Page 1

4th edition july/august 2021

1


Our Mission A unified, global women’s ministry empowering one another to follow Christ and to love in abundance; and cultivating women warriors in their purpose by His promise and power.

Join us! Visit our website at www.womenworldleaders.com to get find out how you can get involved!

Daily Devotionals Enjoy our daily devotionals shared by Kimberly on our Facebook page, website, and email list!

Follow Along! instagram: @womenworldleaders facebook: @womenworldleaders website: www.womenworldleaders.com

Speaking Our Global Office Team is willing to speak at women’s events or conferences. Empowerment – Kimberly Hobbs, Teaching – Julie Jenkins, Living on Mission – Lauren Dean We are a team unified in His love and will intentionally pray about any presented opportunities to speak at your next event.

Listen to our podcast! Experience God’s extravagant love and your exquisite purpose through the Women World Leaders’ podcast that focuses on teaching, inspiration, and encouragement. Our prayer is that as your intimacy with God grows, your love for one another will flourish, enabling you to live out a courageous, purpose-driven life, fueled by the Word, led by the Spirit, and propelled forward into your God-given destiny through fearless faith! From His heart to yours, we are Women World Leaders! www.womenworldleaders.com/learn-with-us/podcasts/


Letter from theFounder SWEET WOMAN OF GOD, Here we are, now into our 4th edition of Voice of Truth. What a privilege it has been to share with you stories, scripture, nuggets of truth, and encouraging words from the hearts of our sister contributors around the world. Personally, it has been a dream of mine to share with the masses truths about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; but in the past, feelings of “unworthiness” held me captive. The enemy of this world tried countless times to shatter my dream of being a voice in this world and leaving a legacy within it. I fell prey to false belief systems about myself and believed the lies which attacked my mind. This pattern held me prisoner until I heard the voice of truth. God’s truth taught me to turn my thoughts around by renewing my mind in Christ Jesus. I feel compelled this month to share with you a little about what it takes to overcome the “unworthy” feelings that may arise from our past. If you struggle in this area, we are here as a family to share some hope and shed some light. IT TAKES COURAGE TO OVERCOME UNWORTHINESS Romans 8:39 NIV - Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord. You are so loved. Even in your weakest moments, when you feel unworthy and inadequate, you are loved and seen in fullness and greatness. Often, we fall into brokenness and let our weaknesses and insecurities overtake us. We allow ourselves to be defined by others' words rather than believing the truth that pours from our Lord. It takes tremendous courage to talk down lies from the enemy and listen to the voice of truth. The voice of truth from God's Word will speak to you and strengthen you to combat the lies you may be tempted to believe. The truth from God will propel you to true freedom. We need to recognize any issue that can harm us and release it to God through prayer. Feelings of inadequacy sometimes cause us to feel that we do not have the qualities and abilities necessary to do something specific or cope with

life in general. We all have hope. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ. When we are feeling unworthy, we need to muster up courage from truth, not lies. We must identify the lies. Ask God to help you. He will give you courage. The courage that says, “because God's love is perfect and unconditional and pure, He will help you, no matter what.” Trust God and understand the core of your being He created is in your soul. God created you, and He thinks you are worthy! He will show you in His Word that you will no longer need to depend on the fleeting approval of others because your worth is built on the solid foundation of an unchanging God. But you must trust His love for you. God talks to you through the Bible. It is His love letter to you. God believes you are worthy. So worthy that He engraved you on the palm of His hands. He says this in Psalm 49:15-16. He also sees you as a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), and He calls you His own (1 John 3:1). Despite your past mistakes, God's gift to you is Jesus Christ, and by trusting Him as your Savior, viewing your life's inadequacy can become something of the past. Why? You are now worthy because you belong to the King. You now are His child, and God makes NO MISTAKES. He created you with His purpose in mind. May you be fueled through the pages of Voice of Truth magazine and understand you have a purpose in the Kingdom of God. You are part of God’s plan, dear Sister, and YOU are worthy to be used by God. Exceedingly, Abundantly, Beyond,

Kimberly Hobbs Founder, Women World Leaders kimberly@womenworldleaders.com Ephesians 3:20

3


Carta de la Fundadora DULCE MUJER DE DIOS,

Aquí estamos, ahora en nuestra 4o edición de Voice of Truth. Qué privilegio ha sido compartir con ustedes historias, pasajes de las Escrituras, pepitas de verdad y palabras de aliento de los corazones de nuestras hermanas colaboradoras de todo el mundo. Personalmente, ha sido un sueño para mí compartir con las masas verdades acerca de mi Señor y Salvador Jesucristo; pero en el pasado, los sentimientos de “indignidad” me mantuvieron cautiva. El enemigo de este mundo intentó en innumerables ocasiones hacer añicos mi sueño de ser una voz en este mundo y dejar un legado en él. Caí presa de falsos sistemas de creencias sobre mí misma y creí las mentiras que atacaban mi mente. Este patrón me mantuvo prisionera hasta que escuché la voz de la verdad. La verdad de Dios me enseñó a cambiar mis pensamientos renovando mi mente en Cristo Jesús. Este mes me siento obligada a compartir con ustedes un poco sobre lo que se necesita para superar los sentimientos de “indignidad” que pueden surgir de nuestro pasado. Si tiene dificultades en esta área, estamos aquí como familia para compartir algo de esperanza y arrojar algo de luz. SE NECESITA VALOR PARA VENCER LA INDIGNIDAD Romanos 8:39 NVI - Ni lo alto ni lo profundo, ni cosa alguna en toda la creación podrá apartarnos del amor que Dios nos ha manifestado en Cristo Jesús nuestro Señor. Eres tan amada. Incluso en tus momentos más débiles, cuando te sientes indigna e inadecuada, eres amada y vista en plenitud y grandeza. A menudo, caemos en el quebrantamiento y dejamos que nuestras debilidades e inseguridades nos superen. Nos dejamos definir por las palabras de los demás en lugar de creer la verdad que brota de nuestro Señor. Se necesita un gran valor para rechazar las mentiras del enemigo y escuchar la voz de la verdad. La voz de la verdad de la Palabra de Dios te hablará y te fortalecerá para combatir las mentiras en las que te sientas tentada a creer. La verdad de Dios te impulsará a la verdadera libertad. Necesitamos reconocer cualquier problema que pueda dañarnos y entregarlo a Dios a través de la oración. 4

Los sentimientos de insuficiencia a veces nos hacen sentir que no tenemos las cualidades y habilidades necesarias para hacer algo específico o afrontar la vida en general. Todos tenemos esperanza. Nuestra esperanza está en Jesucristo. Cuando nos sentimos indignas, debemos mostrar nuestro valor de la verdad, no de las mentiras. Debemos identificar las mentiras. Pídale a Dios que te ayude. Él te dará valor. El coraje que dice, "debido a que el amor de Dios es perfecto, incondicional y puro, Él te ayudará, pase lo que pase". Confía en Dios y comprende que el núcleo de tu ser que Él creó está en tu alma. ¡Dios te creó y cree que eres digna! Él te mostrará en Su Palabra que ya no necesitarás depender de la aprobación fugaz de otros porque tu valor está construido sobre la base sólida de un Dios inmutable. Pero debes confiar en Su amor por ti. Dios te habla a través de la Biblia. Es Su carta de amor para ti. Dios cree que eres digna. Tan digna que te grabó en la palma de Sus manos. Dice esto en el Salmo 49: 15-16. Él también te ve como una obra maestra (Efesios 2:10) y te llama Suyo (1 Juan 3: 1). A pesar de los errores del pasado, el regalo de Dios para ti es Jesucristo, y al confiar en Él como tu Salvador, ver las cosas inadecuadas de tu vida puede convertirse en algo del pasado. ¿Por qué? Ahora eres digna porque perteneces al Rey. Ahora eres Su hija, y Dios NO comete ERRORES. Él te creó con Su propósito en mente. Siéntete animada a través de las páginas de la revista Voice of Truth y comprende que tienes un propósito en el Reino de Dios. Eres parte del plan de Dios, querida Hermana, y eres digna de ser usada por Dios. Exceedingly, Abundantly, Beyond,

Kimberly Hobbs Founder, Women World Leaders kimberly@womenworldleaders.com Ephesians 3:20


I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)


6

CONTENT

8

Gospel Grace (with Spanish version) - Leecy Barnett

12

Writings from the Global Office - WWL Staff

16

Sea Him - Christa Jewett

18

A Purposed Creation - Kerri Bridges

19

Journey with Jesus - Lisa Morrison

20

Shelter in Place - Rachel Dube, Artist

22

Nonna's kNOWledge - Carolyn Joy

23

Holy Hush - Deborah Watson

28

Peace by Piece - Stephanie Fincher

30

Hiding in Plain Sight - Lillian Cucuzza, Photographer

31

College Courage - Sarah Jenkins

32

Dear Sister, - Dr. Jia Conway

33

Be Still - Lynne Hudson, Artist

34

Broken and Beloved - Aimee Taylor

36

Tea Time With Tina - Tina Gallo

39

Dim House Gospel Glimpses - Rachel Dube

43

Power Points - Leecy Barnett

44

Walk With Me in the Garden (with Spanish version) - Lynne Hudson, FEATURED COVER ART

46

Three Strands - Cindy Southworth

47

Musings on the Book of John - Connie Hecker

49

Joy Comes in the Morning - Jessica Morneault, Photographer

50

A Beautiful Mess - Jessica Prukner

53

Following the Son - Michele Hughes

54

Tapestry of His Love - Lynne Hudson, Artist

56

Faith and Family - Donna Whartenby


TS 58

Beside Still Waters - Rusanne Jourdan

60

Living a Holyistic Life - Melissa Kessler

61

Ever Interceding - Diana Brown

62

Wide Open Wonderment - Rachel Dube

68

Coffee Chats - Tina Kadolph, Owner of Palate Coffee Brewery and Love Missions

72

Courage in Action - Dr.'s Jennie Cerullo and Marcia Ball with Kerus Global

74

Reflections - Lynne Hudson, Artist

75

WWL Global Connections - Carrie Christopher

78

Voice of Truth Stories

Voice of Truth Credits Kimberly Hobbs - WWL Executive Director Carrie Christopher - VOT Co-founder Julie Jenkins - WWL Teaching Leader, VOT Editor Lauren Dean - WWL Business and Missions Director

Janet Berrong & Doris Clarke - Encouragement Team Arlene Salas - Giving Acknowledgements Johana Torres - Spanish Translator

Kayla Follin - Graphic Designer Lisa Morrison - Editor Kerri Bridges - Editor

This ministry is flourishing by an army of Women World Leaders. Many thanks to:

Rachel Dube - Editor

Cindy Southworth, Diane Cheveldayoff, Dr. Jia Conway,

Stephanie Fincher - Admissions Coordinator

Lynne Hudson, Adriana Laine, Cakki Warren, Chris Mallek,

Dana Reeves - Administration & Mailing

Michele Hughes, Tina Gallo, Yvette Behmer

Jessica Morneault - Photography Co-Management

Claire Portmann, Diana Brown, Lois Daley, Martine Henry,

7


Gospel Grace Written by Leecy Barnett Recently I bought a blouse and charged it to my department store credit card. Because I forgot to tell the store my email had changed, I did not pay the bill until I was awakened one morning by a call from the collection agency. I ended up paying three times what the blouse originally cost. Debt is like that; it sneaks up on you and, before you know it, you are being squeezed to death. Just before the pandemic hit, World Bank statistics showed that household debt in sixteen countries, including the United States, China, Australia, and the UK, was greater than their gross domestic product. Talk about spending more than you earn! Then just like an earthquake, COVID-19 hit the world with a vengeance. Death and economic devastation spread across the globe. Millions of people lost their jobs, and the debt that had seemed like just a way of life began to overwhelm the debtors. In the same way, we can sin and sin and sin some more and think nothing of it. But sooner or later, your sin will catch up with you, or as it says in the Bible, …be sure that your sins will find you out. (Numbers 32:23 NIV) Sin is one of those churchy words that has fallen out of favor in our modern world, so we need to define our terms: Sin is “actions by which humans rebel against God, miss His purpose for their life, and surrender to the power of evil rather than to God.” In other words, sin is living my life my way, meeting my needs, paying little or no attention to God. Since sin reflects the inner condition of the heart, people who seem to be very good and even religious are often the worst sinners. (I should know as 8


I was one of them!) Whether you are a blatant sinner or a hidden one, sin always leads to death: For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NASB) As Pastor Timothy Keller often says on his Gospel in Life podcasts, the message of the Bible is, “We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” Most people today don’t realize they owe a debt to God. He created us and He simply asks us to put Him first in our lives. But we ignore God, say He doesn’t exist, or try to manipulate Him to get what we want out of life. Once we realize we are indebted to God, we often become afraid, thinking He is vengeful, ready to send out thugs to cap our knees or bury us in cement. But God is both just and loving. His justice means He cannot simply ignore our debt of sin, yet His love compelled Him to find a workaround. We owed God more than we could possibly pay, so He became a man and paid the debt Himself. As He was dying on the cross, Jesus cried out, “Tetelestai!”—it is finished—literally "Paid in full!" Jesus’ death completely wiped out our debt to God and what’s more, His resurrection gave us a new life free from the power of that old debt: You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God gave you new life together with Christ. He forgave all our sins. Because we broke God’s laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 ERV) If you want to live debt-free before God, why don’t you accept Jesus’ death as payment in full for your sins? You can express this desire through a simple prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I know I owe a debt to God that I can never pay. Thank You so much for dying in my place to pay that debt fully. Thank You for giving me a clean slate, a fresh start in life. I turn over my life to You and give You the first place in it that You so richly deserve. 1World Bank. (2021, February). Total household debt as share of GDP in selected countries worldwide in 2019. Statista.com. 2Butler, T. C. (Ed.). (1991). Entry for ‘Sin’. Holman Bible Dictionary. https:// www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/s/sin.html. 1991.

God is both just and loving. His justice means He cannot simply ignore our debt of sin, yet His love compelled Him to find a workaround. We owed God more than we could possibly pay, so He became a man and paid the debt Himself.

9


Gracia del Evangelio Written by Leecy Barnett Recientemente compré una blusa y la cargué en la tarjeta de crédito de mi tienda departamental. Debido a que olvidé decirle a la tienda que mi correo electrónico había cambiado, no pagué la factura hasta que una mañana me despertó una llamada de la agencia de cobranza. Terminé pagando tres veces lo que costaba originalmente la blusa. La deuda es así; se te acerca sigilosamente y, antes de que te des cuenta, estás siendo aplastado hasta la muerte. Justo antes de que estallara la pandemia, las estadísticas del Banco Mundial mostraban que la deuda de los hogares en dieciséis países, incluidos Estados Unidos, China, Australia y el Reino Unido, era mayor que su producto interno bruto. ¡Habla sobre gastar más de lo que ganas! Luego, al igual que un terremoto, COVID 19 golpeó al mundo con mas fuerza. La muerte y la devastación económica se extendieron por todo el mundo. Millones de personas perdieron sus trabajos y la deuda que parecía solo una forma de vida comenzó a abrumar a los deudores. De la misma manera, podemos pecar y pecar y pecar un poco más y no pensar en ello. Pero tarde o temprano, tu pecado te alcanzará, o como dice la Biblia, …asegúrate de que tus pecados te descubrirán. (Números 32:23 NVI) El pecado es una de esas palabras eclesiásticas que ha caído en desgracia en nuestro mundo moderno, por lo que debemos definir nuestros términos: El pecado es “acciones por las cuales los humanos 10


se rebelan contra Dios, pierden su propósito para su vida y se rinden al poder del mal en lugar de a Dios.” En otras palabras, el pecado es vivir mi vida a mi manera, satisfaciendo mis necesidades, prestando poca o ninguna atención a Dios. Dado que el pecado refleja la condición interna del corazón, las personas que parecen ser muy buenas e incluso religiosas son a menudo los peores pecadores. (¡Debería saberlo porque fui uno de ellos!) Si eres un pecador descarado o un pecador oculto, el pecado siempre lleva a la muerte: porque la paga del pecado es muerte, pero la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús nuestro Señor. (Romanos 6:23 NASB) Como el pastor Timothy Keller dice a menudo en sus podcasts, Gospel in Life, el mensaje de la Biblia es: “Somos más pecadores y defectuosos en nosotros mismos de lo que jamás nos atrevimos a creer, pero al mismo tiempo somos más amados y aceptados en Jesucristo de lo que jamás se nos hubiera ocurrido.” La mayoría de la gente de hoy no se da cuenta de que tiene una deuda con Dios. Él nos creó y simplemente nos pide que lo pongamos a Él en primer lugar en nuestras vidas. Pero ignoramos a Dios, decimos que Él no existe o tratamos de manipularlo para obtener lo que queremos de la vida. Una vez que nos damos cuenta de que estamos en deuda con Dios, a menudo nos asustamos, pensando que Él es vengativo, listo para enviar matones para ponernos de rodillas o enterrarnos en cemento. Pero Dios es justo y amoroso. Su justicia significa que no puede simplemente ignorar nuestra deuda de pecado, sin embargo, su amor lo obligó a encontrar una solución. Le debíamos a Dios más de lo que podíamos pagar, así que Él se hizo hombre y Él mismo pagó la deuda. Mientras moría en la cruz, Jesús gritó: “¡Tetelestai!”, Se acabó, ¡literalmente pagado en su totalidad! La muerte de Jesús eliminó por completo nuestra deuda con Dios y, lo que es más, su resurrección nos dio una nueva vida libre del poder de esa vieja deuda:

Pero Dios es justo y amoroso. Su justicia significa que no puede simplemente ignorar nuestra deuda de pecado, sin embargo, su amor lo obligó a encontrar una solución. Le debíamos a Dios más de lo que podíamos pagar, así que Él se hizo hombre y Él mismo pagó la deuda.

