year was filled with a mix of surprises---some not so pleasant. As I evaluated a series of events, I had to ask myself these very same questions. I took inventory of where I stood and honestly, I had to come to the realization that I had become stagnant and comfortable in many areas. I know where I shortchanged God and myself. Simply…I had slacked. It’s during these phases or times that God allows certain things to take place so that re-focus our attention in one of our most important missions---His purpose for us. It’s never too late to start fresh. We don’t need to wait until the beginning of the New Year to re-set priorities.

Much Love,

Let’s finish strong! Adriana Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

If you can relate to my experience or have found yourself slipping from where you know God wants you, make the needed changes that will not only help you end this year strong, but also start the new one with forward momentum.


Finish Strong - Proper Goodbyes Karin Syren, The Vision Coach As I thought about what I wanted to say to readers in the final months of 2014, I considered offering a Holiday message similar to what I have in the past. But I realized that we, as Christians in the world but not of the world, are positioned as never before to have kingdom impact. It is more critical now that we finish the year strong and move forward with new passion into what lies ahead. So I offer something a bit “meatier” for your consideration…

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



Proper good-byes lead to Productive beginnings. Sarah Bowling (Marilyn Hickey Ministries)1

We each have a Mission to fulfill, a reason we were dispatched into this earthly realm. More often than not, when we discover what that Mission is, we have a choice to make before we When I first heard Sarah Bowling’s observation I can move forward, a choice very often involving was struck by the simple truth of it. But as time goodbyes. went on and I continued to reflect on it, I realized that the depth of this truth was far beyond what Isaiah answered God’s call with, Here I am, send I had initially grasped. me. (Isaiah 6:8). How different from the invited Then, months later, with this observation still rolling around the back of my mind, I caught a small piece of an interview on a morning talk show with the popular radio personality Dr. Laura Schlesinger, in which she observed, You can’t be on your mission If you’re on your history. Dr. Laura Schlesinger2 The impact of these two observations was potent, fitting together flawlessly and, combined, they were confirmation of some of the elements of a program I had been developing, Mission Accomplished -Strategic Life Planning (aka Life on Purpose).

1 Today with Marilyn & Sarah, a daily television broadcast sponsored by Marilyn Hickey Ministries ( 2 Laura C. Schlesinger, Bad Childhood – Good Life: How to Blossom and Thrive in Spite of an Unhappy Childhood, (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006) 3 Mission Accomplished – Strategic Life Planning (Life on Purpose™) is available in hard copy or

Abram was called out by God and told, Go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you. (Genesis 12:2) In order to go with God’s plan, he was forced to leave his history and depend on a Vision as yet unrevealed, a call to life-changing, destiny-defining, worldaltering faith. Jesus made it abundantly clear for us, spelling it out inexorably, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.4 (Luke 9:62)

downloadable eBook through Karin’s website at www.solushunz. 4 The emphasis is mine.

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Purpose is why you were created. Mission is what you are meant to do about it. Visions are the evidence, and Goals are the means of achievement.3

disciple in Luke 9:59, who said, Lord, first let me go and bury my father. How frequently do we ourselves bargain with God in just this same way? How often do we want to continue on our history, hesitating at the fork in the road between our past, our own plans and God’s future for us? Jesus’ response to this fellow was, allow the dead to bury their own dead. (Luke 9:60)


inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


You have been given a Mission, the reason why you were specifically sent, for a season, to earth. Surely it is not merely to test your ability to survive the running of the race and then, exhausted and defeated, to limp into heaven, pleased only to have made it home. Spend some time alone with your heavenly Father if you are uncertain, for He is indeed eager to reveal it to you. Then look closely at those things that require a farewell. What history must you leave where it belongs, in the past, in order to move forward passionately in God’s great plan for you? (See Jeremiah 29:11) Following your decision to obey is the promise.