Estabas muerto espiritualmente por tus pecados y porque no estabas libre del poder de tu yo pecaminoso. Pero Dios te dio nueva vida junto con Cristo. Él perdonó todos nuestros pecados. Debido a que infringimos las leyes de Dios, teníamos una deuda, una deuda que enumeraba todas las reglas que no seguimos. Pero Dios nos perdonó esa deuda. La quitó de en medio y la clavó en la cruz. (Colosenses 2: 13-14 ERV) Si quieres vivir libre de deudas ante Dios, ¿por qué no aceptas la muerte de Jesús como pago total por tus pecados? Puedes expresar este deseo a través de una simple oración: Querido Señor Jesús, sé que tengo una deuda con Dios que nunca podré pagar. Muchas gracias por morir en mi lugar para pagar esa deuda en su totalidad. Gracias por darme una pizarra limpia, un nuevo comienzo en la vida. Te entrego mi vida y te doy el primer lugar en ella que tanto te mereces.

11


“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

Writings from the Global Office: Messages from Our Hearts Empowering Lives with Purpose COURAGE TO OVERCOME SHAME Are you plagued with shame’s message of “I am bad” or “Did I do something wrong?” Shame identifies that we are unacceptable, dirty, and disgraced. Unfortunately, sin leaves guilt and shame in its wake, even after forgiveness has been sought and granted. Sadly, shame is found in victims of abuse, which is grieving to our hearts. We can feel shame because we are sinned against. Shameful or sinful acts against a person can leave them vulnerable to shame. Verbal abuse, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and trauma can all result in leaving a person with a feeling of shame. We can look at the Biblical example of Tamar, who was raped by her brother, Anon. “And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.” (2 Samuel 13:19 ESV) Shame can also arise from past sin, even though it is no longer a part of you. When this shame is experienced, you must remember your sin is nailed to the cross, and it no longer has power over you. It is one thing to believe your sin has been removed from you, but another to KNOW that there is a divine love that can never be removed from you, no matter what you have done. Jesus says, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2 NIV) Shame hinders us in many ways. It can hinder you and prevent you from finding your purpose. How often this can happen to others as well, robbing our world of such amazing men and women of God. It can hinder you from creativity. Shame brings insecurity that can hold you back from fulfilling things that God has equipped you to do for Him. Shame hinders relationships from thriving because there are tendencies to distance yourself to protect yourself from the other person in your relationship due to past fears. In many ways, you may feel ongoing hurt in areas you have no control over anymore, affecting the other person. 12


Shame disappears in a relationship with Jesus. Faith in Christ heals us from shame, bringing us true freedom. Jesus’ mission on earth was to set the captives free - free from the prison of shame. Remember to reflect on the truth that God is not ashamed of us. Jesus died for our sin and shame. It takes tremendous courage to walk away from any form of shame and refocus on the praise from Almighty God. Do not allow your own self-evaluation or that of others to set your mind off course. Look to God’s Word for your help. 1 Corinthians 4:1-13 may help you to name the shame. Identify your shame and nail it to the cross once and for all. You can then move on to freedom in Christ alone. With Him, you will find true inner joy and a peace that passes all understanding. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 NIV)

Kimberly Hobbs

Founder and Executive Director kimberly@womenworldleaders.com

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (MATTHEW 9:2 NIV)

Biblical Profiles EVE

One of the biggest blessings for the Christian woman is learning from women who have gone before her. I’m so thankful for the women who have taught and mentored me along my path. And I’m thankful for the wisdom my daughters have gleaned from the experiences of Christian women in their lives. Here’s an interesting thought: what would your life look like if no woman had gone before you? I vividly remember being pregnant with my oldest child and thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this.” I was walking through a mall, and suddenly I started looking at everyone around me and reasoned, “Every one of these people was born. They all had mothers. They all grew up. And if they were okay, maybe the child growing in me will be alright. And maybe, like millions of moms before me, I can do this, too.” Those thoughts gave me comfort. But they also led me to think, what if I was the first? We don’t know a lot about Eve, but we do know that she was the first woman created on earth and that no other woman came before her. Did Eve know what was happening to her body when she got pregnant? Did she know how long the pregnancy would last? What did she think when she looked at her newborn in her arms without having anyone around who could relate to her or give her advice? Genesis 2:18 tells us that Eve was created by God to be a helper for Adam. This word “helper” comes from the Hebrew word ‘ezer, which may be understood a bit differently today than how it was originally intended. We often think of a helper as subservient to the one who is being helped. But the word ‘ezer is most often used in the context of one who is uniquely qualified to offer assistance and come alongside someone, complementing the individual as a partner. In fact, most times in the Bible, the word ‘ezer is linked to the help that we receive from God Himself. (“We wait in 13


hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20 NIV) God created Eve to be a helper to Adam. She was uniquely qualified to work with Adam – she was, in fact, united to him. (Gen 2:24) And the experiences that she was to go through would qualify her to teach and lead those who would come after her. We often focus on the fact that Eve was tricked by the serpent and fell to temptation by eating the fruit that God had forbidden her to eat. She gave the fruit to Adam to eat too, and together, they hid from God, afraid because they were naked. We certainly shouldn’t ignore the fact that this first sin led all humanity down a dark path. However, we must also remember that although the repercussions of that sin still resound today, God showed Eve His grace by making clothing for her by killing an animal and using its skin to cover over her nakedness and shame. And then God further gave His protection by sending the couple from the garden so that they would not eat from the tree of life and therefore live in their sin forever separated from God. (Genesis 3) Eve may have been the first woman to sin, but she was also the first woman to receive God’s grace and protection. Eve experienced heartbreak when her children turned against each other and her second born, after killing his brother, moved far from the family. Was Eve separated from her grandchildren? The Bible isn’t clear. We do know that Eve held close to God through the turmoil, whom she credited with the gift of her son Seth to replace her firstborn. (Genesis 4)

What can we learn from Eve, our original matriarch? First, we learn that God creates us all with a specific purpose in mind and gifts us for the task. Eve, created to be the “helper” for Adam, was never intended to be subservient but to fill a role that she was uniquely qualified to handle. Like Eve, you have been created for a purpose and are uniquely qualified for that purpose. Don’t ever doubt that God crafted and placed you where He wants you to be. Second, we learn that God is our strength. Eve had no one to pave the path, break the glass ceiling, or guide her through life experiences. But Eve always knew she could depend on God – to cover her shame, protect her from eternal damage, and stay by her side when the going got tough. Like Eve, God is your strength and your guide. He will never leave you alone. And third, we learn that part of our purpose is to pour into other women in our lives. Although Eve had no mentor, through her, God created a fellowship of women meant to serve Him and serve each other. (Titus 2:3-5) Like Eve, part of your calling is to pass on what you have learned to others. Will you join me in asking God how to be a blessing to other women, that we might perpetuate the line of mentorship that originated with Eve? Let’s ask God to show us who He is calling each of us to guide, lead, listen to, or encourage. Like Eve, you are uniquely qualified, anointed, and positioned for the task!

Julie Jenkins Teaching and Curriculum Leader julie@womenworldleaders.com

14


Jesus at the Center of Our Lives WHEN GOD BUILDS YOUR HOME I watch the sun setting from my third-floor apartment window, as it starts to slowly fade behind the palm trees and then quickly disappears—the light from the Lord piercing and flooding in. These are holy moments— glimpses of heaven that if we blink too fast, we will miss. Lean into them, soak them in. You don’t have to look too far to see God. And once you start looking, you’ll find Him everywhere—in every miracle and every mundane moment. “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” (Psalm 65:8 NIV) And I’ve seen His light flood the darkest of situations and circumstances. Some of the most significant ministry is done within these four walls. Where strangers have become sisters, and brokenness has become building blocks. Where tears have turned into testimonies, and pain has been transformed into purpose. Making a home with what God has given us now, as we look towards our perfect heavenly home that is awaiting us. We may not think we have much to offer, but the Lord will use our little, as we open our homes and our hearts to one another. Lives built on the foundation of Christ, that will not crumble and fall when the storms come. Homes filled with love, laughter, and peace in the midst of chaos and trouble. Simple, but not always easy. Where mistakes will be made, but perfection isn’t required and grace is given. Covered in God’s goodness, alongside so many precious prayers. With an open door to all, and great conversations over a good meal. Where people can encounter the presence of the Lord, and leave different than when they came. Where people can sit with their Savior, and lament with their Lord. A home full of “hallelujahs”…

Lauren Elizabeth Dean Business and Missions Leader lauren@womenworldleaders.com

15


Sea Him GOD’S GREATNESS ON DISPLAY written by Christa Jewett The ocean is an intriguing environment. Its sheer size, as well as the number and variety of its creatures, is mind-blowing. However, the most fascinating aspect of marine science may be the intricate balance of the world ocean on both a grand and minute scale. There are so many details that God must keep in perfect order for the ocean to support living things. While human efforts to describe God’s accomplishments are often insufficient, science can reveal some of these amazingly intricate marine relationships.

the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.” (Psalm 95:3-5 NKJV)

“For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth;

Sea otters are an endangered species of marine mammal that live in the kelp forests along the west coast

16

One marine environment that displays God’s hand in maintaining remarkable balance on both a local and global scale is the kelp forest ecosystem. For kelp forests to live along North America’s West Coast, everything from the rotation of the earth to sea otter predation must be kept in equilibrium. Let us examine the details more closely.


of the United States. They are considered one of the most important species in this ecosystem as they play a vital role in the health of their home habitat. Sea otters prey on sea urchins, a type of animal that lives on the seafloor and grazes on kelp. If sea urchin populations increase beyond what is sustainable for the kelp, the sea urchins can destroy the kelp beds. Consequently, sea otters’ predation of sea urchins maintains balance within the local food web. Kelp forests, the environment in which sea urchins and sea otters thrive, are submarine forests comprised mainly of different species of seaweed called kelp. Kelp has a rather narrow set of ecological requirements. Unlike land-based plants, kelp does not obtain nutrients through roots, but instead has leaf-like blades that draw nutrients from the water. To survive, kelp must have a rocky seafloor for attachment, a source of nutrients, and access to sunlight for photosynthesis to occur. However, in the ocean environment, the need for both nutrients and sunlight can be an issue. This is because in shallow ocean waters that allow sunlight penetration, nutrients float in the water column and block the sunlight. This is where God’s ingenuity is displayed, and the rotation of the earth becomes a factor in kelp’s survival.

Under normal conditions, wind moves from north to south along the California coastline. The rotation of the earth causes something called the Coriolis effect, which influences surface ocean currents to move to the right of the wind’s direction in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the coastal wind is effectively pushing water offshore, creating a “void” in the surface of the ocean. Displaced surface water is replaced by water that rushes from the deep ocean in a process called upwelling. This deep ocean water is rich in dissolved nutrients, providing a source of nutrition for the kelp while also allowing sunlight to reach its leafy blades. To summarize: wind blows, the earth rotates, water rushes from the deep, kelp is fed, and sea otters have a home! Take a moment to consider all that God manages for kelp forests to survive. If all these things are under His control, is He not also in control of what happens to you? The entire world is in God’s hands. He can be trusted with your life as well.

WWL LOVE NOTES When I think of the impact that Women World Leaders has had on my life, God gave me the word MORE. It has opened doors for more friendships and more fellowship with like-minded believers on a journey for the same purpose (which is found in our mission statement available on our website, www.womenworldleaders.com). Music is part of my soul and a universal language. When I think of Women World Leaders, I can’t help but be reminded of the song, “I Want to Praise You, Lord” by Maranatha Music Praise Singers. This song expresses the deeper desire to praise God more, know Him more, see Him more, love Him more, and serve Him more. That is what WWLs has created in me. We are better together. He has so much MORE for all of us! Ephesians 3:20

-Michele Hughes

17


A Purposed Creation WORSHIP IS BEAUTIFUL written by Kerri Bridges

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise. (Psalm 98:4 KJV)

cial media that holds us to the highest standard, is reverent worship suffering?

I love beautiful worship. When a gifted vocalist opens her mouth, allowing lovely, graceful notes to waft through the air, I just want to close my eyes and drink in the delicate tones as I lift my heart up to the Father. As a musician, when I hear the artful sounds of an instrument masterfully played by a skilled artist, I am enraptured.

To clarify, we have at our fingertips unlimited access to incredibly anointed musicians - bands, worship teams, and singer/songwriters. So many that we could never exhaust the supply. Enter any given church on any given Sunday, and you will hear wonderful displays of praise going up to the throne of God. We are thankful for all of these servants and all they put into their craft for the glory of God.

Recently I was standing beside my friend, Mary, during a worship service. I’ve never heard her sing, and even within inches of her, she remained mute to barely audible. I didn’t think much of it at that moment. Later as the service closed and we were strolling down the sidewalk outside, Mary sheepishly said to me, “I hope you don’t mind my singing.” “No, of course not! Not at all!” was my reply. I assured her that I hadn’t even heard her voice. She proceeded to tell me how her ex-husband, a very talented singer, used to criticize her for what he deemed unacceptable vocal skills. I was disheartened to hear that she had been discouraged from using the voice God gave her to express her heart. Her worship had been silenced in the name of excellence and performance. How many of you hold back in worship because you’re afraid of others hearing your voice? How many of you secretly judge others whose pitchy tones offend your trained ears? In today’s perfectionism culture, fueled by game shows that require flawless performances and so18

However, God desires the praises of ALL His people, not just those on the stage. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24 ESV) God does not hear with physical ears; He hears the spirit, the heart of our praise. He is not sitting on His throne with a pen and pad ready to rate our performance. He is seeking a true spirit of worship. Imagine if we had a choir of innumerable voices pouring forth praise on this earth, shaking it, moving mountains, reaching to the heavens! Ignore the naysayers. Reject the scorn. Sing your heart out! Let no one silence your voice because true worship, no matter how it sounds, is beautiful. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:6 ESV)


Journey with Jesus NUGGETS FROM THE GOSPEL OF MARK

Tempted? (Mark 1:12-13, NIV) written by Rev. Lisa Morrison If you see someone drop a $100 bill on the ground, do you think to yourself, “I could use that money,” and therefore find yourself tempted to pick it up and keep it? Or are you tempted to eat two gourmet cupcakes brought in by the office staff to celebrate your boss’s 25th anniversary before you even acknowledge him and his accomplishment, thinking no one will notice? Or are you allowing yourself to focus your attention on your neighbor’s husband longer than you ought, seeing him as a delicious temptation? We struggle with temptation every day. It is part of life. Some temptations are more difficult than others to resist. Pope Gregory the Great explained how temptation moves to fulfillment in three stages: suggestion, delight, and consent. St. Augustine expanded this teaching, saying that sin resulted only at the stage of consent.* We see in Mark 1:12-13 that after Jesus was baptized, “immediately the Spirit sent Him out into the wilderness, and He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.” (NIV) Jesus was faced with Satan’s suggestion – recognizing how He could sin, but it never occurred to Him to delight in the suggestion, so He never consented. We are all tempted, really tempted sometimes, but we do not have to fall into sin. Jesus set the example for us to follow. In our flesh, we want to pick up the $100 bill and keep it. We want to indulge in eating two gourmet cupcakes without anyone noticing. We want to entertain a secret rendezvous with our neighbor’s husband. Yet, as Christ-followers, we are not to walk by the flesh, but by the Spirit.

(Second Sermon on Psalm 90). Dear woman of God, may I encourage you to face your temptations today knowing Satan has been defeated, and because of the Holy Spirit living in you, your temptations no longer need to be your downfall. Be like Jesus, who never gave into the enemy’s schemes despite being tempted in His flesh. Jesus lived a pure and holy life honoring His heavenly Father, modeling for us how we too can live a pure and holy life by never giving in to the enemy’s schemes. May we recognize the enemy’s suggestion and halt right there, not engaging in delight or consent, and thereby live the pure and holy life designed for us before sin ever entered into the world. *Augustine, “On Continence” 5 (NPNF, 1st ser,. 3:381)

Lisa Morrison is an ordained minister who has served as pastor and staff pastor in several positions in the local church, as well as in district ministerial and educational leadership positions. She also has been an adjunct instructor at various educational institutions of higher learning teaching in the religion departments. She holds two master’s degrees and a post-graduate degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

How do we do this? The same way Jesus did. First, we recognize the suggestion of temptation; then, we exercise the power of the Holy Spirit living within us not to delight in or consent to the temptation before us. Only by allowing the Spirit to be the power source within us can we defeat the temptations of the enemy in our lives. St. Augustine also said, “Christ was tempted so that a Christian does not have to be conquered by the temper” 19


Shelter in Place art and writing by Rachel Dube God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters His voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, behold the works of the Lord, how He has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Psalm 46 (ESV)

20


Right now we live in a world in turmoil. Listen. You can almost hear the ground beginning to rumble. The feet of many are unsteady on this earth that is shifting, subtly at first and becoming more perceptible at an ever-quickening rate. The hearts of many are struck with fear at the darkening sky as the storm clouds of injustice, corruption, hatred, and fear gather and loom over us. The wind is picking up. The first large drops of threatening rain and the first distant flashes of lightning warn us to take shelter. Many are already in the midst of a great storm, whether it be of grief, physical or emotional suffering, persecution, difficult decisions, or the many other pressures and burdens of this life that cloud our vision, arrest our movement, threaten our safety, paralyze us with fear, and shock us with the frailty of our frame. We need to find shelter or we will not survive. But where? Where can we find shelter when the very ground on which we stand gives way without warning? What heights can we run to if the steadfast mountains are moved into the depths of the ocean and their topmost peaks tremble at the swelling of the swallowing sea? What fortress is secure? Enter the fortress right where you are. “Shelter in place.” Wherever you are, if you are the Lord’s, then your shelter is there. There is no need to cower, no need to run and hide. The only rock that cannot be moved is the Lord. (Psalm 62:6) The God of Jacob is your fortress. The Lord of Hosts is with you. The devil, your enemy, wants you to be afraid and overwhelmed, clamoring for shelter. But as the wind violently whips your hair around your face, as the shards of rain sting your skin, as you witness the giant mountains overtaken by the depths of the angry ocean and the foundations devoured by the heart of the earth, lift your head and open your eyes to see what is around you. Not the distress. Look closer. The everlasting arms of the Lord surround you. You are being held by them and in them is your dwelling place. (Deuteronomy 33:27) You are not helpless or hopeless or alone. In those arms is your refuge and your strength. He is in the midst of you because you are His. You shall not be moved. When the battle begins at the first light of dawn, your mighty God will be there. So, be still. Not when the disaster ends. Be still now. Our identity and our destiny in Him are secure. We are victors now. Your future in heaven is a fulfillment of who you are today. Be in the Word and in prayer so that you are able to see things as they truly are, and fear will lose its power over you.

21


Nonna’s kNOWledge THE GIFT OF TIME

written by Carolyn Joy My dear grandmothers and sisters in Christ, whatever you call yourself (Grandma, Nonna, Nonni, Nana, Glama, or Gigi), we all have one thing in common: we are blessed! We are blessed to have lived long enough to see our own children experience the blessing of children. Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:3 ESV) I have learned that we must never take for granted the gift of time that God has given us. The clock is always ticking and time is constantly disappearing, like the last drop of the sun getting drawn into the horizon at sunset. We cannot retrieve the past or any moments we missed. Our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (if we live long enough) are the grandest blessings in our lives, and the time we devote to them is a precious commodity. I want to encourage you that the time you spend with them now will be time well spent, for as you pour into them, they will learn from your lifetime of sometimes hard-earned knowledge, enabling their lives to grow richer and, perhaps, their path easier. While their lives stretch ahead, we enter our final chapters, so there is no time like the present. Each moment is a gift that we can offer them. I presently have three married children and eleven grandchildren. Now, eleven years after the birth of my first grandchild, my family cherishes every special occasion and purposefully celebrates together. We preplan, plan and sometimes spontaneously secure our gathering times. It is our greatest gift to each other the gift of time! Because of our rather large and growing family - sometimes I feel as if we are toting around our very own elementary class - I have learned that our deepest conversations, teachable circumstances, and heart-felt situations happen while we are living life each 22

moment. We are weaving our hearts together while we drive in the car, bake cookies, put together jigsaw puzzles, play games, cook, eat, and just cuddle. Carving out time for those special moments with my grandchildren enables me to bestow my age-wise wisdom upon them. Like the time I taught my granddaughter to crack the egg in a small bowl before putting the egg in the cake batter. Or the time I taught my granddaughter how to climb the climbing wall and overcome her fear. I have used driving time with the kids to teach “opposites” and “rhyming words.” I taught my grandson how to play a song on the piano. As a writer, I have been teaching each one of them how to journal, beginning when they were very young and just able to draw pictures. The most important time I have spent with my children and grandchildren is pointing them to Jesus. This is an ongoing lesson, which happens while cracking eggs, playing the piano, climbing a wall, and, yes, studying God’s Word together. Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it. (ESV) The time God has given our hearts to beat in unison on this earth with the hearts of our grandchildren cannot be matched. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so don’t waste a moment. Give the gift of time... NOW. Nonna’s chuckles: Granddaughter (age 5): “Can I come out of my room now?” My daughter (bewildered): “Oh, I’m sorry… Did I punish you?” Granddaughter: “Well, I stuck my tongue out at my brother and I am not supposed to, so I punished myself.”


Holy Hush written by Deborah Watson Women World Leaders is pleased to present Holy Hush, written by Deborah J. Watson. Deborah is the Executive Director of Studio222films.com and curator of the Branson International Film Festival. A writer, producer, and director in the film industry, Deborah uses her talent to reach hurting people with a message of hope. Holy Hush is written as an allegorical narrative based on scripture and Deborah’s Christian worldview. Rebekka, the main character that we are traveling with, is on a journey of making a life decision of living with or without her husband, Aaron. Progressing through this difficult time, Rebekka notices the “little things” circling her life and leading her to a decision. As the story unfolds (Holy Hush began in the January 2021 edition of VOT), we see this thirty-something-year-old city girl steal away into the wilderness to be alone and search the heart of God. Due to unforeseen circumstances, she finds herself cutting short her wilderness experience and walking to the nearest town where she befriends a waitress in a diner, and together, they ponder the meaning of a melody.

Jamie Cheveldayoff, Narrows at Zion, Utah


HOLY HUSH CONT.

PART IV The waitress returns with Rebekka’s shake and water. “Can I ask a random question?” Rebekka looks sympathetically towards the waitress. “Sure, darlin’, what can I help you with?” The waitress sits across from Rebekka. “A melody is a sequence of single notes, right?” “Right. And if you take your melody, and my melody, same song, different line, mix it together, ya get harmony.” Rebekka smiles and nods as the waitress stands. “What happens if it’s not the same song?” “Honey? Most people would call it chaos. In my life? If that happens, it’s more like scream-o, and y’all better stand back. That stuff grates on my last nerve worse than fingernails on a chalkboard.” The waitress nods and walks to her next table, leaving Rebekka to sip on her chocolate shake. Its cool refreshing taste calms Rebekka from her morning adventure in the woods. Rebekka reaches down into her rucksack to retrieve her Bible and journal. It is at that moment she remembers leaving her journal by the rock earlier in the day. Her shoulders slump with disappointment, knowing it will take half a day to retrieve it. She closes her eyes and prays, “Why am I becoming so forgetful?” “Enter into my rest.” A deep thought comes from the darkest pit of her soul. “No!” Rebekka says loud enough for others to look at her. Embarrassed, she points to her rucksack. “I left my journal in the woods.” Everyone nods understandingly as they go about their business. Rebekka opens her Bible to Psalm 42 and begins to read. “Can I help you with anything else?” The waitress breaks Rebekka’s concentration. “Yes, do you have a highlighter I can borrow?” The waitress reaches into her smock and retrieves a highlighter. “Thank you.” Rebekka begins to mark Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” She takes a sip of her chocolate shake and smiles before continuing her journey. Again, she highlights part of verse 3 “my tears have been my food day and night.” A section of verse 4 stands out to her, “When I remember 24


these things, I pour out my soul within me.” Verse 6 says, “O my God, my soul is cast down within me;” and verse 8 says, “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me- A prayer to the God of my life.” Rebekka slams her Bible shut and sets down the highlighter. She feels the anxiety begin to build in her toes. “Read it again. All of it this time.” “No,” Rebekka argues with herself and wins as she tucks her Bible back into her rucksack. The anxiety moves up through her calves, into her thighs, beyond her hips, and sucker punches her in the stomach as she feels the chocolate shake begin to churn in her stomach. Rebekka clutches her stomach and rests her head on the table. “Not now. Not here. Please, God. Not again.” Rebekka looks up with obvious angst on her face and realizes she is the only one left in the diner for the waitress to serve.

“Inhale count to 4 and hold, hold, hold, for 7… 3, 2, 1, exhale for 8.” Felicity’s voice echoes in Rebekka’s mind as she exhales, but not enough to calm her panic attack. Rebekka closes her eyes and does the exercise again. This time she opens them to see her waitress remove her smock and hat and sit across the table from her. “Felicity?” Rebekka is surprised to see her sitting at her table. “I think you should go back and read Psalm 42 again. But this time, don’t skip over the parts you don’t like.” Felicity smiles with a warmth of compassion Rebekka desperately needs to feel. “Not here, though. Go to the restroom and then head to the docks. There’s a sailboat waiting to take you to the other side of the lake.” Felicity smiles and walks away before Rebekka can protest. To be continued…

CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

25


HOLY HUSH CONT.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN? As we read through the Psalms, we will notice that they are full of raw emotion. The Bible doesn’t sugar-coat life, and sometimes life hurts. That’s why many people turn to the Psalms for comfort and healing, and Rebekka is no different. She has found herself in a dark place in life - that space of being caught in the tug-of-war of coping skills. She wants to draw near Psalm 42 for healing, but she doesn’t like what it says and wants to run away. “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me- A prayer to the God of my life.” She doesn’t believe it to be true. If God commands His lovingkindess in the daytime, and in the night His song is with her, why is she where she is? In this moment of Rebekka’s life, “Scream-o” is the song within her. Not a song of lovingkindness. Oh no. She’s angry, hurt, and feels abandoned and rejected. She would rather drink her chocolate milkshake and bury her emotions under the weight of it. A prayer to the God of her life? If He is her God, why would he let bad things happen to her? She was living life according to His Word. She prayed, kept the Ten Commandments, and even the one that Jesus added to love one another. So why would He allow her to endure heartache and suffering to the depths that she was experiencing? Why would He let the anxieties of her memories come up within her, in, of all places, this café? That’s the beautiful thing about our relationship with God. He can handle the scream-o. Those things we bottle up inside of us out of fear of what it will look like if it ever comes to the surface. That’s God’s lovingkindness. He takes our scream-o and turns it into HIS song in the night. When we’re hurting, and it feels like a raging undercurrent will destroy our very being, HIS song dispels the darkness of our night. It’s a promise He has given us. One we can believe. When we open our hearts and minds, read God’s Word without preconceived ideas, and ask God to fill us with HIM, He will soften us, heal us, strengthen us, and guide us. It’s time to exhale and breathe again. There’s a boat waiting for you at the docks. One built specifically for you. Once you climb into it, God’s song will be the breath of the wind that propels the sails forward into the harbor. It’s literally one step away from your right-now moment. Exhale your scream-o so He can harmonize with you. It will tune you in to a fulfilled life with Him.

26


WOMEN WORLD LEADERS MINISTRY PRESENTS

“Tears to Triumph” No matter what struggle you may be going through or what tears you may shed, Christ’s love is far reaching for all of us. It’s an endless love, beyond your understanding, and He wants to fill you with it until you are overflowing with the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-20 TPT) The women of Tears to Triumph realize their tears were not shed for an empty reason; through them, they have become stronger and now desire to use their stories for a beautiful purpose, which is to glorify God. They wish to bring hope and healing to others through sharing the triumphs and victories that God has given them beyond their despair. Our prayer is that through these stories you will find hope, healing, forgiveness, strength, love, and promise. Order your copy now to be encouraged and propelled into your God-given purpose.

https://womenworldleaders.com/ boutique-books/tears-to-triumph/ All proceeds will support the Women World Leader’s mission.

27


Peace by Piece THE SILENT TREATMENT – THE ART OF LISTENING HARD written by Stephanie Fincher “Please, just listen – hear me out.” How many times has this routine phrase rolled over our weary tongues? Or better yet, how many times has it been aimed directly at us? We know what the phrase means, but what does it really imply? In the various conversations within a given week, do we truly listen? Aside from straightforward hearing, real listening is an understanding or grasping. At times it moves deeper into empathy where tender comfort and sensitivity dwell. Most of us know at least one person who is a good listener. They are the ones we call to vent a frustration or to seek the proverbial (yet reliable) shoulder to cry on. They “get us” even if they really don’t. Their genuine care for us is always perceptible when we share our burdens, and we trust their words of simple encouragement or discerning truth. Sometimes that truth may sting a bit, yet we know it is good. Proverbs 27:6 affirms it – Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. (NASB) Through such “wounds,” we eventually see the sweetness of Proverbs 25:11 — Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. (NASB) So, what about you? Are others inclined to pursue your companionship when they need to bend an ear? Sadly, we often know a person we don’t seek sympathy from because their woes are perpetually far worse than anyone’s, and they are eager to share the reminder. They are unhappy with life in general and, when something good does happen to them, they are quick to point out the “wrong” side of it with their skeptical searchlight. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the person on pins and needles who can hardly wait for you to stop talking because “the funniest (craziest, best….) thing happened today.” Dear friend, please don’t be either of these people. Neither one embodies the traits of a sincere listener, and neither does little to enrich the lives they wish to “counsel.” We won’t be too hard on them, though, since we’ve all had missteps along the way. Each day is a fresh opportunity to lean in and learn to listen hard. How do you do that? Glad you asked! Scripture itself is laced with heaps of counsel in Proverbs regarding hasty words that spell trouble if left uncontrolled. Families have borne the painful fruit of such negligence, some of which is sadly irreparable. In James chapter 1, we are exhorted to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry,” but oh, how easy it is to reverse it – to be quick to speak, quick to become angry, and slow to listen. It reminds me of a popular TV talk show host who often asks his guests, “How is that working for you?” Even if you consider yourself a verbally bold person, God’s call to a new approach is not a request to change your personality since He is the One who gave it to you! On the contrary, when managed appropriately according to His principles, your energy and zest can diffuse tension and bring a brightness to situations that others cannot. And if you’re the quieter type, your calm demeanor combined with the counsel of God’s Word can be just as reassuring. In any instance, take care not to misuse silence in a manipulative manner which will only hinder progress and is not God-honoring. If you need help getting started, the general tips below are steps we can all put into practice today and keep as a reference in our relationship toolbox! Keep in mind that situations and people are vastly different, so be sure to seek the guidebook of God’s Word and sound, reputable counsel to address additional or deeper concerns. 28


And now for your listening pleasure…these are not new concepts I’ve listed, but the Bible does say we need to be re-newed every day according to Romans 12:2, so pin these on your heart to establish positive patterns. 1. Resist the urge to interrupt while someone is speaking and wait before responding to be sure they are finished. When interrupted, people with passive personalities may not tell you they have more to say and will quickly shut down from being “talked over” and feeling unheard. Maintaining your silence can be challenging at times, but the benefits for relationship growth can be life-changing for both of you. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 and Proverbs 10:19) 2. As appropriate, repeat back what someone has said (kindly and in your own words) and ask if you have understood correctly. This may avoid costly misunderstandings and faulty assumptions. (Proverbs 21:23) 3. If the conversation addresses something troubling that you have said or done (whether intentional or not), resist a defensive posture or immediate explanation of your actions. Warning: This is extremely difficult. Instead, try to hear (understand) how it might have been offensive. You cannot control someone’s perception of a situation, but you can slowly gain favor by avoiding a list of “whys” and justifications for your behavior. And if you really want to turn the tide in a new direction, humbly apologize that it was received in a particular way. (I double dare you to do that with each opportunity and see what God will do with it - I have experienced amazing results myself!) 4. Understand that some conversations may need to be briefly deferred if you are angry, overtired, or hungry. Address these issues as promptly as possible for a clearer head and healthier dialogue. Take care to consider scripture’s guidance in not going to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26). You may not solve it all by bedtime, but you can peacefully agree to a later conversation, meditate on Psalm 46:10¹, take a deep breath, and go to bed. 5. When responding, S-L-O-W down your talking speed. Not only does this give your brain time to think as you speak and convey calm self-control, it also allows the hearer to process your message a little better. We live in a supercharged world, so no need to add to the chaos. And here’s a bonus tip: Be graciously succinct in your responses. Attention spans are short these days, so try to eliminate detail that will compete with the general point. Listening hard is really not so hard when put into perspective. Reflecting on the unsettling challenges propelled by a sweeping pandemic, social unrest, and ongoing hardships that changed our “normal” caused many to rethink what and who truly matters to them. May we not dismiss what we’ve learned by fading into comfortable old habits. Living well includes listening well, and like all worthy goals, it takes persistence and practice. The world is busy talking all around us, but is anyone busy listening? Oh yes, that’s a call for each one of us now – engaging our ears and putting a new spin on the silent treatment! (Did you hear that?) Answering the Call, SF

¹Be still and know that I am God. (NIV) 29


Hiding in Plain Sight photography and writing by Lillian Cucuzza It was an early autumn morning just before sunrise. I was on a mission to photograph a male Painted Bunting, one of the most colorful birds in North America. As I quietly crept along the boardwalk, a breeze rustled through the trees and bushes. Out of the corner of my eye, movement amongst the leaves caught my attention. Turning my head very slowly to the left, there it was: a beautiful male Painted Bunting, perched on a fall-colored cypress tree branch, blending in perfectly, with a feather lifted ever so slightly by the breeze. His head feathers appeared a dull black instead of the usual bright blue due to the lack of sunlight, keeping him hidden from sight. His red-orange breast was framed and camouflaged by the orange leaves of the cypress tree. Had it not been for the movement of that feather, I would have never seen him, and yet, he was right out in the open, in plain sight. God gave this tiny bird a “coat of many colors,” which the Painted Bunting uses to blend into the foliage around him as a protective measure, making it difficult to see this beauty if one is not looking for it. I snapped this shot before he flew off deep into the brush. Birds and critters are all around watching us while hiding in plain sight. We do not see them either because we are not looking for them, we do not know what to look for, or we simply are not paying attention because we are focused on other things. That is exactly how it is with God. He is all around us, omnipresent, ever watching, but He is not hiding; He is in plain sight. Either we are not looking for Him, we do not know what to look for, or maybe we are not paying attention to the visible signs that surround us because we are too busy focusing on everything else.

30

Have you ever wondered if God really exists? Well, wonder no more. Creation itself is evidence of God, the Creator. The creation process is not as important as the origin of creation: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NIV) He not only created the heavens and the earth, but He also created everything in them. Then, out of His great love, He created mankind in His image, and He gave us dominion over the earth, which means we are valuable in His eyes. Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NIV) He even gave us the unique privilege of being able to communicate and fellowship with Him, which separates humanity from every other created animal. Every bit of creation testifies to God, the Creator. God reminds us daily that He exists by surrounding us with His beautiful creation, in plain sight, for all to see. All we need to do is look around, observe, and then acknowledge, thank, and worship our omnipotent and loving Creator.