And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; Genesis 12:2 NAS If you have no idea what God’s plan is for your life, perhaps you have missed this critical step of truly turning away from your past. God is a jealous God. He will settle for nothing less than all of you. (See Exodus 20:5) That means giving up the past. Only when your eyes are forward are you positioned to see what God has in store for you. I often remind those I counsel that they cannot walk backward into their future and they are unable to see the Visions God has for them when their eyes are still focused on what is now history.

What areas of your past are holding you back? Are Following are a few suggested Scriptures to you bound by the pain of your childhood, the scars take you deeper: of damaging relationships, or are you locked into Isaiah 6:8 Luke 9:59-60, 62 past successes, the faded glories of what, from this Genesis 12:2, 3 Jeremiah 29:1 vantage point, seem like better days? Exodus 20:5 Isaiah 54:2 1 Chronicles 4:10 Is your future planned around running from the Copyright 2014 © Karin S. Syren past or even on regaining the past? Jesus says All rights reserved. Adapted and reprinted this makes you unfit for the kingdom and which by permission of the author of us does not long for a kingdom future? Set The Bible Minute, Xulon Press, Inc. aside some quality time and take honest stock of Copyright © 2010, Karin S. Syren & how often your past is the basis for your present Mission Accomplished, dealings and future plans. Then share it with a a So-lu’shunz Publication Copyright ©2006, Karin S. Syren trusted friend or a prayer/accountability partner. Consider making this your confession:

Karin is a certified life coach specializing in the process of creating strategic visions for personal and organizational leadership. Increase your confidence by developing a clear picture of where you are Live powerfully and significantly – the journey going and how to get there. begins today! You have something to offer the Discover what makes you world that only you can offer. unique and how to form your future around it. You can contact Karin for information about living Life On The world is waiting! Purpose, as well as for information regarding upcoming books and new programs at ksyren@ *** or check the website at

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

I make a quality decision to lay down my past, no longer turning back in fear, regret or nostalgia. As I place my trust in God’s Word, I become daily more determined to live in His plan for me. I say good-bye to my history, both its failures and its successes, and I move confidently into productive beginnings. As I focus on His glory in all things, I walk in hope. My Mission is being revealed to me daily and my future is assured!

The Bible Minute is available at or Barnes&, as well as from a variety of other online book sellers. The Bible Minute can be purchased for Kindle readers, as well as being available from the Amazon free Kindle Library and to subscribers of kindleunlimited. Or read whole portions of The Bible Minute on Google Books.


Every Day is Thanksgiving Make an I AM GRATEFUL List IThessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1) For a new day_____________________________________________________________ 2) The sun shining____________________________________________________________ 3) My family________________________________________________________________ 4) Shelter and food__________________________________________________________ 5) Salvation_________________________________________________________________ 6) Purpose and desire________________________________________________________ 7) Resources and provision____________________________________________________ 8) Blessings_________________________________________________________________

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

9) Health___________________________________________________________________


10) Inspired Women readers and writers_________________________________________ 11) God’s grace and love______________________________________________________ 12) The Word of God_________________________________________________________ 13) Friendships______________________________________________________________ 14) My Pastor_______________________________________________________________ 15) My car__________________________________________________________________

What are you most thankful for?

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:1-12).

Some ideas for Thanksgiving… • Put a card with each place setting for Thanksgiving dinner and have everybody write down what they’re thankful for. Bind them together into a keepsake.

• Gratitude Jar…Use any jar you may already have and add/glueon a few decorative pieces. Before Thanksgiving dinner, have the family and friends leave notes of gratitude in the jar, then read and discuss during dessert.

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

• Buy or make cards to write encouraging notes to friends/ family/teachers/etc.

w w



Soft Glitz & Hard Glam

by Mia Green

Can you believe that we are already in the final home stretch into the year 2015!!! This year has absolutely flown by and it’s already time to start pulling out the sparkle’s for all of your holiday extravaganzas.

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Any type of cosmetic product with a shimmery finish or glitter inside of the product is a must during the holiday season for those who are not afraid to take a walk on the blingy side. But for those of you who desire more glam than glitz, you should try the following to add some pop and shimmer to your holiday beauty looks this year.


Instead of glitter on the eyes try a little glitter on the lips! You can take any lipstick over the top by adding some glitter and a coat of clear gloss on top.

Use a cream eye shadow in gold or silver and add it to the inner corner of your eyelids. This will give your eye makeup a little bit of pop without adding too much glitz.

For a softer more subtle glam effect take any kind of shimmering body powder and dust it along your cheekbones, shoulders, and collar bone to create a beautiful evening glow.

Mia Green is a professional makeup artist, and the owner of Les Fleur Cosmetics a makeup studio that specializes in ethnic skin and custom blended cosmetics. For more info you can visit

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Quick Tips

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

to Stay Fit Over the Holidays


By Laurette Willis, CHC Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry “I am the bread of life” John 6:48 Those words really put holiday overindulgence into perspective don’t they? Perhaps the overindulgence we could enter into this Thanksgiving and Christmas is filling up on the “bread of life” instead of the bread of this world—after all, Jesus was placed in a manger (a feeding trough!) as a baby.

When we think of the bread of this world, do you think of physical bread? It can be that as well as what I call the “soul junk food” of this world. I’m referring to many of the things which pass for “entertainment” these days.

Isn’t that a bizarre connection? Makes sense though, right?

When I’m taking in less life through the Word into my spirit, my discernment and choices in other areas of my life aren’t as clear or Sorry to be meddling, but you know what? I focused. discovered that when I fill up on the world’s junk food through my eyes and ears, I also Here are some physical and spiritual tips to seem to want to satisfy my mouth with the sail through the holy-days with joy! world’s processed junk foods for my body. 1. Eat small, frequent *real food* meals In order to keep from over-indulging and regretting it later, eat small, unprocessed snacks every three-to-four hours instead of only a couple of huge meals and processed food snacks. Eat food that IS food (vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat), instead of a lot of ingredients put together in a factory. Keep away from gluten and fried foods. You will feel so much better, I promise! This will also boost your metabolism, especially when combined with exercise.

Fill up on real soul food! Pick one “Scripture snack” to chew on each day. Today your “snack” from the Word can be the verse at the beginning of this article where Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

2. Pick a Scripture Snack” Each Day


Throughout the day go back to that Word and ask the Lord to give you new revelation on it. You will notice your focus becomes clearer; you will make better choices in a number of areas and you will feel satisfied on the inside (not “stuffed” and numb from overindulging the flesh as we’ve done so many times before). 3. Paint your plate Paint your plate with food, that is! Experts say that a colorful plate leads to better health. Don’t opt for a plate that’s beige and yellow-brown with just turkey, potatoes and stuffing on it. Add greens and red vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots and red cabbage for a colorful, flavorful plate!

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

4. Making Time to Exercise During the Holidays


Many gain weight during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you don’t have to do so! Exercise helps, but most of us have very little time to exercise at this busy time. The solution is to work exercise into what you are already doing. Here are some ways you can do just that! Wear a Pedometer

day. You may discover you walk more (or less!) than you thought. Here are some tips for getting your steps: 1. Take a walk with your family after dinner (can be a short one if it’s cold!) 2. Take the stairs whenever you can. 3. Walk in place when on the phone. 4. For added resistance, wear small ankle weights. Do Short Workouts throughout the Day

Studies show that short workouts throughout the day can be just as effective as longer workout sessions. Fit two or three 10-minute sessions in each day. Make half of your sessions strength-training or resistance-based and the other half cardiobased (such as running in place). Exercise during In-between Times. Instead of just waiting in line at a store doing nothing, do calf raises—and meditate on a Scripture Snack. Stuck in traffic? Tighten abdominal muscles, and then take a deep breath and exhale with a “Hallelujah!” Here are some more quick tips:

1. Do push-ups against the kitchen counter while waiting for water to boil One of the easiest ways to monitor physical activity is to wear a pedometer. Most experts 2. On hold on the phone? Do some leg raises, or bicep curls with a light weight. recommend 10,000 steps throughout the

3. Do 25-50 jumping jacks in the morning to “This is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!” And you’ll find you will be glad in it! 4. Get on a rebounder (mini-trampoline) while watching television. 5. Do relaxing stretches (such as PraiseMoves!) before bedtime and meditate on the goodness of the Lord, preparing you for sound sleep. More Practical Tips In addition to ensuring your heart and mind are full of the Word, here’s how you can spearhead the movement in your family to a healthier Christmas and 2015:

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” as Jesus said in Matthew 5:16. Above all, stay focused on making sure your spirit is well-fed. You will sail through the holidays and into 2015 with your heart full, your mind clear and your body full of energy as a fit witness for Christ. He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 4:20). Let’s believe Him for it – and share our victory with others this holiday season. Check out Laurette’s new book & DVD set from Destiny Image Publishers: “40 Days to Fit & Fabulous with PraiseMoves.” Christian Fitness Expert and Certified Health Coach Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry with DVDs, Training, and Classes by Certified PraiseMoves Instructors on six continents ( Get your free “5 Simple Steps to Looking and Feeling Fabulous” at . ©2014

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

1. Make a difference in someone’s life. Focus on one or two people you are going to get to know better over the holiday. This can be a member of your own family, a friend, a neighbor, perhaps even someone at church who needs to be with a family at Christmas (why not yours?). 2. Don’t skip meals. Even if you think you may be eating more over the holidays, don’t make the mistake of skipping meals so you can “stock up” later. 3. Drink plenty of water. Stay well-hydrated. It will also ensure you eat less. We often reach for a high-calorie snack when our body is really crying out for water. 4. Go to Habakkuk 2:2-3 (“Write the vision and make it plain...”). Prepare for 2015

by asking the Lord what you can do differently this coming year. “Lord, what great things do You want to do through me, Lord, that I may give You all the glory and be a sign and a wonder in this world?


Lauretta Pierce A Covenant Miracle Suffering and victimized by abuse Lauretta Pierce had little to no hope. She was molested when she was 13. As a result of the abuse, she suffered a stroke at 14. Lauretta’s life was filled with abusive behaviors and people. In fact, Lauretta’s first husband was so abusive, he attempted to murder her. During his attempt, he severely ripped off a portion of her face. As a result, she was left disfigured and was paralyzed for a year. Also, as a consequence of the violence, she had suicidal thoughts and actually attempted suicide. Later, low self-esteem led her to re-marry thinking this was her last chance at marriage because of her disfigurement. However, that marriage didn’t work out and the second husband left her.  When the second husband left her, he did so at a time when her income was only $13.50 per hour.

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Lauretta’s trajectory included alcoholism, domestic violence, financial struggles, homelessness and a daughter stricken with a disease that would cause her to go blind. Lauretta came to the conclusion that God didn’t care. She believed that there was no way that God could love her.


In her pain, Lauretta cried out to God for help. She began to seek Him and hunger for Him. One day while flipping through a magazine, Lauretta asked God boldly for an answer. “God give me the vision, the idea that will help turn my life around”. At that moment, Covenant Cookies was conceived and Lauretta’s life would be changed forever! From the days of not being able to afford a magazine, today she is in demand gracing the pages of magazines, and speaking on TV shows. Lauretta continues to give God the Glory for an amazing life!

As you will read, Lauretta’s humility is perceived through her words. I can honestly say that this interview truly blessed me beyond words. I hope in this season of HOPE that it will bless you as well!