College Courage written by Sarah Jenkins When I was in sixth grade, I was introduced to one of my favorite movies to date, Letters to Juliet. A friend of mine put it on and I was immediately captivated. It featured a romantic storyline that entranced me - my sixth grade self-wanted to believe that someday I could find love like Claire found in Lorenzo (spoiler alert) after all those years. My favorite line in the movie, though, came in the middle - in the process of Claire finding Lorenzo. It came in the uncertain state of whether she would ever find him or if their search would cease to no avail. She said, “Life is the messy bits.” I remember hearing this and thinking how unbelievably negative it sounded. My 12-year-old self thought that messy meant bad and that Claire was saying her life was bad, but my 21-year-old self would very much like to differ. Life is absolutely the messy bits. It’s the in-between the not knowing what is coming next but always eagerly anticipating the next chapter. It is the pain of a heartbreak and the sight of a sunset; the coffee you spill on your shirt in the morning and the 3 AM dance parties in your bedroom. Life is rarely a pretty pink package tied with a bow, but more like a brown FedEx box that arrived JUST in time. But, I’d argue, that’s the fun of it. I’ve heard many a pastor boast, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow!” - it’s a common sentiment we all desire to share. Life is the joy of not knowing what is going to come at you next, and the courage to face a day in which you cannot predict the outcome. Our strength to endure each coming day comes from the One who created it in the first place. This month, remind yourself of the joy that comes in the unknown and the security that God knows exactly how to sort it all out. Life may be the messy bits, but He knows where they all fit. Embrace them!

31


God gives you fresh manna every day to be the best that He has created. “The Lord preserveth all them that love Him.” Psalm 145:20 KJV

Dear Sister, Close your eyes and imagine being completely whole with nothing missing and nothing lacking. Imagine what that feels like to know that everything you thought you were not or would never become is already a sealed fate. Open your eyes…it’s true! Because God already knows everything about you and wants nothing but the best for you, your eyes do not have to stay fixed on what was and what you thought would never be. God gets you. No more do you have to spend your time and energy trying to be what others want you to be or your suggested past. God is intimate with you, acquainted with you, and knows you better than you know yourself. You don’t have to pretend with God because you are everything He wants you to be and more. No more redefining what you did not create. You don’t get to keep changing the definitions of who God has already said you are, but you do get to refine her. She is pretty amazing. Love you,

Dr. Jia


Be Still I was feeling the presence of the Lord so strongly while listening to Jeremy Riddle’s latest album, Holy Ground, and his song “Be Still” burned on my heart while painting this. Press into God’s love and peace at this challenging time. “Be still and know that I am the Lord.” The colors of heaven are pouring down blessings upon us. Look into His eyes so you can open your eyes and see. The touches of green are the new beginnings that will come forth from this season; the gold rain is filtering down - let it rain God’s glory. The slivers of aqua are the rivers of God’s love infiltrating our very being, and the pink dominates with the healing power of Jesus. There is a joyful explosion of celebration of God’s almighty blessings and love. Just as we celebrate a couple being married with the throwing of confetti, celebrate the glorious union you have with your Heavenly Father. Psalm 46:10 NIV "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

www.lynnehudson.com 33


Broken and Beloved THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE

written by Aimee Taylor Most people probably wouldn’t think of repentance as a gift but rather as a burden. Because it’s hard to admit that we are in need, or that we have done something wrong, or worse yet, to acknowledge that, at our core, we are simply just broken. We hate this about ourselves. I can say that I truly hate being broken, and in fact, for much of my walk with Jesus, I tossed my sin at Him and said flippantly, “Will you please just fix this so I can get it right finally?!” I knew I needed Jesus to justify me, but what I really wanted was to be fixed so that I didn’t need Him anymore. I wanted to become even more SELF-RELIANT. I wanted my sin removed so that I could be more beautiful in and of myself and get more and more glory for ME. Wow, when He showed me the ugliness of this gross sin, I was astounded. I couldn’t even begin to see into such a deep level of self-deception without the Holy Spirit, confirming once again, the verse that declares, “The heart is most devious and incurably sick, who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9, The Voice) So, what exactly is repentance? Quite simply, it means to turn away from our sin and instead turn toward God. This turning, though, is totally contrary to our natural bent. As humans, we want what we want. We want to bring glory to ourselves and not to God. We want truth defined from our own vantage point. We want God’s goodness to mean that I am happy and comfortable at all times. Our brokenness is so deep and entrenched. Even though I wish that this bent would just magically go away when we give our lives to Jesus, we are stuck with our miserable sin-nature until we go home to be with Jesus. So, what is the answer? As usual - the answer is - Jesus! We need total surrender to His will, His way, and His truth. 34


I love that the very next verse following the Jeremiah verse I quoted above says this, “It is I, the Eternal One, who probes the innermost heart and examines the innermost thoughts, I will compensate each person justly, according to his ways, and by what his actions deserve.” (Jer 17:10, The Voice) The Lord is the One who searches and tests us! And thankfully, He is just and good - there is no other way He can be! And praise God, His heart for us “flows from the kind and compassionate mercy of our God.” (Luke 1:78 The Voice) BUT WE MUST INVITE THIS SEARCHING. We have to say “yes!” We have to cry, “Holy Spirit, come!” - just as David penned in Psalm 139: 23-24 (The Voice), “Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain. Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me, and guide me down Your path forever.” This turning, this surrender, is the difference between walking out our days just as the rest of the world does; and actually living in a love relationship with Jesus, where we transform to bear fruit. I don’t know about you, but I want more of Jesus, and I want what I do here on earth to matter for all eternity. Living like the world will never allow for that. Regular, consistent repentance is needed in the church today, and in each and every individual Christ-follower today. We are steeped in pride. We like feeling like we have it together. We don’t like the posture of humility. We want our needs, wants, and rights all met. We have a huge sense of entitlement. But the only thing we are entitled to outside of Jesus Christ is eternal destruction. Let that soak in...because we need that reminder to sit deep within us, so when we are confronted with our own

Run TO Him, not away from Him, when your sin rears up. And once again, turn away from your foolishness and turn your eyes back to the only One who can free you from it!

sinful mess, we can unwrap the gift of repentance. Run TO Him, not away from Him, when your sin rears up. And once again, turn away from your foolishness and turn your eyes back to the only One who can free you from it! Jesus. Be quick to dump your sinful junk at the foot of the cross. Exchange all of your junk for the beauty and glory He wants to give you in return. Do you see how seemingly insane our God is! He wants all our junk - He wants to free us from it! And in return, He doesn’t give wrath or disappointment; or condemnation. He gives healing! He wants us to live and move and have our being in Him! We need to put away all fear of turning to Him. Our shame and the enemy want to tell us that staying hidden is best because the Lord is filled with anger and disappointment and will heap on us a pile of punishment. NO! The cross takes all of our punishment, and if you are found in Jesus - if you have given your life to Him - then all your punishment fell on Him. We must learn to hide in Him. He wants to teach us how to walk away from our sin and walk with our heads held high into our relationship and calling in Him. The forgiveness of Jesus is an AMAZING GIFT please take it and unwrap it regularly! Repentance must be something we do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. We must invite the work of the Spirit to reveal what we cannot see in ourselves, allowing us to walk in true freedom! To step into this process of repentance, I encourage you to read the prophetic word to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. As you do, ask the Spirit to examine you and see if Jesus is your first love - which was the forgotten element for the Church at Ephesus. Ask the Spirit if you are willing to be persecuted for Him, as was required of those in the Church of Smyrna. Ask if your belief is pure and unstained from the world and the enemy’s thoughts, as was required from the Church at Pergamum. Have you stood strong against those trying to lead you away from the Lord, contrary to the church in Thyatira? Unlike the Church in Sardis, are you awake and alert to hear God’s call? Can you be counted among those like the Church at Philadelphia because you have stayed true to the Lord’s name and obeyed His word above all else? As opposed to the Church in Laodicea, are you trusting Jesus over the things this world has to offer? If your answer to any or all of these is “no” - then please repent! Tell Jesus you are sorry for what you have put before Him, and turn back to Him. Unwrap and enjoy the glorious cleansing He has waiting for you!

35


Tea Time with Tina THE PROMISE KEEPER

written by Tina Gallo Some years ago, I made a covenant with someone I had shared my secrets and dreams with for years. This was someone I should have been able to trust completely. We did life together, and I believed with all my heart I could rely on this person, but a promise that was made to me was reneged on and broken. At first I was shocked, but then the pain of betrayal set in, leaving me completely numb. My shock quickly turned to anger and regret. Anger that I had been betrayed and regret that I had trusted this person in the first place. Feelings of brokenness from a bleeding heart filled my long days, followed by the constant pondering of questions that flooded my mind. How would I ever trust again? Why was I so blind? Broken promises hurt! They deeply wound, having the potential to sever relationships forever. Anyone can make a promise. A promise is a pledge, a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or ensure that something specific will happen. We give our word with a commitment, entering into a covenant that holds ‘real value’ that should be linked with honor and faithfulness. But truthfully, how many of us have actually kept every promise we’ve ever made? We are all guilty of letting one another down, of failing to perfectly keep our word. Our word is a statement of our status as a person, proving our credibility and authenticity. I remember my dad telling me that he grew up in a time when a person’s handshake was as solid as their word. From my father’s perspective, there was a time when a bond of loyalty was a common and expected element in relationships. Unfortunately, the value of our words is becoming more flippant, emotionally reacted upon, and charged. We have seemingly lost the value of our word over time in society. The truth is we live in a tough world where it is inevitable that we will face struggles and heartache throughout our lifetime. Life is challenging; people WILL let us down and promises will be broken. As much as we may try to keep our word to others, unfortunately, we may fall short 36

of carrying out our promises. It is only a matter of time before each of us experiences betrayal. Breached trust deposits disappointment into our souls and, if we are not careful, we will provide a permanent resting home for discouragement to rankle. If someone you love has broken a promise to you as they did to me, you may feel stuck with a broken heart, wondering how you will ever move forward in trust again. The devil would like you to think that all is hopeless. He desires to destroy you and plots to keep you in bondage, isolated behind brick walls of false protection, imprisoned by a fearful hardened heart of unforgiveness. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV) The enemy aims to make us feel fear and unforgiveness in areas where we have experienced betrayal. He wants to put you on an isolated island of unforgiveness, with your pain as your guide. Since Christ forgives us, however, we can freely forgive others. This does not mean that relationships and the hardships of sin won’t have consequences, for we know in this fallen world sin always leads


to rippled outcomes, but what it does mean is that God is the mender of the brokenhearted. We can always count on Him to fulfill His promises. He illuminates hope in the midst of our dark and dreary circumstances, like a brilliant gleaming sunrise. Our relationship with HIM can never be severed or tethered. We can experience Him as the mender of our aching hearts. God is faithful to His Word all the time, not just sometimes or when He wants to be. He is our devoted Father whom we can depend on and rely on, and nothing will ever change that. So no matter what happens in life, we can hold on to this profound truth: God will never break His promises. He is worthy of our trust! The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does. (Psalm 145:13 NIV) God’s greatest promise was fulfilled when He sent Jesus to die on our behalf so that we can have eternal life in Him. If God fulfilled this sacred promise out of His love for us, then how can we ever doubt that He will keep the other promises He has made? He is the promise keeper! For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV) Join me in forgiving those who have trespassed against you, as Christ has forgiven us eternally. Be free to trust only in a perfect God who will never disappoint or fail us. Remember, God will use all your pain for His glory and good, but be faithful to keep walking in forgiveness and

bearing much fruit through surrender to our God, who is the perfect Father. Whatever He has allowed to pierce your side is reflective of how the spears of persecution pierced His. Remember, Jesus rose again. You, too, my sister, will rise from the ones who have intended to harm you. Trust in our Father, who will mend you, care for you, and provide for you during your time of pain! He is faithful and true.

Tina Gallo has been in the entertainment industry for over 40 years, she is an award-winning professional actress who “fully immerses herself in the character to bring life into each of her roles.” She is a Stanislavki method-trained actress who studied with the best: Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Jack Waltzer. Tina has extensive TV, Film, Commercial, and Theater credits. She is best known for her past role as DiDi on the soap opera “General Hospital.” After years of taking a step away from the industry to raise her children, the Lord stirred her heart by calling her to return to the spotlight. Tina’s relaunched career includes a zealous appreciation for the Lord to move in power in the acting world and film industry, and is expectant for how He will move. Tina’s passion has become a God-given purpose; she desires to orchestrate Christ-saturated media and beyond. In between the blessing of acting, Tina teaches acting classes in person and online and is the founder of ‘The Nashville Studio of Method Acting’ in Nashville, TN. You can register for online acting classes with Tina! She is accepting all experience levels – including adults, teenagers, and children. Register at: www.tinagallo.com Tina also coaches on film sets and travels to other acting schools throughout the southeast region to speak and coach acting workshops, online or in person. Contact Tina if you’re interested in inviting her to lead your next workshop, combining acting and Christian passion and purpose.

37


Sons of The King Prayers for the

“The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; He will give strength to His King and exalt the horn of His anointed.” 1 Samuel 2:10 (ESV) God, we thank You for the authority that You have in the earth as the power of the Holy Spirit works through Your chosen. We thank You, God, that You are our ever-present help, even in the areas of our lives that seem to be infertile, incomplete, and inadequate. God, You are our place of overflow, abundance, and increase. Thank You, most righteous God, for the anointing that rests upon Your sons as You have strengthened them in the work of Kingdom building. Thank You for a fresh anointing upon the very crown of their heads and soles of their feet so that every place that they tread upon, You are exalted in the land of the living. Spirit of the Living God, we bless You for the Sonship that is strength to the Kingdom and the body of believers. They are the pillars of hope, joy, peace, love, long-suffering, and greatness that You have created them to be. From their inner loins You are birthing the promises of Your word and the gift of Your salvation. From the hearts of Your sons overflows Your love and compassion towards Your people. They have been anointed for this time, and it is in this time that the land shall cry out before the heavens, “Hosanna!”, because of the obedience and righteousness of Your sons. The highest praise shall pierce every layer of the heavenly realm as Your sons ignite a jubilee of praise and worship. The horn of the anointed rests upon the Sonship, and the continued favor and love of God shall follow them all the days of their lives in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Dr. Jia

.


Dim Glass Gospel Glimpses THE FATHER’S PURPOSE IN PRAYER written by Rachel Dube Have you ever been in a place in life where you were burdened with a heavy weight, crying out to God often, fervently asking Him for something so strong on your heavy heart? Maybe even asking other people to pray for you as well?

Do we truly believe that God is a good Father? If He is, then what does it mean when He does not answer our prayers according to our will?

What if all the prayers do not seem to “do” anything? Have you ever questioned if you or those praying for you are not praying the right things? When I question whether my prayers are effective, the root of my questioning is not truly my own ability to pray – whether I am praying the right thing or in the right way. Jesus himself prayed that if there could be another way, He wouldn’t have to go to the cross. The question, “Are my prayers effective?” has much more to do with whether I trust in the ultimate goodness, faithfulness, and trustworthiness of God. Matthew 7:7-11 (NIV) states, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to

you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Do we truly believe that God is a good Father? If He is, then what does it mean when He does not answer our prayers according to our will? As difficult as this may be to hear, Scripture reveals to us that our Father cares more about reaching, breaking, and transforming us than He does about saving us from temporary discomfort or even real pain. Look back at Jesus’ prayer before the cross: CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE 39


DIM HOUSE GOSPEL GLIMPSES CONT.

Matthew 26:39 (NIV) says, “(Jesus) fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” He sweat drops of blood as He cried out to God, yet the Father did not rescue Him from pain. It was not God’s will to save Jesus from the horror of the cross, even though He did nothing to deserve it. Our Father cared far more about ultimately rescuing and restoring our souls than rescuing Jesus from temporary torment. God’s purpose of rescue does not stop with winning our souls from death, but He also intends to win our lives from death! Matthew 16:24-27 (NIV) says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?’” I do not think that Jesus was talking solely about our salvation in the passage. He said in John 10:10 (ESV), “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus lived and died not solely that we may have life (the absence of death), but that we may have life to the fullest. God wants us to learn to die to ourselves. Because He is a good Father, He doesn’t always rescue us from this

He brings us through “death” to produce a deeper, fuller, more abundant, and lasting life in us - to give us wisdom, freedom from the enslavement of sin and strongholds, inexplicable peace and joy amid suffering, contentment and confidence in Christ, and boldness and zeal in His calling. 40

pain of bearing our cross, of suffering with Christ and for Christ, because He desires for this pain to lead us to life. He brings us through “death” to produce a deeper, fuller, more abundant, and lasting life in us - to give us wisdom, freedom from the enslavement of sin and strongholds, inexplicable peace and joy amid suffering, contentment and confidence in Christ, and boldness and zeal in His calling. He brings us through suffering and the “death” of ourselves to bring us into a life of abundance. He wants us to lay down our life and to say as Jesus did, “… not as I will, but as you will,” or in other words, “Whatever you want, Lord. Show me, and I’ll do it”. He wants us to die to ourselves and let God plant or restore abundant life in every area where it may not have existed before or where we have allowed it to wither and die. Paul said in Galatians 5:1 (ESV), “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”


Prayers may not seem to be answered, sometimes, because He is a good Father. And if our prayers are not in line with His will or His good plan for us, then He will tell us “no” to our requests, as He did to Christ before the cross.