IWM: Hi Lauretta! I’m excited that you’re doing this interview. Your story is exactly what Inspired Women Magazine is about. During this Season of gratitude and miracles, I know you must feel incredibly grateful seeing where God has brought you through. With that said, you were a victim of domestic violence. Tell us a little about your story. LP: My story is about the transforming power of God. As a single mother most of the time to a later failed marriage. My life consisted of disconnect notices and utilities turned off, I was in constant struggle. I’ve live through, eviction notices as well and repossessions, a sick daughter with no medical insurance, eventually falling down as low as one can go with no hope other than God. Yet God was enough.

That’s exactly how I feel. Just wanted normal in my life. Hoping for a paycheck that would someday be enough, praying for a super natural miracle to take place...God showed up with an idea. A simple idea to put His word in a fortune cookie to inspire others and give them hope...changed my life.

LP:”I felt helpless, ashamed, and hopeless and alone. I stayed in the relationship(s) out of fear, ignorance, and low self-worth.

IWM: What was your lowest point? LP: My lowest point in life was when my marriage was irresolvable, my daughter became very ill and I was fired from my job. I felt totally crushed, worthless and a complete failure.

IWM: Did you feel let down by God? LP: For sure. I never believed God was with me from the beginning. Yes, let down would be an understatement to someone that fought life every day. I believed in what I heard others say about God but never really for myself. I quoted lyrics from a song from Marvin Winans that said: “Heard folks talk about how good you are, and I’d laugh at

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

I soon found out through some of the darkest days of my life, that there was a light, there really was a light and I followed it. Against all odds God’s amazing love show up in my life. He was my knight in shining armor and still rescues me until this day. I often feel, somewhat like Cinderella who only wanted a break from her pain, and a prince found her when she least expected. He was looking for her, and would not give up.

IWM: How did you feel during this time and what caused you to stay in some of these situations?


them, never thought I’d get to know you that way.” I wanted to know Him.

been cheated with me because He blessed me to bounce back, yet I had nothing to offer Him.

IWM: How did you escape or overcome all In my heart I still was a mess and unworthy of God’s goodness. Praise the Lord His thoughts the pain and abuse you experienced?

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

are not our thoughts! Lol! Having an internal LP: I finally escaped through salvation. Totally conversation with the Lord on a 12:00noon break surrendering my life to a God I could not see became I said: “God, I need a word from you.” The Spirit of my strength. I got out of the abuse through the court the Lord clearly said back, “So does everyone else system. I got out of a life of pretending to be someone Word Of God in a cookie.” I wasn’t, (or was never meant to be) through prayer and counseling. I fell in love with Christ, myself and Being a woman that didn’t bake as well as not having any idea what that meant, I picked up the life. I am a new creature in Him and I love it! magazine I had been looking at earlier and flipping IWM: What do you say to women who are through the pages I saw a large fortune cookie. I experiencing a very low point in their lives stopped on that page and stared at it...until I saw my destiny. Through dreams God directed me to a and feel no way out? factory. For 3 years I contracted them with only the LP: Hang onto hope. Pray and seek help from people left over money from my pay check. A magazine you can trust. God will send the right people to open heard about this crazy lady, “The Cookie Lady” in amazing doors. Look at my life, with nothing left, Atlanta that gave away fortune cookies with God’s God gave me more than I could have ever hoped, word inside and called for me.


dreamed or imagined. He will do that for them also. Their job is to want out and be willing to fight. There I was called Atlanta’s most unique business in front of about 5,000 people. After that, doors opened like is nothing in their life that God can’t correct. crazy from magazines, television and book deals. In IWM: What do you think are the keys to 2012, I was in need of partners and I received a call to come to New York for a dinner with Baseball Hall of staying focused and persevering in faith? Famer (Pastor) Darryl Strawberry, his wife Tracy, and a LP: The Word. I meditated on it, day and night. I Wall Street Trader John Luppo (President of Covenant became addicted to positivity, and I can attest to Cookies) and his wife Chris. We later formed a the fact that it works. Surround yourself with light partnership and mass production began through our and love, and most of all give. Give your time if there now factory in California. Since the time of whisper is no money. The law of sowing and reaping is real. from God, I today am CEO of a coffee line, (Covenant Coffee), a candy line (Lauretta’s Sweet Messages) and the largest fortune cookie in the world. IWM: How was Covenant Cookies birthed? LP: I moved to Atlanta, Ga. in 2004 because I lost everything I had in South Carolina. I was hired by a company making 13.50 per hour and was happy. I lived in a 650.00 a month apartment and drove a 1991 Ford Explorer that had no heat and it was winter, yet I felt as though I was the richest person on earth. I had only one issue, that God had

IWM: These cookies would make a great gift this Christmas? How can people purchase them? LP: They can order from our website www.

IWM: What’s your greatest inspiration today? LP: My very own testimony. I don’t need anyone else in the world to be inspired by it if they choose not to, because when I look around and see what God has done in my blows my own mind!

IWM: God is truly a miracle worker! What’s next for Lauretta? LP: Whatever He gives me to do. I am in the process of opening 3 small homes for women called “Lauretta’s House.” It’s time. Every day is a new beginning for me. My goal in life is to leave here empty, all used up. I will die unworthy and empty.

IWM: Let’s close out with your favorite bible verse. LP: Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

in·spire (n-spr) v. in·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires ~ To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. ~To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: ~ To stimulate to action; motivate ~ To affect or touch ~ To breathe on. ~ To breathe life into

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Adriana Zamot is editor and publisher of Inspired Women Magazine. IWM began as a two page newsletter when she wanted to share with a few friends some of the highlights of Christian conferences that she had attended. She enjoys writing and sharing of the Lord’s goodness and mercy. Her hope is that IWM will inspire, motivate, and encourage other women towards their divine excellence. Most people refer to her as “AZ.” She has a Master Degree in Human Resources Administration and Development. She attends Majestic Life Church in Apopka, FL. You may contact her publisher@


Covenant Cookies


The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson Book and Journal

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



Chr istma s L ist

Gratitude Turns What We Have Into Enough Handbag www.christianbook.comJournaling

God’s Not Dead DVD


by Lanette Kissel He was born in an ordinary stable, and laid in a manger lowly. Who would ever have suspected He was actually Someone holy? He did not wear a kingly crown and was clothed in pauper’s garment. Such a plain and ordinary setting for a Gift that was Heaven sent. People gazed upon His young mother, her lovely face reflecting her joy. She knew there was nothing ordinary about her tiny newborn boy. The young mother knew the true origin of the Babe entrusted to her care. Jesus would never really belong to her.

He came to us as an ordinary man born of the most humble birth. Who would ever have imagined He came to serve and save the earth?

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

He was a gift for mankind to share.


“Leave Those Turtles Alone” by Jennifer Workman

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

I am tickled“pink!”Recently I had the opportunity to listen to one of TD Jakes powerful and inspiring messages on “The Heart of the Matter.” In this particular message he repetitiously utilizes the illustration of the giraffe, its function and God’s purpose for creating it to be synonymous with us as human beings and how we need to, when God is evaluating us and taking us to the next level, see on the level as the giraffe. As TD Jakes suggested, the giraffe can’t concern itself with what is transpiring on a lower level because it and miss out on the opportunities that God has only visualizes things from an upward position. for our lives!”


But what particularly caught my attention and gave me a “light bulb” moment was his story about a time when he was writing a commentary for the Washington Post and as time transpired, he began to get negative comments from the readers. Consequently, he ceased his efforts in writing for the newspaper. When the person in charge of the commentary came back to him and asked him why he ceased his effort, he stated “because of all the negative feedback that was given.” The Editor responded “Oh, Bishop Jakes, those are not our consistent readers. Our readers are intellectual people and don’t have time to make comments, those are other people making those comments.”