When you received salvation, God broke the chains of slavery, opened the doors of the prison, and proclaimed that you are a part of His family with all the rights and privileges of His daughter. No matter what you do, you cannot lose that status, your access to the Father, or your ultimate salvation, but you can miss out on all of the blessings of living in your Father’s freedom, and you can choose to continue to experience the bondage of slavery. God’s will for us in this life is that we access all of His riches and power and authority, that we may enjoy Him and bring Him glory! Prayers may not seem to be answered, sometimes, because He is a good Father. And if our prayers are not in line with His will or His good plan for us, then He will tell us “no” to our requests, as He did to Christ before the cross. In the parable of the “prodigal son” in Matthew 15:11-32, for the father, it wasn’t enough for his son to have the status of sonship. He wanted him to live a life of sonship and to share in the blessings of the father! Our heavenly Father delights in giving us good gifts and in fulfilling the requests of our prayers. His love for you is unwavering, in fact, it runs so deep that He is willing to go through the pain of allowing you, His most beloved daughter, to suffer hardships and trials so that He can give you the best gift - a deeper and more abundant, and everlasting life. Remember His faithfulness in the past. Ask Him for trust, patience, perseverance, strength to endure, and for an extra measure of faith. He will never leave or forsake you.

41


KINGDOM HARVEST Women World Leaders is now in 50+ countries –His Gospel is changing lives Unite with Us, Share in the Harvest We are committed to bringing a great harvest through Voice of Truth, which is available for free both in a printed and digital version. We have faith that the Lord is our provider! As this magazine grows daily, we invite you to help us bring in the harvest. Will you partner with us in prayer and giving as you ask Him how He wants you to be a part of this magazine? Your seed will blossom in the hearts of women around the globe as you partner with us. As you give, we are praying and trusting that the Lord will bless you and all your needs will be met according to His riches in glory. We praise the Lord for you and thank you for your obedience and generosity.

Give on our website at womenworldleaders.com

OR mail a check to: Women World Leaders PO Box 210895 Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421 (Check payable to Women World Leaders)

42


Power Points GOD AT WORK THROUGH WOMEN LEADERS YESTERDAY AND TODAY

This month’s subject: Anju written by Leecy Barnett “If you leave, don’t ever come back!” What would make a father say this to a beloved daughter? The father in question was a devout Hindu who had raised his daughter, Anju, to honor and follow the tenets of his religion. In their home state of Manipur, India, the population is almost evenly divided between Hinduism and Christianity. Anju’s family was also divided; her father anchored his identity in worshipping the Hindu gods, while Anju’s mother was a follower of Jesus Christ. As a young girl, Anju participated in all the traditional rituals to placate the gods, hoping to find peace, but peace and joy eluded her. Anju was a daddy’s girl and she wanted to please her father, so she ignored her mother’s advice to turn to Jesus. But her mother encouraged her to go to just one gospel meeting and see what God would do. So reluctantly, because of her mother’s insistence, a skeptical Anju decided to give her mother’s god a chance to change her life. At the meeting, the preacher talked about sin and our need for a savior. Anju’s hard heart began to melt when she heard about God’s love: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB) Anju had been trying to find satisfaction and contentment through the ways her culture taught her, but worldly pleasures had left her empty. So when the preacher quoted Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:26, it was as if an arrow had pierced her to the core: For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul? (NASB) Anju felt like God was saying to her, how do you benefit from worldly pleasures if you lose yourself? So that very day Anju gave her life to Jesus and began following Him. Anju did not want to dishonor or upset her father, so for three years she kept her new faith a secret. She tried to find a way to leave home so she could serve God more openly. At first she thought nursing school would be her way out, but in May 1996, God clearly spoke to her heart, “You are not going into nursing, but I want you to go to Bible College.” Anju felt this was impossible because the Bible courses started in June and, since her father would disown her, she would have no way to support herself or pay for school. Despite everything against her, Anju obeyed God’s call. She learned by experience: And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29, NLT) Anju’s life challenges us to examine our hearts to see if there is anything keeping us from following Christ fully. Today Anju and her husband serve God planting churches, taking care of the poor, and helping widows throughout India. Learn about their ministry at https://www.kerusomen.org.

43


Walk With Me In The Garden God spoke to me about this painting before I received the vision of it. During this challenging time of COVID-19, many of us have been in isolation. But have we recognized that we are not isolated from God? Perhaps He has given us this opportunity to spend quality time with Him in His garden. When we think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were isolated, like we are now, but they were surrounded by such beauty and purity, and they had the ultimate prize of spending time with our heavenly Father in the cool of the day. Perhaps our physical isolation from the world is a gift from God. Without distractions, we can walk with Him in the garden, sharing our thoughts and even our worries. By using this time to build your intimacy with God, He will strengthen your foundation of faith, allowing you to fulfill your destiny. Take His presence with you on the road of your journey.

The roses represent the daughters of the King; they are all different and unique, they all have their unique giftings and callings. They pass down their wisdom to the next generation, represented by the rosebuds. The dewdrops are kisses from heaven; dew means guidance and blessings. God replenishes us with his life-giving water every time we take time to be with Him. The path is painted white, representing the Holy Spirit - this is our journey. Along the path, you will see trailing roses; these are the gifts God gives you along the way, the wisdom and guidance from your time in the garden. We can’t see where the path is taking us, but all we need is to trust. The vine and branches of the roses are the representation of John 15. God is our gardener; He is always pruning us to strengthen us that we might yield a greater harvest. The mountains are like blankets of silk; God is covering you with His wrap-around love as He guides you. The orange-gold represents God’s refining grace, empowering you to step into His healing and joy, represented by the pink, all the way into the purple of His kingdom. The glory of God is pouring down.

I am truly his rose, the very theme of his song. I’m overshadowed by his love, growing in the valley. (SOS 2:1 TPT) My lover has gone down into his garden of delight, the place where his spices grow, to feast with those pure in heart. I know we shall find him there. He is within me—I am his garden of delight. I have him fully and now he fully has me! (SOS 6:2-3 TPT)

www.lynnehudson.com 44


Camina Conmigo En El Jardín Dios me habló de esta pintura antes de que yo recibiera la visión. Durante este tiempo desafiante de COVID-19, muchas de nosotras hemos estado aisladas. Pero, ¿hemos reconocido que no estamos aisladas de Dios? Quizás nos ha dado esta oportunidad de pasar tiempo de calidad con él en su jardín. Cuando pensamos en Adán y Eva en el Jardín del Edén, estaban aislados, como nosotros ahora, pero estaban rodeados de tanta belleza y pureza, y tenían el premio final de pasar tiempo con nuestro Padre celestial en la frescura del día. Quizás nuestro aislamiento físico del mundo sea un regalo de Dios. Sin distracciones, podemos caminar con Él en el jardín, compartiendo nuestros pensamientos e incluso nuestras preocupaciones. Al usar este tiempo para construir tu intimidad con Dios, Él fortalecerá las base de tu fe, permitiéndote cumplir tu destino. Lleva Su presencia contigo a lo largo de tu viaje.

Las rosas representan a las hijas del Rey; todas son diferentes y únicas, todas tienen sus dones y llamamientos únicos. Transmiten su sabiduría a la siguiente generación, representada por los capullos de rosa. Las gotas de rocío son besos del cielo; rocío significa guía y bendiciones. Dios nos llena con su agua vivificante cada vez que dedicamos tiempo a estar con él. El camino está pintado de blanco, representando al Espíritu Santo: este es nuestro viaje. A lo largo del camino, verá rosas que se arrastran; Estos son los dones que Dios te da a lo largo del camino, la sabiduría y la guía de tu tiempo en el jardín. No podemos ver a dónde nos lleva el camino, pero todo lo que necesitamos es confiar. La vid y las ramas de las rosas son la representación de Juan 15. Dios es nuestro jardinero; Él siempre nos está podando para fortalecernos a fin de que podamos producir una cosecha mayor. Las montañas son como mantas de seda; Dios te está cubriendo con Su amor envolvente mientras te guía. El naranja-dorado representa la gracia refinadora de Dios, que te da poder para entrar en Su sanación y gozo, representado por el rosado, hasta el púrpura de Su reino. La gloria de Dios es derramada.

Verdaderamente soy su rosa, el tema mismo de su canción. Su amor me eclipsa, creciendo en el valle. (SOS 2: 1 TPT) Mi amado ha bajado a su jardín de las delicias, el lugar donde crecen sus especias, para festejar con los puros de corazón. Sé que lo encontraremos allí. Él está dentro de mí, yo soy su jardín de deleite. ¡Lo tengo completamente y ahora él me tiene completamente a mí! (SOS 6: 2-3 TPT)

www.lynnehudson.com 45


Three Strands MARRIAGE REFLECTS GOD’S LOVE written by Cindy Jacob Southworth As the Apostle Paul says, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT)

all the circumstances in your life are marked by success and strength, it will not matter. You will move out into the world in weakness. Marriage has that kind of power – the power to set the course of your whole life - because it was instituted by God. Because it has that unequaled power, it must have an unequaled supreme priority.”

Let’s face it - some couples are just like peas and carrots. They’ve been married forever. His face lights up when she enters the room. She watches with adoration as he speaks to an audience of people. What’s the magic in their marriage?

Except for our relationship with God, which deserves our highest priority, the marriage between husband and wife should take priority over any other relationship. It takes time and energy to cultivate a deep friendship and a spiritual oneness with each other. However, it is this relationship that reflects Christ’s unconditional love for His people, so it needs that kind of priority.

As the Apostle Paul says, God designed marriage to reflect His unconditional love for His precious church. How powerful is that? No other relationship exists on earth that has that kind of impact. A husband is directed to love his wife as Jesus loved us: to sacrifice for her, cherish her, and to wash her with the Word of God. A wife is directed to respect her husband: to honor him, prefer him, and support him in his walk with Christ. They become two good forgivers, supporting each other’s strengths and overlooking a multitude of weaknesses. They work at building oneness, which is a unity of purpose, by praying together, sharing devotions, continuing to date each other, and finding a place to serve together. Tim Keller writes in The Meaning of Marriage: “If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength. However, if your marriage is weak, even if

46

If you have children, you are their role models for marriage. When they watch you two together, do they see unconditional love? Maybe it’s time to sit down with your spouse and talk about the various ways you are modeling this kind of love for each other. Make any changes necessary so that your spouse knows they are first in your life. Purpose in your heart to encourage your spouse as they pursue holiness. As each of you pursues Christ, you will naturally draw closer together. That’s the mystery of marriage. ¹ The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, Published 2011 by Penguin Group, Inc


Musings on the Book of John written by Connie Hecker

FIRST RESPONSE This is the same God I can stand confidently in, that no matter the trail, no matter the distance, no matter the storms, this God longs to bring His daughter home. All of His daughters and sons.

John 1:38-39 (NIV) Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. As I ponder the attitude of Jesus’ first followers asking where He is staying so they can spend more time with him, I wonder about my own attitude. Do I linger with Jesus? Do I spend my day with Him? Do I run to bring my family to Him, to tell them so they can come to know Him as well? Who brought me? John and Andrew found Jesus at the place He was staying. Was it a room in the neighborhood?

Was it a shelter in the rocks in the area? We have no idea, and it doesn’t matter. The only important thing was the presence of Jesus. Who have I brought into the presence of Jesus? Who has Jesus placed in my path of influence who needs to come into His presence? Am I willing to open my eyes to see, to seek them out, and point them to Jesus? I think about my youngest, who is so far from home, her true home - not a physical shelter. She needs to come into the presence of Jesus. Who will lead her? I am reminded of the God who designed animals, enabling them to travel hundreds of miles through rugged terrain. This is the same God I can stand confidently in, that no matter the trail, no matter the distance, no matter the storms, this God longs to bring His daughter home. All of His daughters and sons. Therefore, I can trust. I can rejoice. The journey may be long and hard, and there will be struggles. But I can trust in a God who calls us into His presence. She will make it home one day. CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

47


MUSINGS ON THE BOOK OF JOHN CONT.

EYE CONTACT WITH JESUS John 1: 40-42 (NIV) Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). Simon. Always he was Simon. His brother comes to him; he wasn’t far away. He is full of excitement. Andrew knew Simon would want to know about Jesus. Both of them were eager for the foretold coming of the Anointed One. Simon is ready in his heart to receive with eagerness the news Andrew brings. He does not hesitate to go with him. He wants to meet this one that Andrew is so certain about. How many nights had these two brothers lain awake and discussed the prophecies and possibilities? The time was near; they knew it, they felt it, they believed it. Simon was ready. Andrew came and found him. Andrew brought him to where Jesus was staying. The very same day that Andrew found out for himself. What happens when they first meet? Simon gets “looked at “ by Jesus. What does it mean when God Himself looks deep into your eyes, your soul, your spirit? The very Creator of those eyes? The Creator of that spirit? Can anything be hidden from Him? Can anything make a difference to His plan for you? Can you create a stumbling block that keeps Him from power? Does your soul soar to new heights as His eyes search yours? Do you tremble with awe as He holds you captive with His eyes? Can you feel His deep love for His very own creation - you? Do you want to hold anything back from Him? NO! All these fears and doubts flee under the steady, loving gaze of The Creator; The Word made flesh. And He creates something new in you. He gives Simon a new name, a new purpose, a new focus. From now on, he is Simon Peter. Later, the name Simon is lost altogether, and he is known simply as Peter. The Rock. The unmoving. Simon, the faltering one, becomes the great leader, the Rock. Jesus has given me a new name and purpose as well. Am I ready to walk in it, fully trusting in my Creator’s Word spoken in my heart as He gazes deep into my soul when I come to Him?

WWL LOVE NOTES It is a joy and blessing to serve with my Sisters to inspire, encourage, support, love, and pray for women all over the world - TOGETHER with a Voice of Truth.

- Diana Brown 48


Jessica A PHOTO COLUMN FROM

Joy Comes in the Morning If we look closely, we can see that each day brings about new growth and beauty. God’s green earth is flourishing this time of year with flowers blooming, streams flowing, and animals scurrying about. It is an awakening, a new birth. If you can get out in nature, I am confident that you will leave feeling blessed. It is magnificent to think that all we see is God’s creation; what an amazing gift! No matter what yesterday brought, joy comes in the morning, and each day brings a new beginning. Something beautiful and positive is waiting for us to explore. Start the tone for your day by letting in these visions as often as possible to promote peace and happiness.

Jessica Morneault Wife and mother using photography to bring awareness to ministries and highlighting women living with purpose. Jessica is also the photographer for Women World Leaders. www.roadmaptopurpose.org

49


A Beautiful Mess written by Jessica Prukner As a veteran, 7+ year homeschooling mom, I constantly get asked, “Why did you choose to homeschool?” In the current day, many homeschooling families don’t feel like they really had a choice but were forced into their situation thanks to the pandemic and virtual schooling. But that wasn’t our story. When our oldest was in kindergarten at a private Christian school we started our family travels, which gave us a grand tally of five weeks of absences. I kindly asked the school to provide me with my daughter’s work and let them know she would not fall behind. Instead of working with me, they notified me that anything over two weeks missed would receive no credit. I didn’t really mind this policy her kindergarten year, but I knew we weren’t going to stop traveling, and she wasn’t going to fail every grade.

50


My husband and I were told a quote by Mark Twain: “Never let your children’s education get in the way of their learning.” We let that sink in, and it became our motto and the reasoning behind why we started our homeschooling journey.

From one of our mentors, my husband and I were told a quote by Mark Twain: “Never let your children’s education get in the way of their learning.” We let that sink in, and it became our motto and the reasoning behind why we started our homeschooling journey. We decided that there would be so much more to learn when our kids could see and touch it versus read about it or look at it on a tablet. I recently took on the challenge of clearing out my social media account, which had over 6,000 photos. It took me over a week to delete them all but in the week of deleting, I was able to relive five years of adventures and trips on which we had taken the kids to give them firsthand experiences. Homeschooling freedom gave us the opportunities to see the Declaration of Independence in glass under our hands, to climb into the Statue of Liberty crown, to watch the President of the United States wave to a group of fifteen of us at Andrews Air Force Base, and to tour the White House and Capitol Building. We have gone into museums of Pearl Harbor and Alcatraz and biked across the Golden Gate Bridge together. We have seen and held more animals than I can remember! We have jumped off of 35-foot waterfalls and learned about different plant life, tried interesting food, and learned critical survival skills. The list of our adventures goes on and on, all because of our journey of homeschooling. I encourage every family that has the freedom to homeschool to think and travel outside the box of normality when possible. Every family teaches with different approaches, but handson is always fun and memorable. If your family is on a budget, there are always options for discounts and local volunteer opportunities. Next week, our family is going to be hands-on with pelicans as we help rescue them from fishing lines - all volunteer and no money. Homeschooling is more than sitting at a kitchen table with your kids doing workbooks or putting them on a computer all day. Homeschooling is letting them experience this beautiful world God created for us. It is feeding and petting a flamingo, smelling the exotic flowers, helping rescue baby turtle eggs, collecting leaves, dancing in the rain, building forts, making mud pies, catching little critters, visiting the zoos, and appreciating the sunsets. At the end of the day, if your children have learned to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds because they saw Him in the rainbows and the mud puddles, you can know you’ve done a good job on your journey of homeschooling. Be intentional about finding Him and His glory in every day, and every day will be a gift to you and your family as you homeschool together.

51


As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

WWL LOVE NOTES "I believe Voice of Truth Magazine is a Love Story from God each time I read it! This magazine is like a storybook in itself, like a seed, planted by God, into the hearts of women and the contributors help to water the seeds! The seeds grow into buds and then a beautiful flower, spreading its fragrance around the world to people like me, opening hearts and sending love from each testimony written and inspired by God. I can count so many blessings I've received from reading the pages of love within it. I thank you Voice of Truth Magazine. Praise and Glory be to God! It truly blesses my heart, I LOVE IT!"

- Carol ann whipkey 52


Following the Son CONSUMING FIRE photo and writing by Michele Hughes “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3 ESV Sunrise or sunset? Do you have a favorite? If you are like most people, you love both. Even so, you likely miss the sunrise due to work or simply because you are not a morning person. And you probably don’t take time to enjoy the sunset because you are too busy using the time to unwind, reflecting on the day, or even putting the day behind you. Missing the sunrise, for me, can mean missing out on the most beautiful experience of the day. I have the privilege of living just fifteen minutes from the east coast of Florida, giving me the luxury of experiencing the sunrise from the shore. Often, I spend this time with just the Lord - this is where the magic happens. As I watch the sun peek out over the horizon, the day comes alive, inevitably helping me feel better and making me more productive, positive, energetic, and appreciative. As I walked the beach one particular morning, I was drawn to the fire in the sky - the sun - as it rose under the pier. And then I noticed what looked like a fire in the sand - the reflection of the rising sun. This visual of fire stopped me in my tracks! Then and there, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said I needed to stoke the fire.

This visual of fire stopped me in my tracks! Then and there, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said I needed to stoke the fire. Sometimes we can get too comfortable, too relaxed, enjoy too much freedom as we soak up all the good things life has to offer. I felt God stir in me a desire to do more.

Sometimes we can get too comfortable, too relaxed, enjoy too much freedom as we soak up all the good things life has to offer. I felt God stir in me a desire to do more. 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” It was at that time that doors opened for me to get involved in Women World Leaders. I became a contributor to Voice of Truth magazine and joined the leadership team. Galatians 5:13,14 (ESV) says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Whether you like the sunrise or the sunset best, and no matter where you live, I encourage you to take the time to enjoy God’s beautiful display that He gives us every day. And while you are there, take time to listen to what He has to say to you. His plans are magnificent! 53


Tapestry of His Love How amazing is our heavenly Father! As the scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 states, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV) When you look back on the intricacies of your life and see how beautifully He has crafted the chapters of your story, you will see a perfectly executed script. Over a decade ago, I endured the heartwrenching ordeal of breast cancer, but God weaved the most incredible testimony through this painful period of my life. Eleven years ago, my husband and I sat in the waiting room of a breast cancer screening clinic for two hours, anxiously anticipating my life-changing diagnoses. It was such a fearful moment in time that we will never forget. But what we also remember is that God turns everything around for His good! A day after I found out the devastating news of my cancer, I gave my life to Christ and became born again. The Lord had begun an adventure from day one. As God healed my body and my spirit, I saw so many miracles along the way. Many of these miracles involved my art, which I am honored to say He has used repeatedly for His glory. Allow me to share one of those stories now, one which involves this magazine, Voice of Truth.

54

With the release of a recent edition of Voice of Truth, the Women World Leaders’ global office obeyed God’s call to send a number of these glorious magazines to us here in Australia. I prayerfully asked God where these precious magazines should go, and He put on my heart that one copy should go into the very waiting room where I sat anxiously awaiting my diagnosis eleven years ago. I know that if I had this magazine while I was enduring that agonizing wait, God would have used it to fill me with His peace. So I returned to the waiting room, magazine in hand, but this time with a purpose of granting peace and a sense of hope to someone else in her anxious hours. It was a full-circle moment for me, which resulted in my own healing. As I try to comprehend all that God has done in my life in the last eleven years, including how He has used my art to help others, I am in awe of the plans that He weaves in our storybook of life. Our lives are a wonderful tapestry masterpiece of His love. Never take anything for granted; every colored thread has been carefully chosen to enrich our lives help others through their trials and victories.

www.lynnehudson.com


55


We have a son who is now an adult. However, in a deathbed wish decades ago, my husband’s sister asked us to raise her son. After a ten-year battle, she knew that dreadful, cancerous disease was going to win, and at age nine, her son’s life drastically changed. He lost his mother who had dreamed of watching him grow up. God made it so that we became his parents. He moved into our house and became our son. Occasionally, when we were together, people would tell us how much he and I “looked alike.” We thanked them, snickering and giggling, knowing he was not my birth son, nor had any familial genetic connection. Even so, he is my son. Watching a tuba swing back and forth on the marching field, as Professor Harold Hill heard shouts in “The Music Man,” we astoundingly declared, “He’s my son!” When we received a call from his teacher about school truancy, we asked, “He’s MY son?” Much later while holding his newborn, I proudly affirmed, “That’s my son’s!” And, not long ago, as my husband and I sat in church, amazed at the preacher speaking and teaching God’s truth, we looked at each other proudly, saying, “He’s our son.” Imagine, from the heavenly realms, a Father sent His Son into an evil world as a newborn babe. Shepherds, directed by angels, came to see Him. The Magi came to honor Him and bring Him lavish gifts. His Father must have said proudly, “He’s MY Son.” Scripture tells us in Matthew 3:17 (ESV) when Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, “…a Father’s voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ As a boy, after the Passover festival, His earthly parents found their teenage son in the Temple discussing God’s Word with the teachers and were amazed at Him. (Luke 2:41-52 NIV) I am sure they said proudly, “He’s our son.” As an adult, He rode a donkey into Jerusalem to celebrate Holy Week and Passover with the crowds shouting “Hosanna!” to Him. (John 12:12-19 NIV) A few days later, God’s Son was put on trial, stripped, beaten, and died on a cross for no wrongdoing. The Bible explains that the heavenly Father had to turn His back on His Son as He took the world’s sin, our sin, on His shoulders while He hung on that cross. (Matthew 27:46 ESV) God knew this forsaken man was His Son whom He sent to earth to bring us salvation. Jesus delivered God’s redemption plan by sacrificing His own life to save us from our sinful lives.

56

Faith and Family HE’S MY SON written by Donna Whartenby


Christ knows what humankind is like, and how it feels to be human. He now sits at God’s right hand (Mark 16:19 ESV) on the throne once again. Christ Jesus gave the world a new life without sin; a life of love, truth, joy, and peace - if we choose it. Scripture teaches us that Christ Jesus is the only way to the Father. (John 14:6 NIV) Jesus is the Truth because He taught the knowledge of God that directs our paths as believers and makes us free. (John 8:32) Jesus is the Life because He overcame death in His sacrifice for us. By believing in Him, we can have eternal life. (John 10:28, John 11:25-26 NIV) He’s God’s Son who loves us and gave His life for us. Will you believe in Him, follow Him, trust Him, and love Him? If you have not done so, pray to ask Him to come into your life today. Share this joy with others so they, too, can have everlasting life. Believers, raise your hands and shout “Alleluia!” “The Son of God became the Son of man so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.”From “My Time with God” devotional, page 3, by Terry Fullam

God knew this forsaken man was His Son whom He sent to earth to bring us salvation. Jesus delivered God’s redemption plan by sacrificing His own life to save us from our sinful lives.

57


Beside Still Waters ON OUR WAY written by Rusanne Jourdan Here I am, Lord Finally letting go; I can hold on no longer on my own I free fall into Your Arms of grace, Your Arms of strength Holding me tightly and securely, always protecting me Taking off the mask and going deep Deep into Your Word Deep into Your Ways Deep into Your Teachings; letting the Holy Spirit have the lead Letting go of what the world holds true And placing every fiber of my being in You It is a process Be patient, beloved, you are on your way Seeking and desiring the qualities God holds dear love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control You and I together, my loving Father God We move and dance within the process of becoming the real and true me The me God sees and knows and hears The me God created long before I was here The me who will be face to face with my Maker one day Here I am, Lord Looking up to You And occasionally when I look down and away, I confess it and You gently take my face within Your loving Hands and turn me back Back to You Back to Your Eyes Back to Your Love Forgiveness was bought and paid for long ago He forgave We surrender He gave His life for all This is true! I forgive myself I forgive others Walk this way girl! I see God smiling and dancing with you 58


He is always there – waiting and watching, only with love and care To take you step by step on an adventure of a lifetime This adventure is different than any you may have been on It’s not the one you plan But a plan that is crafted by Him alone Trust Seek And you will find a loving Father that has a divine plan A plan just for you! Buckle up Hold on tight sister Coz our Daddy will take us where we never imagined in our wildest dreams Regardless of the circumstances Regardless of the battles He holds our hand and our heart on the path we travel As individual and unique as the snowflake, He created our lives The snowflake melts as it descends to the ground But the One who ascended to the heavens, seated at the right Hand of His Father melts the heart of His daughters, as He molds her into who He has destined her to be. Let go He has a plan He has a purpose for you and for me His ways are better, we begin to realize with each day lived with Him And for Him

Rusanne currently serves as a school chaplain and is passionate about journaling, writing, speaking, studying and encouraging others to fulfill their God-given purpose. Her education includes a political science degree from Louisiana State University, a Certificate IV in Pastoral Care, and an Advanced Diploma in Christian Counseling. She has also served in leadership in the women’s and youth programs at Bible Study Fellowship. Rusanne is the co-founder of Women World Leaders – Australia located on the Gold Coast, Queensland

Breathe and be still Listen to Him One step and one day at a time You are on your way with the Waymaker He who knows the way Jeremiah 29:11-14 (MSG) Rusanne “Rusty” Jourdan Author ~ Speaker ~ Advocate ~ Chaplain australia@womenworldleaders.com


Living a Holyistic Life RENEW YOUR MIND written by Melissa Kessler How do you react when you create a plan and things go awry? Do you get mad or frustrated? Maybe you even are tempted to throw in the towel! When you find yourself in a situation when your path seems to be going in a different direction than you had planned, perhaps a shift in focus, a renewing of your mind, will allow you to see that there is value in the new direction. As Christians, we always have the opportunity to go to God and ask that He renew our minds - give us His guidance and allow us to see our path from His perspective. In fact, the Bible teaches us that going to God should be the first step in our plan. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3 NIV) When I went into the field of holistic wellness, I began to learn how important it was to renew my mind. As a Christian, I know that the best kind of renewal comes from trusting God. Complete wellness includes the body, mind, and soul; and the renewal of our minds, having faith in God’s perfect control and plan, is necessary for our overall wellness - which includes our physical and emotional health, our relationships, and a healthy perspective regarding our finances and careers. Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV) When I dig deep into a person’s wellness, I allow Romans 12:2 to be my guide. As difficult as it may sound to renew your mind - to stop conforming to the patterns of the world and focus on God’s will - this is the key. When we stop following what society expects, what the media suggests, and what our neighbors believe, and instead focus on God, our health and our life will take a turn for the best. If you are ready to stop conforming to the patterns of this world and ready to commit to renewing your mind by focusing on God’s plan instead of your own, I encourage you to read the Word of God daily and ask God to 60

show you what plans He has for you. I did – and as I grew in faith, God worked all things together, and the optimal wellness that I had been looking for all along started to materialize. We are told in Philippians, So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. (Philippians 4:8 TPT) By focusing on what is positive and real, pure and holy, we invite God in, our hearts change, and we stress less strengthening our immune systems and healing our bodies. When we stop allowing fear in and choose to renew our minds by trusting God’s plan, our wellness improves. Choose today to renew your mind – your health will thank you! Melissa is a wife and mom of 2 boys that are a huge inspiration in her life. She is an author and Christian-focused Holistic Health + Hormone Educator and helps women ditch adrenal fatigue so they can lead a more balanced and invigorating life. She has a great passion for natural health and living according to the word of God. She doesn’t expect to ever live a perfectly balanced life, but she does her best to achieve optimal wellness daily and to deliver the same to her clients and students. To learn more and work with her, follow her on Instagram and Facebook @holyoilygoals or email her at mel@melissajkessler.com


Ever Interceding INTIMACY WITH JESUS written by Diana Brown God loves you with an intimacy that exceeds all your desires. He wants you to have a close, personal relationship with Him of intimacy, humility, and obedience. This is a remarkable privilege and honor. Moses, David, and, of course, Jesus had an intimate relationship with God. But how do you develop intimacy with God? A few points on developing an intimate relationship with the Lord: A. Spend time with the Lord daily. In any earthly relationship, the way to develop a relationship with someone is to spend time with them. Intimate relationships are born by learning to trust. Being open, vulnerable, and willing to show all of your heart invites intimacy. To be an intimate friend of God, you need to be able to share the most intimate details of your life, your hopes, your dreams, and your very heart with Him. A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 NIV) Spending much time with the Lord is one of the only methods to truly know His ways and not just His acts. Knowing God leads to resting in the assurance of His ultimate goodness, despite the circumstances we see around us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV) B. Get to know Him through the study of the Word of God and in prayer. As you daily study His Word, you will soon get to know His will, His ways, and His heart, which will give you keys to know how to pray. When you understand the way He moves in the lives of people, you can pray prayers that line up to His will. Psalm 119 is a wonderful passage to meditate upon, as it tells us the rewards of studying His word.

As you daily study His Word, you will soon get to know His will, His ways, and His heart, which will give you keys to know how to pray.

C. Worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and watch as He births intimacy in your heart. A good anointed worship time refreshes and revives you. It speaks to your spirit the truth about God and His power. To be an effective intercessor, you must be awake in your spirit. Worship will awaken and sharpen your spirit to be in tune with the will of the Lord. CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

61


EVER INTERCEDING CONT.

D. Repent, keeping the door of your heart open to intimacy with God. Ask the Lord to search your heart and to show you if there is any wicked way in it. The Lord is faithful to show us our motivations and secret desires. Keep a short account with the Lord. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 NIV) To pray effectively, pray from a pure heart so that you don’t pray in bitterness, anger, and judgment. E. Practice the presence of God. Practice just being with Him and enjoying His company. Sometimes, just sitting with the Lord in silence can bring deep communion and refreshment to your spirit, soul, and body. You don’t always have to be talking to Him. You don’t always have to be expecting heavy revelation from heaven. In prayer, you can just enjoy being with Him. Part of practicing the presence of God is understanding that He is with you always. This is a biblical fact and is not based on your emotions. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

Part of practicing the presence of God is understanding that He is with you always. This is a biblical fact and is not based on your emotions.

God is always present. Learning to know He is there, however, will take time and patience. Just drink in His love, for in the presence of God, fear cannot reside, anxiety cannot reside, and heaviness cannot abide. You need to learn to tune into His presence. It is always there, but we need to practice becoming aware of it. While we should always be in a state of prayer, ask the Lord what is the best time for you to go to Him in concentrated prayer. Some people are morning people, others can press into the Lord in the wee small hours of the night. Find out what works best for you. Lord, thank you that I can meet with you each day, speak and listen to you. Help me to hear what you are saying to me and to live today in this relationship of intimacy, humility, and obedience. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

62


WOMEN WORLD LEADERS MINISTRY PRESENTS

“Fuel for Life”

God desires a deeper connection with each of us. How we can achieve intimacy with our Savior is by walking with Him daily. Fuel for Life is a 90-day journey of inspired topics that offer coaching direction through God’s Word and encouragement to achieve an abundant living lifestyle. Through these pages of incitement, you’ll receive words of direction, comfort, hope, and awareness of God’s presence through scripture. Each day you will receive challenging ideas of how to incorporate helpful, healthy, faith-based living into your daily routine. If you desire to serve God, making each day count in a confident way of living, Fuel for Life will guide you to overcome challenges, strengthen your faith, and have a deeper impact within the world you live. This book contains fuel which will charge your Life into abundant living through seeking God and His Word.

https://womenworldleaders.com/ boutique-books/fuel-for-life/ All proceeds will support the Women World Leader’s mission.

63


Wide Open Wonderment THESE BROKEN BONES WILL REJOICE written by Rachel Dube Crushed. Dreams are crushed. Paint the sky black and turn the flowers to dust. I don’t want to see the sky glimmer in gold at sunset. I don’t want even familiar faces, much less those I haven’t met. The laughter of my heart that sang and danced Like the grass of the field when the wind sweeps by Is quiet, except when I have to fake it. And as soon as I’m alone, all I can do is cry. Make me the wind Without feeling or home or connections. Set me free in the world to run in all directions. I was once a fresh apple, But I rolled out into the sun. Days ago, I was lively, luscious red, Shouting, “Life is delicious!” But now I am dead. And because I am withered and my color is gone, I don’t want color in any part of the world. I want every hum to be my sad song. I have my black and white piles of paint And I mix them together furiously. I paint scores of life’s most beautiful things, But they all turn out as gray monotony. But somehow amidst the darkness, Just when I’ve decided to lay down and let life beat me, Bright colors, full life and deep love, Though seemingly distant, still pursue and entreat me. Because Jesus himself, God who became man Died on a cross on the darkest of days, So that when I say I can’t wake up He tells me I can. He reminds me that He didn’t die And come up from the dead For me, who has His power as my strength, To be a withered, hardened heart who won’t get out of bed. 64


He tells me that when there isn’t a note Of music anywhere around, To listen to His promises, a symphony of hope, Sweeter than any sound. I feel Him in my heart Breaking down its walls, Building windows and doors, Letting light pour into its halls. My creator, who knows me, Knows every detail of my days. He holds me in His hand And tells me to trust His ways. I am a jar of clay On His spinning wheel. I sometimes ask Him to stop the molding, But He refuses to make that kind of deal. He tells me I am a special jar Made for a purpose very specific. He says that the things He’s working in me Are not projects that are quick. They often require the clay to be crushed. I tell Him, “That one sounds familiar.” He says He wants me to look like His perfect Son, And I am nowhere near there.

His promises are for my soul: water, bread and blood. His life in me gives life color And an ark above this flood. Lord, teach me in this very moment To lean on Your grace and trust in Your love. Transform my hours of worry and tears To hours and days of time well spent. I need You to hold me together Because I can’t stop falling apart. Show me that You can walk on water And calm the storms raging in my heart. Put new life in me With every new day’s sunrise. Whether it peers through my blinds in the morning, Or hides behind cloudy skies. Satisfy me. Fill me up to the brim. So that every small joy Makes my cup spill over. And whether blessing or trial, These broken bones will rejoice in Him.

So here I am in this world Of dark grays and tears and pain, With light pouring in me from my Savior Whose life and love are the hope for mine Because He has no shadow due to change.