This statement “leave those turtles alone” spoke to me directly and penetrated my heart. Why? Because all of us at one point or time has missed wonderful opportunities given by God because we were more concerned about what others thought of us rather than doing what God had commissioned us to do! This message has refueled, rejuvenated and refocused my attention even more. We all have a work to do for God and have to impact others for the kingdom of God and as a whole, my prayer is that we all will set our hearts on the things of God and let that be our focus and driving force for all that we do! And, remember to be wise in the words that we choose because “life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs His epiphany was that “those people” making 18:21, NKJV).” the comments were so called “turtles” and “not giraffes.” His response to that and to the audience that he was preaching to was to “leave those turtles alone.” Because as he so eloquently states, “life is a jungle and we have to adapt to the different environments that we are exposed to but not allow those negative things or critical people to keep us from moving to the next level

The Everyday Gift of Peace and Joy by Jessie Christensen

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

talk about parties...this is a time of year for some people where two or three parties a week is the Confession: Sometimes my heart longs for it to norm. ‘Tis the season to be jolly! be the Holiday Season forever. We are constantly wrapped in this blanket of You know that time of year just before warmth and comfort that the holiday spirit brings. Thanksgiving and journeying through to The familiarity of hot chocolate, cozy fires, town Christmas. It’s a magical season full of memories parades, and Christmas movies. The warmth we and nostalgia as you gather with friends and feel when we give to those less fortunate. The family. Even strangers smile a welcoming reassuring presence of friends and family, the greeting usually unseen other months of beauty of glitter and lights, holiday shopping, the year! It is a season of hope as you begin and the soothing sounds of carols everywhere. to transition and change into the New Year. The words joy, hope, and love are heard in People seem friendlier, the stars shine brighter, songs, sermons, conversations on the radio and the food is more in abundance and everyone TV.  The build-up and excitement of Christmas takes this time of year to express their thanks for a month - or longer if you start listening to in gifts to friends, charities and churches. And Christmas Carols before Thanksgiving like I do.


No other time of year like the holiday season.

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Then Dec. 26th comes and just like that! The holiday spirit, the parties, food, even the warmth and charity called the Magic of Christmas is bundled up and thrown away as quickly as the gift wrapping that so carefully covered our gifts. We go back to planning our busy schedules. We go back to making resolutions we never resolve. We go back to our days of giving as little as we can to get by. We go back to living our days longing for that Christmas magic again. We long for the wonder to go on and then ask ourselves, “What is missing?”


I know this is true because I used to be one of those who yearned for the Christmas “magic”, that joy and warmth and sense of peace that seemed to be especially strong during this particular time of year. Is this where you find yourself as well? - A longing heart. It took me awhile to fully realize that while I could bask in the warmth of a fire with friends and family, be soothed by carols and twinkling lights, be elated by the giving and getting, IF I wanted this gift of joy to last….if I wanted to really reflect all four seasons of the year with a Christmas spirit….I needed the gift of Jesus.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, & Prince of Peace Isaiah 9:6 We long for the gift of His Peace and joy throughout the year but also the gift of His Grace, Love, Blessings, Mercy and Salvation So, as you take down the last bit of your Christmas decorations, as you begin to get ready for work and school to begin again, as you write down your resolutions and To Do lists, remember that gifts of peace and joy are not ultimately a place, a gift or just a season. Peace and joy are found ultimately in the Person of Jesus, who is willing to give you His gifts every single day. Your heart does not have to long all year until the next holiday season to feel the magic of Christmas. Receive the gift of peace and joy today. The Magic of Christmas truly lives in our hearts. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests. Luke 2:14

Confession: Even with Jesus in my heart all year For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, long, celebrating His birthday is still one of my and the government will be on His shoulders. favorite times of the year.




DEBORAH HIGHTOWER Leadership & Success coach Financial consultant Best-selling author SPEAKER

email: facebook: DeborahHightowerInc twitter: @pennedbydeborah linkedin: deborahhightower

POISED, PREPARED and in Hot PURSUIT of Your PASSION Work/Life Balance: Finding Greater Fulfillment and Happiness Motivation: Find it, Pass it on‌ Expand Your Boundaries: Outreach The F’s of Life: Faith, Family, Friends, and Finances

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inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Deborah is an award-winning financial consultant and holds numerous professional designations in that arena. Her first book contribution, The Secret to Winning BIG: Top Strategies for Winning BIG in Life and Business, is a best-seller. She writes for numerous lifestyle magazines and blogs and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, The Charlotte Observer, Miami Herald, Dow Jones Market Watch, Morningstar, CNBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC and other news outlets. Whether speaking at conferences, faith-based occasions, fundraising events, or corporate boardrooms, she encourages others to reach, stretch and grab the opportunities that lay in wait.

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inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

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Dare to Hope... Dare to Dream

In going after our dreams and purpose, there will be times that our lives seem to go in the opposite direction of our desires. At times, it will seem like there is absolutely no way that you can see your dreams realized and so, you retreat and stop going after your dreams with the same level of passion you once did.

I’m sure that as you look around at today’s world or your circumstances, hope usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In fact, what is hope? The Bible dictionary defines hope as: “Reliance on God’s blessing and provision; the expectation of future good. The confident expectancy.” In the

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Lamentations 3:21, Jeremiah was troubled but he said, “Yet I still dare to hope.

You have created your Master Dream List and vision board. You’ve prayed, declared and decreed. In essence, you’ve done all you can. The bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick and so, that is exactly what happens. Your heart begins to feel the impossibility of those things you desire to see. Your heart gets broken because you think, “Everything I hope for from the Lord is lost or isn’t going to happen.”


inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Bible, the word “hope” stands for: “Both the act of hoping and the things hoped for.” Webster’s Dictionary meaning says: “A feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by expectation. The things that one has a hope for. A reason for hope. A person or thing on which one may base some hope. Trust, Reliance.”


I know that at times it is easy to get discouraged and lack the confident expectancy that what we are hoping for will happen. We may feel that what we are hoping seems impossible. In fact, Romans 4:18-22 says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him….” It continues, “…Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,” Abraham’s situation seemed impossible, yet he hoped against hope. He did not waver. He was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. Jeremiah, the author of Lamentations found himself in a hopeless situation. He was grieved because of the lives lost, the destruction of the major structures including the wall and the temple. He experienced fear, worry, and doubt. Yet, while in a hopeless situation, he

dared to hope. He continued to trust and rely on God’s ability to deliver a future good or say a good future. How was Jeremiah able to do this? He remembered. He remembered God’s faithfulness in the past. “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him.”  (Lamentations 3:21-24). Like Abraham and Jeremiah, there are countless other examples in the bible. Perhaps, this is a new level of building your faith. So, keep praying and hoping for that break-through. You are not alone in this fight! Like Jeremiah, keep remembering! You’ve seen God work in the past. I want to challenge or dare you to re-new your hope and like Jeremiah say, “Yet I still dare to hope.” In the midst of your situation, fan the flames of your dream through remembering God’s goodness in your life. In the midst of doubt, fan the flames through your renewed hope against hope. Fan the flames through his mercies of a new day. Fan the flames of your praise to God who can do anything! As Hebrews 10:23 reminds us, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Write it down. What are you hoping for? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ What is stopping you from confident expectancy? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ What will you do differently? ________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________

Dare to Hope again!

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


“You are blessed for believing that the LORD would keep His promise to you.” Luke 1:45 God’s Word ® Translation

inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



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inspired women magazine NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

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Inspired Women Magazine November/December 2014  
Inspired Women Magazine November/December 2014  

It’s countdown! In the next few weeks as we close out this year, I pray that we may finish strong! This year seems to have flown by in a bli...