65


God is brewing a partnership! What would it look like if Women World Leaders partnered with a local coffee shop in Sanford, Florida to empower lives with purpose? For starters, it would look like a bag of freshly roasted, washed Costa Rican beans and natural Ethiopian beans blended to perfection sitting on your kitchen counter. With notes of honey, vanilla, milk chocolate, and cocoa, you can’t go wrong. We rejoice in God merging our missions together, partnering to serve Him - from empowering women to rescuing many from the plights of human trafficking. You can join our hearts and hands by purchasing a bag of coffee. All the proceeds will be shared between Women World Leaders & Love Missions. Palate Coffee Brewery is blessed to have won taste quality awards; always roasted in His love, to perfection.

ORDER NOW

...and support both missions with your purchase! https://sanfordcoffee.com/WWL

66


Palate Coffee Brewery opened its doors five years ago when Carl & Tina Kadolph, along with their daughter and son-inlaw, Katrina and Charles Lemmon, decided to open a coffee shop with a vision bigger than just coffee. A coffee shop focused on one of their greatest passions: fighting human trafficking. As a human trafficking survivor, co-owner Tina Kadolph understands the needs survivors face and is uniquely qualified to meet those needs through mentoring, education, job training, and personal care bags. She is able to come alongside survivors and walk with them on their journey from pain to living their God-given purpose. Understanding that education is key, she brings awareness to the reality of human trafficking through Love Missions, the nonprofit organization that the Kadolphs started to fight human trafficking. By empowering survivors and educating the community, their goal is to eradicate this crime against humanity. How are these large endeavors funded? Coffee. The Kadolph/Lemmon family have gone to great lengths to make sure the coffee they serve is nothing short of the best. Their coffee shop has won awards for best coffee, voted on by the public, beating out large chains. Co-owner Charles Lemmon took roasting classes to perfect his skill, and now they have opened up their own private roastery right around the corner from their coffee shop. This is to ensure that every bag of beans and every cup of coffee is freshly roasted to perfection.

Women World Leaders is a unified global women’s ministry that empowers others to follow Christ and to love in abundance as we cultivate women warriors in purpose by the promises and power of God. Our ministry aims to anchor hearts in God as we strive to be united in service empowering, edifying and supporting one another in faith and love while developing passionate leaders with purpose. As part of our call to service, we support and come alongside the work of churches and ministries aimed at equipping women to find their identity in Christ alone. We, at WWL, are truly honored to partner with Love Missions and Palate Coffee Brewery as they stand in the gap for oppressed women. Jesus is the only way to freedom and only through Him can we receive complete healing and grace! Through our partnership, we believe we will see God’s hand of justice and mighty love as He provides freedom for those who are stuck in the vicious cycles of human trafficking - and we are excited for you to join us in this cause. Kimberly Hobbs Founder & Executive Director kimberly@womenworldleaders.com

Now, when you buy a bag of Palate Blend, you will be supporting the visionary work of Women World Leaders and helping Love Missions combat human trafficking, both locally and around the world. Enjoying a cup of coffee from the comfort of your kitchen table can now have a global reach. Tina Kadolph, Founder and President, Love Missions Global Co Owner, Palate Coffee Brewery tina@lovemissions.net

Love Missions and Women World Leaders

67


Coffee Chats HOW PALATE COFFEE WAS BORN PART ONE written by Tina Kadolph Welcome Friends, I am excited to share with you this month on how Palate Coffee Brewery was born. The amazing coffee that you have the opportunity to buy not only supports the fight against human trafficking but also the Voice of Of Truth magazine and Women World Leaders. This coffee is life-changing! Literally! Palate has so many amazing God stories I cannot wait to share with you. One of the beautiful stories behind Palate is how it was born. It really goes all the way back to 2011 when our daughter and son-in-love were just finishing up their stay on the mission field. While in South America, God had given them a vision about coming home and opening a coffee shop that would be safe for young people, but would also change lives. They were confident that this was the next thing God was calling them to do. We were meeting as a church in an old 100-year-old monastery. That is a story for another time. When they came home, they continued praying about this vision and knew God was leading them to set up a coffee shop in the church/monastery. They named the 68

shop Coffee @ 9:23 after Luke 9:23 ESV - “And He said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” They had lived this verse as newlyweds moving to a thirdworld country and serving on the mission field for over a year. They continued in faith as they felt God say they had completed the work He had asked them to do, and now He had a new work for them at home. It was hard for them to leave as God had given them a love for this country and they had fallen in love with the people. But they were being obedient to His call on their lives. Once home, they worked tirelessly on this new project, Coffee @ 9:23. It was such a cute, warm, and inviting place. For months they would get up at 5 am, open the coffee shop, and wait. They would get one or two customers besides their family who showed up faithfully to support them. They did not lose heart as they believed this was their calling. They would persevere and not give up. One day the city showed up and told them they had to close the little coffee shop. They were heartbroken, as we


all were, because we all believed God had called them to this. It was hard to understand why it was not working out. How many times do we think we know God has called us to something and it doesn’t seem to happen or work out the way we thought it would? We question whether or not we really heard Him. But we must always trust Him, even when we don’t understand. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV The coffee shop was closed, but God continued to stir their hearts. In the waiting, they did research and learned about coffee. They even had my husband build a coffee cart that they thought they could use for events or weddings, but still nothing. They never used the coffee cart for the dream God had given them. Time passed, and nothing ever came of the coffee shop or the coffee cart. They moved on and God used them in some other amazing ways, but not coffee, even though it was still buried deep in all our hearts. “The testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:3b NIV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Fast-forward to 2015. I had been invited to be the keynote speaker at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida for their Justice Week. It was a 4-day speaking engagement, and on the last day, the Global Missions Director, Mark, called me and said he felt like he needed to take me to a local coffee shop in the morning before I spoke. This was hard; speaking is not natural for me. I was nervous and spent an hour or so in prayer to prepare. I needed God’s strength, God’s words, and not my own. Word was getting out, and there was standing room only in the chapel where I was speaking. Students wanted to hear my God story, and everyone was talking about it. This made me even more nervous since this was my first big speaking engagement. I reluctantly agreed to skip my prayer time and go. I felt like maybe God had something for me, and it meant I would have to trust him even more. Trust! So hard at times. Especially for me. God and I are constantly having conversations about this. He knows He must push me out of my comfort zone often, of course for my own good, even though at times I do not see it that way. CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

69


COFFEE CHATS CONT.

You see, God had told me in a dream in 2009 that He would use my testimony of what had happened to me for good, and I was just beginning to see a glimpse of what was to come. After I finished speaking and praying that day, I told Carl I wanted him to come with me to the coffee shop. We didn’t tell him anything about what had happened earlier. As we walked into the coffee shop, he started walking around looking at everything. Then he came over to me and said, “I think God wants us to do something like this.” Oh my goodness! This was super exciting and scary at the same time. We didn’t know the hows or whats, but we did know that there was not a doubt in any of our minds that we were supposed to open a coffee shop.

The next morning, Mark, my daughter, a friend of mine, and I went to the coffee shop. It was about thirty minutes away in a town called Lake Worth. Mark was going to introduce us to one of the owners, Pastor Mike. As soon as I walked through the door, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “This is what I want you to do.” My friend had gone to the restroom, and as I was letting that sink in, my daughter, Katrina, walked up to me and said, “Mom, I think God wants us to do this.” I was looking at her with a shocked look on my face. She was saying what I was hearing from God. My friend walked up and said, “I don’t know what you both are talking about, but I feel like God is saying we are supposed to do something like this.” Wow, wow! God was talking for sure, but now what?

God had clearly spoken. We could either listen and be obedient, or ignore God and move on from this experience. Well, obviously, you know what we did. When you think about it, God was bringing our family all the way back to coffee. But He was not only going to fulfill the vision He had given to my daughter and sonin-love, but He was also going to bring the dream that He had given me to reality. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV God is truly amazing. Now you will have to wait to hear the rest of the story in Part Two.

We had coffee and were quiet about what had happened. I didn’t get to meet Pastor Mike that time, but at a later date we did, and we are now friends with him and his beautiful wife, Kelly. My husband, Carl, was coming that same day to hear me speak. The speaking engagement went incredibly well, and I had many young girls come forward in need of prayer from past abuse, rape, or other painful situations. God had shown me that He was going to use me in a big way. I had no idea then what that even looked like. Boy, did He have a plan. “And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Luke 1:45 NET

70

God had clearly spoken. We could either listen and be obedient, or ignore God and move on from this experience.


He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)

71


Courage in Action Kevie’s Prayer Twelve years ago, our organization, Kerus Global Education, took the bold and exciting step of establishing an orphan care center in Soshanguve, South Africa. As educators focused on the HIV/AIDS crisis, we decided to invest in a grassroots community project to help those suffering. As we first walked the dusty streets of Soshanguve, one of the most impoverished places in South Africa, we passed endless rows of small dilapidated metal shacks that served as homes. Instant pain, excitement over possibilities, and a need for courage flooded our hearts. There, we experienced twelve years of intense sadness, overwhelming joy, and disappointment together as companions, all opportunities to witness the miracle of astounding grace, deepening our love and trust for our Father. One of our earliest encounters with astounding grace was through Kevie, a precious little boy who came to the center after being abandoned by his mother. Like so many women struggling to survive, Portia’s solution to poverty was prostitution. Addicted to drugs and living dangerously, she left Kevie with his grandmother. Kevie was born HIV positive and always struggled with his health, but his resolutely cheerful, positive attitude radiated throughout our Orphan Care Center. He loved everyone, and his joy was infectious. The entire community adored him! We always said that Kevie smiled with his nose, scrunching it up as he would laugh and laugh! Kevie and his grannie attended the church that partnered with Kerus. He loved Jesus, and every day Kevie prayed for his mom to come to church and find a family there, and mostly that she would meet Jesus too. Even during his last time in the hospital,

72

Kevie spoke of getting well so his mom would come to church. He wanted the honor of introducing her to everyone there. But he never got the chance. Sickness engulfed quickly and, within a few days, he was gone. Our beloved boy, just eight years old, went to be with Jesus. It all happened so fast! The grief-stunned community was devastated over the loss of such a pure and loving heart. On the day of his funeral, the truck carrying the small wooden coffin containing Kevie’s tired little body slowed as it passed his school. Over 1,000 children and hundreds of adults lined the road on both sides, holding up banners, singing, playing instruments, and crying to celebrate and give honor to Kevie’s short but vibrant life. A picture we had taken in a photoshoot displayed his precious nose-wrinkled smile in the back window. Unfortunately, we were in the USA when Kevie died, but on our first day back to Soshanguve, we arranged to meet the pastor to visit Kevie’s grave. A skinny, sickly-looking lady arrived first, ran up to us, fell into our arms, and wept. We had no idea who she was until the pastor came out and introduced her as Kevie’s mother. She was the mother we had never met and, frankly, our hearts were full of negative feelings for her. How could someone abandon such a beautiful little boy? We were confused. After Kevie’s death, the pastor shared that Portia had returned home, and in her grief, she decided to grant Kevie’s persistent request to go to his church. Taking her place in the back of the church, she listened to the pastor’s sermon on forgiveness. His words hit their mark in Portia’s battered soul. Unable to contain her tears, she began to wail. Assuming she was brokenhearted, the pastor stopped preaching and asked if he could pray a prayer of comfort for her. Portia added to the story, “I couldn’t stop shouting, I’m free! I’m free!” They were tears of redemptive joy! Just days after her son entered into the presence of his beloved Jesus, Portia, standing in Kevie’s church, was a new woman, freed from the guilt and shame that had robbed her for so many years. Portia insisted that she be present to take us to Kevie’s final resting place. While staring at the mound of dirt and the hand-painted grave marker, Portia fell into our arms again. The woman we disliked before we ever met was pouring out her mother’s heart as if we had been friends for years. Our hearts broke as she


shared how Kevie would speak to her about his two American moms who would hug him every day. She thanked us for the photographs, the gifts we gave to her precious boy, and she shared more about her former life. Her grief was deep, but so was her peace. A few short weeks later, Portia lost her long struggle with AIDS, uniting with her precious Kevie in the presence of Jesus.

1 2 3

Tender little hearts often ask God to work in incredible ways, and our amazing Father does for them what we adults quietly believe is impossible. Our Father’s love is endless, and He is infinitely able! Sometimes it takes a child to lead us to those truths.

Dr. Jennie Cerullo and Dr. Marcia Ball Co-Founders & Executive Directors of Kerus Global To learn more or to donate to Kerus, visit: www.kerusglobal.org

CARING FOR AND PROTECTING VULNERABLE ORPHANS PROMOTING HIV/AIDS & SEX TRAFFICKING PREVENTION DEVELOPING COURAGEOUS LEADERS

FOLLOW US KERUS GLOBAL EDUCATION KERUSGLOBAL

DONATE

ONLINE / TEXT / CHECK Find details of how to donate at kerusglobal.org

“It takes courage...”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE KERUS STORY AT: WWW.KERUSGLOBAL.ORG 73


Reflections On my walk, I found a mirrored bead - the type you would find in a piece of jewelry. The Lord showed me that the object I held in my hand was like a mirrored ball that hangs at a party – one that reflects the colored lights out into the darkness. He showed me that there are two aspects to a mirrored ball: the ball itself and that which it reflects. Imagine each individual around the globe as a reflection of God’s majesty. I painted this mirrored ball as a representation of the world. The multi-faceted colors of the rainbow illustrate that every individual is made to see and reflect God’s glory. The nations themselves are painted in tones of green, showing the fresh new beginnings that are starting to emerge in this monumental season. Never forget the life-giving promises God has for you as you reflect His glory. He has you in the safety of His hands.

God then showed me these scriptures: 2 Cor. 3: 8, 12, 16-18 (TPT) Yet how much more radiant is this new and glorious ministry of the Spirit that shines from us. So then, with this amazing hope living in us, we step out in freedom and boldness to speak the truth. But the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see. Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom. We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

www.lynnehudson.com 74


WWL Global Connections THE POWER OF THREE: ABOUT KAYLA FOLLIN, LIZ STREDDER, AND CONNIE HECKER written by Carrie Christopher

PART I We prayed with her. Her breathtakingly beautiful face beaming, shining, and inviting love. She was a child of God, His child. She was absolutely darling, from head to toe. Her voice pierced our hearts with an English accent set aside for only the elegant beauties of this world. She carried purpose-filled words of God, provided to all from the depths of her heart. She was radiant, prepared for something that none of us could understand. She was battling stage 4 cancer, and from the discouragement on her lips, she needed hope for another day. Her sisters had set up a Zoom prayer call, some of them living in the United States, while she lived in England. There we were as a ministry team with the God-blessed opportunity to pray for and with her. She invited us into her pain, her suffering, and her great travail as she fought the one battle none of us ever desire to experience; life versus death. But there she sat, in this Zoom meeting, with grace-abounding courage to keep fighting. We prayed; we prayed in our ashes and in our tears. Her husband popped in on the Zoom call. He was a man of honor, clearly held in high esteem from the Lord. You could see that this man wore Christ’s love. He would’ve given his very own life in exchange for his wife’s. You could see the Holy Spirit harbored deeply in his heart as he wrestled with his wife’s illness. There he battled, day in and day out, tirelessly seeking the Lord for healing. This family was purely in love with Christ, willing to fight and also willing to follow Jesus no matter the cost. Their lives marked with the radiance and imprint of Christ’s everglowing glory.

Onto this Zoom call came a stranger to intercede, a heavenly God-sized miracle. This woman had gotten an invitation from a pastor’s email encouraging folks to join in prayer. We were blessed by this dear woman and intercessor named Connie, who did not know our gracegal living all the way over in England, but joined us out of love, sacrificing her time to pray for a need that was brought to her attention. Days later, we got word that God had strengthened our sister in England after our time of intercession. She was able to walk more than she had in previous days. Inspired by this good news, we all wore garments of hope for her, hanging on every bit of healing in the Word of God. Now, this warrior princess’s voice had touched us inwardly in such power that we invited her to recite Psalm 91 during one of our Facebook Live monthly events. It was there that we saw continued glory pour forth through her life. Even in her pain and suffering, she was willing to speak God’s Word forth, not afraid, in love to nations. As time went on, though, we lost her. We lost her presence in the body of Christ. We lost her beaming radiant smile and her warm glow of Christ that she carried. We lost her undeniable JOY and the generosity that lived inside of her. How could it be, and why did God allow it? Questions infiltrated her family, her friends, and our ministry. We all stood overcome by grief and a lack of understanding. And more profoundly, we couldn’t even imagine the unmatched grievance that her dear husband and sisters must have been feeling. Liz Stredder

75


WWL GLOBAL CONNECTIONS CONT.

PART II It had seemed like an impossible dream. Some said it shouldn’t be done or that it couldn’t be done, while others watched and waited, testing all prophecies and claimed words from the Lord. Yet my heart and mind were intertwined with Kimberly Hobbs’ encouragement and the unrelenting voice of God. God had spoken of this Voice of Truth magazine months ago, and now He said it was time to “gather.” As a leadership team, we began to gather in faith and prayer; without having the financials, without having any paid staff for the initiative. We were praying and hoping. God began gathering laborers by His goodness and only by the presence of His Holy Spirit speaking to our leadership team “Pst.” The Holy Spirit nudges, “This one over here.” Some of those God pointed out were seasoned writers, and others were new to the pursuit of writing as a worship-filled expression unto Him. But we trusted, we trusted in who He picked and who He brought. The only hurdle now was, “Who on this green earth would be the graphic designer to piece together this puzzle? Who could take all of these worship-filled expressions of praise through art and writing and fulfill the very dream of the Voice of Truth Magazine?” We had interviewed and considered two amazing graphic designers. They both had the skill and, clearly, the Christ-infused hearts to work with us, but the reality was we had no funding whatsoever. I remember grieving the process of saying goodbye to these incredible and beautiful women of God as He led them and us elsewhere. But God had a plan. Again Kimberly’s encouragement encircled my mind, God had already chosen “the” one. Remember the woman named Connie that I mentioned Connie Hecker

76

in Part I of this column? Connie had joined us to pray for Liz, even though she did not know her. On that fateful Zoom, we had discovered that Connie was an avid blogger and a theatre professor at Liberty University. By God’s will and grace, Connie had committed to writing in Voice of Truth. One day, while on the phone with Connie, I heard the Holy Spirit prompt me. “Ask Connie about a graphic designer or college intern.” When I obediently brought up the topic, God catapulted Connie into action. By that day’s end, she had already sent an invitation to design the magazine across the campus. Fast forward to one of my most discouraging days; a fiery trial and battle had come upon me. But God had a victory in store as I checked my email. There it was, shouting God’s favor to open: a professionally written email from Kayla Follin, a college student who was offering her heart to this God-sized mission. Not only did she have the talent and expertise to design the magazine, but she also offered her service in exchange for college credit. There it was, heaven’s breakthrough. The gates flung open wide with the presence of God’s provision. Even before we sealed the deal with Kayla, God clearly and lovingly whispered to me, “This is the one I have chosen.” Like the story of David when Samuel went looking for God’s next chosen King - Kayla would be our very own David, slinging shut the forces of hell with the provisions and blessings of God. God sent Kayla to propel and complete this project. What once seemed impossible was now deemed possible by and through Jesus Christ. This daughter paved the way for this magazine to come alive graphically. Our sister Kayla sacrifices hours of her


heart and her time as the Lord creatively births in her a triumphant song of glory. This tender, beautiful princess is with us, fighting the battle of faith with love in her heart and a smile on her face as she serves you, as she serves me, and as she serves women globally. So much thanks goes to Kayla Follin. And so many praises go to God. Kayla, our dear sister, as you design this very spread of the magazine, may your life and light shine so brightly as you have done immeasurably more in talent and creativity than we could ever ask or imagine. You are so loved, Kayla Follin. Your life is used as a light to the nations.

PART III So you may be wondering. Whatever came of the life of our warring princess, the England sister? Liz is now enveloped in the overflowing, infused love of Jesus Christ with every tear wiped away and every glimmer of suffering obliterated by what Jesus did for her. She is sitting with God Himself, interceding for her family, encouraging from above. But what I believe is one of the most beautiful reflections and promises of her life that God almighty left here is her very legacy. You see, this magazine would’ve been IMPOSSIBLE without Liz’s life. By allowing us, as a ministry, to pray with her and for her, we met Connie. Then we met Kayla. And now in your hands, you hold the God-birthed Voice of Truth Magazine.

This very magazine sits at heaven’s gates, in praise of God and in thanks to Liz Stredder. Liz is living right here and now, in and through this magazine. While her living may look different as she stands separated from her loved ones as she resides in heaven’s abode, her legacy lives on and lives here, right in these words that I type. Liz left Voice of Truth Magazine as her finished work here on earth. Liz no longer suffers or grieves, but she lives in an eternal palace, graced with the permanent presence and power of Jesus Christ. Angels are singing, and heaven is rejoicing. And Jesus still stands with her family, lavishing them with His eternal love and reassurance that He is holding and communing with Liz. He is keeping her in His presence as she continues to work for Him. Liz’s life is not lost. It is alive. Alive here, in each God-breathed page of glory and excellence. Does this negate the bitter pain that her precious family feels day in and day out? Absolutely not, we cannot even begin to fathom the love that you’ve lost, but what we can assure you is that Liz will always be remembered, as a saint of His victory, as an usher of His word, as a conduit of His power, here on earth as it is in heaven. Her legacy lives here, in this place and space, and we honor each of you for letting her fight with Jesus in heaven, declaring that God’s not finished with our broken world just yet. He has many to save, and Liz’s life fights on. To the family of Liz Stredder - we love you and honor you.

Kayla Follin JANUARY 2021

3rd edition may/june 2021

1

77


Voice of Truth Stories Together We Are World Changers How are you sharing Voice of Truth? Write us. We want to share your "joy" of spreading the gospel of Christ throughout the world.

www.womenworldleaders.com

MEET MARY SMIT My name is Mary Smit, and I am a Professional Makeup Artist, Costume Designer, Production Designer, Actress, Mother of five beautiful children, and GiGi to one awesome little girl. But most of all, I am a Missionary. I always felt strongly about mission work. Desiring first that my family would come to know Jesus personally, I also had a strong desire to share Jesus with others. I felt called in my early twenties to be a Missionary, but my husband did not feel called. This left me confused. I questioned God about how all of that worked. Did I hear Him incorrectly? What was I missing? I struggled with this for years, often going on short-term mission trips or participating in local outreach. We ended up moving back to my home state of Alabama in 2012, and I was about to leave for a couple of months for work. I told my pastor about it, and He said, “Godspeed Missionary!” I said, “Wait, what did you say?” He said, “Well, that is what you are, isn’t it? Sharing the gospel through film?” I was stunned. He had no idea of my calling or my struggle to figure it out. Here I had been trying to reason out something that God already had planned for me. I WAS fulfilling my calling! Since that moment, projects have become richer to me, and God has graciously allowed me to see fruit 78

from my efforts. I am called to be a Missionary. But guess what? So are you! (Matt 28:19-20) We are called to share the gospel. One of the simplest ways to share the gospel is through Voice of Truth magazine. What a blessing it is to tell women I encounter in my workplace, grocery store, favorite coffee shop, etc., who are struggling and longing for sisterhood about this wonderful magazine. It is so easy to share! If the magazine has blessed you in any way (and I am sure it has), I encourage you to do the same. I also encourage you to invite your friends (and those to whom you witness) to become part of Women World Leaders by joining the Facebook Group and visiting www. womenworldleaders.com. Technology has made it so easy to share the gospel around the world. Praise God for giving the vision, resources, and opportunity for each of us to be the hands and feet of Christ! Praise Him! Blessings to you all!


MEET KEN HOBBS

MEET LYRA DONE

I boldly say, “I am a founding partner and a warrior for Christ who believes in the ministry of Women World Leaders and Voice of Truth magazine. I find great value in sharing both with my family and friends.”

This is Lyra Done’ from Alabama.

I faithfully serve in the Band of Brothers ministry while equally promoting the ministry of Women World Leaders and Voice of Truth to my fellow brothers. I take every opportunity to share the gospel message as presented in Voice of Truth, knowing that this magazine is a way of promoting God’s truths to everyone, not only women. Recently, in May of 2021, I had the privilege of leading a 4-day Rallypoint event where over 350 men were in attendance. I called upon Womenworldleaders.com to stand in the gap as intercessory prayer warriors. The prayers were answered, and lives were changed. On the last evening of the rally, over 60 men came forward for salvation and recommitting their lives to Christ. I was able to hand out Voice of Truth magazines to the men to take home as gifts to their wives, daughters, friends, and family. I am just one of many men who value spreading the gospel message through Voice of Truth. If you’d like more information on Band of Brothers and our upcoming Boot Camp November 2021, please contact me at: Kenhobbs2@yahoo.com Thank you, Voice of Truth magazine and Women World Leaders, for making an impact in our world.

I am so encouraged from reading my issues of the Voice of Truth magazine! I find each issue filled with inspirational messages, providing me with growth. Truth is the cornerstone. Psalm 51:6 “Behold you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” (ESV) The stories in VOT have a resounding inspirational message of God’s love and mercy. Every issue is so amazing! The beautiful photography transports me to wonderful places, and the joyful art is exceptional! I have not seen a magazine filled with so much beauty before! The women authors generously witness to other women [and men] all over the world, sharing their heartfelt life experiences. We all come from different cultures and have backgrounds with differing circumstances, yet this magazine has so much for everyone. Because of Jesus, we can share Christ’s offer of salvation and freedom from sin. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God sent did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17 NIV) Hallelujah!! Some of the stories in VOT remind me that even in the deep dark valleys of life, my challenge is to go to our Heavenly Father in prayer, and He will move in my life and answer my prayers. When we hit the bottom of the valley, we can trust that God will bring us out of the depth of despair and help us climb to the mountain top. I receive hope, inspiration, and reassurance from these stories! For example, in the May/June issue, an article about forgiveness brought back memories of battles of forgiveness that I fought growing up. When I finally let go of the anger and hurt, I found freedom and peace. Each story is like unwrapping a gift as I read it. Following God’s instruction book, the Bible, and striving to be in His will is what life is all about for me. I hope you, like me, anticipate how stories in future publications will lift you up. God bless all my new Women World Leader and VOT friends!

CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

79


VOICE OF TRUTH STORIES CONT.

MEET DEB HOGAN... A woman World Leader who is passionate about helping those suffering from physical challenges. At 34 years old, Deb was diagnosed with a hereditary disease called VHL (see VHL. org), which took her mother’s life at 37 and her grandmother in her 40’s. VHL causes tumors to grow in the brain, spinal cord, and kidneys. After suffering a grand mal seizure, MRIs showed that Deb had a brain tumor, cancer in both kidneys, and a spinal cord tumor blocking 2/3rds of her spinal cord. Deb and her husband Mark were understandably anxious about what the future held. Deb turned to her Bible to find God’s promises. That Bible is now held together with elastics! Deb had multiple surgeries to remove the tumors. During this time, members of her home church asked Deb to speak about her trials and God’s deliverance, which began a 15-year speaking ministry called Walk Out of Worry. A verse that gave her a lot of comfort during this time is John 16:33. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) Presently, Deb is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer with liver metastases “too numerous to count.” She has completed four years of chemotherapy, and she is now starting her 5th year. The amazing thing is that Deb is not sick yet. The doctors marvel at this. So many in the body of Christ lift Deb to the throne of God during her scans. So far, the cancer is stable. Even though there is no cure for Deb’s cancer, God has granted her continued health amid such a diagnosis. Deb was first made aware of Voice of Truth magazine after her friend asked if she wanted to be on the mailing list. The magazine came, and Deb was blown away by the graphics and, of course, the stories of faith. God is doing so much in His women through this incredible mission!! Stories within showcase the work of God in unique ways. Deb was introduced to the founder of Women World Leaders through Lisa Morrison, who writes for Voice of Truth. The rest is history. Deb has become a part of the mission at WWL’s. She recorded a podcast about her life story, which aired in May of 2021. Deb will also be writing her story for one of Women World Leaders’ upcoming books, to be published in the fall of 2021. Deb says, “Sometimes I only see myself as a cancer patient, weak and sick, not good for anything. Through WWL, God is showing me that I still have a testimony to share, and His Spirit compels me to share it with others.” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19 NIV)

80


MEET MICHELE HUGHES Home is where the heart is. Michele has a heart for people and shares about Women World Leaders wherever she goes. However, her favorite place to share is right in the comfort of her own home. Michele and her husband Mark own and operate their own business www.GoLifeSavers.com, which is a CPR and First Aid Training company, and offer life-saving classes in their living room. Often, participants will ask about the book or magazine they see displayed, which opens the door for discussion. Other times, Michele might hear a story when a lady shared about some recent struggles of divorce, moving, and being a single mom. Michele felt God nudge her to share about the magazine Voice of Truth. This led to deeper discussion and tears, and when she offered the magazine to the lady, she was very appreciative. God uses these magazines and stories of encouragement in ways we may never know, but we do know He has a purpose for each printed magazine that enters every hand and heart of each reader. Michele receives several extra copies to use as God leads, and she saves one so people can scan the back barcode to receive their own digital copy. Michele is a leader in Women World Leaders, contributing writer in Voice of Truth magazine, and contributing author in the book Courageous Steps of Faith.

MEET JUDE & CATHIE BOGGS FROM NORTHEAST, OHIO

This is a unique story of how God moves to connect people, called for a purpose. A few years ago traveling on a Christmas vacation to Ohio, the founder of WWL's was visiting a church with her husband and she was approached in the lobby by a fine young man, Jude Boggs, photo above. Jude walked up to Kimberly Hobbs and as she glanced downward at the sweet little face of this child, he looked up into her eyes and said with love, "You are very beautiful, I hope you have a nice day." Immediately, it melted Kimberly's heart. It seemed Jude appeared out of nowhere, reminding her of the love from her own grandson whom she had not seen in years. Kimberly Hobbs immediately looked around trying to find who might be the mother of such a polite and kind little boy. The mom, Cathie Boggs was standing nearby and spoke up in her sweet yet distinct British accent, "Did he do something wrong?" Kimberly expressed to Cathie what Jude had kindly said to her and how it made her feel. She praised Cathie on raising such kind-hearted, respectful child. As Kimberly exchanged pleasantries with the mom, she noted how refreshing it was to see and hear a little human being as Jude Boggs, displaying the love of Jesus at church to a complete stranger. They quickly finished talking and proceeded into the sanctuary for the service. Later, after the church service ended, Kimberly felt prompted by God to run back inside and find this little boy and his mother and leave the mom with a card that would introduce Women World Leaders to her. Unfortunately, to Kimberly's despair, running back through CONTINUED ON FOLLOWING PAGE

81


JUDE & CATHIE BOGGS CONT.

the sanctuary passing by hundreds of lingering holiday guests, left her finding no familiar faces of the little boy or his mom anywhere. Saddened in her heart, Kimberly and her husband proceeded to leave the church without any exchange of names. Suddenly, something stopped her. In Kimberly's sight, she saw a glimpse of a family member she hadn't seen in years, just standing alone beyond the Christmas display in the lobby. Kimberly recognized this young lady and it stunned her, keeping her eyes focused on her. "What was she doing there," Kimberly thought? She lives in another state. (Another story for another time) The pause was just long enough for God to move the way He wills. Kimberly just stood there, pondering what was happening and what to do. Is she really seeing who she thought it might be? Glancing through an opening of fake Christmas trees, Kimberly was gazing upon her estranged daughter she had not seen in years. Kimberly was stopped from her exit just long enough for the little boys mom to find her and come up to Kimberly. As Kimberly turned, she was now looking directly at the face of Cathie Boggs. Cathie felt compelled earlier by the Lord to find Kimberly, and was now standing face to face with her. Cathie unknowingly interrupted the "daughter moment" Kimberly was having by asking if she had a few minutes to talk?

It was all part of God's divine plan that He would connect two lives, no matter what. Two people, destined to meet and pray together which would eventually bring a pivotal piece to this world-wide ministry. This story is the beginning portion of the chain of people God brought to WWL'S and eventually our Graphic Design Artist for Voice of Truth. Read more about Cathie Boggs sister Liz from the UK and what happens next in "Global Connections", it's fascinating. Through the kind spoken words of one child, Jude Boggs - God leads WWL'S to the gifted Graphic Design Artist for Voice of Truth magazine, Kayla Follin. This was a major answer to prayer for this ministry. The God connections and random acts of obedience prompted by God, have led so many people to this amazing magazine. We are happy to say this story does not end here. Read more about Cathie Boggs sister and Jude Boggs Aunt Liz from the UK and what happens next in "Global Connections", it's fascinating.

Without hesitation, Kimberly regains her composure because she knew THIS most certainly was a God moment- a divine appointment and the same one she was prompted to act upon herself after church ended by the nudge of the Holy Spirit! Together, they made their way to a quiet corner in the church, where Cathie expressed her need for prayer. She explained to Kimberly she was battling cancer. Cancer was something her mom passed on from and now Cathie as well as her sister Liz who lived in the UK, were both battling this deadly disease and needed much prayer. Kimberly and Cathie cried, hugged and then grasped hands to pray together over what had just been discussed. Afterward Kimberly explained to Cathie the fact she frantically searched with urgency to find her in the sanctuary after church, but could not. She exchanged the Women World Leaders card she had taken out of her purse earlier and handed it to Cathie with her phone number. They became friends that day.

82

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” Mark 16:15, NIV

Send us your story at info@womenworldleaders.com


Praying for you, Daughter of Zion Lifting you up, Sister, before the Lord of Hosts. Asking the Lord to bless you in all of your ways - to humble your heart that you may receive the ever-flowing love and mercy of Jesus. Praying His sacrificial care towards you would stir you on to do good works and that His tenderness towards you would allow your full, reverent commitment to Him. Asking for repentance tears, that your trust in Him may increase as you receive every ounce of soul-satisfying grace that He has to pour upon you. Praying living waters would well up in you richly, providing all of your needs with His abounding presence. Asking our Father God to carry you to the fountain of life. Praying you will run this race with His merciful heart, carrying His truth. May His Word fill you in abundance. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Our Pure Devotion As a ministry, we hereby dedicate this magazine unto the Lord almighty. He is our rock, our provider, our Savior, and the love of our life. This magazine thanks the Lord for providing all of the women, the finances, and the strength to complete a task such as this. All glory, dominion, and power praise His holy name. We bow down in complete reverence and love to our King of kings.

A heartfelt thank you – To our sister & friend, Kayla Follin. She has spent numerous hours laboring in love for our Savior to graphically design this magazine! Her heart of passion, creativity and love exude in everything she does! Thank you Kayla for the beauty you’ve made come alive through these pages! Much love to you!

83


Inspirational Writings, Scriptures, and Artistic Expressions of the Radiant Love of Christ. Women World Leaders is on a mission to globally invest in the lives of women as they discover their lifework and purpose within God's design. By developing their God-given abilities and gifts, women are finding the power to serve in God's grace, a unity of fellowship among believers, and the joy of experiencing the exceeding abundance of God's glorious work.

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. PSALM 25:5 (NIV)

www.womenworldleaders.com Scan with your smartphone camera to sign up to receive a free subscription to Voice of Truth magazine! 84

Profile for Voice of Truth

Voice of Truth: 4th Edition, July/August 2021  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded